A German Blogger has "found some images of the purported iTunes 9 on a Chinese forum". Yeah, right? Here they are for your polite critiques. For the record, we’re smelling something with a male bovine fecal bouquet aroma. Via BGR.
Tired of accusations of being over-secretive and smarting at the reaction to some decisions made by its App Store approval team, Apple’s getting social and plans to weave many more social networking features into iTunes 9, a report this morning claims.
Last week’s hot tip claimed the company intends adding Blu-ray, Last.fm and iLike support within iTunes 9. Today, the Boy Genius Report informs us that Apple is developing its very own social networking application to integrate your iLife with your social networks.
“We’ve been informed that Apple has plans to tie iTunes 9 into a “Social” application that they plan to release in the future. It was said that the application (separate from iTunes) will be similar to Yahoo’s OneConnect offering and consolidate all your social networking services,” the report states.
Among other features, you’ll be able to share the music you’re listening to right now, connect with friends of your friends and update your status message on multiple networks at the same time. Oh, and you’ll be able to broadcast music statuses, also.
Another much-wanted new feature, iTunes 9 will offer users the chance to sort out the appearance of applications on an iPhone screen in numerous ways, including custom arrangements and by date of addition.
These new social features feel all the more interesting in view of other recent reports which told us Apple may have plans for the introduction of its own iTunes music streaming service – could these social networking plans tied to an a la carte download service and a streaming service mean you’ll be able to listen to tracks your friends are playing in real-time using the internet, streaming them to sample them, and then purchasing the download? Perhaps ads-funded?
Is it not also possible WiFi-enabled iPods, including the iPod touch and iPhone, will also be harness these features, perhaps even offering the capacity to share songs with other users of these products over the same wireless network?
We’ll see, but this could make entering the US market a tough proposition for music label-owned streaming music service, Spotify…
Apple already offers the best tech support from any computer company according to Laptop magazine, but with all the focus on mobile, its surely reassuring to know Apple also make the best desktop computers in the world, according to an unbiased independent UK survey.
Apple achieved a 94 per cent rating for customer satisfaction, an 85 per cent assessment for reliability and a four star ranking for tech support in a UK consumer research survey which crossed our desk today.
UK mag Which? has an international reputation as an unbiased title. It carries no advertising and offers no hidden agenda. In its most recent computing survey it asked thousands of Which? members how many problems they’d had with their machines, and what they thought of the tech support line….and Apple topped the pack by a country mile.
Which? states: “Apple gets an impressive 91 per cent in our customer satisfaction measure. It’s also rated highly for support, earning a good overall rating. Apple Mac are reliable too, with an above average reliability rating.”
Runner-up Sony achieved 80 per cent customer satisfaction, didn’t achieve a reliability score and won two stars for tech support. In third place PC maker Novatech came in with 79 per cent.
Interestingly, the survey is based on a sample of 384 Mac users. Dell’s 75 per cent customer satisfaction rating being based on 1,884 users – a fairly reliable guide in either case.
And probably well-timed as rumours claiming new Blu-ray-equipped iMacs are looming on Apple’s product road-map, likely for introduction this month, perhaps September.
The much-awaited TomTom for iPhone solution may finally reach stores next month, as the company plans a special media event on September 22, a report claims.
The invitations, distributed to local journalists, say: “TomTom will reveal the future of navigation to you" on Tuesday, the 22nd of September (from 10:30 am until 2 pm) … Save the date!”
As we revealed last week, UK retailer Handtec prematurely leaked the local £99 price of the TomTom for iPhone system.
The system includes a windscreen mount, iPhone charger, amplified speakers, a hands-free kit and a GPS dongle. It also features a navigation application for iPhone; an Apple version of TomTom’s award-winning turn-by-turn navigation software, including IQ Routes and latest maps from Tele Atlas.
Some may recall the heady days of early this year, when colleague Cleve Nettles revealed a job ad from TomTom, seeking an iPhone/Mac OS developer. This caused us to speculate at a TomTom for iPhone solution then. And judging from the interest surrounding the product, we think the Dutch firm may have a winner on its hands on the product’s release.
If there’s any TomTom PR people out there, we’d like to take a look at your solution.
Apple has begun offering a matte display (antiglare) screen as a build-to-order option on the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Previously only available as an option on the 17-inch MacBook Pro, Apple has been expected to widen availability of this element.
Customers purchasing a 15-inch MacBook Pro can order one with a matte screen directly from Apple. There’s a cost, though, this sets you back $50 in the US and £40 in the UK.
The matte screen is listed under the configuration options and is available for all three 15-inch MacBook Pro models.
Apple makes a point of saying the hi-gloss screen "lets you view graphics, photos, and videos with richer colors and deeper blacks". However, we know more than a few people who will forgo that for less shiny.
Driven by Apple and HP, business is booming in the two firms’ home city of Cupertino, and a grateful city council has made available near half a million square feet of office space in the city for use by the big companies there.
The city council voted 3-2 on July 21 to allocate an additional 483,053 square feet of office space, and this space is exclusively reserved for big companies in Apple’s league.
“We live in a pretty rich city,” councilwoman Dolly Sandoval told Cupertino Courier, “and I don’t mean rich as in wealthy, I mean rich with people and active companies. I want to encourage growth of these major companies.”
Apple and HP are the biggest sales tax producers and employers for the city, and reps from both firms thanked the city council for considering allocating oout more office space.
Apple’s Steve Jobs visited the council in 2006 to say the company hoped to build a second Cupertino campus. Release of this new space seems set to encourage development of that second area as Apple’s business grows.
To get a general idea as to just how much Apple’s business has grown in the last few years, why not flash back to July 16, 2003, when the company’s third quarter results revealed a net profit of $19 million on revenue of $1.545 billion.
This was the period when iPods reached their third generation build, the iTunes Music Store opened for business and Mac OS X 10.3 Panther had reached its developer preview.
July 21, 2009, and the company revealed revenue of $8.34 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.23 billion. This suggests that in revenue terms alone, Apple’s business has increased five-fold.
And while we looked to iPod 3Gs then, we’re expectant on iPhone 3GS, Apple tablets and a new range of iPods soon, coupled with the release of Snow Leopard.
With Apple now inarguably a top employer and tax payer in Cupertino, it is no surprise the companies won this extra real estate after its long lobbying for the same. "I think this council is sending a strong message that we do appreciate having Apple and HP in our city and wanting them to be here," councilman Mark Santoro said.