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2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

News

iPad 2 coming to Russia, Brazil, Ukraine on May 27

Apple will launch the iPad 2 in Russia, Brazil, and the Ukraine this Friday, May 27, according to various reports. RT reports that the iPad 2 will be available from Re:Store, MediaMarkt, Beliy Veter Cifrovoi, ION, Technosila, and Eldorado in Russia, with prices ranging from 18,990 rubles (roughly $668) for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model to 30,990 rubles (~$1,090) for the 64GB 3G model. Twitter user iJulianoR reports that the iPad 2 will launch in Brazil, but does not mention any further details, while UkrainianiPhone.com states (Translated Link) that iStore, MOYO, Comfy, and Foxtrot stores will carry the device in the Ukraine, with prices similar to those in Russia. [via 9 to 5 Mac]

eMailGanizer adds IMAP folder management, landscape support + more

GoodHumans has released a new update to eMailGanizer adding the ability to manage IMAP folders and view and compose messages in landscape orientation along with several other small enhancements. eMailGanizer is an application for intelligently organizing and filing e-mail by intelligently analyzing a user’s filing patterns and providing the most relevant folder choices, providing offline full-text search capabilities and task and calendar integration. The latest update now allows users to add, rename, move and delete IMAP folders directly from within the app. Additionally, the application can now be used in landscape orientation on all screens and GMail users can easily archive messages instead of deleting them. Additional enhancements include support for emptying trash from within the app, improvements related to Exchange Server 2007 and 2010 and improved UTF-8 support and recognition of special folders. eMailGanizer is available in two versions: eMailGanizer (Free) is ad-supported; eMailGanizer Pro ($5) removes the ads and provides larger e-mail previews and the ability to view more folders at once. Both versions require iOS 4.2 or later and an IMAP-based e-mail account.

Bills adds Dropbox syncing

iBear has updated Bills, its expense tracking app for iOS devices, adding support for syncing and backing up via Dropbox. Bills allows users to plan and track monthly expenses and budgets using a calendar-oriented interface. Users can be reminded of payments coming due soon and overdue, easily track payments that have already been made and set budgets to track planned spending limits. Data can be easily exported to HTML or CSV formats. With version 1.6 users can now sync data between Bills on the iPad, iPhone, Android and Mac or simply backup their data using Dropbox. The new version also fixes issues with local Bluetooth syncing and improves performance when loading transaction lists. Bills is available from the App Store separately for the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad: Bills for iPhone ($1) and Bills for iPad ($4); the latter requires iOS 4.3 or later.

CameraBag adds new filters, fast app switching

Nevercenter has released an update to its CameraBag photo enhancement app for the iPhone and iPod touch adding a new filter, support for fast app switching and the ability to reprocess images with alternate filters. CameraBag allows users to quickly and easily apply pre-defined effects to their photos based on a wide selection of vintage camera and photo processing styles. The latest update adds a new “Italiano” camera style and now allows users to double-tap on a filtered image to preview alternate versions of the selected filter. Fast app switching has also been added in the new version providing users with the ability to leave the app and pick up where they left off upon returning. CameraBag is available from the App Store for $2.

iPhone 4 to launch in India this Friday

Apple will officially launch the iPhone 4 in India this coming Friday, May 27, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The handset will be available from both Bharti Airtel and Aircel, with the latter offering the iPhone 4 on both a post-paid and pre-paid basis. Aircel will charge 34,500 rupees (roughly $761) for 16GB models and 40,900 rupees (~$902) for 32GB versions; customers will be able to recoup some of the cost via monthly credits to their subscription account over a period of 24 months. Bharti Airtel said it would offer the iPhone under similar pricing and subsidy schemes; Bharti is India’s largest cellular provider with more than 164 million subscribers, while Aircel has nearly 56 million customers.

White iPhone 4 poll ends, iOS 5 poll begins

With over 2,100 votes from iLounge readers, our most recent poll—“Will you be buying a white iPhone 4?” has ended. Readers were given a choice between two positive responses and five negative responses, the latter group including options for those who are waiting for the next white iPhone, those that wanted a black iPhone 4, and those that wanted a white model but gave up on waiting and purchased the black model instead.

Overall, only nine percent of readers said they would be buying a white iPhone, 54 percent of which said they recently decided to buy an iPhone and wanted the white model, compared to 46 percent who had been holding out for the fairer model since last June. Among those that said they wouldn’t be purchasing the white iPhone 4, 40 percent said they wanted the black model, while another 25 percent said they didn’t want an iPhone 4 at all. Another 14 percent said they were waiting for the next white iPhone, the same percentage as those who wanted a white one but settled for a black model instead. Finally, seven percent of those who said they wouldn’t be buying a white iPhone 4 also said that they wanted one, but the device was delayed too long and they simply gave up. Thanks for all your votes!

Our new poll focuses on iOS 5. We’d like to know what new feature or improvement you’d most like to see in the new OS. Would you like a new notifications system, or Home screen widgets, or perhaps wireless syncing, backups, and updates? Or maybe you’d most like to see a redesigned Home screen, expanded background process and multitasking support, or a common file system, or haptic feedback? Or some other new feature or improvement? Our new poll, “Which feature would you most like to see in iOS 5?” lets you answer that question. As always, you can find the iLounge Poll in the left-hand column of the main iLounge.com homepage. Cast your vote today!

Altec Lansing unveils iMT810 Mix Boombox

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Altec Lansing has unveiled its new iMT810 Mix Boombox for the iPod and iPhone. Based on the company’s prior iMT800, the iMT810 features horn-loaded tweeters and mid-range drivers as well as a 5.25-inch side-firing subwoofer and a matching passive radiator, XdB technology for added bass, a digital 7-band graphic equalizer, dual auxiliary input jacks, an integrated FM radio, brushed aluminum accents and grips, a blue LCD information screen, a clip-on remote control with dedicated storage cubby, and the ability to run off AC power or up to 30 hours of play time on eight D-cell batteries. Altec Lansing’s iMT810 Mix Boombox for the iPod and iPhone is available now and sells for $300.

TinyCo announces $5m Mobile Game Development Fund

iOS and Android game developer TinyCo has announced a new $5 million gaming fund to encourage mobile game development by providing developers with capital and resources to successfully launch their products. This new initiative, dubbed the TinyFund, will provide monetary assistance of up to $500,000 per title to game developers creating any type of game for the iPhone, iPad or Android platforms, including both paid and free titles.

TinyCo has launched five top grossing iOS games in the last year, including Tiny Chef, Tiny Zoo and Tap Resort. The company’s games have all appeared on the top 10 free game charts in the App Store and have received over 20 million downloads in total. TinyCo also recently closed a new $18 million funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Games that are supported through the TinyFund will receive access to TinyCo’s large and rapidly growing user base and TinyCo will offer marketing, development and business assistance to game developers as needed to assist with bringing their projects to the widest possible audience.

TinyCo is accepting applications from developers worldwide and games in any stages of development from early concept to completed games will be considered for support. Proposals will be reviewed by a specially selected team of TinyCo executives who will determine what funding and additional support may be required to produce the best possible games. Developers can submit their proposals at the TinyFund site; the company plans on announcing funding recipients in the third quarter of this year.

NFB Films adds direct TV Out, AirPlay for iPhone

The National Film Board of Canada has updated its apps for the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad improving video output support and adding social media integration. The iPhone and iPod touch version now includes AirPlay support, previously added to the iPad version in March and sports a redesigned user interface. Both versions also now provide support for direct video output from the Dock Connector for streaming audio and video directly to a TV and allow users to share their favourite films via Facebook and Twitter. The new version also now loads films selected for offline caching in the background, allowing users to continue streaming other films. NFB Films for the iPhone and iPod touch and NFB Films for iPad are available separately from the App Store as free downloads.

Nike+ GPS app adds several new features

Nike has released an update to its Nike+ GPS run tracking app improving performance and adding several new features. Nike+ GPS 3.1 provides users with more customization options such as controlling whether incoming calls will pause a run in progress and configuring Voiceover feedback preferences. Users can also now choose to continue listening to music even after ending or pausing a run and Facebook Connect and Twitter integration allow users to register or sign-in using their social media accounts. A new Nike+ Tag Game, “Last to Run” now challenges users to not be the last one to sync their run to the Nike+ site, and users can now search for friends to play Nike+ Tag with by username. The new version also makes several improvements to the accelerometer and GPS accuracy. In celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Nike+ service, Nike+ GPS is available from the App Store as a free download for a limited time. The app requires an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or second-, third- or fourth-generation iPod touch running iOS 4.0 or later.

