YouTube launches new app for iPhone and iPod touch

A month after Apple revealed that YouTube won’t be among the default apps in iOS 6, YouTube on Tuesday launched a new streaming-video app for the iPhone and iPod touch.

“For all you diehard YouTube fans out there who can’t get enough YouTube on your mobile, we’ve got some great news,” the Google subsidiary said in a blog post. “Starting today, you can download the official YouTube app for iPhone and iPod touch from the App Store, bringing you more of the videos you love and more ways to share them with the people you care about.”

Here’s a breakdown of the new app’s features:

  • Tens of thousands more videos, including official music videos.
  • New YouTube channel guide: Swipe your finger from the left edge of the screen to reveal a guide with your subscribed channels on YouTube.
  • Find awesome videos faster: Get to videos faster with new search tools that give suggestions while you type, and let you sort through videos or channels. Flip through related videos, comments and more info, all while watching a video.
  • More ways to share with the people you love: Share YouTube videos on Google+, Facebook, or text message, as well as on Twitter and through email.

YouTube said it’s working on an iPad-optimized version of the app that should launch in the coming months.

Nokia internally investigating misleading Lumia ad

Nokia told Bloomberg on Monday that it’s conducting an internal ethics investigation into the misleading smartphone ad that’s become a PR disaster for the company.

At issue is a promotional video launched last week that purportedly demonstrated the Lumia 920′s ability to automatically stabilize videos recorded by the phone. But as the Verge discovered, the video wasn’t shot by Nokia’s latest flagship smartphone. Instead, Nokia recorded the ad with far-pricier equipment and kept that information from viewers, leading them to believe that a handset was responsible for the ad’s stunning visuals.

“There’s a curious reflection in the window of the trailer in the background [of the video],” The Verge wrote. “It’s not a young man riding his bicycle alongside the cheerful model, but instead a big white van with a lighting rig and a cameraman standing in the doorway — with what appears to be a large camera rig. Whatever he’s holding, we can reasonably agree it’s not a Lumia 920.”

In an interview with Bloomberg on Monday, Nokia spokeswoman Susan Sheehan admitted that the  device maker showed poor judgment by running the ad without a disclaimer. But Sheehan denied that the ad was meant to deceive consumers.

“What we understand to date is that it was nobody’s intention to mislead, but there was poor judgment in the decision not to use a disclaimer,” Sheehan said, adding that the situation is being addressed “quickly, fairly, and privately.”

Leaked Apple device IDs came from app developer, not from FBI computer, company says

BlueToad, a small Florida-based app-development company, told NBC News Monday that it was the source of the million Apple device identifiers that were leaked by AntiSec last week, not an FBI computer that was allegedly hacked in March.

“That’s 100 percent confidence level, it’s our data,” BlueToad CEO Paul DeHart said after technicians downloaded the leaked information and compared it against the company’s own database. “As soon as we found out were were involved and victimized, we approached the appropriate law enforcement officials, and we began to take steps to come forward, clear the record and take responsibility for this.”

DeHart said he had “no idea the impact this would ultimately cause. We’re pretty apologetic to the people who relied on us to keep this information secure.”

Apple spokeswoman Trudy Mullter said BlueToad’s story adds up.

“As an app developer, BlueToad would have access to a user’s device information such as UDID, device name and type,” Mullter said. “Developers do not have access to users’ account information, passwords or credit card information, unless a user specifically elects to provide that information to the developer.”

Anonymous said it leaked the data to draw attention to the FBI’s habit of tracking Apple customers, but both Apple and the FBI denied last week that the information could have come from a bureau computer.

GoDaddy goes down, takes countless websites with it

Websites and email accounts hosted by domain registrar GoDaddy went offline on Monday, and a member of hacker group Anonymous has claimed responsibility, TechCrunch said today.

At the time of writing, GoDaddy’s site is still down, and presumably so are the countless other sites the company hosts.

Google on possibility of standalone maps app for iOS: We want Google Maps to be available to everyone

Apple’s new iPhone has been getting rave reviews, but the smartphone’s operating system, iOS 6, isn’t as universally loved, mostly because its hotly anticipated Google-free Maps app is a step backward in the eyes of many critics. Unlike Google Maps, reviewers have complained, Apple’s Maps app doesn’t include a street view, nor does it consistently point users to local public-transit options.

Will iOS users have to live with a subpar Maps app, knowing that they had it better before? Or, like it did with YouTube, will Google release a standalone Google Maps app that iOS users can download from the App Store?

Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan asked Google about the likelihood of the latter today, and this is what he was told:

We believe Google Maps are the most comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps in the world. Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system.

Regardless of device or operating system, eh? Sounds like an app’s in a pipeline! On the other hand, Google Maps is still available to iOS 6 users through their browser, so, technically, it is available to everyone who wants to use it.

Amazon’s backlit e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite, will ship on October 1 for $119

Amazon on Thursday revealed the Kindle Paperwhite, a backlit e-reader whose touchscreen boasts 62 percent more pixels than previous Kindle devices.

Despite its backlight, a Kindle first, the Paperwhite is just 9.1mm thick, weighs a featherlight 7.5 ounces, and can run for eight weeks on a single charge, the e-tailer’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, said. What’s more, the e-reader’s backlight is adjustable, as are the device’s fonts.

The Paperwhite ships on October 1, and it’s available in two trims: a $119 Wi-Fi-only model, and a $179 3G version whose connectivity is free and doesn’t require a data plan.

James Woods on smartphone specs: How much is too much?

The spec war in the mobile space seemed to start with Android. HTC released the first Android smartphone in 2008, and then someone else tried to trump that phone with more RAM or a faster processor or a better camera. Device makers have played that game ever since, and it has proven to be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, manufacturers have driven each other to produce better hardware. But on the other, it’s impossible to stay ahead of the curve.  As soon as you buy one phone, it seems, you’ll read about another that bests it with more cores and longer battery life.

The most powerful smartphones boast quad cores and several gigs of RAM, and their specs are comparable to netbooks. The question is, do they need to progress any further? I’d argue they don’t.

If you pick up a Galaxy S3 and a Galaxy S2 and load up a few apps, I doubt the S3′s quad-core processor will blow your mind with its speed and power. In fact, you probably couldn’t even tell the difference.

To my mind, the fundamental internals of smartphones have reached (and possibly passed) the point of diminishing returns. Do we really need to progress past 2GB of RAM and 1.5GHz quad-core processors? What’s the point? Is existing mobile software even capable of making use of all that power?

Let’s assume it is. There’s still a major issue: we’re talking about a PHONE.

Who in their right mind wants to carry out resource-heavy tasks on a 4-inch screen? Sure, maybe the odd person needs to make an adjustment to a CAD drawing while on the go, but come on, have you ever really needed that fourth core?

The focus needs to shift from phones’ internals.

Specs have long been used as a marketing tool, but that’s the wrong approach. Specs are the base upon which companies should be designing and building products that people want to buy. They shouldn’t be the companies’ primary concern, and they shouldn’t be the selling point.

Apple has the right idea. The company hasn’t gotten involved in the spec war. In fact, you almost need iFixit to tear down a new iPhone or iPad just to know how much RAM is inside. Of course, the reason for this is Apple isn’t really competing with anyone, but it also feels it isn’t necessary for consumers to know the exact specs of its devices. All they need to know, the company figures, is that the devices work great.

(Updated) Foxconn plant closed following massive riot, but will reopen tomorrow

Foxconn, whose plants build devices for Apple, among other technology companies, closed a Chinese factory on Monday after a massive fight involving about 2,000 workers broke out, Reuters said.

“The cause of this dispute is under investigation by local authorities and we are working closely with them in this process, but it appears not to have been work-related,” Foxconn said in a statement.

According to a Chinese microblogging site, the melee ignited when four or five of the plant’s security guards beat an employee nearly to death.

Foxconn said 40 people were hospitalized after the riot and many were arrested. Xinhua, a state-run news agency, said three people were seriously injured.

Update: The plant will resume operations on Tuesday, Foxconn has told CNET.