Steve Jobs reportedly was present at Apple's campus on Monday, according to several witness accounts. An unnamed Reuters reporter claims to have spotted the executive at the company headquarters, where he chatted with another person while wearing his black turtleneck and bluejeans. If true, Jobs' presence at the Apple headquarters could indicate he is again taking hold of the reins following a six month leave of absence.
Apple on Monday released an EFI firmware update for the MacBook Pro models launched earlier this month. The update brings back support for the 3Gbps SATA specification, although the company warns that it has not offered or qualified drives running at transfer rates higher than 1.5Gbps. Earlier reports indicated the new systems had switched from 3Gbps specifications down to a 1.5Gbps limit.
Boris FX has released the full version of Boris Continuum Complete 6 AVX. The plug-in adds nearly 200 filters to video and film editing programs such as Final Cut Pro, Motion, and Adobe After Effects. The software is based on the Avid video editing and finishing architecture, and as such supports Avid Media Composer, NewsCutter and Symphony. The upgrade provides 15 new filters including Extruded Text, Cartoon Look, Lightning, and Swish Pan.
QNAP Systems has released the newest addition to its line of storage servers, the SS-839 Pro Turbo NAS. QNAP believes this is the world's smallest eight-bay, Intel Atom-based network attached storage (NAS) unit utilizing 2.5-inch hard drives. The SS-839 Pro features disk-on-module architecture, an Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz CPU, 2GB of DDR2 memory, and a total storage capacity of 4TB. The unit also offers two eSATA connections and five USB ports that can be used to attach the device to other storage servers and backups. The device is claimed to be energy efficient, with the eight-drive system operating on approximately 34 watts.
Freeverse has announced that its Flick Fishing game is the first paid app to surpass one million downloads from the App Store. The developer recently updated the software to take advantage of the networking abilities added with the new iPhone 3.0 firmware. Players can now compare catches or compete in Fish Jack tournaments.
Dunkin' Run (free) allows users to inform friends or coworkers that they are making a trip to Dunkin' Donuts. After receiving a notification users can then add an order and send it to the person making the run. The application includes a built-in menu which includes both food and drink items offered in the store. Users can add notes to their order and specify details such as how much sugar they like in their coffee. All orders are then combined into one list which can be organized by friends, or by items.
Qualcomm has confirmed its Snapdragon-based smartphone and Smartbook netbook will launch in its home market of Korea later this year, according to a Monday Telecoms Korea report. The company is apparently engaged in talks with the country's local mobile operators to launch the products. The Smartbook will become available in the fall from Taiwanese companies, while the Snapdragon handset will come from a Korean phone maker late this year or early next year, said Qualcomm marketing director Jordan Lim.
Bell Mobility on Monday announced it is now offering the Ovation U760 Micro Modem from Novatel Wireless, giving users access to the largest 3G data network in Canada. At just over two inches long, the U760 is the smallest EVDO USB modem and features a microSD memory card slot to hold up to 8GB of data and double as a USB flash drive.
LodgeNet Interactive has announced a new IPTV+ system designed for use with the Mac mini. The product is geared for hotels and provides guests with access to a variety of HD or SD on-demand video, including web-based or television-based content, and an Interactive Program Guide. LodgeNet IPTV+ also offers hotel owners the option to integrate custom applications for content such as branded graphics, marketing materials or in-room booking for additional hotel services.
South Korea-based Daewoo has recently announced the upcoming release of a convertible tablet netbook, the LUCOMS Solo Tablet C920-mini. As with many other tablets, processing power comes from a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU and there is 1GB of RAM onboard. Graphics are handled by the Intel 945 Express components and users can interface via the 8.9-inch, 1024x600 resolution touchscreen when in tablet mode. The 60GB 1.8-inch, 4200rpm hard drive is preloaded with Windows XP Home.
HTC's first Android phone, the Dream (or T-Mobile G1), was ostensibly pitched as an "iPhone killer" but was really an alternative to a legion of lookalike Windows Mobile phones. The Magic -- called the myTouch 3G in the US -- encroaches much more directly on Apple's territory. It's thinner, sleeker and the first Android device to depend on a touchscreen keyboard. But do the form factor and a host of much-needed software features like video recording manage to unseat Apple from the hearts and minds of at least some prospective customers, or is it arriving too late? We find out in our complete review.
The E-P1 Micro Four Thirds digital camera from Olympus that was officially introduced last week is now available for pre-order at Amazon. As promised, the camera will be available without a lens, priced at $750; as a kit with a 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 lens for $800; or bundled with a 17mm f2.8 fixed-zoom lens for $900. An add-on optical viewfinder that mounts to the hot-shoe, the VF-1, is a standalone option for all variations and carries a price of $100.
