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Jake Smith

December 4, 2012

Google adds horizontal carousel for web based iPad searches about local places

Google updated its web experience for U.S. iPad users who search for local places, such as bars and restaurants, on Google Search. The Mountain View-based company called the new feature a “horizontal carousel” of results that will display at the top of page, while normal search results will display below. Tapping on a business in the carousel, as seen in the image above, will display quick information about the location, including: address, Zagat rating, phone number, location on a Map, and a link to the website—accompanied with pictures. There’s also a new map link in the upper-right hand corner that shows you nearby places on a map.

Google has always shown its support for tablets and smartphones on its mobile Search page, and today’s update is definitely beneficial. When calling a restaurant to place an order or make a reservation, I’ve found Google to be the quickest way to find the needed information (definitely beating apps like Yellow Pages to get the same information).

Source: 

Apple reportedly still has no major labels for Pandora-like radio service

Since early September, rumors of an Apple radio service have been in the air. Several reports noted that the service is indeed on its way to compete with Spotify, RDIO, Pandora, and others, and the Wall Street Journal said we could expect it “in a matter of months.” However, CNET said today it might take longer.

Greg Sandoval of CNET reported that Apple has still yet to gain major record labels for the rumored music streaming service:

The rumors continue to swirl but multiple music industry sources have told CNET in recent weeks, the deal that Apple has put on the table for iRadio is not being warmly received the major record companies: Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group.

They say at minimum, a deal with all the majors is nowhere near to being completed.

Bloomberg reported in October that the service is set to launch in Q1 2013. Additionally, the publication added that the deals with the record labels would be reached in mid-November. However, as we see today, that may not be the case.

Apple’s radio service is rumored to be free and supported by Apple’s iAd platform. Unsurprisingly, it is said to work across all of Apple’s devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and it may even be accessible via Windows machines.

Image (1) iwork-09_large.jpg for post 9713

Apple updated its entire iWork suite this afternoon. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for iOS were all updated to version 1.7 with improved compatibility with Microsoft Office and iWork. Each iOS app also got bug fixes and minor updates, as seen below. Additionally, available via software update and directly from Apple’s website, iWork for Mac has been updated to version 9.3. It mainly features support for the new iWork for iOS apps. The full release notes are below: expand full story

Apple removes two per customer limit on iPhone 5 as stock improves, goes on sale in China

Apple updated its online store this afternoon to display the iPhone 5 as no longer limited to two per customer. The unlocked version of the iPhone 5 was first released last week, with the limit stated on the purchase page, and, as MacRumors pointed out, dropping the limit most likely means that Apple is continuing to catch up with stock of the handset as the holiday season kicks into full swing. As we reported yesterday morning, Apple updated its online store worldwide to show the iPhone is now available to ship within “2-4 days”— an improvement from the “1 week” notice that hit at the exact same time last Monday.

As for in-store availability, a prime place for holiday shoppers, analyst Gene Munster noted Nov. 21 that in-store stock for the iPhone 5 has improved. At the time, the iPhone 5 was available in 92 percent of Apple Stores for Sprint, 82 percent for AT&T, and 72 percent for Verizon. As of now, the iPhone 5 is readily available for those looking to buy it this holiday.

Besides stock purposes, Apple also limits the amount of some products customers can buy due to scalpers taking devices back to China to resell. The iPhone 5 is set to go on sale in China later this month, so that could be another reason the company removed the limit off. As for the iPad mini released in October, it is still limited to two per customer.

Source: Apple

December 3, 2012

Judge rules Apple vs. HTC patents can be exposed to public, pricing and royalty amount to remain under-wraps

Josh Lowensohn for CNET:

In an ruling tonight, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh said that while details of pricing and royalty rates for patents from both companies should be kept under wraps from public view, the same does not hold true for the rest of the agreement.

“This Court has repeatedly explained that only the pricing and royalty terms of license agreements may be sealed,” Koh wrote in a ruling. “There are compelling reasons to seal pricing and royalty terms, as they may place the parties to the agreement at a disadvantage in future negotiations, but there is nothing in the remainder of the agreement that presents a sufficient risk of competitive harm to justify keeping it from the public.”

