iPhone Black

Appleinsider just outted what could be a huge AT&T webpage mistake.  Apparantly there is a thing called an "iPhone Black" ——–>

Last month Ryan Block of Engadget said they had it on good authority that the new iPhone would be black on the back. 

Is 3G the new Black?

Is this it?  Is it a day early, a week early or a month early?  We’ll know soon.


16GB iPhone returns to O2 store…

 More iPhone bemusement: O2 is once again offering the 16GB iPhone for sale through its online store, following last week’s O2  announcement, “Please note: 8GB and 16GB iPhone are no longer available.”

The iPhone drought intensified when Apple this weekend withdrew both models from sale through its online store, with a later Computerworld report explaining the product is sold out, “company-wide”.

The on-off nature of present-day iPhone availability is sure to increase expectation that Apple may bring forward the release of the next generation of its device, which has been expected to debut in June.


Raging Thunder…best game yet for iPod Touch/iPhone?

For those of you with Jailbroken iPhones and iPod Touches, an amazing little app hit your installer this weekend.  Raging Thunder is a car game that allows you to steer by (intuitively) leaning your device back and forth.  The game is quick to learn and the graphics are certainly impressive.  Have a look…

GPS camera hints in iPhone SDK

While by no means conclusive evidence of GPS capabilities in the iPhone camera software, the latest builds of the SDK are littered with GPS references.  Whether these are just templates (you can see other camera manufactures included as well) or needed by the 3G iPhone camera software is unknown. 

GPS camera software is used to put location (landmark) metadata into the photo files.  Applications like Flickr, and Google earth use this data to arrange photographs (and videos) spatially based on this information.  For instance, if you snapped a picture in Paris, you could later organize you pictures – perhaps in iPhoto? – by Country/city.  Cool!

We’ll leave the speculation to you.  More screengrabs below.    One month to go…


UPDATED: AT&T officially (un)promises free WiFi access

 AT&T yesterday updated its iPhone website, promising use of 17,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the US as included within the regular iPhone tariffs – only to remove all references to this later that day.

The company briefly last week switched on Wi-Fi access at its hotspots across the country, switching it off just a few days later. 

At the time, the company offered no information on its moves, but it then updated its page to promise: “Access to AT&T’s more than 17,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, including Starbucks all for use in the US.”

That AT&T updated the information on the company’s iPhone pages (in the Plans section, and albeit briefly) strongly suggests access to the hotspots will once again be enabled at some future point – but AT&T’s being pretty coy about it.

UPDATE: Late afternoon (US time) AT&T once again removed all reference to the free hotspot plan from its site. Sorry for the confusion, but we’re as confused as anyone else, given the company has refused to issue a clarification on the affair.

UPDATE 2: Revised more of the copy to help prevent confusing readers choosing to skim the tale.

NBC offers iPhone, touch TV episode streams

 NBC has begun offering iPhone and iPod touch users in the US the chance to stream full episodes of the broadcaster’s shows, despite not making these available through iTunes.

Like the BBC’s iPlayer service in the UK, shows aren’t being made available for streaming to audiences outside the US, who will see a message warning them the streams aren’t available from their location.

NBC’s shows – including The Office – are streamed in QuickTime format and are made available ad-free.

iPhone or iPod touch owners wanting a slice of NBC’s goodness simply need to visit the NBC.com website, click on the video tab, and they’ll get the chance to select between available shows, many of which offer full episode streams for viewing.


iTunes downloads grow cheaper, kinda

 iTunes offers music at inflation-busting prices, it seems, with the 99-cents per track price remaining static since the service launched in 2003.

Now, we’re not saying prices should go up – but we are interested in a recent Digital Audio Insider analysis of the inflation-adjusted price of a download through the service, which reveals that should prices have kept up with inflation, songs would now cost $1.14. And by 2012 songs will cost the equivalent of 74-cents a track, assuming prices remain static.

That download prices have remained static isn’t so remarkable when you consider the continuously falling price of CDs.

However, it’s clear that Apple will be under increasing pressure on the part of the music labels to raise its prices, even if it resists the call for price flexibility. Though the company has frequently warned that raising music prices at this stage of the evolution of the digital music industry could still drive consumers to the cheapest music prices available anywhere – the file-sharing networks.


O2 sells out of iPhones

 Apple’s UK iPhone network partner O2 has sold out of iPhones.

The company’s iPhone pages now reveals the following message: “Please note: 8GB and 16GB iPhone are no longer available.”

O2 has clearly shifted all available stock in hand in order to make way for the next-generation iPhone, expected to ship next month. The network cut the cost of the 8GB model by £100 last month, selling out of that model within a week. Clearly the move also saw consumers shift to purchase the 16GB model.


America Movil snags iPhone for Latin America

 America Movil will sell iPhone across Latin America starting this year.

The largest cell phone operator made the announcement today, the latest in what appears a fashionable string of mobile telcos to let investors know they’ve bagged distribution rights for the Apple mobile phone. It had been thought local operator Telcel would take this prize, though with recent indications that Apple isn’t seeking wholly exclusive deals, there’s still an outside chance Telcel will get to carry the device.

