Category Archives: Apple News

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Release of Authorized Steve Jobs Biography Preponed to November 21st

Last year, it was revealed that  Time  managing editor Walter Isaacson was working on the first authorized biography of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The release date was set for early 2012 under the title “iSteve: The Book of Jobs”, but last month the  title to was changed to “Steve Jobs”, with publication date set for March 6, 2012.

Today, All Things D reports that Barnes & Noble has moved up  the publication date for the title to November 21st. In addition, a new cover has been revealed,  an iconic black-and-white photo of Steve Jobs.  The photo of Jobs used for the cover is the image found on  Jobs’ page  in Apple’s company leadership pages.

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues this book chronicles the rollercoaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

Steve Jobs Biography Cover

Amazon’s Kindle Store also lists the Nov. 21 release date. However, Apple’s iBooks store and the  hardcover version  from Amazon still show the book’s release date as March 6, 2012.

According to the publisher, Jobs asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. Also,  he has reportedly left no topic off-limits for the book and has not even requested the right to read it before publication.

Construction Begins At Site Of Apple’s Grand Central Terminal Store

A few weeks ago, it was reported that Apple was going to open a new Apple Store in New York’s Grand Central Terminal. Today, AppleInsider reports that construction for the new store has begun at Grand Central Terminal, which may open later this year.

The start of construction comes after Apple received approval from the  Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) last month. Temporary scaffolding can be seen from the second floor in Grand Central Terminal.

Apple’s new store will surround the two adjacent balconies and is expected to generate half-a-billion in revenue a year. Photos of the ongoing construction can be seen below.  Construction is expected to be completed in four months, and the store is reportedly to open to the public before this holiday shopping season.

Apple Store Grand Central Construction 1

Earlier this year, the project for the new store was abandoned entirely. However, Apple was able to reach an agreement with the MTA, and paid the previous tenant $5 million to move out of the east balcony eight years early. In addition, reports suggest that Apple is paying a premium of $800,000 and $1.1 million per year for renting the area.

The store is expected to be about 3,000 feet larger than Apple’s flagship stores. AppleInsider also reports that Apple is said to be working with police to figure out how to handle lines during product releases, so that people are not waiting in the concourse.

While construction continues at the Grand Central location, Apple is also working on renovating their iconic Fifth Avenue store. Apple is currently simplifying the glass cube by cutting the number of panes from 90 to just 15.

[image credit: AppleInsider]

Apple Suing Motorola Over Design of Xoom Tablet

Apple vs MotorolaApple recently has been involved in a number of patent lawsuits with competitors using the Android OS. A new discovery by FOSS Patents, reveals that Apple has also sued Motorola in Europe, claiming that the Motorola Xoom tablet infringes the design of Apple’s products. This was revealed in a court document filed in Germany and associated with the preliminary injuction given against Samsung yesterday banning the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Prior to or simultaneously with the motion for a preliminary injunction against Samsung, Apple also filed a complaint with the same court over the design of the Motorola Xoom tablet. Here’s a passage from the Samsung complaint that mentions two other lawsuits Apple instigated against iPad competitors — Motorola and a local German company named JAY-tech…

The filing does not say whether or not  Apple has pushed for a preliminary injunction against the sale of the Xoom in the European Union as it did for the Galaxy Tab 10.1. However, Apple is considering a  permanent injunction against Motorola’s Xoom.

In addition, the filing also notes that a preliminary injunction against  JAY-tech  was granted and further upheld “in its entirety” following a hearing.  JAY-tech last year began offering a budget 7-inch Android-based tablet, and the company is no longer selling the product.

Last year, Motorola filed a suit against Apple  claiming infringement of a series of 18 Motorola patents with a broad array of Mac and iOS products. Since then, the two companies have been quiet between each other but today’s  revelation suggests that  Apple has continued to go after Motorola.

Apple Reveals Fifth Avenue Cube Renovation Plans

Last month, it was reported that Apple began working on a $6.6 million renovation of the plaza and glass cube at the iconic Fifth Avenue Apple Store in Manhattan. Barriers were setup around the plaza and glass cube, but still allowing customers access to the store through a covered passageway. When Apple first began work, documents suggested that the glass cube would be removed in order to work on drainage, pavers, and bollards on the plaza. However, it was unclear if Apple would be making changes to the cube itself.

Apple Store Fifth Avenue Cube Sign

Now the plans have been revealed for the cube by Apple. A new sign posted on the barrier surrounding the plaza shows that the cube’s glass panels will be replaced with new, larger panels and will offer a “seamless” cleaner appearance. The sign reads…

We’re simplifying the Fifth Avenue cube. By using larger, seamless pieces of glass, we’re using just 15 panes instead of 90.

