Custom Ringtone Makers Being Allowed into App Store

Just another backtrack on Apple’s part (probably due to the new App Store restrictions), although this one may affect you a little more: Apple has just started allowing ringtone creators into the App Store.

iPhone Screenshot 1

Timing is interesting, considering the custom ringtone creator that iTunes 9.x featured is gone in iTunes 10. Skeptical or not, there are plenty of editors available for download, via the App Store:

I’m sure those are just the beginning, so if none tickle your fancy, just wait. One intrepid developer out there will surely have something suitable up and running in no time. If any really stand out, feel free to shoot a review of the app right here, in our very own iTunes App Review forum!

[Techcrunch]

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AT&T Estimated to Lose 37% of User-base if Exclusivity Deal Ends

A survey by Credit Suisse estimates that if AT&T loses their exclusivity deal with Apple, 23% of their users would jump ship and go with Verizon. Additionally, five percent would switch to either Sprint or T-Mobile, and nine percent are “not sure” of what they would do. Of course, these numbers are purely speculative, and the real world numbers would be affected by many more variables. (Hassle of switching networks, contracts, company plans, etc.) But, if Big Red or any other carrier does get the iPhone, there is absolutely no way that AT&T could benefit. I’m sure that behind-the-scenes AT&T is scrambling for a post-iPhone plan, but it will be a great day for the end-users (and Apple).

So, iPhone users, what would you do if you had the choice?

[Business Insider]

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Apple, Facebook Reportedly in Negotiations for at least 18 Months Regarding Ping

Apple and Facebook were discussing Facebook integration into Ping for at least 18 months, claims Silicon Alley Insider.

However, that doesn’t mean that they are any closer to reaching some common ground. As the report states:

And it looks like no deal is imminent, though the companies would still be smart to figure out some way to work together.

Before Apple launched Ping, its iTunes team was in talks with Facebook for 18 months or more, a source with knowledge of the talks tells us.

It would be smart for both companies to get something hammered out, as really the only people hurting are the consumer.

The other big piece of news here is on Facebook: Steve Jobs described the terms that Facebook was demanding as ‘onerous,’ and it would seem that that description hits the mark. According to an experienced Silicon Valley analyst, “Working with Facebook as a large company is challenging at this stage, very similar to mid-late-90s Microsoft.” That’s some pretty harsh words, as Microsoft was infamously difficult to reason with in the 90′s.

We’ll have to see how all of this plays out; Facebook seems to be very difficult to work with right now, as it has also had Twitter remove any integration with Facebook.

So, what say you? Tired of Facebook’s antics? Or did Apple finally get what was coming to them?

[Silicon Alley Insider]

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Netflix Streaming Coming to Canada

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix will be bringing the streaming portion of its video rental service to Canadian users. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is rumored be going to Toronto, Canada tomorrow for the announcement. At the moment, there is no word on whether or not physical DVD rentals will be coming to Canucks, but it is certainly a possibility.

Netflix entering the Canadian market, its first foreign expansion, has local video distribution players girding for cutthroat competition as still more Internet content-streaming behemoths like Apple TV and Boxee get set to launch north of the border.

They and other players like cable giants Rogers Communications and Quebecor Media have been bolstering their online video offerings in recent months in anticipation of Netflix’s expansion northwards, and lowering the cost of their data plans.

The Netfilx application for the iPad and iPhone is wildly popular, and hopefully Canadian users will soon be able to enjoy the service. In the US, streaming-only plans cost $4.99, so CAD prices should stay competitive.

Update: Netflix.ca is live, and the service starts at $7.99 Canadian.

[MacRumors]

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A Taste of the Apple Pie

Fortune has reported Apple’s latest quarterly profits, and the numbers are staggering. While the iPhone accounts for just under 3% of the total number of handsets sold, it brings in 39% of the industry profits. Apple sold “just” 17 million iPhones from January 2010 to June, while 590 million units were sold by competitors in the same time period. Despite the iPhone’s selling just a fraction of the total number of units, it still manages to rake in more profits than LG, Nokia, and Samsung combined. Incredible. Yesterday, Apple stock reached an all time high of $281.76. Go figure.

We are also impressed with Apple’s ability to monetize its innovative products through selling high-margin consumer products that drive strong earnings results and growth trends for Apple shareholders. A case in point is the mobile phone market, where most handset OEMs struggle to post a profit or even 10% operating margins (except RIM and recently HTC), while we estimate Apple boasts roughly 50% gross margin and 30%+ operating margin for its iPhone products.
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Save a Few Bucks with a Refurbished iPad

Just a quick reminder: Apple has recently started stocking refurbished iPads, which cost $50 less than the MSRP. (So you won’t blow through your Halo: Reach fund.) For those of you who are working for a minimum-wage allowance, this is a great way to save your pennies. All refurbished devices get a brand-new battery, outer shell, and pretty white box (complete with cables and manual), so you will never know the difference. Of course, they are also tested thoroughly and undergo quality checks to make sure they are as-good-as-new, so you won’t be buying a scratched up dud.

All models are in stock and ready to ship.

Apple Certified Refurbished Products

- Quality products/great prices
- Stringent refurbishment process prior to sale
- Covered by Apple’s One-Year Limited Warranty
- AppleCare Protection Plan can be purchased
- Supplies are limited
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VLC Now Available in the App Store!

It looks like dreams can come true: Despite what many people thought, Apple has approved VLC for the iPad. The swiss army knife of video players has a plethora of codec support, so you no longer have to convert all your movies to .mp4. The player is free and open source, so there is absolutely no reason not to download it. It’s propagating across the App Store servers, so if it is not available in your area yet, just hang tight.

via @Applidium

VLC media player is available on the AppStore! http://applidium.com/en/news/vlc_on_the_appstore

VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework, that plays most multimedias files and various streaming protocols.

It is simple to use, yet very powerful and extendable.

VLC has all codecs built-in. It comes with support for nearly all codec there is. And what is more it can even play back the file or media if it is damaged! Missing or broken pieces are no stop to VLC, it plays all the video and audio information that’s still intact.

Note: Non-natively supported files can be added using the iTunes File Sharing feature. Thanks ChrisL!

[iTunes]

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Google Docs Editing Headed to the iPad

Today, Google announced that the iPad will soon be able to edit documents straight from the tablet’s browser. Previously, users could only view their cloud-stored files, and not make changes. This new feature will be a great alternative for people who don’t want to plop down $9.99 for Pages, and considering all your Google Documents are available from any computer without the need to sync, it may be much more useful.

Second, today we demonstrated new mobile editing capabilities for Google Docs on the Android platform and the iPad. In the next few weeks, co-workers around the world will soon be able to co-edit files simultaneously from an even wider array of devices.

Only cloud computing is able to deliver the whole package of productivity-enhancing collaboration, superior reliability and virtually unlimited scale at a price that’s affordable for any size organization. Our Atmosphere event is a nice opportunity to step back and fully appreciate the power of the cloud with customers and future customers alike.

[The Official Google Blog via 9 to 5 Mac]

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iPhone 4 Coming to China Next Week

At long last, (and just a week after getting the iPad), China will finally be receiving the latest iPhone. Apple will also be opening two brand-new stores, one in Hong Kong Plaza in Shanghai and the other in Xidan Joy City in Beijing. The iPhone 4 will be available at these locations at 8am on September 25th, as well as through China Unicom with a two-year contract. Off contract, the iPhone 4 will cost CNY4,999 ($743) for the 16GB model and CNY5,999 ($892) 32 GB model. If you’re going to be picking one up, please be sure to share your experience!

CUPERTINO, California—September 19, 2010—Apple® today announced that iPhone® 4 will be available to customers in China beginning Saturday, September 25 at 8:00 a.m. at Apple Retail Stores including the new Apple Store® Hong Kong Plaza in Shanghai and the new Apple Store Xidan Joy City in Beijing opening on the same day. iPhone 4 will also be available on Saturday at China Unicom retail stores for qualified buyers with a new two year contract.
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GV Mobile + Accepted into the App Store

Sean Kovacs, the creator of GV Mobile +, has announced that his long-awaited Google Voice application has finally been (re)approved for purchase through the App Store. Last year, Apple went on a Google Voice rampage, and removed every last application related to the service.

After a long year and a half of being home sick, GV Mobile (+) makes an epic return to the App Store. The app is still propagating to all the servers, so it may take a bit before it shows up. Here is the direct link: GV Mobile +. I’ll be blowing away some promo codes via Twitter (@seankovacs) once I get them AND if #gvmobile trends on Twitter, I’ll set that bad boy to free for the night.

Like GV Connect, the other unofficial Google Voice application that was approved this week, GV Mobile + will be $2.99. (Frankly, GV Mobile is the superior app, so spend your three dollars wisely.) It looks like Sean has already tweeted out all the promo codes, but hopefully the application will be free for everyone for at least a few hours.

The fixed version just went live, so get it while it’s hot.

via @seankovacs

It just hit the store.

GV Mobile+ allows users of Google Voice to do the following with ease:
+dial numbers via the iPhone address book, entering on the keypad, or choosing from the internal favorites
+send, retrieve, and delete SMS messages
+retrieve and delete recent call history
+playback and delete voicemails
+take calls from different phones other than your iPhone
+enable, disable, add, or delete the phones that Google Voice forwards calls to

[iTunes]

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