Free & Easy Hack To Enable AirPrint On Shared Printers With Mac Computers

Apple quite under-delivered on their promise when they scrapped highly anticipated features like wireless printing from iOS 4.2 for shared printers on Mac and Windows computers. As it eventually turned out, the feature has now been limited to a select few models of HP printers.

Nevertheless, if you are a Mac user, you now have a free utility that can enable AirPrint for shared printers in your computer’s network. Called the AirPrint Hactivator for Mac OS X, the application basically modifies just one file that is then backed up before the updated files are installed. Upon completion of the installation process, users have to simply remove and add the shared printers back to the computer in order to begin using AirPrint with these printers.

Netputing, the developers of the application, have carried the software through a number of iterations and you can download the latest v. 1.7 from the developers’ website here. As always, don’t forget to tell us your views on the software in the comments below.

Poor Battery Life On iPod Touch After iOS 4 Upgrade – Issue Persists

Looks like it has been a long time since we talked about the battery issue with the recent iOS updates on iPod Touch. Back in September this year, we had written about an issue experienced by many iPod Touch users who had upgraded their device to the then latest iOS update.

The common complaint was that updating the iPod Touch to iOS 4.0 resulted in an overnight drop in the average battery life of the iPod. We had also suggested a temporary fix to the issue back then.

Now with Apple having released iOS 4.2.1, one may have assumed that such issues may have become a thing of the past. However, it looks like the battery drain issue continues to affect a significant number of iPod Touch users.

One common observation is that the Wi-Fi on the affected phones do not seem to be deactivated when the phone goes to sleep. Normally, the iPod Touch would only reconnect to Wi-Fi everytime it is “woken up“. But the Wi-Fi on the affected phones continue to stay active even when the device is in idle mode thereby draining battery life. The root cause for this could be an application – native or third party. But that is yet to be ascertained.

Have you been able to decipher it on your end? Let us know in the comments or join other folks in the deliberation on the Apple support forum here.

“Windows Phone 8? Rumors – Massive Windows Phone 7 Update Shortly

Windows Phone 7 may not be the best smartphone OS in the market right now. But there is no doubt that the platform has impressed a fair majority of its users. After word got around that inane updates like copy-paste could soon be making its way to the platform comes a rumor that Microsoft could be bringing a massive update to the platform.

According to popular developer Chris Walsh, the next update to Windows Phone 7 that could be coming in just a month or two from now could be very significant in that it may rather be billed Windows Phone 8. Apparently, Microsoft has been working on this update much earlier than version 1 was shipped. In a series of tweets, Walsh has noted,

“they’ve been working on this update long before they actually shipped v1…
As @tomhounsell said, MS took 3 months to do what Apple did in 3 years. 😉
@adamUCF Let’s just say, they could have called it Windows Phone 8 😛

While Walsh has not disclosed his sources, he has noted that more features and details shall be made available soon. We will take these with guarded skepticism for now though we look forward to hearing more about these upcoming updates.

New Microsoft TV Over XBox To Take On Apple TV & Google TV?

Microsoft is reported to be in talks with a number of media companies over bringing a subscription based web TV service to Xbox consoles that could give the company an effective tool to fight Google and Apple in the new web television space. Sources have indicated that under the new plan, subscribers will pay a monthly fee to access television networks such as ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, ESPN and CNN over Xbox.

Another alternative proposal seems to be using the Xbox as an interactive layer above the service offered by cable TV. Using this, subscribers may continue to pay cable TV operators for content access but may be able to, for instance, message friends while watching a television show.

While there is not much information about the new plans on offer, Microsoft could also integrate its new expertise in motion control technology using Kinect that would let users change channels or fast-forward videos by waving their arms or using voice commands.

In addition to this, there is also a possibility of Microsoft incorporating a TV show recommendation service. You may remember our article from back in April this year where we had noted about a new Microsoft patent that talked about such a service.

PlayStation Phone Features, Price & Launch Rumors

The highly anticipated PlayStation Phone from Sony may not be launching/unveiling on December 9 as earlier thought. According to some new rumors, the PlayStation Phone is “nowhere near ready” which means that the device will take at least a couple of more months before it gets ready for release. A February launch around the Mobile World Congress is likely.

We have already heard about the device – regarding its 5-megapixel camera, 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 4.1″ WVGA display. Now according to the latest report, the phone may not be a PSP device coupled with phone capabilities.

What this means is that users may not be actually able to download PSP-compatible games on to this new device. It is possible that Sony could bring an independent line-up of games to this new platform. However this appears to be a rather expensive process since the volumes may not justify the vast line up of games necessary to make this phone a success. What we also hear is that the new phone could be marketed under the Xperia brand which could bring down the anticipation levels for the new gaming phone even further.

Anyway, none of these speculations are substantiated. So at the moment take all of these with a pinch of salt.

