Better Energy Systems has introduced its Solio Hybrid 1000, the latest in the company’s line of renewable energy products. The Solio Hybrid 1000 combines a high-efficiency solar panel with a large capacity integrated lithium-ion battery inside a weatherproof case. It features a built-in output cable with interchangeable tips for charging different devices, a battery level indicator, a built-in carabiner clip, and the ability to be powered by the sun or by a USB port on a computer or charger. The Solio Hybrid 1000 is available now and sells for $80.
UK-based wireless network operator The Cloud has introduced a new £3.99 (around $8) per month Wi-Fi access plan for iPod touch users. The plan, called Cloud Unlimited Music, will be available from October 1, and offers iPod touch users unlimited internet access at the network’s thousands of access points throughout the region. It was previously announced that iPhone users in the UK would have access to The Cloud’s network of Wi-Fi hotspots as part of their monthly plan with O2. Owen Geddes, group director of business development for The Cloud, said: “iPhone users will soon be able to make the most of our WiFi network with O2 and The Cloud when the iPhone is introduced in November, and we want to make sure people who have the WiFi-enabled iPod touch are able benefit from our network of over 7,500 hotspots, too.”
One of our earliest iLounge Polls—back in June 2005—asked readers “What do you use your iPod for?” Today, we’ve launched a modified version of the same poll to see how things have changed since then: “What do you use your iPod(s) for?”
The updated question lets you provide an across the board answer for one or more iPods, and provides options ranging from audio to photos, videos, games, and data storage, highlighting the ways that iPods have grown over the past two years. Cast your vote now in the iLounge Poll, found on the left-most column of the iLounge.com home page!
Our prior poll, “Did Apple drop the ball with iPod touch’s storage?”, is now closed. With over 4,250 votes cast, the majority of responding readers (56%) said “yes,” and that they wouldn’t buy iPod touch because it didn’t have enough storage capacity. An additional 25% agreed that iPod touch had too little storage space, but said that they could live with the constraints for now. Eight percent said “no,” that they were fully satisfied with the 8 or 16GB storage, and an additional 8% said that they already had or planned to buy an iPhone, and didn’t need iPod touch. A tiny 3% said that they were never going to buy a device like iPod touch, and didn’t care about it. Thanks for your responses!
iPodweek, iLounge’s weekly newsletter recapping the week in news, announcements, articles, reviews, and more, will be sent out later today. There is still time to sign up for this week’s installment, so if you’d like to receive iPodweek, and be eligible for future newsletter-specific giveaways and deals, simply use the form below to submit your email address.
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The release of the iPhone caused a sharp jump in Google Maps activity, according Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of search products and user experience. “Maps usage hasn’t stopped rising,” Mayer claimed.
Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes has released Dupin v1.0, an application that assists with locating, sorting, filtering, and deleting duplicate tracks in iTunes. It requires iTunes 7.0 or later and Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and sells for $15.
Audi is displaying some of its models at Apple Expo in Paris, and according to The German Car Blog, both the Audi A3 and A5 will come equipped not just with iPod adapters, but with the iPods themselves. From their translation: “What you’ll find: the iPod adaptor on the A3 Sportback and the Audi Music Interface on the new Audi A5, both of which are equipped with a new iPod.”
A brief but interesting set of photos posted to flickr shows a group of 33 black iPod nanos (with video), surrounding one silver model.
Proporta has introduced several new cases for the iPod classic and iPod nano (with video). The Classic Case for iPod nano (with video) features a vegetarian-friendly leather alternative outer, a magnetic closure, contrast stitching, and in-case access to the hold switch and headphone jack. It will sell for $25. The Classic Case for iPod classic boasts similar features and sells for $25 as well. The Silicone Case for iPod nano (with video) and for iPod classic features a thin (0.04 inches) profile, a removable lanyard, and access to all ports and controls. The case is available for iPod nano (with video), and both 80GB and 160GB iPod classic models, all three sell for $20 each. The Aluminum Case for iPod classic is available for both 80GB and 160GB models and features an aircraft-grade aluminum body, neoprene lining, an anodized finish, and cut-outs for access to the device’s ports and controls. Available in black or silver, it sells for $22. Finally, due to the release of the new iPod family, Proporta is offering around a 40 percent discount on its second-generation iPod nano products.
