Apple Inc

OS X Lion Arrives in Mac App Store

Mac OS X Lion is now available in the Mac App Store. Snow Leopard users can upgrade to the newest cat-named release for $29.99. (approximately £18.58)

Apple has opted to officially drop the Mac OS X moniker for Lion — it’s just OS X Lion.

OS X Lion boasts more than 250 new features and is being billed as taking the best parts from iOS and marrying it to the best parts of OS X. I’d have to agree with that too. I’ve been using Lion full-time since the final developer build was released a few weeks ago and I would have a hard time returning to the old Mac OS 10.6.

Before you go through the installation process, be sure to check out our guide on preparing your Mac for Lion.

We’ll have more information, galleries, reviews and installation tips throughout the day. see Mashable. (credit: Christina Warren)

MobileMe runs till June 2012 – no refunds?

If you went to MobileMe's page on Apple's website Monday 6th June 2011, this is the message you saw.

It’s great news for many that Apple is offering free email, contacts and calendars, but it irks those people who have recently paid the $99 annual fee for the MobileMe service. Here’s what they need to know, and what Apple hasn’t yet explained.

MobileMe isn’t shutting down. It may be “dead” but Apple is giving everyone who paid for the service another 12 (and a half) months. The company stated that the service will shut down on June 30, 2012.

MobileMe may run for another year, but as of now, there are no new subscribers. Apple is refunding anyone who bought the subscription box with a code, provided they have not yet used the code. If you have the code, or recently paid up, you will simply have the MobileMe service until it shuts down. (If you have a family pack, you can still create family member accounts.)

Hello, iCloud!

The much-talked about iCloud service from Apple was officially detailed today by Steve Jobs himself at the Apple WWDC keynote in San Francisco. Apple will now let you store your files on their servers, but the real application for Apple fans here will be the syncing possibilities iCloud opens up, and that’s what Jobs focused on the most in his speech today.

iCloud is free of charge for everyone – iOS device users, Mac users and PC users alike. All devices registered to you will be able to communicate with iCloud, and all applications on your devices will be fully integrated with it. The service will automatically push new data to all of your other devices. Buy an iBook, and it will be automatically downloaded to your other devices. Take a picture, same thing happens. Store a contact on your iPhone, the iCloud pushes it immediately to your iPad.

Almost everything about the iCloud is automatic. Once a day, your data will be backed up to the cloud, wirelessly. This means all of your data – if you buy a new phone, you can enter your Apple ID, and everything saved to your old phone will be automatically downloaded to your new phone.

iCloud has a few little advantages depending on which app you use it with. When reading an iBook, your progress will be automatically pushed to all of your devices, so you can pick up immediately where you left off on your book when you switch between your iPhone, Mac, and iPad. Photo stream will upload your camera roll to the cloud and push to all other devices. This works with PCs, too, using the pictures folder. iOS devices will then store the 1000 most recent photos, due to storage space considerations, while Macs and PCs will store all photos from all devices.

This isn’t a permanent storage solution, though. Files are stored on iCloud for up to 30 days, meaning this is more of a wireless syncing platform with rolling cloud storage. It’s also not a streaming service – files and apps are downloaded to your devices, so no form of media can actually be streamed from the cloud. There will be 5 GB of free storage available to everyone in iCloud, but purchased items like books and music do not count toward that limit.

iCloud seems to be more of a wireless syncing platform than a storage solution, and is certainly not the streaming media center many were hoping for. But, it is fully integrated with all apps, and to say it’s easy to use would be a little misleading. You don’t really use iCloud at all. You set it up on your devices, and it does the rest in the background, pushing new and updated files and apps to all of your devices in (literally) seconds. It is amazingly fast. iCloud will work over Wi-Fi connections, and will completely replace MobileMe, which will cease to exist after iCloud is fully implemented, which will be sometime this fall, alongside iOS 5.

I’m not going to pretend I’m not looking forward to this, but I will miss the MobileMe gallery, if there’s no suitable replacement. And as for the people who paid $99 for a premium service that won’t be premium in three months, I guess Apple is happy to charge you the early adopter tax. Like you’re surprised!

More on this at:
Apple Announces iCloud at WWDC – Goodbye MobileMe – ChipChick
MobileMe runs till June 2012 – GadgetBox

Skype’s purchase by Microsoft signals strong spell for dotcom sales

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Skype CEO Tony Bates seal the deal. Photograph: Susana Bates/Reuters

Little more than a decade after the dotcom bubble burst, the internet business is once again partying like it is 1999. The frenzy of deal-making in Silicon Valley, which is turning social media entrepreneurs into multibillionaires, moved up another notch when splashed out $8.5bn for the loss-making internet telephone service .

Tuesday’s buy is a record for the software giant and takes the total value of worldwide tech-related deals so far this year to $85.5bn (£52bn) – the strongest spell since the months before the dotcom bubble burst on 10 March 2000.

Analysts said the deal would give a boost in its increasingly bitter battle with and . Skype boasts about 170 million users every month and is adding 600,000 a day. But most calls are free and the service has struggled to make a profit. Last year it lost $7m.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, said that with Microsoft’s backing Skype would be able to build a future where “talking to friends and colleagues around the world will be as seamless as talking to them across a kitchen table or a conference room“.

