March 30, 2012

Apple’s last-generation Digital AV Adapter ‘not optimized’ for new iPad

By Josh Ong

Published: 10:00 PM EST (07:00 PM PST)
A new report notes that attempting to use an old Apple Digital AV Adapter with the new iPad results in an alert that it is “not optimized” for the device, though the accessory still works once the alert is dismissed. Apple also appears to have slightly modified the Smart Cover-compatible magnets on the right side of the iPad, possibly affecting some third-party covers.

Japan’s MacOtakara reported on Friday that the older version of the Apple Digital AV Adapter, part number MC953ZM/A, displays a “This accessory is not optimized for this iPad” alert when connected to the just-released third-generation iPad.

Apple is selling a new version of the adapter, part number MD098ZM/A, that is compatible with the new iPad. It’s not immediately clear, however, what changes

Report author Danbo wrote that tapping “Dismiss” would allow the older adapter to be used, but users will see the alert each time they connect the part.

Apple released the original $ 39 Digital AV Adapter alongside the iPad 2 last year, adding HDMI output to for the iPhone 4, fourth-generation iPod touch and the iPad and iPad 2. The accessory features an HDMI port and a Dock passthrough.

MacOtakara also reported that Apple has made changes to the magnetic sensor that interacts with the Smart Cover to put the new iPad to sleep, though Apple’s own Smart Covers still work with the device.

“However, since the position or sensitivity of magnetic sensor was changed, 3rd party’s cover which has magnetic sleeping feature may not work perfectly,” the report read.

Danbo pointed out that Apple has yet to outline the changes in its “Dimensional Drawings” resource on its developer website, so case makers will have to do their own research to identify the exact nature of the changes.

Since the new iPad arrives on Friday, some countries have already begun selling the device. Shortly after the tablet went on sale in Australia, iFixit posted a teardown of the device, revealing a Samsung-built Retina Display and the A5X processor. Apple Stores in the U.S. are set to release the new iPad at 8 a.m. local time.

AppleInsider

PayPal unveils competitor to Square’s credit card reader

By Mikey Campbell

Published: 08:35 PM EST (05:35 PM PST)
EBay-owned payment giant PayPal is looking to further expand its presence beyond online transactions, and announced on Thursday it will be introducing a credit card-reading smartphone attachment aimed at small retailers that will be in direct competition with existing solutions like Square.

The new service, called PayPal Here, is part of the company’s gradual move into brick-and-mortar stores and will target small businesses that do not currently have comprehensive payment systems in place, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Since PayPal’s inception in 1998, the company’s online money transfer service has become the de facto payment solution for many websites, but the eBay subsidiary has been gradually expanding into the physical space.

“What consumers are looking for is the ability to shop anytime, anywhere,” said eBay CEO John Donahoe. He added that with PayPal Here, a merchant needs only a smartphone to accept payments.

The addition of the new triangular credit card reader extends the service and works exactly like Square’s offering, which plugs directly into a smartphone’s headphone jack. Unlike Square, however, PayPal’s reader currently only supports the iPhone, though an iPad-native app as well as Android versions will be available soon.

Along with the card reader, merchants can manually enter a customer’s credit card information, scan cards with the iPhone’s camera or email a customer an invoice for later payment. In addition, U.S. users will be able to take pictures of personal checks to receive payment.

The service will take a 2.7 percent commission for each credit card swipe or PayPal transaction, while check payments will be free. Interestingly, merchants who scan or manually input credit card information will have to take a 3.5 percent hit plus a 15 cent fee per transaction.

PayPal Here has already rolled out to select merchants in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Australia and should be available to the public within the next few weeks.

AppleInsider

The Most Brutally Honest New iPad Review You’ll Ever See [Video]

The Most Brutally Honest New iPad Review You’ll Ever See [Video]

Last night the web was assaulted with a slew of new iPad reviews. Sure, some of the reviewers remarked on a few silly things that they didn’t like, but the early reviews were overwhelmingly positive. Did Apple’s handpicked early reviewers really really like the new iPad? Or were they holding back criticism because they wanted to stay in Apple’s good graces? Maybe it was both. One thing’s for certain, this latest video review from Funny or Die is hilariously honest in its assessment of Apple’s newest tablet

[via Gizmodo]

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busterheineBuster Heine heads Cult of Mac’s Social Media presence as well as contributes posts as often as he gets around to it. Twitter: twitter.com/bst3r.

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Cult of Mac

Apple launches Retina-ready iPad apps section

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 07:40 PM EST (04:40 PM PST)
In preparation of the upcoming Friday launch of its new iPad, Apple on Thursday put together a list of 24 apps that best utilize the new tablet’s high resolution Retina Display.

Since the new iOS software development kit was released in early March, app makers have been busy updating and submitting software that can take advantage of the high resolution screen found on Apple’s third-generation iPad.

Just hours before its newest iPad is scheduled to launch, Apple has gathered together 24 of the best and most popular apps that support the tabelet’s Retina Display. The selected apps can be browsed and purchased through iTunes, or if a user already owns a previous version of the software it can be directly downloaded from the iPad’s App Store app.

Standout apps include Tweetbot, which boasts full Retina Display compatibility and a new streaming option, and two of the apps demoed at Apple’s iPad-centric special event; SketchBook Pro, the Autodesk drawing app and Namco’s new game, Sky Gambler’s: Air Supremacy.

AppleInsider

Could Google Wallet Be Coming To iOS?

Could Google Wallet Be Coming To iOS?
Experts at the Intrepidus Mobile Security Group came across some interesting parsers definitions within Google Wallet’s source code that could hint at a possible iOS release. How Google actually plans on getting Google Wallet to work on a non-NFC/SE iOS device is another story, but for now, let’s take a look at the iOS definitions found by Intrepidus.

The first hints came within the “WalletShared” protocol buffers package which contained “IOS” values within the defining “DeviceContext -> HardwareType” field (you can see those in the image above). Later they found other hints within two additional protocol buffers called “IosDevice” and “IosWallet.” While the details were scarce, they call for information such as “appId”, “appVersion”, “walletUuid”, and a few “model” and “version” items.

Could Google Wallet Be Coming To iOS?

While iOS applications are written in Objective C and Android in Java, Intrepidus does a good job of explaining why we’re seeing these iOS definitions within the Android app:

A developer typically creates a “.proto” file, which is a programming language independent file which defines the data structure. This “.proto” file is then compiled using the “protoc” application and creates the appropriate files for the language you are programming in. Thus, it’s simple to use the same “.proto” file to create a Java object or an Objective C object if they are both going to use the same data structure. While Objective C is not in the official protocol buffers package, there is an add-on for that language available. Thus it is quite likely if there was a “shared” data structure which both clients and the server would need to parse, the same “.proto” file would be used regardless of the application’s programming language.

I’m extremely happy to see Google committed to bringing their contactless payment system to as many devices as possible, but I have serious doubts of how they will accomplish this with iOS devices. It’s possible they have inside information about the iPhone 5 having NFC but even if that were true, I find it hard to believe Apple would allow Google Wallet to be the premier contactless payment option. Then there’s the fact that the majority of carriers have already made it obvious that they are against fair competition and have blocked Google Wallet from having a chance against their joint Isis venture.

It’s also plausible to think that they’re simply betting on some sort of consumer NFC sticker to make all this possible via a web app but there’s still the issue of security and whether or not such a method would open the doors for criminals to easily steal your information. Regardless of the “what ifs,” the source code surely hints at the possibility so we’ll just have to wait and see.

What do you guys think, will we see Google Wallet on iOS? Do you think the iPhone 5 will support this out-of-the-box or do you see this as a third party workaround? Google needs something because as it stands, they’re stacked against some pretty big cards. I, for one, am riding the Google Wallet train, how about you?

