January 27, 2012

Hands On With the Uber-Useful Launch Center, An Automator For iOS [Macworld 2012]

Here’s a quick look at AppCubby’s $ 0.99 Launch Center app, a very cool and useful app launcher that’s like Automator for iOS.

The app allows you to set up all kinds of actions and schedule them. Version 1.1 adds actions to iOS’s Notification Center. Take checking your Facebook messages, for example. This normally takes several steps: searching for the Facebook app, launching it and finding the messages tab. In Launch Center, you can set it up to check your messages every morning from just one finger-tap on the Notifications screen.

The app can be configured to work with a ton of apps and perform pretty complex actions, like calling your mom every week or adjusting the screen brightness down every night. Today’s update has prope and is already in the App Store’s Top 100. Here’s the app’s creator, David Barnard, showing how it works.

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Cult of Mac

SiriToggles Lets You Launch Apps And Change Settings On Your Jailbroken iPhone 4S

SiriToggles Lets You Launch Apps And Change Settings On Your Jailbroken iPhone 4S

A Cydia package by the name of SiriToggles brings functionality to Siri that Apple should have included from day one. With the free SiriToggles tweak on your jailbroken iPhone 4S, you can launch any app, change your system settings, and even turn your iPhone off with your voice.

While Apple has restricted Siri to a limited set of capabilities by default, SiriToggles liberates the virtual assistant for jailbreakers.

SiriToggles Lets You Launch Apps And Change Settings On Your Jailbroken iPhone 4S

Not only can you launch an app with your voice (“Open Maps,” for example), but you can toggle your iPhone’s settings quickly with Siri. The developer, Hamza Sood, has included multiple system toggles that the average user accesses daily. SiriToggles will let you toggle your iPhone’s Bluetooth, WiFi, Airplane Mode, and Data settings with your voice. Simply say either “enable/disable” or “turn on/turn off” followed by the setting and let SiriToggles work its magic.

SiriToggles Lets You Launch Apps And Change Settings On Your Jailbroken iPhone 4S

You can get your iPhone’s battery percentage by saying something like “How much battery do I have left?” or “What is my remaining battery percentage?” or “What’s my current battery level?” Your screen’s brightness can even be changed with Siri by saying “set/change backlight/brightness to x%”

After using SiriToggles for more than a day, I haven’t noticed a drain on battery life or performance. This tweak is a great addition for any jailbroken iPhone 4S, and I highly recommended downloading it now in Cydia. If you haven’t jailbroken your iPhone 4S yet, follow our tutorial.

Cult of Mac

Apple Gets Network License Needed To Launch iPhone On China Telecom

Apple Gets Network License Needed To Launch iPhone On China Telecom

Apple’s iPhone looks set to make its debut on China Telecom after the Cupertino company was granted a vital network access license needed to launch the device. The license is believed to be one of the final hurdles to overcome before the iPhone arrives with China’s third-largest mobile carrier.

China’s Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center previously revealed Apple’s plans for the device when it confirmed that it had approved an iPhone that supports China Telecom’s unique CDMA-2000 network. The approval is said to be a good indication that a launch is imminent, with handsets typically entering the market just weeks after obtaining the relevant licenses.

At things currently stand, Apple’s iPhone is exclusive to China Unicom in China because it does not support China Telecom’s 3G network, despite the iPhone 4S being labeled a “world phone.” However, it seems Apple has modified the device to support the network, in much the same way it modified the iPhone 4 for Verizon, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Previous reports have suggested that the iPhone will stay exclusive to China Unicom until the Chinese New Year, which takes place on January 23. It’s possible we’ll see its debut on China Telecom during February, bringing in as much as $ 9 million in revenue according to some analysts.

[via AppleInsider]

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also writes for TechnoBuffalo. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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Cult of Mac

China Telecom iPhone launch nears as Apple receives vital network license

By Josh Ong

Published: 02:45 AM EST (11:45 PM PST)
One of the final obstacles to the arrival of Apple’s iPhone on the China Telecom network has been removed with the news that a Chinese regulatory agency has granted a network access license for the handset.

