If your company is interested in participating in iLounge’s 2011 Best of Show Awards, and has not yet received an e-mail from us containing this year’s submission rules, please send an e-mail to Jeremy Horwitz today. The rules have just been made available, and any company exhibiting Apple accessories or software at the 2011 International CES in Las Vegas is eligible for Awards consideration.
Gadgets and Gear is now offering the iFlash, an external lighting source for the iPhone and iPod. Designed for use as a camera accessory for the iPhone, iPod nano 5G, and iPod touch 4G, the Dock connecting iFlash can also be used as a flashlight on models lacking a camera. Features include a simple on/off switch, a viewing angle of 60 degrees, an LED light source, and an included cap and 3.5mm jack attachment to protect the 30-pin connector and allow it to hang off the phone when when not in use, respectively. The iFlash for iPhone and iPod is available now in black or white and sells for $40. [via PhotographyBlog]
Path, the new personal photo sharing network has updated its iPhone application simplifying sharing features and allowing users to upload photos from their photo library. Introduced last month, Path is an iPhone-based social network designed for freely sharing photos and experiences with a limited group of close friends and family members, eliminating the need for managing large friend lists and complex privacy settings by limiting each user to no more than 50 contacts. The initial release of the Path application for the iPhone only allowed users to take photos from directly within the app; this latest update now allows users to select existing photos from the device’s photo library for uploading. The new version also adds support for the fourth-generation iPod touch and improves the user interface for managing user profiles and sharing and finding friends. Path is available from the App Store as a free download.
Gap, Inc.‘s Old Navy chain is piloting Apple’s iPod touch-based Point of Sale (POS) system at some of its retail stores, according to a new report. According to a 9 to 5 Mac report, the system has been rebranded “ZipCheck” for partner use, although it is the same as the “EasyPay” system used in Apple’s retail stores, and not a third-party solution. The ZipCheck system is said to wirelessly print customer’s receipts to stationed printers throughout the retail stores—like at Apple’s retail stores—although some sales associates have apparently been wearing mini-printers on their belts. A Gap spokesman has confirmed the development, saying the company is “piloting Apple’s iPod based POS system” in a “few” Old Navy stores. It’s unclear if Gap has any plans to expand the pilot beyond Old Navy to include stores from its Banana Republic or flagship Gap brands.
Gowalla has released a major update to its location-based social networking application for the iPhone and iPod touch adding integration with competing location-based networks and a number of other significant new features and enhancements. Gowalla 3.0 expands its services to include Facebook Places and Foursquare, allowing users to connect to their other accounts to check-in and view friends’ check-ins across all three networks in one place. Check-ins can also be posted to Twitter and Tumblr for sharing. Users can now leave personal notes at a location for their Gowalla friends who will receive the note when they next check-in at that location and bookmark specific spots for later. Other improvements include faster check-ins based on user history, the ability to add and browse highlights for a city and the ability to flag spots to report problems or closed locations right from within the app. Gowalla 3.0 also sports a completely re-imagined user interface design to improve the user experience and makes uploading photos, creating spots and browsing friends much easier than in the previous version. Gowalla is available from the App Store as a free download. An iPad version is also available however it has not yet been updated to include these latest features.
JPMorgan Chase is preparing to roll out a pilot program which will see iPads given to investment bankers, according to a new report. Citing an internal email, Bloomberg reports that the company will distribute iPads free of charge to all associates in its global investment banking division; the bankers will be able to use the devices for corporate email, contact and calendar functionality, view attachments, mark-up and annotate confidential documents, and make client presentations, as well as download apps for personal use. “We believe there are real benefits in our working environment that can be realized using this device - as well as the personal productivity and enjoyment that come as part of the package,” two managing directors at JPMorgan said in the email. “There are a variety of ways to leverage the iPad. Some work off-the-shelf whilst others rely on JPMorgan software/security tools. Depending on its success we will evaluate if we should repeat this one time initiative and/or expand it to others.” According to the report, employees will get to keep the iPads for as long as they remain with the global investment banking division, or until the pilot program ends on May 1, 2011.
Readdle has released an update to its ReaddleDocs document viewer and file manager for the iPad adding iOS 4.2 support and several other new features. ReaddleDocs for iPad 1.7 includes multitasking support including Fast App switching and background file transfers as well as adding AirPrint capabilities. Other new features include synchronization with online storage services such as iDisk, Dropbox and Readdle Storage as well as the ability to setup and configure a Readdle Storage account directly in the app. The new version also makes several speed and stability improvements in the built-in PDF viewer and allows users to configure horizontal or vertical page scrolling and choose a default page zoom setting. ReaddleDocs for iPad is available from the App Store for $5.
Electronic Arts has released an update to its original The Sims 3 game for the iPhone and iPod touch adding Retina Display support and iOS 4 Fast App switching. The Sims 3 is EA’s original title in The Sims franchise for iOS devices and was released last year, later followed by two additional expanded titles, The Sims 3 World Adventures and The Sims 3 Ambitions. Notably, neither of the subsequent titles yet include Retina Display support or iOS 4 features, even though The Sims 3 Ambitions was released in September, after the release of the Retina Display equipped iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch. EA appears to be updating other titles such as Monopoly for iOS 4 and Retina Display support as well, although we have not received word on how many of EA’s titles will be getting these updates or when they will be coming.
Verizon Wireless today announced its rollout plans for its new 4G, Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. The network, which will officially launch on December 5, will offer service to 38 major metropolitan areas in the U.S.—as well as supplemental coverage at major airports—and download speeds of five to 12 megabits per second, with upload speeds of two to 5 Mbps. The new network will initially be available only to those using one of two USB modems with 3G backward compatibility; Verizon is pricing data service at $50/mo. for 5GB of data or $80/mo. for 10GB of data with a $10/GB overage fee. Notably, Verizon says it expects consumer-oriented phones to be available in mid-2011, essentially ruling out LTE for any potential iPhone launch earlier in the year. To view the complete list of cities and airports to receive initial coverage, follow the link above.
According to October 2010 data released today by The Nielsen Company, Apple’s iPhone and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry are in a statistical dead heat for the lead in the U.S. smartphone market. The iPhone has a slight edge, with 27.9 percent of the market compared to BlackBerry’s 27.4 percent; Google’s Android OS sits in third with 22.7 percent. Both iPhone and Android hold a significant lead when it comes to the most desired smartphone operating system, with 30 percent of mobile users planning to upgrade to a smartphone in the next year choosing iPhone and 28 percent choosing Android, while only 13 percent said they were most likely to purchase a BlackBerry. Broken down further, women were more likely to choose an iPhone over an Android device, 30.9 percent to 22.8 percent, while men were more likely to choose Android, with Google’s OS accounting for 32.6 percent of responses, compared to 28.6 percent for iPhone. iPhone also held an edge in the 18-24, 25-34, and 55+ age groups, and was more desirable to current smartphone owners than owners of featurephones.
SwitchEasy has rolled out its new Ticker watchstrap case for the sixth-generation iPod nano. Made from a specially developed elastomer material, the Ticker features polycarbonate push-through buttons, a bottom-mounted headphone port to make it suitable for right- or left-handed users, and stainless steel strap construction for added security. SwitchEasy’s Ticker watchstrap case for the iPod nano 6G includes two anti-static screen guards, a cleaning cloth, and a squeegee applicator card, and is available in seven colors for $25.
Apple has posted its latest iPad television ad, focusing on the new features of iOS 4.2.1. Like its prior “iPad is…” commercials, the new spot—entitled “iPad is Amazing”—shows the iPad being used mostly in front of a white background, utilizing a variety of different apps and features. The spot starts with the words “iPad is” on the screen, and is followed by a different app or feature demonstration, along with a descriptor—including “creating,” “printing,” “vital,” “ideas,” “multi-tasking,” “facts,” “figures,” and “amazing,” the last showing a movie being streamed to an Apple TV using AirPlay. As with the prior “iPad is” ads, it features the song “Never Stop” by Gonzales in the background. Apple’s new “iPad is Amazing” ad is available for viewing on the company’s website.
This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone 4 being used for a FaceTime call from Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. 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 featuring your favorite iPod, iPad, or iPhone and maybe your submission will be our next Photo of the Week!