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Incase unveils cases for Fall 2008 iPods

Incase has announced its upcoming lineup of cases for the second-generation iPod touch, fourth-generation iPod nano, and iPod classic (120GB). Available in September will be Neoprene Sleeves, Leather Sleeves and Sports Armbands for all three models, followed by the Protective Cover and Slider Case for iPod touch 2G, and Hard Cases for all three models. Finally, the company will debut its Clip Case for all three models, which will feature hardshell construction and an articulating belt clip, allowing the case to double as a stand.

iLounge’s comprehensive iPod classic (120GB) review now available

iLounge has just posted our comprehensive, 9-page review of the new iPod classic (120GB). In the review, you’ll find:

* Photos of the new iPod classic
* Complete battery testing results, including a comparison table with all other iPods and iPhones
* Explanations of changes to the iPod classic’s software
* Discussion of new headphone-based audio recording and remote control options
* Explanation of features present in the nano 4G but missing from the new classic

And more. Is it more than just a storage upgrade? Find out in the review, and don’t forget to check out our reviews of the fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation iPod touch for the complete picture on Apple’s latest iPods.

Speck previews PixelSkin for iPod nano 4G

Speck has announced its new PixelSkin case for the fourth-generation iPod nano, and has also revealed a number of upcoming cases for the nano 4G and touch 2G. The PixelSkin for iPod nano 4G is a form-fitting silicone case featuring a textured tile pattern for added grip and shock protection and open access to all ports and controls. It will be available soon in nine nano-matching colors and will sell for $20, a version for the second-generation iPod touch is planned as well. In addition to PixelSkin, Speck also announced that it will be releasing ToughSkin, SeeThru, and at least two other previously unannounced case designs for the fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation iPod touch. The first cases will be available later this month followed by subsequent releases in October and November.

Mix: Nike+, iPod Access, iTunes HDTV, NetShare, Podcaster

A new Apple patent application describing a future expansion of the Nike+ system has been published online. The patent describes new “smart garments,” including shoes, which would be able to relay not just athletic performance information, but also wear status, so that users would be notified if the garment was worn to the point where it could cause potential injury. In addition, the patent also mentions GPS-laden sensors which could provide elevation data during a workout, and also display information about and advertisements for nearby points of interest. As with all Apple patents, this filing does not necessarily represent any future product release from Apple, but offers evidence of the company’s research in this area.

Findley Designs has announced iPod Access v4.2.3, the latest version of its iPod and iPhone music and video transfer application for Mac OS X and Windows. Version 4.2.3 adds improved support for the iPod touch and iPhone, compatibility with iTunes 8, improved iTunes integration, and other bug fixes. iPod Access 4.2.3 is a free update for all registered v4 users, and can be downloaded as a free trial or purchased for $20.

A number of iTunes users are reporting that iTunes 8.0 is overwriting HD versions of their TV show purchases with SD versions instead of appending “1” to the name the second file, as it normally does for duplicates. According to an Apple Discussions thread, the problem appears to mostly affect users who have simultaneous downloads and 1-Click purchasing turned off, however, enabling both of these features is not a guaranteed fix for the problem.

More than a month following its removal from the App Store, NetShare developers Nullriver Software have posted an update on the application to their website, claiming that the app will not be reappearing on the store. The note reads, “Looks like Apple has decided they will not be allowing any tethering applications in the AppStore. As such, NetShare will not be available in the iTunes AppStore. We are seeing a lot of similar reports from various developers who’s applications were abruptly removed and banned from the AppStore without any violations of the terms of service. This is all unfortunate news for the iPhone platform end-users.”

Apple has rejected a new iPhone and iPod touch application for duplicating the functionality of its own products. Podcaster, a new app which would have allowed users to download and manage podcast subscriptions directly from their iPhone or iPod touch, was rejected by Apple last week, following which the developer received a response from the company. An Apple representative said, “Since Podcaster assists in the distribution of podcasts, it duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes.”

ezGear debuts ezSkin Plus cases for iPod nano 4G, touch 2G

ezGear has announced its new ezSkin Plus cases for the fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation iPod touch. Made from high-grade silicone with anti-dust coating, the ezSkin Plus for iPod nano offers built-in coverage for the Click Wheel, as well as open access to the screen, hold switch, dock connector and headphone jack, while ezSkin Plus for iPod touch offers built-in ezButton coverage for the sleep/wake, home, and volume buttons, as well as open access to the touch screen, dock connector, and headphone jack. Both cases include a clear screen protector, cleaning cloth, removable belt clip and belt clip post, and dock connector port protector. ezGear’s ezSkin Plus cases for the fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation iPod touch sell for $25 and $30, respectively, and will be available at the end of September.

