MacNN can confirm the existence of the fourth-generation iPod nano and has obtained a verified authentic photo of the Apple music player. The device exactly matches claims by Digg founder Kevin Rose of a tall, tapered design and is enclosed in wrap-around aluminum, as with the second-generation model. It also has the same offset Dock Connector placement of the 2006 version and marks the return of at least one color that had previously disappeared from the iPod lineup: the example shown to MacNN comes in the same metallic orange as the early 2007 iPod shuffle update. Other colors will be more vibrant than the pale hues from the third-generation nano, according to the sources.
Forum roundup: A hot topic in the MacNN forums today revolves around a discussion about the differences between the MacBook Air and the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 notebooks. One forum goer is looking for a novel writing application and finds some suggestions from others. Mac Elite, iomatic, is looking for an iPhone hiking application that would be able to provide proper navigation in generally uncharted areas. A deal on a 2TB AcomData external hard drive is the topic of conversation in this thread. Advice on where to find a new Ethernet card for a Power Mac G3 can be found here.
Synium software has released StuffRadar 1.2, the latest version of its media organization utility for iPhone and iPod touch. The new update features improved media handling, better management of lent or borrowed items, address book integration, easier navigation through lists, and more. StuffRadar can be used to track and organize CDs, movies, books, or games. Items already in a personal library, or things intended to purchase, can all be entered into the app.
A brief selection of reconditioned portable Macs currently at the Apple store include the 13-inch MacBook in white with a 2.1GHz processor, 1GB of memory, 120GB hard drive and Combo drive for $899; the 15-inch MacBook Pro with 2.4GHz processor, 2GB of memory, 200GB hard drive and 8x Super Drive for $1,699; the 17-inch MacBook Pro with 2.5GHz processor, 2GB of memory, 250GB hard drive and 8x Super Drive for $2,299; and the the 1.6GHz MacBook Air with 2GB of memory and 80GB hard drive for $1,499.
DealNN deals for today include an array of products ranging from iPhone covers to MacBooks. Get a five pack of AV Lab iPhone skin covers for $15 from Buy.com. Parallels desktop 3.0 is available for $59.99 right now at Newegg.com. The Apple store is currently offering the refurbished 2.4GHz MacBook in white for $1,099. MacConnection has the 2.4GHz, 17-inch MacBook Pro for $1,699 after mail in rebate with free VMware and Mobile Edge carry case. Get a FREE Delphi SkyFi3 mobile XM Satellite radio receiver with car kit from Crutchfield.com after mail in rebate.
Members of community site AVSForum today said they have spotted an unannounced Blu-ray player from Oppo at the CEDIA home theater expo. The BDP-S83 would be the company's first movie reader of the type and currently has no formal announcement, although certain clues are visible from the device. An Ethernet jack confirms that it would come as a Blu-Ray Profile 2.0 player with Internet-based special features.
Late last month, Garmin announced the release of its nuvi 7x5 and 2x5 GPS units which came with no-cost lifetime traffic updates. Independent testing of one of the units, the 755T, has revealed there is a price to pay for the free traffic, and that is constantly having ads in the bottom of the screens from Garmin's partners and will pop up from time to time when not in motion, and cannot be disabled. Tapping the ad will find the featured company's nearest locations. The GPS maker has not informed potential customers of this how it will offset the cost of providing users with no-cost traffic data prior to the release.
A recently-spotted FCC filing revealed few specifications and details on Sony's upcoming Cyber-shot DSC-G3 digital camera, although one key revelation in the document is the fact the camera will come with 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. This would mark the second Cyber-shot with the ability to share photos wirelessly, as Sony released the Wi-Fi equipped DSC-G1 over a year ago.
Earlier this week, Motorola's UK arm announced it would soon release the jewel-like styled MOTOJEWEL handset. The music phone will feture touch-sensitive keys on its outside control panel, which also displays basic phone information and animated screen savers. The specs are nothing to write home about, as the phone is largely meant to be a fashion accessory. Motorola even includes a small clutch purse with it meant to house the phone and a couple of accessories, ID and or credit cards. Stereo Bluetooth support allows wireless headsets to be used with the phone, and a 2.0-megapixel camera is built-in.
A buyer is being sought for the complete collection of artwork from the Swedish Mac SE ad campaign, according to myoldmac.net. The art was originally part of a poster campaign from 1987, painted by Swedish artist Erik Saxen, mostly in oil and some mixed media. The paintings reflect different artistic themes, all containing a Mac SE within the scene. The aim is to sell as much of the collection together as possible, but the site claims that if no buyer is found, the paintings will simply be auctioned off through houses like Christie's or Sotheby's.
Desktop and notebook PC maker Lenovo and Napster announced an agreement on Friday that will have Napster provide buyers of Lenovo PCs with a free 14-day trial to Napster's Napster To Go digital music service. The offer is valid for most of the models Lenovo sells in North America, and will give the customers access to more than 6 million songs and audio tracks in the Napster MP3 store introduced earlier this year.
MyWeather has published MyWeather Mobile for the iPhone, allowing users to access weather maps, conditions, forecasts and a full-screen interactive radar. The app combines Microsoft's Virtual Earth technology with animated radar, giving users a view of an area's weather patterns, along with points of interest like golf courses, stadiums and schools. With an iPhone in horizontal orientation, MyWeather enters full-screen mode, supporting pinch and flick gestures with the option of zooming down to street-level weather views.
Zepto recently launched its 17-inch Hydra A17 gaming notebook, which features NVIDIA's GeForce 9800M GTX graphics card that includes 1GB of built-in memory. The screen delivers 1920x1200 resolution while processing power comes via a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo. It is supplanted by 4GB of DDR3 system memory, along with a 1066MHz system bus. As expected in a gaming notebook, an 802.11n Wi-Fi module is included.
ProteMac has launched of ProteMac Meter 1.0, an application that allows users to monitor and log all network traffic. Real-time usage details can be displayed for each application running, including connections, timestamps, host availability, remote host names, the amount and speed of incoming/outgoing data, and more. If a session is logged, the average speed and total amount of data transferred is recorded along with individual actions.
Yet another FCC filing has brought news of a new cellular phone, this time from Samsung. According to the specs, the A837 will support HSDPA 3G data network access and will be outfitted for reliable use in the field thanks to its ruggedized body, large speaker and push-to-talk functionality.
Russia's top cellular carrier, Mobile TeleSystems, today announced it has successfully negotiated with Apple and will soon be offering the iPhone, according to the Associated Press. This confirms speculation that Apple would be making deals with all three major Russian carriers, as the company signed deals with Vimpelcom and MegaFon earlier this week.
Microsoft on Friday said that its $300 million marketing campaign will now involve in-store representatives to promote the brand, the company's general manager of corporate communications, Tom Pilla, says. Effectively mimicking Apple's Geniuses as well as their floor specialists, Microsoft will run a trial later this year that sees 155 trained experts in Windows, nicknamed Microsoft Gurus, answering questions at larger retail chains such as Best Buy and Circuit City.
This year US businesses are predicted to spend an estimated $4.9 billion on mobile applications, with that number expected to climb over $11 billion by 2012, says Compass Intelligence. The group's report claims that one driving force behind the expansion is the sheer number of new apps being created, increasing the mobile devices' value as a productivity resource. Companies including Apple and Google have been leaders in promoting mobile platforms which are open for developers to create free or fee-based applications, such as those on the App Store.
PhoneSaber -- an iPhone/iPod touch application that was pulled from the App Store nearly a month ago -- may be resurfacing in the next couple of weeks, according to reports. THQ Wireless owns the rights to Star Wars development on mobile devices, and asked TheMacBox to pull PhoneSaber voluntarily, with the intent to publish a rebranded version.
Texas has begun enforcing a new law that requires all computer manufacturers in the state to offer a free recycling program for most of their systems. Called the Computer Equipment Recycling Program, the plan mandates that PC makers offering same-brand computers, displays, and input let customers easily ship out or take in computers to have them processed regardless of whether or not the bundle was made after the law took effect.
A new line of fourth-generation iPod nano cases have become available, supporting alleged leaks pointing towards the concept of a taller Nano with a Zune-like screen. Wrapprz.com has added a new group of vinyl skins to its product line, specifically advertised as for the yet-unannounced player. The skins are in fact cut to fit a taller player with a larger screen, and additionally feature a choice of custom artwork.
Shares of Apple stock have continued to drop for the past two weeks, ahead of Tuesday's "Let's Rock" iPod event. New Macs on the horizon may lift the stock in the months ahead however. Barron's reports that analysts are warning that the Sept. 9 event may be 'underwhelming', with a new iPod Nano and slightly redesigned iPod touch at a lower price-point. New Macs are not expected for the Sept. 9 event and investors have been unimpressed with the rumored iPod releases.
Master Lock, a maker of locks and other security products, has released a style of combination lock designed specifically for iPods. The iCage is built of durable metal, and clips around the outside of an iPod's body. The lock allows users to set their own combination for convenience, and features a cable that secures an iPod to a fixed object. Each iCage also comes with three full-body thermoplastic iWRAPrs for scratch protection.
Microsoft's new 120GB Zune players are already being sold earlier than the rumored Sept. 9th release date, according to a report from an Engadget reader. A customer was able to purchase one early at a Fry's location in Atlanta for $250, confirming the speculation that the new model would replace the 80GB version at the same price point. The device appears to have an only slightly different, glossy appearance versus the frequently matte finish of current black models.
T-Mobile on Friday marked the official launch of the Sony Ericsson TM506. The clamshell is again significant both as T-Mobile USA's first phone to use its full HSDPA 3G network's boosted speed as well as the first Sony Ericsson phone to appear on the company's roster in years. It also serves as a mid-range media phone with a two-megapixel camera, assisted GPS and a Memory Stick Micro slot for storage.
Savant Systems has announced the development of an iPhone or iPod touch app that will allow remote control over its ROSIE home automation system. The software offers the same graphic user interface found in the home controls. The user can 'pinch' to zoom in or out and double tap on elements to bring them into the foreground. Full control over the Savant home systems is enabled with the mobile app, including home theater, climate controls, security systems, lighting, or anything on the system depending on the user's setup. The Savant iPhone/iPod touch app will be available on iTunes for $200.
Aspyr Media has announced it will ship Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare beginning September 15. The first-person shooter warfare game features new story lines with multiple plot twists, and the game's special effects stress photo-realism, using new depth-of-field and shading effects to heighten the visual immersion in the game.
Joost will soon announce it will stop making its desktop client and focus instead on a browser-based player for delivering web videos, according to a Friday report from GigaOM. The move will not quite step down to the level of YouTube or Hulu, which are strictly web pages, as it will require a browser plug-in that promises to deliver better video quality through peer-to-peer technology than the competition's traditional approach. The current interface (pictured) was designed to provide a more TV-like experience to users, who so far haven't embraced the idea.
I-play has released a new game at the App Store, Jewel Quest II. The title is a puzzle adventure based on the original Jewel Quest, and has players hunting for hidden jewels. Players follow Rupert as he picks up a new treasure trail in Africa, and guide him through over 50 different puzzles, a developing storyline, and iPhone/iPod touch-specific gameplay.
Coladia Games today announced Secret of the Lost Cavern for the Mac. Gamers take the role of Arok, adventuring in the Paleolithic era, circa 15,000 BCE. Players must survive in the wilderness, through activities such as hunting, fishing, gathering, shamanic ceremonies and battling wild animals. Arok also follows a mentor, and works to recreate the paintings of the Lascaux caves. Graphics recreate prehistoric rivers, caves and vegetation.
XChange International has released four new XTensions for QuarkXPress: ProPack, FlexScale, Nametag and Crops XT have all been added as downloads for extending the capabilities of Quark's flagship design application. ProPack 8 contains 15 different XTensions that range in function from an eyedropper tool for Quarks tool pallet to a tool for creating boxes and text paths based on various shapes. This pack can be downloaded for $203.
