- March 2, 2012
iPad models sporting a resolution of 2048 x 1536 have been spotted in the server logs of a notable website. Ars Technica reports that while doing research for its monthly browser that report, it found multiple hits from devices reported to be running iOS 6, with a newer build of WebKit—535.8—than the current version, which is listed as 534.46. In addition, it found 346 visits from a device with a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536, widely believed to be the resolution of the next-generation iPad’s Retina display. As noted in the report, very few devices in current use have the same resolution. Apple is expected to unveil the next-generation iPad on March 7; iOS 6 is unlikely for a release on that date, and while a brief preview is possible, Apple last year waited until its WWDC conference to unveil iOS 5.
- March 2, 2012
- Apps + Games
HireVue has released an official iOS app for its online interviewing service allowing employers and applicants to conduct on-demand job interviews from anywhere using their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. HireVue’s online service provides video-based On Demand Interviews to candidates and employers with more flexibility and convenience by time-shifting the interview experience, allowing users to complete and review interviews at any time. The new HireVue iOS app extends this process further by place-shifting the experience, allowing users to complete their HireVue digital interviews from any convenient location.
Candidates selected for a digital interview can access the app directly from their interview invitation e-mail and complete the interview at their convenience. Interviews can consist of multiple-choice and essay that may require written or audio/video responses recorded using the built-in camera and microphone. Interviews can also provide additional information to potential candidates via the HireVue app such as employment branding videos and introductions and commentary from the hiring manager or recruiting teams. Responses are submitting to the recruiter or hiring manager via the HireVue service where they can be reviewed, rated and shared with colleagues. HireVue is a universal app requiring iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download. An interview invitation and HireVue account is required to use the app.
- March 2, 2012
- Apple TV
Apple is in negotiations with content providers to launch a streaming TV service by Christmas, according to a new report. Citing anonymous sources, the New York Post reports that Apple senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue has been leading the negotiations, which have reportedly not been going well. “They want everything for nothing,” one media executive said, while another source said Apple’s stance can be summed up as “we decide the price, we decide what content”. Apple is said to be pitching the idea of offering channels as apps for its devices, including the Apple TV set-top box, although whether the company would be selling the service in a bundle or on an a la carte basis is unknown.
The company is also said to have made attempts to negotiate with cable operators to replace traditional set-top boxes with Apple units. “They want to create the interface, and they wanted to work with the cable guys to manage bandwidth across the TV and broadband pipeline,” said one Post source. Although Apple has had little success thus far in its negotiations, the company is said to have continued on, and is negotiations with Verizon and AT&T, seeking to gain traction.
Flipboard has released an update to its iOS news and social media aggregation app adding support for Cover Stories in the iPad edition and improving discovery for international users. Designed to provide users with a personalized collection of their news and social feeds, Flipboard collects information from major media publications as well as social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and presents the information in a rich appealing magazine style view. Flipboard 1.8 brings iPad users the Cover Stories view made popular in the iPhone edition, delivering a personalized feed of each day’s most interesting news, photos and updates. New International Content Guides in the latest version provide users with hundreds of recommendations for content from the U.K. and Ireland, Canada, Australia, France, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; the feature is joined by full French language support throughout the app and a new easy setup feature that lets new users pick topics of interest and get started more quickly. The update also adds a third page of tiles for users’ favourite content and new typography and photo layouts for even more display options. Flipboard 1.8 is a universal app requiring iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Reflection, a new application for Mac, promises to let users of the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 use AirPlay Mirroring to wirelessly stream their device’s content to their Macs. Features of the software include the ability to add show an iPhone or iPad frame around the streamed content, the ability to run in full-screen mode, force portrait or landscape orientation, and the ability to serve as an AirPlay audio receiver; audio is automatically sent when using Mirroring. Reflection supports OS X 10.6 or later and requires an iPhone 4S or iPad 2 for screen mirroring; it is available now as a free time-limited trial, while a full license sells for $15.
- March 1, 2012
In response to growing customer unrest over its decision to throttle the data speeds of customers on “unlimited” data plans who were among the top five percent of users in their area, AT&T has posted a new support page clarifying its policies. According to the company, customers on unlimited data plans will see their data speeds throttled any time they exceed 3GB of usage for the month; their speeds will return to normal once a new billing cycle begins. “You’ll still be able to use as much data as you want. That won’t change”, the page states. “Only your data throughput speed will change if you use 3GB or more in one billing cycle on a 3G or 4G smartphone or 5GB or more on a 4G LTE smartphone.” Notably, customers on unlimited data plans pay $30/month on AT&T, the same amount the company charges for 3GB of capped data; users on the latter plan have the option of tethering, while customers on unlimited plans do not.
Kevin Ng, the developer behind the label Pixels on Toast, has posted an interesting discussion of the challenges facing game developers should the next iPad launch with a 2048 x 1536 Retina display. Ng notes that such a high-resolution screen will require four times the video memory, and will also require much larger assets, which could make the current 20MB 3G download size cap that much of a hassle, if not downright untenable; he suggests the limit will be raised for iPad apps should the next iPad launch with a Retina display.
100% crop of Food Run on non-Retina display
Ng also raises questions regarding the artwork required for high-resolution games. “So the question that us iOS developers are asking ourselves is, are we ready for this?”, Ng asks. “Not all iOS developers make their artwork using vectors. Many of the more hand-drawn titles will have pixel-based source art, meaning that unless they were working in high resolution to begin with, there is going to have to be a lot of reworking to fully support the new displays.”
100% crop of Food Run output at 2048 x 1536
He continues, “Titles using 3D graphics will be in a better state of readiness than bitmap games. It’s likely that just a few lines of code will enable these games to run on the new display. However, for best results, games developers are going to have to raise the resolutions of their textures, otherwise the 3D models will look smeary, albeit with sharply defined silhouettes.” Ng notes that games that are 2D vector in nature, including his upcoming title Food Run, are in the best shape, as they are already Retina capable. Apple is widely expected to include a Retina display in the next iPad, which it will announce at a special media event on March 7.
- March 1, 2012
- iPhone Accessories
Eyn—short for “everything you need”—has released its eponymous case for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Made from high quality polycarbonate, the eyn case offers open access to all ports, controls, and cameras, with a slide-off bottom on the front for insertion and removal. A hinged back cover offers storage space for three bank cards or ID and cash, as well as a eyelet for attaching a wristlet, the ability to serve as a stand, and an enclosed mirror on the inner back of the case. The eyn case for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is available now in black, white, and pink, and sells for $30.
- March 1, 2012
- iPhone Accessories
CalypsoCrystal has introduced its new CalypsoPad for the iPhone. Designed for those who use their iPhone without a case, the CalypsoPad is made from either beige patterned or dark natural Italian leather, and offers a safe surface on which to lay the phone, as well as a built-in charging cable holder with a magnetic closure. CalypsoCrystal’s handcrafted CalypsoPad for the iPhone is available now and sells for $39.
Offline web reading service Readability has released an official native iOS application. The free universal app allows Readability users to sync and access their saved web articles on their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad while on the go. Designed to focus on simplicity, the application provides a clean, minimalist reading interface with impressive typography and intuitive gesture controls for managing and navigating content. Users can access and manage their current reading list as well as starred and archived items and can share items to Facebook and Twitter from directly within the app.
Readability originally attempted to release a native iOS application last year, but the app was rejected by Apple for not using the App Store’s in-app purchasing for its Premium subscription service. Instead, Readability continued as a web-based application specifically optimized for the iPhone and iPad Safari browser and the company partnered with other developers to provide Readability integration into other news and reading apps such as Reeder, Pulse, Longform and Early Edition 2. It is also worth noting that earlier this year the company changed its subscription model to remove the requirement for a paid subscription to access the full set of Readability features; instead subscriptions are now voluntary donations to support the Readability service and writers. Readability is a universal app requiring iOS 4.2 or late and is available from the App Store as a free download.