Archive for August, 2011

iOS 5 Beta 7 Is Out [Ios]

The next OTA update for iOS 5 is out for developers. It's gotta be close to done now. We'll know shortly what kind of goodies it has in store. [9to5 Mac] More »

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Kwame Opam

August 31st


Apple seeds iOS 5 beta 7, iTunes 10.5 beta 7, Xcode 4.2 beta 7 to developers (full change log)

Apple has just released iOS 5 beta 7 to developers as an over-the-air update. iOS 5 includes new features like Notification Center, Twitter integration, Newsstand, and iCloud support. The software update will become publicly available this fall, likely alongside the new iPhone lineup in early October. Apple has released iTunes 10.5 beta 7 and Xcode 4.2 beta 7 as well. Apple has also just released Safari 5.1.1 update 3. Let us know at anything you find!


We’ve found that in the Wi-Fi sync settings there is now support for multiple Macs. Under each Mac you’ll find what categories your iOS devide will sync to. Thanks Christoph!

Additionally, the Nuance Text to speech is now available as a menu item (below)



The following issues relate to using the 5.0 SDK to develop code.We’ve pasted the full change log for the new beta after the break:


  • When creating an iCloud account, you can use any Apple ID as long as it is a full email address and not a MobileMe account. If you have a MobileMe account, you can move that account to iCloud. You can find more information on iCloud at:


  • Starting in iOS 5, video content in applications and websites are AirPlay-enabled by default.
  • iOS 5 supports AirPlay of video via AV Foundation.

API Validation

  • NEW: Starting in iOS 5.0 development tools beta 7, it is possible to extract APIs used by an application and have them checked for private APIs usage. This option will be offered at Validation time.

Apple TV

  • Apple TV Software beta enables users to mirror the contents of an iPad 2 to an Apple TV (2nd generation) using AirPlay. This beta software also enables Photo Stream on Apple TV so users can access photos stored in iCloud. Apple TV Software beta is being provided to test the latest AirPlay functionality with your iOS 5 apps and web sites. If you wish to install Apple TV Software beta on your device, you must first register your device UDID in the iOS Developer Program Portal.
  • Slideshow settings are not remembered for slideshow playback (always plays back in Reflections theme). Screen savers settings are behaving properly.

Binary Compatibility

  • On applications linked against the iOS 5.0 SDK, scroll view content offsets will no longer be rounded to integral pixels during a pinch gesture.


  • Birthday calendars are not currently available via the website or in Windows. They will be available in a future release.

Core Image


  • iBooks 1.2.2 may fail to display some text or images in books. Please update to iBooks 1.3 in the App Store.

iCloud Backup

  • If you enable iCloud Backup, automatic backup with iTunes when syncing will be disabled. We also suggest that you manually back up your device with iTunes. Backups made with earlier versions of iOS 5 beta will soon become incompatible, and will no longer be available. It is strongly advised you upgrade to this version of the iOS 5 beta in order to continue backing up your devices.

