The iPhone 4S is still selling like crazy, with AppleInsider reporting that 85% of the Apple Stores surveyed ran out of stock each day. But apparently their stock is being replenished every morning, so that customers who leave empty handed are able to make an appointment to pick one up the next day. There is similar demand around the world.
Steve Jobs is himself becoming a small industry as a result of his untimely death. The biography by Walter Isaacson is #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. And now a 70-minute interview from 1995 that was recently found after having been thought lost will be released in a small number of movie theaters this month.
So things are just a little rocky at the moment, but I guess that's to be expected. And the issues aren't that serious. Yesterday Siri was down again for some users. Siri's interpretation of your commands and questions happens not on your iPhone 4S but on Apple's servers. If there's a problem on Apple's end, Siri becomes uncommunicative. CNET and TiPb were among the sites that reported the outages. Some users found that resetting their phone helped.
DigiTimes continues to share rumors of new iPads coming in March of next year, and says that in order to meet demand, Apple will start stockpiling as many as 2 million units by the end of this year. Apparently, there are two designs in the works, code-named J1 and J2. Both have a higher resolution than the iPad 2, as well as different specs and sizes. Since things are still at an early stage, apparently Apple hasn't yet decided which model will be released. It likely depends on availablility of components, production costs, and market.
Following a report in Digitimes, blogs repeated the rumor late yesterday that the iPad and iPhone will have a complete overhaul in 2012. The anonymous source: the guys in Asia who supply the parts. You can read a useful discussion on AppleInsider. According to the rumors, there are two iPads in development: one that comes in March that's a modest update, and one later that would be the iPad 3.
Rovio, the developer of the wildly popular Angry Birds game, announced earlier today that the game has reached half a billion downloads in less than two years. This makes it one of the most popular downloaded games ever. And for good measure, Rovio gives the following stats: "Angry Birds Fans around the world have so far played a total of 200,000 years of Angry Birds, with 300 million minutes of playing time daily.
If you're the lucky owner of an iPhone 4S, or are planning to get one, you'll want to download the free iPhone 4S Starter Guide from the iBookstore. Just released by Macworld, the book covers the basics, including the hardware, the gestures for navigating, and activating your phone, as well as various tips and tricks. It then goes on to cover the major features of the iPhone 4S, including Notification Center, Siri, and iCloud. Even if you don't have an iPhone 4S, but are running iOS 5, this book could be useful to you.
Imagine this: you use the Apple Store app (free) to buy an accessory for your iOS device, walk into in Apple Store, take the product off the shelf, and walk out of the store with it. According to MacRumors, this self-checkout capability may be coming as early as this week. Apparently, as you leave the store you'll simply show the clerk your receipt on your iPhone. However, this only applies to accessories.
Siri understands natural language, and can respond to a wide range of questions and commands. So there really shouldn't be a learning curve for Siri. But in fact you can learn ways to use Siri better, especially if you have a clear understanding of how it can help you. TiPb has posted a list of Top 10 Secret Siri Commands. There's nothing "secret" about them, but this is a great list for helping you get a better idea of some of the things that Siri can do.
Siri is the first really powerful natural-language-understanding system in a consumer device. And people love it. Now a blog post on the New York Times website is saying that Apple is expected to build a TV set that will include Siri. Apparently, Steve Jobs felt like TV is broken — that remotes are difficult to use. And Apple tried for years to make an easier interface.