Friday Recap: Dock Connector RIP?, Readability March 1, Steve Jobs Birthday

Dock Connector Cable 200pxFebruary is winding to a rapid close, which means we should hear something about that rumored iPad 3 event next week -- likely in the form of an invite for the media to attend. After all, the powers that be in Cupertino aren’t going to take this new U.S. Proview lawsuit over the iPad name trademark too seriously, especially when they have a fancy new tablet being queued up, probably as we write this. In the meantime, let’s all head into the weekend by catching up on the rest of the day’s news for this fine Friday, February 24, 2012.

About Those “Apple Ditching the Dock Connector” Rumors…

It’s not hard to find rumors spread far and wide about almost every part of an iOS device, from the software to the hardware inside. But Google for something about the dock connector and you might be surprised how little might be found -- that is, until this week. iMore is reporting that Apple may be preparing to ditch the traditional iPod dock connector first introduced in April, 2003 with the third generation iPod in favor of a smaller “micro dock.” Why tamper with something that works and risk the ire of accessory makers everywhere? The report theorizes that Apple could make the switch in an effort to free up space inside the iPhone for other fun stuff like LTE radios. For our money, we buy the first half of the rumor -- the 30-pin dock connector is past its prime. But instead of a “micro dock,” we like Daring Fireball scribe John Gruber’s idea of wireless charging, which would cut the cord entirely and bring AirPlay everywhere.

Video: Finally! Readability Announces March 1 Debut of iOS App

If you’re a fan of “read later” apps like Instapaper or Read It Later, you’re probably familiar with Readability. While support for the service has been turning up all over third-party iOS apps, the company’s own native solution has been conspicuously absent from the App Store, months after its submission. Today, the company has announced that the wait will soon be over: The official Readability app for iOS will debut next Thursday, March 1 as a free, universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. We’ve certainly been waiting for the blessed event here at MacLife.com, and to tide you over for the next few days, Readability has posted a minute-long video to demonstrate the new app, which we’ve embedded here for your viewing pleasure. Now if only we could find those keys to our time machine so we could jump ahead a few days...

 

Netflix Snubs BlackBerry (and PlayBook), For Now

It ain’t easy being Research in Motion these days. Reuters is reporting that the latest “agony of defeat” moment for the BlackBerry maker arrived today, with word that Netflix has no current plans to support the flailing platform in either smartphone or tablet form. The word came down via Twitter in response to a customer’s inquiry, which means some percentage of the company’s 24 million U.S. subscribers will have to find something better to do with their time now. Of course, the PlayBook 2.0 update released on Tuesday makes it possible for Netflix to simply port their existing Android app to the BlackBerry PlayBook, but the company’s tweet would seem to rule out even that less-desirable option. Don’t worry, guys… once those BlackBerry 10 devices start rolling out later this year, things will start turning around for you… won’t they?

Happy Birthday, Steve!

If the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs were still alive, he would have been 57 years old today, a fact that appears to be trending on Twitter. According to MacRumors, at least two Jobs fans are celebrating the day outside Apple’s flagship retail Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan, planning a party in the man’s honor. “To fete what would have been Jobs’ 57th birthday, dancers will gyrate to Bob Dylan songs while vegetarian birthday cake is served and black turtlenecks are handed out to hundreds of Apple fans,” explained event organizers Brendan McElroy and Seth Rogers. “If you want to respect his memory, the best way of doing it is focusing on a lot of the positive memories we have of him.” MacRumors also noted that the day marks the 12th anniversary of the popular Apple-centric website, so here’s a tip of the hat to both Steve Jobs and MacRumors!

Apple Patents Reveal Concept for Even Thinner Keyboards

AppleInsider is reporting that the folks in Cupertino have been working diligently to make keyboards “even thinner and lighter with a brand new take on the classic input method.” The discovery comes by way of a new patent application entitled “Single Support Lever Keyboard Mechanism," which describes “a handful of ways that a keyboard could be shrunk in size without affecting its performance.” Call us crazy, but we kind of think that Apple’s external keyboards are already too thin (we never quite got used to those mushy keys!) -- the company has a mixed track record with keyboards and mice when they’re not part of a notebook computer, in our humble opinion. “Apple's solution is a single support lever keyboard mechanism, which the proposed invention says would allow the keyboard cap to be formed of almost any material, but would also provide stability to each key,” the report explains. The word “rigid” is used quite a few times in describing the new patent, so we like the sound of it. Does this mean we’ll never see that rumored touchscreen Mac, though…?

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 


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