Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Is wave-to-pay coming to the iPhone?

Almost as curious as the fact that China Unicom has started advertising Apple's iPhone on its Shanghai website — even though no agreement to sell the device in China has been announced — are some of the advanced features Unicom is promoting.

As Dan Butterfield reported early Wednesday on his iPhonAsia website, these include several functions that aren't officially available on current model iPhones, including:

  • Wave-to-pay ("Near-Field-Communication (NFC) swipe card handset) offers convenience for those who use public transportation.
  • Mobile TV
  • Tethering (connecting a laptop to a cell phone's wireless network)
  • Video conferencing
The wave-to-pay — is of particular interest to Chinese customers, according to Butterfield. Visa Inc. offers similar service in the United States, called Paywave, whereby cardholders can make purchases at some 32,000 retailers by waving their Visa card in front of special point-of-sale cardreaders. In Japan, half of cell phone owners — about 50 million users — carry phones that have so-called near field communications capability built-in.

Full article here
Unicom website related to iPhone here (in Chinese Language)
 

Apple iPhone "Get Ready" List

Apple "Get Ready" web page not only lets users know what they can do to prepare for using their iPhone, it also includes what is effectively the most comprehensive feature list we've yet seen from Apple for the iPhone.

Get Ready for iPhone
iPhone features an amazing mobile phone, is the best iPod we've ever created, and puts the Internet in your pocket with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching, and maps. And iPhone makes it all easy to use with its revolutionary multi-touch user interface. iPhone syncs with your PC or Mac just like an iPod, so organizing your content now will help you start calling, texting, emailing, surfing, listening, and watching even faster when you get your iPhone. Here are a few suggestions to help you get ready:

Contacts
Making a call with iPhone is as simple as tapping a name. You won't need to re-enter all your contacts because iPhone syncs with the address book you already use on your computer -- Address Book or Entourage on a Mac, or Outlook or Outlook Express on a PC. If you keep your contacts on the web using Yahoo! Address Book, iPhone can sync with them, too. To get ready for iPhone, organize your contacts in one of these applications and make sure they're up to date with the latest phone numbers and email addresses. If you don't have contacts on your computer, don't worry. You can still enter them directly into iPhone.

Calendar
Using its built-in calendar, iPhone lets you check your appointments with the flick of a finger. iPhone uses iTunes to sync with the calendar application you already use on your computer -- iCal or Entourage on the Mac, or Outlook on a PC -- just like it does with your contacts. If you don't already use one of these applications to manage your appointments, now is a great time to start, so you'll be ready to sync when your iPhone arrives. If you choose not to use a calendar program, that's OK. You'll be able to enter appointments directly into the iPhone calendar.

Email
iPhone is the first phone to come with a desktop-class email application. So now your phone can display rich HTML email with graphics and photos alongside the text. iPhone will even fetch your latest email every time you open the application and automatically retrieve your email on a set schedule, just like a computer does. iPhone works with the most popular email systems -- including Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, AOL, and .Mac Mail. If you're not already using one of these services, now would be a great time to get an account. iTunes will make email setup on iPhone a breeze by automatically syncing the settings from email accounts stored in Mail on a Mac or Outlook on a PC. Don't worry if you're not on one of these email services; iPhone also works with almost any industry-standard POP3 and IMAP email system.

Photos
iPhone has a 2-megapixel camera and a gorgeous 3.5-inch display, so it's a great way to enjoy and show off your digital photos. iPhone uses iTunes to sync your photos from iPhoto on a Mac or Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Photoshop Album, or any picture folder on a PC. You can carry thousands of photos on iPhone, but you can start by creating an album or two with 50 to 100 of your favorite photos, so that when you first sync your iPhone, you'll be ready to quickly show off some of your best shots.

Music & Video
iPhone is the best iPod ever. Its beautiful, 3.5-inch widescreen display allows you to easily enjoy the music, TV shows, and movies you have in your iTunes library. If you already use iTunes, you can start getting ready for iPhone by creating a playlist of a few hundred of your favorite songs. If you don't have iTunes, now is a good time to download it and start a music and video library. That way, when you sync your iPhone with iTunes, you'll be able to take your favorite music, as well as a few of your TV shows and movies, with you wherever you go.

iTunes Account
To set up your iPhone, you'll need an account with Apple's iTunes Store. If you already have an iTunes account, make sure you know your account name and password. If you don't have an account, you should set one up now to save time later. To set up an account, launch iTunes, select the iTunes Store, and click the Sign In button in the upper right corner of iTunes. Sign in and you're ready to go.

 
The post web page here
 

It’s an iPod world; How ready are you for Apple’s MP3-player monopoly?

Lance Ulanoff wrote for PC Magazine.
"The transition is complete. My formerly heterogeneous home MP3 environment has transformed into a one-company, one-brand house. Everyone is using Apple iPods,"

"Is anyone really still competing with iPods? Colby, Cowon, Samsung, Sony, and others are still producing MP3 players, but I rarely see them in the wild. Honestly, not one of these products is as sexy, exciting, or innovative as the iPod touch. The touch, however, was not the game changer. In my opinion, the reason the MP3 market is on its way to becoming a one-man show is the iPhone,"

"Apple's iPhone is the single best combo phone/MP3 player. If you're buying a new phone, it's on your short list—it's on everybody's short list. For the majority of consumers, once they have an iPhone, there's no real need to buy a separate MP3 player. The iPhone is the gateway for Apple's music, video, apps, and iTunes ecosystem. Once consumers step in, they find the most extensible device and environment they've ever seen,"
 
"Does any other product offer a similar experience?"

"I'm not saying an Apple monopoly of the MP3 market is a good thing, but it is a real possibility. More and more MP3 manufacturers are likely to bow out of the business. As I've said before, the Microsoft Zune will no longer be a standalone player. It will live as a feature in future Windows Mobile devices. I can't see much of a future for the Zune Marketplace, either,"

"My own iPod story is bound to be replayed over and over again in homes around the country," 
 
"Take a look around you. How many music players aside from iPods (of all stripes) and iPhones do you see?"

Full article here.

China Unicom to sell Apple iPhone in May

SHANGHAI, Mar 25, 2009 confirmed Wednesday that it would start to sell Apple's iPhone in China on May 17.

China Unicom will see both chances and challenges if introducing iPhone to China, according to Gui Kai, an analyst from Guosen Securities.

By introducing iPhone, it will attract more clients, expand its market share and improve its business performance in a short term.

However, it might also have to give away large revenue share.

Wan Jinjin, an analyst from UBS Securities, said earlier in a report that China Unicom might have to shoulder a heavy burden, since iPhone is likely to be highly subsidized. Besides, it could limit the business expansion by setting a threshold of average revenue per user (ARPU) for its iPhone users.

According to Yi Difei, a China Unicom official in charge of news release, the company will start trial operation of commercial 3G business in 55 cities across the country on the same day. The concrete time for official operation depends on results of the trial operation.

Users need not to worry about shortage of terminals, since there are plenty of WCDMA phones on the market at present.
 
Original article here

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Apple announces Cross Border ordering to 20 countries

Apple on Tuesday quietly introduced its new Cross Border campaign, which allows US-based customers to make purchases for recipients located in Mexico, 15 countries across Europe, and 4 countries in Southeast Asia.

The move means, for example, that parents in the US can now purchase a new Mac for their son or daughter who may be studying abroad in the UK or France. Prior to this week, it was not possible for customers to purchase Apple products -- either online or by phone -- for delivery to a different country.

The Cupertino-based company is currently guaranteeing door-to-door delivery of products ordered in the US to 20 countries including: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. 

Important note: Canada remains conspicuously absent from the list.
 
Additional details on Apple's Cross Border international gift-giving campaign are available here.

