News | iLounge

News

Browse News by Category:

Apple now offering refurbished third-gen iPads

Apple is now offering a range of refurbished third-generation iPads on its online store. Pricing for the refurbished units starts at $449 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model and goes up to $779 for a 64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Notably, both black and white versions of both models are available, as are both AT&T and Verizon variants of + cellular models. As with all Apple refurbished products, all of them include a full one-year Apple warranty.

Apple airs new third-gen iPad commercial

Apple has started to air a new TV commercial for the third-generation iPad. Entitled “All On iPad”, the ad follows the patten of prior third-gen iPad ads, showing the device performing various tasks in front of a white background while a narrator speaks. “Read it, Tweet it, be surprised, be productive,” the narrator reads. “Make a sale, make some lunch, make a movie night. Play a game, or an old favorite. Do it all more beautifully with the Retina Display on iPad.” The new commercial is available for viewing from the above link or in embedded form below.

iOS 6 beta 4 removes YouTube, adds Bluetooth Sharing

A couple of noteworthy changes have been made to iOS 6 as of the fourth beta update. Perhaps most notably, Apple has removed YouTube from the list of built-in apps. YouTube was a last-minute pre-launch addition to the iPhone in 2007, and has remained a built-in app across all iOS devices since. Apple has recently moved to distance its mobile platform from Google in iOS 6, however, replacing the latter’s Maps service with an in-house solution. The YouTube app had not been updated in some time; Apple may simply be leaving its development up to Google, which will presumably be able to release a new YouTube app as a free download from the App Store.

In addition, a new “Bluetooth Sharing” menu has appeared inside the Settings app. Found under the Privacy heading, it lists apps that have requested the ability to share data via Bluetooth. While its exact purpose is currently unknown, it is possible that this menu could tie-in to the Bluetooth 4 linking feature revealed by iLounge in a report last week.

Update: Apple has released a statement regarding the removal of the YouTube app. “Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.”

Apple seeds iOS 6 beta 4 to developers

Apple has released the fourth beta version of iOS 6 to developers. As with prior iOS 6 beta updates, beta 4 is available as an over-the-air software update or as a direct download from the iOS Dev Center, and is accompanied by a new beta version of the Apple TV software, as well as an updated version of Xcode and the iOS 6 SDK. The new version is listed as build 10A5376e; it is unclear what changes may be contained in the release. iOS 6 beta 4 is available now to registered iOS developers.

AT&T making Mobile Share plans available August 23

AT&T has announced that it will make its Mobile Share plans available starting August 23. Announced in July, the plans are designed for customers with multiple devices, and offer a set amount of data and unlimited talk and text; an additional fee is charged for each device on the plan. Plans start at $40 for 1GB of monthly data and go up to $200 for 20GB, while the cost of adding each smartphone to the plan varies based on the amount of data included—each smartphone costs $45 on the 1GB plan, but only $30 when you choose one of the three most expensive plans. In addition, customers can add basic phones to their plans for $30 a month, laptops, netbooks, and LaptopConnect cards for $20 a month, and, most importantly for iPad users, tablets and gaming devices for just $10 a month; additional data will be charged at a rate of $15 per GB.

Parrot introduces AR.Drone Academy

Parrot has released an update to its FreeFlight app for the AR.Drone iOS-controlled Quadricopter introducing AR.Drone Academy, a new online component allowing users to track flight information, watch and share their videos and more. Users can create an online pilot profile from within the app and can then take advantage of a collection of new tracking, mapping and sharing features, including the ability to track flight data such as altitude, speed and duration of flights. Tracking data can be reviewed as graphics or text alongside playback of recorded in-flight video.

AR.Drone Academy also allows users to view their flights geolocated on a map from which they can browse flight locations, watch recorded videos and view pictures and flight data. A Hotspots feature also helps users find ideal places to fly as reported by other AR.Drone users along with tips on both ideal conditions and dangerous spots. Users can upload videos and pictures to the service for online access, backup and sharing via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Picasa. A social component within the AR.Drone Academy also allows users to mingle with other AR.Drone pilots to view their shared content and compare stats. FreeFlight is a universal app requiring iOS 5.0 or later and an AR.Drone and is available from the App Store as a free download. More information on the AR.Drone Academy can be found on Parrot’s web site at http://ardrone2.parrot.com/ar-drone-academy.

AT&T to move to iPad-based Point of Sale system?

