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Apple on Friday took an unusual approach in its official response to the FCC's inquiries over the rejection of Google Voice for the App Store and denied that it had rejected the app at all. The company instead claims that it "continues to study" the software and now says its primary issues are with the integration of the app, which Apple insists duplicate too many iPhone features.
AT&T today issued their promised formal responses to the FCC's inquiry into the rejection of Google Voice on the iPhone. AT&T senior executive VP Jim Cicconi in a statement flatly stated that the carrier had "no role in any decision" of Apple's to deny the software reaching the App Store and specifically denied any contact with Apple regarding the particular app. AT&T also didn't express its opinion on the app in any context, according to the executive.
The sequel to the BlackBerry Storm smartphone, the 9550, is expected to be released at provider Telus on September 15th, according to an unofficial report on the Internet. Telus is also teasing in TV commercials and in movie theater previews with a September 15th date, but does not reveal what is due on that date. Verizon is rumored to get the new BlackBerry handset sometime in October.
In brief: ThinkFree has released as new Mac application to help users sync their documents with an online storage account. The software is offered for free and allows users to upload files smaller than 10MB to a 1GB storage space. Izatt has announced a special 50% discount on its iPhone application, MileBug, that will run until August 26th. The promotion celebrates the application's one-year birthday on the App Store. Meanwhile, No Starch Press has released a new version of My New Mac with updated information regarding Snow Leopard.
Apple has reversed course on the rejection an iPhone app featuring art of President Obama, the title's developer says. Start Mobile comments that it today received a letter from the iPhone Developer Program, claiming that after "further investigation," Start Mobile Wallpaper Gallery is fully compliant with all rules. It must be resubmitted to the App Store, but an Apple representative is promising an "expedited review."
Battery maker Duracell has recently announced a charging system called myGrid that will charge cellphones and other devices placed on its surface. Similar in concept and execution to the WildCharge energy plate, the device can be ordered as a kit that is compatible with Apple's iPods, the iPod touch and the iPhone, as well as a number of handsets from Nokia, Motorola and RIM's BlackBerry handsets, though each kit requires a charging sleeve.
Southwest Airlines announced recently that it has concluded testing Wi-Fi Internet access on four of its airplanes and has plans to expand the in-flight service to its entire fleet as early as next year. Passengers involved in the testing have returned positive feedback, and Southwest itself is pleased with the technical performance of the in-flight service and the customer response, according to a Friday report.
The Omni Group has released OmniOutliner 3.9, updating its notetaking and outlining program with an overhauled auto-save system and a new duplicate row function. Also new is pasting into OmniGraphSketcher, a software update mechanism, and support for exporting to Microsoft's DOCX format. Beyond this are maintenance fixes.
The rugged XP3.20 Quest handset from Sonim has began shipping to the US, with the device's standout feature being its comprehensive warranty: Sonim offers hassle-free replacements if users manage to break it within three years. The unlocked GSM phone will work on AT&T and T-Mobile networks. It sports a 2-megapixel camera, an FM radio tuner and an MP3 player.
Reinforcing rumors of an Xbox 360 Elite price cut, a Walmart flyer has surfaced today that shows the system's price dropping to $299. A copy of the ad sent to Engadget makes no mention of this being a temporary deal and is supported by what appears to be different packaging than the gray box the Elite uses today. It also reflects a recent change to pack-in content through the omission of the HDMI cable, which most assume is part of an attempt to lower the price.
Nokia is now offering its entry-level XpressMusic handset, the 5530 XM for pre-orders on its website. Introduced in mid-June, the phone retains the Symbian S60 operating system like the original 5800 XM. It has a 2.9-inch, 640x360 resolution touchscreen display and uses Wi-Fi as well as EDGE for connecting to the Internet instead of a faster 3G network connection to keep its price down. There is also no GPS receiver.
Apple's VP of worldwide product marketing, Phil Schiller, was "wholly unprepared and unwilling to testify" during a deposition last week, say attorneys for Psystar. The company recently called a string of Apple executives to testify in its battle over installing Mac OS X on third-party computers. In a filed complaint, Schiller is alleged to have been uncooperative, unable to provide any information on the damages Apple claims to have suffered as a result of Mac cloning.
