The authorized Steve Jobs bio arrives (Apple Talk Weekly)

CNET gives you a full rundown of this week's top news and rumors about Apple, with this week's highlight being the release of the authorized biography of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Courtesy of Albert Watson.
Courtesy of Albert Watson. Simon & Schuster

This week brought the arrival of author Walter Isaacson's biography "Steve Jobs," notable for the fact that it's the first biography to have Jobs' cooperation, and the first to come after his death.

The book covers Jobs' life from beginning to end, as well as a history of the companies he was involved with, from the beginnings of Apple, to NeXT, Pixar, and his return to Apple, which he helped turn into a massive consumer and business success it is today.

CNET's got end to end coverage on that, including a rundown of some of the best tidbits to the book , to interviews with its author both from "60 Minutes" , and my own chat with the author . My colleague Stephen Shankland has also posted a full review of the title, which you can read here .

Disclosure: "Steve Jobs" is published by Simon & Schuster, which like CNET is owned by CBS.

Read on for a rundown of everything else that happened this week in Apple land.

News of the week

Apple refreshes its MacBook Pro line with faster processors, bigger drives
Just ahead of the holiday shopping season, Apple updated its MacBook Pro notebook line with faster processors and beefier graphics cards. The company's pro notebooks also got more onboard storage. The last big update to the MacBook Pro line was in February, when Apple's notebooks got Thunderbolt I/O and Intel's Sandy Bridge processors.

Apple posts Steve Jobs celebration video
Apple posted a video of the private celebration it had for Jobs last week. The event, which took place on Apple's campus, featured speeches by Apple CEO Tim Cook, former vice president of the U.S. and Apple board member Al Gore, board member Bill Campbell, and Apple SVP Jonathan Ive, along with musical performances by Nora Jones and Coldplay. The event was only for Apple employees, with the company closing down all its stores last week so that retail employees could watch too.

Apple's annual report by the numbers
Apple filed its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week. The report, which does not hold too many surprises, includes numerous details of the company's progress during the past year, from products sold to a considerable growth in the number of employees it has. Read on to get the high order bits.

Siri co-founder leaves Apple
Dag Kittlaus, co-founder of Siri, the voice company that Apple bought and turned into a feature of the iPhone 4S, has left the company. That news comes from All Things Digital, who said Kittlaus left to go spend more time with his family and begin new start-ups. Apple bought Siri last year for a rumored $121 million.

Will Apple's iCloud soon be powered by the sun?
Will Apple's iCloud soon be powered by the sun?

Apple adds in-store pickup option to online store
Buyers on Apple's U.S. online store got a new option this week. The company added a way to pick up items purchased online in one of the company's retail stores. While useful mostly for lower priced items that did not quite meet the free shipping requirement, it also allows for buyers to buy custom-built computers then pick them up in a place where one of Apple's store employees can help set it up. The feature is only live in a handful of stores so far.

Apple planning solar farm to power data center
Permits uncovered by the Charlotte Observer this week show that Apple's looking to move some earth next to its massive North Carolina data center to put in a solar power farm. Apple owns the 171-acre plot nearby the data center, which became operational earlier this year and helps power Apple's iCloud service, among other things.

Apple open sources its lossless audio format
Apple opened up the source code to its lossless audio format this week. The format, which the company introduced in 2004, lets users rip lossless quality tracks from CDs at a compressed size, without a loss in quality. While it was largely reverse engineered years ago, open sourcing it lets developers include support for it in their software applications, as well as make changes and additions to it.

iPhone 4S arrives in 22 more countries
Apple this weekend launched the iPhone 4S in 22 additional countries. The phone, which has been Apple's fastest selling product so far, arrived in the U.S. and other countries earlier this month . Apple is currently listing a wait time of 1-2 weeks for new orders in those countries, who began pre-ordering the device last week.


Rumors of the week

Sprint, Apple cooking up iPhone 4S speed fix
Sprint and Apple are said to be working on a possible software fix for slower-than-expected wireless networking speeds affecting some users of Apple's latest iPhone. An alleged internal memo making the rounds to Sprint representatives said that both Sprint and Apple are both aware of, and working on, a fix, suggesting the problem could be software-related. The issue is now the topic of a 79 page forum thread on Sprint's support site.

Screenshot by Rick Broida

Apple investigating poor iPhone 4S battery life
A report in The Guardian yesterday claimed that Apple engineers were looking into faster-than-expected battery drain on the company's newest iPhone. The outlet said that some iPhone 4S owners were contacted by Apple engineers after complaining on the company's support Web site. Numerous users there are saying their phones are lasting just a few hours, even with minimal use, and with power-draining features disabled. The company has not publicly acknowledged the issue.

iTunes creator working on Apple TV set
A report from Bloomberg this week said that Apple vice president of consumer applications, Jeff Robbin has a team working hard on a prototype television set for Apple. That's something of special interest given Robbin's involvement in the creation of the iPod, as well as comments about cracking the code for an easy to use TV made by Jobs in Isaacson's biography.

Sony looking to get Sorkin to pen Jobs movie
The yet-to-be-announced film based on Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of Steve Jobs could be penned by the writer of the Oscar-winning film "The Social Network." Citing anonymous sources, the Los Angeles Times reported this week that Sony Pictures, who is still vying for the option on Isaacson's Jobs biography, is trying to get Aaron Sorkin (the creator of the long-running TV series "The West Wing" and screenplay writer of last year's "The Social Network") to write a screenplay for a Jobs biopic.

Apple Talk Weekly is a weekly roundup of some of the week's top Apple-related news and rumors. It appears every Saturday morning and is curated by CNET's Apple reporter Josh Lowensohn.

 

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