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Featured by TechTV, Fox News and The New York Times were definitely some of the highlights from this long journey that we will never forget.

iPhone Developer Guide

Thinking about making applications for the iPhone? Apple released an iPhone developer guide to offer guidelines for creating widgets and applications that will integrate with the device’s Safari browser, mail and mapping applications.
IM chat service Meebo, mini-blogging service Jaiku and gaming site WeeWar have already developed iPhone versions of their software. The following guidelines will help developers prepare web content and design a website or web-based application for iPhone. BeSocial: iphone developer guide | digg story | methodshop Continue Reading

500,000 iPhones Sold Last Weekend

The iPhone was one of the most anticipated product launches of 2007. So how did it do? According to Blackfriars, an analyst firm that has been monitoring Apple’s stores, iPhone sales topped 500,000 last weekend. Here’s a quote from the Blackfriars daily blog:
“The bottom line: some analysts claimed that the iPhone launch would be a failure if Apple failed to sell 100,000 iPhones during the first weekend. Based upon the limited data we have, we believe that number was exceeded in just the first two to three hours. Blackfriars’ prediction is that Apple will sell 500,000 iPhones this weekend, and based upon limited sales rates reported, that number now looks quite achievable. The only question is whether the demand and iPhone supply is great enough that they might push past the million unit mark this weekend.”
Apple must be pleased with such strong sales over the first weekend, it will be interesting to see if they can keep the sales up, over the coming weeks and months. BeSocial: digg story | methodshop Continue Reading

iPhone Rate Plans Revealed

Today Apple posted a page detailing the cost of the iPhone rate plans (US). And they aren’t as bad as most people had thought. All plans have unlimited data (nice!) – $60 for 450 minutes, $80 for 900 minutes and $100 for 1350 minutes. Existing AT&T customers can add unlimited data for $20 – $40 with a varying number of text messages.
  • All iPhone service plans include Visual Voicemail and unlimited data — Internet and email — so you only have to decide how many minutes and SMS text messages you need. You’ll select your plan when you activate your iPhone using iTunes on your computer.
  • If you’re already an AT&T customer and want to keep your current voice plan, you can just add an iPhone Data Plan with unlimited data (email and web) and Visual Voicemail for just $20 per month.
BeSocial: iphone plans | digg story | methodshop Continue Reading

YouTube Coming to Apple TV

Wish you could watch YouTube videos on your Apple TV? Sometime in June, all Internet connected Apple TV boxes will accept a free software patch that will enable wireless streaming of YouTube videos. YouTube is making thousands of clips available each week until thier full catalog is accessible later this fall. You’ll be able browse the YouTube content on your Apple TV in a variety of ways including: featured, top viewed, recently viewed, history, and even by search. I’m dreading the search option. If you haven’t used the Apple TV yet, there’s a USB port in the back of the device, but you currently can’t use a keyboard for some reason. Entering text on the Apple TV is the equivalent of typing in your initials for the high score screen in an arcade game. Very painful without a keyboard. So how chewy will these compressed YouTube videos look on your HD TV? I’ve already ripped a bunch of music videos off YouTube, converted them to MPEG-4 videos and saved them in iTunes. Honestly, the Flash encoded YouTube videos look like crap on a HD TV. YouTube doesn’t even look good when stretched out to its default 480 x 360, let alone 640 x 480 or HD. But YouTube does have thousands of clips and can provide endless hours of entertainment. Fuzzy, but fun. Apple also announced a new Apple TV model with a 160 GB hard drive for $400. You’ll still be able to buy the old 40 GB version for $300, but personally, I think $100 for 4x the storage is a great deal. You can read more about the Apple TV here: Apple TV Review
apple tv
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Cingular Brand Killed Before iPhone Launch

After purchasing the remaining 40 percent of Cingular last year, AT&T has begun the process of rebranding some 1,800 Cingular stores. The telecom, which will be the sole carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., is undertaking the rebranding move just weeks before Apple’s hotly anticipated smartphone hits the market.
“Our branding Email Marketing Software – Free Demo campaign is performing at and above projected levels, and customer response has been very positive,” Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chief operating officer, said. The San Antonio-based phone giant is accelerating its rebranding efforts of one of the best-known brands in the market, and will make the orange “Jack” logo and Cingular name disappear from new devices being sold. The decision to move to this phase of the branding campaign is based on research that indicates that consumer awareness of AT&T — one of the best-known, most durable and iconic brands in the world — is high and ahead of expectations, the company said. Continue Reading

Watch YouTube on Your Apple TV

Here’s a YouTube video showing off a new Apple TV plug-in called “A Series of Tubes.” The plug-in allows you to browse YouTube videos on your Apple TV. Sure, the Flash encoded YouTube videos look like crap on a HDTV. YouTube doesn’t even look good when stretched out to its default 480 x 360, let alone 640 x 480 or HD. But YouTube does have thousands of clips and can provide endless hours of entertainment. Not ready to start tinkering around with plug-ins for your Apple TV? You can still save videos off YouTube and convert them for your iPod/iTunes. Check out this tutorial: How to Copy Videos Off YouTube. Continue Reading

Toilet Tunes: iCarta iPod Dock Review

The bathroom. It’s one of the most important (and hopefully used) rooms of your home. So much so, that people usually add radios to their bathrooms and provide a soundtrack to their personal grooming and thinking. But isn’t this the iPod generation? Why just settle for a radio? The iCarta iPod dock lets you bring and enjoy your iPod into your private sanctuary. This iPod dock is integrated into a toilet paper holder and is compatible with all dockable iPods. It features four integrated high performance moisture-free speakers and is powered by an AC adapter… so you can power up your iPod while you download. For showering, shaving, and all other things you might use your bathroom for, enjoy your music your way. Bring in your iPod. Let it enhance each moment of your life. Power Requirements:
  • 12V, 1.5A AC adapter Unit Dimension
  • Width 8.25 x Height 3.68 x Depth 7.12 inch, 210mm x 93mm x 181mm
  • Accepts standard toilet paper rolls
You can charge your iPod while playing music. The only problem is that it isn’t waterproof – but then again, neither is an iPod. By the way, that song stinks. Light a match. Continue Reading

Apple Asks Video Podcasters to Increase Quality

Last week Apple sent out an email (screenshot courtesy of TechCrunch.com) to video podcasters asking them to increase the quality of their productions and start formatting their videos for the big screen. Since the launch of the Apple TV (full review here) in March, Apple TVs have been selling like hotcakes and video podcast subscription numbers have skyrocketed. Apple TV owners, who don’t necessarily want to spend lots of money in the iTunes Store, are gobbling up video podcasts like never before. Even though there currently isn’t any HD quality videos for sale in the iTunes Store, the Apple TV is capable of HD video playback. So several popular video podcasters, including The Washington Post, TWIT (MacBreak), Revision3 (Diggnation) and Vintage Tooncast, have decided to fill the void of HD content by distributing their podcasts in HD or hi res quality. Why hasn’t everyone started distributing their video podcasts in HD? Money. Not only does producing an HD podcasts require extra hard drive space (roughly 4 times more), special cameras and editing software, but just hosting these giant video files on the Internet can be enough to bankrupt your entire production. For example, the iPod Video version of MacBreak episode 63 is 21 MBs. The HD version is 93 MBs. To help alleviate increased HD production costs, many podcasters have reached out to HD television manufacturers like Samsung and Panasonic to get them to sponsor their new HD podcasts.
For video podcasters who are still producing content at 320×240 but want to do something to increase quality, there is an intermediary step before going HD. Podcasters can start by migrating their productions to 640×480, or even 640×360 (letterbox). This way their video files will still be compatible with portable media players like the Zune and iPod, but will also work on the Apple TV. If the material is carefully encoded, it will look as good or better than typical TV. Read the rest of this entry » Continue Reading

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