Altec Lansing has introduced its new Octiv Mini audio dock for the iPod and iPhone. The angular, compact speaker system measures roughly four inches by five inches with an integrated dock on top, and works with the company’s free Alarm Rock app to function as a full-featured alarm clock with time display, oversized snooze button, a customizable interface, and the ability to wake up to music from the iPod library. Altec Lansing’s Octiv Mini audio dock will be available in July and will sell for $60.
iPhone 4 units have started arriving at retailers ahead of the device’s June 24 launch. One such unit was photographed by a Walmart worker, showing off the phone’s new packaging. Unlike each past iPhone, the iPhone 4’s box does not feature a life-sized, forward-facing representation of the phone enclosed. Instead, it shows off only the top portion of the phone, facing the right, with its power and volume buttons, ring/silent switch, headphone port, auxiliary microphone, forward facing camera, and a portion of the display visible, all set against a black background. The sides and the top of the box, meanwhile, appear to be similar to past releases. A picture of the new 8GB iPhone 3GS packaging has also appeared online; it is identical to the past packaging apart from depicting a default iOS 4 installation instead of iPhone OS 3.
Apple has sent out emails to at least some of its pre-order iPhone 4 customers notifying them that their phones will be arriving on June 23, a day ahead of the official launch. The email reads, “You recently received a Shipment Notification email from Apple advising you that your iPhone has shipped. This email is to confirm that your delivery will occur on June 23rd. Although Apple and FedEx tracking information may currently indicate a later date, you can check the FedEx website the morning of the June 23rd to track your package to your doorstep.” While it is uncharacteristic of Apple to deliver any devices ahead of the actual launch date, with the large number of pre-orders, it is possible that both Apple and AT&T want to spread out the burden on the latter’s activation servers as much as possible after last week’s pre-ordering snafu.
Urban Apps has released a major update to its Ambiance “environment enhancer” app for iPhone and iPod touch devices. Ambiance 3.0 is a complete rewrite of the application to support iOS4 and the coming iPhone 4. New features include High Definition sound images to support the new Retina Display on the iPhone 4, background audio support to allow ambient sounds to continue playing while using other applications, multiple customized alarms and alarm themes and support for downloading Ambiance sound updates in the background on iOS 4. The rewritten version also includes a completely revamped user interface to provide easier navigation. Ambiance 3.0 is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for existing users.
AT&T today removed the option for unlimited cellular data for all iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G users, but has said eligible users will once again be able to select the plan. On June 7, AT&T changed its data plan pricing structure, removing the $30/month unlimited option which had become familiar to iPhone users and replacing it with a max plan offering 2GB of data for $25 a month. The company quickly clarified that iPhone and iPad users on existing unlimited plans would be able to keep their plans indefinitely, and promised that all iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G users who ordered their device by June 7 would be able to opt in to the unlimited plan as well. Engadget reports that following today’s removal of the unlimited option, the company said that everyone who is eligible “will be able to select the unlimited plan,” and that “details will follow.”
Apple has released iBooks 1.1, the first major update to its e-Book reading and purchasing software for iOS devices. As revealed by Apple in its WWDC keynote address, iBooks 1.1 offers compatibility with the iPad as well as any iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4, and features several noteworthy improvements, including PDF support, the ability to highlight text, add notes, and bookmark, the latter two of which are reflected in the book’s Table of Contents, wireless syncing of notes, highlights, and page position between devices, and, interestingly, support for iTunes Digital Booklet files once they’ve been marked as a Book in iTunes. iBooks 1.1 is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Apple has released its iPhone Software Development Kit for iOS 4 to all iPhone developers. Previously available only to paid developers, the updated SDK allows all registered developers a chance to develop OS 4-compatible apps, although the $99 annual fee will still be required for on-device testing and submission to the App Store. Notably, at least some of the accompanying documentation make references to iPhone OS 4, which was officially renamed iOS 4 two weeks ago. TUAW notes that Apple is expected to rescind its prior NDA covering iOS 4 developers now that the SDK and software update are more widely available. The iPhone SDK 4 s available now as a free download for all registered iPhone developers from the iPhone Dev Center.
Apple has sent out an email to customers who reserved an iPhone 4 or 8GB iPhone 3GS for pickup on launch day, telling them to check their available iPhone pricing online and offering a list of items they will need to bring to the store. “Some customers received a confirmation email showing an incorrect price,” the email reads. “We apologize for any difficulties you may have encountered. If you’re currently an AT&T customer, you can confirm your pricing online.” In addition to checking their available pricing before heading to the store, customers are expected to bring a valid, government-issued photo ID, their Social Security number, a debit or credit card, and, if they are a new AT&T customer, their account number from their current carrier. Apple will launch the iPhone 4 on June 24.
Apple has released iOS 4 for the second- and third-generation iPod touch, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS. The fourth major release of Apple’s mobile device operating system—previously called iPhone OS—the new software provides over 100 new features or enhancements, according to Apple. Among these are multitasking, folders, customizable backgrounds for the Home screen, a unified inbox for the Mail application, more fine-grained control over Location Services, support for Apple’s new iAd mobile advertising platform, and support for iBooks 1.1 on the iPhone and iPod touch. Several of the features—most notably multitasking—require more advanced hardware and are therefore only available on the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch, as well as future devices such as the iPhone 4. Interestingly, iLounge editors have seen a dialog box experienced when updating a second-generation iPod touch, warning not to “interrupt the update, which may take an hour or longer to complete” that was not seen when upgrading an iPhone 3GS. The iOS 4 update for the second-generation iPod touch weighs in at 315.0MB, the iPhone 3G update is 292.1MB, the third-generation iPod touch download is 366.4MB, and the iPhone 3GS version is 378.0MB. iOS 4 for the iPhone and iPod touch is available for download now via the update feature in iTunes, and will be coming to the iPad this fall.
Update: iOS 4 for the iPhone 4 is a 579.3MB download, more than 200MB larger than any of the other iOS 4 install bundles.
Pandora Media has released the anticipated iOS 4 update for its popular Pandora Radio application. As demonstrated by Apple at recent iOS 4 events, the latest version of Pandora Radio leverages the new background audio multitasking feature in iOS 4 to allow users to continue listening to their music while using other applications. With Pandora Radio 3.1 and a multitasking-capable device using iOS 4, Pandora Radio can operate in the background in the same manner as the built-in iPod application—audio continues to play in the background even after closing the app, and the device’s on-screen and headphone media controls will be used for the Pandora Radio application instead of the iPod application. Pandora Radio 3.1 is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.
Best Buy’s launch plan for the iPhone 4 has been leaked online in its entirety, including inventory expectations, explanations and photos of merchandise displays, and more. Most notably, the documents reveal that “inventory availability is expected to be minimal,” and so stores will have the option of taking pre-orders from customers arriving on the 24 until 11:00 a.m. local time, with no guarantee of when their device might be available. The documents also state that Best Buy expects all inventory to be accounted for by launch day due to pre-sales. Finally, the company will be offering a number of cases from launch day, including offerings from Belkin, Griffin, and Rocketfish. Apple will launch the iPhone 4 in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Japan on June 24.
SwitchEasy has rolled out its new Reptile case for the Apple iPad. The Reptile features a hybrid design of an ADSP shell with a crocodile skin texture on the back, and a GE Lexan polycarbonate UltraFrame that covers the outer edges and front aluminum frame while offering open or push-through access to all ports and controls. Included with the case are two portable fold-out stands, an anti-static screen protector, a microfiber cleaning cloth, two headphone port protectors, and two Dock Connector protectors. SwitchEasy’s Reptile for the iPad is available now in five colors and sells for $40.
Microsoft has released an official version of Windows Live Messenger for iOS devices. Windows Live Messenger allows iPhone and iPod touch users to chat with their Windows Live Messenger and Y! Messenger contacts and view updates from social networks such as Facebook, Flickr and MySpace. Push Notifications are supported for new IM notifications. Users can also upload photos directly from their device and create albums, add captions and allow friends and family to comment on photos. Windows Live Messenger also provides built-in support for Hotmail so users can read, reply to and compose e-mails and receive e-mail notifications within the application. Windows Live Messenger is available from the App Store as a free download. [via TechCrunch
The first applications supporting Apple’s new iAd mobile advertising platform have appeared on the App Store. Avantar, developer of mobile search applications such as OneTap Movies, Showtimes, Munch and Yellow Pages, has updated several of its applications integrating the new mobile advertising platform. Apple’s iAd does not go live until July 1st, and at this time these apps appear to be showing either a test ad or an empty banner. The release notes for these apps originally cited iAd integration; this note has since been removed and replaced simply with “minor bug fixes,” however the apps themselves remain on the App Store and continue to display the iAd banners. Avantar’s App Store page can be found here.
Evernote has released an update adding iOS 4 support to its popular cloud-based note application. In addition to Fast App Switching, Evernote 3.3.5 also adds support for some more advanced iOS 4 capabilities. When using iOS 4, Evernote will now automatically finish synchronizing with the Evernote servers even after the application has been closed. Further, users can now continue recording voice memos while outside of the application; iOS 4 will note a recording in progress by a red status bar at the top of the screen, similar to the iPhone’s built-in Voice Memos application. Evernote 3.3.5 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple has confirmed that FaceTime video calls, which can be initiated while on a traditional phone call, will not eat away at a user’s voice minutes. “The voice call ends as soon as the FaceTime call connects,” an Apple representative told Business Insider. “The FaceTime call is over Wi-Fi so [it] does not use carrier minutes.” It wasn’t initially clear how Apple was handling the move from voice to FaceTime call, and as the report points out, it would have been possible for Apple to leave the voice call open as a backup should the FaceTime call fail unexpectedly. Apple will debut FaceTime alongside the iPhone 4 on June 24.
Elgato has released an update to its EyeTV client for iOS devices, adding support for iPad users. EyeTV 1.1 is now a universal app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices and has been specifically optimized for the iPad screen. Version 1.1 also adds separate bitrate settings for streaming via local Wi-Fi, remote Wi-Fi and 3G connections and the ability to select composite or S-Video inputs from the channel favorites list. The EyeTV application allows users of Elgato’s EyeTV software for the Mac to stream live TV and view previously recorded shows from their Mac over Wi-Fi or 3G connections as well as viewing their program guide and scheduling recordings remotely. EyeTV 1.1 is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for existing EyeTV users.
Apple has started shipping iPhone 4 units to customers who pre-ordered the device last week. According to shipment details seen by one iLounge editor, the phones appear to be shipping directly out of Shenzhen, China. Based on reports from iLounge readers, some shipping estimates list June 23 instead of June 24; however, Apple has in the past halted shipments that would have arrived earlier in order to coincide with its pre-announced launch date. Apple will officially launch the iPhone 4 in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Japan on June 24.
Update: AT&T has also started emailing iPhone 4 pre-order customers shipment notifications and tracking numbers.
Facebook has released an update to its popular iPhone application adding the ability to view Facebook videos through the app. Previous versions allowed users to upload video to Facebook, however even videos uploaded directly from the iPhone could not be viewed from Facebook once saved. Facebook 3.1.3 also allows users to write on walls of events and uploads photos with a maximum 720 pixel width. The update also addresses a number of bugs, including problems commenting on photos accessed from Notifications, problems uploading smaller photos, incorrect highlighting and sorting in certain areas, and broken photo album links in the news feed. Notably, Facebook 3.1.3 adds no support for iOS 4, suggesting that the app may have been submitted to the App Store for review prior to the iOS 4 announcement. Facebook is available from the App Store as a free download.