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iPhone OS 3.0: Ars Benchmarks Mobile Safari -- 3x - 16x Faster than 2.2

We mentioned yesterday that iPhone OS 3.0's Mobile Safari Browser was being reported as faster than the current iPhone OS 2.2.1 version. Now Ars Technica has run the numbers and the results are pretty impressive. Check out their full report for all the details, but this sums it up nicely:

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Patent Watch: Apple Exploring Advanced Unlocking for Future iPhones?

No, not unlocking the iPhone from AT&T (JAR!), unlocking the iPhone so you can use it. Slide to unlock, passcode unlock, that kind of unlock. Okay, now if you're still reading, Apple Insider has found some patent filings that suggest Apple is exploring things like biometrics (i.e. it reads your fingerprint while you slide to unlock), facial recognition (i.e. uses the camera to analyze who you are/might be) and pattern matching (i.e. choose unique shape combinations as a passcode). But it doesn't stop there:

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App Store Start Your Approval Process: Here Comes Sling Player!

TiPb scored the above eyes-on way back at Macworld 2009, and now TUAW brings word that SlingMedia's Player for the iPhone has finally been submitted to the App Store. Of course, no one but the magic 8-ball knows how long it will take for -- or even if -- Apple to approve it, but this is SlingPlayer, folks, so we're taking even the tiny little steps as they come.

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US Apple Stores Now Selling Unsubsidized, Contract-Free iPhones?

Apple Insider is reporting that some US-based Apple Stores are, following a similar to move by AT&T, starting to sell unsubsidized and off-contract iPhones. Pricing is $599 for the 8GB model and $699 for the 16GB, but in this case there seems to be no restriction on the quantities purchased.

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Vodafone Portugal Launches Mobile TV App

Back in January, before iPhone 3.0 made MMS an impending feature for all (carrier depending!), Jose sent us word that Vodafone Portugal had launched their own iMMS app. Well, now Jose is back and so is Vodafone Portugal.. with Mobile TV:

an application to watch TV from the iPhone. The download is free but after that you have to pay a subscription. One day is 0,89€, one week is 1,97€ (first week free), one month is 7,44€ (first month free).

So is this another case of a carrier leading where Apple will one day soon follow? They have announced new live streaming capabilities in 3.0...

Screen shots after the break.

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Man Steals iPhone. Man Takes Photo. Man Emails Photo. Man Gets Busted.

One of my favorite quotes from the West Wing went something like "no amount of law enforcement money or manpower can equal a criminal being stupid". Today's case in point, via the New York Post, a man mugged a woman for her iPhone, used it to take a picture of himself, used her email on her iPhone to send his picture to his own email account:

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iPhone 3.0: Mobile Safari Using Nitro Engine for Ultra-Fast Web Browsing?

We so fondly remember Palm's Roger McNamee stating the Pre would be a million times faster on the web than the iPhone (now retracted), and even our sister-site PreCentral.net jumped on that band wagon, saying the Pre looked to be 4x faster than the iPhone.

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Skype for iPhone Coming Soon?

While it may not be the holy grail, it's definitely one of the most prized treasures of thus-far undelivered iPhone apps: Skype. Well, GigaOM says maybe not for much longer:

A tipster — a very reliable one — tells me that Skype is almost ready to launch that iPhone version, perhaps as soon as next week. CTIA Wireless, a large mobile industry trade event, kicks off in Las Vegas next Wednesday, so perhaps the announcement will be made there. I am working on getting more details, as well as screenshots of the service.

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WWDC 2009 Confirmed for June 8 - 12

Apple has (finally!) announced the date for it's 2009 World Wide Developer Conference: June 8 -12.

Last year, Steve Jobs' Keynote at WWDC gave us an update on iPhone 2.0, the introduction of MobileMe, and the unveiling of the iPhone 3G. What will they have for us this year? More iPhone 3.0 no doubt. iPhone gen 3 maybe? Snow Leopard? One more thing...?

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Is Apple Really Charging Developers 100% of App Refunds? Not So Far.

Techcrunch ran one of their big, blazing headlines today reporting "Apple’s iPhone App Refund Policies Could Bankrupt Developers". They cited Apple's contract which allows for Apple to charge developers 100% of a refund, even though devs only get 70% of the payment to begin with. Under that model, developers would get hit for 30% extra each time an App Store purchase was refunded. Not nice, for certain. But apparently also not (yet?) the case.

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