Been waiting for Apple to refresh its mobile operating system? Well, the wait is over, as Cupertino has just released iOS 6.0.1 with the promise of improvements and bug fixes. We just grabbed the update ourselves, and among the highlights are: a fix for the iPhone 5′s inability to receive OTA software updates, problems with the phone and the 5th-gen iPod Touch connecting to WPA2 encrypted WiFi networks, and other cellular connectivity issues as well. There’s also fixes for a passcode lock bug, a graphical keyboard glitch and a bug that prevented the 5′s camera flash from firing. Sound good? Go grab the download and let us know how it’s treating you in the comments below.
Update: Thanks to our friends at TUAW, we should point out that iPhone 5 owners will need to download an updater app before they can grab 6.0.1.
We noticed during the iPhone 5 launch that Apple had a big caveat with its Lightning to 30-pin adapter: no video or iPod out support. Now that the new iPads are here with that same connector, the problem’s been partially rectified — for a sum. Namely, you can grab the Lightning to VGA or digital AV (HDMI) adapters for a rather princely $49, though there’s no sign of any iPod support yet. If you’re still holding out for generic models instead, you may want to rethink that plan, as there’s a control chip inside each, and so far only Apple holds the authentication keys. Also, a new $19 12W USB power adapter (which connects directly to the Lightning port) has also appeared for the 3rd and 4th generation iPads, bumping the previous version’s 10W — meaning your slate might get charged a bit quicker.
Over the next few weeks, we can surely expect iOS developers from all over the globe to start pushing out updates to make their applications better interact with Apple’s iOS 6 and that all-new screen found on the iPhone 5. And, because we know some of you choose Chrome over Cupertino’s built-in Safari browser, we thought we’d single out the fact that Google has outed a new version of the app which makes it friendly with the new iPhone’s larger display as well as the most recent variant of iOS. Aside from the iPhone 5 / iOS 6 compatibility, though, Mountain View also bundled in some undisclosed stability and security improvements in version 21.0.1180.82 (!) of the web browsing application. As is usually the case, you’ll find the updated Chrome goods in the App Store — link for that is just down below.
By now, you’re probably familiar with Apple’s latest earbuds. But are they an improvement over their arguably disposable predecessor, you ask? You bet. Still, they’re not going to win out over high-end or even mid-range audio options. That’s to be expected, though — the EarPods do sound better, and, well, they cost 29 bucks and ship with all of the devices Apple announced today. The attractive white ‘buds are packaged in a plastic case that’s quite similar to the enclosure that Apple introduced with its previous-gen step-up set. They’re very lightweight, not that you had any doubts, and appear to be durable enough. The “one size fits all” design worked well in our ears — it wasn’t a snug fit by any means, but we didn’t fear that they’d fall to the ground with the slightest movement.
You’ll net the best performance in quieter settings, considering that they don’t isolate sound like some other options on the market, and if you’re a frequent air traveler or often find yourself working in noisy environments, you’ll probably want to consider other options. That said, folks who don’t need the absolute best or want to save up for a better solution should find these to be sufficient — we didn’t have a chance to do any in-depth testing and analysis, but expect that to come after we’ve had a chance to digest all of today’s new gadgets. For now, you can take a closer look in the hands-on gallery just below.
While we won’t be seeing the heavily redesigned iTunes 11 until October, Apple has unveiled a new update ready for its roster of new devices, not to mention the incoming iOS 6. The refresh will work with the fresh-off-the-production-line iPod Nano and Shuffle hardware — but that’s the extent of what’s new in the 165MB download. You can grab it at the source below.
It’s obvious that the iPhone 5 is the star of today’s show, but Apple’s not letting its iPod line go untouched. The newest iPod touch takes a note from the newfangled display on its cellular sibling, bringing a vaster panel (the same 4-inch, 1,136 x 640 one found on the new iPhone). At 88 grams and just 6.1mm thick, it’s also shockingly thin and light — of course, the anodized aluminum backing makes it feel like a premium piece of kit. Premium, as in, right up there with the iPhone. In a world where Apple’s seeing its iPod sales sink quarter after quarter due to self-cannibalization from the iPad and iPhone, it’s interesting (but appreciated) to see so much effort placed on the new iPod touch.
The introduction of the dual-core A5 chip (that’s dual-core on the CPU and the graphics side) is a huge boon for the touch. Apple’s claiming a 7x improvement in graphics, and given that this thing is claiming such a huge swath of the mobile gaming market, it’s pretty much a necessity. Indeed, our interactions with the device were notably faster than on the prior touch. We didn’t exactly have 40 hours here to test the audio playback claims (in fact, we didn’t even have eight to test the claims on video), but you can bet that’ll be a huge selling point.
At long last, the iPhone 5. We just got our hands on Apple’s latest smartphone following its unveiling in San Francisco, and suffice it to say, it’s a beautiful thing. Some might say we’ve been waiting for this moment since October 4th of last year, but another crowd may say that the real next-gen iPhone has been on the burner for much longer. Indeed, this is the first iPhone since June of 2010 to showcase an entirely new design, but it’s obvious that Apple’s not going to deviate far when it comes to aesthetics.
Apple followers will aptly recall Steve Jobs’ quote in July of 2010 — you know, that one about “no one” wanting a big phone, with current CEO Tim Cook seated just feet from Steve as the phrase was uttered. Now, however, Apple’s inching ever closer to that very realm, with an elongated 4-inch display that enables new apps to take advantage of more pixels (1,136 x 640), while legacy apps can still operate within a familiar space. The phone itself doesn’t feel too much different than the iPhone 4 and 4S; yes, it’s a bit taller, but by keeping the width the same, you’ll utilize a very familiar grasp to hold it.
In typical Apple fashion, even the finest details have been worked over tirelessly. The metal feels downright elegant to the touch, and the same line we’ve said time and time again applies here: there’s no doubting the premium fit and finish when you clutch one of these things. Yeah, the headphone port’s now on the bottom, but avid Galaxy Nexus iPod touch users shouldn’t have too much trouble adjusting.
Yes, finally — finally — Apple’s years-long headphone debacle may finally be at an end, with the introduction this morning of redesigned earbuds. Their new name: “EarPods.” Like so many things from today’s Apple press conference, the new earphones look an awful lot like a leak we saw earlier this month. Apple says the new earphones feature, “a breakthrough design for a more natural fit and increased durability, and an incredible acoustic quality typically reserved for higher-end earphones.” As seen above, they feature a main and secondary grill on each “pod,” and the iPhone version has an inline remote / microphone built-in along the wire. The set looks starkly different from past Apple earphone offerings — no rubber, distinctly less visible metal, and an all-plastic outer shell.
Rather than create a plugged-up seal as most in-ear headphones do, the pods rest at the edge of your ear canal with the main grill directed straight into it. A port on the back of each bud helps airflow to enhance the midrange, while dual ports on the bottom of each stem helps the bass response. Overall, the intention is to maximize airflow for optimal sound quality. Apple claims the design results in, “overall audio quality [that's] so impressive, they rival high-end headphones that cost hundreds of dollars more.” They’re available today for purchase as a standalone, and will ship with the new iPod Touch, Nano, and iPhone 5. A standalone set with an inline remote / mic will cost you the same $29 price point of its predecessor — and they’re already available at the source link below.
Apple refreshes iPod nano: 2.5-inch multitouch display, 16GB, Bluetooth, available this October for $149
With news of Apple’s shining star, the iPhone 5, out of the way, the company’s shifting focus to its other major pillar: the iPod. Now seven generations in, the iPod nano is getting a refresh with a 38-percent thinner profile and svelte 5.4mm thickness. The multitouch screen now measures 2.5-inches across and sports a physical home button right below. Also packed in to this evolutionary PMP leap is an FM tuner with DVR-like functionality for playback control, Bluetooth radio (for wireless streaming support), inbuilt pedometer and, of course, that slimmed-down Lightning dock connector. And, according to Cupertino, this wee media player should last for up to 30 hours, making it the longest lasting nano the company’s ever built. You can snag this 16GB lil’ fella in a near rainbow of colors — seven in all — this October when it goes on sale for $149.
Now we’re intrigued. It’s a common (if unconfirmed) belief that the next iPhone will support LTE-based 4G, but the Wall Street Journal now understands through the ever-present “people familiar with the matter” that Apple is taking 4G worldwide. Where the current iPad only supports two LTE frequencies and drops to HSPA+ outside of the US and Canada, the new iPhone will supposedly cover parts of Asia and Europe as well. The exact countries haven’t been outlined, although it’s easy to imagine Apple going for those countries where 4G speeds matter the most: there’s been rumblings of talks with KT and SK Telecom in South Korea, but we could also see France, Germany, Japan and Scandiavian countries in the mix. The rumor hasn’t been confirmed, of course. That said, the iPhone was already purported to be using a new cellular chipset — and a number of carriers, most often in the US, have long said they won’t carry new smartphones unless LTE is part of the package. We’ll know the full scoop on Wednesday.
It’s not an iPhone mini or anything, but it’s the first iPhone with Siri. And that has to count for something, right? Right? While it’s no iPhone 5 (not even close, really), the iPhone 4S is far from being “last year’s iPhone,” and the greatly enhanced camera, bolstered A5 dual-core processor and inbuilt voice command should provide plenty of reason for folks to upgrade if they’re near the end of their contract. Furthermore, having the option on Sprint — despite Apple almost announcing it as an afterthought — is bound to make folks already entrenched on the Now Network think twice about what their next phone will be come upgrade time.
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iPhone 4S officially announced: lands October 14th starting at $199 in sizes up to 64GB, coming to Sprint
What’s this? The second coming of the iPhone 4? Sure enough, Tim Cook just pulled the covers off of the hotly-anticipated iPhone 4S here in Cupertino, making 2011 the first year in the company’s current stint in the smartphone business that it chose to launch three new handsets (Verizon’s CDMA iPhone 4 included, of course). On the outside the 4S looks exactly like its predecessor, but on the inside it’s “all new.” Apple has jammed a dual-core A5 CPU inside alongside a new dual-core GPU that supposedly boosts graphics performance by up to 7x. Up front is the same 3.5-inch Retina display we’ve all come to know and love, and around back is a glass plate. Those antennae around the sides (which caused many users so much trouble) have been revamped and iOS will intelligently switch between two different sets on the fly to avoid dropping calls no matter how you hold it. Those antennae are connected to a dual-mode GSM and CDMA radio that will let Apple’s handset roam the globe while enjoying either 14.4Mbps HSPA+ or EV-DO Rev. A.
While the iPhone 4S takes the headlines with its dual antennas and upgraded processor, we also have a new white iPod touch joining the family. Pricing for the “#1 portable game player” (Apple’s words, with some numbers to back them up) still starts at $199 for the 8GB version, going up $399 for a 64GB. All will be available in black or white October 12th. There’s no hardware changes to speak of, so hopefully all those sweet iOS 5 upgrades are enough to hold you. Check out the full details in our live blog or in the press release, conveniently available after the break.
Oh, iFaithful, your newest Apple phone(s) are only a day away. Which is even more reason to hunker down into this latest chunk of pre-announcement gossip. According to information obtained by the Wall Street Journal, Sprint’s betting the farm on a 30 million-plus order of next-generation iPhones to put it on an even battle ground with heavyweight rivals AT&T and Verizon. The cost of this loss-absorbing gamble? That would be about $20 billion, with the Hesse-led co. subsidizing the $500 cost of each handset. For the third place operator it’s matter of do-or-die, as there really isn’t an alternative to the critically-praised, Jony Ive-designed handset that set off this smartphone race. Hesse’s purported admission to the company’s board that customer churn is directly linked to its iPhone omission only serves to underscore the uncomfortable plight his company faces. It remains to be seen if Sprint can convert its base of 52 million subscribers (mostly pre-paid) into the contracted customers it needs to stay financially afloat. While an iPhone on Sprint certainly seems a given, it’s unclear whether this next device will opt for a WiMAX or LTE radio.
Well, since Samsung couldn’t get an early peek at the iPhone 5 and iPad 3, the company has simply decided to take a page from Apple’s playbook. A senior exec told The Korea Times it plans to file a request to block the sale of the upcoming iOS handset in its Korean homeland the moment the device is announced. According to the Times, the anonymous exec said it would leverage its wireless technology patents and demand that Apple either remove the telecommunications features — turning the iPhone into an iPod touch — or simply be banished from the Korean market. The knock-down-drag-out war between the two companies has only seemed to escalate in recent weeks, as Sammy has taken a much more combative and offensiveapproach. We can only hope the two get tired of divvying up the globe and declare a draw in this game of patent Risk.
While the world waits to find out what the fifth-generation iPhone looks like, TechCrunch reports an anonymous app developer has pulled information from their registration logs confirming the existence of a new device that’s rocking both CDMA and GSM radios. That conclusion is based on registrations that came from the same device that show mobile network codes and mobile country codes from both AT&T and Verizon. This is hardly shocking however, since the Verizon iPhone 4 already has a dual mode chipset from Qualcomm with the GSM side turned off, and we’d heard back in January that Apple was planning to go the one-size-fits-all route this time around. Who this does matter for however, could be world travelers that will find keeping their device connected between countries and networks much easier with a world iPhone, whenever the new phone is revealed later this year. The bad news is still the same however, as this probably also means there’s no plans for speedy LTE access — pencil in a pithy explanation from Steve about why it’s not necessary here.
Apple’s fondness for anorexic handhelds knows no bounds, and if this alleged deal with the Asian foundry holds water, expect to see its waistband tighten further. Rumoured back before the iPad 2 launch, the house-that-Steve-built’s reportedly been eyeing Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp to produce an ‘A6′ for its upcoming iPhone refresh. While it’s easy to dismiss this purported move as a direct diss to Samsung, what’s more likely is that Cupertino’s engaging in a competitive bit of size does matter — specifically, the A5′s 45nm process. A transition to newer, lower power 28nm ARM chips would give Jonathan Ives’ employer a distinct market advantage, dwarfing even TSMC’s current 40nm in the process. While it’s all still just speculation for now, only time and an iPhone 5tear-down will tell for sure.