Apple Retail has 3 Lion install images and a possible dedicated Lion Caching Server

As we get close to the Lion launch, several tipsters have provided more information regarding the Apple retail overnight and  days after.  Tonight, Apple retail will hold an overnight from approximately 11pm – 7 am to give the retail staff enough time to update the stores visual elements with new marketing materials and re-image all display Macs with Lion.

As previously reported, our tipsters say most stores have recently received an external LaCie hard drive containing Lion installs, but we have received new information that the drives contain 3 different install images for Lion; Normal, Pro, and Joint Venture. 

JointVenture is an enterprise membership program to support businesses running Macs and iDevices.  It is believed that each of these installs will include unique software titles, and some of which could be new.

Furthermore we’ve heard rumblings that some stores will be receiving maxed out Mac Pro towers to be used as Lion distribution caching centers (speculation here).  Some believe that these stations would allow customers to purchase Lion (3.5GB) from the Mac App store and download it directly from the store server in minutes rather than hours it takes over a normal broadband connection.

MacOS X Server and internal builds of Time Capsule allow for Software Update Caching, so this is certainly something within Apple’s capabilities.  Also, Apple told Computerworld that users could come into the store to download Lion last month.

This would also be a huge help to customers who do not have access to a broadband Internet connection or users who want to walk through the install process with an Apple employee during a personal training session.  It would obviously also save Apple some internet bandwidth which at 3.5GB per user adds up.

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BBEdit gets monster upgrade

We’re big fans of BBEdit over here (and its free counterpart TextWrangler) so today’s update is exciting news. I built 9to5mac a few years ago using BBEdit (on Drupal!) and the software has just gotten better and better (though 9to5mac has since been ported to

How much is updated today?  Just have a look at the release notes if you’ve got some time to kill.

It isn’t upgraded in the App Store just yet but Bare Bones says that any BBEdit purchase since the App Store opened will get a free upgrade.  Get it here until October 20, 2011 for $40.  Full info below:

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Student? You can now rent Kindle Textbooks

Great news for students from Amazon today. You can now save up to 80 percent off the list price of the print textbook by renting Kindle Textbooks on the Kindle or Kindle-compliant devices such as Windows and OS X PCs, iPads, iPhones and BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone 7 devices. “Tens of thousands of textbooks” are available for rent across those platforms, reads an Amazon page promoting the deal. You can choose a rental length between 30 and 360 days and extend your rental for as little as one day. What’s best, regardless of your chosen rental period, Amazon will charge you only for the exact time you need a book. From Amazon:

Kindle Textbook Rental is a flexible and affordable way to read textbooks. You can rent for the minimum length, typically 30 days, and save up to 80% off the print list price. If you find you need your textbook longer, you can extend your rental by as little as 1 day as many times as you want and just pay for the added days.

You can tell whether  a Kindle edition is available for rent in the Textbooks Store section of the Kindle app or from the search bar. The ability to rent textbooks in fair terms is good for students, but it ain’t like they were going to keep them anyway.

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Skype for iPad, Google+ for iPhone: Is there a competitor logjam?

You must be quite puzzled with the no-show for native Skype and Facebook apps, in addition to Google+ for iPhone. Indeed, Google as long as three weeks ago said a native Google+ app had been sent to Apple for review. Skype created a confusion by posting a teaser video some 25 days ago, soon removed by the company and re-uploaded by RazorianFly. The clip demonstrates what appears to be Skype video calling running natively on an iPad. As of today, neither program is to be found on the App Store, creating valid suspicious that Apple has been intentionally delaying those particular submissions for competitive reasons – and we know from Steve Jobs public remarks that Apple approves 95 percent of the apps within seven days. Skype is in the process of being acquired by Microsoft and they recently announced video calling integration with Facebook.

9to5Mac reached out to Google seeking clarification about Google+ for iPhone. A spokesperson responded that the search giant has “nothing further to add on our end about the Google+ iPhone app”. The spokesperson added the software is “still coming soon”. Asked if Skype for iPad was still in the process of being reviewed by Apple and whether the company anticipated a launch soon, a Skype representative would only say that “the current version of Skype for iPhone works on the iPad”. They also removed the broken link, telling 9to5Mac it led to the existing Skype for iPhone app even though the URL had the “ipad-for-skype” part in it. Also, as you can see in the above screenshot, the Skype homepage lists “iPad” as one of the platform choices under the Get Skype link. Apple did not respond to our email inquiries about the state of Skype for iPad and Google+ for iPhone apps.

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OS X Lion ready applications begin appearing on the Mac App Store

WordCrasher on the Mac App Store

Ahead of Mac OS X’s Lion’s official launch, Apple has begun approving apps that take advantage of the next-generation operating system into their Mac App Store. The move, first noted by OS X Daily, comes just days after Apple opened the door to developers to submit their Lion apps for inclusion on the App Store. Apple, of course, recommends that these apps are first tested against the Golden Master version of the operating system. In WordCrasher’s case, the app takes advantage of Lion’s full screen apps feature and resume.

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Google launches Photovine social sharing app for iOS

In anticipation of a launch of the Photovine service which was announced Tuesday, Google has just released a free invite-only Photovine for iOS app on the App Store and posted the cutesy teaser (see below) on the official Photovine page. Beginning today, people can request an invite on the site, which is needed to take advantage of an iOS app. You’re advised to hurry up because invitations for Google’s recently launched products have been  in high demand (Google+, anyone?). By the way, don’t you find it weird they would feature an iPhone 4 app on both the website and in the video clip rather than a Nexus S?

For those uninitiated, Photovine is Google’s attempt at social photo sharing that takes clues from Flickr, Facebook photos, Picasa and other services. “Photovine is a fun way to learn more about your friends, meet new people and share your world like never before”, says the official blurb. You begin creating a vine by taking a photo and creating a new caption.  Other people will see your vine and join in by adding their own photo, showing their own take on the caption. Google explains:

A vine is like a constantly growing family of photos connected through a common caption created by you, your friends, and people all over the world. Some examples of vines could be: “What Weekends Are Made Of”, “Secret Stuffed Animal”, “Party People”, or, “Love of My Life”. As people add photos to vines, they tell their own stories about the moments, images, and ideas that define our lives in a way that’s social, creative, and fun.

Release notes from iTunes after the break

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