Apple has released iPhone OS 3.1.2, its first major update to the iPhone’s and iPod touch’s software since the launch of version 3.1 and 3.1.1, respectively, on September 9. According to Apple’s release notes, the update “[r]esolves [a] sporadic issue that may cause iPhone (or iPod touch) to not wake from sleep,” as well as an “intermittent issue that may interrupt cellular network services until restart.” It also fixes a bug that could cause occasional crashes during video streaming. iPhone OS 3.1.2 is available now for both iPhone and iPod touch users through the update feature in iTunes.
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal regarding the possibility of AT&T’s recent VoIP announcement being a precursor to the launch of tethering support for the iPhone, a comapny spokesperson said that more work was required before the feature could be enabled. “Whenever we offer new features, we want to offer the best possible customer experience. For tethering, we need to do some additional fine tuning to our systems and networks so that we do deliver a great experience,” the spokesman said. Earlier this week, AT&T announced that it would now allow iPhone VoIP applications to use its 3G network. Apple responded by saying it was “very happy” with the announcement, adding that it would be amending its development agreement in order “to get VoIP apps on the App Store and in customers’ hands as soon as possible.” Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T’s Mobility arm, said in November 2008 that tethering support would be coming “soon;” Apple added built-in support for the feature in iPhone OS 3.0, which was released in June, but AT&T has yet to announce an official launch date.
Through a demo video loop being shown at this week’s CITA convention, EA Mobile has inadvertently confirmed an upcoming version of Rock Band for the iPhone and iPod touch. According to MobileCrunch, the video gave away very few details of the game, only showing a single screenshot of the game’s main interface, with four note rows of notes flowing downwards and four corresponding pick-shaped buttons. The video also showed all four instruments from the game—lead guitar, bass, drums, and vocals—underneath the game’s logo, suggesting that it will be possible to play multiple instruments; this was later confirmed by MobileCrunch, as it was told the game will offer premium in-game content, as well as four-player multiplayer over Bluetooth. No further details, such as pricing or a release date, have been announced.
Powermat has launched its new line of wireless chargers, including a charging solution for users of the iPod and iPhone. The Powermat charging system consists of a charging mat—available in Home & Office or Portable models—that use a mix of magnetic induction and proprietary technology to charge up to three devices at once. Options for iPod and iPhone owners include protective cases with integrated charging electronics for the iPhone 3G, 3GS, and iPod touch, or a Powermat-ready wireless charging Dock for other iPod and iPhone models. Available now, Powermat’s Home & Office and Portable chargers sell for $100 each; the iPhone and iPod touch cases, as well as the wireless charging dock, sell for $40 each.
We want your votes!
This has been a major year for iPod + iPhone third-party development, particularly on the software side, and we want to know who you think did the best overall job. Our 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards will honor three different categories of developers:
2009 iPhone + iPod Application Developer of the Year
2009 iPhone + iPod Game Developer of the Year
2009 iPod + iPhone Accessory Developer of the Year
We’ve included more developers than last year to make it easier to vote, and again, each of the four questions offers a Write-in Candidate option if you don’t see your top pick listed—yes, write-in votes will be counted! Of course, we’d also like your pick for the year’s best new Apple digital media product, including iPods, iPhone 3GS, iPhone OS 3.0, and more.
Vote today using this link. The survey ends on October 28, 2009, and winners will be announced in the 2010 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide on November 2, 2009. Thanks for your votes and best of luck to all of this year’s developers!
Developers interested in linking to the voting page can download link banners by clicking on the title of this story.
In a letter written to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue has responded to Apple’s decision to resign its membership over the Chamber’s stance on climate change regulation. Specifically, the Chamber is opposed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. “It is unfortunate that your company didn’t take the time to understand the Chamber’s position on climate and forfeited the opportunity to advance a 21st century approach to climate change,” Donohue wrote. “While we do support legislation to address climate change, we oppose legislation such as the Waxman-Markey bill that numerous studies show will cause Americans to lose their jobs and shift greenhouse gas emissions overseas, negating potential climate benefits.” He also said that the Chamber is focused on innovation and technology as tools to combat climate change, adding, “it is a shame that Apple will not be part of our efforts.”
Tapulous has released Tap Tap Revenge 3, the latest installment in its series of rhythm games for the iPhone and iPod touch. Tap Tap Revenge 3 offers players a number of free downloadable tracks, as well as downloadable songs from artists such as the Killers, Foo Fighters, and Korn, which can be bought using the in-app purchasing feature. The game’s online features have also been expanded, with custom avatars, more robust profiles, integrated chat, weapons and shields for use during online play, challenges, and battles. Other features include a unique theme for each premium track, a new look for the game’s menus, a quickplay mode, the ability to resume, restart, and replay games, and more. Tap Tap Revenge 3 is available now from the App Store and sells for $1.
