Substrata has unveiled its new upcoming wooden accessories for the Apple iPad. The Sliding Lid case offers full access to the screen and all buttons and ports, microsuede lining, magnetic latches, and compatibility with a range of matching wooden stands. The Hinged Lid iPad Box is flip-style case offering a vertically-opening lid that can double as a stand, microsuede lining, a magnetic lid closure, and sliding catch. Both of Substrata’s new wooden cases for the Apple iPad are expected to be available in June; pricing has yet to be announced.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) has announced that it is doubling its iFund to $200 million of venture capital for iPhone apps. Originally announced in March 2008, the iFund is pool of funds designed to help KPCB find and back budding iPhone developers. According to the company, the entire original $100 million iFind is now fully committed across 14 companies, accounting for more than $100 million in 2010 mobile revenue, more than 100 million aggregate mobile downloads, and 18 titles that reached the Top 10 on the App Store. In addition, iFund-supported companies have more than 20 applications in development for the iPad, 11 of which will be available on April 3: seven games from ngmoco including We Rule, GodFinger and WarpGate, Doodle Buddy and Star Smash from Pinger, textPlus from GOGII, and Shazam from Shazam Entertainment.
Apple’s upcoming iPhone OS 4.0 will allow users to run multiple third-party applications at once, managing these through an interface similar to that of Mac OS X’s Exposé feature, according to an AppleInsider report. Citing people familiar with Apple’s plans for the new software, the report states that users will employ a key combination—possibly a double-tap on the Home button, which currently triggers a user-definable action—to trigger an Exposé-like interface that will present a series of icons representing currently running apps, letting users switch in between them. Once a selection is made, the interface reportedly zooms out and transitions to the selected application. Additionally, the report claims that the new software sports a global mailbox view and the ability to add contacts directly to the home screen, although it notes that either one, or both, of these features could be cut before the software is released. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber mentioned iPhone OS 4.0’s third-party multitasking capabilities in a brief posting earlier this week, while Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently confirmed in an email to a customer that a universal mailbox would be coming to the iPhone.
Newer Technology has introduced its new iFolio case for the iPad. The iFolio is a handcrafted carrying case made from premium black or red Brazilian leather, featuring a collapsible, elastic-backed, double-stitched leather handle, as well as a removable, adjustable double-stitched leather shoulder strap. Other features include a zippered closure, a dedicated, padded iPad compartment with leather retaining straps, and a separate, hard backed document sleeve with two ID holders. Newer Technology’s iFolio case for the Apple iPad is available for pre-order for $100 and will begin shipping April 5.
Sony has introduced four new pairs of headsets for the iPhone and iPod. Featuring in-line three-button remotes and microphones, the new DR‑EX300ip, MDR-EX38ip, DR-V150iP, and MDR-E10iP all offer complete compatibility with the third-generation iPod shuffle, second- and third-generation iPod touch, fourth- and fifth generation iPod nano, and iPhone. The DR-EX300iP in-ear headphone features a 13.5mm Neodymium driver that’s oriented vertically in the ear, four sizes of supplied hybrid silicone earbuds, and a genuine leather carry case for storage and transportation. The DR-V150iP are over-the-ear headphones designed for DJ use, and feature a 30mm ferrite driver, an adjustable headband, and reversible earcups. The MDR-E10iP earbuds feature colored cord stems, a 13.5mm Neodymium driver, and included soft ear-pads. Finally, the MDR-EX38iP features an in-ear design, a 9mm Neodymium driver, and three sizes of hybrid silicone earbuds. They are available now in black or white and sell for $34; the rest of Sony’s new headsets for iPhone and iPod will be available in May. [via Engadget]
Kee Utility is set to show its Desk Phone Dock concept at the China Sourcing Fair in April. The Desk Phone Dock is a new aluminum and white plastic iPhone dock allowing users to initiate and receive calls on their iPhones using a traditional handset. To enable this functionality, the Desk Phone Dock features a built-in dock on the right side, which also houses stereo speakers, a headphone port, and a volume knob, with a traditional handset on the left. The concept also employs a break-out box for USB charging/syncing and power. Still a concept at this time, Kee Utility’s Desk Phone Dock has yet to receive a release date.
This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone 3G overlooking a landscape in Bulgaria. 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!
Apple has released iTunes 9.1, the latest update to its digital media management software. As previously reported, the update brings compatibility with the iPad, as well as the ability to “organize and sync books you’ve downloaded from iBooks on iPad or added to your iTunes library,” and the ability to “rename, rearrange, or remove Genius Mixes.” iTunes 9.1 is available now via Apple’s Software Update utility and as direct download from itunes.com.
