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Yahoo! Messenger goes universal with iPad 2 video calling

Yahoo has released an update to Yahoo Messenger for iOS adding a native iPad UI and support for voice and video calling on the iPad 2. Yahoo Messenger allows users to connect with their friends on the Yahoo and Windows Live instant messaging networks, place international VoIP phone calls to landlines or mobile phones and sending free SMS messages to mobile phones in select countries. Yahoo Messenger 2.1 is now a universal app with a layout specific for iPad users and takes advantage of the integrated camera on the iPad 2 to allow users to conduct video calls to their Yahoo Messenger contacts. The new version also improves spam management for more easily blocking add requests and includes a number of bug fixes. Yahoo Messenger 2.1 is available from the App Store as a free download and requires iOS 4.0 or later.

Schlage debuts LiNK for iPad

Shlage has released an iPad version of its home automation management app for iOS. The new iPad app allows users of the Schlage LiNK system to remotely control the system from anywhere with a data connection, performing such activities as letting a repairman into the house, monitoring entryways on video and controlling lighting and temperature. The app also provides access to LiNK optional advanced features such as monitoring heating and cooling usage in response to outside weather conditions for effective energy and cost savings. Schlage LiNK for iPad is available from the App Store as a free download. A Schlage LiNK system is required to use the app; a basic starter system with a single keypad lock, single light module and central bridge retails for $300 and can be purchased online or at select retailers.

XtremeMac intros InCharge Home BT and Auto BT

XtremeMac has introduced its new InCharge Bluetooth (BT) series, featuring the Home BT and Auto BT chargers. Both solutions offer 10 Watts of charging power, integrated Bluetooth technology, and a USB port with included 30-pin cable for iPod, iPhone, and iPad charging. The Home BT plus directly into a wall outlet, and offers an LED status indicator and a 3.5mm output with included cord for connection to a home stereo, while the Auto BT features an integrated 3.5mm output cable, a one-tough multi-function button for answering calls and play/pause control, and a self-resetting fuse. XtremeMac’s new InCharge Home BT and Auto BT chargers are listed as Coming Soon and are priced at $80.

Mix: BookExpo, SID awards, Apple Store 2.0, Mobile Privacy

  • May 18, 2011

Apple is set to exhibit for the first time at BookExpo America, the largest trade book fair in the United States. PaidContent reports that Apple’s booth is in a “prime” location near the booths of Scholastic, Random House, Disney Book Group, and Macmillan; Apple iBookstore employee Scott Simpson will represent the company. Update: Following the publication of the PaidContent story, a spokesperson for the BEA contacted the publication to clarify that Apple will not be “exhibiting,” but will instead be meeting with publishers in a private room at the venue.

Two Apple displays were recipients of Gold awards from the Society for Information Display, according to Electronista. As part of the group’s Display of the Year Awards, the iPhone 4’s Retina Display was awarded a Gold Display of the Year prize for its various technical advancements, while the iPad’s display also won a Gold award for Display Application of the Year, for its IPS technology, accurate colors, and application inside a thin tablet.

Apple’s retail store plans for this weekend stretch beyond the United States, according to a new report. Citing an Australian “tipster,” 9 to 5 Mac reports that all Apple retail stores in that country will undergo visual merchandising from 6pm to 6 am on Sunday the 22nd, with a sheet raised during that time to prevent anyone from seeing inside, with an all-hands meeting to begin directly afterwards. The report goes on to state that the phrase “Apple Store 2.0” is being mentioned in relation to the company’s plans.

Apple is being called back to Washington, D.C., to discuss mobile privacy issues. AllThingsD reports that the hearing—separate from the one held last week—is entitled Consumer Privacy and Protection in the Mobile Marketplace, and is slated to be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. before the Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance subcommittee. Expected to appear is Apple government affairs VP Catherine Novelli, as well as representatives from Google and Facebook, along with representatives of the Federal Trade Commission, Common Sense Media and the Association for Competitive Technology.

OmniFocus for iPad adds Forecast Calendar integration

The Omni Group has released an update to OmniFocus for iPad adding the ability to easily view the iOS Calendar in Forecast mode and several other workflow improvements. In version 1.3, users can now view a timeline of their calendar events for each day at the bottom of the Forecast view allowing easy access to hard landscape events when planning and forecasting tasks. The specific calendars and range of hours displayed in the Forecast view can be customized and an additional section has now been added to show items that are scheduled to start on each day of the upcoming week.

Additional enhancements in the update include a full-screen view for note editing, highlighting of items when searching in Project and Context views and improvements to filtering of badge counts, dropped contexts and folders and sync status. Version 1.3 also now takes advantage of hardware screen mirroring on the iPad 2 and displays gestures on the secondary display so that viewers can follow along. A number of other smaller fixes and improvements are also detailed in the release notes. OmniFocus for iPad 1.3 is available from the App Store for $40 and can be used as a standalone app or synchronized with OmniFocus for the Mac or iPhone, available separately.

Photo of the Week: iPad 2 in Arizona

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This week’s featured photo is from our iPads Around the World gallery, and shows a black iPad 2 over the Grand Canyon in Arizona. 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!

Audience chip behind iPhone 4 noise cancellation

An audio processing chip from Audience has been revealed as the key component behind the dual-microphone noise cancellation technology in the iPhone 4. iFixit reports that the unmarked chip was seen in both the GSM and CDMA iPhone 4, but was not identified as an Audience chip until microprocessor analysis firm Chipworks “decapped” the chip, revealing it as an Audience low power audio signal processor, with an Audience die marking inside. According to Audience, its voice processors “imitate the complex processes of human hearing to enhance voice quality and suppress noise. The result is unsurpassed call clarity for mobile devices, and improved performance for speech recognition services.”

Paramount releases free Super 8 camera emulator app

Paramount Digital Entertainment has released a Super 8 camera emulator for iOS to help promote the release of the upcoming film of the same name. Super 8 allows users to record films in the style of a vintage Super 8 film camera, adding lens, filter and shake effects. Users can rearrange and delete clips, add an authentic Super 8 film leader and their own titles and credits. The resulting videos can be exported to a computer or shared via e-mail. The app includes several lens styles such as color, chromatic, sepia and negative and incorporates the accelerometer to add optional frame shake effects during recording. Super 8 is available from the App Store as a free download for a limited time and requires a camera-equipped device running iOS 4.2 or later.

Camera for Apple TV sends camera feed via AirPlay

TapMedia Publishing has released a new app that allows users of camera-equipped iOS devices to send live images to their Apple TV via AirPlay. Camera for Apple TV provides a live preview of the camera view and a button to send the output to an AirPlay device. Possibly due to limitations in iOS and AirPlay, the application is only able to display a series of static images on the Apple TV refreshed at a frame rate of approximately 5fps rather than a full-motion real-time video feed. Camera for Apple TV is available from the App Store for $2 and requires an iPhone, fourth-generation iPod touch or iPad 2 running iOS 4.3 or later and a second-generation Apple TV running Apple TV Software 4.2 or later.

IK Multimedia updates iKlip for iPad 2

IK Multimedia has announced an updated version of its iKlip universal mic stand mounting kit that is compatible with the iPad 2. Designed and manufactured in Italy, the iKlip is made from a hard thermoplastic and features sure-grip touch points for a secure hold and scratch protection, a universal stand clip that attaches to most microphone stands, multi-angle adjustment for optimal positioning in both horizontal and vertical orientations, and access to all ports, controls, and cameras. In addition, the company will be offering new iPad 2 snap-in adapters for existing iKlip users. IK Multimedia’s iKlip universal mic stand mounting kit for the iPad 2 will be available in June for $40.

Apple pushing for smaller SIM standard

Apple has proposed a new SIM card standard smaller than the micro SIMs found in the iPhone 4 and iPad, according to Reuters. “We were quite happy to see last week that Apple has submitted a new requirement to (European telecoms standards body) ETSI for a smaller SIM form factor—smaller than the one that goes in iPhone 4 and iPad,” Anne Bouverot, Orange’s head of mobile services, told the news agency. “They have done that through the standardisation route, through ETSI, with the sponsorship of some major mobile operators, Orange being one of them.” Bouverot added that the standardization process would take time and that the first devices to use the new standard could emerge next year.

Submit your iPad 3 + mini contest entry now; $2800 in prizes up for grabs

iLounge’s contest for the upcoming iPad 2 Buyers’ Guide—Design The iPad 3 + iPad mini—is entering its third week, with $2,800 in prizes up for grabs. Entries have already started to arrive, and we’re excited to see more!

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. You can submit your entry here. Good luck!

Slacker Radio adds on-demand listening and iPad support

Slacker Radio has released an update to its iOS application adding a native iPad user interface and support for on-demand listening via a new Slacker Premium Radio subscription. The Slacker Radio iOS app allows users to listen to streamed music on their device from a wide selection of pre-defined stations that can be browsed by genre; users can also create their own custom stations to mix their favorite artists and genres and paid subscribers can cache stations for offline listening when no 3G or Wi-Fi data connection is available.

In addition to the Basic and Plus subscriptions, Slacker Radio has added a new Premium subscription level that allows users to search for and play songs, albums and artists on demand. Premium users can also build custom playlists from songs found on Slacker stations. Slacker Radio is now a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. Use of the app requires a minimum free Slacker Radio Basic subscription which provides ad-supported listening to streamed stations; paid Plus ($4/month) or Premium ($10/month) subscriptions can be purchased in-app to remove adds and provide additional features such as unlimited song skips, station caching, news radio, song lyrics and on-demand listening.

Apple job posting points to Sprint iPhone?

A new Apple job posting suggests that the company may be planning to offer a version of the iPhone on Sprint. Stop it, AT&T reports on a new job posting for a Carrier Engineer based in Kansas City, MO, who would be part of a team “that supports taking products through technical approval at the carriers.” As noted in the report, Sprint’s headquarters in in Overland Park, KS, a suburb of Kansas City. Interestingly, the posting in question has since been changed to list Cupertino as the job location; it is possible, although unlikely, that Kansas City was listed by mistake. [via Mac Rumors]

Case Scenario outs Pantone case for iPod touch 4G

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Case Scenario has outed its new Pantone Universe case for the fourth-generation iPod touch. Officially licensed by Pantone, this thin, lightweight case features a snap-on design, official Pantone chip graphics on the back, glossy finishes, and open access to all ports, controls, and cameras. Case Scenario’s Pantone Universe case for the fourth-generation iPod touch will come in Pantone 7462 Blue, Pantone 226 Magenta, Pantone Black and Pantone Cool Gray, and will be available in Apple retail stores May 25; pricing has yet to be announced.

Lodsys clarifies position on iOS patent claims

Following reports on Friday that several iOS developers had received claims of patent infringement over the use of in-app purchases, Lodsys has attempted to clarify its position in a series of posts on its blog. In the posts, the company notes that Apple is a licensee, as are other large companies such as Google and Microsoft. However, it is Lodsys’ claim that its license does not automatically extend rights to Apple’s third-party developers, and that companies such as Apple cannot currently extend the rights to include independent third-party developers.

Lodsys has outlined the licensing fees that it is demanding from developers, stating that it is “seeking 0.575% of US revenue over the period of the notice letter to the expiration of the patent, plus applicable past usage.” The company estimates that a developer will pay $5,750 for $1m in revenues. Notably, the notices sent to developers on Friday morning did not include any mention of fees, indicating only that the developers had 21 days to license the technology. [via Engadget]

Parrot announces racing game for AR.Drone

Parrot has announced a new upcoming racing game in the lineup of iOS apps for its iOS-controlled AR.Drone Quadricopter. AR.Race will allow one to four pilots with iOS devices and AR.Drones to challenge themselves and each other on up to five different customizable racing circuits. Optional props will be available to set up challenging circuits for the different race styles including inflatable items, pylons, a finishing line and a donut. A basic race option will be available that can be used without props; a simple tap on the hull of the AR.Drone is used to indicate the end of a tour. More sophisticated circuits use the AR.Drone camera to identify props and will challenge players to avoid obstacles, round pylons and fly through the donut before crossing the finishing line, with times automatically recorded by the app. Users can position the pylons in relation to other natural obstacles such as trees to create multiple circuits, slaloms and more complicated courses. Players can also optionally toggle the piloting assistance option to enable the AR.Drone to make high-speed turns during a race. AR.Race is scheduled to be released on June 7th as a free download from the App Store; optional accessories will include a pack of two pylons and one finishing line for $60 and a single donut for $50 and will be available from the Parrot Online Store.

Apple schedules retail meetings, related to 10th anniversary?

Apple has made a number of retail store plans for this weekend, suggesting the company may be planning a special event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its retail stores. Boy Genius Report, citing an unnamed but “solid” Apple source, claims that Apple has scheduled an overnight shift for 10-15 individuals at each Apple Store, with employees expected to work from late Saturday through mid-Sunday. During the overnight shift, employees will be required to lock their cell phones in the main office, and sign an Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with Apple. According to the report, the overnight shift will include all visuals staff, a manager, a business team manager, some Genius team members, a back-of-house employee, and a few Apple specialists.

The report goes on to claim that stores have already received hardware to install, which is to be under lock and key until after close on Saturday night, and are expecting more to arrive Friday or Saturday. Employees have reportedly already downloaded gigabytes of data from Apple corporate labeled “training” in a password-protected folder that isn’t accessible until Saturday afternoon, and will be hanging black curtains in store windows to prevent onlookers from peeking inside; finally, all Apple Stores will reportedly have mandatory meetings on Sunday, May 22, with most meetings scheduled for the morning. Notably, the 10th anniversary of the opening of Apple’s first retail stores in Tysons Corner, VA and Glendale, CA falls on this Thursday, May 19, meaning that any event, promotion, or product introduction related to the retail meetings would seemingly come well after the anniversary itself.

Mix: Nuance + Lion, Guinness records, Safari Reading List, GoFlex Satellite

  • May 16, 2011

New evidence of a deal between Nuance Communications and Apple has been found in the developer preview of Mac OS X Lion. According to Netputing, Lion contains a number of new voices that are also present in Nuance’s Vocalizer application. The report notes that the voices are not yet usable, as an error message appears when trying to install them. A pair of reports from last week indicated that Apple had entered into an agreement with Nuance to run and build upon its voice recognition software at its new data center in North Carolina, potentially utilizing the technology to deliver new features for iOS 5. [via Cult of Mac]

Guinness World Records has released its 2011 Gamer’s Edition, in which it names the iPhone 4 the “Fastest-Selling Portable Gaming System,” with sales of 1.5 million units on the first day. The book also touts the Apple App Store as the “Most Popular Applicaiton Marketplace,” the “Largest Downloadable Video Game Store,” and the “Largest Launch Line-up of Any Gaming System.” Other records were given out for “Most Popular iPhone Game Series” (Tap Tap Revenge), “Fastest-Selling iPhone/iPod Strategy Game” (Plants vs. Zombies), and “Top Paid-For App Store Game in Most Countries” (Angry Birds).

Apple is set to launch Reading List, a new feature for Safari, in Mac OS X Lion, according to a 9 to 5 Mac report. The feature, which functions much like the popular service Instapaper, was believed to be for desktop browsing only, but the report states that the feature will in fact sync with iOS Safari. The Reading List currently shows up following a MobileMe or physical iTunes Bookmarks sync as a folder named com.Apple.ReadingList inside the iOS Safari Bookmarks list.

Seagate has introduced its new GoFlex Satellite portable external hard drive. Designed with iOS users in mind, the 500GB drive features built-in Wi-Fi, allowing it to share its contents with up to three devices at a time via a web browser or the free GoFlex Media app. Other features include an internal rechargeable battery with up to five hours of battery life, USB 3.0 connectivity, and optional FireWire 800 or powered eSATA interfaces. Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite portable external hard drive is available for pre-order and sells for $200.

Speck unveils iGuy, SmartShell, HandyShell for iPad 2

Speck has unveiled its SmartShell and HandyShell cases for the iPad 2, as well as its iGuy Standing Cover for the original iPad and iPad 2. The SmartShell is a thin, 1.2mm thick hard shell polycarbonate case offering compatibility with Apple’s iPad Smart Cover, open access to all ports, controls, and cameras, and either a glossy or matte soft touch finish. It will be available in a variety of colors and is priced at $35. The HandyShell is a hybrid TPU and polycarbonate case offering a hinged, flip-out handle/stand on the rear, an extended bevel for screen protection, push-through protection for the volume and sleep/wake buttons, and open access to all other ports, controls, cameras, and the speaker. It is priced at $55. Finally, the iGuy Standing Cover is a whimsical, free-standing, kid-friendly foam case, featuring built-in “feet” and “arms,” open access to all ports, controls, cameras, and speakers, and compatibility with the first-generation iPad as well as the iPad 2. It is priced at $40; all three cases are listed as “coming soon.”

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