Company looks to avoid PR problems
Apple is "deeply saddened" by the death of a Chinese woman who was electrocuted while charging her iPhone 5, and will "fully investigate and cooperate with authorities in this matter," a company spokesperson tells Reuters. Police say that Ma Ailun, a 23-year-old from Xinjiang, was killed when she attempted to answer a call on her still-charging iPhone 5. The incident gained attention when Ma's sister made a post on Sina Weibo warning other people to be careful.
Dead pixels, blown usb ports and more
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, members tried to help one concerned Fresh-Faced Recruit figure out reasons why white and black lines might show up across the screen of their iPhone 3GS. Also yesterday, one Forum Regular was having some trouble with a flickering external monitor attached to their 15-inch rMBP with a mini-display port cable, and they turned to the forums for some advice.
iOS 4 crippled speeds on older hardware
A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit accusing Apple of intentionally crippling the iPhone 3G with iOS 4, according to mocoNews. A San Diego resident, Bianca Wofford, claimed in the case that after installing the iOS 4 upgrade, her 3G and others were turned into "iBricks" that ran incredibly slowly. While such complaints were indeed widespread in online forums and the media, Wofford made the additional assertion that Apple's motive was to push people into buying the iPhone 4.
iPhone 3G to lose out on any future features
TomTom has released a new version of its GPS app for iOS, bringing the software up to v1.9. The title is now a universal app with a new iPad interface. The most attention has been dedicated to a new driving layout, which lets iPad users see the driving view and lane guidance images at the same time. Menu options, similarly, can be brought up without cutting away from the map screen.
Galaxy S falsely made to look like iPhone 3G
Apple has once again falsely manipulated evidence in a case against Samsung, a Webwereld investigation suggests. This time an accusation has been directed at Apple's Dutch legal complaint, which if successful would see all Samsung Galaxy devices removed from European stores. A side-by-side comparison image in Apple's court documents -- only simulated in graphics here -- depicts the Galaxy S as the same size as the iPhone 3G, even though the S is significantly taller and wider in reality. Apple acknowledges the difference in text, remarking that there are "some non-identical elements, such as the slightly larger dimensions."
Company taking home 14 new US patents in all
Apple has won the rights to 14 new patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office, reports say. These include four new design patents, most notably one for the MacBook Air, Apple's popular thin-profile notebook. The computer was only just updated with features such as a Thunderbolt port and a choice of Core i5 or i7 processor. Jonathan Ive, Apple's senior VP of industrial design, is among over a dozen people credited with the shape of the Air.
Deals on iPhones, external hard drives, and more
Today’s deals from DealNN include discounts on several iPhone 3G and 3GS models, external hard drives, and more. Buy.com has recently lowered the cost of a refurbished 16GB iPhone 3G, which offers up to 10 hours of talk time per single charge, a 3.5-inch touch-screen with 1200 x 1600 image resolution, and both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support. With this sale the once $599.99 priced iPhone has dropped to $$349.99, and offers a price cut of up to $250.
Takes on similar appearance to Galaxy Tab
Samsung is preparing to release a white version of its Google Nexus S smartphone in Germany. The device takes some design cues from a version of its stable mate, the Galaxy Tab that also comes in very similar look with a black front and a white back. The stylistic treatment also reflects the original white iPhone 3G first unveiled by Apple in June 2008.
Four-, five-fingered gestures not in final OS
Apple has posted a second beta of iOS 4.3 for developers by way of the iOS Dev Center. Any new features and code references are so far undiscovered, but the release is accompanied by matching versions of Xcode and the Apple TV firmware. Still missing is support for running v4.3 on the iPhone 3G or second-gen iPod touch, suggesting that Apple is indeed leaving v4.2.1 as the last iOS update for the devices.
Apple TV update supports third-party AirPlay
(Updated with more iOS 4.3 details) Apple has seeded two important iOS updates to developers. One is the first public beta of iOS 4.3, build 8F51448b. Several different downloads are available through the iOS Dev Center, oriented at the different devices. Apple has also published a new beta of the Apple TV firmware, allowing testing of AirPlay in web and/or third-party apps.
Tech carries serious risks
The unofficial iPhone Dev Team has released a new version of PwnageTool, one of its hacking utilities for iOS devices. The updated software promises to unlock some models of the iPhone 3G and 3GS for unsupported carriers when using iOS 4.2.1. It works because the original iPad firmware, iOS 3.2.2, has been discovered to contain the v06.15.00 baseband, which is still vulnerable to an old exploit.
