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: 98.66 ( -0.77 )
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