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iPhone 3G launch poll ends, App Store poll begins

With over 3,300 votes from iLounge readers, our latest poll—“How do you think Apple has handled the iPhone 3G’s debut?”—has ended. Readers were given several choices ranging between great or better than expected to bad or worse than expected.

Readers were very split on the product’s debut, with 29% positive, 15% neutral, and 48% negative. Only 6% of responding readers said that Apple did a “Great job” with the iPhone 3G’s launch, while 11% felt it went better than they expected, although with some issues. A combined 36% of readers felt the 3G launch went just as they expected, with 12% saying it was “good,” 15% saying it was handled “okay,” and 9% saying they expected it to be handled badly, and felt it was. 39% of readers — nearly 4 out of every 10 — were at least upset by what they felt was a worse than expected handling of the iPhone 3G launch. 25% were “upset” that the launch was handled worse than they expected, while another 14% felt it went a lot worse than they expected, and said they are losing their faith. Finally, 9% of readers said they had either not paid attention, or simply didn’t care. Thanks for your responses!

Our new poll focuses on the just-launched App Store for iPhone and iPod touch applications. Now that we’ve all had a few days to try it out, we want to know how you feel about it. Is there a wide enough variety of apps, and are they priced fairly? The new poll, “What do you think of the App Store so far?” lets you answer that question. As always, the iLounge Poll is on the left hand column of the main iLounge.com home page. Cast your vote today!

EA reveals future iPhone gaming titles, features

During its press conference at the annual E3 trade show, Electronic Arts revealed new upcoming titles for the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as a new feature for its recently released Scrabble and Tetris games. Spore Origins will be the full name of the iPhone/iPod touch version of the new organism creation game, and it will launch later this year through the App Store alongside Monopoly, Tiger Woods 09, and Need for Speed. Contrary to prior understanding of the Spore title, Spore Origins will not be a full version of the computer and console game, but rather a section of it. In addition, EA will use updates to add a feature to its already-published Tetris game that allows the player to draw the upcoming piece right on the screen, and to add Wi-Fi multiplayer and an accelerometer action to shuffle the letters in the player’s tray to Scrabble.

Apple backtracks on iPhone GPS, waits on cut + paste

Speaking in an interview with PC Magazine, Apple vice president of Worldwide iPod and iPhone Product Marketing Greg Joswiak made several comments regarding the iPhone 3G and iPhone software. Following up on a The New York Times report that Apple had disclosed that “the iPhone’s G.P.S. antenna is much too small to emulate the turn-by-turn navigation of a G.P.S. unit for a vehicle,” Joswiak deemed the disclosure incorrect. “Complicated issues” are to blame for currently preventing driving navigation apps, he said, but “it will evolve. I think our developers will amaze us,” Joswiak added. When asked about the lack of cut and paste in the latest iPhone software, he said that Apple has a priority list of features, and they included as many of those as they could in the new software and in iPhone 3G. Finally, Joswiak remarked that some office suite applications may face issues due to each application having its own file space, adding that “There’s no cross-application file structure.”

Apple settles Canadian iPhone trademark dispute

Apple has reached a settlement with Canadian telecom provider Comwave which gives Apple the legal right to use the trademark “iPhone” in Canada. The settlement was reached late Wednesday evening, prior to the iPhone 3G’s Friday launch. According to the terms of the settlement, Apple will receive sole rights to the iPhone name in Canada, while Comwave has agreed to phase out its use of the name — which it has used since 2004 to promote its VoIP phone service — by November 9. Further terms of the agreement, including financial details, were not disclosed. “I’m happy to report that we have settled our dispute,” said Comwave president and founder Yuval Barzakay. “Both parties worked hard and diligently to make sure the deal was closed prior to the launch.” Apple previously settled a trademark dispute with Cisco over the use of the iPhone trademark in the U.S., which left both companies free to use the moniker on their products.

iLounge’s 10-page iPhone 3G review now available

We have just posted our comprehensive 10-page review of the new iPhone 3G. Battery life, data speeds, audio performance, and more are tested and discussed in detail as we take a look at Apple’s second-generation handset. A must-read for potential new users, first-generation iPhone owners looking to upgrade, and anyone else that wants the full report on the iPhone 3G. Read the full review here.

iPhone developers trick App Store with altered application names

Apple’s decision to list iPhone and iPod touch applications in alphabetical order on the App Store is leading to unfair practices by some software developers, who are adding a symbol or space to the beginning of the application name in order to appear on the first page of results. While Apple has fixed the problem on its “Browse” listings, it persists on pages such as “All iPhone Applications,” where titles like $0.99 Sudoku Classic, !FLOverload!, and $1.99 Whack the Groundhog appear above legitimately-named titles such as 3-D Vector Pong and 5 Card Touch. [via TUAW]

iPhone 3G screens yellow by design, firmware fix available [updated]

Following our report on the yellow tint apparent in many iPhone 3G screens, Apple has confirmed that the screen has a warmer look by design. Apple’s senior director of iPhone product marketing, Bob Borchers, said, “We moved the white point in order to make [the display feel] more natural,” noting that customers would likely appreciate a warmer color temperature, particularly when viewing photos. Ars Technica, however, reports that an updated version of the iPhone 3G firmware — labeled version 5A347 as opposed to the 5A345 version that ships on the devices — changes the color calibration to be less yellow. The 5A347 firmware is not available though the “Check for Update” feature in iTunes, but can be installed by clicking on the “Restore” button.

