News | iLounge


Browse News by Category:

White iPhone 4 listings appear at AT&T

Following appearances in the inventory systems of Vodafone Germany and Best Buy, a pair of listings for the white iPhone 4 have appeared in AT&T’s Online Account Management system. The listings, pointed to by Boy Genius Report, read as “iPhone 4 - 16GB White” and “iPhone 4 - 32GB White” and offer further evidence that the long-awaited variant may be close to launch. The prior listings in Best Buy’s inventory system listed a release date of February 27, however, it is unclear whether this will be the actual release date, as the 27th is a Sunday and Apple typically launches new products on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday in order to generate larger totals of launch weekend sales.

Apple airs new ‘two is better than one’ iPhone spot

Apple has aired its first commercial for the Verizon iPhone 4. Entitled “Two is better than one,” the thirty-second ad features two iPhones—one running on AT&T, one on Verizon—being used for similar tasks in front of a white background. At the end of the spot, the two phones are moved off to their respective sides, leaving the AT&T and Verizon logos behind them, followed by the text “Two is better than one,” and then Apple’s iPhone 4 logotype. As of this writing, Apple has yet to post the commercial to its TV Ad gallery, but the spot is available for viewing on YouTube and in embedded form below.

Verizon posts first iPhone 4 TV commercial

Verizon Wireless has posted to YouTube its first television commercial for the iPhone 4. The commercial, which is devoid of Apple products save for a brief glimpse of a Magic Mouse and Apple keyboard, shows a variety of clocks ticking, some with people watching them count down. As they slowly approach 12:00, a voiceover says, “To our millions of customers who never stopped believing this day would come, thank you.” The commercial ends with Apple’s logo and iPhone 4 type on a white background, followed by the Verizon logo, the “It Begins” slogan, the 2.10.11 launch date, and Verizon’s “Rule the Air” logo. Notably, the spot represents the first such iPhone commercial to air in the U.S. that was seemingly created by the phone’s carrier and not by Apple itself.

Apple blocking user access to iPhone with special screws

Apple is beginning to use specialized screws to seal the outside case of the iPhone 4, according to a new report. Arguing that the move represents an effort by Apple to keep users from being able to repair their own phones, iFixIt reports that Apple is using a new five-point “Pentalobe” screw, for which there are no readily available screwdrivers. According to the report, Apple has used three different sizes of the screw, first using it to secure the battery of the mid-2009 MacBook Pro, then using an extremely small variant on some iPhone 4 units, and employing yet another size to lock users out of the new MacBook Air. In addition, the report claims that should a user bring in for repair an iPhone 4 with standard Phillips screws on the exterior, Apple will replace them with the new, tamper-resistant Pentalobe screws without notifying the customer of the change. As a remedy, iFixIt is offering a $10 “iPhone 4 Liberation Kit,” which includes a five-point screwdriver—good for removing the Pentalobe screws but not recommended for repeated use—along with two Phillips replacement screws and a #00 Phillips screwdriver for future servicing.

iOS 4.3 beta 2 offers more evidence of iPad camera, new features

The second beta version of iOS 4.3 has been shown to offer further evidence of a camera-equipped iPad, as well as hints of a new cloud-based media sharing and syncing service, a new app, and Push Notifications for an existing service. Mac Rumors reports that the new beta includes an image of an iPad home screen with icons for FaceTime, Camera, and Photo Booth pictured, offering further evidence that the next iPad will include at least one camera. According to the report, the image is used to show a preview of the user’s wallpaper selection; it also suggests Apple is porting its standard Mac OS X Photo Booth app to its portable devices.

Also found in iOS 4.3 beta 2 and reported by AppleInsider is a mention of a new Photo Stream image sync feature, which appears to make MobileMe Gallery sharing automatic, which was found inside a “Media Stream” folder. “Photo Stream uploads and stores the last thirty days of your photos on MobileMe and downloads them to all of your devices,” reads the text found in the beta. Finally, 9 to 5 Mac reports that Ping has received the ability to send Push Notifications under iOS 4.3 beta 2. Apple has yet to set a public release date for iOS 4.3, and as with all betas, features are subject to changes and/or removal prior to the official release.

