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Mobile Technology News, August 31, 2012

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Tokyo court deals win for Samsung
    A court in Tokyo rules that Samsung Electronics did not infringe on patents held by Apple, a victory for the South Korean company.
  • FinSpy Software Is Tracking Political Dissidents
    Two researchers say an off-the-shelf computer program has been used to monitor and spy on dissidents in countries around the world.

  • Advertising: TV Guide Goes From Coffee Table to the Tablet
    TV Guide’s mobile app connects users with their favorite shows, and gives advertisers a way to connect with viewers.

  • Some vendors wary of Windows RT
    Not all is copacetic in Windows RT land.
  • Possible ‘iPad Mini’ Spotted in iOS App Developer Logs
    Instapaper developer Marco Arment has spotted two new iPad device codes in his logs that he believes represents the long rumored “iPad mini”.

    The new identifiers found were “iPad2,5” and “iPad2,6”. As Arment notes, the iPad2,1 through iPad 2,3 designations are known to represent the iPad 2’s WiFi, GSM and CDMA models. The iPad2,4 represents a die-shrunk/cheaper version of the iPad 2 that was released alongside the 3rd generation iPad. Finally, the 3rd Generation iPad carries a designation of iPad3,x.

    iPad Mini mockup (left) by iMore

    As for “iPad2,5” and “iPad2,6”, they have not been seen before, but Arment concludes they are likely to be the long rumored ‘iPad mini’ which is based on iPad 2 hardware.

    The much more likely explanation is that iPad2,5 and iPad2,6 are the new “iPad Mini” in Wi-Fi and GSM, and I haven’t recorded the likely iPad2,7 CDMA version yet.

    If so, this suggests that the iPad Mini is, effectively, an iPad 2: an A5 with 512 MB of RAM and enough GPU power to drive the Gruber Display, but not a Retina Display.

    It’s a textbook Tim Cook supply-chain move: selling the last generation’s hardware at a lower price point to expand marketshare.

    By “Gruber Display”, Arment refers to John Gruber’s speculation that a iPad Mini made sense as a 7.85″ display that shares the same resolution as the original iPad (1024×768). Arment goes into a little further depth in his blog post about his speculation on the internals of the iPad mini.

    Apple is believed to be launching a smaller 7.85″ iPad in the coming months. Rumors have suggested we’ll see it launched as early as October.

  • Apple Adds ‘Chomp’ Styled App Store Search Results and More in iOS 6
    Apple has quietly made some changes to iOS 6’s App Store app formatting tonight and introduced a new search results format that seem clearly inspired by Chomp.

    Chomp was a three-year old search and app discovery startup that was acquired by Apple earlier this year. The reason for the acquisition was reportedly to improve the App Store search and app discovery. It appears the first of those efforts are being deployed in iOS 6.

    iOS 6 search results on left, Chomp app shown on right

    On the iPhone, the new search results show a single tile result that can be swiped to move to each new result. Chomp’s iOS app used a similar tile system in their search results.

    In thread in our forums, some users are already unhappy with the shift as it is slower to browse through many results.

    Meanwhile, 9to5Mac notes several other changes in App Store functionality such as Genius support, Purchased section and Podcast search:

    Also adding to the iOS 6 App Store updates, Apple has enabled the Genius recommendation section this evening, providing users with apps that may be in their interest to download. Furthermore, the purchased section has also joined the party, displaying all the apps a user has downloaded to their account, making it easy to retrieve favorite apps. Last but certainly not least, the iTunes Store has been updated with the ability to once again search for podcasts.

    The iPad version of iOS 6 also shows the new tile-based results, but is able to show four results at a time. (screenshot).

  • How many pixels can Apple pack into a 4-inch screen?
    The iPhone’s screen is expected to finally grow beyond the confines of its seemingly permanent 3.5-inch screen. What does that mean for pixel density and resolution?
  • Justifying Apple’s $1bn verdict
    The Apple/Samsung trial jury foreman justifies the verdict, but says Android need not be worried
  • Hacker ‘steals’ police force data
    What appear to be computer logins and passwords for Hertfordshire Police officers are published online after the force website is hacked.
  • X PRIZE Foundation: New Software Can Diagnose Parkinson’s Disease Simply By Listening To Your Voice
    Software like Apple’s Siri that responds to your voice is convenient and incredibly cool, but what if a similar kind of voice analysis could diagnose disease?
  • Parallels 8 retuned for Mountain Lion, Windows 8
    The virtualization software for Macs now can marry OS X’s dictation to Windows apps or Windows notifications to OS X. Also: Better Windows 8 screen-edge controls.
  • What users are saying about open clouds
    Market research firm IDC says that data from a new survey shows that “open cloud is key for 72 percent of customers.”
  • High Street follow my leader
    Harnessing data to fight the big digital retailers
  • Robert J. Elisberg: Live from IFA Berlin: New Tech in the Old World
    If the maniacal zoo every year of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is Disneyland for adults, then IFA Berlin is Christmas in August.
  • Bits Blog: Apple Rejects App Tracking Drone Strikes
    Apple has rejected an iPhone app that puts United States drone strikes on an interactive map because it ran afoul of Apple’s rules on objectionable content.

  • Rick Tumlinson: The Right Goes the Wrong Direction in Space
    Having seen in Tampa several days of celebration of American ideals such as individual initiatives, entrepreneurship, and enterprise, to actually read the 2012 Republican Party Platform’s take on U.S. space policy was almost nauseating.
  • Front Row: Shopbop Gets a Makeover
    The Web site Shopbop gets ready to compete with more polished luxury players.

  • Retina Display Support Coming to Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4 in ‘Coming Months’ [Updated]
    Adobe today provided a few more details on its plans for Retina display support on its software, noting that a Retina-compatible version of Photoshop CS6 will be arriving “this Fall”. A Retina version of Lightroom 4 will also be delivered “as soon as the work is complete”.

    Supporting this new technology requires significant work by our product teams and we’re committed to provided a free update to all Photoshop CS6 customers this Fall and Lightroom 4 as soon as the work is complete. Please note that Creative Cloud members will receive Photoshop updates more frequently and receive this update in advance of updates for non-members.

    Users of Photoshop Elements should not expect a Retina update in the immediate future, although that team is still looking into adding support for it.

    Adobe Photoshop was one of the high-profile applications highlighted by Apple at June’s Worldwide Developers Conference as having Retina display support in the works. Adobe, Autodesk, and Blizzard were three major software companies Apple noted it had already been working with on Retina compatibility, but it is still taking some time for developers to make their applications fully compatible with the new ultra high-resolution display found on the Retina MacBook Pro.

    Update 1:36 PM: A second blog post notes that Retina support will be coming to many more software titles than just Photoshop and Lightroom.

    We expect to update the following products with HiDPI support, free to all CS6 and Creative Cloud customers, over the next few months:


    Edge Animate




    Photoshop Touch


    Adobe Premiere Pro


    We are currently evaluating the roadmap for when other products may support HiDPI displays, and we will announce those plans as they are finalized.

  • Open Source Image Editor GIMP Now Available as a Native OS X App [Mac Blog]
    GimplogoThe free, open-source image editor GIMP is now available for OS X as a native application. It is available for download from Gimp.org.

    GIMP is a popular and fairly powerful free image editor from the linux world that is basically like a freeware version of Photoshop, complete with many of the tools used for photo retouching and image manipulation that you’d expect. It’s a great free PS alternative, but Mac users have long had to install X11 to get it to run. But not anymore! The newest version of Gimp for Mac OS X is bundled as a self-contained native app, that means no X11 installations, no Xcode, nothing but a simple dmg download.

    Previously, GIMP required the installation of X11, a windowing system for some specialized software — something that is difficult for more inexperienced users to accomplish. Pixelmator is an excellent alternative image editor for most users, though it currently costs $15.

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