After a month long stint in beta-land, Apple’s latest iteration of iOS — version 4.3 — has been rubber-stamped and pronounced ready for public consumption. Demoing the new code at the company’s iPad 2 event today, VP of Engineering Scott Forstall showcased several of the updates new features, including Wi-Fi hotspot creation, a new Photobooth app, and Home Sharing (streaming audio and video from your computer to your iOS devce). iOS 4.3 will be available on March 11th to all iPad, iPhone (GSM), and iPod touch (3rd & 4th generation) owners. Hit the jump for the full press release! More →
In this month’s Bloomberg Businessweek cover-story entitled Larry Page’s Google 3.0, reporter Brad Stone touches upon what may be the root of ongoing bickering between Apple and Google. While the two companies continue to work with each other in many areas, there is no denying the public hostility they show one another. It’s more than just marketing jabs and a competitive nature — these two giants are constantly at each other’s throats. From the Businessweek feature:
As Android became a threat to Apple in 2008, Apple began resisting Google’s claim to valuable location data gathered whenever an iPhone owner used Google Maps. [Vic Gundotra’s] negotiations with Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller grew so heated that Schmidt and Steve Jobs had to intervene to settle the matter, according to two people familiar with the incident. (Apple announced earlier this year that it had developed its own location-monitoring system. Gundotra and Schiller both declined to comment on the incident.)
The iPhone’s influence over the Android operating system is also thought to play a role in the quarrel. Many will recall that early Android prototypes bore an OS that looked and operated much like RIM’s BlackBerry operating system. Android was also intended for touchscreen and non-touch devices at the time. At launch, however, Android had shed many of its BlackBerry-like features and had instead adopted several elements that mirrored Apple’s iPhone OS. The alleged spat between Google’s VP of engineering Vic Gundotra and Apple’s marketing boss Phil Shiller is believed by some to have been influenced by that shift in Android strategy. The rest, as they say, is history — Google and Apple will likely grow further apart as their battle in the mobile space and beyond continues to heat up. More →
This particular piece of intel rates high on the rumor-Richter scale, so do take this one with a hefty dose of salt. Stuff.tv is reporting that a source “working on a future iPad app” has informed the online publication that Apple plans to charge users for the privilege of upgrading from iPhone OS 3.2 to iOS 4 on their iPads. Why someone working on a future iPad application would have this type of information is beyond us, but Apple charging for mobile OS upgrades certainly isn’t out of the question (see: iPod Touch). The closest we’ve gotten to a timeline for iOS 4 on the iPad is “fall.” It looks like we’ll just have to wait until then to find out.
Apple’s iOS might be in the most dominant position when it comes to mobile web traffic in North America, but according to Quantcast, it’s Google’s Android that has been fairing best as of late. From May 2009 to May 2010, iOS traffic fell 8.1% while Android saw a 12.2% increase. Impressive for sure, but that isn’t even the best example of the explosive growth Android is currently benefiting from. During the seventeen months between January 2009 and May 2010, iOS dropped 16% at the expense of Android which climbed 15% with the two now standing at 59% and 20% respectively. The accuracy of these figures are a little bit questionable as the data does not appear to readily reflect data consumed by applications. On the other hand, this data was collected well after the launch of both the iPad and iPad 3G but before the EVO 4G even hit the market. Regardless, we think it’s easy enough to draw an accurate conclusion about what’s going on here: Android is starting to take generous bites out of Apple.
Listen. We don’t have a whole lot of details to present to you, but what you see above is a still from a YouTube video that is said to be of an iPhone running Flash at full speed. Before anyone starts getting all huffy and cries out “FAAAKE!” so loud that they wake up their grandma, this video wasn’t filmed by some random yahoo. Oh, no (we think). It was filmed by Comex, the man behind the Spirit jailbreak for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Other than that, we know that this hack is said to be”very preliminary.” Obviously we’re dying to know if it works as a standalone app or is able to fully integrated with the mobile version of Safari, but we guess something to look forward to is always nice, right? Hit the jump to check out the video evidence then let us know your thoughts.
It comes as no surprise — since Steve Jobs hinted at it during D8 — that Apple has once again revised the controversial section 3.3.9 of its iOS developer agreement. Section 3.3.9 deals specifically with what App Store applications can and cannot do when it comes to the collection of user and device data. The new modifications seem to be more lenient towards independent ad agencies; allowing them to collect user data after obtaining explicit permission from Apple to do so. However, what they’re not so lenient towards is allowing non-independent ad agencies, such as Google’s AdMob, to collect user and device data. The language of the agreement seems to create a legal loophole, that, if exercised, would allow Apple to cut AdMob out of serving ads to its iOS devices:
3.3.9 You and Your Applications may not collect, use, or disclose to any third party, user or device data without prior user consent, and then only under the following conditions:
– The collection, use or disclosure is necessary in order to provide a service or function that is directly relevant to the use of the Application. For example, without Apple’s prior written consent, You may not use third party analytics software in Your Application to collect and send device data to a third party for aggregation, processing, or analysis.