The diagram on the sign suggests that Apple will be using three glass panes per side of the cube, with each side pane stretching the entire height of the cube.

Last year, Apple filed for a trademark on the original design of the Fifth Avenue store’s cube. In addition, the Fifth Avenue Apple Store is one of the most-photographed sites in Manhattan.

[Image credit: AppleInsider]

Boxee Releases Their iPad App

I love to have access to online video on as many devices as I can. I use the Netflix and Hulu apps on my iPad on a regular basis. So, when I heard that my favorite media center company was working on an iPad app, I got really excited. Now, Boxee has made that app a reality.

Boxee, the company behind the Boxee Box and very popular Boxee Software, has released their official iPad app. The app includes all of the great social features of Boxee, including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr integration. It also comes with the ability to watch bookmarked videos on your iPad.

 

The new two features are what makes this app worth picking up. The first is the ability to stream media from your PC or Mac to your iPad. That means media that is saved on your hard drive, not media that is on the internet. You will need to be on the same Wi-FI network as the machine with the media.

The final feature that should get Boxee Box owners excited is the ability to Air Play to your Boxee Box. That’s right, Boxee has taken the ability to share content from your iPad to another device and given it to their own little media powerhouse.

Overall, this is a nice little update to the Boxee ecosystem. I do wish that it came equipped with the great suite of Boxee Apps, however. I don’t know if it was a licensing thing that kept those away, or if it was simply Boxee’s unwillingness to canibalize on their other offerings. Maybe apps will come in a future update. We will have to wait and see.

Apple Sued Over Fast Booting Patent Linked to LG

Apple LG

Patently Apple has discovered that Apple has been hit with a new patent lawsuit regarding “fast booting” used in OS X. “Fast booting” is a method that utilizes boot configuration information from early booting processes to speed up the system during its startup process.

The lawsuit specifically states that Apple’s OS X violates “at least Claim 1″ of the OSS patent. The claim in question reads as follows:

“A method for fast booting a computer system, comprising the steps of: A. performing a power on self test (POST) of basic input output system (BIOS) when the system is powered on or reset is requested; B. checking whether a boot configuration information including a system booting state which was created while executing a previous normal booting process exists or not; C. storing the boot configuration information from execution of the POST operation before loading a graphic interface (GUI) program, based on the checking result; and D. loading the graphic user interface (GUI) program.”

It is interesting to note that the patent and lawsuit associated with the patent application was filed back in 1999 and allocated to LG Electronics. LG can be considered a competitor to Apple since they also offer smartphones, but they mainly serve as a display supplier to Apple.

Whether LG has any stake in the patent is uncertain since the assignment on the patent has changed multiple times dating back to 2004. According to the report, LG passed the patent off to Microconnect LLC, but the patent was also passed along to Protimus Technologies LLC and ANPA Inc while also being reissued along the way. The lawsuit has been made by a Florida based company called Operating Systems Solutions LLC, and appears to be an unknown entity that might have been created specifically for the lawsuit.

Apple has been sued for patent and other types of lawsuits, not only by major corporations but also from smaller firms in the past.

Rumor: Apple and China Mobile Reportedly Strike Deal to Bring iPhone To World’s Largest Carrier

China Mobile Logo

In the past, rumors have suggested that Apple was working on making the iPhone available to China Mobile customers. Now, a new report from CapitalVue suggests that Apple has finally closed a deal with China Mobile to launch the iPhone on their network. China Mobile currently has over 600 million customers making it the world’s largest mobile carrier.

The source of the rumor is uncertain since the report indicated to “a company filing” picked up by Chinese-language site ccidcom.com. MacRumors  auto translated the article and reports that the report came from the Associated Press. They have been unable to locate such an article.

If ccidcom.com’s report does prove to be true, it suggests that China Mobile will announce the iPhone 4 in October, and then later will be followed by the iPhone 5 and future 4G LTE models based on the carrier’s homegrown TD-LTE standard.

In China, Apple currently offers the iPhone through China Unicom, but has been rumored many times to be trying to strike a deal with China Telecom. Clearly, Apple is getting ready to make the Chinese market a priority and is working on trying convince all of the country’s top carriers to offer the iPhone.

Report: Apple Discontinuing the Magic Mouse

There are more signs everyday that Apple is putting all of its eggs into Lion, and the eventual iOS/OS X hybrid operating system. First came the integrated multi-touch gestures in Lion, then reports that Apple would combine iOS and OS X, and now the end of the Magic Mouse.

For the unacquainted, Apple currently has two types of mouse-like peripherals. The first is the Magic Trackpad, which is a trackpad device designed for use with Apple’s desktops. The second is the Magic Mouse, which is a mouse device. It’s special, however, because it integrates touch-based gestures into a traditional mouse-like structure.

