The Omni Group has released a significant update to OmniGraffle, its flagship diagramming app for the iPad. OmniGraffle 1.1 adds support for Multi-Touch gestures within the app such as the ability to select multiple objects by tapping and holding while selecting, two-finger rotation of objects and invoking temporary smart alignment guides while moving objects. The update also delivers improvements in performance, text editing and file handling. Several stability issues have also been addressed in this latest update. OmniGraffle 1.1 is available from the App Store for $50.
Police entered the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen late Friday evening, seizing a variety of computers, servers, and other electronic items as evidence possibly “used as the means of committing a felony,” related to the recent prototype iPhone incident. Chen was responsible for the posting of details relating to a prototype fourth-generation iPhone that the site reportedly purchased for $5,000 from an unknown party who supposedly “found” the phone at a Redwood City bar, after it was “lost” by an Apple engineer. Gaby Darbyshire, COO of Gizmodo owner Gawker Media, has claimed the search warrant was invalid due to a California law protecting journalists, however, there has been speculation that Gizmodo’s purchase of the phone may have itself been illegal, with the seller guilty of theft for failure to return the phone to its rightful owner, and Gizmodo of purchasing and receiving stolen property. While it is likely that Apple had contacted the authorities about the lost prototype device, the company could not have been directly responsible for the raid on Chen’s home.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has announced that it will be launching an investigation into a patent infringement claim against Apple filed by Taiwanese firm Elan Microelectronics late last month. 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 at the time of the filing. “A proceeding in the ITC offers a quick and effective way for Elan to enforce its patent.” Elan is requesting that the ITC issue an exclusion order and a cease and desist order, which would block Apple from importing infringing products and from selling its current stock; the company filed a lawsuit against Apple in April 2009 over the same alleged infringement.
With over 3,100 votes from iLounge readers, our latest poll—“Where do you buy most of your iPod and/or iPhone accessories?”—has ended. Readers could choose between Apple’s retail and online stores, Amazon, Target, Best Buy, eBay, direct from the manufacturer, other online or local retailers, or say they don’t purchase iPod/iPhone accessories.
Among those that purchased iPod and iPhone accessories, Apple’s physical retail stores were the most popular place to do so, receiving a full quarter—25%—of the vote. Following was Amazon.com with 19%, the Apple Store Online with 12% of the vote, Best Buy with 11%, eBay with 9%, and other online and local retailers with 8% and 7%, respectively. 6% of those who purchase iPod and iPhone accessories said they normally order directly from the manufacturer, and only two percent said they buy most of their accessories at Target. Interestingly, 6% of readers said they don’t buy iPod and or iPhone accessories. Thanks for all your votes!
Our new poll focuses on the recently published shots of a prototype fourth-generation iPhone. We’d like to know what you think of the design. Do you love it, like it, dislike it, hate it, or simply not care? Our new poll, “What do you think of the iPhone 4G prototype’s design?” lets you answer that question. As always, you can find the iLounge Poll in the left hand column of the main iLounge.com homepage. Cast your vote today!
CodeGoo has released an update to its popular Camera Genius app adding the ability to record videos on any iPhone model. Other recent improvements include the ability to edit location information for photos, burst mode shooting, sharing photos via e-mail or the iPhone clipboard and an interval timer for automatically capturing photos at specified intervals. Camera Genius also continues to provide a wide variety of additional unique features such as voice-activated capture, anti-shake stabilization and built-in camera guides for photo composition. Camera Genius is available from the App Store for $2 and is a free update for existing users.
Next Mobile Web has released a major update to its iPhone app for Craigslist. Craigsphone 2.0 is a significant re-write from the previous version and adds a number of new features including faster loading screens, integrated maps for housing listings and built-in image previews. The app also sports a complete UI redesign, a dedicated search tab and now allows users to access their Craiglist accounts, forums and blog from directly within the app. Craigsphone is available from the App Store as a free download.
Gameloft has released its anticipated Iron Man 2 game to the App Store in select countries. The official game for the upcoming movie, Iron Man 2 is a 3D action/adventure where players take on the role of Iron Man or War Machine and battle enemies such as Ultimo, Firepower and Whiplash through various locations across the globe. In Iron Man 2, players use on-screen controls to run, hover and fly as well as jumping into the Mark IV, Mark VI, Stealth and underwater suits. A variety of combat options are available ranging from melee to long-range weapons and players can upgrade their suit after each stage to improve their weaponry and abilities. The game provides 9 locations rendered in full 3D ranging from Stark Expo in New York to a jungle war zone in Somalia and a rock metal soundtrack. Iron Man 2 is presently available from the App Store in several countries including the UK, France, Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand. The game will launch May 3rd in the US, Canada, China, Austria, Finland, Germany, Kazakhstan and Turkey and in Japan on June 7th to coincide with the movie release dates in those countries. An iPad version will also be released in countries where the iPad is available.
Gravity Switch has introduced its new iBracket wall mount for the Apple iPad. Designed for both residential and commercial use, the iBracket encases the entire iPad while providing access to the screen, and can be used for horizontal or vertical mounting. Other features include the ability to charge the iPad while inside the iBracket, a choice of 14 available polished anodized aluminum finishes, and an optional Gallery model that adds four built-in speakers. Gravity Switch’s iBracket wall mount for iPad is available now and sells for $349 in the standard configuration or $399 for the Gallery version. [via TUAW]
Digital music service Rhapsody has announced the release of a major update to its streaming music player app for the iPhone platform. Rhapsody 2.0 now allows subscribers to download their favorite Rhapsody playlists for offline listening. Rhapsody playlists can be streamed or downloaded over either a 3G or Wi-Fi connection, and once downloaded can be played through the app even when outside of network coverage. Downloaded songs use the same 64kbps AAC format as tracks streamed from the Rhapsody servers. The Rhapsody app is designed for the iPhone and iPod touch but works on the iPad in the same manner as other iPhone apps. A native iPad version is planned for later this year once multitasking capabilities are available and will allow users to listen to music in the background. The updated app has been released as a new application rather than an update, so existing users will need to specifically download the new version. Rhapsody 2.0 is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download; a $10 per month Rhapsody Premier subscription is required to use it on a single device beyond the free seven-day trial period, and the subscription must be maintained to continue accessing downloaded tracks.
Slappa has debuted its new line of “Super-Cush” padded sleeves and its HardBody Pro case for the Apple iPad. The “Super-Cush” sleeves are available in five different styles, each featuring quilted inner lining, a rear exterior pocket for documents and cords, and a two-pull zippered closure. They sell for $25 each. The HardBody Pro case features a molded Duro-Shock xEVA hard shell, a nylon-weave outer surface, a padded iPad compartment with lock-down strap, three interior pockets for cords, chargers, and other small items, and a zippered closure. It sells for $40; both of Slappa’s new cases for the iPad and other netbook-sized devices are available now.
A pair of prototype third-generation iPod touches recently appeared on online auction house eBay, before being removed shortly thereafter. A YouTube video quotes the original item description as stating, “Well..These were R & D units..One wont turn off and has some weird OS…or lack of firmware So it will be dead when you get it,,,but will power up when you plug it in…The other won’t turn on has a brown spot on the screen. Both have cameras.” The two units were marked “DVT-1” and “DVT-2” in the area usually reserved for the storage capacity, but otherwise featured full markings on the rear, unlike the prior prototype unit with camera that surfaced in August 2009. As Mac Rumors notes, these appear to be prototypes of the current-generation iPod touch, which was widely rumored to receive a camera that never made it into final retail units, instead of representing any upcoming or unannounced model.
Apple has hired long-time IGN editor Matt Casamassina to help manage the App Store’s games section. Casamassina worked at IGN for over a decade, focusing primarily on Nintendo; his official title at Apple will be global editorial games manager, App Store. “I will be leading the charge for games on the App Store, so whether you browse through iTunes, iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, the games content you see will be handpicked and organized by me and my team[,]” Casamassina wrote in a post on his personal blog, adding, “I couldn’t be happier.” Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime recently made some disparaging remarks about gaming on iPhone OS devices, saying that Apple “is not having an impact on Nintendo when you look at our business, our volume, our hardware, our software,” later adding that the iPhone isn’t a “viable profit platform” due to the ratio of free to paid downloads.
Israel’s Communications Ministry has reversed a two-week old ban on bringing an iPad into the country, CBS News reports. The ministry instituted the ban earlier this month, claiming the device’s wireless capabilities were “not compatible with Israeli standards.” More specifically, FCC regulations allow Wi-Fi devices sold in the U.S. to broadcast at higher power levels than are permitted in Europe and Israel. “After intensive technical scrutiny,” the ministry said in a statement, it has decided “that the device which could be operated in various standards will be operated in Israel according to local standards.”
Don’t forget to get your entry in for our Yamaha Earphone Giveaway. In our Giveaway of the Month for April, iLounge and Yamaha are giving away 20 pairs of Yamaha EPH-30 Earphones. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on April 30, 2010 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!
Police are investigating possible criminal law violations related to the lost fourth-generation iPhone prototype that appeared online earlier this week. Citing an unnamed law enforcement official, Cnet reports that Apple has spoken to local police about the incident, with the investigation being handled by a computer crime task force led by the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office. The phone in question was lost by an Apple engineer at a bar in Redwood City, CA, and was recovered by an unknown party that subsequently sold the unit to Gizmodo for a reported $5,000 bounty. Gizmodo photographed and disassembled the device, posting photos of it online and claiming it was “lost.” Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has argued that both the seller and the editors of Gizmodo may be guilty of crimes related to the incident under California law; Cnet has yet to confirm whether the police probe is targeting the seller, Gizmodo, or both parties.
The iPhone’s market share in Japan has more than doubled in the past year to 72 percent, according to Tokyo-based research firm MM Research Institute. BusinessWeek reports that MM Research estimates shipments of the iPhone climbed to 1.69 million units in the year ending March 31, bringing the total sold since 2008 to 2.3 million. “Last year was just the beginning of the smartphone competition, which is why Apple did so well,” said Calvin Huang with Daiwa Securities Group Inc. in Taipei. “This year will be much more competitive.”
According to stats released by Wired, the iPad now accounts for 26 percent of the site’s traffic from mobile devices. The report states that the rise in iPad usage was matched by a declining share of iPhone and iPod touch usage, suggesting that iPad users were simply “trading up” from a smaller Apple mobile device. Overall, mobile devices account for 2.3 to 3.5 percent of the site’s traffic, with the iPad accounting for 0.91 percent on its own.
German airline Lufthansa has posted an open letter to the Apple engineer who lost a fourth-generation iPhone prototype—later pictured online—at a German beer garden in California, offering him a free flight to Germany. The letter acknowledges how “frustrating” it can be to loose personal belongings, and that the company noticed his interest in German beer. In offering the flight to Munich, the company suggested he visit Lufthansa’s new Bavarian Beer Garden Business Lounge, and “experience the best that Germany has to offer.”
A doctor living in Japan has x-rayed his newly-acquired iPad and posted the resulting image online (Translated Link). While the view of the x-rayed iPad isn’t greatly different from previous teardown images posted by the FCC, it does allow one to see the entirety of the device’s components in their proper positions at once, and once again makes clear just how prominent a role the battery plays in the iPad’s internal design.
Speck Products has posted a brief update previewing its upcoming line of cases for the Apple iPad. The new lineup will include iPad versions of the company’s prior SeeThru, SeeThru Satin, fabric-wrapped Fitted, and rubberized PixelSkin cases for other Apple products, as well as a new version of its award-winning CandyShell hard plastic and rubber hybrid case. In particular, the CandyShell for iPad is designed with push-through button covers and a unique bottom flap that allows it to be used with Apple’s official iPad Dock and iPad Keyboard Dock. All of Speck’s new lineup of cases for the iPad are expected to arrive in May; pricing has yet to be announced. For more information on the Speck CandyShell for iPad, see our First Look article.
A recently published Apple patent application suggests the company is working on a system for wireless transportation ticketing and check-in. Entitled “System and method for transportation check-in,” the patent refers to a travel management application called “iTravel” which would allow the users to purchase, store, and use travel documents. The patent goes on to show the application being used on an iPhone equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, such as RFID, which then interacts with similarly-equipped electronics throughout the travel process, such as at check-in, security checkpoints, and when boarding. As with all Apple patents, this filing does not necessarily represent any future product release from Apple, but offers evidence of the company’s research in this area. [via Patently Apple]
Hard Candy Cases has taken the wraps off its new Squish Skin case for the Apple iPad. Modeled after Nintendo’s Wii remote cases, the Squish Skin is a form-fitting silicone case augmented by air-filled chambers that provide added impact protection. In addition, it offers cut-outs for full access to all ports, controls, the display, and speakers, and comes in six different colors. Hard Candy’s Squish Skin case for the iPad is now available for pre-order for $40, and is expected to ship May 18.
Acme Made has introduced its new Slick Case and Skinny Sleeve cases for the Apple iPad. The Slick Case is a fully zippered case made from StretchShell neoprene that is is water and stain resistant, offering an internal divider, dedicated iPad compartment, and a full-size protective pocket for cable storage. It is available in black or white and sells for $40. The Skinny Sleeve is a pouch-style case also made from water- and stain-resistant StretchShell neoprene, featuring a stretch-stitch seam for a better fit, a sewn-in protective insert, and an ultra-thin design. It is also available in black or white and sells for $30. In celebration of the iPad’s launch, the company is also giving away a free iPad plus a Skinny Sleeve case; for more details, see the contest webpage.