Computerworld: Why even IT pros are demanding Macs

"The rise of the Mac in the enterprise is increasing because users are finding ever more ingenious ways to work with Apple's accommodating platform. A mid-2008 Yankee Group survey of 750 senior IT executives found nearly 80% have Macs onboard, up from 47% in 2006. Nearly a quarter of these have 30 or more Mac boxes. Usability features such as Safari browsing, iChat videoconferencing, FileVault encryption, Back To My Mac remote control, Spotlight search, and Time Machine backup were cited as primary user attractants,"

"You might think the Mac value proposition story has been told, but the reasons for Mac popularity are diverse and steadily increasing — and not just with end-users,"

Mel Beckman reports for Computerworldfull article here.

Millions of infected Microsoft Windows PCs face doomsday on April 1; Macintosh unaffected

"A computer-science detective story is playing out on the Internet as security experts try to hunt down a worm called Conficker C and prevent it from damaging millions of computers on April Fool's Day,"

"The anti-worm researchers have banded together in a group they call the Conficker Cabal. Members are searching for the malicious software program's author and for ways to do damage control if he or she can't be stopped," 
 
"The malicious program already is thought to have infected between 5 million and 10 million computers."

"Those infections haven't spawned many symptoms, but on April 1 a master computer is scheduled to gain control of these zombie machines, said Don DeBolt, director of threat research for CA, a New York-based IT and software company,"
 
"What happens on April Fool's Day is anyone's guess."

"The program could delete all of the files on a person's computer, use zombie PCs -- those controlled by a master -- to overwhelm and shut down Web sites or monitor a person's keyboard strokes to collect private information like passwords or bank account information, experts said."

"DeBolt said Conficker C imbeds itself deep in the computer where it is difficult to track. The program, for instance, stops Windows from conducting automatic updates that could prevent the malware from causing damage,"
 
"The program's code is also written to evolve over time and its author appears to be making updates to thwart some of the Conficker Cabal's attempts to neuter the worm."

 John D. Sutter wrote for CNN, full article here.
 
 
 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Apple Bluetooth Headset Discontinued

Apple this weekend appears to have discontinued its iPhone Bluetooth Headset, a possible sign that the company could be planning to introduce an updated model alongside new iPhones a bit later this year or cede the market segment to third parties.
 
The single-button headset was first introduced in June 2007 alongside the original iPhone. It sold for $129 and was bundled with a Bluetooth Travel Cable and a Dual Dock that could charge both the iPhone and headset.

A year later, Apple dropped the price of the headset to $99 to coincide with the release of the iPhone 3G, but also stopped including Dual Dock, which was perminently discontinued to the dismay of some costomers.

The headset has drawn accolades for its easy setup and elegantly slim, lightweight design, but has also been criticized for its limited range, battery life and lack of voice dial controls.

Apple Premium Pricing Buys More Than a Logo

"I find Mac users to be more productive than Windows users because they spend less time "messing" with the computer and solving (or not) various Windows hassles. In a business environment, this saving of staff time can offset the Mac premium so quickly it will make your head spin. Ease-of-use saves money."  David Coursey wrote.
 
"In addition, many people will happily pay $300 to not be subjected to Windows Vista. Others, like me, do not find Vista that objectionable (and are liking Windows 7) but still believe Mac OS X is worth a premium."  David Coursey wrote.
 
Full article here
 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Firmware 3.0 to support several new iPhones, iPods?

Following the beta release of the iPhone OS 3.0, an observer has noted that Apple included code for several new product designations, according to the Boy Genius Report. In addition to the iPhone2,1 hardware ID that was noticed in January, the upcoming OS allegedly includes a second model, iPhone 3,1, which could indicate yet another handset in the product pipeline.

There are also two new iPod IDs for unannounced products; iPod2,2 and iPod3,1, while hardware designations iProd0,1 and iFPGA do not fit into any recognizable category of existing devices. 

Full story here.

iPhone 3.0 seed shows tethering, recovery in place

Two unexpected features are in place within the iPhone 3.0 beta firmware, separate sources have uncovered. In uploading ... 
 

iPhone OS 3.0: Enterprise Angle Is in the Details

 

Five Ways Apple's iPhone OS 3.0 Upgrade Will Improve Your Mobile Life

The new Apple iPhone OS 3.0 software will be available to iPhone and iPod touch users this summer with more than 100 new features. Here's a look at the five that will rock your world.

