Jun 09

iPhone 3G announced at WWDC ’08

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Today at WWDC ’08, Apple announced the iPhone 3G.

Available on July 11th at a price of $199 for an 8G model and $299 for the 16G, the new iPhone features 3G data (twice as fast as EDGE), built-in true GPS, and enterprise support. Battery life is improved, with 300 hours of standby time, 10 hours of 2G talk time, 5 hours of 3G talk time, 5-6 hours of 3G browsing, 7 hours of video, or 24 hours of audio.

The new iPhone has a black plastic back and solid metal buttons (for the 8G model) or an available white back on the 16G model. The display and camera are the same, with the headphone jack now being flush with the top of the phone, and audio is improved.

Update: The WWDC Keynote Speech is now online.

May 22

HBO Shows on iTunes; Logic Pro updated

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Apple and HBO have announced that HBO television series such as “The Sopranos”, “Sex and the City”, “Rome”, and “The Wire” is now available for purchase on the iTunes Store for between $1.99 and $2.99 an episode.

On May 20th, Apple released version 8.0.2 of Logic Pro. The update is 139 megabytes in size and can be downloaded at no charge.

Apr 02

Apple Updates for April

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Apple has released quite a few updates in the past week:

Aperture 2.1
Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.3
Firmware Restoration CD 1.5
Security Update 2008-002 v1.1 for Leopard

The second beta version of the iPhone SDK has been released and now includes Interface Builder.

Mar 09

(note: I’m willing to do “real world” reviews of iPhone cases if companies would like to send samples of their products for review)

I’ve had an iPhone since they came out last year, and ever since I got the phone, I’ve been on the search for the perfect iPhone case.

I started out with an iPhone Total Body Skin from BestSkinsEver (ShieldZone sells an identical product, at a higher price). This protects the screen, and adds some not-really-needed protection to the back and sides of the phone that gives me some peace of mind.

After that, I added a generic snug form-fitting rubber/plastic case bought off eBay. It was okay (better than nothing at all), but didn’t quite fit right and started to “sag” and get loose after only a month or so.

My second iPhone case was the Incase Leather Fitted Sleeve for iPhone. I bought this one from the Apple online store, using part of the store credit that Apple gave out after the iPhone price reduction. It was in use less than a week; the case didn’t fit properly (too tight) and the stitching started to put little divots/indentations into the screen and body protective film. The port access holes never lined up right, and the leather bits on the sides of the phone would “roll” one way or the other. I eventually just took it off and threw it in a drawer somewhere.

My third iPhone case was the DLO Jam Jacket. This was a big improvement over the generic rubber sleeve case and the leather fitted case. However, I don’t use the iPhone earbuds and don’t need to carry them around, so I used a razor blade to cut the “earbud holder” off the back of the case. I used that case for six months or so; my only real complaints are that the texture and “tackyness” of the rubber used tends to attract dust and dirt and that the holes on the side for volume and mute access aren’t very user-friendly (I often had to pull the top part of the case off the phone when I needed to get to the mute switch).

I was at MicroCenter tonight, and ran across what is, for me, the best case for the iPhone – the XtremeMac Tuffwrap. It’s got the same basic shape and “grip” as the DLO case but without the headphone stuff on the back, and has nicely-formed ports for access to the lock button, side buttons, and bottom dock connector. It came with a TuffShield screen protector, but I’m not using that because the phone already has a protective skin permanently installed.

Other than the generic rubber case I first got off of eBay, the XtremeMac Tuffwrap is also the cheapest case I’ve purchased for my phone, at $19.95. So far, I’m very happy with it.

Mar 07

iPhone SDK and Enterprise features announced

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At a special media event on March 6th, Apple announced availability of the iPhone Software Development Kit and the iPhone Enterprise Beta Program.

The SDK allows developers to write applications that run directly on the iPhone and consists of a new version of XCode (3.1) and an iPhone Simulator that runs on an Intel-based Mac (the iPhone SDK will not work on a PowerPC-based system). Application distribution will be through the iPhone App Store in the next version of the iPhone software/firmware.

The SDK and development environment are available as a free download from Apple’s developer site. For $99, developers will receive a signed key from Apple that lets them sell (or give away at no charge) an application through Apple’s distribution and hosting network. For applications that are sold, Apple will take 30% of the purchase price; free apps will be distributed at no charge other than the cost of the signed key.

The new iPhone Enterprise features consist of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support, secure enterprise-grade virtual private networking, and security features like the ability to remotely wipe/erase a lost iPhone.

Version 2.0 of the iPhone software/firmware is expected to be available to end users in June; certain developers and some companies in the Enterprise Beta program will have access to beta and pre-release versions.

Feb 05

Apple increases iPhone and iPod Touch storage

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Apple has released an updated iPhone available with 16G of onboard storage as well as a new iPod Touch available with 32G.

Both new products retail for $499. The older 8G iPhone and 16G iPod Touch are still available for purchase.

Jan 15

New Products and Updates from MacWorld 2008

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Apple announced new products and updates at MacWorld San Francisco today:

Apple TV is now $229, with a forthcoming software update that will let you rent movies from the iTunes Store in “standalone” mode without a host Mac system. Movie rentals (from every major studio) are $2.99 for older releases and $3.99 for new releases, with prices for HD versions at $3.99/4.99.

Time Capsule combines the Airport Extreme wired and wireless router/print server with an integrated 500G or 1TB hard drive that supports wireless operation of the Time Machine backup software. The 500G model retails for $299 while the 1TB model costs $499.

iPhone firmware version 1.1.3 adds Google Maps location finding, multiple-recipient text messages, Web Clip bookmarking, home screen customization, and the ability to play movies rented from the iTunes Store. This is a free software upgrade for iPhone owners. A $20 firmware upgrade for iPod Touch owners will add Mail, Maps, Stocks, Weather, Notes, and iTunes Movie Rental capability.

MacBook Air is the world’s thinnest notebook. It’s less than an inch tall (from 0.76 to 0.16 of an inch), it can fit into a manilla envelope. The screen is 13.3″ with LED backlighting, and the system features a backlit full size keyboard, iSight camera, and multi-touch trackpad. The processor is a 1.6 or 1.8Ghz Core 2 Duo, with 2G memory standard (non-upgradeable), 802.11n and Bluetooth wireless, and an 80G hard drive. A 64G solid-state disk is available as an option. Ethernet networking and an external SuperDrive are possible via the system’s single USB port. The MacBook Air starts at $1799.

Oct 17

Apple announces iPhone SDK for Third-Party Applications

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Apple announced a native-application iPhone SDK today on their Hot News page:

Third Party Applications on the iPhone

Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.

It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones—this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target.

Some companies are already taking action. Nokia, for example, is not allowing any applications to be loaded onto some of their newest phones unless they have a digital signature that can be traced back to a known developer. While this makes such a phone less than “totally open,” we believe it is a step in the right direction. We are working on an advanced system which will offer developers broad access to natively program the iPhone’s amazing software platform while at the same time protecting users from malicious programs.

We think a few months of patience now will be rewarded by many years of great third party applications running on safe and reliable iPhones.


P.S.: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for iPod touch.

Sep 05

Apple drops iPhone price to $399

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Apple has dropped the price of the 8G iPhone to $399 and discontinued the 4G model.

People who purchased an iPhone at the original retail price of $499 or $599 will be eligible for a credit of $100 usable at the online Apple Store or at any Apple Retail Store.

Jun 28

iPhone Goes On Sale

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The iPhone goes on sale tomorrow:

Apple’s iPhone™ will go on sale this Friday, June 29 at 6:00 p.m. local time at Apple® retail stores nationwide. All 164 Apple retail stores in the US will stay open until midnight, and customers can purchase up to two iPhones on a first come, first served basis.

iPhone goes on sale in the US on June 29, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. local time through Apple’s retail stores and AT&T’s select retail stores. Apple’s online store will be taking orders for iPhone beginning at 6:00 p.m. PDT. iPhone will be available in a 4GB model for $499 (US) and an 8GB model for $599 (US), and will work with either a PC or Mac®. Beginning June 30 and continuing through the summer, Apple Stores in the US will open early at 9:00 a.m. for iPhone sales.