AudioBox has released an official native iOS app for streaming music from its cloud-based media storage service. The AudioBox service allows users to upload and store their own MP3 files online and stream their music from the AudioBox servers to any number of desktop computers or supported mobile devices. The AudioBox app for the iPhone and iPod touch provides streaming access to the user’s online AudioBox.fm library allowing users to listen to their online media content from their device over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. The app features support for background audio on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices, library organization by playlist, artist, album or genre, playback controls, track scrubbing and scrobbling of played tracks to Last.FM. AudioBox for the iPhone and iPod touch is available from the App Store as a free download. An AudioBox.fm account is required to use the app with 1GB of storage available in a free account and paid accounts starting at $4 for 11GB of storage. At the present time the iOS app can be used with a free AudioBox.fm account as part of a limited promotional period, at the end of which a paid account will be required to continue using any native client with the service. [via TechCrunch]
The U.S. Library of Congress’ Copyright Office has announced a decision under which jailbreaking mobile devices, most prominently the iPhone, has been deemed legal and within the user’s fair use rights. The ruling (PDF Link) states, “when one jailbreaks a smartphone in order to make the operating system on that phone interoperable with an independently created application that has not been approved by the maker of the smartphone or the maker of its operating system, the modifications that are made purely for the purpose of such interoperability are fair uses.” Apple has in the past taken a hard stance against jailbreaking, claiming that the practice was illegal—in that it constituted copyright infringement and a DMCA violation—and that it could enable “potentially catastrophic” network attacks.
In addition to addressing the issue of jailbreaking, the ruling also makes note of unauthorized unlocking of mobile phones. While the ruling itself doesn’t extend so far as to ensure “that customers have the freedom to switch wireless communications service providers,” it does state that “unlocking a mobile phone to be used on another wireless network does not ordinarily constitute copyright infringement and that Section 1201(a)(1), a statute intended to protect copyright interests, should not be used to prevent mobile phone owners from engaging in such noninfringing activity.” [via Mac Rumors]
Apple has added a new section focused on the Motorola Droid X to its smartphone antenna performance page. Apple’s testing shows the Droid X dropping from three bars down to no bars of service when phone is held in such a way that the user’s hand is blocking the majority of the bottom back portion of the device. Following Apple’s iPhone 4 press conference, Sanjay Jha, co-CEO of Motorola, said, “Consumers don’t like being told how to hold the phone ... It is disingenuous to suggest that all phones perform equally.” In addition, the prior-generation Motorola Droid was at the heart of the “iDon’t” advertising campaign aimed at the iPhone in late 2009.
Ignition Soft has released WebPad, a new iPad drawing app that allows users to share iPad drawings in-progress with other users in real-time. Users are provided with a personal WebPad URL which friends and colleagues can access to view the drawing in real-time using any modern desktop web browser. Users can draw in both landscape and portrait orientation and the online WebPad drawing will update to reflect the iPad’s current orientation. Drawings are saved by the WebPad online service automatically and other users can comment, share and review drawings on the WebPad site. WebPad is available from the App Store for $5. Free registration with the WebPad service and an active Internet connection is required to use the app.
The large majority of U.S.-based iPhone users are happy with AT&T, according to a new study by the Yankee Group. CNNMoney reports that 73% of iPhone users are “very satisfied” with AT&T, a number that compares favorably to how non-iPhone smartphone users feel about AT&T. The survey found the satisfaction rate of AT&T subscribers as a whole is 68%, while AT&T smartphone users were only slightly more satisfied at 69%. Analysts with the Yankee Group attributed the high iPhone numbers to a “halo effect.” “Consumers transfer the high gloss of their Apple iPhone experience to AT&T,” Carl Howe, Yankee Group analyst. “The iPhone creates a halo effect that rubs off.” Overall, the study estimates that the iPhone will be worth $1.8 billion in sales to AT&T this year, and will generate $9 billion for the company over the next five years.
TunedOn has released a new app, Texto, that allows iPhone users to setup and send pre-written canned text messages via the iPhone’s built-in SMS app. Users can choose from a list of pre-defined short messages such as “running late” or “I’m here” or create their own custom entries. Using the in-app SMS feature introduced in iOS 4, tapping on a canned message opens the iPhone’s native SMS compose screen where users can add additional text or simply send the message as-is. Users can also associate canned messages with individual contacts from the iPhone address book allowing quick access to frequently-used messages or responses. Texto is available from the App Store for $1 and requires an iPhone running iOS 4 or later. The developer indicates that an iPod touch version is currently under development.
