Google Goggles Now in App Store, But Only for Certain Devices

Google Goggles is now available for download in the iTunes App Store, but you have to have the right device. The only two devices with hardware good enough to be accepted by Google are the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. Why not iPod touch 4, iPhone 3G, and below you ask? Simple; the app requires an auto-focus camera.

Google Goggles is one of those features Android, Google’s very own smartphone OS, (previously) could claim exclusivity to. The app takes a photo of an object, and scans a vast internet database to find images that are similar. It then figures out what those images are labeled as, and then gives you as much relevant information as it can. For example, a picture of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France would be examined, searched, and then you would get background information, such as history, statistics and facts, and location.

All things considered, this is a very interesting move by Google, as the search juggernaut has advertised this app and its capabilities as being specific to Android in the past. If you are curious on how Google Goggles works, hit up this link to see a demonstration on various objects, landmarks, and products.

Google Goggles is available in the iTunes App Store for free, and is compatible with the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.

Edit: To clear up some confusion, Google Goggles is available as an update to the Google Mobile app (link below). If you already have it, update the app via the App Store. If you don’t, download it via the link below.

[App Store]

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Apple TV 30 Day Rental Loophole

It looks like some of Apple’s programmers were sleeping on the job, because a forum member over at MacRumors has found a rather awesome loophole on the Apple TV. Basically, if you rent a video on iTunes, and stream it to the Apple TV, the “24/48 hour countdown” is never triggered – so you have a full 30 days to watch the movie or show at your leisure, as many times as you like. (As long as you don’t start the video on iTunes itself.)

- Rent a show/movie on your Mac’s iTunes
- When you begin watching the rental on the Apple TV, no warnings appear indicating that you must finish watching the movie within 24/48 hours
- The iTunes rental counter should still show 29+ days remaining
- Note: if you do try to watch the movie through iTunes, it will kick off the 24/48 hour countdown

This lapse in code will probably be fixed quickly, either with an update to iTunes or the Apple TV… but, you don’t have to update, now do you?

[MacRumors]

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Apple TV Cost $64 to Make

According to iSuppli, the hardware inside the newest Apple TV cost Apple just shy of $64. They also note that the original Apple TV – which cost $237 to make – was built more like a nettop PC, whereas the current Apple TV is built with almost the same hardware as the iPhone. It seem that Apple is not only unifying their software, but their hardware as well.

Compared to the first-generation Apple TV, the new model offers a dramatically improved ratio of hardware cost to retail price. The initial version of the Apple TV appeared to be a near give-away or subsidized product for Apple, sold at prices that weren’t much more than the underlying hardware costs. With the second generation version of the hardware, the Apple TV’s price is about 35 percent above its BOM and manufacturing cost.

This cost does not factor in R&D, software, or other non-hardware expenses, so Apple’s actual net profit is probably a bit less than $35 per unit.

Check out the chart for a complete breakdown of the bill of materials, and hit the source for additional notes on the teardown.

[iSuppli]

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iPad the Fastest Adopted Consumer Electronic Device

A report by CNBC shows that the iPad is quickly becoming one of the most popular gadgets to have ever existed, crushing entire electronic markets single-handedly. When reading, remember that the numbers don’t compare every tablet computer to large groups of devices in other categories, but solely Apple’s iPad. Mind blowing. (That’s like a single car model outselling every other car in production combined.)

iPad sold three million units in the first 80 days after its April release and its current sales rate is about 4.5 million units per quarter, according to Bernstein Research. This sales rate is blowing past the one million units the iPhone sold in its first quarter and the 350,000 units sold in the first year by the DVD player, the most quickly adopted non-phone electronic product.

It’s incredible to think that one product, created by one company, is selling more units alone than the combined efforts of every other manufacturer. Comparing the sales of the iPad to the other tablets on the market would be equally embarrassing, considering there isn’t any real competition yet on the market.

(more…)

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Netflix App Updated with Video Out

Nice! Netflix has updated their iOS application with video out, so you can hook up your iPhone 4 or iPod Touch 4g (sadly, those are the only supported models), to a TV for big-screen streaming. A welcome addition, especially for those without an Apple TV or console that supports Netflix’s Instant Queue.

What’s New In Version 1.1.1
  • Support for video out on iPhone 4 and iPod 4th Gen
  • Bug Fixes

Check it out on the App Store.

[9 to 5 Mac]

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Applications (Almost) A Go on the Apple TV

According to Steve Troughton-Smith, creator of Orbit, Lights Off, and many other popular apps, applications can “definitely” be installed on the Apple TV. The only problem is actually launching them, since the Apple TV’s frontend, LowTide, has no built-in app launcher.

via @stroughtonsmith

So, not only is the AppleTV set up for installing applications (of UIDeviceFamily 3), but the installation actually works.

The application definitely installs on the AppleTV, I used iPhone Explorer to verify: http://twitpic.com/2un568

Troughton-Smith has a very informative blog post written about the matter, and if your interested in details regarding the possibility of apps on the Apple TV, check it out.

Effectively, all the pieces are in place to build a remote-control driven 720p iOS app. All Apple needs to do is build the distribution mechanism and open the floodgates, and ‘Universal’ apps would be a definite possibility.

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Unguarded iPhone UDIDs Could be a Privacy Concern

Every iOS device is assigned a unique UDID, or “Unique Device Identifier”, which acts like a serial number or license plate to identify each unit. Applications from the App Store are carefully screened, but according to Eric Smith, Assistant Director of Information Security and Networking for Bucknell University, not all adhere to the security guidelines that Apple has put in place.

The intended role of the UDID as a unique token to remotely store local application preferences is a convenient tool for programmers, but the potential for the abuse of privacy is remarkably high. Apple addresses this concern in their application development guide:
“For user security and privacy, you must not publicly associate a device’s unique identifier with a user account.”
While Apple promotes the use of the “unique identifier” API as a development tool, there is nothing in place which prevents these same application developers from using UDIDs as a tracking agent — nor are there any restrictions in place to prevent companies from sharing this data with one other.

Smith’s study showed that 68% percent of the applications tested transmit the UDID back to a remote server, and only 18% encrypt the data. Many apps – even those from large companies like Amazon – send the UDID along with personal info via plain text, meaning that anyone who intercepts the it can easily view it.

(more…)

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No AirPrint for the iPod Touch 2g

It looks like Apple is yet again exercising planned obsolescence, and has removed support for AirPrint from the second generation iPod Touch. Originally, the press release Apple sent out stated that AirPrint would work with the older iPod, but has now been revised to say that it will only work with the “iPod Touch 3rd generation” and later. Obviously, there are no hardware limitations since AirPrint is a simple software change, so Apple is just looking to coerce customers into upgrading – a valid tactic, but disappointing nonetheless.

It is likely that AirPrint will be modified to work with unsupported devices (like GameCenter and many other programs have been), but doing so will require a 4.2 jailbreak – which could take some time.

[9 to 5 Mac]

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Possible Baseband Crash Found for 05.14.02

Greenpois0n is right around the corner, waiting to liberate every iOS device from Apple’s grasp. But, at the moment, there is no corresponding 4.1 unlock for the iPhone ready, so customers will be stuck with using only supported carriers. The Dev-Team and friends are busy at work trying to find a hole in iOS, and it looks like there is some potentially promising news.

Clayton Braasch, the man behind the comegox twitter account has found a possible baseband crash, potentially unlocking 4.1 iPhones.

It has not been confirmed by a devteam member such as muscle nerd, however it is possible, so stay tuned.

Video of the crash in action.

So far, Braasch has found a total of 4 exploits, but none are a sure-thing.

Another brief demo of a crash I found (this would be #4 total [2 weren't exploitable, and the third is still being tested]).

The chances of a unlock being released alongside the jailbreak are slim, but hopefully a workable exploit will soon be found.

Thanks Hexane!

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Google Acquires BlindType. Your move, Apple

BlindType, a 3rd party keyboard for Android, has been acquired by Google. BlindType uses what could only be described as sorcery to determine what you want to type – even if you miss the keys completely. (Check out this demo of BlindType to get an idea of how it works.) The software was also developed for iOS, but Apple’s strict rules regarding “replicating existing functionality” will probably keep it from ever entering the App Store.

At the moment, there are a few major players in the Android alternate-keyboard arena: Swype, which is installed by default on many Motorola handsets, SwiftKey, which functions similarly to Swype, and now BlindType. The nature of Android encourages applications that replace key functions of the OS, which has both its pros and cons: Google may not be able to keep the system as streamlined as iOS, but it allows for a wide range of user-freedom.

Even as a die-hard Android fan, I believe that the stock keyboard on Android is nowhere as good as the one on iOS, but users should still have a choice of what they want to use on the platform of their choice. Apple’s recent changes to the App Store guidelines are a step in the right direction, but still doesn’t allow applications to change major parts of the OS.

Apple and Google have completely different philosophies about what can enter their respective application stores, but it would be in Apple’s best interest to at least review applications like BlindType – which would very beneficial to the iOS ecosystem – on a case by case basis.

[Engadget]

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