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McAfee, Symantec developing for iPhone

Security software companies McAfee and Symantec are both developing products for the iPhone, according to a new report. Speaking with Reuters, McAfee CEO Dave DeWalt said the company was working on security software for both the iPhone and Mac, which he described as “a much more comprehensive suite for the Apple family.” DeWalt did not say when the software might be ready for release, or how such software, which normally requires more access to system files than iPhone applications are currently allowed, would be distributed.

Also well known for its security software, McAffe rival Symantec is instead working on a MobileMe-like backup service for the iPhone. Symantec Senior Vice President Rowan Trollope said the service would protect data on the iPhone and allow users to use the device to access information stored on their home computers or on the web, adding that although the company closely monitors iPhone security issues, it has no plans to introduce any security products at this time.

AT&T considering cheaper iPhone service plans

AT&T is considering a limited data access plan for iPhone users which would reduce the minimum monthly cost of an iPhone by $10, according to a new report. Citing people with knowledge of the company’s plans, BusinessWeek reports that the reduced plan could be introduced by the end of the month, and that the increased flexibility in pricing may be part of Apple’s demands for an exclusivity extension. Other options for increasing iPhone sales include reducing the up-front price of the iPhone to $99 or introducing a cheaper and/or pre-paid iPhone model.

Ultimate Ears intros UE-4 Pro custom earphones

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Ultimate Ears has introduced its new UE-4 Pro Custom Monitors. Like the company’s other Pro monitors, the UE-4 Pro is handcrafted for a custom in-ear fit, and features a proprietary dual-armature, dual-bore design, a passive crossover, the ability to reduce ambient noise 26 to 28 decibels, and an included personalized protective carrying case. In addition, the UE-4 Pro can be outfitted with an optional ambient feature designed for musicians who need to hear both the monitor and the noise of the crowd. Ultimate Ears’ UE-4 Pro Custom Monitors are available now and sell for $400, or $450 with the optional ambient feature.

Still time to enter the FastMac TruePower iV Giveaway

If you haven’t yet submitted your entry for our FastMac TruePower iV Giveaway, there’s still time to do so. In our Giveaway of the Month for May, ten lucky iLounge readers will receive a FastMac iV Battery Extender and Charger for the iPhone or iPod touch. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on May 31, 2009 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!

Apple execs mull iPhone growth options

Speaking with representatives from Oppenheimer, senior Apple officials discussed possible avenues the company could explore to further the iPhone’s market share, according to a new report. Citing a client report from Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner, AppleInsider reports that Apple executive mentioned providing increased functionality, lowering prices, expanding the products’ geographic availability, and segmenting the market with different models as possible ways to increase market share. “[T]hey are not saying they will necessarily do all of these,” Reiner told AI. “This is basically the menu of options.” Reiner went on to say that the executives also seemed excited by the growth opportunities presented by the Chinese market, but declined to comment further on timing and/or possible carrier partners for the region.

Mix: SF Giants, imeem, iDroids, Touch Karma

  • May 15, 2009

The San Francisco Giants have launched Giants Digital Dugout, a system that provides iPhone and iPod touch users with a special interface when connected to AT&T Park’s Wi-Fi network. Digital Dugout lets users see current score and stat details, find the closest concession location with the exact type of food they want, and watch a collection of video highlights that includes replays of any controversial call within three minutes of it happening. The service is free to all guests of the park.

Social music service imeem has released its imeem Mobile application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The application allows imeem users to search for bands and create custom artist stations that play music from those artists and others like them, stream their music library, which has been uploaded to imeem.com, to their iPhone or iPod touch, purchase songs through iTunes with one click, and browse music recommendations based on listening habits of both the user and community as a whole. Imeem Mobile is available now as a free download from the App Store.

Aritificial Life has released iDroids, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The side-scrolling game features 11 missions set in multiple locales, various weapons including a blaster, shield, stealth suit, and more, multiple control schemes, and social networking connectivity. iDroids is available now for $2; a free Lite version is also available.

Karma World has released Touch Karma, its new application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Touch Karma offers users three mini applications, one for tracking kids’ good and bad deeds, one for tracking positive and negative actions of friends and co-workers, and a virtual piggy bank to encourage saving habits. Touch Karma is available now from the App Store and sells for $3.

Latest edition of iPodweek newsletter coming shortly

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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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Apple forces Trackr to drop torrent features

Apple is forcing David Muzi, developer of the iPhone and iPod touch RSS application Trackr, to remove all features related to torrent queuing from the next version of the app, or have it pulled from the App Store. Trackr drew extra attention when iLounge reported that Apple had rejected Maza Digital’s Drivetrain torrent remote control application, as Muzi wrote in to point out that Trackr also lets users remotely queue torrents to start downloading, functionality similar to what Apple rejected in DriveTrain. In a message on his software site, Muzi explains that a new version of Trackr, minus the ability to work with torrent RSS feeds, will be submitted to the App Store today; as a result of the reduced feature set, he is dropping the price of Trackr to $1.99.

