iPhone

WWDC 2010: iPhone 4 has landed

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WWDC 2010: iPhone 4 has landed

Well Stevey J has just finished his stint on the big stage of the Moscone Center for Apple’s WWDC 2010. First to note was that there wasn’t much here we didn’t already know; OK Mr. Jobs was signing the praises of his ‘magical’ iPad which has sold 2 million since launch (one every three seconds apparently), and that the newly christened iOS devices have sold nearly 100 million units, but on the iPhone front it was, for the most part, a little predictable. This is the first time we’ve had any serious information on anything Apple’s released in the last decade ahead of time. But enough blathering, get to the goods I hear you cry! Yes, Sir:

This is what we knew already with new additions in bold:

  • Front-facing camera
  • Improved rear-camera (5MP with ‘backside illuminated sensor’) with LED flash. The image sensor has also stayed the same making it better in low light conditions
  • Micro-SIM instead of standard SIM
  • IPS display with a predicted 960×640 resolution (‘Retina‘ display)
  • Split buttons for volume
  • Metallic power, mute, and volume buttons.
  • 16% larger battery
  • Apple’s A4 processor
  • Glass flat backed with aluminium stainless steel boarder
  • Two microphones, one for noise cancellation

And here’s the stuff that was totally new:

  • It’s called the iPhone 4 (notice not G because it’s only 3G).
  • It’s 24% thinner than the iPhone 3GS at 9.3mm thick making it the thinnest smartphone on the planet.
  • The edging is stainless steel and forms part of the antenna for each of the different radios in the phone (a first apparently)
  • ‘Retina’ Display, Apple’s given name for it’s 326px per inch display, which is above the density that the human eye can differentiate according to Steve and uses added grey pixels to create super smooth, fine and crisp text.
  • 800:1 contrast ratio
  • Automatic rendering of normal iPhone apps to the iPhone 4’s Retina Display (no adapting needed for existing apps apparently, but of course you can modify your apps to take advantage of the display)
  • Bigger battery + A4 = 7 hours 3G talk time, 6 hours 3G browsing, 10 hours WiFi browsing, 10 hours video, 40 hours of music and 300 hours of standby time (maybe now it’ll make it through a proper day!)
  • 802.11n WiFi
  • Quad-Band GSM HSDPA / HSUPA (world phone capable)
  • Added 3-axis gyro to accelerometer and GPS for 6-axis motion sensing (making five sensors with the magnometer, sounds like they’re really boosting the motion gaming element here)
  • HD 720p-30FPS video recording (say good bye to those pocket HD camcorders if this is as good as Steve says it is)
  • FaceTime – Video calling using the front or back camera. WiFi only for the time being, Apple is apparently working with network providers to get things ready for 3G calling. Let’s hope Skype can do video over 3G otherwise we just won’t be able to walk blindly into things as we strut down the street video calling our friends and time soon, because you know how long it took to get iPhone tethering in the US! iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 only, so it’s no iChat.
  • Available starting June 24th (US, UK, France, Germany and Japan) in Black and White, 16GB ($199) and 32GB ($299) models
  • Pre-order for US, UK, France, Germany and Japan starts June 15th
  • 18 more countries in July with 24 more in August and finally 44 more in September.

But that’s not all the iPhone-related news Steve-o had for us. iPhone OS is finally been renamed iOS, which to be honest makes absolute sense when you think that iPhone OS is now powering at least three separate devices. iOS 4 also has a load of new features bundled into it, but most of it had already been shown at previous Apple events. The ‘Golden Master’ will be in developers (this is a developers conference after all) hands today, meaning iOS is essentially feature complete. Here are some new standout features for iOS.