China Unicom makes iPhone 5 available for pre-order, sees 100K orders on first day

Josh Ong for The Next Web:

After Apple announced late last week that the iPhone 5 is coming to China on December 14, China Unicom, the country’s second-largest wireless operator, began taking reservations on Monday, quickly receiving 100,000 online pre-orders, Sina Tech reports….Meanwhile, China Telecom, which began selling Apple’s smartphone on its network earlier this year with the release of the iPhone 4S, reportedly received 5,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 5 on Sunday.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 9.25.23 PM

Sundance Film Festival announced this afternoon that the Steve Jobs biopic, titled “jOBS”, starring famed-actor Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs, would premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival this January.

As we previously covered, the biopic will look at the early founding and 30 years of Apple, while centered on the late co-founder Steve Jobs. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak will make an appearance in the film, played by Josh Gad, and former CEO and cofounder John Sculley will make an appearance, played by Matthew Modine. Scenes in the movie were also filmed in the “historic garage” where Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple. The film’s early scenes will even feature Jobs’ Los Altos home where he grew up to maintain “accuracy and authenticity” during the movie-making process, as the film makers revealed in the summer.

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival will run from Jan. 17 to Jan. 27, and “jOBS” will get the honor of being the festival’s closing film on Jan. 27, as Hollywood Reporter first noted. It is not clear whether it will air thus after.

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iPhone 5 ship times begin to hit just 2-4 days

Since its Sept. 21 launch, the iPhone 5’s shipping time has steadily improved as the holiday season nears. This morning, Apple updated its Australia/New Zealand and some Asian online stores to show the iPhone is now available to ship within “2-4 days”— an improvement from the “1 week” notice that hit at the exact same time last Monday. Just like last week, we expect the ship time changes to roll globally within the next day or so.

As for in-store availability, analyst Gene Munster noted Nov. 21 that in-store stock for the iPhone 5 has improved. At the time, the iPhone 5 was available in 92 percent of Apple Stores for Sprint, 82 percent for AT&T, and 72 percent for Verizon.

Update: Apple has now confirmed that the iPhone 5 will launch in Russia on December 14. iPhones.ru posted images of the Russian iTunes gift cards pictured right.

Hot off the heels of the iTunes 11 launch last week, Russia looks to be gaining the service very soon. According to a forwarded invite obtained by TechCrunch, Apple is holding a small iTunes event at the local GUM shopping center in Moscow’s Red Square tomorrow evening. Rumors of the launch have been ongoing for a few months, as App Store users in the country were beginning to see music searches appear at very low prices.

According to a November report by Russian language publication vedomosti.ru, citing industry sources, Apple will sell songs cheaper in Russia for 11- to 20 rubles each, which translates to roughly 35- to 65 cents USD. Additionally, another report from Vedomosti claimed iTunes senior executive Eddy Cue and iTunes Europe Director Ben King went to Russia for the launch originally scheduled for Nov. 20. However, in November, the newspaper also cited sources close to Apple as saying the launch is now scheduled for the first week of December—possibly to coincide with the launch of iPhone 5 in the country. Today’s event invite seems to confirm at least the iTunes bit. We are working to gain more information. [TechCrunch]

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November 30, 2012

Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted at the company’s massive Grand Central store this afternoon, giving an interview with NBC anchor Brian Williams. The U.S. network is doing a piece on Apple and shopping at its stores during the holidays. Additionally, Cook was seen checking out the store and showing off the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. Apple’s Grand Central store opened to the public in December 2011, and it is considered a flagship for the company.

The program is set to air Dec. 6—per the tweet, press release, and video embedded below.

Via: TVNewser Source: Instagram, Twitter

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The eighth-generation iMac was announced at the company’s late-October media event, where Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller called it, “the most beautiful iMac we have ever made.” Right on track, the 21.5-inch iMac is now available on the company’s online store and is available across a slew of third-party retail stores this afternoon. The 27-inch model will ship starting in “2-3 weeks” in the United States and Canada, while overseas (Australia/EU is “15-19 days”) is looking at up to 20 days—making a Christmas delivery tight.