With a subscriber base of 153 million in 2007, America Movil operates in 15 markets in the region, including Brazil, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The public company is pretty much commanded by the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim, who ousted Bill Gates from the top of the pile last year.

Interestingly, the company recently began using Yahoo’s oneSearch as a default for mobile users, and includes support for YouTube videos for its 3G mobile phone users.

This is just the latest public declaration of intent to commit iPhone, which saw Vodafone confirm plans to offer the device in ten markets earlier this week, in Italy at least sharing the honour with Telecom Italia. Orange is now in talks to offer the device in Spain and Poland, while Rogers Telecom will serve the device up in the Canadian market.

It’s clear June’s going to be a big month for Apple-watchers.


Edit to note: Thanks to the eagle-eyed readers who’ve been able to let us know Telcel is a part of America Movil.  


iPhone magic: Derren Brown

 Looks like there’s a spate of iPhone using magicians, hot on our Marco Tempest report yesterday, UK gadget mag T3 this week revealed internationally-renowned illusionist, Derren Brown, is an iPhone convert too – and he switched to Mac because Stephen Fry told him to.

“I bought my iPhone the day it came out,” says Derren Brown. “It took a bit of getting used to, as I used a Blackberry before. It’s slow for emails, so I’ll definitely get the 3G version. But the design is phenomenal. It’s so satisfying to have it done right.”
Brown admits to dumping his Windows flavoured box for a Mac “about a year ago”, admitting, “in the end Stephen Fry convinced me. I didn’t realise how pleasant using a computer can be until I changed.”

The full interview’s included in the latest edition of T3. What isn’t clear is if Apple CEO Steve Jobs would ever consider (or need to consider, come to that), employing Brown’s talents to extend his own famed reality distortion field.


iPhone Doom developers speak up

 iPhone development is a “doddle”, said the developers behind the project to port Doom to the device – revealing the first version of the port was created in just a week.

Developer Psychochromatic explains: “Looking at the hardware specs, I knew iPhone would be able to play a simple game like Doom no problem as it was open-source and already ran on the click-wheel iPod running Linux. I knew Stepwhite, who I work with on Mac projects, and as he’d just bought himself an iPhone and was working with the unofficial tool-chain I jokingly told him he had one week to port Doom to iPhone, and all it had to do was run; he didn’t have to implement controls. One week later, he proudly linked me to his Doom port homepage.”

The first build of Doom saw 15,000 downloads on the project site alone, even without a way to control the game. Once controller input had been included that version received  over 25,000 downloads. 

Behind the ease of development lies the iPhone’s inherent support for a full scale OS. “The iPhone runs OS X. It’s a full UNIX system in your pocket, with brilliant Objective-C frameworks that make coding beautiful and powerful applications a dawdle,” explains Psychochromatic.

Inherent to this is that Apple’s mobile device uses many of the API’s developers already use when designing full-strength apps for OS X, meaning they can develop for the mobile version “with minimal re-learning”. Apple’s shrewd move to introduce the iPhone SDK has also driven many Windows developers to begin learning Mac OS X programming languages (such as Objective C or Cocoa), meaning it will in future become easier for Windows developers to “program for OS X without too much effort.”

Stepwhite, explained that moving to iPhone development caused him to abandon many of the precepts he used in Mac design on account of the size of the screen, but remains full of enthusiasm: “Despite having to throw out a lot of my knowledge, the iPhone provides so much ease for the developers in terms of it’s APIs it’s a pleasure to work with.”

The iPhone software SDK has accelerated development. “It remained difficult to work upon due to problems with the unofficial compiler (causing non-working versions of the game) but with the release of Apple’s SDK it was trivial to get Doom running on iPhone 2.0,” said Stepwhite.

For all this success, there’s a few snags before iPhone users can anticipate buying Doom for the device from Apple’s App Store.

“Our current port of Doom would currently be rejected by Apple if we were to submit it to the iTunes App Store because we use certain APIs for accelerated drawing that are marked as "private". Before submission, we will have to rewrite portions of it to only use documented APIs; most probably moving to OpenGL/ES for the video output,” explained Stepwhite.

That Apple appears currently to be offering only limited access to these API’s means there’s still a future for iPhone jailbreaks, the developers observed, “some applications need more direct access to the underlying iPhone OS,” they said. Network file access, for example, requires deeper access to certain API’s, the developers said.

“Until iPhone ships unlocked there will still be people needing to Jailbreak the phone to save themselves from some of the miserable tariffs offered by the official operators,” they added.

Both developers seem genuinely excited at the potential future of Apple’s mobile standard.

“iPhone marries Apple’s popular image and brand excellence with the most powerful and fun to use operating system on mobile devices. The possibility of having Apple’s latest iPod also do all your phone and internet in one place is going to be very attractive. Everyone who plays with one wants one, and that alone puts it far ahead of any of the Windows Mobile devices or Nokia smartphones on the market,” observed Psychochromatic.