This is typically the time of year when Apple breaks out its latest crop of iPods and updates to its iTunes software. Now all signs point to Apple gearing up for the launch of its next iPhone instead. Given that, it's worth briefly turning our attention to Adobe, which had a particularly good week on Apple's platforms.
Let's start off with Adobe's Flash, which continues to not run on Apple's iOS hardware. Despite that hurdle, Flash-derived game Machinarium this week hit the No. 1 spot in Apple's paid apps category on the App Store. The $5 title, which was originally launched on Adobe Flash, was recompiled for Apple's iOS, giving gamers a chance to play a game they couldn't in the browser that ships on the iPad.
Adobe also updated its Flash Media Server software this week, adding support for Apple's iOS. As David Meyer explains over on ZDNet, the software now lets broadcasters stream Flash video content in Apple's HTTP Live Streaming format, so it will work on iPhones, iPads and iPods. Worth noting is that the technology is only good for video content, and not things like Flash-based sites and games, where products like iSwifter, Skyfire, and Photon can fill in the gaps using a similar streaming-based approach.
Finally, there's Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium, which the company says has grown 22 percent year over year. In a press release covering its announcements at the IBC Conference in Amsterdam this week, Adobe said it has seen 45 percent growth of its CS5.5: Production Premium product on the Mac. Adobe attributed part of that gain to the Final Cut switcher program it introduced in July that gives Apple Final Cut Pro and Avid Media Composer users a 50 percent discount for switching.
Read on to find out all of this week's big Apple news and rumors, and to check out my answers to your Apple-related questions.
Apple news of the week
SF police launch probe into iPhone prototype search
A representative for the San Francisco Police Department told CNET this week that the department has started an internal investigation into how officers assisted two Apple security employees in the July search of an SF home for a lost phone prototype.
Apple's Hong Kong store to open soon
Apple is expected to open up its first store in Hong Kong later this month. The 20,000-square-foot store is located in the city's International Finance Center Mall.
Apple begins charitable matching program for employees
Apple this week began a new charity program, matching employee contributions to nonprofit organizations dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000 a year per employee. According to an internal memo captured by Macrumors, the new program begins next week.
Deutsche Telekom begins offering iPhone 5 reservations
In an unusual move, European carrier Deutsche Telekom this past weekend started offering customers a way to reserve the iPhone 5--that is, as long as they didn't call it that by name when asking for a reservation. Apple, of course, has not officially announced the device.
Germany's ban on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 upheld
A German court banned the sale of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 for infringing on Apple's patents. Apple won a preliminary injunction seeking similar ends last month, and this week's decision marks a more permanent ban. Samsung has said it will appeal the ruling. In related news, Apple sued Samsung in Japan this week, seeking a ban on its Galaxy S and S II smartphones, and the Galaxy Tab 7 tablet.
Apple tops J.D. Power rankings in smartphone customer satisfaction
For the sixth consecutive time, Apple's smartphones ranked highest in customer satisfaction, according to a survey by J.D. Power and Associates. Apple scored 838, ahead of Samsung, which pulled 718 and also managed to top the ranks in feature phones (or non-smartphones).
Apple rumors of the week
Is this the first public photo taken by an iPhone 5?
A photo of a plate of sushi taken by an Apple engineer made waves this week, shortly before being pulled down. Spotted by mobile news site Pocketnow, the photo was posted to Flickr and identified as being taken on an iPhone 4, but its EXIF data painted a slightly different picture, with specs that matched up to a camera with a larger sensor. The assumption then is that it was captured with the camera of Apple's next iPhone, which is expected to sport an 8 megapixel sensor, up from the iPhone 4's 5-megapixel camera.
Sprint iPhone to get unlimited data plan? Building on reports from last month that Sprint would be getting Apple's next iPhone, Bloomberg chimed in this week with a report saying the device will be eligible for Sprint's unlimited data plan. As my colleague Roger Cheng argues, this could be a limited time offer based on what other carriers have done after getting the device.
Apple's Thunderbolt Displays on the way to retail stores?
In an unverified report, Macrumors this week said Apple has started to ship its 27-inch Thunderbolt Display to its stores and resellers, hinting that its release is imminent. The $999 display, which replaces Apple's LED Cinema Display line, was originally unveiled in July alongside a handful of other hardware updates. It was the only one of the bunch that wasn't immediately available at the time.
Apple cooking up an "X" overhaul to Logic Pro?
Japanese Apple tracking site Macotakara this week reported that the next version of Logic Studio, Apple's professional audio suite, will get a similar treatment to what the company did with Final Cut Pro X. That includes integrating previously separate applications, while selling others on their own. Logic Studio saw its last update in July 2009.
Apple put $800 million bid on Dropbox, report claims
Noting that its information is "gossip that isn't perfectly sourced," Business Insider says Apple was one of two companies that put down an offer to acquire file storage and sync service Dropbox ahead of its latest round of funding. Apple's upcoming iCloud service arguably competes with Dropbox in some areas, but the idea of it being acquired opens up an interesting "what if?"
Apple thinning the battery for the iPad 3?
This week the Taiwan Economic News reported that battery suppliers Simplo technology and Dynapack International Technology had cooked up a battery that was thinner, lighter, and longer-lasting than the iPad 2's battery, and that's expected to be used in Apple's next tablet. If past launches are any indication, that device should be rolling out early next year.
This week in Apple history
This week in 2003, Apple sold its 10 millionth song on the iTunes Music Store. That benchmark came four months after the store's launch. What was the song? Avril Lavigne's "Complicated." Apple would go on the following month to release a version of iTunes for users on Microsoft's Windows operating system, and announce that it had sold another 3 million songs.
Last February, Apple's music store served up its 10 billionth song sold. The company rewarded buyer Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Ga., with a $10,000 iTunes gift card.
Reader question of the week
Jenny H. asks:
"Laptop or iPad for high school student use? I have two children within a year of each other and they want iPads for school use, and I see them as entertainment devices. They say they are educational devices. Is this accurate? I want to put the right technology in their hands and consider this a crucial platform-inaugural. Please advise. All over the Web there is no tool I can find that will allow me to compare the two directly."
There are definitely two sides to this argument, and there are good points on both. My honest advice is to go with a laptop, since Mac OS X is far better at multitasking than iOS currently is.
If the main use of the machine is for taking notes, writing papers, and things like Web browsing and chatting, Mac OS X does a better job at letting you do them concurrently. Though iOS has certainly become more capable of the juggling act, it's not quite as polished.
On the flip side, some high schools have begun implementing textbook programs through eBooks, as well as outfitting their students with Apple's iPad. The thing is, these schools are picking up the cost of the device, like Woodford County High in Woodford County, Ky., which distributed iPads to 1,250 of its students last month.
As for giving the two devices hands-on time, your best bet is to go to a retail store that carries display models of both.
Apple Talk Weekly is a roundup of some of the week's top Apple-related news and rumors, along with answers to your questions. If you have something Apple-related you want answered in next week's edition, drop me a line using the e-mail link below this post.