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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December 10, 2012

Snow Sports Apple TV

Apple recently updated iTunes and Apple TV content with holiday-themed sections, featuring “Holiday apps & games” and “Snow Sports” sections on the top of the App Store in iTunes and on iOS devices. Curiously, as spotted by Mac OS Ken, Apple is also displaying holiday-themed sections on Apple TV and advertising apps for not only snow sports but also “Apps for Shopping”, “Holiday Cooking Apps”, “Deep Games for Holiday Downtime”, and more.

Selecting the banners for most of these new sections leads to an empty page, without any apps listed (as pictured in the gallery below). Some, such as the Apps for Shopping section, doesn’t appear to be working at all. This is of course going to lead to speculation that Apple has plans to bring iOS apps to Apple TV in the near future, but it’s more likely Apple is mistakenly displaying iTunes/iPhone content on Apple TV (the iTunes store already displays some of the same holiday-themed sections).

It wouldn’t be the first time content mistakenly made its way to an Apple device. Earlier this month, Apple’s launch of iTunes in Russia was met with a bit of controversy when the iTunes app displayed advertisements for escort services and .xxx domains. Apple quickly addressed the Russian iTunes bug, but you can currently still find the holiday app sections on Apple TV by navigating to “Movies> Genres> Classics> Holiday Music, Movies, and More.”

Last week, we told you that Apple’s latest Apple TV beta included a new Bluetooth pairing menu. The feature currently allows for connecting wireless keyboards to second- and third-gen Apple TVs, indicating Apple has plans to introduce the feature in an upcoming update. A full gallery of the Apple TV holiday app sections below:

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December 7, 2012

Screen Shot 2012-12-07 at 10.00.56 PM

Just launched this week, Kickfolio is a new HTML5-based platform that allows developers to test and share builds of their iOS apps in the browser. Developers simply upload a zipped version of their app (no SDKs or changing code), and the service spits out a link to a private test page displaying an interactive HTML5 and CSS version of the app controllable by mouse and keyboard in portrait or landscape. Testers will also be able to leave feedback and interact with testers in a comment section on the page. Kickfolio has an example of the Angry Bots iOS app from Unity Technologies on its website here.

A pro version of the service also includes a feature to embed apps that allows users to insert the interactive apps in press releases, websites, and elsewhere. The company has a 15-day free trial available, but is also offering pricing ranging from $50 a month for one to two apps to $300 a month for unlimited apps. You can learn more and create an account on the company’s website here.

A demo from Kickfolio of an iPhone app running inside a browser on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus is below:

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Screen Shot 2012-12-07 at 5.18.54 PM

After improving estimated shipping times to “2-4 business days” on Monday, Apple is today listing all models of the iPhone 5 as in stock in at least the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico online stores. Shipping times for other countries vary, with most still listed at “1-3 business days”. This comes ahead of Apple’s rollout to 50 additional countries in December.  expand full story

Image (1) January-2007-iPhone-introduction-Steve-Jobs-shows-pinch-zoom-with-his-fingers.jpg for post 61070

In October, as pointed out in Samsung filings with U.S. District Lucy Koh, we told you that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a non-final decision that declared 20 claims related to Apple’s rubber-banding patent invalid. While Samsung and Apple were back in court yesterday regarding post-trial motions, today FossPatents reported (via MacRumors) the USPTO has issued another non-final ruling declaring yet another Apple multitouch patent invalid.

This time it’s a touchscreen patent, commonly called “the Steve Jobs patent,” that courts previously deemed valid in cases against Samsung and Motorola in the past:

This week, the USPTO issued a first Office action rejecting all 20 claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949 on a “touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics”, which has been referred to by many people, including Apple’s own lawyers, as “the Steve Jobs patent”.

The touchscreen heuristics ‘949 patent has also been asserted against Motorola. Judge Posner declared large parts of the patent invalid and identified only some minor potential infringement on Motorola’s part that he decided would not warrant injunctive relief even if Apple prevailed on whatever little was left of its related claims. expand full story

December 6, 2012

NBC just posted official clips from its exclusive interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier today. The interview aired at 10 p.m. ET tonight, and now the full video of the interview has already made its way to YouTube. In the interview, Cook talked about product design, Apple’s plans to bring production of some Macs back to the United States in 2013, his thoughts on Apple, being CEO post-Steve Jobs, and his “intense interest” in TV. We’ll update this post when the official high quality versions hit the web. Part 2 of the interview is continued below:
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NBC’s interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook is set to air at 10 p.m. EST tonight— a conversation we already know will include talk on bringing manufacturing of at least some Macs back to the United States, a future Apple TV, and more. NBC just posted two more clips ahead of tonight’s airing, including the one above where Cook noted he uses an iPad 80 percent of the time. Another clip below is of Cook talking about Steve Jobs.
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Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour: A few big games are hitting the App Store today. Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: Vice City started hitting the store last night, and today we get the latest instalment from Gameloft’s Modern Combat series, “Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour”.

The #1 FPS is back on smartphone with a new chapter to push the boundaries of mobile gaming even further. In the wake of a nuclear disaster, the only chance to avoid global devastation is in the hands of the few elite soldiers who must track down and rescue the world’s leaders from a frighteningly familiar terrorist group.

Google Shopper iOS app 3.0Google Shopper version 3.0: Google has released a brand new version of its Google Shopper app today bringing a new, faster UI with larger images, a new sales screen, more effective search for apparel “with image-centric search results,” and much more:

* New UI with faster navigation and bigger images.
* Discover sales and special offers in your area from the new sales screen.
* Search for apparel and accessories more effectively with image-centric search results.
* Make more informed buying decisions with GoodGuide product ratings.
* Get great deals online with retail promotions.
* Find out about new features and content with push notifications.

SoundCloud version 2.4: A few nice improvements and new features to the SoundCloud iOS app:

– Introducing Reposts: sounds you repost will appear in your stream.
– New search with suggestions and more relevant results
– Improved Facebook integration
– Visually enhanced welcome screens for new users
– Streaming improvements and bug fixing

Evernote version 5.1: Version 5.1 of the Evernote iPhone and iPad apps brings Evernote Business support a business themed notebook design, the ability hide the premium view, and more:

– Evernote Business support, including new Business Notebook design
– Sort by created date and note counts in all note lists
– Premium users can hide the Premium View
– Numerous bug fixes and stability improvements

Snapseed version 1.5: As we told you earlier, the Google-acquired Snapseed iOS has gone free to celebrate the introduction of version 1.5 and new Android app. The update also includes the following improvements: expand full story

Bloomberg Tim Cook cover

Update: We’ve added Bloomberg Video below

Ahead of tonight’s airing of the Tim Cook NBC interview at 10 p.m. EST, Bloomberg Businessweek this morning published what it called his “most wide-ranging interview as CEO.” We learned a bit of what to expect from Cook’s NBC interview earlier: Mac production coming stateside in 2013, and an intense focus on Apple TV. However, the Bloomberg piece also offered some interesting tidbits about Cook on a personal level, the recent executive changes, Maps, Jobs, Samsung, and more:

On the departure of Scott Forstall and John Browett:

The key in the change that you’re referencing is my deep belief that collaboration is essential for innovation—and I didn’t just start believing that. I’ve always believed that. It’s always been a core belief at Apple. Steve very deeply believed this…. So the changes—it’s not a matter of going from no collaboration to collaboration. We have an enormous level of collaboration in Apple, but it’s a matter of taking it to another level…. So how do we keep doing that and keep taking it to an even higher level? You have to be an A-plus at collaboration. And so the changes that we made get us to a whole new level of collaboration. We’ve got services all in one place, and the guy that’s running that has incredible skills in services, has an incredible track record, and I’m confident will do fantastic things.

On Jony Ive and his new role at the company:

Jony [Ive, senior vice president of industrial design], who I think has the best taste of anyone in the world and the best design skills, now has responsibility for the human interface. I mean, look at our products. (Cook reaches for his iPhone.) The face of this is the software, right? And the face of this iPad is the software. So it’s saying, Jony has done a remarkable job leading our hardware design, so let’s also have Jony responsible for the software and the look and feel of the software, not the underlying architecture and so forth, but the look and feel…. I don’t think there’s anybody in the world that has a better taste than he does. So I think he’s very special. He’s an original… I love Jony. He’s an incredible guy, and I have a massive amount of respect for him.

On Bob Mansfield’s new Technologies group: expand full story

Tim Cook NBC interviewApple CEO Tim Cook’s much hyped NBC interview is set to air tonight at 10 p.m. EST, but we are already learning much of what will be discussed during the conversation that took place in, among other places, Apple’s Grand Central retail store location in New York. Earlier today, a profile from Bloomberg revealed Cook’s plans to bring at least some production of the Mac back to the United States in 2013, but he also hinted that the company has big plans for a next-generation Apple TV product. According to a preview of the interview on NBC’s website, Cook referred to the project as an “intense area of interest”—opposed to the “hobby” that the company has considered the product since its inception:

“When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years,” Cook told Williams. “It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”

December 5, 2012

TwitterrificXbox SmartGlass version 2.1: Microsoft’s app for controlling your Xbox with your iPhone or iPad officially gains iPhone 5 support:

• iPhone 5 Support
• Bug Fixes

Twitterrific 5 for Twitter: Iconfactory’s Twitterrific 5 for Twitter is now rolling out to App Stores around the world. Stay tuned to 9to5Mac for a full review of the completely redesigned app shortly.

DISH Remote Access for iPhone version 3.0.2: DISH network users get access to a redesigned UI that now provides access to the guide, DVR, and search while streaming content in the background. The update also includes customizable “favorite channels” in the guide, support for the iPhone 5 display, and improved performance:

-Improved the performance, stability, and reliability of the application
-Completely redesigned user interface
-You can now use your Guide/ DVR/ Search while streaming in the background
-Added ability to set and use favorite channels in guide
-Updated in app remote/ keypad functionality
-Took full advantage of the iPhone4s/5 high retina display to show high resolution images
-Added support for the larger iPhone5 screen

Plex version 3.0.1: A ton of changes and fixes following feedback to version 3.0 of the Plex iPhone and iPad app: expand full story

Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 9.41.51 AM

There are more and more software bundle websites popping up everyday—some of them providing bundles with higher quality apps than others. Since the holiday shopping season is upon us, we decided to put together some of the best Mac app bundles we could find for under the $50 mark. While some bundles include software you wouldn’t have paid for otherwise, we made sure to only include the best of the best with bundles packing in extremely popular apps that we use ourselves. For example, MacLegion is providing two highly reviewed apps: djay and Fantastical (among many other notables). Meanwhile, Camtasia 2, Company of Heroes, and RapidWeaver 5 make it into other noteworthy bundles: expand full story

December 4, 2012

Gmail iOS 2.0

Gmail version 2.0: Google has just released a major update to its Gmail iOS app, introducing multiple account support, a new look that appears to be partly inspired by its Sparrow acquisition, search predictions and much more. The update also brings interactive Google+ posts support, an infinite scroll inbox, new welcome screen, and  the ability to respond to Google Calendar invites. Google walked through some of the new features of the overhauled Gmail app in a blog post noting the app was six months in the works:

Six months ago, our team set out to completely rebuild the Gmail app for iPhone and iPad to give you you a faster, sleeker, and easier experience on iOS. The result? Version 2.0. With version 2.0 of the app, you’ll get a totally new look and feel, plus a bunch of improvements like profile pictures in messages, numerous new animations from swivels to transitions and infinite scrolling in the message lists.

Kindle version 3.5: Amazon previously rolled out its X-Ray feature, which used to be exclusive to Kindle devices, to iOS devices back in October. At the time, it was only making the feature available for textbooks on iOS. Today, Amazon has updated the Kindle iOS app to extend the X-Ray to all books. The update also includes “Manga Image Rendering Improvements”:

• X-Ray for Books – see the “bones of the book”. X-ray helps you learn more about notable characters, places, and phrases with descriptions from Shelfari.com and Wikipedia.
• Manga Image Rendering Improvements

Uber version 2.1.0: iPhone 5 support and localizations:

-Uber app now supports iPhone 5. Also in this release are Dutch localization, and an enhanced look for top riders.

Netbot for App.net (iPhone): Tapbots updated its Netbot client for App.net today with some new features and improvements. The iPad edition is available here.

– Added support for Stream Marker
– Added Unified Stream option
– Added support for img.ly as an image service
– Performance improvements for older devices
– Better support for image annotations

Foursquare version 5.3.5:  expand full story

December 3, 2012

Update, Dec. 04: Apple issued a press release today confirming iTunes music will be rolling out to a total of 56 countries including India and South Africa. It also confirmed “movies are available today in Russia, Turkey, India and Indonesia.”

Earlier today, we reported that Apple was set to hold an iTunes launch event in Russia tomorrow as the company confirmed availability of the iPhone 5 in the country and many others for Dec. 14. Now, according to several tips from readers and the tweets below, iTunes music is starting to appear for iOS users in Turkey. Over the last couple of weeks, Russian users have noticed iTunes music on the App Store, and appledigger.ru reported today that the music is continuing to go live ahead of tomorrow’s launch event.

Like the cheaper 35-cent to 65-cent USD songs appearing for Russian users, songs listed for Turkish users are listed at 0,89 TL (roughly 50 cents USD). We also received tips that iTunes Match is appearing in both countries for around 799 RUB a year ($25 USD). Another Russian user also noticed an option to rent movies is now available from Apple TV devices in the country.

Apple confirmed earlier today that the iPhone 5 would go on sale in Turkey on Dec. 14—the same day as the Russian launch. So, it would make sense for iTunes music to roll out in the country simultaneously. It’s a possibility Apple will use this launch event to announce iTunes music for other countries, as well. Tipsters on Twitter are also reporting iTunes music is going live in Lebanon, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Ukraine, and Saudi Arabia… expand full story

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