We know it’s hard to keep up with all of the breaking technology news. Unless you have considerable time to scour the feeds on a regular – even hourly – basis, it can be extremely difficult to keep abreast of important developments with the potential to have profound effects on day to day device usage.
To help bridge the informational gap, we’ve compiled short explanations of some of the most noteworthy technology developments in recent days:
iPad 2 shipping quicker
Apple’s estimate for delivery time of new U.S. orders of the iPad 2 has been reduced from 4-5 weeks to 3-4 weeks. It’s the first time the estimate has moved in about 10 days. In the first day alone, the iPad 2 sold 500,000 units and Apple has pushed back its international release as a result, analysts say. The unexpected demand has put Apple in a precarious spot, caught between the company’s inability to keep up and users who are anxiously awaiting receipt of their much-coveted orders. In one lengthy discussion board conversation on the iPad 2, a user expressed elation simply from being informed that his order had been “prepared for shipping.” Clearly, Apple has its work cut out.
iOS 4.3.1 released
The Apple iOS 4.3.1 update introduces several minor fixes and improvements for users of mobile devices that run operating system such as GSM iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad and the third and fourth generations of iPod Touch. According to Apple, the upgrade improves performance and fixes bugs in several areas including:
- iPod Touch (4th generation) graphics glitch
- bugs related to activating and connecting to some cellular networks
- Image flickering when using the Apple Digital AV adapter with some televisions.
- Authentication issues related to enterprise web services
Users also report improved battery life with iOS 4.3.1.
Flash Player vulnerability exploited
It was bad enough that Adobe confirmed on March 14 that a “critical vulnerability exists in Adobe Flash Player” that can cause a crash and possibly open the door for an attacker to hijack the affected system. Then, on March 21, Adobe further raised the alert level with an announcement that “there are reports that this vulnerability is being exploited in the wild against Flash Player in targeted attacks via a Flash (.swf) file embedded in a Microsoft Excel (.xls) file delivered as an email attachment.” Adobe recommends that affected users of Flash Player 10.2.152.33, or earlier versions, upgrade to 10.2.153.1. The upgrade can be downloaded at the Adobe Flash Player Download Center.
Mac OS X 10.6.7 crashes iTunes
Some users are reporting, in an Apple Discussions thread, that installation of Mac OS X 10.6.7 causes iTunes to crash. The user who initiated the discussion noted that he updated to 10.6.7 and all applications worked with the exception of iTunes. Each attempt to run iTunes 10.2.1 rendered the computer frozen and completely unresponsive. Based on the thread, it appears owners of the 2010 13-inch MacBook Air models are the most affected group. The issue could be fixed with nothing more than a restart of the Mac. However, if the problem persists go to the ~/Library/Preferences folder and delete com.apple.iTunes.plist file(s) and relaunch iTunes. Other discussions in the thread concerning possible fixes included more radical actions like a complete uninstall and reinstall of iTunes. The ultimate outcome is unclear, but it looks like there is a strong possibility that the only lasting fix will come with an eventual Apple update.
iPad 2 crashes
The issue of frequent crashes of the iPad 2 – including spontaneous restarts – have surfaced in an Apple Discussions thread. The good news is two-fold: the hardware issue appears to only affect a small percentage of iPads and those who have been affected were able to have their iPads replaced. This has occurred even in stores with no iPad 2’s available for sale because special stocks are being kept to deal with such situations.
Update: Apple TV 2
Another update for the second generations Apple TVs has been released by Apple. According to the company, the 4.2.1 update corrects problems that cause screen flicker, or scrambled color on older models and other issues like machine inability to wake up from sleep mode and inaudible audio after switching some models from another input.