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2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

News

Brenthaven intros line of cases for iPad

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Brenthaven has introduced its new line of cases for the Apple iPad. Featuring an external shell made from 100% recycled Billboard material, the eco-friendly Bill-Fold Sleeve for iPad also offers a folding design for added corner protection, and a white-on-black color scheme. It will ship April 3 and is available for pre-order for $35. The Ecco-prene Sleeve is also an eco-friendly case option, made with a neoprene-like material that is PVC-free and 100% recyclable, and featuring a faux-fur lined interior for protection against scratches, 7mm-thick walls, and a zippered closure. It will ship at the end of May and is available for pre-order for $25.

imageThe Mini Eclipse case features a briefcase design, a rugged ballistic nylon shell, a retractable handle, a zippered closure, and a front pocket designed to carry the iPad’s charger. It is available now and sells for $20. Finally, the Switch Satchel is a messenger-style vertical case featuring a reversible front flap, zippered main compartment, a front organizer panel for accessories, and a backslip pocket. It too is available now in “Amsterdam” and “Gray Gi Jo” and sells for $40.

Photos, video show supposed iPhone 4G faceplate

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New photos and a video have appeared online claiming to show the LCD, digitizer, and faceplate of the fourth-generation iPhone. Photos appearing on Apple.pro (Translated Link) show that the glass face, LCD, and digitizer are in fact all one piece, like the original iPhone, and not separate components as they are on the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The faceplate is slightly taller than that of the iPhone and iPhone 3G/3GS, and features a circular hole to the left of the handset speaker that is supposedly for a front-facing camera. While an iLounge source with a trusted track record did not know whether the component was legitimately from the fourth-generation iPhone, a new video from Colombian repair shop SmartPhoneMedic shows what appears to be an identical part, which is again claimed to be the faceplate of a fourth-generation iPhone and is compared with that of an iPhone 3G. As Mac Rumors notes, while it is not unusual for Asian suppliers to offer claimed future-generation Apple product parts, many of the claims have not held up when compared with the actual product. Continue reading for more pictures and the video in embedded form.

Apple posts iPad Guided Tours

Apple has posted a number of iPad Guided Tour videos on its website. Each one is several minutes long, and explains how to use one of the device’s applications. Individual tours are available for Safari, Mail, Photos, Videos, YouTube, iPod, iTunes, iBooks, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. Apple’s iPad Guided Tour videos are available for viewing now on the company’s website.

TwelveSouth previews BookArc for iPad

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TwelveSouth has provided iLounge with an exclusive sneak peek at its upcoming BookArc stand for iPad. Drawing on the design of its current BookArc for Apple’s MacBooks, the BookArc for iPad will be made out of aluminum and feature a slit lined with a silicone pad to hold the iPad in place without scratching the screen, sides, or rear surface. In addition, the design incorporates a small indention to allow for access to the Home button while the iPad is in the stand. TwelveSouth’s BookArc for iPad is coming soon; exact release and pricing information has yet to be announced.

iTunes 9.1 to include iPad support, other enhancements

iTunes 9.1 will arrive alongside the iPad on Saturday, bringing with it a number of changes, many related to the new features of the latest iTunes-connecting device, Mac Rumors reports. Most notably, iTunes 9.1 will offer support for ebook files, and will see the “Audiobooks” listing on the iTunes Store and in the content management interface for connected devices changed to a broader “Books” section that will display all book content compatible with the currently connected device. Other changes will include greater control over Genius Mixes, including the ability to rename, rearrange, and delete Mixes, slight changes to device support, including small interface tweaks to the summary panes, and expansion of the ability to automatically convert songs to 128 kbps AAC format when syncing to devices.

Apple Stores to open at 9 a.m. for iPad launch

Apple today announced that it will be opening all 221 of its U.S. retail stores at 9 a.m. local time on Saturday for the iPad launch. In addition to Apple retail stores, the company notes that the device will also be available at “most” Best Buy stores on launch day. Apple’s retail stores will offer a free Personal Setup service to every iPad customer, and will also be hosting special iPad workshops to help customers learn more about the device. While the iPad will initially only be available from Apple—both online and retail—and retail Best Buy stores, the device will eventually be sold at select Apple Authorized Resellers and campus bookstores, as well. “iPad connects users with their apps and content in a far more intimate and fun way than ever before,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We can’t wait for users to get their hands and fingers on it this weekend.”

Apple receives iPad trademark from Fujitsu

Fujitsu has transferred the rights to the iPad trademark in the U.S. to Apple ahead of the device’s launch later this week. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Fujitsu agreed last week to assign all rights to the iPad name to Apple beginning on March 17. Fujitsu had originally registered the iPad name in 2003 in connection to a handheld scanner launched by its U.S. subsidiary the year before that was used by retail store clerks for inventory management and other business activities. Details of the agreement between the two companies are not known, however, Fujitsu appears to have changed its stance on the matter since the iPad unveiling; a company representative said the day after Apple’s iPad event that “It’s our understanding that the name is ours,” adding that “mobile is a keyword for Fujitsu’s iPad, too.”

Filemaker announces Bento for iPad

Filemaker has announced that it will be launching a version of its popular consumer database application, Bento, for the iPad. Similar in concept to the Bento for iPhone app released last spring, the iPad version of Bento can be used as a standalone app or sync via Wi-Fi with the Mac version of Bento. The new version has been redesigned to take advantage of the larger screen size and UI features offered by the iPad to provide smoother database navigation and a visually appealing presentation of data. The app will ship with a number of database templates to allow users to quickly get started and is expected to be sold as a separate app for the same $5 price tag as the iPhone version. [via Mac Rumors]

Things 1.4 update brings landscape mode, search

Cultured Code has released an update to its popular iPhone task management app, Things. The update adds full support for working in landscape mode and now allows users to search their task list from within the app. Things 1.4 also adds built-in crash reporting functionality and improved stability and addresses multiple bugs from the previous version. Things can be used as a standalone iPhone application or users can sync via Wi-Fi with the Mac version of Things. Things for the iPhone and iPod touch is available from the App Store for $10. Things for Mac is available separately from the Cultured Code web site.

iPad Camera Connection Kit now available for pre-order

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Apple has begun to accept pre-orders for the iPad Camera Connection Kit. The $29 accessory kit includes two separate 30-pin connectors, one with an SD card slot, and the other with a USB port that can be used to attach most digital cameras. According to Apple, once the connection is made with either the SD card or camera, the iPad “automatically opens the Photos app, which lets you choose which pictures to import, then organizes the selected photos into albums. When you sync iPad to your PC or Mac, the photos on your iPad are added to your computer’s photo library.” The iPad will support most standard photo formats, including JPEG and RAW; the iPad Camera Connection Kit will ship in late April. For more on the iPad Camera Connection Kit, see our First Look article.

Reeder 2.0 adds better syncing, Mobilizer support

Silvio Rizzi has released a major update to his popular Reeder client for Google Reader. Reeder 2.0 provides significant performance improvements over the previous version as well as support for caching images in feeds for offline viewing and state saving so that users can return to the app and pick up where they left off. The new version also improves syncing speeds and provides the ability to sync shared items, read items, and items from friends for offline viewing. Built-in support for Google Mobilizer and Instapaper Mobilizer is now included as well as the option to open links with Safari or copy them to the clipboard. Reeder 2.0 is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for existing users.

New iPad pre-orders pushed to April 12, reservations closed

Apple has updated its website to indicate that all new iPad pre-orders will ship on April 12, and has also removed the option of reserving an iPad for in-store pickup on April 3, suggesting the company has sold through its initial allotment of iPad units. Those who pre-ordered earlier and received an e-mail stating that their iPad would arrive on April 3rd should still receive their units on launch day. Although Apple has closed iPad reservations for pickup at an Apple retail store on April 3rd, it remains unclear as to whether the company will have any extra stock on hand to sell to customers who didn’t make a reservation, as the company’s iPad page currently states that customers can “buy iPad at [their] favorite Apple Retail Store starting April 3.” All Wi-Fi + 3G models of iPad are still listed as shipping in “late April.”

Last weekend for the Schlage LiNK Giveaway

If you haven’t yet entered our Schlage LiNK Giveaway, now’s your chance. In our Giveaway of the Month for March, iLounge and Schlage are giving away five Schlage LiNK Starter Kits with Wireless Keypad Deadbolts, which are compatible with the Schlage LiNK iPhone app. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on March 31, 2010 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!

Radio Shack set to expand iPhone sales

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Radio Shack is preparing to offer the iPhone in 3,000 of its 4,500 stores across the U.S. beginning March 28, according to an AppleInsider report. The report states that the expansion will see Radio Shack become the second-largest third-party retailer of the iPhone in terms of retail locations, second only to Walmart and ahead of both AT&T and Best Buy. According to the report, the retailer will promote the rollout in its March 28 circular, with pricing for each iPhone model set at roughly $5 off the MSRP, or $95 for the 8GB iPhone 3G, $195 for the 16GB iPhone 3GS, and $295 for the 32GB 3GS. Radio Shack began selling the iPhone in a limited number of stores in November 2009.