iLounge’s comprehensive iPod touch 2G review now posted

iLounge has just published our comprehensive nine-page review of the second-generation iPod touch. Inside, you’ll find:

* Many solo and comparison photos of the new iPod touch
* Test results of the touch’s new built-in speaker and headphone audio output
* Discussion of screen quality improvements
* Complete battery test results
* Discussion of accessory compatibility changes
* Nike+iPod impressions and omissions

And more. Is it a better iPhone alternative than the original? Find out in the review, and don’t forget to check out our review of the fourth-generation iPod nano for the complete picture on Apple’s latest iPods.

Waterfield Designs intros Suede Jacket for nano 4G, touch 2G

Waterfield Designs has introduced its new Suede Jacket for the fourth-generation iPod nano and the second-generation iPod touch. The Suede Jacket is a form-fitting pocket-style case, made from Ultrasuede to provide scratch protection for the iPod, doubling as a cleaning cloth and available with or without an optional mesh pocket for earbuds, cash, or other small items. Waterfield Designs’ Suede Jackets for iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G sell for $7-$11 and $9-$13, respectively, and are available for pre-order now with shipping expected to begin on September 16th.

Sign up for our iPodweek newsletter, arriving shortly

The latest edition of iPodweek, our weekly newsletter covering all things iPod, iPhone, iTunes, and Apple TV, is coming later today. iPodweek is a summary of the top news, reviews, and feature articles we’ve published over the past week, 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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Incipio rolls out cases for iPod nano 4G, touch 2G

Incipio has introduced its new line of cases for the fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation iPod touch. For the iPod nano 4G, the company is offering its dermaSHOT silicone case in black, light blue, pink, red, yellow, and orange. The dermaSHOT for iPod nano 4G offers a form-fitting design with anti-static coating, open access to all ports and controls, and a smooth finish. It is available now, and sells for $13. For the iPod touch 2G, Incipio is offering the dermaSHOT silicone case featuring high-density, anti-static, form-fitting silicone and open access to all ports and controls for $18, the duroSHOT polycarbonate hard case featuring a polycarbonate exterior, shock absorbing thin silicone lining, and open access to all ports and control for $25, and the SILICRYLIC silicone acrylic crystal case, which features polycarbonate plastic embedded in a shock absorbing silicone core, open access to all ports and controls, and an included screen protector, cleaning cloth, and video stand for $20. In addition, Incipio plans to offer the underGROUND felt textured pouch-style case for both the nano 4G and touch 2G, the Stilo Leather Flip Case for iPod nano 4G, the IncipioEdge Slider Case for iPod nano 4G, and the Leather Kickstand case for iPod touch 2G; pricing and release information for these cases has yet to be announced.

iPhone OS 2.1 requires Sync to add Genius feature

While Genius playlist creation is listed as a new feature in the release notes of the iPhone 2.1 Software Update, iLounge has confirmed that the feature will not appear unless the user performs a sync following installation of the 2.1 software. First seen on the new iPod touch, the Genius playlist creation button is supposed to sit below the audio scrub bar on the Now Playing screen beside buttons for toggling shuffle and looped playback on and off. Normally, the bar and buttons can be accessed by tapping the screen while a song is playing.

If the iPhone is not synchronized after applying the 2.1 software update, the Genius button never materializes, leaving a sizable gap between the shuffle and repeat buttons. The feature is also missing from the top of the Playlists menu, where it would normally appear. Synchronizing the iPhone with the Sync button in iTunes fixes this issue, bringing the button and menu choices back.

iLounge’s comprehensive nano 4G review now available

iLounge has just posted its comprehensive, 9-page review of the fourth-generation iPod nano. The review offers:

* Photos of the new nano
* Complete battery test results
* A complete guide to iPod nano colors past + present
* Explanations of changes to the nano’s screen
* Discussion of audio quality changes
* Nike+iPod enhancements

And more. Is it the best nano yet? Find out in the review.

Apple releases iPhone 2.1 Software Update

As promised during the Let’s Rock event, Apple today released its iPhone 2.1 Software Update, the latest update to the software for iPhone and iPhone 3G. According to Apple, the new software features a variety of improvements, including a decrease in call set-up failures and call drops, significantly improved battery life for most users, dramatically reduced time to backup in iTunes, improved email reliability, notably when fetching email from POP and Exchange accounts, faster installation of 3rd party applications, fixes for bugs causing hangs and crashes if the user has lots of 3rd party applicaitons, improved performance in text messaging, faster loading and searching of contacts, improved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display, repeat alert up to two additional times for incoming text messages, option to wipe data after ten failed passcode attempts, and Genius playlist creation. The iPhone 2.1 Software Update weighs in at 237.8MB for the iPhone 3G and 231MB for the original iPhone and is available now through the Update feature in iTunes.

Tunewear unveils accessories for iPod nano 4G, touch 2G

Tunewear has announced its first accessories for the fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation iPod touch. Icewear is a frosted high-density silicone case for iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G offering ribbed sides for added grip and small holes in the rear for attaching charms, lanyard, or straps. On the nano, Icewear offers open access to the Click Wheel and screen, and offers open access to the touchscreen on the iPod touch, along with access to all ports and other controls on both iPod models. Likewise, Icewear for iPod nano includes Tunefilm clear protectors for the screen and Click Wheel, while Icewear for iPod touch includes Tunefilm for the touch’s display. Icewear for iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G will sell for $20 and $25, respectively.

imageTuneshell for iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G is a clear, hard-shell polycarbonate case. Both versions feature a slim, snap-together design, offering open access to all ports and controls, and will sell for $20 and $25, respectively. Finally, Tunewear has announced it will sell its Tunefilm for both the iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G, offering screen and Click Wheel protection for the former and complete face coverage for the latter. Tunefilm for iPod nano 4G will sell for $13, while Tunefilm for iPod touch 2G will sell for $15. All of Tunewear’s new accessories for the iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G will be available later this month.

Korean iPhone debut delayed?

The debut of the iPhone in Korea could be delayed into 2009 or later, according to a Korea Times report. KTF, Korea’s second-largest wireless carrier, has been negotiating with Apple to sell the iPhone 3G, but has hit a snag with regulators. “For now, there is no agreement of any kind between KTF and Apple over the release of iPhones,” said a KTF official. “Even after a deal is inked, the network interoperability tests will take about two or three months and there is also the process of enabling KTF’s existing mobile-phone applications to work on iPhones. It would be virtually impossible to release the handsets earlier than early next year.”

The country’s Wireless Platform for Interoperability (WIPI) software standard must be adopted by any handsets designed to access mobile data services, and has caused many handset makers to steer clear of the Korean market, which accounts for roughly 20 million handset purchases a year. The Korean Communications Commission has been under pressure from consumers and carriers alike to drop the WIPI standard, a move which would open the market to more foreign handset makers (Korea’s Samsung and LG currently account for nearly 90 percent of the Korean market). Despite the pressure, the WIPI issue is not scheduled for discussion at the KCC’s executive meetings this month. A KCC official said, “The scrapping of the WIPI requirements is too big of a decision to make a quick judgment. It will definitely take more than one meeting.”

Fall 2008 iPod coverage round-up

There has been a lot going on around iLounge since Apple’s announcement of new iPods on Tuesday, making it quite easy to miss something — so we’ve prepared a round-up of all our coverage concerning the fourth-generation iPod nano, second-generation iPod touch, 120GB iPod classic, and Fall 2008 iPod shuffle. As we prepare our reviews of the new devices, you can find links relating to each new iPod, and of course you can always check out our transcript of the event for more details on the announcements. For some group roundups, look at our list of Eleven Things You Didn’t Know About the 2008 iPods, read our reactions to the announcements, view high-res photos of the entire new iPod lineup, or watch the entire event online.

imageiPod nano 4G

Comparison Photos
Secret 4GB European version, Explanation

iPod touch 2G

Unboxing Photos

iPod classic 120GB


iPod shuffle 2008


iTunes improvement poll ends, Fall 2008 iPod poll begins

With more than 3,800 votes from iLounge readers, our latest iLounge poll — “What possible feature/improvement would you most like to see in the next version of iTunes?” — has ended. Readers could pick from more DRM-free music for the iTunes Store, a music subscription service, a digital book download service, a way to handle device syncing outside of iTunes, speed/performance or other improvements, or say they think iTunes is fine the way it is.

Most readers either wanted more DRM-free music in the iTunes Store or speed/performance improvements to iTunes, as these two options dominated all others with 27% and 25% of the vote, respectively. 15% of respondents wanted an iTunes music subscription service, 13% would like a way to sync their devices outside of iTunes, and 8% would like to see various other improvements. Only 6% of readers said they’d like to see iTunes offer a digital book download service, while an equal percentage said they thought iTunes was fine the way it is. Thanks for your responses!

