Apple confirms Siri isn’t coming to any other devices as of now

Confirming what we already told you yesterday, Apple has said the company has no current plans to implement Siri into any other iOS devices besides the iPhone 4S. Apple confirmed the news in an email (seen after the break) to developer Michael Steeber.

Engineering has provided the following feedback regarding this issue:Siri only works on iPhone 4S and we currently have no plans to support older devices.

That doesn’t mean however that developers won’t continue to work on building Siri for later iOS device — like the iPhone 4 and 3GS. Curious to see how it works on an iPhone 4? Check it out after the break, along with a screenshot of the email:

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Apple Retail to construct “Express Lanes” during overnight tonight

We have just learned that Apple retail stores are having an “overnight” tonight to setup new Express Lanes.  Apple has used these express lanes in the past to provide holiday shoppers a fast track to purchase Apple products and accessories.  The zone are typically staffed with several Apple Specialists and stock popular laptop models, every iPad and iPod model.

The fact that Apple is using the express lane again this year is a bit interesting because the new Apple Store app was released today, which adds self-checkout and in store pickup.

Alternatively, the brand new Hong Kong Apple store is so busy that it has a year-round express counter (above). Several tipsters have confirmed the overnight and hinted that there may be more in the coming weeks. Don’t get too excited though, this doesn’t mean new Apple products are on the horizon.  Subsequent overnights will probably used to install holiday marketing materials; large banners, easel poster, and device screen-savers.  Two more Express Lane images below… Read more

Hulu Plus app is ready for Apple TV, decision to update is “political not technical”

We’ve gotten word that inside Apple there are Apple TVs running the Hulu Plus app natively. The app is feature complete and ready to roll out to Apple TV users on current builds. In fact, it has been ready for at least a month and development is now on hold.

While there are no technical issues standing in the way of the Hulu Plus release on Apple TV, there appear to be some political ones. At some level at Apple, there appears to be some consideration that the Hulu Plus app could eat into iTunes TV sales on the Apple TV. Where Netflix tends to run older programming, iTunes is the Apple TV’s only outlet for current TV programming.

Hulu Plus is available on the iPad and other iOS devices but unlike many other content apps, you can’t AirPlay them to an Apple TV like Apple’s own iTunes videos. Additionally, you can use an HDMI cable to watch the iOS Hulu Plus through an iPad on your HDTV, but mysteriously only in Standard definition, not the native HD Hulu or iTunes quality. Plus, who needs an HDMI-tethered solution?

Adding to the political troubles, Hulu was recently trying to sell itself to players including Apple competitor Google (and Apple itself) but no bidders were willing to bid high enough. Perhaps Apple wanted to make sure that Hulu Plus didn’t turn into a Trojan Horse for one of its competitors?

Hulu Plus was originally barred from all TV platforms, but giving hope to Apple TV users, it recently appeared in HD on the $59 Roku (above) and even a few smaller platforms like the very capable Western Digital’s TV Live (pictured below).

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Apple looking to bring AirPlay Mirroring, iMessage application to Mac OS X

AirPlay Mirroring shown with an iPad 2 and an Apple TV

Sources familiar with the future of Mac OS X say that AirPlay Mirroring and an iMessage application are currently in development. Although neither project may see the light of day, they are definitely on the table for release in future versions of OS X Lion. AirPlay Mirroring for the Mac will allow a user to wirelessly mirror exactly what is shown on their Mac’s display to an Apple TV connected to a projector, television, or external monitor. AirPlay video streaming is also being integrated into QuickTime X.

This would be a fantastic addition to the conference room for corporate presentations and would sell a few more Apple TVs we would imagine.

iMessage for Mac info after the break:

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Apple’s 10-K report: Ad spending grows to $1B, Employee growth over 20%, R&D up 36%

Apple issues its 10-K report with the SEC at the end of every fiscal year and this year’s (via MacRumors, TNW) is full of growth. Numbers grew across the board from the end of fiscal 2010 to 2011:

  1. Full time employees went from 49,400 to 60,400. Retail was the bulk of that which went from 25.6K to 36K.
  2. Retail Stores up 40: 317 to 357.
  3. Ad spending up 35% from $691 million to $933 million.
  4. R&D spending up 36% to $2.4B.
  5. Leases 7 million square feet of building space 3 million of those are for retail.
  6. Apple owns 584 acres of land in various locations (including a future solar farm in North Carolina).
  7. Finally, Apple ended the year with $81.6B in cash, marketable securities and cash equivalents.
Much more here.

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Macworld Expo begins transition to new “iWorld” brand, registration opens to the public

Like everything else Apple, the Macworld Expo is moving in the direction of iOS devices with a new name: Macworld|iWorld, “the ultimate iFan event”. Today, Paul Kent, the event’s vice president and general manager said:

“The brand is evolving from Macworld [Expo] to Macworld|iWorld to illustrate that the show is about the whole ecosystem of Apple products” The exhibits and conference sessions that have characterized past expos remain with Macworld|iWorld. But show organizers are also adding elements aimed at providing what Kent characterized as a “dynamic culture experience. We have a great core audience, but there’s a great opportunity to evolve the event.”

