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We're not big fans of locked handsets, but let's face it: It's a fact of life in the USA if you want to get 'em cheap and subsidized. While the iPhone has historically been tricky to get SIM unlocked from AT&T, suddenly this year it seems the floodgates have opened and between the carrier itself offering free unlocks for off-contract devices and a plethora of sources offering cheap freedom for everyone else, a lawsuit against Apple seems like maybe the wrong approach. Didn't hear about it? Read on to find out about that and a handful of other stories you might have missed on Monday.
The gang over at BusyMac announced a major new update for BusyCal on Monday. BusyCal 2 promises to improve "nearly every aspect" of the popular third-party Mac calendar app, with an improved UI and customizable appearance, smart filters, improved list view, new Find dialog and all-new BusyCal Menu for viewing your schedule and creating events right from the menu bar. A free 30-day trial is available from the BusyMac website, and for a limited time BusyCal 2 is available at the discounted price of only $29.99 on the Mac App Store.
BGR reported on Monday that Apple and its U.S. carrier partners are now testing the first minor update to iOS 6, which is primarily a bug fix release. iOS 6.0.1 is expected sometime in the next few weeks and includes fixes for horizontal lines that appear when the keyboard or app folder is open, the camera flash not properly triggering and a nagging Passbook lock screen bug. Wi-Fi and cellular data improvements also include a consolidated iTunes Match toggle and there's also a fix for a glitch causing group calendar invites to be "unexpectedly cancelled" for Exchange users. Apple is also said to have started testing iOS 6.1, which isn't expected until after the holidays.
Even though iPhone unlocks seem to be plentiful these days, CNET reported on Monday that two disgruntled owners of the handset are taking Apple to court over the company's decision to lock their devices to AT&T. The punitive class action lawsuit was filed last Friday and alleges "that the tech giant violated antitrust laws by locking iPhone buyers into voice and data contracts with AT&T Mobility." The pair claim the software-based locks violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as well. Of course, they're looking for a payday, but also for Apple to "provide SIM unlock codes to iPhone owners on request" as well as "adequately disclosing" that the handsets are locked. Do these guys realize that all carrier-issued handsets -- from all manufacturers! -- are locked in the same way?
Windows 8 is racing to the finish line and Microsoft has been moving quickly to plug any remaining holes ahead of the big release this Friday, October 26. That includes its Skype subsidiary, who announced on Monday an all-new version made especially for Windows 8 which promises a "completely new Skype experience" designed to be "always on, immersive, effortless and fun to use." A video posted to The Skype Blog pretty much tells you everything you need to know, and Skype will be making its debut on Friday in the new Windows Store. Look for the VoIP subsidiary to make a similar announcement next Monday, October 29 when Windows Phone 8 gets its own moment in the spotlight.
Many people may not remember, but Google had promised an iOS version of its Wallet app when the service was first unveiled, which was said to involve some kind of sticker that could attach to any compatible iPhone to allow wireless NFC payments. That has yet to pan out, but 9to5Google reported on Monday that the search giant is teasing a "next version" of Google Wallet and even offers the chance for existing users to request an invitation to try it out. Curiously, when you click the link, Google then asks which kind of mobile device you use: Android, iOS or Other. Does that mean Google Wallet may be coming soon to the iPhone? Not necessarily, but the company is certainly attempting to gauge the interest of Apple handset users, and may yet deliver the promised contactless payment service yet.
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