- August 30, 2013
A judge recently dismissed a lawsuit involving claims of a faulty power button on the iPhone 4 and 4S. Two iPhone owners were seeking a national class action lawsuit, alleging that Apple and AT&T conspired to hide evidence of a defective cable that caused power button issues. But U.S. District Judge Gary Feess ruled Apple was not obligated to disclose defects that occurred after the iPhone’s warranty expired. An almost identical lawsuit, filed by a Florida woman, is still ongoing. [via GigaOM]
Algoriddim’s djay 2 has been updated for both iPhone ($2) and iPad ($10) to version 2.0.2. Both versions have added support for the Pioneer DDJ-WeGO2 DJ controller, improved syncing with tapped BPM, an improved “analyze library,” and improved sampler button mapping for supported DJ controllers. The iPhone version has also added Slip Mode in waveform view.
Flickr (free) from Yahoo! has updated to version 2.20.1134. With the update comes filters, which have become popular in other photo apps. Flickr features stock and customizable filters, as well as live filters, which show what the filtered picture will look like before taking the shot. New camera tools have been added, including grids, pinch-to-zoom, and locking focus and exposure points. Additionally, pro editing tools such as enhance, crop, sharpen, and more are free to use within the app. New animated transitions between the camera and editing tools have also been added.
Apple will soon launch its AppleCare+ extended warranty program in Europe, according to a French report. AppleCare+ was introduced for the iPhone in the U.S. in 2011, and later expanded to include the iPad in addition to launching in Canada and Japan. Despite rumours of a U.K. launch last year, AppleCare+ was never made available in Europe, which continues to offer customers the standard AppleCare Protection Plan. AppleCare+ is an enhanced version of the standard AppleCare plan which provides iPhone and iPad users with coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage due to handling. No exact timeline or specific countries were mentioned in the report. Notably, Apple has had issues involving properly informing customers about warranty rights in a number of European countries. [via iGen.fr (translated link)]
Despite recent speculation, it’s unlikely that Apple’s iPhone 5S will actually contain a 64-bit chip, according to a new report. ARM Ltd’s first 64-bit mobile processor cores aren’t expected to appear in smartphones until 2014, and a shift from 32-bit to 64-bit architectures would only yield an 8 to 10 percent performance boost on its own, suggests ARM’s James Bruce. Bruce also said the industry will move to 64-bit mobile chips “over the next four years,” starting with the Cortex-A53, ARM’s first 64-bit mobile processor. The report concludes with the assumption that Apple is indeed pursuing and testing 64-bit chips, but such tests can’t be taken as definitive evidence that such a chip is forthcoming this year. [via Network World]
EA’s Madden NFL 25 (Free*) has taken the “freemium” game model to ridiculous extremes. Feeling more like a shakedown than a football game, Madden is free to play, but rubs artificial-feeling limitations in your face well before your team can take the field. Before you get to play the game, you’re told that you’re being given some basic player cards and enough credit to play a game for free, after which the title tries to sell you Madden Cash using in-app purchases. Paying lets you keep playing a seriously stripped-down version of Madden football using very simple tap and touch controls, but in some cases, you’ll have to unlock individual plays, as well as players. If paying outright for player cards didn’t seem silly enough, Madden includes an in-app auction where players can compete against each other to buy cards for certain players. We can’t imagine anyone paying anything—let alone $100, as offered in one in-app purchase—to keep playing a game that has nowhere near the depth or content of a console football title. The in-game graphics aren’t much better than football titles from two years ago, Retina support not withstanding, and the audio’s nothing special, either. Our advice: skip this one.
Notability ($5) from Ginger Labs has updated to version 5.01, and is now universal on all iOS devices. The note-taking app has also added iCloud support to keep notes updated on any iOS device running iOS 6 or later. A new scissor tool lets users scale and rotate handwriting. Themes have gotten a new look and feel, and one new theme has been added, as well.
Apple’s new iPhone trade-in program, the iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program, will roll out in select Apple stores this Friday, August 30, according to 9to5Mac. The program will roll out on a larger scale in September. Apple store employees will offer a value for an old iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S or 5 based on display and button quality, hardware and liquid damage, engraving, and if the device powers on and works normally. When trading in the device, customers will receive a gift card with the determined value amount to go toward the new iPhone. Customers will receive the old SIM card and employees will offer to setup the new iPhone.
As was reported in June, BrightStar will handle shipping and processing. Non-functioning iPhones with no worth will also be recycled through BrightStar. It’s also noted that “trade-in pricing for the iPhones is slightly below the competition.” An unlocked, undamaged 16GB iPhone 5 could net about $279, and an AT&T version of the same iPhone will be worth around $255, both below current Gazelle rates. A GSM 8GB iPhone 4 “will be worth between $120 and $140,” while the CDMA version will be closer to $80.
