Apple has just announced that their next event will be taking place this coming Tuesday (read: five days from today), confirming rumors that October 14th would be the day that new notebooks would be unveiled. The company sent invitations to select media this morning, with a graphic of a notebook featuring the sub-heading “The spotlight turns to notebooks.” So, what should you expect to see? Well, if the rumor mill is correct, we’ll see updates across the board in the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, including a new manufacturing process that sees the notebook casing carved out of a single block of aluminum. There are also rumblings of a true netbook from Apple as well, possibly launching in the $800 range.
We thought we were the only ones with issues with some of these smaller iTunes 8 issues, but obviously enough people were complaining that Apple has pushed out a new version, iTunes 8.0.1, to address these things. We are happy that Genius is getting fixed, along with App Store update checking. Here’s the full list:
- Seamlessly plays the current song when creating a new Genius playlist.
- Improves syncing spoken menus to iPod nano.
- Addresses an issue of deleting HD TV episodes when downloading.
- Improves checking for updates from the App Store
- Improves accessibility with VoiceOver.
- Addresses problems syncing Genius results to iPod.
Let us know how it goes for you.
Read More | iTunes
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
In the world of gadgets, thin is definitely in. Apple and HP are both aware of this, and the companies currently ship the two thinnest notebooks available in the world. We’re talking about the MacBook Air and the Voodoo Envy 133. We were able to get our hands on both notebooks, and figured we’d put them side-by-side, just so that we could give you a look at the two thinnest portable computers in the world, and allow you to judge for yourself. What do we mean? Well, we think this one is a toss up, due to the shapes of both notebooks. Hit the video, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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.
You that 2G iPod touch that Apple was all excited about, being that it’s the thinnest iPod touch ever (despite being only the second one ever made)? We figured you guys might be interested in having us take a bunch of unboxing images of the one that just got delivered here to Gear Live HQ. Yeah, this thing is thin, and if you don’t already have a first-gen iPod touch, you should seriously look into this model if you’ve been waiting one. It’s a nice improvement over the original. Check out the rest of the images over at our iPod touch 2G unboxing gallery.
Read More | iPod touch 2G unboxing