Remains of the Day: Another satisfied customer survey

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The iPhone has once again proved that consumers can get some satisfaction. Elsewhere, Google has scooped up a Yelp rival that’s decidedly old school, and Apple’s making new inroads into charity. The remainders for Thursday, September 8, 2011 are better to give than to receive.

2011 U.S. Wireless Handset Customer Satisfaction Studies—Vol. 2 (J.D. Power and Associates)

What’s important in designing an exceptional smartphone? “The right blend of design and technology,” according to customer satisfaction rating agency J.D. Power and Associates. That and 11 secret herbs and spices. To the surprise of practically nobody who’s paying attention, Apple is the firm’s top-ranked smartphone purveyor in terms of customer satisfaction for the sixth consecutive time. Don’t expect that to change any time soon, especially when the iPhone 5 arrives with its patented “Satisfaction Dispersal Field.”

Google just got ZAGAT Rated! (Google)

In a surprising move, the GOOG has picked up venerable restaurant rater Zagat. Some think it’s simply a strategy to bolster the company’s mapping service and compete against sites like Yelp. Great. Now Apple will have no choice but to respond by snapping up Michelin, tires and all.

Apple Institutes New Charitable Matching Program for Employees (MacRumors)

About a week after a New York Times article took a shot at former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s public giving habits, current Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly sent out a message to the company’s employees announcing a matching gift program. Apple will mirror charitable donations of up to $10,000 per year. And note, for accounting purposes Microsoft is not considered a charity. Yet.

Apple preparing Logic Pro X, working to avoid Final Cut X backlash (AppleInsider)

Apple’s transition to Final Cut Pro X angered a lot of professionals in the video-editing community for lacking many features available in the previous version, so it’s no surprise that the company may be treading carefully when updating one of its other pro-level apps, Logic. According to one report, Apple is saying that the rumored Logic Pro X won’t borrow too heavily from its consumer-level partner, GarageBand. Instead, in a surprise development, the program will instead be largely inspired by Apple’s now defunct application iWeb.

Apple spaceship HQ might work in Cupertino (SFGate)

John King argues that Apple’s ambitious new headquarters wouldn’t fly—get it? Because it’s a spaceship—in San Francisco or Oakland, but fits perfectly in Silicon Valley. I just hope that when this spaceship finally lifts off, carrying the remnants of the human race, that I’ve somehow managed to smuggle myself aboard.

Product News:

Air Sharing Pro 2.7 - Version 2.7 of the iOS file storage and transfer app by Avatron adds Google Docs support, compatibility with the forthcoming iOS 5, and more than 20 bug fixes. $7 for iPhone version; $10 for the iPad version.

Pear Note for iPad 1.0 - Useful Fruit has moved its note-taking app from the Mac to the iPad. The program can record audio while you type notes, keeping the two synchronized. It supports rich-text, including bulleted lists, and can sync with the app on other iPads or a Mac via Dropbox. $5 introductory price.

TechTool Protogo 3.0 - Micromat's Mac diagnostic tool has been updated to version 3.0, adding compatibility for Lion alongside older versions of Mac OS X. $130 for a single license; $40 to upgrade for users of previous versions, Protege, or TechTool Pro 6.

Squeeze Server 1.5 - The version 1.5 update to Sorenson's enterprise transcoding solution adds seamless adaptive nitrate encoding and processing for Adobe Dynamic Streaming, Apple HTTP Adaptive Streaming, and Microsoft Smooth Streaming. Also included are deep scan Watch Folder capability, easy path naming, thumbnail flexibility, linked audio tracks, and more. Pricing available via contacting Sorenson's sales team.

Plants vs. Zombies 1.8 for iPhone - PopCap's smash iPhone gaming hit for the iPhone 5 has been revved to version 1.8, bringing nine new mini-games from the PC and Mac edition—unlockable via coins earned in gameplay or via in-app purchase—as well as new Game Center achievements, and the new "Race to China" micro-game. $3.

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