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Mix: Ive on iPhone 4, HD uploads, Case Closed, XO Skins

Core 77 has posted a lengthy interview with Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design Jonathan Ive, focused on the design of the iPhone 4. “A big part of the experience of a physical object has to do with the materials,” Ive said, discussing the design process behind Apple’s latest handset. “Whatever people’s feelings are about the actual design of the product is of course subjective. But objectively I can say that the manufacturing tolerances are phenomenal. And we determined this, we designed it from the very beginning to meet those goals.” Much more in the full interview.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently responded to a customer email promising HD video uploads from the iPhone 4 at some point down the road. MacDailyNews reports that a reader wrote Jobs, asking, “What’s the point of building in HD video capabilities when the compression upon uploading directly to youtube makes the video’s [sic] useless and not viewable?” Jobs reportedly responded, “You can upload them via a Mac or PC today. Over the air in the future,” referencing the fact that users currently have to sync HD videos over to their computer in order to perform full-resolution uploads.

Case Closed has introduced its new Wool Felt case (pictured) for the iPhone 4. Available in both horizontally- and vertically-opening varieties, these sleeve-like cases are made from 3mm-thick wool and feature colored ultrasuede tabs with Velcro closures to hold the device securely in the case. Case Closed’s Wool Felt cases for the iPhone 4 are available now and sell for £21, or roughly $31.

XO Skins is now offering its new Skin Protectors for the iPhone 4. These film-style protectors come with a bottle of application spray and an applicator/squeegee, and an instruction card, and are available in full-body or screen-only packages for $20 and $12, respectively.

Magellan unveils waterproof ToughCase for iPhone, iPod touch

Magellan GPS has unveiled its new waterproof ToughCase for the iPhone 3G, 3GS, second-, and third-generation iPod touch. The ToughCase sports an integrated GPS, increasing the accuracy of the GPS chips found in the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS while providing GPS functionality to the second- and third-generation iPod touch. In addition, the ToughCase allows for full touch-through access to the devices’ screens, an integrated 1840 mAh rechargeable battery, and IPX-7 waterproof certification. Magellan’s ToughCase for the iPhone 3G, 3GS, second-, and third-generation iPod touch is available now and sells for $200.

AdMob: Less than half of iOS devices are in North America

According to AdMob’s May 2010 Mobile Metrics Report (PDF Link), more than half of all iOS users are outside of North America, compared to 67% of Android users and 58% of iPad users. 43% of iOS devices were in the U.S., followed by 9% that were in the U.K., 6% in France, and 5% in Canada. Notably, both iOS and Android represent much higher usage than share of handsets sold, with iOS representing 40% of mobile app and web usage compared to 15% handset marketshare; Android stood at 26% and 10%, respectively. iPhone’s worldwide share of traffic generated by smartphones stood at 39.9% in May, well above the second-place Motorola Droid with 6.8%, but down significantly from its 47.9% share in May 2009. AdMob’s Mobile Metrics Reports are based on data gleaned from the company’s network of more than 23,000 mobile Web sites and applications around the world.

National Film Board of Canada launches iPad app

Building on the success of its popular iPhone application launched last fall, the National Film Board of Canada has released a native iPad version. NFB Films for iPad allows users to enjoy over 1,000 free NFB documentaries, animated shorts and trailers streamed over either Wi-Fi or 3G. The app also includes a selection of films in 3-D and high-definition as well as a dedicated kids’ channel containing fun and educational content for children. In addition to online streaming, users can download and store films for offline viewing for up to 48 hours. The app provides the same basic features as its iPhone counterpart but has been optimized for the iPad not only for higher-resolution video support but also includes improved navigation controls and a split-screen view that allows users to browse other NFB content while viewing a film. NFB Films for iPad is available from the App Store as a free download and includes access to all of the National Film Board’s iPad-ready content at no charge.

