All posts by Parth Dhebar

Parth Dhebar is a 18 year-old entrepreneur. He is the founder of Simple Reviews, a blog focused on reviewing iPhone and iPad applications. Parth is a recognized name in the industry, known for covering Apple news. He is an editor at Techie-Buzz covering news on Apple. You can follow him on Twitter @pdparticle.

Ashton Kutcher Movie ‘jOBS’ to Be Released in April

Today, Open Road Films and Five Star Feature films announced that agreements for distribution have been made for the Steve Jobs biopic “jOBS’, reports Deadline. The movie will be released in April of this year.

The film features Ashton Kutcher as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and is said to feature the 30 years of Jobs’s life.

Directed by Joshua Michael Stern, written by Matthew Whitely, shot by Oscar- winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter and produced by Mark Hulme, jOBS details the major moments and defining characters that influenced Steve Jobs on a daily basis from 1971 through 2000. jOBS plunges into the depths of his character, creating an intense dialogue-driven story that is as much a sweeping epic as it is an immensely personal portrait of Steve Jobs’ life. The filmmakers were granted unprecedented access during shooting to the historic garage in Palo Alto, that served as the birthplace to Apple Inc. jOBS stars Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons and Matthew Modine. Inferno Entertainment is handling international sales on jOBS.

‘jOBS’ will premier at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah later this month.

Apple May Not Acquire Waze After All

Yesterday, we reported that Apple may acquire Waze, the popular social turn-by-turn navigation company. According to the report, Apple was willing to offer approximately $400 million plus an additional $100 million in incentives. However, Waze was more interested in a deal closer to $750 million.

Today, TechCrunch’s MG Siegler reports that there is actually no deal happening.

And while Mike Butcher also claimed multiple sources in his original post, you’ll note that he was quick to qualify the information as a “rumor” (or in British parlance — Mike is English — a “rumour”). Because that’s exactly what it was. This isn’t a rumor (of a non-deal). There is no deal is happening. At least not now or anytime soon.

Siegler also said that Apple and Waze have in fact probably had low-level conversations about a closer partnership given that Apple already uses Waze’s data in iOS 6 Maps.

Microsoft Wins Bid for R2 Studios Against Apple and Others

Last month, we reported that Apple along with Microsoft and Google were in talks to acquire home automation company R2 Studios. R2 was created in 2011 by Krikorian who founded Sling Media Inc., maker of the Slingbox TV streaming device.

Today, The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft has won the bidding war. Microsoft will use the acquisition to improve its Xbox division and increase its presence in the living room. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed.

“Microsoft Corp. MSFT +3.41% has acquired a small home-entertainment technology startup to beef up its Xbox unit, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company, id8 Group R2 Studios Inc., was created by entrepreneur Blake Krikorian in May 2011. Mr. Krikorian will be joining the Redmond, Wash., software giant with a small team. As part of the deal, Microsoft also acquired some patents owned by the startup related to controlling electronic devices.

The price of the deal couldn’t be learned.”

R2 Studios is currently developing a home automation technology, but as of now, it does not have any products in the market except for an Android application.

Apple May Acquire Waze

The release of iOS 6 Maps caused hoopla for Apple and since then, the company has been trying to improve its maps app as quickly as possible. Today, TechCrunch reports that Apple may be interested in acquiring Waze, the popular social turn-by-turn navigation company. The application is available on iOS for free and is marketed by the company  as a “fun, community-based traffic & navigation app.” It claims that more than 30 million people are using the service.

Because Waze maps are built on the location of moving cars, it’s far more accurate than check-in apps. Outside of Google’s project to map cities with Streetview cars – something which has taken years to complete – and the real-world mapping undertaken by volunteers on the Open Streetmaps open source project, there has been little to match Waze’s approach. Waze turned mapping into not only a game, but also a way for drivers to be social, reporting road obstacles, traffic and police traps. It is properly useful.

It would also cost Apple northwards of $500M+ to buy Foursquare (which has raised $71 million is known to be raising another round), and gain, what? The location of restaurants, bars and airports? Given Waze has raised $67 million, Apple could acquire far better mapping data and a real driving app.

Waze also allows users to share real-time information on traffic congestion, gas prices, accidents, speed traps and checkpoints, and more. Some data is automatically reported by simply having the iPhone application open while driving.

Both companies declined to comment on the rumor. I believe, if Apple acquires Waze, it will be significant gain for the company because of the mapping data Waze has to offer.

