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We’ve got three words for you today: Short work week! For our U.S. readers, Thanksgiving is this Thursday and many folks have an extra day off on Friday, which means you’ll have a longer weekend at play than you will working three days this week. (Our apologies to those of you who don’t get to enjoy that scenario. We feel your pain.) But there’s still plenty of news floating around the interwebs, and we’ve collected some of the best stuff for you to read on this fine Monday, November 21, 2011.
Retailers are amped up for Black Friday this week here in the U.S., and 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple may also get in the holiday spirit by opening its biggest store to date in New York City’s Grand Central Station. According to their sources and some on-site spy photos, Apple could officially announce the opening of the store on Tuesday and pull back the curtains in time for Black Friday shopping on November 25. The site is expected to have just over 300 employees (!!), who are currently being trained at New York area Apple Stores. Grand Central Station receives a whopping 750,000 visitors every single day and more than a million during the holidays, so it’s safe to say that this Apple Store could be the mother of them all.
The Google Mobile Blog announced an update to the iOS Google Search app today, which specifically targets the iPad user interface for “a significant redesign.” The app is now more interactive, more visual and easier than ever before to find exactly what you’re looking for. Images can be viewed full-screen and the app includes a new visual search history as well as easy access to other Google apps. The 11.9MB update is available now for users running iOS 4.0 or later -- which should really be most of us by now.
We love us some Spotify here at MacLife.com, which is why we’re excited to see what they’ll do next after finally landing on American shores over the summer. As it turns out, we won’t have long to wait: AllThingsD is reporting that the company has sent out a “mysterioso invitation” for a press event in New York on November 30 with CEO Daniel Elk and “a special guest or two.” So what’s the topic? No one knows for sure, but Spotify is teasing “a new direction for the company,” which sounds like a bit more than adding an MP3 store (which is already available in Europe) or a much-needed iPad app. Mark your calendars, and check back with us next Wednesday for all the details.
Despite no official word from Apple that a new iOS 5 fix would be released this week, German-language site Macerkopf.de is backpedaling on an earlier report claiming that would be the case. According to AppleInsider, the website originally reported last week that iOS 5.0.2 would arrive “no later” than this week in an effort to address additional battery life issues for iPhone 4S users. The update supposedly brings 10 hours of active use for the new handset, while Apple is rumored to also be hard at work on iOS 5.1, which promises “many changes” to Siri’s voice control -- but don’t expect that one until sometime next year, sources claim.
Still looking for the perfect social sharing app? The folks at Stamped, Inc. have released a free iPhone app that may be just the ticket. Aptly named Stamped, the app claims to be “a new way to recommend only what you like best -- restaurants, books, movies, music and more.” To get started, create a profile and customize a unique “stamp,” then use it on things you want friends to know about. Promising “no noise, no strangers, just the things you and your friends love,” Stamped integrates with Opentable, Amazon, Fandango and iTunes and shares easily via Twitter and Facebook. The 8.5MB is free and available on the App Store now for all devices running iOS 4.0 or later (but is not a universal build for the iPad).
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter