Apple has reportedly made a change in its App Store app review policies preventing reviews or ratings of applications downloaded using promotional codes. Mac Rumors reports that the change has been made to “prevent comprimising [sic] of the rating system,” presumably by developers providing promo codes in exchange for positive reviews and high ratings of their applications. It remains unclear whether this new policy affects all promo codes and countries or only those issued since the new policy came into effect.
Power Support has introduced its new Japan Relief Air Jacket Sets for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch. Based on the company’s standard, slim Air Jacket covers, these limited edition cases feature a unique design with both the country’s outline and a heart shape on the back, open access to all ports, controls, and cameras, compatibility with both the GSM and CDMA iPhone 4, and included full body film for the iPod touch 4G; the iPhone 4 version instead comes with both anti-glare and crystal front film. In addition, Power Support will donate $20 to the Red Cross. Power Support’s new Japan Relief Air Jacket Sets for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch are available now and sell for $40 and $35, respectively; for more information, see our First Look article.
South Korean carriers SK Telecom and KT have halted online orders for the iPad 2 in the wake of high demand. Reuters reports that the carriers, which began accepting orders for the device last week, declined to share sales numbers but indicated that the move was spurred by tight supplies. “Our iPad 2 inventory has been depleted and we apologize for failing to provide enough supplies due to the product’s global supply shortages,” SK Telecom said in a posting on its website. Apple launched the iPad 2 in South Korea, as well as Hong Kong, India, Israel, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey and the UAE last Friday.
Update: 9 to 5 Mac notes that the Apple Online Store in Singapore has stopped accepting orders for the both the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G models of the iPad 2, perhaps indicating a more widespread shortage of the device.
Update x2: Apple’s online store in Hong Kong is also listing all models of the iPad 2 as “currently unavailable.”
SwitchEasy has unveiled its new CoverBuddy protective backing for the iPad 2. Made from hard polycarbonate, CoverBuddy is designed to work in conjunction with Apple’s iPad Smart Cover, and features either a durable, color-matched rubber coating (on the colored versions) or a scratch-resistant UV coating (on the clear version), and open access to the rear camera, speaker, microphone, and all other buttons and controls. SwitchEasy’s new CoverBuddy for the iPad 2 is available now in black, gray, blue, pink, or clear, and sells for $25.
Refulgent Software has released a restaurant management solution built entirely on the iOS platform. Designed by developers with real-world restaurant management experience, Ambur provides an end-to-end point-of-sale (POS) system that allows hospitality staff to efficiently take and submit orders, print kitchen slips and customer receipts and process payments—all using an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Unlike traditional point-of-sale systems, however, Ambur does not require a traditional computer on the back-end; the app is installed on an iPad that acts as the “hub” for the system, connecting and syncing data wirelessly in real-time with other iOS devices being used by front-line staff. Ambur can be loaded up by any iOS device running on the same Wi-Fi network as the iPad, with each user receiving an individual username and password. The app can also print wirelessly to Wi-Fi connected receipt printers.
Using Ambur, waiters can take orders directly on a device such as an iPod touch using an easily viewed single-screen layout that manages items, guests, discounts, gratuities, and merged or split orders, allowing customer requests to be easily fulfilled right at the table by the server. Completed orders can be sent directly to a kitchen printer for preparation and a final check can be printed directly from the app. Ambur also allows payment to be processed within the app, including the ability to automatically open cash drawers for cash payments and optionally integrating with a credit card terminal for processing payments right at the table. Customer reservations can be managed and tracked from the app, which also produces detailed reports for analyzing customer trends. Ambur is available from the App Store as a free download in trial form that allows users to access all of the app’s features except for customizing menu items. A full license sells for a one-time in-app purchase of $999.00 for an unlimited number of iOS devices; there are no additional monthly charges or support fees, and the company promises all future upgrades will be delivered free via the App Store.
Want an awesome pair of speakers? Have some artistic talent and creativity? Well, today’s your lucky day. iLounge has just announced our contest for the upcoming iPad 2 Buyers’ Guide—Design The iPad 3 + iPad mini. In the contest, we’re asking you to create a brand-new artistic rendition of what Apple’s future iPads should look like, including the on-screen interface. We’ll be selecting winners based on both the plausibility and cool factor of their designs, including how the devices’ interfaces might deal with a smaller screen size or increase in resolution. Three winners each will be selected for the iPad 3 and iPad mini categories; two Grand Prize winners will receive Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air systems, two First Runners Up will receive Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 Speakers, and two Second Runners Up will receive Zeppelin Mini systems. The contest begins today and ends on May 26, 2011 at 11:59PM Pacific Time; winners will be announced in the iPad 2 Buyers’ Guide on June 1, 2011. Good luck!
iLounge is pleased to announce the Noreve Tradition Leather Case Giveaway. In our Giveaway of the Month for May, iLounge and Noreve are giving away five free Noreve Tradition Leather Cases for iPad 2. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on May 31, 2011 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!
For nearly ten years, iLounge has collected an amazing number of iPod and iPhone photos from all across the globe—thousands of reader-submitted pictures taken everywhere from Antarctica to Zambia. (You can see them in our iPods Around the World and iPhones Around the World galleries.) With the growth of the iPad, and the release of the iPad 2, we’d like to build our smaller iPads Around the World collection up, featuring photos of your iPad wherever you live or travel.
Submissions to the iPads Around the World gallery are generally meant to be outdoors rather than inside—though either is great for recognizably famous places—and always include brief details about where the photo was taken. We’d love to see where you’ve taken your iPad, so use our iPads Around the World submission form to upload a photo or three. The best shots will be featured on our main page and in our semi-annual Buyers’ Guides, so send us something cool today!
New teardown photos of the white iPhone 4 show that Apple is using a slightly redesigned camera lens/sensor assembly in the new handset. Citing a post from Japanese-language Macotakara, AppleInsider reports that the rear-facing camera lens of the white handset is set farther back into the assembly than the one in black models of the iPhone 4. Additionally, it seems as though the white model’s proximity sensor has also seen some modifications, although the report notes that the exact nature of the change remains unclear.
i.TV has released a significant update to its iOS TV and media guide application adding native iPad support, a completely redesigned user interface and new services. i.TV 3 is now a universal app supporting the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and sports a significant user interface redesign to make it easier to navigate and find information. A new “Shows” page allows users to directly browse and search for their favourite shows without having to scroll through the guide pages and a daily news feed page provides the latest entertainment news that can be filtered by show. The new version also introduces integration with IMDb and Hulu in addition to existing support for Netflix and iTunes; users can look up related show information on IMDb without leaving the app and see if selected content is available on Hulu online or in the Hulu Plus app. The latest version has also be redesigned from the ground up with a new code base for improved performance and stability. i.TV 3.0 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple has won an initial ruling in its patent dispute with Elan Microelectronics. Reuters reports that Judge Paul Luckern of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) said in his initial decision that Apple did not violate Elan’s patents related to touchpad technology. Elan filed a complaint against Apple with the ITC in March 2010, claiming that Apple was violating its patents related to touch-sensitive input devices with multi-touch capabilities, specifically with the iPhone, iPod touch, MacBook laptops, the Magic Mouse, and the iPad; the ITC agreed to investigate the claims roughly a month later. The full ITC will now need to rule on whether to accept or reject Luckern’s initial decision; that ruling is expected in August.
Time, Inc. and Apple have reached a deal that allows subscribers to the print editions of Sports Illustrated, Fortune, and Time to download the iPad versions of the magazines free of charge. The Wall Street Journal reports that the deal is an expansion of a similar arrangement for Time’s People magazine, which has allowed print subscribers free access to the iPad edition since last August. Time and other major publishers still have yet to agree with Apple on terms for selling subscriptions to iPad editions of their publications, mainly due to Apple’s stance on sharing user information with the publishers, according to the report. Time executives told the WSJ that Time general counsel Maurice Edelson has quietly been leading talks between the publisher and Apple, meeting frequently with Apple vice president of Internet services Eddy Cue. The same people said this latest deal is a sign that the two companies are moving closer.