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DF: Software, not hardware the reason iPad is shipping in April?

Analyst doom and gloom predicted Apple would delay the iPad's "late March" shipping date and restrict initial sales to the US and while that now seems to be the case, John Gruber over at Daring Fireball says software and not hardware was the reason:

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iPad Wi-Fi Available in US on April 3, Pre-Orders March 12, International Late April

Apple has just announced that the Wi-Fi iPad models will be available in the US on April 3 with pre-orders beginning March 12 via store.apple.com, with 3G and international availability following in late April. Says Steve Jobs:

“iPad is something completely new. We’re excited for customers to get their hands on this magical and revolutionary product and connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.”

So, you ordering the second it goes online? Camping out? Avoiding completely? Waiting to see

Check out the poll below and tell us your plan!

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Thursday Fun Video -- EveryDay Looper - Les Ramens

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Marc Flores tweeted this video's awesomeness and we tend to agree -- EveryDay Looper [$4.99 - iTunes link] - Les Ramens is a whole lotta iPhone musical goodness. But don't take our word for it, check it out after the break and let us know what you think!

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UPDATED: developer.apple.com/iphone Down!

UPDATE: We're getting really scattered reports, but it looks like the site has a new look/feel, a new $99 developer option for Mac (to match the $99 iPhone option), and...? Let us know if you see anything else.

Also, some developers have told us that their registration no longer works after the update, so there may be some bugs at work. Let us know if you're having any problems

It's not the Apple Store, but 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple's iPhone SDK developer portal, developer.apple.com is down:

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UPDATED: Upgrade Pricing Finally Coming to App Store?

UPDATE: Or not, as this dialog's been around for a while as per 9to5Mac's @llsethj.

Developer Frasier Spears posted the above "curious" iTunes dialog to Twitter. It appeared when he hit "Update All". We have no way of knowing exactly it means, but we're hoping it means upgrade pricing is finally coming to the app store.

As background, one of the problems still facing developers has been the inability to offer paid upgrades. Either they had to give away new versions for free, or they had to create new apps with no way to discount the price to existing users.

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Apple Removing Wi-Fi Scanning Apps from App Store

Cult of Mac reports that Apple has begun removing apps from the iTunes App Store that scan for Wi-Fi access points. It looks like these apps are being removed due to their use of private APIs, which is prohibited by the iPhone SDK agreement. This would make it similar to the recent removal of apps that misused the iPhone camera DCIM folder to store and exchange documents.

There's been some suggestion, however, that list reflects a policy change from Apple closer to the recent removal of sex-based apps.

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Home Theatre Setup Using Your iPhone and Shoe Box

For all of our readers who have dreamed of having their very own home theatre, we now have a solution for you and all that is needed is your iPhone, shoe box, and 1 to 2 hours of your time.

It's a pretty clever idea, check out the videos after the break!

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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Games Way More Popular on iPhone than Other Smartphones

Anyone surprised that games are way more popular on the iPhone than on competing plaforms? Mplayit has put out some interesting stats, not only on what apps are popular with their Facebook sharing users, but what kinds of apps are popular on the various platforms they monitor. While on Android and BlackBerry, non-game apps account for 83% and 67% of popular titles, on the iPhone they're only 36%. That leaves 64% for games.

That might be a concern, frankly, if the numbers weren't north of 150,000 leaving plenty of room for great productivity, utility, social networking, and other apps in addition to the increasingly good games. Embarrassment of riches indeed.

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Vlingo 2.0 for iPhone Brings Voice to Email, SMS

Vlingo 2.0 for iPhone [Free with in-app purchase - iTunes link] brings an all new, all prettier graphical user interface to the table, as well as Email and SMS Paste dictation -- as an in-app purchase.

The new UI looks great and more importantly, works great. The icons are big and easy to hit and helpful tips are littered everywhere. You can tap to start recording and tap again to stop, or just hold down, talk, and release. For the various situations where you need to use voice instead of typing -- like while driving (if it's legal in your region!) -- that kind of ease of use is priceless.

With the free app you get Maps, Search, Social (Facebook and Twitter), and Voice Dial. As mentioned, the Email and SMS Paste dictation are via in-app purchase. Note, it's called SMS Paste because, unlike with Email, Apple won't allow apps to send SMS so it just copies your text and launches the Messages apps. You have to paste the text and then hit send on your own. The Email and SMS Paste options are $6.99 separately or $9.99 if purchased together. Whether they're worth or not depends entirely on how important voice email and SMS dictation are to you right now.

TiPb got our hands on the final version a couple of days early so we had a chance to try it out for a while already. All in all, Vlingo 2 works about as well as you'd expect a voice dictation app to work -- usually quite well, with hilarious tragedy on occasion. It does learn, however, so if you enunciate well and keep at it, your results should improve.

I liked it enough to buy the App Store version on release along with the Email and SMS Paste bundle. It's bleeding edge technology that should get better and more elegant in the future. And I'm a sucker for the the Star Trek-style apps.

Screen shots and video after the break! If you try it out, let us know what you think!

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Beyond Apple vs. HTC: Who's Suing Who?

While Apple vs. HTC is getting a ton of press this week (TiPb a culpa!) the New York Times blogs provides the above graph to show us it's just another strand in the growing web of mobile patent pugilism.

Although patent litigation is not new in the technology world, these suits, specifically around mobile, point to the drastically changing mobile landscape. Lawyers I spoke with explained that mobile technology was still in its infancy and these large computing companies were trying to stake their claim to the future of computing.

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