The next 24 hours is going to be pure chaos for Apple fans, and the madness started early this morning when Apple released iTunes 7.7. That was then followed by the App Store launch, then a “leaked” iPhone 2.0 firmware, and more. It’s madness I tell you.
I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of Apple news on the gadget sites already, and so we wanted to throw all of the news into one convenient post. Here’s a roundup of the events from this morning:
–Download the iPhone 2.0 Firmware--
MacRumors somehow grabbed a direct download link for the new iPhone 2.0 firmware on Apple’s servers so that you don’t have to wait until tomorrow to make use of the new App Store. The first thing you’ll need to do is grab the download, and then perform a little trickery:
In order to install the firmware, you will have to do it manually by pressing the Option key when pressing the “Check for Update” button in iTunes. Then select the .ipsw file manually. If for some reason your download is a “.zip” file, rename it to “.ipsw” before proceeding.
Be careful though… this update apparently erases all of the data on your iPhone. Unfortunately this does not work on the iPod Touch.
Apple has released iTunes 7.7 today which is a requirement for anyone planning on picking up an iPhone 3G tomorrow. This version also includes support for the App Store, but we’ll get into that a little bit more in a minute.
One thing that jkOnTheRun has already noticed is that there’s now an option to sync your contacts with Google from within the iTunes settings. Apple also added remote control functionality so that you can use your iPod Touch or iPhone to control your iTunes. This will, however, require that you install a free app Apple provides called Remote.
The new iTunes also includes support for the long awaited App Store where developers can share and sell applications that they’ve made for the iPod Touch and iPhone. There are over 500 apps available right now broken up into over a dozen categories, and about 25% of them are free downloads. Of those that do cost money over 90% are under $9.99, which is actually a reasonable price. The most expensive is one called ForeFlight that provides weather and data for pilots. The cost? It’s $69.99.
What’s nice is that Apple has made it easy to browse through the App Store and have it show only those programs that are free. I’ve already skimmed through all of the free offerings, and currently have about 15 that are ready to be installed on my iPhone. These include eBay Mobile, Facebook (not that I’ll really use it), NetNewsWire, Pandora Radio, SportsTap (for sports scores), Twitterrific, WeatherBug, and the Yellow Pages. You can see all of the ones I’ve downloaded in this screenshot:
Note: To get the Applications section in my Library I had to enable it in the preferences. Then to browse through the available apps just click the Get More Applications link shown in the bottom-right corner of the screenshot. Or you can just click here to open iTunes and be taken directly to the top free apps.
The application that I’m the most excited about would have to be NetNewsWire because I felt that Newsgator’s mobile interface wasn’t as slick as what Google Reader offered for the iPhone. This free feed reader will synchronize all of your feeds across all of your computers (both Windows and Mac) which is very nice. I haven’t been able to try it out yet, but judging by the screenshot it should be just what the doctor ordered.
Any iTunes user can start downloading the programs that are currently available in the App Store, but you obviously won’t be able to load them onto your device until you get the new firmware 2.0 upgrade.
–App Store on the iPhone–
Apple hasn’t officially released the new 2.0 firmware yet, but Gizmodo has been posting videos of how the App Store works on the iPhone. I have to say that it’s pretty slick how you uninstall an application the same way that you remove a web bookmark that you’ve added to your home screen (pictured to the right).
Overall Gizmodo seems to be really impressed with how smooth the whole process is. Apple might have really knocked one out of the park with the new App Store.
Apple is also preparing for their full scale launch of MobileMe, which is the rebranding process of .Mac. As TUAW noticed there is already an update for both the Mac operating system and Apple TV that switches over the branding to MobileMe.
–AT&T Gets iPhone 3G Shipments–
This is a video of an AT&T store receiving and stocking the new iPhone 3G’s for tomorrow’s big release. There’s really nothing that interesting with the video other than the fact that the white 16GB iPhone 3G’s come in a white box.
Thanks to everyone who sent in the tips!