Archive for September, 2012


Following this morning’s release of an open letter from Tim Cook apologizing for issues with the new Apple-driven Maps app in iOS 6 and mentioning some alternative map options available to users, Apple has also added a new featured section to the App Store highlighting some of those map alternatives.

A host of alternative apps ranging from free to Magellan’s $49.99 “RoadMate USA” are available from such brands as Waze, Mapquest, Garmin, Bing, and MotionX.

Apple’s embrace of alternative map options seems to be a sign that the company is taking criticism of its own offering seriously, although directing users to downloads through the App Store is still of benefit to Apple. Cook’s letter did, however, also promote web-based alternatives such as Google’s and Nokia’s maps.

To mark the first anniversary of his death, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong has revealed a new wax figure of legendary businessman, visionary inventor and technology pioneer, Steve Jobs.

The co-founder of Apple Inc. and brain behind the iPod, iPhone and iPad will be portrayed in his trademark relaxed style, wearing a black cotton turtle neck, Levi 501 jeans and New Balance trainers. The pose shows Jobs with arms casually folded in front of him, head tilted slightly with a warm smile. The professional team of Madame Tussauds had also replicated a pair of Lunor spectacles which is previously custom made for Jobs. The pose, inspired by photographs taken at the shoot for his famous Fortune Magazine front cover in 2006, shows Jobs with arms casually folded in front of him, head tilted slightly with a warm smile.

The techniques used to create the figure are extremely technology free, using the same tools and methods first employed by Madame Tussaud herself over two hundred years ago. The sculptors have anatomical knowledge to ensure every bone, muscle and tendon is replicated correctly according to the pose. When the clay sculpture is formed, each strand of hair is inserted one by one into the wax head by hand using a forked needle. Once complete, the hair is washed, cut and styled. Moreover, each iris is hand painted using gouache, and veining is added to the whites of the eyes with fine silk threads.

Madame Tussauds' Steve Jobs wax figure

Madame Tussauds’ Steve Jobs wax figure

Talented young inventor and CEO of technology company Chan Yik Hei, widely known as “Son of the Star”, visited Madame Tussauds Hong Kong to meet his idol – Steve Jobs. “I aspire to invent products that would propel technology development and improve people’s life. It is definitely not easy to make extraordinary contributions like Steve Jobs did, but I will work hard to reach this goal. Meanwhile, it is my great honor to be the first people in Hong Kong to pay tribute to the wax figure of Steve Jobs.” said Chan.

General Manager of Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, Kelly Mak was delighted to welcome the new figure to the attraction today. “Steve Jobs’ inventions have changed the face of modern technology. He has inspired and influenced millions of people and undoubtedly deserves a place here. We are happy to give the public the opportunity to pay tribute to somebody who has helped shape their world”.

The figure is costing HK$1,500,000 to create and a dedicated team of sculptors and hair and colour artists will work for three months to achieve an amazingly accurate likeness. The figure will remain at the Historical and National Heroes attraction of Madame Tussauds Hong Kong during 27 September to 26 November 2012, before travelling on to Madame Tussauds Bangkok and then Madame Tussauds Shanghai.

Source: Madame Tussauds

Apple launches the iPhone 5 in 22 more countries. Did you get one?

Apple today launched the new iPhone 5 in 22 additional countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. That brings the total to 30 + Hong Kong, and represents one of Apple most aggressive launch schedules in history.

If you picked up an iPhone 5 in one of those countries today, let us know about your experience — about the pre-order process or standing in line, and most of all about how you like your new iPhone 5.

Then check out these links to get up to speed as fast as possible:

  • iPhone 5 review & feature guide
  • iCloud: The ultimate guide
  • Siri: The ultimate guide
  • Forum: iPhone 5 help and discussion
  • iOS 6 review & feature guide
  • iMessage: The ultimate guide
  • Photography: The ultimate guide
  • All help and how-to guides

If you haven’t gotten your knew iPhone 5 yet, but you’re thinking about it, check out our:

  • Complete iPhone 5 buyers guide

The iPhone app for Digg v1 has been updated to be a universal app for both iPhone and iPad. The iPad version offers the same version as the iPhone, just offers a more pleasant reading experience on the iPad’s larger screen. Speaking of larger screens, this update also includes support for the iPhone 5′s bigger display.

In addition to iPad support, Digg has added a “Reading Sync” feature that allows you to close the app in the middle of a store on one device and pick up where you left off on your other devices. You can also share articles via text and some of the UI elements have been simplified.

