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2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

News

ProClip unveils Tilt-Swivel Holder for iPhone 3G

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ProClip has announced its new Holder with Tilt Swivel and Pass-Through Connector for the iPhone 3G. Designed for use with the company’s vehicle mounts, the holder offers a pass-through connector on the bottom for attachment of dock-connecting cables, creating a docking station for the iPhone 3G and removing the need to plug and unplug the cable each time it’s connected. The holder can also swivel 360 degrees and tilt 15 degrees in any direction for optimal viewing. The ProClip Holder with Tilt Swivel and Pass-Through Connector for the iPhone 3G is available now and sells for $100.

AT&T bringing iPhone 3G to Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Oct. 17

AT&T has announced that it will begin selling the iPhone 3G in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on October 17. Pricing will be the same as in the U.S. mainland, with the 8GB model available for $199 and 16GB $299 for new and upgrade-eligible customers; customers not eligible for the upgrade can purchase the 8GB for $399 or the 16GB model for $499. As before, each model will require a new two-year contract. “iPhone will arrive for AT&T customers in Puerto Rico on October 17,” said Jose Juan Davila, vice president and general manager of AT&T’s wireless operations in Puerto Rico. “AT&T is committed to offering the most innovative products and services to our customers, and we are pleased to be part of this great milestone in our market.” [via Mac User Boricua]

Mix: iTunes HDTV, NIN Tap, Facebook, iNotes

  • September 30, 2008

A number of readers and iLounge editors have noticed a new issue with some iTunes Store HDTV content. It seems that the relationship between SD and HD versions of newer shows on the Store has been severed, creating problems both when syncing content (duplicate episodes are synced to the Apple TV; iPod and iPhone will alert the user that they can’t play back the HD version) and keeping track of play counts (playing either version does not update the other as played). Curiously, shows available immediately following Apple’s September 9th announcement do not exhibit the problem, while newer episodes do. To see a complete discussion of the problem, along with a fairly advanced workaround, see this week’s Ask iLounge column.

Tapulous has announced that it has partnered with the rock band Nine Inch Nails to release a premium version of its popular iPhone and iPod touch game Tap Tap Revenge sometime in October, according to at new report. TechCrunch claims that the app will include a NIN-styled theme, and will feature more than a dozen songs from the band’s two most recent albums. In early August Tapulous announced that Tap Tap Revenge had seen more than one million unique downloads to iPhone and iPod touch users; the original game is currently available as a free download from the App Store.

Popular social network Facebook has released version 2.0 of its client application for iPhone and iPod touch. The new version brings with it a substantial redesign, along with new features including notifications, a full news feed, news feed story comments, people search, friend requests, photo tagging, photo captioning, the ability to post photos to friends’ walls, a full mini-feed, now combined with the wall, a complete inbox, including the sent folder and updates tab, inbox search, and message attachments. Facebook v2.0 is available now as a free download from the App Store.

IBM has announced the launch of its new iNotes ultralite web application software for the iPhone and iPod touch. iNotes allows users to access their Lotus Notes email, calendar, and contacts using the devices’ built-in Safari browser. For added security, iPhone users can also choose to use IBM’s Lotus Mobile Connect virtual private network software in concert with iNotes ultralite.

Macally intros charging accessories for iPod, iPhone

  • September 30, 2008

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Macally has introduced three new charging accessories for the iPod and iPhone. The PowerLink is a three-in-one battery pack, sync cable, and flash drive in a small USB dongle-like enclosure. It features 2GB of internal storage, a 270mAh Li-ion battery built-in offering up to 25 minutes of extra talk time on an iPhone, LED indicator lights, and 30-pin and USB connectors built-in on opposite ends of the stick. It is both Made for iPod and Works with iPhone certified, and is available now for $50. The PowerPal is a combination USB, AC charger and universal power adapter that can charge a number of USB devices, and uses included interchangeable plugs to offer charging in North and South America, Taiwan, Japan, Europe, China, Middle East, Russia, United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Works with iPhone and Made for iPod certified, it also offers a fuse compartment, a Universal pass through outlet, and an included iPod and iPhone 30-pin to USB charging cable and carrying pouch. It is available now and sells for $30. Finally, the JBoxMini is a portable high-capacity Li-ion battery for USB devices, including the iPod and iPhone. It can increase the usage time of an iPhone or iPod by up to four hours, charges via a built-in mini-USB port, and features a built-in battery tester button, LED battery level indicator, and a full-size USB port for connecting devices. It too is available now, and sells for $30.

Mix: iTunes Norway, Kroll, App Store Updates, Marware

  • September 29, 2008

Norway consumer advocate Bjoern Erik Thon is taking Apple to the country’s Market Council seeking to force Apple into adjusting its iTunes Store music offerings to ensure they play on digital players other than the iPod. Norway is leading the European campaign that began two years ago, claiming the DRM restrictions violate Norwegian law, and is backed by Finland, Denmark, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. “We discussed this at a meeting two weeks ago, and decided that Norway will do the test case,” Thon. “This could have international consequences.” The council has the ability under law to order companies to change their business practices, and can issue fines if they do not comply. In a meeting in February, Apple expressed its desire to drop DRM from music sold on its store, but has yet to make any further strides since that meeting. The company has until November 3 to respond to the council’s allegations.

First shown during Apple’s WWDC event in June, Digital Legends Entertainment’s Kroll game is now available on the App Store. A 3D adventure title, Kroll uses a mix of on-screen and accelerometer-based controls to let the user battle through nine different levels and environments. The game will also offer three difficulty levels, as well as a scoring system to keep track of progress. Kroll sells for $8.

Along with changing its review requirements, Apple has also changed the way updated applications are listed on the App Store. According to AppleInsider, apps are now sorted by their original release date, instead of by the date of their most recent update. The prior way of sorting resulted in older applications reappearing on the first pages of their categories, often pushing newer releases back in the listings prematurely.

Marware has introduced its new Sport Grip Extreme for the fourth-generation iPod nano. The Extreme is a form-fitting case made from dual-colored, antimicrobial silicone, and features open access to all ports and controls, textured sides for added grip, and an included screen protector and cleaning cloth. Marware’s Sport Grip Extreme for iPod nano 4G is now available for pre-order in black/red, white/gray, and pink/white, and sells for $20.

iLounge welcomes baby Hannah Mae Lloyd to family

The editors of iLounge are delighted to announce the birth of Hannah Mae Lloyd, daughter of publisher Dennis Lloyd and his wife Denyse. Hannah was born at 6:11am on September 28, 2008, weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and measuring 19 inches long. Mother and baby are both healthy and happy. Please join us in wishing congratulations to the Lloyds on their new bundle of joy!

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For those who missed the Backstage announcement over the summer, iLounge’s first baby, Madeline Mirai Horwitz, was born July 7, 2008. Both girls were mentioned in The Free iPod + iPhone Book 4, with preparations for Madeline’s birth as the topic of its special iPhone Baby feature.

SwitchEasy debuts RebelTouch for iPod touch 2G

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SwitchEasy has introduced its new RebelTouch case for the second-generation iPod touch. Like the company’s prior CapsuleRebel case for iPhone 3G, RebelTouch is a hybrid case featuring a inner layer made of Adaptive Dynamic Soft Polymer (ADSP), a material which is stronger and more UV resistant than silicone, yet soft enough to protect the finish of the iPod touch. A Lexan polycarbonate “UltraFrame” attaches to the outside of the ADSP shell, covering a large portion of the case with the impact-resistant frame. The RebelTouch also features tactile covers for the device’s buttons, and comes with two anti-static screen guards, a microfiber cleaning wipe, a Universal Dock Adapter, a video dock stand, a 3.5mm headphone adapter, and a Dock Connector protector. Currently available in black or white, the SwitchEasy RebelTouch for iPod touch 2G is available now and sells for $25.

EA updates Spore Origins with nano 4G accelerometer control

  • September 29, 2008
  • iPod

Electronic Arts has released an updated version of Spore Origins for Click Wheel iPods that adds support for the accelerometer found in the fourth-generation iPod nano, allowing the user to move their character simply by tilting the device. As was the case when the company released an updated version to fix the iPod classic lock-up bug, users who have already purchased the game should receive an email informing them of the update and explaining that the new version has been added to their iTunes Store download queue. Spore Origins for the fifth-generation iPod, iPod classic, and third- and fourth-generation iPod nano is available now from the iTunes Store and sells for $5. For more information on Spore Origins, see our full review.

Apple requires app download before allowing App Store review

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Apple has quietly changed the App Store’s review policy, now requiring users to have actually downloaded or purchased an application before they are allowed to review it. This improvement has been long-requested by developers, who at times saw the ratings on their apps drop due to negative reviews from users who had never even used the application. Now, if a user attempts to review an application that they haven’t used, they are greeted by an alert explaining, “In order to write a Customer Review for this item you must have purchased or downloaded it.” [via TUAW]

Mix: Battery suit, iTunes accessibility, Marware, Future Shop

  • September 26, 2008

A lawsuit filed last July against Apple over the limited lifespan of iPhone batteries has been dismissed. Bloomberg reports that U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly in Chicago granted Apple’s request that the suit be dismissed based on the evidence and the law without a trial — a procedure known as a summary judgment. Though Apple only disclosed the original iPhone’s battery limitations to consumers immediately before the product shipped, “Apple disclosed on the outside of the iPhone package that the” battery has “‘limited recharge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced by Apple service provider,’” Kennelly wrote, quoting the iPhone’s packaging. “Under the circumstances, no reasonable jury could find that deception occurred.” AT&T remains a defendant in the case

The National Federation of the Blind and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley today announced a cooperative agreement with Apple to make its iTunes software, iTunes Store, and iTunes U more accessible to the blind. Under the agreement, Apple will make iTunes U fully accessible by the end of 2008, and will ensure full accessibility of iTunes and the rest of the iTunes Store by June 30, 2009. In addition, Apple has agreed to contribute $250,000 to the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind to assist the agency in providing adaptive technology to blind residents of Massachusetts. This announcement follows Apple recent releases of iTunes 8 and the fourth-generation iPod nano, both of which feature significant accessibility improvements, and hints that legal action by the State of Massachusetts contributed to Apple’s enhancements to these products.

Marware has introduced its C.E.O. Flip Vue for the second-generation iPod touch. The C.E.O. Flip Vue is a flip-top, form-fitting case made featuring a Nappa leather exterior, microfiber interior, perforated design accents with contrast stitching, elastic sides for a better fit, and full-time access to the headphone jack, dock connector, and volume buttons. It ships with a Multidapt low-profile belt clip, screen protector, and cleaning cloth, and is now available for pre-order for $30.

Canadian electronics retailer Future Shop has announced that it will begin selling the iPhone 3G at select locations across the country on October 1. Previously, the iPhone 3G was only available at Rogers Wireless or Fido stores. Future Shop locations to carry the handset include the Broadway and Robson, Coquitlam Centre, and West Vancouver stores in the Vancouver area, Shawnessy and Northland locations near Calgary, the Edmonton West store, Downtown Toronto, Yonge and Eglinton, Eglinton and Laird, Vaughan, and Heartland locations in the Toronto area, the Ottawa South store, and both the Centreville and Marche Central stores near Montreal.

New iPodweek newsletter coming later today

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iPodweek, iLounge’s weekly newsletter recapping the last seven days in iPod, iPhone, iTunes and Apple TV news, articles, reviews, and more, will be sent out later today. In addition to rounding up the week’s top stories, iPodweek also features giveaways and accessory discount offers from various companies. If you haven’t yet signed up to receive iPodweek, there’s still time to register and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address.

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iPhone 3G to launch in Russia on October 3

Russian carriers Vimpelcom, MegaFon, and MTS will begin selling the iPhone 3G in Russia on October 3. Available without a contract, the 8GB iPhone 3G will sell for 22,999 rubles (roughly $919), while the 16GB version will sell for 26,999 rubles (~$1,079). In addition to the carriers, electronics retailers Tekhnosila, Eldorado, and M.Video will also be selling the device, according to a Reuters report. “All retailers will begin sales of iPhone in Russia at the same time, during the night between October 2 and October 3. Our company will be also selling them,” said Nadezhda Senyuk, a PR director with Tekhnosila. Rival chain Eldorado estimated that sales of the iPhone in Russia will reach 150,000 before the end of 2008.

Griffin rolls out Simplifi multi-function iPod dock

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Griffin Technology has introduced its new Simplifi combination iPod dock, card reader, and USB hub. Made from anodized aluminum, Simplifi serves as an iPod- and iPhone-compatible dock, a 2-port powered USB hub with included AC adapter, and a card reader featuring compatibility with Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, SD, SDHC, xD, and Compact Flash storage. In addition, Simplifi also includes a USB mini cable for syncing an attached iPod or iPhone with a computer. Griffin Technology’s Simplifi is available now and sells for $70.

Unlocked iPhone 3G on sale in Hong Kong, China to get stripped down version?

Apple has unexpectedly begun selling unlocked iPhone 3G units in Hong Kong, amidst reports that mainland China may end up receiving a functionally handicapped model. Apple’s online store for Hong Kong is now offering both the 8GB and 16GB models of the handset unlocked, priced at HK$ 5,400 (~$695) and HK$ 6,200 (~$798), respectively. A description on the product page reads: “iPhone 3G purchased at the Apple Online Store can be activated with any wireless carrier. Simply insert the SIM from your current phone into iPhone 3G and connect to iTunes 8 to complete activation.” It is believed that this is the first instance of Apple offering the iPhone 3G directly from its online store.

Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post is reporting that Hon Hai, the manufacturer of the iPhone, is waiting for verification from mainland China to ship versions of the iPhone 3G that lack both W-CDMA (3G) connectivity and Wi-Fi. According to the report, China Mobile (long reported to be Apple’s carrier of choice for the Chinese market) is expected to build out its 3G network using the TD-SCDMA format, which is incompatible with current iPhone 3G models. The report goes on to state that iPhone units offered by China Mobile would have the W-CDMA stripped out so they could not be unlocked and used on competitor China Telecom, which is expected to use W-CDMA technology for its 3G services.

Turkcell bringing iPhone 3G to Turkey Sept. 26

Turkcell has announced that it will begin sales of the iPhone 3G in Turkey tomorrow, September 26. The handset will be priced on a tiered scale, from 0-279 YTL (roughly $0-$227) for the 8GB model or 195-479 YTL (~$158-$389) for the 16GB model with a choice of one three packages, each of which include unlimited data, and range in price from 75 YTL (~$61) to 145 YTL (~$118). Alternately, the 8GB iPhone 3G will also be available without a contract for €129 (~$190) a month, for five months.

Vaja unveils ivolution Stripes for iPhone 3G

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Vaja has introduced its ivolution Stripes for iPhone 3G, its latest case for Apple’s second-generation handset. ivolution Stripes features a flip-down, reinforced leather design with three vertical stripes running down the front of the case, open access to the headphone jack, sleep/wake button, and camera, and flip-down access to the screen, home button, dock connector, speaker, and microphone. Vaja’s ivolution Stripes for iPhone 3G is available in a wide variety of user-customized colors, and sells for $110 and up.

Mix: iPDA 4.2, CoverScout 2.3.9, Open Door, Atari

  • September 25, 2008

ZappTek has released iPDA 4.2, the latest update to its iPod companion software for Mac. iPDA can transfer Word, PDF, Apple Pages, RTF or text documents to the iPod for portable viewing, and can also download RSS feeds, weather forecasts, driving directions and news headlines directly to the iPod. In addition, it supports the transfer of information from Entourage, Stickies, Mail, Address Book and iCal to the iPod. iPDA 4.2 adds full support for the fourth-generation iPod nano, including Contact groups. iPDA 4.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and sells for $20.

Equinux has released CoverScout 2.3.9, the latest version of its Mac application that helps users find and apply album covers to an iTunes music library. Version 2.3.9 adds support for iTunes 8, and sells for $30.

Open Door Networks has announced three new applications for the iPhone and iPod touch, along with an update to its iEnvision app. Art Envi Deluxe improves on the company’s popular Art Envi app with new features and access to additional artists and works. The app features “shows” by almost 100 new artists, with artists now organized both alphabetically and by period. It sells for $3. London Envi and Paris Envi, which sell for $2 each, utilize content from the “Michael Brein’s Travel Guides to Sightseeing by Public Transportation” series to offer simple sightseeing travel information, and iEnvision 1.1 adds the ability to save any image, automatically create a new show on any topic, and significant speed improvements. It is priced at $10; all four apps are now available on the App Store.

Following its recent release of two classic games, Atari president Phil Harrison has spoken out with praise for Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch, and App Store. “It’s very exciting to be bringing these influential and timeless games in their redesigned form to the iPhone and iPod touch, devices which are leading the global charge in innovative handheld technology and changing the way we consume and interact with media,” Harrison said. “This is the first step in bringing Atari’s wonderful heritage of games right up to date for the iPhone generation.”

Marware intros Sport Grip cases for iPod nano 4G, touch 2G

Marware has introduced its new Sport Grip Deluxe for the fourth-generation iPod nano and Sport Grip Extreme for the second-generation iPod touch. The Sport Grip Deluxe for iPod nano 4G is a dual-colored silicone case featuring anti-microbial additives, a wave-shaped design of colored circles on the back, holes for attaching the included lanyard and carabiner, a built-in dock connector cover, open access to all other ports and controls, and an included screen protector and cleaning cloth. It is available for pre-order in black/red, white/gray, green/green, and pink/white, and will sell for $25. The Sport Grip Extreme for iPod touch 2G is also a dual-colored anti-microbial silicone case featuring a built-in dock connector cover, a second-color design on the back, open access to all other ports and controls, and an included screen protector and cleaning cloth. It too is available for pre-order in black/red, white/gray, and pink/white and sells for $25.

App Store ban poll ends, economy poll begins

  • September 24, 2008

With more than 3,000 votes from iLounge readers, our latest poll — “Is Apple hurting iPhone + iPod users with its App Store banning decisions?” — has ended. Readers were given two yes and two no response choices, or could alternately state that they don’t use the App Store.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 61% of readers said that Apple is hurting iPhone and iPod users with its banning decisions, with 36% saying it should allow any non-harmful application to be distributed, while another 25% would expand that to allow distribution of any non-harmful or non-offensive app. Only 22% said they thought Apple was running the store just fine, while 9% said that Apple should take an even more active role in filtering content. Finally, 8% of readers declined an opinion because they didn’t use the App Store. Thanks for your responses!

Our new poll focuses on a major issue from the last week: the economy. We’d like to know whether recent economic conditions have led you to change your holiday shopping plans. Are you now planning to spend way less, or just slightly less than you did last year? Or are you planning on spending the same amount, or perhaps even more? Or is the economy not an issue where you live? This week’s poll, “Have recent economic conditions made you change your holiday shopping plans?” lets you answer that question. As always, the iLounge Poll is on the left hand column of the main iLounge.com home page. Cast your vote today!

Mix: Atari classics, iBlogger, Case-mate Film, Radiohead

  • September 24, 2008

Atari has released newly-remade versions of its classic games Missile Command and Super Breakout on the App Store. The games, which sell for $5 each, include updated graphics and two player support, along with other improvements. Both are available now from the App Store.

illumineX has introduced iBlogger, its new mobile blogging application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app offers automatic configuration for easy addition of accounts from popular blogging software platforms such as WordPress, MovableType, ExpressionEngine, TypePad, and Blogger, and feature support for adding pictures, location links, tags, and secure https connections (if the blog software supports it). It is available now from the App Store, and sells for $10.

Case-mate has launched its Clear Armor protective film for the fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation iPod touch. Made from high-quality 3M Scotchgard Protection Film, Clear Armor completely covers the front and back of the iPod, and is engineered to prevent damage upon removal. Case-mate’s Clear Armor for the iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G is available now and sells for $15 and $20, respectively.

Following their prior remix initiative for “Nude,” Radiohead has launched another set of instrument stems for their song “Reckoner,” giving fans access to the backing vocals, bass, drums, guitars, lead vocal, and piano tracks from which they can make their own remixes. Unlike the prior release, which charged for each individual instrument track, users can purchase all six stems for $1, and fans who purchase the set before October 7 will receive an access code to download a free GarageBand project file for use when remixing; however, users need not use GarageBand to create their remixes, as the stems sold on the iTunes Store are DRM-free iTunes Plus tracks, and are compatible with a number of software programs. Users may then upload their remixes to radioheadremix.com, where the public can listen to and vote for their favorite versions. The Reckoner (Instrument Stems) EP is available now from the iTunes Store.

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