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UPDATED: Onavo app claims to be able to shrink your iPhone’s data usage

A new app called Onavo claims to be able to shrink your iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4’s data consumption. The app works by compressing the data usage from other apps, web browsing sessions and even email; which allows users to double or even triple the usage of their existing data plans. The app works while at home and abroad according to Guy Rosen, one of the app’s co-founders.

“Mobile data doesn’t come for free,” said Rosen, co-founder and chief executive, Onavo. “At home and abroad iPhone users must put up with capped or metered data plans. Travellers are hit the hardest, with data roaming costs effectively turning most smartphones into dumb phones. Onavo gives you the confidence to use your iPhone without being held back by data costs. It’s a no brainer – it simply saves you money. We believe Onavo will become a must-have travel and utility app for any iPhone user.”

Once installed, the app connects your iPhone to a cloud-based technology which Onavo has dubbed, “The Magical Shrinking Machine”. Once setup, the app works in the background on your iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 and compresses the data that you actually download to your device. The app also provides a detailed monthly data report allowing users to see which apps are consuming the most data.

The free app will only work with downloaded data at this stage and does not support streaming services such as YouTube  or VoIP; but it is working on that. The app has already won the Best Mobile Start-Up and the People Choice awards at The NextWeb Startup Rally 2011.

BlackBerry makers RIM have long touted the data compression technology of their NOC-based system as a competitive advantage when users have capped plans, and browsers like Opera Mini have likewise used proxy, cache, and compression technology as a way to market themselves to the data starved.

According to Onavo, they're accomplishing this without violating any Apple private-API or background rules.

After installing Onavo you are prompted to install a configuration profile which allows the data to be redirected through Onavo's servers (hosted on Amazon EC2, currently in the United States - more locations to come). Once the data is streamed through our servers we are able show you insights into your data usage, and (if you choose to), compress the data, thus sending much less data back to the operator, causing the user to pay less for his or her data usage.

There are also configuration tips, see the Onavo link below. Would you consider using an app like this? Are privacy concerns an issue when your internet traffic is delivered via a third party server? Let us know what you think in the comments!

[Free - iTunes link, via The Telegraph,  Onavo]

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Tour of iPad-controlled award winning Savant powered smart home

HD Media Systems, a Savant AV dealer, has put together a great looking iPad-controlled smart home system. The setup uses wall mounted iPads to control the home and even includes a virtual dinner bell to get the kids to the table on time; something we could all do with!

The real world stories of iPads being used in home automation situations just keep on coming, don't they? Earlier in the week we heard that the iPad was being deployed by Solstice Multimedia,

Take a look at the rather long video after the break. Unfortunately the audio seems a little out of sync! Is anyone tempted to install a system in their home? Let us know in the comments!

[Automated Home, Savant AV]

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Apple exploring over-the-air updates for iOS 5?

<img src="/sites/imore.com/files/images/stories/2011/03/ios_51.jpg" alt=Apple exploring over-the-air updates for iOS 5?" title="Apple exploring over-the-air updates for iOS 5?" width="500" height="224" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-57632" />

Mark Gurman from 9to5Mac is hearing that Apple and Verizon are discussing over-the-air (OTA) software updates for iOS 5. Google's Android and HP/Palm's webOS have been doing OTA OS updates for a while now, and Apple has done OTA carrier file updates, but when it comes to iOS the only option thus far has been complete firmware updates via iTunes.

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Apple hires THX's Tomlinson Holman -- bring the noise!

It's ironic how the company that brought us the iPod has never really had great speakers (or earbuds!) but Apple might be about to change that in a big way by bringing in the man behind Lucasfilm's amazing THX audio quality program, Tomlinson Holman. According to Chief TWiT Leo Laporte:

I have it on good authority that Tomlinson Holman (of THX fame) is joining Apple to run audio. Major upgrade.

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Apple releases iOS 4.3.3 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, iOS 4.2.8 for Verizon iPhone - location data fix

Apple has just released iOS 4.3.3 for iPhone (AT&T/GSM), iPad, and iPod touch and iOS 4.2.8 for V. This point update, as expected, changes the iOS crowd-sourced location database cache. Apple says it:

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New and updated iPhone and iPad apps for Wednesday, May 4 [give-away]

Every day, TiPb gets flooded with announcements for new and updated iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps and games. So every day we pick just a few of the most interesting, the most notable, and simply the most awesome to share with you!

  • My Daily Journal (give-away): Now a universal application for iPhone and iPad, improved animations, 3 new paper designs, design enhancements, and the ability to export to Facebook. [$0.99 - iTunes link]

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AT&T customer care representative says no iPhone 5 in June or July? [rumor]

Let's be frank -- we can't believe we're posting this but it just keeps getting sent to us. Firstly, carrier CSRs are typically the last to learn about anything Apple. We've actually gone to carriers the day of launch and they've known less about it than we have -- they're simply not informed. So please take the below account with a blue and white striped Death Star sized grain of salt. Now, an AT&T customer care representative has supposedly told a customer that Apple had confirmed this to them:

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Oklahoma State University find the iPad has a positive impact in an academic environment

A recent trial of iPads by the Oklahoma State University has delivered some extremely positive results for the Apple tablet. The trial, which took place in the fall of 2010 showed an increase in pace of the course, reaching traditional benchmarks sometimes weeks in advance.

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Apple airs new iPad 2 commercial - If you Asked

Apple has released a new commercial titled "If You Asked". Interestingly, the word "iPad" is never used. Instead, the iPad is shown with apps relating to specific types of people while the narrator says what those people would call the iPad 2 if you were to ask them.

If you ask a parent, they might call it intuitive. If you ask a musician, they might call it inspiring. To a doctor, it's groundbreaking. To a CEO, it's powerful. To a teacher, it's the future. If you ask a child, she might call it magic. And if you asked us - we'd say it's just getting started.

To watch the commercial, follow along after the break!

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iOS 5 notifications - should there be an Apple app for that?

Better notifications is probably at or near the top of the feature request list for iOS 5, and Andreas has come up with a concept for how he's like to see it done -- an Apple iOS notifications app!

He's set up a website and posted a video and... it looks interesting. Like Rene said on last week's iPad Live, Apple isn't simply going to add notifications any more than they simply added multitasking to iOS 4. They're going to look at the actual functionality users want and then figure out a way to provide it, in a traditional way or a new way. (And we'll either love it or hate it, or often a little bit of both.)

Andreas' idea isn't like Boxcar on the App Store or LockInfo on Jailbreak, it's a bit of a hybrid approach. Check out the video below and let us know if this is the way you'd like to see Apple handle notifications in iOS 5 (and why or why not!)

[iOS Notifications via The Next Web, thanks @KiTTGT]

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