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Apple releases iOS 5 beta 4

Apple has released its fourth beta version of iOS 5. Available to paid iOS developers, the release—listed as build 9A5274d—is accompanied by matching beta versions of the iOS 5 SDK, iTunes 10.5 and Apple TV Software. It is unclear what major changes, if any, may be present in the new version. iOS 5 beta 4 is available now to paid iOS developers from the iOS Dev Center.

Update: 9 to 5 Mac reports that the update can be installed on devices running iOS 5 beta 3 via the over-the-air software update feature found within the Settings app.

"I am having this problem. Every time I leave my iMac for a bit, my whole connection goes down. I have to restart my router every time.

Spotlighted iLounge reader Julian Brown
in the Backstage article: OS X Lion: Serious Wi-Fi Disconnect Problems for Macs, And Solutions?


T-Mobile USA offering Micro SIMs for iPhone 4

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T-Mobile USA is now officially offering iPhone 4-compatible Micro SIM cards for use on its network. As stated on the company’s website, the offering is for customers that already have a GSM phone or iPhone they need to activate, or an unlocked GSM phone they would like to use on the T-Mobile network. The card is free with a 2 year contract, and appears to sell for $10 to those who don’t wish to sign a long-term service plan. Notably, T-Mobile stated last month that it now has over one million active iPhones on its network. [via 9 to 5 Mac]

2K Games releases Sid Meier’s Pirates for iPad

2K Games has released an iPad version of the classic high-seas adventure game Sid Meier’s Pirates. Pirates for iPad puts the player at the helm of one of 27 fully customizable ships where they must travel to various ports of call, build a crew of seafaring bandits and journey out on a quest for treasure and adventure. Re-designed specifically to take advantage of the iPad touchscreen, Pirates allows users to engage in activities ranging from sea battles to sword fights with intuitive touch controls to parry, counter and duel and challenge and pursue some of the most famous pirates from history. The game also includes enhanced features for iPad 2 users such as the ability to take your own character photo with the built-in camera and improved graphics and visual effects. Sid Meier’s Pirates for iPad requires iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store for $4.

Mint.com app adds location-based transaction entry

Popular online finance service Mint.com has released an update to its iOS application adding the much requested ability to enter transactions directly into the app. The Mint.com app for the iPhone and iPod touch previously only allowed users to view their transactions from the Mint.com web site—new transactions had to be entered either via the web or downloaded as part of an online statement. The new feature will allow users to more easily enter cash transactions and pending expenses such as checks and credit/debit card transactions that have no yet cleared, improving budget tracking and saving users the trouble of having to sift through their receipts when they get back to their computer.

The update has also added geo-location capabilities integrated with Google Places to help match entered transactions to the point of purchase; users can simply open the app to register recent spending and choose a merchant from those found nearby. Debit and credit card transactions can be assigned to the appropriate account while cash transactions are automatically deducted from the most recent ATM withdrawal. Users can also now more easily view available and current balances along with pending transactions for each account directly from the iOS app. Mint.com Personal Finance requires iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download. A free Mint.com account is required to use the app.

White iPod touch front panel pictured online?

  • July 22, 2011
  • iPod
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Photographs purportedly showing white front panels for a next-generation iPod touch have been posted online. 9 to 5 Mac reports that the pieces are supposedly digitizer components, based on information received from the iFixYouri repair shop, and appear to be for the fourth-generation model, with two holes for the FaceTime camera and front sensors, respectively. The report notes that the parts could be for a cancelled white 4G model, or parts for a yet-unannounced fifth-generation unit. Notably, Apple executives have previously revealed that work on the long-delayed iPhone 4 helped the company in other areas, and the company has since introduced a white iPad 2, leaving the iPod touch as the only iOS device note available in a white variant.