1. Cut, copy and paste

2. Multimedia messaging

3. Bluetooth, unlocked

4. Voice Memo

5. Search

The original article here

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

iPhone 3.0 to offer MobileMe users "Find My iPhone" feature

A new feature in the iPhone 3.0 firmware appears to let users remotely pinpoint a lost or stolen phone by securely requesting the device's location via Apple's MobileMe service.
 
The setting appears under the MobileMe settings page, where push updates for mail, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks are configured. Below these settings is a simple control to activate "Find My iPhone."

When activated, the phone opens an alert that says, "this enables the "Find my iPhone" service on your MobileMe account at me.com." It would appear that the service obtains the iPhone's location and makes it available to the MobileMe user on request if the unit is lost or stolen.
 
Full article here
 

Messages—the secret to the iPhone’s success in India

The iPhone has made waves around the world ever since its debut in June 2007 and subsequent rollout around the world. That includes my home turf of India, home to "mobile crazy" masses. Over here, we had to wait for more than a year after the original iPhone's U.S. release before the iPhone was finally launched in India by both Airtel and Vodafone in August 2008.
 
Given the amount of excitement that heralded the Indian launch of the iPhone (not to mention the rampant sales of jailbroken iPhones that preceded it), it was widely expected that the iPhone would do well in this country, which is home to one of the most rapidly developing telecommunications industries in the world. However, sales figures for the iPhone have been quite underwhelming in India, as hesitant as Apple, Airtel, and Vodafone may be to admit it.
 
Full article here

Rogers change may push full-price iPhone upgrade

A Rogers internal notice obtained today by BGR suggests that existing iPhone owners may be asked to pay full price to upgrade for a likely hardware replacement this year. The Canadian cellular provider's memo notes that the period before a smartphone subscriber qualifies for the Hardware Upgrade Plan (HUP), or a discounted phone replacement, has been doubled from one to two years as of Tuesday. ...
 
Full article here

Apple adds iPhone OS 3.0 Sneak Peek video podcast to iTunes Store

Yesterday in Cupertino, California, over the course of nearly 90-minutes, Apple unveiled details about iPhone OS 3.0 software and released the new iPhone Software Development Kit for developers.

Apple has posted a free video podcast of the event in the company's iTunes Store.

Watch the video (1:17:20) of the presentation via iTunes
here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

iPhone 3.0 consumer features

Apple has announced iPhone 3.0, there is the list of the major features for the end-users:
  • Copy text out of any application, by double-tapping on text to select a single word or one or more blocks of text. Pasting relies on the same menu, and can be undone by shaking the phone.
  • Mail multiple photos at a time, and universal support of the landscape keyboard across all Apple apps. A critical new function is said to be the ability to send files via MMS, including audio clips, location data and contact cards.
  • A built-in Voice Memo app has been introduced
  • Stocks can now display news
  • Calendar app has been expanded to support CalDAV and subscriptions using the ICS format 
  • Most built-in software now includes integrated search functions, and a Spotlight utility can be accessed by flicking left at the Home screen, in order to search through all content including iPod libraries.
  • Note sync
  • Auto-login for Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Stereo Bluetooth audio.
  • Safari is now able to remember login credentials, and detect phishing attempts in the same manner as its desktop counterpart.
  • YouTube users can save favorite videos and subscribe to channels.



Monday, March 16, 2009

Maine expanding school laptop program with Apple

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Despite the economic turmoil, Maine is expanding its program to provide laptop computers to students.

Maine started its first-in-the-nation program by distributing more than 30,000 computers to each seventh- and eighth-grader in all of the state's public schools in 2002 and 2003. Now the goal is to provide a laptop to every public school student in grades 7-12 by the fall.