Source: Intrepidus Group

(Via Cult of Android.)

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Cult of Mac

Labor protestors plan demonstrations for iPad launch

By Mikey Campbell

Published: 06:01 PM EST (03:01 PM PST)
Protestors looking to steal a bit of Apple’s iPad launch day thunder are preparing to hold demonstrations at various Apple Store locations on Friday in hopes of spreading awareness about the labor conditions in the Chinese factories making the device.

Instead of asking for broad third-party supplier labor reforms, investigations, and “an ethical iPhone, Change.org campaigners will take to Apple retail outlets on Friday in a push for Apple to build “an ethical iPad,” reports GigaOM.

The protestors, lead by organizer Mark Shields, will take advantage of the hype surrounding the new iPad’s launch and hold multi-store demonstrations when retail locations open at 8 a.m. in Washington, D.C., New York City and San Francisco.

Despite Apple’s continuing efforts toward bettering labor conditions in its contracted factories in China, Shields says that more can be done.

“It’s great to see Apple taking important steps like the factory audit this month, and pay raises for the factory workers,” Shields said. “But Apple hasn’t crossed the finish line yet. New product releases, like the iPad 3 this week, have typically been the most dangerous for workers because of the incredible pressure they are under to meet release production deadlines.”

Shields’ online petition asking for the protection of Chinese factory workers has gathered over 251,000 signatures, and has sparked a media blitz regarding the conditions under which Apple products are made. The movement first gained momentum when a pair of New York Times reports investigated major Chinese electronics builder Foxconn, which is a major Apple contractor, over alleged worker abuse.

Despite Foxconn’s impressive client list of electronic heavyweights that include Microsoft, HP and Sony, the burden of guilt has been placed squarely on Apple by Change.org and SumOfUs.org.

In response to the mounting criticism, Apple asked the Fair Labor Association to conduct an inspection of its third-party suppliers in Asia. Although the FLA noted that Foxconn’s factories were “first class,” the auditors did find that many issues needed to be resolved. Workers at the factory later claimed that Foxconn hid underage workers from inspectors in order to avoid scrutiny.

In Apple’s annual supplier code of conduct, employees may be aged 16 to 18 years old if they can legally work, though special restrictions limit the type and amount of work they perform.

Most recently, it was reported that Apple allegedly conducted an inspection of an iPad factory run by Chinese company Pegatron immediately before a blast occurred that injured 61 people. The claim brings into question whether Apple’s audits are effective in stopping workplace accidents.

The planned Friday protests follow a series of demonstrations in February, though the high turnout for the iPad launch is expected to bring a larger media presence for Change.org to exploit.

AppleInsider

Namco’s “Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy” Retina iPad Game Goes Live In The App Store

The Retina-ready iPad game Namco demoed onstage at Apple’s media event last week has gone live in the App Store. Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy costs $ 5 as a universal download for the iPhone and iPad.

Like Skies of Glory and other 3D flight simulators, Sky Gamblers uses your iOS device’s accelerometer and gyroscopes to control your fighter jet in the air. The graphics looked stunning onstage last week, so we can’t wait to try this game on our new iPads this weekend!

FORGET EVERYTHING YOU’VE PLAYED! THIS IS THE ULTIMATE AIR COMBAT GAME that’s taking the world by storm! Designed with the latest iOS technology and features, Air Supremacy is a never-before-seen 3D experience. With an extensive single player campaign and revolutionary multiplayer modes, the non-stop action will keep you at the edge of your seat!

Do you have what it takes to become the supreme lord of the skies?

A LEVEL OF GAMING NEVER SEEN BEFORE AND IT’S ONLY ON iOS!
Until now, only consoles could deliver this kind of immersive audio-visual gaming experience. With iOS, Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad brings you unparalleled visuals, special effects and audio including: bump mapping, atmospheric scattering, volumetric clouds with realistic lighting, sun glare, day & night transitions, God rays and more! And with Airplay, it’s explosive entertainment for all your friends and family!

AN OPTIMIZED EXPERIENCE AVAILABLE ON iPAD AND iPHONE 4S
The newest iOS devices offer even more enhancements: high definition textures with 4x greater detail, 4x anisotropic filtering, High Dynamic Range (HDR) rendering, radial blur, jet engine heat haze, refractive raindrops and more!

Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy is available in the App Store now.

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Cult of Mac

First Look: New 1080p Apple TV

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Alongside the new iPad, Apple released a new Apple TV with updated hardware capable of receiving (via AirPlay) and displaying 1080p video on an HDTV set.





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AppleInsider

Tim Cook Grilled Path CEO At Apple HQ Over Contact Privacy Scandal

Tim Cook Grilled Path CEO At Apple HQ Over Contact Privacy Scandal

You don’t want to cross Tim Cook.

Apple has always taken privacy very seriously. When it was discovered that popular app Path secretly uploaded an iPhone user’s entire address book to its servers, the media reacted very strongly and Apple was forced to get involved. Path was violating Apple’s terms of agreement, and it was discovered that many other apps in the App Store had been doing the same thing for quite some time. Apple said that it would clarify the privacy issue for end users with a future iOS update.

High-profile meetings take place at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California all the time, but the public rarely gets to hear about what is said behind closed doors. As it turns out, Path CEO Dave Morin was summoned to Cupertino by Apple CEO Tim Cook to talk about the recent privacy scandal his app caused.

Bloomberg Businessweek reveals:

Path co-founder Dave Morin got hauled into Apple’s headquarters to be grilled by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and other executives, according to people familiar with the meeting but not authorized by Apple to discuss it.

Dave Morin isn’t your average member of Silicon Valley. He formerly served as a key member at Facebook and has also worked on product and marketing at Apple. We can’t imagine how nerve-racking it must have been to sit down with the new Apple boss for a chat.

Thankfully, it’s all been worked out and Path won’t steal your contacts anymore. It looks like Tim Cook made sure of that.

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Cult of Mac

OnCue music player updated to version 5.0; total rewrite makes it awesome

Former TUAW contributor Dan Pourhadi has become quite the iOS developer, and his OnCue app (US$ 2.99) keeps getting more features and popularity with every revision. The app was updated to version 5.01 this week, and has been burning up the iTunes App Store charts — it’s currently the #12 paid iPad music app and #24 on the iPhone.

In case you’re not familiar with OnCue, it’s an amazing mobile music player that gives users an easy way to create and arrange music queues. As an enhancement to your music library, it’s a fun way to create queues on your mobile device with no need to resort to your Mac or PC and iTunes.

Some of my favorite features are the ability to create those queues with just a tap-hold-drag-drop gesture, and the advanced crossfade capability. Dan has provided crossfade to make transitions between songs without gaps, and you can even customize the “fade in from” and “fade out to” volumes if needed.

Another feature that I love is the ability to create Smart Queues. Like many of the smart folder features you find in other apps — Mail.app is a good example — you can create re-usable filters that use a set of rules to queue up songs. This replicates the capabilities of the Smart Playlists in iTunes, but lets you create the queues on your mobile device instead of on your Mac or PC.


When you’re using OnCue on an iPhone, you can preview a song before adding it to your queue. I find the ability to get song lyrics, music videos, artist biographies, and a list of similar artists with a swipe-and-tap to be a huge plus. Be aware, however, that OnCue can’t play DRM-protected music (such as older songs from the iTunes Store that were never updated to iTunes Plus), and it also can’t play un-downloaded music that’s stored remotely in iTunes Match/iCloud.

For anyone who has used OnCue in the past, get the update now. If you haven’t used OnCue and listening to music is one of the major reasons you have an iOS device, buy it now.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog