News | iLounge

News

Browse News by Category:

iPhone 4 comes to DoCoMo via Japan Communications

The iPhone will soon be operable on Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo, thanks to a new service offered by Japan Communications. Nikkei reports that Japan Comm will soon offer a SIM card for unlocked iPhones—licensed Japanese iPhone carrier SoftBank sells carrier-locked units—that allows them to operate on NTT DoCoMo’s network. Japan Communications plans to bypass the carrier locks by selling unlocked iPhone 4 units for roughly 60,000 yen, or roughly $715, with service running 6,260 a month, or about $75.

Apple’s ‘Unauthorized users’ patent stirs controversy

A newly published Apple patent application has led to reports that the company will use a new unauthorized user recognition technology to deter users from jailbreaking iPhones. The patent application, entitled “Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device,” primarily describes methods for detecting unauthorized users—people who do not normally use the device—and taking appropriate action, such as relaying information about the unauthorized user’s identity and location to the device’s owner, restricting functions, or deleting sensitive data. The controversy stems from references in the application to jailbreaking and/or unlocking the device, both of which it describes as “activities that can indicate suspicious behavior.” In July, the U.S. Library of Congress’ Copyright Office announced a decision under which jailbreaking was deemed legal and within the user’s fair use rights, which might conceivably limit Apple’s ability to discriminate against users with jailbroken devices. However, it’s unclear as to whether Apple is patenting this invention in the hopes of actually locking out users for its own purposes, deterring certain uses of its devices, or merely empowering owners to protect their own items as they wish. As with all Apple patent applications, the filing does not necessarily represent any future product release from Apple, but offers evidence of the company’s research in this area.

Hong Kong iPhone users face false moisture exposure claims

Due to the extremely high humidity of the Hong Kong climate, some local iPhone users are facing problems with falsely-triggered moisture sensors. The South China Morning Post reports that while Apple’s guidelines call for a relative humidity of 5% to 95%, the humidity around Hong Kong regularly exceeds 95 percent, leading to false positive readings for users like Justin Hayward. “I’ve never used it in the bath, gone swimming or anything like that,” Hayward said, after being offered a replacement phone from his carrier Smartone-Vodafone for HK$1,700, or roughly $218. Hayward then made multiple calls to Apple Asia and its technical support line, receiving only on message in return. “Let’s face it; many people do break the rules. But a significant number of people are making these kind of reports,” he said. “If the limitation is over 95 per cent humidity, they ought not to be selling the product here. I find it quite unbelievable - a real piece of corporate greed or a great oversight.”

According to the report, the humidity in and around Hong Kong varies, with some parts of the area reporting humidity higher than 95% one-quarter of the time between June 1 and August 16, while other parts see humidity over 95% for 73 days, or 95% of the time, during the same period. Based on humidity resistance tests published by 3M, the company named in U.S. lawsuits as the manufacturer of the moisture indicator tape used in iPhones, the indicator strips will turn pink when exposed continuously to a temperature of 55 degrees Celsius, or 131 degrees Fahrenheit, and relative humidity of 95%. A class action suit was filed against Apple in the U.S. earlier this year over falsely-tripped moisture sensors. [via Gizmodo]

Apple CEO Jobs: Fix for iOS 4 on iPhone 3G ‘coming soon’

In an alleged email response to a customer complaint, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has reportedly said a fix for issues related to running iOS 4 on an iPhone 3G is coming soon. Mac Rumors reports that the customer in question said iOS 4 was “dog slow” on his iPhone 3G, citing responsiveness issues when scrolling, zooming, and typing. “I’ve waited patiently through 4.0.1 and 4.0.2, looking for a fix that will make my phone work again,” the customer’s email read. In a typically terse response, Jobs allegedly said, “Software update coming soon.” The report notes that the iOS 4.1 betas do seem to offer performance improvements on the iPhone 3G, suggesting that may be the update to which Jobs was referring.

Photogene for iPhone updated with iOS 4 support

Following an update to Photogene for the iPad earlier this week, the iPhone version has also received an update. Photogene 2.6 for the iPhone and iPod touch adds the new features introduced in the earlier iPad version including support for Flickr and FTP uploading, custom resizing and IPTC metadata. This update also adds support for the Retina Display, 5MP camera and rear-facing camera on the iPhone 4 and brings Fast App Switching and background saving and uploading for multitasking-capable devices. Users can also now share photos while preserving geo-tag information stored in the EXIF data. Photogene 2.6 requires an iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4 or later and is available from the App Store for $2.

Gameloft updates Modern Combat: Sandstorm for iPhone 4

Gameloft has released an iPhone 4 update to its acclaimed Modern Combat: Sandstorm for the iPhone and iPod touch. Modern Combat: Sandstorm (iLounge Rating: A) is a first-person action-thriller where players must locate and annihilate a terrorist cell in a remote desert hotspot. Users play through 10 missions featuring detailed Middle Eastern environments and are provided with a wide range of authentic advanced weapons ranging from assault rifles to rocket-propelled grenade launchers. The game provides local and online multiplayer support, a choice of multiple control systems and polished 3D graphics with cinematic interludes and voice-overs. The latest update brings support for gyroscopic control mode on the iPhone 4 with full 3D range of motion, high-resolution graphics for the iPhone 4 Retina Display and support for Fast App Switching on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. Modern Combat: Sandstorm is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for current users.

Apple, AT&T end no-contract iPhone sales in U.S. (Updated)

Apple and AT&T have removed no-contract iPhone purchasing options from their websites, signaling a further tightening of restrictions on U.S. iPhone users compared to those abroad. Previously available at prices significantly higher than those of even early upgraders—$599 for a 16GB iPhone 4 and $699 for a 32GB unit—the options allowed customers to purchase the phones without extending their existing AT&T contracts. Apple has also changed its FAQ found at the bottom of its online store’s iPhone page, noting that the iPhone is not available without a commitment and “requires a two year AT&T wireless service contract.” Curiously, Apple did not begin contract-free sales of the iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS until the devices had been on the market for roughly nine months; it is unclear what prompted the change in policy with the iPhone 4. [via MacNN]

Updated: An AT&T spokesman has issued a statement indicating that the language on Apple’s site has not been changed, and that customer should still be able to purchase a contract-free iPhone 4 by visiting an AT&T store.

Paramount releases Top Gun 2 for iPhone

Paramount Digital Entertainment, in cooperation with Freeverse, has released Top Gun 2, the sequel to its earlier first-person combat jet shooter for the iOS platform. In Top Gun 2 players engage in air-to-air and air-to-ground arcade style combat with new high-speed defensive maneuvers and offensive attacks. Players fly using the accelerometer to engage in combat with multiple enemies through seven unique environments, including outer space, in a variety of different mission types. Top Gun 2 features dynamic level design with surprise attacks and unique gameplay and an enhanced AI. Players can choose to pilot an F/A-18 Hornet, F-16 Fighting Falcon or F-14 Tomcat, each with upgradeable cannon and missile systems and unique offensive and defensive capabilities. Top Gun 2 features full-screen anti-aliasing and enhanced visual effects and a soundtrack by Brooklyn-based Daredevil Squadron as well as the classic track “Danger Zone” from the Top Gun movie. Top Gun 2 requires an iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4 or later and is available from the App Store at a discounted price of $3 until August 23.

Apple supplier chairman steps down over kickback scandal

Chua Kim Guan, chairman of Singapore-based JLJ Holdings Ltd., has stepped down amid a scandal that allegedly saw kickbacks given to an Apple employee for confidential information. JLJ Holdings has been named in a lawsuit by Apple against former Apple global supply manager Paul Shin Devine, which claims Devine shared confidential information from Apple with suppliers of iPod and iPhone accessories, who used the information to negotiate favorable contracts with Apple. “In order to facilitate the impartial review of all activities relating to the Apple claim that may involve the company and its subsidiaries, the company’s executive chairman has voluntarily relinquished all executive duties…for the time being,” JLJ said in a statement. The Wall Street Journal reports that JLJ revealed Chua is the brother of Andrew Ang, a former assistant general manager of its Jin Li Mould Manufacturing unit who is also named in Apple’s suit. Both Devine and Ang were recently indicted for wire fraud, money laundering, and kickbacks. [via MDN]

iPad wait times drop, iPhone 4 to follow?

