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Still feeling that post-Apple event hangover? We feel your pain, but look at the bright side: In just over one week, you’ll have a shiny new iPad to play with, and if you happened to invest in a 4G LTE model running on Verizon, you’ll even get to use that cool Personal Hotspot feature! Didn’t hear the news about that yet? Sounds like you need to keep reading for these and other updates from around the tech world for this Thursday, March 8, 2012.
The moment we heard the new iPad would come packing the Personal Hotspot feature, our spider-sense began tingling -- but not in a good way. Apple’s Wi-Fi + 4G page claims the Personal Hotspot can only be used “if your carrier supports it,” and something told us neither AT&T or Verizon would. So imagine our (pleasant) surprise today as Cnet is reporting that Verizon’s iPad data plans will not only work with Personal Hotspot, but there’s no additional fee to do so (beyond the four data buckets, which range from 1GB for $20 all the way up to 10GB for $80 per month). Chose an AT&T-enabled iPad Wi-Fi + 4G instead? Sorry, you’re out of luck -- at least for now. "We are working with Apple to enable this feature in the future, but we currently do not offer it," AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel explained to Cnet. Cue the happy dance: We ordered a Verizon model, since there’s no AT&T 4G LTE in our area.
We’ve spent a fair amount of time here at MacLife.com with the new cloud-based OnLive Desktop, which brings iPad users a Windows 7 experience complete with Microsoft Office. We like it overall, which is why it makes us sad to hear that Microsoft may be looking to stomp on our lovefest over a fistful of licensing issues. According to The Verge, Microsoft’s Windows virtualization terms might not permit OnLive Desktop to perform its magic act, calling it an “issue” that needs to be resolved. The good news is that Microsoft Corporate VP of Licensing Joe Matz claims to be "actively engaged with OnLive with the hope of bringing them into a properly licensed scenario” -- so all hope is not lost, although if we were the betting type, we’d say OnLive’s free offering might go the way of the dodo soon after it’s resolved.
iLounge is reporting that Disney-owned ABC Family has released a new universal iOS app “providing full, on-demand access to ABC Family television content on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.” Much like the company’s iPad-only ABC Player app (which was developed by the same team), the ABC Family app offers free, ad-supported episodes from the network’s shows, which include Jane By Design, Make It or Break It, Switched at Birth and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Episodes are generally posted the day after they’ve aired on the network, but ABC is traditionally a bit stingy with their content, only offering the five most recent episodes. So, better watch ‘em while you can! The free 8.6MB ABC Player app is ready and waiting for you in the App Store and requires iOS 5.0 or later.
The original cloud storage experts at Pogoplug are mixing things up yet again, today announcing new Pogoplug PC and Pogoplug Backup software available for download. “Pogoplug Backup features a new UI that makes it easier than ever to use Pogoplug to back up your important files, photos, videos and music,” The Official Pogoplug Blog notes. “Pogoplug Backup also includes our popular drive app, which allows you to access your Pogoplug like a local drive on your computer.” Meanwhile, Pogoplug PC splinters off the remote access feature previously built into the Pogoplug software, which will now require users to fork over a one-time $29.95 fee for that privilege -- but previous users who purchased a Premium license will be upgraded to a full license free of charge simply by logging in with that account. (A free 30-day trial version of Pogoplug PC is also available.)
The folks at Skype have been busy this week pushing out a new Mac client update, bringing the desktop software to version 5.6. Among the improvements are a new automatic update feature (hooray!), an improved UI for group video calling, full screen mode in OS X Lion, the ability to delete conversations and disabling the Audio Gain Control -- not to mention the usual cadre of bug fixes. Wondering how to grab all this Skypey goodness? Why, head over to the Skype website and get your download on -- thanks to automatic updates, it may be the last time you’ll ever need to do so.
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