iCloud Storage

  • NEW: Starting in iOS 5 beta 7, the requirements for specifying container identifier strings in your application’s entitlements have changed. Each container identifier that does not include a wildcard character must exactly match the bundle identifier of an application published using the same team ID as your application. You are not required to include an entitlement that matches your app’s own bundle identifier; for example, a lite and pro version of your app could both specify the pro app’s bundle identifier to share the same container. The requirements for container identifiers that include wildcard characters have not changed, but you may need to update existing wildcard identifiers after changing any non-wildcard identifiers in your application’s entitlements to match the new rules.
  • NEW: In this beta of iOS 5.0 the number of times an app can synchronize in quick succession with the servers has been reduced. If you are debugging your app and want to see whether your synchronize requests are being throttled, you can call the -[NSUbiquitousKeyValueStore _printDebugDescription] method directly in gdb. Please note that -[NSUbiquitousKeyValueStore _printDebugDescription] is an SPI so you are strongly advised not to use it in your app.
  • On KVS, the per-key limit has been raised to 64Kb (to match the per-app limit); and the maximum number of keys has been raised to 256.
  • During the iOS 5 beta period, any documents stored on the servers might be purged periodically before GM. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you do not store any critical documents or information on the servers.
  • Provisioning Profiles no longer need to be enabled for iCloud in the iOS Provisioning Portal. All newly generated provisioning profiles are now automatically enabled for iCloud. If you are using an Xcode managed Team Provisioning Profile, click refresh in the Xcode Organizer to obtain a new iCloud-enabled profile. To enable all other provisioning profiles for iCloud, simply regenerate your profiles in the iOS Provisioning Portal.
  • If your application is using the NSMetadataQuery class, you must set a predicate, the predicate is now honored. But the predicate is an NSPredicate-style predicate, not a Spotlight-style predicate an example of this is that you must use LIKE instead of = for wild card matching. The differences are defined in more detail at:
  • In this beta, the setSortDescriptors: method of NSMetadataQuery is not supported.
  • To use iCloud prior to beta 5, you had to manually specify various container identifiers (your application’s Display set) within an Entitlements file for both of your Mac OS X and iOS projects.Starting in beta 5, to enable iCloud storage within your apps, simply click the “Enable Entitlements” checkbox in the Summary pane of your project. Xcode will create a custom entitlements file for your project that automatically includes your Team ID. You can add additional iCloud Container values as required by your application. (Note that you must regenerate your existing provisioning profiles, either with Xcode or in the iOS Provisioning Portal, to use iCloud storage.)
    If you specify a custom identifier string for your iCloud Key-Value Store or iCloud Container entitlement values, you no longer need to prepend your Team ID to the beginning of the string. Xcode will prepend your Team ID to these entries automatically
  • The container identifier string you pass to the URLForUbiquityContainerIdentifier: method of NSFileManager MUST include the team ID at the beginning of the string. As a convenience, if you pass nil, Foundation uses the first document container ID specified in your app’s entitlements.
  • There are issues using the Cloud Storage document API in conjunction with protected data which can lead to data corruption.
  • In this beta, file presenters (objects that adopt the NSFilePresenter protocol) do not receive some of the messages that they’re supposed to receive, especially:
  • You can workaround this by implementing the relinquishPresentedItemToWriter: method and checking to see if the writer actually wrote when your file presenter reacquires.File presenters do receive presentedItemDidChange: messages in this beta.
  • While reporting a bug related to the iCloud storage interfaces, please include the logs collected during your debugging session. To generate these logs, you must install a special debug profile on your device.The debug profile can be obtained from This profile enables the generation of debug logs that are needed to diagnose any problems using iCloud storage. The instructions to collect the logs are:
    • Install the profile. (The easiest way to do this is to mail it to yourself and open the attachment on their device.)
    • Reproduce the bug.
    • Sync with iTunes to pull the logs off your device.
    • Attach the logs to your bug report. You can find the logs in ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/DeviceName/DiagnosticLogs.
  • These logs can grow large very quickly, so you should remove the profile after you have reproduced the problem and pulled the logs for the bug report.
  • File names are case-insensitive in OS X but case-sensitive in iOS. This can lead to problems when syncing files between the two. You should take steps on iOS to avoid creating files whose names differ only by case.
  • Find My iPhone

    • After OTA update Find My iPhone does not work. To make it functional you can toggle the the Find My iPhone from OFF to ON in Settings.


    • NEW: Auto-matching with the Turn-based view controller does not work. Invites or the direct auto-match API can be used as a workaround.
    • Match data for turn based matches is currently limited to 4 KB of data.
    • FIXED: Events will be passed to the delegate whenever a turn is made on a match, instead of just when it becomes the local player’s turn.


    • iMessage beta 1 will be unable to communicate with iMessage users on beta 2 or later.
    • FIXED:Setup Assistant does not provide AppleID password as an input for the FaceTime in iMessage.

    interface Builder

    • FIXED: When editing the value of a constraint in the inspector, the constraint remains selected, and the outline view continues to show the constraint as selected.
    • In XCode 4.2 when copying views (either a single view or multiple views), both the user defined constraints directly on the selected view and the user defined constraints between the views being copied are copied to the pasteboard.
    • Changing the segment style of an NSSegmentedControl object to “Automatic” might crash in documents using Cocoa Auto Layout. To workaround the issue use an explicit segment style such as Round or Textured, and at runtime, change the segment style to automatic using the setSegmentStyle: method.


