Apple Releases Thunderbolt Cable

image.alt.MC913It was originally reported to 9to5mac last night that Apple would release a Thunderbolt connector cable for transferring data and using external displays. The report did indeed come true as the 2 meter cable is available now and priced at $49 on Apple’s online store.

In addition to this, Apple has begun selling Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID systems with Mac Pros. The only problem with using any Thunderbolt technology with your Mac Pro is the lack of a Thunderbolt port; it would be correct to assume that a Mac Pro refresh is near. Apple is even expected to use Intel’s Light Peak technology in iOS devices as a faster way of transferring data as soon as the next iPhone release.

[9to5mac]

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RIM developers jumping ship for iOS and Android

As Blackberry loses market share, groups like Seesmic are ditching RIM for iOS and Android. Seesmic, known for their Social Media applications, has stopped all development for RIM. Other smaller companies, like Purple Forge Corp.(a political polling group), have also stopped developing RIM apps, even though the 2012 political season is well under way and exposure would seem more important.

As soon as RIM brought in a touchscreen and mixed it with a thumbwheel, a keyboard and shortcut keys, it made it really difficult and expensive to develop across devices,” said Purple Force CEO Brian Hurley, in an interview with Bloomberg. “What Apple scored big on is having a touch screen and a button and that’s it.

In 2010 RIM’s global market share was a healthy 19.7%. This year, they have fallen to a much smaller 12.9% share, causing concern among investors.

[IBTimes]

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Android Activations Exceed 500,000 Per Day

Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering at Google, has disclosed that Android activations amount to more than 500,000 per day and continue to grow at a pace of 4.4% worldwide. This is a major leap from the 300,000/day back in December of 2010 and 200,000/day in October of the same year. Also back in October, Steve Jobs said during Apple’s conference call that the company was activating 275,000 iOS devices per day and up to 300,000 on peak days. Back then the number crushed Android’s, but what about now?

[@Arubin via AppleInsider]

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Analyst Believes iPhone 3GS is Here to Stay

BMO Capital’s Keith Bachman and his firm believe that the iPhone 3GS will maintain its position as the low-end iPhone, even after the release of the iPhone 5. Bachman’s position comes after Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore’s claimed yesterday that a new mid-range iPhone “4S” would be debuted alongside the iPhone 5 this Fall, which would seemingly render the iPhone 3GS obsolete. Whitmore cited that the new mid-range iPhone would be unlocked with a $349 price tag.

FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger also doubts the idea of a new low-end iPhone, citing that there are “no near-term plans for a low-end iPhone for emerging markets, or a new iPhone in a transparent case.” If the iPhone 3GS does indeed remain in Apple’s current product lineup, it’ll be the first iPhone to have been available for over three years.

[AppleInsider | Image]

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Top Fruit Shows Off The Healthiest iPhone Ever

Top Fruit has created a delicious looking iPhone consisting of nothing but fruits and vegetables. Literally, this is a giant iPhone made out of bananas, oranges, grapes, watermelon, and more. Interestingly enough, “blackberries” are also one of the fruits used. The only downside to this creative project is that it is a waste of food, regardless of it being composted as the video makers claim.

[Cult of Mac]

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OS X 10.6.8 Adds TRIM Support for SSDs

The latest version of OS X Snow Leopard was released last week to prepare machines for the impending release of Apple’s next major operating system update, Lion. The release featured a few security patches and bug fixes, but the addition of TRIM support went unnoticed.

TRIM significantly increases the performance and lifespan of solid state drives by clearing blocks of data as they are deleted (like using the insert key while typing, as described in this video). Apple enabled TRIM support in 10.6.6, but only for MacBook Pros that came with SSDs installed from the factory. TRIM on 10.6.8 still requires an official Apple drive, but it allows all Macs which can be preconfigured with SSDs to benefit from the support.

Oskar Groth was able to hack together an application to enable TRIM support on any SSD, but obviously, native support is much preferred. Lion will feature TRIM support at release (and already does in the developer preview), but those with aftermarket SSDs who plan on sticking with Snow Leopard can try the above 3rd party solution. There’s no word on whether Apple will fully support aftermarket SSDs in a future update to OS X.