Apple, AT&T, Shazam sued over song ID tech

Apple, AT&T, Shazam Entertainment, and others have been sued in federal court by Tune Hunter, which claims the various companies have infringed on its patented song identification technology. Applied for in 2000 and granted in September, 2005, U.S. Patent no. 6,941,275 describes a music identification system that can either record the timestamp and currently playing radio station on an electronic device, or record and submit for processing a sample of audio in order, each technique capable of determining the song playing at the time. After submission, the song’s title, artist, and other information can be presented to the user via Internet or traditional voice telephony, with the possibility of providing a purchase link alongside the results.

Though Shazam and other companies may have offered music identification services since before 2005, Tune Hunter could recover damages for infringements taking place after its patent was granted. Apple, although potentially protected by its App Store contract, may be liable given that it has actively promoted Shazam’s iPhone application in a dedicated advertisement for the iPhone 3G as a reason to purchase the device. Other companies named in the suit include Samsung, Amazon, Napster, Motorola, Gracenote, Cellco Partnership (Verizon Wireless), LG, and Pantech; it is unclear whether additional applications, such as Melodis’s Midomi or Griffin’s iFM, will also be impacted by the patent.

Apple registers Nike+ icons, interface for EC design protection

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A number of new international design registrations indicate that Apple is moving to protect the icons and interface of the Nike+ application found on the second-generation iPod touch. Images supplied by Apple for European Community design protection show the application in different states, including the Workouts menu both with and without a calibration option, the sensor detection screen, and the app’s Now Playing screen in various states, both portrait and landscape. Alongside these screenshot design registrations are listings for each of the icons on the app’s Workouts screen, including a circle icon for basic workouts, a stop watch for timed workouts, a road icon for distance-focused workouts, a fire icon for workouts with a calorie burning goal, and a target icon for the calibration option. Notably, each of the screenshot designs feature the iPod mark in the upper left-hand corner, offering no further evidence that Apple plans to add Nike+ support to the iPhone. All of the design screenshots can be found by searching this database.

TV on iPod poll ends, music purchasing poll begins

With more than 1,750 votes from iLounge readers, our latest poll—“Would you rather buy TV shows from the iTunes Store or record them on an iPod/iPhone-friendly DVR?” has ended. Readers were given a variety of responses to choose from, including that they would rather purchase TV shows from the iTunes Store and are satisfied with the way it works now, that they would like to purchase all programming from the iTunes Store but can’t do so because they can’t wait a day for the shows to appear, that they would rather record their shows live from TV to an iPod/iPhone friendly DVR, or that they don’t watch TV or don’t care about adding TV content to their iPod/iPhone/iTunes libraries.

An overwhelming majority of readers—73%—said that they would rather record their TV shows live from TV to an iPod/iPhone-friendly DVR, which is only surprising in that so few existing products offer such a solution. Another 14% said they either didn’t watch TV or didn’t care about having TV shows in their iPod/iPhone/iTunes libraries, 10% said they prefer purchasing their shows from the iTunes Store on either a season pass or per-episode basis, and are satisfied with the way it works now, while only 3% said they would like to purchase all their programming from the iTunes Store, but can’t because they don’t want to wait until the next day for the show to appear. Thanks for all your responses!

Our new poll focuses on music purchasing—we’d like to know, following iTunes’ and other online retailers’ moves to a variable pricing scheme, where you are now getting your music. Do you still use the iTunes Store, or have you migrated to Amazon MP3? Or are you using a competing service, such as eMusic, Wal-Mart’s MP3 store, Microsoft’s Zune Marketplace, or another online retailer? Or do you still purchase your music in a physical format from Amazon or a brick-and-mortar store? Or do you not buy music at all? Our new poll, “Following Apple’s shift to variable iTunes Store song pricing, where are you now buying your music?” lets you answer that question. As always, you can find the iLounge Poll in the far right-hand column of the main iLounge.com homepage. Cast your vote today!

Wrapsol offers protective film for iPod, iPhone

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Wrapsol is now offering clear protective film for the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPod classic, second-generation iPod touch, third- and fourth-generation iPod nano. The clear 14-mil protective film is precision cut, and comes in 100% recyclable packaging along with a mister of application solution, a squeegee, a microfiber towel for cleaning and polishing, and instructions. In addition, Wrapsol pledges to donate a portion to each sale to environmental group Cool Earth, saving roughly 500 square feet of rainforest for each item purchased. Wrapsol’s complete protection kits for the iPod and iPhone are available now and sell for $25; individual screen and back covers are also available.

Editor’s Note: Comments to this article have been closed due to astroturfing/comment fraud. We strongly recommend that our readers do not do business with companies that engage in posting fake comments about their products.

Apple now selling iPhone 3G online

Apple has started selling the iPhone 3G online in the U.S. Previously, the handset was only available from AT&T online—both new and refurbished—and from physical Apple Store, Best Buy, AT&T, and Wal-Mart locations. Before purchase, customers will have to pass an eligibility check, and select a rate plan if necessary. Pricing for the handset remains at $199 for the 8GB model and $299 for 16GB versions; it is unclear whether Apple plans to offer online ordering in other countries as well.

