Round Up: The latest iPhone news

There has been much buzz with the new iPhone and OS that’s expected to come out in a couple of weeks. If you enjoy following iPhone news, get ready to roll up your sleeves and dive in. Here we take a moment to point out some of the bigger stories and rumors that have been hitting the web lately.

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Roommate drops dime on iPhone finder, search warrant affidavit unsealed

As if the whole prototype Apple iPhone story couldn’t drag on any longer, Judge Clifford Cretan issued a ruling that unsealed the contents of the search warrant on Jason Chen last week. Here are a few highlights from it:

  • Brian Hogan is named as the one who sold the iPhone to Gizmodo, as well as a suspect in the warrant. He was identified by a roommate, who said that he had been approaching different news outlets with the phone. (Hogan plugged the device into her computer, and she was concerned an IP trace would land her in trouble.)
  • Steve Jobs called Gizmodo’s Brian Lam personally, asking for the prototype back the day before the site published the leak. Lam requested a letter confirming Apple’s ownership of the device prior to giving it back.
  • Gizmodo’s Jason Chen is under investigation for receipt of stolen property, theft, copying of a trade secret, and destruction of property.
  • According to Hogan’s roommate, the amount paid would total $8,500 for the iPhone prototype, from Gizmodo and possibly other sources.
  • Hogan’s other roommate hid relevant items — like a computer, thumb drive, and Apple ID stickers — in various locations in the Silicon Valley community, including in a church, in the bushes, and outside of a convenient store.
  • Charges have not been filed yet, but are expected to follow.

A PDF of the full search warrant affidavit (10 pages) can be found here.

With these recent events now coming to light, we all know that we have to be careful when choosing a roommate. Seriously though, how far is Apple going to take this? Well, given that it blames the leak for some major revenue loss, probably pretty far. From the unsealed affidavit:

“By publishing details about the phone Relevant Products/Services and its features, sales of current Apple products are hurt wherein people that would have otherwise purchased a currently existing Apple product would wait for the next item to be released,” said Apple lawyer George Riley.

Via: Wired, Mobile Tech Today

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Another iPhone protoype found in Vietnam

Speaking of iPhone protoypes, it’s been widely reported that another one was found in Vietnam. Now an additional set of pics and vids have surfaced, again from Vietnam. The first (er, second?) leak hit the webs, courtesy of the Taoviet site. The second (or third?) prototype that is out in the open comes from mainguyen.vn.

These devices look pretty much the same, and if so, then a 16 GB version seems assured. (The Gizmo unit had XXGB emblazoned on it). The newer model looks cleaner and a little closer to production ready than the Gizmodo version, with fewer screws and seams marring the exterior. Plus, an XXXXX space holder for an FCC ID and model number seems to indicate that this is pretty close to hitting the manufacturing line. But possibly the most interesting thing are the internals: The Taoviet breakdown indicated that the A4 processor chip — the same one used to give the iPad a speed and battery life boost — is onboard here as well.

Vietnam’s pretty far — think the legal arm of Apple and law enforcement will be able to reach all the way out there? If there’s any way at all, I’m sure Jobs won’t rest until he figures it out.

Click here for the Taoviet vid, and here and here for the Mainguyen vids (parts 1 and 2). For more pics, click the source links below.

Via: Engadget, BoyGenius Report, Taoviet, SoftSailor, Mainguyen

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Adobe {hearts} Apple — well sorta, not really…

Remember the diatribe Steve Jobs unleashed on Adobe Flash in a rare open letter he posted on Apple.com? The CEO called Flash outdated, unreliable, closed off, power-draining, performance-sucking and not compatible with touch UIs, like those on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Well, Adobe’s latest actions respond directly to these accusations via an online and print ad campaign. The theme? Adobe {hearts} Apple.

Well you can’t believe everything you read. In truth, this was a lead-in to Adobe’s own scathing manifesto. Clicking the banner ad, the user gets taken to a letter written by Adobe’s founders:

“At Adobe, we believe that the open flow of creativity, ideas, and information should be limited only by the imagination. Innovation thrives when people are free to choose the technologies that enable them to openly express themselves and access information where and when they want. Everyone loses when technological barriers impede the exchange of ideas.” (The letter goes on to wax poetic about open standards, and Adobe’s efforts supporting them.)

Meanwhile, according to the New York Post, the feds are set to investigate Apple for anti-trust violations, thanks to the company’s ban of non-Apple tools for developing for the iPhone. And Adobe responded to the claim that Flash doesn’t work well with touchscreens (since there’s no mouse for the “mouse-overs” that have been a hallmark of the platform). The company has unveiled a video demo of it working with a touch interface.

Your move, Sir Steve.

Via: NYT, ComputerWorld

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iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 4 available, reveals laptop tethering

The newest beta release for the iPhone OS 4.0 was just released yesterday, and already, developers have discovered some interesting new things — including controls for laptop tethering! (This allows computers to use the iPhone internet data connection for online access.) It’s a much-desired and long-promised feature, and the AT&T-branded inclusion in Beta 4 does suggest that it might be coming. Finally.

Then again, three weeks ago, the company said it would wait for better network performance before enabling it. And let’s not forget that last year’s iPhone 3.0 beta releases also had the tethering option (and we all know how that turned out). So what’s different this time around? One word: iPad. The ability to use the tablet over the iPhone’s data connection would help spur sales of the tablet, and likely no one knows this better than Apple and AT&T. It’s no guarantee that we’ll finally see it, but this would certainly be a prime time for it.

There are also references to voice chat, specifically the ability to chat with multiple contacts at once. We’ll report as we find out more about what else is in Beta 4. But for now, if you’re interested in where we stand with the OS thus far, check out Noah Kravitz’ vids on the Beta 3 releases. The editor-in-chief of PhoneDog (our parent company) did two hands-on demos: Part 1 offers a look at multitasking and folders, while Part 2 covers the gaming center, universal search, spell check, new features with email, new features in your iPod and a few other goodies.

Via: MacRumors, Cnet, Engadget

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AT&T changes upgrade-eligibility rules

More evidence of the new iPhone’s release date is coming to light, and it can be found by looking at your upgrade status. AT&T has changed some eligibility dates for some 3G and 3GS owners. Previously, iPhone owners weren’t eligible for discounted hardware upgrades until November 21, but that date has been moved up to June 21 — two weeks after WWDC’s keynote on June 7.

The date change has reportedly only hit a few customers so far, but has anyone seen it hit their accounts yet? Let us know in the comments below.

Via: MobileCrunch


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Rumors: Free MobileMe, cloud-based iTunes

MacDailyNews has received an unconfirmed tip, that Apple may offer MobileMe for free. Currently, the service costs $99 per year for cloud-based syncing of contacts, calendars, and emails; remote device tracking or wiping; and iDisk, among other stuff. The source said the change would come ”sooner than later… depends on certain facilities going operational.” Could “sooner” mean the Worldwide Developers’ Conference early next month? Possibly, but with a lack of supporting rumors from other sources, I’m not putting much weight on this.

iTunes has also been fodder for the grist mill, as MacsimumNews claims that Apple may announce a new, digital streaming version of iTunes at WWDC. Anticipation about cloud-based music has been building ever since Apple bought streaming music company Lala in December, and the rumors are really heating up now, since the news broke that Lala is shutting down. Streaming iTunes would allow users to access their music and vids over the internet, regardless of location — a nifty situation that would enable Apple mobile users to free up a ridiculous amount of storage space on their devices.

.Via: MacDailyNews, MacsimumNews

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Rumor: Apple integrating Facebook into iPhone?

An anonymous source has told Silicon Alley’s Business Insider that Apple will be integrating Facebook into the new iPhone, complete with wirelessly syncing. For any of you who have seen how the Cliq or the Cliq XT work, this will sound familiar to you. Those online profiles would populate the phone’s addressbook, including phone numbers, addresses, birthdays, and anniversaries, among other details. In Moto’s case, the functionality brought contact info, profile pictures, and status updates into the phone book — for every person in a user’s social network. (The warning here is that, depending on how big that network is, this can wind up cluttering the application. So if you’re one of those “friend collectors” with hundreds or even thousands of contacts, you’ll want to cross your fingers that Apple includes an “off” switch.)

Via: SAI’s BusinessInsider

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