Synium has released a new version of its flagship application, iFinance 3. The software manages stocks, monitors the performance of a portfolio and generates information regarding profits and losses. Version 3 displays data using new 3D charts, or one of a variety of existing views. It also incorporates a new budgeting feature, used to track cash and plan for future costs.
Rumors circulating about Motorola's first Android phones received support today through a leak of plans for their launches later in this year. The Wall Street Journal cites its usual sources "familiar with the matter" as saying that T-Mobile USA will get one of the first devices and that it will be a touchscreen device with a slide-out keyboard and an emphasis on Facebook and Twitter. Most other sources already know this as the Morrison (pictured) and expect it towards the end of the year.
Apple's Find My iPhone feature, which locates missing devices through iPhone 3.0 and a MobileMe subscription, has received what may have been its first practical test. Blogger Kevin Miller notes that while in Chicago for a Lego convention, an iPhone of his disappeared after visiting a bar. Unable to find it at the bar, Miller turned to a friend's MacBook Pro, which could access MobileMe using a 3G USB modem.
Currency Assistant 3.1 ($19) allows users to convert values between 175 world currencies (all major circulating currencies plus the 16 Eurozone legacy currencies). The software also automatically updates exchange rates over the Internet using the rates published by the European Central Bank, the Bank of Canada, the International Monetary Fund, and the Bank of Italy. The new release allows the Rate indicator and the Rate pop-up menu to show either currency names or ISO codes. Users can also now display the names of the currencies in a converter by placing the mouse pointer over its Switch Currency pop-up menus. [Download - 2.2MB]
Sony Computer Entertainment has recently released more information on its upcoming motion control technology for the PlayStation 3 gaming console that it introduced at E3. The technology is due to launch in the spring of next year and include both first- and third-party content. The technology relies on the PlayStation Eye to track movements of a wand users hold, and Sony has revealed developers can already begin developing for it as the PS3 Software Development Kit (SDK) already includes face-tracking and head-tracking capabilities.
Kohjinsha is about to launch a significant overhaul of its convertible tablet netbook that will bring it to the forefront in terms of features, a leak shows. The SK3 will have 802.11n Wi-Fi and, to draw on the better wireless, both outward- and inward-facing cameras for video chats or photography. It's also one of the first tablet netbooks to support Windows 7; what this involves isn't known by UMPC Portal, but it may involve either tighter integration with the touch elements of the Microsoft OS or else a more finger-ready screen.
Some users of the iPhone 3G S -- launched last Friday -- are continuing to experience a serious sound issue, Apple support discussions reveal. After various sounds on the device are played, such as the effects for unlocking or text messaging, owners may encounter a high-pitched tone. The frequency of the tone is thought to be near 15KHz.
Fresh from a win against EchoStar, TiVo is set to tie directly into pay-per-view systems as well as Time Warner's cable network, according to two sources. The DVR producer is said by Bloomberg to be talking with more than one pay-per-view provider to either allow its recording directly or else to license out the technology for third-party hardware or software. Details are vague, but it would be separate from online-only support for Amazon VOD, Netflix and other services.
HP on Monday morning launched a new $399 wireless all-in-one printer that offers integrated Web-access. The "HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web" enables users to easily navigate and print directly from specific web-enabled apps (no ability to surf the internet). The device features an embedded Linux client for access various Web-enabled apps along features a full touch-enabled 4.33-inch widescreen LCD with integrated access to various online services for easy printing. The company showcased full access to coupons.com along with ability to print coupons directly with a few-clicks. HP said that the printer includes full customizations to allow users to create apps and customize the printer via an included wizard that turns RSS feeds, documents, and more into apps. HP also said that it would offer a full suite of APIs for developers to build innovative applications to sell via the HP app store (HP later said all the apps would be "free").
Wireless provider Sprint on Monday has announced it has added the LG LX370 and Samsung Exclaim handsets to its lineup. The former is an entry-level vertical slider while the Exclaim is a dual-slider that open horizontally to reveal a QWERTY keyboard or vertically to offer a numeric keypad. Either connects to Sprint's 3G network to access many online features and services, including social networking sites through customizable shortcuts. A 2-megapixel camera and Bluetooth are also shared by the two handsets.
Verizon's edition of the HTC Snap has had virtually all of its details leaked ahead of its near-term launch. Rebadged as the Ozone, the QWERTY bar phone seen by BGR will be turned into a world phone with both CDMA and EVDO Rev A for Verizon's own network as well as four-band GSM and EDGE for calling and 2G data in other countries. Unlike many Verizon smartphones, the device won't have features disabled and should have both Wi-Fi as well as GPS usable with any app, not just VZ Navigator.
