The latest edition of iPodweek, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, is coming later today. iPodweek is a weekly summary of the best iPod news, reviews, and feature articles we’ve published, and it also features giveaways and iPod accessory discount offers from various companies. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address, if you haven’t done so already.
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Plus: We’d like to know whether you plan on picking up an iPhone 3G. Are you going to be upgrading your current iPhone, replacing a separate device, sticking with your first-gen iPhone, or avoiding the iPhone altogether? Please use the iLounge Poll to register your vote: the poll is in the left-hand column of the iLounge.com main page. Once you’re finished submitting your answer, you can move the poll downwards on the page just by clicking on it and dragging it away.
Incase has announced its first cases for the iPhone 3G. The Leather Folio for iPhone 3G is made from genuine Nappa leather and ballistic nylon, and features custom suede interior lining, velcro closures, and will be available with a belt clip in select colors. Incase’s Leather & Neoprene sleeves will offer form-fitting construction in either leather or neoprene, direct access to the iPhone’s screen, ports, and controls, and will allow charging while in the case. The Protective Cover for iPhone 3G is made from a form-fitting injection molded material, and features a custom gloss topographic pattern on the matte exterior, access to all ports and controls, and will be available in a variety of colors. Finally, the Slider Case for iPhone 3G is made from lightweight hardshell plastic, offers access to all ports and controls, features a slide-away bottom cover for easy docking, and will be available in a variety of colors in both matte and gloss finishes. According to Incase, the Leather Folio, Leather & Neoprene Sleeves and Protective Covers will be available at Apple retail and online stores for the launch of iPhone 3G, with additional products to follow.
O2 has announced a deal with BT Openzone to expand the unlimited Wi-Fi package offered to all iPhone customers. Beginning July 11th, iPhone users will have access to more than 3,000 BT Openzone premier Wi-Fi hotspots as part of their monthly O2 tariff, for no extra cost. The addition of BT Openzone’s more than 3,000 hotspots to O2’s existing arrangement with The Cloud brings the total number of available public Wi-Fi hotspots for iPhone customers to over 9,000.
“By working with partners like BT Openzone we can maximise the web experience for iPhone customers,” said Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2 in the UK. “Public Wi-Fi hotspots ideally complement our mobile network, providing high speed web browsing and unlimited access to services like the iTunes Wi-Fi store in a wide variety of convenient locations.”
“The availability of BT Openzone on the iPhone 3G is in direct response to strong customer demand for a quality Wi-Fi service on their device. BT aims to keep customers best connected, any time and any place. With the iPhone set to become even more popular, BT is providing high-speed internet access at premier locations in the UK,” said Dave Hughes, director, BT Wireless Broadband.
Following a Reuters report claiming that GPS manufacturer TomTom plans to sell a navigation application for the iPhone, and the subsequent discovery of a line in the iPhone SDK agreement disallowing “real time route guidance,” a spokesperson from TomTom has come forward to clarify the company’s plans for the device. In an interview with MacGeneration (Translated link), Yann Lafargue of TomTom France revealed that while the company does have a navigation application running on the iPhone, it is unsure of whether or not it will release the software. Lafargue said the company wants to be sure that Apple will allow them to sell the software on the App Store, while stating that the restrictive clause in the SDK agreement is most likely Apple trying to protect itself from a liability standpoint, rather than an outright restriction. Finally, Lafargue added that while the company does work with other cellular manufacturers such as HTC, it is primarily focused on car navigation solutions.
Alongside an announcement that it will begin selling the iPhone 3G in Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria on July 11, T-Mobile has revealed that it will offer the phone in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia later this year. “We are excited to bring iPhone 3G to more of our T-Mobile customers this year,” said Christopher Schläffer, CIO of Deutsche Telekom AG. “iPhone was a breakthrough for the mobile Internet in Germany and Austria. Now with iPhone 3G’s faster speeds, we know our customers will love browsing the web even more.” Further details, such as launch dates and pricing information, have yet to be annoucned.
The iPhone 3G’s third sensor, first revealed by iLounge in April, has been confirmed as a second proximity sensor. While the original iPhone offered only two front-mounted —one ambient light sensor and one proximity sensor—the iPhone 3G sports an array of three sensors (two proximity sensors, one ambient light sensor) in a J shape to the left of the ear speaker, moved from their original locations above and to the speaker’s right. iLounge has learned that the two-sensor array apparently provides superior face proximity detection than the original single sensor, which under some conditions failed to function properly. This detail and others are included in our First Look at the iPhone 3G.
Details of the application submission process for Apple’s upcoming iPhone and iPod touch App Store have been published online. AppleInsider reports that applications have been restricted to a file size limit of 2GB, and apps that are not distributed for free will be priced using a tiered system which scales from $0.99 to $999.99. Screenshots from a web-based application submission portal show a screen to help developers rate their games, and a screen that allows selection of which countries the application will be sold in, and the appropriate pricing in each region based on that application’s pricing tier. Apple is expected to launch the App Store in early July, possibly on the 11th, coinciding with the launch of the iPhone 3G.
Apple has announced the winners of its 2008 Apple Design Awards at a ceremony held during the Worldwide Developers Conference. The awards recognize technical excellence, innovation, and outstanding achievement in software development, and this year included several new categories for iPhone developers. The Associated Press’ AP Mobile News Network was Runner Up in the category of Best iPhone Web App, bested by Remember the Milk, an online to do list and task manager and winner of this year’s award.
New to the awards this year were categories for native iPhone software application development. The title of Best iPhone Game went to Enigmo from Pangea Software, which was demoed during Apple’s keynote address on Monday. Best iPhone Entertainment Application went to AOL’s upcoming AOL Radio, which gives users access to over 350 online radio stations, including 150 local CBS Radio stations. Twitterrific from The Iconfactory was named the Best iPhone Social Networking Application, while the award for Best iPhone Productivity Application went to The Omni Group’s OmniFocus. Finally, the award for Best iPhone Healthcare & Fitness Application went to another keynote demo application, MIMVista’s MIM medical imaging app.
crispSofties has released iPod.iTunes 4.0, the latest version of its synchronization software for Mac OS X. iPod.iTunes synchronizes songs, videos, playlist and meta data in both directions between iPods and iTunes libraries. New in version 4.0 is support for jailbroken iPhones and iPod touches, auto sync suppression to keep iTunes from deleting songs on the iPod that the user plans to transfer back into iTunes, and the ability to eject an attached iPod or iPhone from within the application. iPod.iTunes 4.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is priced at 24.90 Euro (about $39) for a single user license. A demo version is also available.
Wrappers has introduced its new Sleeves and Shiny Sleeves for the iPhone 3G. Original Sleeves offer a simple pouch-style design with an alcantara exterior in Slate Black, Jubilee Red, Otter Grey, or Metal Grey, microfiber lining, and an optional elastic band. Wrappers Sleeves for iPhone 3G are priced at £11, or around $23. Wrappers new Shiny Sleeves for iPhone 3G are made from waterproof polished polyurethane, offer a slim profile, and feature 100% Thai silk lining in one of five colors. Wrappers Shiny Sleeves for iPhone 3G will sell for £14, or around $29. Both cases are expected to be available from July 11.
This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone near the sea in Brønnøysund, Norway. To share your photos and to be considered for our Photo of the Week, you simply need to submit your own photo to one of our galleries. So get out there, take some pictures with your iPod or iPhone, and maybe your submission will be our next Photo of the Week!
iSkin is currently offering a limited selection of products at a 15 percent discount in honor of Father’s Day. Products available in the promotion include the Cerulean line of Bluetooth audio accessories, the revo case for iPhone, the evo4 Duo for iPod classic, and the Duo for iPod nano (video). In addition, all discounted items come with free shipping and free gift wrapping. The iSkin Father’s Day promotion ends June 16.
