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zoomIt brings SD card access to iPhone, iPod touch

ZoomMediaPlus has announced its new zoomIt application-enabled accessory for the iPhone and iPod touch. Working in conjunction with the company’s free zoomIt app, the Works With iPhone- and Made For iPod-certified Dock-connecting accessory enables users to access a variety of content stored on any SD card mounted in the zoomIt’s SD card slot. Features include support for all iPhone OS 3.0 file types, including photos, videos, music, and documents, including PowerPoint, Excel, Word, PDF and others. The app lets users view, listen and share the files via e-mail, Facebook, and Flickr, and supports the transfer of files from the card to the iPhone or iPod touch for unconnected access. In addition, the app will enable users to save photos and videos from the card to their Camera Rolls, or move media from the Camera Roll onto the SD card. The company also plans future updates to support protected content types enabling the streaming of licensed music, videos, and other forms of protected content. The zoomIT SD Card accessory for iPhone and iPod touch is expected to ship in April for $59.95, and is available for pre-order now. ZoomMediaPlus is offering pre-order customers a $10 discount, and will bundle a free 4GB Kingston SD card with the first 250 orders.

Hutchison Austria to offer iPad + 3G modem deal

Hutchison Austria has announced plans to sell the Apple iPad for a discounted amount in a bundle with an i-Mo wireless Wi-Fi router. According to TamsIJungle, Berthold Thoma, CEO of Hutchison Austria, said the iPad would be offered at a discount of €333 (roughly $455) when purchased with a two-year contract for 5GB of data at €30 a month. Thoma said that since the first iPads sold in the country wouldn’t include 3G radios, the company was instead going to offer the Wi-Fi-only version with the i-Mo, which connects to the company’s 3G network and then uses that connection to create a Wi-Fi hotspot which the iPad can join. It is unknown exactly when Apple plans to launch the iPad in Austria, or whether Hutchison plans to offer a similar subsidy for customers who purchase a 3G-enabled iPad along with a data service contract. [via Engadget]

Enter the Uncommon Custom Case Giveaway today

If you haven’t yet entered our Uncommon Custom Case Giveaway, there’s still time to do so. In this unique giveaway, iLounge and Uncommon are giving away 200 custom cases for the iPhone 3G, 3GS, or iPod touch. With such a large number of prizes available, we are splitting the cases up over four weeks, with 50 to be awarded each Monday, on February 8, 15, 22 and March 1. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—Good luck!

Nedrelow outs Book case for Apple iPad

Nedrelow has introduced its new Book case for the Apple iPad. Hand-made from sustainable, natural materials, the Book is a hard case that resembles a traditional hard cover book, with a linen book cloth hard outer surface and a wool felt inner sleeve tailored to hold the iPad. It will come in three styles, one with the Book logo on the cover and spine, one with no writing on the cover or spine, and one with a spine that reads “this is not a book.” Nedrelow’s Book cover for Apple iPad is expected to ship in early April for $89 and is available for pre-order now.

Apple CEO Jobs meets with NYT, WSJ, Time for iPad demos

Apple CEO Steve Jobs reportedly visited New York City in recent days, stopping by both the New York Times newsroom and the Wall Street Journal for personal demonstrations of the new iPad tablet. Gawker reports that Jobs’ NYT visit was strictly off-the-record, but a person who was present indicated that Jobs is preparing to sign up magazines and newspapers for distribution on the iPad, after focusing on books prior to the device’s unveiling. Little is known about Jobs’ visit with the Wall Street Journal, beyond the fact that he was reportedly confined to the office’s third floor, and did not meet with several interested staff members.

New York Magazine claims Jobs held another meeting with New York Times Company executives in the basement of Southern Asian restaurant Pranna, to which Jobs wore a “funny” hat. The report states that Jobs was seated next to NYT publisher Arthur Sulzberger during the “intimate” event, and demonstrated the iPad and its functions while speaking about how it could shape the future of media. Finally, Fortune reports that Jobs also visited the Time & Life Building while in town to demonstrate the tablet to Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore and several select magazine editors.

Bosshouse releases OSCAR Pool 2010

iPhone Developer BossHouse has released a new application for movie fans to follow information and join in pools on the 2010 Academy Awards. OSCAR Pool 2010 provides access to information on all of the Academy Award nominees as well as links to web sites, pictures, and more. Users can create pools, secretly vote for their winning picks and then invite their friends and co-workers to join in and cast their own votes. Other users can download the application onto their own iPhone or iPod touch or can vote using a single, shared device. A simplified setting of only the ten main awards categories is provided for casual users, while serious movie fans can choose to vote in all 24 categories. Following the Academy Awards ceremonies, the application will display information about the winners and automatically tabulate votes and ranks within each of the user’s pools. OSCAR Pool 2010 is available on the App Store for $1.

Video Genius brings free video recording to older iPhones

CodeGoo, developer of the popular Camera Genius application, has released a new app for recording video on older-model iPhones. While not the first such application, Video Genius is unique in that it provides owners of older iPhone devices with a free option for video recording. Video Genius provides two basic video recording modes, the first of which records 40-60 seconds of video at 10fps and a second which records longer videos at a lower 4fps frame rate. Video Genius is available on the App Store free for a limited time.

Be.ez unveils LA robe Allure for iPad

Be.ez has unveiled its new LA robe iPad Allure sleeve for the Apple iPad. Arriving in several colors, including moka, black, multi-color, and red, the zip-access LA robe features memory foam padding, a soft, high-grade fleece interior lining to prevent scratching, and a striped outer pattern. Be.ez’s LA robe iPad Allure sleeve for the Apple iPad will be available this spring and will sell for $30.

Latest edition of iPodweek newsletter coming soon, sign up 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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Fizz Software releases Baseball Manager 2010 Sim

Building on the success of its popular Soccer Manager game, Fizz Software has released Baseball Manager 2010 for the iPhone and iPod touch. Baseball Manager is a Fantasy Baseball simulation where players take control of their favorite baseball team and guide them from spring training to the World Series. To accomplish this the player deals with such things as player trades, contract negotiations and starting lineups. Reports and stats are available to guide the player and the game also presents challenges such as injuries, poaching by other teams, salary caps and meeting the team owner’s expectations. Baseball Manager 2010 is available on the App Store for $5. A video preview can be viewed on YouTube.

Apps & Games News section added, comments appreciated

Ever since the App Store opened in 2008, we’ve been working to determine the “correct” balance of iPhone/iPod touch application and game news for our readers, while looking for the right place to put that news on our main page. Now that Jesse Hollington has come on board as our full-time Applications Editor, we have an interim solution in place, and are looking for your feedback.

This week, we added a new section to the main page specifically for Apps & Games News, which you will hopefully see on the left hand column near the iLounge Poll. Like all of the left column sections, you can collapse this one if you don’t care about apps and games, move it downwards, or move it upwards and keep it open. Since a very significant percentage of iLounge’s readers now own iPhones or iPod touches, we think that many people—but not everyone—will want to keep it open.

Another option would be to integrate the same Apps and Games headlines completely within the main News column, giving the stories equal footing with all other news, or otherwise include them solely as headlines in a dedicated box like our reader comment spotlight. Since news for this section can range from small to important, depending on both the story and the individual reader, there are reasons that each approach might work.

So we’d like to know what you’d prefer, and why. Please share your (on topic) thoughts in the Comments area below. Thanks!

iWrite Love Poems helps with Valentine’s Day wishes

iPhone Developer Joel Epstein has released a Valentine’s Day themed version of his educational iPoetry 101 app. iWrite: Love Poems coaches users through the process of writing their own love poetry from brainstorming to actual step-by-step writing and final revisions. Eight different styles of poetry are provided as a base to educate users and develop skills such as identifying formulas for structured forms of poetry, prewriting and revision, figurative language and creating a sustained image. The application also provides the ability to generate its own unique poetry using the rules for each of the structured poems. iWrite: Love Poems is available on the App Store for $2.

FCC warns of iPad-led wireless network overload

In a blog posting on the body’s official site, the FCC’s Director of Scenario Planning Phil Bellaria, and John Leibovitz, Deputy Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, warn that the iPad and other future devices like it could lead to network congestion. Comparing the current situation in which data-hungry mobile devices are becoming increasingly common to the rise of Internet access demands in the late 1990s, particularly those faced by AOL after announcing unlimited dial-up access in 1996, Bellaria and Leibovitz note that “[w]idespread use of smartphones, 3G-enabled netbooks, and now, perhaps, the iPad and its competitors demonstrate that wireless broadband will be a hugely important part of the broadband ecosystem as we move ahead.” Continuing the comparison and noting that AOL was eventually able to resolve its problems with network and backbone upgrades, the pair conclude that “[w]ith the iPad pointing to even greater demand for mobile broadband on the horizon, we must ensure that network congestion doesn’t choke off a service that consumers clearly find so appealing or frustrate mobile broadband’s ability to keep us competitive in the global broadband economy.”

Booq intros new Taipan bag, sleeve for iPad

Booq has introduced its new Taipan Sneak XS sleeve and Taipan Shadow XS bag for the iPad and other 9- and 10-inch devices. The Taipan Sneak XS is a zipper-access sleeve hand-sewn from 3mm-thick neoprene, featuring a YKK zipper with two pulls, a soft, non-scratch contrast fabric interior lining, and jersey trim on the inner edges to provide a barrier between the encased device and the zipper. The Taipan Shadow XS is a vertical messenger-style bag featuring a densely padded, zip-closure compartment for the iPad or netbook with soft plush interior, a hidden phone pocket with soft lining, an internal front pocket divider that un-snaps to provide more room for larger items, and a unique Terralinq number which can be registered with the Booq Terralinq service to help reunite the user with the bag should it be lost. It comes in black, charcoal, or violet, each with contrasting inner linings. Both products were designed “in anticipation of the iPad” and are available now for $25 and $70, respectively.

CTV releases Official Olympics Coverage App

The official Canadian broadcasters for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games have released a news and information application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Developed by Indusblue, the app provides headlines and news on every sport at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games with comprehensive photo galleries, athlete profiles, venue information and a schedule of upcoming events. An updated “Games-time” release of the application is scheduled for the week of February 8th which will add a full TV schedule, a play-by-play feed of the Games, medal and result information and live blogging of the major events. Push Notifications will also be provided for breaking news and medal information. is available as a free download from the App Store.

Speck ships SeeThru Satin for iPhone 3G, 3GS

Speck Products is now shipping its SeeThru Satin case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Winner of an iLounge Best of Show Award at the 2010 International CES, the SeeThru Satin is a translucent polycarbonate hard case featuring a soft-touch outer finish, raised rubberized front trim, and open access to all ports and controls. Speck’s SeeThru Satin case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS is available now in a variety of colors and sells for $30.

Apple forces removal of Android mention from App Store

Apple has demanded the removal of promotional text mentioning Google’s Android platform from an application’s App Store description. Mobile development house Flash of Genius has reprinted part of Apple’s email discussing the description text for the company’s Flash of Genius: SAT Vocab app, in which it requests removal of the text. The e-mail reads, “During our review of your application, we found that your application contains inappropriate or irrelevant platform information in the Application Description and/or Release Notes sections. Providing future platform compatibility plans or other general platform references are not relevant in the context of the iPhone App Store.  While your application has not been rejected, it would be appropriate to remove ‘Finalist in Google’s Android Developer’s Challenge!’  from the Application Description.” In addition, the e-mail recommends the developer make the changes to the description “to avoid an interruption” in the app’s availability. For its part, Flash of Genius believes the text is relevant and helps to boost sales, and is considering e-mailing Apple to try and find an acceptable way to reincorporate the text.

Incipio reveals lineup of cases for iPad

Incipio has unveiled its new lineup of protective solutions for the Apple iPad tablet. The new line of cases will include the dermaSHOT, a form-fitting high density silicone case featuring an smooth, anti-static outer coating, shock protection, and open access to all ports and controls, the Feather, an ultra-thin polymer case offering a soft touch matte finish, two included surface protectors, a cleaning cloth, and open access to all ports and controls, the duroSHOT DRX, a hybrid case that features a hard polycarbonate core encased in flexible NGP material as well as port and control access, and the NGP Matte, a thin, soft case made from a semi-rigid, tear-, fade-, and elongation-resistant polymer that offers open access to all ports and controls. Incipio’s lineup of cases for the Apple iPad will be available soon; pricing has yet to be announced.

Apple warns against use of location services for ads

Apple has posted an App Store Tip on its iPhone Dev Center warning app developers not to use location based services primarily for serving location-targeted ads. The tip states, “if you build your application with features based on a user’s location, make sure these features provide beneficial information. If your app uses location-based information primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on a user’s location, your app will be returned to you by the App Store Review Team for modification before it can be posted to the App Store.” While it is possible that Apple is issuing the warning in an effort to reduce unnecessary battery drain potentially caused by activating GPS and other location-based features, others, including Iconfactory developer Craig Hockenberry, have suggested that Apple is instead trying to prohibit other location-based advertising in favor of an Apple/Quattro Wireless-provided solution. Apple purchased Quattro Wireless for $275 million earlier this year, and former Quattro head Andy Miller is now employed by Apple as Vice President, Mobile Advertising.

iPad interface guidelines provide glimpse at future apps

Excepts from Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines for the iPad have appeared online, offering a look into the company’s expectations for user interaction with iPad-specific applications. Notably, the guidelines call for four-way orientation support, so that users may turn the device in any direction and maintain a consistent experience, and ask that developers reduce full-screen transitions within apps. One particularly direct passage concerns enhancing interactivity instead of simply adding more features, and states, “The best iPad applications give people innovative ways to interact with content while they perform a clearly defined, finite task. Resist the temptation to fill the large screen with features that are not directly related to the main task. In particular, you should not view the large iPad screen as an invitation to bring back all the functionality you pruned from your iPhone application.” Other points made in the guidelines call for developers to include ways to share information from the app both physically and virtually, heightened realism within app interfaces, higher-resolution graphics, multifinger gestures, replacing modal tasks with popovers, and more. Apple’s iPad Human Interaction Guidelines are available as a download for registered iPhone developers from the iPhone Dev Center.

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