A smartphone app developed by IBM will allow attendees at the currently ongoing Wimbledon tennis tournament to access information and extra content related to the game, according to a Monday report. Called Seer Android, the service is being tested using T-Mobile G1 handsets. It superimposes stats in real time onto a video feed from the G1's camera, as well as Twitter comments from players and experts, including Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
Belkin has begun selling the Gigabit Powerline HD Starter Kit, a new expansion to its series of powerline-based networking peripherals. The kit consists of a router adapter matched by another for a target device's Ethernet port. Computers, consoles and other hardware can thus tap into a home's powerline LAN, although Belkin notes that the kit does not handle routing functions by itself.
Seagate today introduced three new units to its BlackArmor line of external data storage. The additions involve the BlackArmor NAS 220 Storage Server, the BlackArmor WS110 External Drive Workstation, and the BlackArmor PS 110 Portable Drive. All of the BlackArmor units include a bare metal recovery feature and automated full-system backup. SafetyDrill software, used to restore system data if something were to happen to the original data, is also included.
Apple's first weekend for the iPhone 3G S was impressive, but it may not foretell future prospects, analysts comment. Maynard Um of UBS observes that the 1 million in units was "likely better than expected," backing survey results from Friday. The analyst continues to call for 4.55 million in iPhone shipments by the end of the June quarter, but says the number "may prove conservative" given launch performance.
Sony in a low-key move has quietly updated the VAIO P with its first performance upgrade in the US since launch. The P698E moves from the original 1.33GHz processor to a 1.6GHz part and also doubles the capacity of the solid-state drive to 128GB. Both are currently available together in a single, red model that costs $1,500.
Western Digital has already tipped its hand as to a capacity boost for its Caviar Black line with promo material from Japan. Local retailer SofMap has been given personal cleaning kits that indicate a 2TB Caviar Black is due in the near future and would be the first mainstream hard drive to come with 64MB of cache to speed up disk access. To date, the performance-oriented models have been limited to 1TB of space and 32MB of cache; Western Digital already offers a 2TB Caviar Green but, until now, hasn't had the option of a full-speed drive.
Apple has been both vindicated and condemned in an advertising dispute with Dell, reports say. The latter company earlier filed a complaint with the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, accusing Apple of potentially misleading the public by claiming its unibody MacBooks are the "greenest" notebooks on the market. Dell has asserted that its notebooks also meet high environmental standards, for instance by scaling down mercury, PVC and brominated flame retardant content.
Known for its processors in portable electronics devices such as Mobile Internet Devices and smartphones, chipmaker ARM on Monday announced a partnership with LG that would have the latter integrate ARM products into its digital TVs. This includes both ARM's ARM11 MPCore multi-core processor, which offers LG the option to implement single or multiple SMP cores, as well as the ARM Mali-200 and Mali-400 MP graphics processors that should support both true 1080p resolutions and web browsing. Integrating these chips into the TVs obviates the need for a set-top box.
Verizon today ramped up FiOS with speed upgrades for all its regular tiers as well as the addition of a new middle tier. A new 35Mbps plan offers a balance between more typical speeds and the 50Mbps maximum tier; it also has the same 20Mbps upload speeds as the previous symmetric 20/20 tier and the 50Mbps service; the speed would let it upload an hour-long 720p HDTV show in 20 minutes. The carrier doesn't say how much this version of its fiber optic service would cost but says it's only available in bundles with TV or phone service.
Kodak on Monday announced it has released its new EasyShare S730 digital picture frame. While it doesn't have Wi-Fi, it can still operate wirelessly thanks to a built-in rechargeable battery. Fully charged, the battery gives the 7-inch frame one hour of operating life. Kodak has also introduced a new Picture Finder feature that lets users categorize and find images by date. There is a Slideshow viewing mode, which can display images alone or along with a clock or calendar, while a Collage mode shows four random images at the same time.
Over 1 million units of the iPhone 3G S have been sold since Friday's launch, Apple claims. The millionth phone is said to have been sold by the end of Sunday, beating even optimistic early forecasts closer to 700,000. The figure also trumps the sales performance of the iPhone 3G, which sold a million units on its opening weekend, but required 21 countries instead of just eight.
Acer on Monday added three 16:9 ratio notebooks to its media-centric Gemstone Blue designs that all focus on price over raw performance. The 15.6-inch, LED-backlit Aspire 5739G is the fastest of the trio with a 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, an 8X Blu-ray drive and a GeForce GT 130M for video. It comes with a multi-touch trackpad and ships at the end of June for a particularly low $750, making it the least expensive new Blu-ray notebook today.
Rogers this morning became the first major North American carrier to adopt the 5800 XpressMusic. The first touchscreen Nokia phone shows in Canada with native 3G and is very close to the reference Symbian S60 platform with the exception of a new urMusic app for shopping from Rogers' store for music or concert tickets. Rogers allows Nokia Maps to serve as the GPS navigation option rather than offering its own.
