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Landscape dock port, smart bezel for iPad [patent watch]

Some Apple patents were made public this weekend giving possible hints at the the future of the iPad, include a landscape dock port and "smart-bezel".

The first one shows a second 30-pin dock connector on the left side for landscape docking. I'm sure this will make the keyboard dock and bluetooth keyboards even easier to use with some apps.

The second patent is for something called "Smart Bezel" which isnt really described well but by the pictures it looks like you touch a part of the bezel and and you can assign that part to a particular action.

Neither of these are bold re-designs, but are they features you want to see in a refresh? Oh, and let us know if you think that's a front-facing camera in the smart-bezel illustration after the break, or just the ambient light sensor...

[Patently Apple via 9to5mac]

This is an official entry by Freiteez in TiPb’s next top blogger contest. Think you have what it takes to join Team TiPb? Bring it!

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EU Commission calls off investigation into Apple

The European Commission is calling off the investigation into Apple's ban on cross-compilers after Apple reversed the policy. The EU also claims that the policy change was a direct result of their investigation.

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Apple releases iTunes 10.0.1, gives Ping a boost

Apple has released iTunes 10.0.1,and 86.4MB update that, in addition to bug fixes, brings the new Ping social music network its own sidebar and allows you to start Ping activities right from your library.

iTunes 10.0.1 makes it easier to share your favorite music with your friends on Ping. You can now Like or Post about music right from your iTunes library. You can also easily see the recent activity of selected artists in your library, or of all artists and friends you follow on Ping using the new Ping Sidebar.

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Target To Carry iPad Starting Oct. 3rd

Target has announced it will indeed start carrying the iPad in its retail stores across the country starting October 3rd:

As a way to drive traffic to stores this holiday, Target also announced it would begin carrying six models of Apple Inc.'s iPad, starting $499, starting Oct. 3.

Target will be the largest retail chain to carry the iPad. Its shares rose $1.20, or 2.2 percent, to $54.97. The models include 16-, 32-, and 64-gigabyte versions of both the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G models.

Customers who have a Target credit card will also be eligible for a 5 percent discount on the device, once the card launches on Oct. 17.

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Justice Department orders Apple, Google, others to end ban on cross-hiring

Looks like Apple, Google and others will have to put a stop to their handshake deals over not hiring each others employees, thanks to the US Justice Department:

According to the complaint, the six companies entered into agreements that restrained competition between them for highly skilled employees. The agreements between Apple and Google, Apple and Adobe, Apple and Pixar and Google and Intel prevented the companies from directly soliciting each other’s employees. An agreement between Google and Intuit prevented Google from directly soliciting Intuit employees.

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7-inch iPad nano with FaceTime complete, looks like iPhone 4 [Gossip!]

7-inch iPad nano rumors -- or 7-inch iPod touch maxi rumors depending on whether you measure up or down -- are back, with Shenzai gossiping that the product is done and looks like an iPhone 4.

Yes there will be a 7" tablet, yes it's well underway in terms of product development and in fact it's a finished product. Yes 5 plus different designs have been floating around to help Apple protect itself from people discovering its next product look and feel but... the final design will in fact bear more resemblance to the iPhone 4 stylings than the original iPad design.

Supposed to be FaceTime ready as well.

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iPad highest scoring product in American Customer Satisfaction history

iPad owners seem to be loving their devices, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Overall consumer satisfaction with personal computers has grown 4% since last year putting people's overall satisfaction level at 78 out of 100 points. When you break that down, iPads are leading the pack. Satisfaction with the iPad has grown 2% since the last survey. This puts iPad customer satisfaction at 86 points. This is higher than any other manufacturer and 9 points ahead of any other competitor. Dell, HP, and Acer all scored 77s.

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Will you marry me? - iPhone movie style!

What do you do when you're an iPhone junkie and need to find an epic way to propose to your girlfriend? You make an awesome iPhone video your girlfriend with think is a commercial, coax the threatre you had your first date in to play it before a movie, and surprise the pants off your girlfriend!  That's what one of our readers recently did.  Who could say no to that?

Here's Chad's story:

I proposed to my girlfriend by creating a mock iPhone commercial and having that commercial play on the big screen in the Movie Theater. She was completely surprised once she figured out what was playing on the screen wasn't actually an iPhone commercial. I used a ton of apps in the making of the video such as: Google Earth, Skywriter, 3D Drum Kit, NLogFree, Animoto and others.

Congrats Chad and Vy! You guys have one heck of a proposal story to share with family and friends for years to come! Thanks for sharing it with all of us!

Video after the break...

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Mozilla Seabird concept phone - and a rant

Mozilla has an interesting Seabird concept phone rendering posted to YouTube. It looks great but disappointingly it's not real, contains technology that doesn't yet exist at the consumer scale, and is built on top of Android.

The Android part makes me sad, not because it's Android but because it's not MozillaOS (GeckoOS?). Google is basically doing now with Android what Microsoft did with Windows in the 90s -- providing manufacturers with something they can use pretty much off the shelf rather than rolling their own. So just like Dell, Lenovo, Sony, et. al never bothered to innovate or create great new PC OS, no one who doesn't already have a mobile OS (Apple, RIM, HP via Palm, Microsoft) is going to bother making one any more. Even the so-called Facebook phone looks like it's going to be built on top of Android.

That means, like Dell, Lenovo, Sony, et. al the innovation will turn to hardware, and differentiation will be left to software skins, bloatware, and stickers on the box. Impressive, perhaps, in the Alienware sort of way. But imagine if Mozilla was starting in the browser space now, would they just use Chromium instead of their own Gecko as the foundation for Firefox? Would Facebook have built their social network on the Twitter API?

For a while mobile OS were explosively innovative. We went from Newton to PalmOS to Windows Mobile to BlackBerry to Symbian to iPhone/iOS to Android to webOS and all sorts of experimental Linux-based OS that may or may not see the light of day. It was so much more exciting than the Windows/Mac/Linux pace of PC OS.

Sure it's hard making an OS, even with BSD Unix or Linux at its core. Sure going Android would certainly save Mozilla or Facebook or Verizon (yeah, went there), a lot of time and money, but part of me hoped we were just at some mid-point in the mobile revolution, that we'd still have the chance to be blown away by an iOS or Android or webOS again. That we wouldn't have to wait for the next big transition -- to neuralOS or whatever it will be -- before we get that feeling of everything being new again.

So great concept, great tech, spectacular vision, but that even in a video rendering this wasn't running an amazing MozillaOS as thought-provoking in software as the device looks in hardware, depresses me. (I still want those pico projectors and remotes though!)

Video after the break

[Android Central]

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ngmoco releases We City for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

We City is the latest addition to ngmoco's successful We Rule and We Farm line of games for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. We City has the same flavor as We Rule and We Farm with the goal of building your city and making it as awesome as you can. There are over 100 buildings and decorations like cafes, salons, apartments, hospitals, and even hot dog stands.

As with their other games, We City is powered by the plus+ network so that you can play with your friends and speed up your progress through the game.

However, there's no Game Center support (yet?). Did ngmoco miss that memo?

If you pick this one up, let us know what you think. Is it better than We Rule and We Farm?

Screenshots after the break!

[Free - iPad iTunes link - iPhone iTunes link]

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