All posts in iPhone News

Home Screen Wallpapers Not Actually Available on 2nd-gen iPod touch or iPhone 3G

It appears that the iPod touch 2nd generation and iPhone 3G does not support wallpapers on the Home screen after all. It does still have the nifty selection of wallpapers, however, though they’re only available on the lock screen.

This is sort of a surprise considering that that both the US and Canadian Apple sites say that both devices are compatible with the 4.2 software update.

From the US site:

From the Canadian site:

Follow this article’s author, Florence Ion, on Twitter.


Aisle411 Launches, Finds Your Groceries

There are few feelings that quite compete with wandering a store when you’re in a hurry or you need to leave and you can’t find what you came for. Sure, you can ask the staff, but what if you can’t even find them? Then when you do find someone, what if they send you on a wild goose chase or don’t know where it is themselves? Well, for a problem like this, there’s a saying Cupertino just trademarked.

Some big box retailers like Costco or Home Depot, you walk in and you can almost instantly get lost. There’s just so much stuff and all you want is one teeny tiny box of screws. Or you’ve been sent on a mission to purchase something unusual like blackstrap molasses. Now is that in the baking section or with the syrup in the cereal aisle? Thanksgiving Dinner all depends on you!

How easy it would be if someone created a kind of GPS for a store that could show you where things were. Well, via CNET, we learned about Aisle411, which rolls out today (and may just get lost in the iOS 4.2 madness) and wants to be your go-to shopping solution.

mmm chips

The app, according to its makers, hooks into grocery chains’ stocking systems and can geolocate you and the stores near you. From there, you simply type (or speak) in what you want and you’ll be directed to the spot in the store where the product you’re seeking should be. While it can access stocking info, Aisle411 unfortunately can’t access inventory (yet, we imagine), so if your grocery chain is all out of canned pumpkin, you won’t know until you get there.

Still, the app sounds fairly feature-rich, including built-in coupons, a barcode scanner that hooks you up with product info, store maps, and the ability to make grocery lists on the fly or at home online, letting you sync the two (something we’ve taken to doing using SimpleNote). There’s also a Foursquare style badge system and you can even become captain of your local grocery (for those who care). The service will initially launch in San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, and San Jose with more cities promised later.

While Meijer has had such a service for themselves for some time, we’re wondering if most chains wouldn’t rather just turn things over to a service like this, reap all the benefits, and let the software developers handle the tech end of things. We know we wouldn’t be keen on junking up our phones with an app for every retailer we shop at. Still, we would like to find those drillbits…



Rumor: "iNewspaper" Coming?

murdochWord came about today that Rupert Murdoch, the head of News Corp, and Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, will reportedly reveal a new digital “newspaper” to be named the Daily at the end of the month.  Murdoch feels that the joint project has the potential to be a “game changer.”

According to The Guardian, the project has been secretly under development in New York for awhile, and is said to be the world’s first “newspaper” which would be designed exclusively for tablet-style computers like the iPad.  The launch for the project is being planned for early next year.

The intent of the project is to combine “a tabloid sensibility with a broadsheet intelligence,” revealing Murdoch’s aim to get the newspaper world beyond the print realm.

Various reports say that there will be no “print edition” or “web edition”; the innovation would be developed with help from Apple engineers, and it would be able to dispatch the “paper” out automatically to an iPad or any other comparable devices.

As there would be no printing or distribution costs, the primarily US-focused publication would cost about 99 cents a week.

The “newspaper” would be run out of the 26th floor of the News Corp offices in New York, where reportedly 100 journalists have been already hired, such as Pete Picton, an online editor from the Sun, as one of the three managing editors.  The editor hasn’t yet been announced, but prognosticators are pointing to Jesse Angelo, the current managing editor of the New York Post.

Murdoch supposedly thought of the project idea after having studied a survey which suggested that readers were spending more of their time on their iPads than say, being on the internet, where usually unfocused surfing is more prevalent.

“Obviously, Steve Jobs sees this as a significant revenue stream for Apple in the future,” said Roger Fidler, head of digital publishing at the Donald W Reynolds Journalism Institute.

Jobs apparently has some love for Murdoch too according to Women’s Wear Daily.  “When the project is announced, don’t be surprised if you see Steve Jobs onstage with Rupert Murdoch, welcoming the Daily to the app world.”

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter

(Image courtesy of



Apple's SIM Card Plan Ditched?

micro-sim-cardPreviously, it had been rumored that Apple was trying to design its own SIM card for iPhone users, to give them a chance to use the device and be able to bypass carrier contracts at the same time.  But now, some carriers are saying they would forgo subsidizing the costs of the phone if Apple were to follow up on those plans.

According to The Sunday Telegraph, Apple has decided to scrap the plan after carriers threatened to continue subsidizing the costs of phone.  Currently, mobile operators pay Apple the full cost of the phone, which they then pass on to the consumer for free, provided they sign up for 24-month contracts.

Apple had been planning on excluding carriers, like Vodafone and O2, from the sales process, in an attempt to try and build a better relationship with customers.  Apple had been trying to create an integrated SIM card which would allow customers to buy the phone outright.

Said a senior source at a mobile operator: “Apple has long been trying to build closer and closer relationships and cut out the operators.  But this time they have been sent back to the drawing board with their tails between their legs.”  Ouch.

In sort of a “consolation prize” though, Apple is still moving forward with the new SIM card in iPads.  The report is that Apple is planning to bring out the new integrated-SIM versions of the iPad prior to Christmas or early on in the new year.  The reason Apple is able to move forward with the iPad instead of the iPhone on this is because the iPad isn’t subsidized by mobile carriers.

The Sunday Telegraph continued saying that a new version of the iPad would be released within a few weeks and would be comparable the current model.  One change though is that the “lock” button on the right-hand side would be switched to a “mute” button such as the one on the iPhone. 

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter

(Image courtesy of



In Case You Missed It: Nov. 14 – Nov. 20

Hey there, kiddies of all ages, how you like us now? It’s the all new Mac|Life, but even though we’ve gone all pretty on you, we’ve kept the the same great content. You didn’t think we’d scrapped the weekend round-up, didja? Absolutely not, and now it’s settling in at home in our beautiful new digs and looking to kick back and give you the latest and the greatest.


Group Test: Sub 0 Monitors – You’ve got yourself a hankering for that box of cute awesome, the Mac Mini, but what about a monitor for it? The moment you look up monitors online, it’s like looking at stars. There’s constellations and galaxies of choices. Well, we’ve taken the sting out of looking at monitors under the 0 mark, so if you want gorgeous displays at gorgeous prices, look no further.

John Carmack Discusses iOS Game Development – With Rage hitting your iOS devices this week, we decided to sit down with Mr. John Carmack, lead designer on it and tons of great games like Doom and Quake and Commander Keen. He gave us a peek behind the curtain at what goes on when games are being planned out.


How To Install Android on your iOS Devices – You didn’t sell back your older generation iPhone when you upgraded to iPhone 4? Use it for tinkering? Well, have we got the tutorial for you. Android on your iOS device. Why? Because you can, amigo, because you can.


How To Record “Real” Guitar With a Rock Band 3 Controller in GarageBand – We all know, you’re a Rock Band superstar. You shred the plastic gee-tar something fierce, but did you know it was more than just a toy? Heck yeah. Get your face melting solo action on with this wee tutorial in how to marry GarageBand and Rock Band 3 in into heavy metal madness.


Day of Defeat: Source Review – With Valve’s Steam store for Mac porting over the entirety of their catalog, we’re seeing stuff we’ve longed for for five years. With the World War II shooter, Day of Defeat: Source on our Mac, we’re helping the Allies and kicking Nazi butt. Or, if it spins your wheels, you can be the Germans. Achtung!

OnLive MicroConsole Review – Now we’re cooking. OnLive’s streaming “water faucet for games” has a fantastic new gadget out, the MicroConsole that puts those same games right on your HDTV. With an easy set up, wireless remote, and virtually zero lagtime, this is one gift we’ll be holding our breath for this holiday season.


Well, the big news of the week was clearly The Beatles hitting the iTunes store…we were teased with a day “that you’ll never forget” which got us excited that iTunes was going to bring slick new features which didn’t arrive….and we did our own parody of the announcement to build up excitement for the lovely new site you happen to be on this very second…(here’s a how-to guide to see all the newness)…but to be honest, we don’t even recall which day of the week that happened on…so it makes sense that Guitar World would also release their Lick of the Day app so you can get your George Harrison on.

In other appy news, Pulse News Reader, the slick RSS interface, went from pay to free with an injection of venture capital; no word on getting my 99 cents back….photo sharing app Path went live as well, allowing you to share pix with just the people you want and not to hand over your pix to Faceborg…if sharing and controlling TV content is more your bag, Comcast’s Xfinity remote not only allows you to control your box, but to invite friends to watch Dancing with the Stars with you; oh rapture…much more our speed, the latest update to the official Twitter app brings push notifications to your daily notifications, as well as quashing a few bugs…and at long last, the wait is over, the official Google Voice app dropped this week, and not only is it news, it’s also our latest walk through/tutorial to help you make the most of this great little service…it’s claimed that Google Docs now has document creation and editing on the mobile fly, but we’ll believe it when it finally arrives on our iPad and not a moment sooner…speaking of documents, Scanner Pro 3.0, the app that turns your iPhone into a mobile scanner, just added a much improved UI as well as batch scanning…and Music Now comes to the iPad and it looks almost as good as it sounds…lastly, App Stores aren’t just for iOS devices anymore and Apple assures us the desktop version is set to “Open Soon.”


Sunday Sides: iPad Coming To Northern Europe and Free MobileMe?

mobilemeWho says that all the news has to happen during the week?  Today we have a couple of tidbits in that following up on the iPad’s continued global dominance, it looks like Northern Europe shall soon see a rollout of the device.  And then in other news, could we at long last see free MobileMe? 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark should soon see that magical device headed their way.  In conjunction with the launch, European carriers Tre, TeliaSonera AB and Tele2 AB announced on Friday that they will offer up data subscriptions for iPad users, but unfortunately details were not readily available as to when the plans would launch and what the prices would be for the data plans.

However, TeliaSonera confirmed that it wouldn’t be selling the actual iPad.  “As things look right now, we will only offer subscription packages for the iPad,” according to Bengt Olsson, TeliaSonera’s head of communications.  “The iPad launch is imminent and we plan to release our subscription offer in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark simultaneously,” he notes.

In other news, as we anxiously await the features of iOS 4.2, scuttlebutt is afoot that perhaps part of Apple’s mysterious data center could be devoted to free MobileMe services.

MacRumors had discovered in the most recent iOS 4.2 betas a “new private framework” that contained error messages that referenced free MobileMe accounts.  Some of those errors included: “The maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPhone” and “This iPad is not qualified for free MobileMe service.”

As AppleInsider points out, while Apple does offer up a 60-day free trial for its currently a year MobileMe service, it’s sort of sketchy as to how exactly an iOS unit would “qualify” for free service.

Regardless, as we’re nearing the end of November, which is when Apple had said that iOS 4.2 would be out, keep an eye on your iOS update during your holiday preparations this week!

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter



iPads Used to Feed Hungry Travelers

Anyone that has traveled this past year knows what a drag it can be. Between having to struggle with fed-up inflight staff, TSA pat-down searches, increasingly expensive fares and the threat of terrorist attacks, it’s a wonder why anyone bothers trying to get airborne at all.  Thankfully, the folks from OTG Management–an airport catering company that works behind the scenes in terminals across the country–have implemented a few changes to how they do business to make your journey into the wild blue yonder more efficient and ever-so-much more geeky. In an effort to provide the patrons of their airport lounge locations with a restaurant quality dining experience, the company has unveiled a program that will streamline the meal selection process for hundreds of hungry travelers a day, thanks in part to the ingenious use of a built-to-order iPad menu system.

