Netflix Now Offering 1080p Streaming on New Apple TV

Earlier this morning, Apple introduced a new Apple TV. It comes with a  “streamlined new user interface” with a gorgeous 1080p UI. Unlike the 2nd gen model, the new Apple TV is also able to play back Full HD (1080p) videos. Internally, the third generation Apple TV is powered by the same A5 processor, which powers the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2. The new UI makes it easier to browse and install apps. Other notable features include the ability to recommend movies based on what you have already seen, overall faster browsing experience and others. It costs $99 and will be made available on March 16th.

Now, Netflix has announced that it will offer 1080p streaming for the new Apple TV with direct iTunes Store Account billing.

Starting today, you can sign-up for Netflix directly on your Apple TV and pay via your iTunes account. Plus, with the new third generation Apple TV, you’ll also be able to watch thousands of hours of great movies and television streaming on Netflix in 1080p high definition and with room-filling Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

Now, with a software update on your Apple TV, this seamless sign up and billing experience extends to the second generation Apple TV. The new sign up and payment experience on Apple TV is available wherever Netflix is, including in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Netflix’s iOS app is available for free on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.

iPad3 Specification: Improved Display, Camera, and Processor

Apple has just unveiled iPad 3. The conference is still going on, but no major surprises so far. The new iPad features a higher resolution display, improved camera, and a significantly faster processor. We have already discussed the US launch prices of various iPad 3 models. Listed below is iPad 3’s hardware specs.

Apple-iPad

iPad3 Specification

241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4 mm dimension.
9.7-inch multi-touch capable capacitive screen with a resolution of 2047 x 1536 pixels (Retina Display – 264ppi).
A5X processor (Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9) with quad-core graphics (probably PowerVR SGX543MP4).
5-megapixel iSight camera with 5-element lens, backside illumination, and hybrid IR filter. The new camera supports video recording at 1080p. Image resolution is 2592 x 1944 pixels.
4G LTE support for AT&T and Verizon.
Bluetooth 4.0.
10 hours battery life on 4G, and 9 hours on 3G.

iPad 3/iPad HD Price for iPad WiFi and iPad 4G

The was officially announced at the the Apple event today and it definitely has some exciting new features with Retina display at 2048 x 1536 pixels. The 3 also sports a new camera which supports 1080HD video recording and a new camera from the .

The pricing for the iPad 3 remains similar to the older version. You can order the iPad 3 in either WiFi or 4G versions. Here is the price for the new iPad from Apple.

iPad 3 WiFi version Price

  • 16 GB for $499
  • 32 GB for $599
  • 64 GB for $699

iPad 3 4G version Price

  • 16 GB for $629
  • 32 GB for $729
  • 64 GB for $829

You can start pre-ordering the iPad today. Shipments for iPad 3 will begin on March 16, 2012 for 10 countries which include US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Honk Kong, Singapore and Australia.

Apple’s Solar Farm Will Have High-efficiency Panels

A couple of weeks, it was reported that Apple had touted plans for a massive solar farm and fuel cell facility in Maiden, North Carolina. This would be right across from the company’s 500,000 square feet data center that powers iCloud. It will be the largest user-owned solar array in the United States, registering at 20 megawatts. The company also confirmed its plan for a new data center in Oregon.

Then last week, it was reported that Bloom Energy, maker of the “Bloom Box” energy server, is believed to be the supplier behind Apple’s planned 5-megawatt cell farm in North Carolina. The company also touted its solar farm across that gigantic data center.

Now, San Jose Mercury News has discovered the company’s filing, which reportedly reveals that San Jose based SunPower had won the contract for Apple’s solar farm.

The company apparently plans to self-finance the project and is aiming for at least 14 photovoltaic installations on the solar farm. According to the report, the solar farm can open as soon as October.

iOS 5.1 Will Have Facebook Integration

A few months back Apple and had a problem over API access in iTunes Ping which led to Apple removing Facebook integration from Ping and then ditching them completely in favor of Twitter in iOS 5. However, it looks like the fight between Facebook and Apple might finally be over.

Last month we had reported that Facebook integration was spotted in iOS 5.1 Beta 3 and it looks like iOS 5.1 might actually have a deeper integration with the social networking website.

Facbeook iOS 5.1 Integration

Since the problems between Apple and Facebook arose, Facebook started displaying "via mobile" as the update method for their . However, it looks like few hours before the iPad 3/iPad HD event, Facebook has started to display the "via Facebook for iPhone" again.

Our editors Parth and Sathya tested out that updates sent from the / or iPad show the via as seen in the image above. I also tested the same for and continued seeing "via mobile".

So will iOS now have Facebook integration like it has for ? Well, our editors think that we should definitely see it during tomorrows announcement. We’ll keep you updated with more information if we come across it and keep you in the loop.

Apple’s iPad 3 Launch Causing Strain on Freight Shipments

iPad 3 is just around the corner and rumors are coming out like anything. Today, MacRumors reports that even though the rumors regarding iPad 3 shipments being en route have already been popping up, they are now hearing from shipping representatives at other companies who are having a hard time even getting their products shipped over to the United States from China as Apple prepares for the iPad 3 launch. This is apparently “squeezing” the air freight industry.

A shipping company told MacRumors  that last week his freight agent in China had been rushing to find space for his company’s shipments. In addition, shipping rates have increased 20% in one week due to Apple claiming available capacity at premium rates. Some shipping carriers have even said that they aren’t able to find space with its usual carrier due to Apple’s demand. It is causing them to scramble to find alternatives.

AppleInsider also reported a similar story, but it was specifically related to shipments going through DHL, one of the major international carriers sometimes used by Apple. Hmmm, I’m trying to think of the last time Android tablet shipments had the same effect on freight shipments?

Banner at Yerba Buena for iPad 3 Media Event Goes Up

Instead of reporting on a rumor about next week’s event, this post will consist cool pictures of the banner going up at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for Apple’s iPad 3 media event. As we know by now, they are expected to announce the iPad 3 next week. Yesterday, it was rumored that the launch in the US would occur on March 16th.

Yerba Buena Apple iPad 3 media event

Earlier this morning, the company started redecorating San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts with a colorful banner featuring the company’s logo. On Friday morning, construction workers had begun covering the glass windows on the center. Apple usually hypes its product unveilings with decorations throughout the center.

Yerba Buena iPad 3 final

This year’s invitation shows a picture of an iPad with a fingertip touching the iOS Calendar application icon. The date on the calendar is Wednesday, March 7, which is when the media event will be held.

[Image credits AppleInsider and Resolve Digital developer David Jones (@d_jones)]

Apple’s App Store Reaches 25 Billion Downloads

Less than a week ago, we reported that Apple had begun the countdown towards 25 billion App Store downloads. Also, the company is offering a $10,000 gift card to the person who downloaded the 25 billionth app. Today, Apple’s App Store has reached 25 billion downloads since its launch in 2008.

25 billion App Store app downloads

The winner of the promotion is yet to be announced, and will be awarded a $10,000 gift card for the App Store, Mac App Store, or any other ITunes Store content.

Apple’s App Store took a little less than two and a half years to reach 10 billion downloads, and less than six additional months to reach 15 billion downloads. Today’s achievement would reveal that the App Store has seen its last 10 billion downloads occur over a period of just eight months. This would put Apple’s App Store pace at 15 billion downloads per year, which will continue to grow without a doubt. To put this in perspective, it took 8.5 years for the iTunes Store to reach 16 billion song downloads, while it took less than four years for the App Store to hit 25 billion app downloads. Fact: more apps have been downloaded via the App Store than the entire world population (7 billion). In addition, Apple has also paid out over $4 billion to developers. On the other hand, Google is yet to release how much they have paid out to developers.

With that being said, have 25 billion+ apps been downloaded from the Android Market? You know, because it is “winning”.

Apple Reveals Creation of 514,000 Jobs in the U.S.

In the recent years, Apple has been criticized for offshoring of product manufacturing, with a number of people wanting the company to bring more jobs to the United States. Today, the company has updated its website with a new section touting its role in directly creating or supporting more than half-million jobs in the U.S.

Apple 514k US Jobs

Apple divides the creation of 514,000 jobs down into two categories: 304,000 jobs directly tied to Apple and its business partners and another 210,000 jobs that are part of the “iOS app economy”. In the first category, the company counts 47,000 Apple employees and another estimated 257,000 employees at companies, such as Samsung, Corning, FedEx, and UPS, who are part of Apple’s supply chain and other businesses. Corning, a US-based company that specializes in glass and ceramics, manufactures majority of the glass for the iPhone. Rumors of Apple using their glass in the past have showed up, but for the first time today, the company has confirmed that they use their glass for the iPhone. Instead of including a direct count of employees at other companies, the second category  is calculated based on “employment multipliers” published by the U.S. government and applied to Apple’s domestic expenditures.

In addition, the company revealed its in-house efforts by noting that 47,000 of its 70,000 employees are located in the United States, with 7,800 U.S. jobs having been added in 2011. Over 27,000 of its U.S. employees are part of the company’s network of 246 retail stores. Apple reports that the majority of these employees are full-time workers. On the support side, Apple employs 7,7000 AppleCare Advisors in the United States. They also acknowledge that they could save 50% on call center costs by outsourcing to other countries such as India. Instead keeps the jobs in the United States in order to maintain its excellent customer service standards.

Apple also revealed some interesting stats regarding the App Economy. With over 248,000 registered iOS developers in the U.S. and over 5,000 iOS developer jobs listed on Indeed.com, Apple believes that the industry will continue to see growth. The company also notes that it paid out over $4 billion to developers since the App Store was launched less than four years ago, creating an entirely new industry that has seen 210,000 new jobs added to the U.S. economy.

Wow, just wow.

Bloom Energy Maybe Behind Apple’s 5MW Fuel Cell Farm

Last week, it was reported that Apple had touted plans for a massive solar farm and fuel cell facility in Maiden, North Carolina. This would be right across from the company’s 500,000 square feet data center that powers iCloud. It will be the largest user-owned solar array in the United States, registering at 20 megawatts.

Today, GigaOm reports that Bloom Energy, maker of the “Bloom Box” energy server, is believed to be the supplier behind Apple’s planned 5-megawatt fuel cell farm in North Carolina. Up to 50 Bloom Boxes, each capable of supplying 100 killowatts of power, would meet Apple’s advertised 5-megawatt capacity at the new fuel cell farm.

Apple’s new fuel cell farm is believed to run on methane from organic waste, as well as oxygen. In addition, the fuel cell farm will provide more than 40 million kWh of f 24×7 baseload renewable energy annually.

The report also suggests that the company has also allegedly partnered with Bloom for “a few” fuel cells that are found on the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, CA.