Sunday, July 29, 2012

Rumor: First Fully Assembled iPhone 5?

The Verge is running an article with some photos from iLab Factory that reports to show what the fully assembled next generation iPhone from Apple could look like.

We are assuming that the next generation iPhone will be called 'iPhone 5'.  We expected last year's iPhone, the '4S' to be the '5', however, once we found out that the next iPhone would 'evolutionary' rather than 'revolutionary', well, we all knew that the 'next next' iPhone would be the iPhone 5.

So here it is, the latest rumor de jour: the iPhone 5.  I really like the form factor of the iPhone 4/4S/5 over the previous generation iPhones.  I also like the idea of the aluminum back plate as I'll be much less worried about breaking it.  I'm even OK with the taller unit to accommodate a 4-inch screen.  I'm just not a fan of the two tone color scheme; black with a brushed metal.  I think I'd like to continue to see the iPhone back places all white or all black.

[Via The Verge...]

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Apple Launches Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

On Wednesday, Apple lunched their next major version of Mac OS X, Mountain Lion.


With over 200 new features being added to Mac OS X, Mountain Lion brings even more features of iOS to the Macintosh further unifying the experience across multiple Apple product lines.  The major new features of Mountain Lion include:

  • iCloud support
  • Reminders (OS X version of the iOS app)
  • Notes (OS X version of the iOS app)
  • iMessage (replacing OS X iChat)
  • Notification Center (as seen in iOS)
  • Power Nap (requires a Mac notebook with build in flash storage; ie: MacBook Air)
  • Dictation (voice recognition, but not Siri)
  • Sharing button (as seen in iOS)
  • Twitter integration
  • AirPlay (requires a mid-2011 or newer Mac)
  • Game Center
  • Gatekeeper
  • Safari 6
Mac OS X Mountain Lion is available now for $19.99 on the Mac App Store for users of Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard and 10.7 Lion.  If you just purchased a new Mac, perhaps a new MacBook Air or the new super sexy 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, you can upgrade to Mountain Lion for free using the Apple Up to Date program.

Business users, 'techies', and just about anyone else who is interested, can also purchase and install OS X Server, an add on application module for Mac OS X Mountain Lion that adds server features such as Wiki Server, File Sharing over and above the sharing features in Mountain Lion, network Time Machine backup Support, email and calendar servers, iMessage server, web server, and network OS X software installs and updates.  Previously priced at $49.99, OS X Server for Mountain Lion is available now for $19.99 for the Mac App Store.

Mountain Lion is a great addition to any Macintosh that is capable of running it.  I would, however, suggest that anyone running a mid-2007 or 2008 edition Macintosh upgrade their Mac to the maximum amount of RAM memory possible before installing Mountain Lion.  Yes, the software will run, but if you only have 2GB of RAM, you may not get the experience you want.  (Read: lots of spinning beach balls.)  I'm running Mountain Lion on an 8GB mid-2009 17-inch MacBook Pro and things seem to be running well so far.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Apple To Close In-App Purchase Fraud in iOS 6

A Russian hacker recently published a video and server on the Internet that showed people how to steal software updates for iOS applications that use the in-app purchase feature.

At the time, many bloggers and software developers stated that to effectively close the loop to prevent another "man-in-the-middle" attack Apple would have to release a software fix.  Yesterday, Apple announced that the fix will be included in iOS 6, due out this fall.
"Apple has responded to the recent App Store in-app-purchase bug and fraud with an email and temporary solution for registered iOS developers. This email includes a link to a new Apple developer web document that describes the issue and teaches developers how to temporarily plug the issue. Apple says that it will fix the bug completely with the upcoming release of iOS 6."
[Via 9To5Mac.com...]

Targeted Full Screen Mode in Mountain Lion

According to AppleInsider, Mac OS X Mountain Lion will feature a new full screen mode that should make it a much less annoying feature for Mac users who have multiple monitors.