Have you used Digg for iPad, yet? The first thing I noticed is that scrolling through thumbnails of stories is a bit laggy. I’m snob when it comes to polished scrolling in apps, so this was enough for me to be turned off and close the app.

Free – Download Now

“A shortage of a new display technology used in Apple’s iPhone 5 is likely a big reason why the company shipped a lower-than-expected number of handsets in its debut weekend,” Patrick Seitz reports for Investor’s Business Daily.

MacDailyNews Take: “Lower than expected” by people without adequate information to make proper estimates.

“The 4-inch in-cell touch-screen display also is the most expensive component of Apple’s new smartphone, according to a tear-down estimate Tuesday by IHS iSuppli,” Seitz reports. “It’s estimated to cost $44 each, up from $37 for the 3.5-inch display used in last year’s model, the iPhone 4S.”

“Japan Display, LG Display and Sharp are making the displays for Apple, but they have experienced production problems, analysts say. The new displays pack the touch sensors and liquid crystals into the same layer, allowing for thinner LCD screens and a thinner phone,” Seitz reports. “At 7.6 millimeters thick, the iPhone 5 is 18% thinner than its predecessor.”

Seitz reports, “Besides the in-cell touch-screen, there’s a new baseband chip for 4G LTE wireless from Qualcomm and a new case for the device, Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu said. “‘It’s a combination of these new components that’s causing the supply constraints.’”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
DisplayMate: Apple’s iPhone 5 offers best smartphone display we have tested to date – September 24, 2012
iPhone 5 sales disappoint as Apple fails to produce units fast enough to meet demand – September 24, 2012
Apple iPhone 5 misses analysts’ estimates with over 5 million units sold in first weekend – September 24, 2012
Apple: iPhone 5 sales exceed five million units in first weekend; demand exceeded initial supply – September 24, 2012

The iMore show returns tonight for the world premiere of our iPhone 5 review! That’s right, we’ve finally done it and we’ve done it in exhaustive iMore style. Come join us as we talk it all over. (Brings snacks.)

Got a question? Leave it in the comments below, send it to podcast@imore.com, or tweet it to us with #imoreshow. Got it? Good! Join us LIVE at 6pm PT, 9pm ET, 2am BST. Set an alarm. Bookmark this page. Be here.

Want to go full screen? Head to iMore.com/live. Want to watch via iPhone or iPad? Grab the Ustream app and search for “mobilenations”!

“A bug in the way Samsung’s TouchWiz UI interacts with USSD codes on Android smartphones may allow an attacker to perform a factory reset on susceptible devices, simply by embedding a link on a website or sending an SMS,” Matt Brian reports for TNW.

“An attacker could load the code in a website, SMS, an NFC Android Beam connection or via a QR code, have the user either visit the link or click it on their smartphone and it is possible to completely wipe the device without warning or giving the user the chance to stop it,” Brian reports.

Brian reports, “So far the following devices have been reportedly been confirmed to be affected: Galaxy S Advance; Galaxy S II (video); Galaxy S III; Galaxy Ace; Galaxy Beam.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Open.”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "David G." for the heads up.]

“This week, I decided I finally had enough. After almost three years as an Android smartphone user, I ordered an out of contract, full-retail Verizon iPhone 5, just like my ZDNet colleague Matt Miller, in order to preserve my unlimited data plan,” Jason Perlow writes for ZDNet.

“Why did I do it? Well, in all honesty, I probably would have done it a year earlier had the iPhone 4S had LTE capability,” Perlow writes. “But 4G was a highly important consideration for me, so at the time I traded in my original Motorola Droid for a Droid Bionic. I liked the Bionic, for a time. Indeed, it heated up real good when LTE was running and it chewed up a battery charge like a Bugatti Veyron depletes its gas tank, but after several months of using the product I came to the sad realization that Motorola was effectively lying to me.”

“The promised Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade? Wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. It’s now the end of the 3rd quarter of 2012, one year after I purchased that phone, and it still hasn’t been updated,” Perlow writes. “And now the Android world has already moved onto version 4.1, Jelly Bean. So when the Bionic does get its software update, it will already be outdated.”

Perlow writes, “Contrast this with the yearly hardware refresh and software refreshes from Apple, where everyone with an iOS device within two generations of the current product release can achieve (mostly) software parity at exactly the same time, regardless of what carrier their device operates on… it’s a known quantity, it operates reliably, it provides access to the most popular applications created on the most preferred developer platform, it frees me from the software upgrade and compatability angst, and gives me an alternative outlet to my carrier in the form of actual Apple retail stores with real human beings I can talk to that can deal with problems should they arise.”