Update: John Gruber of Daring Fireball reports that a source on Apple’s iPhone engineering team confirmed that there were no changes regarding display color temperature between 5A345 and 5A347, questioning the accuracy of Ars Technica’s earlier report.

Apple TV Software 2.1 adds movie Wish List feature

Among the unannounced features of Apple TV Software 2.1 is the ability to save movies to a Wish List for purchase/rental at a later date. Each individual movie listing page now has a Wish List button to the right of the trailer, purchase, and rental buttons. Once a user has added a movie to his/her Wish List, a “Wish List” menu item appears between the “Rented Movies” and “Top Movies” section on the main Apple TV menu. Commenters have also noted that a thumbnail of the album artwork now appears when browsing music albums, and the duration of each track is shown once the album is selected. Finally, Apple TV Software 2.1 now supports dynamically updated Smart Playlists, which are now updated by the set top box without the need to sync with iTunes, as was required by previous versions of the software.

iPhone App Store hits 10 million downloads

iPhone and iPod touch users have downloaded more than 10 million applications from the App Store since its launch late last week, Apple has announced. The store, which launched with over 500 applications, now offers more than 800 apps, with more than 200 offered for free and more than 90 percent priced at less than $10. “The App Store is a grand slam, with a staggering 10 million applications downloaded in just three days,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Developers have created some extraordinary applications, and the App Store can wirelessly deliver them to every iPhone and iPod touch user instantly.”

Apple: 1 million iPhone 3Gs sold over weekend

Apple has announced that it sold its one millionth iPhone 3G on Sunday, just three days after its launch on July 11. The phone is currently available in 21 countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the US, and will go on sale in France on July 17. “iPhone 3G had a stunning opening weekend,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “It took 74 days to sell the first one million original iPhones, so the new iPhone 3G is clearly off to a great start around the world.”

Is your iPhone 3G having headphone port problems?

During our continued testing of two iPhone 3Gs, we discovered last night that one of our units has a troubled headphone port; unlike our original iPhone and another iPhone 3G, unplugging the included Stereo Headset from the port mid-telephone call results 50% or more of the time in a disconnected call. Since many of you have units already, we’d like to ask in advance of our review: is this happening to your iPhone 3G? Please post in the comments below; we’d like to know how isolated this is. Thanks!

DLO reveals three cases for iPhone 3G

Digital Lifestyle Outfitters has introduced three new cases for the iPhone 3G. The HybridShell for iPhone 3G is a clear polycarbonate case that features raised silicone dots on the back for added grip. Other features include open access to the camera and all ports and controls, and an included Surface Shield screen protector. It sells for $25. DLO’s VideoShell for iPhone 3G is also made from clear polycarbonate, but drops the HybridShell’s raised silicone accents in favor of a built-in sliding kickstand. It also features open access to all controls and ports, and includes a Surface Shield screen protector. It sells for $20. Lastly, the Jam Jacket for iPhone 3G is a silicone case that features a non-slip surface with textured sides for added grip. It too offers open access to all ports and controls, and comes packaged with three Surface Shield screen protectors. It sells for $20. All three cases are available now.

iPhone 3G yellow screens explained

Though Apple claimed that the iPhone 3G’s screen was the same as the original’s, users are discovering that their devices’ screens exhibit a noticeable yellow tint when compared to the screens of the original iPhones. iLounge’s extended Live iPhone 3G Comparison Test, however, shows a subtle difference by comparison with the blue-tinted original iPhone and the differently colored iPod touch, noting that each screen possesses a slightly different white balance, with the gray-white iPod touch having the most neutral coloration. Additional user reports suggest that the yellow tint may be bothering some users, and it is currently unknown how much tint is in different units’ screens, or whether Apple will replace especially affected units.

iToner 1.0.8 adds iPhone Software 2.0 support

Ambrosia Software has released iToner 1.0.8, the latest update to its iPhone custom ringtone tool. iToner lets users easily transfer their own MP3, AAC, WAVE, and AIFF audio files to the iPhone as custom ringtones. The latest version, iToner 1.0.8, provides fixes for iTunes 7.7 and iPhone Software 2.0 compatibility, as well as Japanese localization. iToner requires Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later and sells for $15; a free trial download is also available.

Live iPhone 3G vs. iPhone Comparison Test Results Here

As long-time iLounge readers know, we devote considerable time and energy to testing new iPod and iPhone products, running hard-core battery, audio, video, and other tests prior to publishing our reviews. Since Apple handed out advance free units to its favorite reviewers, hoping to get the most favorable iPhone 3G reviews out in advance of the product’s release, we have decided to publish our production model iPhone 3G’s test results as we go through the process, starting immediately so that buyers can get as much accurate information about the new device before making a purchase.