Samsung today said that it had already taken 2 million pre-orders of its Jet touchscreen phone in just the one week since it was unveiled. The tally is the first time the company has ever broken the 2 million mark in advance and is well ahead of close rival LG, which took one month to sell 2 million of its Arena phone after it went on sale. The next-closest Samsung phone was the UltraTOUCH, which cracked 1.8 million before it sold.
Kodak this morning said it would soon phase out its longstanding Kodachrome film, putting an end to a significant era of film photography. The company says it plans to end the 74-year production as sales of the classic film now make up less than one percent of its film camera business, which itself is in the minority at Kodak. About 70 percent of the company's income is from digital photography.
T-Mobile this morning showed its hand in the smartphone competition this summer by officially launching the myTouch 3G as its second Android phone. A near-identical version of the HTC Magic, the device drops the G1's hardware keyboard for a much slimmer design that depends almost exclusively on the 3.2-inch touchscreen and competes more closely with the iPhone both in shape and control. HTC's smartphone expands on this with haptic feedback for its keyboard and a trackball for one-handed use.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.31 ( -0.87 )
Kohls Apple Pay integration with loyalty program
Kohl's customers are now able to pay for their purchases with Kohl's Charge and simultaneously earn loyalty program Yes2You Rewards in conjunction with Apple Pay. The service is currently available in approximately 250 Kohl's stores and is expected to be in all Kohl's stores nationwide later this month, making Kohl's the first retailer to deliver a one-tap checkout that integrates both its private credit card as a form of payment and a loyalty program with Apple Pay. http://yhoo.it/21wEUI6
AirMap iOS app for drone operators
Provider of airspace information and services for unmanned aircraft AirMap announced today the release of the AirMap app for iOS and Apple Watch. Operators can now access low-altitude airspace advisories, create flights, file digital flight notices to over 80 airports, and manage unmanned aircraft. Building on the success of AirMap's Digital Notice and Awareness System (D-NAS), the AirMap app brings to iOS devices a fully integrated airspace management solution for recreational and commercial drone operators. The app is free. http://apple.co/21wCadD
BlackBerry video calling available on iOS
BlackBerry has made its video calling feature available to Android and iOS users. The company reports limited availability of the new cross-platform feature for now, citing "because this is the first time we're launching BBM Video calling, and we want to monitor performance, gather feedback, and iron out any kinks that may arise before we roll it out globally." http://blck.by/1ruu4pC
Apple loses iPhone brand exclusivity in China
Apple has lost its exclusive rights to the 'iPhone' brand in China, the Beijing Municipal High People's Court has ruled. According to Quartz, Chinese company Xintong Tiandi is now free to continue selling its non-smartphone "IPHONE" branded products, which include smartphone cases, among other leather goods. The Chinese court ruled that Xintong Tiandi, which registered the "IPHONE" trademark in 2007, could continue to use the trademark because Apple did not start selling the iPhone in China until 2009. Apple also could not prove that Xintong Tiandi's ongoing use of the trademark would cause Apple material harm. The latest ruling by the Chinese government follows its recent decision to shut down the iTunes Movies and iBooks Store. http://bit.ly/1SNhRmB
Bowers & Wilkins bought by EVA Automation
High-end UK audio equipment maker and fixture in Apple retail stores Bowers & Wilkins has been bought out by a California "smart home" tech firm, EVA Automation. Fomer Bowers & Wilkins owner Joe Atkins will continue as CEO of the joint venture, with EVA Automation founder Gordon Yu acting as executive chairman. The two companies said the merger will combine EVA's AV technologies and Bowers & Wilkins' acoustic engineering talents to grow the now-combined firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it is expected that the Bowers & Wilkins brand name will continue. http://yhoo.it/1SLt6zj
Micromat MacCheck released for free
Micromat, the developers of TechTool Pro, today announced a new troubleshooting utility called MacCheck. The new product can perform a series of critical tests on Macintosh systems, helping to isolate what might be wrong with a particular computer. The program quickly tests many of the critical systems in a Macintosh computer, including RAM, I/O, Volume Structures, Partition Maps, Batteries, and RAID systems. MacCheck is being offered free of charge and is available for download immediately from the Micromat website. http://bit.ly/1SKFwaV
Hyundai Sonata 2016 gains CarPlay
The 2016 Hyundai Sonata can now be upgraded to incorporate Apple's CarPlay mobile technology, which augments the built-in infotainment system in the car to incorporate many iPhone features, such as Apple Maps and Siri voice control of navigation and other smartphone functions. The upgrade is accomplished through an SD card owners can obtain from their local Hyundai dealer. Although not disclosed, the upgrade was said to cost "a small fee" when it was initially announced in December of last year. http://bit.ly/1TJzK8f