  • iMovie for iPhone! Editing, music integration, title overlays, the works, all rendered on the iPhone (let’s hope they bring this to the iPad!). Yours right now for $4.99.
  • iBooks for iPhone including all the features found on the iPad plus syncing of notes, bookmarks, your place in the book and books purchased across all iOS devices.
  • Free update for all devices (including iPod touch)

That’s your lot. We’ve got a gallery of all the choice images from today’s iPhone 4 keynote so hit the jump and gorge yourself on the eye-candy Read On

Documents to Go gets universal update to support iPad

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Documents to Go gets universal update to support iPad

Well isn’t this interesting? Apple’s iWork app suite for the iPad might have some stiff competition coming its way in the form of the venerable Documents to Go. DataViz has been making constant updates to its pocket, Microsoft compatible, Office suite since we reviewed it back in August last year. Additions include Excel file editing and creation support, xml document format support and PowerPoint viewing and editing support, which is limited to Documents to Go premium. Cloud file storage has also been implemented in a big way, with Documents to Go supporting Google Docs, Box.net, Dropbox, MobileMe iDisk and SugarSync allowing you to pull documents straight from your cloud service of choice. Email attachment support has also been enhanced with the addition of Gmail sync to the existing Exchange support existing in the Premium version.

Of course Documents to Go 3.3 brings with it iPad specific enhancements, including integration with iTunes file sharing allowing you to easily sync files with your desktop using iTunes, plus internal application document sharing. This currently iPad bespoke feature, gives different apps on the tablet device the ability to share files, allowing you to open email attachments from iPad mail in Documents to Go for example. Of course whether DataViz can hone the Office experience to the larger format of the iPad with the success Apple has had with its tablet re-engineered iWork interface will remain to be seen, but as soon as we’ve had a chance to check it out we’ll let you know.

Documents to Go 3.3 is a free update for anyone with the app on their iPhone or iPod touch already. The Premium update is already available in the App Store, whilst the standard update is just waiting for approval. Both Documents to Go Premium and Standard are currently on offer with 20% off their normal asking price at $11.99 and $7.99 respectively. A veritable bargain when you consider Apple’s iWork apps are $9.99 each.

[Source]

Star Wars: The Battle for Hoth coming to an iPhone near you

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Star Wars: The Battle for Hoth coming to an iPhone near you

Love Star Wars? Got an iPhone or iPod touch and are a fan of Tower Defence games? Good, because the mother of all Star Wars battles is coming to Apple’s iPhone OS.

Star Wars: The Battle for Hoth, as the name suggests, takes you into the thick of the action from Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. In development by FluffyLogic, the Bristol, UK-based games studio responsible for the critically acclaimed PSN TD game Savage Moon, The Battle for Hoth looks to combine the best elements of the Star Wars franchise including the iconic AT-ATs with the classic TD formula. For those unfamiliar with the concept of TD games, the aim of the game is simply to stop the flow of enemy units from reaching the other side of the map, or in this case from destroying the shield generators. Devilishly simple in principle, yet extremely engaging and addictive to play.

Fans of TD games will find a lot to love with 17 different units to build, each with several possible upgrades and user selectable firing orders that allow you to target a specific subset of encroaching enemy units. As commander you can also dig trenches either to funnel enemy troops into a kill zone or to give your infantry more protection.

The Battle for Hoth packs in 15 levels set around the expanded environment of the ice planet Hoth with two game modes, Classic and Fortress. On your first run through each level you’re limited to Classic mode in which you can collect extra Command Points by destroying enemy units to spend on new units to reinforce your defences. Once a level has been beaten, Fortress mode can be employed for subsequent plays, where you essentially have a fixed number of Command Points and therefore units at your disposal.

Star Wars: The Battle for Hoth is shaping up nicely and if it plays anything like Savage Moon, then it’ll be a must buy for TD fans and Star Wars fans alike. Check out the gallery below for some more screenshots and a full unit list.

Read On

A Bluetooth headset with it's own iPhone app [Why didn't I think of that?]

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A Bluetooth headset with it's own iPhone app [Why didn't I think of that?]

Add this to the list of many things I could have come up with but didn’t feel like it. (I have better things to do with my life. Like play Team Fortress 2.) A Bluetooth iPhone headset that comes with it own downloadable iPhone app.  In the app, you can adjust the headset’s settings like its volume level, noise cancellation on/off, or it’s environmental mode on/off, right on the app. Also on the app, you can monitor it’s battery life and audio levels.

It just makes sense.  Instead of having to figure out which little buttons do what, you have an actual GUI helping you use your headset.

The iPhone app is free, but the headset will be $129.99 and will be available on June 6th.