Instapaper update adds position sync, background completion

Marco Arment has released another update to his popular Instapaper offline reader application introducing synchronization of reading positions in articles between multiple iOS devices. The new feature allows users of more than one iOS device, such as an iPhone and iPad, to switch back and forth between devices and easily pick up where they left off on the other device. The update also adds the promised background task completion for iOS 4 devices allowing synchronization with the Instapaper service to complete even after you exit the app. Other enhancements in Instapaper 2.2.5 include dramatically improved performance and accuracy when rotating the device between portrait and landscape mode, the ability to e-mail the full text of stored articles and improvements to tilt-scrolling and password entry on iOS 4. Instapaper is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for current users.

Penultimate update adds colors, magic eraser

Cocoa Box Design has released an update to its iPad digital ink note-taking application, Penultimate. The update adds support for colored ink, including red, green, blue and two shades of grey as well as two additional line weights suitable for words, bold shapes and shading. Penultimate 1.2 also now allows to place the toolbar at the top of the screen and includes a magic eraser to assist with removing fine details. Other changes include bug fixes and usability improvements as well as additional language support for Japanese, French, Italian, German and spanish. Penultimate 1.2 is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for current users.

Targus rolls out new cases for iPad

Targus has rolled out its latest cases for the Apple iPad. The Z-Case is a hard-shell case with a leather exterior, soft colored lining, and a magnetic closure; it sells for $55. Made from smooth oil-tanned leather, the Targus Hughes Leather Portfolio Sleeve features a soft interior twill lining and a magnetic closure, and is priced at $60. The Truss is a folio-style leather case featuring a soft interior lining and the ability to double as a stand for video viewing. It sells for $50. Finally, the Wallet Style Case is leather case featuring a slide tab closure, slim pockets for storing cards, photos, or notes, and a soft interior lining to reduce scratching. It is priced at $55; all of Targus’ new cases for the iPad are listed as coming soon.

Apple updates MobileMe Gallery app for iPhone 4

Apple has released an update to its MobileMe Gallery application for iPhone and iPod touch devices. MobileMe Gallery 1.1.1 adds support for downloading higher-resolution images when using an iPhone 4 on a Wi-Fi network. The update also notes additional bug fixes, and although no mention is made of iOS 4 support the update appears to add Fast App Switching capabilities as well, although no other specific iOS 4 multitasking features are available. MobileMe Gallery allows iPhone and iPod touch users to view photos and movies from their own and their friends’ MobileMe Galleries in a manner similar to the built-in Photos app. Previously viewed photos are cached on the device so that they can be viewed even without an Internet connection, and links to albums and photos can be e-mailed out directly from within the app. MobileMe Gallery is available from the App Store as a free download for the iPhone and iPod touch and although the current version runs on the iPad, an iPad-native version is not yet available.

iPhone 4 poll ends, iOS 4 performance poll begins

With over 3,800 votes from iLounge readers, our latest poll—“Has the iPhone 4 snafu changed your opinion of Apple or AT&T?” has ended. Readers could choose to say the problems either positively or negatively affected their opinion of AT&T, Apple, or both companies, with other options for those whose opinion hadn’t changed, or who didn’t have an opinion at all.

Somewhat surprisingly, 38% of readers said their opinion of the two companies hadn’t been swayed by the problems with iPhone 4 pre-orders, followed by 21% each who either lost respect for AT&T or lost respect for both AT&T and Apple. 5% said they lost respect for Apple but not AT&T, 3% said they gained respect for Apple but not AT&T, 2% said they gained respect for both companies, and only 1%—31 readers—said they gained respect for AT&T but not Apple. Another 9% said they didn’t have an opinion. Thanks for all your votes!

Our new poll focuses on iOS 4. We’d like to know how satisfied you are with the performance of the new operating system on your device. Whether you own an iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, second-, or third-generation iPod touch, our new poll—“Are you satisfied with the performance of iOS 4 on your device?” lets you share your opinion. You can find the iLounge Poll in the left-hand column of the main home page. Vote today!

iFrogz debuts slew of cases for iPhone 4

iFrogz has debuted its new lineup of cases for the iPhone 4. The eight-case lineup includes the silicone Treadz and Wrapz for $15, the polycarbonate Luxe Lean and TPU SoftGloss with rear etched pattern for $20, and four cases priced at $30—the Fusion, made from polycarbonate with a faux leather insert, the Frosted Swerve, a TPU case with a radial pattern on the rear, the polycarbonate Luxe Original, and the anti-dust treated Luxe Transition. In addition to the cases, iFrogz is offering mirrored and anti-glare screen protectors for $20 each, and a privacy screen protector for $30. All of iFrogz’ new accessories for the iPhone 4 are available now at Best Buy and AT&T stores and will soon be available directly from iFrogz online.

