Wired posted a good article this week that provided an informative account of the current row about AT&T limiting 3G FaceTime availability on iOS devices to those users who are on AT&T’s new shared data plans. Following the earlier news that AT&T intended to restrict the availability of FaceTime in this way, and in particular restrict it to plans that are, by and large, more expensive, a spokeswoman for the carrier spoke out against the many critics of the plans, denying that AT&T was using FaceTime, a very popular iOS feature, as a “premium” feature, although Wired says that she did at least acknowledge that AT&T was using cellular FaceTime as a carrot to persuade customers to switch to one of its new tiered data-usage plans. Elsewhere, in a blog post, senior AT&T vice president Bob Quinn said that this controversial move by AT&T was not in breach of Federal Communications Commission’s net-neutrality rules, which are designed to stop carriers blocking voice or video telephony apps that are competition for its own services, simply because FaceTime is pre-installed on iOS devices. Expect this one to run and run!
Thanks to Super Moderator Thomasjtsi for the heads-up on this story.
Source: AT&T: Holding FaceTime Hostage Is No Net-Neutrality Breach | Threat Level | Wired.com
Aug 23, 2012 - 1:23 PM - by Maura
Mike Isaac at All Things D reports today that Facebook has finally completed work on its major revamp of its much-maligned iOS app, which hits the App Store today.
Johnson also told All Things D that the previously painfully slow user experiences of scrolling through the feed, photos and loading the app has been made much, much faster. Johnson went on to explain that the reason the much-needed update took so long to arrive was because it had to be rewritten pretty much from the ground up, mainly because the current app is largely HTML5-based, and had to be changed to Objective-C programming language, in order to make better use of the iPhone 5 hardware.
“People have different expectations when it comes to using Facebook for iOS,” Mick Johnson, Facebook iOS mobile product manager told All Things D today. “They expect a level of performance and speed that just wasn’t there.”
Click here to download the free app: App Store - Facebook
Source: <em>Finally</em>, Facebook Speeds Up Its iOS App - Mike Isaac - Social - AllThingsD
Aug 23, 2012 - 12:08 PM - by dgstorm
The tech world has been taken by storm with excitement as it waits for the arrival of the next iconic device from Apple. There are less than three weeks left before Apple is expected to make the grand announcement, and the Internet has been flooded with all kinds of reports claiming the birth of the “iPhone 5”.
The newest report concerning the smartphone comes to us via Reuters. Sources claim that panel maker LG Display based in South Korea has already started mass producing new in-cell touch screen displays, the exact kind that is expected to be incorporated in the iPhone 5.
"We just began mass production and we don't expect any disruption in supplies. The in-cell technology is the industry's latest development. (But) we will be able to supply the panels without fail,” stated LG chief executive Han Sang-boem.
The in-cell panel technology is going to allow Apple to make the screens on the upcoming iPhone much thinner than the previous models. The in-cell scenario works because touch sensors are inserted straight unto the liquid crystal display thus reducing the thickness of the screen. The new screen is also going to be larger.
LG Display is the second largest liquid crystal display maker in the world, still following in the footsteps of Samsung Electronics. The company is also one of the biggest suppliers of Apple parts that go into the iPhone and iPad.
Source: LG says started production of new screen, as Apple plans product launch | Reuters
Aug 23, 2012 - 11:17 AM - by Maura
Today the announcement of a new video game made the Twitterverse blow up, and it became the number one trending topic worldwide for a moment, but surprisingly it wasn’t a new Call of Duty Game, another Resident Evil, or maybe even a new Super Mario, or (if only) Shenmue game. In fact it wasn’t even a console game that caused all the fuss, it was actually the announcement that the fifth title in the beloved point-and-click adventure gaming series, Broken Sword, would be coming to iOS, Mac, PC and Android at the start of 2013. Proof indeed, if ever it were needed, that the point-and-click adventure genre has been well and truly revived by the iOS platform. And what makes Broken Sword: The Serpent’s Curse even more remarkable is the fact that Revolution is inviting fans to be involved in the project from the ground up, with the setting up of a Kickstarter crowd-funding site. So if you’re a long-standing fan, or even a new fan, of the classic series and want to get involved, $15 will secure you a digital copy of the game on release, as well as lots of bonus goodies. The more you pay, the more you get, with a pledge of $500 getting you, among lots of signed stuff, a “Broken Sword: Knight Commander” credit in the game, and $10,000 getting you everything in the kitchen sink, as well as lunch and a studio tour and an invite to the wrap party.
