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iBooks 1.1.1 hits App Store

Apple has just set iBooks 1.1.1 loose in the App Store. A point release, it does sneak in some nice functionality none-the-less:

  • Double-tap an image within a book to view it in greater detail.
  • Experience books that include audio and video.
  • Enjoy substantial performance improvements when reading PDFs.
  • Look-up definitions to English words inside books without a specified language.
  • Addresses an issue that may have caused some book downloads to not complete.
  • Includes many stability and performance improvements.

If you're trying it out, let us know how it works for you.

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Apple releases iTunes 9.2.1

Not to be left out of all the point release fun, Apple has just pushed out iTunes 9.2.1. Hit software update or head on over to Apple's iTunes download page to grab it.

iTunes 9.2.1 provides a number of important bug fixes, including:

  • Disables older versions of some incompatible third-party plug-ins
  • Addresses minor issues with dragging and dropping items
  • Addresses a performance issue when first syncing to some devices with

If you notice anything else, let us know in comments.

[Apple.com/iTunes, thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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FaceTime from the middle of the Pacific Ocean

This is ridiculously future-cool -- an iPhone 4 video call from the middle of the Pacific Ocean thanks to a boat, a satellite-powered Wi-Fi hotspot, and FaceTime.

FaceTime from the middle of the Pacific. Arthur and Peter, my MotionX colleagues are in the office in Santa Cruz, California and get video-taped doing FaceTime between Pete’s iPhone 4 in Santa Cruz and my iPhone 4 in the middle of the Pacific Ocean one of the most isolated spots in the world. When it came up, it was like magic! To paraphrase Arthur Clarke, Great innovative technology and magic are literally indistinguishable. This is what the Camera-Phone was designed to do.

Video after the break...

[Skipper's Blog via Daring Fireball]

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iPad launches on Friday, July 23 in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore

Apple has just announced that, come Friday, July 23, the next round of international iPad roll-outs will hit Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.

Doesn't look like there'll be any pre-

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Is this how FaceTime will work on next gen iPod touch G4, iPad G2?

Boy Genius and 9to5Mac have been digging deep into how FaceTime might work on iOS devices that don't have phone numbers attached to them -- namely the next generation iPod touch G4 and iPad G2. Since iPhone 4 uses phone numbers as "accounts" to route FaceTime connections, the alternative for iPod touch and iPad seems to be Apple ID and the associated email address.

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Taiwan news animates Steve Jobs as Darth Vader - Monday video (NSFW-D)

Taiwan news decided to have a little -- fun? -- with Apple and iPhone 4 by casting Steve Jobs as Darth Vader, laughing as Foxconn workers jump off buildings, and light-sabering off the fingers of customers who complain about reception problems.

It's sensationalistic, callus about the suicides, and convenient they cast blame entirely on Apple for the problems of Taiwanese and Chinese owned businesses, and some might find the imagery disturbing so consider yourself warned before you hit the play button. But, hey, Star Wars.

[Thanks Michael for the tip and the subtitles!]

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Samsung responds to Apple over antennagate

And the quadfecta is now complete, with Samsung responding to Apple over the iPhone 4 press conference's demonstration of the death-grip causing signal loss on an Omnia II.

"The antenna is located at the bottom of the Omnia 2 phone, while iPhone's antenna is on the lower left side of the device. Our design keeps the distance between a hand and an antenna. We have fully conducted field tests before the rollout of smartphones. Reception problems have not happened so far, and there is no room for such problems to happen in the future"

Apple must be ecstatic. Any company that stayed quiet would have ridden out the story pretty much uninvolved. Any company -- now all of them -- that spoke up guaranteed their phones a bump in YouTube demos and/or free case requests.

And that "problems in the future" bit? Sigh. Early reports already indicate Samsung's new Galaxy S-class Captivate and Vibrant are having the same problem. Here's a sample from InformationWeek:

I have both a Samsung Vibrant and Captivate on hand for testing purposes. In both phones, the internal antenna is apparently located on the back of the phone, towards the very bottom edge. When gripped around the bottom of the phone (with either hand) the signal strength drops almost immediately. The Vibrant went from three bars to zero bars in about five seconds, and the Captivate went from four bars to zero bars in about six seconds. When I let go, the signal returns immediately.

Sure, death-grip isn't the same as iPhone 4's single-point touch, but in a media frenzy no phone is safe.

Video after the break.

Update: Samsung Galaxy S suffering from death-finger in second video after the break .

[Samsung Hub via Korea Herald via Gizmodo, InformationWeek]

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HTC responds to Apple over antennagate

HTC's Eric Lin has responded in statistical fashion to Apple's iPhone 4 press conference where Steve Jobs showed off a Droid Eris losing singnal when death-gripped:

"Approximately .016% of customers [have complained]. We have had very few complaints about signal or antenna problems on the Eris".

Which could also just mean there hasn't been the attention or scrutiny placed on signal strength attenuation in the past, and again it will be open season now with any number of YouTube videos popping up showing everything from the HTC Droid Eris to HTC Droid Incredible to HTC Nexus One succumbing to the death-grip, just like Apple demonstrated.

However, HTC does have the forethought to warn customers not to touch the spot over their antenna (see image, top).

[Pocket-Lint via Android Central, Daring Fireball, Engadget]

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Best of Smartphone Experts, 18 July 2010

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Michael Bay directs Transformers 3 with iPad 3G

Famous movie director Michael Bay is using his iPad at work. Specifically, Mr. Bay has been spotted with his iPad 3G in hand while directing Transformers 3. In the photo above, he's showing Patrick Dempsey how a scene is supposed to look.

We don't know about you, but we at TiPb love to see the different ways that people are using their iPads to improve their lives whether it be for work, home, school, or play.

[9to5Mac]

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