Jordan Kahn

@JordanKahn

Senior Editor, 9to5Mac – 9to5Google – 9to5Toys

Contact Jordan with news tips and long-winded complaints at Jordan@9to5mac.com.  

Jordan writes about all things Apple as a senior editor for 9to5Mac. He also covers Google for 9to5Google.com and the latest gear and deals on 9to5Toys.com.

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Jordan Kahn's Recommended Gear

February 4, 2013

If you have not jailbroken an iOS device in a while, you might wonder what all the excitement is surrounding today’s launch of the evasi0n jailbreak tool for iOS 6. (Note: Some people are having issues with the default Apple Weather app after install.)

Over the years, many features that were once jailbreak-only made their way to iOS or via third parties through the App Store. However, there are still many things you can do with jailbreak tweaks that aren’t possible on non-jailbroken devices. With over 270,000 active users at any one time on evasi0n today, we put together a list of some of the most interesting and useful tweaks that caught our attention in recent months:
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Our usual list of newly released and updated apps below. 9to5Toys also shares 15% off iTunes gift cards (All denominations available) + free shipping to get your downloading started.

New:

Tesla-Model-S-iPhone-AppTesla Model S: Users over on the Tesla forums noticed last night that the official Tesla Model S iPhone app has now made its way onto the App Store, at least in the US. The app will let Tesla Model S owners check, stop and start charging progress in real time, turn on heating and cooling, locate their vehicle, lock and unlock the car, and more.

– Check charging progress in real time and start or stop charge
– Heat or cool Model S before driving — even if it’s in a garage
– Locate Model S with directions or track its movement across a map
– Flash lights or honk the horn to find Model S when parked
– Vent or close the panoramic roof
– Lock or unlock from afar

Updates:

Tweetbot for Twitter (iPhone) version 2.7: One of the more popular Twitter iOS clients gets an update today that adds the ability to open links in Chrome and 1Password, as well as support for inline images from Vine and Flickr and a number of other new features.

– Added the ability to open links in Chrome and 1Password
– Added inline image support for Flickr
– Added inline image support for Vine
– Better support for muting Tweets with URLs
– Various bug fixes
– Still no jokes in the release notes

Skype for iPad version 4.5: Skype iPad app was updated today with a few welcomed new features. First, users in United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, France, and Estonia will now be able to add money to their Skype account directly from the app. The release notes also said the app now “automatically reconnects a dropped call when your wifi or mobile network reception is poor.”  More new features and fixes below: expand full story

StatCounter-Mobile-Internet-Usage-Jan-2013

StatCounter-Mobile-Internet-Usage-2013

Web analytics firm StatCounter is out today with updated stats for the month of January 2013. When it comes to Internet usage, iPhone users this month held the No. 1 spot as Nokia experienced a significant decline during 2012. With Nokia’s share of mobile internet usage down 15.52-percent from 37.67-percent last January to just 22.15-percent this year, Apple was able to move into the No. 1 position for the first time despite experiencing a decline of 2.81-percent. Apple took 25.86-percent of mobile Internet usage in January, down from 28.67-percent last year. Nokia was also bumped to third position with Samsung gaining 7.85-percent to move into the No. 2 spot. However, it’s important to point out that StatCounter didn’t include iPads in its definition of mobile devices.

As for mobile OS, StatCounter has Android at 37 percent of the market in January up from 33.19-percent in December. In comparison, iPhone and iPod held 25.85-percent of the global OS share, up from 23.26-percent in December. Keeping in mind that StatCounter didn’t include iPads in these stats, we also looked a report for January from NetApplications (pictured below) that has iOS with iPads included at 60.56-percent of the market during the month: expand full story

Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 8.23.57 AM

We told you last month that shipping times for Apple’s new 21.5-inch iMacs slipped from an estimated delivery of 7 to 10 business days to 2 to 3 weeks. Today, iMacs are continuing to experience supply shortages with shipping times on many international Apple Stores once again pushed back. As noted by French language blog macg.co, Apple’s online store is now listing the 21.5-inch iMac as shipping in 3 to 4 weeks and the 27-inch model as available in 4 to 6 weeks in at least France. While Apple has yet to update its U.S. website with the new shipping times, Apple stores in Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland, the Netherlands, and many other European Union countries are now listing the longer wait times for new iMacs.

