Official Google Voice app appears in App Store

Google Voice for iPhone

Google Voice for iPhone

Back in the middle of 2009, Google submitted an official Google Voice App for iPhone that would allow users to manage their Google Voice account and place calls using the service, along with free text messaging, voicemail playback and transcription.

At the time we expected Apple would simply approve it and that would be that, but instead Apple chose to “study” it for another 16 months, and in the meantime they also pulled all of the other third party Google Voice apps from the App Store, citing “duplication of built-in functionality” because of the text messaging and phone dialer capabilities.

But in September of this year, Apple chose to allow the third party GV Apps back into the App Store, and at the time we speculated that Apple would probably allow the real Google Voice App, the one that started this whole mess, back into the App Store as well. Read more

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Apple posts iTunes teaser front and center on Apple.com

Apple.com

Apple has replaced the front page of Apple.com with a teaser for something iTunes-related due to happen tomorrow morning, Tuesday, November 16th.

In large bolded text, the page reads “Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget”. Under that text is a curiously worded invitation to check back Tuesday for an “exciting announcement from iTunes”.

And under the text are 4 clocks each showing a different time from California, New York, London and Tokyo, which could be a clever way for Apple to announce that whatever is going to happen tomorrow, will happen at 10AM Eastern Time, but will be relevant for everyone around the world, at least in markets which currently have an iTunes Store.

Apple would not make such a big deal out of releasing iOS 4.2, however they would make a big deal out something like cloud based iTunes streaming or a subscription music service. Read more

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Oracle and Apple bringing OpenJDK to Mac OS X

Java

Following Apple’s deprecation of their own Java distribution for Mac OS X, many developers were concerned the company would simply drop Java completely, leaving it up to Oracle or IBM or the open source community to develop, test and release an integrated Java distribution for Mac OS X. Many were also concerned that only Apple would be able to provide the necessary source code to correctly integrate a Java distribution into Mac OS X.

There are alternative Java distributions for Mac OS X, such as the SoyLatte project, however they do not integrate well with Mac OS X, leaving Java as a second class citizen on the platform.

But a new Apple press release just posted this morning announces that the company plans to participate in the OpenJDK project along with Oracle, to bring an officially supported, tightly integrated OpenJDK release to Mac OS X. Read more

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iOS 4.2 is now Gold Master

While the official public release isn’t due until sometime later in November, Apple has seeded paid iOS developers with a Gold Master build of iOS 4.2 for the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4, iPod Touch 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation, and the iPad.

The newly updated Apple TV hardware is also likely to be updated to iOS 4.2 at some point this month or early in December, however as there is no Apple TV developer program right now, Apple is not providing early access to iOS builds for that device.

A new Xcode build and the corresponding iOS SDK is also available to paid developers.

As previously reported, the screen rotation lock button on the iPad is now going to be a mute button, which Apple mentions in the release notes for the iOS 4.2 GM seed:

The iPad screen rotation lock switch now functions as a sound/silent switch in iOS 4.2.

Read more
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Jobs: No USB3 at this time

External hard drives have become truly massive; Western Digital, Seagate and others now sell 3TB drives, and Drobo allows up to 16TB of storage to be used in some models.

However, while many of these external storage devices support Firewire or eSATA, many are limited to relatively slow USB2 connections. Some Macs are also limited to USB2, such as the Macbook Air, leaving users stuck with a connection that can only push 30MB/s in an ideal situation. Mac users frequently report even lower speeds while running Mac OS X compared to the same machine running Windows.

While many users can get by with the slower USB2 connection, the bottleneck becomes apparent when large files need to be moved on or off the external drive, or when the user wishes to move all of their files from one drive to another; moving 3TB over a USB2 connection can take almost 2 days. Read more

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White iPhone not coming until 2011

We know some of you were hoping to get your hands on a white iPhone 4 soon, but unfortunately you’re going to be disappointed for a little while longer; an Apple representative has told Reuters that the white iPhone is not coming until spring 2011.

Rumors of manufacturing problems with the white iPhone model have been making the rounds on tech blogs for a few weeks, but it appears that whatever is causing the delay has become significant enough that Apple has pushed the release date well into 2011.

Due to Apple’s annual release schedule for new iPhone hardware, some pundits have voiced concern that there may not even be a white iPhone 4, since the iPhone 5 would be due out only a few months later at WWDC 2011. Read more

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Macbook Air no longer ships with Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash

Early reviewers of Apple’s recently overhauled Macbook Air portable computer line have noticed that Apple no longer ships Adobe’s Flash runtime with the operating system preloaded on those machines.

While Apple has been quite vocal about their contempt for Adobe Flash, going so far as to completely exclude it from all mobile iOS devices, until now they have preinstalled the plugin on each new Mac, ensuring that webpages and all the content on them will “just work” in most cases.

Apple’s reason for excluding Flash on the new Macbook Air may have something to do with battery life; Flash is known to cause significant performance problems, and in prior Macbook Air models, Flash was frequently accused of being the root cause of overheating and sudden shutdown issues. Read more

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Apple deprecates Java

Java logo

In a note accompanying the Java platform update released yesterday, Apple has announced that in future versions of Mac OS X, they no longer intend to maintain their Java runtime with the same level of attention as they have in the past, and they may not ship Java as part of the operating system at all.

However, as Apple shipped Java runtimes in both Leopard and Snow Leopard, they will continue to support the Java releases on those platforms during their respective lifecycles.

