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Illusion Labs demos iPhone games on Multi-touch table

iPhone developer Illusion Labs has posted a video to YouTube showing two of its iPhone games, TouchGrind and Sway, being played on a large multi-touch table. The technology for table was developed by Touchtech in cooperation with Crowd; according to Mac Rumors, the games, which had been slightly modified to accommodate the larger screen, were running on a MacBook Pro with input from the table being sent via a network cable. Continue reading to watch an embedded version of the video.

iPhone OS 3.0 poll ends, next-gen iPhone poll begins

With over 3,000 votes from iLounge readers, our latest poll—“What’s the feature you’re most excited about in iPhone OS 3.0?” has ended. Readers were given the choice between cut, copy, & paste, stereo Bluetooth, Spotlight search, MMS support, expanded widescreen keyboard support, push notifications, or other improvements, with an option for those who don’t own an iPhone or iPod touch.

After adjusting for the 10% of responding readers who said they didn’t have an iPhone or iPod touch, Cut, Copy, & Paste was the most popular new feature amongst iLounge readers, with 29% of the remaining vote. MMS support and more widescreen keyboards were tied for second with 18% of the vote a piece, followed by stereo Bluetooth with 14%, push notifications with 11%, Spotlight search with 5%, and other features with 4%. Thanks for all your votes!

Our new poll focuses on the next-generation iPhone. We’d like to know if you be buying one when it’s released this Summer. Have you been holding out, and will buy one no matter what, or are you an iPhone veteran who looks forward to picking up the next model? Or perhaps you’d consider buying one, but only if it features significant hardware improvements, or is smaller/less expensive than prior models? Or did you just pick up an iPhone 3G, and will be ineligible for subsidy discounting, or perhaps you’re happy with your current phone and/or provider, or just don’t have any interest in owning a cell phone? Our new poll, “Do you think you’ll purchase a new iPhone when it’s released in June or July?” lets you answer that question. As always, you can find the iLounge Poll in the left hand column of the main homepage. Cast your vote today!

Apple releases iTunes 8.1.1

Apple has released iTunes 8.1.1, the latest version of its digital media management software. According to the release notes, iTunes 8.1.1 adds support for renting HD movies and provides a number of bug fixes, including addressing issues with VoiceOver and syncing with an iPhone or iPod touch. iTunes 8.1.1 is available now through Apple’s Software Update utility or as a direct download from

Apple planning to bring camera to iPod touch?

A new Apple job posting suggests the company is planning to add a camera module to future iPod models, possibly including the iPod touch. The listing for “Camera Project Manager - iPhone” states that “[t]he iPhone Engineering Group is looking for a Camera Engineering Project Manager (EPM) to drive the design, development and integration of camera modules across iPhone and iPod.” Responsibilities of the position include serving as an “interface” between Apple’s internal engineering teams and component suppliers of sensors, lenses, and camera modules, and coordinating all aspects of the camera module design, production, and integration. Applicants are expected to have a strong technical background including camera optics, sensors, actuators, manufacturing, and quality control. While Apple has yet to officially announce any plans to add a camera to the iPod touch, the company has in the past revealed future intentions through its job listings website; omitting the word “iPod” would have been easy for the company had it intended to offer camera functionality only for iPhone models. [via AppleInsider]

Jeopardy! comes to iPhone, iPod touch

Sony Pictures Television has released its new Jeopardy! game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the popular quiz show of the same name, Jeopardy! lets players compete against two computer opponents, with the same gameplay as seen on the television show. Features include the ability for players to write their names on the podium using the touchscreen, a landscape view for showing both the contestants and categories at once, real sound effects from the game show including the Final Jeopardy theme, the ability for players to create their own custom contestants, and over 1,500 clues. Jeopardy! is available now from the App Store and sells for $5.

iPhone OS 3.0 video editing, FM transmission possible?

Based on a number of new reports, iPhone OS 3.0 may offer video editing and recording capabilities, while a next-generation iPhone may debut with 802.11n support, and potentially FM transmission capabilities, as well. Found in the latest beta version of iPhone OS 3.0 (Translated Link), new resource images appear to show graphics needed for video editing purposes: listed under the name “UIMovieScrubber,” the images include what appear to be controls for editing video, including in and out markers. The discovery follows an earlier report that the next-generation iPhone OS appeared set to support both video recording and sharing via MobileMe, the former most likely only on next-generation hardware. DigiTimes recently reported that Apple had placed orders for 3.2-megapixel CMOS image sensors to be used in the next iPhone, which may or may not be tied to the expected new video features.

