One of the main reasons we switch from Blockbuster Online to Netflix here at our home is the Netflix Watch Instantly functionality that is set to come to the Xbox 360 with the New Xbox Experience Fall dashboard update. However, if you don’t have a 360, or you just want more variety in your Watch Instantly lifestyle, you’ll be pleased to know that the functionality is finally gonna hit OS X by the end of this year, after being available only on Windows for almost two years. By our estimation, that means sometime in the next three months, and that excites us. Apparently, the holdup was based the fact that the DRM used on Windows boxes wasn’t compatible with OS X, and since Apple doesn’t license out their FairPlay DRM to third-parties, Netflix had to roll their own. From Netflix:
And, for all of you Mac users (of which I am one) we’ve been busy working getting a solution that will allow you to watch instantly on your Mac. So hang in there - we’ll have something for you by the end of the year.
Good news all around.
Read More | Netflix Blog
Now that the economy is ailing, maybe the best solution is to invest in gold. For techies that translates into Goldstriker International’s assortment of iPods in 24ct gold. The front of the newly released classic 160GB has an anodized metal black front and a gold back and is being offered for £329.95 (~$584.00,) while the 80GB will set you back £269.95 (~$478.00.) And if you really want to go high class, Goldstriker has a 3G 24ct gold edition iPhone for £1,195.00 (~$2,114.00.)
Read More | Goldstriker
This morning, Apple finally answered the call of iPhone developers the world over when they finally put an end to the iPhone NDA nonsense. For those not in the know, the problem here was that developers couldn’t talk about the development process of their apps, even after they were released and publicly available in the App Store. This put an unnecessary burden on developers, many of whom thought that it was hindering the development of great apps, as developers couldn’t even talk to each other about the apps that they had released, techniques used, and lessons learned, without breaking the NDA. As of today, the NDA no longer stands on applications that have been released. The NDA still remains on software that is still unreleased, but still, this is a big win in the iPhone dev world.
You can check out the release from Apple after the break.
Read More | iPhone NDA dropped
If you’re into Facebook, and you own an iPhone, you’ll be pleased to know that Facebook version 2 for iPhone is now available on the App Store. The original Facebook app had been referred to as “Facebook Lite” by many a user, specifically because there were very few interactions with the service that you could do on the phone, when compared to the full web experience. Not one to sit on their laurels, the Facebook team got to work on this new version, and has packed in a plethora of new features:
- Address book lookup
- Facebook Chat
- People Search
- Message Search
- Message Attachments
- Photo Tags
- Faster photo uploads
- Friend Requests
Those are the ones that caught our eye, but there are even a few more than what we listed, including a new UI, and a bunch of bug fixes. Definitely some good stuff, other App Store developers might wanna take notice of a full-blown app done right by studying this release, seriously. Go hit the App Store to grab Facebook version 2, it’s free. Oh, and feel free to hit me up on Facebook.
Read More | Facebook iTunes Link
The rumor mill has been buzzing today with whispers that Apple may be readying a CDMA version of the iPhone, which would have EVDO support. So, when would this one be announced? Apparently, at MacWorld 2009 in January. Unfortunately, we are gonna have to call shenanigans on this one. After all, Verizon Wireless was supposed to get the iPhone originally, but were too wrapped up in a traditional cell carrier mindset to see that it would be a boon to their business. Then, AT&T came in and signed a multi-year exclusivity contract in the USA. Plus, it’s not like Apple needs more distribution for the iPhone to make it a success, it’s doing just fine. We think they’d rather focus their iPhone staff on the next iteration of the phone, rather than going sideways to make one that will work on Verizon’s network. Sure, we could be wrong, but…nah…we don’t think so.
Read More | 9to5Mac
Right on the heels of the iPhone 2.1 release that seems to cure just about all our iPhone-related woes (although, honestly, some are still there,) Apple has just released iPhone 2.2 into beta, and seeded it to their iPhone devs. Officially, we are talking about iPhone OS 2.2 beta 1, and as such, we have no timetable or anything as to when this will actually hit the masses. But still, it’s nice to know that it’s coming, right? What would you like to see addressed in iPhone 2.2?