The new poll focuses on Apple’s newly-announced Fall 2008 iPod family. We’d like to know: What’s your reaction to the new offerings? Are you already planning on purchasing one of the new models, or just thinking about it? Or do you like them, but just not enough to buy one? Do you think Apple needed to do more to make upgrading worthwhile, do you think they completely dropped the ball with this family of iPods, or do you not have an opinion either way? Our latest poll, “What’s your reaction to the new 2008 iPods?” lets you answer that question. As always, the iLounge Poll is on the left hand column of the main home page. Cast your vote today!

Altec Lansing debuts new iPod sound systems

Altec Lansing has announced three new sound systems for iPod, including one with iPhone compatibility and another with a wireless dock. The inMotion Max is a portable sound system for iPod and iPhone featuring a built-in dock, dual two-inch full range drivers and dual two-inch passive radiators, Xdb bass enhancement and ESS sound processing technology, an RDS-capable FM tuner, auxiliary input, a Li-ion rechargeable battery offering up to 3.5 hours of playing time, alarm clock functionality, and an included remote control. The inMotion Max will be available in October for $200.

imageThe inMotion Moondance GLOW is a stereo alarm clock for iPod, offering a multicolor mood lighting bar in the rear and a wireless snooze remote that allows the user to place the main unit away from the bed. Other features include a built-in dock, FM tuner with RDS, two three-inch full-range drivers, an auxiliary input, and included remote control, and dual alarms. Altec Lansing’s inMotion Moondance GLOW will also be available in October, and will sell for $180.

Finally, the M812 is a new wireless speaker system for iPod featuring a 100-foot range. The M812’s main speaker unit offers 80 watts of continuous power for its two four-inch woofers and one-inch silk dome tweeters and a slender design that allows it to be mounted on a wall. Other features include an auxiliary input, a transmitter iPod base with dock and built-in FM tuner, and an IR remote control. The Altec Lansing M812 wireless speaker system for iPod will sell for $400; release information has yet to be announced.

iPod nano 4G, iPod touch 2G tear-downs posted

iFixit has posted the first disassembly photos of the new fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation iPod touch. They found the nano 4G’s internal design to be quite similar to that of the nano 2G, with removable caps on the top and bottom, which offer access to tiny screws which must be removed in order to slide out the actual components. The glass screen cover is separate from the metal casing, and is only held in place by the internal components. The main processor appears to be an Apple-branded ARM processor manufactured by Samsung.

In their disassembly of the iPod touch 2G, iFixit found a particularly interesting component. The new touch sports a Broadcom BCM4325 wireless communicaitons chip with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support. While some have speculated that Apple may have hidden this chip inside with plans of activating Bluetooth functionality later, it is more likely used to communicate with the Nike+ sensor puck, which uses a proprietary 802.11 protocol.

Complete, high-res iPod nano 4G color comparison posted

Wondering just how the fourth-generation iPod nano colors compare with those from the second- and third-generations? Wonder no more. We’ve just posted a brand new high-resolution photo gallery showing every one of the new iPod nanos, compared against the old colors, so that you can see the differences and similarities for yourself. Expect additional details in our upcoming “Things You Didn’t Know About the New iPods article.”

Mix: AirTunes & iTunes 8.0, Let’s Rock, iToner, Nike+iPod

According to an Apple support discussion thread, a number of users are reporting errors when trying to stream music to an Airport Express or Apple TV following installation of iTunes 8.0. Users reporting unknown errors -15000 and -3256 have found some workarounds, however, ranging from changing firewall settings to turning on IPv6. Are you having problems with your Airport Express after installing iTunes 8.0? Let us know in the comments. [via Engadget]

Apple is now offering QuickTime video streams of yesterday’s “Let’s Rock” special event, during which Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the fourth-generation iPod nano, second-generation iPod touch, and second-generation iPod classic. Both standard- and high-definition streams are available; the event is also available through Apple’s official Keynotes podcast.

Ambrosia Software has released iToner 1.0.9, the latest update to its iPhone custom ringtone creation software. Along with support for the newly-released iTunes 8.0, iToner 1.0.9 features the ability to remove all ringtones by option-clicking the delete button, a fix for verifying the ringtone format versus the firmware version, and other minor bug fixes. iToner requires Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later and sells for $15; a free trial download is also available.

Apple has reportedly confirmed that Nike+iPod integration, featured in the new second-generation iPod touch, will not be coming to prior iPod touch, iPhone, or iPhone 3G models. According to the report, the restriction stems from the technology required to connect the touch 2G to the receiver without using the standard dongle, which is absent in prior devices. Furthermore, the report claims that Apple said the dongle will not work with the devices listed above.

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