Monster has begun shipping its iCarPlay 250 FM transmitter for the iPod and iPhone. The iCarPlay 250 can be used both in the car and in the home/office by unplugging the device’s USB cord from the included cigarette lighter adapter, and then plugging it into an open USB port on a computer or wall charger. With the transmitter unit detached, the cigarette lighter adapter can be used to charge other USB devices. It also features the ability to charge the attached iPhone or iPod while in use, three programmable station presets, AutoScan 3D technology that automatically scans the entire FM spectrum three times to lock onto the clearest FM frequency available, automatic adjustment of power output on individual frequencies for maximum signal strength, three button control, and a blue LCD display. The Monster iCarPlay 250 FM transmitter is available now and sells for $100.
Marware has announced its C.E.O. Premiere case for the iPhone 3G. Made from textured Nappa leather, the C.E.O. Premiere features a magnetic flap, an opening on the bottom for esy removal of the phone, a microfiber interior, side openings for access to the headphone jack and sleep/wake button, a built-in belt clip, and perforated design accents with contrast stitching. The case also includes clear protective film and a microfiber cleaning cloth. Marware’s C.E.O. Premiere case for iPhone 3G is now available for pre-order in black, and is expected to begin shipping by July 1. It sells for $30.
In addition to previously announced carrier deals for the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Spain, Telefónica has announced (PDF Link) that it will offer the iPhone in 12 Latin America countries as well as the Czech Republic, bringing the total number of countries where it will offer the device to 16. The new Latin American agreement covers Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. César Alierta, chairman and CEO of Telefónica S.A., said, “The iPhone has changed the way people communicate and access content on the move. It has already proved hugely popular in the UK and Ireland and we’re delighted that we can now offer the same benefits to our customers in Spain, Latin America and the Czech Republic. The 16 countries in which we are the carrier of iPhone have a combined addressable market of more than 500 million people – making Telefónica one of the leading global distributors of this revolutionary device.” Telefónica currently has 95 million subscribers in Latin America and the Czech Republic. For more information on international iPhone carriers, check out our Complete Guide to iPhone Service Providers.
As Apple has announced plans to launch the iPhone 3G in 22 countries on July 11, iLounge has contacted these countries’ carriers to find out whether Visual Voicemail will be supported on their calling plans. This feature, which provides random list-style access to voicemail messages, has proved too complex for some carriers to implement, and is missing from some of Apple.com’s iPhone 3G international web pages. Here are answers from the carriers’ representatives, along with how Apple.com describes or omits the feature from its iPhone 3G features pages.
T-Mobile (Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands): “As far as I know, VVM will still be a unique feature for the iPhone.” Apple.com’s web pages for Austria and Germany both show and describe Visual Voicemail, but the Netherlands page neither includes text nor an image of the feature. Competing network Orange has not yet confirmed whether it will offer Visual Voicemail in Austria.
Telefónica (Spain): “Yes, We will offer Visual Voicemail.” Apple.com’s Spain page shows a picture and description of the feature.
Vodafone (Australia, Italy, New Zealand, & Portugal): “Vodafone will not support Visual Voicemail at the time of launch but is planning to roll out the service later this fiscal year.” Apple.com shows nothing for Visual Voicemail in Italy, which will also be serviced by TIM. The Australia, New Zealand, and Portugal pages include a Visual Voicemail photo, but text has been omitted—a sign that support in these countries is tentative. Competing network Orange has not yet confirmed whether it will offer Visual Voicemail in Portugal.
TeliaSonera (Denmark, Finland, Norway, & Sweden): “I have no further information to disclose than was in the press-release issued yesterday.” Apple.com shows no mention of Visual Voicemail for Denmark, Finland and Norway, and only a photo without text for Sweden.
