Apple has released its new Find My Friends app. Announced last week during the company’s iPhone event, Find My Friends expands iCloud’s “Find My iPhone” option into a social app that allows users to easily share their location with a circle of friends. To use the application, users simply sign in with their iCloud Apple ID and can then send requests to friends to see their location which can be accepted using the Find My Friends app on the other device. Users can also choose to share their location with a group of friends for a limited period of time. Friends’ locations are presented within the app as either a list, ordered by proximity or on an integrated map view. The application also provides simple privacy controls and the ability to set parental restrictions. Find My Friends is a universal app requiring iOS 5 and is available from the App Store as a free download. Users can also find the app by visiting iCloud.com from Safari on their iOS device.
Apple has updated its iCloud.com website, and removed the “beta” tag from the initial login screen. Launching later today alongside iOS 5, iCloud is a free online service for iOS and OS X users providing support for mail, calendar, contacts, photos, documents and more. iCloud.com will specifically provide access to the service’s email, contacts, calendar, Find My iPhone, and iWork document storage services. Notably, the website does not provide any way for users to sign up for a new iCloud account; it appears Apple expects users to do so on their iOS devices.
Both Sprint and Verizon have confirmed that consumers will be able to have the GSM side of their iPhone 4S handsets unlocked. According to a Macworld report, Sprint plans to sell all of its iPhone 4S units with the micro-SIM slot unlocked, while Verizon’s will be locked initially, but can be unlocked if the customers are in good standing for 60 days. The latter has been Verizon’s policy for all world phones, according to the report. The change may make it more affordable for iPhone users with Sprint or Verizon contracts to use their devices when abroad than those on AT&T, since AT&T’s iPhone 4S units will arrive locked, forcing users to pay AT&T’s international roaming fees, while Sprint or Verizon iPhone 4S users can simply pop in a new micro-SIM from a local carrier.
Update: Ars Technica reports that it has spoken with a Sprint representative, who said that while the Sprint iPhone 4S will be able to roam internationally on GSM networks, its micro-SIM slot will not be unlocked.
Apple has released an iOS version of its Airport Utility for configuring and managing Airport and Time Capsule wireless devices. The free universal app provides similar functionality to the Mac version, allowing users to manage Airport Express, Airport Extreme and Time Capsule devices from an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Users can see a graphical overview of the Wi-Fi network and devices, get more information about a connected Wi-Fi device and view and change base station and network settings, including restarting devices and updating firmware versions and configuring passwords, DNS and router addresses and DHCP reservations and port mappings. AirPort Utility requires iOS 5 and is available from the App Store as a free download.
This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows a black iPhone 4 overlooking Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau, Germany. To share your photos and to be considered for our Photo of the Week, you simply need to submit your own photo to one of our galleries. So get out there, take some pictures featuring your favorite iPod, iPad, or iPhone and maybe your submission will be our next Photo of the Week!
On the heels of the public release of iTunes 10.5, Apple has seeded its registered iOS developers with a beta version of iTunes 10.5.1. According to Apple’s release notes, “iTunes 10.5.1 beta 1 includes several performance enhancements and bug fixes, and is a required update for all subscribers to iTunes Match beta. iTunes Match is not included in the iTunes 10.5 GM release.” iTunes 10.5.1 beta is available now to registered iOS developers from the iOS Dev Center.
Apple has released iTunes 10.5, ahead of tomorrow’s launch of iOS 5 and iCloud. According to the release notes, iTunes 10.5 offers support for iTunes in the Cloud, Automatic Downloads, the ability to download previous purchases, the ability to sync with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices running iOS 5, and support for Wi-Fi synching. iTunes 10.5 is available now via Apple’s Software Update utility or as a direct download from apple.com/itunes.
Sam’s Club has announced that it is now taking reservations for the iPhone 4S ahead of the device’s Friday launch. According to an iPhone 4S information page posted to the warehouse retailer’s website, the iPhone 4S is now available for pre-order at most Sam’s Club locations on a first-come, first-served basis. Depending on the store, only certain carriers’ models may be offered; we recommend checking with your local store before heading out to ensure they are offering the model you want and still have pre-order stock available. Apple will launch the iPhone 4S this Friday, October 14.
References to a third-generation Apple TV have been spotted in the GM version of iOS 5. 9to5Mac reports that deep inside the iOS file system lies a reference to an Apple TV 3,1, which would be expected to represent a substantial upgrade from the current 2,1 model. The report goes on to suggest that such a model could feature an A5 processor to allow for 1080p video output support, and thus merit the addition of 1080p content to the iTunes Store. It is worth noting, however, that new iOS model designations have typically been discovered in code months, if not a full year or more, prior to the actual devices’ releases, meaning that the appearance of evidence supporting a third-generation Apple TV’s existence does not necessarily suggest an impending release.
According to the latest data from comScore, the iPad accounted for 97.2 percent of all tablet traffic in the U.S. in August 2011. The research firm also found that iPads have also started to account for a higher share of Internet traffic than iPhones, representing 46.8 percent of all iOS device traffic, compared to 42.6 percent for the iPhone. Despite Android’s larger share of the smartphone market, iOS had the highest market share of connected devices and smartphones in use with 43.1 percent, compared to Android’s 34.1 percent, a difference largely attributed to the iPad’s dominance in the tablet market. iOS as a platform also accounted for the largest share of Internet traffic among such devices, representing 58.5 percent of all non-computer traffic in the U.S., compared to a 31.9 percent share for Android.
Mobiata has released an update to FlightTrack and FlightTrack Pro adding support for the upcoming iCloud release and integration with the new Twitter features in iOS 5. With FlightTrack 4.2 users can now synchronize their flight lists and FlightTrack settings across multiple iOS devices using iCloud and post flight updates to Twitter using the new integrated iOS 5 Twitter integration. The update also fixes a number of bugs, improves performance when tracking large numbers of flights, adds thousands of additional airports and provides more readable and concise airport weather forecasts. FlightTrack is available in both standard and Pro versions: FlightTrack ($5) includes a full set of flight tracking features including weather radar, gate and baggage claim information, flight delay forecasts and SeatGuru charts; FlightTrack Pro adds push notifications, airport delay and closure information and TripIt synchronization. Both apps are universal and require an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 4.0 or later; iCloud and Twitter integration features require iOS 5.
The Omni Group has released an update to its OmniFocus apps for the iPhone and iPad adding background location reminders and general support for the upcoming iOS 5 release. The latest update to OmniFocus now allows users to set geo-fence style location reminders under iOS 5 that can be triggered in the background when arriving at or leaving a specified location. Although OmniFocus has provided location-based contexts for some time, the feature was previously confined to querying tasks nearby and plotting them on a map. The new Location Reminders feature will alert the user to available tasks at nearby locations even when OmniFocus is not the active application. Location Reminders can be associated with contexts and users can choose from one or three ranges to determine at what distance the reminder is triggered.
This latest update also adds several other enhancements including improvements to map views and edit modes, better display of calendars in Forecast View, and several fixes related to syncing and other miscellaneous bugs. OmniFocus is available from the App Store in two versions: OmniFocus for iPhone ($20) and OmniFocus for iPad ($40). Both versions require iOS 4.0 or later; the new Location Reminders feature requires iOS 5 and an iPhone 4/4S or iPad 2 with 3G.
Facebook has released an update to its iOS application adding the anticipated native iPad support. Originally reported by the New York Times in June to be appearing in the “coming weeks,” the app was inexplicably delayed, prompting a prominent developer to leave Facebook in frustration and report that it had in fact been “feature complete” as far back as May. Many later expected the rumoured iPad update to be released at Facebook’s f8 developer conference in September, however the event came and went with no mention of iOS at all.
Today’s update to Facebook 4.0 finally adds native iPad support to the existing Facebook application providing an iPad optimized user interface with higher resolution photos, improved navigation and access to Facebook apps and games. Users can also zoom in on photos, updates and stories and share photos and status updates without leaving the news feed. The update adds several new features to the iPhone and iPod touch version as well, including improved searching and browsing, similar games and app support, bookmarks and improved navigation. Facebook 4.0 is available from the App Store as a free download.
iLounge will be only modestly updated today as our editors celebrate the Columbus Day holiday in the U.S. and Thanksgiving in Canada. Our team will be back tomorrow, October 11, with regular updates.
We hope you, your family, and friends enjoy a relaxing holiday together.
Apple has announced that pre-orders for the iPhone 4S exceeded one million in the first 24 hours the device was available for pre-order. According to the release, the pre-order total surpasses the previous single day pre-order record of 600,000 set by the iPhone 4; AT&T in particular said over the weekend that it received more than 200,000 iPhone 4S pre-orders in the first 12 hours. Notably, it appears that pre-orders have now accounted for all available stock, as Apple is now listing new orders as shipping in 1-2 weeks. Apple will release the iPhone 4S this Friday, with Apple Retail Stores opening at 8 am local time for the launch.
“We are blown away with the incredible customer response to iPhone 4S,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The first day pre-orders for iPhone 4S have been the most for any new product that Apple has ever launched and we are thrilled that customers love iPhone 4S as much as we do.”
AT&T is planning to promote the iPhone 4S as a “4G” device in an effort to differentiate itself from rival carriers Verizon and Sprint, according to a new report. Citing an internal memo that has since been confirmed by AT&T, The Verge reports that the company is working with Apple to have “4G” branding added to the status bar of iPhone 4S devices running on its network. While both AT&T and T-Mobile have labeled their HSPA+ networks as “4G” for marketing purposes, and the memo refers to the iPhone 4S as a HSPA+ device, Apple made no such claims during its event nor on its website, where the handset is listed as supporting HSDPA/HSUPA networks, with a theoretical download cap of 14.4Mbps, significantly slower than the 84 Mbps cap of HSPA+ when deployed with MIMO technology. AT&T said in its confirmation that it and Apple are “working together” on the branding change, and said that “customers will get 4G speeds from day one” regardless.
Best Buy has started taking pre-orders for the iPhone 4S. The big-box retailer was apparently offering only 64GB black and white AT&T models for pre-order online—both of which have since sold out—but lists a number of models as available in-store. Models being offered for in-store pre-order include both black and white 16GB and 32GB Verizon and AT&T models, with 64GB Verizon models strangely absent. Nor is either 64GB Sprint model listed, while the 16GB and 32GB variants are listed as “coming soon,” with abnormally high—higher than Apple’s own unlocked pricing, in fact—pricing of $699 for the 16GB models and $799 for 32GB versions. Apple will launch the iPhone 4S on Friday, October 14.
Hex has introduced its new Icon Watch Band case for the sixth-generation iPod nano. Made from durable polycarbonate, the Icon offers push-through protection for the power and volume buttons, open access to the dock connector and headphone ports, a pop-in, pop-out design, a matte finish, and an adjustable polycarbonate link bracelet with push button stainless steel clasp. The Hex Icon Watch Band for the sixth-generation iPod nano is available now in black, white, blue, green, or purple, and sells for $40.
RadioShack has announced that beginning today, it will accept pre-orders on the iPhone 4S. According to the company, pre-orders will be limited to black and white 16GB and 32GB units, meaning that customers looking to pre-order a Sprint model or a 64GB unit will need to look elsewhere. The company is also offering customers the ability to trade in any smartphone for up to $200 in savings off an iPhone 4S from October 14 to October 31. As RadioShack is an authorized dealer for AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, it is unclear why iPhones bound for the latter’s network are left out of the promotion; although it was not specifically stated, the pre-orders are likely to be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.