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Web Apps

YouTube significantly updates mobile site for iPhone

Google's YouTube has deployed a significant update to their mobile site, m.youtube.com. As is typical with Google's web apps, it works well and looks even better. Here's their hit list:

It's really fast. The user interface incorporates larger, more touch-friendly elements, making it easier to access videos on the go. It incorporates the features and functionality you’ve come to expect from the .com site, like search query suggestions, the options to create playlists, the ability to designate “favorite,” “like” or “unlike” videos directly from your device. As we make improvements to Youtube.com, you’ll see them quickly follow on our mobile site, unlike native apps which are not updated as frequently.

Sure, iPhone has a built-in YouTube app but it gets its updates only a few times a year when iOS gets updated. Theoretically, m.youtube.com will get updates any time YouTube feels like it, hopefully as fast as the main YouTube site. And hey, who doesn't like options?

Video after the break.

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New MobileMe calendar web app goes into beta

Apple is launching a new version of the online MobileMe calendar web app, and much like they did with the new version of online mail, the design influence of the iPad app is unmistakable. Want in on the beta? Here's what you have to do:

To sign up, go to me.com/calendar and click "Request an invitation." You will receive an email notification when you have been added to the beta (we will add members in the order of their request over the coming weeks).

New features include:

  • The aforementioned new, iPad-like UI.
  • Shared calendars (for family and friends).
  • Published calendars (for groups and teams).
  • Event invitations with RSVPs (yes!).
  • Based on CalDAV standard.

It's good to go on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Mac, with Outlook support for the PC coming soon.

So, how does it sound? Enough of an upgrade? Anything major still missing? Anyone get in on the beta yet?

Full feature descriptions after the break.

[MobileMe News]

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MobileMe web apps back online with updated mail UI, app switcher

As was widely expected, Apple's MobileMe web apps -- me.com -- are back online after their scheduled maintenance, and sporting an updated look and some new features.

The new Mail has come out of beta and now everyone can enjoy server-side rules, which is terrific if way overdue. In the not-so-terrific pile, previously you could instantly switch between apps using a conventional menu bar. Now you have to figure out that clicking the cloud icon top left will bring up and icon bar which you can then click to switch tasks. Less discoverability and efficiency in one update? Not very Apple.

(They've standardized on the iPhone app icons to represent Me.com tasks, however, which is good. And they look great.)

Are you trying to new Me.com? What do you think?

UPDATE: Apple's MobileMe email announcement, after the break.

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MobileMe down tonight, updated tomorrow?

Apple is taking MobileMe's web apps down for maintenance from 10pm to 12am PST tonight. MacRumors has heard this may just be to tweak the interface and add new functionality that:

will see the rolling out of several new enhancements, including an official launch of the redesigned Mail interface for MobileMe that has been available in beta form for the past month. Included in this rollout will be push functionality for the Web-based Mail client, providing real-time updating as messages arrive.

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Apple.com showcases HTML5

Whether or not you agree with Apple going all-in on HTML5, they're certainly putting their clout where their mouth is, launching a new showcase on Apple.com, complete with some terrific demos and a link to developer.apple.com for those who want to roll their own interactive, standards based solutions.

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Quick Review: Dashboard for iPad (Jailbreak)

Dashboard for iPad is a Jailbreak app that will appeal to anyone who likes having widgets -- like that little tiger puzzle -- on their desktop computer.

Since Apple won't allow widget apps on the official App Store, it's Jailbreak only. You can get it free through Cydia and is a decent tweak for being in it's beginning stages.  As of now, you're stuck with whatever default widgets are at the bottom. Actually, a user in our comments section brought to my attention you CAN install new widgets through SSH.  If you plan to SSH, as always, approach with caution.  Not recommended for beginning jailbreakers! I'd assume we will see some start popping up in Cydia and Rock soon.  Video after the jump!

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WebKit2 with speed and crash-proofing -- Apple's other big announcement

Well, technically not Apple the entity, but an employee of Apple named Anders Carlsson announced WebKit 2 yesterday and for geeks it could easily have been a Jobsian "One more thing..."

This is a heads-up that we will shortly start landing patches for a new WebKit framework that we at Apple have been working on for a while. We currently call this new framework "WebKit2".

WebKit2 is designed from the ground up to support a split process model, where the web content (JavaScript, HTML, layout, etc) lives in a separate process. This model is similar to what Google Chrome offers, with the major difference being that we have built the process split model directly into the framework, allowing other clients to use it.

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Apple uses AdLib JaveScript framework to make richer web apps for iPad

Done21.com has discovered something interesting in the online iPad user-guide: a new JavaScript framework they've dubbed AdLib (after its filename) that allows for very native app look and feel in the decidedly web-based app.

AppleInsider notes that it appears to be related to the PastryKit framework used for the iPhone user-guide (which stands to reason), and the TuneKit framework used for iTunes LP and iTunes Extra. And that the name may tie-in to the iAd rumors, and to internal efforts on Apple's part to raise the bar of web apps and diminish the need for plugins like Flash and Java.

Could we find out more at Apple's iPhone 4.0 event tomorrow? We certainly hope so. As much as some decry the closed nature of the App Store, developing for Safari is wide open and a new class of better, faster, stronger web apps is ultimately good for everyone.

Video after the break!

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Gmail web app goes iPad optimized!

Google continues to lead the pack when it comes to web apps, so we're not surprised to see them announce an experimental Gmail site up and optimized in time for the iPad release.

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Apple Updates iWork.com with Better Interface for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

MacRumors reports on an email being sent to users of Apple's iWork.com document sharing site that outlines a few updates to the service, including one for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad:

Refined user interface. A redesigned Sign In and Shared Documents page for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch makes it easy to access your documents while on the go. The new interface and improved scrolling help you find your shared documents faster. Visit www.iwork.com from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to view your shared documents.

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