Apple has once again updated its U.S. Online Store to reflect improved shipment wait times for the iPhone 4. According to the store’s iPhone page, new iPhone 4 units—both the 16GB and 32GB models—now ship “within 24 hours,” down from the previous estimate of 1-3 days. Apple first reduced the estimated wait time on new online iPhone 4 orders in the U.S. from three weeks to 5-7 days in early October, dropping it again in the interim to 1-3 days. The drop in wait times for the iPhone 4 appears to be unique to the U.S., however, as estimates from international stores such as Canada, U.K., France, and Germany remain at 1-2 weeks, depending on the country.
Apple has informed its music distribution and label partners that it will be extending the length of preview clips offered on the iTunes Store from 30 seconds to 90 seconds. The blog Symphonic Distribution quotes Apple as saying, “We are pleased to let you know that we are preparing to increase the length of music previews from 30 seconds to 90 seconds on the iTunes Store in the United States. We believe that giving potential customers more time to listen to your music will lead to more purchases.” Mac Rumors has posted a copy of the iTunes Connect notice sent to label representatives, which explains that the 90 second previews will only apply to songs longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length, and states that by continuing to offer their music on the iTunes Store, the labels are indicating acceptance of the new terms. Notably, this means that any label not wishing to participate will need to pull their music from the store; it currently unknown when Apple will begin its rollout of the longer previews for customers.
This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone 3GS in front of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece. To share your photos and to be considered for our Photo of the Week, you simply need to submit your own photo to one of our galleries. So get out there, take some pictures with your iPod or iPhone, and maybe your submission will be our next Photo of the Week!
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has reportedly confirmed upcoming support for the company’s iTunes Extras and iTunes LP formats on the second-generation Apple TV. In an email exchange with a customer reprinted by Mac Rumors, Jobs said that an update is “coming” for the next-generation set-top box that will provide support for both the iTunes Extras and iTunes TV formats. Apple originally added support for iTunes Extras and iTunes LP to the first-generation Apple TV in software version 3.0, but such support was noticeably absent from the second-generation model when it launched in September.
According to results from the latest ChangeWave consumer survey, netbook demand is declining year-over-year while planned purchases of tablet computers - led by the iPad - are on the rise. The October survey of 3,108 consumers found that 14 percent of consumers planning to purchase a laptop over the next 90 days plan to buy a netbook, down from 20 percent in October 2009 and from a high of 24 percent in June 2009. Meanwhile, 26 percent of consumers said they are at least somewhat likely to purchase a tablet in the future, with eight percent saying a purchase was very likely, and 18 percent saying it was somewhat likely. Among those respondents, 80 percent said they were most likely to purchase an iPad, followed by eight percent who said they were most likely to purchase a RIM Playbook, and three percent who said they were most likely to purchase a Samsung Galaxy Tab. Finally, satisfaction ratings for the iPad were quite high, with 72 percent of current iPad owners saying they were very satisfied with the device, followed by 23 percent who said they were somewhat satisfied. Only one percent said they were somewhat unsatisfied with their iPads, while zero percent labeled themselves as very unsatisfied, and three percent said they didn’t know.