[Sound iD] via [OhGizmo]

Jon Stewart uses "camera 3" in hopes to calm Steve Jobs over Gizmodo Case

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Jon Stewart uses "camera 3" in hopes to calm Steve Jobs over Gizmodo Case

Every geek knows the whole story about the iPhone 4G (aka HD).  If you don’t know, here is the fast version. READY. GO. Prototype tester walks into a bar, gets drunk, leaves it on a stool, some dude finds it, same dude sells it to Gizmodo for $5,000, Gizmodo posts everything about it online, Apple wants it back, Gizmodo gives it back, then Apple sends police to raid Gizmodo Editor’s house. *huff* *puff* *huff*.

Now that you’re all caught up on the story, below is a video recording from last night’s The Daily Show.  Jon Stewart puts in his two-cents and thinks that Steve Jobs went too far with the police raiding the Gizmodo Editor’s house. He had the following words to say as he brought Steve to “camera 3.”

“Apple – you guys were the rebels, man, the underdogs. People believed in you. But now, are you becoming the man? Remember back in 1984, you had those awesome ads about overthrowing Big Brother? Look in the mirror, man! …It wasn’t supposed to be this way – Microsoft was supposed to be the evil one! But you guys are busting down doors in Palo Alto while Commandant Gates is ridding the world of mosquitoes! What the fuck is going on?!

…I know that it is slightly agitating that a blog dedicated to technology published all that stuff about your new phone. And you didn’t order the police to bust down the doors, right? I’d be pissed too, but you didn’t have to go all Minority Report on his ass! I mean, if you wanna break down someone’s door, why don’t you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone! I mean, seriously! How do you drop four calls in a one-mile stretch of the West Side Highway! There’re no buildings around! What, does the open space confuse AT&T’s signal?!

…Come on, Steve. Chill out with the paranoid corporate genius stuff. Don’t go all Howard Hughes on us.”

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Blip.tv video.

[The Daily Show]

iPhone prototypes hiding in plain sight

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iPhone prototypes hiding in plain sight

Have you ever wondered why we haven’t seen more of these iPhone prototypes floating about in public? OK, Apple’s legendary security and secrecy obviously plays a role, but you might have seen an iPhone prototype in the hands of someone at a bar and just not realised it. Apple hides these important test devices in custom made cases that both resemble previous generation devices and the plethora of cases available for them. Looking at the very start of the video below, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s just an iPhone 3GS in a rather bulky case. I won’t spoil it any more, just watch and have a think about all the times you’ve looked at someone’s non-discript iPhone in a bar or cafe.

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Blip.tv video.

[Via Gizmodo]

Next Gen iPhone NFC?

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Next Gen iPhone NFC?

So by now you will have heard about Gizmodo’s procurement of a next generation iPhone prototype. If not, dart over there now and have a look see for yourselves.

A totally flat back provides greater contact area for NFC

The thing that struck me is that with that flat back, which personally I’m a fan of rather than the rounded backing of the current generation, if Apple was to do NFC (near-field communication) then a flat back would make it a heck of a lot easier.

We use NFC in our daily lives without noticing it. All those RFID access cards we touch onto the reader to let us into our places of work, or the Oyster card that we slap onto the pads to let us traverse the city, all work using a simple form of NFC. Nokia used to have a phone that did it, Barclay Card even has a credit card that does it and we know Japan has lots and lots of NFC uses. Will Apple use the next iPhone iteration to make NFC their own? A flat backed iPhone could hint at it that’s for sure.

Opera Mobile for iPhone Review

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Opera Mobile for iPhone Review
If you haven’t heard yet, hell froze over and Apple approved Opera Mini for distribution in the App Store. Honestly, I didn’t think it was going to happen. Apple has a policy and lots of history of rejecting apps that duplicate the functionality of any of Apple’s built-in apps. Now Mobile Safari is probably the best fully-fledged web browser out there, but there are times when it’s a little tedious waiting for pages to load and that’s mainly to do with, but not solely, poor network bandwidth.

Opera’s approach to this problem on the iPhone is the same as any other edition of it’s Mini browser; do the page crunching on their servers and compress the resulting complete file before sending it to the mobile device. This in essence means you get a fast loading page on your pocket pal, even over slow connections. Now of course this does mean that all your traffic is going through Opera’s servers and I do mean ALL. I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust any intermediary that I don’t have to, so for anything with a login I’m not going to be using Opera Mini. That said, there are lots of excellent use cases for the speedy browser, especially when 3G fails you and you’re booted back to EDGE or even GPRS.

