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iPhone 5 NFC: Yes, no, maybe so?!

There have been a lot of conflicting rumors this week about the unannounced iPhone 5 and its so far imaginary new NFC feature, including that it wouldn't have said imaginary feature, it would indeed have it, and it would have it and then some. Dizzy yet? You will be...

The Independent first said iPhone 5 (which doesn't yet exist) wouldn't have NFC (which Apple has never announced):

"The new iPhone will not have NFC, Apple told the operators it was concerned by the lack of a clear standard across the industry." Yet Apple is understood to be working on its own NFC proposition, which would link payments through iTunes. It hopes to introduce the technology in a handset likely to be released next year.

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iPhone 5 to have flat metal back, larger screen

9to5Mac says a source at Foxconn -- Apple's Shenzhen based manufacturer -- has sneaked them some details about iPhone 5, namely it keeping the same form factor as iPhone 4 but switching the back glass for metal and bumping up the screen size.

Although some reports claim the iPhone 5 will adopt a curved metal back, our source says models have been floating around with a flat metal back. The material of this metal is unspecified. Our brains say aluminum but our hearts wonder if this could be Liquid Metal.

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New and updated iPhone and iPad apps for Friday, March 18

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!

  • CarZen: Research and Buy New Cars: This app is focused on delivering pain-free car research experiences that empowers consumers to make better car-related decisions. [Free - iTunes link]

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UPDATED: AT&T cracking down on jailbroken MyWi users?

Some AT&T iPhone users, Jailbroken and tethering via MyWi, are getting text messages and e-mails from AT&T that imply they know they are tethering even though they aren't on an official tethering plan. One of our own writers, Andrew was one of those who received the message.

I use MyWi to tether as well but have not received anything yet. (I actually was just tethering today.) I'm not sure how they are detecting MyWi users but I can make some educated guesses.

  1. Since AT&T offers Personal Hotspot under iOS 4.3, they may have access to data they didn't before, and they're choosing to use it in a pretty crappy way. So if you're on iOS 4.2.1 still (almost all jailbreakers are) and they see you're generating traffic that looks like Personal Hotspot, they know you're doing so without a plan.
  2. Like Chris says below, browsers use the wap APN. Tethering uses the ISP APN. As such, larger data is expected through ISP not through WAP. So if AT&T sees a lot of WAP data it may raise a flag.
  3. As several people say in the comments and Twitter, if AT&T sees a TTL reduction that suggests a device like a laptop or iPad in between the connection, it may raise a flag.
  4. They're just going after heavy data users again and trying to bluff them into switching to a tethering plan and losing their unlimited data. Andrew tethers a heck of a lot more than me. I only consume a fraction of what he does. So that's a viable answer too.

Originally Jailbreakers used MyWi because AT&T took a year longer to offer iPhone tethering than international carriers. Since then they've used it to get around AT&T's ridiculous fees for tethering. (Tethering is free on some international carriers as well.)

Hit the jump to read the e-mail AT&T has been sending out as well as to let us know what you think! Anyone else been getting messages from AT&T? Anyone on iOS 4.3 using official Personal Hotspot? Any PDANet users?

UPDATED: AT&T spokesman Seth Bloom told Phone Scoop:

[ModMyi Forums and Phone Scoop]

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Daily Tip: How to clear your browsing history in Mobile Safari

Want to find out how to clear your browsing history in Safari? Need to make sure no one has a way of knowing what websites you've visited on your iPhone or iPad? Keeping that special gift you got your friend a secret or any other reason (at TiPb we don't judge). Lucky for you there's a quick and easy way to clear all of your browsing history in Safari so hit the jump to find out how!

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Why Safari got Nitro and Web Clips and UIWebView didn't

As we posted the other day, while Safari in iOS 4.3 got a huge speed boost thanks to the Nitro JavaScript engine, asynchronous mode, and HTML 5 caching, bookmarking a site to the Home Screen (Web Clips) that launch in full-screen mode, or browsing inside an app (UIWebView) didn't. That meant, while web apps on the home screen and web pages embedded in apps were as fast as they were in iOS 4.2, they weren't as fast as Safari in iOS 4.3.

The technical reason for this is because Nitro is using Just-in-Time (JIT) compilation. Daring Fireball says:

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Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 captures cleaner audio than AT&T and Verizon 3G models

iLounge was able to run a few tests on the microphone housed in the new iPad 2 and found there's a noticeable difference in quality between the Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 and the Wi-Fi + 3G models.

When using Skype and Garageband on the iPad, iPad 2 with Wi-Fi, and iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G, we found that audio from the 3G iPad 2’s mic sounded somewhat more muffled and echo-prone than with the original iPad’s or the Wi-Fi-only iPad 2’s mics

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The New York Times raises pay wall, launches digital subscriptions

The New York Times will start charging readers a subscription fee to access some of it's content, effective immediately in Canada and starting on March 28 in the US and globally. Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., publisher of The New York Times, said:

Our decision to begin charging for digital access will result in another source of revenue, strengthening our ability to continue to invest in the journalism and digital innovation on which our readers have come to depend. This move will enhance The Times's position as a source of trustworthy news, information and high-quality opinion for many years to come.

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TiPb Answers: Wi-Fi-only iPad gains limited GPS ability when tethered to iPhone 4

We've heard rumors and gotten questions about whether the iPad 2 gains any GPS functionality when tethered to an iPhone 4 and, based on our tests (see the video above) -- yes it does, albeit a little dumbed-down. GPS functionality seemed to be working in both Maps and Navigon, but it clearly doesn't work half as well as the 3G enabled iPad with assisted GPS built-in. Still, if you've decided on purchasing the 3G enabled iPad 2 primarily for its GPS capability, you may want to consider tethering an iPad Wi-Fi to iPhone 4 as an option.

Keep in mind the test was conducted on an iPhone 4 running iOS 4.2.1 using MyWi to create a wireless hotspot, however the results should be the same when using an AT&T or Verizon iPhone 4 (running iOS 4.3 or 4.2.6 respectively) with the Personal Hotspot feature baked-in. Results should be similar on the original non-3G iPad as well, and make sure you have location services enabled on both devices for it to work properly.

So although this technically works, we wouldn't suggest using it as a full in-dash GPS unit by any means. If you want to do things like location-aware tweets it should work like a charm by roughly pinpointing your location when Wi-Fi router mapping isn't an option.

If you have a Wi-Fi-only iPad then pair it up with your iPhone 4 and let us know how it's working for you in the comments below!

[Urbanape via Daring Fireball]

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Apple release three new "if you don't have an iPhone..." ads

Apple has added three new iPhone ads to its website and YouTube channel with the new hook, “If you don’t have an iPhone”. The three ads all focus on different features, first up is the App Store showing a flight check in app. The second ad is aimed at iPod and iTunes features and the final ad focuses on iBooks. All the ads end with “Yup, if you don’t have an iPhone, well, you don’t have an iPhone.”

The three videos are after the break, let us know what you think of them in the comments!

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