A handful of new Apple job postings suggest the company is looking to expand its iBookstore into foreign markets and strengthen its mobile advertising team. A listing for an iBooks Asia Pacific & Canada manager describes the position as working with management, partners, production, and marketing to determine strategies for iBooks in “Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries,” coordinating launches, and securing content. Separately, a listing for an iPhone Advertising SDK Manager calls for “managing a talented team of developers working on the frameworks included in the iPhone SDK,” a job that will include “day to day management of the engineering, as well as related frameworks” and “interacting with the engineering team, program managers, other engineering teams, and executives.” Other mobile advertising-related postings for a Product UX/Design Engineer, a Senior Interactive Designer, and Senior Interactive Web Developer describe a job with Apple advertising as “an opportunity to redefine the advertising on mobile devices.” [via Silicon Alley Insider/Mac Rumors]
ThinkFlood has introduced its new RedEye mini IR transmitter for the iPhone and iPod touch. Unlike the company’s full-size RedEye Universal Remote, which is comprised of a small IR transmitter box with built-in Wi-Fi and an accompanying app that transmits commands to the box using the Wi-Fi connection, the new RedEye mini is a small, cylindrical 3.5mm IR transmitter that connects to the iPhone’s or iPod touch’s headphone jack, communicating directly with the company’s RedEye app and eliminating the need for the larger separate transmitter box. The RedEye mini draws power from the device itself, and includes a carrying case. ThinkFlood’s new RedEye mini IR transmitter requires the company’s free RedEye app and will be available this spring for $50.
FreshDirect, a leading online grocer in New York City, has released a new application to allow FreshDirect users to place grocery orders directly from their iPhone or iPod touch. Developed by digital firm Schematic, the application is designed to deliver the same functionality as the FreshDirect web site, allowing users to create, submit, and update orders and schedule and update delivery times right from their device. Users can search the FreshDirect store for items, shop from their previous orders or favorites and see product recommendations based on past orders. In-progress orders can be saved and resumed allowing users to build their grocery lists on the go and place them later. The application is also integrated with the FreshDirect web service so orders started on the iPhone can be completed on the web site or vice-versa. The FreshDirect application is available on the U.S. App Store as a free download.
In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday and NEA’s Read Across America Day, Oceanhouse Media has dropped the price of its Dr. Seuss iPhone and iPod touch applications to $1 for today only. The licensed developer of Dr. Seuss applications for the iPhone platform, Oceanhouse Media currently offers six interactive eBooks, games and activity applications including titles such as The Cat in the Hat, How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Dr. Seuss Camera. Oceanhouse Media’s Dr. Seuss applications are available on the App Store.
In response to an inquiry from iLounge, HTC offered its initial response to Apple’s lawsuit, which claims that HTC has infringed on 20 iPhone-related hardware and software patents. “HTC only learned of Apple’s actions this morning via media reports, and therefore we have not yet had the opportunity to investigate the filings,” a HTC representative told iLounge. “Until we have had this opportunity, we are unable to comment on the validity of the claims being made against HTC.” The representative also said the company “values patent rights and their enforcement but is also committed to defending its own technology innovations,” adding that “HTC is a mobile technology innovator and patent holder that has been very focused over the past 13 years on creating many of the most innovative smartphones.”
Gameloft has released an iPhone version of the highly-acclaimed console game Rayman 2: The Great Escape. Rayman 2 is a 3D-rendered platform game where the player must travel through a sequence of levels, fighting enemies, solving puzzles and collecting lums in search of four magical masks that will save the world from evil robot pirates from outer space. The game features 45 environments fully rendered in 3D through which the player must control Rayman as he runs, climbs, swims, water-skis and flies. Rayman 2: The Great Escape is available on the App Store for $7.
Starbucks has released its myStarbucks iPhone application in the Canadian and UK App Stores. Previously released only in the U.S. myStarbucks allows iPhone and iPod touch users to locate nearby Starbucks stores, browse the menu and create and share their favorite Starbucks beverages. The original U.S. version of the application has also been updated to provide more detailed information on Canadian and UK Starbucks locations for users travelling in those countries. The companion Starbucks Card management iPhone application, Starbucks Card Mobile, remains available in the U.S. only at this time. myStarbucks Canada and myStarbucks UK are available from their respective App Stores as free downloads.
Apple has announced that it has filed a lawsuit against HTC “for infringing on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture and hardware.” According to the announcement, the suit was filed concurrently with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and in U.S. District Court in Delaware. “We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.” Apple filed a similar suit against Nokia in December 2009, but only after Apple itself was sued by the Finnish cell phone maker earlier in the year.
DiGi Telecommunications has reached an agreement with Apple to offer the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in Malaysia. According to the company, it will launch the handsets “in the coming months,” with an exact launch date and package details to be released later. According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, DiGi signed a three-year agreement with Apple, which will signal the end of Maxis Communications’ exclusivity in the region. “The competition is going to be brutal,” said Scott Lim, CEO of MIDF Amanah Asset Management Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. Maxis first launched the iPhone 3G in Malaysia in March 2009.
