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Adobe Ideas adds layers, VGA output

Adobe has released an update to its digital sketchbook app, Adobe Ideas, adding a new layers feature and support for external displays. Adobe Ideas 1.2 now allows users to create up to 10 drawing layers and a photo layer for each sketch; users can control order and opacity for each layer as well as moving, scaling and rotating layers. The new version also adds support for Apple’s Dock Connector to VGA adapter on the iPad, iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch enabling users to connect their device to an external monitor or projector and display sketch content in real-time. Additional enhancements include performance improvements to zooming and panning, the ability to customize the toolbar location and improved stroke smoothing while drawing. Adobe Ideas is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.

Apple working on iPhone with slide-out keyboard?

A new report suggests Apple is developing multiple iPhone prototypes, one of which sports a slide out keyboard. Taiwan-based reports that Apple is working on three iPhone prototypes, two of which are mentioned in the report. The first features a side-mounted slide-out keyboard; few other details were provided. The second is said to be very similar to the iPhone 4, but with performance and battery life improvements, similar to the jump from the iPhone 3G to iPhone 3GS. The latter is also said to have an upgraded camera; the report claims that both eight and twelve megapixel sensors have been considered, but the eight megapixel sensor is preferred due to storage concerns. The next-generation iPad is also mentioned, albeit briefly, and is said to be thinner while featuring a built-in camera.

The Daily extends free subscriptions to Feb. 28th

German site Macerkopf reports that the initial two-week free trial of The Daily appears to have been extended to February 28th. When The Daily was originally released on February 2nd, users were provided with a free two-week trial period, scheduled to end February 16th. Many speculated that this free trial was at least partly offered due to the new in-app subscription feature used by The Daily requiring the as-yet-unreleased iOS 4.3. It is unclear whether this two-week extension is being offered by the developer, News Corp, for promotional purposes or is connected to a possible delay in the release of iOS 4.3. [via Mac Rumors]

Slideshow Remote sends PowerPoint to the Apple TV

LogicInMind has updated its PowerPoint presentation remote application for iOS devices adding streaming of presentations to the Apple TV. SlideShow Remote allows presenters to control a Windows PowerPoint presentation from their iOS device, including previewing slides, reading personal notes and quickly jumping to any slide. Users can also download presentations to view slides without a computer and give presentations directly from their iOS device using Apple’s Dock Connector to VGA adapter. Version 2.6 now incorporates AirPlay support for iOS 4.2 devices allowing iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users to wirelessly stream PowerPoint slides directly from their device to a second-generation Apple TV. SlideShow Remote 2.6 is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $5. The application is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 or later. PowerPoint on Mac OS X is not currently supported. VGA output is available with the Apple Dock Connector to VGA Adapter on the iPad, iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch; AirPlay support requires an AirPlay-compatible device running iOS 4.2 or later.

Photojojo offers iPhone Telephoto Lens

Photojojo is now offering an iPhone Telephoto Lens package for the iPhone 3G/3GS and iPhone 4. Included in the package are a snap-on hard case with lens socket, an 8x, manual focus telephoto lens, a cleaning cloth, and a mini-tripod. Photojojo’s iPhone Telephoto Lens package for the iPhone 3G/3GS and iPhone 4 is available now and sells for $35.

Report: Apple to buy $7.8B in components from Samsung

A new report claims that Apple and Samsung are negotiating a component contract that would see the iPhone maker purchase $7.8 billion in parts from Samsung this year. Citing industry sources, the Korea Economic Daily, via the Wall Street Journal, reports that the massive contract would include LCD displays, mobile application processors, and NAND flash memory chips used in the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. The report notes that should the contract push through, Apple would become Samsung’s largest customer.

AT&T cuts prices on iPad cases by 50%

AT&T is offering a 50 percent discount on its selection of accessories for the first-generation iPad amidst reports of the next-generation model’s impending announcement. AT&T’s assortment of cases includes offerings from AGF, iFrogz, Incipio, Griffin, OtterBox, and Speck. As noted by Boy Genius Report, AT&T traditionally doesn’t offer such discounts unless a replacement is imminent; recent reports have suggested that Apple’s second-generation iPad is in production and is expected to launch in the “next couple of months.”

WSJ: Smaller iPhone, MobileMe revamp coming this summer?

A new report from the Wall Street Journal has corroborated a story from late last week indicating that Apple is working on a smaller, less expensive version of the iPhone, while adding details of a revamp to Apple’s MobileMe online service suite that could include a cloud-based streaming media service. Citing a person who saw a prototype of the phone late last year, the report states that the new model is codenamed “N97,” is said to be “about half the size of the iPhone 4,” and is to have “an edge-to-edge screen” as well as “voice-based navigation.” It is intended for sale alongside Apple’s existing iPhone line and would be available to carriers for roughly half the price of traditional iPhone models. The new phone is expected to be released this summer, although those plans could change, according to the report’s source.

Also mentioned in the report is a revamp of Apple’s MobileMe online service suite. According to a person familiar with the matter, Apple is considering making MobileMe a free service to serve as an online “locker” for personal data such as photos, music, and videos. In addition, MobileMe could also be part of a new online music service for Apple, that would give users access to their iTunes libraries from mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad without the need for the devices be synched via cable with a computer, or for physical onboard components to store the actual files. The report notes that the new service could debut as early as June, dependent on the progress of licensing talks that are said to be in their preliminary stages; according to the report, Apple had planned for the service to roll out last year.

GoodReader for iPad adds synchronization

Good.iWare has released an update to GoodReader for iPad adding file synchronization. Version 3.3 now allows users to automatically synchronize files with remote services such as Dropbox, iDisk, SugarSync or any WebDAV or FTP server. Users can choose to synchronize entire folders or select individual files for synchronization and setup lists of files and folders to be synchronized at the press of a button. Synchronization protection and conflict options can also be configured allowing users to prevent file/folder deletion and choose whether the local or remote file takes priority in the event of conflicts. The new version also adds support for accessing files on the SugarSync service, downloading of entire folders or groups of files from remote servers and the ability to lock the web browser with a password. A number of other smaller fixes and improvements are also addressed in the latest version. GoodReader for iPad is available from the App Store for $3.

Geneva rolls out updated Model M for iPod, iPhone

Geneva Lab has rolled out an updated version of its Model M sound system for the iPod and iPhone. Based on consumer feedback, Geneva has made several modifications to the Model M, removing the device’s integrated CD player, and adding the company’s TouchLight controls for iPod and iPhone menu navigation and control. Other features include four Class D digital amplifiers for 100 Watts of total power, two one-inch tweeters, two full-range four-inch woofers, dual bass ports, an integrated, top-mounted Universal Dock, an LED display, a line-in jack for connecting other audio sources, a digital clock with alarm, a hand-lacquered wooden cabinet, a digital FM tuner with six presets, and an included remote control. Geneva Labs’ updated Model M sound system for the iPod and iPhone is available now in red, black, or white, and sells for $650.

AT&T offering 1K rollover minutes free via text?

AT&T is offering iPhone users a free gift of 1,000 rollover minutes via a text message, according to a new report. Citing reader submissions, 9 to 5 Mac reports that some iPhone users have received a text from AT&T stating, “You’re a valued AT&T customer. We’d like to add 1000 bonus rollover minutes to the mobile number ending in [blank]. There’s NO cost or obligation to you. It’s our war of saying thank you. To have your minutes added, reply YES by 3/31/2011.” AT&T has yet to post on its site or Facebook account any details of the promotion, but it appears to work: iLounge has confirmed that sending a text message of “yes” to the number 11113020 does result in a reply that states, “Thank you for accepting our free 1000 bonus Rollover minute offer. Please allow up to 4 weeks for processing.” While we provide this information to readers for their information, there’s no guarantee that the promotion is a bona-fide AT&T offer that will work as expected, so try it at your own risk. We have contacted AT&T for confirmation and will update if and when we hear back from the company.

Update: AT&T has confirmed the offer, saying “it’s a way of thanking our customers.”

Yelp adds integrated OpenTable reservations

Yelp has released an update to its popular iOS social location app adding the ability to make reservations with OpenTable. Yelp allows users to search for and find detailed info on nearby businesses such as restaurants, bars, cafes and more. Users can filter searches by neighbourhood, distance, price, and hours, browse reviews from other users and add their own quick tips, photos and reviews from within the app. With version 5.1, Yelp users can now look up their favorite restaurant and make a reservation directly through the OpenTable service simply by tapping the “Make Reservation” button. Yelp is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.

OtterBox debuts Utility Series Latch for iPad

OtterBox has debuted its new Utility Series Latch accessory for the iPad. The Latch is a fabric accessory that works with both encased and bare iPads, with straps that wrap around the device’s corners for a secure hold, an adjustable elastic strap for attaching to the user’s hand, leg, or car seat headrest, an included lanyard, an S-biner utility clip for attaching to a belt or bag, an accessory storage bag that doubles as a stand, and an included lightweight screen cover. OtterBox’s Utility Series Latch for iPad is available now and sells for $50.

Need Verizon iPhone 4 help + best apps? Grab our 2011 Buyers’ Guide + Book!

If you just purchased or received your first iPhone this week, 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 iPhone with all sorts of goodies—and how to make the most of its capabilities. If you need help with repairs, understanding accessories, or other major questions, you’ll find great advice inside. It’s a free download, so get it here!

Our 2011 iPod/iPhone/iPad Buyers’ Guide shows all of the year’s best accessories and apps for the iPhone. 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 iPhone to the world? Our Discussion Forums are a great place to visit. Stop by and say hi, and don’t forget to take a picture of yourself with your new phone and post it to our iPhones Around The World gallery!

Report: Apple working on smaller, cheaper iPhone model

Apple is working on a smaller, more affordable iPhone model aimed at narrowing the price gap between the iPhone and cheaper models running Android. Citing a person who has seen a prototype of the phone, Bloomberg reports that the new model would be roughly one-third smaller than the iPhone 4. The report also states Apple has considered selling the new model at $200 off-contract, which could allow some carriers to offer it for free, and has also aimed to unveil the new iPhone near mid-year, while noting that the introduction could be delayed or scrapped. In addition, it notes that Apple is working on a dual-mode iPhone which would work on both GSM and CDMA networks, as well as a technology called Universal SIM that would allow users to switch between carriers using software as opposed to needing to swap physical SIM cards.

Echofon adds iPad support, streaming and mute features

Naan Studio has released a major update to its popular Twitter client, Echofon adding native iPad support to the free version as well as several other new features for both the free and paid versions. Echofon 4.0 is now a universal application supporting the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad; previously only Echofon Pro offered native iPad support. Version 4.0 on the iPad also introduces support for Twitter’s real-time user streams providing instantaneous updates of new tweets without having to rely on a refresh cycle. A new mute feature allows users to filter out specific users, clients or hashtags from their Twitter stream and global push notifications have now been made available to users of the free version. In addition, Push Notifications have been expanded to include not only mentions, replies and direct messages but now also include new followings, favorites and native Twitter retweets. Account settings for features such as mute filters and push notifications can also now be synchronized automatically across multiple iOS devices. Echofon is available from the App Store in two versions: Echofon (free) and Echofon Pro ($5). The free version is ad-supported but as of version 4.0 otherwise includes the same features of Echofon Pro.

Verizon iPhone 4 case compatibility: a brief round-up

As noted in our review of the Verizon iPhone 4, the new model’s ring/silent switch has been moved a few millimeters down the side of the device due to antenna changes, and the volume buttons have also moved down a millimeter, resulting in incompatibility with some prior, closely-tailored iPhone 4 cases. As such, a number of companies have released new compatibility information for existing cases, or otherwise made slight revisions to existing designs to accomodate both models. Listed below, in alphabetical order, are all the announcements we’ve seen and/or received thus far on the topic; we will be updating this article with new information as it becomes available.

Griffin intros Survivor case for iPhone 4, iPod touch 4G

Griffin Technology has introduced its new Survivor case for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch. The first case in the company’s new Armored collection, the Survivor has been tested to meet or exceed the US Department of Defense Standard 810F and UK Department of Defense Standard 00-35, and features a shatter-resistant polycarbonate frame wrapped in shock-absorbing silicone, a built-in screen protector that seals the display from the outside environment, hinged plugs to seal the Dock Connector, headphone port, hold switch, ring/silent switch and volume controls, and camera, and an included heavy-duty rotating belt clip that doubles as a stand. Griffin’s new Survivor case for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch are available now and sell for $50 and $40, respectively.

Apple releases iOS 4.2.6 update for Verizon iPhone 4

Apple has released its iOS 4.2.6 update for the Verizon iPhone 4. Posted online early last week ahead of the device’s launch, iOS 4.2.6 “fixes a bug to ensure Personal Hotspot data usage is accurately reported (for Verizon iPhones),” according to a listing on MacUpdate. Notably, iLounge’s test Verizon iPhone 4 arrived with iOS 4.2.6 pre-installed, so it is unclear how many units will actually require the update. iOS 4.2.6 for the Verizon iPhone 4 is available now through the Update feature in iTunes. [via Wired]

Apple TV 4.3 beta points to possible sports offerings

New code found in the beta version of Apple TV Software 4.3 suggests Apple is considering incorporating sporting events and/or sports-related updates into the Apple TV’s existing content offerings. The code in question was published online by Engadget, which took the repeated use of the word “controller” in strings related to “ATVGames” to mean that Apple is considering an online gaming service. In the parlance of Apple’s development tools, however, the word controller refers to behind-the-scenes software rather than physical game controller hardware, and other references within the beta code appear to confirm this.

Notably, strings related to these controller listings include “calendar,” “games-by-date,” and “standings,” all of which would be relevant to sporting events. Other strings involving “ATVThunder” controllers include “thunder-standings,” “,” and “.play.archive.thunder.” Based on these strings, it seems more likely that Apple is planning to launch some sort of sporting event service—either live streaming of events, streaming of past events, or both—or a sporting event scoring update/ticker feature. As with all pre-release Apple code, it is possible that these references will be removed in the public release, or may pertain to testing for a planned future service that never materializes.

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