In Mountain Lion, you will be able to select which of your two or more monitors you want to be active when you enter full screen mode.
"Apple's solution in Mountain Lion is an incremental band-aid, but does expand the usefulness of Full Screen mode to users who connect to external displays. New in Mountain Lion is the ability to target which screen you want to go Full Screen in. In the screen shots above, Safari was taken full screen on an externally connected HDTV.
This allows notebook users, for example, to connect to a big external display and use it for Full Screen work. Unfortunately, all the other screens are still blanked, but there isn't a simple fix to addressing this in a sensible way. "
In Lion, when you entered full screen mode, the primary display was the one that was used in full screen mode, blanking out any external monitors.  This feature is really annoying for, say, MacBook users who used an external monitor in addition to the MacBook's display.  While not a complete solution, it will be a little bit better in Mountain Lion.

Mac OS X Mountain Lion is expected to go on sale next week exclusively in the Mac App Store.  Mountain Lion will cost $19.99 for all Mac users with compatible hardware.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Surprise! Yahoo Poaches 13-Year Executive Google Vet

Didn't see this coming.  I guess a lot of other people didn't either.  Suddenly, Yahoo! is cool again.
"In a surprising turn of events it was announced on Monday that long-time Google executive Marissa Mayer tendered her resignation and will start at her new position as president and CEO at Yahoo on Tuesday. 
The former executive's departure not only marks a devastating loss for Google but an uncommon win for Yahoo, a company that has had trouble attracting and retaining top talent in recent years. "
Smart is the new sexy.  Best of luck, Marissa, you are going to need it.

[Via AppleInsider.com...]

iOS 6 Beta 3 Gets Rolled Out to Developers

Earlier today, Apple rolled out iOS 6, beta 3 to registered (read: paying) developers.

According to sources in the know, beta 3 improves the stability of the mobile operating system, brings additional features to the new Maps application, and gives a clear indication that all things MobileMe are going away with the announcement that all @me.com email addresses will be converted to @iCloud.com email addresses.

iOS 6 is slated to be released later this year in the September-October timeframe just in time for the newly redesigned iPhone 5.

[Via AllThingsD.com...]

Nokia Lumia 900 Now 50% Off

"The Lumia 900, Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone handset and AT&T’s “hero phone,” has had its U.S. price slashed by half, just three months after its release. As of Sunday, the Lumia 900 can be purchased for just $49.99 with a two-year contract through AT&T."
Wow, that was fast.  Only on the market for 3 months and the phone is on "sale" for $49.99 with a new 2-year service agreement?  I guess is sucks when Microsoft tells the world that your 'hero' phone won't be able to run the next version of Microsoft Windows Phone software due out later this year.  Ouch.

[Via AllThingsD.com...]

Microsoft Unveils Office 2013 Suite

Today, Microsoft took the wraps off of the next version of their personal and professional productivity suite, Office 2013.

If you are the adventurous type, and just happen to be running Windows 7 or a review release of Windows 8, you can sign up to try out Office 365, a new cloud-based version of Office starting today.

To learn more about Office 2013, hit up the Microsoft Office 2013 website.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

iPhoto '11 Updated to Version 9.3.1

Apple has released a maintenance update to iPhoto '11 for Mac OS X.
  • Addresses a problem during the migration of albums from MobileMe Gallery that may cause photos to be moved from their original events to a new event called "From MobileMe"
  • Fixes an issue that in rare cases could cause 
iPhoto '11 is $14.99 from the Mac App Store.  The update is free to all customers who purchased iPhoto '11 from the Mac App Store.

Hacker Finds a Way Around In-App Purchases [Updated]



Alexey V. Borodin, a computer hacker from Russia, has figured out a way to implement a "man-in-the-middle" exploit in the Apple App Store that allows anyone who uses his technique a way to get free in app purchases.

The exploit, which works mostly on games where you buy a new level, power ups, and the like, allows you to send traffic to Borodin's web server that is setup to look like an Apple App Store server and then sends your iOS device a bogus acknowledgment that you've paid for the said app upgrade.

