A possible new name for MobileMe could come around the same time as the next iPhone. But, stop calling the handset the iPhone 5! Meanwhile, Amazon shows it wants to be considered Apple’s biggest competitor, as EA gobbles up not one, but two companies.
Plus, Hugh Hefner announces when Playboy arrives on the iPad, just as another chapter of Angry Birds is about to fly into the App Store. Finally, the gate has closed on the recent location tracking controversy as Apple releases iOS 4.3.3.
These stories and many more made news during the week that was.
Death Of ‘Locationgate’
Way ahead of the rumored release two weeks from now, Apple has just pushed out a new version of iOS to the world.
According to the update notes, iOS 4.3.3 (or 4.2.8 for Verizon iPhone owners) reduces the size of the widely publicized crowd-sourced location database that iOS devices maintained. This databas allowed anyone with access to your computer or iDevice to see everywhere you ever went. More precisely, your iOS device will now retain that information for a shorter period of time, or not at all if you disabled location services. Furthermore, this cache will no longer be saved to your computer when you back up your device.
Apple Corporate News
According to Formula Capital managing partner James Altucher, Apple could very well become the world’s first $1 trillion company. In fact, according to Altucher’s estimates, the Cupertino, California-based company could eventually be worth $2 to $3 trillion. This news comes from Business Insider, which highlighted Altucher’s appearance on Yahoo!’s The Daily Ticker.
Altucher’s optimism about Apple, which is currently worth $320 billion, is powered by two underlying realities. First, while Apple’s growth rate is astounding for a company of its size, its global market share in key markets is still extremely low. Meaning, there is a lot of room for continued growth.
Apple’s seemingly unstoppable success is the business equivalent of the philosopher’s stone. Everyone wants to know what it is that makes the company tick or, rather what makes Steve Jobs… Steve Jobs.
As someone who spends a fair amount of time trying to answer that question, I can tell you right now that nobody really has the straight answer you’re looking for. Every now and then however, you can get a little glimpse into Apple’s world. There’s been Steve’s answer to the Flash debate, the D8 interviews, and many more. To celebrate Apple’s ascension into Fortune’s top 50, the publication put together a great feature available today in their iPad app on that very matter. What their writer Adam Lashinsky put together for his Inside Apple story is one of those rare and valuable insights.
We take for granted that Apple’s products often have an “i” in front of them. Where did this naming come from? What does the “i” actually mean? How does this naming influence Apple? Let’s take some time to tackle these questions.
Apple has had a little over 20 iThings in their hardware, software, and web service history. The iMac kicked off the iThing trend in May 1998. Steve Jobs offered the only explanation of what “i” means to Apple during this keynote. For Apple, “i” means internet, individual, instruct, inform, and inspire.
Future iDevices, iOS 5 News
AT&T has officially been told by Apple not to expect the iPhone 5 in June or July. This news, first reported by MacRumors, confirms what we’ve heard for months: the next-generation handset won’t debut until later in 2011.
Apparently, an AT&T customer received word that his eligibility date for a subsidized update had been pushed back by over five months. Concerned about the change, he contacted AT&T customer support and received this explanation:
Apple has informed us that they do not plan to release the iPhone in the June to July timeframe, though there will be a newer version in the future. Unfortunately, we have not been given a release time for the new phone. We will release this information on our website when it is available to us.
According to “multiple sources,” Apple is planning on offering “point updates” for iOS 5 “over the air,” provided the company can get carriers on board. Apparently, Apple has been discussing the launch of this new feature with Verizon Wireless since early this year. As of this moment, we’re not sure if the guys from Cupertino have given AT&T a call, too.
The feature would launch in iOS 5 – meaning the initial version of iOS 5 (iOS 5.0) would not be delivered wirelessly. However, the plan is that future software updates (iOS 5.0.1, etc.) could be delivered over the air – so long as Apple can get carriers to agree to pushing the data (which is a heavy 500+ megabytes) to iOS devices.
In the latest developer build of Mac OS X Lion is language that suggests MobileMe users will be asked to upgrade to something called Castle.
Of course, what Castle is or how it relates to Apple’s purported iCloud system, remains to be seen.
Since time immemorial (read, “2008″), man has, with each impending refresh, debated the potential hot new names for Apple’s certain hot new iDevices.
We are in such an era right now.
With the upcoming unveiling of the next-generation iPhone, speculation is running wild regarding the name to be bestown upon it. iPhone 4G? iPhone 4S? iPhone 4GS? iPhone 5? iPhone SomethingElseEntirely?
Amazon’s recently launched Cloud Player service, which allows users to stream music from “the cloud” to their computer, now appears to support iOS devices.
Simply navigate over to the Amazon Cloud Player in Safari and, after accepting a warning stating that “your browser is not supported,” the Cloud Player webpage should load. You can then play a song as you would via the desktop browser version of Amazon Cloud Player. Furthermore, if you get a call, the track you’re playing will pause automatically.
Amazon.com is likely to release a touchscreen tablet to take on the iPad, according to Taiwan-based DigiTimes. The unnamed device, which would include a full color LCD screen is likely to debut later this year.
Unlike its current line of Kindle e-book devices, which use black and white e-ink technology, Amazon’s tablet would include fringe field switching technology.
Ever since news of Electronic Arts’ Firemint acquisition broke earlier this week, the move has been both hailed and berated throughout the gaming community. Such criticisms are premature, however, because the deal isn’t expected to close for another three to four weeks, and any financial details have yet to be divulged.
Many view the sale as a decided boon for Firemint, which is now poised to take advantage of the gaming giant’s vast resources in delivering new games befitting of the Australian brand’s storied pedigree. Rob Murray, CEO of Firemint, yesterday released a letter to reinforce this positive outlook. In addition to confirming that the development house will stay in-country, Murray enthusiastically emphasizes:
It is a good deal for us, because we need EA’s help in order to win. They can free us up a lot to focus on the creative stuff that really matters and they can provide essential resources to help us build better games. EA believe in us, they want us to make great games and they trust that we know how to do that. We will be joining ranks with some of the best developers in the business.
The makers of Cut the Rope, Chillingo, have been acquired by Electronic Arts Inc. However, while the company seems thrilled to have been gobbled up by the giant game maker, an email sent to Chillingo Crystal members perhaps tells a different story.
Could it be that all is not rosy between Chillingo and EA just days after the two companies became one?
In news first uncovered by David Chartier of MacWorld, Chillingo Crystal customers are being asked to review EA’s Online Terms and Conditions. After doing so, customers are asked to select the ‘Delete my Account’ option, if they aren’t happy with the EA conditions.
Attention Star Wars fans: In celebration of its “May the 4th Be With You” promotion, ClamCase is releasing a limited edition Trooper ClamCase for both the iPad and iPad 2. The case, which features a black hinge, keyboard, base, and ergonomic rubber feet, will ship this summer.
The “imperial white protective case provides intergalactic contrast,” and is the first in ClamCase’s INSPIRED SERIES of limited edition cases.
Apple’s Smart Covers are the perfect fit for the iPad 2. Unfortunately, they don’t protect the backside of the iDevice. Now the folks at HyperShieldhave released their line of Back Covers for the iPad 2.
Available in ten colors to match the Apple Smart Cover, HyperShield protects the iPad 2’s aluminum back. In addition, a Clear cover is also available.
Made of the same Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) as the Smart Covers, each HyperShield provides “gel-like shock absorbing properties” to protect the iPad’s back from bumps and scratches.
According to Adobe, “Adobe Story is an online service that helps you efficiently create scripts or outlines that serve as blueprints for your video projects.” As such, it integrates directly with Adobe’s new Premiere Pro CS5.5 application.
Adobe Systems Inc. is getting closer to making significant inroads in the App Store. The company has released an update to its popular Photoshop CS5 application. With it, Photoshop now provides support for Adobe’s upcoming line of iPad apps.
According to the change notes for Photoshop 12.0.4:
The 12.0.4 update enables specially designed apps on tablets, smartphones, and PCs to communicate with and control interaction with Photoshop CS5 (Located in the File menu: Remote Connections). Now you can be creative on other devices and instantly incorporate what you create into Photoshop. You must install the 12.0.4 update to activate a remote connection between Photoshop CS5 and any apps that Adobe or third-party developers create to interact with Photoshop. For example, Photoshop CS5 must be updated to 12.0.4 to interact with three new iPad apps that Adobe has designed to work with it – Adobe Nav, Adobe Color Lava, and Adobe Eazel. Available on the App Store.
Spotify has recently made some changes to its online music streaming service. Now, “Spotify Free” users can download MP3 tracks, and access the Spotify app on their iPhone or iPod touch – something previously reserved for premium subscribers.
As outlined in a press release (which hit the Web today), Spotify Free users are getting some handy features previously reserved for premium subscribers. First, users of the service can now download MP3 tracks to their computer’s hard drive (and listen to the tracks offline). However, this comes at a price – as much as €1.00/80p per track, or as little as €0.60/50p per track.
Rovio has recently released a teaser trailer for the next Angry Birds Rio update. According to the trailer, the update will be entitled “Beach Volleyball” and should be available to download soon.
Playboy for iPad is set to debut in the App Store on May 18. This news comes from Hugh Hefner himself, the Playboy founder, on his Twitter feed.
Announced earlier this year, Playboy for iPad promises its readers full access to each of its issues going back to 1953. However, to get past Apple’s approval process (which doesn’t allow for nudity), the actual content will be contained in a webapp. In other words, although there will be a real app called Playboy located in the App Store, the links will bring up pages in Mobile Safari.
News Corp’s digital publication – The Daily – which premiered on the iPad back in February, hasn’t had an impressive first quarter. In fact, even though the app was downloaded over 800,000 times, the publication made a loss of around $10 million.
The Daily was the first iOS app to support Apple’s recently introduced in app subscription policy, and can be subscribed to for $0.99 a week (following a trial period).
I know what you’re thinking. “Yeah, right.” It sure sounds like a scam, doesn’t it? But soon, you may in fact be getting paid— just for having your iPhone in the right place at the right time.
No, it’s not news photography or investigative reporting, and no, it doesn’t involve bonding with your inner paparazzi. But the money is real, and the idea… well, let’s just say it’s pretty original.
A new startup called GigWalk is looking to help corporations break up their massive crowdsourcing projects into tiny “micro-errands”, then source them out to willing participants in the streets. Each gig can be done in a few seconds or minutes, but each one credits your Paypal account from $3 to $50 each—you unlock higher-level gigs after you’ve gained experience (called “street cred”). All this via their dedicated iPhone app.
Top AppAdvice News & Apps Of The Past Week is published each Sunday, and is a wrap-up of some of the stories we felt were interesting during the last week.