Apple and France Telecom are facing difficulties coming to a final agreement on the distribution of the iPhone in France, according to French weekly Challenges. France Telecom, which operates under the Orange brand, confirmed last week that an agreeement had already reached, stating, “We have signed an agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone.” Challenges reports that Apple and France Telecom are battling over the percentage of service revenues that Apple will receive as part of the deal. If an agreement is not reached soon, says the report, a pre-holiday launch of the iPhone may be in jeopardy.
Following publication of its statement earlier this week that the use of unlocking software voids iPhone warranty coverage, Apple has posted a similar warning in its retail Apple Stores, denying Genius Bar assistance and technical support to users of unlocked iPhones.
The warning contains a modified version of the text found in Apple’s earlier statement, omitting the reference to the “next iPhone software update… later this week,” but now specifically noting that “An unlocked iPhone is not eligible for Genius Bar service or technical support.” It is presently unclear whether Apple’s new policy violates state laws on express or implied warranties for products.
In addition to updates for both the iPhone and iTunes, Apple today released iPod touch software v1.1.1. Reports indicate that the update attempts to alleviate the “negative black” screen issue; the official release notes from Apple list only “bug fixes”. According to an Apple support document, the update may also be connected to iTunes 7.4.3 and issues regarding the initial setup of the iPod touch on some non-English versions of Windows. The update is a 150MB download and is available now through the update feature in iTunes.
Apple today released iTunes 7.4.3 for Windows, the latest update to the company’s jukebox software. According to the release notes, iTunes 7.4.3 addresses issues concerning “the initial setup of the iPod touch on some international versions of Windows.” The download weighs in at 49MB and is available through Apple’s Software Update utility and from Apple’s website. [via MDN]
Apple has released iPhone Software Version 1.1.1, which is currently available as a download through iTunes.
The Software Update is a 152.3MB download, and begins with a warning that those who have modified their iPhones’ software may find that “applying this software update may result in your iPhone becoming permanently inoperable.” We experienced only one hiccup in our installation process, which you can read about by clicking on the headline of this article or the Comments link below. Version 1.1.1 most noticeably adds support for the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, video-out (with select accessories) and a variety of new settings, including double-tapping the Home button to bring you either to your Phone’s list of favorite contacts, or the iPod control scheme.
New: A complete list of changes from iPhone Version 1.0.2 to Version 1.1.1 is now available here.
In addition, Apple has posted a brief six-minute video covering the new features and enhancements of iPhone Software v1.1.1. Like the company’s Guided Tours, the video is broken down into major points: The iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, iTunes Ringtones, New Features and Shortcuts, Double Click on Home Button, Double Tap on Space Bar, Landscape View Mail Attachments, Connecting Your iPhone to a TV, and Additional Features. The video is available for viewing online in three different sizes, and can be downloaded as well.
SRS Labs has released its iWOW 2 iTunes Plug-In for Mac, the latest version of the audio enhancement software. iWOW 2 uses several patented audio enhancement technologies from SRS Labs to provide 3D audio from desktop and laptop computers as well as external speakers and headphones. Features include the ability to create and save presets for specific songs, videos and podcasts, an ‘Auto-preset’ option that automatically chooses the best iWOW preset based on the information in the music or video, and Movie Mode, which offers virtual surround sound over headphones. Tom Yuen, Chairman and CEO of SRS Labs, said, “As the popularity of Mac’s as entertainment devices increases, so does the demand for enhanced audio to ensure the best experience. With iWOW 2, music and video can be experienced with superior audio that complements the visual experience.” iWOW 2 requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and iTunes 6 or later. iWOW 2 sells for $20; owners of iWOW 1 can upgrade for $12.
PDO has announced its TopSkin silicone case for iPhone. The TopSkin features a play-through design that covers the power, volume, and home buttons, while leaving openings for the camera, vibrate switch, speakers, and microphone, as well as the screen, which can be covered by the included screen protector. The Dock Connector and headphone jack are covered as well, but can be opened for use. Other features include a slim-profile, 360 degree rotating belt clip, and micro texture grip on all four sides of the case. The PDO TopSkin for iPhone sells for $20 and is available for pre-order now in black, blue, pink, and ghost white; the case is expected to ship in mid-October.
