Apple has started to sell Beatles-themed iTunes Gift Cards in stores. Spotted by iLounge, one card, with a value of $149, features an image of the band members in front of a white background, with the text “The Beatles Box Set” at the top. The Beatles’ digital Box Set includes remastered versions of all the band’s studio albums in iTunes LP format, as well Past Masters Vols. 1 & 2, a series of Mini Documentaries, and a film of the band’s performance at the Washington Coliseum from 1964. Another card, with a value of $50, features an image of the four band members walking down the street, but doesn’t specifically mention the band by name. The cards represent yet another extension of the partnership between Apple and the Beatles that has included prominent placement on Apple’s home page as well as a series of television commercials.
If you just received a brand new iPad, iPhone, iPod, or Apple TV today, congratulations! You probably have lots of questions—including what it can do—so we’re here to provide really easy pointers to great sources of information.
Our Free iPod/iPhone/iPad Book walks you through the ways you can stuff your new Apple device with all sorts of goodies—and how to make the most of its capabilities. If you need help with repairs, customizing its body, or other major questions, you’ll find great advice inside. It’s a free download. Get it here!
Our 2011 iPod/iPhone/iPad Buyers’ Guide shows all of the year’s best accessories and apps for these devices, as well as discussing the new Apple TV, the pros and cons of every iPod, iPhone, and iPad model, and much more. If you’re suddenly looking to sell off an old Apple device for some spare cash, there’s a full guide inside to getting the right price for your prior gear, too, plus a full history of Apple’s digital media product line. Just like our Book, the Buyers’ Guide is completely free to download. Grab it now!
Other questions? Just want to show off your new toys to the world? Our Discussion Forums are a great place to visit. Stop by and say hi!
On behalf of all of iLounge’s Editors, forum administrators, moderators and helpers, happy holidays to you and yours. We will be on a limited publication schedule through the holiday weekend as we celebrate with our families and friends.
Hopefully, you’ll find a new iPod, iPhone, iPad, accessory, or gift card wrapped in a shiny box over the next few days! Tell us below what sort of Apple goodies you received or gave as gifts for the holidays.
If you’re looking for a way to spend either a gift card or last-minute shopping dollars, here are a few useful parts of the site to check out.
Our 2011 Buyers’ Guide with shopping, Apple hardware, accessory, and app picks.
iLounge’s collection of thousands of reviews covering all iPod, iPhone, and iPad models.
iPod, iPhone, and iPad Gems/Tutorials, for the latest in App Store purchasing recommendations, and helpful guides to all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and iTunes.
Our Discussion Forums, with over 200,000 members sharing tips and thoughts on different Apple products.
Have a great and relaxing holiday weekend! We’ll return on Monday with news, reviews, and more!
Monster Cable and Beats Electronics have filed a lawsuit against Fanny Wang Headphones, sister company to Hard Candy Cases and Gumdrop Cases, alleging that Fanny Wang’s recently debuted products infringe on a design patent and trade dress for the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, and engage in unfair competition. The suit claims Fanny Wang’s headphones are deliberate “knock-offs” of the Monster/Beats Studio and Solo model headphones, and that the similarities between the companies’ respective products, packaging, and promotional materials are “likely to cause confusion” in the marketplace.
Despite striking similarities between the designs, as well as references made by Fanny Wang’s web site to Beats—including a claim that “the Fanny Wang headphones takes (sic) the trend started by ‘Beats by Dr Dre’ to the next level in terms of fashion, sound, and price”—Fanny Wang has called the suit “completely frivolous,” claiming that Monster and Beats Electronics are “using the legal system to put an incredible financial pressure” on the company. Monster and Beats are seeking an injunction against Fanny Wang marketing or selling their headphones, as well as monetary damages, including any profits made from selling the allegedly infringing headphones.
Multimedia Patent Trust (MPT), a subsidiary of telecom firm Alcatel-Lucent, has filed suit against Apple, Canon, LG, and TiVo, claiming patent infringement. Paid Content reports that MPT is claiming the companies violate four of its patents relating to digital video compression technologies, including MPEG-2 and two different varieties of MPEG-4. The company is seeking royalty payments on all “video-capable” Apple products, including iPods, iPhones, iPads, and Macs. As the report notes, the MPEG-LA was set up to collect royalties on all relevant digital video patents, but that doesn’t stop companies such as Alcatel-Lucent from suing for royalties years after negotiations are completed.
Lucky Clan has released an update to ArtStudio, its drawing and painting application for the iPad. ArtStudio 3.0 adds a new select tool that allows users to select portions of their drawing using shapes, colors or magic wand. Users can then perform a range of actions on the selected area including inverse, border, contract, expand, round corners, feather and sharpen modifications and cop, fill, copy and paste operations as well as a number of drawing and transform functions. The new version also adds a gradient fill feature with the ability to choose color and transparency modes, set opacity and offset and use a variety of gradient shapes including linear, radial, conical and more. Several interface improvements have also been made in the latest update to improve usability and the latest version also adds support for iOS 4.2 multitasking features. ArtStudio for iPad is currently available from the App Store for $3.
Path has released an update to its personal photo sharing app for the iPhone and iPod touch introducing the ability to share videos on the Path network in addition to photos. Released in November, Path is designed to create a more personal social network by allowing users to easily share photos among a limited group of close friends without requiring more complicated settings for privacy and friend lists. Path 1.2 now allows users to share up to 10-second video clips on the Path service, adds a list of recently tagged users and improves the Push Notification system to take users directly to new posts. Path 1.2 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Popular iPhone camera app Camera+ has returned to the App Store with the release of version 2.0. Camera+ was previously removed from the App Store without any explanation following the discovery hidden hardware shutter control feature that violated Apple’s SDK guidelines for iOS developers. While it was expected at the time that the app would return shortly thereafter with the hidden feature removed, the app remained conspicuously absent from the App Store for several months with no further explanation from the developer or Apple.
Camera+ has now returned in version 2.0, introducing a number of significant new features including sliders for adjusting effect amounts, support for exporting geolocation information and other metadata when saving photos to the Camera Roll and viewing extended photo info including maps with location information. Version 2.0 also provides a more intuitive, redesigned user interface and removes the “SLR” screen for simplicity. Photos can now be rotated and flipped within the app and most of the existing effects have been improved in addition to dozens of new effects and borders which have been added. Additional analog-themed effects can also be purchased for $1 from within the application. A complete list of new features and examples of the new effects can be found on Taptaptap’s Blog. Camera+ 2.0 is a free update for users of the previous version and is currently available from the App Store for a limited-time sale price of $1 for new users.
A new report claims to shed light on a number of design changes to the second-generation iPad, which is expected to be announced by Apple in early 2011. In addition to slimming changes that will see the iPad shrink from its current 242.8mm height by 189.7mm width by 13.4mm depth down to approximately 239mm tall by 186mm wide by 10.4mm deep—roughly 3mm smaller in every dimension—the new iPad will feature an improved speaker, twin cameras, and no SD card slot, according to Macotakara. Explaining an unusually large lower rear hole seen in earlier leaks of new iPad cases, the redesigned model will feature larger speaker grilles to accommodate better-sounding audio, rather than the SD card that some speculated would be nestled behind grilles similar in size to the first-generation iPad’s; the image here is a rendering by Taiyo Fujii, not a photo. The display on this model will remain at 9.7” as on the original iPad’s, says the report.
The report also states that the new iPad’s rear shell will be flatter and similar to that of the fourth-generation iPod touch, that the ambient light sensor has been moved and reshaped, and that the two cameras—one in front, one in back—will be similar in quality to those found on the iPhone 4, including video recording capabilities. A 3G model is said to have the same antenna locations as the original iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G. Finally, the report states that production has begun on the new iPads, with a current shipping date of mid to late January, though whether that date represents an actual availability timeframe or merely Apple taking possession of the devices from its contract manufacturers remains unclear.
Apple has released an update to its Remote app for iOS devices adding support for AirPlay video streaming and enhancing integration with iTunes. Remote 2.1 now allows users to stream videos via AirPlay from their iTunes library to an Apple TV and access and play Movie and TV Show rentals in the iTunes library. The update also adds support for browsing and playing back Internet radio streams in iTunes and addresses issues connecting to an iTunes library or Apple TV from an iOS device. Remote 2.1 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Westone has announced that it will be debuting its new Westone 4 earphones at CES 2011. The Westone 4 are in-ear earphones featuring a four driver balanced armature design with 3-way crossover, making them the first such universal fit earphones from a major manufacturer. Other features include EPIC (Earphone Precision Interconnect Cable) cabling that guards against microphonics and Westone’s True-Fit technology. Westone’s Westone 4 earphones will sell for $449 and are expected to ship early in Q1 2011.
Wind Solutions has introduced CopyTrans TuneSwift, its latest iTunes software product for Windows. CopyTrans TuneSwift is designed to facilitate migration of an iTunes library from one PC to another or from a PC to a Mac. Features include complete transfer of an iTunes library, iTunes backup and restore capabilities, including iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad backups, the ability to move the iTunes library to any folder, computer, external disc, or flash drive the user chooses, and the ability to keep an iPod, iPhone, or iPad linked to the new iTunes library. CopyTrans TuneSwift requires iTunes 7 or later, Windows XP, Vista, or 7, or Mac OS X for PC to Mac transfers, and is available for free until March 15, 2011 using the code TUNESWIFT-ILOUNGE.
Acrobits has updated its Softphone application for the iPhone and iPod touch adding support for secure calls and improvements to Google Voice integration and call interruption. Acrobits Softphone 4.6 now supports encrypted secure calls using SRTP/SDES and ZRTP; users can receive incoming ZRTP calls at no additional charge but must purchase an add-on feature via in-app purchase to initiate outgoing ZRTP calls. The update also improves the Google Voice integration within the app providing an easier and more intuitive setup procedure and adds a call quality indicator to allow users to view network connection quality in realtime. Users can also now record a message to be played to a SIP/VoIP caller when the call is interrupted by a standard incoming cellular call on the iPhone. Acrobits Softphone is available from the App Store for $7; additional features are available via in-app purchase including G.729 Annex A audio codec support ($10) and encrypted ZRTP outgoing call support ($25).
Omer Shoor has released a major update to Photogene for iPad, his popular photo editing software for iOS devices. Photogene for iPad 2.0 adds a new photo browser that allows users to view photos as large thumbnails, easily switch between the browsing screen and the editing screen and add captions to photos directly from the browser. The new version also adds support for batch uploading of several photos at a time and the ability to export photos in resolutions up to 8 megapixels. Users can also now view EXIF metadata for photos, including geotag information, and print photos via AirPrint. Several new editor tools have also been added including de-noise filter, improved sharpening, a heal/clone tool and a selective blur tool. The update also fixes problems in the previous version with opening RAW files. Photogene for iPad is available from the App Store for $4.
Mobigame has released an update to Edge, its acclaimed puzzle game for iOS, adding integration with Apple’s Game Center and new levels and tracks. Edge 1.6 now supports Game Center achievements and leaderboards for sharing high scores and accomplishments with friends, and adds two new levels and a new soundtrack. The update also fixes a minor bug with playing in portrait mode on the iPad. Edge is a universal app compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and is available from the App Store for $3.
Navigon has released an update to its turn-by-turn GPS navigation apps adding native iPad support, optional Zagat guide integration and a new Active Lane Assistant feature. MobileNavigator 1.7 is now a universal app supporting the iPhone and iPad 3G natively, the first major GPS navigation app to provide universal support in a single app. iPod touch and iPad Wi-Fi users can also use MobileNavigator with an external GPS accessory. Users can also now take advantage of additional travel and restaurant guides through Zagat via an in-app purchase, providing ratings, reviews and directions to restaurants, hotels and other attractions from the Zagat Guide, integrated directly into the POI database.
The update also introduces a new optional Active Lane Assistant feature that provides a live lane animation in the lower-right corner of the map view, displaying the current lane configuration and indicating which lane the driver should follow. Additional new features include e-mail sharing of favourites between multiple iOS devices and a new MyReport feature that allows users to report road changes such as names, new speed limits and one-way streets directly from within the app such as names. Navigon MobileNavigator is available from the App Store in several versions for different geographic areas: MobileNavigator North America is currently available for $45, with U.S. and Canada versions available separately for $35 each. Region-specific U.S. versions are $25 and MobileNavigator Europe is $75. Prices for other areas around the world range from $40 to $65. Zagat content is available via in-app purchase for $6; Active Lane Assistant and Zagat content are not available in all areas.
AT&T is now selling the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G online. The lone iPad 3G service provider in the U.S. is offering the same prices as Apple’s retail and online stores—$629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB, and $829 for 64GB units. Other links on the page lead to iPad accessory offerings, a page to order replacement Micro-SIM cards, and an AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spot finder. Despite being the only U.S. service provider for the device, AT&T didn’t begin in-store sales of the iPad until October, the same month that the iPad debuted at Walmart, Target, and rival carrier Verizon. Notably, AT&T does not specify whether iPad 3G units ordered today will arrive in time for the holidays.
Ballistic has provided iLounge with a preview of its upcoming Ballistic LS case for the iPhone 4. Made from TPU material, the Ballistic LS features four interchangeable silicone “Ballistic Corners,” which vary in color and thickness to allow for a customized level of drop protection, as well as push-through protection for the volume and sleep/wake buttons, and open access to all other ports, controls, and cameras. The Ballistic LS will be available in January 2011 in a variety of colors and will sell for $30.
We’re looking for your great iPad, iPhone, and iPod images to add to our galleries! Springtime shots and anything else you might be able to contribute would be appreciated! So get out there, take some pictures featuring your favorite iPod, iPhone, or iPad and maybe your submission will be our next Photo of the Week!
Apple has released version 3.2 of its iPhone Configuration Utility for Mac and Windows, the latest version of its iPhone configuration management utility for enterprise users. The utility allows enterprise users to create configuration profiles which can then be used to setup multiple iPhones. It is currently unknown what, if any, changes are included in the update. iPhone Configuration Utility 3.2 for Mac OS X requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later; the Windows version requires Windows 7, Vista SP1, or XP SP3, along with .NET 3.5 SP1. Both are available now as free downloads. [via AppleInsider]