News

Opera Mini for iPhone Submitted to iTunes App Store

Opera PR tells us they've submitted their Opera Mini browser for iPhone and iPod touch to the iTunes App Store. If that reads a tad non-plussed, there's a reason for it. We're posting it because it's "big news" but it smells manufactured. No doubt tons of apps were submitted to the App Store today and there's no way we could post about all of them, but due to Apple's perceived reluctance to approve a "rival" browser to Mobile Safari, and Opera's use of that for their own PR purposes, tech sites all of the internet are carrying the story. So good for Opera.

As to the app itself, I'm sure I'll appreciate it when roaming internationally or when caught on really slow EDGE connections, because Opera's proxy servers probably already have most popular sites pre-cooked and ready to render. I won't be using it for banking or highly interactive sites though, because proxy browsers by their nature break SSL encryption and don't offer real speed boosts for non-pre-rendered content.

I do like the idea of diversity and choice in the App Store, however, so hopefully it gets approved and those who want it can have it. (And Apple really needs to add a similar search-for-text-in-page feature to Mobile Safari already).

(Note: for Jailbreakers who want a proxy browser but don't want to wait, @antonioj points us to UCWEB which he says does pretty much the same thing as Opera Mini but is already available on Cydia.)

Opera Mini video after the break...

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iPhone Tech Talk World Tour Videos Now Online

Apple's iPhone Developer News brings word that videos from last year's iPhone Tech Talk World Tour are now available online for iPhone Developer Program Members.

Watch these videos to learn advanced techniques to enhance the capability, functionality, and usability of your iPhone apps. Apple’s Technology Evangelists take you deep into coding and design techniques so that you can take your apps to the next level.

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Apple Retail Now Selling [Off-Contract, Still Locked] iPhones in US

9to5Mac is reporting, based on multiple sources, that Apple is now selling unlocked off-contract but still locked to AT&T iPhones at US Apple Retail Stores, at list price.

List price means $499 for 8GB [for iPhone 3G], $599 for 16GB and 32GB is $699 [for iPhone 3GS].

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Apple Adds "Gift App" for Paid Apps in iTunes App Store

Apple has just updated iTunes to allow users to gift paid apps to other users in the same country (i.e. US App Store to US App Store -- no cross-border gifting!). The feature appears as part of the drop-down widget in iTunes on the desktop.

Similar to the previous music-gifting feature, once you've opted to gift a paid app you're taken through several screens where you're asked to enter your name, the email address for the person you're gifting (for smooth service, make sure you use the email associated with their iTunes account), a personal message, and confirmation.

Note: iTunes rolled out new terms and conditions to presage the new functionality, so you'll have to agree to those before you can use it.

We've tested it out and it seems to work well. Let us know if you get in the giving spirit (or if you receive any gifted apps).

More screenshots after the break!

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PhotoNest: View and Post Twitter Photo Streams with your iPhone

The folks at MindTapp dropped us a note to tell us about their new iPhone app, PhotoNest [$1.99 - iTunes link], that allows you to easily -- and visually -- post pictures to Twitter:

Twitter is an amazing real time communication tool, but it only sends links to photos and not photos themselves, which isn't very pretty.

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Amazon, Barnes & Noble Readying Book Stores for iPad

Confirming that it won't just be Apple's iBookstore (and your own free ePubs) on the iPad, the New York Times today mentions that both Amazon and Barnes & Noble are both working on book stores of their own. While both market their own hardware devices, the Kindle and the Nook respectively, the iPad is expected to throw a huge spotlight on eBooks in general, and they want to benefit:

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iPad 101: Get Your Free ePub eBooks at Project Gutenberg

Waiting for Apple's iPad and its iBooks and iBookstore app? The outstanding Project Gutenberg has 30,000 free-as-in-beer-and-and-as-in-speech ePub format eBooks to help keep you start building your library today.

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Best of Smartphone Experts, 21 March 2010

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Microsoft Releases Bing 1.1 for iPhone, iPod touch

Microsoft has released a new version of Bing [Free - iTunes link] for the iPhone and iPod touch. Florian Voss chronicled on their blog, includes:

Bookmarks and improved web browsing: you can now bookmark maps, directions, web sites, businesses, search terms, even the weather report, and get to the bookmarks right from the Bing home page.

Sharing: you can share interesting results with your friends using e-mail.

Copy and paste URLs: you told us and we listened! We now support copying and pasting URLs.

Parental control on search settings: we helped make search safer by letting you set a SafeSearch level and create a passcode so it can’t be changed. This is a benefit for parents who want to make sure the kids are only going to safe sites on their devices.

Search history and private search: you can now view and edit your search history. You can also search the web without saving your history on the device using private search.

Explicit location setting: let your iPhone find you or set a specific location so you can search near there (super useful when you're going to travel to another city and want to find things around there).

Tighter integration of contacts in directions: Bing now autosuggests contacts from your address book when you enter start and end locations in directions.

Support for 1st generation iPod touch devices: we now support all versions of iPod touch.

While Google and Apple continue to squabble, and speculation remains that Bing might become the next default search emake it's way onto the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad as the next default search engine, it's nice to see Microsoft continue to invest in -- and improve --the App Store app.

Note: Sadly, it appears to be US only still. For the biggest software company in the world, ignoring most of the world is... disappointing. Let's share the Bing, shall we?

Video from Macworld 2010 of TiPb talking with Florian Voss about Bing for iPhone re-embedded after the break!

[Thanks to our good buddy Phil for the tip!]

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Sent from Steve Jobs' iPhone: No Google Picasa Support for iPad

Once again 9to5Mac reports on Steve Jobs answering Apple users' questions, this time regarding iPad support for Google's Picasa. The question:

...Are there any plans to support Picasa's faces and albums in iTunes, so I can take full advantage of the [iPad] Photos application, since Photoshop Album is long discontinued. If not, please can you look into supporting the Picasa library format?

And the response from Steve Jobs:

No, but iPhone on the Mac has much better Faces and Places features.

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