Iphone

Apple admits there is a problem with iPhone 4S’s battery life – but says it will take weeks to fix

Apple has finally admitted that there are problems with the new iPhone 4S’s battery life, after weeks of reports of devices overheating and batteries draining in less than 12 hours.

The good news is that the problem appears to be due to a bug in the iOS 5 software that the phones use – rather than a problem with the battery itself. The bad news is that the problem will take ‘a few weeks’ to fix.

Speaking to website AllThingsD, Apple said, “A small number of customers have reported lower than expected battery life on iOS 5 devices.

“We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks.”

Mac websites also report that a new ‘test’ version of the software has already gone out to app developers, and one of the changes is that the new software, “Fixes bugs affecting battery life.” Australian users will also be reassured to find that the new software reportedly makes it easier for iPhone’s Siri voice control system to understand their accents No fix is in the pipeline for Scots who find that the voice-command system can’t understand them, however some temporary fixes are available for the battery problem, however. Apple’s official ‘help’ forums have been deluged by complaints about the problem – with some users reporting that the battery lasts less than a day. Sites such as Macworld have offered guides to how to ‘fix’ the handset while users wait for help from Apple.

So far, though, no one solution appears to fit all the problems. The Apple fan site iDownloadblog suggests that the problem might be in the section of the Settings menu dealing with the phone resetting its time zone when you travel.

iOS 5′s GM release introduced a bug that causes the Setting Time Zone function to keep the location tracking circuitry running constantly, draining battery power considerably,’ said the site.

Switching it off may mean that your iPhone will no longer set its own time zone when you travel. “But that’s a small price to pay for having your iPhone last more than 12 hours on a full charge.

So far, though, the fix is not confirmed to work on all affected iPhone units. Other users have reported different bugs where using the browser causes battery life to drop alarmingly. Others have found that the phone gets worryingly hot in their pockets Apple has reportedly been in touch with individual iPhone users over the past days to try and pin down the root of the problem.

iTunes 10.5 – Now available for download

Summary: Full of iCloud goodness.

Ahead of tomorrow’s release of iOS 5 and iCloud, Apple has released an update for iTunes.

iTunes in the Cloud
iTunes now stores your music and TV purchases in iCloud and makes them available on your devices anywhere, any time, at no additional cost.

Automatic Downloads
Purchase music from any device or computer and automatically download a copy to your Mac and iOS devices.

Download Previous Purchases
Download your past music, TV, app, and book purchases again, at no additional cost. (Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer on the iTunes Store)

Sync More
Sync with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 5.

Wi-Fi Syncing
Automatically sync your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iTunes any time they’re both on the same Wi-Fi network.

iTunes 10.5 brings with it compatibility with iOS 5 and iCloud, and adds support for the iTunes Match part of the iCloud service.

iTunes Match is a $24.99/year subscription service that allows users to have their entire music library synced with Apple’s database of over 20 million tracks, making those songs available for use on any iCloud-enabled device. If a particular track isn’t available on iTunes, don’t worry, it can be uploaded so it too is available to all your devices.

If you’re going to be upgrading to iOS 5 tomorrow then you will need this update, so get it now rather than having to fight it out tomorrow.

Updated (07:01PM) with information on Windows-specific elements of iTunes 10.5
ITunes 10.5 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later. On the Windows side, iTunes patches a slew of vulnerabilities, including several that could allow a remote attacker to execute malicious code. iTunes 10.5 also marks the first time an iTunes installation on Windows doesn’t include (or require) QuickTime.

Apple loses another unreleased iPhone

Cava22, the San Francisco bar where another unreleased iPhone apparently went missing. (Credit: James Martin/CNET)

In a bizarre repeat of a high-profile incident last year, an Apple employee once again appears to have lost an unreleased iPhone in a bar, CNET has learned.

The errant iPhone, which went missing in San Francisco’s Mission district in late July, sparked a scramble by Apple security to recover the device over the next few days, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

Last year, an iPhone 4 prototype was bought by a gadget blog that paid $5,000 in cash. This year’s lost phone seems to have taken a more mundane path: it was taken from a Mexican restaurant and bar and may have been sold on Craigslist for $200. Still unclear are details about the device, what version of the iOS operating system it was running, and what it looks like.

While Apple has not publicly announced any plans for future phones, unconfirmed reports in the last few weeks suggest the launch date for the iPhone 5 is likely to be in early October. Other reports from Taiwan have set the date at September or October. (See CNET’s iPhone 5 rumor roundup.)

Apple declined to comment after being contacted this morning. A spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department said the company did not file a police report based on the loss at the bar. Craigslist did not respond to requests for comment.

A day or two after the phone was lost at San Francisco’s Cava 22, which describes itself as a “tequila lounge” that also serves lime-marinated shrimp ceviche, Apple representatives contacted San Francisco police, saying the device was priceless and the company was desperate to secure its safe return, the source said.

Cava22, in San Francisco's Mission District, where another unreleased iPhone apparently went missing last month. (Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Apple electronically traced the phone to a two-floor, single-family home in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, according to the source.

When San Francisco police and Apple’s investigators visited the house, they spoke with a man in his twenties who acknowledged being at Cava 22 on the night the device went missing. But he denied knowing anything about the phone. The man gave police permission to search the house, and they found nothing, the source said. Before leaving the house, the Apple employees offered the man money for the phone no questions asked, the source said, adding that the man continued to deny he had knowledge of the phone.

After last year’s embarrassing loss, Apple reportedly has taken extraordinary steps to protect its prototype devices from leaks. Next-generation iPhones are sent to carriers for testing “inside locked and sealed boxes so that the carriers can carry out checks on their network compatibility in their labs,” according to the Guardian.

Apple developers have been given new iPhones with an upgraded processor — the one that is used in the iPad 2 and is expected to appear in the next-generation iPhone. But the device “is virtually identical to the iPhone 4, and there is no way anyone can tell it’s not an iPhone 4 based on the phone’s exterior,” a report at 9to5Mac.com says. Even last year’s prototype was enclosed in a case designed to make it look like an iPhone 3GS.

Last year’s prototype iPhone went missing when Robert Gray Powell, an Apple computer engineer who was 28 years old at the time, left it in a German beer garden in Redwood City, Calif.

In early August, San Mateo County prosecutors filed misdemeanor criminal charges against two men, Brian Hogan and Sage Wallower, for allegedly selling Powell’s iPhone 4 prototype to Gawker Media’s Gizmodo blog. An arraignment is scheduled for tomorrow.

Prosecutors obtained a warrant to search the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, and indicated they might prosecute Gizmodo, but eventually decided not to file charges.

Under a California law dating back to 1872, any person who finds lost property and knows who the owner is likely to be–but “appropriates such property to his own use”–is guilty of theft. In addition, a second state law says any person who knowingly receives property that has been obtained illegally can be imprisoned for up to one year.

CNET’s Josh Lowensohn and Elinor Mills contributed to this report.

(Report credit: CNET News, Josh Lowensohn and Elinor Mills.)

Google+ iPhone App Now Live In The App Store [+PHOTOS]

Google+

Google+’s iPhone app is now live in the App Store, and you can download the free app here. (Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4. Requires iOS 3.1 or later)

From Google’s description of the app, Google+ for mobile makes sharing the right things with the right people a lot simpler. Huddle lets you send super-fast messages to the people you care about most. And no matter where you are, the stream lets you stay in the loop about what your friends are sharing and where they’re checking in.

Similar to the web product, Google+ for iPhone includes Circles, your stream of updated from contacts, and Huddle, for group messaging in your circles.

While the Google+ Android app was ready to go on day one, the Google+ iPhone app had remained in review with Apple. Until now, iPhone users have had to access a mobile web version of Google+ in Safari, which wasn’t nearly as feature-filled as the Android app.

It appears that the iPhone app and Android app are fairly similar in functionality except for the instant upload feature that is included in the Android app. Instant Upload automatically uploads videos and photos to your Google+ album in the cloud.

As Larry Page told us last week “Google+ now has has over 10 million users who have created profiles (after two weeks), and these users are sharing and receiving 1 billion items per day.



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

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