iOS Devices Stories September 26, 2010

This past week, many sites reported that Apple would be delaying the new Apple TV that was originally set for a September release. These reports of delays were based off an email Apple sent to customers that signed up for expedited shipping. If you recall, the same email was sent to iPad purchasers prior to its launch. Did Apple delay the iPad’s April 3rd launch date? No.

So we’re going to debunk those Apple TV delay rumors right now by showing you that Apple is already preparing Apple TV orders for shipment. In case you are not familiar, when your Apple.com order turns from the “not yet shipped” to the “prepared for shipment” marker it means that your items are packed up and waiting for Fedex, for example, to pick it up. Based on this, they will probably start shipping later today or tomorrow. Thank you, Bjørn!

iOS Devices Stories September 25, 2010

This morning we reported on a couple new patents which revealed some realistic new features that may someday arrive for the iPad. On one of the patent images we posted (pictured below) there is a circle-shaped hole on the top of the iPad. This hole is identical to the one seen on the current iPod touch with a front-facing camera and this led to several comments, tweets, and email calling us out for not mentioning the “camera”.

We personally did notice this “camera hole” but didn’t give it a mention as it’s most likely the iPad’s ambient light sensor. If you recall, there was some controversy after the iPad’s announcement when people believed that the iPad Steve Job’s showed off at the keynote had an unmentioned camera, when iPad replacement parts emerged with MacBook-like camera holes, and when we revealed some camera evidence in the iPad SDK (here and here).

In the end, the camera evidence most likely was some left over code when Apple was simultaneously developing the iPhone 4 and iPad, and those “camera holes” turned out to be spots for the ambient light sensor. Because of these we held back on saying that hole is a camera. On the other hand, Apple does not normally include that ambient light sensor hole on their patents as shown here, and here.

So in the end it is really a tossup. That hole could be an upcoming front-facing camera for the iPad or could simply be that ambient light sensor. We think it’s the sensor but let us know what you think in the comments.

9to5toys 

Last night Apple updated iTunes to version 10.0.1 and perhaps the most important new feature is Ping Sidebar. Besides the new Ping features Apple fixes tons of bugs and added a neat little time saver to the App Store. For those who are interested in finding out if the app they want to download is compatible with Game Center, they traditionally would need to scan the app description or take a look at the featured Game Center section.

Now, Apple has added Game Center compatibility indicators to Game Center apps. If you want to find out if the app you’re looking to buy works with Game Center simply take a look at the upper-right-hand-corner of the iTunes page and if you see the pictured logo (above) you’re good to go. As far as we can see, this feature is not yet available on the mobile version of the App Store. Thanks, Benjamin!

Update: Reader, Justin, has let us know that this is not iTunes 10.0.1 specific. This is a new feature though so the story still stands.

Patently Apple does what they do and this morning they uncovered some patents that provide a peak into the future of the iPad. Although a re-design is not pictured, some neat features that seem reasonable for inclusion in an iPad refresh were revealed. The first is a second 30-pin dock connector port on the left side of the iPad for landscape/horizontal docking.

This patent will make docking the iPad extremely easy to dock and use with a bluetooth keyboard. On the other hand, how will holding the iPad on the left side feel with a port cutout? Patently Apple marks a port next to the 30-pin connector as a possible mini-HDMI or USB port but in reality that’s actually the sim-card slot/tray from the current iPad 3G.

Another patent is for something called a “Smart Bezel.” The patent does not describe this feature at all but by looking at the photographs it appears to be a touch-based quick access key. A part of the bezel will be touch sensitive and you can assign that spot a particular action. That’s just speculation but it may make sense.

Update: Since you all thought we missed the “camera”….

Check out a photo after the break:

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Apple has just dropped its first update to iTunes 10 with iTunes 10.0.1 and it brings Ping Sidebar to life along with some critical bug fixes.

We just installed the update and Ping Sidebar is essentially a glance at your Ping friends and artists activity right in any of your current iTunes windows. Whether that be your albums or playlists, you can now always take a peak at the recent activity you *surely* care about. Here’s a screenshot:

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