News

AT&T Rolls Out FaceTime Over Cellular to Select Customers

AT&T announced earlier this month that iOS 6 users with an LTE device and a "tiered data plan" would be allowed to use FaceTime over a cellular connection. While a step in the right direction, AT&T's new restrictions still left out those with grandfathered unlimited data plans and older devices. However, it looks like AT&T may have had a change of heart.

Unlimited Data

According to Cult of Mac and MacRumor forum users, grandfathered customers with unlimited data plans, and those with the iPhones 4S can now use FaceTime over a cellular connection. Cult of Mac reader Michael B. was one of the first to notice the change:

"I have AT&T grandfathered unlimited data. Rebooted my phone and now FaceTime is enabled. Woohoo! Looks like AT&T’s accountants figured out that they’ll make a bundle on overages with everyone making phone calls in High Def."

Nokia HERE Maps Now Available for the iPhone and iPad

iOS 6 users looking for a way to replace Apple Maps may want to check out the new Nokia HERE Maps application now available in the App store. The app delivers features that Apple Maps lacks like voice-guided walking navigation and public transportation routes. Users can also download and save maps to use later without a data connection.

iOS Maps

Other features include: The ability to search with history and suggestions, easy social network sharing, the ability to organize your favorite destinations into "collections", walk navigation through pedestrian routes, parks, alleyways, and of course public transportation and driving directions.

iPhone 5S Could Arrive in Summer 2013

If you thought it was too early to start thinking about Apple's next iPhone, then think again. A report cited by MacRumors points to an iPhone 5S launch next summer, well ahead of the one-year anniversary of the iPhone 5 next September. Not only this, but Apple could also be looking to refresh the iPad with Retina display in June or July.

iPhone 5S coming soon

Announcing a fifth-generation iPad next summer would stagger the update with an iPad mini 2 launch in October 2013. Apple is rumored to already be testing the trial production of an iPhone 5S, with full manufacturing to ramp up early next year. Component suppliers in Asia are expected to benefit from strong demand from Apple during this time period thanks to the new product releases.

VLC Media Player App Coming Back to Apple iOS?

One of the more versatile video applications to be released for iOS, VLC Media Player was launched in late 2010 by Applidium. Unfortunately for VLC fans the app was pulled due to wording the General Public License (GPL). Now according to a report by Cult of Mac the app could return to the App Store.

VLC Media Player iOS

The open-source GPL didn't allow Applidium to distribute VLC Media Player in the App Store, since Apple controls content in the store with Digital Rights Management (DRM) controls. VideoLAN, the creators of VLC have since changed the licensing on their software over to the Lesser General Public License (LGPL), opening the door for developers like Applidium to distribute apps built on the software in venues like the App Store.

Future iPhones Could Feature Automatic Zooming

Even after all of the patent battles over mobile device gestures, Apple is setting its sights on the future by looking beyond the touch screen alone. Future iPhones and iPads could feature a invention that would replace or supplement pinch-to-zoom gestures with other technology. A patent for the concept was filed by Apple in May 2011.

auto zoom patent Apple

The above diagram from AppleInsider shows how the automatic zoom system might work on an iOS device. Essentially content on the screen would dynamically resize based on the change in distance from the viewer's face. There would be two distinct modes of operation for the automatic zoom feature.

AT&T Continues LTE Network Expansion

One of the advantages the iPhone 5 brings to users is high-speed LTE connectivity. Download speeds have been reported in some cites at over 20 Mbps, exceeding even some wired and wi-fi network connections. AT&T continues to build out its LTE capabilities for subscribers, all part of a $14 billion network expansion.

ATT LTE network

Nine new cities are now in the AT&T Mobility LTE fold, including Annapolis MD, Denver CO, Louisville KY, Milwaukee WI, Minneapolis, MN, Orlando FL, Provo UT, Tacoma WA and York PA. These additions to the network come hot on the heels of LTE service roll outs and expansions in Bakersfield CA, Little Rock AK and the Florida Keys.

JBL Accepting Pre-Orders for First iPhone 5 Speaker Docks

JBL is now accepting pre-orders for two new iPhone 5 speaker docks with built in Lightning connectors. The OnBeat Micro is a portable speaker dock with up to five hours of battery life. It also features a USB port for compatibility with other devices, and it weights just 0.8 pounds for easy travel. It's compatible with all current iPhone and iPod models.

iPhone Lightning

The OnBeat Venue Lightning is a wireless speaker with Lightning connector for the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. The Venue can wirelessly stream music from any Bluetooth device, and features HARMAN TrueStream audio technology.

The OnBeat Micro is priced at $99.95 and the OnBeat Venue Lighning will set you back $199.95.

iPhone Tweak Accelerates iOS Animations

Is your jailbroken iPhone acting slower than normal lately? Now you can speed up everything in iOS with a simple jailbreak tweak. Accelerate actually doesn't change the speed of your device, but it will make system animations faster. This can at least make it seem like things are running more quickly and streamline your iOS experience.

accelerate tweak iOS

The tweak can be found in Cydia on the BigBoss repo for free. To download the tweak your iPhone must be jailbroken. Navigate to Sections -> Tweaks or use the Search function to find Accelerate. Once installed, the tweak will offer several options.

Apple Store Launches Holiday Gift Guide

That time of year when Apple offers discounts for holiday shoppers is fast approaching. The company has launched its online Gift Guide to help shoppers find the perfect electronic gift. This year, Apple is focusing heavily on the iPad mini, the latest iOS device to hit the market.

apple online store gift guide

Besides encouraging iPad sales, several accessories are highlighted that can be used in conjunction with iOS devices. Everything from Mac computers to iPhones and musical instruments can be shipped for free on the Apple online store. Apple's Gift Guide is not the only way to find the perfect item for friends and family. Holiday shopping apps such as whohas.it can track hard-to-find items and send alerts directly to your iOS device when a product becomes available.

Nokia to Launch Maps App for iPhone and Android Devices

Nokia plans to enter the Maps fray by bringing its own mapping application to iOS and Android devices. The company announced on Tuesday it is preparing to release a maps app called "Here" in the Apple App Store. The new application will be free for iPhone, iPad and iPod owners.

Nokia

Nokia hopes offering the application free of charge to iPhone users will help keep the mapping platform competitive. Stephen Elop, chief executive of Nokia, said in an interview that the app needs users to help make the system smarter, but Nokia doesn't plan on giving all of its services away for free. For example, the City Lens app, which allows users to see information about a location when pointing the camera at it, will remain a Lumia phone exclusive.

“For the location platform to be at the highest quality, one needs scale, and you need as many different people contributing as possible,” Mr. Elop said. “Of course, Nokia will build apps, some of them unique to Lumia devices, that gain a competitive advantage for Nokia.”

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