At the time I'm posting this, the bogus server that Borodin setup is offline. I'm not sure if that is because he was ordered to take it offline or that it is so busy from people trying to exploit the hack, that the server is just too busy to respond.

Update - 7/16/12

It didn't take long, but Apple has unleashed their engineers and lawyers. The service that allows free downloading of some in-app purchases has been shutdown and I'm sure the engineering teams are hard at work beefing up security features for the next version of Mac OS X and iOS.

[Via MacWorld.com...]

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rumor: 5th Generation iPod nano to be a Cross Between iPod touch and Previous iPod Nano

The rumor mill is showing equal amounts of love for the iPhone, iPad, and now the iPod.

Japanese language blog, Macotakara, has a conceptual rendering of what the a fifth generation iPod nano might look like.  The rumor suggests that the new design is a blending of previous iPod nano designs (the skinny, tall variety, not the boring square designs) and the iPod touch.


Not too bad.  I'd buy one.  But I've always liked the tall iPod nano designs.

Rumor: iPhone 5, iPad Mini Engineering Samples Surface

"Silly Season" is in full swing as we get closer to the rumored fall launch of the newest iPhone iteration and possible "iPad Mini" unveiling.



Today's rumor de jure is that engineering sample "bricks" have surfaced to allegedly validate recent rumors about the footprint change to the next iPhone and the moving toward mass production iPad Mini device that has been rumored ever since Steve Jobs walked off stage from the iPad launch event in 2010.

Take these photos with a grain of salt.  A Morton's salt canister is now taking up residence at the corner of my desk.

Photos courtesy of GottaBeMobile.com.

[Via AppleInsider.com...]

Monday, July 9, 2012

Apple Releases Golden Master OS X Mountain Lion to Developers

Earlier today, Apple released what is intended to be the final version of the next major OS X upgrade to developers.

The "golden master" release of Mac OS X Mountain Lion, now more hiply referred to simply as "OS X Mountain Lion", was released to developers for their final review.  The release has no know issues and is largely expected to be the version that will ship to customers later this month when he software goes on sale in the Mac App Store for $19.99.

A list of major features can be found on the Apple website.  As with Lion before it, the "iOS-ification" of Mac OS X continues as Apple further blends the familiar interfaced used on the iPhone and iPad into their desktop and notebook Macintosh system software.

When Mountain Lion goes on sale, it will support the following Macintosh models.
  • iMac mid-2007 and newer
  • MacBook late 2008 Aluminum or early 2009 and newer
  • MacBook Pro mid and late-2007 and newer
  • Xserve 2009
  • MacBook Air late 2008 and newer
  • Mac mini early 2009 and newer
  • Mac Pro early 2008 and newer
Be advised that not all models of hardware will be able to take advantage of all of the new features such as AirPlay.  AirPlay will only work on mid-2011 models of Macs and the second and third generation Apple TV boxes. Bummer.

For the full list of hardware and feature specific feature requirements, visit the Mountain Lion technical specifications page for more details.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

HP/Palm webOS 3.0 Update Log

HP/Palm's TouchPad ships with webOS 3.0.  You can find the update log for webOS 3.0 on the Palm website.  The latest (and possibly the last?) update for webOS is 3.0.5 build 86.

Palm webOS 3.0 update log...

HP/Palm TouchPad Unboxing

My refurbished HP Palm TouchPad 32GB unit arrived yesterday afternoon.  About all I was able to do with it was unbox it and charge it up.  I've started playing with it today and I'll be blogging more about it over the next few days, but for now, here are my unboxing photos.  They may not be sexy, but at least I have a TouchPad now.

If you had forgotten that you purchased a refurbished unit, HP will remind you.

Refurbished packing material is so unsexy.  The TouchPad is held in place by two foam blocks and the accessories are stuffed in to the slot on the left.

At least the TouchPad is shipped in the same protective film that new units are shipped in.  If you've unpacked an iPad, it's the same kind of plastic film.

