Google Play app arrives on iOS to stream movies and shows over WiFi

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Today, Google has released a new application for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to allow Google Play users to stream purchased movies and TV shows. You cannot rent or purchase content via this application: you must download it from Google Play on Android or the web and then the purchased titles will be available to stream via this app. The application is only supported in the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom. WiFi is currently required for streaming. The app also allows streaming to the ChromeCast.

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New Space Gray iPad mini quietly begins hitting Apple Store shelves

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Silently announced alongside the new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, Apple has begun selling a Space Gray version of the first-generation, non-Retina display iPad mini at its physical retail stores.

Sources say that the model is now available via several Apple Stores, but not every store. Interested customers should call their store to ensure availability…

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Review: Eye-Fi Mobi, a cool idea let down by poor reliability

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An increasing number of cameras these days have wifi built-in, allowing instant viewing of photos on your iPhone or iPad, and from there instant sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and so on. Which can leave those of us with less sociable cameras feeling a little left out in the cold.

Eye-Fi has offered solutions to this for some time, in the form of wifi-equipped cards that you can insert into your older or pro camera and transmit the images to a PC or Mac. This approach worked, after a fashion, but had two big problems. First, setup was far from easy, and second, transmission was via a wireless router. Fine at home, where you probably didn’t need it, not so fine when out & about, where you probably did.

This was the problem the Eye-Fi Mobi set out to solve: a $50 (8GB) or $80 (16GB) SD card that transmits photos direct to an iOS device running the free Eye-Fi app, with no router required. I decided to give it a try …  Read more

New MacBook Air software issue artificially limiting 802.11ac transfer speeds

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In its extensive review of the new 2013 MacBook Air, AnandTech notes an issue with the machine’s new 802.11ac WiFi capabilities that it says is limiting the faster Wi-Fi chip’s potential. While it was able to get an average of 533Mbps using the iPerf networking tool, Anand found real world file transfers would only get 21.2MB/s or 169.6Mbps:

I disabled all other wireless in my office. Still, no difference. I switched ethernet cables, I tried different Macs, I tried copying from a PC, I even tried copying smaller files – none of these changes did anything. At most, I only saw 21.2MB/s over 802.11ac. I double checked my iPerf data. 533Mbps. Something weird was going on. I plugged in Apple’s Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adaptor and saw 906Mbps, clearly the source and the MacBook Air were both capable of high speed transfers. What I tried next gave me some insight into what was going on. I setup web and FTP servers on the MacBook Air and transferred files that way. I didn’t get 533Mbps, but I broke 300Mbps. For some reason, copying over AFP or SMB shares was limited to much lower performance. This was a protocol issue.

According to the review, the problem is likely with the OS X networking stack that is for some reason artificially limiting the capabilities of 802.11ac: Read more

New for accessory makers in iOS 7: Open AirPlay audio, Apple-designed hearing aid tech, device management, much more

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We already told you about a few big new features in terms of improvements to Bluetooth coming in iOS 7: Developers will now have a standardized controller framework for hardware game controllers and new features for BLE devices that will bring Notification Center support and always-connected apps. That’s not all Apple has planned for accessory makers in the near future, below developers have reached out to explain some of the other big new features that will be available to accessory manufacturers with iOS 7 and Mavericks… Read more

MacBook Air refresh looks set for WWDC, potentially with faster Wi-Fi

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Apple appears set to release new versions of its MacBook Air notebook computer at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference, according to information provided by a source. Earlier this week, we reported that Apple is planning to release four new Mac models at WWDC, and we narrowed this down to either new MacBook Pro with Retina display models or MacBook Air models.

Today, we have received specific pricing for the aforementioned SKUs, and the price-points correspond to Apple’s current pricing for the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models. We have yet to receive pricing information that points to the imminent availability of new MacBook Pros (as some had hoped), but perhaps the next refresh to Apple’s Pro portables will arrive in the coming months. Supply constraints to the Retina MacBook Pro line seems to imply that…

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Apple cuts prices again on refurbished iPads

From 9to5Toys.com:

Apple this morning dropped prices across the board on iPads in its refurbished section of the online Apple Store as noted by MacRumors. We’ve recently seen quite a bit of iPad price reductions at 9to5Toys, some even steeper than this. For instance, Walmart has a new iPad mini for $80 off and refurb iPad Mini 16GB for $250. The new Apple Store prices:

iPad mini

- 16 GB Wi-Fi: $279, down from $299 previously and $329 brand-new
- 32 GB Wi-Fi: $359, down from $389 previously and $429 brand-new
- 64 GB Wi-Fi: $439, down from $489 previously and $529 brand-new

- 16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $389, down from $429 previously and $459 brand-new
- 32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $469, down from $519 previously and $559 brand-new
- 64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $549, down from $619 previously and $659 brand-new

Fourth-generation iPad

- 16 GB Wi-Fi: $419, down from $449 previously and $499 brand-new
- 32 GB Wi-Fi: $499, down from $549 previously and $599 brand-new
- 64 GB Wi-Fi: $579, down from $649 previously and $699 brand-new

- 16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $529, down from $579 previously and $629 brand-new
- 32 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $609, down from $679 previously and $729 brand-new
- 64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $689, down from $779 previously and $829 brand-new

Good news for those interested in displays too: Thunderbolt and Cinema Displays are down to $799 (a $30 drop).You know what this usually means…

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Rabbit, Foursquare, Skype, TomTom, Cut the Rope, Borderlands Legends, deals, more

Rabbit: Launching today in closed beta, Rabbit is a new video chat and content sharing app– initially available exclusively for Mac– that has been getting a lot of attention. The app lets you chat with an unlimited number of people, create and customize chats, as well as watch movies, listen to music, and share content in chats in real-time. If you are a pre-teen who hasn’t heard of Google Hangouts, you might want to check this out.

