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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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Sprint Mocks AT&T, Offers "iPhone 4G" via WiMax Overdrive

Sprint now joins Verizon in taking jabs at AT&T's network and the iPhone, offering an "iPhone 4G" in their latest TV spot via their Overdrive WiMax hotspot (think 4G MiFi).

Sprint claims the best solution to AT&T's supposedly slow 3G speed is not the next generation of iPhone (which won't be called the iPhone 4G due to LTE networks not being deployed for a year or two yet), but rather your current iPhone connected via WiFi to their beefed up 4G WiMax network.

So, with Verizon targeting the iPad via MiFi and now Sprint going after the iPhone via WiMax (when they could be focusing on their own devices like the Droid and the Palm Pre) are they hoping to prop up the modem business by surrendering device mindshare to Apple?

Thing is, last we checked AT&T has the fastest 3G data speeds available on any US carrier and that's good enough for us. But for those unfortunate souls out there with less than desirable AT&T service is this something that you would ever be interested in? And if you're already tethering your iPhone to a Sprint Overdrive, what kind of speeds are you getting?

Watch the ad after the break!

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Steve Jobs Helps Get Organ Donation Bill Passed

In a team-up that never made it to the big screen but just might make a big difference in many lives, Apple CEO Steve Jobs and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger are pushing forward legislation aimed at improving organ donation in the state:

"Steve Jobs' was very instrumental in getting us here today," said the governor. "Steve Jobs told my wife about his transplant and she talked to me. Then we had great phone conversations back and forth. ... He knew that others don't have a plane waiting for them to get to a transplant."

Jobs said, "There were not enough livers in California to go around. I was advised by my Stanford doctors to enroll on a list at a Memphis hospital, because it was more favorable to get a liver there.

"I was fortunate," he said because he had the ability to fly cross country in the four-hour window needed to transplant a healthy organ. "Last year, 400 other Californians died waiting. I could have died."

He called current system "an obscure process" with "no one asking the simple question: Will you donate your organs?"

Of his current health, the whippet-thin Jobs told other transplant survivors who attended the Friday news conference, "I'm feeling fine. I almost died. It's been a pretty good last few months."

Non-iPhone friendly video after the break!

[Mercury News via 9to5Mac]

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Airtel Bringing iPhone 3GS to India, China Mobile Wants in on iPhone and iPad

While it's easy to think the iPhone 3GS is everywhere now, TiPb still gets email asking when it will be in India, and on the largest carrier in the largest market in the world, China Mobile.

Well Macworld tells us Airtel has finally announced they'll be bringing the iPhone 3GS to India:

New Delhi, March 19, 2010 : Bharti Airtel and Apple have reached an agreement to bring iPhone 3GS, the fastest most powerful iPhone yet, to India in the coming months. For information please visit www.airtel.in/iphone3gs. For more information on iPhone, please visit www.apple.com/iphone .

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Apple iTunes App Store: Now Accepting iPad Apps!

An email has been sent out to developers telling them Apple is now accepting application submissions for the iPad App Store -- a special category of the existing iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPod touch. 9to5Mac has the text:

iPad will begin shipping soon and your opportunity to be part of the grand opening of the iPad App Store starts today. Submit your iPad app now for an initial review by the App Review Team and receive feedback on its readiness for the grand opening. Submit Your App by March 27.

  • Build and test your iPad app using iPhone SDK 3.2 beta 5 available on the iPhone Dev Center. Only iPad apps built with iPhone SDK 3.2 beta 5 will be accepted for this initial review.

  • Upload your distribution signed app through iTunes Connect by Saturday, March 27, 5pm PDT.

  • The App Review Team will review your app on iPad and email you details about the readiness of your app.

  • You will also receive additional information about submitting your app for final review before iPad ships.

  • Only apps submitted for the initial review will be considered for the grand opening of the iPad App Store.

As TUAW points out, however, there's some risk involved:

the simulator uses many Macintosh frameworks and libraries, offering features that are not actually present on the iPhone. Applications that appear to be completely operational and fully debugged on the simulator may flake out or crash on the device itself. You simply cannot fully debug any program solely by using the simulator and be assured that the software will run bug-free on the iPhone. Here at TUAW central, we're assuming (or at least hoping) that Apple will be testing device builds on real devices.

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iPad Early-Access Developers Sworn to Secrecy

It's no secret that Apple loves secrecy, so it comes as little surprise when Business Week reveals the hoops those lucky developers with early access to iPad hardware have to jump through:

Would-be testers of the tablet-style computer, due to be released Apr. 3, must promise to keep it isolated in a room with blacked-out windows, according to four people familiar with the more than 10-page pact that bars partners from disclosing information about the iPad.

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TiPb Apps 5.5: Creature24 (GDC 2010)

Live from GDC 2010, Rene talks to Bob Koon of Binary Hammer about the Creature24 project that tried to make a complete, polished iPhone game in 24 hours.

The goal of Creature24 was to create a real, polished iPhone game in 24 hrs, transparently on the internet. They didn't make their deadline, but were valiant in the attempt. They're going to complete the game, and perhaps do an iPad version of the challenge (with a slightly expanded time limit) next year.

Watch along after the break!

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iPad is coming, but where are the content deals?

The Wall Street Journal reports that, with the iPad arriving in stores and on doorsteps in just a few weeks, Apple is still "scrambling" to secure content deals for their magical and revolutionary new device. Why?

Apple hasn't yet reached a deal with many major TV producers on the price cut, these people said. Some are concerned a price cut could hurt their existing businesses, these people said, including jeopardizing the tens of billions of dollars in subscription fees they are paid by cable and satellite companies for their traditional TV networks.

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