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NYT confirms: iPhone coming to Verizon in early 2011

Following a lengthy report from the Wall Street Journal stating that Apple planned to start mass production of a CDMA-capable iPhone that would arrive on Verizon Wireless early next year, the New York Times has published an article claiming independent confirmation of the move. The report cites a single source who is said to be in direct contact with Apple, and who said that Apple is currently making a version of the iPhone 4 for Verizon. A separate report in the South China Morning Post, recounted by AppleInsider, has suggested that Apple would also offer the CDMA version of the iPhone on China Telecom some time in 2011, as the third-largest Chinese carrier uses the same 3G standard as Verizon Wireless.

Nike+ GPS adds Facebook cheering

Nike has released an update to Nike+ GPS adding social networking integration. In addition to allowing users to share their runs via Facebook and Twitter, the new version also introduces a new Cheer Me On feature that allows users to post on Facebook that they are going on a run and then receive mid-run encouragement in the form of notifications each time a friend comments on their status. Other new features allow users to view their best runs from within the app and push past their goals by playing one more PowerSong. Nike+ GPS is designed primarily for iPhone users but also supports the iPod touch without the mapping capabilities. Nike+ GPS requires iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $2.

Some iPhone 4 cases leading to cracked rear panels?

Apple is facing another potential issue with the iPhone 4, according to a new report. Citing sources both inside and outside Apple, Ryan Block of GDGT reports that the company has found that certain iPhone 4 cases—specifically those that slide-on to the device—are prone to small particles getting stuck between the case and the rear glass panel of the iPhone 4. While the unexpected scratching that can occur due to such particles is not a new phenomenon, on the iPhone 4 these small scratches have the potential to develop into larger cracks or even full-on fractures in the glass rear surface of the phone. The report states that Apple has kept all slide-on iPhone 4 cases off its real-world and virtual store shelves as a precaution, and has created a new lab and testing program to investigate the issue further. The repercussions for companies that spent time and money developing slide-on cases for the device remain unclear, as Apple has yet to say when—or if—it will allow such accessories back into its stores. In the meantime, many such cases continue to be sold online and through other retailers.

CBS and Chillingo release Numb3rs for iPad and iPhone

CBS Mobile and Chillingo have released a new universal iOS game based on the Emmy-nominated television series Numb3rs. In Numb3rs The Game, fans take on the role of an FBI consultant tasked with bringing down a sinister criminal network in Los Angeles, working alongside popular Numb3rs characters such as Charlie and Don Eppes. Numb3rs is a logic action game where players must solve mathematical puzzles and equations and play various mini-game missions such as diffusing bombs and interrogating suspects. The game also provides multiple difficulty levels and integrates with Chillingo’s Crystal social gaming platform for posting scores to leaderboards and tracking achievements. Numb3rs The Game is a universal iPad/iPHone application and is available from the App Store for $1.

EA announces fall game lineup: SimCity, EA Sports and more

Electronic Arts has announced its fall 2010 lineup of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad games. Upcoming titles include SimCity Deluxe for the iPad and EA Sports FIFA 11, EA Sports NBA Elite 11, EA Sports MMA, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Heroes Lore and High Caliber Hunting for the iPhone and iPod touch.

SimCity Deluxe for iPad will bring the popular iPhone and iPod touch title to the iPad screen with higher-resolution HD graphics including textured terrain, a larger interactive display, controls optimized for the iPad screen and new game features such as simultaneous disaster strikes. SimCity Deluxe for iPad is scheduled for release in November.

Three new EA Sports titles have also been announced for the iPhone and iPod touch, all scheduled for release later this month. EA Sports FIFA 11 will deliver updated players, teams and stadiums to the 2010 edition, high-resolution Retina Display graphics and improved dual control options to provide advanced controls for experienced players and simplicity for casual players.

Verizon upgrading network ahead of iPhone launch?

In an update to yesterday’s story that said Apple will begin mass production of a CDMA-compliant iPhone by the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon has been making preparations to launch the phone on its network. According to the updated article, Verizon Wireless has been meeting with Apple over the handset, and has been adding capacity and testing its networks in hopes of avoiding the sorts of coverage issues that plagued AT&T when the proliferation of iPhones overtaxed its network. The report goes on to note that in discussions with Apple over the original iPhone, Verizon declined to give up its ability to sell music and videos through its proprietary services; it does not clarify whether Verizon’s stance on these matters has changed. Finally, the report says that Apple originally considered making a dual-mode phone that would run on both GSM and CDMA networks, but ultimately decided to build a second iPhone that would work only with CDMA networks. Verizon is expected to launch the phone early next year, according to the report, ending AT&T’s exclusivity in the U.S.

