Apple has allegedly changed its policy regarding iPhone apps carrying 17+ ratings, now allowing developers to issue promo codes to reviewers, according to SlashGear. The company previously had restricted use of promo codes to apps with lower age ratings.
Verizon is accelerating the launch of its 4G network for an unknown purpose that might involve Apple, a leak maintains. Although the provider has officially postponed its Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G network to the second half of 2010, a purported veteran source of TechCrunch now says the network build out is being accelerated with an early 2010 release once again in mind. The accelerated schedule supposedly involves at least one "non-dongle" device, most likely meaning a handheld.
JVC has announced the upcoming release of two mini-systems, the NX-TC3 and NX-TC5. Both sport a 4.3-inch touchscreen, which can display photos or videos from a connected USB thumb drive. Each is also equipped with an iPod dock, a CD player and an AM/FM tuner, supplemented by 512MB of internal memory, to which music can be ripped. Only the TC5 can rip music to an external USB device however, or load MiniDiscs.
At the TED Global Conference in Oxford, UK wrapping up today, US-based WiTricity showed off a wireless charging system that powered up a T-Mobile G1, Apple's iPhone and a flat screen TV. Such a system could eventually replace the current infrastructure that involves countless miles of power cable and disposable alkaline batteries. According to a recent BBC report, the system is based on research by a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Marin Soljacic. It uses low frequency electromagnetic wave resonance to transfer the energy from the source to the device via a coil at each end.
Making Faces ($3) allows users to stretch and distort images. Images can be imported from the devices library or taken with the built-in camera on the iPhone. Users can then zoom in/out, rotate, move, and distort the picture. Making faces includes several special effects such as pinch, bulge, wave, ripple, smudge, and smear.
Toshiba recently announced it will soon offer an LCD HDTV meant to fit into a kitchen environment with the first product in its Stainless Steel series, the 18.5-inch 19LV612U (PDF). The 720p set sports a built-in, side-slot DVD player and ATSC/NTSC/QAM TV tuner. The DVD player is compatible with DiVX formats as well as MP3 and WMA playback. Users can connect their PCs or other outside sources thanks to an HDMI or VGA input.
Speaking at the Fortune's Brainstorm: Tech conference on Friday, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said he was glad the provider waited until the second version of Google's Android operating system.
InfoLogic has posted v6.4 of MathMagic, its equation editor. The app is divided into two main editions: Personal, which exports generalized output, and Pro, which includes plug-ins for either InDesign or QuarkXPress. The plug-ins are said to improve the quality of output, and speed up the insertion of equations into publishing documents.
An unofficial company document claims Canadian wireless provider Bell will be the exclusive provider of the Palm Pre handset in Canada for six months. Bell is also said to be the second provider anywhere to offer the handset, after Sprint added the Pre in June. While it's not clear when the six-month countdown begins, it is likely that Bell subsidiary Telus will be the second Canadian provider to get the device.
A Samsung spokesperson on Friday confirmed the company is the one who was rumored to be among five top handset makers developing a handset powered by NVIDIA's Tegra processor. The chipset, which would allow HD graphics playback from the handset whether it's from movies or video games, is also linked to the upcoming Zune HD from Microsoft. As in the earlier report, the handset is most likely to debut at AT&T or T-Mobile, and be priced at around $200.
CrumplePop has released Reflector, a collection of reflection effects for video projects in Final Cut Pro. The plug-in set consists of 26 different effects, applied to clips by dragging and dropping items into the timeline. Users can control the amount and angle of reflections, the speed of fly-over, and side scroll.
On Friday, Nokia today said it would acquire cellity, a private software company in Germany that specializes in bringing social networking to cellphones. When the deal is finalized, cellity and its services will shut down and its 14 employees will be absorbed into Nokia. The move is seen as key in Nokia's attempt to offer improved social networking services.
Iconology has released a new comic book application for the iPhone and iPod touch, Comics by comiXology. The program delivers a store, library and reader, with over 100 titles for users to choose from. A guided view allows an entire comic to be displayed onscreen, in a format that preserves a work's original layout. Users can also locate and connect with local retailers through the app, in order to purchase printed comics.
Microsoft this afternoon hoped to settle the European Commission's antitrust case over unfair web browser bundling by promising to give users a choice of web browsers when Windows 7 ships in October. The proposal mimics the EC's solution and would provide a "ballot" that lets first-time users choose from one of multiple browsers, all of which would be pre-loaded in Windows. As before, users could also download other browsers and set them as the default.
