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Apple will announce fiscal second quarter earnings this Wednesday, with analysts and investors again expecting big things from Cupertino for the post-holiday period. While the iPhone is expected to inch slightly higher, pundits expect the iPad to actually decline just a bit — the company's rumored iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display refresh later this year is said to get things back on track, whether they're actually needed or not. Without further ado, let's dive into the rest of the weekend recap...
MacRumors reported Sunday that owners of the classic first-generation Apple TV received a nasty surprise over the last few days. According to a "lengthy" post on Apple's support forums, iTunes Store access has vanished from the company's first effort at cracking the living room, which made its debut in January, 2007. The usual diagnostics tricks and even a complete restore failed to resurrect the feature, which appears to be a back-end issue at Apple's end that coincidentally corresponds to an extended FaceTime outage for iOS 6 users — though there's no confirmation on what the connection might be.
Developer Jared Sinclair released version 1.2 of his RSS reader Unread in the wee hours of Monday morning, and while there's still no native iPad support, the app appears to be doubling down on the features. The latest version adds support for NewsBlur and Fever as RSS sources and introduces a native image viewer, which works in both article view as well as the built-in web browser. The long list of new features and bug fixes also includes an Options menu for images, optional badge count for current unread count, landscape support for the built-in web browser, new Glass and Campfire themes unlocked for all users, and improved Facebook sharing. Unread 1.2 for iPhone is now available from the App Store.
As noted Friday by Re/code, Beats Music released a new version of its iOS app ahead of the weekend that finally delivered a big feature requested by users: The ability to purchase an in-app subscription. Yes, that means the upstart music streaming service is handing roughly $3 per month over to Apple, but the company claims more than half of its users are on iPhone, and getting them to subscribe has been a challenge without the in-app option. CEO Ian Rogers also teased that a native iPad app will be "available soon," which should help Beats Music round out an otherwise solid lineup of features.
AT&T announced Friday that GoPhone customers have a little more to celebrate this month than just having no annual contract. Beginning April 25, smartphone users on the basic $40-per-month plan will get a data bump from 250MB to 500MB, while the more expensive $60-per-month plan jumps from 2GB to 2.5GB and adds unlimited talk and Wi-Fi hotspot capability. The carrier is also teaming with Walmart for a $45 per month plan with 1GB of data and unlimited talk, and all of the plans feature unlimited texting that extends to Mexico, Canada, and more than 100 other countries. All of the prepaid plans take advantage of AT&T's 4G LTE network.
Facebook announced Friday that its free Paper app is inching toward being a little more useful with the addition of birthdays and events, photo comments, group updates, nine new article covers, and more. Paper 1.1 also adds basic accessibility support with an arrow indicator that tells the users when new stories are available in other sections. Facebook claims Paper users "explore an average of 80 stories each day" across as many as six sections, with the social network itself being the most popular destination followed by Headlines, Tech, Ideas, LOL, and Pop Life.
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