The game’s action kicks off in Paris, with an armed raid on a Paris gallery, as beloved hero and heroine George Stobbart and Nico Collard get drawn into the mysterious happenings all over again. Charles Cecil has assembled a team comprising many of the original Revolution crew, and Rolf Saxon will be returning as the voice of George. Revolution says it has also hired some of the best 2D artists around from the likes of Disney, Dreamworks, Nickelodeon, Universal, Aardman, Sony and 20th Century Fox.
“The process of game development has previously been remote from our fans,” says Charles Cecil, managing director, Revolution Software. “By self publishing, we now have a direct relationship with our audience – a position that we value enormously.”
“We’re delighted that the latest Broken Sword title is to be the first of our adventures that we can take with our fans. By pledging support now, we’ll be going on a journey which will end when the opening credits roll – it’s going to be excellent.”
“Crucially, Kickstarter support will enable us to create – for the very first time – an adventure game with total creative freedom.”
If you like the sound of all that, then get pledging; they need to raise $400,000 (at the time of writing) over the next 29 days in order to get the game made.
Source: Revolution Software,
Broken Sword - the Serpent's Curse Adventure by Revolution Software — Kickstarter
Aug 23, 2012 - 8:45 AM - by Maura
9to5 Mac reports that Chrome for iOS has just had a major update, ushering in some new sharing features that are bound to be very popular with users. Specifically, you can now share directly from Chrome for iOS to social networks Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, or share via email. Also included in the update are various stability and security tweaks, and the usual bug fixes, which result from feedback from users. Here are those main features in full, courtesy of Google:
Nice to see Google adding these touches to what is already a very popular iOS browser.
• Ability to share directly from Chrome to your favorite social network or via email
• More actionable sync sign in error messages
• Improved language detection for welcome tour
• Fixes for pages loading blank in Incognito* mode
Click here to download Chrome for iOS for free: App Store - Chrome
Source: Chrome for iOS updated with social and email sharing features, bugfixes and optimizations | 9to5Mac | Apple Intelligence
Chrome Releases: Chrome for iOS Update
Aug 23, 2012 - 8:13 AM - by Maura
On the day that Reuters reports that LG Display has announced that it has started mass producing displays for Apple’s next iPhone, due to be launched on September 12 for possible release on September 21, MacRumors writes about a new YouTube video that has been posted by SmartPhone Medic, which is a comparison of various parts that are said to be from Apple’s next iPhone and the iPhone 4S. These include the front panels, flex cables, and dock connector and headphone jack. Nothing we haven’t seen before, but gives you more of an idea of what the next iPhone will be like when assembled, rather than just a load of bits! Meanwhile, AppleInsider also reports on new pictures of what are said to be the next iPhone’s USB charge and sync cable, as well as the smaller dock connector, which turned up on Veister.com.
Source: Video Comparison of 'iPhone 5' Front Panel and Flex Cables to iPhone 4S Parts - Mac Rumors
LG says started production of new screen, as Apple plans product launch | Reuters
Aug 23, 2012 - 7:45 AM - by Maura
AppleInsider writes today that Apple’s forthcoming iOS 6 software, due for launch on September 12, will have among its many features, built-in compatibility for “Made for iPhone” hearing aids. In addition, AppleInsider notes that two new patent filings from Apple in the US, just published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office, show Apple’s possible future plans for this feature. The first of the two patents is a “hearing assistance system for providing consistent human speech,” and is designed to help people who use hearing aids who are struggling to listen to someone who is speaking with inconsistent speech patterns, or who generally speaks in a hard-to-follow way, which hearing aids can have trouble picking up. The patent outlines how an iPhone or iPad could be used to take this inconsistent speech pattern, convert it into text, and then in turn convert that text into more consistent computer-generated speech that is easier for a hearing aid to pick up.
The second patent, as described by AppleInsider, involves an alert system that would give the user either audible or visual alerts when something like a doorbell or a fire alarm sounds. Intriguing stuff and great that Apple is looking to make life easier for people with hearing problems.
Source: Apple looking to refine hearing aid output, add customizable alerts with iDevices
Aug 22, 2012 - 2:25 PM - by dgstorm
How many times have you found yourself in front of the TV or media box being bored to death by the content being broadcasted and asking yourself when is something interesting going to come up? Apple has been thinking of this issue as well and recently has been granted a patent with the title "Seamless switching between radio and local media" – which indicates that Cupertino is on its way to resolving the issue.