Seven Lakes has released Grosshandel, used to manage merchandise for small trading firms. The application provides users with a template for sales and purchase documents, and can manage an unlimited number of warehouses and their associated shipping and storing duties. Warehouse planning systems are integrated into orders; the program additionally includes a price and rebate system that hosts an unlimited amount of rebate groups, and lists prices by gradation.
The world cellphone market is shifting in a way that could permanently change the market in the next year, according to ABI Research. In spite of Research in Motion's strong fiscal quarter, estimates now suggest that its market share for spring has suffered from "contractions" along with companies that have been losing share for months, such as Motorola and Sony Ericsson. By comparison, Apple's 5.2 million iPhones have contributed to the company "making headway" with 1.93 percent share along with relatively small smartphone producers like HTC.
In parallel with upgraded Final Cut and Logic suites, Apple has released a v5.0 update for ProKit. The software provides an underlying framework for Apple's professional-level programs, including not just Final Cut and Logic but all related apps, such as Motion and Soundtrack. The Aperture photo workflow tool is also impacted.
GlobalFoundries on Friday began building a new factory dedicated to making more advanced processors. The Saratoga County, New York-based Fab 2 plant is due to be completely ready by 2012 and will make processors on processes current by the time the factory opens. Initial chips will be made using a 28 nanometer (nm) process and should shrink quickly to 22nm once its production is completely ready. The plant should be ready on a basic level by 2011 and could start its earliest production ahead of time.
iClip Lyrics 2.0 ($9) searches for the lyrics of the song current playing in iTunes and adds them to the ID3 tag. If the application can't find the lyrics users can enter them manually. The latest release allows users to download lyrics for an entire playlist and includes additional preferences for customizing both behavior and appearance. A search and replace feature has also been added and changes are now automatically saved. [Download - 0.6MB]
Realmac has released LittleSnapper 1.5, an update to its utility for capturing screenshots. The latest version integrates a new capture engine for improved full-screen, area and window shots. Users can now snap multiple windows, while the software automatically merges each image into one file.
OWC is reducing the price of its Mercury Pro Quad Interface Blu-ray drives, and also introducing new Toast Pro bundle packages. The Mercury Pros feature FireWire 400/800, USB 2.0 and eSATA interfaces. Two models exist, the first of which now costs $300 and burns Blu-ray discs at 6x speeds, DVDs at 16x, and CDs at 40x. The second model costs $350, and burns Blu-ray at 8x, and CDs at 32x.
An unofficial photo of HPs iPAQ K3 Obsidian smartphone complete with AT&T logo has surfaced, all but confirming an earlier leak that had the handset due at the American carrier. The QWERTY handset bears a resemblance to traditional BlackBerry devices, and otherwise sports a 2.43-inch AMOLED touchscreen and is preloaded with Windows Mobile 6.5. There is also a 3.2-megapixel camera, tri-band 3G UMTS/HSDPA network support, a Wi-Fi connection and GPS.
A long-rumored Apple tablet is heading towards a 2010 launch, a new report claims. The system is noted to have been in development for over four years already, but may now have a firm release date in the first quarter of next year. The problem has allegedly been the close interest of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is said to have ordered the project reset at least six times in two years, in order to change direction.
Palm has not only restored iTunes syncing for the Pre but has accused Apple of abusing the USB standard to keep other devices out. Company spokeswoman Lynn Fox told All Things D late yesterday that Palm has filed a complaint with the USB Implementers Forum (USB IF) over Apple's use of the Vendor ID number. The specific issue isn't stated, but it's implied that Apple is misusing the ID check to prevent all non-Apple devices from appearing in iTunes.
The Tolis Group has released v2.0 of its BRU Server. The application is used to backup data stored on Mac, Windows, Linux and Solaris networks. The latest version features a new user interface, and client-level backup and restore functions that can be initiated by users, negating the need for administrator involvement. Version 2.0 also has an optional Encryption Module add-on, for encrypted backups using archival hardware.
With Toshiba conceding and announcing it will soon offer a Blu-ray drive of its own, there is newfound speculation of Microsoft offering a Blu-ray drive for its Xbox 360 gaming console. Now that Toshiba is involved, multiple sources claim to Fudzilla that Microsoft is investigating the possibility of such a drive once more. The software giant did offer an external HD DVD drive built by Toshiba but has so far refused to do the same for the winning format.