The update also gives users a noticeable graphics bump, up to a 48% increase in performance in OpenGL benchmarks. 10.6.8 can be downloaded via Software Update.

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Google’s Next Flagship Phone to be Called “Nexus Prime”

Earlier this month, BGR reported that Google is planning to release another superphone to set the bar for the competition. Both the Nexus One and S featured insanely powerful guts, which put the average crop of available devices to shame. Apple has a comparatively tame release cycle, with great (but usually not groundbreaking) hardware. Google pushes the envelope with their Nexus line of devices, which ultimately benefits the hoards of nerds who want killer specs.

The next Nexus device has the comical codename “Nexus Prime“. The rumors that it would feature a 1.5GHz TI OMAP4460 processor and Super AMOLED HD have been confirmed, and sources claim that Google is working on a variety of 4.0 devices from multiple OEMs for different carriers, which may all be launched around the same time. As usual with their in-house devices, Google will keep carrier cruft from being installed on the OS. This has been a problem that gives Android a Windows-like ‘bloatware’ feel. Sprint plans to allow these crapapps to be removed, but currently users are stuck with them unless they install homebrew ROMs.

Android 4.0 “Ice Cream” will be a mix between Gingerbread and the tablet-optimized Honeycomb, which has a rather dramatic UI change. Both the Nexus Prime and 4.0 are pegged for a Fall release, but an exact release date has not been specified.

[BGR]

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Confirmed: GeoHot Hired by Facebook

Earlier this week, there were reports that iPhone and PlayStation jailbreaker George Hotz had been hired at Facebook. His recent legal battle against Sony and general authority-defiant behavior raised doubts about him settling down, but Facebook has now confirmed that he has been hired. His exact role is unknown, but since he is a developer, and knows mobile devices quite well, it’s very likely that he is working on one of Facebook’s mobile applications (perhaps the long awaited iPad app).

GeoHot has been pretty quiet on the hacking front as of late, and we’re not sure if his position at Facebook has encouraged him to go completely legit. With a batch of new iDevices on their way out of Cupertino this Fall, the jailbreaking community sure could use his help. He is known to be a bit of an egomaniac, so it could only be a matter of time before he jumps back on Twitter and wows us with another exploit.

[Read Write Web]

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AT&T Leak: LTE Data Plans

Here’s some more out of that AT&T leak that we’ve been picking through. The latest find (brought to my attention, again, by @deferom on Twitter) holds interesting tidbits about the coming plans – prepaid and postpaid – that AT&T will have to debut alongside its LTE network.

That information seems to pricing information. The document in question (titled “PSD_LTE_Tier_v2.3_11.09.docx”) is from November of 2009. However, it is very likely that the data is completely relevant. After all, building out a network to cover the entire country has to take years of planning. So, with that in mind, here’s the data:

There will be three plans. They will cost $30, $60, and $80. The data caps go from 5, 10, and 20 GB, respectively, though it seems to be significantly more complicated beyond that. For example, there are postpaid “speed boosts,” which do just what the name suggests: give your plan additional speed, instead of data.  We even have information on prepaid plans.

Without going in to the specifics that you’ll find after the break, the major news here is that AT&T will be able to throttle and charge when you go over your plans. There will also be prepaid plans for LTE laptops, notebooks, and possibly tablets. AT&T will offer speed boosts for an additional cost, but that will get you faster download and upload speeds. Those speed boosts will expire after a certain amount of time (the more expensive the boost plan, the longer it is effective).

The rest of the information (and trust us, there’s a lot of it) can be found after the break!

(more…)

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Accessory Review: Scosche flipSYNC

Scosche is a company that specializes in car audio installation, and more importantly, iDevice accessories. The company produces accessories from speakers to charging cables and everything in between. The company is not as well known as other accessory competitors such as OtterBox or Ultimate Ears, but they do offer some cool knick-knacks that can be useful for one’s mobile device. The flipSYNC is a portable charging cable meant for on-the-go use. Although it lives up to its purpose, it still has some disappointing setbacks that may turn you away from purchasing it.

(more…)

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