A separate component specification file found in the new beta release of iPhone OS 3.0 suggests that the next-generation of iPhone and iPod touch hardware will offer not only low-power 802.11n support, but also possibly FM reception and transmission capabilities. Broadcom’s BCM4329 chip is listed in the beta OS along with specifications, which include 802.11 a/b/g/n support, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, and a FM radio receiver and transmitter. Notably, the presence of these features in a new chip does not guarantee that Apple will actually support them with iPhone OS software. The second-generation iPod touch used Broadcom’s earlier BCM4325 chip, which also offered FM reception hardware capabilities, a feature that was never disclosed or enabled by Apple’s software. Whether Apple takes advantage of the BCM4329’s expanded functionality is therefore a question mark, but if so, next-generation iPhones could include 802.11n/a wireless support, the ability to receive FM radio stations, and the ability to broadcast iPod mode audio to in-car stereos—all without additional accessories. [via TUAW]

New iLounge Discussion Forums Now Live

The new iLounge Discussion Forums are now live with the latest version of the forum software and a whole new look. The new system provides some significant new features, including more advanced posting and reply options, a more sophisticated private messaging system and fully customizable user profile pages. Additional community and social networking features are also available in the new system and we will be looking at rolling these features out in a phased approach in the coming weeks.

See our Welcome thread in the Forums for more detailed information on new and coming attractions.

While we are still responding to readers’ feedback regarding any issues they might spot, and tweaking layout and performance issues, we think you will like the latest step in our continued drive to ensure that the iLounge forums are the world’s largest, and best, independent source of all things iPod, iPhone, iTunes and beyond. We hope you enjoy the new forums!

iLounge Forums upgrade: Fri Apr 3 11:00 PM EDT

The iLounge Forums will shortly be undergoing a substantial upgrade, and will be temporarily unavailable during that time. When the Forums reopen, they will sport major enhancements, hopefully making them an even better area for our readers to share information, ideas, and questions. We thank you for your patience during the upgrade, and look forward to bringing you the improved design.

Update: The forum upgrade is scheduled to begin at 11:00 PM EDT tonight. The forums will be unavailable for approximately four hours during the upgrade process.

Enter the Just Mobile Xtand Giveaway today

If you haven’t yet entered our Just Mobile Xtand Giveaway, there’s still time to do so. In our Giveaway of the Month for April, Just Mobile and iLounge are giving away twenty Xtands for iPhone or iPod touch to lucky readers. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on April 30, 2009 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!

Apple updates Remote to version 1.2.1

Apple has released Remote 1.2.1, the latest version of its iTunes and Apple TV remote software for the iPhone and iPod touch. According to Apple, the new release contains bug fixes and provides compatibility with iTunes 8.1; however, this is the same “What’s New” description it used for Remote 1.2, making it difficult to ascertain what changes have been made. Remote v.1.2 added the ability for guests to select songs to add to the iTunes DJ playlist, and vote for songs picked by others. Remote 1.2.1 is available now as a free download from the App Store.

New iPodweek newsletter coming later today

This week’s edition of iLounge’s weekly newsletter, iPodweek, will be available 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 and retailers. There is still plenty of time to sign up for this week’s edition, if you haven’t done so already — just use the simple form below to submit your email address.

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T-Mobile Germany moves to ban Skype for iPhone

T-Mobile Germany, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in Germany, has said it will block customers from using the new Skype application for iPhone, both on a network and contractual basis. “It is clearly stated in our customer contracts that such services may not be used,” T-Mobile spokesperson Alexander von Schmettow told German publication The Local. “There are two reasons for this – because the high level of traffic would hinder our network performance, and because if the Skype programme didn’t work properly, customers would make us responsible for it.” Skype for iPhone works only over Wi-Fi connections, meaning it would have no effect on T-Mobile cellular network performance, only at company-owned Wi-Fi hotspots. Skype General Counsel Robert Miller points out in a blog post that the application is the number one download on the App Store in Germany, but that customers in the country have no choice but to abide by the company’s rules, at least while on T-Mobile controlled networks, because all German mobile operators forbid the use of VoIP applications.

“[T]here is no technical justification for this arbitrary blocking of Skype, and it represents a barrier to online business put in place by a private company just because they can, because they control access to the Internet,” Miller writes. “Yet, no one can do anything about it: German or EU regulation does not forbid such blatantly unfair practices, and the new EU legislation for telecoms which the European Parliament and European governments are supposed to adopt later this month will not help either, it seems from the latest texts being considered in Brussels: it may even make things worse, by legitimizing restrictions put in place by operators to users’ Internet access, as long as they inform consumers.” Meanwhile, Schmettow said the company will not hesitate to enforce the policy, stating, “[T]hose who violate their contracts can expect to have them cancelled. It’s the same with any contract. If you rent a no-pets apartment and expect no one to notice your little dog, you can’t be surprised when your landlord comes knocking.”

O’Reilly announces iPhone development workshops

O’Reilly has announced it will be holding four iPhone development workshops in locations across the U.S. this spring/summer. The O’Reilly Workshop: Build, Compile, and Run Your iPhone App in 2 Days will be helmed by iPhone app programmer Joe Heck, and is aimed at helping both experienced and novice programmers get up to speed on the basics of iPhone development, including the Cocoa programming environment, the Xcode suite of tools, the Objective-C language, and Instruments. Attendees will create two real iPhone applications by the end of the two-day session. The workshops will be held May 16-17 in San Francisco, June 27-28 in Chicago, August 8-9 in LA, and September 19-20 in Seattle; standard pricing is set at $1200, but those who book early may be eligible for a $200 “early bird” discount.