OK, so Opera Mini is a free download, and disregarding the apps that essentially skin the mobile Webkit browser engine of Mobile Safari, it’s the only real alternative to Mobile Safari on the iPhone. But is it any good? Well the short answer is yes, it’s fast and light and simply gets the job done. The long answer is it’s good, but there are a few niggles.

Read On

Apple's iPhone 4 Event

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Apple's iPhone 4 Event

Apple held an iPhone OS 4 event today at 10PST/1800BST in the Town Hall at Apple’s Infinite Loop campus, Cupertino, California. The event was titled ‘a sneak peek into the future of iPhone OS’ and for all intents and purposes that’s exactly what we got. Apple laid out it’s plans for the next evolution in what it’s still calling the iPhone OS, despite powering three distinct devices. iPhone OS 4 brings enhancements and changes across the board, but the standout features we’ve collated for your and listed below:

  • Over 1500 new APIs for developers including cal, photo library, still/video cam plus touch to focus, ‘Accelerate’ (accelerometer suite of APIs) and many many more.
  • Bluetooth keyboard support.
  • Multi-tasking using seven multitasking services available to developers as APIs: Audio, VoIP, Location (both GPS and Skyhook plus privacy settings and an indicator), Push & Local notifications, Task completion (like uploading photos to flickr) and finally Fast App Switching (using the Dock). It’s more like multi-threading rather than multi-tasking but we’re splitting hairs here. Very reminiscent to Palm OS with it’s App saved states.
  • App switching with a multi-tasking enabled pop-up, scrollable dock.
  • Folders for app categories or names you can create yourself (‘jiggle’ drag and drop on device creation) with ‘multi-icon icons’ (placeable in the dock) with a total of 2160 simultaneously installed apps (up from 180).
  • Home screen wallpaper.
  • Email enhancements: Unified Inbox (thank goodness), multiple Exchange accounts, threaded mail, fast inbox switching, openable/saveable attachments with App Store Apps (such as Docs to Go etc).
  • iBooks for iPhone including wireless syncing (like the Kindle) and free Whinne the Pooh to get you started!
  • Enterprise additions including data protection, wireless app distribution, device management, Exchange 2010 support and more VPN options
  • Game Centre social gaming network (a PSN/Xbox Live type network) including Friend invitations, Matchmaking, Leaderboards and Achievements.
  • iAd – Apple entering the mobile ads market. Full OS integration, keeping you in the app with ‘motion plus interactivity’ perhaps this now makes sense. The ads essentially look like apps within apps with a 60/40 split developers/Apple, all ads hosted and sold by Apple. It’s pretty big news, but I’m not sure how much you’re going to like this as a consumer.

The developer preview as with 3.0 ‘beta’ is going live today, the rest of you with iPhones and iPod touches will have to wait till this ‘summer’, more than likely WWDC. Interesting to note that only the 3rd generation iPod Touch and iPhone 3GS will get the whole caboodle, iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 1g/2g users will get a stripped down version without multitasking and ‘some other features’. Original iPhone owners, even though you have essentially the same running hardware as 3G units, there was no mention of you so, I’m afraid, you might be out of luck.

iPad owners, iPhone OS4 will be hitting your brand new pride and joy come Fall (that’s Autumn for those outside the US). That’s your lot for now. Interesting to see what Apple has in-store for iDevice range. Certainly some real game changers there, at least for current iDevice owners. How will Google react to this intrusion into it’s advertising domain? Will Game Centre really bring the mobile gaming market home to Apple? iBooks on all iDevices but what about the Mac/PC? All these questions and more will have to wait and see I’m afraid.

[Update] From GDGT: Steve Jobs: ‘We do not have plans to be a worldwide ad agency. We don’t know a lot about advertising, but we’re learning. We tried to buy AdMob, but Google snatched them up because they didn’t want us to have them, so we bought another smaller company, Quattro. But we’re babes in the woods.’

Ouch, seems like it’s getting a little bit personal between Apple and Google.

[Update 2] The whole presentation is up for you to gorge yourself on, if you just can’t get enough.

Hit the break to see the event in photos Read On