Verizon activates 2.3 million iPhones in Q2 2011

Verizon Wireless has revealed that it activated 2.3 million iPhones during its second quarter. Boy Genius Report notes that this is only slightly up from the 2.2 million iPhones it activated in the first quarter, during which the device was only available for seven weeks. Notably, rival carrier AT&T said it activated 3.6 million iPhones during the June quarter, but it also has the advantage of offering two iPhone models—the iPhone 4 and less expensive iPhone 3GS—compared to Verizon, which offers the iPhone 4 only.

Apple to make bid for Hulu?

Apple is considering making a bid for the online video service Hulu, according to a new report. Citing two people with knowledge of the auction, Bloomberg reports that Apple is in early talks that may lead to an offer. An acquisition of Hulu would give Apple new ad-based free and subscription video service offerings, and would also likely include a five-year extension of program rights, including two years of exclusive access. Apple already sells TV programming from Hulu’s owners Disney, News Corp., and NBC Universal; notably, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is the largest single shareholder of Disney. The report states that the service has also drawn interest from Google, Yahoo, AT&T, and Microsoft, the latter of which dropped out of the bidding, according to the report.

Apple doc reveals $2.6b payout in Nortel deal

A portion of text in Apple’s third-quarter 2011 Form 10-Q filing (PDF Link) reveals that the company is liable for more than half a $4.5 billion dollar bid to acquire the patent portfolio of Nortel Networks. As noted in the filing, Apple, “as part of a consortium, participated in the acquisition of Nortel’s patent portfolio for an overall purchase price of $4.5 billion, of which the Company’s contribution will be approximately $2.6 billion. This asset acquisition is subject to approval by various regulatory agencies.” Also involved in the consortium were EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, Research In Motion, and Sony. [via Mac Rumors]

V-Moda intros Revamp In-Ear Headphones

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V-Moda has introduced its new Revamp In-Ear Headphones. Continuing its series of products inspired by the HBO series True Blood, the Revamp features an aircraft-grade aluminum silver bullet single-button inline microphone, Japanese symbols—related to the Tru Blood drink seen on the show—emblazoned on the headphones, 9mm V-Masque drivers, four pairs of BLISS 2.0 silicone ear tips for proper fit and sound isolation, and an included carrying pouch. V-Moda’s Revamp In-Ear Headphones are available now and sell for $120, but will be offered for $100 throughout the fourth season of True Blood.

AT&T activates 3.6 million iPhones in Q2

Reporting its second quarter financial results, AT&T has revealed that it activated 3.6 million iPhones during the quarter. According to the company, 24 percent of iPhone subscribers were new to AT&T, while iPhone subscriber churn was down slightly sequentially. In addition, it revealed that it added 377,000 tablet subscribers during the quarter, of which most were postpaid; it did not specify how many of those were iPads.

Thrutu simplifies sharing information during phone calls

Thrutu is a new iOS app by MetaSwitch designed to simplify the process of sharing information and content with other users while in the middle of a phone call. Released earlier this year for Android, Thrutu adds a new dimension to voice calls allowing users to easily share location info, contact info and photos with the person on the other end of the voice call. Location sharing allows Thrutu users to see each other’s positions in real-time on an integrated map and users can instantly send contact details to the other user and snap and share photos from either the camera or photo library, all while on a voice call.

To use Thrutu, users initiate a voice call from within the Thrutu app; calls are placed and received through the standard Phone application using the cellular voice network, with Push Notifications used to establish the connection between the two parties in the Thrutu app. Thrutu requires a simultaneous voice and 3G or Wi-Fi data connection to provide a fully interactive experience, however SMS messages can be used for sharing information where data is not available or the other user does not have Thrutu installed. Most GSM providers can provide voice and 3G data simultaneously, however Verizon iPhone users will need to either be on a Wi-Fi connection or fall back to SMS-based sharing. Thrutu requires an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 running iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.

Apple passes Nokia as world’s largest smartphone maker

Apple has passed Nokia to become the world’s largest maker of smartphones by volume. The Financial Times reports that Apple’s June quarter iPhone shipments of 20.3 million units easily surpassed those of former market leader Nokia, which shipped 16.7 million units during the same period, a 34 percent decline. As noted in the report, Apple was already the world’s biggest smartphone maker by revenue and profits, but the April-June period was the first time it had surpassed Nokia in volume.

