Apple announces iPhone 4s instead of iPhone 5; humanity somehow continues to exist

Apple today announced the iPhone 4s, an upgrade to its popular iPhone 4 that is not the iPhone 5.

Many had expected the iPhone 5, a technological marvel that would have raised its owners’ children, prepared five-star cuisine and paved the way for comprehensive peace settlements across the globe.

Instead, Apple announced a new phone that is reportedly an upgrade from a previously released product. It also has a voice-recognition feature called Siri.

Here’s the real story from the San Jose Mercury News:

In a closely watched but ultimately anticlimactic product launch, Apple (AAPL) on Tuesday unveiled its latest iPhone, with a low-key Tim Cook emceeing his first event since iconic CEO Steve Jobs resigned in August.

Disappointed fans jumped all
over Apple for releasing merely an upgrade to the iPhone 4, dubbed
iPhone 4S, instead of the widely expected iPhone 5. But analysts
reminded them that many cool features — faster operating system,
slicker camera and video — were hiding under the hood.

“The improvements in software and
the new camera, for example, are impressive,” said analyst Roger Kay
with Endpoint Technologies Associates. “But if you don’t have a new look
on the outside, people tend not to get as excited.”

Cook seemed comfortable on
stage but was working a room clearly missing the energy Jobs used to
infuse into these events. The real star of the show was Siri, the new
voice-recognition feature billed as the user’s “personal assistant,” a
female voice that soon will be helping millions of Apple fans answer
e-mails, make dinner reservations and remember to pick up the dry
cleaning, all without a single key stroke.

As of this writing, the world has not fallen apart.

Mercury News: Apple to update location tracking file

I like to post links to coverage from the San Jose Mercury News, The Sun and Daily Bulletin’s sister paper in the heart of the Silicon Valley.

Merc staffer Troy Wolverton reports today that Apple’s new iOS update will make changes to the location tracking software that allowed iPhones and iPads to track users’ whereabouts.

An excerpt:

The iOS update seeks to address many of the issues with the location file identified by the  researchers. According to Apple, the update will limit the amount of data kept in the location file, will prevent iTunes from backing up the file to users’ computers and  will delete all information in the file when users  turn off location services.

However, the update doesn’t necessarily address  all issues with the file. Apple has said previously  that it will continue to store 7 days worth of  location data in the file even after the update.  Forensics researchers, who have said that they have been using the location data stored file in  criminal and other legal investigations, said that  even that amount of data would still be useful in  their work.

EA Games on Sale

Step right up, get your EA Games for $.99 for your iPhone, Ipod touch and the iPad. In time for Valentines Day, EA Games announced that they’ll drop the price of nearly 30 games games for 48 hours, starting on February 7. Now, I know it’s the 8th but hey, you’ve got a 10 hours from the time this goes up. So…..hurry, hurry, hurry!!!


Game titles are listed after the jump.
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Apple’s iPhone 4: Fix it with duct tape


Customers that have had issues with Apple’s latest iPhone have had to endure a number of fixes and commentary on what to do when their signal drops including to simply “avoid holding it that way.” Or not holding it with your left hand which is kind of hard to do if you happen to be left-handed.

As I commented earlier, the problems may also be related to a number of standards that require the antennae to be where it is. Apple may have had no choice, but it doesn’t excuse anyone from trying to find a better solution. One that preferably does not require a $30 bumper. Or duct tape.

Wait, duct tape? You can chalk that up to Consumer Reports’ final word on the iPhone.

After giving it glowing marks on several of its tests, the non-profit organization ultimately decided not to recommend the new device based on their last test which pointed out its antennae issues. Because, you know, signal is kind of important when you want to place a call with a mobile phone.

This is something that iPhone 4 early adopters have known all along but which Apple has tried to downplay by keeping silent aside from offering the colorful advice above. It hasn’t stopped the device from flying off shelves, but now that Consumer Reports has added its considerable voice to the issue, it’s that much harder to ignore.

iPhone 4 antenna issues?

The iPhone 4 is out. Are you one of the lucky ones to snag Apple’s latest must-have gadget? Even if you’re not, you have to admit that when they release something, the world waits in line to get it. That’s not by chance.

Still, they’re as mortal as the next company and, according to PC Magazine, it sounds like there are a few problems with its antenna reception. The solution? Apparently, it’s to hold it differently. It’s not the first time something like this has happened, either, but there might be a good reason why.

Another article – this one by an actual antenna designer at a company called Antennasys, Inc. – points to the requirements placed on them by the FCC and even by AT&T for the awkward antenna.

It’s good blog entry that shows us another side of what goes into the actual engineering of a device like the iPhone. And the best part is that it doesn’t sound like radio instructions.