iOS Devices ▪ April 20, 2011

Out of everything revealed in yesterday’s white iPhone 4 prototype leak, a small settings pane titled ‘Facebook’ stuck to us the most. The first thing that came to mind was that iOS 4 was supposed to include some Facebook integration. It’s known that Apple and Facebook were working together on Ping throughout 2009 and 2010 – when Apple was also developing what was then called iPhone OS 4 – and now we have heard that Facebook integration really was in the cards for iOS 4.

Apple was planning to include Facebook integration into iOS’s photos application. We have been able to confirm Facebook video uploading directly from the photos app with SDK evidence, and we have also heard that Facebook photo sharing was planned. One thing Apple and Facebook never planned on integrating were features like the news feed. That is proven by the screenshot provided to us by Tinhte from their iPhone running a ‘test-version’ of iOS 4. There is a button that takes you to the Facebook App Store page.

Apple was also planning to integrate Facebook into the iPhone’s phone application. Facebook contact linking in iOS’s contacts applications was discovered last year. Business Insider also reported that iOS Facebook contact syncing was in the works in addition to Facebook messaging. Perhaps the settings panel you see above was to be a system-wide login for Facebook, separate from the main App Store app for contacts, photos, video uploading, and messaging integration in iOS. Apple also patented social-networking/Facebook integration: perhaps this is what we’ll be seeing system-wide.

We have no idea as to whether or not Apple and Facebook’s potential iOS integration deal fell through, like the Ping deal, but we do know it was planned and it would have been awesome. It’s obvious, though, that Apple didn’t want to scrap social features for their mobile platform. That’s where Photo Stream comes in. Photo Stream, as we were first to detail, is sort of like a combination of Facebook and Instagram photo uploading and sharing. It’s also built right in the photos application, like the Facebook integration, so it’s very easy and convenient for the user. Thanks Sonny D.

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The game that knocked Angry Birds and Tiny Wings off of the top slots in the App Store games chart.

What is this with the App Store and bird-themed games, huh? First Angry Birds sat atop the App Store games charts, then Tiny Wings came along and now we have Air Penguing, a Gamevil-branded feather-themed time killer. It’s currently #1 paid app in the App Store games category in the US, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Russia. I just bought it and played it for like half an hour. Here are my initial impressions…

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At it’s peak, the iPad 2 shipped in 4-5 weeks from the Apple online store in the United States. Now, Apple’s second-generation tablet is shipping in only 1-2 weeks. It seems that Apple is really clearing up any production, supply, or shipping issues that they may have had. Apple stores are still a difficult place to find an iPad 2, so with a 1-2 week shipping time, the online store may just be your best bet.

Update: MacRumors notes that the shipping time has dropped to 1-2 weeks only  in United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand  but is still at 2-3 weeks in many European countries.  These things usually work their way around the world, however.

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Let’s just get this out of the way first: This is public info, please don’t use this to find out where your girlfriend really was last weekend.

That location data that is stored both on your iPhone and backed up to your computer through iTunes is available for your perusal using a little program here.

Another road trip from DC to NYC below the fold: expand full story

Crackle’s “It’s On!” moniker could refer to Location Services which the application asks to turn on the first start up.  The problem is that Crackle, even when closed, leaves Location Services on, which could drain the battery.  Users have to go into Setting/Location Services to deny it access manually (below).

We’re waiting for that bug to be squashed and also an Airplay option in an upcoming update (but otherwise it is a pretty solid way to get Sony content). expand full story

Above: A location map from an iPhone that had been used in the southwest of England

Privacy advocates are going to have a field day with this one. According to researchers interviewed by The Guardian, your iPhone keeps record of your whereabouts in a secret file that gets copied to your computer as part of iTunes sync. It gets spookier, the paper explains:

The file contains the latitude and longitude of the phone’s recorded coordinates along with a timestamp, meaning that anyone who stole the phone or the computer could discover details about the owner’s movements using a simple program.

The root cause of the problem is iOS 4 which, for some reason, silently tracks our geographical location. This means, the paper explains, that for some people there could be “almost a year’s worth of data stored.” Keep on reading…

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