Joby has introduced its new Gorillamobile flexible tripod and case system for the iPhone 4. Selected for an International CES Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering Award in the Wireless Handsets Accessories category, the Gorillamobile for iPhone 4 consists of a snap-on bumper case with push-though button coverage, open access to all other ports and controls, and a rail on the side that slides on and off the tripod stand in portrait or landscape orientation. The tripod features flexible, wrappable legs, rubber grip rings, and a special head designed to work with the included bumper case; Joby also plans to launch a new photography app designed to work with the iPhone 4 prior to the holidays. Joby’s Gorillamobile for iPhone 4 is available now and sells for $40.
Hasbro plans to introduce its new My3D accessory for the iPhone and iPod touch tomorrow, according to an Associated Press report. The My3D is a new accessory that attaches to the iPhone or iPod touch and allows users to view 3D content. Users will slide their device into a slot in the My 3D, which resembles a pair of binoculars, and will view the device’s screen through the two eyepieces. According to the report, Apple helped guide the development of the accessory, and will host content for the accessory in the form of apps from the App Store. Hasbro’s My3D accessory for the iPhone and iPod touch is expected to launch next spring and will be priced at $30.
Shure has rolled out its new SE210m+ Sound Isolating Headset with Remote + Mic. Like the company’s prior SE210 Earphones, the 210m+ features Single High-Definition MicroDrivers for full-range sound, and an in-ear design for passive sound isolation. The 210m+ adds an in-line, Apple-compatible three button remote and microphone box, and comes with an accessories package that includes three pairs of disposable black foam sleeves, three pairs of grey flex sleeves, one pair of triple flange sleeves, and a hard, zippered carrying case. Shure’s new SE210m+ Sound Isolating Headset with Remote + Mic is available now at Apple retail stores and will be available from Apple’s online store beginning November 19 for $170.
SwitchEasy has unveiled its Nude case for the fourth-generation iPod touch. Made from polycarbonate with a glossy Duo UV scratch resistant coating, the Nude measures 1mm thick, and features a one-piece design and offers open access to all ports, controls, and cameras. It also comes with two 30-pin connector protectors, two headphone port protectors, two anti-static screen guards, a microfiber cleaning cloth, and a screen guard applicator card. SwitchEasy’s Nude case for the fourth-generation iPod touch is available now in black or clear and sells for $20; for more information on the SwitchEasy Nude for iPod touch 4G, see our Preview article.
U.K. startup Darling Dash has released Pitch ‘n’ Toss, a new game for the iPad that recreates the classic coin toss game with a twist. In Pitch ‘n’ Toss players attempt to get their three coins as close as possible to the far wall of the playing field by adjusting sliders and using swipe gestures to control the angle, speed and direction of the coin. The game begins with a simple open playing field and progresses through 40 unique levels, introducing additional objects such as bounce pads, cannons, flippers and laser force fields. By using these objects creatively with their coin tosses, players earn additional style points using a combination of skill and puzzle-solving to work out the best way to get their coin closest to the wall. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded for higher scores and users can share their scores and achievements via Twitter and Facebook. The game also provides a VS mode which allows up to four players to go head-to-head playing specifically designed challenge levels.
Notably, Pitch ‘n’ Toss was developed as a result of the iPad development fund started last February as a partnership between U.K. investment and digital business development firms Northern Film & Media and NoTosh to encourage and fund local iPad developers in northeastern England. Pitch ‘n’ Toss is available from the App Store for $5; a free Lite version is also available.
Imaginary Spinor has released an update to CineTap, its alternative Netflix browsing app for the iPad. CineTap provides Netflix users with an enhanced, iPad-optimized user interface for searching and browsing content on the Netflix service. CineTap provides information in a more hierarchical structure to enable users to find titles more quickly and easily while simplifying access to a larger portion of the Netflix Instant Watch catalog. Users can also browse and search titles via actor, director or genre with biographical information displayed where available. CineTap also provides enhanced detail screens for movie and TV show titles, providing information such as title, parental rating, synopsis, cast and director, with links to related content as well as quick access to playback and queue management controls. Version 1.2 adds the ability to play movie trailers via YouTube directly from a movie’s details screen and non-Netflix subscribers can now use the app to search and browse the Netflix catalog without requiring an account. The official Netflix app must still be installed to actually watch Netflix content, however CineTap will seamlessly launch the Netflix app as required to play back selected content and transition back to CineTap when playback concludes. CineTap is available from the U.S. App Store for $2.
Sprint will launch the ZTE Peel, a specialized iPod touch case that offers 3G internet access, on November 14, according to a new report. Citing a screen shot of an internal Sprint document, Boy Genius Reports that the initial ZTE Peel offering will be compatible with the second- and third-generation iPod touch, will offer 3G access for up to two devices over Wi-Fi—one of which will be the iPod touch—and will sell for $80, with data access running $30/month for 1GB on a month-to-month basis. The Peel first appeared on the FCC’s website in July; it is unclear whether Sprint plans to launch a version compatible with the fourth-generation iPod touch.
South Korea’s KT Corp has revealed that it will begin to offer the iPad in South Korea starting later this month. According to the Yonhap News Agency, the company will open pre-orders for the device this week, perhaps in a bid to distract attention from the Samsung Galaxy Tab’s launch on rival carrier SK Telecom. Apple has reportedly been in talks with SK Telecom to offer the iPhone and iPad on its network, but no official announcement has been made regarding an agreement between the two companies; KT has saw strong pre-order sales for the iPhone 4 in August, the same month it reached the one million iPhone sold milestone. [via MDN]
XShot has debuted its new iPhone 4 Case with detachable tripod adapter. Featuring a two-piece, snap-on design, the XShot is a hard case with open access to all ports, controls, and cameras, and a detachable tripod adapter capable of mounting the iPhone in both horizontal and vertical orientations. XShot’s new iPhone 4 Case also includes a flexible mini tripod and is available now for pre-order for $25.
Chillingo has launched My Kingdom, a unique massively multiplayer online role-playing game that uses players’ real-world locations as part of the game play experience. In My Kington players start off as simple merchants and must establish settlements and explore territory within the game based on actual real-world locations as determined by the GPS/location services in their device. Players trade commodities by moving around and visiting other locations in the real world that corresponding to virtual locations in the game, claiming new unexplored territories and visiting villages and settlements created by other players. The game includes over 40 different kinds of land types ranging from jungles and deserts to extinct volcanoes and arctic tundra. Players expand their empire and rise to power by exploring and claiming more territory, producing goods and earning gold. As players advance in the game they rise in rank and can build a wider variety of buildings within their kingdoms and even recruit an army to demand allegiance from other players. Players can also earn achievements and reputation in one of four guilds within the game: The Traders Guild, The Explorers Guild, The Manufacturers Guild or the Thieves Guild. Game Center support is included for tracking leaderboard positions and achievements. My Kingdom is available from the App Store as a free download.
Safari Books Online has launched a free iPad application, Safari to Go that allows subscribers to access and read books from its online library. Safari Books Online is a subscription-based on-demand digital library that delivers expert content from leading publishers in technology and business such as O’Reilly Media, Peachpit Press, John Wiley & Sons and many others. The Safari to Go application allows users to access books from the company’s on-demand catalog for both online and offline reading. The app also provides a search feature that allows users to search the entire collection of books and articles available or search within the content of a specific book. Non-subscribers can access sample content for any books and sign up for trials and subscriptions from directly within the app. The application also provides access to folders and notes with tagging and bookmarking features that synchronize between the application and the online website. Safari To Go is available from the App Store as a free download. A subscription is required to access any content other than samples, with individual subscriptions starting at $23/month for ten books per month or $43/month for unlimited access; a free trial subscription is available.
Hex has introduced its new watch band for the sixth-generation iPod nano. Made from silicone, the watch band features full coverage for the nano thanks to a pop-in, pop-out design, including push-though button covers and an audio port cover, open access to the nano’s screen, and a buckle closure. Hex’s new watch band for the sixth-generation iPod nano is available now in nine colors and sells for $25.
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Both Bank of America and Citigroup are currently running trials with the iPhone as they decide whether to allow employees to use the iPhone as an alternative to RIM’s BlackBerry for corporate e-mail. Citing three people familiar with the plans, Bloomberg reports that the companies are testing software designed to make it secure enough for company messaging. “People are delighted with their iPhones and Android phones and they want to use them for work,” said Roger Entner, head of telecom research at Nielsen Co. “The result is RIM now has real competition for corporate customers.”
The report states that both trials involve more than 1,000 employees; testing at Bank of America is said to be in advanced stages and will likely be followed by a pilot project prior to wider implementation. Both companies are also said to be testing Android-based devices for the same purposes. In addition to Bank of America and Citigroup, the report claims that JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UBS are considering letting using employees use iPhones for corporate e-mail, while Standard Chartered Bank said in May that it was switching from BlackBerry to the iPhone and expects to have 15,000 of the devices deployed by the end of 2010.
Reporting its third quarter fiscal results, T-Mobile U.S. parent Deutsche Telekom at least partially blamed the company’s lack of the iPhone for its struggles to keep contract customers. The Wall Street Journal reports that it cost T-Mobile in the U.S. $87 to keep an existing subscriber, up from $58 the year-ago quarter, while it paid out an average of $134 to acquire a new customer, up from $116 a year earlier. Still, the company lost 60,000 contract customers during the period, which Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann blamed on the iPhone. “Consumers like T-Mobile but they also want to have the iPhone,” which the company has no chance of getting in the short term, he said. The company also lost iPhone exclusivity in its home market of Germany, but the company feels it has more compelling offerings than rivals, and seems unconcerned by the loss.
Craig Smith has released an update to Frotz, his text adventure game interpreter for iOS devices. Frotz allows users to play classic text adventure games on their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad including such titles as the Zork Trilogy, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Trinity as well as new text adventure games developed by interactive fiction writers and fans. Frotz supports any titles written in Infocom’s Z-Machine format, providing access to a wealth of downloadable content. Frotz 1.5 adds several UI improvements, particularly for the iPad, and now allows users to access a note-taking area for any story so that they can make notes from directly within the app. The new version also adds Dropbox support to allow users to synchronize saved games for playing on multiple devices and also includes authors, descriptions and artwork for its built-in stories, more bundled games from the Interactive Fiction Database (IFDB), and the ability to bookmark pages in the story browser and keep track of recently played stories. Frotz is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Tekkeon has rolled out its new myPower battery case for the iPhone 4. The myPower features the company’s new “eSwap” technology, and houses the battery in a separate module so that it may be exchanged with a fresh battery on-the-go. Other features include a two-piece slide-together design, pass-through ports for the speaker and microphone, open access to the cameras, volume buttons, ring/silent switch, and sleep/wake button, a microUSB port for charging, an external capacity indicator, an on/off switch to conserve power when not in use, and either a 1200 mAh “Ultra Slim” or 2200 mAh “Ultra Power” battery module. Tekkeon’s myPower battery case for iPhone 4 is available now in three colors and sells for $80 with an 1200 mAh battery module; extra 1200 mAh modules will sell for $40, while 2200 mAh modules will be priced at $50.
CBC Radio has released a major update to its free streaming radio application for iOS devices, adding background audio and native iPad support. The CBC Radio application provides both live and on-demand streaming audio from CBC Radio One, Radio 2 and Radio 3 and on-demand audio from CBC TV programs including The Hour, CBC News At Issue Panel and Mansbridge One on One. Version 2.0 adds supports for background audio and fast app switching on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices, including support for remote audio controls and the ability to resume playback automatically following interruptions such as phone calls. An updated player screen provides artist bios when available for the current track. Users can also browse and search through over 100,000 tracks from over 20,000 Canadian Indie artists in the embedded CBC Radio 3 website, and share audio links via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook from right within the app. Additional new features include automatic switching between high- and low-quality streams for Wi-Fi and 3G network use, an option to automatically play on startup and an alarm timer. CBC Radio 2.0 is now a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.
According to the latest research released by IDC, worldwide smartphone shipments increased 89.5 percent year-over-year in the third-quarter of 2010, to 81.1 million units. While Nokia continues to hold the top spot in the worldwide smartphone market with 32.5 percent of all shipments, Apple’s Q3 shipments of 14.1 million iPhones — good for a year-over-year unit shipment increase of 90.5 percent — were enough to vault it past BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) into second place with a 17.4 percent share of the market. RIM ranked third with 15.3 percent of the market, followed by Samsung with 8.9 percent, and HTC with 7.2 percent.
Manchester-based electronica label Clear Notice Recordings has released its most recent album in the form of an iPad application. The album, Enter Calico, is a compilation of music and videos from various electronic artists, filmmakers and animators around the world. The application includes full tracks along with streaming videos and artist biographies. Buyers also receive a code that allows them to download a copy of the audio album in a format of their choice and download the videos which are streamed from within the app. Enter Calico represents one of the first albums to be released exclusively as an iPad app; it is available from the App Store for $7. [via Mobile Entertainment]