AT&T has plans to move to an iPad-based Point of Sale system over the next two years, according to a new report. Citing unnamed sources as well as an AT&T spokesperson, 9to5Mac reports that the new system, which is being tested in AT&T’s Chicago “concept store”, will give employees the ability to perform all functions currently handled on behind-the-counter PCs on the iPad. These will include upgrade checks, account research, and servicing as point-of-sale terminals. The report goes on to claim that stores will receive Wi-Fi base stations meant specifically for the iPad system, and that lockers will be added to the back of the store for storage of the devices. According to the report, AT&T plans to aggressively deploy the new system for a larger test in a number of markets by early next year.

Apple patent points to advanced Smart Cover

A recently published Apple patent application suggests the company is working on a Smart Cover for the iPad that offers more functionality than the current accessory. Notably, the patent outlines a flexible display embedded in the cover itself, receiving power and data via a connector on the side. According to the patent, the display may be touch-sensitive, or may have a portion of the cover flap dedicated to an eInk display, which would require no power to maintain state. As noted by Engadget, possible uses for such a display are space for extra icons, media controls, or as a notification display; an image accompanying the patent application also shows a portion of the cover’s interior being used as a keyboard, like Microsoft’s recently announced Surface tablet cover. As with all Apple patents, this application does not necessarily represent any future product release from Apple, but offers evidence of the company’s research and interest in this area.

IDC: iPad increases worldwide tablet market share

According to the latest data from IDC, Apple’s iPad continues to lead the worldwide tablet market, and by a wider margin than just one year ago. IDC estimates that Apple’s second calendar-quarter shipments of 17 million iPads accounted for 68.2 percent of the worldwide tablet market, up from 61.5 percent in the second calendar quarter of 2011. While the tablet market as a whole grew at a year-over-year rate of 66.2 percent, Apple’s growth is pegged at 84.3 percent, bested only by Samsung, which holds a 9.6 percent share of the market thanks to 117.6 percent year-over-year growth, and ASUS, which saw its shipments grow 115.5 percent year-over-year, good for 3.4 percent of the market. Following Apple and coming in third between Samsung and ASUS was Amazon with 5 percent of the market; Acer rounds out the top five with 1.5 percent of the market.

Infinity Blade II: Skycages content update released

Epic Games and Chair Entertainment have released another new content update for the critically acclaimed iOS game Infinity Blade II. The new content pack, dubbed Skycages, expands upon the storyline of the Deathless with new areas to explore and relics to discover along with new enemies, weapons and other items. The update also includes a completely new weapon type to master—the Solar Transport Energy Blades along with a collection of 30 new other weapons, magic rings, shields, helmets and armor. New Achievements have also been added, as well as new gems and treasure maps and exclusive ClashMob challenges. Infinity Blade II is a universal app requiring an iPhone 3GS/4/4S, third- or fourth-generation iPod touch or iPad and is available from the App Store for $3.

First day of Apple v. Samsung trial proves lively

The opening statements and first testimony were given yesterday as the trial between Apple and Samsung kicked off in San Jose, CA. Reuters reports that Apple attorney Harold McElhinny gave the opening statement, focusing on the dramatic difference in design between Samsung’s pre-iPhone handsets and those that came after the iPhone’s launch. During the statement, McElhinny showed jurors an internal Samsung product analysis which said the iPhone’s hardware was “easy to copy”; another said the company was in a “crisis of design” due to Apple’s handset. “As we all know it is easier to copy than to innovate,” McElhinny told the court. “Apple had already taken the risks.”

The first expert witness called was longtime Apple designer Christopher Stringer, who helped design the iPhone and also shed light on Apple’s internal design process. Cnet recounts his testimony, during which he said that the process for any product begins with lots of sketching, before heading off to a CAD phase, and said his team’s role is to “imagine objects that don’t exist, and guide the process that brings them to life.” “We work together around a kitchen table,” Stringer said. “We have our lives all around the products. In some ways it feels like a small company.” Regarding the iPhone, Stinger was very direct in his criticism of Samsung’s devices. “We’ve been ripped off, it’s plain to see. It’s offensive,” he said. “It’s a huge leap of imagination to come up with something new, that’s something we did. By which you have to dismiss everything you know, forget everything you know, it can be difficult.”

Apple senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller briefly took the stand towards the end of the day, and discussed influences on Apple’s products. “We don’t use any customer input in the new product process,” Schiller said. “We never go and ask the customer, ‘What feature do you want in the next product?’ It’s not the customer’s job to know. We accumulate that information ourselves.” Schiller is expected to testify again when proceedings resume on Friday, the New York Times reports.

The day ended with Judge Lucy H. Koh demanding to know who on Samsung’s legal team authorized the public release of evidence that she had ordered excluded from the case. The release of the evidence—which was related to a Sony-inspired, Apple-created iPhone design—was accompanied by a statement from Samsung, which has been reprinted by AllThingsD. “The Judge’s exclusion of evidence on independent creation meant that even though Apple was allowed to inaccurately argue to the jury that the F700 was an iPhone copy, Samsung was not allowed to tell the jury the full story and show the pre-iPhone design for that and other phones that were in development at Samsung in 2006, before the iPhone,” the statement reads. “The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design. Fundamental fairness requires that the jury decide the case based on all the evidence.”

Apple event ‘confirmed’ for September 12

Apple is expected to hold a special media event on the week of September 12, according to two new reports. Citing sources who have been accurate in the past, iMore first reported that Apple will hold an event on September 12, and AllThingsD has since “confirmed” with unnamed sources that Apple is currently planning an event for that week. While the latter report simply speculates that the event will include the introduction of the next-generation iPhone, iMore claims that the handset will be unveiled at the event—ahead of a September 21 release—alongside a smaller iPad. Notably, iLounge reported earlier that the iPad mini will not be ready to ship as the same time as the new iPhone, and as such may see its debut moved to a separate event; our report also mentions that the fifth-generation iPod touch is likely to debut at the same event as the new iPhone.

More iPhone, iPad prototypes revealed in court documents

Photos of a number of new, early iPhone and iPad prototypes have been revealed as part of the ongoing case between Apple and Samsung. The Verge has published a number of the photos, including some showing an iPad prototype with a built-in kickstand and iPod branding, CAD drawings of an iPad from 2004 that look quite similar to the iPad we have today. Also featured are a number of iPhone prototypes, including one with eight sides thanks to diagonal corners, early models with “MENU” written on the Home button, and one labeled “n90”—the supposed codename for the iPhone 4—that lacks a Home button and appears to have a much smaller screen than that device, despite sharing some aesthetic qualities. You can see the full gallery at the above link.

Apple gets stay on Samsung non-copy notice

Apple has received a stay on a court order that would have led to it posting pro-Samsung messages. Bloomberg reports that a London court has ruled that the order — which called for Apple to post a notice on its U.K. site and take out advertisements in British newspapers explaining that Samsung hadn’t copied the iPad — will be stayed until after Apple’s appeal is heard in October.

Google Earth adds 3D imagery, Tour Guide

Google has released a major update to its Google Earth iOS app adding support for 3D cityscapes along with a new Tour Guide feature. Google Earth 7.0 now allows users to access a 3D flyover view of select cities; 3D imagery currently is currently available for Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Geneva and Rome with new cities said to be added in the coming weeks. A new Tour Guide feature in the latest version also allows users to virtually explore new places with tours of major cities, historic landmarks and natural wonders. Google Earth 7.0 is a universal app requiring iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download. The new 3D imagery feature requires an iPhone 4S, iPad 2 or third-generation iPad.

Angry Birds Space adds new levels, characters

Rovio has released another free content update to Angry Birds Space, the latest instalment in its popular game franchise. The new update expands upon the food planet Utopia series introduced in May, adding two new characters and 20 additional levels. The Orange Bird gets a superhero makeover in this edition and a brand new space egg character is introduced. The update also includes 10 new bonus levels that can be unlocked by achieving three stars on the prior levels and a gigantic new boss fight to test players’ skills. Angry Birds Space is available in separate iPhone/iPod touch and iPad versions: Angry Birds ($1) and Angry Birds HD ($3).

Apple updates iWork iOS apps for Mountain Lion

Apple has released updates to Pages, Numbers and Keynote for compatibility with the new iCloud Documents features in Mountain Lion and the corresponding Mac OS X updates released yesterday. The three apps, now at version 1.6.1, simply now list that they work with iCloud to make documents, spreadsheets and presentations automatically available between iOS devices and the corresponding Mac OS X applications, with changes made on one device now being “instantly available” on the other. The three iWork apps for iOS were originally updated to add iCloud support last fall with the initial debut of iCloud in iOS 5, allowing users to share documents, spreadsheets and presentations between multiple iOS devices. However, iCloud support did not come to iWork for the Mac until yesterday’s release of OS X Mountain Lion; these latest iOS updates appear to be primarily focused on ensuring compatibility with iCloud on the Mac. Pages, Numbers and Keynote 1.6.1 are universal apps and require iOS 5.1 or later. Each is sold separately from the App Store for $10.

 

Apple updates Podcasts app

Apple has released a minor update to its Podcasts app focused on performance, stability and usability improvements. Originally released last month, the new standalone Podcasts app is designed to replace the Podcast playback functionality previously incorporated into the iOS Music app with additionl features such as the ability to search for and subscribe to new podcasts and download or stream podcast episodes over a 3G or Wi-Fi connection.

In addition to listing “significant improvements to performance and stability,” the Podcasts 1.0.1 update adds several small user interface tweaks, including displaying the number of unplayed episodes for each Podcast in the user’s library, displaying the Podcast titles in Top Stations in place of missing artwork, remembering the last-used playback speed when switching between episodes, and fixing problems with the Subscribe button and Top Stations artwork. Podcasts 1.0.1 is a universal app requiring iOS 5.1 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.

iTunes U app adds Notes, Sharing, Improved Search

Apple has released an update to its universal iTunes U app adding new note-taking and sharing features and improvements to searching within the app. iTunes U 1.2 now allowed users to take notes directly in the app while watching or listening to a lecture. An improved search feature now allows users to search for text within posts, assignments, notes and other course materials from any of their subscribed courses, and users can now also share their favourite courses with friends via Twitter, Mail or Messages. iTunes U 1.2 is a universal app requiring iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.

Notes from Apple’s Q3 2012 Conference Call

During Apple’s third quarter 2012 financial results conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer made a number of comments related to Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod businesses.

Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO, opened the conference call by calling attention to the company’s record June quarter, which he said was fueled primarily by strong iPhone and iPad sales.

He said that iPod sales, though down year-over-year, were ahead of internal projections, and as with the past few quarters, the iPod touch accounted for over half of iPod sales. U.S. share of the MP3 player market remained at over 70 percent. He added that iPhone is now available from over 250 carriers in over 100 countries, and said that the company estimates that the number of Fortune 500 iPhones has doubled over the last year.

Regarding iPad, Oppenheimer said the company was “thrilled” with sales. The company saw very strong year-over-year growth globally, and the iPad is now available in 97 countries. Just under one million iPads were sold into the education market during the quarter, and Oppenheimer said sales of iPad 2 in K-12 market were particularly strong. Notably, the iTunes U app has been downloaded over 14 million times, and over 700 new courses have been added.

Overall, over 410 million iOS devices have now been sold. The App Store now offers 650,000 apps, 225,000 of which are tailored to the iPad. Apple has now issued over $5.5 billion in payments to developers, and now boasts 150 million iCloud users.

During the Q&A session, both executives made several comments of interest.

Oppenheimer said that weekly iPhone sales continue to be impacted by rumors and speculation related to new products, a subject that would come up later, when Tim Cook replied to a pointed question about iPhone transitions. Cook said that he’s happy that people want the next thing, and added that he’s not going to put any energy into trying to get people to stop speculating about what the company may be doing next.

Discussing iPhone pricing in emerging markets, Cook said that the company has been very focused on China, seeing it as an enormous opportunity. He said that he firmly believed that people in emerging markets want great products, so Apple is going to stick to its “knitting,” and continue to make the best products it can.

Cook also discussed the iPad pricing umbrella, competing tablets, and the decision to offer the iPad 2 for $399 alongside the third-generation iPad. He said that iPad 2 did very well during the quarter. In terms of competition, he said Apple has seen tons of tablets come onto the market this year, and doesn’t think any of them have gained serious traction. He said the company is going to keep innovating in the space, and feels really confident about its momentum. Later, when discussing the iPad 2’s price point, he said that the company believed it would help drive elasticity, and it certainly helped in the K-12 market. He added that it’s been a big help to Apple, and he’s glad the company did it.

Discussing the Apple TV, Cook said that Apple sold 1.3 million in the third quarter, up over 170 percent year-over-year, bringing sales for the year to over 4 million. He said that’s still at a level that Apple would call a hobby, but it continue to invest in it, and there are a lot of people at Apple who are believers in Apple TV.

Finally, when asked if Passbook be a stepping stone to a digital wallet, he said that it’s a key feature, and that employees of Apple all found themselves receiving all these tickets and passes. He said it does a great job of pulling all those together in one place. He again called it an important feature, but said that he wouldn’t want to speculate on where it might lead.

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 - 2018 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

/* * * APPLE AFFILIATE LINK MAKER * * */