(MacConnection has the best prices: $20 off, while MacMall knocks $5 off but adds Parallels ($79.99 value) and configuration/financing options. B&H Photo, Amazon, and  Best Buy also seem to be getting some stock soon. iMac Product page prices updated daily!) expand full story

November 29, 2012

Following our report from this morning, Apple made the much-awaited unlocked iPhone 5 available in the United States on its online store this evening. The unlocked device’s price range is set at $649, $749, and $849 for 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of storage, respectively. Apple has offered an unlocked version of the iPhone 5 in several countries around the world since the device first launched in late September —including Canada and in Europe. However, as it has done in the past, Apple delayed the U.S. unlocked launch.

Additionally, we learned from several retail sources Apple will sell the unlocked iPhone 5 in its chain of retail stores in the coming days—perhaps as soon as tomorrow. The devices have begun arriving in large quantities to Apple stores over the past couple of days.

The unlocked version is GSM only, which supports AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S., and will not work on CDMA bands. If you hate contracts, like swapping the nano SIM, and taking the device abroad is your thing, this is the version of the iPhone 5 for you. To avoid scalpers, Apple is limiting two per customer.

From Apple:

 “The unlocked iPhone includes all the features of iPhone but without a wireless contract commitment. You can activate and use iPhone on the supported GSM wireless network of your choice, such as AT&T in the United States. The unlocked iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 will not work with CDMA-based carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint. If you don’t want a multiyear service contract, or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad, the unlocked iPhone is the best choice. It does not come with a micro-SIM card for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, or a nano-SIM card for iPhone 5, so you’ll need to get one from any supported GSM carrier worldwide. To start using it, simply insert the card into the slot on your iPhone and turn it on by pressing and holding the On/Off button for a few seconds. Then follow the onscreen instructions to set up your iPhone.”

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Apple’s Bob Mansfield cashes in 35K AAPL shares, valued at $20M

First noted by The Next Web, recently promoted Bob Mansfield cashed in 35,000 shares of AAPL stock at $582.21 a share. That is worth a fat check of $20,377,507.50, as a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing also revealed today. This is Mansfield’s second time cashing in the stock that he was awarded in 2005. His first cash-in was in 2009.

While Mansfield was set to retire from Apple in June, he was appointed Senior Vice President of Technologies under Apple’s major exec shake-up. The longtime-exec has 29,548 shares remaining, and he will gain another 150,000 shares in June 2013 and March 2016 if he remains with CEO Tim Cook and Co.

Source: The Next Web, SEC

[tweet https://twitter.com/markgurman/status/274299466641707008]

Starbucks and Apple offering $30 gift card combo to benefit AIDS research foundation

Starbucks introduced a new Starbucks iTunes (RED) eGift basket this holiday season, with help of Apple, to give back to the world. The gift basket is complete with a $15 Starbucks gift card and $15 iTunes gift card. For every combo sold, Starbucks and Apple will donate 5 percent of each purchase (75 cents) to the Global Fund AIDS research foundation. The gift basket can be purchased on Starbuck’s website, where you can also choose to gift it directly to someone. This isn’t the first time Apple partnered with (RED), as it has launched several special edition iPods to compliment the foundation over the years. The same goes for Starbucks, which revealed today it gave $11 million to the Global Fund since December 2008. Pretty nice gift, if you ask me. Who doesn’t like music, coffee, and helping a good cause?

Via: The Loop

Source: 

iPhone 5 gains necessary network approval in China, readying for mid-December launch

The iPhone 5 has gained the proper network verification from The Ministry of Industry and Technology of the People’s Republic of China today, finally readying it for sale in the country where the device is made. Following rumors earlier this month, Wall Street Journal first noted the news this morning, and such verification sets-up for the mid-December launch as pre-orders are already kicking. Apple has gained WCDMA and CDMA-2000 verification, according to the filings, lining it up to be on China Unicom and China Telecom — China’s second and third-largest carriers, respectively.

China has proved to be a big-potential for Apple, emphasized by CEO Tim Cook several times. Earlier this year he said, “demand is off the charts in China.” Sadly it appears the world’s largest carrier China Mobile isn’t on board this round.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Via: Engadget

November 28, 2012

Mercury News reported that Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has broken ground on a Santa Clara campus that is set to be home to 1,200 employees. The location is just short of the city limits of Cupertino, and it is a 296,000 square-foot space set to be developed by Peery Arillaga. It is said to be a two six-floor building campus—not to be confused with the massive Spaceship-like campus Apple currently has plans for. Earlier this month, we highlighted a few other Apple land grabs, which many believe are temporary offices until the new campus that is set to hold 14,000 employees is completed in mid-2016. The first six-floor building at the new Santa Clara location that is 188,000 square feet will be completed mid-2014, while there’s no word on the second.

Source: Mercury News

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Time Warner CEO wants Apple to release a television set

After years of rumors, we’d like to think the Apple TV set is a reality…and so would Time Warner Cable’s CEO. Speaking at Business Insider’s IGNITE conference this afternoon, CEO Jeff Bewkes said he believes Apple has what it takes to change the television market. When asked about the company delivering the Apple TV set, Bewkes said, “I hope they do. I think Apple is a great device company. They bring good interface and navigation skills.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Time Warner talk about the Apple TV. In September, COO Rob Marcus said the company would be willing to give up control of the user interface, but he wants to keep the “customer relationship.” We’ve noted before the difficulty Apple will face to get cable companies to relinquish control of the user interface and user experience.

Recently, analysts have pegged the Apple TV set launch for the 2013 holiday season, but that’s not without timeframe misses in the past. Analyst Gene Munster said the HDTV size will be between 42- and 55 inches and priced between $1,500 and $2,000.  At any rate, it looks like we’ll have to wait a while longer to get official word—if ever. In the mean time, check out a solid Apple TV concept.

Source: Business Insider Image: The Verge

November 27, 2012

Apple highlights iPad mini Newsstand in new magazine ad campaign

Using its clever advertising tactics, Apple began advertising its 7.9-inch iPad mini in several print magazines. As seen on the cover of the New Yorker above and TIME below, the ads highlight the device’s small, compact design and show how a user can get access to the same magazine content from Apple’s Newsstand feature. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Apple bust out advertising past the traditional TV spot this month, as it just began running 3D exploding iPod ads on several websites. It can’t hurt to try to juice sales just in time for the holidays, but, to be fair, they should have pixelated the display to signify the non-Retina screen.

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Source: Reddit, Instagram, @eduardosuarez

Via: Sam Stern

After being unveiled in late-October, Apple has officially announced that the 21.5-inch iMac will become available this Friday, Nov. 30. The latest iMac is the eighth generation and “is the most beautiful iMac we have ever made,” according to Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller. It features a 5mm edge, edge-to-edge glass, LED-backlit display with IPS technology, a FaceTime HD camera, dual mics, four USB 3 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, OS X Mountain Lion, Bluetooth 4.0, and more.

The 21.5-inch iMac is available in two versions. The 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 model (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz) is available for $1,299, featuring 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 memory, 1 TB (5400-rpm) hard drive, and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR5 memory. The 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 model (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz) is available for $1,499, featuring similar specs, except a 1TB (5400-rpm) hard drive that can be configured into a Fusion Drive.

Apple also has a 27-inch version iMac on its way. As we reported earlier this month, the 27-inch version is still set to launch sometime in December, according to Apple. CEO Tim Cook has already discussed that the company is expecting shortages of iMacs. Our sources have indicated that the new iMac is in relatively short supply, mainly outside of the United States. Check out Cook’s comments below:

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During its opening keynote at WWDC, Apple announced Siri would gain an all-new “Eyes Free” feature as part of iOS 6. After five months of quiet about the feature, General Motors announced this morning that it would be the first of nine automakers previously outlined to adopt Eyes Free in its vehicles starting early next year. Of its fleet, the Chevrolet Spark (1LT, 2LT) and Sonic LTZ and RS will be the first.

Eyes Free lets automakers include a button on their automobiles that allows drivers to initiate Siri for sending messages, making calls, setting reminders, launching apps, and accessing a slew of information from inside of the car without picking up the device.

GM will include the Eyes Free feature on the automobiles, but it still won’t do away with its Chevrolet MyLink info-tainment system. However, if an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 enters the car running iOS 6, they can connect over Bluetooth with GM’s MyLink radio feature. From there, they can use the Eyes Free steering wheel button to access information. Additionally, the screen won’t light up to minimize distraction. Shown off in the gallery below:

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