Boomwave has announced its new Bearaphim and Diablo cases for the fifth-generation iPod nano. As with prior versions, the Bearaphim cases feature molded teddy bear ears on the top and angel wings on the back, while the Diablo cases feature horns on the top and a pointed tail in the rear. Both styles are made from high grade silicone, offer full access to all ports, controls, and the camera, and include a screen protector and neck strap. The Bearaphim cases are available in white and pink, while the Diablo cases come in red or black. Both models sell for $16.
Sanyo has introduced its new DMP-P1 Cube Alarm Clock Radio for iPod and DMP-692 Dual Dock Music System for the iPod and iPhone. The Cube is a squarish alarm clock radio offering a top-mounted Dock, AM/FM PLL digital tuning, programmable alarms with the choice of waking to a connected iPod, the radio, or a buzzer, control buttons on the top panel, front-mounted display and BassXpander technology for a more full sound. It will sell for $40. The DMP-692 features twin top-mounted docks for simultaneous charging of two iPods or one iPod and iPhone, as well as a large front-facing display, auxiliary input for connecting other audio sources, an integrated, rear-mounted passive subwoofer, AM/FM radio, dual programmable alarms, and a 20-function remote control. Sanyo’s DMP-692 Dual Dock Music System will sell for $90; both products are slated for release later this month.
This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone 3GS in front of the Palace of Versailles outside Paris, France. 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!
AT&T has announced that it has taken the steps needed so that Apple can begin allowing VoIP applications on the iPhone to run on its 3G network. Prior to the announcement, AT&T had blocked VoIP applications on its network, forcing applications such as Skype and Truphone to run over Wi-Fi only. The company previously allowed VoIP applications on other wireless devices, and has informed both Apple and the FCC of its decision. It will likely be some time before VoIP-over-3G applications begin appearing in the App Store, however, as the developers of VoIP apps will need to update their code to allow for 3G connectivity, and Apple will then need to approve the updates.
“iPhone is an innovative device that dramatically changed the game in wireless when it was introduced just two years ago,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets. “Today’s decision was made after evaluating our customers’ expectations and use of the device compared to dozens of others we offer.”
iLounge is pleased to announce our Design the Apple Tablet Contest, which will be featured in our 2010 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide when it is released on November 2nd. In the contest, we’re looking for an artistic rendition of what you think Apple’s upcoming Tablet device should look like, including the physical form, as well as the on-screen interface. You may base your design on our prior article outlining what we’ve heard about the tablet so far, or just use your imagination; your images may also be based in part on iLounge photos of the iPhone or iPod touch, but you may not use others’ photos or prior contest entries. iLounge’s editors will pick our three favorite entries from the valid entries, with the grand prize winner receiving a pair of Ultimate Ears Custom UE 4 Pros, provided by Ultimate Ears, and an 8GB iPod touch. The first runner up will also receive a pair of Ultimate Ears Custom UE 4 Pros, while the second runner up will receive a pair of Ultimate Ears 700 earphones. To enter, simply use the Upload Your Image button on the official contest page; the contest ends on October 26, 2009 at 11:59PM Pacific Time, so get started on your entry, and good luck!
Verizon Wireless has begun airing a new television commercial directly targeting AT&T and Apple’s iPhone. The commercial apes Apple’s “there’s an app for that” iPhone slogan by listing various scenarios and then saying “there’s a map for that,” while displaying the company’s U.S. wireless 3G coverage map. Later in the spot, the announcer states, “if you want to know why some people have spotty 3G coverage, there’s a map for that too,” while showing an iPhone user with AT&T’s considerably less robust 3G coverage map overhead. Continue reading to watch the commercial in embedded form; the video is also available for viewing on YouTube.
Bell Canada has announced that it has reached a deal with Apple to offer the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in Canada beginning in November. While Bell has made an official announcement, a Globe and Mail article states that both Bell and Telus will offer the phone. The two rivals have partnered to build a new HSPA network, launching later this year, in an effort to extend their networks and match the global standard used by Rogers. The iPhone has been exclusive to Rogers Wireless and its subsidiary Fido since its launch in the country in 2008.
Update: Telus has now made an official announcement confirming that it will also begin offering the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in Canada beginning in November.
Apple has resigned its membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “effective immediately” over the organization’s opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Chamber of Commerce claims it is not opposed to climate change regulations, just those that have been proposed in Congress and/or discussed by the EPA. Apple is the fifth company to make a withdrawal from the Chamber over the issue, but was by far the most harsh in its execution; three other companies simply said they would not renew their membership at the end of the year, while Nike quit the Chamber’s board of directors. From Apple’s letter to Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue:
“We strongly object to the Chamber’s recent comments opposing the EPA’s effort to limit greenhouse gases…Apple supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and it is frustrating to find the Chamber at odds with us in this effort. We would prefer the Chamber take a more progressive stance on this critical issue and play a constructive role in addressing the climate crisis. However, because the Chamber’s position differs so sharply with Apple’s, we have decided to resign our membership effective immediately.”
