Live video streams rush to the app store

iPhone running the Ustream app.There’s more good news for app junkies out there. UStream is now officially available in the App Store, allowing users to stream video content over 3G and Wi-Fi connections. It’s a big step for the app approval process and more like a leap off a cliff for AT&T’s network.

UStream isn’t the first app to offer streaming. That distinction goes to Knocking, another app that paved the way for UStream, proving that both Apple and AT&T would allow such a demanding application to break through the notoriously awful approval process. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the network can actually handle that sort of strain. In fact, AT&T has said several times that high data traffic causes most of the network issues. These apps definitely won’t help that situation.

It’s nice to see developers continue to push AT&T to provide some of the cool options the iPhone has available. Let’s hope AT&T will come around to the idea…right.

New iPhone model shows up in SF

Apple testing a new iPhone?The iPhone model 3,1 has peeked its head above ground for a second time this weekend. You may recall the first appearance was in OS 3.0 beta firmware files back around June. Now the company responsible for iBART, a Bay Area Rapid Transit app, has found the model number showing up under access lists for the application. Someone in San Francisco has the new iPhone. DUN DUN DUN!

It’s not all that surprising. The more iPhones Apple makes, the more money it makes. It’s a simple business model for Cupertino. As for what this model will have, I don’t really know. The front-facing camera? Maybe, but my guess would be more speed, more wireless band support (new carriers) and maybe even a better camera.

As for timing, again, it’s all guesses. iPhone model 2,1 first showed in October 2008 and went on to become the 3GS eight months later. The first iPhone launched in June 2007, so it would be odd to see model 3,1 available within the same timetable as the 3GS, around February 2010. At the very least, I would guess AT&T’s exclusivity contract has a duration divisible by six.

Source: MacRumors

App Store breaks 100,000 mark

Apps from the App Store.Today Apple announced that the App Store has breached the 100,000 mark. That’s right, more than 100,000 apps are available for your iPhone or iPod Touch. A solid 50% of those apps are strictly for replicating flatulence and then auto-tuning it to your favorite T-Pain beat.

In all seriousness, it’s another great milestone, and another great reason to reorganize the whole damn thing. This is probably the last time you’ll hear an app count out of me until the 500,000, at which point the numbers won’t even matter because of the hellacious mess the App Store will be in. It’s not that I can find something when I’m explicitly looking for it, but that it’s difficult to get the new and unmentioned stuff, the apps that don’t make the blog circuit. Those are the things I still want access to. Appoftheday made a decent start, but app organization needs more than just a community vote.

Blackra1n iPhone OS 3.1.2 jailbreak is live

Geohot and blackra1n.Our boy George Hotz has done it again. He released a jailbreak for iPhone OS 3.1.2 today, which stuck to his previous nomenclature, this time called “blackra1n.” As the man known as Geohot says, “blackra1n is a 30 second ALL device 3.1.2 jailbreak.” That’s right – 3G, 3GS, whatever you’ve got it works.

There is one warning, which comes from blog used to tease the jailbreak. You should not upgrade to 3.1.2 via iTunes if you have an unlocked phone. It will “fix” the unlock and you’ll be SOL. You can use PwnageTool to get up to 3.1 safely. If you’ve already lost your unlock, blackra1n can get back your jailbreak.

As with previous geohot unlocks, the download is PC only, so get with your Windows friends if you want this to work.

China Unicom iPhone Deal Is Official

iPhone on its way to China.China Unciom issued a statement today confirming the release of a Chinese model of the iPhone. The deal has been in rumors and unofficial news stories for some time now, but the companies actually involved are confirming the story this time around.

In a deal that would bring the iPhone to 141 million users, China Unicom will buy their phones from Apple wholesale. That means no crazy revenue sharing deal like Apple initially inked with AT&T and several European partners.

It also looks like China Unicom won’t be getting the 3GS but the 3G in several models (probably storage capacities). One big question is whether or not the devices will come Wi-Fi enabled as they do in the rest of the world. Everyone knows China has some crazy restrictions regarding internet use. Neither China Unicom nor Apple will confirm the specs of the Chinese models.

iPhone Finally Headed To China

iPhone on its way to China.They’ve been made in China, they’ve been counterfeited in China, and now they can finally be bought in China. Apple and Chinese cell carrier China Unicom have reportedly reached a deal to bring the iPhone to the East.

According to the International Business Times, China Unicom threw down cash on 5 million phones. The carrier plans to sell an 8GB model for 2,400 yuan, which is a about $350, and a 16GB model for 4,800 yuan, which you could probably guess is around $700.

