Continuing their two-week cycle, Apple has just released iPhone OS 4 beta 3 for developers. You can download it now via developer.apple.com.
What bug fixes and new features lurk within? We'll have to wait and see (and keep an eye on the comments below...)
UPDATE 1: Apple has (temporarily?) removed the beta download from their developer site. It's not clear if there's an issue or not yet, but we're keeping our eyes open and will update again when (we're assuming not if) it returns.
Yesterday AT&T released four international data plans for the iPad 3G with prices that do not come cheap. Pricing starts at $25 per month for 20 megabytes and going as high as $200 for 200 megabytes. Unlike the normal data plans, these international plans do not auto-renew on a month to month basis.
Frasier Speirs, one of several well-publicized developers to leave the iPhone over objections to Apple's App Store policies and controversy surrounding app rejections, has decided to return, post iPad, and his reasons are intriguing:
I suspect that the days of everyone buying a MacBook to get online are soon to be over. I've already written about how I see our three-Mac family turning into a one-Mac, three-iPad family over the next hardware cycle and I imagine that scenario repeated industry-wide over time. Already the ratio of iPhone OS devices to Macs is 5:2.
He believes Apple can and will reject apps, and that the frontier days of computing are giving way to the mainstream, appliance future.
Big week for Apple patent pr0n, as in addition to getting a patent for the original 2007 iPhone 2G design, Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ive, et al are not being granted a patent for the 2008/2009 iPhone 3G/iPhone 3GS design as well. And not content with hardware alone, Apple has filed for patents on almost all their Home Screen and App Store icons (we couldn't find Calendar, which means its either too generic or we just couldn't find it).
So fair warning to all the iClone manufacturers without prior art or $40 billion in the bank -- start visual differentiation plans now.
As to the icons, at almost 1000x1000 pixels and with detail to match, it shows just how obsessive Apple is when it comes to their products and while other OS and devices may use the same app-launcher paradigms, they don't seem to be slaving over every last detail -- in art, consistency, multitouch panel quality, and touch detection software quality -- Apple is putting in. Just amazing. (Except for those diagonal stripes).
OmniGraphSketcher for iPad [$14.99- iTunes Link] is one of Omni Group's latest editions to the iPad. Like the Mac app of the same name, it's a quick and easy graphing or plotting tool that allows for realtime creation of charts and graphs. And on the iPad, it's all done with multitouch.
You can plot out your own data points and format them any way you want. You can change color, axis points, size, shape, arrows... you get the idea. You can even copy and paste data from a multicolumn document such as Excel or Numbers and create a simple graph quickly.
I found this app to be useful in meetings or anywhere, really, that you need to illustrate some sort of graph (see the YouTube video at the end of this post to get an idea). If you already use iPad, then this is a great arsenal to have for any sort of data analyst, manager or sales person. Show up at a customer site with a busy spreadsheet? Does the customer look confused? You can very quickly plot out a graph to show them why their sales may be down or up.
Finally, OmniGraphSketcher allows you to read OmniSketcher files in email and allows you to export as a PDF via email or as an image to your Saved Photos album.
Overall I am impressed with OmniGraphSketcher. It eerily appears very similar to Apple's own iWork suite for iPad and you can see where the groundwork has begun to standardize these types of apps on iPad. I vote two thumbs up for OmniGraphSketcher.
During the White House Correspondents Association Dinner, First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama sent out her first tweet, via CNN's Ed Henry. After light-hearted negotiations and getting clearance from the top -- the very tip top -- Henry typed the tweet out on his iPhone on Mrs. Obama's behalf:
"from flotus: 'here at dinner this is officially my first Tweet. i am looking forward to some good laughs from the potus and jay'".
POTUS, of course, would be President of the United States. Jay would be Leno, the one who cost Coco his happy.
Apple's iTunes News has posted up a helpful tip on how to use the new automatic 128 kpps downsampling function in iTunes to squeeze double the music (if lower quality) onto your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.
Audiophiles will no doubt rather scratch their ears out than listen to anything that highly compressed, but if your ears are more greedy than golden, the 128 kbps downsampling might just be for you.
You can find it when you plug your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad into iTunes over USB, on the general screen that comes up. (See screenshot, above). Here are the extra-geeky details:
Apple has now fully released the iPad, both iPad Wi-Fi and iPad 3G + Wi-Fi in the US, and have announced 1 million sold, and I'd like to know -- which iPad did you get?
Tell me in the poll below then drop a comment and tell me why you chose the iPad model you did, and whether you're happy with your choice or wish you'd gone for something else. (If you bought the iPad Wi-Fi only and are now selling it on eBay to get the 3G, tell us that too).