Photo of the Week: iPhone 3GS in Norway

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This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone on board a boat, looking out over the water at the legendary mountain Torghatten in Brønnøy, Norway. 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!

Bang & Olufsen outs EarSet 3i earphones

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Bang & Olufsen has outed its new EarSet 3i earphones for the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Built upon the company’s existing EarSet 3 earphones, the 3i feature a brushed aluminum and soft-touch rubber design, dynamic, full tone loudspeakers mounted on telescopic bars, and an inline three-button remote and mic. Bang & Olufsen’s EarSet 3i earphones for the iPod, iPhone, and iPad will be available in B&O stores and online; pricing has yet to be announced.

Mix: Explosion, France Telecom, Freescale, Samsung

  • May 24, 2011

iPad assembler Foxconn has closed all of its workshops that handle polishing for electronic parts in the wake of an explosion at an iPad 2 production facility that killed three employees. The Wall Street Journal reports that the explosion is being linked to combustible aluminum dust, created during a polishing process for the iPad’s case. “The workshops could be back online as soon as they pass the test,” said a Foxconn spokesman, who added that the tests would take at least two days. It is unclear when the damaged facility might be able to reopen.

In an interview with AllThingsD, France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard made several comments related to Apple and the iPhone, which the company sells under its Orange brand in 15 countries. “They just created smartphones with the iPhone,” Richard said. “Everybody should be grateful to them to have put such a product in our market.” Richard described his company’s cooperation with Apple on a new smaller SIM standard as compromise meant to appease Apple’s request for smaller components without going to a software SIM solution, which Richard said would make it “very difficult for a telco or carrier to manage the customer relationship.” He also described the next iPhone as “smaller and thinner,” and said he thinks the iPad is “very well ahead of the competition in terms of tablets.”

Apple has acquired 200 patents from Freescale Semiconductor. Patently-O reports that while the reciept of the patents was not recorded until May 18, 2011, the assignment date is listed as April 11, 2011; neither it is clear whether Apple obtained full title to the patents and whether it purchased the rights or obtained them through some other type of transaction. Freescale began as a division of Motorola in 1949, but was spun-off by the company in 2003; the patents in question are said to relate to hardware for computers and wireless devices.

Samsung has been ordered to hand over five newly- or un-released products in its ongoing legal battle with Apple. Courthouse News Service reports that Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Samsung has 30 days to hand over product samples, packaging, and package inserts to the Galaxy S2, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, and Droid Charge. “Apple has demonstrated good cause for some, limited expedited discovery,” said Koh. “While Apple has not yet filed a motion for preliminary injunction, courts have found that expedited discovery may be justified to allow a plaintiff to determine whether to seek an early injunction.” Apple sued Samsung in April claiming intellectual property infringement; the company countersued Apple later that month. [via Crave]

Office2 HD now includes PowerPoint editing

Byte2 has released an update adding PowerPoint editing to Office2 HD for the iPad. Office2 HD allows users to edit Microsoft Word, Excel and now PowerPoint documents on their iPad. Files can be accessed from and saved to popular online services such as Dropbox, iDisk, Google Docs and more or transferred directly into the app over a local Wi-Fi connection or opened from other supported apps. Documents, presentations and spreadsheets can also be exported to PDF format or printed via AirPrint on devices running iOS 4.2 or later. Office2 HD 4.0 allows users to create, edit and save PowerPoint 2003 files including inserting images and common shapes, formatting text and paragraphs and reorganizing slides. A slide show mode is also provided with a simulated laser pointer and external display support. In addition to PowerPoint support, the new version also includes several other bug fixes and improvements. Office2 HD is available from the App Store for $8.