Update: Upon installation, iLounge has confirmed that iTunes 9.1 references what appears to be an iPad-optimized version of its Remote application; it is possible, but unlikely, that this is simply to account for iPads running the current iPhone and iPod touch build of the app. The new version of iTunes is also able to import free ePub books, which now appear with Audiobooks and purchased books in a “Books” heading within the iTunes Library, which is then subdivided to count the number of titles in audio and book formats separately. Users are able to manually add cover art to ePub titles as they can with music albums, and the info window for books offers a VoiceOver pane where users can set the VoiceOver language on a per-title basis.
Wrappers has announced its new line of sleeves for the Apple iPad. Unlike the company’s previously announced “pillow case” sleeves, these new sleeves feature four elastic ties on each corner to hold the iPad securely inside or on the case, and also offer 3mm of high density closed cell foam padding, microfiber or ripstop interior lining, and no logo. Available in a variety of styles and textiles, Wrappers’ new sleeves for the iPad are available now and sell for £18-£32, or roughly $27-$48.
Apple has launched a new App Store Facebook page. Developed by social media company Virtue, the new page offers a “Featured” tab of App Store highlights, Top Charts listing the most-downloaded apps, a “Games” tab to showcase featured titles and top-selling games, and a “Search and Share” tab that lets users search for apps—using the App Store API—and share them with their Facebook friends via Wall posts. In addition, each app listing includes a “Get App” button, which will open the app’s iTunes Preview page, and, if iTunes is installed, take the user straight to the related App Store listing. The new App Store Facebook page can be accessed from facebok.com/AppStore. [via Mashable]
Taiwanese firm Elan Microelectronics has filed a patent infringement complaint against Apple with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The AFP reports that the complaint alleges that Apple is violating Elan’s patents related to touch-sensitive input devices with multi-touch capabilities, specifically with the iPhone, iPod touch, MacBook laptops, the Magic Mouse, and the iPad. “We have taken the step of filing the ITC complaint as a continuation of our efforts to enforce our patent rights against Apple’s ongoing infringement,” Elan said in a statement. “A proceeding in the ITC offers a quick and effective way for Elan to enforce its patent.” Elan requesting that the ITC bar Apple from importing the products into the United States, and prevent it from selling any of the products in the United States that it has already imported. Elan filed a lawsuit against Apple in April of 2009 over the same alleged infringement. [via MDN]
TechCrunch reports that Boxcar, developer of the popular Push Notification app of the same name has implemented a new Provider API to allow third-party services to leverage its Push Notification service. Previously Boxcar provided Push Notifications for specific services such as Twitter, Facebook and e-mail as well as a user API for individual users to customize their own Push Notifications from desktop apps such as Growl. The new Provider API allows web sites and other online services to build their own customized Push Notification feeds that can be subscribed to by any Boxcar user. Boxcar plans to allow third-party providers the option of charging for their Push Notifications via a one-time in-app purchase with revenue shared 50/50 between Boxcar and the Provider. Boxcar is available from the App Store as a free download and includes Push Notifications for one service; additional services can be added via in-app purchase for $1 each.
DRO Concepts has unveiled its upcoming Carbon Fiber case for the Apple iPad. Made from 100% real carbon fiber, this sleeve-style case features neoprene inner lining for added scratch and shock protection, a Velcro strap for keeping the iPad securely inside, and a small center notch to help with removal of the device. DRO Concepts’ Carbon Fiber case for the iPad is available for pre-order now and is expected to ship in mid-April for $120.
Apple has released its GM, or Gold Master, version of the iPhone SDK 3.2 for iPad. According to an email sent out to registered iPhone developers, all iPad apps submitted going forward must be built and tested using this release. The email reads, “[a]ll members of the iPhone Developer Program can submit their iPad apps to iTunes Connect for review and approval. If you did not submit your app during the initial review period, but upload it by March 31, it will be reviewed but may not make the grand opening of the iPad App Store.” Apple’s “initial review period” began on March 19 and ended March 27; applications submitted during that timeframe are eligible for the grand opening, but must be re-submitted using this latest SDK release for final approval. The iPhone OS SDK 3.2 GM for iPad is available now to registered iPhone developers through the iPhone Dev Center.
