Although it doesn’t directly impact customers right now, this week’s big news was Apple lifting its overly restrictive iPhone non-disclosure agreement; iPhone software developers can now communicate with one another freely (and technical books in the pipeline can finally be published), which should result in better applications in the future. In other news, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) makes an unexpected return to the Mac, Easy Wi-Fi simplifies hotspot access on the iPhone or iPod touch, and a French newspaper article claims that older Mac Pros could be poisoning owners. Joe Kissell starts writing a review of iPhone games and realizes that the task isn’t so simple, and Adam revels in the font of typographical goodness that is Bravefont. We’re also extremely excited to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Take Control with a big half-off sale! In the TidBITS Watchlist, we cover the releases of Apple TV 2.2, Firefox PDF Plugin for Mac OS X 0.9.9, iTunes 8.0.1, SousChef 1.0, OmniWeb 5.8, Quark Publishing System 8, Drive Genius 2.1, and You Control: Desktops 1.3.
Extensis had way too much fun in producing this trailer for a spoof movie called Bravefont. It's really a teaser for Suitcase Fusion 2, but the video is a must-see for its combination of movie cliches and font jokes.
It has been five years since we started the Take Control series of electronic books, and we're celebrating with a 50-percent-off sale through 14-Oct-08. We also share Take Control sales numbers and other stats.
Apple will no longer keep developers from discussing public aspects of the iPhone SDK and programming practices. The non-disclosure agreement had prevented developers from learning from one another about common problems, and from releasing public domain and open-source code.
A problem with Mac Pros manufactured before 2008 has gained new life after a recent article in a French newspaper claims the machines are emitting volatile organic compounds, including the carcinogen benzene.
AOL, left for dead, releases a test version of an updated AOL Instant Messenger with tabbed sessions, animated icons, wallpaper, and custom emoticon sets.
Devicescape has finally released an Apple-approved version of its connection software for Wi-Fi hotspots. Easy Wi-Fi lets you enter network keys and subscription passwords on the company's Web site and then use them without re-entry on an iPhone or iPod touch.
When Joe Kissell set out to review three casual games for the iPhone/iPod touch, he thought he found a great way to justify wasting hours of time. But there was a hidden gotcha: making meaningful recommendations given the huge number of competitors (41 different Sudoku apps - ouch!).
Notable software releases so far this week include Apple TV 2.2, Firefox PDF Plugin for Mac OS X 0.9.9, iTunes 8.0.1, SousChef 1.0, OmniWeb 5.8, Quark Publishing System 8, Drive Genius 2.1, and You Control: Desktops 1.3.
Readers this week are talking about external keyboard support for the iPhone and iPod touch, editing XML, storing URLs in a central location, screen savers, and the unexpected return of AIM.