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Bryan M. Wolfe
| July 24, 2011
Top AppAdvice News & Apps Of The Past Week
OS X Lion roared while iOS 5 got closer to become reality, as did the iPhone 5. Meanwhile, more Hulu rumors made news in some of the top stories from the past week. OS X Lion Arrives Apple Releases OS X Lion - Download It Now For $29.99 Apple has just released OS X Lion in the Mac App Store. The operating system is currently available to download for $29.99, and weighs-in at 3.49 gigabytes. The new operating system has taken a lot of inspiration from Apple's mobile operating system, the iOS. Features that have been added in OS X Lion include a Launchpad (for apps), full-screen apps and multiple screens, and of course, the Mac App Store. While OS X Lion is available to download in the Mac App Store, Apple today noted in a press release that a USB thumb drive (priced at $69) will be released in August, for users who do not have a broadband Internet connection: Mac OS X Lion is available as an upgrade to Mac OS X version 10.6.6 Snow Leopard® from the Mac App Store for $29.99 (US). Lion is the easiest OS X upgrade and at around 4GB, it is about the size of an HD movie from the iTunes Store®. Users who do not have broadband access at home, work or school can download Lion at Apple retail stores and later this August, Lion will be made available on a USB thumb drive through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com) for $69 (US). Mac OS X Lion Server requires Lion and is available from the Mac App Store for $49.99 (US). Apple Releases iTunes 10.4 For OS X Lion Users Apple has released iTunes 10.4, which provides support for OS X Lion. In addition, iTunes is now a 64-bit Cocoa application under Lion. The free update, which is available through Software Updates or online, is available now for qualified users. According to its release notes, iTunes 10.4: You can now use iTunes with OS X Lion's new Full-Screen App capability, which allows you to use iTunes and other apps without distractions. Navigate between your full-screen apps with a simple gesture. Note: iTunes is now a 64-bit Cocoa application on OS X Lion and includes a number of important stability and performance improvements. Some iTunes plug-ins may no longer be compatible with this version of iTunes. Please contact the plug-in developer for an updated plug-in compatible with iTunes 10.4. The new version of iTunes is available here... Latest iOS 5 Beta Arrives iOS 5 Beta 4: From OTA Updates To Documents In The Cloud - Here Are The Changes Apple recently released the fourth beta version of iOS 5, which made a variety of changes to the software update. Fortunately for you, we've compiled a list of everything that's new in iOS 5 beta 4. Hopefully, some of these great features will make their way into the final version of the software update. First, we'll talk you through the main changes, then we'll list minor changes at the bottom of the post. Support for over-the-air software updates A key feature Apple has enabled in iOS 5 beta 4 is over-the-air (OTA) software updates. This means that iOS device owners can download the software update without connecting their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to a computer. It's a great feature, and something that will remain in the final version of iOS 5 - for "delta" updates only. Major updates (iOS 5, iOS 6 etc.), will require the iOS device to be plugged into a computer. Documents in the cloud Apple has now activated "Documents in the cloud," an iCloud feature that syncs documents between different iOS devices. We haven't had chance to test this feature out ourselves, so stay tuned - we'll let you know how it works very soon... Apple Developing "Assistant" - System Navigation Feature To Debut With iPhone 5? Following months of speculation, it would appear that Apple is indeed planning on launching a Siri-like system navigation feature with iOS 5. The feature, called "Assistant," is expected integrate seamlessly within the iOS, and work alongside contacts, location and other aspects of the mobile operating system. The news came in an article recently published by Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac. As you can see in the above screenshot, it would appear that users will have the option of enabling the feature in the Settings app. Once enabled, Assistant will be able to receive voice commands and provide answers based various aspects of the user's iOS operating system. According to Mark:
“Assistant” does not work only based off a user’s voice inputs, but Apple will take information – securely – from user’s devices like location, contact’s information, and music metadata to formulate the best information to serve a user’s request. Since Apple will be taking information such as phone contacts and location, we truly think that “Assistant” will work just like the Siri iPhone application does; but fully integrated into the operating system...AT&T & Verizon Announce Sales Numbers AT&T Signs Up 3.6 Million New iPhone Subscribers In Last Quarter AT&T has reported its second quarter results on Thursday. For the April-June time period, the company’s revenues were $31.5 billion, up 2.2 percent from the same quarter last year. These numbers suggest that despite losing iPhone exclusivity earlier this year, the Dallas, Texas-based company seems to be doing just fine. During the last quarter, the company saw 9.5 percent growth in wireless revenues, with a 7.4 percent increase in wireless service revenues. During the quarter, there were 3.6 million iPhone activations, 24 percent that were from new AT&T customers.In fact, this was AT&T’s best quarter ever for overall smartphone sales; it sold 5.6 million total, up 43 percent from last year. In total, total wireless subscribers increased 1.1 million to 98.6 million subscribers in service... Verizon's iPhone Sales Drop 44 Percent Verizon Wireless announced Friday that it activated 2.3 million iPhone 4 units during its June quarter, which was down significantly quarter-to-quarter. Still, the company’s overall numbers looked good. The nation’s No. 1 carrier activated 177,000 iPhone 4 units during each week of the last quarter. This compares to the 315,000 activations it achieved per week during the January-March quarter, or a drop of 44 percent, according to BGR. Verizon began selling the iPhone 4 on February 10, meaning the company’s first-quarter results included just seven weeks of handset sales. In total, the company has now activated 4.5 million iPhone 4 units in total... Other News First iPhone 5 Buyer Already In Line For New iDevice Apple hasn’t even revealed a new iPhone, let alone announced a release date, but that hasn’t stopped one would-be buyer from already standing in line for the new handset. Rob Shoesmith, 29, is doing just that, and getting a lot of free handouts too, according to UK Metro. Apple fans and long lines go hand-in-hand, but what Shoesmith is doing has to be a first. The former refuse collector is stationed outside the Covent Garden Apple Retail Store in London to be the very first to purchase an iDevice that hasn't even been announced... The iPhone Begins Eating Android For Lunch Ahead Of iPhone 5 Launch It looks like the iPhone has regained momentum against Android ahead of the launch of the iPhone 5. This is the conclusion of a new ChangeWave report published today and first reported by Electronista. With the iPhone 5 expected to launch sometime in the next few weeks, there is growing interest in the handset from would-be buyers. However, this movement towards the iPhone (and away from Android) really started at the beginning of the year when the Verizon iPhone debuted... Apple Could Be Planning On Purchasing Hulu, According To People In The Know Around one month ago, we told you Apple could be considering purchasing Hulu - the popular online video streaming service. While the news came from The Wall Street Journal, nothing more was announced. However, in an article recently published by Bloomberg, two people in the know claim that Apple is still considering purchasing the popular service. In the past, we've heard about Apple's reported desire to launch a video streaming service - something that could challenge Netflix, and integrate with iTunes the iOS seamlessly. According to Scott Sutherland (with Wedbush Securities Inc.), "part of the ecosystem of Apple's future is to include more video." Now, we're hearing that Apple is still interested in purchasing Hulu... Two Years Later, iPad Revenue Surpasses That Of Mac Just how big is the iPad? Revenues from the 15-month-old iPad have now surpassed those of Macs, according to SplatF. In the most recent quarter, Apple sold 9.2 million iPads for $6 billion in revenue. This compares to 3.9 million Macs for $5.1 billion in revenue. This news, which was unveiled during Apple’s conference call today with investors, is amazing considering the first Mac rolled off the line in 1984... App News TV Viewing On The iPad: Brilliant, Embarrassing & Everything In Between While U.S. networks continue to struggle to find ways to keep viewers glued to their television sets, they would be wise to learn something from both ABC and HBO. Both networks have long recognized the importance of the ever-evolving media landscape and in particular, the joys of iPad viewership... First Look: Google+ iPhone App [Updated] Although the Google+ service itself is just a few weeks old, it seems like we’ve been waiting for its native iOS app forever. Luckily, today was the day it arrived in the App Store. Here is a look at the Google+ app for the iPhone/iPod touch, after playing around with it for a few hours... Google+ For iPhone Now The Top Free Application In The App Store The Google+ iPhone app is now the number one application in the App Store, less than a day following its release. The application allows users to access Google+ in a native iPhone app, provided users have already been invited to use the social network. Unfortunately, the application is not yet compatible with iOS 5, meaning iOS developers running a prerelease version of the upcoming mobile operating system will have to stick with the mobile Web version of Google+, for now... CNN, HLN Begin Real-Time Streaming Via Web, iPad Select customers are now able to stream live content from CNN and HLN beginning today via the iPad, in news first reported by The Wall Street Journal. However, the emphasis here is on some customers, but not all. In a move to satisfy customer’s growing desire to stream live video content, Time Warner today is offering CNN and HLN real-time streaming...