    • NEW: When trying to restore an iPhone 3GS or iPod touch 3rd generation device running Beta 6 to Beta 7 using iTunes, you will have to set the device into DFU or you can OTA update to Beta 7. To enter DFU mode you will have to:
      1. Connect the device to USB on your Mac.
      2. Turn the device off.
      3. Launch iTunes on your Mac.
      4. Hold down the Home and Power buttons for 10 seconds.
      5. Continue holding the Home button but let go of the Power button.
      6. Hold Home button for 13 seconds or until the device shows up in iTunes.
    • The version of iTunes that comes with beta 7 cannot sync devices that have the beta 6 software installed. To avoid this problem, do the following:
      1. Sync any devices that have beta 6 installed to the version of iTunes that came with beta 6.
      2. Upgrade iTunes to the version that comes with beta 7.
      3. Connect the device and install the beta 7 software. (Understand that you might see a failure to sync error when you first connect the device.)
      4. After installing the beta 7 software, restore from your the backup you made in step 1.


    • When changing the host name of an email account in settings, blank messages may be seen in the unified inbox. As a workaround, delete and re-add the account instead of changing its host name.

    Music Player

    • When deleting a song or video from Music/Videos on the device it crashes the app.


    • FIXED: After the lighting stage, whether lighting is enabled or not, the resulting color values are not clamped in GLKit/GLKEffects with either GLKLightingTypePerVertex or GLKLightingTypePerPixel set on the effect. As a result it is not uncommon to see differences in lighting between the two, especially when multiple lights are enabled. This differs from OpenGLES 1.1 which clamps color values after the lighting stage regardless of whether or not lighting is enabled.

    OTA Software Update

    • Users who installed iOS 5 beta 6 over the air from iOS 5 beta 3 must first erase all content and settings by choosing Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings in order to install iOS 5 beta 7 over the air. This only impacts users who did not update to iOS 5 beta 4.
    • If you are doing an OTA software update, you will need to re-sync your photos with iTunes.”
    • FIXED: There may be some cases where purchases from the App Store or iTunes Store appear to be stalled because the device is downloading something else in the background. A workaround is to disconnect the device from power (unplug the device).
    • NEW: If you have a passcode set, it must be removed before updating to seed 7 from previous seeds. It can be re-enabled after the update is complete. Failure to do so may require iMessage to be re-enabled in settings.


    • FIXED: If reminders syncing is enabled for a Yahoo account and there is no reminders collection on the server, it will continually get recreated by the phone. Due to a Yahoo server bug, that collection will show up as an event calendar.


    • In iOS 5.0 signing of certificates with MD5 signatures is not supported. Please ensure that certificates use signature algorithms based on SHA1 or SHA2.


    • Location services are not functional in iOS 4.3 simulator running on Mac OS 10.7 with Xcode 4.2.


    • Push and local notifications for apps appear in the new Notification Center in iOS 5. Notification Center displays notifications that are considered “unread.” In order to accommodate push and local notifications that have no “unread” status, developers can use their application badge count to trigger a clearing of notifications from Notification Center. When an application clears its badge count (by setting it to zero), iOS 5 will clear its notifications from Notification Center.

    UI Automation

    • There is a known issue when using the performTaskOnHost API in a UI Automation script. If the task being performed with the API outputs excessively (say, thousands of lines of text) to standard out or standard error, the task may deadlock until the timeout is reached, at which point it will throw a javascript exception.
    • The lock() and unlock() functions of UIATarget have been replaced with the lockForDuration(<seconds>) function.
    • Starting in iOS 5 beta 2, you can now trigger the execution of an UI Automation script on an iOS device from the host terminal by using the instruments tool. The command is:
    • instruments -w <device id> -t <template> <application>
  • When using the cli instruments for UI Automation you can now target the default Automation Template and pass the script and results path into the tool as environment variable options. For example:
    • instruments -w <device id> -t /Developer/Platforms/iPhoneOS.platform/Developer/Library/Instruments/PlugIns/AutomationInstrument.bundle/Contents/Resources/Automation.tracetemplate <application> -e UIASCRIPT <script> -e UIARESULTSPATH <results path>


  • Using the UIWebView class in Interface Builder, setting transparent background color is possible in iOS 5. Developers compiling against the new SDK can check their XIB for the UIWebView transparent setting.
  • In the iOS 5 beta, the UINavigationBar, UIToolbar, and UITabBar implementations have changed so that the drawRect: method is not called on instances of these classes unless it is implemented in a subclass. Apps that have re-implemented drawRect: in a category on any of these classes will find that the drawRect: method isn’t called. UIKit does link-checking to keep the method from being called in apps linked before iOS 5 but does not support this design on iOS 5 or later. Apps can either:
    • Use the customization API for bars that in iOS 5 and later, which is the preferred way.
    • Subclass UINavigationBar (or the other bar classes) and override drawRect: in the subclass.
  • The indexPathForRow:inSection:, section, and row methods of NSIndexPath now use NSInteger instead of NSUInteger, so that these types match with methods defined on UITableView.
  • We have changed the behavior of scrollToRowAtIndexPath:atScrollPosition:animated: such that UITableViewScrollPositionTop and UITableViewScrollPositionBottom now adjust for the top and bottom portions of thecontentInset property.
  • NEW: In releases prior to iOS 5.0, the UIPopoverController class would unconditionally set the autoresizing masks of view controllers which were the content view controller of the popover controller. It would also unconditionally set the autoresizing masks of the views of view controllers pushed on to a UINavigationController object which was the content view controller of the popover controller.In iOS 5.0, the UIPopoverController class will no longer do this for applications linked on iOS 5.0 or later. Developers should ensure that the autoresizing masks of views are set properly to allow for arbitrary resizing within any container, not just popovers. A mask of (UIViewAutoresizingFlexibleWidth | UIViewAutoresizingFlexibleHeight) would not be unreasonable.
  • The completion handler for saveToURL:forSaveOperation:completionHandler: is now being called outside of the coordinated write block, where it used to be called inside.
  • FIXED: The autosaveWithCompletionHandler: method will now only be called for period-based saves and it is safe to return without saving. Documents must save, though, if the saveToURL:forSaveOperation:completionHandler:method is invoked.
  • Safari and WebKit

    • In iOS 5, a new inherited CSS property, -webkit-overflow-scrolling, is available. The value touch allows the web developer to opt in to native-style scrolling in an overflow:scroll element. The default value for this property is auto, which allows single-finger scrolling without momentum.
    • The WebKit framework has picked up a newer WebKit engine, which closely matches Safari 5.1. Some areas to be aware of with the new WebKit framework on iOS:
    • There is a new HTML5-compliant parser.
    • Text layout width may change slightly because word-rounding behavior now has floating-point-based precision.
    • There is improved validation of the <input type=number> form field, which includes removing leading zeros and number formatting.
    • Touch events are now supported on input fields.
    • window.onerror is now supported.
    • There is a new user agent that does not have locale information in the User Agent string.
    • URLs are now canonicalized by making the scheme all lowercase. If a fake URL is used to pass information from a UIWebView back to native code, make sure that the scheme is always lowercase, or that the native code compares the scheme in a case-insensitive manner.

    Wi-Fi Syncing

    • In iOS 5 beta 4 and later, wireless syncing is now available on Windows as well as the Mac. (This support requires OS X 10.6.8 or Lion.) You will see an option to enable wireless syncing when you connect your device to iTunes with the USB cable. It is recommended you perform your initial sync with a cable after restoring your device.
    • Wireless syncing is triggered automatically when the device is connected to power and on the same network as the paired computer. Or, you can manually trigger a sync from iTunes or from Settings > General > iTunes Sync (same network as paired computer required).
    • If you find issues with apps, media and/or photos synced to your device, you can reset then resync. From Settings > General > Reset, choose Erase all Content and Settings. Then reconnect to iTunes and sync again.


    • NEW: Starting with Xcode 4.2 in iOS 5.0 beta 7, support to run and debug applications in the iOS 4.3 Simulator and on devices with iOS versions older than 4.2 is made optional and installed on demand. This support is no longer shipped as part of the core tools packaging, and made available for download and installation through the “Downloads” pane of the Xcode Preferences panel. A valid iOS developer ADC account is required to obtain this content.To obtain the iOS 4.3 Simulator, select the “More Simulators…” item from the Run Destinations popup in the main toolbar. This will present the Downloads pane of the Preferences with UI to initiate the installation of the simulator.
      To obtain iOS device support for pre-iOS 4.2 devices, connect a device and activate it for development in the Organizer. Xcode will provide a prompt to initiate the download of the device support components.
      If the Xcode 4.2 in iOS 5.0 beta 7 is installed over a previous Xcode 4.2 beta or Xcode 4.1, the iOS 4.3 Simulator and device support from the previous install will already be present, and the additional components will display as “Installed” in the Downloads pane of the Xcode Preferences.
      The installation packages for the downloaded components will be stored in ~Library/Developer/Xcode. When a new version of Xcode (beta or GM) will be installed, subsequent requests to install these components will use the local packages without requiring a new download.
    • In some cases, Xcode 4.2 Organizer does not display a device that is in restore mode. As a workaround you can use iTunes to restore.
    • In iOS 5 beta 5, iOS Simulator is not compatible with previous releases of the iCloud Developer Seed for OS X. It is highly recommended that you update to the latest iCloud Developer Seed to ensure compatibility.
    • iOS 5.0 SDK supports both iOS 4.3 and iOS 5.0 simulators.

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    Mark Gurman

    August 31st


    Facebook to launch music service on September 22nd

    Facebook will launch a music service on September 22nd, CNBC reported today. There are currently no details on whether it will be a streaming subscription service or simply a music storefront similar to iTunes, and Facebook has not yet confirmed the announcement. Business Insider said the Facebook music service will integrate with other third party services such as Spotify and Rdio. CNBC also suggested Facebook will work with MOG, another music service that has a long-standing relationship with Facebook. Spotify and Rdio currently allow users to integrate with social networks to share songs and playlists with friends.

    Read [CNBC] Read [Business Insider]

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    Todd Haselton

    August 31st


    Microsoft’s Interpretation Of “No Compromise” Is The Definition Of “Compromise”


    On one hand, you have to give Windows chief Steven Sinofsky some credit, he’s being very open, proactive, and engaged leading up to Microsoft’s unveiling of Windows 8. And that’s great. But on the other hand, you have to wonder if he’s in the process of burying himself in a very big hole.

    Over the past couple of days, the Internet has let out a collective “gasp” at the sight of the new Windows Explorer. So today, Sinofsky has responded with his own thoughts about the design of Windows 8. The theme he wants his post to have is very clear: “no compromise” — he says it four separate times. Unfortunately, the theme that actually comes across is the exact opposite.

    Writes Sinofsky:

    We started planning Windows 8 during the summer of 2009 (before Windows 7 shipped). From the start, our approach has been to reimagine Windows, and to be open to revisiting even the most basic elements of the user model, the platform and APIs, and the architectures we support.  Our goal was a no compromise design.


    Why not just start over from scratch? Why not just remove all of the desktop features and only ship the Metro experience? Why not “convert” everything to Metro?  The arguments for a “clean slate” are well known, both for and against. We chose to take the approach of building a design without compromise.


    Windows 8 brings together all the power and flexibility you have in your PC today with the ability to immerse yourself in a Metro style experience. You don’t have to compromise!


    Our design goal was clear: no compromises. If you want to, you can seamlessly switch between Metro style apps and the improved Windows desktop.

    I’m really not sure that Sinofsky understands the definition of “compromise”. Several of his own commenters wonder the same thing. As a refresher:

    Compromise, noun: a middle state between conflicting opinions or actions reached by mutual concession or modification

    Um, that’s precisely what Windows 8 sounds like.

    As Sinofsky describes it, Windows 8 offers both the traditional Windows experience as well as the new Metro-based one because they saw the arguments for doing it both ways. So they… wait for it… compromised!

    This is important because rarely do such compromises work. Yes, everyone wants to keep their cake and eat it too. But sometimes when you force this indecisiveness in the faces of users, you run the risk of them making a third choice: neither.

    As Frederic Lardinois notes:

    The question, of course, is if Microsoft’s somewhat odd approach to the Windows 8 user interface will really offer the best of both worlds or if it will just offer two completely disconnected experiences. Microsoft argues that “Windows 8 brings together all the power and flexibility you have in your PC today with the ability to immerse yourself in a Metro style experience.” Both Microsoft and Apple, though, have tried this same approach with their media-focused Media Center and Front Row experiences in the past and both didn’t succeed in convincing users to switch between these two interfaces.

    Apple, of course, also has a two-pronged approach with OS X Lion and iOS. But they’re totally separate operating systems that don’t co-exist on any one device. Sure, OS X Lion is moving more in the direction of iOS, but that’s a transition towards what Apple clearly sees as the future of computing. They’re not sticking iOS on their machines as a sub-operating layer. And the most iOS-like element of OS X Lion, Launchpad, is the one element that seems to draw the most complaints.

    As I’ve written before, I actually quite like Microsoft’s Metro approach. But I like it in the context of smartphones (and possibly tablets). I’m not sure how much I like it as a alternative to Windows itself. But it’s impossible to know that right now without using it, I’ll have to wait and see.

    I simply think going with a single approach to the future of Windows makes more sense. Microsoft, understandably, is terrified of this. To me, Sinofsky’s entire post reads as an apology of sorts. Microsoft knows that they need to re-think and revamp Windows, but they can’t fully commit to it because they run the risk of alienating hundreds of millions of existing users.

    But eventually, Microsoft will have to choose. They can’t be indecisive forever. They’ll have to “compromise”, to use what Sinofsky clearly thinks is the definition of the word

    Launch Date:
    13/3/1986, NASDAQ:MSFT

    Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of...

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    MG Siegler

    August 31st


    Twitter Will Start Showing Ads From Companies You’re Not Following [Twitter]

    Late last month, Twitter made an obvious choice by putting ads from companies we follow into our feeds. Good! Now they've taken it one step further by allowing ads from brands we don't follow to slip through. Not so good? More »

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    Kwame Opam

    August 31st


    Mobile TV And Video Platform MobiTV Files For $75 Million IPO


    Mobile TV and video platform MobiTV has filed its S-1 with the SEC this afternoon. In the public offering, MobiTV plans to raise as much as $75 million.

    For background, MobiTV was founded in 1999 and was one of the pioneers in bringing live and on-demand TV to mobile devices. The company boasts partnerships with a number of carriers and content providers such as NBC, ESPN, Disney, CBS, Warner Music and more. And MobiTV has raised approximately $115 million from a wide range of investors, including Menlo Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Adobe Ventures and Hearst Ventures.

    According to the filing, the company is the national provider of mobile television services for AT&T U-verse Live TV, NFL Mobile on Verizon, Sprint TV and T-Mobile TV, among others. The company’s technology works on 375 different types of mobile devices, across wireless and broadband networks and all major operating systems, including Android, Apple iOS, BlackBerry OS and Windows.

    MobiTV licenses content from major television studios, including ABC, CBS, Disney, ESPN, Fox, MTV Networks and NBC; and in 2010 delivered over 3,000 live events to mobile devices. The company grew its mobile minutes streamed from 264 million minutes in 2007 to 1.4 billion minutes in 2010.

    For 2010, MobiTV’s total revenue was $66.8 million in 2010. In the six months ended June 30, 2011, the company made $37 million. Revenue for 2008 and 2009 was $55 million and $62 million, respectively.

    Unfortunately, MobiTV has yet to make a profit. The company has taken a loss for the past three years. In 2008, 2009, and 2010, the company posted losses of $25 million, $14.6 million and $14.7 million, respectively. In the first six months of 2011, MobiTV lost $8 million.

    And the company warns in the filing that it depends on three customers, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, for most of its revenue and if any of those customers were to limit or terminate their relationship with MobiTV, “it could be difficult or impossible for us to replace that revenue.” Sprint represented 56%, 69% and 54% of the company’s revenue in 2008, 2009 and 2010. AT&T and T-Mobile combined represent 24%, 17% and 24% of the company’s revenue in 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively, and 42% of its revenue in the six months ended June 30, 2011.

    To make matters worse, beginning September 2012, MobiTV’s agreement with Sprint converts to a month to month contract. T-Mobile will automatically renew in December 2011 for a one-year term but the agreement is subject to T-Mobile’s right to terminate on 30 days notice. AT&T’s contract expires in January 2013.

    MobiTV is just the latest in a slew of companies who filed to go public in the past two weeks. Angie’s List, Brightcove, and Jive both threw their hats into the ring last week.


    MobiTV powers white-labeled mobile media services such as AT&T U-Verse Live TV, T-Mobile TV, Sprint TV, NFL Mobile on Verizon and more. In addition to user benefits, its new...

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    Leena Rao

    August 31st


    The New Essential Apps August 2011 [Apps]

    iPhones. iPads. Android. Windows Phone 7. We've updated all of our essential apps lists to include a few forgotten favorites, some long awaited arrivals and, as always, even more amazing apps. Check them out! More »

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    August 31st


    Game Closure Quietly Raises Seed Round From SV Angel, Yuri Milner, Greylock, And More

    Screen shot 2011-08-31 at 1.58.03 PM

    We first covered Game Closure this spring when it opened its private beta to the world to test out its new cross-platform HTML5 game engine and SDK. The startup has since gone on to work with multiple private and public partners to bring cross-platform, multiplayer HTML5 games to the App Store, Android Marketplace, Facebook, and beyond. According to Game Closure Co-founder and CEO Michael Carter, the startup has also attracted interest in its technology from game studios involved in the Project Spartan launch and expects activity to ramp up after project details are (expected to be) announced at F8 next month.

