Films from 20th Century Fox are now available for download from iTunes in the Cloud. When Apple originally launched iTunes in the Cloud for movies earlier this year, both Fox and Universal held their films off the service; Universal added its films to the service in April. Apple’s iTunes in the Cloud service allows customers to re-download past purchases multiple times, and also serves as a base for content streamed directly to the Apple TV. [via 9to5Mac]
Hemisphere Games has introduced multiplayer support to its hit game Osmos in a major free update released earlier today. In Osmos (iLounge Rating: A) players control a ball known as a Mote by tapping to navigate it through a pool of fluid, absorbing nearby smaller motes to grow in size while avoiding larger objects and other obstacles; challenges across numerous levels include growing larger than other objects in the pool or absorbing specific target objects. The game also provides a unique physics engine and numerous small gameplay-enhancing touches such as gravity attractors, time warping controls and AI opponents to add strategy and unique gameplay throughout each level.
Osmos 2.0 takes the game into a new dimension by allowing players to challenge their friends to a mote-eat-mote absorption fest of skill and strategy in any of six distinct arenas via either local Wi-Fi/Bluetooth) or online Game Center play. The update also adds a new unique level type for multiplayer, Antimatter Impasse. iPad vs iPhone play is also supported for local multiplayer games, while Game Center requires all users to be on the same device. Additional enhancements in the new update include support for Retina Display graphics in the iPad version, Twitter integration for sending out achievements and challenges to friends and followers, and numerous audio/visual enhancements. Osmos 2.0 is available in separate, device-specific versions: Osmos ($3) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Osmos for iPad ($5). Both require iOS 4.1 or later.
InMethod has released an update to its popular Air Video streaming app for iOS devices adding Retina Display support for the third-generation iPad and the ability to passthrough H.264 video streams in original, unconverted form. In combination with the free Air Video server application running on a Mac or PC, the Air Video iOS app allows users to stream videos remotely to their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch; almost all source video formats are supported with on-the-fly conversion in real-time. Videos can be streamed directly from the host computer over a local Wi-Fi network or remotely over a cellular data connection with routers that support the appropriate port forwarding protocols. Used in conjunction with the latest Air Video Server beta version for Mac or Windows, Air Video 2.4.11 now allows users to pass through videos that are already in an iOS compatible H.264 format natively without the requirement for re-conversion. This provides for better performance on the host computer as well as improved video quality, with support for H.264 source videos in full 1080p resolution. The H.264 Passthrough feature requires an iPad, iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S and currently does not support the display of soft subtitles. Air Video requires iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store for $3.
iGills has released its SE-35 Smart Diving System for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S. Designed for use down to 130 feet, the waterproof housing is made from clear polycarbonate, and features marine-grade stainless steel hardware, a secure locking latch, a precision optical glass window for the rear camera, lanyard loops, and a dock that connects the device to the built-in, high-accuracy depth and temperature sensors, as well as the six-button diver interface on the front. When used with the free iGills app, the solution serves as a full-features recreational dive computer, and also allows for recording still images or video at full-resolution. iGills’ SE-35 Smart Diving System for the iPhone is available now and sells for $330.
Reporting its second quarter financial results today, Verizon Wireless revealed that it sold 2.7 million iPhones during the period. GigaOm reports that the number represents a 17 percent increase over the year-ago quarter, although it is down slightly from the 3.2 million iPhone sales Verizon recorded in the first quarter of 2012. By comparison, the carrier sold 2.5 million LTE-capable Android phones, and activated 3.2 million LTE devices in total, including phones, modems, hotspots, and tablets—including the third-generation iPad.
Apple has launched its iTunes in the Cloud service for movies in 35 new countries. MacRumors reports that the feature has rolled out in Australia, Argentine, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.K., Venezuela, and Vietnam. In addition, the company has also expanded its iTunes Match service into Hungary and Poland. Apple’s iTunes in the Cloud service allows customers to re-download past purchases multiple times, and also serves as a base for content streamed directly to the Apple TV.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has penned an open letter the the Department of Justice, asking it to drop its lawsuit against Apple and major publishers. In the suit, the DOJ claims that Apple and the publishers colluded to raise the price of digital books. “While the claim sounds plausible on its face, the suit could wipe out the publishing industry as we know it, making it much harder for young authors to get published,” Schumer writes for the Wall Street Journal. “The suit will restore Amazon to the dominant position atop the e-books market it occupied for years before competition arrived in the form of Apple. If that happens, consumers will be forced to accept whatever prices Amazon sets.”
Schumer goes on to point out that Amazon held a monopoly position in the market before the arrival of the iBookstore, and set the prices for the books itself—many times undercutting the market for hardcopy titles. He also states that “As our economy transitions to digital platforms, we should be celebrating and supporting industries that find ways to adapt and grow”, adding that he believes the suit will “have a deterrent effect not only on publishers but on other industries that are coming up with creative ways to grow and adapt to the Internet”. Finally, the senator calls for new guidelines governing non-merger Justice Department investigations, which should “take a broad, pragmatic view of the market as a whole”.
Apple has been granted a patent that covers a wide swath of the iOS user interface. Patently Apple reports that the patent covers the basic user interface for many of iOS’ built-in apps, including Mail, Photos, Camera, Videos, Music, Calendar, Safari, Notes, and Maps. Also covered by the patent are iOS’ scroll bar, as well as the virtual keyboard. As noted in the report, Apple lists the following inventors on the patent: Scott Forstall, Henri Lamiraux, Andrew Platzer, Michael Matas and Imran Chaudhri. The patent was originally filed in the first quarter of 2007; Apple refiled the application in March of this year.
In the wake of AT&T’s refusal to clarify whether or not it will charge its customers an added fee on top of their data plans in order to use iOS 6’s FaceTime over cellular feature, competing carrier Sprint has made its stance known. “We are committed to our unlimited data and that means not charging for data consumption based on the application,” a Sprint spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal. While AT&T claims it is “working closely with Apple” on the developer preview for iOS 6, Verizon representatives have declined to comment on the matter. As noted in the report, the wording of the FaceTime over cellular message is very similar to the alert that appeared in past developer betas foreshadowing AT&T’s decision to charge an extra fee for the Personal Hotspot feature.
Sensopia has added a new Room Editor feature to MagicPlan, its app for easily creating floor plans from an iOS device using augmented reality. By leveraging the camera and gyroscope to map out and measure rooms, MagicPlan allows users to quickly create a floor plan simply by standing in a single convenient location in a room and capture corners and doorway edges using the iOS camera; this information is then used to calculate the dimensions of the room and generate a floor plan; multiple room floor plans can also be easily connected together to create a complete floor plan of an entire property. Version 2.2 adds a new Room Editor to allow users to easily correct capture mistakes, create new rooms from scratch, fine tune room layouts and enter exact dimensions where available. Users can also now zoom in and zoom out when navigating floor plans and the update makes improvements to the iPad user interface in landscape orientation. MagicPlan is a universal app requiring iOS 5.0 or later and an iPad 2, third-generation iPad, iPhone 4/4S or fourth-generation iPod touch and is available from the App Store as a free download; commercial use requires in-app payment of $2 per floor plan.
Aviiq is now offering its Aluma Shield case for the third-generation iPad. The Aluma Shield is a hard ABS plastic case featuring a prominent anodized aluminum plate on the back, openings for access to all ports, controls, and cameras, and compatibility with the iPad Smart Cover. Aviiq’s Aluma Shield case for the third-generation iPad is available now in a variety of colors and sells for $25.
A U.K. judge has ordered Apple to publish notices on both its website and in British newspapers alerting consumers to a ruling in which Samsung was cleared of all alleged patent infringement. Bloomberg reports that according to Judge Colin Birss, the notice should outline the July 9 decision that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets don’t infringe Apple’s patented designs, and should be posted on the website for six months, as well as appear in several newspapers and magazines to correct the impression that Samsung had copied the iPad. The ruling will result in Apple running “an advertisement for Samsung, Richard Hacon, a lawyer representing Apple told the court, adding, “no company likes to refer to a rival on its website.” In his ruling, Birss said Samsung’s tablets were unlikely to be confused with Apple’s iPad because they are “not as cool”.
Hex has rolled out its new Stealth case for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The Stealth is a snap-on style case that features a hidden, shielded, RFID-friendly internal storage compartment that allows for use of a contactless payment or transit card without the need to remove it from the case. It also features raised corners for screen protection, and open access to all ports, controls, and cameras. Hex’s Stealth case for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is available in black and white and sells for $35.
The Apple Online Store is now offering customers the ability to receive updates on their order status via text message. According to Apple’s Shipping & Pickup page, customers will be given the option to request text message updates when in Checkout. Messages will be sent when an order ships or is ready for pickup, and will include the order number and a link to the online Order Status; messages will be sent between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. local time in the customer’s time zone. The Next Web notes that text notifications are available exclusively in the U.S. and Canada at the moment. [via MacRumors]
A number of photos showing a very early prototype of the iPad have surfaced online. Citing a December 2011 deposition of Apple Senior VP of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive, Network World reports that Ive recalls seeing what is referred to as the “035 mockup” sometime between 2002 and 2004, when the company was “first exploring tablet designs that ultimately became the iPad.” The mockup itself is easily identifiable as an early version of the iPad, despite the fact that it lacks Home, sleep/wake, and volume buttons. The device is far thicker than the original iPad—more closely resembling white iBook enclosures of the day—but does feature a Dock Connector mounted at the bottom, as well as a headphone jack which is mounted on the side. To see the complete collection of photos, follow the above link. [via 9to5Mac]
Urbanears has introduced its new Zinken on-ear headphones. Developed to work well for both traditional users and DJs, the Zinken features features swivel ear caps, an adjustable headband, 40mm dual diaphragm drivers, dense foam ear cushions for noise isolation, a collapsible design for easy portability, a coiled cable with one 3.5mm end and one 6.3mm end, letting the user connect to both traditional headphone ports and DJ equipment with on cord, and a “ZoundPlug” audio output socket that allows for music sharing with another pair of earphones or headphones. Urbanears’ Zinken headphones are available now in seven colors and sell for $140.
AT&T has announced its new Mobile Share plans with Unlimited Talk & Text. Designed for customers with multiple devices, the plans offer a set amount of data along with unlimited talk and text; customers are also charged for every device that’s added to the plan. Plans start at $40 for 1GB of monthly data and go up to $200 for 20GB, while the cost of adding each smartphone to the plan goes down as the data amounts rise—each smartphone costs $45 on the 1GB plan, but only $30 when you choose one of the three most expensive plans. In addition, customers can add basic phones to their plans for $30 a month, laptops, netbooks, and LaptopConnect cards for $20 a month, and, most importantly for iPad users, tablets and gaming devices for just $10 a month; additional data will be charged at a rate of $15 per GB. AT&T’s new Mobile Share plans will be available in late August.
Adobe has released an update to its universal Adobe Reader app for iOS devices introducing support for adding text annotations to PDFs and improving compatibility with more complex PDF forms. Adobe Reader for iOS allows users to access, manage and share PDF files, including support for PDF Portfolios, password-protected documents, forms and Adobe LiveCycle rights-managed PDFs. PDFs can be opened in Adobe Reader for third-party iOS apps supporting the “Open In” feature and users can search text, view PDFs in page-based or continuous scrolling modes, and access bookmarks and thumbnails for navigating through PDF documents. Annotation tools provide the ability to highlight, strikethrough and underline text, make freehand annotations and add comments to a document. With Adobe Reader 10.3, users can now use forms that have Field Validation, Calculation and Formatting. The update also provides an improved file organizer allowing users to create folders and copy, move, rename and delete PDF files stored within the app. Additional enhancements include support for looking up definitions in the iOS 5 system-wide dictionary and bug and performance fixes.
Sonos has updated the iOS controller apps for its wireless music system adding high resolution graphics for Retina Display devices and improved volume controls. The free Sonos Controller app, available in separate iPhone and iPad versions, allows users of Sonos wireless music systems to use their iOS devices to remotely control playback of content from iTunes, NAS devices and a variety of online music and radio streaming services. Users can search for songs and control the music selection and volume in each room individually, configure alarms and sleep timers and playback music from Airplay sources. In addition to Retina Display graphics, the latest update also adds support for using the hardware volume buttons on an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 4.3 or later to control the Sonos playback volume. Sonos Controller for iPhone and iPod touch and Sonos Controller for iPad are available separately from the App Store as free downloads.
Optrix is now shipping its XD Sport case for the iPhone, iPhone 4S, and fourth-generation iPod touch. Like the company’s prior HD Sport mount, the XD Sport is comprised of a ruggedized case, offering the ability to access most device functions while protecting against intrusion and damage from water, dirt, and shocks. The XD Sport also features a built-in 175º wide-angle aluminum and glass lens designed for use in sports video recording, and includes a number of accessories, including a curved mount, a flat mount, a quick-release latch, a lens cap, and a rubberized sled that doubles as a case. Optrix’s XD Sport case for the iPhone and iPod is available now and sells for $99; iPod touch sled sold separately.