By offering the winning combination of world-class cuisine from a wide variety of restaurants, expedient service, and slathering it all up in the awesome sauce of Apple technology, OTG Management has set the stage for our expectations of what an airport dining experience can be on its ear.  Travelers can order their meals from a wide selection of cuisine advertised on the catering company’s custom-developed iPad menu application. While they wait for their orders to arrive, the diners are encouraged to use their table’s iPad to check on the status of their flights, play a game or browse through a periodical or two. In no time at all, the meal the diner selected is delivered to their table. Not too shabby at all!

Currently, the iPad-enhanced dining experience is only available at New York’s John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, but if the service is the success that it appears it could very well become, you could have the opportunity to enjoy the same slick dining experience at an airport near you in the not too distant future.


Follow this article’s author, Seamus Bellamy on Twitter


Riddle Us This: Why is TJ Maxx Selling iPads for $399?

iPad sign at TJ MaxxIn what alternate universe would you have to live to hear this: “Honey, next time you’re down at TJ Maxx getting a great deal on clothes, pick me up one of those iPads I keep hearing about.” As it turns out, it’s not only a reality, but it could be happening in this very universe.

Engadget is reporting that, for some inexplicable reason, budget retailer TJ Maxx is now offering the base model 16GB, Wi-Fi only iPad for — wait for it — 9.99. You didn’t read that wrong: TJ Maxx is now the cheapest place to buy a 16GB iPad, a full cheaper than even Apple’s own refurbs.

The rogue iPads were first spotted by an Engadget reader at a TJ Maxx in Vernon, NY and the intrepid reporter followed up by confirming the devices were also on sale in stores in Ohio, New Jersey and elsewhere. When the news first broke, many believed these were refurbished units, but apparently that’s not the case. Some of the stores contacted were holding back their inventory for Black Friday, which is only a week away now.

According to MacRumors, iPads have also popped up at Marshalls, which is a sister chain to the TJ Maxx brand. Both retailers are known for catering to the “thrifty” crowd — they buy up excess inventory from both manufacturers as well as other stores and move it out the door as cheaply as possible. While they do offer plenty of brand names, Apple historically hasn’t been one of them.

Either this is one of the greatest strategic marketing moves in retail history, or a whole bunch of iPads fell off the back of a truck somewhere — Apple is mum on the subject for now, so feel free to speculate away while you go grab yourself a deal.

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

(Image courtesy of Engadget)


Head to Head Parrot AR.Drone Shooter Game En Route to iPhone for November 26

Ok, this is reminding me that the toys of my youth were significantly less awesome than what’s on the market today. Per Touch Arcade, a new game is in the works for the super-awesome Parrot AR Drone Wi-Fi quadricopter. The app, known as AR. Pursuit, will function as a “two-player pursuit game” that will have a duo of AR.Drone-equipped people shooting it out in a digital space while flying their Drones in the real world.

Here’s how it works: the game uses the Drone’s front-facing cameras and renders in bullets and missiles when players choose to fire. To avoid game-death, players will need to maneuver their drones in various directions, hiding and assaulting their opponent as needed.

The game, which will hit on November 26 and retail for .99, can be played indoors and outside, provided a stable Wi-Fi connection can be accessed. Parrot recommends that you use those indoor stickers if you plan to play indoors, and obviously you’ll want to pick a place that’s large enough to move a radio-controlled craft around in.

Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, take a gander at the video:


Valve Adds "Recommended Games" Feature to Steam Functionality

Steam came to Mac OS X this year, and it was good. But as of today, it might get a bit better. Gaming giant Valve has announced the “Recommended For You” referral services on Steam.

The “Recommended For You” services on Steam are designed to help gamers discover new games and DLC (downloadable content) based upon their tastes, recent purchases and recent recommendations by friends.

Recommendations will appear both on the “Recommended For You” pages as well as in your Steam Community News Blotter. In addition, individual game pages will now include Recommendation info, providing gamers with even more information on Steam’s title base.

For full details, check out and happy gaming!