Judge Dismisses Apple Trademark Claims Against Amazon’s Appstore

Back in 2011, Apple sued Amazon regarding the latter company’s new “Appstore” for Android devices, claiming the ‘app store’ name was trademarked by Apple and would cause confusion among consumers. Apple claimed that Amazon’s app store would harm Apple’s reputation. Last year, a judge wasn’t fully convinced regarding Apple’s claims, saying Apple had not demonstrated “real evidence of actual confusion” between the various “app stores”, and suggested that Apple was “not likely to prevail” in the case.

Today, Amazon has succeeded in having Apple’s lawsuit over its “App Store” trademark thrown out, reports Bloomberg. Microsoft also took on Apple, arguing that the “App Store” trademark is no less generic than “Windows.”

Apple Reportedly Strikes Deal with Broadcom to Add 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi to 2013 Macs

TheNextWeb reports that Apple has struck a deal with wireless chip firm Broadcom. If true, this deal will allow Apple to add high-speed 802.11ac 5G “Gigabit Wi-Fi” technology to the company’s Mac lineup later this year.

While it’s believed that Apple’s 2013 Mac lineup will feature the same designs as their late-2012 counterparts, they are set to include a range of updated internal features and hardware. We’ve learned about one such chipset change – the inclusion of 802.11ac networking – providing Apple’s updated Mac range with super-fast WiFi connectivity.

Sources familiar with Apple’s plans have told The Next Web that Apple has struck a deal with chip maker Broadcom to outfit its new Macs with 802.11ac chips.

The report also notes that 802.11ac will triple the speeds offered with the current 802.11n standard. This new antenna could support up to 450 Mbps on one antenna and up to 1.3 Gbps when used with three antennas as on Apple’s latest Macs.

According to our sources, the WiFi chip isn’t currently available and is still in development. As for availability, we have been told that if work goes according to schedule, they should be part of the new line of Mac computers. There is no word on whether Apple will introduce similar chipsets in the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Time Capsule or other products.

Back in 1999, Apple was among the first companies to bring Wi-Fi to the masses when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs revealed a wireless iBook notebook onstage as his trademark “one more thing” at the July Macworld Expo.

Apple to Announce 1Q 2013 Earnings on January 23

Today, Apple announced on its investor relations page to note that it will announce its earnings for the first fiscal quarter (fourth calendar quarter) of 2013 on Wednesday, January 23rd at 2:00 p.m. Pacific/5:00 p.m. Eastern. A live audio stream of the call will be available here.

The earnings call is expected to cover results for the holiday seasons as well as performance numbers for the iPad mini.

Apple Promotes ‘Do Not Disturb’ in TV Ad

Today, Apple posted a new television ad featuring iOS’s “Do Not Disturb” feature. Professional tennis players Serena and Venus Williams are shown playing ping-pong against the narrator in a dream:

Ever had a really cool dream? I’m having one right now. I don’t want to be disturbed. And I won’t because before I went to sleep, I set this. Now my iPhone knows not to ring unless its important. Cause disturbing this would just be… Wrong.

In my opinion, the ad is alright and Apple can do much better. Ironically, as MacRumors notes the ad was released on the same day that a bug in the scheduled Do Not Disturb feature prevented it from turning off on many iPhones.

Hackulous Shuts Down

iDownloadBlog reports that popular  iOS pirated app community Hackulous has announced that it is shutting down. This means that the Installous jailbreak tool used to install pirated apps on iOS devices will no longer be available. A statement from Hackulous reads:

We are very sad to announce that Hackulous is shutting down. After many years, our community has become stagnant and our forums are a bit of a ghost town. It has become difficult to keep them online and well-moderated, despite the devotion of our staff. We’re incredibly thankful for the support we’ve had over the years and hope that new, greater communities blossom out of our absence.

The report also observes that other piracy tools, both existing and new, will probably rise in popularity due to the removal of Installous. Piracy continues to be a major issue for many iOS app developers, as there have been many incidents of piracy causing developers to remove their apps from the App Store. Good riddance.

Apple to Move Mac mini Production to U.S.

Earlier this month, we reported that Apple will bring back some Mac production back to the U.S. next year. Speculation suggested that the Mac Pro would be the one that would be manufactured in the U.S due to its relatively low volume of sales.. However, now DigiTimes reports that it will be the Mac Mini that will be manufactured in the U.S and not the Mac Pro.