Phone increasingly excluded from iOS 4 features
The iPhone 3G is indeed going without support for AirPlay, one of iOS 4.2.1's most critical features, Apple disclaimers confirm. AirPlay compatibility exists for almost all other iOS devices, such as the iPad and the second-generation iPod touch. The 3G is the oldest Apple device capable of running any incarnation of iOS 4.
Initially promised for all devices
AirPlay support is missing on iPhone 3Gs running the iOS 4.2 gold master, a report notes. The option is supposed to appear in playback menus on iPhones, iPods and iPads, and let users push audio or video content to another compatible device, namely the Apple TV. Apple's own website states that the technology should work with "all iOS 4 devices," including the iPhone 3G.
Input lag substantially reduced
The iPhone 3G behaves much better under iOS 4.2 than previous v4.x releases, testing shows. Although v4.0 and v4.1 are technically compatible with the 3G, people have complained about lethargic performance not present with the earlier v3.x firmware. Apple has in fact been hit with a class action lawsuit accusing it of intentionally crippling the phone's performance in order to push people to the iPhone 4.
Overly difficult to rollback to earlier firmware?
A new lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of California for San Diego, accuses Apple of intentionally crippling the iPhone 3G in order to push people into buying the iPhone 4. When iOS 4 was released it was marketed as compatible with the 3G, albeit in a form missing key features like multitasking. People began complaining of buggy and lethargic performance as well, however, issues not witnessed by owners of the iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4.
Gadget site finds variations, surprises
Camera-oriented gadget site fosfor.com has published a multi-part iPhone camera shootout that compares photos taken in a variety of situations, showcasing the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs and iPhone 4. The results are not unexpected, but the differences between the cameras can be surprising.
App still supported on 2nd-gen Touch
Apple has reset all user IDs for its Game Center multiplayer service, requiring beta users to resubmit their nicknames. The service will allow users to challenge other players, set up matches, or engage opponents via automatic pairing. The app will also serve as a portal for viewing rankings or taking a look at other games.
Public release imminent
Developers have reportedly begun receiving the iOS 4.1 golden master, a final pre-release version before the software is released to customers. The update will introduce Apple's new Game Center gaming service and HDR photography capabilities. Users will also be able to take advantage of HD video uploads via Wi-Fi, while a number of bug fixes address sensor problems and performance issues with the iPhone 3G.
Jobs responds to frustrated customer
Apple may be planning on addressing performance issues related to iOS 4 on the iPhone 3G. Steve Jobs allegedly responded to an iPhone 3G owner who voiced frustration that v4.0.1 and v4.0.2 failed to provide a fix, according to MacRumors.
Tech used in SIM ejector pins
Apple has actually been using Liquidmetal's alloys for a couple of years, albeit in a limited capacity, says one of the technology's co-inventors, Atakan Peker. The early example is said to be an ejector pin for the iPhone 3G, used to remove the SIM card. One version of the accessory is noted to be unusually hard, with a unique color and feel. "That's my metal," says Peker. "I recognized it immediately. Take it from an expert, that's Liquidmetal.
Company still investigating iPhone 3G issues
Apple claims it has not received any reports of problems running iOS 4 on the iPhone 3GS, despite a number of such complaints posted on the company's support forums. After upgrading to iOS 4, some users claim to have encountered problems with MMS messaging, signal strength, random reboots, dropped calls, and other issues.
Says iPhone 3G slows down 'significantly'
A French cellphone carrier, SFR, is now officially advising people against upgrading an iPhone 3G to iOS 4. The firmware "significantly slows" menu navigation on a 3G, the carrier says, adding that the upgrade is "irreversible." The upgrade should in fact be reversible, but only by more technically savvy iPhone owners.
iOS said to be unusable on the iPhone 3G
Apple has begun investigating reports of problems running iOS 4 on the iPhone 3G. An Apple spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the company is aware of the complaints and is currently looking into the situation.
New SparkPlug Flash helps illuminate images
SparkPlug and CAZE have both introduced new iPhone accessories, which include the SparkPlug Flash and Swarovski Crystal Case for iPhone 4. SparkPlug’s new LED camera flash for the iPhone 3G and 3GS is designed to plug directly into the dock connector on the iPhone, and provides additional lighting to help illuminate both pictures and videos. A built-in sensor is also included on the back of the device, which detects a finger-press and can be used to add flashlight functionality to the iPhone.
iPhone update fixes signal accuracy
Confirming rumors from earlier today, Apple has begun seeding iOS 4.0.1 through iTunes. The update makes just a single major change, that being improved accuracy in iPhone signal display. The company recently promised a software fix in light of reception issues, though it's now believed the problem is traceable to hardware. The download is only available for the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4.
Apple issues PR letter in light of wide criticism
The broadly reported reception issues with the iPhone 4 can all be traced back to the way iOS reports signal, Apple now claims. "Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong," part of a new PR statement reads. "Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars."
May back possibility of software fix
The reception problems people are experiencing with the iPhone 4 are not exclusive to the device, a new video suggests. A number of reports have said that when gripping an iPhone 4 in a particular way, namely with part of the palm over the lower-left corner, that signal strength drops or disappears. Apple has claimed that the issue is traceable to software, not hardware, and that a fix is coming.
Each device carries unique burdens
A new version of PwnageTool, 4.01, has been released by the unofficial iPhone Dev Team. The software now jailbreaks the final version of iOS 4, which was released on Monday. Users must not, however, have installed the official upgrade if they have used Dev Team tools in the past for activation or carrier unlocks.
More devices may be supported later
The unofficial iPhone Dev Team has released a new beta of redsn0w, 0.9.5b5-3. The tool lets users jailbreak an Apple handheld in order to install unofficial apps, or customize iOS in greater depth. The updated release is designed to hack the final iOS 4 firmware, which became available Monday. Some limitations exist however, namely device support, since only the iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod touch are currently supported.
Follows US strategy
Canadian carrier Telus has cut some of its contract prices for the iPhone ahead of launching the iPhone 4. A brand new 32GB 3GS can now be had for $149, while a refurbished version of the same unit costs $99. Similarly, a new 16GB 3GS is $99, and a refurbished model is $49. An iPhone 3G can be had for free alongside a subscription.
Solidifies imminent iPhone update
Telefonica has pulled both the iPhone 3G and 3GS from sale in its home country of Spain, reports say. Though reasons are unclear, it is believed that the carrier may simply be running out of stock of the phones, without any plans to order more. Apple is expected to announce a new iPhone at the WWDC keynote on June 7th.
3GS could become 'new' cheap iPhone
Apple has stopped iPhone 3G shipments to AT&T stores, sources tell the Boy Genius Report. The carrier's outlets are moreover said to be avoiding new orders, suggesting that the iPhone 3G is reaching end-of-life as a first-run product. The device could continue to be available for a short time as a refurbished option, though likely only through AT&T.
Adds eight hours of additional talk time
Dexim has added to its line of iPhone 3G and 3GS accessories with the release of the DCA199 Foldable Solar-Powered P-Flip. The new iPhone charger features an integrated 2000mAh lithium polymer battery and two camouflage-colored solar panels, and requires around 15 hours of continuous sunlight exposure in order to fully charge. When equipped with the iPhone it provides up to an additional eight hours worth of talk-time, 15 hours of video viewing or game playing, or a maximum of 60 more hours worth of audio time.
Flash support said to be in the works
iPhone hacker and Devteam member planetbeing appears to have successfully configured Android to run on an iPhone. The hack utilizes OpeniBoot, a Linux 2.6 bootloader that works with first- and second-generation iPhones. The system provides dual-boot functionality, allowing users to run either the iPhone OS or Android.
Sliding, external battery models
Accessory makers Incase and MiLi have separately announced new case models for the iPhone 3G and 3GS. Incase's contribution is new colors of the Chrome Slider, a shell case with a glossy exterior and a removable bottom. Rubber rails add to shock absorbency, and openings allow the use of headphones, the camera and all buttons. The case costs $35; new colors include Mercury Blue, Argon Green and Pearl Pink.
Apple officially restricts functionality to 3GS
A YouTube video appears to show a jailbroken iPhone 3G running the v4.0 firmware, with the full set of features including multitasking. Apple officially restricts multitasking functionality to the latest-generation iPod touch and iPhone 3GS, which has lead to criticism from owners of earlier devices with slower processors and limited RAM.
TradCase and TradDuo hardwood cases
Skydda gas introduced two new hardwood cases for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, TradCase and TradDuo. Each of the cases are created from a single block of hardwood and finished with a hand-applied polish. The design wraps around the iPhone to guard against bumps and scratches. It also provides full access to the dock connector, camera, ring switch, and headphone jack. The cases also offer integrated wooden buttons that connect with the volume control and power button.
Could undo Apple-imposed barrier
A Turkish company claims to have successfully unlocked an iPhone 3G equipped with v3.1.3 firmware as well as modern baseband code. Recent changes to Apple software updates have put a chill on the unlocking scene, as updating to v3.1.3 simultaneously installs the v05.12.01 baseband, which can not only block new unlocks but also wreck previously established ones. Hackers must normally avoid installing the modern baseband to preserve earlier unlocks.