Cultured Code has released an update bringing iOS 4 support to its popular task management app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Things 1.6 now provides support for Local Notifications allowing users to be reminded of scheduled and due tasks even when the app is not actively running. The new version also adds Fast App Switching support, Retina Display graphics for the iPhone 4 and integration with the third-party TextExpander app in addition to improved stability and bug fixes. Things is available from the App Store for $10; an iPad version is sold separately for $20. Things can be used as a standalone app or synced via local Wi-Fi with Cultured Code’s Mac app of the same name. Syncing between iPhone and iPad versions requires that both devices be synced with the desktop app.
Apple has announced that the iPhone 4 will launch in 17 additional countries this week. Currently available in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Japan, the phone will launch in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland this Friday, July 30. Despite ongoing concerns over the phone’s antenna design, Apple has continued to see strong demand for the phone; COO Tim Cook recently stated during the company’s third-quarter financial results conference call that Apple was selling them as fast as it could build them.
Apple has added a new section to the App Store called “Newsstand,” highlighting a variety of publications. The section is divided into three sub-sections, one for magazines, showcasing apps from Wallpaper and GQ, among others, one for newspapers, promoting apps from USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, and more, and one for digital news sources, which includes the RSS application Reeder, Marco Arment’s Instapaper, and the Zinio Magazine application. Interestingly, Apple forced the iPhone RSS application Newsstand to change its name—it became NewsRack—due to a trademark complaint that was received by Apple, yet the company itself is now using the moniker. The new “Newsstand” section is accessible from the front page of the App Store on the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, and via iTunes on a Mac or PC.
Immediately following Apple’s launch of the iPhone 4 Case Program, a case giveaway designed to reduce reception-related issues traced to the iPhone 4’s external antenna, iLounge editors discovered two billing-related errors that appear to enable some users to receive more than the correct number of free cases or refunds due. The first error appears to enable a user who ordered a Bumper case from Apple to simultaneously receive an automated refund and still be eligible for a free case using the iPhone 4 Case Program application. Separately, iLounge has discovered that a single person’s order for multiple Bumper cases led to the receipt of multiple refunds—while still remaining eligible for a free case through the application. As a result, one of our editors has already received credits and order confirmations for three cases. It’s unclear whether this is due to a lack of cross-checking the Apple IDs used to register for free cases with past iPhone 4 Bumper case orders, or quiet but intentional over-generosity on Apple’s part. We have contacted Apple to notify it of the errors and obtain a comment, and will update this article if and when we receive a response.
LG Display is struggling to keep up with demand for the iPad’s 9.7-inch, LED-backlit IPS LCD screen, according to comments made by the company’s CEO. “Demand (from Apple) keeps growing and we can’t meet it all. Apple may have to delay launches of the iPad for some countries due to tight component supplies and strong demand,” said LG Display CEO Kwon Young-soo. “We are considering increasing production lines for iPad products but overall supply is likely to remain tight until early next year.” Reuters reports that analysts expect iPad demand to accelerate in the coming months; Apple launched the iPad in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore today, adding to current distribution in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US.
Nuance Communications has released an update to its Dragon Dictation app adding iOS 4 compatibility, multilingual support, direct speech-to-SMS and social networking integration. Dragon Dictation 2.0 takes advantage of iOS 4 in-app SMS support allowing users to send text messages directly from the app. The update also provides a redesigned interface with a pop-up toolbar and the ability to post dictated text directly to Twitter and Facebook. Support for Fast App Switching allows dictated text in the scratchpad to be automatically saved when leaving the app so users can resume their dictation where they left off after answering a phone call. Dragon Dictation 2.0 adds support for U.K. English and is now available in the U.K. App Store. Nuance indicates that German language support will be coming by the end of July and that it plans to provide support for French, Italian and Spanish later this year. Dragon Dictation 2.0 is available from the App Store as a free download for a limited time.
Dropbox has released an update to its popular file storage client adding support for recording and uploading HD video on the iPhone 4. Dropbox 1.2.4 allows users to upload videos recorded within the app on an iPhone 4 in full HD resolution, although videos selected from the photo library remain limited to 640 x 480 due to iOS API limitations. Quality settings in the update now also affect videos selected from the photo library in addition to those recorded with the iPhone camera. The update also presents the password lock screen more aggressively when switching back to the app on multitasking-capable devices, including an option to require the password immediately upon returning to the app. Dropbox 1.2.4 is available from the App Store as a free download. A free Dropbox account is required to use the service.
Mekentosj.com has released an update to its popular Papers academic research app. Papers 1.8 adds support for PDF annotations and note-taking for iPad users and adds Fast App Switching support on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. The update also includes high-resolution artwork for the iPhone 4 and brings support for opening PDF files in Papers from other applications such as Mail and Safari on iOS 4. Additional improvements include the ability to delete authors and journals that have no stored papers, move webpage-only papers into collections and case-insensitive sorting of authors and journals. Papers 1.8 is available from the App Store for $15 and is a free update for current users.
Apple has posted details of its iPhone 4 case program. According to the webpage, iPhone 4 users who want to receive a free case need to download the free iPhone 4 Case Program app from the App Store. Once the app is installed, users need to login with their iTunes Store account or Apple ID. The app checks the device’s IMEI and serial number to verify that the user indeed does own an iPhone 4, and lets the user choose an iPhone 4 Bumper or another case. Apple notes that for iPhone 4 purchases made before July 23, 2010, users must apply no later than August 22, 2010; otherwise, they must apply within 30 days of the iPhone 4 purchase. For advice on picking your free case, take a glance at our recommendation article.
The Iconfactory has released an update to its Twitterrific app adding a number of new features and improvements. Twitterrific 3.0.1 provides new timeline shortcuts including the ability to tap an avatar to view a user’s profile, a tap-and-hold menu for additional options and double- and triple-taps for replying and marking tweets as favorites. Users of iOS 4 devices also gain the ability to tap-and-hold on links such as usernames, hashtags and web URLs to perform additional actions. The latest version also adds several improvements including changes to the retweet with comments format, improved e-mailing of links from the mini-browser, copy actions for tweets on iOS 4 devices, emoji character support on the iPad and several graphical and UI tweaks and includes several bug fixes. Twitterrific for Twitter is available from the App Store as a free ad-supported version with a $5 Premium upgrade available within the app to remove advertising and add support for multiple Twitter accounts.
Agile Web Solutions has released an update to its popular 1Password Pro password management app adding over-the-air sync via Dropbox and support for iOS 4. Prior versions of 1Password Pro synced with the desktop version via a local Wi-Fi connection and iOS devices could not sync directly with each other. 1Password Pro 3.5 now allows users to choose to sync data using a Dropbox account allowing the desktop version of 1Password and multiple iOS devices to remain in sync even when they are not connected to the same Wi-Fi network. The Wi-Fi option remains available for users who would still prefer to sync their data locally. The latest update also adds support for the iPhone 4 Retina Display and iOS 4 and adds new auto-lock options related to multitasking support including the option to leave 1Password unlocked for a limited time when switching between apps. The new version also adds support for the “Lookup in 1Password” bookmarklet on the iPad and includes several bug fixes and improvements for both iOS platforms. 1Password Pro is available from the App Store for $15 and is a free update for current users.
Apple has announced that it is delaying the launch of the white iPhone 4 once again. The press release states, “White models of Apple’s new iPhone 4 have continued to be more challenging to manufacture than we originally expected, and as a result they will not be available until later this year.” The company released a similar statement exactly one month ago, promising availability in the second half of July, and did not mention any manufacturing problems during either its iPhone 4 press conference last Friday nor during its fiscal results conference call earlier this week.
Apple has started issuing refunds to iPhone 4 users who purchased Bumper cases from the online Apple Store. According to a customer email from the Apple Store posted on Mac Rumors’ forums, Apple is refunding both the retail price and any shipping or VAT charges that might have been applied to the order, noting that if the customer paid via credit card, it may take 3-5 days for the refunds to reach his/her account. Apple announced last Friday that it would be offering all current iPhone 4 owners and those who purchase the device by September 30 a free Bumper or other third-party case, and said it would issue refunds to those who had already purchased a Bumper case from Apple; it is expected to announce details of how current users can register for their free cases later this week.
ABC Digital has released an official ABC News app for the iPad. ABC News provides an optimized version of the content from the broadcaster’s website with interactive features allowing users to explore the news in a touchscreen-friendly format. Users can choose from a traditional news content view or browse through stories with a unique globe interface by either swiping or shaking the iPad to spin the globe and touching the screen to read or watch content that appears. Users can also filter the content that appears on the globe by selecting a favorite topic or show, save stories to a Favorites section for reading offline and share links to stories via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. ABC News is available from the App Store as a free download. A promo video demonstrating the app can be found on the ABC News website.