SpeakerCraft has rolled out its new FloBox and FloBox Mini speakers for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. Both the FloBox and FloBox Mini feature integrated docks compatible with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod, an FM tuner, AirPlay and DLNA compatibility, and a mini USB port for syncing functionality. The FloBox features two 3.5-inch mid-woofers, two 3/4-inch tweeters, and a 5.25-inch subwoofer, while the FloBox Mini features two three-inch woofers and two 3/4-inch tweeters. No pricing or release date has been announced for the FloBox or FloBox Mini. In addition, SpeakerCraft has announced its Vital 250 amplifier, which also features an iPad, iPhone, and iPod dock, AirPlay compatibility, 50 watt output, auxiliary inputs, a dedicated subwoofer output, a pre-out, a line-out, and a composite video output. The Vital 250 will be available in the fourth quarter and will sell for $699. [via Engadget]
Libratone has introduced its new Beat wireless speaker for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. The Beat features a five-inch subwoofer, two three-inch midrange, and two one-inch ribbon-based tweeters, built-in digital signal processing, 50 watts of power for the subwoofers and 2x25W for the tweeters and midrange drivers, two included wireless transmitters—a 30-pin transmitter for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod, and a USB transmitter for the Mac or PC, with the ability to switch between the two with a single button press—a cashmere wool and chrome body, and an auxiliary input for connecting other audio sources. The Libratone Beat will be available in January 2011 and is priced at $595.
Ngmoco has released We City, the latest entry in its building game series. Designed in the same style as its prior games We Rule and We Farm, We City challenges players to build the city of their dreams by laying down roads, buildings and decorations such as cafes, salons, apartments, hospitals and even hot dog stands. Players can choose from over 100 unique buildings and as each building is added new citizens appear on the city streets such as bodybuilders, fry cooks and fashionistas. Additional buildings can be unlocked by having citizens perform research at colleges and much like Ngmoco’s prior We Rule and We Farm games in-game processes such as research and building can be accelerated by purchasing “Zap” in exchange for real-world currency. We City includes a social multiplayer component as well allowing players to invite their friends to view their city and place orders with their businesses to earn additional money and experience points. We City is available in two separate versions: We City for iPhone and iPod touch devices and We City for iPad. Both versions are available on the App Store as free downloads.
Clickgamer has released Pipe Rush, a new connect-the-pipes game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Pipe Rush, players take on the role of Pippa and must help her connect the water supply to the thirsty townfolk using her pipe-generating system to connect all of the houses before the timer runs out. Players choose from 15 varieties of pipe across 15 varied levels and must connect the available pipes in the optimum configuration to keep all of the houses supplied with water without letting any escape from open pipe endings. Additional challenges include a conveyor belt that must be kept from filling up with pipes, earthquakes, fog and UFOs that beam pipes away as they are laid down. Players can also take advantage of special bonus powers to feed spare pipes back into the machine, remove unwanted pipes with dynamic and play special pipes which activate unique power ups. Players gain higher scores by using the minimum number of pipes in the quickest possible time and can earn 20 different achievements and compete for top scores on integrated Crystal leaderboards. Pipe Rush is available from the App Store for $1.
Apple is experiencing sell-outs of unlocked iPhone 4 units at its company-owned retail stores in the U.K. due to the device’s popularity in markets where Apple has yet to launch the device. The Daily Mail reports that the phone brokers who are purchasing the handsets often form long lines prior to the stores’ openings, and that they are targeting the U.K. because it is one of the few countries that sells the iPhone 4 unlocked. The report notes that unlocked iPhone 4s are priced at £499 for the 16GB version (roughly $790) and £599 (~$948) for the 32GB version, but often sell for double the price in markets such as Dubai, Singapore, South Africa, Russia, and India, with the brokers receiving a commission of £70 for every phone they buy. Unfortunately, the situation is making it hard for regular consumers to purchase the unlocked handset. “I have come here five times now,” said Abdullah Al Mubadal, speaking of Apple’s Covent Garden store. “The guards just say there are no more phones. We are just normal customers.”
Screenlife has released a special 30 Rock edition of its popular Scene It trivia game for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Scene It 30 Rock includes content based on the popular hit TV comedy series including themed puzzles such as What the What? Mind Grapes, That’s a Dealbreaker and Muffin Top and includes funny video and audio clips along with challenging trivia questions from the show. Players can play against their friends using a local Bluetooth or Wi-Fi multiplayer mode or play one of 30 distinct games in single-player mode. The application includes over 50 audio and video clips and still images pulled directly from the 30 Rock TV series, Facebook Connect for posting scores and challenging friends and a “Beeper King” Group Play mode where a room of players can challenge each other to 30 Rock trivia. To celebrate the launch of the app, Screenlife is also hosting a “Stump Scene It?” 30 Rock trivia face off via Twitter (@SceneIt) on Friday September 24th from 12:00-1:30 PM Pacific time where users can submit their own 30 Rock Trivia questions to attempt to stump the developers of the app. Scene It 30 Rock is available from the App Store in separate editions for the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad: Scene It 30 Rock for the iPhone and iPod touch sells for $3 and Scene It? 30 Rock HD for the iPad sells for $5.