Apple releases iOS 4.3 beta 2 to developers

Apple has released the second beta version of iOS 4.3 to its paid developers. Listed as build number 8F5153d, it is unclear what has changed in the new version from the first, which brought AirPlay functionality to Safari and third-party apps, the Personal Hotspot Internet sharing feature, an option in the Settings app to choose whether the iPad’s side switch acts as a screen rotation lock or as a mute switch, and new four- and five-finger gestures for the iPad. Notably, documentation released alongside the new beta indicates that the aforementioned gestures will not be part of iOS 4.3’s public release, but are instead included in order to gain developer feedback, and the release is accompanied by a new preview build of Apple TV Software 4.3. Separate versions of iOS 4.3 beta 2 for the iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, third-, and fourth-generation iPod touch are available as downloads for paid iOS developers from Apple’s iOS Dev Center.

For more information on iOS 4.3, see our Full Breakdown article.

AT&T plans changes to text message offerings

AT&T is preparing to launch a new text messaging plan while removing two prior options, according to a new report. Citing a leaked image of an internal Best Buy notice, GearLive reports that AT&T is doing away with its prior $5/200 message and $15/1500 message plans, and is launching a new $10 monthly plan that will include 1000 messages, with each additional message costing $0.10. Notably unchanged are the company’s $20 individual unlimited and $30 family unlimited plans. While current customers will be grandfathered in and allowed to keep their current plans, all new customers will have to choose from the new offerings beginning January 23.

AirView displays AirPlay video on iOS devices

Clément Vasseur has released an AirPlay client application for iOS device users. Although the AirPlay technology built into iOS 4.2 allows iOS users to stream content to an AirPlay client device, iOS 4.2 does not currently provide any way to view content from an AirPlay source. AirView is a free universal application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad that allows a device to receive and display AirPlay video streams from another AirPlay-enabled source such as iTunes or another iOS device. Users can simply launch the Airview application on their iOS device which will then appears in a list of AirPlay destinations on other devices. At this time, AirView supports only video streams and not audio or photos. AirView requires iOS 4.2 and is available from the App Store as a free download.

Personal Hotspot coming to iPhone 3GS?

iLounge has received an anonymous tip that the Personal Hotspot feature of iOS 4.3 will work on both the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS. According to our source, who tested it using the first beta version of iOS 4.3, the feature works on the 3GS exactly as it works on the iPhone 4, including the ability to share the device’s 3G network connection over Wi-Fi. Notably, it is up to the individual carriers to support the feature, so while the feature may be present in the OS, it will not show up in users’ Settings app unless it has been enabled by their carrier. In addition, while the feature is present in the current 3GS build of iOS 4.3 beta, it is possible that Apple could remove the feature prior to the public release of the update.

Apple COO Cook alludes to display investment?

During Apple’s first-quarter 2011 financial results conference call today, Apple COO Tim Cook made several statements that suggest the company sees display technology as a potential component investment for the future. When asked about Apple’s long-term investments on components, Cook mentioned the company’s prior $1 billion flash memory investment as something that was important across the product line, and added that the company has identified a similarly important area in recent quarters. Cook said that the company has come into pre-payment agreements in this new area for parts, equipment, and tooling in hopes of achieving a specific competitive advantage. While Cook didn’t directly mention it, separate reports from the same week in December claimed that Apple was expected to supply a portion of the investments required for a new Toshiba LCD plant and Sharp LCD production line, respectively. Both reports specifically mentioned that as a result of Apple’s investment, the new factory and new production line were expected to produce displays primarily for the Cupertino-based company. Given Apple’s reliance on touchscreen technology in its iOS devices, it seems likely that these were the agreements to which Cook was referring during the call.

Update: The investment is worth $3.9 billion dollars over two years, and involves three vendors. Apple made pre-payments of $650 million during the last quarter, and expects to make $1.05 billion in payments during the March quarter.