Retailer Walmart is recalling about 1.5 million Durabrand DVD players because there is a risk for them to catch on fire. After 12 complaints, five of which resulted in a fire that caused damage to property, but no injuries, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission announced on Thursday. The device in question was imported from China and sold at Walmart stores between January of 2006 and July of 2009 for $29.
Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo made conscious moves to thwart Google on Friday with word all three are joining the Open Book Alliance. Created independently by the Internet Archive, the group is resisting the outcome of a copyright dispute that has resulted in Google creating a Book Rights Registry that would see it manage many digital books' rights and let it publish digital versions of books with unknown publishing rights. The Alliance claims the registry would give Google too much control over e-books and hurt literature in the future.
Today's featured deal of the day from DealNN is on the Skullcandy Chops headphones. They were priced at $19.99, but have been reduced by $15 to $4.99, making these the lowest priced Skull Candy headphones we have seen anywhere. The Skullcandy Chops feature an over-the-ear design which helps keep the earbuds in place.
A leaked memo surfacing today and confirmed by AT&T for Electronista has revealed the company will soon require that every smartphone be attached to a data plan. The message obtained by BGR warns that any new or upgrade customer moving to an AT&T-supplied smartphone from September 6th onwards will need to have the $30 smartphone data plan alongside their voice plan, regardless of the manufacturer or the cost of the device. Smartphones bought unlocked outside of AT&T, like the Nokia N97, are exempted from the rule, as are those who already have smartphones on the network and no intention to upgrade.
Apple has begun shipping Logic Express 9, an entry-level variant of the full-featured Logic Studio 9 software for musicians. Logic Express is fully compatible with GarageBand projects, allowing an easy transition to the more advanced software. The Express edition integrates most of Pro 9's capabilities, but with a limited package of plug-ins and samples.
The rumored HTC Click is coming, and a video of the device has already surfaced, complete with the Android Donut update pre-installed on it. Expected to arrive sometime in September or October, the entry-level Android device is about the same size as the existing HTC Magic. The video footage comes courtesy of Vietnamese technology news site Tinh Te, and reveals its LCD screen is smaller than that of the Magic. A 3.5mm audio jack is also visible in the photos.
AT&T late yesterday answered questions by confirming that it had completed its 850MHz 3G upgrade in New York City. Company representative Mark Siegel told PCMag that the area should now have access to the lower frequency for HSPA service and see much better performance as a result. He also acknowledged that San Francisco upgrades were underway but didn't estimate how soon the area would get the extra bandwidth.
Taiwan-based MSI may launch ultra-thin notebooks with AMD's Yukon platform for Athlon Neo processors as early as October, say industry sources. Digitimes reported on Friday that the PC maker has finished its testing of the notebooks but has not yet decided on a launch date as other PCs equipped with the Yukon platform, possibly including the HP Pavilion dv2, are not selling so well. The AMD processor is meant to compete with Intel's CULV range of CPUs and results in ultraportables that are costlier than netbooks but much less expensive than traditional systems.
At least two netbooks based on NVIDIA's Ion graphics technology are being consciously delayed, according to reports. Lenovo is said to be postponing the Ion version of the IdeaPad S12, waiting until the release of Windows 7 in October. The new OS should make an Ion S12 more attractive than one loaded with Vista, the company says.
An analyst for the Thomas Weisel research firm, Doug Reid, says he has raised his estimates for Apple's stock performance based on meetings with the company's management. EPS for the 2009 fiscal year is now expected to be $5.83 instead of $5.77, while the FY10 figure has been raised from $6.06 to $6.51. A price target of $180 has been set for Apple stock, with an Overweight rating.
The FCC today spoiled Logitech's plans for a quiet introduction through a filing for tests on a new device, the Squeezebox Radio. The hardware is portrayed as a self-contained media hub with 2.1-channel speakers that would both stream most any Internet radio station as well as perform the usual Squeezebox functions of sharing content from computers on the local network. Most details are unknown outside of the existence of a moderately-sized 2.4-inch LCD, Ethernet and Wi-Fi.
