The Tech News Blog

December 4, 2014

Apple Deleted Music From Rival Services Off iTunes

iTunes Tips

It turns out Apple has been controlling your music library since long before shoehorning U2's latest album into iTunes.

According to attorneys representing consumers in an antitrust case against Cupertino, the tech giant deleted music that iPod owners downloaded from competing services between 2007 and 2009.

As described by opposing counsel, those users who downloaded music from a rival service—like Real Networks—and tried to sync it with an iPod were met with an error message and instructions to restore the device to factory settings. Once the user followed through, those songs would disappear.

"You guys decided to give them the worst possible experience and blow up" users' music libraries, attorney Patrick Coughlin said in a California U.S. District Court, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

But Apple told jurors on Wednesday that the maneuver was a legitimate security measure - and intentionally cryptic so as to not confuse users.

"We don't need to give users too much information," Apple security director Augustin Farrugia testified, according to the Journal.

September 10, 2014

Farewell Apple iPod classic, We Audiophiles Will Miss You

iPod Classic

It's finally official: After almost 13 years on the market, and four years without changes, Apple has quietly discontinued its iconic iPod classic, removing it from the online store. The first model, introduced on Oct. 23, 2001, was a revelation when it launched, albeit an expensive one ($399!). It was super easy to use and gave you access to a then-unheard-of 5GB of music.

Later editions were less expensive and offered more storage. The iPod line eventually spelled doom for not just the millions of cassette and CD-based portable music players that proceeded it, but pretty much all other MP3 players available on the market as well, including the six that were available before the iPod launched. (Anyone remember the Diamond Rio?)

This isn't an obituary for the entire line, since you can still buy iPods. The app-supporting iPod touch will likely be available for some time to come, and the familiar, clip-on iPod Shuffle and larger iPod nano both ride on for now. But in a world where the smartphone does more and more of what used to require separate devices—rendering entire categories of products like camcorders, point-and-shoot cameras, voice recorders, personal digital assistants, and others, obsolete—it's only natural that there eventually wouldn't be enough demand for a dedicated, high-end MP3 player.

June 26, 2014

Cheaper 16GB iPod Touch With Camera, More Colors on Sale

16GB iPod Touch

For those who still haven't given in to the smartphone revolution, or are on the hunt for a pre-teen birthday gift, Apple today launched a discounted 16GB iPod touch with some new features.

The device is on sale now for $199; the larger 32GB and 64GB models are priced at $249 and $299, respectively.

Cupertino first launched a 16GB iPod touch in May 2013 for $229, but it did not include a rear camera and was only offered in black with a grey backing. Now, the device is just $199 and includes a 5-megapixel rear camera and comes in pink, yellow, blue, silver, space gray, and (PRODUCT) RED.

The entire iPod touch lineup boasts a 4-inch Retina display, Apple's A5 chip, and a front-facing camera for FaceTime chats (and selfies, of course).

Each device also comes straight out of the box with iOS 7 and more than 200 built-in camera features, like photo filters, image organization, and iCloud sharing. Come this fall, the iPod family will support Apple's new iOS 8 operating system.

May 30, 2013

Apple Unveils 16GB iPod Touch for $229, Drops Rear Camera

16GB iPod touch

Although the iPhone is still the one of the most coveted Apple gadgets, the device generally comes with a contract, making it difficult to give to someone as a gift. As a result, the iPod touch is often a good alternative, and Apple has now quietly introduced an update to its popular device.

The new iPod touch offers 16GB for $229, a 4-inch Retina display, and is only offered in black with a grey backing. What's new? The device does not come with the standard iSight camera, a design decision that not only explains the lower price, but also indicates that this model of the iPod touch may be specifically geared toward music lovers and gamers. Not to worry - there is still a 1.2-megapixel front-facing cam for selfies and video chats.

Also missing, however, is the iPod touch loop, a hardware design feature that allowed users to connect a carrying strap to the device.

The full-featured iPod touches with Retina display sell for $299 (32GB) or $399 (64GB).

April 12, 2013

Apple Settles iPhone, iPod Touch Warranty Case for $53 Million

Original iPhone

Apple has reportedly reached a $53 million settlement over its failure to adequately honor iPhone and iPod touch warranties.

The settlement, published by Wired, will be submitted to the court next week. It sets up a multi-million dollar settlement fund, which will be distributed to those burned by Cupertino's questionable warranty policies.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case dates back to 2010, when multiple state and federal cases were filed against Apple over its refusal to fix faulty iPhones and iPod touches that were still under warranty. Ultimately, the cases were combined into one, large class-action suit currently pending before a San Francisco court. Apple recently agreed to pay up, but does not admit to any wrongdoing.

"Apple has agreed to enter into this settlement agreement to avoid the further expense, inconvenience, and distraction of burdensome litigation," according to the court filing.

Apple provides customers with a one-year standard warranty or a two-year extended warranty. That warranty is voided, however, if Cupertino detects "damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, liquid spill or submersion, flood, fire, earthquake, or other external causes."

March 16, 2013

THX Sues Apple, Claims iPhone, iMac, iPad Speakers Infringe Patent

Apple iPhone 5 (AT&T)

THX has filed suit against Apple, claiming that the tech giant has infringed on one of THX's patent's for "Narrow profile speaker configurations and systems" within the company's iPhones, iPads, and iMacs.

The result? The violations cause THX "monetary damage and irreparable harm," reports Bloomberg, and the company is seeking monetary damages or royalty payments, as well as a court order that would force Apple to cease its alleged infringement.

According to THX's complaint, filed Thursday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Apple's infringing the patent on its iPhone 4 (and later models), iPads, and iMacs, "which incorporate narrow-profile speaker units that output sound through a duct or aperture having a narrow dimension."

Here's where it gets interesting. The patent that THX is holding over Apple's head was granted to the company in 2008. U.S. Patent No. 7,433,483 describes, in part, "A narrow profile speaker unit comprises at least one speaker outputting sound towards an internal surface and through a duct with an output terminus, such as a slot, having a narrow dimension, effectively changing the cross-section of the speaker's audio output wave. A pair of speakers may face one another, outputting sound towards a common output slot."

December 13, 2012

Apple iPhone, iPod Touch Infringed on MobileMedia Patents

iPhone 3GS

A Delaware jury this week found Apple guilty of infringing on three patents held by Maryland-based MobileMedia Ideas.

The company sued Apple back in 2010 for infringing on 14 of its patents with the iPhone and iPod, but the case eventually focused on just three patents.

According to court documents, those patents cover technologies for call connections, the ability to reject an incoming call, and a device for personal communications, data collection, and data processing.

The original filing asked for an injunction against further infringement. It mentioned the iPod touch, but also the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, neither of which are for sale on Apple's website anymore.

According to Bloomberg, a decision on damages has not yet been determined. MobileMedia CEO Larry Horn, however, told the news service that the reward could be "substantial."

October 9, 2012

Apple Now Shipping New iPod Touch

Apple iPod touch Many of those who ordered Apple's new iPod touch are receiving notification that the revamped music player is now on its way.

Gigaom reported that Apple has begun shipping the fifth generation iPod to those who pre-ordered it. The blog's mobile site editor Kevin Tofel pre-ordered the device, and on Tuesday received a notification that it is now en route from China via FedEx and is slated to arrive on Oct. 15. Apple previously only provided a vague availability date of "October" for the new iPod touch.

The updated iPod touch boasts a 4-inch screen and looks like much like the new iPhone 5. It measures in at 6mm thin and weighs 88 grams, the thinnest and lightest iPod touch yet.

The device, unveiled on Sept. 12 alongside the iPhone 5, includes Apple's new 8-pin dock connector, which Cupertino has dubbed Lightning. The device comes in pink, yellow, blue, white and silver, black, and slate. The 32GB model is priced at $299 while the 64GB version will set you back $399.

September 12, 2012

Apple Unveils Larger iPod Touch, New Nano

iPod Nano

Apple today unveiled a revamped iPod touch and iPod nano lineup.

Both devices will include Apple's new 8-pin dock connector, which Cupertino has dubbed Lightning.

Pre-orders for the new iPod touch - which will come in pink, yellow, blue, white and silver, black, and slate - begin Sept. 14 and it will be available in stores starting in October. The 32GB model will be $299 while the 64GB version will set you back $399. The existing black and white, fourth-generation iPod touch will still be available: $199 for the 16GB and $249 for the 32GB.

The new iPod nano will also be available in October and will cost $149 for the 16GB version.

A 2GB iPod shuffle will sell for $49 in pink, yellow, blue, green, purple, and silver. RED versions of all three iPods will also be on sale.

September 12, 2012 Search Engine Confirms iPhone 5 Name, LTE

iPhone 5 Search

After last year's iPhone event, there were more than a few people who were disappointed (and angry, oddly enough) that Apple decided to call its new smartphone the iPhone 4S rather than the iPhone 5. For months, the Apple rumor mill had referred to the new device as the iPhone 5; how dare Apple come up with something different?!

For those still waiting anxiously for an actual iPhone 5, it appears the time is now. As first noted by 9to5Mac, the search engine on seemingly confirms that the new iPhone making its debut today will be called the iPhone 5.

If you search for "iPhone 5" via the search box on, the first result is a link to "," though at this point, the link is dead. As The Verge then pointed out, searching for "iPhone-5" pulls up a link to what looks like the press release announcing the new smartphone: "" That also goes to a dead link at this point. But as The Next Web discovered, another placeholder website apparently confirms that the new iPhone 5 will have 4G LTE.

That's not all. The Verge also uncovered a link for a press release that announces the Sept. 12 launch of a new iPod touch and iPod nano, so it appears that the iPhone 5 is not the only thing on the menu.