Verizon offering $200 credit to recent phone buyers upgrading to iPhone 4

Verizon’s iPhone 4 FAQ page indicates that it will offer a $200 credit to recent phone purchasers who would like to buy an iPhone instead. “Current Verizon customers who purchased and activated new smartphones, feature phones or certified pre-owned phones between 11/26/2010, and 01/10/2011, are eligible to receive up to a $200 Visa debit card when they purchase an iPhone 4 at full retail price by 02/28/2011 and return their existing phone,” reads the page. It also notes that the offer will only be available on consumer accounts with five of less lines, and to be eligible the customer must purchase the iPhone 4 through Verizon Wireless stores, telesales, or from the company’s website. Verizon Wireless will launch the iPhone 4 on February 10. [via BGR]

White iPhone 4 appears in Vodafone inventory system (Updated)

Listings for the white iPhone 4 have appeared in Vodafone Germany’s inventory system, according to a new report. Citing an anonymous source who provided screenshots of the listings, Engadget reports that listings for both the 16GB and 32GB white models were found; the source said to expect a launch “soon.” Apple has repeatedly delayed the white iPhone 4 since its unveiling last year, first from June 2010 until July, then from July until late 2010, before being slated for a Spring 2011 rollout last October.

Update: Mac Rumors reports that similar listings have now been found in Best Buy’s inventory system, with a listed release date of February 27.

iOS 4.3 beta contains Imagination SGX543 GPU driver

New code found within the first iOS 4.3 beta suggests Apple is planning to incorporate the POWERVR SGX543 GPU from Imagination Technologies into an upcoming product or products. Mac Rumors reports that the SGX543 is said to deliver seven million more polygons per second and double the fillrate of the older SGX535 that is found in Apple’s A4 chip. In addition, the new GPU offers support for the Apple-backed OpenCL specification, which allows applications to tap unused GPU processing power for general computing tasks, as well as support for multi-core configurations. Notably, a rumor from late 2009—the chip itself was announced that January—suggested that Sony was interested in using the chip as the graphics processor for its second-generation PSP handheld gaming console, suggesting that Apple and Sony are on a similar path when it comes to portable gaming.

Kindle adds e-book import, background downloads

Amazon has released an update to its Kindle app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad adding the ability to open and import supported e-book formats. Kindle 2.5 now allows users to open e-book files from sites such as Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive directly from the Safari browser or Mail app using the “Open in” feature in iOS 4. Supported ebook formats can also be transferred to a user’s device via USB using the File Sharing feature in iTunes. The new version also adds the ability to continue downloading books while the app is in the background, improves the image zoom feature and provides a new book indicator and miscellaneous bug fixes. Kindle for iOS is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.

Task Ave provides simple location-aware task reminders

Task Ave has released an iPhone application aimed at providing task reminders based on a users’ location. Task Ave allows users to easily create reminders that are triggered when the user is within a set proximity of a specific location where something needs to be done. Locations can be added manually or via search and tasks can be added and edited directly on a map view or by using a more traditional list view. The application allows users to choose the proximity at which they wish to be notified from 500m and 13km and users can opt for either GPS tracking or simplified cell tower tracking to conserve battery. Task reminders can be disabled by location and users can configure the app to remove completed tasks automatically. Task Ave is available from the App Store for $3.

Verizon CEO: Carrier ‘never in the running’ for original iPhone

Speaking in an interview with BusinessWeek, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg made several comments relating to Apple, the iPhone, and Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Asked whether he thought Apple made unreasonable demands when it was shopping the first iPhone, Seidenberg replied, “No. That was all part of the sort of mating dance they were going through. But most of that [was] used not against us, but used against the carriers they ended up signing with, all right? So no, I didn’t think the terms were all that serious because we were never in the running.” Seidenberg also revealed that he personally called Steve Jobs and went to visit him about the possibility of bringing the iPhone to Verizon; Lowell McAdam, Verizon Wireless’ president and COO, also made calls and visits to Apple COO Tim Cook in hopes of securing a relationship with the company.

