iPad 2 is Coming in Less than 100 Days, With FaceTime Support, Retina Display And Gyroscope – Report

iPad 2If recent reports are to be believed, Apple’s second generation iPad will begin shipping somewhere around the end of February 2011, which is around 100 days from now. Initial shipments will range between 400,000 and 600,000 units from Foxconn, which is Apples manufacturer for the iPad 2.

Still unconfirmed, but the report claims that mass production of the iPad 2 was expected for January 2011, but has now been pushed back to February as Apple is still testing the iPad 2′s firmware.

Apple devices are said to be undergoing more rigorous testing since the highly publicized defect of the iPhone 4 , which is now more popularly known as the Antennagate. The delay is specified to issues with the iPad 2 firmware, which could mean that Apple is eliminating final issues out of the new software whilst also depleting inventory of the current generation iPad. Speculation has indicated that the iPad 2 will include a front-facing FaceTime camera, Retina Display and a gyroscope, all very likely additions to keep in league with the current generation of Apple products.

Apple tend to announce their devices annually and at around the same time each year. June is usually the iPhone update announcement, whilst September is the time when new iPod’s surface and January could become the iPad keynote month.

A separate rumor also suggests that

AT&T’s Richard Lindner: “Exclusive arrangements end.”

If you agree with Consumer Reports’ take on AT&T’s terrible wireless service, the good news is that you might not have that much longer to wait. “Exclusive arrangements end,” AT&T’s CFO Richard Lindner told the UBS Media and Communications Conference earlier this week.

If you think that sounds like he was trying to pad the landing on an upcoming split between AT&T and Apple, then we agree. As Electronista reports, Lindner also made the point that AT&T has plenty of phones to sell that aren’t the iPhone.

Interesting — of course that’s not confirmation that AT&T’s deal is ending soon, but if that’s what Lindner is thinking about lately, it certainly supports some of the other rumors we’ve heard about Verizon possibly getting an iPhone next year.

Lindner also talked about

Are bulk app generators junking up the App Store again?

We’ve long written about the travails of the App Store, specifically about the hardships some developers have endured (particularly in the early days) trying to get their apps approved.

Apple has, in the past year, made great strides in improving this process for developers, going so far as to publishing a clear set of guidelines of what will fly. Apple has also been careful to shut down “content farms” which produce a raft of junk or merely promotional apps, and one vector for these happens to be ebook apps. One developer, Alex Brie, believes he has stumbled upon one particularly egregious junk app purveyor and possibly more.

Ebook apps are somewhat of an anomaly. Apple must walk a fine line here, as most of these apps really are promotional and/or of limited use. Why not just publish via iBooks, for example, if your ebook contains no more than text and images?

One answer is backwards compatibility, yes. Another is money

Apple Sending Out Free iTunes Movie Rental Codes

Folks at 9to5Mac are reporting that Apple is sending out emails to customers offering free iTunes movie rentals.

It looks like the free codes are being sent to iTunes users, which can be used to rent one of the 8,500 available movies.

9to5Mac reports:

Apple today started sending out free iTunes movie rental codes to many iTunes users. This seems to be random and we have no idea why they’re doing this. Maybe to promote the rental service? People aren’t renting enough movies? The free movie rental promotion lets you rent one of the 8,500 compatible movies and you have 30 days to start watching and 24 hours to finish.

App Review: Let’s Catch The Lion! is cute, strategic fun [video]

Let's Catch The Lion! iPad App

The new Let’s Catch The Lion! board game app looks cute as all get out, and to be fair, it is designed as a kids’ game. But this Shogi (Japanese Chess) variant is a worthwhile download from the App Store even for board gamers who don’t have a child in the house.

It’s a solid two-player strategy game and should interest anyone who likes abstracts.

Doubutsu Shogi (which is Japanese for Animal Chess) was designed by the professional Shogi player Maiko Fujita, who wanted to get more girls interested in playing the original game. She found a great balance between strategy and fun in a small package, and the translation to iDevices lost absolutely nothing. How could it, given the tabletop game’s incredible simplicity? Read on to get the full story.

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