Apple sued for second time by Personal Audio

Apple has been sued for the second time by the non-practicing entity Personal Audio, which accuses Apple of patent infringement related to downloadable playlists. FOSS Patents reports that the new filing comes just weeks after Personal Audio was awarded an $8 million jury verdict in a case involving the same patents in relation to the iPod classic, iPod mini, iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod touch, and iPhone. The new case focuses on the sixth-generation iPod nano, fourth-generation iPod shuffle, fourth-generation iPod touch, iPhone 4, and iPad 2. As noted in the report, the damages awarded in connection with the iPhone and iPad could be substantially greater than those from the first suit, which focused primarily on iPods; in any case, the report suggests it is likely that the two parties will settle their dispute soon.

Klipsch details Gallery G-17 Air speaker system

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Klipsch has released details of its upcoming Gallery G-17 Air speaker system, which will be the company’s first to offer AirPlay compatibility. Featuring a thin, 17-inch-long glossy black body, two Tractrix Horn tweeters, two 2.5-inch long-throw woofers, integrated Wi-Fi, 3.5mm and USB inputs, an included stand, and dual keyholes on the rear for wall mounting. Klipsch’s Gallery G-17 Air speaker system will be available this fall and will sell for $530.

Incase debuts Mag Snap Case for iPad 2

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Incase has debuted its new Mag Snap Case for the iPad 2. Designed to work with Apple’s iPad Smart Cover, the Mag Snap Case is a hardshell case featuring built-in metal bars that augment the standard functionality of the Smart Cover, including adding an additional viewing angle, and also offers open access to all ports, controls, and cameras. Incase’s Mag Snap Case for iPad 2 is available now in white or black and sells for $40.

Apple releases iTunes 10.4 with Lion support

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Apple has released iTunes 10.4 adding support for some of the new features in Mac OS X Lion and a number of important stability and performance improvements. iTunes 10.4 now works with Lion’s new Full-Screen App feature allowing the app to be placed in its own full-screen window. Version 10.4 is also now a 64-bit Cocoa application on OS X Lion, and the release notes indicate that this may render some plug-ins no longer compatible. The latest version of iTunes is available for via Apple’s Software Update tools or from http://www.itunes.com/download.

AT&T offering refurb iPhone 3GS for $9

AT&T is now offering refurbished iPhone 3GS units for $9. According to the carrier’s website, the 8 GB refurbished units require a two-year contract and new activation, and include a limited warranty of at least 90 days. It is not clear whether the lowered pricing represents a permanent change or is part of a short-term promotion; the iPhone 3GS is expected to be replaced and/or further lowered in price when Apple introduces its next-generation iPhone. [via Geek]

Calvetica Calendar goes Universal, adds many new features

Mysterious Trousers has released a major update to Calvetica Calendar adding iPad support and rebuilding the app from the ground up with an entirely new UI and feature set. Version 4.0 provides numerous interface enhancements including a month and day layout on a single screen, a portrait-mode week agenda view and the ability to hide and reorder items in the event details screen. New gestures have also been added allowing features to be activated using press-and-hold and swipe gestures to set reminders, move UI elements off the screen, and more. Enhancements to notifications allow users to enable custom alerts and improved alarm sounds and snooze alarms when they go off, along with an alarm picker that allows users to quickly and easily choose multiple alarms as well as showing complex alarms set in other applications.

The new version also introduces support for task management, allowing users to create tasks that can be organized into custom color-coded groups with title, priority and notes. A free cloud service provides automatic backup and synchronization of tasks between devices running Calvetica. A number of additional features have also been added including the ability to share calendar events via e-mail or SMS, create complex repeats in natural language, map location information, call, e-mail or SMS event attendees from within the app, search for events within a time range by title, notes or location and much more. Calvetica Calendar is a universal app requiring iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $2.

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