The idea behind the concept is that your machine should be able to “know” what sort of media you like or dislike. If it comes across something you might disapprove of it will just skip over it and replace it with something appropriate. This might include skipping over annoying ads, but this feature is already available via AdBlock. Apparently Apple has something more in mind, something grand. Cupertino might be thinking of building a global and universal database in which to store likes and dislikes. From the patent background:
A user may not like a particular song broadcast by a radio station, or may not like a particular segment of a talk radio station (e.g., the user does not like the topic or guest of the segment). As another example, a user may not be interested in content originally generated by sources other than the media source (e.g., advertisement content). Because the user has no control over the media broadcast, the user can typically only tune to a different media broadcast, or listen to or consume the broadcast content that is not of interest.”
Could this new invention bring together live television and on-demand special package television programs?
Source: United States Patent: 8249497
Aug 22, 2012 - 9:04 AM - by dgstorm
We have some potentially exciting news. Although Apple hasn't yet officially announced the exact release date timeframe for their new iPhone 5, Verizon may have indirectly spilled the beans. Verizon Wireless just informed their employees that they are not allowed to take any vacation days during the week of September 21st through September 30th, and to expect the iPhone 5 launch during that week. Previous rumors suggest that Apple will reveal the exact launch date on September 12th. That would mean a one week delay before actually picking up the iPhone 5 in stores. This follows Apple's previous MO, so it seems likely.
We will keep you posted so stay tuned!
Aug 21, 2012 - 3:14 PM - by Maura
TomTom announced today that it has just update its iOS Navigation app for iPhone and iPad with a couple of major new features. First up, it is now possible to quickly and easily navigate to places that you’ve found on websites and other apps by copying an address and pasting it into the TomTom app. You won’t even have to type in the address as the app will automatically work out the destination and give you directions. Secondly, foursquare compatibility has been added to the app. All you have to do is link foursquare to the TomTom app, and then you’ll be able to use it to search and navigate to your favourite foursquare places, as well as checking in and collecting your points when you arrive.
The update also includes general tweaks and improvements to the user interface to make it more intuitive to use.
“Drivers now have new ways to find places with their TomTom app,” says Corinne Vigreux, Managing Director Consumer at TomTom. “This should be particularly helpful when people are off on holidays and day trips. They can find great places to visit and get there fast with foursquare or a quick copy-paste. And that leaves more time to relax and have fun.”
The update is free if you already have the app.
Source: TomTom, TomTom Mobile solutions - TomTom
Aug 21, 2012 - 2:47 PM - by Maura
New Yahoo CEO and avowed iPhone fan Marissa Mayer wants all Yahoo employees to have a free iPhone, according to a story today on Business Insider, which says that Mayer, who used to use an iPhone even when she was at Google, is so keen on all her employees having their own iPhone, that she is willing to have them all paid for by Yahoo. Two separate sources close to Yahoo employees told Business Insider about Mayer’s intentions. However, also reporting on the story, Kara Swisher at AllThingsD wrote today that Yahoo’s new CEO was asked last week about the possibility of Yahoo switching from its current use of BlackBerrys by its employees (“Yahoo has largely been a BlackBerry work world”), and she apparently mentioned in a recent executive staff meeting that it was indeed possible that all Yahoo employees would be provided with iPhones, although she also mentioned Android devices as well. No concrete confirmation as yet though.
Source: Marissa Mayer Wants To Give Every Yahoo Employee An iPhone - Business Insider
This Week in MarissYa: iPhones for All, Flickr Love and Exec Changes - Kara Swisher - News - AllThingsD
Aug 21, 2012 - 1:01 PM - by Maura
The Skype blog has announced today that Skype’s popular iOS apps have just been updated with several new features, including Photo Sharing for iOS, which Skype says has been “frequently requested.” The new feature will let the user send photos that they’ve shot on their iPad or iPhone directly to other users, such as friends or family members, via Skype. Skype says there is no size limit, so you can send photos without worrying about email size limits or MMS costs. Skype says that it has also been working to improve the apps’ overall performance, with the previous update making the apps “less battery hungry” for those people who like to keep Skype open and running in the background all day. These performance enhancements continue with this latest update, and the new release also includes an improved app start and faster loading contact list.
Click here to download for iPad: Skype for iPad for iPad on the iTunes App Store
Click here to download for iPhone: App Store - Skype
Source: Skype - The Big Blog - Updates to Skype for iPhone & Skype for iPad Improves Performance & Adds Photo Sharing
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