Buying Skype gives Microsoft a recognised brand name on the internet at a time when Google and Apple are both building up their internet phone and video services. “Google has Google Voice, Apple is building up Facetime, Skype is a great brand,” said Colin Gillis, an internet analyst at New York-based BGC Partners.

Gillis said Microsoft was likely to add Skype to its Xbox video games system, Office software and its mobile and tablet software. “Skype addresses some major holes for Microsoft,” he said. “If they don’t screw it up.

Skype was founded in 2003 by Swedish tech entrepreneur Niklas Zennström and the Dane Janus Friis. The service has grown far beyond its techie roots and is already a mainstream product. The retail giant WalMart started selling Skype hardware in 2007. At peak times there are more than 23 million Skype users online.

This is the second time it has been sold to a big tech firm. In 2005 eBay, the online auction company, bought it for $2.5bn. But eBay struggled to integrate Skype and argued with its founders and management, eventually selling it for $2.75bn to a private equity investor, Silver Lake, in 2009 but keeping a 30% stake.

Friis and Zennström also backed the sale as part of a consortium that bought 14% of Skype. Just a year and a half later eBay has made its money back and the founders are sharing a $1.2bn payday. The Skype deal ranks as the biggest in Microsoft’s 36-year history and follows multibillion-dollar strategic purchases by other tech giants including Intel, which bought the virus software specialist McAfee, and Hewlett Packard, which bought the handheld devices firm Palm.

Investors are also fighting over the new generation of tech firms including Facebook, Groupon and Twitter. Google is believed to have made multibillion-dollar offers for both Groupon and Twitter.

Private investors have fought to get a stake in Facebook, which is lining up a share sale next year that could value the firm at more than $70bn.

Apple Confirms White iPhone 4 Coming Tomorrow?

White iPhone 4 Coming Tomorrow?

White iPhone 4 Coming Tomorrow?

It’s finally coming! Apple has officially confirmed the long-awaited white iPhone 4. The mythical device will be available, April 28, on both AT&T and Verzion and in 28 countries.

Pricing is exactly the same as the black iPhone 4 with a two year contract. The device will be available in a 16GB and 32GB model.

Press release after the break..

The white iPhone 4 has finally arrived and it’s beautiful,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “We appreciate everyone who has waited patiently while we’ve worked to get every detail right.

Pricing & Availability

White models of iPhone 4 will be available in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Macau, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK and the US, beginning Thursday, April 28 and in many more countries around the world soon. White iPhone 4 will be available for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 16GB model and $299 (US) for the 32GB model with a new two year agreement through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), at Apple’s retail stores, AT&T and Verizon Wireless stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

Will you be picking up the new White iPhone 4 Tomorrow? let us know in the comments below.

Apple unveils subscription service in App Store

Apple launched a subscription service at the App Store for magazines, newspapers, videos, and music bought through its App Store.

In a move that goes a long way to addressing concerns of many in the magazine and newspaper sectors, Apple said today that publishers will be allowed to set the price and the length of the subscription term. The processing of payments will be Apple’s job and handled within the App Store. Apple will collect 30 percent of the revenue.

Our philosophy is simple,Steve Jobs wrote in a statement. “When Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share. When the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing.

All we require,” Jobs continued, “is that if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app.

The Apple iPad has proven to be a popular media-consumption device and magazine and newspaper executives are typically excited about the tablet’s appeal as an e-reader. But to get their content on the iPad, some in the newspaper and magazine sectors are dissatisfied with the money Apple once offered–a 30 percent cut forever. They were also unhappy with the amount of control Apple would exercise over subscriptions and user data.

But this latest offer from Apple Inc is more publisher friendly, said Chuck McCullagh, a former senior vice president with the Magazine Publishers Association of America.

Apple should become a significant channel and this might reduce pain [for publishers],” McCullagh told CNET. “If Apple brings a customer to app it gets 30 percent. When publisher brings new or existing subscriber, Apple gets nothing. That is an advance.

But McCullagh, who is now a consultant and advises magazines on their digital strategies, also still sees some sticking points. Apple’s requirement that publishers must offer the same subscription for the app as it does out of it, could “bump into the common publisher practice of selling subscriptions at different prices across [distribution] channel’s,” McCullagh said. Some of those channels include the publisher’s Web site, direct mail and newsstands.

Apple said this is the same digital-subscription billing service that the company recently launched with The Daily app, created by News Corp. for the Apple iPad, In that case as with the latest announcement, Apple is giving subscribers the option to provide personal information, such as name and e-mail address, to publishers. This won’t meet the needs of the publishers, McCullagh said, adding that publishers don’t want third parties overseeing their relationship with readers.

Apple said that the relationship between the publisher and the App Store isn’t exclusive. Publishers can sell subscriptions on their own site or offer free access to existing customers, Subscriptions can be weekly, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, biannual, or annual.

Publishers must provide their own authentication process within the app for subscribers who have signed up for service outside the App Store, according to Apple.

Chuck McCullagh is the father of CNET.com reporter Declan McCullagh.

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