H2O Audio has introduced an updated version of its Interval Waterproof Training System for the third-generation iPod shuffle. The head-mounted Interval completely encloses the shuffle, offering waterproof protection down to 10 feet, exterior controls for volume and music playback, a unique design that attaches easily to most swimming goggles, and integrated in-ear headphones with neodymium drivers and seven included earplugs of varying sizes. H2O Audio’s Interval Waterproof Training System for the iPod shuffle 3G is available now and sells for $100. In addition, the company has also introduced its new Surge Pro balanced armature waterproof headphone, featuring a compact design, waterproof protection down to 12 feet, and a wide variety of earplugs. They too are available now and sell for $100.
Finally, the company has debuted its Surge Sportwrap Waterproof Headphones. Designed for activities such as surfing and jet skiing, the Surge Sportwrap features a secure neckband with coiled cables, waterproof protection down to 12 feet, neodymium drivers, and a variety of earplugs for a proper fit. H2O Audio’s Surge Sportwrap Waterproof Headphones are available now and sell for $60.
At its MAX developer conference, Adobe has announced that it will offer an iPhone and iPod touch application export option in Adobe Flash Professional CS5. The feature will allow Flash developers to use the same source code used to deliver applications on the Adobe AIR and Flash Player 10 platforms to create native iPhone applications which can be submitted to Apple and sold via the App Store. On its preview page, Adobe explains that applications created using Flash are compiled into standard, native iPhone executable packages which do not require a runtime interpreter and therefore do not run afoul of Apple’s iPhone development guidelines.
The company has also taken the time to explain that the new feature will not allow Flash-based web content on the phone. A passage on the preview page states, “Flash Player uses a just-in-time compiler and virtual machine within a browser plug-in to play back content on websites. Those technologies are not allowed on the iPhone at this time, so a Flash Player for iPhone is not being made available today.” Adobe Flash Professional CS5 is slated for release later this year.
Adobe has released Adobe LiveCycle Workspace Mobile, the company’s first application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The application works with and requires the desktop version of Adobe LiveCycle Process Management ES2, allowing users to view, approve, and reject pending tasks directly from their devices. Other features include the ability to view PDF files attached to tasks, call or email task initiators directly from the app, and view shared task queues. Adobe LiveCycle Workspace Mobile for the iPhone and iPod touch is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Chemical Wedding has debuted Cyclopedia, its new application for the iPhone 3GS. Cyclopedia is an augmented reality application that uses the 3GS’ camera, compass, GPS, and data connection in concert to overlay geotagged information from Wikipedia over the viewfinder. Tapping on an entry title displays a brief overview, with the option to view the full article; other features include the ability to fine-tune searches based on distance and field-of-view. Cyclopedia is available now and is priced at $2.
Nike has introduced Nike Football+ presents: Master Control, its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Master Control is a training app for football (soccer) players developed by FC Barcelona’s coaches. It features video training drills for skills such as first touch, directional control, and team movement, a challenge mode to benchmark progress, a global leaderboard, and tips from various players. Nike Football+ presents: Master Control is available as a free download from the App Store.
Electronic Arts has released version 2.0 of TeeShotLive, its golfing tool for the iPhone and iPod touch. TeeShotLive allows users to download course descriptions, use GPS to track shot distances, distance to the green, and view shots overlaid on Google Maps satellite imagery, keep score for up to four players per round, track strokes, putts, fairways, club usage, distances, and more, compare results, and share score cards via email and on the TeeShotLive website. TeeShotLive is available now and sells for $1.
Voice-over-IP service provider Vonage has released its new Vonage Mobile applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. Vonage Mobile allows users to place low-cost international calls over Wi-Fi or, in the case of the iPhone version, over a cellular connection. Features include the ability to dial using saved contacts, the ability to use the iPhone’s existing phone number for caller ID, real-time balance updates, and more. The Vonage Mobile applications for the iPhone and iPod touch are available now as free downloads from the App Store.
Palm has released webOS 1.2.1 for its Palm Pre smartphone, restoring the device’s Media Sync functionality—which allows it to sync with iTunes by masquerading as an iPod—while adding the ability to sync photos. As it has done in the past, webOS 1.2.1 achieves this by identifying itself over the USB connection as an Apple product, complete with Apple’s USB Vendor ID number. This behavior was specifically mentioned and frowned upon in a letter sent last month by the USB Implementers Forum to Palm regarding Apple using its Vendor ID to restrict syncing capability to its own products. In a statement to AllThingsD, Apple said, “As we’ve said before, newer versions of Apple’s iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with unsupported digital media players.” Apple first blocked the Pre shortly after its July release with iTunes 8.2.1.