Griffin Technology has introduced its new lineup of cases for the fourth-generation iPod touch and sixth-generation iPod nano. The lineup includes the Outfit Gloss for iPod touch 4G, a translucent hard shell polycarbonate case featuring a slide-on design, open access to all ports and controls, and an included microStand for $25, as well as the Outfit Mist for iPod touch 4G, a translucent snap-on polycarbonate case featuing two-tone paint, open access to all ports and controls, and an included microStand. It also sells for $25, as does the Reveal for iPod touch 4G, a slim hard shell polycarbonate case featuring a transparent back, black rubber accents on the sides, built-in coverage for the volume and sleep/wake buttons, open access to all other ports and controls, and an included microStand.
The Outfit Flip for iPod touch 4G is a two-piece hard shell polycarbonate case featuring open access to all ports and controls, an included microStand, and a color-shifting paint scheme that shifts from green to purple as you move the case. It sells for $35. Also made for the iPod touch 4G, the AeroSport XL is the company’s latest AeroSport armband, with a strap that is 50 millimeters longer, one-piece construction with a lycra core, a plastic, touch-through display cover, a hidden key pocket, and a headphone port cutout. It sells for $30. Finally, the AeroSport for iPod nano 6G features the same construction techniques as the iPod touch version, but sports a different design that allows the nano to be slid into place following the fitting of the band to an arm. It sells for $20; all of Griffin’s new accessories for the fourth-generation iPod touch and sixth-generation iPod nano are available now.
If you haven’t yet entered our Sonos ZonePlayer S5 Giveaway, there’s still time to do so. In our Giveaway of the Month for October, iLounge and Sonos are giving away two Sonos ZonePlayer S5 units paired with a Sonos ZoneBridge. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on October 31, 2010 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. Good luck!
TomTom has released an update to its GPS navigation application for the iPhone and iPod touch, adding iPhone 4 specific optimizations, updated maps and a new Navigate-to-Photo feature. TomTom 1.5 now provides high resolution graphics and sharper maps for the iPhone 4 Retina Display as well as performance improvements and more accurate positioning on the iPhone 4 even with limited GPS reception. The update also includes a new feature called Navigate-to-Photo allowing users to select a geo-tagged photo from their iOS photo library and automatically navigate to the location where the photo was taken. TomTom is available in a number of different versions by country, and not all versions have yet received the 1.5 update. TomTom U.S. and Canada sells for $60 and TomTom U.S.A. for $50. Both are free updates for users of the corresponding previous version.
Membership club Costco, the third-largest retailer in the U.S., is preparing to cease carrying iPods, according to an iLounge source who asked not to be identified. Based on the report, which notes that iPods have already disappeared from the company’s web site, Costco will stop carrying the iPod after being unable to stock the iPad, which has just been offered to or become available at competing retailers including Target, Walmart, and, soon, Sam’s Club. In checks with several Costco stores, iLounge found ample supplies of recently-released fourth-generation iPod touch units; our source suggests the company is simply getting rid of left-over stock. Costco has been known to drop popular products over past disagreements; in 2009, it stopped carrying Coca-Cola products over a wholesale pricing disagreement with the Atlanta, GA-based soft drink maker.
Apple has released a minor maintenance update to its Remote application for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices. Remote 2.0.1 addresses a number of issues in the Remote 2.0 update released earlier this month, including performance when using Remote on an iPhone with Bluetooth enabled, problems browsing artists with a large number of albums, issues waking up computers when using Home Sharing, connecting to an iTunes library or Apple TV and with Wi-Fi network connections. Remote 2.0.1 is available from the App Store as a free download and should appear as an automatic update for current users.
AT&T has announced that it will sell all three iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models directly to business customers. Without providing specifics, the company also said that it will offer “attractive” post-paid mobile broadband plans which will be available through AT&T business representatives beginning Thursday, October 28, the same day both it and Verizon Wireless launch retail sales of the device. “iPad is a great fit for our enterprise customers across a wide range of industries who are looking for ways to increase business productivity and offer greater flexibility,” said Michael Antieri, President of Advanced Enterprise Mobility Solutions with AT&T Business Solutions. “This new offer further strengthens AT&T’s commitment to provide businesses with the tools they need to accelerate mobility-led productivity.” In addition, AT&T will offer the iPad for corporate purchase with a corporate service subscription.
The competition for our 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards is heating up, with thousands of votes already counted. Announced last week, the Readers’ Choice Awards let you pick the year’s best from four categories—Apple’s best new digital media product, iPad/iPhone/iPod Accessory Developer, iOS Application Developer, and iOS Game Developer. Currently leading the Application Developer of the Year category is Apple, which released iMovie, iBooks, and iPad-formatted versions of its iWork apps, amongst other app updates this year; Netflix, Peapod Labs, and Flipboard are all making their way up the charts. Belkin, Griffin, iHome, and Logitech are in a heated race in the Accessory Developer of the Year category, while Rovio, EA, Gameloft, and PopCap are jousting for Game Developer of the Year; others have plenty of time to catch up. Write-in votes in each of the categories are significant, so if your favorite company’s not on there, write it in! Voting ends at midnight Eastern Time on October 27, and all it takes is filling out a simple four-question survey, so cast your vote today!
During a recent conference call, Dirk Meyer, CEO of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), offered up his opinion of the effect the iPad was having on the portable computer market. “Clearly, in the last quarter or two, the tablet has represented a disruption in the notebook market. If you ask five people in the industry, you’ll get five different answers as to what degree there’s been cannibalization by tablets of either netbooks or notebooks,” Meyer said. “I personally think the answer is both, and given the pretty high price points of the iPad, there’s probably some cannibalization even of mainstream notebooks.” Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn recently said the iPad was eating into sales of traditional laptop PCs by as much as 50%, but soon backtracked on his statement.
Apple’s lengthy delay in releasing the white version of the iPhone 4 may be due in part to a Home button manufacturing issue. Pocket-lint reports that while at a press event in New York City, they spotted a fellow using a white iPhone 4; when asked where he got it, the man said he had a friend that “fixed him up” with it. According to the unnamed man, the device hasn’t been released because Apple is having difficulty getting two of its Far East suppliers to match the white used in the Home button to match the white of the front face plate. As Apple is unhappy with it, it’s not happy selling it to the public, either, the report states. Apple originally planned to release the white iPhone 4 alongside its black counterpart in June, then pushed its release to late July before postponing it until later this year.
The New York Post has launched its new iPad application, a digital edition of the daily newspaper. It offers all the key sections of the paper—news, Page Six, opinion, Pulse, business and sports—and also lets users design their own front page to share with friends, save issues for later reading, view photo galleries and videos, and share stories via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter. Notably, the app is also the first digital iPad publication to offer in-app subscription purchases. The $1.99 price of the app itself includes 30 days of introductory access, after which users may buy monthly access for $6.99 per, or purchase a year’s subscription for $74.99. Previously, iPad periodical readers either had to purchase individual digital issues one at a time, or be either an online or print subscriber and enter their information for access. A report from last month indicated that Apple is developing a digital newsstand for the iPad aimed at helping publishers sell subscriptions, and new software to make it easier for publishers to create digital versions of magazines and newspapers. The New York Post app for the iPad is available now from the App Store. [via Forbes]
Verizon Wireless has posted a Frequently Asked Questions document offering further details of its new iPad Wi-Fi + MiFi 2200 bundles and the associated data plans. According to the FAQ, the bundle will be available at Verizon’s stores, verizonwireless.com, via telesales, and through business-to-business sales representatives, but will not be available from Apple. In addition to the $20 for 1GB monthly plan, Verizon is also offering a $35 for 3GB plan, and a $50 for 5GB option; overages will be charged in 1GB increments and will cost $20, $10, or $10, respectively, depending on the plan. Notably, customers will need to sign a service agreement for the 3G plans, but the plans are available on a month-to-month basis without any termination fee. The document also notes that the MiFi 220 is a 3G-only device, and neither it nor the iPad can be upgraded to support 4G networks.
DomeSkins has debuted its new skins for the iPad, iPhone 4, and fourth-generation iPod touch. Available in a variety original graphics and designs, DomeSkins feature a “clear dome” of resin built into the skin, giving it a 3D appearance and offering added protection over standard vinyl skins. Other features include a patented 3M adhesive which makes the skins reusable and allows them to be removed without leaving residue on the device, and a warranty that is good for the life of the device to which it was first applied. DomeSkins for the iPad sell for $30 while skins for the iPhone 4 and fourth-gen iPod touch sell for $20; all three are available now.
Infinite Messaging has re-released its Infinite SMS application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Originally released two years ago as a solution for sending free SMS messages via Google Talk, Infinite SMS was removed from the App Store early last year after Google shut down the ability for third-party applications to send SMS messages. With Apple now allowing Google Voice applications on the App Store, Infinite SMS has been updated to allow users to send and receive free text messages using Google Voice instead. Infinite SMS is designed for the iPhone and iPod touch and is available from the U.S. App Store for an introductory price of $1. A free Google Voice account is required to use the app.
Occipital has released an update to its RedLaser barcode scanning application for the iPhone and fourth-generation iPod touch adding the ability to scan QR codes as well as several other improvements. RedLaser allows users to scan barcodes with their device’s built-in camera and perform searches via Google Product Search and other search engines. RedLaser 2.9 adds the ability to scan QR codes containing information such as URLs, contacts, calendar events and more and adds eBay and Half.com searches to provide additional results. The new version also adds high-resolution Retina Display support for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch, improves scanning speed on the iPhone 4 and allows users to activate the iPhone 4 LED light during scanning. RedLaser requires an iPhone or fourth-generation iPod touch running iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple has been granted three noteworthy patents relating to the multi-touch technology found in the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The first patent, entitled “Portable Electronic Device with Multi-Touch Input,” describes a method of input that includes “displaying an object on a display surface of a portable electronic device; detecting multi-touch input associated with the object; determining, based on the multi-touch input, an operation to be performed on the object; and performing the operation on the object,” and also mentions gesture recognition and Web page rendering in a multi-touch environment.
The second patent, “Ellipse fitting for multi-touch surfaces,” covers the tracking of multiple fingers and palm contacts as approach, touch and move across a proximity-sensing, multi-touch surface, and the integration of different types of manual input including typing, direct manipulation, and handwriting. The final patent, “Simultaneous Sensing Arrangement,” discusses multi-touch touch-sensor devices and the methods they use to detect and understand touch placement and movement. [via Patently Apple]
G5 Entertainment has released the iPad version of its popular Virtual City simulation game. Released last month for the iPhone and iPod touch, Virtual City is a city-building simulation where players develop their cities to meet specific goals by addressing transportation, entertainment, industrial and environmental needs while also building housing and providing city services such as health care, public safety, waste collection and mass transit. Virtual City HD brings the iPhone and iPod touch gaming experience to the iPad with graphics and controls optimized for the larger screen and includes a new Sandbox Mode allowing players to build their own cities from the ground up in addition to playing through the dozens of in-game scenarios. Virtual City HD is available from the App Store for $10; a free lite version is also available.
AT&T and Verizon Wireless have each announced that they will begin offering the iPad in their stores beginning on October 28. AT&T will offer all three models of the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G at its more than 2,200 stores, while Verizon Wireless will offer the three iPad Wi-Fi models bundled with a Verizon MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot for the same prices as the equivalent iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models: $629 for 16GB units, $729 for 32GB models, and $829 for 64GB devices, making the relative price of the MiFi $130. The MiFi 2200 is a portable, battery-powered hotspot that uses Verizon’s 3G cellular network to broadcast a Wi-Fi signal to up to five devices, including the Wi-Fi-only iPad, as well as the iPod touch and computers, eliminating the need for devices to have built-in cellular data hardware.
Verizon’s pricing for the bundle compares favorably with its listed retail MiFi price of $270, though the MiFi costs more than it would with a two-year Verizon contract; it is being offered for free after a $100 online discount. However, Verizon will offer a monthly access plan for iPad customers of up to 1GB of data for $20 a month—half the price and quadruple the data of the company’s traditional 250MB for $40/month MiFi offering—yet will provide iPad service on a month-to-month, no contract basis, a sign that a major deal was struck with Apple to improve upon its expensive current data plans to attract iPad customers, and possibly future iPhone customers, as well. Verizon will also offer the iPad in its stores on a standalone, un-bundled basis. “This is the perfect pairing for holiday travels,” said John Stratton, chief operating officer for Verizon Wireless. “iPad together with the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G data network allows customers to easily connect on the go wherever they are.”
Target may become the next U.S. retailer to offer the iPhone in its stores, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, AppleInsider reports that Target, in partnership with Radio Shack, is currently adding mobile phone centers to roughly 850 of its 1,743 stores ahead of the holiday shopping rush. The report states that Radio Shack, which already offers the iPhone, will provide the tools to allow customers to activate their devices in-store; since it’s unknown when installation of the mobile phone centers will be completed, there is no rollout date for the iPhone in Target stores at this time.
Audiopress has released a new iPhone and iPod touch application designed to allow commuters and other users who are frequently on the go to access a range of spoken audio content from within a single application. The Audiopress application aggregates content such as podcasts, radio, and spoken AudioArticles from the Associated Press, and users can also create customized text-to-speech updates for local weather forecasts, personal stock reports, sports scores and traffic reports. The application allows users to create playlists to build their own custom audio news feeds by choosing the order in which they want to listen to different feeds and specifying timing parameters for when and how long they want to listen to each source. Audiopress will automatically update its library over-the-air with the newest content, skipping articles that have already been heard and prioritizing the latest episodes of each show. The application includes a catalog of popular podcasts as well as the ability to import other podcasts directly from iTunes and a radio catalog of hundreds of stations. AudioArticles news content is currently limited to the Associated Press although there are plans to add additional media partners in the future. Audiopress is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.
Sam’s Club, the warehouse club owned and operated by Walmart, has announced plans to offer the iPhone and iPad in its membership warehouse stores. The Street reports that the announcement was made during Walmart’s annual meeting this morning; no timeframe was given for when the devices would hit store shelves. Additionally, the company said it was attempting to increase the quality in its consumer electronic categories, and that it will offer non-food in-store demos to help facilitate growth in other categories. The announcement comes at a time when a number of retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, have been adding the iPad to their Apple device offerings ahead of the holiday season.