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Wednesday Recap: YouTube Nabs Disney, Big Fish Nets App Subs, Sorkin Ponders Jobs

Disney + YouTubeLet’s get ready to turkeeeeeeyyyyy! Okay, maybe that’s a bit too excitement for gathering around the table with loved ones and carving up some unlucky bird, but it’s Thanksgiving Eve and the anticipation of a huge meal on Thursday coupled with the contact high of Black Friday sales must have us buzzing. And hey, there’s actually other stuff going on today that doesn’t relate to Turkey Day, so here’s all the news for Wednesday, November 23, 2011.

Report: Big Fish Nets First App Store Subscription Game

Bloomberg is reporting that Seattle-based Big Fish Games has apparently been granted permission to offer a new subscription-based game title in the iOS App Store, which gives buyers access to “dozens of titles” for only .99 per month. The move is unusual for apps, which have been allowed to offer one at a time in-app purchases for some time, while subscriptions have only recently rolled out to magazine and newspaper apps. Although Apple has yet to comment on (or even officially announce) the deal, the developer is clearly excited about the possibilities for what it dubs “Play Instantly: The first cloud gaming service for mobile devices.” The Play Instantly app is expected to arrive in the App Store today as a free download.

Unannounced Apple-Branded TV Already Scaring Competitors

Jeffries analyst Peter Misek appears to be jumping the shark in a new AllThingsD report today claiming “TV manufacturers have begun a scrambling search to identify what iTV will be and do.” iTV, you may recall, was the original name of Apple TV, and many believe it will be the name of Apple’s television when it arrives as early as next year. Misek claims the TV manufacturers “hope to avoid the fate of other industries and manufacturers who were caught flat-footed by Apple.” Cue the laugh track…

Google Nabs Disney Movie Rentals for YouTube

In the mood to rent a good Disney flick this holiday weekend? Google sure hopes so, now that the search giant has inked a deal with the Mouse House to bring its content to YouTube. According to AppleInsider, Disney’s titles range from free ad-supported titles like the comedy Step Brothers all the way up to recent releases such as Bad Teacher and Attack the Block for .99 each, with plenty of 99-cent titles also mixed in. After renting, viewers have 30 days to watch, but once the title is started, you’ll have to finish up within 24 or 48 hours (depending on the title). Surprisingly, YouTube offers a little better deal on some Disney titles such as Cars 2, which is .99 in HD compared to .99 for the same thing on iTunes. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs became the single largest Disney shareholder after the sale of Pixar, and Disney content has frequently pioneered many of Apple’s media efforts over the years.

Aaron Sorkin “Strongly Considering” Steve Jobs Biopic Script

Steve Jobs once tried to lure The Social Network screenwriter Aaron Sorkin into writing a Pixar movie for him. That never came to pass, but if Sony has anything to say about it, Sorkin may wind up working posthumously with the former Apple CEO. According to E! Online, the studio has approached The West Wing creator about writing the biopic of Jobs’ life, which is based on the recent biography by Walter Isaacson. “It’s something I’m strongly considering,” Sorkin revealed to the website. “Right now I’m just in the thinking-about-it stages. It’s a really big movie and it’s going to be a great movie no matter who writes it.”

Spotify Now Touts 2.5 Million Paid Subscribers

Streaming music service Spotify has good reason to be thankful this year with the announcement that 2.5 million subscribers are now paying up each month. “So we’d like to say a big thank you to all our subscribers, new and old,” the blog post reads. The text also teases “some exciting developments in the works,” which likely points to the company’s November 30 press event in New York. That’s only a week away, so we won’t have to wait too much longer…

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



Official Steve Jobs Biography Now In Stores

Steve Jobs 1955-2011Originally scheduled for release in early 2012 and first bumped up to November, former Time magazine managing editor Walter Isaacson’s official biography of Steve Jobs is now in stores — and if you happened to preorder it as a Kindle title via Amazon, you might have gotten it a little early, too.

October 24 marks the release of the first official biography of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, which simply carries his namesake in the title. The 656 page book published by Simon & Schuster is the culmination of more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years, as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors and colleagues.

“At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination,” the book description reads. “He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.”

The author, Walter Isaacson, first met Steve Jobs as the managing editor of Time magazine back in 1984 when the Macintosh was about to be unveiled. Isaacson’s career continued as the chairman of CNN and most recently CEO of The Aspen Institute, along the way writing celebrated biographies such as Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and Einstein: His Life and Universe.