While there will be added focus on the iOS device ecosystem, Kent was adamant about saying the show was still heavily focused on the Mac Platform. In fact, there is added attention to Mac Developers with the introduction of a new package for OS X developers “to encourage them to display their wares at the show without the expense of having an elaborate booth”.

The event will also retain its training sessions under the new moniker “Tech Talks” and have film and music venues as well.

Apple stopped participating in Macworld Expos in 2009 which changed the dynamic of the show. This move is another major shift.

The event kicks off on January 26th. You can register at the prices listed below. (Note that you’ll need to enter your information to see prices.) That’s up to $100 off and the same as last year’s early pricing model. Discount expires December 5. The prices:

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TomTom turn-by-turn gets optimized for iPad

iPad Screenshot 3

If you are the type that likes a 10″ display for driving navigation, TomTom just updated its $59.99 iOS turn-by-turn navigation app to be universal and optimized for the iPad. You’ll of course want to have a 3G version of the iPad/iPad 2 or be tethered through an iPhone that can share GPS.

TomTom also hints that a new version with some interesting features is on the way:

iPHONE 3G USERS: THIS IS THE LAST VERSION OF THE TOMTOM APP FOR iPHONE THAT WILL FULLY SUPPORT YOUR DEVICE. You will be able to download and use the next version of the TomTom App but new features will not be available to you.

More screenshots and full description below (thanks Caleb!):

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Cobra iHelicopters go on the offensive with iOS launch-able missiles

We mentioned the iHelicopter back in August and it looked like one of the better iOS controlled flying devices out there.  Today, it got a significant update.

The $69.99 Cobra iHelicopters now get to go on the offensive.  The Cobra is armed with two missiles that can take out targets over 6 feet away.

The older version (without missiles)  can be found as low as $50

Press release and more info follows…

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Swedish carrier: iPhone 5 will be “run over by the others” unless Apple adopts 4G LTE

Tommy Ljunggren is senior vice president of Swedish wireless operator TeliaSonera and he’s got some “nice” words about mobile prospects of his valued partner, Apple. Ljunggren told Telecoms.com that Apple is no longer as relevant a factor in mobile as it used to be, saying the company is set for failure unless the next iPhone adopts chips that support fourth-generation cellular networks based on Long Term Evolution radio technology, being deployed by carriers around the world:

If you asked me two years ago I would have said Apple would be very important. But now it will be a bad mistake not to include LTE in the iPhone 5 as otherwise they will really be run over by the others. Apple are not unique enough and there is disappointment over the 4S – it was too small step for them.

He then slammed Apple over LTE, admitting that the current batch of 4G LTE chips consume too much power:

I don’t think Apple will decide if LTE will fly or not. My expectation is that in 2013/14 we will really see low-end smartphones having LTE as well. The big question is what frequency bands they will put in for smartphones. They will be true LTE smartphones – not the ones that the US has right now with two radios. These drain the batteries flat very quickly as they have one LTE terminal for data and a CDMA voice terminal. It’s basically a dongle and phone that they glue together. They work – just not for long.

Interestingly, this is the very reason Apple CEO Tim Cook dismissed a 4G LTE iPhone. Ljunggren, of course, is confused and here’s why.

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Apple updates Apple TV to version 4.4.1 9A335a – (Update Pulled)

Update: Judging by the comments, this update is bricking more than a few readers’ machines!

Update Pulled, expect another shortly

Apple has just released an update to the Apple TV this evening, updating the new 4.4 to version 4.4.1. We don’t know if there is any new features besides bug fixes as of yet, but we’ll be on the look out. If you find anything let us know; tips@9to5mac.com.

This is the first update to the new version of the Apple TV, version 4.4. Version 4.4 brought many updates including Trailers, Photo Stream, NHL, and WSJ Live. Check it out in action after the break:

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It won’t survive a waist high drop, but yet iPhone 4S lands safely from the outer space

Alright, calling it outer space is a little over the top as weather balloons may typically reach altitudes of 40km (25 miles) or more, which is still in the atmosphere, but still…

So these guys paid an eye-brow raising tribute to Steve Jobs in their own unique way, by launching two iPhone 4Ss into space by attaching them to a weather balloon. Yeah, I know, it’s an old trick, but the phones are new and do 1080P video. One of the phones had an interval photo timer app running while the other captured video. They explained:

We launched 2 iPhone 4S phones with a weather balloon to go up to 100,000. We put one of the iPhone 4S’s on an interval photo timer app and the other on video mode. We used s Spot GPS tracker (though I would not recommend it because it only tracks in 15 minutes increments.

The result of their undertaking is impressive: Check out the included clip depicting Earth’s atmosphere in full HD quality. The weather balloon eventually deflated and the iPhones landed safely, courtesy of a parachute and OtterBox cases for the iPhone 4S. Yeah, I know it’s a paradox that the iPhone 4S can safely land unscratched from the outer space and yet won’t survive a waist high drop.

And if the attached GPS failed, the amateur balloonists could use Find My Friends to get their rig. See? It isn’t just for finding cheating spouses.

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