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Contest: Guess the iPad 2 Debut

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There’s a flurry of conflicting reports today on when the next iPad will debut – we have heard that the next iteration of the magical device will be unveiled in March or June at the WWDC.

Make your guess in the comments, along with the reason you think why Apple would choose that date.

Five correct answers, randomly chosen (though we admit some bias for the funny ones), will win promo codes for cool iPhone or iPad apps.

Xcode 4 With Hot New Integrated Design Environment Goes Gold Master

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Apple has finally released the Gold Master version of Xcode 4 after releasing it earlier today and then pulling it suddenly reverting back to the sixth beta preview that was previously released. Why this happened isn’t known and I don’t expect Apple to explain it.

However, now it is back and I highly recommend it. I have to say it is a welcome addition to my developer tools since the crazy multi-window interface of Xcode 3 wasn’t something I liked using.

Xcode 4 introduces a fully updated integrated design environment for Mac and iOS developers — the type of environment I’m more comfortable in. It offers a lot of really nice new tools that were first introduced at last years WWDC.

Check out the new features in Xcode 4 and if you are a registered Mac or iOS developer get a copy of Xcode 4 GM now.

Mac App Store: More Developer Reaction

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Yesterday we posted some first impressions of the Mac App Store by a list of some of the finest software developers around. Overnight we’ve had more responses from more superb developers, so here for your reading pleasure are their initial thoughts about the Store and what it means for their business.

Overall the mood is positive, but uncertain. There are still many questions to be answered. Almost all the devs we’ve spoken to are keen to get started, but not quite sure yet how they’re going to make it all come together.

(And to all the developers who took part, providing comment for this post and yesterday’s, Cult of Mac would like to say a big, big thank you. You people rock.)

Apple To Hold “Back To The Mac” Media Event Oct 20

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Apple is sending out invites to a special media event on October 20 to discuss the next version of OS X. Although the invite doesn’t expressly say so, the event must be about 10.7. “Back to the Mac,” the invite says, showing a lion peeking out of the Apple logo.

Surprising right? We thought it was all about iOS in Cupertino these days. But apparently the good old Mac is still alive and kicking and Steve Jobs hasn’t forgotten about it.

It won’t be the first time Apple has given a sneak peek of its operating system long before it shipped. In 2008, Apple previewed Snow Leopard at WWDC about a year before it was released.

Apple’s iAd to Have 21 Percent of Mobile Advertising By Year’s End — At Google, Yahoo Expense

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Although Apple’s mobile advertising platform iAd debuted in June with 0 percent of the market, the interactive ads found in apps for the iOS platform may soon have 21 percent marketshare, tied with Google’s mobile efforts. Apple’s gains are coming at the expense of Google and other more well-established online advertisers, suggests a new report.

According to IDC estimates published by Bloomberg Businessweek, Google’s share of mobile advertising will fall to 21 percent in December, down from 27 percent in December 2009. Yahoo will also take a hit, dropping to 9 percent, down from 12 percent. (Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz recently predicted Apple’s advertising platform would ‘fall apart.) Likewise, Microsoft’s market numbers will be trimmed to 7 percent, down from 10 percent. As for Nokia, its mobile ad share almost disappears from the radar screen to 2 percent.

Apple Is Live Streaming Sept. 1 Event To Test New Server Farm [Exclusive]

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Apple is live streaming Wednesday’s iPod event as a test of its massive new data center, we’ve been informed by a source.

Apple’s first live video broadcast in years is a test of the server farm’s ability to stream a future version of iTunes for iOS devices, our tipster says.

“The goal is to monitor traffic load and quality,” says our tipster, who asked to remain anonymous to preserve their connections at Apple.

Author: Kindle eBooks Outselling Apple iBooks 60-to-1

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Remember back in June when Apple told developers the iBookstore had 22 percent of the eBook market? An author who uses both platforms to market his writing is now telling a vastly-different story. He sells 200 Kindle ebooks each day, compared to 100 a month for the iPad’s iBooks.

Despite the Kindle ebooks not currently supporting color or video, like the ebooks via Apple’s iBookstore, “according to my numbers Apple is a very small part of the ebook market,” blogs author Joe Konrath. “I sell 200 ebooks a day on Kindle. On iPad, I sell 100 a month,” he adds.

HBO, Netflix Fight for Your iPad Screen

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HBO’s CEO says it will begin streaming its premium TV content to iPads within a few months. The service, HBO Go, will be extended to mobile devices in a bid to outmaneuver Netflix, which already offers an iPad app.

In a Bloomberg interview, HBO CEO Reed Hastings said within six months, it will extend its current HBO Go service to mobile devices. Currently, subscribers to the premium TV channel can view original programming on their computers. In July, video rental service Netflix began offering a similar iPad app.

Video Speed Test of Mobile Safari on iPhone 4

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During the WWDC keynote, Steve Jobs’ efforts to show off the improved speed of Mobile Safari on the iPhone 4 were thwarted by a catastrophic WiFi meltdown, but a month later, our good buddy Obama Pac-Man is here to prove what Steve could not: Mobile Safari on the iPhone 4 is wicked fast.

In a showdown against the iPhone 3GS on 3G with WiFi turned off, Mobile Safari rendered all the tested sites significantly faster on the iPhone 4. It’s all a matter of a few milliseconds here, a half a second or so there, but that time adds up in an app as integral to the iOS experience as Mobile Safari.

Extra points go to Obama Pac-Man for his stylistic choice of silence for the video: anyone else would have supplemented it with a loud soundtrack of moist mouth-breathing or, failing that, phlegmatic nu-metal. Bravo.

Features iOS 4 Is Still Missing

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The honeymoon is officially over. With the release of iPhone 4 over two weeks ago, Apple has been hit by everything except the kitchen sink. From the 3G iPad privacy concerns to the most recent App Store hack, Apple has been in full damage control mode. This makes it the perfect time to add insult to injury. Read my 5 suggestions on how to improve iOS 4 after the break.