If you haven’t yet entered our V-Moda Crossfade LP Giveaway, today and tomorrow are your last chances to do so. In our Giveaway of the Month for July, iLounge and V-Moda are giving away five Crossfade LP Headphones. In addition, V-Moda is offering the first 100 people who use coupon code “iLounge” on shop.v-moda.com a free set of Remix Remote earphones with the purchase of Crossfade LP Headphones. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on July 31, 2010 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!
Gear4 has posted a preview of its new UnityRemote for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The UnityRemote is a wireless, Bluetooth-powered accessory that works with a Gear4-developed app to control a variety of home entertainment equipment. The small, circular accessory emits infrared signals in 360 degrees via five transmitters inside the device, can also learn remote codes not provided in the app’s built-in database, and is powered by three AA batteries. In addition, the app will allow users to add buttons form different devices to a single remote screen, eliminating the need to switch back-and-forth between multiple device-specific remote layouts. Gear4’s UnityRemote will be available in October and will sell for $100.
Apple has filed a lawsuit against several companies selling “unauthorized” electronic accessories for the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Filed in federal court in San Francisco, the suit against Eforcity Corporation, Accstation, Itrimming, Everydaysource, United Integral, Crazyondigital, and Boxware Corporation claims that the companies are violating as many as 10 of Apple’s patents and additional trademarks.
At issue are electronic accessories, including chargers, speakers, and cables, which have in the past been known to cause damage to iPods when developed without regard to Apple’s specifications. “Many are of inferior quality and reliability, raising significant concerns over compatibility with and damage to Apple’s products,” Apple says in the suit. For a number of years, Apple has run a “Made For iPod” program and iPhone/iPad equivalents as a way to certify that accessories will be compatible with its products, but has also changed specifications when moving from one generation of device to the next, leaving many formerly “Made For” products unable to charge or otherwise work fully with later iPod and iPhone models—including the company’s own iPod Hi-Fi speaker system.
Shure has rolled out its new SRH240m+ Headset with Remote + Microphone for the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Using a closed-back, circumaural headphone design with 40mm neodymium drivers and replaceable ear cup pads taken from the previously-released SRH240, SRH240m+ is the company’s first over-the-ear headset to include an in-line microphone and three-button remote unit for Apple device compatibility. Shure’s SRH240m+ Headset with Remote + Microphone is available now and sells for $80.
Woodford Design has debuted its new FridgePad accessory for the Apple iPad. FridgePad is a magnetized holder for the iPad, allowing the user to mount the tablet on a refrigerator or other flat, convenient, magnet-friendly surface. Initial renderings on Woodford’s website show the iPad un-encased and held by four molded corner grips, suggesting the FridgePad will not be case-friendly. Woodford Design’s FridgePad for the Apple iPad is expected to be available this Autumn; pricing has yet to be determined.
Apple is abandoning past partners Skyhook and Google for location data in favor of its own database, signaling a further move towards in-house mapping and location services. TechCrunch reports that in a letter responding to a Congressional request for information about its data collection, Apple indicated it is now using its own location database to provide iOS 3.2 and later devices with location information. “For devices running iPhone OS versions 1.1.3 to 3.1, Apple relied on (and still relies on) databases maintained by Google and Skyhook Wireless (“Skyhook”) to provide location-based services,” Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell said in the letter. “Beginning with the iPhone OS version 3.2 released in April 2010, Apple relies on its own databases to provide location-based services and for diagnostic purposes.” Apple purchased online mapping firm Poly9 earlier this year and bought the mapping service PlaceBase in 2009; these acquisitions, along with confirmation that it is running its own location database, lend credence to the suggestion that Apple is planning to launch its own mapping service.
The latest edition of iLounge Weekly, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, is coming later today. iLounge Weekly is a summary of the week’s best news, reviews, and feature articles we’ve published, and it also features giveaways and iPod accessory discount offers from various companies. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address, if you haven’t done so already.
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Incase has unveiled its new Slider Case and Snap Case for the iPhone 4. As in the past, the Slider Case features openings for all ports and controls, as well as a slide-off bottom piece for easy docking. The Slider Case is now available for $35 in Black, and will be available soon in metallic Dark Mauve, Gunmetal, Raspberry, and White. The Snap Case is a low-profile case that snaps around the iPhone 4 and is part of the iPhone 4 Case Program; it will be available for $35 in clear on August 9, and in black on August 16.
The Omni Group has released the much-anticipated iPad version of its OmniFocus professional task management app. Although OmniFocus has been available on the iPhone and iPod touch for some time, OmniFocus for iPad has been completely redesigned for the iPad user interface. The iPad version provides in-depth desktop-style task management capabilities, allowing users to take advantage of features previously only available in OmniFocus for the Mac. OmniFocus for iPad includes flexible viewing options, location-aware task lists and on-the-fly task entry including voice notes and image attachments. Users can use the iPad version as a standalone task management app or synchronize with the Mac or iPhone versions of OmniFocus using any WebDAV server or The Omni Group’s own free sync service. Advanced features include full search capabilities, location-based task assignment with an integrated map view, daily and weekly forecasts or due tasks and a built-in task review feature. OmniFocus for iPad is available from the App Store for $40. More information on the app, including demonstration videos can be found on the company’s OmniFocus for iPad Product Page
T-Mobile today launched the iPhone 4 in the U.K. According to Macworld U.K., the carrier is offering a range of 24-month contracts, from £30 to £60. Prior to today, the carrier had yet to post any details of when it would launch the handset and what pricing might be. “Bringing iPhone 4 to our customers in the UK is a fantastic move for T-Mobile,” Lysa Hardy, vice president of T-Mobile Propositions, told the publication. “With a range of value plans we’re making iPhone 4 more accessible to even more customers in the UK.” T-Mobile, with Three, joins O2, Orange, Vodafone and Tesco Mobile in offering the iPhone 4 in the UK.
iPhone 4 purchasers in Canada are facing long lines and potential sellouts on launch day. iLounge’s Canadian editor Jesse David Hollington was in line at the Apple Store Fairview in Toronto from early in the morning until opening, and indicated that the persons he was waiting with were Apple Store employees, not scheduled for work and unable to enter the store prematurely. Based on his accounts, the carrier stores in Canada have had lineups but had way less stock, possibly not enough to even fulfill the number of people in line. While all the major carriers in Canada were offering the phone, Apple is also selling it unlocked, giving users the option of roaming between networks and utilizing pre-paid micro SIM cards when overseas. Apple launched the iPhone 4 in iPhone 4 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland today.
Update: Several Rogers stores observed by iLounge editors are now indicating that they are sold out of iPhone 4s.
Amazon has released an update to its Kindle app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad adding an in-app dictionary, book searching, and iOS 4 improvements. Kindle 2.2 now provides the ability to instantly lookup selected words in a 250,000-entry built-in dictionary as well as searching for words on Google and Wikipedia from within the app. The update also brings the ability to search inside books to the iPad and improves the in-book search introduced to the iPhone and iPod touch in the previous update. The latest version also brings iOS 4 Fast App Switching on multitasking-capable devices and other iOS 4 related bug fixes. Kindle is available from the App Store as a free download.
Just Mobile has introduced its new UpStand for the Apple iPad. Made from aluminum, the UpStand features a circular base with an angled iPad cradle suspended above by two support poles, non-slip feet, and rubber on the supporting grips to keep the iPad in place while offering protecting for unencased iPads. It is compatible with most iPad cases, as well. Just Mobile’s UpStand for the iPad is available now from Macsense and sells for $50.
Rogers has announced its pricing structure for the iPhone 4. New customers can purchase the handset on a three-year voice and data plan for $159 CAN for the 16GB and $269 CAN for the 32GB model. The same prices are offered to those who started an iPhone contract on or before December 31, 2008, and to those who activated or upgraded to the iPhone 3G in 2008 and then upgraded again between June 19 and September 15, 2009, a likely time window for those moving up to iPhone 3GS units. For anyone who activated or upgraded an iPhone on a term contract between January 1, 2009 and June 7, 2010, pricing will be $399 CAN for the 16GB model and $499 CAN for the 32GB model. Similar pricing will be offered by Fido.
Rogers notes that quantities of the iPhone 4 are limited, and that the handset will only be available at Rogers stores and authorized retails at launch. In addition, the company will once again be offering a 6GB of data for $30 CAN monthly plan between July 30 and September 30, 2010, for smartphone customers who activate on a three-year contract. Finally, for a limited time between July 30 and Sept. 30, customers on a 6GB plan can share the data between iPhones and iPads for an extra $20 CAN monthly fee.
Three in the U.K. will begin selling the iPhone 4 tomorrow, July 30. According to the company’s iPhone 4 page, Three’s plans start at £30 for 500 minutes, 5,000 texts, 5,000 three-to-three minutes, and 1GB of Internet access, with the iPhone 4 being priced at £99 for the 16GB and £189 for the 32GB model; pricing extends up to a £45 monthly tariff, which includes 2,000 any network minutes, 5,000 texts, 5,000 three-to-three minutes, and 1GB of Internet access; at this level, the 16GB iPhone 4 is offered for free, while the 32GB model costs £89. [via T3]
Electronic Arts has released the latest iPhone game in its popular SimCity franchise. First previewed in March, SimCity Deluxe is an improved version of EA’s original SimCity application for the iPhone and iPod touch and provides a visual style akin to EA’s SimCity 4 with noticeable enhancements in user interface, graphics and frame rate. In SimCity Deluxe, players can play an open-ended game and build their own city or choose from one of seven predesigned cities and remake them from there. The game also provides seven scenarios where users must reshape and plan their cities to meet specific goals such as staging a World Games or coping with a heat wave. SimCity Deluxe also introduces seasons with specific seasonal disasters that can befall a player’s city and allows users to modify terrain and landscape their cities using touch controls. SimCity Deluxe is available from the App Store for $7.
A new 3G-equipped iPod touch case has appeared on the FCC’s website, Engadget reports. Made by ZTE, the Peel 3G Router sports openings for the touch’s headphone jack, volume, and power buttons, and uses CDMA2000 technology. There doesn’t appear to be a Dock connector, so it is possible that the Peel 3G is simply a MiFi-like portable hotspot shaped to hold an iPod touch. This particular model has Sprint logos on the front and rear; Sprint has yet to make any official announcement regarding the product.
Omz:software has released a major update to its popular NewsRack RSS reader for the iPhone and iPad adding iOS 4 support and several additional features and improvements. NewsRack 2.5 now supports background task completion and fast app switching on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices and provides high-resolution graphics for the iPhone 4 Retina Display. A new slideshow mode is also now available for iPad users. Additional improvements include much faster synchronization with Google Reader, the ability to mark articles as unread, synchronization of Google Reader shared items, Instapaper Mobilizer support and the ability to download older news items from Google Reader. The update also provides a number of user interface improvements on both the iPhone and iPad platforms, although themes are no longer available for iPhone and iPod touch users. NewsRack 2.5 is currently not compatible with the iPhone 3G with iOS 4; the developer indicates an update for this will be “follow shortly.” The iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 are fully supported, as are any devices running iOS 3.x. NewsRack is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for current users.
Apple is looking into reports that iOS 4 is causing a number of issues when installed on iPhone 3G units. The Wall Street Journal reports that a number of user reports have cropped up on Apple’s support forums, with the most common complaints being that the phone is slow after the upgrade, that it drains the battery quickly, or that it gets unreasonably hot. “This phone has gone from being a dream to constantly annoying me. Not a way to make friends. I would upgrade to an iPhone 4, but I’m feeling pretty angry that Apple has forced my hand by making my 3G unusable,” said one iPhone 3G user on Apple’s support forums. An Apple spokesperson confirmed to the WSJ that it is aware of the reports and is looking into the matter, although it is unclear whether the problems can be fixed with another iOS 4.x update, or whether Apple will have to release a downgrade utility for the iPhone 3G to return the phone to iOS 3.x.
Reporting his company’s first fiscal quarter financial results, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son made several comments regarding the iPhone and iPad, products for which SoftBank is the exclusive carrier in Japan. Masayoshi Son said that sales of the iPhone 4 “far exceeded” his expectations, and apologized to customers for supply shortages. “We ship and we ship, and then we immediately get more new orders,” he said. He also said the company added 696,600 subscribers in the quarter, many wooed away from competitors that don’t offer Apple products. Regarding the iPad, Masayoshi Son said the tablet was selling well and drawing interest from large corporations. When discussing whether consumers should get the iPhone or iPad, he recommended they get both, noting that historical Japanese warriors often carried both a short and long sword. Despite the strong performance, SoftBank’s net profit fell 29 percent due to a tax hit.