updated 02:00 am EST, Wed December 19, 2012
Blogger for iOS gets iPhone 5, iPad compatibility
Google, on a recent spree of iOS apps and updates, has upgraded its blogging application Blogger to v18.104.22.168, which adds compatibility with the longer screen of the iPhone 5 along with native support for the first three models of iPad. More controls are now available as well, now offering "Save as draft," "Publish" and "Cancel" along with support for Google Analytics usage. In addition, a number of big bugs have been fixed, including the composing screen (which previously had issues with losing entered text under some low-memory conditions). Also fixed where some photo upload errors, a bug with Japanese and Chinese keyboard entry, and occasional application launch failures.
Apple now offering free next-day shipping on all items
Apple's online store is now offering free next-day shipping on nearly all items for its online store in the US. The offer applies only to new items, and is likely only good until Christmas or the day before. Only items that are out of stock or in extremely short supply (such as the new iMacs) are not eligible for the free next-day shipping. Earlier this month, the site offered free next-day shipping only on featured Gift Guide items, then later changed it to free 1-3 day shipping on nearly all items. Free 1-3 day business shipping is currently available for refurbs, and the refurbished store has some unusually-low limited-time pricing on select items, including the most recent quad-core i7 MacBook Pro for over $400 off, the 13- and 11-inch MacBook Air with 256GB SSD storage for just over $1,000, and the fourth-gen refurbished 32GB iPod Touch for $179. All prices are while supplies last.
Russia debuts iPhone 5 to muted sales, various causes blamed
A report out of Russia (unverified as of yet) suggests that the debut of the iPhone 5 did not have an impact on sales there, with the company moving a mere 25,000 units compared to China's two million sold in the same time period, the debut weekend that began on December 14. In part, the low sales may be due to a lack of supply: the report in JAMPB says that Russian resellers moved up to 40 percent of their available inventory over the weekend, but still did not sell out of the iPhone 5. Other factors may include the wide availability of smuggled iPhones from other countries, which have already covered most of the well-off demographic that can afford to obtain it that way; the high retail price in Russia, with the iPhone 5 starting at around 30,000 rubles or well over $1,000 (US); and the lack of any mobile carriers that offer LTE service in Russia.
The iPad mini arrived in Russia about six weeks prior to the debut of the iPhone 5, and has reportedly been selling much better by comparison. The unit is also priced more attractively, with prices starting at around 15,000 rubles or $500 and 64GB versions going for around $750. Apple recently introduced a full iTunes Store in Russia, hinting that the Apple TV may also make its debut in the region soon.