We heard that Apple expects to reach a supply and demand balance for the new iMacs (and iPad mini) within the next couple of months, but CEO Tim Cook recently noted that supply constraints will most likely continue into Q1. The same thing goes for Apple’s new iPad mini that, as of this week, is now shipping with an improved delivery time of 1 to 3 business days in at least the U.S. and Canada:

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February 1, 2013

iPhone5S-9to5-Feb2013

There have been many rumors this year about what upgrades Apple will include in its anticipated annual iPhone refresh. Most agree Apple will move to release two iPhones, but there is some debate about what those phones will be.

Rumor has it that Apple is working on a low-cost iPhone that will do away with the current iPhone design and instead use a new plastic case with a curved back similar to previous iPods. Despite being a less expensive device, that could make things even trickier for Apple to impress with an iPhone 5S upgrade that is largely expected to retain the “old” design of the currently shipping iPhone 5. The devices from competitors are making things even more difficult for Apple’s expected “S” upgrade. Rumors of a 4.8-inch iPhone prototype that recently surfaced don’t seem likely for the next iPhone, but that hasn’t stopped mainstream media and analysts from reporting that Apple is losing out on iPhone sales as consumers opt for larger screen devices. However, that might now be the case, at least not in the United States, with Strategy Analytics and NPD estimating Apple beat Samsung to become the No.1 phone vendor in Q4 2012. Will consumers want or expect a larger screen on the next iPhone, or will Apple’s usual minor refresh suffice?

What did past S upgrades have? expand full story

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 10.51.38 AMThe Federal Trade Commission released a report today that recommends how owners of mobile platforms can better inform consumers about how their data is being handled. The FTC named a number of companies in its report, including: Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, Google, and Microsoft, as well as “application (app) developers, advertising networks and analytics companies, and app developer trade associations.”

The recommendations follow the FTC updating its online child privacy law to require parental consent before collecting data from children under the age of 13. It also came as Path agreed to pay an $800,000 settlement to the FTC forviolations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protections Act. Path posted a response to the FTC settlement on its website.

In the report, titled “Mobile Privacy Disclosures, Building Trust Through Transparency,” the FTC issued a number of recommendations. The FTC recommended that all platform owners “Provide just-in-time disclosures to consumers and obtain their affirmative express consent before allowing apps to access sensitive content like geolocation.” It recommended app developers take the same measures in addition to having “a privacy policy and make sure it is easily accessible through the app stores.” The report also suggested that companies implement a ” a one-stop “dashboard” into their operating systems so consumers can easily view how their data is being handled by specific apps.

Other recommendations the FTC asked Apple and others to implement include new icons that “depict the transmission of user data” and a “Do Not Track” option for users to easily opt out of their data being sent to third parties.

“FTC staff strongly encourages companies in the mobile ecosystem to work expeditiously to implement the recommendations in this report.  Doing so likely will result in enhancing the consumer trust that is so vital to companies operating in the mobile environment.  Moving forward, as the mobile landscape evolves, the FTC will continue to closely monitor developments in this space and consider additional ways it can help businesses effectively provide privacy information to consumers,” the report states.

A full list of the recommendations made by the FTC for mobile platform owners, advertising agencies, and app developers is below: expand full story

January 31, 2013

We have played with and enjoyed a few products from Kanex in the past, and today the company showed off its latest USB 3.0 charging solution at Macworld with the DualRole. The product is a super lightweight and very portable bus-powered USB3 hub that packs three extra USB 3 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet adapter. That means you’ll be able to add a Gigabit Ethernet adapter to your Retina MacBook Pro or MacBook Air and have an extra three USB ports on hand.

9to5Mac went hands-on with the DualRole today during Macworld, and we definitely want one for ourselves. Anyone who travels knows how nice it is to connect via Ethernet when hotel Wi-Fi gets sketchy, and it’s certainly nice to be able to carry around an additional three USB 3.0 ports in your pocket at the same time. DualRole also provided an optional 5V power adapter to offer a little extra power to the USB ports, and the built-in cable tucks away nicely when not in use. DualRole is selling for $69 through the Kanex website, but it should also land next to the company’s lineup of other solid products on Amazon shortly.

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Temple Run 2

After previously announcing 20 million downloads in just four days for its new Temple Run 2 title, developer Imangi Studios announced today that the game has now become the fastest growing mobile game ever with 50 million downloads in under two weeks. That beats the old record of 50 million downloads in 35 days held by Rovio’s Angry Birds Space since April 2012. Temple Run 2 originally launched on the App Store on Jan. 17 and reached over 6 million downloads in just 24 hours.

Imangi Studios today announced that Temple Run 2 has been downloaded over 50 million times on iOS, Android and Kindle devices. Reaching the milestone in 13 days breaks the previously set record for the fastest growing mobile game*… Following a release on Google Play and Amazon Marketplace, the sequel continued its record-breaking success, racing to the #1 spot, respectively, in each store.

Imangi co-founder Keith Shepherd said the following about the game’s success: expand full story

Apple-laser-projected-keyboard

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a couple of interesting patent applications from Apple today. One patent described various embodiments of a depth perception system and laser projection, while another concerned an “ad-hoc cash dispensing network” that would turn iPhone users into walking ATMs.

PatentlyApple first covered the patent and highlighted several possibilities of using cameras and a laser source to determine the distance of an object and implement various applications based on detection of depth. The report explained an embodiment of the invention by describing how Apple could use the system integrated into, for example, an iMac. PatentlyApple also described how Apple could use the invention for laser projected keyboard applications (as pictured above):

In this example, the iMac is able to detect a user approaching it and activate a particular program, application, awake from sleep or power save mode, and the like… In patent FIG. 12, we see a user positioned in front of this future iMac such that the first and second beams 206a, 206b may at least partially intersect the user. The iMac’s updated iSight Camera will be able to determine the distance that the user is from iMac. The depth perception system increases the sensitivity of user detection for the iMac so that it could make a distinction between the user and an occupied chair… In Apple’s patent FIG. 11A shown below, we see the depth perception system incorporated into a mobile electronic device such as an iPad. In this example, the system may be used in combination with a projected control panel 115 (such as a keyboard, audio/video controls, and so on). The control panel 115 may be a light pattern projected from a light source onto a surface (e.g., table or desk), the control panel 115 may include different light shapes, colors, or the like for representing different inputs.

Unwiredview.com pointed us to the “ad-hoc cash dispensing network” patent published today and recently filed by Apple that would essentially allow iOS users to become ATMs for other iPhone users. Just imagine being able to withdraw cash when there simply isn’t an ATM or bank nearby. Apple’s system would allow other close by iPhone users to lend you cash, with the borrowed money returned to the lender through your iTunes account/credit card for a small fee (as pictured in the patent drawing below):
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January 30, 2013

BlackBerry-10-Z10

The company formerly known as RIM, BlackBerry, today announced its latest lineup of devices running BlackBerry 10. On top of the rebranding of the company, executives took the stage to show off the new 4.2-inch BlackBerry Z10 and a second model launching equipped with a QWERTY keyboard. Some of the early reviews for the devices and BB10 are starting to roll in, and we put together a roundup of first impressions below:

Walt Mossberg, Wall Street Journal:

The Z10 and BB10 represent a radical reinvention of the BlackBerry. The hardware is decent and the user interface is logical and generally easy to use. I believe it has a chance of getting RIM back into the game, if the company can attract a lot more apps…. Master BlackBerry thumb typists might not find it as fast as the traditional physical keyboard, but, for a one-finger typist like me, it was faster and more accurate than either the native keyboards on the iPhone or Android. This is partly because it features predictive typing.

The Verge:

The Z10 is a fine device, well made, reasonably priced, backed by a company with a long track record. But it’s not the only device of its kind, and it’s swimming against a massive wave of entrenched players with really, really good products… . It does everything a modern phone should do, usually without hesitation. It doesn’t do everything perfectly, but it does many things — most things — reasonably well. The problem with the Z10 is that it doesn’t necessarily do anything better than any of its competition.

Engadget: expand full story

January 29, 2013

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