Apple canceling iPhone 4 orders in Hong Kong

Apple has been canceling a number of iPhone 4 orders placed with the Apple Online Store in Hong Kong, according to MIC Gadget. While Apple’s cancelation emails state that the customer has exceeded the limit of units any single person is allowed to order, the report claims that some customers were not over the quantity limit, and that the cancelations did not appear to be related to stock shortages. Instead, MIC Gadget suggests that Apple is canceling the orders in the wake of last week’s incident in Beijing, where the company had to close one of its flagship stores due to a large group of scalpers attempting to purchase large quantities of iPhone 4 units to sell on the gray market, and is trying further to keep the phones out of the hands of scalpers. Interestingly, the report notes that the selling price of an iPhone 4 on the Hong Kong grey market has actually risen since news of the order cancellations broke, giving scalpers greater incentive to get their hands on iPhone 4 units.

Facebook app grabs iPhone contact info

Enabling the Contact Sync feature in the official Facebook iPhone and iPod touch application actually uploads all of a user’s contact info from the device to Facebook, a report in The Guardian reveals. Once the sync option is enabled, all of the contacts stored on the iPhone or iPod touch are uploaded to Facebook along with their names, e-mail address and phone numbers. This information is stored in the user’s Facebook Phonebook and linked to each contact’s Facebook account based on their matching e-mail addresses or phone numbers. Linked accounts are not limited to the user’s friends, however; non-friends are included and even users who have hidden their Facebook profiles from normal searches will appear linked in this view if they have listed a phone number or e-mail address on their profile. Contact information on non-Facebook users is also stored in the phonebook with the option to invite those friends to join Facebook.

Apple’s new App Store Guidelines published early last month expressly prohibit applications from transmitting “data about a user without obtaining the user’s prior permission and providing the user with access to information about how and where the data will be used,” a restriction that could be read to apply here. Although the current version of the Facebook app does provide a warning when enabling the Contact Sync feature, this warning does not make it clear to the average user exactly how their contacts’ information will be used by Facebook beyond stating that the information will be “subject to Facebook’s Privacy Policy.” Further, other Facebook users who have privately listed their phone numbers or e-mail addresses may not be aware that this information may be used to locate their Facebook account, even when it is otherwise hidden from normal searches. iPhone users can opt-out of the Contact Sync feature by simply disabling contact sync in the Facebook app, then visiting their Facebook Phonebook page from a web browser and following the link on the right-hand side to remove mobile contacts from Facebook.

Note2Self now free, adds iOS 4 support

WebIS has released a major update to its Note2Self audio recorder application for the iPhone and iPod touch, bringing iOS 4 background recording capabilities and several other new features. First released in the summer of 2008 shortly after the debut of the App Store, Note2Self was one of the first top-rated voice recording apps for the iPhone. The application was modestly updated after release, but was soon supplanted by Apple’s Voice Memos app, which offered background recording before third-party iPhone applications could multitask. With iOS 4, Note2Self 3.0 adds background recording on multitasking-capable devices as well as recording directly in AAC format on the iPhone 3GS and later models. The new version also sports an improved user interface, proximity sensor improvements related to the “bring to your ear” activation feature, the ability to specify a custom SMTP server for sending memos out via e-mail and several other improvements and fixes. Note2Self is now supported with Apple iAds and is available from the App Store as a free download.

WSJ: Verizon iPhone to go on sale early next year

Apple is planning to start mass production of a CDMA-compliant iPhone by the end of the year, according to a new report. Citing people briefed by Apple, the Wall Street Journal reports that the timing of the production ramp-up would allow Verizon Wireless to offer the phone in the first quarter of 2011. The new iPhone is said to be similar in design to the current iPhone 4, and will use a Qualcomm chip. The report goes on to state that Apple is also developing a new fifth-generation iPhone model that will feature a different form factor than the iPhone 4, although it is unknown how soon that version would be available to Verizon.

Motorola Mobility sues Apple for patent infringement

Motorola Mobility, a subsidiary of Motorola, Inc., has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and certain Mac computers infringe Motorola patents. The company has also filed patent infringement complaints against Apple in the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Florida. According to Motorola’s announcement, the three complaints include 18 patents, which relate to “wireless communication technologies, such as WCDMA (3G), GPRS, 802.11 and antenna design, and key smartphone technologies including wireless email, proximity sensing, software application management, location-based services and multi-device synchronization.” Motorola Mobility has asked the ITC to start an investigation into Apple’s potential infringement and issue an Exclusion Order barring the importation, sales, marketing, advertising, and use of such products in the U.S.; in its court cases, it is seeking to force Apple to cease using its patented technology and provide compensation for any past infringement.

Survey: One third of teens to buy iPhone within 6 months

One out of every three U.S. teenagers plans to purchase an iPhone within the next six months, according to the results of the latest Piper Jaffray bi-annual teen survey. Fortune reports that 33% of teens said they planned to purchase an iPhone in the next sixth months, up from 22% the year before; however, the 14% who said they already own an iPhone is down from 15% in 2009. The iPod’s share of the teen MP3 market also dropped from 87% a year ago down to 78%, likely due to the rise in the use of smartphones as music players, while iTunes enjoys a 95% market share among teens who pay for music online. The survey was based on responses from 6,000 U.S. high school students.