Speaking at that AJAXWorld conference this week, Sun Distinguished Engineer and vice president for software Bob Brewin urged Apple to consider Java support for the iPhone. “I think it’s a mistake,” said Brewin of the omission. “I think it would provide a lot more flexibility in applications being developed.” Brewin went on to point out different applications, such as various games and the media-sharing application LimeWire, that could be easily ported to the handheld if it had Java support. In addition, he also mentioned Sun’s JavaFX multimedia display technology, which Brewin said could offer rich applications on the iPhone.
Truphone, makers of VoIP solutions for Nokia handsets, today demonstrated the ability to make a call from the iPhone using only the built-in WiFi connection, and without performing a SIM unlock. By executing commands through the terminal — which requires a “jailbreak” of the phone — the company was able to initiate the call from the iPhone, through a WiFi connection, over the internet to Truphone’s servers, then back through the same WiFi system to the receiving handset. “...Our aim is to see Truphone available on all cellular phones with the inherent functionality needed to make VoIP calls. The Apple iPhone is such a phone and we’re pleased to be able to show it working for real,” said James Tagg, Truphone’s CEO. The software is still in beta according to the company, but it hopes to soon have a simplified version that allows for seamless switching between WiFi and SIM use.
v-Moda is now accepting pre-orders for its revised Vibe Duo earphones with integrated iPhone call and music playback control. These revised earphones share features with the earlier control-less model, such as V-Masque dynamic drivers, noise-isolating technology, solid alloy composition, an iPhone-compatible headphone plug, and 12Hz-22kHz frequency response. The v-Moda Vibe Duo earphones with iPhone call and music playback control come with six pairs of silicone fittings in both clear and black, a black leather carrying pouch, and sell for $101; they are expected to begin shipping Oct. 1. [Thanks, Gavin]
GEAR4 has unveiled several new cases for the iPod nano (with video), in both leather and “urban” models. The LeatherJacket N3 features a black leather outer with magnetic snap closure, a fold-out stand design, and a clear screen protector. It will sell for £15, or $30. The LeatherJacket Quartz features a patent leather outer with magnetic snap closure and a clear screen protector; it will also sell for £15, or around $30. The LeatherWallet N3 is a larger case, featuring a premium brown or black leather outer, soft suede lining, card holders, and a magnetic snap closure. It will sell for £20, or around $40. The LeatherJacket N3 and LeatherWallet N3 are “coming soon” for the iPod classic and iPod touch; the LeatherJacket Quartz is coming for iPod classic only.
The urban range includes the Code:1 case for iPod nano (with video), which offers a black nylon and water-resistant rubber exterior, shock absorbent padding, suede “framing” for the nano, a Velcro closure, carabiner, and belt loop. It will sell for £20, or around $40, and will soon be available in pink, as well as for iPod classic. Finally, the Sports Armband for iPod nano (with video) features clear screen protection, an adjustable neoprene and Velcro strap, and is machine washable. It will be priced at £20, or $40, and is “coming soon” for iPod classic, iPod touch, and iPhone. The new line of GEAR4 cases for iPod nano (with video) will be available in Mid-October.
Noreve has introduced its Tradition B leather case for iPhone. The Tradition B leather case for iPhone offers a handcrafted leather outer with logo-embossed interior lining, and features multiple openings in the leather for access to the phone’s headphone port, on/off button, screen and home button, camera, volume buttons and ring/silent switch, Dock Connector port, speaker, and microphone, and a removable, 360 degree rotating metal belt clip. The Noreve Tradition B leather case for iPhone is available now in a multitude of different colors and sells for 40€, or about $56.
MyCyFi, Inc. has introduced the Cy-fi, a wireless bicycle speaker with iPod compatibility. During normal use, the Cy-fi speaker mounts to the bike frame, while the rider keeps the iPod in a jacket pocket or armband The Cy-fi features wireless audio with Kleer technology, track, volume and playlist controls on the speaker, letting the rider leave the iPod in a pocket, a 30-pin wireless transmitter for iPod, the ability to broadcast music to up to four Cy-fi systems at once, and a speaker weight of under 3 ounces. The Cy-fi will be available in early 2008 and will sell for $150.
Despite its previous announcement that it would not offer any of NBC’s fall lineup, Apple has added two new fall series, Chuck and Jouneyman, to the iTunes Store, as both individual episodes and season passes. A Season Pass for Chuck runs $39.99, while Journeyman eschews the Season Pass for a “Buy All Episodes” option. Gizmodo reports that the Season Pass has 13 episodes, which might indicate that the full season will be finished before the December contract deadline. [Thanks, Ivor]