The Java runtime that is available in Mac OS X is maintained by Apple itself, and is a port of Sun/Oracle’s official Java runtime, with extra class libraries included for integrating with Cocoa and the native graphical display system. Read more

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iLife ’11 now available

Apple announced the next major release of iLife today, including a few welcome enhancements and a shift toward user interface elements that are very strongly influenced by iOS.

iPhoto was demonstrated first, and Phil Schiller was on stage to show of some of the new features, including a full screen interface that any iPhone or iPad user would recognize as using the same “tab bar” common to the iOS device family as well as iPad style photo albums:

iPhone '11

iPhoto '11, credit: Engadget

Major new features include the ability to pull photos from Flickr, post photos to Facebook and see comments from friends, email photos directly from iPhoto, as well as new full screen faces and places views. Also added is the ability to make letterpress cards right from the application, no word yet on how much this costs. Read more

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Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” announced, will include Mac App Store

Today, the next major version of Mac OS X was announced and a few key features were demonstrated on stage.

The biggest announcement of course is the Mac App Store, which will allow developers to sell software to Mac users in a curated environment much like the iOS App Store. The App Store will be included in 10.7 “Lion” but will be available for Snow Leopard in 90 days.

With some clear design inspiration from iOS, the next version of Mac OS X also includes some iPad-like functionality. For instance, Apple wants to emphasize full screen applications, and has included some UI elements that are directly taken from iOS such as the “tab bar” that iPhone and iPad users will be familiar with. Read more

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Mac App Store coming in January with some strange restrictions

Mac App Store

Mac App Store

Apple is looking to extend the wild success of the iOS App Store with one specifically built for Mac OS X applications.

The Mac App store will be a separate application that resembles iTunes in many ways, but functionally it will be similar to the App Store on iOS; users will browse the store for Mac applications, which can be free or paid, pay for them using their iTunes account, and the application will then be downloaded and automatically added to the Dock.

Applications sold through the Mac App Store will also function similar in some ways to iPad applications; they will automatically save configuration and user information, and will save state and “pause” when closed. Users can then reopen the application at a later time and pick up where they left off. Read more

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FaceTime comes to the Mac

Facetime for Mac

Facetime for Mac

Apple used todays Media Event to announce FaceTime for Mac OS X, allowing interoperability with “19 million other devices” that support the video calling system. The new software is available only for Macs running OS X 10.6.4, and is available today as a beta from Apple’s website.

During the event, Jobs referred to FaceTime as the “first video calling on mobile devices”, which of course is not true, but we have no doubt it is the first built in video calling system that people will actually use, particularly if they can communicate with people back at home using Macs and potentially other desktop or laptop computers.

Though FaceTime for Mac beta is a separate application, much of the core functionality is shipped inside the .App bundle as Frameworks which will likely be included in a future Mac OS X update as system wide frameworks. Read more

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Redesigned Macbook Air unveiled

Macbook Air

Twins

Macbook Air got a complete overhaul today; gone are the slow storage options, the single screen size and the flip out door for ports, in their place we have 2 new models with updated specs and lower prices.

Before we get to the specs though, Jobs made an interesting statement during the presentation, he called the new Air “the future of notebooks”. We could write that off as marketing speak, however an even stronger statement is now prominently displayed on the Macbook Air product page, which you can see below:

Next Generation of Macbooks

Next Generation of Macbooks

The Next Generation of Macbooks. It’s hard to take that any other way so we’ll just say it, Apple plans to replace the white macbook line with these new Air devices at some point in the near future. Read more

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October 20th Apple Event preview

Steve Jobs will once again take to the stage tomorrow, Wednesday October 20th at the “Town Hall” on Apple’s Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California to unveil a new round of products and technology previews with his infamous headline-grabbing presentation style. What will be announced? Grapevine consensus appears to have a firm grasp of the big picture, but as to the details….

With a few notable exceptions (the small number of people working on certain projects within Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion,” internal code name ‘Barolo,’ force us to sit on details of those projects until after the Event when even if those projects aren’t mentioned during the Event, they will be known to a wider group within Infinite Loop and leaks can no longer be tied so easily to our sources), what we’ve been told by some of our oldest and most reliable contacts in Cupertino comports very closely with the grapevine’s consensus of what to expect tomorrow:

*Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” as hinted by Apple’s logo for the Event:

Apple's Back to the Mac October 20th Apple Event logo

….Lion is a collection of long-standing projects, many of them held back from the Leopard and Snow Leopard development cycles because they were too ambitious and too out of sync with Apple’s priorities at the time to make the cut for those releases. Read more

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Verizon, AT&T to begin selling iPads

Apple has announced that both AT&T and Verizon Wireless will begin selling the iPad in their respective retail stores, starting on October 28th.

AT&T will be selling the 3G model at the standard price points of $629 for the 16GB version, $729 for the 32GB version, and $829 for the 64GB version. Because the iPad 3G service provided by AT&T is prepaid with no contract, there is no discount for purchasing the device directly from AT&T.

While the 3G iPad is still a GSM device, Verizon Wireless plans to offer bundles containing the Wi-Fi iPad together with a Novatel Mi-Fi 3G router, which will provide users with the same mobile connectivity that AT&T iPad users currently enjoy. Price points will match the 3G model but will include the Novatel Mi-Fi router and a special service plan offering 1GB of data transfer for $20 per month ($20 per 1GB overage), 3GB for $35 or 5GB for $50 (both $10 per 1GB overage). Read more

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