Jordan Kahn


Senior Editor, 9to5Mac – 9to5Google – 9to5Toys

Contact Jordan with news tips and long-winded complaints at  

Jordan writes about all things Apple as a senior editor for 9to5Mac. He also covers Google for and the latest gear and deals on

Send tips to: Twitter: @JordanKahn FB: SoundCloud:

Jordan Kahn's Recommended Gear

July 3, 2013

Boston_University_seal.svgAccording to a report from the BostonHerald, Boston University is the latest to sue Apple for patent infringement claiming several Apple products use technology covered by its 1997 patent for highly insulating monocrystalline gallium nitride thin films. The university filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts yesterday listing Apple’s iPhone 5, iPad, and MacBook Air as infringing devices.

“Defendant’s acts of infringement have caused and will continue to cause substantial and irreparable damage to the University,” BU alleges in its complaint.

The highly technical patent, which can be viewed on the USPTO’s website, was originally awarded in 1997 and lists computer engineering professor Theodore D. Moustakas as its inventor. BostonHerald notes that the university has also used the patent in cases against Samsung and Amazon, and “plans to illustrate that at least one other company pays a licensing fee to use the component in question” during its case with Apple: expand full story


We already knew critically acclaimed indie game Limbo would be arriving on iOS this week after an announcement from Danish developer Playdead late last month. Today the title has finally arrived in the App Store for all users and comes with a mere $4.99 price tag for one of the best reviewed indie console games in recent years.

Early reviews for the iOS port seem to be positive and, apart from some tweaked controls for the touchscreen, includes the entire game experience from the console versions.

Limbo ($4.99) for iPhone and iPad is available on the App Store now. expand full story

July 2, 2013

According to reports from Bloomberg, Apple is close to reaching a deal with Time Warner to offer TV shows on Apple TV, while also apparently recruiting Hulu exec Pete Distad to lead negotiations for content:

The companies plan to announce an agreement within a few months, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The iPhone maker is also hiring Pete Distad from online-video service Hulu, where he was senior vice president in charge of marketing and distribution, to help Apple executives in negotiations with media and cable companies, two people with familiar with the matter said.

Distad is currently SVP of Marketing and Distribution at Hulu and in charge of content distribution and customer acquisition/retention on the company’s management team. According to his bio Distad’s current duties at Hulu include “subscriber acquisition and retention, paid, on-channel, and brand marketing, distribution and promotional partnerships, and content marketing.” expand full story


Yesterday we noted that Best Buy retail sources indicated the popular ‘Pebble’ Bluetooth smart watch would be landing on at least some of the retailer’s store shelves this weekend. Today Pebble and Best Buy have finally made things official by announcing the partnership that will bring the most successful Kickstarter-backed device of all time to both Best Buy online and across all its U.S. brick and mortar locations.

It’s definitely big news for the company ahead of Apple’s rumored smart watch, as well as Sony and others getting deeper into the space. The exclusive retail partnership with Best Buy also marks Pebble’s first retail launch of the device following raising over $10.2 million from around 68,000 backers on Kickstarter.

“It’s been so rewarding to see and share the great things our early backers and development partners have done with Pebble already,” says CEO Eric Migicovsky. “Their work and our evolving app ecosystem has kept demand very high. Best Buy’s partnership with us is a big step towards meeting that demand.”

As we first reported yesterday, Pebble confirmed today that the device will be landing in all U.S. Best Buy locations starting Sunday, July 7, and Jet black and Cherry red editions of the smart watch are already available through Best Buy’s website. The Jet black models will be shipping starting today through the retailer’s online store, while the Cherry red models will arrive sometime later in August.

The packaging for Pebble also appears to have received an upgrade for Best Buy’s store shelves since we first saw it back in January right before the device started shipping to Kickstarter backers:

expand full story

Back in March, educators in the Netherlands were proposing “Steve Jobs schools” that would augment the traditional classroom environment by moving to an iPad-based education system. Today provides us with a little bit more information noting that eleven schools are scheduled to open next month with over 1,000 children aged 4 to 12.

It’s not clear if the “Steve Jobs school” moniker will stick as the official name of the facilities, but the report explains a little bit more about exactly how the program will work: expand full story


June 28, 2013

Just like app developers have the ability to sell subscriptions as in-app purchases in iOS apps and Newsstand, they will soon be able to offer the same auto-renewable content through in-app purchases in Mac App Store apps.

Mac apps on the latest releases of OS X already support non-subscription based in-app purchases. For example, items that are purchased once and automatically applied to a user’s account. Up until now, developers offering an auto-renewable or non-renewing subscription in their iOS apps couldn’t do the same in the Mac App Store equivalents. expand full story

Research firm comScore is out today with its usual report covering U.S. smartphone subscriber market share for the three month period ending in May. Over the last three months Apple has gained in both categories including ‘top smartphone OEMs’ and ‘OS usage’, continuing its lead as the top smartphone manufacturer and growing its share of the market by platform.

The previous three month period had Apple at 38.9% of the market, making it the number #1 smartphone vendor in the US over second place Samsung. In May, Apple continues that lead by increasing its share 0.3 percentage points to 39.2% of the market. That’s significantly higher than the 23% Samsung grabbed despite growing 1.7 percentage points during the quarter. In a close race for third place is HTC with 8.7%, Motorola with 7.8%, and LG with 6.7%, all of which dropped less than a percentage point since last quarter.

When it comes to the market by OS usage, Android is still on top, growing 0.7 percentage points to 52.4% this quarter. Apple experienced slightly less growth at 0.3 percentage points to capture 39.2% of the market up from its 38.9% share last quarter. That means the majority of the growth, once again, comes at the expense of BlackBerry and Microsoft. expand full story

June 27, 2013

Update: The no-contract, Virgin Mobile iPhone 5 and promotional discounts are now live on RadioShack’s website.

We reported last week that the iPhone 5 would be coming to Virgin Mobile tomorrow starting at $549.99 on its usual no-contract, $30/month unlimited plans. RadioShack will be one of the first to carry the device and is also planning to offer a number of promotional discounts to celebrate the launch.

RadioShack will start carrying the Virgin Mobile iPhone 5 tomorrow both online and in-store for $549.99 (that’s for the 16GB model), but will also be offering $50 for eligible trade-ins until the end of next month. On top of the same $50 trade-in for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, the retailer is also slashing prices on those two devices to $399.99 and $299.99 until July 6th.

Virgin Mobile will have both the black and white versions of the iPhone 5 available on its monthly no-contract plans starting at $35/month and its $30/month auto pay plan.  expand full story



We’ve reported on a number of big improvements coming to iOS 7 for both app developers and accessory manufacturers already. Yesterday we reported first on the new blinking and smiling detection features available to camera and photo app developers, and earlier this month told you about some of the new Bluetooth related APIs coming this fall.

We previously walked you through some of the new APIs and features for gamers, but there is still a lot more coming to third-party app developers in iOS 7. A few big improvements: a text to speech API, background downloads for in-app content, motion effects, 3D maps, and much more.

Head below for details on some of the more notable new APIs available for developers to take advantage of in iOS 7: expand full story


AT&T already announced plans to turn on HD Voice, aka, wideband audio support, later this year through a carrier update for iPhone users in the US. Today, iTweakiOS announced an update for one of its hacked carrier profiles that it claims will allow AT&T users to access HD Voice, as well as the recently announced CMAS government and Amber alert update, ahead of a full roll out of the feature later this year.

This hack fixes the reported issue of unstable HSPA+ speeds/signal and iPad users having trouble updating and losing all signal. This hack enables, along with the previous enabled features, HD Voice for all iPhone models running on AT&T so users can now use the UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+ network for HD qaulity calling on their 4S and 5. This hack also enables Release 7 HSDPA speeds for the iPhone 4S, giving it a new maximum theoretical downlink of 21Mbps, which AT&T does indeed support. Signal improvements from the previous release have not changed and are still present in this release along with unthrottled LTE and HSPA+.

Apple has actually supported the feature since the iPhone 5 launched last fall, but only around 20 international carriers currently support the feature. Unfortunately, the HD Voice feature, even with the hack, won’t yet work for all users, as AT&T is still currently in the process of rolling out support: expand full story

Leading up to the unveiling of Apple’s new iTunes Radio service earlier this month at WWDC, we reported on some small details regarding deals Apple had reached with the major labels necessary to get bring its Pandora competitor to market. Earlier reports claimed that Apple was paying Warner around 10% of ad revenue— that’s around twice as much as Pandora reportedly pays. Today, The Wall Street Journal provides us with some in-depth info on what Apple is paying labels and publishers after taking a look at the terms of the deal.

Apple will in fact be paying well over the 0.12 cents per listen Pandora offers the labels, as well as a percentage of ad revenue, and the payout will also increase during the service’s second year:

During iTunes Radio’s first year, Apple will pay a label 0.13 cents each time a song is played, as well as 15% of net advertising revenue, proportionate to a given label’s share of the music played on iTunes. In the second year, that bumps up to 0.14 cents per listen, plus 19% of ad revenue.

However, there are some exceptions. The report notes that Apple won’t have to pay royalties for songs that users already have in their iTunes library. That will apparently extend to “songs that might be on an album that a listener owns just part of.” Interestingly, Apple also won’t pay for songs skipped before the 20 second mark and those included in special promotions, but it can only skip paying royalties on two songs per hour for each iTunes Radio user: expand full story


Back in May, Apple was attempting to add Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 as an infringing device in its ongoing, second major patent dispute with Samsung in California. It was also claiming that Samsung infringed two Siri related patents with the device’s Google Now voice assistant feature. Now, according to a report from Bloomberg, Apple has been denied its request to add the device with  U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal claiming it would be a “a “tax on the court’s resources”:

Adding another product to the case is a “tax on the court’s resources,” Grewal said in the ruling. “Each time these parties appear in the courtroom, they consume considerable amounts of the court’s time and energy, which takes time way from other parties who also require and are entitled to the court’s attention.”

Apple lawyer Josh Krevitt claims that denying to add the device in the ongoing patent suit would force Apple to “‘file a new lawsuit’ because the Samsung products covered by the case will be out of date by trial next year.”  expand full story


June 26, 2013

Submit a Tip


Submitting a tip constitutes permission to publish and syndicate. Please view our tips policy or see all contact options.

Powered by VIP