App Mix: Vanguard Storm, Elvis, Scoop, Leaf Trombone

Square Enix has released Vanguard Storm, the latest addition to its series of Crystal Defenders games for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Vanguard Storm, players must strategically position units in various formations in order to prevent approaching monsters from breaking though the front lines and stealing the players’ crystals. The game features a real-time turn-based play system, jobs from the company’s Final Fantasy Tactics A2 game, and a wide variety of monsters. Vanguard Storm is available now from the App Store and sells for $5.

Elvis Presley Enterprises has introduced its new Elvis Mobile application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Developed by Resolute Games, Elvis Mobile features an Elvis sightings section for submitting Elvis pictures, with the option for Facebook integration, an images section offering never-before-seen and rare pictures of Elvis, a videos section with clips of the entertainer and other Elvis events, a news section, a livecam section offering real-time views of Graceland, and a podcast section for streaming the Graceland Beat from Elvis Radio. Elvis Mobile is available as a free download from the App Store.

Yellow Zinnia has announced Scoop, its new RSS reader application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Unlike traditional RSS readers, Scoop is optimized for viewing images and media, allowing users to view articles with full screen images. Other features include the ability to save images for offline viewing, the ability to watch YouTube videos in feeds, and full Newsgator sync support. Scoop is available now and sells for $3.

Smule has released Leaf Trombone: Lite & Free, a demo version of its latest music creation app Leaf Trombone: World Stage. Lite & Free allows players to get a sample of the paid game by offering a free play mode, a play game mode featuring a single default track, and an observe mode, which lets users watch the judging of performances by a live panel of judges. Leaf Trombone: Lite & Free is available now as a free download from the App Store.

AT&T admits role in SlingPlayer hobbling, blames data drain

Following the announcement that the new SlingPlayer Mobile app for iPhone would be limited to Wi-Fi only, AT&T has released an unusual statement regarding the limitation and why it was put into place. In the statement, the exclusive U.S. iPhone carrier claims the program “would use large amounts of wireless network capacity” and “could create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network.” It goes on to say that the company considers the iPhone and other smartphones to be personal computers, as “they have the same hardware and software attributes as PCs,” while pointing out that applications that redirect a TV signal to a PC are specifically prohibited under its terms of service. Finally, the company pointed out that it doesn’t restrict users from watching video on the web, and that they can get free Wi-Fi access at the company’s 20,000 U.S. hot spots. The statement is the first to suggest that Apple permits its network partners a veto power over certain application approvals.

Apple VP Schiller to lead 2009 WWDC group keynote

Apple has announced that it will kick off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on Monday, June 8 at 10:00 a.m Pacific Time. Traditionally delivered by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, this year’s address will feature an entire team of Apple executives, led by Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. Last year’s address included extensive previews of Mac OS X Snow Leopard and the announcement of the iPhone 3G; this year’s is expected to follow a similar pattern, with Apple showing highlights of Snow Leopard and possibly announcing the next generation of iPhone hardware.

Photo of the Week: iPod classic in Cambodia

This week’s featured photo is from our iPods Around the World gallery, and shows a black iPod classic sitting outside the Angkor Wat temple complex, just north of Siem Reap, Cambodia. 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!

SlingPlayer for iPhone hitting App Store for $30

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After a long delay, Sling Media’s SlingPlayer Mobile app for iPhone and iPod touch has been approved for release in the App Store, albeit with a very high price tag and more restrictions than originally planned. First unveiled in January, the approved app works only on Wi-Fi—not on 3G as planned, suggesting Apple and/or AT&T had issues with the bandwidth used by the app—and will support the SlingBox Pro, Pro-HD, and Solo, with unofficial support for older SlingBox units. According to Engadget, the app’s controls exhibit slight lag despite the Wi-Fi-only restriction, and it displays letterbox-formatted content with black bars on all four sides, failing to take full advantage of the iPhone’s and iPod touch’s screen. SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone and iPod touch is expected to hit the App Store between midnight and 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and will sell for $30.

Update: SlingPlayer Mobile is now available from the App Store.

Microsoft Zune ad claims $30,000 cost to fill iPod

Microsoft has posted a new Zune advertisement to YouTube, comparing the cost of the company’s Zune Pass subscription service to iTunes. Starring “Certified Financial Planner” Wes Moss, the ad goes on to suggest that it costs $30,000 to fill an iPod—with a black iPod classic shown as an example—while it costs only $15 a month to fill a Zune using the Zune Pass service. As the latest attempt by Microsoft to erode public interest in Apple’s hardware, the ad deliberately ignores the fact that music from users’ existing CD libraries can be loaded onto either company’s device at varying bitrates, but does underscore Apple’s continued lack of a subscription-based listening option for iTunes users. Continue reading to view the full advertisement.

Substrata offers handmade wooden case for iPhone 3G

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Etsy seller Substrata is offering handmade wooden cases for the iPhone 3G. Made from macacauba, wenge, or zebra woods, each case is finished with linseed oil and features specially shaped and sanded contours designed to snugly hold the iPhone 3G inside. When closed, the case offers complete protection for the iPhone’s ports and screen, requiring the user to open and remove the device for use. Substrata’s handmade wooden cases for the iPhone 3G are available now and sell for $85 each.

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