Apple Apologize for Disappointing Maps App

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, as posted and open letter apologizing Maps upgrade in iOS 6.  The letter appears below.

To our customers,



At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.

There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.

Tim Cook
Apple’s CEO

[Via Apple.com…]

Apple’s Ping Service Closes Down Today

The iTunes Ping service has closed.  More commonly referred simply as Ping, was Apple’s attempt at a social media service integrated with the iTunes Store.  Ping was available in iTunes for Mac and Windows PCs.
Users were greeted with a simple message in iTunes stating that the service has closed.  Ping was a service that allowed iTunes users share and discover new music and old favorites.  It was also intended as a way for artists to connect with their fans and offer updates on what they were doing and when they would be touring.
Ping turned out to be one of Apple’s rare disasters with low adoption and usage rates.  It was also widely held that Apple had originally intended to have iTunes integrate with social media giant Facebook, but a deal could not be reached between Apple and Facebook.  The cost of the licensing agreement for the interface to Facebook was rumored to be the cause of the disagreement.
iTunes Ping was launched on September 1, 2010.

Apple TV Update 5.1 Posted

Earlier today, Apple posted Update 5.1 for second and third generation Apple TV boxes.

Update 5.1 brings enhancements to Apple TV to match some of the features in iOS 6 which was released on Wednesday of last week.

The full change log can be viewed on Apple’s website.

iPhone 5 First Weekend Sales Top Five Million

Not bad for three days of sales.

CUPERTINO, California—September 24, 2012—Apple® today announced it has sold over five million of its new iPhone® 5, just three days after its launch on September 21, and more than 100 million iOS devices have been updated with iOS 6, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. iPhone 5 is available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK, and will be available in 22 more countries on September 28 and more than 100 countries by the end of the year. Demand for iPhone 5 exceeded the initial supply and while the majority of pre-orders have been shipped to customers, many are scheduled to be shipped in October.

“Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone.”

iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, completely redesigned to feature a stunning new 4-inch Retina™ display; an Apple-designed A6 chip for blazing fast performance; and ultrafast wireless technology*—all while delivering even better battery life.**

* LTE is available through select carriers. Network speeds are dependent on carrier networks, check with your carrier for details.
** Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.

[Via Apple PR…]

Editorial: iPhone 5 “Scuffgate”, Really?

Via BGR.com
Ok, I think that this is a bit much.  The iPhone 5 was released this past Friday and customers are already getting their pitchforks out for “Scuffgate”.
What is scuffgate?  That is this year’s “major design flaw” after the iPhone 4’s “antennagate.”
Oh my God!  Yes, if you take a sharp object and start scraping it on the back of your iPhone 5, yes, it’s going to get scratched!  Duh!
Yes, the anodized aluminum coating is going to wear off over the normal use life of the iPhone 5 if you chose to use it without a case.  That’s to be expected.  Don’t like your gear getting banged up, knocked around, or nicked?  Put it in a case.
Shove your caseless iPhone in your jeans pocket with your lose change, rings, or car keys? Yup, it’ll get scratched up.
You took a sharp metal object, say a Liquidmetal SIM card tray pin, and rubbed the sharp end on the back of your new black iPhone 5 you say?  Yup, it’s going to get scratched up!  What were you expecting would happen?
Come on people, the iPad is “magical,” not the iPhone.  The iPhone 5 also doesn’t have a “molecular bonded shell” like KITT had in the 1980’s TV show, “Knight Rider.”
People who are opening up the box an taking their iPhone out for the first time and finding scratches and nicks in the metal casing, yes, those people have legitimate complaints.  People taking sharp objects to the unprotected metal plating don’t.
Via AppleInsider.com
Ok, lets try to put this in perspective.  You go out and buy a new car.  Are you going to take the keys and rub them, sharp side to the paint, down the side of your new car?  No!  Why not? Because it will scratch the paint! So, no, of course you’re not going to do that.  And if you did, you can’t go running back to the deal and demand a refund.  They know you did it.  Same thing applies here.
To be fair, I’m not defending Apple.  If they are shipping out iPhone 5 handsets that have paint chips, nicks, or other types of scratches or defects in the paint or metal band around the phone, they should be fixing it.  Me?  I’m a use it in a case kind of guy, because, honestly, I don’t like my gear getting all scratched up.  To get the iPhone 5 you had to either sign a 2-year contract with your wireless provider or shelled out $300+ to get the phone off contract so you really need to take care of the hardware.
Let’s lighten up on the gear, ok, folks?  This stuff isn’t indestructible.

Apple EarPods Unboxing

I was at the Grand Central Terminal Apple Store this evening and I picked up a pair of the new EarPods.

I know what you’re thinking, “I hate Apple’s ear buds!”  Ok, that’s fine, but I actually like them, so I’m OK spending the $29.99 for the redesigned EarPods.  I find them even more comfortable to wear than the previous generations and the sound quality is better than the ear buds that came with my iPhone 4S last year.  That said, if you are serious about your music, don’t even bother with the stock earbuds and get yourself some quality earbuds or over the ear headphones.  You’ll be glad you did.

Apple 5th Ave Store on iPhone 5 Eve

I was in Manhattan late last night/early this morning to try to get a few pictures of the massive glass cube that marks Apple’s 5th Ave 24-hour retail location.  What I was greeted by was Apple employees getting ready to launch the iPhone 5 at 8am Friday morning.

As you can see from the photos, the iconic glass cube is shrouded in a black curtain.  Before big launch events, Apple tends to block out the windows while they are setting things up.  In the case of the 5th Ave store, the whole above ground structure is cloaked.

While it ruined my chance at an evening shot of the store, you can see that people are getting in line, NYC police are on the scene.  While I didn’t get a picture of them, street vendors are selling hot dogs and the such and a local news crew is on hand too.

Apple Releases Mountain Lion 10.8.2 Update, iPhoto Updated

As if launching iOS 6 and a slew of app updates wasn’t enough to make Apple fan boys and girls go nuts, Apple also rolled out the Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 update today.

Update: Looks like iPhoto also received an update to add support for shared photo streams in Mountain Lion, new card and calendar themes, and performance and stability improvements.

The OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.2 update is recommended for all OS X Mountain Lion users and includes new features and fixes.
Updating your system
You should back up your system before installation; you can use Time Machine.
Do not interrupt the installation process once you have started to update your system.
You may experience unexpected results if you have third-party system software modifications installed, or if you’ve modified the operating system through other means.
Choose Apple () menu > Software Update… to check for the latest Apple software via the Mac App Store, including this update.
Other software updates available for your computer may appear, which you should install. Note that an update’s size may vary from computer to computer when installed using Software Update. Also, some updates must be installed prior to others.
You can also download the manual update installer. This is a useful option when you need to update multiple computers but only want to download the update once. These versions of the standalone installers are available from Apple Support Downloads.

Additional Information

This update is recommended for all OS X Mountain Lion users, and includes new features and fixes:
Facebook
  • Single sign on for Facebook
  • Adds Facebook as an option when sharing links and photos
  • See Facebook friends’ contact information and profile pictures in Contacts
  • Facebook notifications now appear in Notification Center
Game Center
  • Share scores to Facebook, Twitter, Mail, or Messages
  • Facebook friends are included in Game Center friend recommendations
  • Added Facebook “Like” button for games
  • Challenge friends to beat your score or achievement
Other new features
  • Adds Power Nap support for MacBook Air (Late 2010)
  • iMessages sent to your phone number now appear in Messages on your Mac*
  • You can now add passes to Passbook (on your iPhone or iPod touch) from Safari and Mail on your Mac*
  • FaceTime can now receive calls sent to your phone number*
  • New shared Reminders lists
  • New sort options allow you to sort notes by title, the date you edited them, and when you created them
  • Dictation now supports additional languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Korean, Canadian English, Canadian French, and Italian
  • Dictionary app now includes a French definition dictionary
  • Sina Weibo profile photos can now be added to Contacts
* Requires iOS 6

General fixes
The OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.2 update also includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac, including the following fixes:
  • Adds an option to discard the changes in the original document when choosing Save As
  • Unsent drafts are now opened automatically when launching Mail
  • Receive Twitter notifications for mentions and replies from anyone
  • URLs are shortened when sending tweets from Notification Center
  • Notifications are disabled when AirPlay Mirroring is being used
  • Adds SSL support for Google searches from the Smart Search Field in Safari
  • Adds a new preference to have Safari launch with previously open webpages
  • Resolves an issue that may cause the “Enable Autodiscover” checkbox to always remain checked
  • Enables access to the Mac App Store when Parental Controls are enabled
  • Support for @icloud.com email addresses
  • Resolves a video issue with some VGA projectors when connected to certain Mac notebooks
  • Addresses an issue that may prevent Active Directory accounts from being locked out
  • Resolves an issue that may cause the policy banner to re-appear prior to logging in
  • Improvements to SMB
  • Addresses an issue with NIS users when auto-login is enabled
  • Addresses an issue in which the Keychain may not be accessible
  • Ability to pre-authenticate a FileVault protected system
  • Addresses an issue that may cause Xsan to not automatically start after migrating from Mac OS X Snow Leopard
For information about the security content of this update, please visit this website.

Apple Updates Many of Their iOS Apps

Along side of today’s iOS 6 software release, Apple also updated many of their iOS applications today. Immediately after installing iOS 6 on my iPad, I launched the App Store and was greeted by a dozen updates.

Once you’ve installed iOS 6 on your current model iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, make sure you head over to the App Store and install the latest software updates for your applications.  Doing so will provide you with new features and continued stability and compatibility with your new operating system.

Apple iOS 6 is Now Available for Download

 At about mid-day today, Apple made the iOS 6 software update for current model iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches available for download.

To install the software, you can connect your supported iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to a Wi-Fi network and download the software update over the air.

The over the air update can be started by tapping:
Settings > General > Software Update

For the more traditional crowd, you can connect your supported iDevice to your Mac or Windows PC running iTunes 10.7 and download and install the software update using your sync cable.

Getting Ready for Upgrading to iOS 6

Later today, Apple is expected to release the iOS 6 upgrade for current model iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices.  While Apple has not announced when the update will go live, for those of us on the East Coast, it tends to go live between 1-4pm.

While we’re waiting for the update to go live on Apple’s servers, there are a few things we can do to get ready.

1. Download and install iTunes 10.7 if you haven’t already done so. iTunes 10.7 is a minor update that adds support for iOS 6.  iTunes 11, due out later this year, will be a major overhaul of Apple’s media player software.

2. Backup your iDevice before upgrading.

3. Have your charger handy.  The iOS upgrade will run if you have more than a 50% charge, but avoid the chance of trouble with the phone turning off during the upgrade.

4. Practice relaxation techniques.  If the volume of iPhone 5 pre-orders are any indication, lots of people are going to be trying to download the update, so be prepared for possible longer than normal download times.

You will also want to head over to the iBook Store after the iOS 6 software is released and download the new user manual for your device.  For example, after last year’s iOS 5 release, Apple published iPhone User Guide for iOS 5 and iPad User Guide for iOS 5.  I have no doubt that by the weekend, we’ll see new versions of those books for iOS 6.

Apple iOS 6 Set to Arrive Today

iOS 6, the next major operating system update for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, is scheduled to arrive today.

iOS 6 includes a completely new Maps application, replacing the Maps offering that was powered by Google data and has been around on the iPhone since it was released in 2007.

Apple is also upgrading the features and capabilities of their personal assistant, Siri.

Also included in the iOS 6 update is Facebook integration similar to last year’s Twitter integration, the ability to share your Photo Stream with the people you choose.

Passbook is Apple’s new tickets and “rewards cards” system that has the potential to become a big hit with customers and retailers if Apple turns it into a full fledged alternative to Near Field Communications (NFC) payment systems being offered by by Google and others.

The Phone application has been enhanced with some much needed features on call management when you are unable to answer the call right away – like when you are sitting in a meeting.  Something that I have been waiting a long time for because this is a feature that my 2007 Palm Treo 700 had.

The Camera app now has a cool panorama photo mode that helps you take some amazing panoramic photos.  I’m actually looking forward to playing with this feature during outdoor fall activities.  It should make for some very nice photos.

Apple has also included updates to Safari, Mail, and FaceTime.

To learn more about the major new features in iOS 6, check out the Apple website.

The iOS 6 upgrade will be available for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS; for the iPad 3 and the iPad 2; and the 5th and 4th generation iPod touch.

The iOS 6 upgrade is a free upgrade that will be available as an update delivered over-the-air or a download package when you sync your device over the wire with your Mac or Windows PC running iTunes 10.7.  iTunes 10.7 can be downloaded directly from Apple.