Steve Jobs marks Isaacson’s latest work and certainly one that many readers are sure to own. After initially being announced for early 2012, then pushed to November and finally October 24, the title started pushing out to early Amazon Kindle preorder buyers around 10pm EST on Sunday, followed by early iBookstore purchasers an hour or so later. The hardback version is also available in stores everywhere on Monday.

“Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published,” the book description continues. “He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.”

We’re already well into our copy of this highly anticipated tome… how about you?

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



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Wednesday Recap: Google Unveils Android 4.0, Steve Jobs Biographer on 60 Minutes

ReaddleDocs for iPad“Hump Day” is here again, with Apple celebrating the life of Steve Jobs in a private ceremony held earlier today on the company’s Cupertino campus (and simulcast to Apple retail stores worldwide). The Apple co-founder continues to be memorialized ahead of his official biography which hits stores on Monday (more on that in a moment), but here’s what else is happening around the internet for this Wednesday, October 19, 2011.

Google Unwraps Ice Cream Sandwich with Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Google senior vice president Andy Rubin took to The Official Google Blog today to announce Android 4.0, better known by its code name “Ice Cream Sandwich” to many. The announcement came this morning (or rather, late Tuesday night for most of us) in Hong Kong at an event co-hosted by Samsung, who will be releasing the new Galaxy Nexus in November, the first device to feature the latest mobile OS. Ice Cream Sandwich promises to unify smartphones and tablets alike, sporting new features such as Face Unlock, HD display and the elimination of all hardware buttons. The announcement comes on the third anniversary of the first Android phone (T-Mobile’s G1), which launched in October, 2008 and has since spawned more than 550,000 Android device activations per day.

ReaddleDocs for iPad Hits 3.0, More Than 300 Changes In Tow

Developer Readdle has really stepped up their game in recent months, and today the company unveiled version 3.0 of their .99 ReaddleDocs for iPad, the tablet version of their flagship PDF viewer and file manager. Calling it a “major update” with “over 300 fixes and improvements,” the iPad edition now sports a stylish new interface, improved speed, the ability to sync FTP/SFTP services with a device and much more. As always, the update is free for current customers.

Steve Jobs Worked on Apple Right Up to The End

Never doubt Steve Jobs’ commitment to Apple — case in point, a story today that quotes Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, who was in a meeting with Tim Cook the day the iPhone 4S was announced in Cupertino. Apparently, Cook excused himself, claiming “My boss is calling me” in reference to “their next product.” Unfortunately, Jobs passed away the very next day, but it’s widely believed the co-founder was intimately involved in next year’s iPhone 5 as well.

iTunes Match Setting Now Available In iOS 5, But Doesn’t Work Yet

MacRumors is reporting that Apple has flipped half of the switch on iTunes Match, which the company has promised in late October. iOS 5 users are now seeing an option to turn the feature on from Settings > Music, although doing so throws up an error: “You are not currently subscribed to iTunes Match. Use iTunes on your computer to subscribe.” Problem is, the only folks with the required iTunes 10.5.1 to do so are developers — at least for now. iTunes Match will cost .99 per year when it launches.

Steve Jobs Biographer Heading for 60 Minutes

According to CNNMoney’s Apple 2.0 blog, the official Twitter account of CBS television staple 60 Minutes announced that Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson will appear on this Sunday’s show in an interview with Steve Kroft. Of course, the timing is fortuitous, with the hardcover and digital versions of the highly anticipated book arriving on store shelves Monday, October 24. We’re definitely excited for Amazon to deliver our Kindle copy… have you preordered yours yet?

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



Monday Recap: Instapaper Hits 4.0, iPhone 4S Reservation Only, Steve Jobs Tributes

Steve Jobs Post-it note tributeThose of us who ponied up for a new iPhone 4S in the last week — which according to Apple, is more than four million! — finally got to spend our first weekend with it and now get back to our normal routine as the start of the work week is here again. But so far, the week is looking up and there’s plenty to report for this fine Monday, October 17, 2011.

Steve Jobs Tribute Made From 4,001 Post-it Notes

There have been plenty of tributes to the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, but few as impressive as the one found in the Munich, Germany Apple Store. According to MacRumors and iOS News, the image you see above was created using 4,001 Post-it notes of the yellow, blue and green variety. Talk about a low-tech way to commemorate the life of a high-tech dude, but impressive nonetheless…

Sunday Steve Jobs Memorial Attended by Celebrities, CEOs

Speaking of Steve Jobs, AppleInsider is reporting that a private memorial was held for the former CEO on Sunday at Stanford Memorial Church. According to Apple 2.0, the guest list included the likes of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Google co-founder Larry Page and Adobe co-founders John Warnock and Chuck Geschke in addition to Apple board member (and former vice president) Al Gore, Tim “Buzz Lightyear” Allen and U2 frontman Bono. The event follows a small private service for his family and friends prior to his burial.

Instapaper Gets Huge 4.0 Update

If there’s one app we’d be just fine with on a desert island, it’s got to be Instapaper, Marco Arment’s always amazing solution for bookmarking web pages, stripping out the crud (and ads!) and making them super-readable on iOS. The developer today released Instapaper 4.0, a massive update which includes a slick new UI for the iPad edition and plenty of nice features all across the board for this universal app. The .99 app is free for existing users and requires iOS 4.2 or later.

Refurbished First-Gen iPads Return to Apple Online Store

9to5Mac is reporting that Apple is once again offering refurbished first-generation iPad models, but they’re marked as a “Special Limited Time Price” so we’re not expecting them to last too long at these prices. How much, you ask? How about 9 for a 64GB Wi-Fi model or 32GB Wi-Fi + 3G model or 9 for a 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G model?

Adobe Reader Lands in App Store

With PDF documents so common these days, it’s almost hard to remember that they were once exclusive to their creator: Adobe. While any number of third-party iOS developers already offer PDF document readers for Apple mobile devices, the company who started it all today launched a free universal Adobe Reader app, which allows you to view (even encrypted documents, with the correct password), search, print and share PDF files. Hey, the price is right, so why not give it a try?

iPhone 4S Now Available By Reservation Only

Last but not least, if you haven’t picked up an iPhone 4S yet but plan to soon, your window of opportunity may have already closed. Apple’s website continues to show one to two week shipment dates for all models, and now the company appears to be restricting retail purchases to customers who reserve theirs online after 9pm for pickup the next day. Hey, you can’t say you weren’t warned after Apple sold more than a million of these suckers in the first 24 hours of preorders…

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of MacRumors and iOS News)



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Monday Recap: Universal Facebook Goes Live, RIP Qwikster, Steve Jobs Memorial Announced

Facebook for iPadIt was both a blessing and a curse to be an Apple fan last week, with the iPhone 4S announcement immediately overshadowed the death of co-founder Steve Jobs. But now, the second full week of October is in full swing, with more than a million preordered iPhone 4S units headed to customers this Friday. Here’s what else is making news for Monday, October 10, 2011.

Netflix Reverses Course, Kills Qwikster In Its Sleep

If there’s one internet company with an identity crisis right now, it’s Netflix. According to a posting on The Netflix Blog by CEO Reed Hastings, the company has reversed their decision to split the streaming and DVD services up, with the optical discs being shuffled off to a new site called Qwikster. Those plans are now dead, with everything staying put under the Netflix shingle. However, the CEO didn’t say what will be happening to the company’s plan to start offering video games via Qwikster, so there could still be some blowback yet to come from that camp.

Verbs IM App Goes Universal

Still looking for a slick IM app for your iPhone? How about one that also does double duty on your iPad as well? Look no further than Verbs IM, which is celebrating the arrival of a universal version 2.2 with full iPad support with a price drop to 99 cents for a limited time only. The app delivers GTalk, AIM, MobileMe and Facebook IM chat in a slick, clean interface, but take note: You’ll need to shell out .99 via in-app purchase if you want Pro features like push notifications or keeping your account logins valid for up to seven days.

iPhone 4S Hands-On Video Reveals 2x Speed Increase Is Real

Apple’s Phil Schiller gleefully touted a 2x increase in speed with the iPhone 4S over the previous model, but was it all just marketing chatter? Apparently not, with MacRumors reporting on the first hands-on video from, where the handset scored 89567 using BrowserMark, a Mobile Safari-based benchmark tool. By comparison, an iPhone 4 running iOS 5 clocked in at a poky 44856 — just a hair under the promised 2x speed boost. Sounds like we’ll all be flying come October 14!

OS X Lion, iPhoto and iTunes Updates Should Appear Before Wednesday

iCloud is rolling out to users on Wednesday alongside iOS 5, but according to AppleInsider, Apple will be rolling out some necessary updates ahead of time to get you ready. Japanese blog Macotakara claims that OS X Lion 10.7.2 and a new version of iTunes are both due either Monday or Tuesday, but they failed to mention that iPhoto will also need an update to support the iCloud Photo Stream feature. Developers have been beta testing iTunes 10.5, but no one knows for sure if that will actually be the version pushed out this week to support iCloud. Stay tuned!

Apple Will Celebrate Steve Jobs with Private October 19 Event

According to 9to5Mac, Apple CEO Tim Cook has fired off an internal email to employees, announcing the company’s plans for a private celebration of co-founder Steve Jobs’ life which will take place on October 19 in the outdoor amphitheater on the Cupertino campus. The full email can be found by hitting up the link above, which opens with Cook confessing, “I have experienced the saddest days of my lifetime and shed many tears during the past week.” While it’s hard for all of us as fans, you can only imagine how difficult it will be for those who actually worked side by side with the man.

In related news, Bloomberg today confirmed that Jobs died at his home in Palo Alto and a death certificate released this afternoon listed the cause of death as respiratory arrest caused by a “metastatic pancreas  neuroendocrine tumor.” The time of death was listed as 3pm PST on October 5; no autopsy was performed and Jobs was buried at a “non-denominational cemetery in Santa Clara County” on October 7.

Facebook Update with Universal iPad Support Now Live

Facebook has just rolled out a big iOS version 4.0 update, including the addition of native support for the iPad as part of the newly universal app. There are seriously a huge amount of changes noted with the release, so it’s probably easier to just head to the App Store and get downloading rather than sitting here reading this. Seriously… just do it.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



A Look at the Steve Jobs Memorials Around the World

It’s been a few days and a weekend since Steve Jobs’ passing, but that doesn’t mean the memorials have stopped flowing in. I mean, geez, I even walked by a smaller Apple Store yesterday in Emeryville, CA and there was a tiny memorial dedicated to Steve in the window. Here’s a look at some of the more substantial memorials around the world. Feel free to contribute your own photos by emailing me.


The Mac|Life Staff Remembers Steve Jobs

Here at Mac|Life, we’ve all been seriously impacted by Steve Jobs. He was not merely the leader of a company that manufactured the products we cover, but an inspirational icon who preached innovation. We figured the only way we could really pay tribute to Steve is to share our favorite memories of him and how his work impacted our lives. And though none of us have ever met him, his mere prescense in the world of technology left a lasting impression not only on our thoughts, but on our hearts as well.

And please, feel free to leave a comment with your memory of Steve.


A Roundup of Our Favorite Steve Jobs Stories

Back in August, after Steve announced his resignation, we posted a series of articles reminiscing our favorite moments in Steve Jobs’ career. From his inventions, to his email replies, to the most memorable keynotes, take a walk down memory lane with us as we chronicle his legacy.


Steve Jobs, 1955-2011


Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Apple offers you to share your thoughts, memories and condolences by emailing

We’ll miss you, Steve.


Steve Jobs Personally Attempted To Resolve Samsung Patent Dispute Before It Started

Samsung Galaxy Tab displayedApple has traditionally shied away from legal action against other companies, an unspoken policy that has become increasingly hard to do as Android-based competitors continue to ape the iOS look and feel. As it turns out, former CEO Steve Jobs personally stepped into the fray in an effort to resolve patent issues with Samsung.

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs personally made contact with executives at Samsung Electronics back in July, 2010 over patent issues that have since exploded into legal battles spread out over four continents. According to newly revealed facts in one such dispute in Australia, Jobs was unsuccessful in his efforts with Samsung.

“Samsung is an important supplier with whom we have a deep relationship,” Apple senior director Richard Lutton testified in a Sydney Federal Court on Friday. “We wanted to give them a chance to do the right thing.”

Lutton’s testimony is part of Apple’s ongoing efforts to block Samsung from selling their Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia, at least until the company’s patent claims there are resolved. Samsung has agreed to delay sales of the tablet in that country until Justice Annabelle Bennett rules on Apple’s request, which is scheduled for next week.

Apple’s complaint stems from the Samsung Galaxy series of smartphones and tablets and their similarities to the company’s own iconic iPhone and iPad products. The dispute is a particularly thorny one for Samsung, given that Apple is the Korean electronics giant’s biggest customer for components — and likewise, Samsung is Apple’s second largest supplier.

For their part, Samsung has countersued in South Korea, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia claiming that Apple has violated their own patents.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter