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Apple opens up replacement program for first-gen iPod nano





IPOD

Apple reported that the battery in the first-generation iPod nano may overheat and pose a safety risk. Although, Apple had previously said that less than 0.001 percent of first-generation iPod nanos experienced the overheating issue, Apple has recently initiated a replacement program for the first-generation iPod nano. The company recommended users of the first-generation iPod nano to stop using the device and replace it for free.

The defect was firstly traced in 2008, when several customers experienced overheating on their first-generation iPod nano. South Korea, Japan and Europe international government agencies even initiated a special investigation and as a result the trade ministry in Japan ordered Apple to publicize the replacement offer on its Japanese website in 2010. Now Apple is notifying purchasers of the first-generation iPod nano about the replacement program, sending out emails.

"Apple has determined that, in very rare cases, the battery in the iPod nano (1st generation) may overheat and pose a safety risk. Affected iPod nanos were sold between September 2005 and December 2006," the company wrote. "This issue has been traced to a single battery supplier that produced batteries with a manufacturing defect. While the possibility of an incident is rare, the likelihood increases as the battery ages."




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Saturday, November 12th, 2011. 21:10

Nuance Releases Voice Recognition App Dragon Express On Mac App Store



dragon exp

Nuance has dropped a new Dragon dictation app called Dragon Express in Mac App Store. This is a cheaper (introductory price $49), scaled-back version of Nuance’s Dragon Dictate program. The new version can be accessed from the Lion’s menubar and will not require a network connection. You can open the Dragon Express window with a mouse click or keyboard shortcut and instantly begin dictate into the window via USB headset microphone or internal Mac microphone. The transcribed text will immediately appear in the dictate window and from there you can copy, email the text, start a web search with it or share it with your social networking contacts.


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Written by maxim

Friday, November 11th, 2011. 0:24

Amazon Has Acquired Voice Recognition Company Yap



yap

As The Atlantic reports, Amazon’s filings with a Securities and Exchange Commission reveals that the company has acquired speech recognition firm Yap, which may suggests that Amazon is going to compete with Google and Apple on this market.


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Written by maxim

Thursday, November 10th, 2011. 13:46

Apple confirms no current plans to bring Siri to older devices



siri

Appleinsider obtained an email that was reportedly a bug report where the company confirmed that it currently has "no plans" to support its Siri personal assistant feature on older devices and would keep Siri as the iPhone 4S exclusive feature. Some analysts view Siri as the main selling point of the newest iPhone, so it would be quite irrational to provide support for Siri on older devices in first months of iPhone 4S sales.

"Engineering has provided the following feedback regarding this issue: Siri only works with iPhone 4S and we currently have no plans to support older devices," the email read.

But it is not surprisingly, when Apple introduced Siri last month, the company made it clear that the feature was exclusive to the iPhone 4S alone. There were some speculations that Siri might require faster processor implemented in the iPhone 4S, but a hack we reported about denied that fact and show that Siri works on the iPhone 4 also quite well.




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011. 13:07

Apple wants to improve OLED technology for potential use in future iPhones



patent

Apple demonstrates interest in improving OLED technology for future iPhone and iPad displays that will provide better battery life for such devices.  Earlier this week AppleInsider revealed a new patent application filled by Apple. The title of the patent is "Power Efficient Organic Light Emitting Diode Display" and describes different ways that could improve battery life, for example, displaying the color white.

OLED displays consume less power than traditional displays. This is possible because OLED technology is light emissive rather than light transmissive. But OLED displays, despite all their advantages, are less efficient that it is used for displaying a screen that is largely the color white, because an OLED panel has to utilize a range of color channels for every pixel on the display. Doing this can be power intensive and make the device inefficient.

For example, certain applications, such as word processing, spreadsheet design and use, database design and use, e-mail, and other business or productivity applications, typically utilize dark or black alphanumeric characters on a white background, such as to simulate writing or printing on a sheet of paper. As a result, these applications may cause the display of large expanses of white background with relatively little area devoted to the non-white alphanumeric characters. Such applications, therefore, may make the use of OLED displays unsuitable or undesirably power intensive for battery powered and/or portable electronic devices, such as handheld devices.


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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Sunday, November 6th, 2011. 20:02

CEO Tim Cook looks to mold a more streamlined Apple



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Two months has already gone since the moment when Tim Cook was appointed Apple’s CEO. The Wall Street Journal decided to take a look at his management strategy and found out some differences between his style and that of Steve Jobs.

In recent weeks, Mr. Cook has tended to administrative matters that never interested Mr. Jobs, such as promotions and corporate reporting structures, according to people familiar with the matter. The new chief executive, 50 years old, has also been more communicative with employees than his predecessor, sending a variety of company-wide emails while addressing Apple employees as "Team," people close to the company said.

Cook made significant changes in Apple’s education division. As a result the division was divided into marketing and sales divisions and then reintegrated with the company's broader arms focused on those aspects of the business. Another corporate-level change is recently-announced charitable matching program that calls for Apple to match employee donations up to $10,000 per year, a change from the Jobs who was reportedly against giving money away. Cook seems to recognize quickly expertise and achievements of his employees, and ready to promote them, such as with the promotion of Eddy Cue.


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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011. 16:07

Apple Pushed Implementation Of Sandboxing Requirement In Mac App Store To March



sandboxing

Among the user-interface changes in OS X 10.7 (Lion), Apple also included a number of changes in the security model that may affect customers of Mac App Store in the near future. One of them is a sandboxing system which can prevent third-party apps from causing damage.


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Written by maxim

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011. 12:31

Google rumored to release native iOS Gmail app soon



gmail

Rumors about release of the native Gmail application from Google have been circulating for about three years since Apple launched the App Store. Bloger, MG Siegler claims that Google “is on the verge of launching their native Gmail app” and have likely already submitted it to Apple for review. If the company approves the application, it should be released soon.

The native Gmail app will likely bring other key functionality as well: like Priority Inbox and one-click starring of messages. Other possibilities include some of the stuff Google is about to roll out for Gmail proper: like contact icons, better threading, and deep searching functionality. Maybe there will even be some Google+ integration, which Google is also hard at work on for Gmail.


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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011. 16:43

Samsung Dethrones Apple As The Largest Smartphone Manufacturer in Q3 2011



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According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple has been dethroned by Samsung one quarter after the company became the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. As a person familiar with the situation said, Samsung shipped over 20 million smartphones in third quarter, beating Apple as well as the largest cellphone manufacturer Nokia.


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Apple released Cards app for iOS



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Apple has released new iOS app for mailing post cards right from your iPhone. The Cards app, according to Apple:

The new Cards app from Apple lets you create and mail beautifully crafted cards personalized with your own text and photos — right from your iPhone or iPod touch. Take a quick snapshot and with a few taps and swipes, an elegant letterpress card is on its way to any address in the world. Each card is just $2.99 when sent within the U.S. and $4.99 when sent to or from anywhere else. And that includes postage.

The Cards app is available free of charge from the App Store here.


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Apple's 'Let's Talk iPhone' Keynote Live Blog!



2:39PM We're off to get hands-on, and we'll be broadcasting again soon. Thanks for joining the fun!

2:38PM Sorry folks, no iPhone 5... yet....

2:38PM Wow, that's it!



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iPhone 5 To Include New iOS 5 “Assistant” Voice Feature



mic

9to5Mac reveals features of the "Assistant" voice-powered personal application that will appear on the next-generation iPhone. The site claims that Assistant allows users to handle scheduling, reminder, and messaging tasks by voice. The system will be also capable to ask user questions to clarify what is being said.

The system will actually speak back and forth with the user to gain the most information in order to provide the best results. The user essentially can hold a conversation with their iPhone like it is another human being. For example, if a user is making a meeting with me, they will say “setup meeting with Mark” and the first “bubble” of the conversation thread will say that. After that, the system will speak back: “which e-mail address should Mark be notified at, work or personal?” This question will both be spoken out loud by the iPhone Assistant and shown as a new “bubble” in the conversation thread. The user will then respond with the email address they want to notify me at, and the appointment will be made. The iPhone will even show a quick glance at a calendar view to confirm the appointment. If the Assistant was sending an SMS, as another example, a mini SMS view would appear so the user has a quick glance at the SMS thread.

Assistant will also integrate with WolframAlpha that will help users receive answers to factual, and  "Find My Friends" service and speech-to-text transcription from Nuance. Of course, such power-consuming application will require more powerful hardware, suggesting that Apple will integrate  A5 chip and RAM to 1 GB to support the heavy workload into the new iPhone.




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011. 0:09

Apple joins coalition lobbying for electronic privacy rights



ddp

Apple has joined the Digital Due Process coalition, which is focused on pressing Congress to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).

ECPA was passed by Congress in 1986, before the World Wide Web was even invented and when cell phones were still a rarity. Yet to this day, ECPA is the primary law governing how and when law enforcement can access personal information and private communications stored by communications providers like Google, Facebook, your cell phone company or your ISP.

The aim of the Digital Due Process group is to "simplify, clarify, and unify the ECPA  standards, providing stronger privacy protections for communications and associated data in response to changes in technology and new services and usage patterns, while preserving the legal tools necessary for government agencies to enforce the laws, respond to emergency circumstances and protect the public." Digital Due Process highlights email, mobile location, cloud computing and social networking as new technologies that need to be included in the law. Other coalition members include Amazon, Intel, AT&T, Google and many more.




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Saturday, September 24th, 2011. 0:19

Apple Working on Allowing the Merging of Multiple Apple IDs



appleid

Apple is reportedly working on a process to merge multiple Apple IDs into a single login. Early developer testing of iOS 5 and iCloud have demonstrated that this issue was major.

TUAW described the problem back in July, and the answer at that time was that there was no way to consolidate Apple IDs:

Some readers have been managing two Apple IDs on purpose and are now frustrated about the fact that Apple is restricting logins for automatic downloads. Others have only just discovered that they have two IDs. Most of them have already contacted Apple, only to be given the same answer without exception: Apple will not consolidate Apple ID accounts.

MacRumors reader Robert emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook about the issue. Apple representative said that they understood the issue and that more people would run into the problem with iCloud, claiming that there is no way yet to combine accounts but revealed they are working on it.




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Friday, September 16th, 2011. 18:28

Apple Reportedly Open to Restoring MobileMe Features Lost in iCloud Transition



mobileme_icloud_logos

One of the customers, who emailed Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO to express dismay over discontinuation of same MobileMe features, claims that the service is transitioned to iCloud and then Tim Cook called him noting that Apple is “open” to return some features as customers support their return.

"Specifically, I bemoaned the loss of sync services (syncing application preferences, keychain, etc.) and the loss of iDisk," the reader said of his initial email to Cook . "I was pleasantly surprised to get a call from his office just now.

According to Cook's people, while there are no plans to add those particular services to iCloud at this time, "Apple is open to it if there's enough feedback on the subject."




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Thursday, September 15th, 2011. 20:17