Apple's Magic Mouse, which is being discontinued.

It seems that Apple is planning to ditch the older, more traditional Magic Mouse in favor of the Magic Trackpad, at least according to Cult of Mac. This makes sense when you consider the push towards trackpad based multi-touch gestures in Lion. It seems that Apple is looking to move away from the more traditional computer experience, opting for a more iOS-like user experience.

I can see why some users would be upset about this move by Apple. I know that many graphics and video people need a more precise pointing device than a trackpad really provides. Gamers also tend to prefer a more traditional mouse over something new, like a trackpad. As for myself, I like using both a trackpad and a mouse, each for different occasions.

Cult of Mac is citing a “previously reliable source” on this story. They claim that retail stores are seeing dwindling supplied of the Magic Mouse, and not seeing any replacements.If you want to grab a Magic Mouse before they disappear forever, they are available through Apple’s online store for $69.00.

The Magic Trackpad is also available for the same price.

Find My Mac Now Available for Developers

A year ago, Apple introduced a service called “Find My iPhone” which would let users locate, lock, and even wipe the iOS device from anywhere. Today, a similar service for Mac has been made available to developers with early access to Apple’s iCloud service. The service is called “Find My Mac” and it lets users to locate, lock, and even wipe a lost Mac.

Find My Mac

The new service shares a close resemblance to the “Find My iPhone” service Apple offers for free. MacRumors reports that the service is able to locate a Mac’s network even though it lacks a GPS chip. “Find My Mac” is able to locate the Mac’s location by using WiFi networks.

When a user tries to locate a Mac, they have the option to play a sound, send a message, lock the screen, and erase the hard drive. In addition, after a Mac is locked by “Find My Mac” a user will be required to input a four digit PIN code to regain access to the Mac. The service is expected to be released this fall along with iCloud.

On Monday, it was reported that Apple activated the login page for iCloud, though it is only a developer preview for now.

 

Apple Looking Overseas for Ron Johnson Replacement

Ron Johnson

A month ago, it was reported that Ron Johnson would be leaving Apple. Now, according to a new report, Apple has hired a global recruitment firm to find a new retail executive abroad with hopes of finding a replacement with international retail experience.

People familiar with the matter indicated to The Wall Street Journal that Apple has hired recruiting firm Egon Zehnder. Egon Zehnder started in Europe and has expanded its operations to 37 countries since its founding in 1964. The firm  is ranked as one of the top five global executive search firms. This move by Apple is considered “unusual” since the company is known for being highly secretive.

In addition, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs is said to be involved in the decision to employ a recruitment firm. A source says that, Jobs chose Egon Zehnder because “he wants to consider executives who are based abroad”.  “As with any search, it will be broad,” one person familiar with the matter said,  suggesting that the decision to consider American executives will depend on what Apple decides it needs for the role.

Ron Johnson announced in June that he will leave Apple on November 1st to become the new CEO of J.C. Penney. Apple at that time said it was “actively recruiting” for a new head of retail.

Apple’s Safari Grows To 8% Browser Share

According to a new report from Net Applications’s NetMarketShare data, Safari has exceeded 8 percent of web browser use across all devices due to the strong growth in iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad sales. Also, Apple’s WebKit, the second most widely used rendering engine, combined with Google Chrome makes it second to Internet Explorer and slightly ahead of Firefox.

Net Apps Browser Data

In addition, the data shows that in the last two years, Internet Explorer’s marketshare has dropped from nearly 67 percent to 52.8 percent. Firefox has also seen a decrease in marketshare from almost 23 percent to 21.48 percent. However, Google’s Chrome has seen massive increase in marketshare. Chrome’s marketshare increased from 2.84 percent to 13.45 percent, while Safari’s nearly doubled from 4.07 percent to 8.05 percent.

Safari and Chrome’s marketshare combined now represent over 21.5 percent of web users, making it slightly ahead of Firefox even before counting the small number of WebKit browsers.

Clearly Safari’s growth isn’t going to stop here. Apple’s development of not just a desktop browser but also converting the desktop version of their browser to the first “fully usable” mobile version browser has not only tremendously changed the web browser market but also has affected the web-related development market as well.

Skype for iPad Released Worldwide

It looks like our dreams are coming true. The official Skype app for iPad has begun its rollout to users. While it is currently only available to users in New Zealand, it is expected to make its way to other time zones during the next 24 hours. Many apps have come out this way in the past, according to TUAW.

We first covered the Skype iPad app back in June, when it was originally confirmed to TUAW. It is unclear as to why the app has been delayed till now. This new iPad version of Skype supports all the features of its iPhone brother. It looks like all features short of two-way video calling are supported on the original iPad, with that being a feature of the iPad 2.

