Apple Streaming Music Event

Yeah, you read that one right. Instead of relying on other sites to spread the magic, Apple is standing up and taking the initiative.

Apple holding special event September 1, 2010

This is something, at least to my memory, that has never been done by Apple themselves.

Apple® will broadcast its September 1 event online using Apple’s industry-leading HTTP Live Streaming, which is based on open standards. Viewing requires either a Mac® running Safari® on Mac OS® X version 10.6 Snow Leopard®, an iPhone® or iPod touch® running iOS 3.0 or higher, or an iPad™. The live broadcast will begin at 10:00 a.m. PDT on September 1, 2010 at www.apple.com.

If you don’t have Quicktime up and running, now may be the time; there’s not much chance it’ll be broadcast in Flash.

[Apple PR]

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Updated iPhone 4 Coming to Telcel?

This rumor doesn’t seem especially legitimate, but Marco Quatorze, the Mexican carrier Telcel’s “Director of Value Added Services”, told the tech website CanalMX that Apple would be shipping updated iPhone 4 units on September 30th.

The new version supposedly has a fix for the antenna issue, but it is unknown if this would be exclusive to Telcel, or a global update. He mentions that early adopters would recieve units that still have the issue, but would be given the option to upgrade to the newer model without extending their contract.

However, Quatorze also said that after September 30—the date Jobs promised an update on the antenna issue and the date that the free case program expires—Apple will begin supplying revised iPhone 4 devices that “do not have the reception malfunction.”

I’m pretty skeptical on this one, considering the source.

[Ars Technica]

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iTunes May Double Song Sample Length

CNET has word from multiple sources that Apple plans to double the song preview length in iTunes, in effort to dissuade users from going to another service like YouTube to get a longer sample. Currently, it only offers a short 30 second sample, which isn’t long enough to get a feel of the song. Longer previews will keep customers from leaving the iTunes window, and allow them to better experience the song, leading to potentially greater sales.

Sadly, it also appears that Apple’s rumored cloud-based music service isn’t yet ready for prime time.

For those who are hoping Apple will finally launch the cloud music service that CNET and others have written so much about in recent months, you’re likely going to have to keep waiting. Apple still hasn’t obtained the licenses the major music labels would require iTunes to acquire to allow users to store their music libraries on the company’s servers and then access them from Web-enabled devices, according to multiple music industry sources.

There is a good chance that any important updates will be announced tomorrow, so stay tuned. (No pun intended.)

[CNET]

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Plex for iOS Coming Soon, Local Media Streaming and Remote Control

If you have a Mac-based HTPC, or often use your Mac for watching movies and TV, then you should really check out Plex. Plex is a fork of XBMC, the open source mediacenter for Linux, Windows, Mac, and the Apple TV. It combines and organizes all your local media with online sources; scraping together movie posters, plot details, album art, and ratings from websites like IMDB and TVDB to create an awesome media library.

On September 1st, the Plex Team will be releasing Plex 9, along with an iOS application that will allow you to control playback and stream media over a local WiFi connection straight to your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Judging by the video demonstration, it works beautifully, and completely eliminates the need to tediously sync each new episode of Futurama to your iPod Touch. It even starts the video from where you left off on your computer, so you don’t have scrub through it trying to find where you previously left off.

If you’ve built up a decent media collection, then give Plex a try. It can transform what was once just a jumble of videos into a stunning movie collection.

[9 to 5 Mac]

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iOS 4.1 Won’t Fix Proximity Sensor Issue

If The Next Web is correct, then Apple is seriously dropping the ball with the upcoming 4.1 update. Some iPhone 4 users have been plagued with proximity sensor problems since day 1, causing accidental hangups and button presses during ongoing calls. The 4.1 beta releases showed some signs of improvement, but not a full fix, and it looks like the official release won’t have one either.

With iOS 4.1 in its final beta testing stages and about to be released to the world, it appears the fix will not be forthcoming when it rolls out to users.

Apple Australia spokeswoman Fiona Martin has acknowledged that the company has yet to fix the proximity sensor issue, something that will have iPhone 4 users up in arms if they download the update, only to find the problems are still apparent.

Apple has a knack for ‘fixing’ hardware problems with software solutions, so all they need to do is change the face-detecting algorithm, how hard could that be?

[The Next Web]

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Auto3G Toggles 3G So You Don’t Have To

Keeping 3G on all the time can destroy your battery, (even more so if you are in a weak 3G area, since the phone is constantly looking for a better signal) and toggling it manually can be time consuming and annoying. Luckily, the process can be automated with Auto3G. The app, which is available on jailbroken phones through Cydia, automatically toggles 3G off when the phone is locked, and turns it back on when the phone is unlocked.

Requires iPhone with 3G

Auto3G extends your battery life by automatically turning off the 3G radio (leaving on the 2G radio) when you lock your iPhone and automatically turning on the 3G radio when you unlock your iPhone. This way you always have the speed of 3G when you need it without the battery loss.

As explained by Apple, this results in up to 100% greater battery life: “7 hours of talk time on 3G, 14 hours of talk time on 2G.” (apple.com/batteries/iphone.html)

Use the Auto3G icon to change settings

This tweak isn’t perfect, so you may run into some issues while trying it out. If you want to take a leap of faith, it is available from Cydia for $5.99.

[The iPhone Spot]

Thanks Tkf1!

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Detailed Pictures of Cases for the iPod Touch 4G and Nano Surface

Detailed pictures of the X-doria cases from last week have cropped up, giving a much better look at what the next generation iPods will (probably) look like.

First up is the case for the new Übersmall Nano/Shuffle hybrid. The screen on this mystery device is going to be small. If it does in fact use the 3cm x 3cm touchscreen that was leaked, then it’s going to take an extremely simplistic UI to make it usable. It also appears to have three buttons: presumably power, volume up and volume down (iPhone 4 style). It looks like it will also use Apple’s standard 30 pin dock connector and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The rectangular cut-out on the back could be for a clip of some sort, but it seems a bit small for it to be sturdy. (Maybe it is a kickstand like the Evo 4g, so you can show movies to your pet mouse.)

Check out more pictures after the break.

[iLounge]

(more…)

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Google To Expand Movie Rental Service

At the moment, the movie selection over at YouTube is severely lacking, and composed almost entirely of B-movies. According to the Financial Times, Google is looking to expand its collection by partnering with major Hollywood studios, bringing quality streaming movies to YouTube at the same time they are released on DVD, for around $5 each. The movies would be streamed online just like regular videos on YouTube, presumably with some sort of DRM to make sure users don’t download them illegally.

The timing couldn’t be better with the updated iTV just around the corner; Google is looking to secure their place as a media provider for set-top-boxes (including their own Google TV platform) before Hulu, Netflix, and Apple take all the glory.

[Ars Technica]

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iTV Controller Concept is an iPhone Sans Screen

The updated Apple TV is (allegedly) going to be released in a few days, ready to once again revolutionize your life. If the rumors are true, Apple’s latest contender to the set-top-box market will support applications and games from the App Store. That sounds wonderful, but what good is an entertainment system without a controller? The original Apple TV uses the same minimalistic Apple Remote that is packaged with iMacs, but I can’t imagine playing Plants vs. Zombies with that.

In comes this beauty: A concept controller that has the familiar form factor of an iPhone, but without all the expensive goodies. Essentially, it is a mini multitouch trackpad with an accelerometer and gyroscope. Apple’s current option is far too large to be couch-friendly, and doesn’t have all the gizmos required to make many games playable. (Plus, at $70, it almost costs as much as the iTV itself .)

An App Store-compatible iTV couldn’t possibly use the existing Apple Remote or Multitouch Trackpad (or force users to buy an iPod Touch), so Apple must have something completely new up their sleeves. But what will it be?

[Venomous Porridge]

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Apple Ramps iPad Production Up to 11

It looks as though Apple is finally getting the components they need to meet the iPad’s incredible demand, as the wait time for ordering a new iPad online has been reduced from “3 to 5 days” to just 24 hours.

LG, the primary manufacturer of iPad displays, previously stated the following:

“We are considering increasing production lines for iPad products but overall supply is likely to remain tight until early next year.”

It’s unknown whether Apple has found a new supplier, or if LG has sped up production, but it’s good news all around. (Especially for international customers, who faced even tighter supplies.)

[Apple Insider]

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