With the release of iOS 6 beta 3 yesterday, a disturbing "feature" was uncovered. Some users on with AT&T iPhones are reporting that, when they attempt to enable FaceTime over Cellular, a prompt pops up that tells the user to contact AT&T in order to enable the feature. Many are assuming that this means that AT&T will be looking to charge a premium for customers to use FaceTime over its data connection, and if that is the case, it is straight up consumer robbery.
Beginning in iOS 6, you'll be able to use FaceTime over cellular networks. This feature was announced during the WWDC 2012 keynote and is a big deal because it means you can FaceTime with anyone, as long as you have a cell signal. You can be out and about getting your video chat on, and this will bring FaceTime out from the occassional use category and into something that may actually prove to be very useful.
Since the introduction of FaceTime, users have been clamoring for a time when the technology would work over 3G. Since the debut of FaceTime as the major feature of the iPhone 4, it's been relegated to Wi-Fi-only staus, which meant that many on-the-go users never used it. However, a recent error message found by iDevice displays the message "Disabling 3G may end FaceTime."
With the next iPhone rumored to be LTE-enabled, it isn't hard to believe that FaceTime over 3G and/or LTE will be a feature of iOS 6. When FaceTime was first introduced, Steve Jobs noted that Apple needed "to work a little bit with the cellular providers to get [FaceTime] ready for the future."
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Ever since iMessage was introduced as part of iOS 5, we've been waiting impatiently for Apple to bring that goodness over to the Mac. With OS X Mountain Lion, announced earlier this morning, it will be a reality. In Mountain Lion, Apple will be replacing iChat completely with a new app called Messages. We've installed Mountain Lion and have been playing with it a bit, and what we've basically found is that Messages is everything that iChat was, but with the addition of iMessage and FaceTime rolled in (still no MSN Messenger support.) Apple has actually released Messages in beta, so you don't need to wait for Mountain Lion to get in on the fun, as long as you're running OS X 10.7.3. Head on over to Apple's Messages page to download it.
Apple's focused on the iPod touch as being the "funnest iPod ever" for a while now, but the introduction of the fourth generation model put it over the top. You've got the Retina display, FaceTime video chat, high definition video capture, and built-in gyroscope all packed into the thinnest iPod touch ever--and now it's available in white. Of course, you need great software running on hardware like this, and the App Store fits the bill with over 200,000 apps available. A great gift for teens who don't need an iPhone, or anyone who wants a mobile iOS device that isn't a phone. Prices start at $199 (or $189 on Amazon, a 5% savings):
Be sure to check out the rest of the stuff in our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide, we're adding new suggestions every day!
"Skype for iPad is beautifully designed and optimized for the iPad. It offers the best of both worlds for users who want a larger Skype experience, on-the-go," Skype said in a blog post. "The large iPad screen is perfect for bringing Skype video calls to life, in either landscape or portrait view, and because it is on the iPad, Skype video calls can be made at the beach, in a car or even lying on a couch."
Skype promised several iPad-optimized features, including two-way video calling for those with an iPad 2. Connect with other Skype users on PCs, Macs, or iPhones and Android phones with front-facing cameras.
Sure, Mac OS X Lion is getting all the hype, but Apple isn't resting on its Snow Leopard laurels, having just released 10.6.7. The update focuses on improving Back to My Mac, fixing some Mac App Store bugs, FaceTime improvements, and also takes care of that Thunderbolt Cinema Display issue as well. Grab the goods by launching Software Update now.
Apple has a new iPad on the way, but you've probably gotten pretty chummy with your original model. For a first-generation product, the Apple iPad is a fine tablet that can do tons of different things and hasn't lost any of its functionality in the last few days. Sure, the newer iPad 2 is more compact, faster, and adds cameras, but besides that, there's not much more in the way of upgrades. So, should you make the move to the iPad 2?
Well, the new one has a camera, so you can use FaceTime, Photo Booth, and other fun iLife apps that focus on taking photos or videos. If your best friend or favorite relative has an iPhone, iPod touch, or a Mac, this would be the perfect way to get some video calls going without getting a new cell phone. And its faster CPU and graphics processor means it's better suited for the apps and games of the future. Still, there are several good reasons why you shouldn't ditch your old iPad just yet. Here are five of them:
It's as good a media player as the iPad 2
The iPad 2 doesn't increase the resolution or improve the brightness or colors of its display over the first iPad, so as a plain movie viewer, there's no compelling reason to replace your iPad. There are no movies you can watch or songs you can listen to on the iPad 2 that you can't on the original iPad.
No, the Apple iPad 2 is not a game changer. Instead it simply, firmly establishes Apple once again as the front-runner in the tablet wars. Apple and chief executive Steve Jobs (who made an appearance and received a standing ovation) focused on all the right areas to ensure that the Apple iPad will remain the tablet you have to rule out before you buy any others.
As I predicted, Apple added not one, but two cameras. This makes perfect sense, though I was not particularly happy to hear an Apple exec say on stage that the iPad is perfectly suited for these cameras and FaceTime. Why couldn't the first-generation iPad, which I own, also have been considered perfect for at least one camera? Apple didn't say anything about the resolution on the cameras, though we know the rear one can capture 720P, more or less - the Apple definition for "High Definition." Please, no one tell Steve Jobs that someone on the iPad team sneaked by an accessory that outputs full 1080p from the device (more on that later).
Apple just announced the iPad 2 at their March 2 event, and it's pretty much what many of us expected - thinner, lighter, faster, with dual FaceTime cameras and much faster dual-core A5 chip. The A5 is twice as fast as the A4 chip, and graphics performance is up to nine times faster than the original iPad, which is, you know, insane. Despite all that new speed, battery life is the same, and the iPad will run for 10 hours straight, with 30 days standby time. Also unchanged is the price, as the iPad will start at $499 and will be available in the same configurations as the previous model - this time though, you can choose between Verizon and AT&T for the 3G model. Screen resolution remains the same at 1024 x 768, which is fine for now. The iPad 2 is 33% thinner than the original, and as you can see in the image above, will ship in both black and white colors.
Apple is also finally (finally!) releasing an HDMI adapter, which will mirror the iPad 2 on an external display at 1080p resolution. This'll run you $39, but we're sure that there are many out there that'll snap that accessory up quickly. The rear camera will be capable of recording 720p video at 30fps, while the front camera will do VGA resolution, also at 30fps.
Apple has redesigned the cover for the iPad 2, and they're calling the new accessory a "Smart Cover." It's a magnetic cover that sticks tot he display, and automatically wakes the iPad 2 when removed. It folds up and turns into a little stand for both viewing and typing mode. They'll cost $39 for the polyurethane, and $69 for the leather version.
The iPad 2 goes on sale on March 11 at 5:00 pm at Apple Stores. If you were thinking of ordering online instead to get it ahead of time, think again--Apple isn't going to be taking orders for the device until launch day. Hey, they've gotta make sure there are lines at stores, because those look good on the news, y'know?
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