BusyToDo adds iPad support, filtering options

BusyMac, developer of the popular BusyCal and BusySync apps for the Mac has updated its companion BusyToDo iOS app adding native iPad support and additional filtering options. BusyToDo is a task management app for iOS devices that syncs automatically with iCal or BusyCal via MobileMe or iCal Server. Users can create, edit and sync tasks between their iOS device and their Mac including the ability to set due dates, priorities, locations, notes and alarms and create repeating tasks. BusyToDo 1.5 is now a universal app adding native support for iPad users in addition to the prior iPhone and iPod touch interface. The new version also adds the ability to filter tasks by date, priority and calendar and locations in several new languages. BusyToDo 1.5 requires iOS 4.1 or later and is available from the App Store for $10.

Opera Mini adds iPad support, new UI

Opera Software has released a major update to its Opera Mini Web Browser adding native iPad support alongside a significantly updated UI. Opera Mini is a replacement web browser for mobile devices that promises improved browsing performance and data cost savings by proxying requests through Opera’s servers and compressing and optimizing web content before delivering it to the mobile browser. Opera Mini 6 adds higher-resolution graphics and native support for the iPhone 4 Retina Display as well as the iPad and iPad 2 as well as UI performance improvements for zooming and panning on web pages. The new version also includes direct sharing on Facebook, Twitter and MyOpera, the ability to open new pages in a background tab and improved international font support for non-latin languages. Opera Mini 6 is available from the App Store as a free download.

Apple nearing cloud deals with music publishers

Apple is closing in on deals which would give it the music publishing rights necessary to launch its anticipated cloud music service, according to a new report. Citing two sources with knowledge of the talks, Cnet reports that negotiations between Apple and music publishers began in earnest recently, but that the amount of money separating the two sides is relatively small. Despite the seemingly small monetary gap between the two, the report notes that cloud services are new, and thus there is no precedent for how to license them. On the label side, Apple has reportedly signed license agreements with EMI Music, Warner Music, and Sony Music; a deal with Universal Music, the final holdout of the largest four labels, could come as soon as this week, according to the report.

Report: iOS devices account for 80% of wireless video

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The iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad collectively account for 80 percent of all wireless video viewing, according to the latest data from Internet video ad firm FreeWheel (PDF Link). During Q1 2011, the iPhone accounted for 30 percent of all wireless video views, as did the iPod touch. The iPad—despite its much smaller user base—accounted for 20 percent of wireless video views, tied with Google’s Android platform as a whole. FreeWheel attributes iOS’ overwhelming majority to its larger user base and the fact that “so many content producers prioritized their video development for this platform ahead of others.” Overall, wireless video viewing remains small—less than one percent—compared to online video viewing in general. FreeWheel’s data is comprised of 10 billion video views and 5.5 billion video ad views in Q1 2011 and is primarily U.S.-based. [via NYT]

Apple to Lodsys: Developers are protected by our licenses

Apple has sent a letter to Lodsys, in which it states that iOS application developers are protected from any infringement claims thanks to Apple’s patent licenses. “Apple is undisputedly licensed to these patent and the Apple App Makers are protected by that license. There is no basis for Lodsys’ infringement allegations against Apple’s App Makers,” wrote Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell in a letter obtained by iLounge. Lodsys recently sent claims of patent infringement over the use of in-app purchasing within iOS applications to a variety of small iOS developers, threatening legal action within three weeks should the developers fail to license the company’s patents.

“[T]he technology that is targeted in your notice letters is technology that Apple is expressly licensed under the Lodsys patents to offer to Apple’s App Makers,” Sewell concludes. “These licensed products and services enable Apple’s App Makers to communicate with end users through the use of Apple’s own licensed hardware, software, APIs, memory, servers, and interfaces, including Apple’s App Store. Because Apple is licensed under Lodsys’ patents to offer such technology to its App Makers, the App Makers are entitled to use this technology free from any infringement claims by Lodsys.” The full text of Sewell’s letter is available below.

Square updates iOS app, intros iPad-based Register

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Mobile payments startup Square has released a version 2.0 of its iOS application, which brings with it an expanded iPad-specific feature set the company is referring to as the Square Register. These new features allow sellers to customize their systems with product photos, prices, sortable categories, and create variations of specific items, accept cash payments, let regular customers set up tabs, publish their menus, and share daily specials. Tab functionality is enabled by the new Card Case feature, which allows buyers to setup tabs, find local stores and shops, browse daily specials and menus, and store all of their digital receipts in one place, and is accessible only after visiting a participating business. Square’s iOS app is available now as a free download from the App Store.

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