About 30 high schools already have laptops that they obtained outside the scope of the original program. But now all 120 of Maine's high schools, along with 241 middle schools, will have new laptops under the same program, at a cost of about $242 per computer per year, said Education Commissioner Susan Gendron.

Education Department officials announced this week that they're negotiating a four-year lease with Apple Inc. for 100,000 Apple MacBook laptops.

Full story here.
 

Friday, March 13, 2009

10 iPhone Apps That Make Enterprise Life Easier


A growing crowd of developers and top application vendors such as Citrix Systems, Oracle and Google are releasing smartphone apps for the enterprise. These programs allow users to read reports on their Web site traffic, view real-time business performance info and even note GPS positions while hopelessly lost on a sales trip. Take a look. 

read more >>

Maine to more than double its Apple MacBook program to 100,000 students

David Sharpe reports for The Associated Press on March 12, 2009.
 
"Maine is expanding its program to provide laptop computers to 100,000 students," 
 
"The goal is to provide a laptop to every public school student in grades seven through 12 by the fall, adding 53,000 high schoolers to the program, said Education Commissioner Susan Gendron."

"Gov. John Baldacci hinted at an expansion of the laptop computer program in his State of the State address Tuesday night, and Education Department officials announced Wednesday that they're negotiating a four-year lease with Apple Inc. for 100,000 Apple MacBook laptops,"

"Maine started its first-in-the-nation program by distributing more than 30,000 computers to each seventh- and eighth-grader in all of the state's state public schools in 2002 and 2003," 
 
"About 30 high schools also have laptops that they obtained outside the scope of the original program. Now, all 120 of Maine's high schools, along with 241 middle schools, will have new laptops under the same program at a cost of about $242 per computer per year, Gendron said."

Full article here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Apple announces special iPhone 3.0 event for March 17

Apple today sent out invitations to the media for a special event to be held in the Apple Town Hall on Apple's Cupertino, CA campus on March 17 at 10am PDT to discuss the iPhone 3.0 software and SDK.

Nothing else is known about the event or who from Apple will present the information.

Last year, Apple held their special iPhone 2.0 roadmap event on March 6th and released iPhone 3G to the public on July 11, 2008.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Read more in the full article here.

Apple's New iPod shuffle Talks to You

The post-Steve Jobs Apple (we don't know if Jobs is on leave or retiring) clearly believes that the sneak attack is best. For the second time in as many weeks, Apple has launched a brand new product without even a minute of advance notice. This time, it's a new iPod shuffle. The fourth generation of this screenless product is smaller than ever and can tell you which song, album, and artist you're listening to. We have a report and will have a review within a day or so. Speaking of Apple, the rumor mill is in overdrive about a potential new dual-touch-screen netbook that Apple may or may not be working on. Gearlog is tracking this story

All About the 4th-Gen Shuffle

 

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Maximizing the lifespan and battery life of your iPhone

For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it's important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Be sure to go through at least one charge cycle per month (charging the battery to 100% and then completely running it down).
 
For more information, please visit http://www.apple.com/batteries/iphone.html
 

Apple orders 10-inch touchscreens for mystery product

In a report published early Wednesday morning, the media outlet pointed to an unnamed source who said the Cupertino-based electronics maker "will take third-quarter delivery of newly developed 10-inch touchscreens from Taiwan."

The source, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to talk to the media, added the screens would come from long-time iPhone touchscreen supplier Wintek, which resides in Taiwan.
 
Last fall, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs referred to the segment as a "nascent category" while adding that to the best of his knowledge, "there's not a lot of them being sold."

That said, he noted that Apple keeps a close eye on netbooks, and even went on to tease that the company has "some pretty interesting ideas" should the segment evolve into something bigger.
 
"We don't think people will be pleased with those [netbook] products," he told analysts during a conference call. "It's a category we watch, we've got some ideas here, but right now we think the products are inferior and will not provide an experience to customers they're happy with."
 
 
Full article here

New iPhone and iPod touch specs and features leak?

