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Apple sending tablet specs to Australian media outlets

  • October 27, 2009
  • Apple,

Apple has sent specifications of its upcoming tablet device to various Australian media outlets, according to a new report. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Apple has been distributing the specs in an effort to gauge the publications’ interest in delivering content for the device. None of the outlets were willing to talk about the device on record, but New York Times executive editor Bill Keller mentioned the device in a recent off-the-record staff meeting, suggesting it too has knowledge of the device. “I’m hoping we can get the newsroom more actively involved in the challenge of delivering our best journalism in the form of Times Reader, iPhone apps, WAP, or the impending Apple slate, or whatever comes after that,” Keller said. Video of the meeting is available online. [via AppleInsider]

Tapulous introduces Tap Tap Revenge: Metallica

Tapulous has teamed with rock band Metallica for the release of its new Tap Tap Revenge: Metallica game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Like prior Tap Tap releases, Revenge: Metallica is a rhythm game in which players attempt to hit one of three, four, or five tracks in time with the music and with the note indicators moving down the screen. The game features 10 songs, four boss tracks, a landscape mode with four rails on hard difficulty and five on extreme, an arcade mode, a Bluetooth multiplayer battle mode, four difficulty levels, and Facebook Connect functionality. Notably, several iLounge editors wondered whether Tapulous would continue releasing artist-specific editions of Tap Tap games after its launch of Tap Tap Revenge 3, which can be expanded via an in-game music store; this release seems to suggest that it will. Tap Tap Revenge: Metallica is available now from the App Store and sells for $5.

App Mix: NBA Live, NASDAQ, National Film Board, GameCenter

Electronic Arts today released NBA Live by EA Sports ($10), a full-featured basketball game title with a number of features such as real teams and real players, an 82-game season mode, a shorter playoff mode, and light managerial options. Our review is available here.

NASDAQ announced today that it has introduced a new stock market application, NASDAQ Portfolio Manager, allowing investors to build watch lists and detailed portfolios of U.S. stocks, track price performance in real time, access pre-market and after-hours quotes, and view dynamic charts. NASDAQ Portfolio Manager is available for free from the App Store.

The National Film Board of Canada has released NFB Films, an app for the iPhone or iPod touch that provides access to hundreds of independent films, documentaries, and animation films from the NFB collection. The application, available free from the App Store, allows users to search or browse through the NFB library and view content on their device, as well as downloading content to watch offline for up to 24 hours, marking content as favorites. The app also includes a “nearby” feature to show you what other people in your area are watching.

GameFly also recently introduced its free GameCenter app for the iPhone and iPod touch. GameCenter provides users with access to information on more than 5,000 video games across major gaming platforms, as well as news, videos, screenshots, release dates, user reviews, gameplay controls, cheat codes, and more. The GameCenter App is available free on the App Store.

Mix: Verizon, FCC, Disney Notescasts, Swine Flu app

  • October 26, 2009

Despite recent ads attacking the iPhone, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said today that the decision about whether or not to offer the iPhone on Verizon’s network is “in Apple’s court” and that Verizon “would be interested if [Apple] wanted us as a partner.” Verizon has been seeing some weakness in subscriber growth this past quarter with a slight increase in subscriber defection rate attributed largely to competition from AT&T and the iPhone.

In an interview with BusinessWeek, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski discussed a number of issues regarding net neutrality, broadband accessibility, and wireless spectrum. Notably, Mr. Genachowski specifically mentioned that the available spectrum for wireless services is currently threatened by the demand being created by the iPhone and similar wireless devices, and indicated that the FCC will need to make longer-term plans and innovations in spectrum policy to ensure that future growth can be properly accommodated.

TimeStream Software has released five new NotesCast offerings for Walt Disney World Resort to provide information for vacation planning and in-park tours. The new series of Notescasts include a general “Walt Disney World Guide,” as well as individual Notescasts for more specific tour information to assist guests in discovering less-known facts and secrets within the park. TimeStream software has previously provided Notescasts for Click Wheel iPod models ranging from tour guide NotesCasts to e-books that load into the iPod Notes section; this represents the company’s first iPhone and iPod touch version of a Notescast. The Walt Disney Notescasts apps are available from the App Store and sell for $1-$2 each. 

