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Jul 21, 2013

Apple to Release New "Store" App

As part of its new initiative to boost iPhone sales, Apple will release an updated version of the Apple Store application featuring special deals for customers.

According to people who are familiar with the matter, Apple employees will be encouraged to pre-install the app on any new iPhone sold in its stores. The updated Apple Store app will have a redesigned interface to match that of the web-based / online Apple Store and, according to one screenshot leaked by 9to5mac, paid apps will be made free on occasion (sort of like little treats every once in a while).

Apple has been pushing to sell more iPhones in its retail stores, and has even partnered with BrightStar to offer a trade-in-program, while the company’s Back to School promotion now includes the iPhone.

Leaked Apple Store app screenshot
Image credits to 9to5mac.com

Apple is Reportedly Making Two Different iPhones with Plastic Casings

According to a new leak, Apple is developing two versions of its rumored budget iPhone in parallel. Both have pretty much the same specs, except for the connectivity department.

A leaked internal document from Cupertino reveals that both models, codenamed Zenvo and Zagato/Bertone internally, will sport the same 4-inch display (likely Retina), “but the difference will be in the processor and connectivity options,” according to PhoneArena.

The blog says the Zenvo phone is “the slightly more affordable one.” The reason? A ‘H5P dual-core processor,’ 1GB of RAM and supports FDD 4G connectivity. The Zagato/Bertone model will have support for TDD 4G LTE and an ‘H6P’ processor, which is probably a designation for a different version of Apple’s A-series processor powering the handsets. The latter is said to be the Chinese plastic iPhone.

Budget iPhone mockup
Image credits to pcadvisor.co.uk

Comparison Shots Between Plastic iPhone and iPhone 5

A bunch of new plastic iPhone photos have surfaced in Japan where a magazine has decided to see how the phone stacks up against the current-generation model.

The comparison shots between Apple’s upcoming budget iPhone and the iPhone 5 show quite a few differences, but also a number of similarities. For example, the plastic case is rounded whereas the iPhone 5 is more edgy. The overall look is different too, as a result of this change. The phone has fewer holes at the bottom (where the speaker is located), while the Lightning and headphone connectors are in the same position as on the iPhone 5. The dimensions seem to be identical, meaning the screen size will probably be the same. The screw layout is in line with a recent logic board leak, and the Japanese magazine who obtained the photos says they saw cases in pink, blue, orange, black, and white.

Apple is expected to unleash not one but multiple new iPhones this year, including an iPhone 5S and this plastic iPhone which analysts believe it’ll cost much less. Dubbed “budget” iPhone by the media, this new device is likely to offer the specifications of the iPhone 5 at a lower price. The iPhone 5S, which remains unconfirmed for now, is expected to employ a number of enhancements that justify the high price Apple usually charges for its smartphone. One of these enhancements includes a rumored fingerprint sensor which Apple is said to have obtained from its AuthenTec acquisition earlier this year. Both phones are expected to debut at a special event this fall. At the event, Apple is likely to introduce a new version of the iPad (the fifth-generation model). An iPad mini refresh is not expected until next year.

Budget iPhone case compared to iPhone 5
Image credits to weekly.ascii.jp

How to Switch to Google.com Search in Chrome

Google's Chrome, like most of the products by the company, tries to give users what they need without asking too many questions or having them fiddle with too many options. Most of the time and for most people, that's a good thing.

Sometimes though, it's incredibly annoying. For example, many users prefer to use the main Google.com search engine to the one localized for their language. The global one always has the newest features and the best results, if you're interested in English results at least. But Chrome automatically uses the localized search engine in the Omnibox. There are ways of changing the default search engine to a custom one, but they're quite fiddly and don't always work. Thankfully, Google does make it possible to revert to the global search engine instead of your local one, but you can't "tell" Chrome to change it. Instead, you have to "teach" it.

The Google Operating System blog has a simple guide on how to achieve this. First, you have to visit the global search page, either by typing in "google.com/ncr" (NCR stands for no country redirect) or by clicking on the Google.com link on your local Google homepage. Search for something, it doesn't matter what, on this global page, then close the browser. This trick works on mobile devices too, but you have to make sure to close the Chrome app, not just navigate away from it by pressing the Home button. Next, open Chrome again and start a search from the Omnibox. You'll be asked if you'd like to continue to use your local search engine or switch to the global one. Select "Switch to google.com" and you're done. The option will be persistent, so if you choose the global one, all your future queries will be funneled through that one.

change search engine dialog in Chrome for Android
Image credits to GoogleSystem

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