– The collection, use or disclosure is for the purpose of serving advertising to Your Application; is provided to an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads (for example, an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent); and the disclosure is limited to UDID, user location data, and other data specifically designated by Apple as available for advertising purposes.
At last week’s D8 conference, Jobs singled out ad agency Flurry for its role in outing prototype iPads through the collection of device data embedded in iPad applications. Apple insists that its data collection policies are about protecting the privacy of its users and not thwarting competition. More →
iWonder if Apple will ever break away from its very sucessful, and very annoying, “i” naming convention. Well, for the time being it doesn’t look like it. Today, at WWDC, Apple announced that the iPhone OS will be renamed and rebranded as simply: iOS. The move makes sense, as the artist code formerly known as iPhone OS has expanded from the iPhone to iPods and iPads alike. The name isn’t the catchiest thing we’ve ever heard, but hey…it is what it is. Oh, one last thing…the iOS 4 Gold Master candidate is due out today. More →
“Now stop me if you’ve seen this.” And so Steve Jobs announced the iPhone 4. Featuring stainless steel banding around the sides and a glass front, the iPhone 4’s “closest kin is a beautiful old camera.” It’s 24% thinner than the iPhone 3GS at 9.3mm thick, which Apple claims makes it the smallest smartphone on the planet or “a quarter thinner than something you didn’t think could get any thinner.” The three stainless steel bands surrounding the device that look very un-Apple actually serve two purposes: they add to the structural integrity of the device and double as antenna boosters. Smart.
The iPhone 4 has a 3.5″ display that has 78% the pixels of the iPad. With a resolution of 960×640 — or 4x the resolution of the first three iPhones — the iPhone 4 has four pixels where the other devices only had space for one for a total of 326 pixels per inch. Apple calls this “Retina Display” technology and says it translates to images and text so incredibly sharp that you’ll feel like you’re looking at a “finely printed book” instead of a mobile display. The display technology also means that apps will not have to be rescaled, so everything currently in the App Store will The display also has a 800:1 contrast ratio.
Moving on the the processor. Yes, indeedy, the iPhone 4 is powered by an Apple-designed A4 SoC. Apart from providing raw power, the A4 also sips juice from the battery as opposed to gulping it. This means the iPhone 4 is good for 7 hours of 3G talktime, 6 hours of browsing over 3G, 10 hours of browsing over Wi-Fi, 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music and 300 hours of standby. As expected, 802.11n Wi-Fi is included as is a quad-band HSDPA radio capable of 7.2Mbps down and 5.8Mbps up. The iPhone 4 also introduces a dual-mic system for noise cancellation and a gyroscope which combined with the accelerometer allow for 6-axis motion sensing.
The iPhone 4’s main camera weighs in at 5 megapixels. What makes it special, according to Apple, is its backside illuminated sensor. This allows more photons to bombard the sensor resulting in better low-light photos. A sole LED flash straddles the camera sensor. Digital zoom tops out at 5x, while video capture has been stepped up to shoot 720p at 30fps. The LED flash is fully functional when capturing videos.
Not included with iPhone 4 but to be available in the App Store for $4.99 is iMovie. iMovie for the iPhone is pretty much what you’d expect — that is if you were expecting a feature-rich mobile movie editing application that’s capable of manhandling 720p videos. You can rearrange clips by dragging them about; add in photos, transitions, titles, and music; and use geolocation so you’ll have no excuses for forgetting exactly where you were when you shot the film.
And then there’s the front-facing camera. It runs the open application FaceTime. Apple is currently working with wireless providers to bring forth bonafide 3G video calls, but as far as 2010 is concerned you’re stuck with Wi-Fi. If for some reason you don’t want the person you’re calling to see your mug — or perhaps you just want them to see what you’re looking at — you can switch from the front-facing camera to the 5MP camera on the back.
So when can you get the iPhone 4? If you live in the US, UK, Germany, France or Japan you’ll be able to pre-order it on June 15th and pick it up on the 24th. In the US, AT&T will sell the 16GB model for $199 and the 32GB model for $299 (both assuming a 2-year contract). At an unspecified time in July, 18 other countries — Canada included — will get the iPhone. Oh and how could we forget? The iPhone 4 will be available in both black and white. More →
After Apple decreed that Flash is not welcome on the iPad and iPhone, Adobe was left between a rock and a hard place as it went into damage control mode trying to convince developers not to jump ship as its Creative Suite 5 was being rolled out. Well today Adobe announced its new Digital Publishing Platform, something which it says will provides a solution to its crises. Built upon Creative Suit 5 and Omniture, the Digital Publishing Platform will allow publishers to create media-rich digital applications that meet Apple’s increasingly strict policies thanks to its being coded in Objective-C. Think it won’t work? Well it already has, because Adobe revealed today that the new software is what was responsible for getting Wired’s recently reworked iPad app into the App Store. Said Adobe vice president and general director of Creative Solutions David Burkett “We aim to make our digital viewer software available to all publishers soon and plan to deliver versions that work across multiple hardware platforms. It’s safe to say that if you are already working in InDesign CS5, you’ll be well on your way to producing a beautiful digital version of your publication.” Translation: Nuts to you, Apple. We’re in like Flint. More →
TechCrunch is citing a “reliable source” who claims that Bing will be getting the nod as iPhone OS 4’s default search engine once the finalized code is pushed out to the masses. Search rival Google has been the default iPhone search provider since its inception in 2006; an honor for which Google allegedly pays close to $100 million a year. Mobile search is becoming huge business and as the Android platform juggernaut continues to chug along — with Google search in tow — alternate search providers like Microsoft and Yahoo! are looking for mobile delivery vehicles. What do you think iPhone owners? Loyal to Google or will you give Bing a shot? More →
Engadget has just received some fairly shocking intel on what exactly the next revision of the Apple TV will entail. According to Eng, the next Apple TV will resemble, both in form and specs, the fourth generation iPhone. An iPhone-like box (minus the screen) the Apple TV will run the iPhone OS, have a price point of $99, and have very few ports (possibly just power and HDMI-out). The unit will output video at a full 1080p, have 16 GB of storage, and an A4 CPU, again very similar to the fourth generation iPhone. The post goes on to say that WWDC attendants will not see the unveiling of the new device, as the project is still underway; an estimated release date is unknown. Engadget’s source does say that the product refresh had been planned for sometime and was not something that was spurred by a competitor’s product(s) *cough* Google TV *cough*. More →
According to AdMob’s April 2010 Mobile Metrics Report, the number of iPhone OS devices in the US outnumber the amount of Android devices by a ratio of 2:1. AdMob estimates that for all of the 8.7 million Android smartphones in the US, there are 10.7 million iPhones and 18.3 million iPads and iPod touches. Worldwide, AdMob reports that there are 11.6 million Android devices compared to 27.4 million iPhones and 13.4 million iPads and iPod touches. Perhaps the most interesting facet of AdMobs report is just where the distribution of each OS is most prevalent. 75% of Android devices are found in North America, compared to 12% in Asia and 11% in Western Europe. The iPhone proved to be most popular in North America with 49%, followed by Western Europe at 28% and Asia at 14%. Switching gears, the largest number of ad requests the world over came from iPhone OS devices with 42%, down from 46% last month. Android stood still at 25%, while Symbian and RIM took up the third and fourth positions with 2% and 1% gains. In the United States, Android bested the iPhone OS for the second time having not moved from its 46% share. iPhone OS traffic dropped to 38%, while third place RIM gained 2% with a total of 7%. Palm’s webOS held firm at 3%. More →
A major security flaw has been uncovered in the Apple iPhone 3GS this week after two security experts discovered it was possible to bypass the device’s security and gain nearly full read access using Ubuntu Lucid Lynx. Perhaps even more frightening is the fact that the two believe they’re nearing the ability to write data as well. Said Bernd Marienfeldt, one of the two gentleman responsible for uncovering the flaw:
I uncovered a data protection vulnerability, which I could reproduce on 3 other non jail broken 3GS iPhones (MC 131B, MC132B) with different iPhone OS versions installed (3.1.3-7E18 modem firmware 05.12.01 and version 3.1.2 -7D11, modem 05.11.07), all PIN code protected which means the vulnerability bypasses authentication for various data where people most likely rely on data protection through encryption and do not expect that authentication is not in place. […] This data protection flaw exposes music, photos, videos, podcasts, voice recordings, Google safe browsing database, game contents… by [sic] in my opinion the quickest compromising read/write access discovered so far, without leaving any track record by the attacker. It’s about to imagine how many enterprises (e.g. Fortune 100) actually do rely on the expectation that their iPhone 3GS’s whole content is protected by encryption with an PIN code based authentication in place to unlock it.
Marienfeldt and his partner Jim Herbeck notified Apple of the flaw, and according to then, “Apple could reproduce the described serious issue and believes to understand why this can happen but cannot provide timing or further details on the release of a fix.” Let’s hope the new data protection feature in iPhone OS 4.0 does the trick.