Apple has notified second-generation Apple TV customers that it is refunding expedited shipping charges because of an unspecified delay. “Our records indicate that when you placed your order you paid for upgraded shipping,” Apple says in the email. “Due to a delay, we may have not been able to meet our delivery commitment.” Apple has previously refunded some expedited shipping charges for just-released products when it has been necessary to drop ship them directly from China, however, the email does not specify either a revised delivery date or suggest that Apple TV will miss Apple’s promised September release. To the contrary, iLounge has confirmed that the company has also been issuing refunds simultaneously for expedited iPod orders, and already started authorizing the credit cards of pre-order customers, which AppleInsider notes was done eight days prior to the iPad’s launch in April.
Synium Software has released an update to iFinance Mobile adding native iPad support and several additional new features. iFinance Mobile is a personal finance application for iOS devices that allows users to record transactions and expenses on the go and optionally sync that data with iFinance for the Mac for expanded financial review and planning. iFinance Mobile 2.0 is now a universal app providing native support for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and adds a new Account History chart, CSV export of transaction data via e-mail and an improved, redesigned user interface for both the iPhone and iPad. The update also provides several other smaller enhancements such as a graphical calendar view, automatic BIC and IBAN validation, transaction sorting by date and localization in Czech, Polish, French and Russian. iFinance Mobile 2.0 is available from the App Store for $2 and is a free update for users of any prior version.
Target has announced that it will offer the iPad in its stores beginning next month, according to a MarketWatch report. Speaking at the company’s first media day, Target Executive Vice President of Merchandising Kathryn Tesija said the move was part of the company’s drive to boost holiday-season sales. According to the report, Target will sell four models of the iPad, although it is unclear which specific models will be offered. A report from earlier this month indicated that Target would offer all six models of the iPad beginning October 3rd; no indication was given by Tesija as to an exact rollout date.
Update: The Associated Press reports that Target will indeed begin offering the device in its stores October 3.
Smule has released an update to its Glee application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Updated for Season 2 of the popular TV series, Glee Karaoke introduces a global competition mode where users sing to compete with fellow Glee fans from around the world and complete individual singing missions to gain levels and win starburst points and gleeks. Glee Karaoke also provides personal voice coaching tips to improve singing skills as well as pitch correction and three-part harmonies as fans sing along to their favorite songs from the TV series. The app includes the songs Rehab, Somebody to Love and You Keep Me Hanging On with additional songs available via in-app purchase for $1 each including such favorites as Hello, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Can’t Fight This Feeling, Imagine, Defying Gravity, Jessie’s Girl and more. Users can also get free songs by earning Gleeks through sharing their top songs with friends on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or Smule’s own Sonic Network. Additional new songs are added each week that an original episode airs. Glee Karaoke 2.0 is a universal app available from the App Store for $1 and is a free update for users of the previous Glee app.
Booq has introduced its new Cobra Courier XS bag for the iPad. This messenger-style bag features a black, ballistic nylon exterior with water-repellant coating, nylon twill lining, nappa leather trim and flap, a dedicated plush-lined and padded iPad compartment, a water-resistant rubberized bottom, an adjustable seatbelt shoulder strap, multiple interior pockets, and gunmetal hardware. Booq’s Cobra Courier XS bag for iPad is available now and sells for $145.
A newly-published Apple patent application suggests the company is working on ways of reducing the internal size of the headphone jacks featured on its portable devices. Entitled “Audio Jack with Pogo Pins for Conductive Contacts,” the patent describes an audio headphone jack that employs retractable Pogo pins to conserve space. AppleInsider reports that the pins, which are a registered trademark of Everett Charles Technologies and were named after the pogo stick, would become depressed upon insertion of an audio plug, meeting the contacts on the plug. This would replace the traditional, larger “cantilever beam” design; it is unknown whether Apple has used this or a similar audio jack in any shipping products.
ThinkGeek has launched a product page for its upcoming TK-421 iPhone Case with Flip-Out Keyboard. Available in separate versions for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, the TK-421 boasts a flip-out physical Bluetooth keyboard with a magnetic clasp that keeps it in position whether opened or closed and a built-in rechargeable battery that charges over USB, as well as a two-piece design and open access to all ports and controls; it is unclear whether the case offers access to the rear camera and flash when the keyboard is flipped out of the way. ThinkGeek’s TK-421 iPhone Case with Flip-Out Keyboard for iPhone will be available in limited quantities beginning in mid-November and will sell for $50.
Sonos has unveiled its new Wireless Dock for the iPod and iPhone. Designed for integration into a Multi-Room Music System, the Wireless Dock allows users to access music stored or playing on an attached iPhone or iPod and send it wirelessly to Sonos ZonePlayers on the same network. Notably, the Wireless Dock transmits a digital signal in an effort to generate the highest quality possible. The Sonos Wireless Dock for the iPod and iPhone will be available by the end of October and will sell for $119.
New evidence of apps support on the second-generation Apple TV has surfaced online. Mac Rumors points to a LinkedIn profile of an Apple intern, who describes him/herself as an “AppleTV Apps Engineer.” Last week, it was revealed that the second-generation Apple TV, despite using a user interface extremely similar to that of the first-generation model, actually runs a version of iOS. Reports from Engadget prior to the device’s launch that correctly predicted a 720p video output cap, the device’s A4 chip, and its use of iOS, also said the new Apple TV would be capable of running third-party applications, although not necessarily the same apps found on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
Apple has released updates to its iWork suite of productivity applications for the iPad. Pages, Numbers and Keynote have each been updated to version 1.2 adding several new features and improvements over the previous versions. All three applications can now copy documents to and from MobileMe iDisk or other WebDAV services as well as adding the ability to group and ungroup objects. Numbers and Keynote have also added support for exporting documents to the respective Microsoft Office Excel and Powerpoint formats. The updates also add improvements across the board in font matching for iWork ‘09 and Microsoft Office documents, handling of tables with image background fills in cells and customized borders, text options for tables and reliability and performance improvements when sharing documents with iWork.com and importing Microsoft Office documents.
Pages 1.2 also adds an option to display the word count for documents, the ability to open TXT files from the iPad Mail app and import and export features for footnotes, endnotes, sections and tables of contents. Numbers 1.2 adds the ability to open CSV files from the iPad Mail app. Keynote 1.2 adds support for audio in builds on imported Keynote ‘09 presentations, animated build support for grouped objects, and several new build and transition animations such as Lens Flare, Spin, Wipe, Revolving Door and Swoosh. Pages 1.2, Numbers 1.2, and Keynote 1.2 are available from the App Store separately for $10 each, and are free updates for users of the corresponding previous version.
Speaking at a Goldman Sachs investor conference, NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker said his company is unlikely to offer 99-cent TV episode rentals through iTunes. “We do not think 99 cents is the right price point for our content. ... We thought it would devalue our content,” Zucker said, pointing to the fact that episodes are already sold for $1.99 on the iTunes Store. Notably, Zucker was also CEO in 2007 when the company decided not to renew its contract with Apple to sell its television shows on the iTunes Store; he later said the company was seeking a cut of Apple’s hardware sales as well as flexible pricing experimentation. “Apple sold millions of dollars worth of hardware off the back of our content and made a lot of money. They did not want to share in what they were making off the hardware or allow us to adjust pricing,” Zucker said at the time. In addition, the company is also in the process of merging with cable giant Comcast’s entertainment unit, pending regulatory approval.
Dropbox has released an update to its cloud file sharing app for iOS devices with a new UI design, Retina Display support and support for background file transfers on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. Dropbox 1.3 also adds the ability to view files in a full-screen view while using the app in landscape mode on the iPad, file caching to allow users to re-open files they have recently viewed and the ability to create folders from directly within the app. Dropbox is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. A free Dropbox account is required to use the app.
Disney has released an update to TRON for the iPhone and iPod touch adding new video content and trailers. Designed to promote the upcoming TRON movie and video games, the iOS TRON app provides an updated version of the classic Tanks game from Tron Arcade, with both single and multiplayer modes available. The version 1.1 update adds promotional and preview material including a three-part video series from the 2010 San Diego Comic-con TRON panel, a sketchbook featuring the first 13 pages from the new graphic novel, TRON Betrayal, and new video trailers for TRON Legacy and TRON Evolution. TRON is available from the App Store as a free download.
Powermat has announced that it plans to launch a receiver case for the iPhone 4. The black, snap-together style case will allow the encased iPhone 4 to charge via any of the company’s charging mats, and offers protection for the iPhone’s front, sides, and back, open access to the headphone port, sleep/wake button, microphones, speaker, volume buttons, ring/silent switch, screen, home button, and forward- and rear-facing cameras, including the flash. The new Powermat iPhone 4 receiver case will be available in October and will sell for $40.