The Washington Post reports that Harvard Medical School has launched an iPhone application to provide more information on the H1N1 flu through videos, animations and text, and also features real-time updates and news from Harvard Medical School regarding the H1N1 virus, a health map feature that allows users to track the state of the epidemic in their current locations, and a symptom checker to help users determine if their symptoms indicate H1N1 and when users should contact their doctor. Hotlines and numbers to call are also provided based on the user’s location. The HMSMobile Swine Flu Center app is available on the App Store for $2.

iPhone coming to Telus Canada Nov. 5, Orange UK Nov. 10

Telus announced today that it will begin selling the iPhone in Canada on Thursday, November 5th. Although specific iPhone plans have not yet been announced, Telus will be selling the three current iPhone 3G and 3GS models at the same subsidized three-year contract pricing as Rogers Wireless. Until now Rogers and Fido have been the exclusive iPhone carriers in Canada by virtue of having the only 3G network rather than any exclusive agreement with Apple. Telus and Bell Canada have recently upgraded their carrier networks to provide 3G capabilities, and Bell Canada is also expected to begin offering the iPhone sometime in November, although no specific dates or prices have yet been announced by that company.

The Guardian reports that Orange UK will launch the iPhone on November 10th in the UK, the day after the end of O2’s two-year exclusive contract with Apple. The iPhone will be sold through the Orange’s own stores as well as Phones4U. Carphone Warehouse is also expected to sell the iPhone on behalf of Orange. This announcement makes Orange the second carrier in the UK to offer the iPhone. Two other carriers, Vodafone and 3, are also expected to begin offering the iPhone on their networks in the UK in 2010.

Two Days left to vote for iPod + iPhone Developer of the Year

There are only two days remaining to case your vote in our 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards. We’re asking you our readers to pick the year’s best in four categories: Apple’s best new digital media product, iPod + iPhone Accessory Developer, iPhone + iPod Application Developer, and iPhone + iPod Game Developer.

Companies currently in the lead include Bolt Creative, developer of Pocket God, Facebook and Skype in the Application Developer of the Year category; Belkin, Griffin, iHome and Logitech in the Accessory Developer of the Year category and EA, Gameloft and Tapulous for Game Developer of the Year. Remember that there’s still time for you to cast your vote—voting ends on October 28, 2009—and all it takes is filling out a simple four-question survey, so cast your votes today!

 

Reminder: Last Chance to Win Ultimate Ears, iPod + Sonix Earphones!

Don’t forget to get your submission in for our Design the Apple Tablet Contest. In this contest we’re asking you to come up with your own idea of what you think Apple’s upcoming tablet device should look like. The winners will be featured in our 2010 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide. Great entries are still coming in and the contest ends on Monday, October 26, 2009 at 11:59PM Pacific Time, so get to work on your own great concept over the weekend and submit it for your shot at a pair of Ultimate Ears Custom UE 4 Pros and an 8GB iPod touch!

Also be sure to enter our Sonix3 Earphone Giveaway. In our Giveaway of the Month for October, Lenntek and iLounge are giving away 10 Sonix3 Earphones to lucky readers. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on October 31, 2009 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!

Latest edition of iPodweek newsletter coming later today

iPodweek, iLounge’s weekly newsletter recapping the last seven days in news, articles, reviews, and more, will be sent out to our email subscribers 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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NASA releases iPhone app

NASA today announced the release of an application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The NASA app for iPhone aggregates and delivers up-to-the-minute information, videos, images and news updates about NASA missions. Users can access NASA countdown clocks, the NASA Image of the Day, Astronomy Image of the Day, online videos, NASA’s Twitter feeds and more in an interface optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch. The NASA App also provides three different views to allow users to track the current positions of the International Space Station and other spacecraft currently orbiting Earth.  The NASA app for iPhone is available free from the iTunes App Store.

 

Belkin recalls TuneBase models over safety concerns

Belkin has issued a voluntary recall of three of their TuneBase products, citing safety concerns. The recall notice indicates that the washer on the TuneBase can cause an electrical short-circuit when plugged into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter adapter and under certain conditions of heat, humidity or extended periods of use has the potential to pose a risk of fire.

The specific products affected are the TuneBase Direct with Hands-Free, the TuneBaseFM with Hands-Free and the TuneBaseFM with ClearScan. Users of these devices should immediately stop using their products and visit http://www.belkin.com/tunebaserecall to arrange for the return of their TuneBase product.

More details and a list of model numbers specifically affected by this issue can be found on the TuneBase recall page.

 

iSkin debuts fifth-generation iPod nano cases

iSkin today announced three new cases for the fifth-generation iPod nano: Vibes, nano Duo and DuoBand. Vibes for nano 5G is a soft, slim-fitting protector available in one of four etched designer patterns, and includes an integrated hard screen protector and a wrist strap designed to be used when shooting video with the integrated camera on the fifth-generation iPod nano. The iSkin Duo for iPod nano 5G is a two-part protective case with a shock-absorbing silicone back and a hard clear face shield. It includes a removable rotating belt clip and charging port protector plug. It is available in clear or black colors, however, it’s unclear how the iPod nano 5G’s camera is handled on this design. Finally, the iSkin DuoBand for iPod nano 5G is an all silicone protective skin case with an armband for use when working out. The DuoBand armband can also be used with the nano Vibes, if purchased separately. All three cases are available for online ordering now.

Mix: AT&T, Nokia patents, Volkswagen Real Racing, MySpace + iTunes

  • October 22, 2009

AT&T reported their third-quarter financial results today, crediting the iPhone for stronger-than-expected profits. AT&T reported 3.2 million iPhone activations during the third quarter with nearly 40 percent of those activations coming from new customers. [via Reuters]

Nokia announced today that it has filed a complaint against Apple alleging that the iPhone infringes on several Nokia patents for GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN standards. The specific patents cover wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption; Nokia alleges that these are infringed by all iPhone models shipped since the original iPhone was introduced in 2007.

Volkswagen of American announced today that it has launched its new 2010 GTI in a novel way, showing the car alongside a free version of Firemint’s Real Racing that focuses on the new car. Players in the U.S. can compete for the chance to win one of six limited-edition 2010 GTIs. The Real Racing GTI app is available from the App Store now.

MySpace is expanding into new music initiatives, including a new Artist Dashboard feature for musicians, and a free, ad-supported music video library. Artist pages on MySpace will now provide additional information and links to purchase content online via the iTunes Store. [via CNBC]

Four days to win $1200+ prizes in Apple Tablet Contest

Four days remain in our Design the Apple Tablet Contest, and over $1200 in prizes are up for grabs. Great submissions have already been pouring in and can be viewed in our Design the Apple Tablet Contest Gallery.

 

tabletcontestsmall.jpg

The three lucky winners will be announced in The 2010 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide, with the top entry receiving a set of Ultimate Ears Custom UE 4 Pros and a brand new iPod touch. Two runners up will also win Ultimate Ears headphones. The contest closes on October 26, 2009 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. More details and full contest rules can be found here—enter today, and double-check to be sure your submission meets the requirements!

Shure introduces SE115m+ iPhone-compatible earphones

Shure today announced the new SE115m+ Sound Isolating Headset with Remote + Microphone. Based on the Shure SE115 earphones, the SE115m+ adds an integrated remote control and microphone designed to work with the iPhone 3GS and current iPod models to provide volume control, hands-free calling, voice recording and iPod playback controls.

The Shure SE115m+ are expected to retail for $120 and will be available later this month through the Apple Store and Apple Retail stores and next year at other select Shure retailers.

TomTom Car Kit appears on Apple Store

The TomTom Car Kit for iPhone is now available for ordering online from the Apple Store in the U.S. and the U.K. The kit, designed as a companion accessory for their TomTom iPhone app (iLounge rating: C), sells for $120 and does not include the TomTom iPhone app; it must be purchased separately from the iTunes App Store for $100.

In addition to mounting the iPhone 3G or 3GS, the accessory can charge either model, and adds an additional microphone and speaker for hearing voice guidance instructions and making hands-free calls. An audio output jack is also provided for connecting your iPhone to your car stereo. More notably, the device also promises enhanced GPS performance even in urban areas through a built-in GPS receiver in the car kit itself. Contrary to initial suggestions of iPod touch compatibility, it is listed as working only with the iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS.

Note that the U.S. Store lists no availability or ship date, while the U.K. Store lists the car kit as shipping with 3-4 weeks. The TomTom Car Kit is not yet available on the Canadian Apple Store, despite the TomTom iPhone app’s availability in Canada.

Mix: Google OneBox, EU music rights, Photoshop.com Mobile, WebOS-style widgets

  • October 21, 2009

Google plans to launch a new music service that will offer song previews, artist information, graphics and music video clips. Contrary to a recent report, the One Box service will apparently not sell downloads or offer subscriptions, but rather will provide a means to search for, preview, and buy music from other online music services. All four of the top record companies are reported to be on board. [via CNet]

The European Union has announced a breakthrough deal between iTunes, music companies, distributors and online licensing groups that will allow for increased Internet music sales throughout Europe. Apple, the companies and rights-holders agreed to work on EU-wide licenses that would allow music content to be sold more widely across the region. Presently, music rights are handled separately in each country. An EU-wide arrangement would pave the way for Apple to set up a single iTunes Store across all European countries, rather than the current per-country iTunes Stores that are presently in place. [via Yahoo Finance]

Adobe reports that its Photoshop.com Mobile for iPhone application has seen over one million downloads in its first week of availability. Photoshop.com Mobile provides the ability to perform basic editing and filtering operations for photos on your iPhone, and is available for free from the iTunes App Store. [via MacRumours]

In commentary on Jamie Zawinsky leaving the Palm Pre for the iPhone, John Gruber says that Apple had originally considered a Dashboard-style widget design for smaller utility apps like weather and stocks, similar to that found in Palm’s WebOS. During the six months between the iPhone’s original announcement at Macworld 2007 and its eventual release in June, Apple reportedly decided that the feature’s performance was unacceptable and abandoned it.

Yamaha introduces PDX-60 wireless speaker system

Yamaha today announced the release of their PDX-60 wireless dock and speaker system for the iPhone and iPod. Utilizing Motorola’s proprietary yAired wireless technology rather than Bluetooth, the PDX-60 allows users to stream uncompressed audio content to the included Yamaha digital amplifier from an iPhone or iPod by using a Dock Connector based accessory that attaches to the bottom of the device. An included yAired cradle also provides the ability to charge your device while listening to it.

The Yamaha PDX-60 supports all iPhone models, the iPod touch, iPod classic, and fourth and fifth-generation iPod nano, and is available in black, blue, gray and pink. It sells for a suggested retail price of $299.95. [via Engadget]

 

 

Apple announces iPhone Tech Talk World Tour

Apple announced this week that they will be hosting a series of iPhone Tech Talk World Tour events in select cities around the world from October 29 through to December 15, 2009.

Open to members of the iPhone Developer Program, the event will provide expert advice from Apple technology evangelists to assist developers with tips on how to get the most out of their iPhone applications, with topics ranging from adding In App Purchase features to mastering OpenGL ES.

The event is being held in San Jose, Seattle, New York, Toronto, Paris, London, Hamburg, Beijing and Tokyo, and is free to all members of the iPhone Developer Program, although space is limited and several cities have already filled up.

 

Readers’ Choice Award Standings, Tablet Contest Update

The second week of voting in our 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards continues at a rapid pace, with thousands of additional votes continuing to pour in. Announced earlier this month, our Readers’ Choice Awards let you the reader pick the year’s best from four categories—Apple’s best new digital media product, iPod + iPhone Accessory Developer, iPhone + iPod Application Developer, and iPhone + iPod Game Developer.

Bolt Creative, developer of Pocket God, Facebook and Skype currently lead in the Application Developer of the Year category, with hundreds of votes still coming in for a number of other developers. Belkin, Griffin, iHome and Logitech continue to dominate the Accessory Developer of the Year category and EA, Gameloft and Tapulous are currently battling it out for lead for Game Developer of the Year. There’s still time for you to cast your vote—voting ends on October 28, 2009—and all it takes is filling out a simple four-question survey, so cast your vote today!

Also, don’t forget to get your entry in for our Design the Apple Tablet Contest. In this contest we’re asking you to come up with your own idea of what you think Apple’s upcoming tablet device should look like. The winners will be featured in our 2010 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide. Great entries are coming in now, so get to work on yours and submit it for your shot at a pair of Ultimate Ears Custom UE 4 Pros and an 8GB iPod touch!

Vestalife premieres Ladybug II, Firefly, Mantis speakers

Vestalife has announced the launch of three new speaker systems for the iPod and iPhone. The Ladybug II is a slightly larger update to the company’s original Ladybug, with improved bass response thanks to a ported subwoofer, and upgraded electronics. It will sell for $100. Previewed at Macworld Expo in January, the Firefly system features a more curved design than that of the Ladybug, with a wide, smooth soundstage, and a fly-like appearance. It will sell for $130. Finally, the Mantis is a larger system, with full-length speakers and a down-firing subwoofer. It will sell for $180.

All three new models feature full-function remote controls, USB iTunes syncing, integrated docks, video output, auxiliary-input jacks, soft-touch power and volume controls, included world-wide power adapters, the ability to charge the iPhone, iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod classic, and the ability to run off 4 AA batteries or AC power. In addition, each model will be available with metallic red, metallic silver, or metallic black soft-touch finishes with black chrome accents. Vestalife’s new lineup of speakers for the iPod and iPhone will be available later this fall, initially from the Apple Store online and Apple retail locations. Continue reading to see more images of the new lineup.

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