Software developer Derek Underwood reports via his blog to list the features of new iPhone and iPod Touch (there are subject to change but are likely to be accurate). Note that this is not official information provided by Apple.

• CPU: The new iPhone will have a CPU that is faster than the current CPU in the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch
• Memory: The new iPhone and iPod Touch will have a larger amount of system memory
• Concurrent Apps: An increase in CPU speed and system memory will allow more than one app to remain resident at a time.
• Sandboxing Shared-Space: Apps will remain sandboxed from each other and from the system apps. However, the new iPhone platform will provide for shared-space to be used by any application
• Substantially Improved Battery Life: Utilizing technologies most recently on display in the 17″ MacBook Pro
• Form Factor: New iPhone will look slightly different but will be a similar size overall
• To-Do Sync for MobileMe
• Safari 4 and Cover Flow
• Cut and Paste with system-wide "clipboard"
• Pricing: Users with existing iPhone will be given the option to upgrade before their contract expires with a reduced rate for the new iPhone
• Camera: The new iPhone will have an improved camera and will allow third party apps to access the camera and will allow for video and not just still photos

More details in the full article here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Apple’s App Store: 25,000 apps and counting

Other smartphone manufacturers may be rushing out their versions of Apple's App Store — the latest being Research in Motion's "App World" for the BlackBerry, set to open this month — but that hasn't slowed the developers writing programs for the iPhone and iPod touch.
 
25,000 apps (2)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The latest milestone: the 25,000th app, reached sometime overnight Thursday, according to the website 148Apps, which keeps a running count that updates automatically. For a breakdown of the types of applications included in those 25,000, see below
 
148Apps 25,000
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Full article here
 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New wired keyboard -- sans numeric keypad -- ships with iMac

It may not be as exciting as the new Mac Pros, Mac minis, or iMacs, but Apple also quietly added a new version of its wired USB keyboard on Tuesday, this one without the numeric keypad. Apple is so sure that this one is better, in fact, that it's now the default keyboard that ships with the latest iMac models.

The new keyboard combines the ultra-compact design of the existing Bluetooth Apple Wireless Keyboard with the two USB 2.0 ports of Apple's standard keyboard.

Although standard with the new iMac, you can opt to replace the new keyboard with the Apple Keyboard With Numeric Keypad for no cost when configuring your purchase (similarly, Mac Pro users can choose the smaller wired keyboard instead). For both the Mac Pro and the iMac, the wireless keyboard is a $30 option.

Original article here

 

Apple's new AirPort, Time Capsule add dual-band networking

Apple on Tuesday refreshed its AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule wireless products by adding a new Guest Network feature and support for simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual-band networking.

Simultaneous dual-band

Some Wi-Fi devices use the 2.4GHz wireless band, including iPhone, iPod touch, and devices using 802.11b/g. Other devices can use either 2.4GHz or the higher-speed 5GHz band, such as the latest 802.11n-based Mac computers and Apple TV. Instead of choosing one of the bands, AirPort Extreme now operates simultaneously on both bands, and your multiband devices automatically use the best available band. This means all your Wi-Fi devices get the fastest possible wireless performance and the best possible range.

Share the Internet securely with guest networking.

Now it's easier than ever to allow guests to use your Internet connection without sharing your password or giving them access to the rest of your network. Simply enable the new guest networking feature using the AirPort Utility application and create a separate Wi-Fi network just for your friends. You can set up this guest network with a different password or with none at all. Your primary network — including your printer, attached drives, or other devices — remains secure.

Read more:
apple.com/airportextreme or apple.com/timecapsule

Apple debuts new Mac minis with five times better graphics

Apple announces most energy efficient Mac ever: the new Mac miniStarting at $599, the new Mac mini is an innovative, tiny desktop that measures just 6.5 by 6.5 by 2 inches. Now featuring the same groundbreaking NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics processsor that comes in MacBook family computers, it delivers up to five times better graphics performance. It's also the world's most energy efficient desktop, drawing less than 13 watts of power when idle. The new Mac mini is in stores now.