Though the article didn’t mention, I would assume Apple is selling China Unicom the iPhone 3G. Though there’s been some speculation about an 8GB 3GS, there still isn’t one made, and it’s certainly not like Apple to announce one by simply mailing it overseas.

What is clear is that Apple is planning on China becoming a huge market for their flagship device. Another 5 million phones in circulation is more than 10% growth over total figures, and that’s on the low end. It could be as high as 15-18%.

iShot Machine Gets an Update

ishot_updateAbout a month ago I wrote a review on Oasys Mobile’s iPhone application, iShot Machine. At the time the app was ridden with more than a few bugs, but boasted a decent shot library that excelled in recipe quality. Oasys just released an update for the app that includes a few fixes and a much-needed update to their randomizer.

As far as I can tell, they’ve fixed all the bugs I was able to find in my test run. There’s no more crash to springboard and the shot expansion works as it’s supposed to. The randomizer also seems to be truly random at this point. I haven’t been able to duplicate a string of random shots yet.

The update does mention “improved search functionality,” though on testing it, it doesn’t seem the search function is working at all. Searching by name, again for ‘Lemon Drop,’ now yields zero results. The same is true for ‘drop’ and ‘wild,’ both of which are used in a wide variety of shots.

My guess is the search thing is just a missing bit of code somewhere, either left out or left in by mistake during debugging. As for the rest of the update, it’s a major improvement on an already decent app. Watch for a search update soon.

App Store Hits 1.5 Billion Downloads

Apple's runaway app store.It’s really becoming a year among years for Apple. The super-trendy company was once a sleeping puppy in a den of wolves, quietly wooing customers to the questionable promise of a more stable lifestyle. Since then they’ve released the Kleenex of the MP3 player market and turned tens of millions to the iPhone. Just three months ago their app store hit 1 billion downloads and just this month the store had its first birthday.

Today marks another milestone for your favorite fruity company. According to an Apple press release, the app store has reached 1.5 billion downloads to date. We already know Apple’s iPhone as host to the fastest growing development community in the world, sending coders on a rite of passage with dreams of hitting it rich. Those quasicultish seekers have made more than 65,000 apps available in 77 countries around the world.

Our congrats to Apple. May your useful apps continue to improve and your frivolous apps continue to make us scratch our heads as we look at the download counts.

You can read the full press release here.

AT&T Denies MMS Delay, Tethering Estimates

iPhone with some MMS.Around the release of iPhone OS 3.0 and the iPhone 3GS, rumors started to fly concerning MMS and tethering, both of which would get 3.0 support. The word was AT&T was unnecessarily delaying MMS, maybe as far as September, and that tethering would run AT&T customers as much as $55/month.

According to AT&T, none of this is true. They recently sent an email to Wired.com to set the record straight. A spokesman for the company has confirmed charges for tethering (booooo!) though he wasn’t willing to mention specific numbers or a live date for the service. As they’ve stated before, the email maintains MMS for “later this summer.”

By the by, the first day of autumn isn’t until September 22, giving plenty of room for “later this summer” and “September” to mean the same thing. As for tethering, we’re probably looking at a $15 upcharge, which is consistent with other tethering/data plans. Seems egregious on top of an unlimited data plan, but I don’t have much use for tethering. My apologies to those of you that do.

iPhone 3GS Breaks AT&T Sales Records

iPhone 3GS in black and white.Apple and AT&T took more than two months to sell the first million iPhones. The iPhone 3GS matched those numbers in just three days, making it the biggest sales weekend for AT&T, ever. AT&T celebrated the milestone with…a company wide memo. Yay?

We still don’t have any hard and fast numbers on the 3GS, and we won’t really until Apple releases their quarterly earnings information. AT&T said they sold “hundreds of thousands” of phones through pre-orders, but there’s still no official word from either camp.

Here’s the full text of the memo:

iLaunch day 2009 was one for the record books, as AT&T customers scrambled to get their hands on the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet.

Here’s a look at some of the milestones we achieved:

* Best-ever sales day in our retail stores
* Second-largest traffic day in our retail stores
* Most transactions processed via our IT systems in a single day
* Most upgrade eligibility checks in a single day
* Largest order day in att.com history
* Largest features sales day in att.com history

On this year’s launch day, iPhone sales exceeded sales recorded on 2008’s iPhone launch day, Black Friday 2008 and Dec. 26, 2008–all heavy-volume sales days. In fact, this year we surpassed 2008’s launch day sales at about noon Central time, and sustained our previous peak hour record, also set in 2008, for 11 straight hours.

Source: AllThingsD