Here we have the TouchPad, the power adapter and sync cable (similar to the ones shipped with the Pre series smartphones) and a cardboard box that contains the getting started guides, and obligatory legalese documents.  The box reads, "Now comes the fun part."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

HP WindsorNot webOS Smartphone

I liked my original Sprint Pre, but I would have much preferred a device like the unreleased WindsorNot.  This is just another shadow of a device that we'll never get to play with.  Sad, so sad.

I was never a huge fan of Palm's sliders, despite having purchased the Palm Pre, Tungsten T3 and Tungsten T on launch day for all three devices.  (I also built my own Tungsten T2 from OEM spare parts!!)

On second though, the WindsorNot looks a lot like a Pre3 without the slider.

[Via WebOSNation.com...]

Still Waiting...

Ugh!!  I'm still waiting for my HP/Palm TouchPad to arrive.  Maybe for the weekend.

Why Apple Will Make a 7-inch iPad

If you were around in 2010, you probably watched, or at least read about, Steve Jobs launching the iPad.  And let's face it, who didn't?

Back then in 2010, however, during the introduction of the iPad, Steve Jobs said that 7-inch tablets were DOA and that the 9.7-inch iPad was the optimal size for a magical touch interface.

Even with word coming down from on high that Apple wasn't about to release a smaller version of the iPad, rumors continued to persist since 2010 to today that deep in their super secret lab, Apple in fact had a 7-inch iPad prototype.  And now it looks like Apple is getting ready to release the tablet that Jobs said they would never do.  Back then.

So why the sudden change in heart from that early stance in 2010?

Rene Ritchie of iMore.com has an editorial up that I read last night and found myself agreeing with his position that the time is right for Apple to enter the 7-inch, low end tablet market.
"[E]ven considering the current iPad's incredible market lead, some customers are still choosing between it and a smaller and/or less expensive tablet."
And let's face it, there are a number of cheap 7-inch crappy Android powered tablets floating around out there.  But there are a few 7-inch tablets that are starting to gain some traction in the marketplace, namely the Barnes & Noble Nook, the Amazon Kindle Fire, and most recently, the Google Nexus 7 that will go on sale in a few short weeks.

If there was ever a time for Apple to jump into lower cost 7-inch tablet market, it's now.

Check out Mr. Ritchie's full article on iMore.com.

[Via iMore.com...]

Rent a 1995 Jobs Interview on iTunes

Looking for something to watch this weekend?  Why not check out "Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview"?

Originally released in theaters in a limited run, The Lost Interview gives us a look at Steve while he was still running NeXT Computer and a little computer animation studio called Pixar.

According to an article that appeared in FOX News' The Daily earlier this week, Apple considers this interview "too controversial" which is in stark contrast to their promotion of Jobs All Things Digital interviews released by the Wall Street Journal.

You can rent the video from the iTunes Store for $3.99.  There is no option to purchase the video.  You'll also have to search for the video manually, or click this handy iTunes Store link.

[Via The Daily...]

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My TouchPad is Spending Independence Day in Independence, KY

You all know that I'm a Palm junkie.  I have at least two dozen Palm devices in my collection of mobile gear.  My latest acquisition is the 'super natural' HP/Palm TouchPad.  I wrote about Walmart.com having a stock of refurbished units for sale in their online store.  Well, fittingly enough, my TouchPad is spending the 4th of July holiday in Independence, KY waiting to complete it's cross country trek from the left coast to the right coast.

Android on Your TouchPad

In other news, the CyanogenMod team, the folks who have been hard at working porting Google's Android OS to the HP TouchPad, have posted a new nightly build of their Android port that has enabled TouchPad microphone support.

Once I get my TouchPad and start playing with it, I'll blog about my experience installing the dual-boot software and Android.  I've only done a little reading on the subject, as in I know its possible and talked to WyreNut about his experience installing Android.

Stay tuned.

Happy Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July to all of our readers here in the United States!  Turn off your computers, put your smartphones and tablets in airplane mode, and go outside and enjoy the day!