You can find our test results, updated continuously, by clicking on the article’s headline above. We will also respond to reader questions as convenient throughout the process. Our Gallery of iPhone 3G unpacking and comparison photos is also available.

Problems plague official iPhone, iPod touch Software 2.0 release

Apple has officially released iPhone Software 2.0 through iTunes and its $9.99 iPhone 2.0 Software Update for the iPod touch. Due to the installation process for iPhone Software 2.0, which requires the device to be completely erased, the phone must re-activate through iTunes’ servers to be functional following the update. A number of readers are reporting that their iPhones are unable to re-activate following the installation, leaving their phones “bricked” until Apple and AT&T fix the activation problems. On a related note, iPod touch users are reporting that they are unable to download the update from iTunes due to connection problems, which are most likely connected to the larger activation issues. We advise users to hold off on attempting to download and install either update until the issues are worked out. [Image via RedEye]

Apple changes Bluetooth Headset, drops Dual Dock [updated]

Without advance explanation, Apple has today changed the packaging and pack-ins for its iPhone Bluetooth Headset (iLounge rating: B). The company has dropped the previously included iPhone Dual Dock and changing its packaging to a plastic version reminiscent of the iPod shuffle’s, and smaller than the current iPod nano’s. From what we can gather, the Bluetooth Headset remains the same as the prior version, and continues to come with a Bluetooth Travel Cable. It is presently unknown whether the price of the revised version has dropped because of the missing part, or stayed the same; in Canada, where the previous version was never sold, the Apple Bluetooth Headset now sells for $129. If you were planning to buy one of Apple’s Bluetooth Headsets, you might want to hold off until the dust has cleared.

Update: The iPhone Bluetooth Headset (new packaging, minus the pack-ins) has appeared on Apple’s Online Store in the U.S. and is now priced at $99.

Apple, AT&T computer failures halt, delay iPhone 3G sales [updated]

Readers and iLounge editors have experienced serious iPhone 3G activation problems this morning, resulting in the halting of hardware sales in some stores and extended wait delays in others. According to an iLounge editor in the United Kingdom, the local Apple Store had ceased sales of the iPhone 3G based on an unspecified system failure, and was taking customers’ details for later contact. In the United States, similar reports from readers suggest that customers at both AT&T and Apple Stores are in for extended waits due to activation problems.

Updated: A report from a reader direct from the AT&T Store - “All of us buyers stood around AT&T for another 45 mins, waiting for 3Gs to activate… Apple server of some kind went down, apparently. AT&T checked with their national offices, Apple in Cupertino, etc., and nobody is able to activate phones now… so we all left with hardware, but phones are non-functional… previously existing customers (i.e., those with SIMs already) still can’t activate in-store or remotely, as of 5 mins ago.”

iLounge posts iPhone 3G unpacking, comparison photos [updated]

Though you’ve already seen the numerous casing shots we’ve featured in our First Look at the iPhone 3G, as well as the world’s first unpacking pictures taken in the wild, we have just posted our gallery of iPhone 3G comparison and unpacking photographs for your enjoyment. Available from our Flickr account, the set of photos shows off the iPhone 3G by comparison to the iPhone, iPod touch, original iPod, and iPod classic, as well as the data functionality of its Maps and Safari applications.

Updated: We have added another huge batch of photos, including white and black unit comparison photos, screenshots, and much more.

Advice: Avoid AT&T, O2 Stores for iPhone 3G [updated x2]

iLounge’s editors have been attending iPhone 3G launch events today in three U.S. states, as well as in Canada. After hours of waiting in lines that were clearly past AT&T’s capacity to satisfy today with product, we offer our readers the following advice: do not wait in line AT&T stores, unless you are prepared to suffer major disappointment. Updated: Our UK editor notes similar issues at O2 in the United Kingdom; see this article’s comments for details there.

As was the case with last year’s launch of the iPhone, AT&T stores have today allowed lines to form well in excess of their actual capacity to presently supply iPhone 3G hardware. At one store we visited this morning, the AT&T store ran entirely out of 16GB iPhones after only 12 customers had made purchases. Another AT&T store ran out of black 16GB units after roughly 10 people had left the store, and customers began to leave the line after extended waits without a guarantee of sufficient inventory.

Though the lines to purchase the iPhone 3G appear to be both shorter and less energetic than last year’s iPhone queues, AT&T’s stores appear unable to satisfy the demand, yet are keeping people in line until they can offer to order units that may be in stock by next week. Lines at Apple Stores are somewhat longer, though it is unclear as to how much inventory they have. We will be updating this story throughout the day.

Canada: Rogers’ flagship store in Toronto had a line of roughly 80 people by 5:00AM; by 9:00AM, an hour after the store opened with groups of 10, they had processed 20 people. The store had a total of 90-100 units, with roughly 20% as 16GB models. A smaller Rogers location, received a total of 6 iPhone 3G units, with one black 16GB, one white 16GB, and four black 8GB models. The Apple Stores in Canada are not selling the iPhone 3G, making Rogers locations the only places to purchase units.

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