According to a recent report from Hacking Netflix, several Netflix users have received a survey suggesting that an iPhone streaming application may be in development. The survey describes a hypothetical iPhone app that would allow Netflix members to stream movies and TV show episodes over Wi-Fi at no additional fee and with no advertisements or trailers. The proposed application would also include the ability to fast-forward, rewind, pause and watch content again. Last fall Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told Reuters that an iPhone application is “likely to come over time” but that the company was not yet focusing on mobile solutions. Netflix has previously used surveys like this prior to releasing support for other platforms such as the PS3 and Wii. [via TechCrunch]
Jays has announced its new q-Jays Custom earphones. The q-Jays Custom feature dual armature q-Jays earphones mounted in a silicone mold, made by Bellman & Symfon, that is casted to fit the individual user’s ear canal for increased comfort and sound quality. Unlike most custom molded earphones, the q-Jays Custom can be removed and placed back in the mold, allowing for use as a normal in-ear headphone, and allowing the user to change the silicone mold without investing in a new headphone. Jays q-Jays Custom earphones will be available in April 2010; pricing has yet to be announced.
Pablo Calamera, former director of MobileMe for Apple, has left the company to join mobile entertainment group Thumbplay as Chief Technology Officer. Calamera had spent ten total years with Apple, the most recent stint being 2006-2010, and has also worked with Sidekick-maker Danger and WebTV. In his new role with Thumbplay, Calamera will have oversight of all technology initiatives for the company, including its recently launched Thumbplay Music, a cloud-based music subscription service offering on-demand access to more than eight million tracks under license from EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and more than 25,000 independent labels. Thumbplay Music is currently being offered in the U.S. as an invitation-only private beta; the company says the service will be available on iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry devices in the first quarter of 2010. [via AppleInsider]
Bioserie has announced its new bioplastic covers for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The eco-friendly cases are made from plastic derived entirely from plants instead of petrochemicals, and offer open access to all ports, controls, and the camera, as well as a leaf-inspired design on the rear of the case. Bioserie’s bioplastic covers for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS are available now in white, green, orange, red, mauve, and black, and sell for $35 each.
Marco Arment has released a major update to his popular Instapaper Pro offline reading application. Instapaper Pro 2.2 adds an in-app browser for opening links and graphical pages and the ability to scroll by page and share selected text or look it up in a dictionary. The update also provides several UI improvements such as partially-read indicators for articles, landscape view for the article list, and the ability to delete items from the archive folder. Version 2.2 also removes the full offline graphical mode, replacing it with a unified and faster text mode that includes in-article images without having to download the entire page. Instapaper Pro is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for existing users.
The final 50 winners in our Uncommon Custom Case Giveaway have just been announced. In the giveaway, 200 iLounge readers won a custom Uncommon iPhone 3G, 3GS or iPod touch case, with 50 winners being announced on each of the three prior Mondays. Congratulations to all the winners! Don’t forget to enter our Schlage LiNK Giveaway, our Giveaway of the Month for March.
V-Moda has introduced its new Remix Remote in-ear headphones. The new Remix Remote offers an in-line three-button remote and microphone, offering full compatibility with the latest iPods and iPhones, and also features newly tuned 9mm V-Masque neodymium dynamic drivers, redesigned silicone eartips for improved ergonomics and audio performance, all-metal construction, and Kevlar-reinforced cables. Currently available exclusively in a black and silver “Nero” finish, the new V-Moda Remix Remote headphones sell for $100.
Condé Nast has confirmed upcoming iPad versions of its Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair, Glamour, and The New Yorker magazines. According to the New York Times, GQ—which currently offers an iPhone version of its magazine—will have its iPad-formatted version ready for the April issue, while Vanity Fair and Wired—the latter of which has publicly demonstrated a tablet-formatted version of its magazine—will follow with iPad versions of their June issues. The New Yorker and Glamour will not see their iPad debuts until later in the summer, although the exact timing for those launches is still being determined. According to the article, Condé Nast plans to test different prices, ad types, and approaches over several months before “wrapping up the experiment” in the fall. “We need to know a little bit more about what kind of a product we can make, how consumers will respond to it, what the distribution system will be,” said Thomas J. Wallace, editorial director of Condé Nast. Wallace added that the company will consider digitizing other magazines based on its experience with these initial offerings; Charles H. Townsend, president and chief executive of Condé Nast, said that the company was looking to “take a leadership position” on the iPad.
Ngmoco has launched its latest game, We Rule as an initial release on the Canadian App Store. This follows the same strategy the company has used with other recent games to ensure that its Plus+ network is working properly and stable prior to releasing the game to a larger audience. We Rule is an empire-building game where players direct their citizens to grow crops, construct buildings and work at other tasks to develop their estate’s infrastructure and transform a humble castle into a sprawling kingdom. Users can invite their friends through the Plus+ network to develop their realms together and visit each other’s kingdoms. As with other recent ngmoco releases, We Rule is a free download and generates revenue through in-app purchases. We Rule is currently available on the Canadian App Store. Ngmoco has not yet announced when the game will be released in other countries. [via Touch Arcade]
iLounge is pleased to announce the Schlage LiNK Giveaway. 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!
Nuance, makers of the popular Dragon Dictation application, announced today that it plans to release three new iPhone applications for medical professionals: Dragon Medical Mobile Dictation, Dragon Medical Mobile Search and Dragon Medical Mobile Recorder. These applications build on the technologies in Nuance’s consumer Dragon Dictation and Dragon Search applications to allow physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers to access clinical information and document patient encounters while on the go. A Medical Mobile SDK is also planned to allow developers to build solutions that can interface with the Dragon Medical Mobile applications. Nuance will be previewing the new applications this week at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMMS) conference. No specific release date or pricing has yet been announced. [via TUAW]