On Tuesday Kodak has filed lawsuits against Apple and HTC claiming infringement of patent violations regarding the sharing of digital pictures between various electronic devices. The claim accuses Apple of violating four digital photography patents Kodak said it obtained after "concluding it would be desirable for people to easily share pictures" from digital cameras without having to first upload them to a central PC. Apple and HTC are likely to cooperate with each other over the Kodak suit, although the companies are suing each other.
Essentially, any Apple product with a camera is affected by the proposed suit, but specifically cited examples include the iPad 2, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and the iPod touch (4th generation).It is unclear whether software like Apple's Photo Stream, which allows digital images taken on one iDevice to be pushed to other devices through the company's iCloud, or other third-party apps that allow for image transfer over Bluetooth or WiFi are being targeted in the suit.
Citing an anonymous source who worked at Apple, USA Today revealed that 50-inch Apple television is said to be housed in the secure California studio of Jonathan Ive. The same source also said that Apple is looking to build an LCD television sized 42 inches or larger with built-in Wi-Fi functionality, because Apple is not interested in building an HDTV with a screen size of less than 42 inches.
Author Scott Martin notes that Apple's rumored TV set is going to receive "big buzz" at next week's Consumer Electronics Show, even though the Cupertino, Calif., company isn't attending the event.
The story also features a quote from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who said he expects Apple will make "an attempt" to build a TV. He believes the living room will "remain a center for family entertainment, and that touches on all areas of consumer products that Apple is already making."
The report offers little else that is new about Apple's anticipated television set. Some reports have indicated that Apple plans to use custom chips, like it does with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, others suggested that Apple could include AirPlay and iCloud into its new product. Rumors also claim that Apple wants to be able to offer customers customized channel lineups with its anticipated television set to choose whichever channels or shows they want for a monthly subscription fee.
BGR claims that Apple is planning to launch a completely redesigned iPhone in the fall of next year. The new iPhone will haven an aluminum back panel rather than the glass one with the incorporation of a rubber or plastic bezel covering similar to that used on Apple's iPhone bumpers. The device’s antennas will be also covered with some protective bezel to avoid direct skin contact.
We have also learned that Apple is planning to use a rubber or plastic material — similar to the material used in the company’s bumper cases — that will be built into the new iPhone case. In all likelihood, this material will be used as a bezel surrounding the front edge of the phone (like the iPhone 3GS bezel) and it will serve two purposes. First, it will join the glass iPhone face with a new aluminum back plate. It will also cover a redesigned antenna system that surrounds the device, allowing Apple to build the rear case out of aluminum without having to use a large plastic insert above the antennas as the company does on its iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G.
According to Japanese blog Macotakara, Apple held a MFI Conference for iPod / iPhone / iPad for accessory manufacturers in Shenzen, China this past week. During the conference Apple reported that the company was going to introduce a new chip for MFI program ("MFI" means Apple's Made iPod / iPhone / iPad certification program) in order to encourage manufactures to produce more iOS-compatible accessories. The rumored chip will provide access to devices running iOS via AirPlay, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The current program for iOS devices is limited to physical dock accessories.
TouchArcade has confirmed these rumors by its recent article telling us about iOS gaming accessories. TouchArcade explains that the reason why all the current gaming accessories rely on Bluetooth keyboard emulation is due to the restrictions Apple has placed over bluetooth connections and with the new chip such restrictions seems to be loosed opening the way to analog control sticks for iOS devices.
Moreover, Apple has recently revealed that the company would be adding support for AirPlay over Bluetooth. It is unclear what advantages this will offer.
The pioneer of cloud gaming OnLive has announced the release of its playable app for tablets and mobile devices. Now top-tier, console-class games that was previously limited only to computers and consoles are available for playing through the free OnLive app on more than half a million mobile devices over mobile networks and Wi-Fi in the UK and US.
According to Bloomberg’s report, Apple launched a new class of offerings in App Store, by allowing game development studio Big Fish Games to offer its titles to iPad users on a subscription basis. Such offerings could be a new revenue stream for game publishers and new option for users, which was earlier available only for digital publications. Bloomberg reports:
“Big Fish Games, a Seattle-based game publisher, won approval from Apple to become the first to offer users access to dozens of titles for $6.99 a month. Until now, games have only been available one at a time, requiring users to download individual applications”.
The option will be available through a dedicated Big Fish app where subscribers can gain unlimited access to such games as “Mahjong Towers” and “Mystery Case Files” series.
Games that can be accessed through the subscription service are streamed to an iPad from Big Fish Games’ data centers and initially they will require Wi-Fi access to be played.
The standard subscription package from the game publisher will be offered for $4.99 a month, increasing to $6.99 monthly subscription early next year when more titles can be accessed through the app. Also the company will offer a free ad-supported option to play up to 30 minutes per day.
German site Macerkopf reports that Apple is working on two software updates for iOS 5 to fix battery issues and to add new features to Apple’s voice recognition assistant Siri. Macerkopf tells us:
iOS 5.0.2 coming very soon, solving the battery bugs. Should arrive before the end of next week. Apple is working hard on the update. In addition Apple is working on the first big iOS 5 Update (iOS 5.1), bringing some Siri-extensions. Also the Siri hardware-control is in work "take a picture", "make a video", "switch on/off WiFi", "switch on/off BT" and more.
The new update will be iOS 5.0.2 and is expected to be released next week to address continued battery life issues even after last week's release of iOS 5.0.1 that was also targeted at solving battery issues. But there are still no signs of developer testing for an iOS 5.0.2. The other update Apple is working on to improve Siri functionality on the iPhone 4S will be probably dubbed iOS 5.1. The update seems to be released earlier next year. Apple may add new languages and expansion of maps and local search to new countries in the update.
Yesterday Apple released the promised update of the iOS 5.0. The iOS 5.0.1 should fix battery life issues found on devices upgraded to the iOS 5, as well as on new iPhone 4S. Apple publicly said the battery life bugs affected a small number of users. In addition to addressing battery life issues, the update also brings new multi-touch gestures for the first-generation iPad.
This update contains improvements and other bug fixes including:
Fixes bugs affecting battery life
Adds Multitasking Gestures for original iPad
Resolves bugs with Documents in the Cloud
Improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation
The update also includes security improvements, as well as a new way for developers to specify files that should remain on a device even in low storage situations.
iOS 5.0.1 is available for iPhone (4S, 4, and 3GS), iPod touch (third- and fourth-generation), and all iPad models. The update is now available to all users through iTunes, and will be soon available as an over-the-air update.
Reportedly, iMessage and AirPlay Mirroring will be added to OS X Lion. AirPlay Mirroring was first launched on the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. It enables you to wirelessly stream display content of your iPhone or iPad to the HDTV through Apple TV. Implementation of this feature on the Mac will reportedly be similar and will allow broadcasting whatever is on your desktop to your TV.
iLounge has tested the iPhone 4S battery life, comparing it with the iPhone 4, and found out several interesting facts. As Apple claims in the iPhone 4S official specifications, the new smartphone has improved talk time but worse standby time as compared to the iPhone 4.
For tests with 3G Data, Audio Playback, Video Playback, and Video Recording, the iPhone 4S came in under the iPhone 4's battery life. For Wi-Fi and FaceTime testing it to be similar to the iPhone 4, and on Cellular Calls, the iPhone 4S is slightly better. Both media playback and recording were advantage of the iPhone 4S, comparing with the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4S is recording much higher resolution video than the iPhone 4.
Yesterday Apple released the long-awaited iOS 5 for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, first-generation iPad, fourth-generation iPod touch, and third-generation iPod touch. An update is also available for the Apple TV, bringing wireless mirroring functionality over AirPlay. To update to the iOS 5 users should install iTunes 10.5 released on Tuesday. Noteworthy it is the last time when Apple provides their users with update with USB. All next updates will be available wirelessly, without the need to use a cable.
The iOS 5 pack includes more that 200 new features. The most noteworthy among them are the following:
Ahead of today’s iOS 5 launch, Apple released the rumored AirPort Utility app that allows you to manage your AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule base station and Wi-Fi network right from your iOS device. The app also includes some advanced capabilities that let you effectively manage your base station and networks.
Yesterday during the expected media event Apple announced the new iPhone 4S, an upgrade to the existing iPhone 4 with improved A5 processor, new 8 MP camera with better optics, faster download speed on 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, and more. Media members who attended Apple's iPhone 4S event had the opportunity to spend some time with the new hardware following the presentation, and immediately started posting their first impressions about the iPhone 4S.
Engadget highlights the improved internal specifications of the new iPhone 4S, noting that it is faster than the previous model, with faster navigating between pages and opening the camera application. Engadget was also able to test the new voice assistant, Siri:
The most impressive part was the demo of Siri, the new assistant that lets you do just about anything you can do on your phone — but with your voice. We tried to psych it out with a bunch of random requests... Siri never faltered, never missed a beat… There’s nothing better to say than that. We even sent ourselves a few text messages, which Siri transcribed to a T. Of course, the lady on the other end still sounds eerily robotic, but we’re hoping for smoother responses from the alien within in a future update.
Jim Dalrymple at The Loop covers the differences in antenna design:
The current model has three bands — one on each side on the bottom, and one on the top. The iPhone 4S has four bands — two on the top and two on the bottom. The bands are where Apple houses the antennas for the device. The Wi-Fi, wireless and Bluetooth technologies use these areas. It’s not clear at this point if Apple moved any antennas or what they added the extra band.