According to the iPad end-user software licensing agreement posted online, iPad users will receive free software updates from Apple, up to and including the first major release, and then have to pay for upgrades afterwards. This particular portion of the agreement, published online by Mac Rumors, states: “Apple will provide you any iPad OS software updates that it may release from time to time, up to and including the next major iPad OS software release following the version of iPad OS software that originally shipped from Apple on your iPad, for free. For example, if your iPad originally shipped with iPad 3.x software, Apple would provide you with any iPad OS software updates it might release up to and including the iPad 4.x software release. Such updates and releases may not necessarily include all of the new software features that Apple releases for newer iPad models.” Currently, iPhone owners are provided free software updates for at least the first two years of the device’s life, while iPod touch owners are normally charged for major updates. New iPhones and iPod touch units, however, have typically debuted with either a new or very recent version of iPhone OS installed, whereas the iPad will ship with the nine-month old iPhone OS 3.x software, with the possibility of iPhone OS 4.0 being released later this year.
Apple is working to build a pair of iPhones for release this year, one a sequel to the company’s prior GSM handsets, and the other built to work on CDMA networks, according to a new report. Citing people briefed by the company, the Wall Street Journal reports that the CDMA iPhone will be built by Pegatron Technology Corp., the contract manufacturing subsidiary of Taiwan’s ASUSTeK Computer, and is scheduled to go into mass production in September. This new model would allow Apple to offer the iPhone on both Verizon Wireless and Sprint in the U.S., along with a small number of carriers in countries including South Korea and Japan. The new GSM model is being made by Hon Hai Precision Industry, the same company that produced Apple’s prior iPhones, and will likely be thinner and have a faster processor, according to the report.
Following the publication of the WSJ report, Engadget was informed by an anonymous source that the next-generation iPhone would be announced on Tuesday, June 22, and would be dubbed the iPhone HD. In a separate report calling the WSJ out for lack of details on the next-generation iPhone, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber suggested that the next-gen iPhone would be powered by an A4-family CPU system-on-a-chip, and sport a 960x640 quadruple resolution display, second, front-facing camera, and third-party multitasking thanks to iPhone OS 4.0. These reports follow the appearance of images and video of a supposed fourth-generation iPhone replacement faceplate, which was slightly taller than that of current iPhone models and featured a prominent hole next to the handset speaker, supposedly for a front-facing camera.
Tony Fadell, former senior vice president of Apple’s iPod division, current advisor to the CEO, “father of the iPod,” and an executive involved in the development of the iPhone, is leaving the company, according to a New York Times report. Fadell stepped down from his position as senior vice president of Apple’s iPod division in November 2008 for personal reasons, and was replaced by Mark Papermaster, a former IBM executive, who took on the role of senior vice president of Devices Hardware Engineering; Fadell’s wife Danielle Lambert, former Apple vice president of Human Resources, also left in November 2008. While Fadell declined to talk about Apple with the NYT, he did say that his primary focus going forward would be “helping the environment by working with consumer green-tech companies.” “I’m determined to tell my kids and grandkids amazing stories beyond my iPod and iPhone ones,” he said.
Navigon has released an update to its MobileNavigator suite of applications for the iPhone, adding support for MyRoutes, location sharing via Facebook and Twitter and 3D terrain views. Previously available only on Navigon’s dedicated GPS hardware devices, the MyRoutes feature analyzes users driving habits and patterns based on location and time of day to provide up to three optimal routes tailored to the user with ETA, distance and driving times for each. Social media integration features allow users to post information on their current position, destination and ETA to Facebook and Twitter from directly within the application. The latest update also adds support for Navigon’s new Panorama View 3D feature which provides 3D in-map terrain views with digital landscape elevations and geographic images integrated into the map data. Navigon MobileNavigator North America is available from the App Store for $80 and is a free update for existing Navigon users. MobileNavigator versions for other regions have also been updated and are available separately. The Panorama View 3D is available as an in-app purchase for an additional $10.
Fusion of Ideas has unveiled its new StealthArmor protective film for the Apple iPad. Available in a variety of finishes, including clear, brushed aluminum, carbon fiber, matte black, and wood grain, StealthArmor was originally developed for automotive applications and uses a heat-bonding technology to form itself to the iPad’s unique shape. Notably, the company previously told iLounge that installation involves applying “liberal heat” from a hair dryer to the film in order to make it pliable and ensure a proper fit. Fusion of Ideas’ StealthArmor film for iPad will be available on April 3rd; pricing has yet to be announced.
MobileAge has released a preview of the iPad version of its popular Shanghai Mahjong for the iPhone and iPod touch. Shanghai Mahjong for iPad will provide new iPad-optimized artwork and 200 new layouts for expanded game play. Users will also be able to download additional custom-designed tileset art and background images from within the app or choose a background from the iPad photo album. The company plans to release the iPad version as a universal app that will run on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The iPad version will be available as a free update for existing Shanghai Mahjong users. More information and screenshots can be found at the developer’s web site.