iPod makes everything better

Apple’s apps continue to pour in as they approach a total of 1000.  For common things like crossword puzzles, there are a few choices that range from mediocre to amazing.  In this particular case, the best crossword puzzle is easily 2across by Eliza Block.  Perfectly done.  You can download both paid crossword puzzles like the New York Times or hundreds of quality free puzzles (Village Voice, The Onion?!). 

The interface is almost perfect.  You can move smoothly between puzzle, questions and split view.  It even lets you check your answers or cheat.  Of course, we can’t vouch for this feature because we haven’t needed it :/

Eliza says she has many updates coming down the pipe though it is very hard to see how she can improve this application.  We are looking forward to the surprises ahead!

Download it here (iTunes  Link) – 6 bucks well spent!  Screenshots below.

 

Apple

 Here’s the Apple apology over MobileMe problems and the promise of a 30-day extension for the rest of us.

“We have recently completed the transition from .Mac to MobileMe. Unfortunately, it was a lot rockier than we had hoped.

Although core services such as Mail, iDisk, Sync, Back to My Mac, and Gallery went relatively smoothly, the new MobileMe web applications had lots of problems initially. Fortunately we have worked through those problems and the web apps are now up and running.

“Another snag we have run into is our use of the word "push" in describing everything under the MobileMe umbrella. While all email, contact or calendar changes on the iPhone and the web apps are immediately synced to and from the MobileMe "cloud," changes made on a PC or Mac take up to 15 minutes to sync with the cloud and your other devices. So even though things are indeed instantly pushed to and from your iPhone and the web apps today, we are going to stop using the word "push" until it is near-instant on PCs and Macs, too.

 

“We want to apologize to our loyal customers and express our appreciation for their patience by giving all current subscribers an automatic 30-day extension to their MobileMe subscription free of charge. Your extension will be reflected in your account settings within the next few weeks.

“We hope you enjoy your new suite of web applications at me.com, in addition to keeping your iPhone and iPod touch wirelessly in sync with these new web applications and your Mac or PC.

“Thank you,

“The MobileMe Team”

Never lost with iPhone

 We came across this unique story of the iPhone, Ireland, the Peace Maze…and GPS…

Many years ago a Peace Maze was created in Castlewellan Forest park in County Down, Northern Ireland. It was officially opened by the Minister of Agriculture for Northern Ireland, Mrs Brid Rodgers, on 12 September 2001.

The maze is simply huge – it covers a ground area of 11,000 square metres, has over two miles of hedge and the entire maze circuit extends across two miles – you really can find yourself lost in there. 

The maze is planted with 6,000 Yew trees which form largest hedge maze in the world. The time taken to solve the puzzle of the maze varies, but on average it should take around 40 minutes. So, it’s inevitable that someone has already ‘hacked’ the maze using Google Maps, GPS and the iPhone 3G. More information here.

 

iPhone bill of materials arrives, Bluetooth 2.1 (A2DP) included

iSuppli has come forth with the most comprehensive bill of materials yet for the iPhone 3G.  There are lots of fun parts included but the one that stuck out was CSR BluCor6 Rom which means that, yes, the iPhone can do A2DP Stereo Bluetooth, should Apple allow that in a software update.  It also means that if Apple does enable some sort of Bluetooth tethering or synching  in the future, you will be able to get the EDR of 3.0Mbs connection speed.

The fun doesn’t stop there.  The Cambridge Silicon Radio chip includes a new baseband CODEC option called AuriStream.  From CSR:

A new ‘AuriStream’ baseband codec can optionally be used to provide a ‘toll’ quality wireless link with around a 40% handset power reduction compared with CVSD. Or, it can provide wideband quality for the same power consumption as CVSD.

The incorporaton of the latest scanning techniques means that standby power consumption also tumbles –  by as much as 86%!

The advantages don’t stop there! BlueCore6 can deliver Class 1 performance with no power amplifier, and with an amazing link budget, helping you provide your users with class-leading performance.

…and it’s smaller, and needs fewer external components than ever before.

 

Interestingly, If the bluetooth headset also uses the Auristream technology, another 40% of power reduction can be made.

Oh, and they have another new product called ‘RoadTunes’?

digg_url = ‘http://9to5mac.com/auristream-iphone-bluetooth';

iPhone Software 2.0.1 update looms?

 Looks like Apple’s already cooking-up a swift update for the iPhone 2.0 software it shipped Friday, with one report claiming to have seen website traffic requests emanating from systems that ID themselves as 2.0.1.

Sure, this isn’t hard and fast evidence, but what makes it even more interesting is that requests identified as coming from these purported patched ‘phones all seem to emanate from the area around Cupertino and Atlanta (Apple and AT&T HQ, respectively), at least that’s what the Boy Genius is saying.

It’s no act of faith to conceive Apple to be working on a software patch for the release. Given deployment across six million or more devices, widespread public use of the software is bound to generate a few addressable faults, And, with reports of failed OS 2 installs on iPod touch models and many user complaints that some first-gen iPhones have become more unstable since the install, Cupertino’s iPhone teams will be hustling to make good any damage, particularly as Apple’s newly-promoted senior VP iPhone Software Scott Forstall’s new position pretty much seems devoted to work to smooth over these post-release software cracks.

Even deeper inside iPhone..

 We brought you a video this morning showing one iPhone disassembly, now we can bring you a second glimpse inside the device, this time from TechOnline. This tear-down once again confirms the firms who managed to slip a component inside the Apple device. There’s two videos, part one looks at the main board, while number two (available here) explores what could be a cooling relationship between Apple and Samsung. 

1 Weekend, 1 million iPhone 3G's sold, 10 million apps!

Yep, it is a hit, in case you couldn’t tell by the store lines, Apple is announcing today that they have sold 1 million iPhones this weekend.  According to Apple:

Apple® today announced it sold its one millionth iPhone™ 3G on Sunday, just three days after its launch on Friday, July 11. iPhone 3G is now available in 21 countries—Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the US—and will go on sale in France on July 17.

“iPhone 3G had a stunning opening weekend,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “It took 74 days to sell the first one million original iPhones, so the new iPhone 3G is clearly off to a great start around the world.”

The new iPhone 3G combines all the revolutionary features of iPhone plus 3G networking that is twice as fast*, built-in GPS for expanded location-based mobile services, and iPhone 2.0 software which includes support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and runs over 800 third party applications available through the new App Store. In the US, the new iPhone 3G is priced at just $199 for the 8GB model, and $299 for the 16GB model**. 

Oh…and the App store downloads topped ten million.  This isn’t actually as significant because a lot of those apps are free and previous iPhone and iPod touch users are downloading these.  Still, it is getting a lot of use!

PC World says iPhone king of Battery life

PC World has  put together a graph (in color!) depicting the average battery life of some common 3G smartphones.  We guess that Apple’s 3G chip isn’t so horible after all because iPhone came up on top.  According to PC World, ‘The 3G iPhone’s 5-hour, 38-minute battery life isn’t great, but it still beats that of the 3G competition.’

As a commenter below points out, we guess PC World forgot about Nokia, the world’s #1 smartphone maker….

3G iPhone take apart video

If you can excuse the rampant advertising (hey, they got to make a living right?) here’s a pretty good instructional video on how to take apart the iPhone 3G without destroying it.  Possible uses include instaling another battery, a new color of back panel or solder on some more Flash storage.  Good luck with that!