New iOS Update Release Date Delayed Till 2011

Sometime last week, there was a rumor that suggested that Apple could be releasing the next version of the iOS – version 4.3 – as early as mid-December. The sources pointed out that the release could bring in-app subscriptions and several bug fixes to the iPhone platform.

Now there is word that this rumor may not be so true after all. Reports now indicate that Apple may have delayed the release of iOS 4.3 until early 2011. Now “delayed” may not be the best word here since it is not clear if the release actually got postponed or whether this rumor was false in the first place.

This is not all. Apparently, we will also not be seeing the release of iPad Magazine anytime soon. It was earlier speculated that since the News Corp iPad magazine was rumored to launch this year, the iOS release too could follow shortly since the magazine will require a software upgrade. Now, with the iOS 4.3 release date being pushed to next year, the News Corp magazine too may not release anytime this year.

Number Of Kinect Sold – 2.5 Million In 25 Days

These are some impressive numbers, ain’t they? Just 25 days after its launch on November 4, Microsoft has announced that their newly launched motion controller is now selling twice as fast as the iPad. The company has reported sales of 2.5 million units in this period which means an average sale of 100,000 units every day.

The numbers are not hard to fathom. Microsoft has partnered with nearly 60,000 retailers across 38 countries and thanks to the discounts and heavy shopping during the Black Friday season, the company has been able to achieve these impressive numbers. Redmond has predicted a total sale of 5 million Kinect units by the end of this year.

Quite clearly, the sale numbers do not project a worldwide success story. Last week, there were reports that suggested that Microsoft had only sold around 26,000 Kinect units in Japan through the opening weekend giving an indication that the high sale price of the motion controller in the country may have created a massive barrier to its sale. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft builds upon the popularity of the opening month to expand into the future.

Get Free iPad In Japan With Softbank “iPad For Everybody” Plan

Japanese carrier Softbank has launched a new plan called “iPad for everybody” that will let users sign up for a free 16GB iPad provided they also subscribe to a 25 month contract. This offer will mean users will have to shell out ¥4725 ($56; £36) a month in return for getting the device for free.

We do not have more info on the details of the contract. But from first sight, it looks like a deal to make up for a possible lackluster performance of the device in the market. However, according to Moconews, the attractive offer is targeted at people who may not be able to afford the marked price of $629 in order to expand the iPad base ahead of the launch of iAd in Japan next year. Apple has partnered with local company Dentsu for the new advertising venture.

Eitherway, this is one of the more attractive iPad promotion offers and if you are in Japan, go ahead and make your iPad purchase rightaway.

New iPad 2 Release Date In January 2011?

A lot of rumors surrounding the next generation iPad have been doing the rounds over the past couple of weeks. The first rumor pegged the launch date for April 2011. A more recent speculation was on the features – a total of five new features including USB support and retina display is on the cards.

Now according to yet another unsubstantiated rumor, the new iPad 2 could be coming in January 2011. Now there is not too much juice behind this rumor; as was with the earlier rounds. But from what I see, if true, this could be a repeat of the launch plans with the original model where the device was unveiled in January and was launched in April this year.

But that sounds unlikely this time considering that Apple may not want to slow down the sale of the current model by announcing a new product so early. Nevertheless this is an interesting rumor that we would like to keep track of.

iPad Not Connecting To Exchange Server Email – More iOS 4.2 Bugs

More bugs coming to light since the new iOS 4.2 was released. For a slideshow of all the bugs uncovered till now, click on this link.

Users who have updated their iPad to the latest iOS 4.2.1 update are reporting that there is a problem in establishing connection to the email exchange server. Those who attempt a connection are shown a message that reads something like this –

“Exchange Account
Unable to verify account information”

Here are some complaints reported by iPad users on the discussion boards across the Apple forum

“The iPad does not resolve the local DNS zones on the LAN. We discovered this after switching to another available off-LAN connection and were able to access exchange e-mail. It has to acknowledge that the request is occurring because otherwise if it ignored it the request would go out to the internet and it would work fine.”

“Occasionally it will hit the server and download new mail, but 95% of the time I get a connection to server failed error. This is now happening with both my iPhone and iPad, running 4.2.1. Exchange account worked fine before the iOS upgrade, and my MobileMe account still works fine.”

So do we have a fix for this? Troubleshooting users have been able to dig a couple of fixes. But it does not seem to be resolving all user woes. Here’s one solution

Go to Settings -> General Settings -> Reset -> “Reset all content and settings”
Confirm and Reboot
Connect to iTunes
Select “NEW IPAD” (NOT “Restore” — That’s right you have to reset it to factory specs and then start from scratch)
Re-enter your Exchange creds

An alternate fix was to delete the exchange account in settings and recreate it but put the domain and username together in the username field as follows: DOMAIN\username

Did one of these fixes work? What error are you seeing? Tell us in the comments.