Update (Aug. 30): Apple is rolling out its in-store iPhone trade-in program nationwide today, according to a CNBC tweet. It was initially reported that Apple would roll out the program in select stores before a larger rollout, but it now appears the company is launching the program in all U.S. Apple stores.
Apple is getting ready to launch its rumored iPhone trade-in program in its retail stores in September, according to a new report. The program will let customers trade in older iPhones for new models. A June report claimed Apple would be launching its trade-in program that month, but this most recent report claims a planned July launch was “pushed back for unspecified reasons.” In addition to pushing iPhone sales, Apple believes the program will convince customers to trade in damaged iPhones for newer devices, so Genius Bar workers will be able to concentrate on issues other than getting customers refurbished replacement phones. Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly emphasized selling more iPhones in Apple stores, and it would make sense for Apple to introduce such a program around the release of the company’s newest iPhones next month. [via 9to5Mac]
- August 26, 2013
Several late-breaking rumors suggest that the iPhone 5S may include a speed bump, gesture control capabilities, and a graphite/black color option similar to the first-generation iPhone. According to a tweet from Fox News’ Clayton Morris, the iPhone 5S new A7 chip is running “about 31% faster than A6,” providing the first apparent quantification for a June rumor that an A7 chip was inside iPhone 5S prototypes. Separately, 9to5Mac notes that some 5S prototypes have contained 64-bit versions of the A7, which would smooth graphics and animations. Morris has also heard “there’s a separate chip devoted to motion tracking,” tweeting, “Should be an interesting camera upgrade.” Some speculation suggests that the motion tracking could go beyond just automatic camera adjustments, and aid in controlling the iPhone without touching the screen.
Finally, a leak of iPhone 5S parts by Sonny Dickson suggests that Apple has been testing another color option: a graphite metal and black glass color combination. The parts clearly show a metal iPhone 5-style chassis that is slightly darker in color than the white and silver iPhone 5S, with black — not white — antenna interruption bars on the sides.
Following news last week that Apple will be unveiling its next-generation iPhone at a September 10th event, reports have surfaced from both Japan and Greece pointing to a September 20th release date for the new iPhone. This schedule tracks with the past two major iPhone releases, which traditionally landed on the Friday of the week following Apple’s announcement of new hardware. While Apple is expected to unveil both high-end and low-end models at the event, it’s unclear whether they will both hit stores on the same day, or separately. [via 9to5Mac]
2K Drive, a racing simulation game for iPhone and iPad, will launch this fall, 2K Games announced. 2K and Lucid Games are behind the game, with Lucid being a boutique studio founded by the creators of Project Gotham Racing and Blur. The racing game will feature single and multiplayer modes, including track racing, drag racing, street racing, off-road racing, and mini-games.
More than 25 licensed cars will be included in the game. 2K Games has recently released a number of notable iOS games, including XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Haunted Hollow, and Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol.
Apple has released iOS 7 beta 6, earlier than expected, as a small patch to beta 5. The sixth beta addresses an issue with iTunes in the Cloud, in which some purchases may download or play unexpected items. Apple just released the fifth beta last week.. iOS 7 beta 6 is available through Apple’s developer portal or Software Update in iOS settings.
Amtrak has updated its free app to version 1.6. The app now features redesigned station details with more features, including more hours and improved map integration. Recently selected stations are now included in the station list for easy access. It’s also easier to switch arrival and departure stations on search pages.
The free Flipboard app is now at version 2.0.5, and with the update comes… GIFs, which are now supported on Flipboard for both iPad and iPhone. The day’s top stories have also been divided into sections for News, Tech, Business, and Sports.
Apple will release the gold master version of iOS 7 to employees and partners “around” Sept. 5, according to a report. The gold master build will then be released to developers on Sept. 10, the day of Apple’s next iPhone event. Though the report isn’t verified, it’s not a stretch to believe Apple will release the gold master to developers on that day based on past events. That version of iOS will likely be released as the finished product — with possible slight variations — a few days before the release of the next iPhone. [via BGR]
CBS Sports (free) from CBS Interactive now features full iPad support. Version 6.0 of the redesigned app features live video, including SEC football games, NCAA basketball games, PGA Tour events, and various CBS Sports shows. When it comes to live scores, CBS Sports doesn’t offer scoring in as many leagues as ESPN’s ScoreCenter, but it’s still extensive and won’t affect most users of the app. Considering how quick and reliable scoring is on CBS Sports’ website, the CBS Sports app will likely be a good alternative to other popular offerings.
KeyMe’s free KeyMe: Digital Keychain is an interesting new app that allows users to take a picture of their house keys for storage in the cloud. The app offers instructions on making the keys from scratch, so that if users get locked out, they could conceivably go to a local hardware store or locksmith to get a new key. KeyMe also lets users order copies of keys directly from the app for $10 each. The keys are then mailed to the user, in a number of different designs. It’s also possible to share digital copies of keys with family and friends.
- August 12, 2013
Apple’s upcoming iPhone will indeed be called the iPhone 5S, according to a new report from Macotakara, which also makes several claims regarding specifics of the model that is now expected to debut in September. First, the report suggests that a third color option beyond black or white will in fact be offered — a gold iPhone 5S, matching prior component leaks. Second, the rounded square icon seen on all prior iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad Home Buttons may be removed for this model, due to inclusion of a fingerprint sensor. A report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via 9to5Mac) suggests that the new button will be slightly convex, and made from sapphire, a switch from the concave plastic in prior Home Buttons.
Third, it’s claimed that the iPhone 5S camera will be improved with a faster f/2.0 lens to increase light gathering capabilities, but the sensor will stay at 8-Megapixels; reports have differed on whether the sensor would jump in megapixel count this time. A separate leak (via AppleInsider) also appears to confirm that the new camera will include a dual-LED flash system.
Apple will unveil its next-generation iPhone at a September 10 event, according to a report from AllThingsD—a publication that is frequently fed accurate advance details on upcoming product releases by Apple. AllThingsD says that the event will focus on the “update it has in store for the current iPhone,” but doesn’t definitively rule in or out an unveiling of the well-documented but still unannounced low-cost iPhone. “Naturally, any new phones will be running iOS 7,” the report notes, suggesting that the public release of the operating system first shown in June will also take place in September.
The report suggests that the event is unlikely to see the release of OS X Mavericks, and says there is “no indication” that Apple’s television or watch products are “close to debuting.” Nothing was said about new iPads, iPods, or other products.
T-Mobile may soon carry more Apple products, as CEO John Legere alluded to the possibility in a recent interview. “I think there’s a whole array of Apple products that we look forward to carrying,” Legere told AllThingsD. “We will expand what we offer from them.” Legere may have been referring to WiFi + Cellular iPads, Apple’s new upcoming iPhones, or all of those devices.
Burbn’s Instagram (free) app is now at version 4.1. Two major features are included in this update: users can now import any videos from their camera roll, instead of having to use Instagram itself to record the video. Also, Instagram now automatically straightens photos when taken with the Instagram camera.
Pi’ikea Street’s Interactive Alphabet ABCs, ($3) a long-time iLounge editors’ favorite for kids, has just reached version 3.01—a milestone that adds letter tracing and an add-your-own-image mode. The letter trading feature is really well-conceived, using illuminating lights to track the path of a child’s finger, and providing both helpful clues and rewards to encourage progress. Separately, the photo feature lets parents add their own photos, words, and sounds to the app’s Explore mode, presenting each photo as an alternate page for a given alphabet letter — a cool way to add “D is for Daddy” or “M is for Mommy,” just to name a couple of examples. Pi’ikea Street has effectively added another app worth of content to the title, yet it has cut Interactive Alphabet’s footprint in half. It was already a must-download app for young kids; this update further cements its excellent reputation.
The sequel to the excellent Mayan Puzzle, Mind Crew’s just-released Aztec Puzzle ($2) is all about redirecting flowing elements — water, fire, earth, and air, represented by moving lines passing through directional arrows — from one place to another using a limited amount of moves. The game has 72 total levels, and a “pure mode” to cut out distractions. It may not be as aesthetically impressive as Mayan Puzzle was, but Aztec Puzzle is a fun, challenging game, with some neat special effects and interesting challenges.
Double Fine Productions’ Dropchord ($3) is a quick-moving game, conceptually inspired by the classic Atari game Missile Command. Dropchord initially challenges you to control a line-shaped beam of light by using two fingers on opposite sides of the screen. Moving one finger up or down moves one of the beam’s sides up or down, while moving both fingers at the same time lets you twist the beam around inside an on-screen circle filled with moving dots that need to be popped with the beam. Other levels include one- and two-finger dot-tapping challenges, breaking up the action. There are tons of psychedelic special effects recalling beloved console games such as Atari’s Tempest 2000 and Sega’s Rez, as well as an impressive electronic soundtrack.
Apple has released iOS 7 beta 5 to registered developers. The fourth beta was released just last week after Apple’s developer site went down, so it appears Apple is trying to stick to the original release schedule for the iOS 7 betas. As has repeatedly been the case iOS 7 beta 5 only lists “bug fixes and improvements” as features, and is available for developers through Software Update in iOS settings, or Apple’s developer portal.
Update: Apple has also released Apple TV Software beta 4.