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1,500,000,000 downloaded in 1 year

AppStore

Apple announced today that in just one year, iPhone and iPod touch customers from 77 different countries have downloaded a total of 1.5 billion apps. The Cupertino company also added  that there are now over 65,000 apps in the App Store with 100,000 developers registered in the iPhone Developer program.

About three months ago, Apple announced its billionth app download, nine months after opening the App Store. Apple had a countdown (or count-up) to the one billion milestone, and the lucky winner who downloaded the billionth app walked away with a $10,000 iTunes gift card, an iPod touch, a Time Capsule and a MacBook Pro.

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Filed under: App Store,

Apple In-Ear with Remote and Mic gets minor upgrade

Just when I was about to buy the Apple In-ear Headphones with Remote and Mic, they had to go and upgrade it. I guess I should be thankful that it has taken me this long to decide.

The subtle headphone plug upgrade will hopefully address complaints regarding the previous version’s rubber plug coming loose.

Now, what can I do about the wire becoming brittle after prolonged use?

Filed under: Hardware, , ,

Apple Store Hong Kong offering unlocked iPhone 3GS

iPhone 3GS

Apple Store Hong Kong is now selling unlocked iPhone 3GS units and only requires a working SIM card for the iPhone 3GS to work in any GSM network, according to MacNN.

The 16GB iPhone 3GS costs HK$5,388 (P33,475) and the 32GB version costs HK$6,288 (P39,230). The 8GB iPhone 3G is also available for only HK$4,488 (P28,020).

The prices are not so bad considering Globe, under their prepaid plan, is offering the 16GB iPhone 3GS for P38,850 and the 32GB model for P42,250. The 8GB iPhone 3G under iPhone plan 399 now costs P32,500 (used to be P25,050). Oh, all of these iPhone units are locked to Globe.

Now, if only Apple could do the same thing with the iPhone as they did with their portable Macs and iPods. That is, instead of a carrier-dependent warranty for the iPhone, make it international warranty.

Filed under: iPhone 3GS, ,

Finding an app in a haystack

AppStore

With 56,000 apps and counting, someone new to the App Store can get overwhelmed pretty quick. The top paid and free apps section in the iTunes Store can sometimes help newbies decide which apps to download first. However, even with experience the App Store  can still be difficult to wade through.

Luckily for users, there are some websites out there that can help sort through the confusion.

TUAW listed five online resources that can help you find the right app to suit your needs as well as update you on what’s new and what’s on sale:

  • Freeappalert.com
  • Appshopper.com
  • 148apps.com
  • Iviewer.com
  • Macworld’s App Guide

A TUAW commenter has suggested Yappler as another alternative to finding (and sharing) iPhone apps. Another commenter recommended Touch Arcade for news, previews and videos of the latest iPhone games.

I haven’t used any of these services yet. For me, the iTunes Store search works well enough but as David Winograd said, it needs a lot of improvements. I have the AppMiner app on my iPod touch but I don’t use it that often.

My source for the latest iPhone apps news and reviews are from MacWorld and TUAW via RSS. I used to have iLounge on my list but it seems they don’t want me going to their website anymore.

Was it something I said?

Filed under: App Store, iPhone,

iPhone 3G more expensive than iPhone 3GS in new Globe pricing scheme

After doing a post about the July 31st iPhone 3GS release here in the Philippines, I had a comment on Plurk ask why the 16GB iPhone 3G is more expensive than the 16GB iPhone 3GS.

My first reaction was, “What 16GB iPhone 3G?”

Thinking that my Plurk friend somehow got confused with the iPhone models and pricing, I explained that the 16GB iPhone 3G has been discontinued and only the 8GB iPhone 3G, and the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 3GS will be made available. I based this reply on what Phil Schiller said during the Worldwide Developer Conference held last June 8, 2009.

However, a friend told me that there was something weird with Globe’s iPhone pricing. He mentioned that the question raised was valid. He said that according to Globe’s website, the 16GB iPhone 3G was a matter of fact more expensive than the 16GB iPhone 3GS.

What the…?

Return of the dead

Perplexed, I re-visited the Globe’s iPhone plan webpage. I was amazed to find that Globe has made some changes. I should’ve checked that webpage before posting or at least took the time to re-visit that webpage when the question was first raised.

Globe did change their iPhone plan pricing. I don’t have a screenshot of the first iPhone plan with the two iPhone 3GS models and the 8GB iPhone. Fortunately, this website does have a picture of the original iPhone plan and I used that for comparison.

Mind you, the iPhone 3GS unit prices are still the same, from plan 399 up to plan 4999.

What’s changed is the pricing of the 8GB unit and the addition of the 16GB iPhone 3G model.

Say what?!?

Under the new pricing scheme, the 8GB iPhone is now pricier. Using Plan 399 as the basis for comparison, the price of the 8GB iPhone rose from P25,050 to P32,500, or an increase of P7,450. That puts the 8GB iPhone P1,850 more expensive than the 16GB iPhone 3GS.

Perplexing? That’s not all.

Globe, for reasons unknown, has thrown the 16GB iPhone 3G back into the mix, and now costs P7,800 more than the 16GB iPhone 3GS and P2,200 more than the 32GB iPhone 3GS.

Out with the old, in with the old

What happened here? Lyle speculated that maybe someone screwed while updating Globe’s iPhone webpage. He might be on to something there because when I checked the old iPhone 3G page it shows the exact pricing scheme for the 8Gb and 16GB iPhone 3G units on the updated iPhone 3GS page. Maybe somebody got careless with copy and paste.

However, if this wasn’t a mistake, why in the world would Globe re-introduce an otherwise discontinued product and also increase the price of the supposedly cheapest iPhone? This messes up Apple’s plan for world domination with the “$99 iPhone” (we really don’t have a “$99 iPhone” here. Under the old plan, it’s either a $158 iPhone [plan 1599] or a free iPhone [plan 2199]).

Globe might be deliberately jacking up the prices on iPhone 3G units to sell more iPhone 3GS phones. Maybe there’s some sort of incentive from Apple. Or they figured that they can earn more profit by selling more iPhone 3GS than iPhone 3G.

Then again, maybe someone did make a mistake and that a correction will soon me made before July 15 (when Globe will start accepting reservations) or before July 31. I hope so. If not, I’m sure hope Apple hears about this.

Filed under: iPhone, iPhone 3GS, ,

Thousands line up for iPhone 3GS Singapore launch

MacNN reported that last Friday’s launch of the iPhone 3GS in Singapore attracted a huge crowd. It was estimated that at least 3,000 eager customers gathered around SingTel’s corporate headquarters. SingTel created a more festive atmosphere by featuring fireworks and a confetti drop.

SingTel expects large crowds to persist for several days.

I wonder if Globe is planning an event for the iPhone 3GS release on July 31.

By the way, Globe will start accepting reservations for the iPhone 3GS on July 15.

Filed under: iPhone 3GS, ,

Jonathan Ive talks about the key to Apple’s success

Jonathan Ive has an advice for executives who are trying to copy Apple’s success. Don’t.

Ive said forcefully and repeatedly, companies need to define their own clear, high-minded raison d’être. That should drive the actions and decisions of every employee, from the C-suite down.

BusinessWeek’s Helen Walters was at the Royal Geographical Society where Ive had an hour long conversation with Sir Christopher Frayling, rector of the Royal College of Art.

In his own words:

Apple’s goal isn’t to make money. Our goal is to design and develop and bring to market good products. We trust as a consequence of that, people will like them, and as another consequence we’ll make some money. But we’re really clear about what our goals are.

We try not to bring out another product that’s just different. ‘Different’ and ‘new’ is relatively easy. Doing something that’s genuinely better is very hard.

Filed under: Apple, Inc., ,

What’s new pussycat? Faster, darker Snow Leopard

Apple’s latest build of Mac OS X 10.6 (10A402a) is more faster and integrates some interface tweaks.

Snow Leopard

AppleInsider reported that the current build is more responsive and includes interface tweaks such as the Dock’s contextual menu change to a charcoal motif with white text.

Filed under: OS X,

App Store turns 1: it’s also about the apps, stupid

Philip Michaels on the success of the App Store…

The App Store has thrived because, unlike many of the mobile software retail efforts that already existed, it delivered convenience to end users and app makers alike.

And how Apple has redefined what else a consumer should look for in smartphone:

You can’t watch television for long these days without coming across a 30-second spot advertising that “there’s an app for that.” … the TV commercials has succeeded in convincing consumers that buying a smartphone means considering the applications that support it.

Filed under: App Store,

Update: Safari 4.0.2 [u]

Safari 4Safari 4.0.2 is “recommended for all Safari users and improves the stability of the Nitro JavaScript engine and includes the latest compatibility and security fixes.”

Security fixes involves vulnerabilities in WebKit described as:

  • An issue in WebKit’s handling of the parent and top objects may result in a cross-site scripting attack when visiting a maliciously crafted website. This update addresses the issue through improved handling of parent and top objects.
  • A memory corruption issue exists in WebKit’s handling of numeric character references. Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue through improved handling of numeric character references.

Safari 4.0.2 update can be downloaded and installed via Software Update utility or downloaded directly from Apple’s Safari Download page (Leopard [40 MB], Tiger [26 MB], and Windows [47 MB]).

I was noticing some problems when I was using Safari 4.0 and then 4.0.1. I actually consider Safari 4 beta working much better than the final version. One of the issues I experienced involved having my Mac becoming really sluggish. This after having at least 20 tabs open at one time and made worse when I was on a site or sites running Adobe’s Flash.

I already updated to 4.0.2 and so far so good. But I can’t really say for sure since this version hasn’t gone through its paces yet.

Update:

An hour and a half after I published this post, I suffered my first 4.0.2 crash.  I had about 14 tabs open in three separate windows. I went Filipino Freethinkers‘ forums then opened two threads in separate tabs. Boom. This time there was no Flash to blame. Something is buggy with Safari 4. I hope this gets fixed soon. Hooray for History > Reopen All Closed Windows from Last Session. Bah.

Filed under: Safari,

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See you there. Thanks!

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