RIM Executive in Denial

The public flame out of a smartphone company is never easy to bare, but at least RIM CEO Thorsten Heins is trying to keep us entertained.

The BlackBerry making chief was quoted as saying "There's nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now," in a recent interview with Canadian Broadcasting Corp's Metro Morning show.

Uh...ya.  Hilarious.

RIM's stock value has dropped something like 70-75% in value since the beginning of 2012.  2012!!  Adding insult to injury, there have been departures from the executive wing, layoffs coming for some 5,000 employees, 6-day work weeks and restricted summer vacations for the remaining employees, and RIM's golden egg, a new iPhone-like BlackBerry running the newly rewritten BlackBerry OS 10 won't be ready until the first half of 2013.  (And well all know that when a tech company says 'the first half of' we can safely assume the very last of the first half.)  Research in Motion is the new Palm.  Anyone remember the Palm Pre and webOS 1.0 back in 2009?

Yup, that sounds like a company that's headed in the right direction.

Look, I like BlackBerry hardware. I still have my Curve and Storm2.  They were good messaging devices and I get the whole "Crackberry" thing.  If RIM really wants to get some market share going, I say look to recent history to get  a new game plan.  HP's Palm TouchPad shot up to the number 2 tablet in the US when they had a fire sale to draw down inventory.  The TouchPad, #2!!  People where lining up for HP's 'hot' new little tablet and got the lines Palm always wanted for one of their devices.

RIM is reportedly sitting on a $1 billion dollars stockpile of Blackberry smartphones and Playbook tablets.  They should start selling them at a deep discount, without cellular service contracts from the BlackBerry website.  Who knows, it could work.  I'd like to have a BlackBerry Bold with BlackBerry OS 7 and a BlackBerry Playbook in my collection.  They would be fun toys to play with.  Maybe RIM can get a temporary boost in marketshare, and more importantly, mindshare, until they can get the new BlackBerry smartphone out.  If there is no 2-year contract that I'm bound to, there is no reason why I can't march into an AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile store and buy a new BlackBerry...assuming that the top four US carriers actually picks up the new device.

So, to recap:

1. RIM CEO Heins is drinking too much "BlackBerry" Kool-Aid
2. Make no mistake about it, RIM is in serious trouble

[Photo credit: David Manning/Reuters, via The Daily]

Monday, July 2, 2012

MobileMe Closed Down, iWork is Next

Yesterday marked an important milestone in Apple's cloud strategy; the shuttering of MobileMe.  The iWork website is next on the chopping block and is currently scheduled to be shutdown on July 31.

iCloud, introduced last year along side iOS 5 is the replacement for MobileMe and iWork.  MobileMe used to be a $99/year subscription service for synchronizing all sorts of information between your Macs, PCs and iPhones.  Even though the MobileMe service is, for all intents and purposes, "closed," subscribers can still login to the MobileMe.com website and migrate their data over to Apple's new iCloud service.


iWork.com was launched in 2009 as a way for  iWork '09 users to share their iWork documents with others.  Visitors to the iWork.com website are greeted a warning banner that the service is closing down at the end of the month.  iWork.com users were also notified via email that they will need to download their documents or risk losing them.

MobileMe has not been the shining star that Apple had hoped it would be.  In Walter Isaacson's autobiography of the late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, it is recorded that Walt Mossberg's headline regarding MobileMe was "Apple's MobileMe Is Far TooFlawed to Be Reliable."  Anyone who has followed Steve Jobs "second act" at Apple knows that a headline was not going to be allowed to stand. Mr. Isaacon also recounts Mr. Jobs f-bomb laced furry at the MobileMe team.

I was never a subscriber to MobileMe, as the $99 annual price tag seemed a bit steep for an email account, cloud storage, and personal data syncing, especially since Google offered similar services for free. (And I was a Palm Pre/webOS user at the time.)

MobileMe users can start their iCloud migration from MobileMe.com.