Report: iPod shuffle 3G controls fail during workouts

A group of third-generation iPod shuffle users is complaining of issues when attempting to control the device from the pack-in headphones. According to an Apple Discussion thread on the matter, the issue appears to be linked to moisture and sweat, which seems to interfere with the in-line controls. Users have repeatedly reported that the volume randomly increases to maximum when working out or running during use, while a subset of users said that the unit unexpectedly turned itself off shortly after the volume increase. Apple has yet to publicly respond to the thread, however, one user claims that the company has quietly made contact to get the unit back for examination. [via MacNN]

Report: Apple firmware stopped DVI-out in HDCP iTunes video

A post-release video card firmware update issued by Apple has left some Mac Pro users unable to play back HDCP-encrypted, iTunes-purchased content, notes iLounge reader Joshua Murphy. Following an article published recently about HDCP content protection on new high-definition iTunes movie releases, Murphy notes that late 2008 MacBook users aren’t the only ones affected by the lockdown. Equipped with an nVidia GeForce 7300GT card and Samsung T240 monitor, both of which initially supported HDCP over a DVI connection, Murphy’s Mac Pro now refuses to play HDCP-encoded content following installation of iTunes 8.1, an issue traced to an Apple-supplied firmware update that apparently disabled the HDCP feature of the video card without warning. Consequently, though all of his machine’s components are HDCP-compliant, he is unable to watch HD videos at all.

Murphy has since contacted Apple, which told him that the problem with HDCP on the original Mac Pro is an active issue being worked on, and there should be an update soon to correct the problem. In the meantime, Apple recommended he revert to iTunes 8.0.2, which will allow him to play HD-formatted TV shows but unfortunately not HD movies. Given that the firmware update was released in early 2007, well before the appearance of HD-formatted TV shows and movies on iTunes, it is possible that Apple was not immediately aware of the problems disabling HDCP support could cause its users; however, no known fix is currently available.

NPD: iPod shuffle sales up in week following 3G launch

iPod shuffle sales grew 51% from their prior level in the first full week the third-generation model of the device was available, according to the latest data from the NPD Group. Citing information from NPD published by a Barclay’s analyst, Apple Insider reported that growth continued the week of March 28, rising another 10%, an effect that is most likely attributable both to early adopters and the extended period that had elapsed before the prior model’s replacement. Despite the rise in iPod shuffle sales, combined sales of all iPod models fell 38% year over year the week of March 21, although the drop is in line with the overall MP3 player market, which dropped 37% during the same period. While the NPD Group’s numbers factor in sales at Apple retail stores, they do not account for online or international sales.

Hacked Apple TVs are 25% of Boxee use; Macs 67%

Boxee, a freeware media browser that allows users to watch web video, streaming TV shows, and any other non-DRM content shared on their network through a user-friendly interface, now derives 25% of its total traffic from Apple TV devices that have been hacked to run the Boxee software. According to new statistics published by Fortune, Apple’s products account for 92% of all Boxee use when the Apple TV users are combined with the 67% of users who run the software on Macs. Boxee founder Avner Ronen explains that the software became publicly available on Mac-based systems first because members of the development team “were all switching to Macs as our personal computers, [a]nd we felt many of the early adopters were going there as well.” While 370,000 people have downloaded the software since it became available last June, only 4% of those are running the software on Windows PCs, mostly due to the current alpha build, private-release status of the PC software. Installation of Boxee on an Apple TV requires a download from Boxee, as well as some unauthorized hacking of the Apple TV system software that results in Boxee appearing first as a menu item, then as a separate application with its own interface.

Proporta unveils Silicone Sleeve for iPod shuffle 3G

Proporta has introduced its new Silicone Sleeve for the third-generation iPod shuffle. The slim silicone case offers full access to the headphone jack and power switch, features a colored stripe down the front, and doesn’t block access to the shuffle’s built-in clip. Available in grey, red, or pink, the Proporta Silicone Sleeve for iPod shuffle 3G is expected begin shipping next week and sells for $7.

Vuzix rolls out iPhone-compatible cable with 3-D support

Vuzix has announced its new “Works with iPhone” cable, offering both iPhone and 3-D compatibility. According to the company, the new cable supports 3-D video in side by side, interlaced, and all three major anaglyph mode formats. The cable will be bundled with the company’s iWear AV230XL Video Eyewear, and will be available as an upgrade for all Vuzix Video Eyewear customers for $40.

Microsoft exec hints at Office for iPhone

Speaking at the Web 2.0 Expo, Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft’s Business Division, hinted that the company may be planning to bring a version of its Office productivity suite to the iPhone. When asked whether Microsoft was committed to getting its major productivity applications onto the Web and on mobile devices, Elop said the company recognizes the growing demand from smartphone users, pointing out how many people now access their Facebook accounts with their iPhones because the device, and others like it, had made it practical to access on the go. After interviewer Tim O’Reilly asked Elop directly whether this meant the iPhone would get access to a mobile edition of Office, he said, “not yet, keep watching.” Elop also announced that Microsoft plans to launch an ad-supported online version of Office sometime after 2009; it is unclear whether an iPhone version of the software would be created as a web application or as a standalone app.

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