“In terms of Steve Jobs, I think this is just another arrow in his quiver,” Seidenberg said of Apple’s CEO. “He’s done a great job at innovating, and he’s got a product that people feel like they want to carry. And we did want to carry the iPhone. I would also make this point: We’re further along in 4G than others are. So I think this decision, from Apple’s standpoint, is also very strategic because they get to establish a relationship with us early in their cycles to take advantage of the 4G stuff that’s going to come out over the next 12 months.”

No iOS 4.3 beta for iPhone 3G, iPod touch 2G

Unlike prior releases of Apple’s iOS operating system for iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad devices, the iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod touch were notably absent from the list of devices for the beta version of iOS 4.3. While no official announcement has been made on the subject, it is likely that Apple has decided not to release further OS updates for the two devices, which previously missed out on key features added to iOS 4. The iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2G were left out on new iOS 4.0 features like multitasking and Home screen backgrounds, then didn’t receive support for AirPrint; the iPhone 3G was snubbed with the launch of Game Center and AirPlay, and exhibited crippling slowdowns in performance with iOS 4.

Verizon ending ‘New Every Two,’ early upgrade programs

Verizon Wireless is ending its “New Every Two” and early upgrade programs ahead of the iPhone 4’s launch. Smart Money, citing confirmation from Verizon officials, reports that the New Every Two program, which offered Verizon customers a credit of $30 to $100 toward a new phone every two years, will end on January 16. Existing customers will be able to use any existing credit after that time period, but will not be re-enrolled in the program. The end of the early upgrade program, which allowed some customers to upgrade their phones at discounted rates as early as 13 months into a two-year contract, will see those same customers waiting 20 months to get the new-customer price on handsets.

iOS 4.3: ‘Find My Friends’ feature, new devices found

Further digging into the code of the newly released iOS 4.3 beta has revealed a new MobileMe feature, as well as device keys for unannounced products. Mac Rumors reports that settings for a new feature called “Find My Friends” has been found. The strings appear to be associated with the Settings app and are related to MobileMe, suggesting Apple is planning to launch a MobileMe-based competitor to location-based services like Loopt and Google Latitude. Engadget, meanwhile, has discovered device keys for two next-generation iPhones—labeled iPhone4,1 and iPhone 4,2—as well as three next-generation iPads, labeled iPad2,1, iPad2,2, and iPad2,3. The article speculates that the new iPhone keys are for CDMA and GSM variants of the fifth-generation iPhone, while the iPad keys include CDMA and GSM variants of the iPad 3G, along with a Wi-Fi-only second-generation unit.

Apple releases first beta version of iOS 4.3 to developers (Updated x2)

Apple has released iOS 4.3 beta 1, the first beta version of its next major point release for iOS, to its paid developers. According to notes accompanying the release, the beta includes a pre-release version of future Apple TV Software so that developers can test AirPlay functionality with their 4.3 apps, meaning that users should be able to send video from apps or websites to the Apple TV under the new software. A prior report also indicated that the Personal Hotspot Internet sharing feature debuting on the Verizon iPhone 4 will make its way to other models under iOS 4.3, although it is unclear whether the functionality is included in this update. Separate beta versions of iOS 4.3 for the iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, third-, and fourth-generation iPod touch are available as downloads for paid iOS developers from Apple’s iOS Dev Center.

Update: TUAW reports that the new beta also includes support for new four- and five-finger gestures on the iPad. “This beta release contains a preview of new Multi-Touch gestures for iPad,” reads Apple’s developer page for iOS 4.3. “You can use four or five fingers to pinch to the Home Screen; swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar; and swipe left or right between apps. We are providing this preview before releasing them to the public to understand how these gestures work with your apps. Test them and give us your feedback on the Apple Developer Forums.”

Update x2: Mac Rumors notes that the new beta also offers an option in the Settings app to choose whether the iPad’s side switch acts as a screen rotation lock or as a mute switch. The iPad originally shipped with the switch acting as a screen rotation lock, but Apple changed its behavior in iOS 4.2.

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