Apple seeds first beta of iOS 4.3, what you need to know

January 12th, 2011 at 6:06 PM  5 Comments

Apple has released the first beta of iOS 4.3 to developers, hot on the heels of the Verizon iPhone announcement. While it’s probably too late in the game to expect 4.3 to come on the Verizon iPhone, chances are it’ll reach the general public sometime after that. All of the demo phones that the tech press got to play with are running iOS 4.2.5, which is probably going to be a VZW only version, coming all back into sync with the release of 4.3.

If Apple could get away without releasing betas of their operating systems, they’d probably do it, because it’s the first chance many of us outside of their private layer get to have to look at what’s coming down the pipe.

What you should know:

  • Apple has not seeded an update for the second generation iPhone (3G) or iPod touch. Only the iPhone 3GS and 4, iPad and Apple TV. This could mean one of two things —
  1. It’s just not out yet. Apple is either lazy or they’re going to hold off until the next beta release.
  2. There will never be a version released. In which case 4.2.1 will be the end of the line for those devices.
  • The Personal Hotspot feature of the Verizon iPhone 4 is integrated into 4.3 for all models including those on AT&T, however it’s going to cost you extra on your plan.
  • FaceTime has it’s own icon.
  • iPad users can now get a choice between the physical side switch being a mute switch or an orientation lock. In iOS 3.2, which was iPad only, the switch functioned as an orientation lock. When the code tree was unified under iOS 4.2, it was changed to a mute switch. Users complained (rightfully so) and now Apple is giving people an option. Frankly I prefer it as an orientation lock on the iPad and a mute switch on the iPhone.
  • On the iPhone, when in silent mode a text message will generate three quick vibrations and an email will generate one. This allows you to quickly distinguish the difference when it’s in your pocket. Personally, I turn email notifications off completely because I get too many.
  • There are some new font choices as well as some new multi-touch gestures on the iPad. The gestures seem to enable a lot of functionality that would negate the need for a home button. Perhaps a clue to the future of the iPad 2?
  • AirPlay for video in applications is a welcomed addition for AppleTV users. Soon you’ll be able to stream just more than the built in videos application. This will open the door for VLC (if it returns to the App Store) and others to enable this functionality.
  • There have been reports on Twitter about applications not being allowed to update with the beta installed. While I’ve not confirmed this myself use caution before trying out the beta on your primary device.

Really, if you’re not a developer, or a bleeding edge kind of person, stay away. Honestly, if you’re not a developer or testing things for a developer you shouldn’t have access to this anyway (why people risk installing operating systems from public torrents is beyond me) — also, if you’re someone who exercises their ability to jailbreak or unlock the phone, don’t update, because there is no telling if you’ll ever be able to go back to 4.2.1, or if an exploit for 4.3 will even be released.

The mythical Verizon iPhone has arrived

January 11th, 2011 at 10:59 AM  1 Comment

Somewhere deep in the heart of the AT&T headquarters, their executives are huddled around holding a vigil to mourn the loss of the exclusive US contract. Likewise, Google execs are probably throwing chairs at the wall screaming “I thought we had something special!”

No longer a mythical unicorn, the much anticipated Verizon iPhone is now a reality. Available February 3 for existing Verizon customers (props to them for that) and then February 10 for everyone else.

The new device is almost exactly like the old one except for some small differences:

  • CDMA radio instead of GSM, this also means a slightly altered external antenna design
  • Support for Verizon Mobile Hotspot, allowing 5 devices to connect to the iPhone and use Verizon’s data service

There are a few of differences with Verizon and AT&T that should be pointed out:

  1. Verizon’s data network is larger, meaning more bars in more places.
  2. AT&T’s data network is faster, meaning when you get service you’re going to cruise faster.
  3. CDMA technology doesn’t allow for simultaneous voice and data usage. If you’re on a call and want to look up on Google Maps where to meet your friend for lunch? Too bad. Gotta wait for your call to end.

The biggest disappointment, but not unexpected, is that the Verizon iPhone will not support LTE technology, which would have allowed for faster data transfers and simultaneous voice and data. However, given that Verizon’s LTE network just started rolling out a few months ago, this isn’t surprising that Apple chose not to support it. It would have also required further alterations to the iPhone.

The unknown right now is what version of iOS this new CDMA iPhone will run. Will the iOS 4.2.1 guts support it? Will it require a 4.2.2 update? Will we get 4.3? Will the GSM and CDMA phones run the same iOS version? Or will it all be some sort of carrier update that doesn’t involve the a new version of iOS?

Last, Apple COO Tim Cook left the door wide open to future networks when he said this contract with Verizon is multi-year but non-exclusive.

Let the Sprint iPhone discussion commence.

(Or T-Mobile, if anyone still cares about them.)


Skype now has 3G and Wi-Fi video calling for iOS

December 30th, 2010 at 9:22 AM  No Comments

Skype is now apparently now even more useful for annoying your friends and looking like a total idiot. (See video) I can’t tell you how many times TechVirtuoso’s own Franky Frank Owen has wanted to dance in his underwear on his bed for me while I was in the shower, but our iPhone to Android incompatibility prohibited our special moment. While Facetime over Wifi is Apple’s native and kosher way to do video calling on your iPhone (4 only), they’ve opened the flood gates to now allow video calling through Skype over AT&T’s super fast and stable 3G network.

Devices that lack cameras, such as the iPad and the older iPod Touch can still get in on the video fun, but only on the receiving end. But sometimes, isn’t its more fun to receive.

Get the update (version 3.0) in iTunes or on the App Store of your mobile device.

Google rolls out instant search on mobile devices

November 4th, 2010 at 7:49 PM  No Comments

Google has begun rolling out it’s instant search feature on iOS and Android browsers. When you visit find the “Instant (beta) is” option at the bottom and search away. Results will appear instantly in your browser.


iOS 4.2 is golden, should be released in the next week

November 1st, 2010 at 7:02 PM  No Comments

Apple has posted the gold master version of the iOS 4.2 firmware to the Apple developers website.

With this release, the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch will all be unified under one code base and have more feature parity. However the most important part of this release is that the iPad will gain the much coveted mutlitasking abilities that have been present in the iOS firmware since version 4.0 on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

As Engadget points out:

if you’ve got a friend with an iPhone Developer Program subscription, now would be a greattime to get cozy

Indeed. Typically the gold master will run on any device, not just ones which are registered to a developer account. Also, the gold master is typically released to the public within a week or so of hitting developers, so expect this to be finalized very soon. Apple promised 4.2 would be out in November and they seem on track to deliver.

And just in time for me to buy an iPad this week.

Microsoft changing the focus of Silverlight

October 31st, 2010 at 11:37 AM  No Comments

The web is becoming a little less proprietary and we have Microsoft, of all people, to thank for it. After announcing they’re moving Live Spaces to WordPress and that Outlook 2011 would render in Webkit, they’ve done another 180 and now President Bob Muglia announced in an interview with Mary Jo Foley that their push for Silverlight in browsers is coming to an end.

“Silverlight is our development platform for Windows Phone… our strategy has shifted… HTML is the only true cross platform solution for everything, including (Apple’s) iOS platform.”

Since when has Microsoft ever cared about what Apple was doing? Where is my cut throat it’s the Microsoft way or nothing giant that I’ve loved and worshiped since I was 10 years old?

In all seriousness, Microsoft has really dedicated a lot of resources towards promoting HTML5 and other open technologies in Internet Explorer 9, and that’s a good thing. Something seems to be changing in the culture at Redmond, which honestly is a welcomed theme. As they lose their position as the largest and most powerful technology company on the planet, it’s good to see them deciding to share and play well with others, and maybe realize they don’t have to be compete at everything, and just do a few things really well.

VMWare developing View client for iPad

October 30th, 2010 at 7:30 PM  1 Comment

Proof that the iPad is gaining traction in the enterprise, VMWare is hard at work developing a native version of their View client for the iPad. This will allow users to connect back to a virtual desktop infrastructure through PC over IP, which is the standard connector as of View 4.0.

While the client is only in the internal alpha stages, it will already have competition from a firmly entrenched app from Wyse called PocketCloud. Wyse’s app has been out nearly two years and is fully function on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Wyse’s product, in addition to speaking native to the View infrastructure also can be RDP or VNC back to another non-View or even non-virtual device. They have also ported the PocketCloud app to Android.

Both of these apps are driving mobile devices into a thin client space which I’ve always found exciting.


Apple posts DOS emulator to App Store, promptly pulls

October 26th, 2010 at 3:53 PM  2 Comments

For a brief moment in time today, Apple allowed an app called iDOS through their approval gauntlet and into the walled garden of the iTunes App Store. Problem is, the App Store doesn’t allow emulators. As such it was promptly removed. If you were lucky enough to grab it for just under a buck, you can now use your non-jailbroken iPhone to run DOS.

Why would you want to run a 30 year old text based operating system on your fancy new iPhone/iPad/iPod? Why not?

As it is, there have already been a few tweets across the Internet of people installing Windows inside their DOS box, and playing old school games.


Adobe confirms Flash Player 10.1 coming to more mobile platforms

October 25th, 2010 at 9:49 PM  3 Comments

Good news for almost everyone except those running anything with iOS. Adobe today confirmed that they would be releasing plugins for nearly every mobile platform that isn’t run by a man wearing black turtle necks. Already present for Android 2.2, Adobe today added Windows Phone 7, WebOS, Blackberry OS, Symbian and even MeeGo and LiMo to their supported platforms.

Adobe was not clear on when to expect the release on each platform, only saying that it would happen.

Already one of the top free apps on Android Market, with more than 50,000 users giving it a 4.5-out-of-5 star rating, Flash Player 10.1 brings rich Flash based content to mobile devices inside the browser. The runtime is now certified on close to a dozen Android devices and will become available on dozens more over the coming weeks and months.

via Businesswire

Symbian OS soon be crushed by Android, others

October 25th, 2010 at 9:37 PM  2 Comments

Bad news if you’re a Nokia or Symbian fan. Great news for pretty much every other smartphone user on the planet. It would seem as if the onslaught of iOS, Android, Windows Phone, webOS and Blackberry has been too much for the Symbian Foundation to handle. The recent departure of Sony Erickson and Samsung didn’t help much either.

There was a time when over two-thirds of the worlds phone users sported something with Symbian running on it. As the iPhone has taken off, and major phone vendors have begun embracing Android and Windows Phone 7, there is just no longer a need for the OS.


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