A Nike+iPod compatible heart rate monitor is expected to launch June 1, according to a posting on the Nike+ support forums. A “Nike+ Pro” member claimed, in response to a question regarding a menu item for the Heart Rate Monitor on an iPod, that the device will launch in the U.S. on June 1, “although it may reach some retail outlets slightly sooner.” The post goes on to say that the monitor will reach Canadian markets later in June and will launch internationally this summer. In addition, the poster, who signed the message “Clover,” also said that he/she was “not able to discuss price, color, device compatibility, and other details at this point.” Evidence of such a device was found within a new Nike + iPod User Guide that was posted to Apple’s site last September, but no mention has been made of it since. [via AppleInsider]
Ten One Design has reveled its new Tango case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The Tango is a vertical flip-style case featuring a full-grain leather exterior, microsuede interior, storage pockets on the outer rear for cards or similar items, a custom clip to hold the iPhone and the included Pogo Stylus, and access to all ports, controls, and the camera when open. Ten One Design’s Tango case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS is available now in black with either aqua or lime interior microfiber lining and sells for $40.
Thought Out has introduced its new Stabile stand for the iPad. Weighing nearly four pounds, the Stabile stand is made from a single piece of solid steel, and works with iPads in both horizontal and vertical case, whether they’re bare or encased. Other features include a split back design for cable management, a 55 degree viewing angle, protective padding on the iPad rest, and anti-slip feet on the bottom. Thought Out’s Stabile stand for the iPad is available for pre-order now in black or silver and will ship in June for $60 and $70, respectively.
Apple has replaced its prior “This accessory is not made to work with iPhone” prompt with a slightly more descriptive alert in the latest beta version of iPhone OS 4 for the iPhone and iPod touch. The prior prompt asked users if they would like to turn on Airplane Mode to reduce audio interference, noting that they wouldn’t be able to make or receive calls and giving them yes or no options at the bottom. In contrast, the new alert in OS 4 says “This accessory is not optimized for this iPhone,” noting that “[y]ou may experience noise caused by cellular interference and a decrease in cellular signal strength,” with no mention of Airplane Mode and a single “Dismiss” button at the bottom.
In an atypically lengthy email exchange with Valleywag editor Ryan Tate, Apple CEO Steve Jobs made several comments explaining and defending his company’s stance relating to third-party iPhone OS development. Tate, incensed by Apple’s latest iPad commercial, wrote Jobs asking whether a 20-year-old Bob Dylan—often cited as an inspiration for Jobs—would think the iPad had anything to do with a “revolution,” stating that “[r]evolutions are about freedom.” Jobs responded positively, saying it represents freedom from “programs that steal your private data” and “trash your battery” and “[f]reedom from porn.” Quoting Dylan, Jobs added, “The times they are a changin’, and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is.”
When Tate commented that he’d “rather have a Wired magazine app that offers interactivity [referencing the mag’s demo app built on Adobe Air] than one that is a glorified PDF,” Jobs responded that “Wired is doing a native Cocoa app,” as is “almost every publisher.” Tate then argued that they were only making native Cocoa apps because they have to, to which Jobs replied that “they don’t have to. They don’t need to publish on the iPad if they don’t want to. No one is forcing them. But it appears they DO want to.” He continued, “The magazine apps will be far better in the end because they are written native. We’ve seen this movie before.” After another round of replies from Tate, Jobs summed up in his final email, “we’re just doing what we can to try and make (and preserve) the user experience we envision. You can disagree with us, but our motives are pure.”
ProClip has rolled out its new line of device holders for the Apple iPad. The Holder with Tilt Swivel features a unique tilt swivel plate on the back of the holder that allows the user to tilt the iPad 15 degrees in any direction and swivels 360 degrees. It comes in black and sells for $50. Available in black or white, the Standard Holder and Monitor Mount also securely holds the iPad, but offers either horizontal or vertical mounting, and sells for $40. Both holder designs require a custom vehicle mount which is not included in the price.
Nedrelow has unveiled its new Simple Sleeve case for the iPad. Made from 100% German-made wool felt, the Simple Sleeve offers a form-fitting, square-cornered design that’s 3mm thick, with a single white tag on the edge the only branding. In addition, it comes in either a top loading or side loading design, meant to match the style of bag the iPad is going to be carried in. Nedrelow’s Simple Sleeve for iPad is available for pre-order now in orange, charcoal, or oatmeal, and ships in June for $29.
Hammacher Schlemmer is now offering a Solar Powered iPod Speaker. The portable system offers two five-watt full-range speakers, a centrally-located dock, an integrated lithium battery that requires three hours of solar charging per one hour of use and can also be recharged via an AC adapter, a rubberized and aluminum case that can protect against splashing water from all angles thanks to an IPX-4 waterproof rating, and an included remote. Hammacher Schlemmer’s Solar Powered iPod Speaker is available for pre-order now and is expected to ship on June 10 for $200.
Apple has offered some clarification on the situation regarding the SIM lock on iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G units sold in Japan. It was originally reported that all iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G models sold in Japan would be SIM-locked to SoftBank. Only a few days later, according to a Mobile in Japan article, Apple CEO Steve Jobs responded to a customer email by saying that “[a]ctually, the version of iPad sold in Japan does accept international SIMs.” This was contradicted by information on Apple’s own website, which stated that users could not use a micro SIM from another country in iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G units purchased in Japan. Apple has since told the Wall Street Journal that Japanese iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G models will only work with SoftBank in Japan but are unlocked for use with other carriers abroad; whether or not iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G units purchased outside of Japan will work in Japan will depend on the roaming agreement of the user’s carrier.
A San Mateo judge has unsealed legal documents relating to the ongoing investigation into the loss, purchase, and subsequent publication of details regarding a prototype fourth-generation iPhone. Contained within the documents are a number of new details relating to the case, including an affidavit suggesting that Gizmodo editor Jason Chen was suspected of purchasing or receiving stolen Apple property, maliciously damaging the property, and copying an Apple trade secret. All three crimes are considered felony offenses.
According to the affidavit, prototype iPhone finder Brian Hogan learned the identity of the Apple engineer who lost the device the same evening it came into his possession, and recognized that it was, in fact, a more advanced device than any currently available iPhone model. This information came from Hogan’s roommate, who reported the incident to Apple after Hogan connected the device to her own personal computer, believing the company could trace the device back to her. Apple representatives told the authorities that the publication of details relating to the prototype phone was “immensely damaging,” and could hurt sales. The same roommate claims Hogan realized the potential value of the device, and contacted Gizmodo, Engadget, and PC World in an attempt to start a bidding war for the iPhone.
Within 10 days of obtaining the phone, Hogan made contact with Chen, who offered to purchase the device for $10,000—twice the amount Gizmodo parent Gawker Media has claimed it paid. Hogan had reportedly already received between $7,500 and $8,500 for the device at the time the affidavit was filed, with a bonus to be paid if and when Apple publicly unveiled the device. When told of the amount Hogan would receive for the device, the roommate asked why Gizmodo would pay so much for it, to which Hogan allegedly replied, “[t]hey know it’s valuable. They would receive millions and millions of hits.” The roommate also claims that she and others attempted to talk Hogan out of selling the phone, saying it would damage the career of the Apple engineer who lost it, to which Hogan reportedly replied “[s]ucks for him. He lost his phone. Shouldn’t have lost his phone.”
Notably, the document also contains copies of emails from Gizmodo Editorial Director Brian Lam to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, in which Lam attempts to negotiate with Jobs for some benefit to Gizmodo in exchange for returning the phone, and to Apple Senior Vice President Bruce Sewell, the majority of which has already been published, save for an odd remark at the end referring to “spankings.” A complete collection of the documents unsealed today is embedded below.
Wireless roaming service provider Maxroam has debuted its new Euro iPad Pack micro SIM card for travelling iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G users. The pack includes a micro SIM preloaded with 50MB of data good for use anywhere in Europe. Once the 50MB cap is reached, users can recharge the card with 10MB of data for €25 or 50MB for €75. Maxroam’s Euro iPad Pack micro SIM is available for pre-order now and will ship June 1 for €75.
At the recent Embedded Systems Expo in Tokyo, Toshiba showed off a new tactile interface technology running on an iPod touch. Based on Senseg E-Sense technology from Senseg Oy of Finland, the new interface uses small electric field changes to provide a tactile sensation to the user. Tech-On reports that the iPod touch demonstration included a feeling of resistance when sliding objects, as well as a virtual “protrusion” as the image of a button was moved across. “The price will be ¥10 to ¥20 (roughly $0.11-$0.22) per film though it depends on the volume,” Toshiba Information Systems said, while Senseg added, “We are discussing business with companies other than Toshiba. E-book readers and tablet PCs using the new technology will be shipped in the first half of 2011. And we expect that smartphones will come with the technology in the second half of 2011.”
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has announced that it will launch an investigation into Apple’s claims of patent infringement against Kodak. According to a news release from the ITC, the investigation will cover products including digital still cameras, digital video cameras, and related software; Apple is seeking both an exclusion order and a cease and desist order. Apple filed its complaint with the ITC alongside a lawsuit in April, stating that the patents Kodak is allegedly infringing “relate generally to advancements and innovations in the fields of image processing, power management, and memory architectures in portable digital devices.” Kodak filed a lawsuit and an ITC complaint, which is also being investigated, against Apple and RIM in January, claiming that the iPhone and some BlackBerry models infringe on a patent covering technology for previewing photos.
Over one quarter of the videos on the Internet are now available in H.264 format, according to the latest analysis from MeFeedia. Based on the company’s checks of its video index, 26% of videos available on the web are now available in H.264 format, compared with just 10% in January. Notably, most sites that support HTML5 automatically detect iPad users and switch to a compatible format, many recent news stories are available in H.264 while most older news content has yet to be re-encoded, and there is very little HTML5 supported episodic content available from major TV networks. MeFeedia’s video index includes over 30,000 sources, including Hulu, CBS, ABC, YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, MTV, and CNN. [via Fortune]
Luxury goods maker Stuart Hughes has introduced its new solid gold iPad “Supreme Edition.” This modified 64GB iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G features a rear plate and screen surround made from a solid piece of 22ct gold, weighing over 4.6 lbs. In addition, the device’s Apple logo is encrusted with a total of total of 53 Flawless diamonds comprising a total weight of 25.5 crts. Limited to just ten units worldwide, Stuart Hughes’ solid gold iPad “Supreme Edition” is available now and sells for £129,995, or roughly $190,000.
Editor’s Advisory: Though Stuart Hughes’ offerings are of only the most modest interest to our readers, we need to strongly warn you against signing up for any email newsletters or similar offerings from this company; iLounge has had trouble for literally years attempting to opt-out of this company’s mailings, and now receives multiple copies of the same emails over and over again, despite repeated requests for removal. Beware.
The Iconfactory has released an update to its popular iPad Twitter client. Twitterrific for iPad 1.1 adds support for picture and video uploading via yFrog, TwitPic, Posterous, Twitgoo, img.ly or a custom image upload service. The new version also now displays images from img.ly and Tweetphoto services in a popover window, uses OAuth for Twitter authentication and supports replying to all users. The update further provides a number of other minor improvements and bug fixes, including an increased number of API calls per hour, better parsing of URLs and links containing special characters, correct reporting of new tweets and better handling of multiple popover windows. Twitterrific for iPad is available from the App Store as a free, ad-supported application; a $5 in-app “Premium” upgrade is available to remove the ads and provide multiple account support.
Apple has released updates to its iWork suite of applications for the iPad. The updates generally improve performance and reliability across all three applications and improve compatibility with importing and exporting Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents in their respective applications. The updates also add support for French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Spanish. Pages 1.1 now displays the toolbar and ruler and automatically fits documents to the page width when working in landscape orientation. Numbers 1.1 improves reliability when importing Numbers ‘09 spreadsheets and improves compatibility with pasting information in from Keynote and Pages. Keynote 1.1 now provides an option to show additional alignment guides at smaller intervals when moving items and improves reliability with Keynote ‘09 and Microsoft Powerpoint presentations. All three iWork applications remain available on the U.S. App Store only at this time, are priced at $10 each and are a free update for existing users.
PropUp has introduced its new PropUp stand for the Apple iPad. Made from high-quality, open cell foam, the PropUp features a curved back to enable it to serve as a stand for the iPad, as well as slightly flexible corners that grip the iPad while also allowing for use with iPads in low-profile cases. The PropUp stand for iPad is available for pre-order at a price of $25 and will begin shipping in July.
Wal-Mart may begin offering the iPad in its stores before the end of the year, according to statements made by a company executive. “We anticipate being able to have the iPad later this year,” Gary Severson, senior vice president of entertainment for Wal-Mart’s U.S. stores, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. Severson declined to offer any timing or pricing details. His statement comes as the retailer plans a move to add more consumer electronics offerings—including Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players, mobile phones, and routers—to its stores in an effort to attract more tech-savvy customers. Apple has yet to announce any distribution expansion plans for the iPad past its own retail stores, some Best Buy stores, and select Apple Authorized Resellers and campus bookstores.
Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn recently needed to defend itself against allegations of employee mistreatment following a rash of employee suicides. The Daily News reports that a 24-year-old Foxconn worker named Chu recently threw herself from her rented apartment in Shenzhen, marking the eighth Foxconn employee suicide this year. “We regret to see the recurrence of such incidents,” Foxconn said in statement. According to the article, Foxconn employs roughly 300,000 workers at its Shenzhen complex, where a 24-year-old male worker leaped to his death less than two weeks ago. The company came under fire last year for its employee treatment following the suicide of 25-year-old Sun Danyong, who reportedly lost a prototype iPhone prior to his death. Foxconn is an Apple manufacturing partner on the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Mac product lines.