Good idea: Taipei demands refunds on app sales

Money-back guarantee – a promise by a retailer to give you back your money if you are not satisfied with something that you bought – is taken for granted with tangible products and re-packaged intangibles such as the MobileMe box. When it comes to apps, it just seems weird to ask for a refund in the 99-cent economy, many people feel. The Taipei City Government begs to differ, arguing the same rules should apply to digital goods. They are ordering Apple and Google to introduce a seven-day money-back guarantee for sales of iOS and Android apps, Taipei Times reports.

An official said the lack of a return and refund mechanism violated the Consumer Protection Act. In an example of the problem the city government is trying to prevent, Yeh cited a case of software bought on Apple Store on Thursday that did not work, but left the buyer without recourse.

In other words, Taipei imagines a world where you could buy an app and “return” it for a full refund within two weeks if you’re not fully satisfied. When the App Store debuted as this phenomenal virtual bazaar to buy iPhone apps, nobody ever expected someone some day could demand the same consumer protection for digital deliveries. But Taipei’s demands have their merits. After all, the city officials cut a similar refunding deal with online auction web sites. If online sites are OK with it, so should app stores be, right?

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iCloud will be free at first and then $25/year – LA Times

 

The LATimes reports that iCloud will be a low-priced add on to iTunes costing users just $25/year, perhaps as an add on to MobileMe?

Dubbed iCloud, the service initially will be offered for a free period to people who buy music from Apple’s iTunes digital download store, allowing users to upload their music to Apple’s computers where they can then play from a Web browser or Internet-connected Apple device.

The company plans to eventually charge a subscription fee, about $25 a year, for the service. Apple would also sell advertising around its iCloud service.

Earlier CNet reported that Apple had sewn up the last major record label, Universal, to sell its products in the iCloud.  The deal had reportedly been finalized late last week (plenty of time!).

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GarageBand for iPad, iMovie for iOS get audio output over AirPlay, Bluetooth, HDMI (plus audio copy and paste)

Apple has just updated GarageBand for iPad and iMovie for iPhone/iPad with bug fixes, AirPlay compatibility and other new features. Free updates are now available on the App Store. GarageBand for iPad version 1.0.1 is a 369MB download while iMovie for iOS (supports iPad 2, iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch) version 1.2.1 weighs in at 69.2MB, priced at five bucks each. Don’t panic if those updates don’t show in iTunes or the App Store app yet, propagating changess across all regional stores can take anywhere between a few minutes to a couple hours. Here’s the official list of enhancements from iTunes release notes.

GarageBand for iPad version 1.0.1

• support for audio output over AirPlay, Bluetooth devices and HDMI with the Apple Digital AV Adapter
• import of AIFF, WAV, CAF audio files and Apple Loops (16 bit, 44.1 kHz)
• allows copy and paste of audio from supported apps into GarageBand
• addresses occurrences of GarageBand freezing while playing Smart Instruments
• improves overall stability and addresses a number of minor issues

iMovie for iOS version 1.2.1

• audio plays from your HDTV when using the Apple Digital AV Adapter
• video plays full screen from Marquee to your HDTV when using the Apple Digital AV Adapter
• resolves some cases of missing media in projects
• provides more accurate clip grouping by date in Video browser
• fixes an issue where a project’s background music would not fade in or out
• additional performance and reliability improvements

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iWork hits iPhone/iPod touch ahead of WWDC

We’ve been talking about the rumors of iWork hitting the iPhone for quite some time.  Today, Apple confirmed those rumors to be true.  Keynote, Pages and Numbers will now be universal apps that run on iPad and iPad 2, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, and iPod touch (3rd & 4th generation).

“Now you can use Keynote, Pages and Numbers on iPhone and iPod touch to create amazing presentations, documents and spreadsheets right in the palm of your hand,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The incredible Retina display, revolutionary Multi-Touch interface and our powerful software make it easy to create, edit, organize and share all of your documents from iPhone 4 or iPod touch.”

Know what is awesome about this?  Apple didn’t have enough time for this at WWDC and that’s why we are getting this a week early.  Holy.

Download the now Universal Apps: Pages, Numbers, Keynote

Full release and more images below: Read more

Google search page on iOS devices gets face lift and tabs (for some)

Some people are beginning to see a revamped Google search site on their iOS devices. Both iSpazio and phoneArena have noticed the changes, pointing out that big new icons have replaced the smaller top links. The new icons are visible upon running a search query on an iOS device. They essentially function the same as the smaller textual links, taking you to the search silos such as Images, Places and News. Clicking the More link pulls even more big icons for quick access to YouTube, Gmail, Maps and other popular Google services.

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GV Mobile+ brings Google Voice to the iPad

Sean Kovack’s “original” Google Voice app, GV Mobile+ has now been ported to the iPad which will allow you to make calls using VoIP applications like Skype on the device or originate calls that will end up on landlines or cell phones.

The app  ($2.99 app store) also fixes some bugs on the iPhone version but isn’t quite polished yet on the iPad as you can see in the screenshot below: Read more