Earlier today, I received word that a second iPhone App had been denied access into the App Store, with Apple citing that the application duplicates existing functionality already found in the Apple ecosystem. This is beginning to become a problem, and if you aren’t seeing why, allow me to explain why this is so alarming to me. In case you hadn’t heard, a couple of weeks ago, an app called Podcaster was rejected by Apple for similar reason. The line of thinking there was that Podcaster, an app that would allow you to subscribe to and download podcasts while on the go, duplicated functionality already found in iTunes.
Now, if you’ve never used an iPhone, allow me to point out the absurdity. There is nothing on the iPhone or iPod touch that allows you to subscribe to, or even download, a podcast to your device. Sure, you can open the file in Safari, but that is not what we are talking about. That’s right, even if you enter the iTunes app, you will find right away that podcasts just aren’t there. So we have to then assume that Apple was referring to the iTunes desktop software when they said that Podcaster duplicated functionality. Really? Is that a major issue that a company decided to fix a gaping hole on the iPhone, even if that hole doesn’t exist on the desktop? Why, then, are there so many calculators in the App Store? After all, not only do we have a calculator as part of OS X, but there is a calculator that ships installed by default on the iPhone as well. It seems we have a double-standard here.
Wondering just how thin the new second-gen iPod touch is when compared to the iPhone 3G? Well, whether you were or weren’t, we’ve got a quick gallery that we threw together where we put the two devices side-by-side. I’ve just gotta say, the iPhone 3G is a nice, thin device - but once you hold the 2G iPod touch, it makes the iPhone 3G feel huge. Seriously, Apple went to town on making the new touches look and feel amazing. Anyhow, go ahead and hit our iPhone 3G vs. iPod touch 2G gallery to see the images.
Read More | Gallery: iPhone 3G vs. iPod touch 2G
Running Windows in OS X is still cool, even if software like Parallels, VMware Fusion, and Boot Camp have been around for a while. Now though, Fusion has hit 2.0, which is a nice milestone. Performance improvements, better multi-monitor support, and more robust Unity features (that’s the feature that lets you “erase” the Windows desktop, so that your Windows programs appear right next to your OS X ones) make this a worthy upgrade. Here are the details:
- More Seamless with Unity 2.0: Application Sharing, Link Handling, Mirrored Folders, Driverless Printing, True Multiple Display Support, and Custom Keyboard Mapping
- Safer Windows on Mac experience with AutoProtect automated snapshots and a 12-month complimentary subscription to McAfee VirusScan Plus security software for Windows XP and Vista
- More Power with DirectX 9.0c with Shader Model 2 3D graphics, 1080p HD video playback, Multiple Snapshots, 4-way vSMP, and Better Linux Support (Unity & Easy Install)
- More Mac-like, More Mac-friendly with all new Welcome Screen, Virtual Machine Library and Virtual Machine Settings, Cover Flow and Quick Look integration, and Apple Help
- Mac OS X Leopard Server now is supported in a virtual machine on Mac hardware
If you already have a copy of Fusion 1.x running, you’ll be happy to know that this is a free upgrade. Otherwise, you can pick up Fusion 2.0 for $79.
Read More | Fusion product page
Time to fire up Software Update yet again, as Apple has just pushed out the latest update to Leopard, 10.5.5. There’s a lot here, but being the email warriors that we are, seeing all the Mail.app improvements makes us just a tad bit exited. We are also into the MobileMe fixes as well. Gotta love the cloud. In any event, hit the jump to get the full list of updates. If you don’t care, then you can just be assured by this nugget from Apple:
The 10.5.5 Update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Leopard and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac.
Yeah, didn’t do it for you either? Didn’t think so.
Read More | Mac OS X 10.5.5 release notes
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