TUNEWEAR has announced new leather cases for the iPhone 3G, the PRIE Ambassador for iPhone 3G and the LeatherShell for iPhone 3G. The PRIE Ambassador case is an around-the-body leather case with an attached metal clip. All ports, sensors and the iPhone's camera remain open and accessible, and the case features a cardholder on its back for IDs, business cards and more. The cases are available in black (with either red or white stitching), gold, gold and white and silver. They are available for $60 and include a TUNEFILM clear film for the iPhone's display.
Ambrosia Software today announced its latest iPhone app, Mondo Top 5 Solitaire. Five popular solitaire variants are included: FreeCell, Golf, Klondike, Pyramid, and Spider. A magnifying glass and paper clip tool are offered to assist gameplay, and if a round gets interrupted, it can be picked up where it was left off simply by tapping the game icon. Mondo Top 5 Solitaire is available from iTunes for $3.
Noise Industries, in collaboration with Yanobox, has announced a new visual effects plug-in, Motype FxPack. Users working with After Effects CS3, Final Cut Express, or Final Cut Studio can implement Motype to create text or title animations. A Motion Mixer function allows the motion of the characters to be defined by geometric transformations or other properties, and random characters and symbols can be added as needed.
Fabio Policarpo has introduced iTracer, an iPhone app allowing 3D modeling and rendering, according to Architosh. Using many tools found in full-blown modeling software, designs are modeled in two dimensions with a curve editor, allowing tuning and addition of vertices. Extrusion and revolution surfaces can be used for 3D modeling. Scaling, panning, rotating, or translating adjustments are made with the multi-touch interface.
Cambridge Audio -- better known for its speakers and receivers -- is on the verge of joining the market for Blu-ray players, say reports. The company is preparing the 640BD, a Profile 2.0 player with HDMI 1.3 output, as well as surround-sound decoding that supports all major formats except for DTS HD Master. Cambridge says the format is too processor-intensive for its hardware, though a bitstream can still be fed through to a compatible receiver.
Aspyr Media has announced its new SAT prep video game, futureU. Co-developed with Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, futureU uses a combination of six games, split into math, reading, and writing categories to build students' knowledge of concepts and information they can expect to be tested on with the SATs. In addition to the core content, a special "Test Skills" section focuses on developing time management and other testing strategies.
Early information for the successor to Intel's Atom processor has appeared today courtesy of roadmap information obtained by Impress. Codenamed "Pineview," the refresh will integrate a graphics engine and memory controller directly into the chip itself rather than leave them as discrete components. The alteration would significantly shrink the total size of the already-small Atom and would potentially improve performance by reducing the time it takes to transfer data from the processor to other parts of the system.
British cellular carrier 3 UK may set its sights on selling the iPhone in the future, according to the company's CEO. Kevin Russell, who has only been in charge of the company for a year, says he is very interested in the iPhone, despite the company's recent rejection of a focus on media content, mainly video. "We are quite simple -- we provide communications-based services," says Russell. "I do not see us pushing to create a whole series of revolutionary behaviors -- what I do see is us helping people to do what they do today, when they are out and about."
Canon has started up a teaser ad campaign centered around an upcoming digital SLR camera from its EOS line, triggering speculation of a likely update at the Photokina expo this month. While some believe the update to involve the long-expected full-frame, 21.1-megapixel 5D Mark II, with an integrated battery grip, another teaser ad on Canon's Japanese site shows a silhouette of what is most likely a regular-bodied DSLR. There has been no official information from the Japanese camera maker other than a confirmation of a DSLR timed for the event.
Dell is looking to sell off many of its self-run factories in a bid to remain competitive in the home market, sources have allegedly told the Wall Street Journal. The company currently assembles many of its PCs itself in factories around the world but is now considering offloading many of these in favor of contracting outside firms to do all its work. Many of the old plants would still produce Dell notebooks as part of the deal, though it's unclear whether these companies would be free to make other products at the plants.
The iPhone version of Spore is due on Sunday, says Electronic Arts Mobile. Called Spore Origins iPhone, the game will not be a port of the computer or clickwheel iPod versions of Spore, but a reworked title meant to take advantage of the iPhone's graphics, multi-touch interface and accelerometer. It will arrive on the same day the game officially launches on the Mac and PC. EA Producer Mike Pagano tells MacNN his team spent months working with iPhone SDK, and was "surprised at its capabilities."
LG's rumored Prada II touchscreen phone is likely headed to the US, according to a detailed leak from BGR. Where the original Prada was limited to European and some Asian territories, the sequel is now set to allegedly include both 850MHz GSM calling as well as 3G data over the same frequency using HSDPA, greenlighting the device for full use in the US with AT&T as well as Canada for Rogers.
Apple's event scheduled for September 9th may be very narrowly focused, says analyst Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. Wu notes that aside from the invitation image, which clearly references iPods, supply chain checks suggest that the event will be almost exclusively iPod-focused, likely excluding the new Macs expected by other research groups such as Piper Jaffray.
Samsung is considering buying SanDisk in a deal that could reshape the storage industry, the former company said today. In acknowledging a government filing by Samsung that discusses the possibility of a deal, Samsung spokesman James Chung says the Korean firm had been considering "multiple" options for a deal with SanDisk but that hasn't committed to any particular course of action. SanDisk itself has admitted that it has talked to Samsung but claims that it regularly speaks with companies about possible agreements.
Rogers Wireless will be changing its base iPhone bundles come October 1st, an anonymous source claims. Having agreed to extend its popular 6GB data plan to the end of September, the Canadian carrier has only so far made reference to changes in normal iPhone data plans for subsequent months. The rumored new bundles would include a $60 plan with 250 daytime minutes, 75 texts and 1GB of data, as well as Visual Voicemail, three months of unlimited local calling, and a permanent MY5 Local option. At present, an equivalent $60 plan grants just 150 minutes and 400MB of data, with no MY5 Local calling included.
Nokia today preemptively lowered its market share estimates for the summer quarter, warning that it expects to lose share compared to the spring. The company had previously predicted that its market share would remain largely flat but now claims that multiple concerns have forced it to change its view; the firm remains deliberately unspecific regarding which firms are taking that share but claims that its loss will come from its own "tactical decision" not to keep up with "aggressive pricing of some competitors," alluding to the heavily subsidized iPhone 3G launched during the same quarter.
The first Seinfeld ad that aired Thursday evening is just an "icebreaker" that will be backed by more substantive ads in the near future, Microsoft senior VP Bill Veghte has said in a company-wide e-mail leaked to TechCrunch. Indirectly addressing concerns that the spot doesn't immediately either promote Windows or criticize rivals, Veghte explains that the 1:30 spot is just part of a "first phase" meant to refamiliarize viewers with Microsoft rather than a direct promotion.
Microsoft Research today announced a new photo collage program, AutoCollage 2008. The program uses algorithms to automatically detect objects and faces in separate pictures, which it then combines by following the features and boundaries. Microsoft claims the pictures can be blended together without the joins being visible, and without one picture from a set standing out. AutoCollage 2008 for Windows Vista and XP SP2 is available from Microsoft for a 30 day trial or the unrestricted version for $20.
Epson on Thursday unveiled three new LCD projectors, all sporting 1080p resolution, at the CEDIA expo. The PowerLite Home Cinema 6100, PowerLite Pro Cinema 7100 and
Canon is expected later this month to unveil an updated EOS 5D Mark II at Photokina, with insiders predicting a 21-megapixel sensor and HD movie capturing, like the recently unveiled Nikon D90. CNET reveals that Canon said it would replace a "long overdue model" of SLR, potentially indicating the three year-old 5D. Some think that the D90-style additions would stray too much from Canon's focus on quality, rather than loading down its camera with extraneous features.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE