Given the number of people apparently getting ominous emails telling them their iPhone 4 orders have been canceled, it's a nice change to see some more positive news for those waiting on the new Apple smartphone. The Cupertino company has been sending out emails warning preorder customers to expect their iPhone 4 deliveries on June 23rd, this Wednesday, rather than June 24th when the handset arrives in stores.
Other than hapless and drunk Apple engineers leaving products on bar stools for other patrons to find, often the place we first spy info on new and upcoming Apple products and software updates is through analytics firms like Flurry. Flurry specifically is often one of the first sources that can point to new versions of iPhone software and devices being used.
Last we heard of Cypress Semiconductor, they were showing off their iPhone dev kits and multi-mode touchscreens; now the company has a new touchscreen technology, only this time it can track hover for "mouseover" selections. The new system - which will apparently be supplied as a "hover support module" - will seemingly work with any of Cypress' TrueTouch capacitive touchscreens.
Apple have pulled ahead of Microsoft in terms of smartphone market share, according to a comScore report detailing October's US mobile traffic. The research firm has been tracking month-by-month usage across multiple platforms, and while RIM still leads the way with roughly 15m devices in use, the iPhone has pulled ahead of Windows Mobile's roughly 7m devices by around 2m.
Apple's engineers have been busy beavering away at patent applications again, and 3D head-tracking displays, intelligent iPod playback and more active battery management all seem to be on the Cupertino workbench. Of the three, the most interesting is probably Apple's work to use video, infrared or electromagnetic field tracking to move an on-screen object or interface according to the angle at which you're looking at it. Not only would the system work for 3D objects, but 2D UIs could be fanned or scrolled through depending on head position.
There's no real new technical data in this latest video of Sony Ericsson's unreleased XPERIA X10, but it does give us a chance to see the Android smartphone cavorting with HTC's HD2, Samsung's Omnia II and that perennial favorite, the iPhone 3GS. Size-wise, if you thought the HD2 was too big then you should probably cancel your XPERIA X10 preorder, as the two look pretty darn similar; in fact, as the video after the cut shows, the X10 is actually a little chubbier than HTC's WinMo finest.
After Palm's Pre was heavily criticized last week over claims that the handset collected location data regarding the user and transmitted that back to the company, a developer has spotted that at least one third-party iPhone library, in use by several apps, does something similar. The library is by Pinch Media and is used to track app owner data; it does this by recording not only location when you first start the app but your physical movements (among other things) while the app is open.
Pinch Media's library is used by developers - such as those behind free iPhone titles Camera Zoom and Twitterfon - to collect analysis data on app usage and common problems. However the library does not give the user any way of monitoring or shutting off the tracking; agree to it when you install the host software, and it will continue to gather data for as long as you use the app. If you don't have a network connection then the location data will be cached and sent when you're next online.
Full list of collected personal information after the cut
A mobile advertising platform is claiming to be able to offer Flash adverts on the iPhone, although the method by which they do so is unknown. Greystripe offer advertisers standard IAB-format flash adverts and "tailgate" games, in which promoted content is added into downloadable content.
Apple have released firmware version 2.2 for the iPhone, bringing with it Google Street View, over-the-air podcast downloads (using both WiFi and cellular networks) and public transport/walking directions. The 246MB download also includes the ability to share your location via email, increases the stability and performance of Safari, and reduces errors in the Mail app.
This week was heavy on developments in the smartphone location tracking controversy that now involves not only Apple and Google, but all six major players in mobile platforms including Microsoft, Nokia, HP, and RIM. Not only are there class-action lawsuits, but Congress is also stepping in with the House Committee on Privacy seeking some answers. Another topic heavy with new developments was Sony's PlayStation network outage, which continues to leave its over 70 million subscribers without service and possibly with compromised personal information and credit card data. For the full list and video, continue after the cut.