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MusicSkins launches Skins for the iPad

MusicSkins has announced its new lineup of Skins for the iPad. Made from low-profile, premium vinyl, the Skins use a 3M adhesive to allow for easy application and residue-free removal, and feature an anti-scratch, anti-UV coating while covering the rear of the device. Available in a wide variety of styles, including officially licensed designs from Adult Swim, The Beatles, Domo, and many more, MusicSkins’ Skins for iPad are available now and sell for $20.

Omni Group releases OmniGraffle, OmniGraphSketcher for iPad

The Omni Group has released iPad versions of two of its popular Mac applications, OmniGraffle and OmniGraphSketcher. OmniGraffle for the iPad allows users to create sophisticated diagrams, flow charts and layouts using the touchscreen, and includes many features found in the desktop version such as shapes, stencils, smart guides, automatic layouts and connectors. Documents are saved in the standard OmniGraffle format used by the Mac version and can be shared between both applications, exported to PDF or saved as a graphic image to the photo library. OmniGraffle for the iPad is available from the App Store for $50.

OmniGraphSketcher allows users to easily create graphs and charts on the iPad using freehand drawing to quickly plot lines and data points on the touchscreen. Users can also easily add text labels, colors and shapes and export graphs to scalable PDF files or save them as images to the iPad photo library. Documents are saved in the same format used by OmniGraphSketcher on the Mac, allowing files to easily be shared between both applications. OmniGraphSketcher for the iPad is available from the App Store for $15.

Apple posts new ‘Concert’ iPhone 3GS ad

Apple has posted its latest iPhone 3GS television advertisement online. Entitled “Concert,” the new spot sticks to Apple’s recent trend of iPhone advertisements that are more testimonial in nature, and features a female narrator explaining how she heard a song she liked, used Shazam to find out the title and band, purchased the album from the iTunes Store, and then used the iPhone to find an upcoming concert and buy tickets. The new TV ad is available for viewing now on Apple’s website.

iSuppli: 16GB iPad build cost estimated at $260

According to a cost analysis by market research firm iSuppli, the 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi may cost as little as $259.60 to build. Citing iSuppli’s findings, Bloomberg reports that the iPad’s touch screen display costs $95, with the A4 processor adding another $26.80 to the cost. The iPad’s aluminum casing is estimated to cost $10.50, with the flash memory chips adding anywhere from $29.50 in costs to the 16GB model to $118 in the 64GB version, which carries a total estimated materials cost of $348.10. Other components include the Broadcom Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chip, estimated to cost $8.05, and a Cirrus Logic audio chip costing $1.20. As with all iSuppli cost of materials estimates, these figures are not exact, and do not account for research and development, manufacturing, packaging, and marketing costs.

Photo of the Week: iPod 3G in France

Today’s classic image from our iPods Around the World archive shows a third-generation iPod in front of the Louvre Museum and the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, France.

We’re looking for your great iPhone and iPod images to add to our galleries! Springtime shots and anything else you might be able to contribute would be appreciated! So get out there, take some pictures featuring your favorite iPod or iPhone and maybe your submission will be our next Photo of the Week!

Griffin outs new stand, chargers for iPad

Griffin Technology has introduced its new A-Frame tabletop stand, and PowerBlock and PowerJolt chargers for the Apple iPad. The A-Frame is a bushed aluminum stand for tabletop and desk use, offering a soft silicone cradle to protect against scratches, strategically-placed grooves in the cradle to allow for speaker functionality, a foldable design for easy travel, and space to allow for full access to the dock connector for charging and syncing in either vertical or horizontal position. It sells for $50. The PowerBlock and PowerJolt are re-engineered versions of Griffin’s home and car chargers, respectively, offering 2.1 amp capacity for fast iPad charging, green LED charging indicators, included, detachable USB to 30-pin dock cables, and compatibility with the iPhone, iPod, and other USB devices. They sell for $30 and $25, respectively; all of Griffin’s new iPad accessories are available now from the Apple Store.

Mix: Verizon, XVIII case, A4 teardown, Eos sale

Speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said the company has told Apple it wants to carry the iPhone. According to the Associated Press, Seidenberg cited a recent report that Apple was working on a CDMA version of the iPhone, but stopped short of confirming a deal or offering any further details.

XVIII Limited has introduced its Apple iPhone Case. Available in either crocodile or ostrich, the sleeve-like case offers a variety of exterior colors and floral silk lining. XVIII’s Apple iPhone Case in crocodile or ostrich is available now and sells for $150 or $120, respectively.

iFixit, with the help of Chipworks, has provided a teardown of the Apple A4 processor that powers the iPad. According to the teardown, the A4 uses package-on-package construction for improved speed and efficiency, and features two layers of RAM; notably, there was no Samsung part number found on the processor die as has been found on each past iPhone processor, which iFixit claims is “perhaps the clearest sign to date that Apple is in firm control of the semiconductor design.”

IntelliTouch is offering a one-week only 25% discount on all its Eos Wireless audio products, including several solutions for the iPad, iPhone, Mac, and PC. To take advantage of the discount, enter the code “redtag” during checkout. The offer will expire on April 12.

Draw Limited shows drawCase for iPad

Draw Limited has debuted its new drawCase for the Apple iPad. The drawCase is a two-piece protective solution made from a solid block of recycled aircraft grade aluminum, and features a protective foam inner lining, removable top, and magnetic closure. The drawCase will be available soon in a variety of anodized colors; pricing has yet to be announced.

Marware ships trio of cases for iPad

Marware has announced that it is now shipping its Eco-Vue, Eco-Flip, and Sportfolio Bandit cases for the iPad. The Eco-Vue is a horizontally-opening folio-style case for the iPad made from leather tanned in an environmentally sound process, and offers an elastic hand strap, a foldaway display stand, the ability for the front cover to be used as a stand, and an elastic closure strap. It sells for $45, as does the Eco-Flip case, which mirrors the Eco-Vue’s features but sports a vertically-opening flip design. Finally, the Sportfolio Bandit is a form-fitting neoprene sleeve offering a soft, plush-lined interior, an external accessory pocket, and a functional leather accent band. It is available in black, silver/blue, or silver/white, and sells for $35.

Gelaskins unveils lineup of skins for iPad

Gelaskins has unveiled its new lineup of protective, decorative skins for the Apple iPad. The skins, available in both stock and do-it-yourself formats, feature full-bleed artwork that covers the bezel, sides, and back of the device, with precision cut-outs for all buttons, switches, and ports. Also available are matching downloadable wallpapers for the iPad’s lock and Home screens. Gelaskins’ new decorative skins for the Apple iPad are available now and sell for $30 each.

Luxa2 debuts H4 stand for iPad

Luxa2 has debuted its new H4 stand for the Apple iPad and other ebook readers and tablet PCs. The H4 features a brushed aluminum base with a rear slot for cable access, an aluminum cradle that uses six adjustable supports to securely hold the device, and also rotates 360 degrees and can be quickly flipped to the other side thanks to the slot joint hinge. Luxa2’s H4 holder is expected to be available soon; pricing has yet to be announced.

Random House remains iBookstore holdout

Despite the successful launch of the iPad this weekend, Random House, the lone major publisher not signed on to offer its titles in the iBookstore, remains a holdout. The Wall Street Journal reports that Random House is unimpressed with Apple’s “agency” pricing model, which allows the publishers to set book pricing, while Apple takes 30% of the sales price. A senior Random House executive said that the company will benefit economically from sticking to its current model whereby it receives half of the hardcover price for new ebooks, regardless of the pricing set by the retailer. The same executive was also skeptical about publishers’ ability to effectively discount titles to drive sales, and said there could be possible contractual issues with authors now that the publishers are setting their own prices. Furthermore, he expressed concern over the potential for piracy, saying, “At $9.99, e-books are perceived as a bargain[.] When e-books are $15, it may affect the behavior of some. We don’t want a segment of the population growing up with stolen books.” Despite Random House’s concerns, the company and Apple are still engaged in “ongoing conversations that remain cordial,” according to Random House spokesperson Stuart Applebaum. Apple announced yesterday that iPad owners had downloaded over 250,000 ebooks from the iBookstore on launch day.

Early iPad issues: Wi-Fi problems, overheating

A number of reports and Apple Support forum threads indicate that some iPad users are running into both overheating and Wi-Fi problems with their new devices. Most common among the Wi-Fi complaints are reports of a weak or fluctuating signal. Many of the users also note having other PCs, Macs, and/or iPhones on the same network, none of which exhibit the same issue. One user in particular used the speedtest.net app on both the iPhone 3GS and the iPad, and found the iPad’s download speed was 1.83 megabits per second, compared to 14.77 megabits per second for the 3GS; upload speed was comparable. Apple itself has posted a support document outlining a problem where the iPad doesn’t automatically rejoin known Wi-Fi networks, although this appears unrelated to the problems reported in the forum threads.

In addition, The Atlantic has compiled a brief list of iPad users claiming their device shut down due to overheating during outdoor use. According to the reports, the iPad shuts itself off when overheated, displaying a notification image along with a message that “iPad needs to cool down before you can use it.” One user reported that a reboot and moving to a shaded area fixed the problem, while another said his unit has shut down four separate times already. It is unclear whether the problem is actually attributable to sunlight exposure, outdoor temperature, or perhaps faulty thermal sensors, although one user did report his unit’s case was well over 90 degrees when it shut off. Apple officially lists the iPad’s operating temperature as 32° to 95° F. [via cnet, AppleInsider]

Apple posts iPad 3G battery life: 9 hours

Apple has updated its iPad Tech Specs page to list the battery life of the iPad when using the 3G network. According to the company, the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G will get up to nine hours of battery life when surfing the web over the 3G data network. The page notes that the testing was done using dedicated web and mail servers, browsing snapshot versions of 20 popular web pages, and receiving mail once an hour. We will run comprehensive battery tests on the iPad Wi-Fi +3G when it is released; for more information on the iPad Wi-Fi’s battery life, see our comprehensive review.

Apple announces iPhone OS 4 event on April 8

Apple has begun sending email invitations to select members of the media inviting them to a “sneak peek of the next generation of iPhone OS software.” The invitation features a large graphic with a large “4” shadow spread across a blue background, with “Get a sneak peek into the future of iPhone OS” overlaid in white text. The event will be held on Apple’s Cupertino, CA campus and will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on April 8.

iPad twice as fast as iPhone 3GS, say benchmarks

According to benchmarks performed on the iPad by Iconfactory developer Craig Hockenberry, the device is roughly twice as fast as the iPhone 3GS when running native applications. In native performance tests, the iPad bested the 3GS in each, ranging from 1.5x to 3.91x faster. The same improvement was not seen in the Javascript performance tests, in which the iPad was 1.2x to 2.43x as fast as the 3GS. Hockenberry attributes the results to possible “just-in-time compilation or other similar types of caching are affecting the results.” He also notes that the iPad reports having 247MB of physical memory and 200.5 available to the user, suggesting the device is using 256MB memory chips with a portion of the total being used for other purposes. Hockenberry tested the devices using the OS version they shipped with; iPhone OS 3.2 for the iPad and iPhone OS 3.0 for the iPhone 3GS.

Apple sells over 300,000 iPads on launch day

Apple has announced that it sold more than 300,000 iPads on launch day, surpassing the launch weekend total of the original iPhone. These sales included deliveries of pre-ordered iPads, deliveries to channel partners, and sales at Apple retail stores. In addition, iPad users downloaded over one million apps from the App Store and over 250,000 ebooks from the iBookstore during the first day. “It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world—it’s going to be a game changer,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPad users, on average, downloaded more than three apps and close to one book within hours of unpacking their new iPad.”

iPad OS hints at future iPhones, iPod touch, iPad

Following the device’s release on Saturday, one iPad owner has discovered pointers to a number of upcoming iPhone OS devices within the iPad’s filesystem. The Boy Genius Report states that two references were found for new iPhones; iPhone 3,2 and iPhone 3,3 are both new, with the iPhone 3GS being identified as iPhone 3,1. A new iPod touch model, iPod 4,1—compared to the third-generation touch’s iPod 3,1—has been found, as has a reference to iProd 2,1, believed to be a next-generation iPad. While these references offer little in the way of information about these upcoming products, they have generally correctly indicated that a given product is coming, as with the iPad, which first surfaced as a prototype—iProd 0,1—in March 2009, then again in August as iProd 1,1, which is believed to be the currently shipping product.

AB Sutton intros Simple Slip case for iPad

AB Sutton has introduced its new Simple Slip case for the Apple iPad. Sporting a vertical sleeve-like design, the Simple Slip features a leather exterior, silk or cotton lining over grey wool felt padding, leather- or lining-matching stitching and trim, and the ability to be folded on itself for use as a typing stand. AB Sutton’s Simple Slip for iPad is available in a wide range of colors and linings, and sells for $128; monogrammed versions are also available for an extra $20.

iPod Camera Connector incompatible with iPad

Despite the physical and functional similarities between it and the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit, Apple’s iPod Camera Connector—originally released to allow the iPod photo to connect to and access images stored on a camera connected via USB—is incompatible with the iPad. Upon connecting the five-year-old accessory to the iPad, a simple notification dialog pops up to say that “[t]his accessory is not supported by iPad.” The new Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit includes both a Dock Connector-to-USB adapter and a Dock Connector-based SD Card reader which allow users to offload photos from the connected camera or card onto the iPad, and sells for the same $29 price as the original iPod Camera Connector.

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