Apple collecting, sharing iPhone users’ precise locations

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Inc. is now collecting the “precise,” “real-time geographic location” of its users’ iPhones, iPads and computers.

In an updated version of its privacy policy, the company added a paragraph noting that once users agree, Apple and unspecified “partners and licensees” may collect and store user location data.

When users attempt to download apps or media from the iTunes store, they are prompted to agree to the new terms and conditions. Until they agree, they cannot download anything through the store.

The company says the data is anonymous and does not personally identify users. Analysts have shown, however, that large, specific data sets can be used to identify people based on behavior patterns.

Apple: FaceTime will not use airtime minutes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple has confirmed that FaceTime, iPhone 4’s new video chat feature, will not consume any minutes of cellular airtime once activated.

A company spokesperson told Business Insider that all cellular voice use is terminated as soon as a FaceTime connection is established between two phones, and all subsequent communication happens through Apple’s own transmission protocol over Wi-Fi.

FaceTime, which is was introduced as a new feature in the upcoming iPhone 4, allows two phones to connect to each other and turn a phone call into a video chat. The video communication system works only over a Wi-Fi connection, meaning that FaceTime calls won’t use any cellular data, either.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble slash e-reader prices

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Amazon.com Inc and Barnes & Noble Inc reduced prices of their electronic readers on Monday, responding to the threat from Apple Inc’s iPad tablet computer.

Shares in both companies fell about 3 percent as investors feared intense competition could lure away buyers of e-books, the fastest-growing segment in a moribund bookselling industry.

Profit margins on Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Amazon’s Kindle are estimated by analysts to be relatively modest, but the devices are important to attracting book buyers.

Amazon announced its $70 price cut to $189 hours after Barnes & Noble lowered the price on its own 3G compatible “Nook” to $199. Both had cost $259.

Apple’s iPad, launched in April, can also function as an e-reader. It sold more than 2 million units in its first 60 days and its own e-bookstore has quickly won market share.


Nearly 5 million downloaded Skype iPhone 3G app

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Nearly 5 million consumers have downloaded a Skype Web telephony application that launched Sunday, allowing users of Apple Inc’s iPhone to use privately held Skype’s service over the cellular network for the first time, Skype said on Wednesday.

Before the launch of the application for use on high-speed third generation (3G) networks on May 30, consumers could only use Skype on their iPhone when they had access to Wi-Fi

Slimmer iPhone with clearer screen due June 24

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The next iPhone comes out June 24 and will have a higher-resolution screen, longer battery life and thinner design.

CEO Steve Jobs opened Apple Inc.’s annual conference for software developers Monday by demonstrating the iPhone 4, which will cost $199 or $299 in the U.S. with a two-year AT&T contract, depending on the capacity. The iPhone 3GS, which debuted last year, will still be available, for $99.


Apple has surpassed Microsoft as the largest technology company in the world

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple has surpassed Microsoft as the largest technology company in the world by market capitalization.

Apple’s move comes as the company’s iPhone, and now its iPad tablet computer, have taken on more of the personal computing tasks once handled by computers running Microsoft’s Windows operating system and other programs.

Market cap is the dollar value of a company’s outstanding shares. On Wednesday, Apple Inc.’s shares slipped $1.11 to close at $244.11, making its market cap about $222 billion.

But Microsoft Corp.’s stock fell $1.06, or 4.1 percent, to close at $25.01, for market cap of about $219 billion.


Wal-Mart cuts iPhone 3GS price in half

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Wal-Mart says it’s cutting the price of the most up-to-date iPhone in half. That’s another sign Apple is getting ready to unveil a new model.

Wal-Mart says that starting Tuesday the iPhone 3GS with 16 gigabytes of storage space will cost $97 with a two-year contract with AT&T. It currently costs $197.


Google’s Android takes No 2 spot from iPhone

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google Inc displaced iPhone maker Apple Inc to become the second most popular provider of smartphone software in the United States during the first quarter, the latest sign of the increasing competition in the fast-growing mobile market.

But Google’s success in becoming a leading mobile software player was tempered by the news on Monday that Google lost a key partner in a related effort to redefine the cell phone industry by selling phones directly to consumers through its website.

A Sprint representative said on Monday the company would no longer support the Nexus One, the sleek touchscreen smartphone developed by Google and HTC and sold directly on the Google website.


Steve Jobs attacks Adobe Flash as unfit for iPhone

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

For iPhone users who’ve been wondering whether their devices will support Flash technology for Web video and games anytime soon, the answer is finally here, straight from Steve Jobs: No.

In a detailed offensive against the technology owned by Adobe Systems Inc., Apple’s CEO wrote Thursday that Flash has too many bugs, drains batteries too quickly and is too oriented to personal computers to work on the iPhone and iPad.


Adobe Ditching Flash for the iPhone

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Adobe is no longer investing in iPhone-based Flash development, Adobe principal product manager Mike Chambers wrote in a Tuesday blog post.

The move comes after Apple put out new draft of its iPhone developer program license, which banned private APIs and required apps to be written in Objective-C, C, C , or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine.

“Essentially, this has the effect of restricting applications built with a number of technologies, including Unity, Titanium, MonoTouch, and Flash CS5,” Chamber wrote. “While it appears that Apple may selectively enforce the terms, it is our belief that Apple will enforce those terms as they apply to content created with Flash CS5.”

Adobe will still provide the ability to target the iPhone and iPad in Flash CS5, but the company is “not currently planning any additional investments in that feature,” he said.


Opera browser gets to iPhone

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Inc has accepted distribution of Opera Software’s Internet browser for its iPhone after a long review, opening a new and potentially lucrative market it has so far closely guarded.

There are numerous versions of Apple’s own browser on App Store, but Norway-based Opera is the first rival to get access to iPhone.


WebKit2 API Layer Brings Split-Process Model

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple just announced WebKit2, a rework of the WebKit engine that powers Chrome and Safari. This new version of WebKit incorporates the same style of split-process model that provides stability in Chrome, but built directly into the framework so all browsers based upon WebKit will be able to gain the same level of sandboxing and stability.

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