Apple is unlikely to drop Foxconn as a manufacturing partner, in spite of the implications of a worker's suicide, industry sources in Taiwan suggest. The worker, Sun Danyong, jumped off a building on July 16th following an incident involving a missing iPhone prototype. Although Danyong informed his superiors about the missing device, he was treated to a harsh interrogation by Foxconn security, including solitary confinement and a search of his home. It is also alleged that Danyong may have been beaten.
SteelSeries opted for the end of the week to reveal two multi-platform gaming mice as well as a special mousepad. At the top end, the Xai has an ambidextrous ergonomic grip the company claims took years of research to develop and an especially precise laser sensor that registers up to 5,000 CPI (counts per inch). It also has a unique OS-independent programmable seven-button scheme with an LCD on the underside and its own permanent memory to save custom settings without needing drivers.
Samsung's flagship Omnia II smartphone may be the first to directly compete against the iPhone in the US if an FCC filing (PDF) is an indication. Previously thought only to be headed to Verizon, the Windows Mobile phone has appeared in the US agency's testing with both GSM support and HSPA-based 3G on the 850MHz and 1,900MHz bands used by AT&T. No labels or other branding have necessarily confirmed a carrier deal so far.
Apple is maintaining a double-standard when it comes to gay-themed iPhone apps, a developer claims. Attempting to draw publicity, Terry Ray claims that his iGaydar title was rejected from the App Store on the same day as Bruno -- an app based on the Sacha Baron Cohen movie -- was approved. iGaydar was rejected for "objectionable content," despite being considerably less graphic than the Bruno app, according to Ray.
The previously promised NVIDIA netbook, which spawned a prototype built by Mobinnova, will be called the Firefly, according to a recent SemiAccurate report. The nettop will reportedly be powered by the Tegra chip that is also being used in Microsoft's Zune HD, and unnamed netbook manufactuers claim a September launch date. The Tegra chip itself is already known to be delayed beyond NVIDIA's own 2008 timeframe, however, and has cast doubts on the new timeframe.
Microsoft has quietly toned down its Laptop Hunter ads to reflect the reduced argument it has against Apple, the company noted late yesterday. While the extent of its changes aren't exactly known, the company has posted a new version of its "Lauren & Sue" ad that omits references to a $2,000 MacBook Pro and now only makes an indirect attack, suggesting that Mac users are "paying a lot for the brand." The ad sees Lauren ultimately buying a $972 Dell Studio XPS 13 and drew criticism for deliberately choosing to include a comparison between this and the larger, faster 15-inch MacBook Pro instead of the then-current $1,299 aluminum MacBook.
An AT&T report indicates that only 24 percent of 10.2 million iPhones were activated in the US during Apple's third quarter, according to setteB. This -- as compared to 42 percent of 3.8 million devices sold during Apple's second quarter - may indicate that the US market has lost a substantial amount of value. The Italian website also notes though that figures for AT&T's operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) show that the sequential margin impact of the iPhone 3GS was much less than that of the iPhone 3G launch, in the third quarter of 2008.
Verizon this morning hoped to upend AT&T's positive results by touting its subscriber additions ahead of its actual quarterly update. The company says it added 1.1 million new customers in spring and now has a total of 87.7 million subscribers, or 8.1 million more than AT&T has after its own spring quarter. About 85.2 million of Verizon's customers were retail customers.
Garmin today offically threw itself into competition in the touchscreen phone arena by shipping the nüvifone G60 to its first market. The handset is now due to reach Taiwan on July 27th and should reach both Malaysia and Singapore by the end of August. The GPS-centered device is also now deemed "on schedule" for both European and North American launches before the end of the year, though carrier options (if any) and prices have yet to be detailed.
Google has launched the iPhone and iPod touch versions of its Latitude app, the newest feature in its mapping service. Latitude was originally released in early February as an update for Google Maps Mobile, and is now available for the iPhone as a web app that runs in Safari. The added GPS function allows users to identify both their location and the whereabouts of their friends, and includes privacy features which enable users to hide their position from people or to enter a preset location and mask their real position.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl
XCOM 2 ships on Steam for Mac, Windows
Feral Interactive today announced that the highly anticipated turn-based strategy game XCOM 2 is out now for OS X and Windows, and is available to buy through Steam and through the Mac App Store shortly. The sequel to the popular XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 is available as a standalone base game and as the XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition. The XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition comprises the base game, the Reinforcement Pack and the XCOM 2 digital soundtrack. Versions start at $60. http://bit.ly/1KuEFsX