Apple is reportedly set to move its Mac mini production lines back to the US with Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) to be responsible of handling establishment, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

According to the report, Foxconn already has “about 15 operating bases” in the U.S. and the company plans on hiring workers for 2013 for new automated production lines. Should be an interesting 2013 for Apple.

Steve Jobs’ Yacht Released After Security Deposit Posted

Last week, we reported that Steve Jobs’s family yacht had been impounded due to a dispute with the French designer Philippe Starck over design fees for the ship. Starck claimed that he was to be paid €9 million for designing the yacht, while the Jobs family said that they had agreed on a rate which was 6% of the €105 million construction cost for the yacht.

Now, AFP now reports that the yacht has been freed after the Jobs family posted a security deposit to a bank account.

“The Venus is no longer impounded, we have found a solution,” Gerard Moussault, a Hague-based lawyer for the Jobs estate, told AFP.

“A security deposit was paid into a bank account, but I cannot say for how much,” Moussault said after French designer Starck last week asked Amsterdam bailiffs to seize the sleek 70-metre (230-foot) yacht.

Due to bad weather, the yacht remains in a harbor in Amsterdam due to bad weather, but the report notes that the yacht is scheduled to be transported by ship to the United States to be turned over to the Jobs family at an unspecified date.

Microsoft Releases Wordament, First iPhone Game with Xbox Live Achievements

Today, Microsoft released a game called Wordament for the iPhone. It has been a popular game on Windows Phone, but available on iOS also. Wordament was originally a side-project for two Windows Live employees that was later acquired and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The game is also the first Microsoft game to come to iOS with Xbox Achievements.

When you sign in with your free Microsoft account, you can earn up to 50 Gamerscore from our 10 achievements and you’ll have access to all of your Xbox Friends and Wordament Frenemies. If you’ve played on Windows Phone or Window 8 and jump to the iOS version, all of your player stats and friends will follow your account automatically.

Wordament is a word game that allows you to compete, real-time, with everyone else playing at the same time. The app is available for free on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Microsoft has been taking steps to adopt the iOS gaming space. Earlier this year, they released an Xbox Live App that allows you to manage your Xbox Live account, and a few iOS games.

Steve Jobs’ Yacht Impounded in $3.6 Million Dispute Over Design Fee

DutchNews.nl reports that Steve Jobs’ yacht Venus, which launched nearly two months ago, has been impounded by authorities due to a dispute with the French designer Philippe Starck over design fees for the ship.

Baliffs boarded the brand new yacht Venus last Wednesday with an Amsterdam court order and it is now literally chained to the dock, the FD said. Port service companies have been instructed not to help it to leave.

The dispute centres on a €3m unpaid bill from Starck, known for his minimalist interiors, who worked with Jobs on designing the yacht for years. His fee had been established at 6% of the cost price, Rotterdam lawyer Roeland Klaassen told the paper.

The dispute is related to the cost of building the boat, with Starck claiming that the yacht was slated to cost €150 million while the Jobs family says that it only cost €105 million. The €45 million difference means that the designer believes that he is missing out on €2.7 million ($3.57 million) in design fees.

Apple in Talks to Acquire Home Automation Company R2 Studios

According to The Wall Street JournalApple, Microsoft, and Google are all potential buyers for home automation firm R2 Studios, part of the id8 Group founded by Blake Krikorian. The company was created in 2011 by Krikorian who founded Sling Media Inc., maker of the Slingbox TV streaming device.

R2 Studios, which is developing home-media and automation technology, has remained largely mum about its plans but last year released an app that turns Android phones into touch panels for controlling heating and lighting systems wirelessly. R2 Studios also holds some patents related to controlling electronic devices and interfaces.

The status of the discussion and terms under consideration remain unclear. A deal may not happen and some talks may be preliminary.

R2 Studios is currently developing a home automation technology, but as of now does not have any products on the market besides from an Android application that can control heating and lightning systems.

The reports also says that R2 also owns some patents related to “controlling electronic devices and interfaces”, in addition to its existing app work. If Apple does plan to release a television at some point, this technology could fit along nicely.

Apple Releases iOS 6.0.2 for iPhone 5 and iPad mini

Today, Apple released iOS 6.0.2 for iPhone 5 and iPad mini. The release notes for the iPhone only note that an unnamed Wi-Fi bug has been fixed.

iOS 6.0.2 Software Update

This update contains improvements and bug fixes, including:

• Fixes a bug that could impact Wi-Fi

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

The update can be download via Software Update in Settings or through iTunes.