• Friday Morning News

    With 50 billion steps, you could walk around the Earth more than 800 times. Counting to 50 billion would take you 1600 years. With 50 billion bricks, you could build 12 Great Walls of China. Apple has given the 50 billion apps countdown a little more prominence on the homepage of the Apple website as we inch closer and closer to the 50 billion apps mark. The counter's still ticking along at roughly 1000 apps per second estimates on when it'll cross over, anyone?

    So close, and yet so far: iRadio has been stalled again as it seems Sony doesn't agree with the royalties offered by Apple. According to 9to5Mac, Sony Music *the second largest of the major record labels is holding out for more lucrative concessions, which means they're being greedy and want more cash from Apple. Industry experts believe Apple should pay more than other competitors due to how much cash they have.

    Bloomberg thought they could make up a story about falling iPad mini demand, but the CEO of Pegatron turned right around and said the reporter tried to put words in his mouth to that effect. Apple's suppliers don't usually give out information about demand for certain products, lest they want to stop doing business with Apple. Fortune asked the Pegatron CEO about the whole ordeal, and he says he remained coy in the face of very specific questions from the Bloomberg reporter.

    A purported new part from the antenna of the next iPhone has surfaced, and we know it's possibly designed for the next iPhone as it contains some minor differences to the one found in the current iPhone 5. The part is also believed to be something that aids in wireless antenna functionality, but we're not exactly sure what it does.

    Something I missed when perusing the Top 25 Apps in our own regional App Store is that the ABC iView app is one of the most popular free apps of all time, and the most popular app out of the entertainment category in the App Store. The iView app comes in at number 7 on the iPad list of top free apps of all time, beating out Kindle, Dropbox, and even the YouTube app.

    To quote Paul Haddad from Twitter: you get a magazine! And you get a magazine app! And you get a magazine app! Everyone gets a magazine app! (He's referring to the launch of The Loop magazine, which is powered by TypeEngine, whom you'll probably remember from when they asked themselves if they ripped off Marco Arment and The Magazine.)

    Apple has released Thunderbolt Firmware Update 1.2 to provide stability fixes for Thunderbolt and Target Disk Mode, and it's an update available for all Macs with a Thunderbolt port. The 1.22MB update is now available via the App Store on your Mac, or Software Update if you're using OS X pre-Mountain Lion.

    An article on the Tech Block says VOIP app Viber is the new Skype, and while Viber doesn't have the backing of software giant Microsoft, it also doesn't have a lot of what makes Skype less and less appealing these days. Viber started out on the mobile platform, but they recently released a desktop client for Mac and PC.

    Forget pulling engineers off OS X to work on iOS, why not put some engineering effort into iWork? It's borderline ludicrous that Apple's only productivity suite is now four years old. On the one hand, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote seem to be doing pretty well as they're constantly in the Mac App Store top ten, but on the other, it's been four good years since their original release. Isn't it time for a substantial update beyond Retina display or iCloud support?

    Looking for a new set of in-ear headphones? Forget Beats by Dr Dre, as Shure just debuted their SE846 canalphones which feature not one, not two, but FOUR drivers packed into a tiny package. The units have two low-frequency drivers, one mid frequency driver, and one high frequency driver. They have removable cables and Shure claims they'll isolate up to 37dB of ambient noise. They're now available for preorder and should ship in June *just don't ask about the price.
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