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We find ourselves in the middle of a pair of controversies this week. First, an iPhone app that promises (and delivers) tethering for a one-time $14.99 fee is approved in the App Store and becomes an instant hit, but Apple quickly pulls it, citing a weak excuse. And then there’s the hullabaloo about Siri supposedly toeing an anti-abortion line with responses to particular queries; Adam explains why it’s unreasonable to attribute Apple corporate policy to anything Siri says. Also this week, Jeff Carlson looks at several iOS apps that work by listening to the world outside, and Adam shares his surprisingly smooth experience getting his iCloud calendars to sync with Macs that can’t run Lion, thanks to BusyCal. Finally, we’re pleased to announce not one, but two new ebooks covering iOS 5: Tonya Engst’s “Take Control of Your iPad” and Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Mail on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, Third Edition.” Notable software releases this week include Cyberduck 4.2, MarsEdit 3.4.1, Camino 2.1, and Safari 5.1.2.

Adam Engst 77 comments

Let’s Stop with the Siri Baiting

Siri can perform some useful tasks and respond with a little personality. But that doesn’t mean it’s reasonable to read anything — and certainly not Apple corporate policy surrounding abortion — into her responses.

Adam Engst 5 comments

Two New Take Control Ebooks Cover iOS 5

Whether you’re looking for the latest advice on making the most of the iPad under iOS 5 or dealing with the many Mail-related changes, we have a pair of ebooks that will help: “Take Control of Your iPad” and “Take Control of Mail on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, Third Edition.”

Jeff Carlson No comments

The iPad’s Helpful Ears

You’re accustomed to watching video and listening to music on an iPad or other iOS device, but did you know that it can listen too? Some apps take advantage of the microphone in clever ways.

Adam Engst 12 comments

iTether Approved, then Pulled

First Apple approves iTether, a $14.99 app that enables USB-based tethering of an iPhone to a Mac or Windows PC. And then, hours after approving it, Apple does an about-face and pulls the Internet sharing app, citing the utterly weak reason that it would burden the carrier network.

TidBITS Staff No comments

ExtraBITS for 5 December 2011

We have three additional bits for you to read this week, including a critical examination of browsing versus searching in iOS lists, a look back at QuickTime on its 20th anniversary, and a reality check on just how massive tech company data centers affect employment where they’re located.