    Game Closure’s new game development environment and SDK makes it easy to create, host, and deploy HTML5-based cross-platform, multiplayer games, starting with iOS, Android, and Facebook. This along with the interest the startup has had from game studios led to its quiet announcement today that it has raised its first round outside of investment. While the founders are being tight-lipped about the actual numbers, the list of investors is certainly impressive. Investors and angels participating in the startup’s seed round include, SV Angel, Yuri Milner, Joi Ito, Charles River Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, and General Catalyst Partners.

    With advisors like Joi Ito, who was on the board of Japanese gaming giant DeNA during it’s primary growth phase, and currently advises Zynga and Twitter, (and runs the MIT Media Lab), Game Closure is starting to add some important pieces that will set it in good stead as it scales. What’s more, the startup is beginning to swim in a hot market. Single player games are beginning to experience distribution pressure from competitive games that launch on multiple platforms, as seen in Zynga’s recent Word’s with Friends cross-promotion to desktop, a play that has already moved 11 million MAU from a previously mobile-only title onto desktop Facebook.

    This trend is already resulting in game studios work to launch titles which are interoperable with Google, Apple, Facebook, and every other platform. At the least, this is something Facebook fears, as evidenced by their terms of service changes regarding cross-promotion, though for now Facebook still allows publishers to cross promote from the web canvas to 1st-party games on iOS (with which developers are currently finding great success).

    In light of all this, Game Closure is going after speed of execution as its main target, as Carter said that the company prides itself on its SDK’s ability to turn an idea into a game in under 2 weeks, without having to worry about the so-called “platform wars”.

    Also of note: Game Closure is an entrepreneuers-in-residence company for the StartX Stanford Accelerator (formerly SSE Labs), and will be presenting at StartX’s upcoming demo day, where the Stanford accelerator’s portfolio of thirteen summer session companies will be unveiled.

    For more on Game Closure, check ‘em out here.

    Launch Date:

    The Game Closure SDK is an HTML-based multiplayer game development environment. Its customers can use familiar Web APIs to create production quality games. The company compiles, deploys, and accelerate...

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    Rip Empson

    August 31st


    Give Your Lady The Gift Of Glowing Power With The iNecklace


    It’s iconic. That soft, pulsating light emanating from the button that controls life and death. Press it when it’s glowing and creativity flows. Turn it off and a little bit of your inner child dies. The iNecklace allows the wearer to capture that sense of control and wear it around the neck as a status of power. There’s nothing else like it. (this is where you, the commenter will jump to the comments and link to something identical)

    The iNecklace is made by Adafruit available in the states through Gizmine. The pendent is CNC machined from aluminum and features a screw-type back plate. Inside is a pulsating LED powered by a replaceable battery. Just like the power button it’s clearly designed to replicate, the LED seems to breath as it hangs on its 18-inch sterling silver chain, creating a rather unique piece of jewelry and one that will certainly attract the geeks.

    Gizmine just started taking pre-orders with shipping expected to start on September 8th.

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    Matt Burns

    August 31st


    Apple loses iPhone prototype in a bar, again

    Apple employees must love a good drink. An Apple employee has, yet again, lost an unreleased iPhone prototype in a bar, according to CNET. The iPhone was lost in Cava22, a bar in San Francisco’s Mission District, late last month and Apple quickly tried to recover the lost device. The Cupertino-based company tracked the phone to a house in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights where investigators spoke to “a man in his twenties” who had been at Cava22 the day the iPhone was lost. The man denied knowing about the phone, despite a cash and “no questions asked” offer from Apple, and nothing was found when the man gave police permission to search his home. The phone was reportedly later sold on Craigslist for $200 to an unknown buyer according to CNET’s source, though it is unclear how the source gained knowledge of the sale. Last year, Gizmodo purchased a lost iPhone 4 prototype and published photos of the handset before it was unveiled. Apple is expected to announce its next-generation iPhone in October.Read

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    Todd Haselton

    August 31st