Bethesda Blog has posted a special diary from id Software co-founder John Carmack in which he discusses his work on Rage and id’s Tech 5 game engine. As reported at QuakeCon 2010, Carmack is developing plans to bring Rage and other games based on the Tech 5 engine to the iOS platform. Carmack’s notes reveal some interesting new information on the company’s first Rage-based iOS game. Carmack notes that during the QuakeCon demo he may have mistakenly led people to believe that the entire Rage PC/console game experience would be coming to the iPhone and indicates here that this is definitely not going to be the case. While Carmack believes it’s possible to compile the full-blown PC/console Rage for an iPhone 4, he indicates that this would be a “hopelessly bad idea” due to performance tradeoffs and vast differences in controls. Instead, Carmack is developing something based on Rage that will be “unlike anything ever seen on the iOS platforms.” Rage for iOS will be a “little slice of Rage” built around “Mutant Bash TV,” a “post-apocalyptic combat game show in the Rage wasteland.” Carmack notes that it is the ideal setup for a “quintessential first person shooter game play experience” and goes on to state that making sure that levels can be replayed many times was an important goal of the project, which he feels was accomplished by making the gameplay the core aspect rather than focusing on a storyline. By comparison to Doom Resurrection, Carmack indicates that Rage on iOS will be “all action, all the time.” Rage for the iOS platform is expected to be released by the end of November. [via Touch Arcade]
Apple is in conversations with mobile payments startup Boku about a potential acquisition or partnership, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the talks, TechCrunch reports that both Apple and Google are in talks with Boku, which, through agreements with cellular carriers, lets customers purchase goods by typing in their phone number instead of using a credit card or PayPal account. The report claims that Boku President and CEO Mark Britto and co-founder Ron Hirson have held multiple meetings with executives from Apple’s iPhone division over the course of the past three weeks. Boku has reportedly been in high-level meetings with Google as well, specifically with Director of Engineering Michael Morrissey, who oversees development for Google Mobile Services for Android. It is unclear whether Google is exploring an outright acquisition, which Apple is said to be seeking; TechCrunch’s source indicates that Apple could end up paying as little as $250 million or as much as $450 million to purchase the company. Boku’s talks with both companies are said to be at an early stage.
Apple and Google previously engaged in talks with mobile advertising firm AdMob, with a last-minute bid from Google preventing Apple from purchasing the company and leading to Apple’s acquisition of Quattro Wireless, which later became the basis for the company’s iAds platform. Jobs later admitted that Apple attempted to purchase AdMob, and that Google came in and “snatched” the company from Apple; that situation may offer Apple added incentive to close a potential deal with Boku before Google has a chance to sign a partnership agreement with and/or purchase the company.
Alberto Garcia Hierro has released an update to Latitudie, his Google Latitude client for iOS devices. Latitudie allows users to automatically keep their current location updated on Google Latitude and receive notifications when friends are nearby. Users can choose to update their position on-demand or leave the application running in the background on multitasking-capable devices to automatically update their Google Latitude location as they move around. Version 2.0 adds support for adding and managing friends from directly within the app without having to visit the Google Latitude web site and provides an enhanced user interface with a simplified options screen and Retina Display support. The update also adds support for being used offline, dramatically reduces battery consumption and fixes some specific bugs from the previous version. Latitudie is a universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and is available from the App Store for $2.
Apple has posted its new “iPad is Electric” TV advertisement, its latest for the tablet computer. Like its prior “iPad is Delicious” and “iPad is Musical” commercials, the new spot shows the iPad being used mostly in front of a white background, utilizing a variety of different apps. The spot starts with the words “iPad is” on the screen, and is followed by a different descriptor—including “cinematic,” “elementary,” “academic,” “full-size,” “presenting,” “bought,” “sold,” “fantasy,” and “electric”—after each app is shown. As with the prior “iPad is” ads, it features the song “Never Stop” by Gonzales in the background, but in this spot, the song is interrupted by a person playing the last few notes on an electric guitar that is attached to the iPad and is being used in concert with IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube software. Apple’s new “iPad is Electric” ad is available for viewing on the company’s website.
Apple has sent out an email to registered iOS developers letting them know that it is now accepting submissions for iOS 4.2 apps. According to the email, which was submitted to iLounge by a reader, the apps need to be built, tested, and compiled using the iOS 4.2 SDK GM seed and iOS 4.2 GM seed released yesterday before being submitted for review “so they can be ready when iOS 4.2 is available to iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users.” In addition, a few small new changes have been discovered in the iOS 4.2 GM seed, including a change to the Multitasking bar that allows fast access to both Brightness and Volume controls, along with a new AirPlay button, which has changed from a dot with radiating waves to a box with a triangle pointing into it. In addition, the new MobileMe account setup in iOS 4.2 GM lets users log into MobileMe settings using an Apple ID, although the Apple ID logins don’t seem to work yet, according to Mac Rumors.
Our reader added that the overall speed of iOS 4.2 on iPad is much improved, and that audio streaming over AirPlay from iOS devices to Apple TV appears to still be unstable, with drop-outs surprisingly common - the issue appears to be network-related. Updates to the Apple TV and Remote applications appear to be necessary to enable AirPlay video and photo streaming, as iOS 4.2 devices currently do not have any obvious way to share videos or photos, and iPad users will also receive a number of new wallpaper options relative to iOS 3.2. Also noticeable is a color bug in PDF rendering. Finally, the iPad’s side switch continues to be a “mute” button under iOS 4.2 GM, but only mutes alert and keyboard sounds, not other audio, which is odd considering that the iPad has so few alerts.
Apple has released a pre-release version of the Gold Master of iOS 4.2 for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad to members of the iOS developer program. This likely represents the last developer-only release prior to the final public release of iOS 4.2. Although Apple has not yet announced a release date for iOS 4.2, public iOS releases have generally occurred within 1-2 weeks of the release of a Gold Master seed. It is currently unknown what specific changes have been made in this latest version, although Apple highlighted new features in iOS 4.2 during its September 1st event and some previews have been seen from prior beta releases. Apple’s iOS 4.2 GM seeds for the iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, second-, third- and fourth-generation iPod touch are available now to paid iPhone developers from the iOS Dev Center.
Target has announced that it will start offering the iPhone in 864 stores that include Target Mobile centers beginning November 7. The company will offer both the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, as well as in-store activation and a range of accessories. “At Target we continue to offer our guests the best in electronics so we’re happy to add iPhone to our Target Mobile offerings,” said Mark Schindele, senior vice president of merchandising with Target. “With expert support from Target Mobile specialists and in-store activation, our guests will be able to leave the store with a new, working iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 in-hand.” A report from last month indicated that Target might offer the iPhone ahead of the holiday season, and that sales would be limited to stores with mobile phone centers, which were reportedly being installed through a partnership between Target and current iPhone retailer Radio Shack.
Apple paid a “7-figure settlement” to settle a trademark lawsuit related to its iAd mobile advertising platform, according to a new report. Cnet reports that Apple is cited as having paid the settlement to Innovate Media, a client of “intellectual asset management” firm Consor, in a news release briefly posted to Consor’s website. Innovate Media filed a lawsuit against Apple over its iAds trademark, which it had used since 2006, in May; in the release, Consor claimed that “the comprehensive confusion analysis and quantification of economic damages performed by Consor were instrumental to Innovate Media reaching a highly favorable settlement with Apple.” Following the discovery of the release, a Consor employee claimed that it was never posted, and later said that some of the information in the release “wasn’t accurate” without elaborating further. [via Mac Rumors]
IslandJohn has released Bee Patrol, a new flight-strategy game for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Bee Patrol provides a creative take on the line-drawing game genre where players must draw individual flight paths for a swarm of bees to ensure the survival of the colony, encountering new creatures and gameplay mechanics as they progress. Players must guide their bees to cross-pollinate flowers and collect nectar on their way back to the hive while avoiding enemy insects, forces of nature and mid-air collisions with other bees. The game provides several beautifully rendered environments for players to explore through 18 different levels. Players can choose from two game modes: “Worker” to simply play for survival or a timed “Queen” mode. OpenFeint and Game Center integration is also included for sharing high scores and tracking achievements. Bee Patrol is available separately for the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. Bee Patrol for the iPhone and iPod touch sells for $1; Bee Patrol HD for the iPad sells for $3. A free version, Bee Patrol Lite is also available for the iPhone and iPod touch.
G5 Entertainment has released Treasure Seekers: Vision of Gold, an iPhone and iPad version of the best-selling hidden object game initially developed for the PC. Visions of Gold is the first game from the famous casual game franchise Treasure Seekers and allows users to play more than 40 levels on seven specific sites of action, solving puzzles in 19 challenging minigames. Users proceed at their own pace with no time limit, becoming engaged in an exciting storyline where they take on the role of Nelly as she and her younger brother embark on an adventure to unravel family secrets and find hidden treasure. The iPhone and iPod touch version provides high-resolution graphics for the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch, while a separate iPad version provides graphics and a UI optimized for the iPad. Treasure Seekers: Visions of Gold for the iPhone and iPod touch sells for $3 and Treasure Seekers: Visions of Gold HD for the iPad for $5. Free “Lite” versions of each are also available.
As always, the Sneak Peeks section of this year’s iPod/iPhone/iPad Buyers Guide features exclusive images of and information on several upcoming accessories. One of this year’s most notable new add-ons is the Scosche iClops. This dock-connecting video and still camera for iPad and iPod touch features a 2.1-Megapixel sensor, 640x480 video capture capability, a 60mm-equivalent auto-focus lens, and a metal enclosure with pivoting plastic base. In addition, Scosche is also seeking a new name for the product, and is holding a renaming contest through December 15, 2010, with a 16GB iPad and Scosche iPad accessory bundle going to the winner. The iClops is expected to launch in March for $130. Another new Scosche product, the solVue, is also expected to ship in March. This follow-up to our 2009 iPhone Speakerphone of the Year retains the solChat II’s solar panel for charging, echo-canceling DSP/mic combination, and windshield/dashboard mounts, but adds a flip-out display to show battery, cellular singal, and pairing information, as well as the names or telephone numbers of incoming callers. It is priced at $110.
Also making its debut in the guide is the Optoma Neo-i Pico Projector. Unlike prior portable projectors that were compatible with Apple’s devices but not specific to them, the Neo-i features a top-mounted dock for the iPod or iPhone with an optional iPad accessory kit in the works, twin 8-Watt speakers, a 50-lumen video projector, a resolution of 854x480, and an HDMI input for connecting an Apple TV or other HD video source. It will ship this month and will sell for $450. In addition to the Neo-i, the Digipower JumpStart Flip and Belkin Grip 360º + Stand will also ship in November. The JumpStart Flip is a combination battery pack and video stand featuring a flip-open, black and silver design, a built-in 3300 mAh rechargeable battery, an included 30-pin charging cable for iPods and iPhones, and LED charging indicators. It will sell for $50. The Grip 360º + Stand is a similarly multi-functional case/stand for the iPad that features a play-through design, and an integrated stand that switches to separate video viewing, picture frame, and typing angles, which also serves as a handheld carrying grip. It will sell for $70.
For more information on these and thousands of other products for the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, check out our 2011 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide.
Five Lakes Studio has released an update to its Picross HD logic puzzle game for the iPad. In Picross HD, players must fill in squares in a grid by using numeric clues beside the grid in order to reveal a picture formed by the filled squares. Version 1.1 adds 100 new puzzles including 20 puzzles from Conceptis Puzzles, a leading supplier of logic puzzles for printing and electronic gaming media. The update also provides a set of new, professionally-rendered background screens that users can choose from to customize their gaming experience as well as new background music. Users can also now disable the background music and play their own music instead and hints can now be disabled in the new settings screen. Picross HD is available from the App Store for $3.
Callaway Digital Arts has released a new iPad application featuring a compilation of Martha Stewart’s cookie recipes. Martha Stewart Makes Cookies features more than 50 cookie recipes ranging from classic shortbread to chocolate-chestnut meringues presented on a “cookie runway” to allow users to peruse the recipes on the iPad touchscreen. The application provides video tutorials, built-in timers, a glossary of baking terms and the ability to generate and e-mail shopping lists based on recipe ingredients. Martha Stewart Makes Cookies represents the first of several applications being produced as a joint collaboration between Callaway Digital Arts and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. The application is targeted at both experienced bakers as well as those who are learning to bake for the first time. Users can search through all of the application’s recipes by name, type, flavour or ingredients and share their favorite recipes via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook. Martha Stewart Makes Cookies is available from the App Store for $8.
iLounge is pleased to announce the XtremeMac Luna SST Giveaway. In our Giveaway of the Month for November, iLounge and XtremeMac are giving away six Luna SST Alarm Clocks for the iPod and iPhone. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on November 30, 2010 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. Good luck!
Lima Sky has released an update to its popular Doodle Jump game for the iPhone and iPod touch adding support for Apple’s Game Center. In Doodle Jump, players use their device’s accelerometer to guide Doodle the Doodler on a journey up a sheet of graph paper, picking up jet packs, avoiding balck holes and blasting enemies while trying to beat other players’ high scores scribbled in the margins. The latest update adds integration with Game Center allowing players to compare their scores using Game Center’s online leaderboards. By popular demand the update also brings back the original doodle ghost halloween theme to the game. Doodle Jump is available from the App Store for $1.