Globe Telecom (Philippines): “We will announce at a later date the functionality and plan details.” Apple.com’s generic “Asia” web page is listed as its reference point for the Phillippines; no mention of Visual Voicemail is made in that text, but a photo is included.
Swisscom (Switzerland): “We currently don’t comment on the supported functions but around 11 July things will be clear.” Apple.com describes and shows Visual Voicemail on its Switzerland page. Competing network Orange has not yet confirmed whether it will offer Visual Voicemail in Switzerland.
SingTel (Singapore): “Sorry but at this point, I’m not able to share any other information.” Apple’s Singapore page neither shows nor describes Visual Voicemail as a feature.
Softbank (Japan): “We are sorry but there is not any information about iPhone at this moment except sale date. When we [are] ready to inform, it will be released on our website.” Apple’s Japanese page shows and describes Visual Voicemail.
Optus (Australia): “Pricing and plans will be revealed a little closer to launch.” Apple’s Australian page includes an image of Visual Voicemail but no description.
Rogers Communications (Canada): “Details on features, price plans and retail availabilty will be made available at a later date. Stay tuned.” Apple’s Canadian web page includes a description and image for Visual Voicemail.
Additionally, Apple’s Mexico (America Movil), Hong Kong (Hutchison), and France (Orange) pages all describe and depict Visual Voicemail.
We will be updating this story as we receive more information.
Griffin Technology has introduced its new line of cases for the iPhone 3G. The Wave for iPhone 3G features wave-shaped contours that overlap and interlock in a double-helix closure. The form-fitting polycarbonate case also offers full access to the iPhone’s ports and controls, and will be available in black, blue, pink, or white. Griffin’s Nu Form with EasyDock for iPhone 3G is an impact-resistant, hard-shell case featuring an EasyDock design with a removable bottom for more convenient docking. It includes a rigid, thin screen protector, and will be available in black or white.
The Elan Form with EasyDock for iPhone 3G is a hard-shell leather case that offers triple protection in a slim, no-clip design. The case features a top-grain leather exterior bonded to hard-shell polycarbonate material, and an EasyDock design. Elan Form with EasyDock will be available in pink or black. Finally, the Elan Clip for iPhone 3G is a leather holster-style case with an inner polycarbonate shell. It features a 180-degree rotating belt clip that doubles as a stand, and includes a static peel screen protector and a premium microfiber cleaning cloth. All of Griffin’s new cases for iPhone 3G will be available at major retailers, including Apple and AT&T stores, on July 11, 2008, and will also be available on the company’s website in late June 2008.
As the latest in its series of games based on the popular PC title The Sims, Electronic Arts today released The Sims DJ ($5) as an iPod Game for third-generation iPod nanos, fifth-generation iPods, and iPod classics. The Sims DJ lets you create a Sim character, play, mix and scratch songs from your iTunes library to make crowds of Sims dance, and move from club to club earning money to use on clothes. Additional clubs become accessible if you become skillful as a DJ.
Speaking in an interview with the New York Times, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has revealed that PA Semi, a chipmaker recently purchased by Apple, will build chips for both the iPhone and iPod. “PA Semi is going to do system-on-chips for iPhones and iPods,” Jobs said. Apple confirmed an agreement to purchase the firm, known for its design of sophisticated, low-power chips, in April. At the time, Apple spokesperson Steve Dowling said, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not comment on our purposes and plans.”
An assortment of 13 hand-painted Vestalife Element Skateboards Limited Edition Ladybug iPod speaker systems are now up for auction on eBay. The speakers have been hand-painted and decorated by a mix of Element Skateboards’ artists and designers, and each is a unique, one-of-a-kind piece. Proceeds from the sale of the 13 speakers — which were exhibited at Vestalife’s booth during Macworld Expo in January — will go to the Elemental Awareness Campership Fund to give less fortunate kids an opportunity to attend Element YMCA Skateboard Camp. For more information on the Vestalife Ladybug, see our full review.