The website for China’s Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center revealed earlier this week that it had approved an iPhone capable of supporting China Telecom’s CDMA-2000 network, MarketWatch reports. The permit is often an indication that a launch is imminent, as approved handsets usually go on sale in the country within weeks of receiving network access licenses.

Apple’s current iPhone 4S model, despite being a “world phone” with both GSM and CDMA functionality, is not natively capable of running on China Telecom’s 3G network. The iPhone 4S officially went on sale in the country last week, but the launch was marred by a near riot caused by scalpers and professional line-waiters outside of its flagship retail store in Beijing.

The Cupertino, Calif., company then elected to delay sales of the handset from its five retail stores in China, instead making the device available through its partners. China Unicom, the only one of China’s three wireless operators to officially carry the iPhone, offers steep subsidies for the iPhone 4S with multi-year service contracts.

Last week, reports emerged that a new CDMA-2000-compatible iPhone, classified with the model number A1387, had already received regulatory approval from China’s Radio Management agency and was awaiting a network access license. It’s not immediately clear, however, whether the approved iPhone will be a modified iPhone 4S or an older model.

Leaks revealed last year that China Telecom engineers were testing the Verizon CDMA iPhone 4 and had succeeded in getting the device to work on its network. The carrier’s chairman said last May that it had reached a deal with Apple to carry the iPhone, but he was unable to provide details on when that would take place.

Analysts have estimated that a partnership with China Telecom could open up a revenue opportunity of as much as $ 9 billion for Apple. Even as the smallest carrier in China, the company had 123.4 million mobile customers as of the end of November, with roughly 33.4 million subscribers to its 3G services.

Earlier reports had suggested that China Unicom would remain China’s exclusive iPhone provider until at least Chinese New Year, which takes place on Jan. 23 this year. After channel checks with “value chain suppliers,” one analyst suggested last year that China Telecom wouldn’t receive the iPhone until February or March 2012 at the earliest.

The arrival of the iPhone on China Telecom would leave China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless carrier with 650 million customers at the end of 2011, as the only operator in China without Apple’s best-selling handset. China Mobile executives have suggested that Apple and the company are working on a deal to release a 4G TD-LTE-compatible iPhone in the future, but the carrier’s TD-LTE network is still undergoing testing. Even without official support or 3G service for the iPhone, more than 10 million customers use the smartphone on their network.

AppleInsider

Nielsen: iPhone 4S launch was “enormous”

With all the lines here in the US and overseas, we knew the iPhone 4S was going to be a tremendous hit. Now, a Nielsen survey from December gives us some numbers to support this observation. According to the survey, 44.5 percent of smartphone buyers bought an iPhone in December. This number is up from the 25.1 percent who bought an iPhone in the pre-4S month of October. It’s also remarkably close to the 46.9 percent who bought an Android device.

The majority of buyers (57 percent) chose the iPhone 4S over the iPhone 4 or the 3GS. This surge in iPhone 4S sales had a profound impact on Android. Google’s mobile OS still edges out iOS (46.9 percent versus 44.5 percent), but its share of new phone sales has fallen from 61.6 percent in October. As pointed out by Phillip Elmer De-Witt of Fortune’s Apple 2.0 blog, these Nielsen results are not unique; a similar trend was recorded by NPD last month.

Though the single iPhone 4S couldn’t overtake the plethora of Android handsets, it did grab a substantial chunk when Android had a strong profile of available handsets. All the carriers have more than one Android handset, and Samsung launched the flagship Galaxy Nexus with Verizon during the month. Despite this high profile launch, Android numbers slid, while iOS gained.

[Via Apple 2.0]



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

iPhone 4S launch propels surging Apple 20% to close the gap with Android

By Sam Oliver

Published: 08:35 AM EST (05:35 AM PST)
The launch of the iPhone 4S last October had an “enormous impact” on the U.S. smartphone landscape, boosting Apple’s share among new buyers by almost 20 percent and putting it neck-and-neck with Android in December.

The latest quarterly sales data from Nielsen shows that while just 25.1 percent of American smartphone buyers in October chose an iPhone, that number ballooned to 44.5 percent in December. In addition, 57 percent of new iPhone owners polled in December indicated they bought an iPhone 4S.

Though Apple’s massive spike in sales helped the company close the gap on Android, Google’s mobile platform remains the most popular choice among smartphone owners in the U.S. Nielsen found that 46.3 percent of all domestic smartphone owners have an Android device, compared to the 30 percent share iOS holds.

But in October, before the iPhone 4S launched, Apple’s 25.1 percent share among recent smartphone acquirers was more than 35 percentage points below Android. In November, the gap was narrowed considerably to less than 10 points, and by December, the iPhone had come within 2.5 point of Android.

Apple finished the year with a 44.5 percent share among recent smartphone buyers, nipping at the heels of Android and its 46.9 percent share.

RIM’s BlackBerry platform continued a downward slide through the end of 2011, dropping from a 7.7 percent share among recent smartphone buyers in October, to just 4.5 percent in December. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile, Nokia’s Symbian, and HP’s Palm webOS combined for just over 5 percent of recent purchases.

Nielsen also found that as of the fourth quarter of calendar 2011, 46 percent of U.S. mobile consumers had smartphones. The number is growing quickly, and 60 percent of those who bought a new handset in the last three months chose a smartphone.

Apple’s tremendous performance in December is a major turnaround from what Nielsen found last September, when the iPhone represented 28 percent of recent smartphone sales in the U.S. At the time, Android was continuing to grow and held a 43 percent share.

At the time, Nielsen cautioned that Apple’s market share could “change quickly” with the launch of a new product. Only weeks later, the company introduced the iPhone 4S.

AppleInsider

Bloomberg: iPad 3 production underway, to launch in March

By Mikey Campbell

Published: 05:15 PM EST (02:15 PM PST)
Rumors surrounding Apple’s upcoming iPad 3 have been swirling as an expected March launch date quickly approaches, and now sources say the yet-to-be-announced tablet will include LTE and be made by Chinese manufacturer Foxconn.

Citing information from three Chinese sources close to the matter, Bloomberg on Friday said that the iPad 3 entered mass production earlier in January, and Apple’s Chinese manufacturing partners are working around the clock to get the highly-anticipated product out by March.

One of the sources claims that manufacture is quickly ramping up and should reach full volumes by February. Factories are expected to take a break during China’s Lunar New Year, and will hit peak capacity shortly following the holiday.

Sources also corroborated previous rumors that the iPad 3 will feature a new quad-core processor, LTE functionality and a high-resolution Retina Display that has more pixels than some high-definition TVs.

LTE compatibility has been rumored since a line of code was found in GSM iPhone 4 and iPad 2 builds of iOS 5, and there have been ongoing rumblings of a Retina Display being developed akin to the one found on the iPhone 4.

Apple has yet to announce any work on a new processor, but Samsung is expected to supply the company with a next-generation A6 quad-core CPU that was rumored to be in testing since August 2011.

The company refused to comment on availability, but rumors of a March release have remained stable and pictures of alleged parts for the tablet continue to crop up.

AppleInsider

China launch of iPhone 4S goes awry as crowds overwhelm Beijing flagship store

The mainland China launch of the iPhone 4S hasn’t gone as planned in Beijing, according to reports from Bloomberg, MIC Gadget and other sources.

When massive crowds at Apple’s flagship store in the capital city began to cause crowding problems (and when Apple employees and Chinese security personnel realized that the vast majority of the queued would-be buyers were scalpers looking to purchase & then resell the in-demand phones), the store opening was delayed. Angry linewaiters began chanting for the store to open, eventually throwing eggs at the store facade.

Now the announcement has apparently been made: no more queuing, and no iPhone 4S sales at the Beijing flagship store today. Other stores in the capital and in Shanghai apparently had no such crowd control issues, and China Unicom sent text reminders to subscribers that they could order the iPhone 4S for free home delivery.

[via MacRumors]



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

SWAT Teams Break Up iPhone 4S Launch Chaos In Beijing

SWAT Teams Break Up iPhone 4S Launch Chaos In Beijing

The iPhone 4S is set to finally launch in China tomorrow, but that hasn’t stopped the locals from lining up early to secure access to the coveted handset. The line for Apple’s flagship store in Beijing has gotten so out of control that Apple may have to cancel the launch there altogether.

Reports are coming in that Beijing SWAT teams have already been called in to handle thousands of angry scalpers and potential customers. There have reportedly been fights in the streets between gangs of professional scalpers that buy Apple devices in bulk to then resale at a higher price.

AppleInsider:

One journalist on location in Beijing claimed that Apple had canceled the launch because fights had broken out during the night, while some crowd members claimed Apple would take orders for the iPhone 4S at the store on Friday without distributing the devices.

Groups of professional line-waiters and scalpers could be seen congregating outside the store early Friday. As the 7AM launch time came and went without Apple opening its doors, a number of them became disgruntled. Shouts of “Open the door!” rang periodically rang throughout the crowd. At one point, a group of unhappy line-waiters left shouting profanities at Apple. Several individuals were forcefully escorted away by security officials, though it was not immediately clear why they were being removed.

M.I.C Gadget is also reporting from the scene:

Lines outside the Apple store in Beijing’s Sanlitun district show no signs of shortening, causing frustration for the thousands of fans and scalpers desperate to get their hands on the iPhone 4S. Now some of that disappointment is turning to anger, with reports of fights breaking out between gangs of scalpers, and guess what, Beijing SWAT teams arrived. So, the Apple store employees later announced that the launch of iPhone 4S is cancelled at the Apple’s flagship store in Beijing, and all scalpers are pissed.

Bloomberg claims that people are egging the Sanlitun Apple Store in Beijing because of the launch delay. Apparently another store in Shanghai has already opened to the public and is selling the 4S.

China Unicom is offering the iPhone 4S for free with a carrier contract. Demand for new devices has always been strong, but, unfortunately, riots are nothing new for Apple product launches in China.

(Can’t find Similar Posts)

Cult of Mac

Unruly crowd disrupts iPhone 4S launch in Beijing

By Josh Ong

Published: 07:00 PM EST (04:00 PM PST)
As thousands of prospective customers gathered outside Apple’s retail stores in China in advance of the expected iPhone 4S launch on Friday, an unruly crowd has disrupted the release of Apple’s best-selling handset at its flagship location in Beijing.

Apple had previously announced that the iPhone 4S would go on sale at its Sanlitun retail store in Beijing at 7AM local time (6PM Eastern), but altercations between scalpers and line-waiters have allegedly delayed the launch. As of 8AM, the store had yet to open.

The imminent launch of Apple’s latest handset in China had attracted thousands of customers outside the company’s five stores throughout the country. Security barricades had originally been set up to manage the crowd at the Sanlitun store earlier in the week, but they were taken down sometime on Thursday night or Friday morning.

One journalist on location in Beijing claimed that Apple had canceled the launch because fights had broken out during the night, while some crowd members claimed Apple would take orders for the iPhone 4S at the store on Friday without distributing the devices.

Groups of professional line-waiters and scalpers could be seen congregating outside the store early Friday. As the 7AM launch time came and went without Apple opening its doors, a number of them became disgruntled. Shouts of “Open the door!” rang periodically rang throughout the crowd. At one point, a group of unhappy line-waiters left shouting profanities at Apple. Several individuals were forcefully escorted away by security officials, though it was not immediately clear why they were being removed.

AppleInsider has reached out to Apple for comment on the status of the iPhone 4S launch in China, but has yet to hear back from the company.

The 16GB iPhone 4S is selling for 4,988RMB ($ 790) on Apple China’s online store, while the 32GB and 64GB models sell for 5,888RMB and 6,788RMB, respectively. Estimated shipping time is currently two weeks. China Unicom is also offering iPhone 4S for free with a multi-year contract on plans starting at 286RMB ($ 45).

The well-organized secondary market in Beijing has led to conflicts at the Sanlitun store in the past. Last year, the release of the iPad 2 and white iPhone 4 was marred by an incident that resulted in a broken glass door and several injuries.

In addition to China, Apple is scheduled to launch the iPhone 4S in 21 more countries on Friday.

AppleInsider