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Marware readying Game Grip for iPhone 3G, iPod touch 2G

Marware is preparing its new Game Grip accessory for the iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2G. The Game Grip combines a high-grade silicone case with a thick grip mount, letting users hold their iPhone or iPod touch like they would a more traditional game controller. Other features include a a unique cord management system for routing both headphone and Dock Connector cables through the back of the grip and silicone grip covers. The Marware Game Grip for iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2G will sell for $50; a release date has yet to be announced.

FastMac releases iV for iPhone, iPhone 3G

First announced in January, FastMac has announced that its iV Extended Battery for the iPhone and iPhone 3G is now available. The iV is a Dock-mounting accessory that fully covers the iPhone’s bottom and rear, save for the camera, and contains a 3100mAH TruePower battery that extends the iPhone’s capabilities to 24 hours of talk time, 31 days of standby, 20+ hours of video, and almost 72 hours of audio playback time. In addition, the iV features a built-in LED light for shooting photos in low light, a full-size USB port for charging other accessories such as a Bluetooth headset, and a pass-though Dock Connector port for syncing and charging. Made in the USA, the FastMac iV for iPhone and iPhone 3G is available now and sells for $80.

Latest edition of iPodweek coming later today

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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2009 Buyers’ Guide Sneak Peeks: Kensington, Speck, more

Along with the V-Moda Vibe II and Griffin Navigate, noted in our prior news story, several other products made their debuts in the 2009 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide. Speck Products debuted its QwickDraw Holster for iPhone 3G and fabric-covered Fitted Case for iPod nano 4G, both of which are expected in stores next month. Kensington debuted two similar Bluetooth kits, the Bluetooth Hands-Free Visor Car Kit and the Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit, the latter of which plugs directly into a cigarette lighter power port, removing the need for the rechargeable battery packs used in the visor-mounted model. Expect these to be released between December of 2008 and February of 2009.

Maximo unveiled its 5-Series Isolation Earphones, including the iMetal iM-590, the microphone-laden iP-595, and the iP-HS5, which uses a better microphone, soft-touch remote, and both shirt clip and lanyard options. All three models are slated for release next month. Newcomer Phantom debuted its Remixx Dock-mounting audio enhancement accessory, offering dual headphone ports, and supposed improvements to both the apparent soundstage and separation. It is expected to hit shelves in December. Finally, Scosche revealed its upcoming IDR450M and IDR600 earphones, offering metal enclosures, drivers designed to accentuate the midrange and treble in audio, and, in the case of the 450M, and integrated microphone. Both models should be available in December. For more information on these and thousands of other products for the iPod and iPhone, check out our 2009 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide.

V-Moda debuts Vibe II, Griffin debuts Navigate in 2009 Guide

The Sneak Peeks sections of iLounge’s iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guides often see the first public debuts of new and exciting accessories for iPods and iPhones. This year, two of the most notable new products debuting in the 2009 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide come from V-moda and Griffin, in the form of the Vibe II headphones and the Navigate remote and FM receiver for iPod and iPhone. As the sequel to the popular Vibe ($128), V-Moda’s Vibe II with Microphone carry over some of the original’s best features—such as fabric cables, an integrated microphone with a music/call control button (found on the Vibe Duo), and separate black and clear eartips in multiple sizes—while adding a new smaller size of eartips, new casings, and detachable earhooks.

imageGriffin’s Navigate is the first in-line display remote control for iPhones and iPods, and a spiritual successor to the company’s earlier iFM. Navigate features a two-line OLED screen, play/pause, track forward/backward, stop, scan, EQ, playlist, and shuffle buttons. In addition to showing song information on the screen, Navigate also allows users to tune in FM radio stations, complete with RDS information. Both products are slated for release in November.

Mix: Opera Mini, Tap Tap NIN, Classics

According to recent statements given to the New York Times by Opera Software co-founder Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, Apple has rejected a version of the company’s Opera Mini browser from the App Store. The report states that Opera’s developers have produced a version of Opera Mini that can run on the iPhone, but that Apple is barring its release because it competes with Apple’s own Safari browser.

Tapulous has released the Nine Inch Nails edition of its popular iPhone and iPod touch rhythm game Tap Tap Revenge. The game includes 13 NIN tracks from The Slip and Ghosts I-IV, multi-player mode, and NIN-themed graphics. Tap Tap Revenge: Nine Inch Nails Edition is available now from the App Store and sells for $5.

Andrew Kaz and Phillip Ryu have released Classics, a new book reading application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Classics offers users a unique interface that mimics that of a real book, along with an integrated progress display, a table of contents button for quick navigation, visual bookmarks, and a virtual bookcase view for sorting through the offerings. Classics comes pre-loaded with books such as The Time Machine, Paradise Lost, and The Jungle Book; the developers promise to add more books to the collection via free updates. Classics is available now from the App Store and sells for $3.

Griffin intros iTrip Auto for iPhone

Griffin has released a new version of its iTrip Auto FM Transmitter for the iPhone and iPhone 3G. Functionally identical to the updated iTrip Auto released in September, iTrip Auto for iPhone employs a one-cable design combining a FM transmitter and auto charger, featuring an in-line control box with a backlit LCD screen, SmartScan automatic FM frequency-finder button, four presets, and tuning buttons, and a charging stem with power switch and a three-color charging indicator. Griffin’s iTrip Auto for iPhone is available now and sells for $70.

iPhone, iPod touch version of 2009 Buyers’ Guide released

Following the official release of the 2009 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide earlier today, we have just posted iPhone- and iPod touch-formatted versions optimized for downloading and viewing on these devices. Presented in a scrollable single-page format, with images that have been modestly downsampled to help keep file sizes and memory usage lower, these versions split the 150-page book into two segments that can be loaded individually.

They otherwise preserve the entire content of the Guide, with Sneak Peeks, iPods and iPhones in the first half; the 100 Best Apps + Games, major accessories and Best of the Year Awards are in the second. In addition to the links below, you can click on the title of this article for screenshots from the Guide as seen on these devices.

Widescreen- and portrait-orientation versions of the Guide that have been optimized for PC and Mac viewing are available here.


iLounge debuts the 2009 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide

It’s here! iLounge’s annual guide to the iPod, iPhone, Apple TV and their related accessories and software is now available. Download the 2009 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide today!

This year’s guide offers a host of new information and features, including our list of the 100 Best iPhone and iPod touch Apps and Games, 12 exclusive sneak peeks at upcoming iPod and iPhone accessories, the winners of our iProvocateur and iPod As Art contests, the Top Accessories for iPod + iPhone, our 2008 Best of the Year and Readers’ Choice Awards, a Complete History of iPod and iPhone Products, a comprehensive Guide for Buying and Selling iPods and iPhones, Complete Color Charts for all iPod and iPhone models, and more. Available in wide-screen format for viewing on any PC or Mac or in an iPhone- and iPod touch-friendly layout, the 150-page Guide is our best yet.

As always, the Buyers’ Guide is 100 percent free for iLounge readers, and in PDF format. For additional details, click here to see the full story. And please do your part to share the Guide by telling a friend, or hosting it on your filesharing network of choice. Enjoy!


SoftBank announces 1seg receiver, battery charger for iPhone 3G

Addressing one of the major missing functions of the iPhone 3G in its region, Japanese iPhone carrier SoftBank has announced (Translated Link) a new combination 1seg receiver and battery pack for the iPhone 3G. According to the company’s announcement, the new accessory will use Wi-Fi to transmit video to a special application to be released on the App Store, allowing users to watch 1seg broadcasts on their iPhones. SoftBank claims the user can get around three hours of continuous viewing time. The SoftBank “TV & Battery” for iPhone 3G is set for a mid-December release; pricing has yet to be determined. [via setteB.IT]

Speck ships SwitchWay case for iPhone 3G

Speck has unveiled its SwitchWay case for the iPhone 3G. Designed to offer users a choice in how they use the case, the SwitchWay can be worn as both a horizontal portfolio case and as a vertical wallet-style case. It features two built-in belt clips, a padded inner lining, dual closure flaps to allow access to the iPhone regardless of case orientation, and fingertip-sized openings for easy removal of the iPhone, which also include openings for dock and headphone cable connections. The Speck SwitchWay case for iPhone 3G is available now in black with yellow stitching and normally sells for $35; it is currently on sale for $18.

Vaja unveils ivolution Silver, Dockable cases for iPhone 3G

Vaja has introduced two new cases for the iPhone 3G. The ivolution Silver (925) is an open-faced leather case featuring open access to the volume and sleep/wake buttons, ring/silent switch, Dock Connector, speaker, microphone, headphone jack, and camera, with silver appliques on the sides and home button. It is available now in a variety of colors, and sells for $280 and up. The ivolution Dockable is also an open-faced case, offering open access to the camera, home button, headphone jack, speaker, and microphone, coverings for the sleep/wake switch and volume and sleep/wake buttons, and a folding design which allows the bottom of the case to move backward, exposing the bottom of the iPhone for easier docking. Available in a variety of color combinations, it sells for $95 and up.

AT&T launches free Wi-Fi for iPhone users

After several gaffes which saw the company prematurely activate and then pull the feature, AT&T has finally launched its free Wi-Fi access for iPhone users at all AT&T-branded hotspots in the U.S. The service will provide free high-speed Internet access to iPhone users at all AT&T hotspots, including those found at Starbucks. To access a hotspot, users must launch the Safari browser, enter their 10-digit phone number on the page provided, agree to the Acceptable Use policy, and tap continue. AT&T will then send the user a text message containing a link, which the user must then open in Safari, and tap a link on the page. The company notes that the link sent via SMS will be valid for 24 hours, and only at the location from which it was requested.

iSkin rolls out fuze for iPhone 3G [updated]

iSkin has introduced its new fuze case for the iPhone 3G. Like the company’s prior fuze case for the original iPhone, fuze for iPhone 3G blends a soft inner rubber layer with a hard-shell rear and front covers. The case features a built-in Dock Connector cover, complete button coverage, open access to the ring/silent switch, an included screen protector, and compatibility with iSkin’s revoClip. The iSkin fuze for iPhone 3G is available now in black, red, and silver, and sells for $45.

imageUpdated: In addition to the fuze, iSkin also announced new Vibes and Duo cases for the fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation iPod touch. Vibes for iPod nano 4G are soft, flexible cases featuring a glossy finish and one of seven original artistically-designed patterns to complement the nano’s existing color. Other features include integrated screen protection, an adhesive-free Click Wheel protector, and an included Dock Connector cover and custom Universal Dock Adapter. iSkin Vibes for iPod nano 4G are available now for $25. iSkin’s Duo case for iPod nano 4G combines a silicone case with a hard polycarbonate ViSOR screen guard to offer improved protection. It includes a Click Wheel protection film, a Dock Connector protector, a custom Universal Dock Adapter, and a removable low-profile belt clip. iSkin’s Duo case for iPod nano 4G is available in 3-pack combos of white, clear, and black, purple, clear, and blue, or red, clear, and pink, each selling for $35.

imageThe iSkin Vibes for iPod touch 2G, like the Vibes for iPod nano 4G, is a soft, flexible case featuring a glossy finish and a finely-detailed design in the case itself. It offers open access to the headphone jack, coverings for the volume and sleep/wake buttons, and includes a screen protector, a Dock Connector guard, and a custom Universal Dock Adapter. Available in five different colors, it sells for $30. Based on the iSkin revo for iPhone, the Duo for iPod touch 2G combines a premium two-tone silicone case with a clear ViSOR screen guard that can be flipped to the back for access to the touch’s screen. It features a textured surface for added grip, open access to the headphone port, covers for all buttons, and an integrated Dock Protector, and includes a clear screen protector. Available in four colors, the iSkin Duo for iPod touch 2G sells for $35.

Mix: Artist apps, Canada, iPhone 2.2 + Podcasts

As expected, rock group Snow Patrol has released a free iPhone and iPod touch application as a companion to their new album A Hundred Million Suns. The new app offers lyrics, videos, and links, hidden inside origami stars (as seen on the album cover) which need to be opened using two-finger gestures. In addition, the artist Pink has also released a free application, Pink’s Funhouse, which offers previews of her new album, artist news, images, and more. Both apps are available now from the App Store.

New legislation introduced in Canada this week would make it illegal to use your iPod while driving. Under Ontario’s proposed “distracted driving law,” drivers who use their cell phones or portable DVD and media players would face fines of up to $500. Transportation Minister Jim Bradley called the fines “significant,” adding, “If I want to change stations on the radio ... I can do so; that is not prohibited. But if I were holding a hand-held device and did that, I would be in trouble.”

An alleged screenshot from the latest beta version of iPhone Software 2.2 suggests that Apple is preparing to enable user to download podcasts directly to the iPhone or iPod touch. The inclusion of such a feature might explain the rejection of the app Podcaster, which Apple said duplicated “the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes.”

Xplay 3.1 adds iPhone, iPod touch drive access

Mediafour has released Xplay 3.1, the latest version of its iPod utility software for Windows. Version 3.1 adds the ability to access the iPhone and iPod touch directly, mounted as external drives, making it easy to access and backup music stored on the device, and enabling the device to function as a portable drive. In addition to drive letter access, the new version offers improved control over photos, and allows direct copying from one iPod to another. XPlay 3 is available now and runs $30 for a single license, or $40 for a two computer license. Previous owners of XPlay can upgrade to the new version for $15 ($25 for 2-pack upgrade).

Last chance to vote for 2008 Readers’ Choice Awards

If you haven’t yet voted for iLounge’s 2008 Readers’ Choice Awards, today is your final opportunity. The quick 4-question poll lets you name your picks for 2008 iPhone + iPod Application Developer of the Year, 2008 iPhone + iPod Game Developer of the Year, 2008 iPod + iPhone Accessory Developer of the Year, and best new Apple media player of the year. Winners will be announced in the 2009 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide on October 31, 2008. Thanks for your votes and best of luck to all of this year’s developers!

Photo of the week: iPhone 3G in Denver

This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone 3G at a political rally, across from the courthouse in Denver, Colorado. 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!

Mix: Rogers, Wal-Mart, iPhone 2.2, Credit Card, David Cook

Reporting its third quarter financial results, Canadian iPhone carrier Rogers revealed that it activated around 255,000 iPhone 3Gs in the quarter. The activations, about one-third of which were new subscribers, helped the company post an 84 percent boost in quarterly profit. Overall, the company added 191,000 new subscribers during the quarter.

Wal-Mart has re-launched its DRM-free MP3 downloads store, with select top songs available for as little as $0.74 per track. The company has also added an iTunes-like free track of the week, and support for both Firefox and Safari browsers (the store was previously IE-only). In addition, it will begin offering a free MP3 track with every CD purchase—both in-store and online—beginning in mid-November. Wal-Mart claims it now offers more than 3 million MP3 tracks.

According to a screenshot posted to the Greek website iPhone Hellas, iPhone Software 2.2 will prompt users to rate an application when deleting it from their iPhone or iPod touch. The screenshot shows a standard iPhone alert box, asking the user to “Please rate [App Name] before deleting,” and instructing them to tap a star (from one to five) to rate the app. Buttons at the bottom allow the user to say “No Thanks” or to rate the app.

Inner Fence has released its new Credit Card Terminal application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Terminal allows users to process credit card payments through Authorize.Net directly from their device, operating over Wi-Fi, 3G, or EDGE connections. Credit Card Terminal is available now from the App Store and sells for $50.

USA Today reports that American Idol winner David Cook will release a special $2 version of his single “Light On” through iTunes this week that will include a lighter application for the iPhone and iPod touch. According to the report, the application will begin playing the song as soon as the user lights the virtual lighter. As of this writing, the enhanced single has yet to appear on the iTunes Store.

Myvu Crystal receives ‘Works with iPhone’ certification

Myvu has announced that its Myvu Crystal wearable video display has received “Works with iPhone” certification for both the original iPhone and iPhone 3G. Compatibility is provided via a new iPhone-compatible cable, which is now available on Myvu’s website for $25. Released this past May, Myvu Crystal features VGA resolution, Kopin’s CyberDisplay technology, a rechargeable battery with up to four hours of viewing time, earbuds from Ultimate Ears, a 35% increase in the field of view compared to previous Myvu models, and sells for $300.

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