PayPal adds Mobile Check Capture

PayPal has released an update to its PayPal Mobile app for the iPhone adding a new Mobile Check Capture feature. With the new PayPal app, iPhone users in the U.S. can now deposit cheques into their PayPal account simply by taking a photograph of the check with the iPhone camera. Once the user has photographed the cheque their PayPal balance is updated immediately and they are required to hold onto the cheque for fifteen days after which they can simply throw it away. Mobile Check Capture requires an iPhone or fourth-generation iPod touch and is available only in the U.S. at this time. The updated PayPal application also includes new search and filter options for transaction history, making it easier to find past transactions. PayPal 2.7 is available from the App Store as a free download.

Apple posts new Retina Display iPhone 4 commercial

Apple has posted a new iPhone 4 TV advertisement focused on the device’s Retina Display. Entitled “Every,” the spot touts the 960x640 display as the “highest resolution phone screen ever,” the 30-second spot demonstrates how the technology improves the quality of the user’s photo and movie viewing, reading, gaming, and social networking experience while using the phone. Apple’s latest iPhone 4 TV spot is available for viewing now on the company’s website.

Google adds Goggles to Mobile app

Google has released an update to the Google Mobile search app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad adding support for its Google Goggles search-by-image technology. Google Goggles allows users to take a picture of an object using the camera on an iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS and perform a search based on the image. Goggles will analyze the image and highlight the objects it recognizes at which point the user can tap on the image to perform searches on those objects. Goggles is a Google Labs feature and remains in testing, although it reportedly works well for objects such as landmarks, logos, and the covers of books, DVDs and games. The feature requires an auto-focusing camera and is therefore only available on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS and requires iOS 4 or later. Google Mobile is available from the App Store as a free download.

iPhone 4 shipping wait estimates improve

Apple has reduced the estimated wait time for new iPhone 4 orders from its online store down to 5-7 days. The reduction—which appears to be unique to the U.S. online store, as wait times in other countries remain at three weeks—could be a sign that Apple is beginning to get its supply issues with the handset under control. During Apple’s most recent quarterly earnings conference call, COO Tim Cook repeatedly explained that the company was making iPhone 4 units as fast as it could sell them; the company has since greatly expanded the number countries in which the phone is available, potentially hindering its ability to meet demand. [via Mac Rumors]

Android tops among new smartphone purchases

Google’s Android OS has become the most popular smartphone operating system in the U.S. among recent smartphone buyers, according to new data from The Nielsen Company. From January to August, the company recorded the OS of smartphone purchases within the last six months, and found that as of August, 32% of recent smartphone purchasers had bought an Android device, followed by both Apple’s iOS and RIM’s BlackBerry OS, which are in a “statistical dead heat” for second with roughly 25%. Among all U.S. smartphone owners, BlackBerry remains the most popular OS with 31% share of the market, followed closely by iOS with 28% and Android with 19%. [via Daring Fireball]

Netflix adds video out support for iPhone, iPod touch

Netflix has released an update to its streaming video application for iOS devices adding the ability to output video content through the Dock Connector with the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch. Netflix was originally released in April for the iPad and added video output support for iPad users with an update in late May. In August a new version was released that introduced iPhone and iPod touch support, however despite being a single universal application, the video output feature was unavailable when running on these devices. Netflix version 1.1.1 adds support for video output on the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch, however it remains unavailable on older models. Netflix is available from the App Store as a free download in the U.S. and Canadian App Stores. A Netflix Unlimited Subscription is required to use the app.

Apple loses, challenges Cover Flow-related lawsuit

Apple was recently ordered by a jury to pay damages to Mirror Worlds LLC for infringing the latter’s patents related to the display of digital documents, but is challenging the verdict. Mirror Worlds, a software business started by a Yale University computer-science professor David Gelernter, claimed that Apple’s Cover Flow and Time Machine display methods infringed on its patents, and was awarded $208.5 million in damages for each of the patents infringed. Apple has asked U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis for an emergency stay of the verdict, claiming that there are outstanding issues with two of the three patents, and also claimed Mirror Worlds would be “triple-dipping” if it were to collect the full $208.5 million for each of the three patents. Bloomberg reports that Davis also is considering Apple’s request, filed before the verdict, to rule that the company doesn’t infringe two of the patents, which would lead him to strike the amount of damages attributed to those two patents.

Peggle adds Peggle Nights expansion

PopCap Games has released an update to its acclaimed Peggle arcade game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Peggle, players fire a ball into the playing field with the goal of clearing pegs from the board by hitting them with the ball either directly or rebounding off other objects. Players advance to the next level by clearing all orange pegs while other colored pegs offer additional points and power-ups. Players can choose a Quick Play mode or progress through an Adventure mode where they train with Peggle Masters and learn to use special power-ups on each level and master more complex shots. Peggle includes 55 levels and 40 Grand Master Challenges and support both single and multiplayer modes. Version 1.2 adds the sequel levels from Peggle Nights to the existing iOS game, with five Peggle Nights levels available for free and the remaining game levels unlockable via in-app purchase. The new version also adds support for French, German Italian and Spanish languages. Peggle is currently available from the App Store for $1; version 1.2 is a free update for current users. The Peggle Nights expansion is available for purchase within the app for $3.

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