The wait times for all models of the iPad have dropped from seven to ten days down to three to five days on Apple’s online store, indicating that Apple may finally be getting ahead of the overwhelming demand for the tablet computer. The wait for an iPad has stayed a week or longer since the device’s debut in April 3. In addition, GigaOm reports that Ashok Kumar, an analyst Rodman & Renshaw, said in a recent research note that Apple may be able to reduce the wait time for a new iPhone 4 significantly by the end of September; new iPhone 4 orders from Apple’s online store are currently quoted as shipping in three weeks. During the company’s Q3 2010 Conference Call, COO Tim Cook repeatedly explained that Apple was making both iPads and iPhone 4 units as fast as it can sell them, and indicated that it was working to ramp up production to meet demand as quickly as possible. [via TUAW]

Facebook app adds Places, background uploads

Facebook has released an update to its iPhone and iPod touch application adding support for its new Places feature and improving iOS4 multitasking support. Introduced by Facebook earlier this week, Places is a new location-based social networking that allows users to register their presence at physical locations in a manner similar to services such as Foursquare and Gowalla. Facebook 3.2 provides a new section on the home screen for accessing the new Places location feature and integrates GPS location services support to allow users to view nearby places from within the app, check-in at various locations and view friends’ locations. The new version can also now continue photo and video uploads in the background on iOS 4 multitasking-capable devices and adds the ability to set the privacy of individual status updates and see all recipients of inbox messages. Facebook 3.2 is available from the App Store as a free download. The Facebook Places feature is presently only available in the U.S.

KT sees strong iPhone 4 pre-orders

KT, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in South Korea, saw more than 120,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4 on the first day of sales. According to a Korea Times report, KT’s ordering system was jammed early in the day, leaving customers unable to order for roughly two hours. “I really appreciate this enormous support from our customers, and I also apologize for the discomfort caused by the ordering system. We will do our best for flawless delivery of the product,” Pyo Hyun-myong, chief of KT’s mobile business, said on his Twitter account. The 120,000 pre-orders handily broke the record for highest first-day mobile pre-orders in South Korea; the iPhone 3G also broke this record during its pre-order period, with 55,000 orders made over five days.

Cresyn: Former Apple manager Devine paid for consulting

South Korea-based Cresyn Co., a supplier of earphones for the iPod, has said that former Apple global supply manager Paul Shin Devine was paid for what was thought to be consulting work. “It was our understanding the contract was with Apple since we knew he was an Apple employee,” Kim Chang Jun, a spokesman for the Seoul-based company, told Bloomberg. “Apple was specified in the contract, and we believed it, so we sent the money.” Devine, along with associate Andrew Ang of Singapore, was recently indicted for wire fraud, money laundering, and kickbacks. Devine allegedly shared confidential information from Apple with suppliers of iPod and iPhone accessories, which then used the information to negotiate favorable contracts with Apple.

Reuters reports that in addition to Cresyn, Apple claims that Devine was also in contact with Singapore’s Glocom/Lateral Solutions, JLJ Holdings, and Fastening Technologies, as well as Taiwan’s Nishoku Technology and Pegatron. Said Jonathan Chang, a deputy spokesman for Pegatron, “We are investigating the case now and feel sorry about this.” Pegatron owns Kaeder Electronics, a maker of third-party plastic cases for the iPhone, iPod, and other devices, which was named in the kickback charges but is not a direct Apple supplier.

Barnes & Noble releases Nook for iPhone, updates iPad version

Barnes & Noble has released an iPhone version of its Nook e-reader software introduced for the iPad earlier this year. The Nook e-reader apps feature access to over a million titles from Barnes & Noble’s eBookstore, multiple font types and sizes, customizable background and text colors and brightness controls. Nook also provides an integrated Merriam-Webster Pocket Dictionary, synchronization of notes, highlights and current reading position and provides a unique LendMe digital lending feature that allows users to share their purchased eBooks with friends using the Nook platform. Nook for iPhone provides the same features offered in the iPad application optimized for the iPhone’s smaller screen and iPhone 4 Retina Display and includes integrated B&N eBookstore shopping, personal B&N digital library access, digital lending features and the ability to sync notes, highlights and current reading position with other Nook apps. Barnes & Noble has also released an update to its iPad application, renaming it from BN eReader to Nook for iPad and adding the ability for users to rate their books and sort by favorites as well as a user guide and first run tutorial for new users. Nook for iPhone and Nook for iPad are available separately as free downloads from the U.S. App Store.

China Unicom to offer iPad, iPhone 4

China Unicom has reached an agreement with Apple to sell the iPad and iPhone 4 in China, according to a new report. Citing a source within China Unicom, Caixin reports that the company has finalized a deal with Apple that will make it the sole distributor of the iPad in China, although no timetable is offered for the device’s Chinese release. In addition, the company is said to have secured rights to offer the iPhone 4 as soon as early September; the report explicitly states that the launch day will not be September 13 as had previously been rumored. Finally, the report notes that the new Wi-Fi-enabled iPhone 3GS sold out at Apple’s Beijing retail store the first day it went on sale.

Sony takes shots at iOS with new PSP ad

Sony has released a new TV advertisement for its PlayStation Portable handheld gaming console that mocks players of iOS games. Holding a device that clearly is meant to resemble an iPhone, a young man—identified as “Josh Rose,” who is said to be “kidding himself”—holds up the device, talking about the “sweet game” he’s playing. Sony’s new PSP TV advertisement spokesperson “Marcus” exclaims that the device “isn’t built for big boy games,” and proceeds to show a variety of games available for the PSP for only $9.99. The new advertisement appears in embedded form below. [via Kotaku]

Mind Crew releases Mayan Puzzle

Mind Crew has released Mayan Puzzle, a new puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod touch. A unique variant of a match-three style game, Mayan Puzzle includes four modes: classic, time trial, challenge and marathon to provide different styles of play ranging from an action puzzler to a more classic strategy game. The game is set in a beautiful Mayan surrounding with 32 animated backgrounds and includes impressive special effects and an original Mayan soundtrack. The game provides 32 levels in classic strategic mode, four target times in time trial mode, four difficulty settings in challenge mode or infinite gameplay in marathon mode. Online leaderboards and 35 achievements are provided through OpenFeint integration. Mayan Puzzle is available from the App Store for $1.

iOS 4 code points to next-gen iPhone, iPad testing

A chunk of code found within Apple’s iOS 4 suggests the company is preparing to field test next-generation iPhone and iPad units. Boy Genius Report claims that the code, found by one of its Apple sources, queries the device, and automatically activates it should it be an unreleased device, bypassing the need for connection to iTunes. The report claims that the unreleased models are CDMA flavors of the iPhone and iPad, but also notes that similar code has been found every year before a major iOS device release, and has been removed before the devices’ respective launches. Finally, the report claims that the platform code of the CDMA iPhone is N92AP—John Gruber had earlier pegged it as N92—while the next-generation iPod touch’s platform code is said to be N81AP.

Survey: 31% of U.S. iPhone 4 owners may switch to Verizon

An addition to ChangeWave’s July survey suggests that nearly one-third of U.S. iPhone 4 users would be likely to switch to Verizon as their service provider should the carrier begin offering the iPhone. 18% of iPhone 4 users said they would be “somewhat likely” to switch, while 13% said they would be “very likely” to switch. Notably, the survey results shared earlier this month indicated that the requirement of using AT&T was iPhone 4 owners’ biggest dislike, with 27% of the vote, followed closely by dislike of the coverage/speed/quality of AT&T’s 3G network at 24%. ChangeWave’s survey was based on the reactions and opinions of 213 Apple iPhone 4 owners. In addition, Fortune points to a similar July survey of 1,000 consumers from Morpace that found 47% of current iPhone customers who would consider a Verizon iPhone, with 34% of current AT&T iPhone users who are waiting for the iPhone to become available on another carrier before upgrading.

South Korea to open iPhone 4 pre-orders

South Korean iPhone carrier KT has said it plans to begin to take pre-orders for the iPhone 4 later this week. AFP reports that KT will be accepting pre-orders both online and in its stores beginning Wednesday. “We hope the iPhone 4 will draw a hot response from clients as the iPhone 3 did,” KT said in a statement, adding that it would hit the market some time in September. Apple has sold more than 850,000 iPhones in South Korea since the handset launched in the country nine months ago.

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2017 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy