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Open Letter

Apple posts open letter regarding iPhone 4 antenna reception issues

Apple has posted an open letter addressing the widely reported issues surrounding iPhone 4 antenna reception -- how it drops or loses signal when held in such a way that the lower left side is covered.

Short version is, Apple's claiming they are, and historically have been, miscalculating how they display signal strength as bars on iPhone. They repeat that all phones will drop some signal when held in certain place, Nokia, Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone alike, but because of the way Apple was displaying signal strength, the drop appeared far more dramatic on iPhone 4.

For example, if the signal drops two bars when you hold it, and you only really have two bars, you'd see no signal and understand the drop. If you have two bars but Apple is showing you 5 bars, and weighting the calculation far too heavily towards high bars, you could drop 2 bars and really have 0, but iPhone is still showing you 3, 4, or even 5 bars. There in lies epic frustrati

A software update, to be issues within a few weeks, will change the calculation to AT&T's recommended method, and Apple will make the lower signal bars easier to see at the same time. So, in other words, your signal will still drop but it won't look to be as good before it does so.

Apple also reiterates that both they and their customers continue to report that iPhone 4 has better than any previous model, and remind everyone that anyone unsatisfied can return an undamaged iPhone 4 for a refund within 30 days.

While this does seem to address the miss-reporting of signal strength Anandtech found in their tests, and acknowledging that iPhone 4 does get better reception and does drop fewer calls -- when it works -- it doesn't seem to address the higher levels of attenuation seen in raw signals, or some reports that the baseband software wasn't properly adjusting when that attenuation occurred.

A few weeks seems like a long time to push out an iOS 4.0.1 update just to fix signal bar strength reporting, so either Apple is just waiting until their usual late July window for their first update or are working on other bug fixes -- related to the antenna or other issues like the proximity sensor -- we'll have to wait and see.

Full letter after the break.

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Adobe hearts Apple, hits them in userbase with open letter on openness, new ad campaign

In the ongoing feud between Apple and Adobe, Adobe's founders have posted an open letter, "thoughts on openess" and Adobe has begun rolling out a new ad campaign on Engadget -- and presumably other geek-rich online sites -- declaring their love for Apple, and then telling users how saintly Adobe, users like us, and little puppies are being hurt by Apple's evil ways.

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Adobe CEO responds to Steve Jobs open letter

Choosing a live interview as his platform of choice, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen fired back at Apple and Steve Jobs' open letter "thoughts on Flash".

Roughly addressing each of Jobs' points:

  1. Narayan chuckled at the thought of Flash being considered closed. "Flash is an open specification." They're using different meanings for "open" here. Clearly Adobe owns Flash but they're fairly open about its use. It's a dependent standard.

  2. It does not appear as though he addressed the full web question this time, but has said in the past 75% of video runs on Flash. He also didn't address the growing number of sites bypassing Flash and going directly to H.264.

  3. Security and performance were addressed by blaming Apple for Mac OS X. Since security for Flash (and Acrobat) are an even larger concern for Windows users, we're not sure how seriously we can take him on that. We've also had enough Flash-related crashes on our Windows machine to not buy that argument either. Certainly, until the most recent version of OS X, Apple didn't provide the low-level hardware access Adobe needed for better performance.

  4. Narayan called Jobs assertion about battery life drain for Flash "patently false". Jobs was fairly specific in separating out software decoding as being the drain. Narayan said every accusation Jobs made could be explained by an Apple proprietary lock. However, we're not certain when Apple locked Sorensen decoding out of every chipset on the planet...

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Steve Jobs posts "Thoughts on Flash", or why you'll never see Flash on iPhone or iPad

Steve Jobs has posted his "Thoughts on Flash" up on, and like his previous thoughts on (DRM) music, it's a fascinating insight into the mind and tactics of Apple's CEO. As background, this follows up iPhone, iPod touch, and now iPad shipping without Flash support, Apple's recent change in license to prevent the use of cross-compilers like Adobe Flash CS5's Packager for iPhone (which let developers make Flash apps and output iPhone apps), and Apple's recent addition of Mac APIs to allow hardware accelerated Flash on the desktop.

Jobs begins by stating how close Apple and Adobe were and how they've drifted apart. He then breaks down his case against Flash on mobile into 6 key areas:

  1. Flash is not open, it's wholly owned and controlled by Adobe. While Apple also has proprietary products, they believe the web should be open, and Jobs singles out Apple's support of WebKit (the rendering engine behind Safari, Chrome, etc.) as an example of this in action.

  2. Flash is not needed for the "full web" because H.264 is becoming the standard and as sites update to support H.264 they automatically provide video supported by the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. He lists Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ESPN, NPR, Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, People, National Geographic as examples. Jobs also says Flash games aren't needed because the App Store has 50,000 games, more than any other platform in the world, and many of them free.

  3. Security and performance. Flash is increasingly an attack vector for malware, and Apple still claims it's the number one cause of crashes on the Mac.

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Amber Alert App Languishes in Approval Limbo -- Dev Writes Open Letter to Steve Jobs

Longtime reader and tipster The Reptile wrote in to tell us about Fortune's coverage of the iPhone Amber Alert app and its problem getting into the App Store:

Now Jonathan Zdziarski, one of the original iPhone hackers and the author of several O’Reilly books, has hit on something that might work. It’s an open letter to Steve Jobs pleading with Apple’s CEO to speed up approval of the Amber Alert iPhone app that’s been sitting in the queue since February 14. The application uses GPS location information to funnel sightings of missing children to the nearest law enforcement agency as quickly as possible.

Has Apple dropped the ball? There doesn't seem to be a duplicates functionality, or official Amber Alert app that could explain the problems this time (see PodCaster and StarPlayr), does there? Is Apple that understaffed and ill-prepared in the face of 25,000 apps, or are the $99 novelty apps and iPod touch-highlighted games making so much money, no one really cares about the rest?

Full text of the letter after the break...

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Steve Jobs: I'm Okay, Enjoy Macworld

While the recent coverage of Steve Jobs and his health has ranged from the respectful to downright tabloid blogism, Apple and their CEO have remained their usual utterly-silent selves. Until now. In one of his rare open letters -- and the first ever on personal matters -- Steve Jobs says:

I’ve decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow.

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Hockenberry: An Open Letter to Steve Jobs on App Store Pricing

Not content to simply produce great (and great looking) software, Craig Hockenberry continues to knock it out of the park on his blog as well, this time with an open letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs on App Store Pricing:

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