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It’s been one of those busy days for tech enthusiasts: Rather than dreaming about the weekend ahead, we’ve had product launches all over the place in the mad pre-Christmas holiday rush before things start to shut down next week. If you’ve already played around with your Facebook Timeline update or nabbed that sweet new Roku iOS app and are waiting for your Apple TV to update, take a breather and see what’s new for this Thursday, December 15, 2011.
Hey, would you look at that… after teasing us nearly two months ago, Facebook has finally gone ahead and officially rolled out the red carpet for its new Timeline profile feature. According to The Facebook Blog, users will have a seven-day “review period” to review everything appearing in your Timeline before anyone else can see it, and as always, you can choose “View As” to get a preview of what it will look like to the public at large. Timeline is also rolling out to Android and the Facebook mobile site, but sadly no iOS love quite yet. So how do you get it? It will gradually appear for all users soon enough, but you can kickstart things into action right now by visiting this web page and clicking “Get Timeline.”
After repeated rumors of an imminent launch, the third Nexus-branded Android handset has finally arrived on U.S. shores with the release of the Samsung Nexus Galaxy through Verizon Wireless. According to The Verge, the flagship Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich handset with 4G LTE will cost users a cool $299.99 with two-year contract, but e-tailers such as LetsTalk.com are already offering it for nearly half that price with discounts -- although it’s currently backordered and “likely to ship in one to two weeks.” According to BGR, eager early adopters have already been spotted outside a few Verizon stores nationwide to be the first to get theirs. It’s not quite the frenzy iPhone users have become accustomed to with their product launches, but clearly demand is higher than normal for these handsets on launch day.
Now here’s an odd one for Apple update fans: According to MacRumors, the company pushed out a new version of iOS 5.0.1 specifically tailored to the iPhone 4S -- but those of us who have already updated receive nothing. What’s in this mysterious new Build 9A406? Beats us, but with iOS 5.1 already in beta testing, everyone will be getting a new update soon enough. Meanwhile, the second-generation Apple TV was also updated to version 4.4.4, which Apple claims “includes general performance and stability improvements, including a fix for an issue that displayed an error when playing some video content.” Fair enough.
If you own one of the Roku streaming boxes and also carry an iPhone in your pocket, there’s a little treat awaiting you in the App Store today. According to the Roku Blog, the company has finally introduced an official, free iPhone remote control app -- and best of all, it works on all Roku boxes, including a first-generation model we had lying around here. Users of the newer Roku 2 or Roku LT players will need to grab the software update version 4.2 before they can use the app, but older players already received the necessary update with a recent version 3.1 update. The company is also promising an Android app, for those of you on that side of the fence, but gives no firm date for its availability.
After a premature rollout last night that early adopters were quickly refunded for, Apple’s new “scan and match” subscription service, iTunes Match, appears to be going live around the world. According to MacRumors, the service popped up again on the radar in the U.K. and was soon followed by Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Australia, France, New Zealand and Spain. Users in these countries are reporting success in subscribing to iTunes Match and matching their libraries accordingly, so it would seem as if the second time is the charm in this case. The rollout today was kicked off by Apple updating their iTunes terms and conditions in these countries, which specifically mention the iTunes Match service.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter