Sonos, maker of wireless multi-room music systems, has announced the release of its new Sonos Controller application for the iPhone. This free application allows iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPod touch users to control the Sonos Multi-Room Music System directly from their device over Wi-Fi. Controller lets users control the entire Sonos system, allowing them to quickly link and unlink rooms, select, play, pause, and skip music in any room, search for artists and songs, browse their music collection, and change the volume in a single room, or in all rooms at once. Sonos Controller is available now as a free download from the App Store.
SwitchEasy has introduced its new Colors and Colors Stealth cases for the fourth-generation iPod nano. Made from thick silicone, Colors offers open access to the Click Wheel, headphone jack, and hold switch, with two included screen protectors, one film, one hard polycarbonate, two Click Wheel protectors, a cleaning cloth, and a Dock Connector protector. While the Colors cases come with clear polycarbonate screen protectors, Stealth comes with a specially tinted dark guard. SwitchEasy’s Colors are available in eleven colors, including Stealth, and are available now for $13. For more information on SwitchEasy’s Colors and Colors Stealth for the iPod nano 4G, see our First Look article.
Grantwood Technology has released its new tuneband armband for the fourth-generation iPod nano. Made from silicone, the tuneband’s removable case offers open access to the Click Wheel, headphone port, and Dock Connector port, and includes a cut-and-peel screen protector. It slides into a buckle on the included washable armband, which offers a Velcro closure. The Grantwood Technology tuneband for iPod nano 4G is available now in black, clear, gray, navy blue, neon green, pink, purple, red, and teal blue, and sells for $13.
Voting for iLounge’s 2008 Readers’ Choice Awards will end on Wednesday, so if you haven’t yet cast your vote, now’s the time to do so. This brief 4-question survey 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 favorite new Apple media player of the year. The race is still very close in several of the categories, so get your vote in and let your voice be heard. Winners will be announced in the 2009 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide on October 31, 2008. Thanks for your votes so far and best of luck to all of this year’s developers!
Google has released a new version of its Google Earth application for the iPhone and iPod touch. According to the app’s release notes, it offers the same global satellite and aerial imagery available in the desktop versions of Google Earth. The app employs a multi-touch interface to navigate the virtual globe, with the ability to tilt the device to adjust the view, view geo-located Wikipedia articles, use the location feature to move to the user’s current location, and search for different destinations worldwide. Google Earth for iPhone and iPod touch is a free download from the App Store, and is available now.
Apple has seeded its second beta version of iPhone Software 2.2 to select developers, adding fully-enabled Street View and more directions options to the Google Maps application. APIs supporting Street View were discovered in the prior 2.2 beta, but were not enabled. As seen in screenshots posted to iPhoneYap’s forums, the Maps application in Software 2.2 also features buttons at the top of the directions view for selecting between walking, bus, and driving directions, complete with a list of transit times, if applicable. In addition, the new seed also offers support for line-in audio accessories in the SDK. [via MacRumors]
Griffin Technology has released iTalk Recorder, a free iPhone and iPod touch 2G software version of its earlier iTalk hardware voice recorders for iPods and iPod nanos. Designed with three recording quality settings—good, better, and best—iTalk Recorder creates AIFF-format recordings that can be sent wirelessly to your computer using a separate free application, iTalk Sync. Both applications are available now, though Griffin’s web site currently only offers iTalk Sync in a Macintosh version; a Windows version is “coming soon.”
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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SwitchEasy has announced the release of its CapsuleThins case for the fourth-generation iPod nano in eight new colors. Previously available in Black or Clear only, CapsuleThins are made from GE Lexan polycarbonate, measure only 1.2mm thick, and offer open access to the Click Wheel, headphone jack, and hold switch. In addition, each case includes an anti-static screen protector, two Click Wheel protectors, a microfiber cleaning cloth, a custom Universal Dock adapter, a video stand, a Dock connector protector, and a headphone adapter. SwitchEasy CapsuleThins for iPod nano 4G are available now in black, clear, white, red, yellow, green, orange, blue, pink, and violet, and sell for $20. For more information on the SwitchEasy CapsuleThins for iPod nano 4G, see our review.
PDO has announced that it is now shipping its TopSkin cases for the fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation iPod touch. Announced earlier this month, the form-fitting silicone cases feature a micro-texture pattern for added grip; the iPod touch version features protective flaps for the headphone jack and dock connector along with play-thru covers for the home, sleep/wake, and volume buttons, an included screen protector and lanyard, and sells for $20. The iPod nano version offers cut-out access to the screen, Click Wheel, and bottom, and sells for $15. Both cases are available now in black, white, pink, and blue.
Voting is still open for our 2008 Readers’ Choice Awards. This 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 favorite new Apple media player of the year. With thousands of votes already counted, here are some updates on the current standings.
The iPhone 3G continues to maintain a strong lead in the best new Apple media player of 2008 category, with a mere 1.4% of all votes coming from write-ins. By comparison, the Accessory Developer of the Year award is hotly contested: literally 0.1% of the vote currently separates the current leaders, Griffin Technology and Logitech, while write-in candidates command nearly 18% of the vote.
Significant write-in campaigns are also helping developers in the Application and Game Developer of the year categories, which are currently being led by Pandora Media and Gameloft, but with days left to go, anyone could win these Readers’ Choice Awards. Cast your vote through this link, and recognize the best companies and Apple devices of the year!
Equinux has announced the release of CoverScout 3, the latest version of its iTunes album art manager for Mac. CoverScout searches multiple music archives such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Google Images simultaneously to find album art for tracks within an iTunes library currently missing their art. In addition, it boasts a Cover Flow-inspired interface, an integrated cover editor, letting the user rotate, scale, crop, and adjust colors if needed, along with the ability to photograph rare album art using the iSight webcam built-in to many Mac computers. CoverScout 3 is available now in German, English and French for $40, and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later.
As promised, Apple has posted an updated iPhone SDK Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), and has opened a beta of its Apple Developer Forums to “provide a collaborative environment to post iPhone development topics and questions for an open discussion with fellow iPhone developers.” On October 1, Apple announced it would drop the portion of its NDA for released iPhone software, stating, “the NDA has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhone’s success, so we are dropping it for released software.” The revised agreement (PDF Link) reads, “You agree that any Apple pre-release software (including related documentation and materials) and any information disclosed by Apple to you in connection with Apple Events or Paid Content (defined below) will be considered and referred to as “Apple Confidential Information”.” The company defines “Paid Content” as “certain proprietary content (including, without limitation, video presentations and audio recordings) that Apple may make available to you from time to time for a separate fee.” The new developer forums, which are open to paid iPhone developers only, can be accessed at devforums.apple.com.
For those readers who have yet to enter our iProvocateur or iPod As Art contests, now’s your final chance, as the window for submissions ends tomorrow night, October 24, at 11:59PM, Pacific Time. In our biggest photo contest ever, iProvocateur, we’re looking for photographs of the iPod or iPhone in a provocative setting. Entries may use a person, people, and/or eye-catching background in the image with the device, and the most stunning or otherwise visually interesting entry will win a grand prize of ten iPods — nine 8GB fourth-generation iPod nanos (one of each color) and a 16GB second-generation iPod touch. Second place will receive two 16GB second-generation iPod touches, with the third place entry receiving three 8GB fourth-generation iPod nanos.
In iPod As Art, our second contest, we’re providing entrants with a broad creative canvas: portray the iPod As Art. Entrants may draw, render, or photograph an image with the iPod as a iconic central element, photograph iPods together, or show how the iPod interacts with the worlds of design, art, or technology. The grand prize winner will receive a JVC 42” LCD HDTV with TeleDock iPod Docking Station, courtesy of JVC. Second place will win a 160GB Apple TV and a 32GB second-generation iPod touch, while third place will receive a 40GB Apple TV and an 8GB second-generation iPod touch, courtesy of iLounge. Full rules and submission links are here. Good luck!
Apple is working on a way to provide wide-area wireless communications to devices offering only short-range communications, according to a new patent application. The application describes a system in which wireless modules, offering both long-range and short-range wireless communication, are embedded in common objects such as cars, purses, t-shirts, tennis shoes, and more, and facilitate connectivity for devices—such as iPods—which offer only short-range communications. 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. [via Unwired View]
The Chief Administrative Office, which oversees the communications systems for the U.S. House of Representatives, has begun testing a group of iPhones to see if they are compatible with the working needs of lawmakers and staff. According to The Hill, the CAO plans to decide whether to offer the iPhone as an option by January, when the next Congress begins. “The reason we’re trying them out is because we heard a lot of people wanted the option to have them,” said Jeff Ventura, a spokesman for the CAO.
Seven years ago today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the original 5GB iPod, a $399 hard drive-based MP3 player with a unique Scroll Wheel and bright white LCD interface, an amazingly pocketable size, and high-speed FireWire for synchronization and charging. The first-generation iPod actually shipped on November 10, 2001, going on to sell 125,000 units by year’s end.
Apple now has sold more than 174 million iPods, spanning five distinct models—iPod/iPod classic, iPod mini, iPod shuffle, iPod nano, and iPod touch, and has seen countless advancements in capacity and features, even while falling in price. It has also played a major part in Apple’s remarkable growth from a struggling computer company to a major consumer electronics manufacturer, inspiring the iPhone and helping boost sales of the company’s Mac computers.
From all of us at iLounge to Apple’s iPod teams, past and present, congratulations on your seventh birthday. We will be here to celebrate many, many more.
ColorWare has announced that it is now offering custom coloring services for the second-generation iPod touch, fourth-generation iPod nano, and 120GB iPod classic. The company offers 35 different colors, which can be applied separately to parts like the back, home button, and Click Wheel. Mail-in service starts at $125 for the touch 2G and $75 for the nano 4G or 120GB classic, while units purchased directly from ColorWare start at $355 for the touch 2G, $225 for the nano 4G, and $325 for the classic.
JMJarre Technologies has introduced its new Aerosystems iPod loudspeaker in Europe. The tall, cylindrical speaker features a built-in iPod dock on top, a glass enclosure, an integrated amplifier, electronic circuit signal processing to help restore sound to compressed audio sources such as MP3s, and more. The Aerosystems speaker is available now in black or silver and retails for €449, or roughly $575.
Speaking at the Intel Developer Forum in Taipei, Taiwan, Intel executives Shane Wall and Pankaj Kedia made comments concerning the iPhone’s performance and its dependence on the ARM architecture. “The shortcomings of the iPhone are not because of Apple,” said Kedia, Intel’s director of ecosystems for its ultra-mobility group. “The shortcomings of the iPhone have come from ARM.” Wall, vice president Intel’s the mobility group, said, “Any sort of application that requires any horse power at all and the iPhone struggles,” adding that despite the buzz created around the device, it fell short in a number of areas. He went on to say, “If you want to run full internet, you’re going to have to run an Intel-based architecture.”
The popular BBC program Top Gear is now available on the iTunes Store in the U.S. Currently, only the tenth season of the show is available, with individual episodes priced at $2 and the entire season priced at $15. To celebrate the show’s availability, BBC America is offering a special link from the show’s official website—topgear.com—which allows fans to download one free episode from season 10.
Tunewear has introduced its new Prie Ambassador SideHook case for the second-generation iPod touch. Made from leather, the SideHook offers a removable hook that doubles as a stand for watching video, a rear cardholder for a driver’s license or credit card, and open access to all sensors, buttons, ports, and controls. In addition, the case includes a Tunefilm clear screen protector. Tunewear’s Prie Ambassador SideHook for iPod touch 2G will be available later this month in black with red stitching, black with white stitching, or brown with yellow stitching, and will sell for $50.
Reporting its third-quarter financial results, Apple’s U.S. iPhone carrier partner AT&T revealed that it saw 2.4 million iPhone activations from the device’s launch on July 11 to the end of September. Of those 2.4 million activations, approximately 40 percent were new AT&T wireless customers. “I am particularly pleased with the customer response to the iPhone 3G,” said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. “The new customers we’re winning are high-value, with attractive revenue and churn profiles. We’re expanding the market, as users adopt more data and media-rich services and access a wide array of applications. These achievements are positive for the future of our business.”