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Monday, November 21, 2011, 05:25 pm PT (08:25 pm ET)

Briefly: iPhone 4S passes China tests, Apple UK site #2 in traffic, Google updates iPad app

The iPhone 4S has finally been approved for sale in China, Apple's online store was the second most trafficked retail site in UK between August and October while Google updated its search app for the iPad with a new UI and gesture controls.

iPhone 4S ready for sale in China

It was reported on Monday that the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has approved the iPhone 4S for sale in the country, one month after its limited worldwide launch on Oct. 14, according to Chinese language news site Sina.

Apple's newest smartphone is said to have passed the wireless regulatory agency's tests and will receive a network access permit within two weeks, at which time licensed iPhone carrier China Unicom is expected to launch the device.

The carrier is rumored to be dropping the 16/32 GB iPhone 4 models in favor of selling the new 8 GB version as an entry-level offering.

China is seen by many as an enormous opportunity for Apple as it is the second-largest mobile market in the world, having over 100 million 3G users.

Both Apple and partner China Unicom have yet to release an official announcement regarding device availability.

China Unicom homepage

China Unicom's iPhone 4 web page


Google updates iOS iPad app

Google on Monday released an update to its iOS app that includes an overhaul to the UI and improved gesture enhancements that take advantage of the iPad's large screen.

The new user interface offers a desktop-like environment that has become more interactive with a host of features leveraging swipe gesture support. For example, when a search is initiated, Google Instant begins displaying results which, when clicked, will load on a new slide-in pane that can be dismissed with a swipe to the right.

A new image carousel allows users to swipe through full screen image search results, and the new history viewer displays snapshots of recently visited pages organized in stacks. Instant Previews is also included in the update, giving users the ability to visually compare websites on one screen.

Rounding out the new features is a search tool represented by a magnifying glass that highlights the most relevant section of a webpage according to a user's search input. Google+ compatibility has also been added as well as a browser pane dedicated to various Google services like Google News and Calendar.



Apple now second most trafficked online retail site in UK

Between the months of August and October, Apple's UK online store traffic was second only to Amazon.co.uk, jumping up six places to take the #2 spot from Argos for the first time, reports internet tracking firm Experian Hitwise.

Since the firm's "Hot Shops" listing began in 2006, internet sales giant Amazon UK and Argos, the largest general-goods dealer in the country, have occupied the top two spots.

Web traffic for Apple saw a five-fold increase during the quarter due in part to the launch of the iPhone 4S and the death of company co-founder Steve Jobs. The site accounted for one in every 250 visits from UK internet users.