Bant provides simplified diabetes monitoring

A team at Toronto’s University Health Network Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, in partnership with The Hospital for Sick Children and Saint Elizabeth Health Care, has released a new iPhone application designed to simplify diabetes management. Designed initially as a self-management system for adolescents with Type I Diabetes, Bant allows iPhone and iPod touch users to track their blood glucose levels and self-manage their condition. Users can store their recorded data to their Google Health account and share their experience with the diabetes community via Twitter. In an interview with The Care to Know Centre, Dr. Joseph Cafazzo, one of the researchers on the project explained that it began as a study in the “challenges in managing kids with Type 1 Diabetes” and the issue that many teens to do not take their measurements regularly or properly self-manage their condition. Cafazzo indicated that the team wanted to find a way to encourage teens to develop proper self-management skills. They looked at an iPhone app as a solution since “the ubiquitous mobile phone is so central to this demographic’s life ... even as inpatients, teens are never far from their phone.” Cafazzo explains that social networking features were also built in to further engage adolescents and allow them to share their experiences with others like themselves. Cafazzo also notes that the team is working with Apple Canada to arrange for iTunes redemption codes to reward teens who use the app to take their measurements regularly and participate in the community. Bant is available from the App Store as a free download.

iLounge Weekly coming shortly, sign up now

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The latest edition of iLounge Weekly, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, is coming later today. iLounge Weekly is a summary of the week’s best 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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Best Buy readies for iPad launch

  • March 26, 2010
  • iPad

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Electronics retailer Best Buy has begun preparations for the launch of the iPad on April 3rd, according to a Mac Rumors report. Citing unnamed sources, the report states that the iPad will initially be offered only at Best Buy locations with a dedicated Apple “store-within-a-store” — approximately 675 of the company’s 1,000-plus locations — and will not be available at bestbuy.com. No early openings are planned, according to the report, as the company sees little benefit due to a lack of sales competition. Display materials are reportedly expected to arrive at participating stores early next week, with a single iMac and two laptop demo units expected to be displaced to accomodate the iPad demo units. Interestingly, the report also indicates that four separate iPad SKUs will be on display, suggesting that Best Buy stores will have at least one Wi-Fi + 3G model on display. [Photo via chriscoyier]

KainosAgora previews Twitter filtering client

iPhone developer KainosAgora has shown a preview of TweetAgora, a unique new Twitter client for the iPhone aimed at improving the signal-to-noise ratio in users’ Twitter streams. TweetAgora provides users with the ability to filter or “mute” tweets in their timeline based on hashtags, sender or conversation, allowing them to hide tweets they may not be interested in without having to unfollow people. Users can also filter their timeline to show only tweets containing photos, links or retweets and create superset lists, or “Agoras,” that contain an aggregated timeline of tweets from other Twitter Lists, people and/or hashtags. The app also provides the ability to display full conversation threads from a selected tweet, including all of the reply branches of a conversation. TweetAgora is currently in closed beta; users can apply to join the beta at beta@tweetagora.com. TweetAgora is scheduled for release to the App Store in mid-April. Pricing has not yet been announced.

CaseCrown debuts case lineup for iPad

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CaseCrown has introduced its new lineup of cases for the Apple iPad. The Air Cell Padded Carrying Case is a briefcase-style bag offering over 200 “air cells” designed to offer shock protection, a zippered closure, adjustable shoulder straps, and a pink, blue, or black fabric edge. It sells for $35. Both the Neoprene Case and Neoprene Pocket Case feature a neoprene exterior and double memory foam inner lining for shock protection; the latter adds an external pocket for cables, chargers, and other items. Available in pink, black, blue, or red, they sell for $20 and $25, respectively.

imageCaseCrown’s iPad Suede Slip features a faux suede exterior, a padded, zippered main compartment, a zippered exterior pocket for small accessories, and a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap. It comes in one of five colors and sells for $20. Available on Amazon, the Double Memory Foam Pouch Case with Front Pocket features a checkered outer design, zippered main compartment and exterior pocket, shock absorbing memory foam inner lining, and internal supporting bands for structural integrity. It sells for $26. Finally, the Vertical Multi Pocket Messenger Bag, also available from Amazon, offers a separate, Velcro-closure padded compartment for the iPad, front, back, side, and flap pockets for other accessories, a vertical design, and an adjustable shoulder strap. It sells for $34; all of CaseCrown’s new iPad accessories are available now.

Apple job listing calls for LTE expert

A new Apple job listing suggests the company is planning to include Long Term Evolution (LTE) “4G” cellular radio technology in future devices, such as the iPhone and possibly iPad. The listing for a “Cellular Technology Software Manager” calls for “[e]xpert knowledge of one or multiple cellular technologies: WCDMA/UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, LTE etc.” Applicants must also “understand the development cycle of phone, IOT, and certification process and carrier approval process.” Both AT&T and Verizon have announced plans to move to LTE networks over the coming years, with Verizon expected to begin its rollout later this year and AT&T expected to begin deployment in 2011. [via Engadget]

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