Apple internal iPhone 4 antenna support procedures leaked?

A purported copy of Apple’s internal iPhone 4 antenna troubleshooting procedures has been leaked and posted online. Claiming to received the document from an unnamed Apple source, Boy Genius Report states that the list represents the exact procedures AppleCare representatives must follow when dealing with customers experiencing reception problems with their iPhone 4 units. The reps are told to tell iPhone 4 customers to “avoid covering the black strip in the lower-left corner of the metal band,” and note that “the use of a case or Bumper that is made out of rubber or plastic may improve wireless performance by keeping your hand from directly covering these areas.” The representatives are told not to perform warranty service, only escalate if the issue exists when the phone isn’t being held in a hand, and not to offer free bumper cases to angry customers.

Apple ending support for iOS 2.x apps

In a brief update to its iPhone Developer news and announcements page, Apple has revealed that it is ending support for iOS 2.x apps. The post, which urges developers to review Apple’s iOS 4 Readiness Checklist, states that “the App Store will no longer support applications that target iOS 2.x,” while reminding developers that “[a]ll new applications and updates to existing applications must be built with iPhone SDK 4.” Apple released iOS 4 on June 21 as a free update for all iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, second-, and third-generation iPod touch users.

Photo of the Week: iPhone 4 in Tokyo

This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone 4 in front of the Apple Store in the Ginza shopping district of Tokyo, Japan. To share your photos and to be considered for our Photo of the Week, you simply need to submit your own photo to one of our galleries. So get out there, take some pictures featuring your favorite iPod, iPad, or iPhone and maybe your submission will be our next Photo of the Week!

In celebration of the iPads Around the World Gallery launch we are giving away a $250 iTunes Gift Card. All you have to do is retweet our message and submit one or more photos of your iPad in front of a landmark and be entered for a chance to win the $250 iTunes Gift Card. The winner will be picked in a random drawing on July 1, 2010.

JayBird ships Sportsband Bluetooth Headphones

JayBird has announced that it is now shipping its SB2 Sportsband Bluetooth Headphones. Previewed at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show, the new SB2s feature a concealed microphone for calls, an adjustable band, earpad-mounted track, play/pause, call, and volume controls, and apt-X audio technology that helps compensate for Bluetooth compression. In addition, the headphones are compatible with the company’s $5 BluTrax app, which circumvents the iPhone’s, iPad’s, and iPod touch’s lack of AVRCP support by allowing users to chance tracks via the play/pause button on the headphones themselves. JayBird’s SB2 Sportsband Bluetooth Headphones are available in nine colors and sell for $99, or for $149 in a bundle with the company’s apt-X capable iSport Bluetooth Adapter for iPhone & iPod, which sells for $69 separately.

Report: iPhone to launch on Verizon in Jan. 2011

Verizon Wireless will start selling the iPhone early next year, according to a new report. Citing two people familiar with the plans, Bloomberg reports that Verizon will launch the phone in January, ending AT&T’s reign as the exclusive carrier for the device in the U.S. and expanding Apple’s potential customer base to include those who aren’t willing to join AT&T. “The fact is, Apple is going to dramatically increase the number of devices it sells in the U.S. when exclusivity at AT&T ends,” said UBS AG analyst John Hodulik. “It’s hard to ignore the quality issues that AT&T has faced.”

Hulu launches paid Plus service, iOS devices supported

Online video service Hulu today announced Hulu Plus, a new $10 per month, ad-supported subscription service that offers users the ability to watch Hulu content on a wide variety of devices. Notably, the new Hulu Plus service will allow subscribers to watch any TV show from a sizable catalog, streamed in 720p, on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, third-generation iPod touch, and iPad via the new Hulu Plus app. Writing about the announcement on the company blog, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar said, “I’ve been watching Hulu on my iPad for several weeks now, and I’ve watched more TV through the iPad than any other device.” The Hulu Plus service will also offer users access to more current full-length episodes and seasons than the standard service. Hulu Plus is currently in a private, invitation only phase, and will be opened up to all customers “as soon as [it’s] ready.”

Apple now offering $10 HD movies on iTunes Store

Apple has added a new section to the iTunes Store highlighting cheaper, $9.99 HD movie offerings. The new page currently features 30 movies, including the Oliver Stone films W. and The Doors, as well as American Psycho and War. Notably, several of the movies are priced as low as $5.99, while other titles share their $9.99 HD pricing with their standard-definition versions, giving customers little reason to prefer the lower-quality SD copy when all HD versions also include an SD copy as part of the purchase in order to ensure compatibility with all video-capable Apple devices.

Jobs denies iPhone 4 reception problems

In an email exchange with an iPhone 4 customer seen and verified by iLounge, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has denied that the iPhone 4 has any actual reception problems. The iLounge reader in question, who has requested to remain anonymous, wrote Jobs after experiencing reception issues when holding the device in his left hand, saying, “Steve, I love the phone. But no one, [not] even your Apple Store has answers for my phone with the left side reception and the proximity sensor acting up.” Jobs issued a one-line response, saying, “The iPhone 4’s reception is better than the iPhone 3GS.” Our reader replied, “Yes it has better reception, is there going to be a fix for the [l]eft side antennae and [t]he Proximity Sensor problem or do you recommend taking it back for replacement?” Jobs once again replied in one sentence, again stating that “There is actually no problem with the real reception.” Jobs then issued a third, final response, saying, “Actually, the iPhone 4 is great. Sorry you’re having troubles.” Apple previously issued a statement regarding the reception issues, telling users to avoid gripping the iPhone 4 in the lower left corner if they experience severe attenuation.

Mix: Car stereos, Sun Valley, Foxconn, iPhone 4 film

A number of users are reporting problems getting their iPhones and iPod touches to work with previously-compatible car stereo head units. Owners of Pioneer, JVC, Alpine, and Kenwood receivers have reported problems with their units reading and recognizing the iPhone or iPod, as well as problems playing music back should the device be recognized. The issues also appear to affect users of some iPod- and iPhone-compatible factory stereos; it is unknown whether the issues can be fixed by a software update from Apple, or whether the head units themselves will require updating.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to appear next month at the annual Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. BusinessWeek reports that the conference is frequently attended by notable CEOs and leaders from both the technology and media industries, and speculates that Jobs may be attending in hopes of convincing executives to offer more content for Apple’s products. Jobs has attended the conference twice in the past, in 2005 and 1999; the event has been closed to the press in recent years.

Apple has agreed to let Foxconn shift some of its production of Apple products from its Shenzhen compound to north and central China, according to the Financial Times. The report states that the move is aimed at containing costs, and follows substantial wage increases for a large part of the Shenzhen workforce after a rash of suicides gained international attention earlier this year. Foxconn is said to have proposed to Apple both Tianjin in the north and Henan, China’s most populous province, in central China as potential production sites.

Director Michael Koerbel of Los Angeles, CA has completed a short film entitled “Apple of My Eye” which was shot and edited completely on the iPhone 4. The roughly one minute and 15 second film cost $103 and took 48 hours to make, using the iPhone 4’s 720p HD video recording capabilities and Apple’s iMovie for iPhone video editing application. The film is available to watch on Vimeo and can be seen in embedded form below. [via Macworld UK]

Konnet intros PowerEZ Plus for iPod, iPhone

Konnet technology has introduced its new PowerEZ Plus rechargeable battery pack for the iPod and iPhone. The 1000mAh Li-Polymer battery pack connects to the iPod or iPhone via the Dock Connector, and features an LED charging status indicator, a built-in kickstand for landscape viewing while charging, short-circuit and over-current protection, and an included USB charge/sync cable and carrying pouch. Konnet’s PowerEZ Plus is available now and sells for $30.

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