Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Starbucks Launches iPhone Payment System Nationally

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Starbucks today announced the launch of mobile payment in all U.S. company-operated stores, allowing customers to pay for in-store purchases with select smartphones. Building on the earlier introduction of Starbucks Card Mobile App for select BlackBerry smartphones, iPhone and iPod touch and a successful mobile payment test program, customers now have access to the largest mobile payment program in the U.S. and the fastest way to pay at Starbucks. This national program now includes nearly 6,800 company-operated stores and more than 1,000 Starbucks in U.S. Target locations.

To experience mobile payment at Starbucks, customers just need to download the free Starbucks Card Mobile App for select BlackBerry smartphones, iPhone or iPod touch mobile devices. In addition to the mobile payment capability, the app allows customers to manage their Starbucks Card account, check their card balance, reload their card with any major credit card (iPhone users can also use the PayPal feature), check their My Starbucks Rewards status and find a nearby Starbucks store with the store locator feature.

Customers can pay with their smartphone by holding their mobile device in front of a scanner on the countertop and scan the Starbucks Card Mobile App’s on-screen barcode to make a purchase. Customers have successfully adopted this technology in test markets in Seattle, Northern California, New York and more than 1,000 Starbucks in U.S. Target stores.

You can download Starbucks Card Mobile from the App Store for free.
















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MegaReader Update Uses Camera View as Page Background

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MegaReader has been updated with a new Heads Up Display feature that uses the camera view as the page background.

Always have something to read. MegaReader gives you access to over 1.8 million free eBooks – that’s right, almost 2 million free books! Build your own personal library from both the classics and free modern indie books for easy reading on the go.

And now MegaReader is the world's first eBook reader with a Heads Up Display (HUD) option! It is like reading a book printed on glass. See through a book, while you read through a book. (Available on devices with cameras running iOS 4.0 or greater.)

MEGA EASY TO USE
MegaReader comes with 26 great books already downloaded to get you started, including works from Jane Austen, Dale Carnegie, Agatha Christie, Paulo Coelho, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jack London, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Personalize the look of your book from one of the 19 predefined color schemes or create your own from 1000s of colors. Choose from 31 fonts, 100s of font sizes, margin width, line spacing, and text justification.

MegaReader remembers your place in a book, allows you to read in portrait or landscape mode, and will tell you how long you have to finish a chapter based on the built-in speed reading test.

Search, discover, and download books from six great online catalogs, or import your own books over Wi-Fi. Then enjoy your downloaded books anytime, anywhere. No network connection required.

MEGA INTEGRATION
MegaReader works with iBookshelf and MyLibrary—two great cataloging apps that keep track of all your physical and digital media assets. Find local libraries which have a book you're interested in, remember who you lent a book to, and keep track of the books you want to read.

MEGA FACTS
MegaReader is brought to you by the makers of the popular QuickReader app. QuickReader uses the latest in speed reading technology to teach you to read faster. If you want to read faster, check out www.quickreader.net. If you just want tons of free books to read wherever you go with a sleek customizable interface, then MegaReader is the app for you.

What's New In This Version:
Heads Up Display support on devices with cameras running iOS 4.0 or greater. Uses the camera view as the page background. Turn on in settings.

You can purchase MegaReader Free Books from the App Store for $1.99.
















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Playboy Will Arrive on iPad in March, Uncensored

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Playboy will arrive on the iPad in March, include the entire back catalog, and be uncensored, according to tweets made by Hugh Hefner.

Big news! Playboy--both old & new--will be available on iPad beginning in March.

@hughmcook Playboy on iPad will be uncensored, Hugh.

It's unclear if this is a special exception granted to Playbook or whether Apple will start letting applications with adult content into its App Store.







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Gruber Says iPad 2 Won't Have Retina Display

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John Gruber from Daring Fireball says the iPad 2 will not have a Retina Display despite evidence which suggests it will.

I asked around, and according to my sources, it is too good to be true: the iPad 2 does not have a retina display. I believe the iPad 2’s display will remain at 1024 × 768. Its display may be improved in other ways — brighter, better power consumption, thinner, perhaps. Maybe it uses the new manufacturing technique Apple introduced with the iPhone 4 display, which brings the LCD closer to the surface of the touchscreen glass — making it look more like pixels on glass rather than pixels under glass. But my sources are pretty sure that it’s not 2048 × 1536 or any other "super high resolution".

Gruber believes the @2x images found buried in developer firmware may be for a prototype but not a prototype that will be released this year. Engadget has responded to the article saying, "I think the key here is that you’re saying it's 2x or nothing, but we’re not making the same claim." Gruber concedes it is possible that the iPad 2 could get a smaller resolution increase but feels its unlikely for reasons pertaining to UI scaling math.




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Microsoft Offers a Geohot a Windows Phone 7 Handset

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Microsoft is offering Geohot a free WP7 handset after he suggested their methods of dealing with hackers were a lot better than Sony's.

Linking to an Engadget article on the Windows Phone 7 jailbreak, Geohot writes, "perhaps a more appropriate way to deal with jailbreakers. I'm going out to buy a Windows 7 phone"

It seems Microsoft got wind of his statement and tweeted...

#geohot if you want to build cool stuff on #wp7, send me email and the team will give you a phone - let dev creativity flourish #wp7dev




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Leaked Images of HP's Upcoming WebOS Tablets

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Leaked images of HP's upcoming webOS tablets have been posted online by Engadget.

A trusted tipster just sent in these internal renders of HP / Palm's "Topaz" webOS tablet, which is one of two tablets currently being developed in Sunnyvale. That's right, two tablets: the 9-inch Topaz and a 7-inch model codnamed Opal -- a lineup that fits nicely into Palm's "Something big, Something small, Something beyond" tagline for its upcoming February 9th event.

The renders show a no-button design, a front-facing camera, a micro USB port, and three speakers. The iPad has also been rumored to be heading towards a no-button design.

HP then responded to the leaks and said there was more to it come February 9.




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Apple Spends $3.9 Billion on Secret Contracts

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Apple has entered into secret long term component supply contracts worth $3.9 billion over the next two years, according to Apple COO Tim Cook.

AppleInsider reports that during the Apple Q1 2011 financial results conference call, Cook was asked about what components were involved. Cook declined to give specifics but said...

"On the operational side of house," Cook stated, "we've historically entered into agreements with others to supply; largest one was with flash memory suppliers back in 2005 that totaled over a $1 billion, because flash would become increasingly import across product line and industry."

"We think that was an absolutely fantastic use of Apple's cash and we constantly look for more of these. In the past several quarters, we've identified another area and come to recent agreements."

Cook described the deal as "similar to flash agreement, focused in an area that we feel is very strategic," but said he would "prefer not to go into more details about what specific area it's in, but it's the same kind of thinking that led us to those deals."




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Apple Releases iDVD 7.1.1 Update

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Apple has released a minor update to iDVD 7.1.1, its DVD creation software for Mac OS X.

This update improves overall stability and ensures compatibility when sending slideshows from iPhoto '11 to iDVD.

This update is recommended for all users of iDVD 7.

You can download the update by selecting Software Update from the Apple menu at the top left of your screen.


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Steve Jobs Contradicts Report of OS X Server's Demise

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After a rumor that Mac OS X Server would be discontinued recently surfaced, a concerned user emailed Steve Jobs and got a response

Q: If you are abandoning enterprise solutions by eliminating the Xserve, does that mean OS X Server is not far behind? It seems that way. I would hate to see that because I like the product.

A: No.

Sent from my iPhone

This is the usual Steve Jobs response and could be a clever way of addressing the issue. It is not clear if OS X Server has a bright future, or if its discontinuation would happen a bit further down the road.



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Apple Announces 'Phenomenal Holiday Quarter'

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Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2011 first quarter ended December 25, 2010. The Company posted record revenue of $26.74 billion and record net quarterly profit of $6 billion, or $6.43 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $15.68 billion and net quarterly profit of $3.38 billion, or $3.67 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 38.5 percent compared to 40.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 62 percent of the quarter's revenue.

Apple sold 4.13 million Macs during the quarter, a 23 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 16.24 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 86 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 19.45 million iPods during the quarter, representing a seven percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter. The Company also sold 7.33 million iPads during the quarter.

"We had a phenomenal holiday quarter with record Mac, iPhone and iPad sales," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We are firing on all cylinders and we've got some exciting things in the pipeline for this year including iPhone 4 on Verizon which customers can't wait to get their hands on."

"We couldn't be happier with the performance of our business, generating $9.8 billion in cash flow from operations during the December quarter," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO. "Looking ahead to the second fiscal quarter of 2011, we expect revenue of about $22 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $4.90."

Apple will provide live streaming of its Q1 2011 financial results conference call beginning at 2:00 p.m. PST on January 18, 2011 at www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/earningsq111. This webcast will also be available for replay for approximately two weeks thereafter.




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TiVo Finally Releases Its iPad App

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TiVo has finally released its much anticipated remote control application for the iPad.

TiVo is proud to introduce the world's most amazing remote control, designed especially for the TiVo Premiere box. The TiVo app for iPad is a fun new companion for your TiVo box that let's you search, browse, discover and share without ever interrupting what you're watching. Now you can quickly surface new content, view guides, schedule and manage recordings, get recommendations, or investigate a particular actor's entire resume—all using intuitive, gesture-based iPad interaction. It even enables you to post comments about a specific show or movie on your Twitter or Facebook page. It's an innovative new way of interacting with your TiVo while you're kicking back on the couch.

Works with TiVo Premiere and TiVo Premiere XL boxes.

Features:
● Browse full-screen program guide without interrupting playback. View shows up to 14 days in advance
● Schedule one-time recordings and Season Pass® recordings
● Start watching a show with the flick of a finger
● Browse your recorded shows and quickly launch a video on your TiVo Premiere. Initiate playback of a recorded show on TiVo Premiere from the iPad
● Search for programs and actors. Search across broadcast TV and TiVo's premium broadband providers—like Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand—and see integrated results
● Explore cast and crew while watching a show
● Post about what you're watching on your Facebook page or Twitter account
● Intuitive, gesture-based remote control
● Manage Season Pass recordings and the To-Do List. Delete and reprioritize recordings for your favorite shows
● Schedule, Search and Browse for shows while you're out of the house. Instantly schedule shows while you're not at home

You can download TiVo from the App Store for free.













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Microsoft Releases OneNote for the iPhone

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Microsoft has released OneNote Mobile, a note-taking application, for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Microsoft OneNote Mobile is the easy-to-use, powerful note-taking application for all of your ideas, brought to you by Microsoft Office. OneNote Mobile lets you create and view notes and lists whenever you need them. Sync your notes with free Windows Live online storage and access them from virtually anywhere using your phone, PC, or almost any web browser.

With OneNote Mobile, you can:
▪ Create flexible notes that can include text, pictures, bullets, and checkboxes
▪ Check To Do items off on the go
▪ Save time with quick access to your most recent notes
▪ Work with confidence—OneNote Mobile automatically syncs your notes with Windows Live in the background
▪ Organize your notes into sections or create new notebooks using OneNote 2010 or OneNote Web App and access them from your iPhone

You can download OneNote from the App Store for free.















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Plants vs. Zombies for iPhone Adds Game Center Support

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Plants vs. Zombies, a popular game for the iPhone and iPod touch, has been updated with Apple Game Center support.

A mob of fun-loving zombies is about to invade your home. Use your arsenal of 49 zombie-zapping plants — peashooters, wall-nuts, cherry bombs and more — to mulchify 26 types of zombies before they break down your door.

50 FUN-DEAD LEVELS
Conquer all 50 levels of Adventure mode — through day, night, fog, in a swimming pool, on the rooftop and more! Replay levels in the all-new Quick Play arena.

NOT YOUR GARDEN-VARIETY GHOULS
Battle zombie pole-vaulters, snorkelers, bucket-heads and more. Each has its own special skills, so you'll need to think fast and plant faster to combat them all.

SMARTER THAN YOUR AVERAGE ZOMBIE
Be careful how you use your limited supply of greens and seeds. Zombies love brains so much they'll jump, run, dance, swim and even eat plants to get into your house.

FIGHT LONGER, GET STRONGER
Earn 49 powerful perennials and collect coins to buy power-ups and more.

GROW WITH YOUR GAME
Earn 25 iPhone-exclusive achievements and show off your zombie-zapping prowess.

MORE COOL FEATURES
-Compatible with iOS 4 multi-tasking.
-Loads of performance enhancements and bug fixes.

What's New In This Version:
- Game Center support! Track your awesome achievements from the Game Center app and show them off to your friends.
- New easy rating system – let everybody know how awesome Plants vs. Zombies is with a 5-star rating in the App Store!
- General bug squashing

You can purchase Plants vs. Zombies from the App Store for $2.99.









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ION Piano Features Built-In iPad Dock

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ION has unveiled an 88-key digital piano that comes with a built-in iPad dock and app to help you learn the instrument.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Concert Piano from ION! This 88-key digital piano has a stylish wood grain and built-in speakers to perform all your favorite tunes. There’s even a cradle to hold an iPad and a downloadable music-learning app!

Concert Piano's 88 full-sized, semi-weighted keys make it feel like you're playing a grand piano, while its space-saving design lets you fit Concert Piano just about anywhere in your home. Concert Piano's beautiful wood-grain exterior means it fits right in as a piece of furniture too. You and your guests will enjoy room-filling sound from Concert Piano's built-in, amplified speaker system. Piano sounds are included so you can use Concert Piano even if you don't have an iPad.

Features:
● 88-note velocity-sensitive digital piano for practice and performance
● Internal sounds and built-in speakers let you start playing the piano immediately
● Easily incorporate an iPad into your playing routine using CONCERT PIANO's built-in cradle
● Includes an iPad app download with instructional videos demonstrating piano techniques
● Classic wood-grain exterior with stand looks great either in your living room or on stage

No price or release date information is currently available.



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StompBox Pedal Controller for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

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Griffin has announced StompBox, an upcoming pedal controller for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

With assignable foot switches and a 1/4" effects pedal input jack, our StompBox allows musicians to use a compatible iOS device (i.e., iPhone, iPad or iPod touch) as a portable, programmable effects board and practice rig. StompBox effectively recreates the experience of an actual pedalboard.

Developed in partnership with Frontier Design Group (developers of iShred LIVE, iShred, Guitar, and other apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch), StompBox brings a new level of realism to iPad-based music effects apps like iShred LIVE by replicating the performance-ready durability of pro-quality effects pedals. Connected to a compatible iPad or other iOS device with a 1-meter-long heavy-duty dock connector cable, StompBox gives the user four professional quality foot switches. StompBox accepts an industry-standard 1/4" mono plug from a wide range of variable inputs, including volume, expression, and wah-wah pedals.

Features
● Studio-quality 4-channel effects pedalboard for use with guitar, bass, and other musical instruments
● 1/4" jack accommodates plugs from variable inputs like volume, expression, or wah-wah pedals
● Brings true pedalboard experience to iPad; interfaces with the iShred LIVE app to switch between effects, start and stop practice tracks or metronome, and more
● Heavy-duty dock connector cable links StompBox to iPad or other compatible iOS device
● Included GuitarConnect cable plugs into your musical instrument
● Developed for use with Frontier Design's iShred LIVE app (available separately)
● Controls StompBox-enabled apps for iPad, allowing user input through its foot switches

StompBox is coming soon for a price of $99.99.


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Best Buy Inventory System Lists White iPhone 4

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Best Buy's internal inventory system is now listing the white iPhone 4 with a February 27th launch date, according to MacRumors.

We've received information today from a source sharing the above screenshot claimed to be from a Best Buy inventory database showing both 16 GB and 32 GB white iPhone 4 models listed with expected in-stock dates of February 27th. The SKU and model numbers associated with the entries are identical to those previously used by Best Buy when it was taking pre-orders for the white iPhone 4 prior to last summer's launch, pre-orders that were canceled when Apple delayed availability of the white versions.

The white iPhone 4 was also recently discovered in the inventory system of Vodafone Germany.






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