CF Formula iPhone case, iPad sleeve
InnoPocket, Booq, and Cocoon Innovations have all announced new accessories for the iPhone and iPad. InnoPocket’s CF Formula series is an iPhone case featuring carbon-fiber construction. It features a clip-on design and fully guards the back and sides of the handset from scrapes or scratches. The case measures just 0.9mm thick and weighs roughly 8 grams, while providing full access to all ports and controls.
Models emphasize thin design
SwitchEasy has released the NUDE, a new case design for iPhones and iPod touches. The model is a polycarbonate case, approximately 0.8mm thick. It uses scratch-resistant coating for additional protection, and provides access to all of a handheld's ports and controls.
New iPhone and BlackBerry cases
Speck has unveiled a wide range of new and improved accessories for notebook computers and mobile phones. The company has updated its CandyShell cases for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, bringing seven new color combinations such as GuavaGoo Pink and Nightshade Purple, while eight new designs are available in the Fitted series of hard-shell cases. The SeeThru Satin cases, which were previously released for MacBooks, are also available for the iPhone 3G and 3GS.
Uses hybrid design with crocodile finish
SwitchEasy has launched a new iPhone case, the Reptile for the iPhone 3G and 3GS. The case combines a polycarbonate frame with a soft polymer inner shell, as well as a crocodile skin-textured outer surface. Extra safeguards come in the form of included screen, headphone and data port protectors. Five color options are available: black, white, viola, emerald and tan.
New protective leather case with 4-in-1 stylus
USBfever and Koyono have both expanded their collections of iPhone and iPod accessories with the addition of several new protective cases. USBfever’s JOGJACKET is designed for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, as well as all three versions of the iPod touch. It is built from neoprene that wraps around the mobile device, while a transparent LCD protector enables full control over the touchscreen. The case also supports the Nike iPod Sports Kit and features a detachable armband which can be adjusted to fit up to 10 different sizes.
Device previously sold unlocked
(Updated with correction) Two carriers have announced direct sales of the iPhone 3G and 3GS in Hong Kong, according to reports. SmarTone-Vodafone has not revealed any prices or a release date, but is now registering interest through a form on its website. The other carrier, 3, has likewise not published a launch date, but has posted prices.
Uses 1,500 embedded Swarovski crystals
CAZE has launched a new Swarovski case for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, the Initial. The case guards the back, corners and sides of a phone, and uses a thin and transparent design. Unique is the presence of over 1,500 Swarovski crystals, covering the entire outside layer of the case, and a Swarovski letter design near the bottom which can be customized using one of 26 characters. Access to an iPhone's ports, controls and camera is left open.
Upcoming app currently in beta
Ustream has announced that its video streaming app for the iPhone 3GS will soon support higher resolutions and frame rates. The company is currently testing new encoding processes claimed to be faster than the current system. The improvements will bring picture quality comparable to basic web streaming, with potential resolutions above 640x480 pixels at up to 30 frames per second.
App emerges from Japanese market
Japanese developer Tonchidot has released an international version of Sekai Camera, a formerly Japanese-only social networking app. The title lets iPhone owners mark the locations they travel to with audio, photos and text messages; users must be nearby to see a given tag. Unique is the ability to see content through augmented reality, which presents itself as tappable icons over live video.
Resolution and frame rate expected to improve
Apple has finally approved a video recording app, iVideoCamera, for the iPhone 2G and 3G. The utility currently shoots video that is poor quality compared to the native recording on the iPhone 3GS. Users will be limited to one-minute segments at 3 frames per second, while the resolution is just 160x213. The developer, Laan, claims the next update will bring improvements to the frame rate, resolution, and clip length.
Phones free or cheaper on contract
Japanese carrier Softbank has launched a new promotion for the iPhone 3GS, according to an announcement. People willing to sign a two-year contract can now receive a 16GB 3GS for free, as part of the company's "iPhone for Everybody" campaign. The 32GB 3GS should be newly available at a cost of 480 yen ($6) per month, down from 960 yen.
iPhones, Blu-ray players, MacBooks and more
Today is the big shopping day, Black Friday, and online retailers sprung into action early this morning to bring you the best deals of the year. Places like eCost.com were slashing prices on everything from iPhones to HDTVs. Today they dropped the price on the refurbished iPhone 3G to $359.99 with $9.99 for shipping. Other items from eCost include a 32-inch Westinghouse LCD HDTV for $279.99, and a Lenovo ThinkPad for $319.