Rabbit is kind of like a virtual living room. It runs in the background on your computer just like Skype, so you can always find your friends online and invite them to watch a movie or listen to music at any time. You can share this content directly from your computer, or you can use the Rabbit “SharePad” of integrated content sites to instantly launch TV shows, videos and music you want to watch and listen to with your friends.

Foursquare version 5.4.3: Foursquare gets an update today that brings improvements to check-in notification settings including an “Always” option to get notifications for all check-ins, as well as new “Nearby” and “Off” settings to apply to specific users.

✓ Choose “ALWAYS” for close friends and family you always want to keep up with. You’ll get notifications for all their check-ins, no matter where they are in the world.
✓ Choose “NEARBY” for friends you’d like to hear about from time to time. We’ll only notify you when they’re close by.
✓ Choose “OFF” for those acquaintances you don’t really want updates from. And that bike messenger friend who checks in at every spot on his route.

TomTom version 1.13: TomTom updated the majority of its iOS navigation apps today. On top of the most up to date map data, users can also now backup and restore settings and stored destinations from iCloud. With today’s update TomTom is also providing a free 30 day trial to its HD traffic subscription. In addition, the app now includes compatibility for iPad mini.

Borderlands Legends version 1.1.0: 2K’s Borderlands Legends (and the HD iPad version) is updated today with new features including a new sniper mode, new enemy and mini boss types, night versions of the Wasteland map, iPhone 5 & Game Center support, new Eridian Weapons, and more. Read more

Apple ready to release additional iPad model; likely 128GB version (Updated: Pricing)

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We’ve gotten word from sources that Apple is preparing to release (in some fashion) a single, additional iPad model. This would be a new SKU for the current fourth-generation iPad with Retina display line. At this point, we do not have pricing information, so it is definitely difficult to pinpoint exactly what this new iPad model is.

Here is what we do know:

  • It is a fourth-generation iPad, not a new design.
  • It comes in both the current black and white color options.
  • It comes in both WiFi-only and WiFi + Cellular versions.
  • It is a more premium SKU that will join the current line of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB fourth-generation iPads.
  • 10-pack deals (in both colors) for educational institutions will be offered.

With developers finding code in the soon-to-be-released iOS 6.1 that points to 128GB iOS devices, and with recent findings of 128GB references in Apple’s recent iTunes 11 release, speculation naturally points to Apple releasing a 128GB iPad in the very near future. While it is certainly plausible that this new iPad model is the 128GB iPad, we are currently not confident enough to outright claim that, but it seems likely based on the evidence.

Update: We’ve received pricing information for this new iPad model. The pricing is in line with a higher storage capacity, coming in at around $799 for the WiFi-only model and $929 for the Cellular-compatible model in the United States. So, new capacity sounds even more likely.

Here are the new SKUs via a source at a high-profile U.S. retailer:

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Some LTE iPads getting delivered as early as Friday, Nov. 16

Late last week, Apple started notifying customers that orders of LTE iPad minis would begin shipping within 5 business days. Those same customers were also reporting updated shipping times ranging from Nov. 21 to Nov. 23. As for the new iPad 4 with Retina display, Apple recently updated its website with an estimated shipping time of “7 business days,” but today we get word from several readers that existing orders of the device are set to arrive as early as Nov. 16.

The actual arrival time of the iPad 4 with LTE is a moving target, with earlier reports pointing to next week. However, with the release of the LTE iPad firmware on Apple’s servers on Nov. 8, it is likely that the review units are already in reviewers’ hands. So, a release this week isn’t out of the question.

The Nov. 16 date would line up nicely with Apple’s original promise to ship the LTE models of its new iPads within roughly 2 weeks of the Nov. 2 Wi-Fi-only launches. It looks like Apple might not be able to get out new orders of LTE iPad minis as quickly as the iPad 4, however, as its website currently lists the LTE capable minis as shipping in “2 weeks”.

Other rumors have also pointed to a Nov. 16 launch of in-store sales of the new LTE iPads at AT&T.

We’re sure to hear more. Another image below:

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AT&T expands FaceTime to individual iOS device users on LTE

Update: While AT&T claims that the move was to safeguard its delicate infrastructure, two public advocacy groups (Freepress, Public Knowledge) are claiming the FCC is looming large. Seth submits a third postulate: The iPad Mini LTE  launch later this month will present a chance for AT&T to grab new tablet customers and AT&T doesn’t want to lose out to competitors with friendlier offers.

AT&T just announced you could now use FaceTime over cellular at no extra charge on the iPhone 5 and LTE iPad if it is on one of the network’s tiered data plans. Today’s announcement opens up FaceTime over cellular to a slew of new customers.

AT&T today announced it will enable FaceTime over Cellular at no extra charge for iOS 6 customers with an LTE device on any tiered data plan.  AT&T will also continue to offer FaceTime over Cellular to customers with any AT&T Mobile Share plan, as well as FaceTime over Wi-Fi, which has always been available.

Previously, FaceTime on AT&T’s network was only available for free if a customer was on its new Mobile Share Plans that became available Aug. 23. AT&T said the new set of users would be able to access FaceTime for free over cellular in “8-10 weeks”:

We expect to roll out this functionality over the next 8-10 weeks. In addition, we are informing our deaf and hard of hearing customers that, as of October 26, we began rolling out several new billing plans designed to allow them to make use of FaceTime. This is part of our ongoing commitment to our customers with disabilities, and it’s a commitment which is very important to us.

As for the competition, Sprint already announced that it will not hinder FaceTime over cellular, and Verizon is being forced not to mess with it because of a Net Neutrality promise.

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