Much more in the full article here.

Steve Kovach reports for The Business Insider, “100 million people upgraded their iPhones and iPads to iOS 6, the new mobile operating system that launched less than a week ago.”

“According to Google’s own stats, 57% of Android users are still running a version called Gingerbread, which is approaching two years old. It was released in December 2010,” Kovach reports. “Next to that, 21% of Android devices are running Ice Cream Sandwich, which was released in November 2011. A pitiful 1.2% of Android devices are running Jelly Bean, Google’s latest version of Android that was released in July… Apple is able to deliver its latest and greatest operating systems to all users on day one. Android users don’t get that advantage.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers "Edward W.," "Al," and "Jdoc" for the heads up.]

Related article:
Apple’s iOS 6 already on 15% of iOS devices within just 24 hours – September 20, 2012

Weather 2x is an iPhone and iPad app that will make even the worst of weather conditions look amazing — especially on the iPhone 5′s new display. The information provided by Weather 2x includes the current condition and a 5-day forecast that can be broken up into 3-hour intervals. Weather 2x does not include in-depth details about the weather, like radars, but rather focuses on bringing the most important information to you in an elegant and beautiful package.

The main screen of Weather 2x will show a photo that represents the current weather conditions at the location you are viewing. These photos are absolutely stunning and really make Weather 2x a joy to look at. Elegantly placed over the photo, you’ll see the current temperature, city, time, and a small description about the current weather, like “Clear/Sunny” or “Cloudy”. If you tap the screen once, the little description will be replaced with a row of new information: precipitation, visibility, humidity, pressure level details, and wind speed and direction.

A double-tap to the screen will bring up the 5-day forecast. On the iPhone, the forecast will slide up from the bottom, and on the iPad, it will part open a section of the bottom of the screen to reveal itself. On the iPhone, you can also slide the screen up, instead of double-tapping, to bring up the 5-day forecast if you prefer. For each day, Weather 2x will show an icon that represents the weather and the anticipated high and low.

To see the forecast over the next 5 days in 3-hour intervals, slide the screen over to the left for a scrollable list. For each interval, you’ll see an icon and the forecasted temperature.

If you slide the screen to right, you’ll see a list of all the places you’ve saved and all their current weather conditions. To delete a city, hold your finger down on it to put it in “jiggly” mode, then hit the x to delete. You can also rearrange your locations when they’re in jiggly mode.

The Settings screen is where you go to switch to the metric system or 24-hour time as well as enable sound effects, iCloud sync, local weather, and the time.

The good

  • Stunning weather visuals featuring subtle animations
  • Track, manage and maintain unlimited weather locations around the globe
  • Current weather conditions
  • 5 day weather forecast
  • Hourly weather forecast breakdown
  • Extended weather information including Precipitation, Visibility, Humidity, and Pressure level details, and wind speed and direction
  • Fahrenheit or Celsius
  • View current weather conditions for multiple cities
  • Gesture driven interface
  • Sync preferences and weather locations via iCloud
  • “Local Weather” feature – automatically updates based on current location
  • Share weather conditions via Twitter or Email

The bad

  • Some users report that the temperature can be 5-10 degrees off

The bottom line

Weather 2x is an absolutely gorgeous weather app for both the iPhone and iPad — the best I’ve seen. The included gestures are perfect and intuitive and the information is displayed and organized in a very elegant manner. If you’re in the market for a beautiful weather app for your iPhone or iPad or both (with iCloud sync!), do not pass this one up.

$0.99 – Download Now

TechCrunch reports that Apple is aggressively pursuing former and current Google Maps employees as part of its effort to build out its own Mapping solution.

My source – a contractor who worked on Google Maps as part of a massive undertaking to integrate Street View and newly licensed third-party data to improve European coverage, as well as develop the platform’s turn-by-turn navigation – says that when attention turned to indoor mapping, things started to become less interesting and a lot of staff began looking around for other opportunities.

Apple’s own Mapping solution launched as part of iOS 6 just last week. The launch was marred by significant criticism of the quality of the data in many parts of the world. Apple has posted a number of job listings for Maps-related jobs over the past few weeks. Given Google’s history and resources placed into their own mapping solution, it’s no surprise that many qualified candidates may have worked on Google’s product as well.

Early rumors had suggested that Google has already submitted their own Maps application to the iOS app store, but that seems to have been debunked by The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple. It still seems that Google may be working on their own iOS app this time, but TechCrunch’s prediction of a “before Christmas” target may be a more realistic timeframe.

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