Computer maker ASUS will apparently launch its rumored NVIDIA Ion-based Eee Box and all-in-one Eee Top PC sometime in September, according to a Friday report. Besides making the assertion, the anonymous sources for DigiTimes maintain the often delayed Eee Keyboard will be out in October, while two ultra-thin notebooks in the company's U/UX series will also be out in September.
Microsoft late Thursday acknowledged that it has started hiring for its first true retail chain. The listings support those leaked earlier this month and show the company partly mirroring Apple's retail worker strategy, albeit without special names. Those manning Microsoft's Guru Bars are labeled as "technical advisors" while the equivalents to Apple's Concierges, who greet and direct customers, will be "customer service associates."
LairWare has launched new iTunes support software, Song Sergeant 1.0. The app finds duplicate or missing files, and fixes inconsistently-named material. As necessary files can be merged together, keeping play counts, the best song information and the best audio quality. Missing songs are replaced in playlists; the program also attempts to preserve last-played data, and find orphaned files in a music library that are not seen by iTunes.
Taiwan-based computer maker MSI has officially announced the 12.1-inch, CULV-based Wind12 U200 ultraportable. Labeled as the first 12.1-inch notebook powered by Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) line, it comes with a 1.4GHz Core 2 Solo that gives it much more performance than a netbook but without as much of a jump in price or power use as a full-size system. Accordingly, it weighs less than 3.1lbs with its stock 3-cell battery.
Adobe has expanded the toolset of Photoshop.com, which can be used to edit and share photos online. Users can now upload up to 200MB of videos to the site through their browser, or up to 2GB using AIR Uploader. These videos can then be shared and viewed directly from the website, as with any other image type.
Overnight on Thursday, Apple's UK online store temporarily listed the shipping date for the Mac OS X Snow Leopard Up-to-Date program as August 28th. The listing has since been corrected to say September. It follows various rumors hinting that Snow Leopard could be available by the end of August, ahead of the official date. Equivalent pages at other Apple online stores have not deviated from a September timeframe.
The FCC is due to launch formal investigations into cellular industry practices in the next few days that could put Apple and AT&T in the crosshairs, according to the timetable for the government body (registration required). Its August 27th meeting will start multiple inquiries that include questions of competition and whether the industry is holding back technological advancement. The agency's checks are also likely to include questions over the legality of long-term exclusivity for handsets like Apple's deal with AT&T for the iPhone, which has been criticized for artificially limiting carrier choices and triggering network congestion problems.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs did not bypass waiting lists in traveling to Memphis for his liver transplant, says the surgeon who treated him. James Eason, the head of transplantation at Methodist University Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, is now speaking publicly on the matter for the first time. "It's not gaming the system," he says. "It's people choosing where they want their health care. Some people would leave Tennessee to go to California or somewhere else to seek treatment. Now we have people coming from California to Tennessee."
Bell stirred a minor controversy in the past day through a new TV ad campaign for its version of the Palm Pre. The 30-second commercial follows Apple's ads for the iPhone 3G and 3GS very closely and focuses on a plain background with an unseen person navigating through some core features alongside uptempo music. In Bell's interpretation, the ad focuses on Pre advantages like multitasking and distinguishes itself by zooming out to show the supposed phone user from the bulk of the commercial.
AOC picked Friday to launch the 2436Vw, a 24-inch desktop LCD it's pitching as a frugal eco-friendly display. The 1080p screen consumes no more than 49W of power and meets EPEAT Gold standards but is relatively vibrant for its price range. Although it uses a basic TN panel, it produces a 60,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio with 300cd/m2 brightness and a 5ms typical pixel response time.
Nokia today seized on the the 5800 XpressMusic's relative popularity and launched the 5800 Navigation Edition. The new version appears aimed to counter the rise of iPhone turn-by-turn GPS apps by giving owners unlimited subscriptions to Ovi Maps for both car-based and pedestrian navigation. Accessories in the pack are also intended to get the phone ready for driving with a car charger and a mounting kit.
PowerTraveller has re-launched its Powermonkey-Classic portable charger for mobile phones, providing four new colors and better performance. Previously only available in silver, the charger now comes in deep purple, piano-finish black, royal blue, and hot pink colors. The new Powermonkey-Classic carries over all its previous functions, but is slimmer and shorter.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Hermés face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir