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Archive for the ‘Watch What Apple Is Doing!’ Category

Instant Messaging Functionality for iPhone, Apple patent

A recent patent filing titled “Portable Electronic Device for Instant Messaging ” indicates that Apple is getting closer to adding its own instant messaging client to the iPhone.

The filing (US Patent 20080055269) covers methods for sending, receiving, and viewing ongoing conversations. The proposed GUI is similar to Apple’s current interface for SMS.

The application reads: “The GUI has a set of messages exchanged between a user of the device and another person. The set of messages (is) displayed in a chronological order. In response to detecting a scrolling gesture comprising a substantially vertical movement of a user contact with the touch-screen display, the display of messages (is) scrolled in accordance with a direction of the scrolling gesture.”

The application does mention SMS, but there are serveral references to “IM” and “Instant Messaging”. The patent application provides background on Instant Messaging.

Apple Trademark Hints at Handheld Gaming Device – 11th Feb, 2008

Rumors of Apple gunning to enter the handheld games market have been circulating for a while, but a new trademark application discovered by Trademork dated Feb. 5th seems to lend credence to the rumor mill. According to the application, Apple is upping its trademark to include “Toys, games and playthings, namely, hand-held units for playing electronic games; hand-held units for playing video games; stand alone video game machines; electronic games other than those adapted for use with television receivers only; LCD game machines; electronic educational game machines; toys, namely battery-powered computer games.”With the enormous popularity of the iPhone and the phenomenal success of the iPod, anything handheld from Apple seems like a sure fire hit. But on the other hand you have Apple’s inability to bring a lot of quality games to their platforms. If this gaming device does come to fruition, will it end up being the next DS or just another Gizmondo?

Apple doubles iPhone, iPod Touch capacity – Feb. 5, 2008

Apple Inc. updated its iPhone and iPod Touch lineup, doubling the memory and setting a new premium price for its high-end models.

The latest iPhone features 16 gigabytes of memory and retails for $499. The previously released 8 GB version of the hybrid cell phone, multimedia player and wireless Internet device costs $399.

The new iPod Touch comes with 32 GB of memory and retails for $499. The older 16 GB and 8 GB versions of the combination multimedia player wireless Internet gadget cost $399 and $299, respectively.

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Update for 5th Generation iPods – November 13, 2007

Apple posted a 1.2.2 iPod update for owners of 5th generation iPods today via iTunes. No details on what specific improvements have been made. Apple simply notes the update contains “bug fixes”.

Update: Based on comments in the discussion, it is recommended you are upgraded to the latest iTunes (7.5) before (or after) applying this update.

Apple Acknowledges Reports Of MacBook Hard Drive Failures – November 26, 2007

Apple has acknowledged to InformationWeek that it has received reports of MacBook hard drive failures and is looking into the problem.

Seagate was not immediately available for comment, but Apple spokesman Cameron Craig said the company was aware that there might be a problem. “We’ve received a few reports that some MacBook consumer notebooks may have hard drive issues, and we’re looking into it,” he said.

UK data recovery firm Retrodata earlier this month discovered a flaw in the some hard drives employed in Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro computers. The firm’s analysis at that time had indicated that Seagate hard disks in the models with firmware 7.01 were unusually prone to read/write head failures that caused physical gouges in the hard drive platter, making recovery impossible.

iPhone SDK Already Seeded to Some Developers? – November 26, 2007

Electronista claims that Apple has already started seeding an early version of the iPhone SDK (software development kit) to a few select developers.

The kit is described as “rough versions” of the tools that allow developers to create native applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. Electronista is unable to provide many details on the development kit, but claims it “somewhat resembles Google’s OpenSocial in that it mediates between the programmer and the iPhone operating system.”

This presumably means that the native applications will be “sandboxed” in some way for security and stability concerns. Indeed, their sources claim that there are “clear limits” applied to applications but that even so, at least one major social networking site is interested in creating a native iPhone interface to their site.

Steve Jobs announced that an iPhone/iPod touch SDK would be released in February 2008.

Advanced Multitouch Gesturing Patents – 22 Nov, 2007

PCJoint.com points to ongoing research by Apple into multi-touch technologies. The most recent patent applications reveal techniques to recognize both palm and finger contacts in order to react appropriately.

PCJoint summarizes the possibilities:

– Need to move a cursor across the screen? Just slide your finger and it goes.
– Want to enter text? Just start typing and the text is there. You even get the touch feedback as if really pressing the keys.
– Need to erase some text? Use the backspace or just slide the finger backwards
– Have to write or draw something? Just pretend you hold a stylus or pen in your hand and start writing/drawing.
– If that is still not good enough, pick up the real stylus and start writing with it.
– All these cool touch gestures that Apple has implemented in iPhone and is exploring further? You know, scrolling, zooming, rotating & moving objects, etc; They are here too
– 3D object manipulation? Select a few 3D objects on the screen and use all 5 fingers on both hands to play with them.
– Want to take a break to relax and afraid to put your hands on the touch surface? Don’t worry Multi-touch 2.0 thingie knows that and does not pay attention to your resting palms or fingers

This should come as no surprise to those who have been following Apple’s patent applications as well as their previous acquisition of Fingerworks. Previous patent applications have also suggested the possibility of one surface acting for many different functions (such as typing and gestures).

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