TUAW reports that the iPad app is separate from the iPhone app, but will keep the same free price tag. It will also be capable of making calls over both 3G and Wi-Fi.According to previous reports, the iPad app will not be capable of file sharing.

Update:  It looks like Apple has decided to skip all that timezone non-sense and give the app to every user at once. You can pick it up in the App Store now. I have it downloaded, and will update with my impressions after I test it out. Stay tuned!

If you already have the Skype app for iPad, let us know what you think about it. If not, then let us know if you are excited about video calling coming to the iPad. Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

Apple Announces iCloud Pricing and Opens iCloud.com to Developers

Back at WWDC in June, Apple announced a little project they call iCloud. It is their response to the idea of cloud computing, and it looks like it could be pretty nice. They have promised that every user will get 5GB of storage for free, with things purchased from Apple not counting towards your total. However, many users have been begging for pricing for additional storage.

Well, Apple is finally ready to dish on iCloud pricing. So far, we have been able to dig up pricing in US dollars,Pounds, and Euros. It looks like 10GB of storage will run you $20/ £14/16€, 20GB will be $40/ £28/32€, and 50GB will cost $100/ £70/80€. All of those prices are per year, not one shot.

If you are wondering where these prices came from, then I will be happy to tell you. It seems as thought Apple has flipped the switch on iCloud.com, bringing with it a beta test of iCloud. It looks like anyone with an Apple ID is capable of trying to sign-up. However, when I tried on my MacBook Pro running Lion, I couldn’t get it to work.

Early reports indicate that the current revision of iCloud is simply MobileMe made over. It offers a number of the same features, including a whole suite of web apps. The interface is very reminiscent of MobileMe, and even iOS. Its clear that Apple is continuing its mission to blur the lines between mobile and desktop platforms.

If you want to try and check out the beta, you can do so at iCloud.com. Let us know what you think of this update, or even iCloud in general, by leaving a comment below.

Apple Releases New Software Update For Apple TV

Apple TV

Today, Apple has released a new iOS software update for the second-generation Apple TV. This update brings support for several new features including streaming access to purchased TV shows and support for Vimeo. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber explains the new TV show feature:

You can buy — not just rent but buy — new episodes directly from your Apple TV, and access and stream any TV show episodes you’ve previously purchased using your iTunes account. (I’m not quite sure if it has all episodes — but it’s showing me all the TV shows I can remember buying from iTunes.)

However, reports have suggested that this feature may be US only for the time being.  In addition, the update adds support for video content service called Vimeo and YouTube playlists. Apple has also added TV shows to the “Purchased” section of iTunes in the iOS app and Mac/PC apps. This new feature allows users to re-download previously purchased TV shows in the same way that Apple allows you to for music since the introduction of iCloud.

The update for the Apple TV shows as a software version of iOS 4.3, but Apple’s servers refer to the update as Build 8F455 of iOS 4.3. Apple’s support document for the Apple TV has also been updated with the new features included in the new update.

–  TV show purchases: Purchase TV shows on Apple TV. Shows purchased on Apple TV can be re-downloaded on other iOS devices. Shows purchased on other iOS devices or with iTunes automatically show up as available to play on Apple TV.
–  Vimeo: Browse and watch millions of user-uploaded videos found on the Vimeo service, for free.

Apple to Release Redesigned iTunes 11 in September [Rumor]

One of the most hated, yet most used, Apple products on the market right now is iTunes. Even Mac users recognize that Apple’s media management software is more than a little bloated.  Unfortunately, it’s so incredibly powerful that it’s hard not use it. Apple also makes it even more difficult by forcing it on anyone who wants to use an iPhone, iPad, iPod or even a Mac with the Mac App Store.

There may be good news, however. Reports are indicated that Apple is planning on releasing a new version of iTunes in September. While that isn’t a huge deal by itself, there is something more to it. iDownloadBlog is reporting that Apple is planning on  completely  redesigning iTunes with the upgrade to version 11.

Interestingly enough, the basic design of iTunes has not changed since its inception. It has always had the controls at the top, with lists on the left side and content displayed on the right. There has always been that “Now Playing” area in the middle, and a search bar on the top right. It is well overdue for a significant face lift.

The timing of this release makes perfect sense. September is the month that many have pegged for the release of iCloud and iOS 5. There have also been reports that a new version of the iPhone is due to come out around then as well.

iDownloadBlog says that we can expect deep integration of iCloud into this new version of iTunes. They also report that the iTunes Store will become more a part of the app. Currently, the iTunes Store is basically a built-in web browser that navigates only to the store.

iDownloadBlog also claims that iCloud backups will be integrated into iTunes. That means that when you backup your device to the cloud, you will get a local copy as well. This also applies for app data as well.