News | iLounge

2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

News

Magellan RoadMate hits 2.0, adds lifetime maps, local search

Magellan has released version 2.0 of its RoadMate North America turn-by-turn navigation app for the iPhone, brining with it several new features and improvements. Version 2.0 offers new user interface elements for mobile routing, leverages Yelp to integrate reviews of local businesses, features Google local search and maps of the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, and comes with free Lifetime map updates, whereby “free” is defined as the life of the product or three years. Version 2.0 of Magellan’s RoadMate North America app for the iPhone is available now on the App Store for $60 and is a free update for existing users; the same functionality has been added to its RoadMate USA app, which is available from the App Store for $50.

Mix: iPad 3, Semiconductors, Foxconn, 2011 ADAs

  • June 8, 2011

Code found in the beta version of iOS 5 points to two future iPad 3 models. TUAW reports that declarations have been found in the iOS system files that reference “iPad3,1” and “iPad3,2.” The report suggests that since there are only two models mentioned, and not three as for the iPad 2, that the 3G/4G version of the iPad 3 may be compatible with both GSM and CDMA networks. Notably, no mention of a fifth-generation iPod touch was found.

According to the latest data from IHS iSuppli, Apple became the world’s largest buyer of semiconductors among OEMs, purchasing $17.5 billion in semiconductors, up 79.6 percent from its $9.7 billion expenditure in 2009. The company surpassed HP and Samsung electronics to hold the first place spot in 2010, both of which were ahead of Apple in 2009. The report projects Apple to spend even more on semiconductors in 2011.

Terry Gou, Chairman of Hon Hai, Foxconn Technology Group’s flagship entity, recently made comments on the difficulty and rewards of working with Apple. Speaking at the company’s annual shareholders meeting, Gou said that steps to more efficiently make Apple products such as the iPad would start to pay off in the second half of this year, Bloomberg reports. Classifying Apple’s devices as “very difficult to make,” Gou said that the company is continuously learning ways to make the products more efficiently, and in turn generate more profit for itself. “We’ve helped Apple make a lot of money,” Gou said. “If our customers make money, then we can also make money. I most fear customers that don’t make money.”

At its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple this week announced the winners of its 2011 Apple Design Awards. Among the Student winners were Grades 2 from Tapity, Pennant by Vargatron, and Pulse News Reader by Alphonso Labs, while iPhone winners included Cut the Rope by Chillingo, Golfscape GPS Rangefinder by Shotzoom, and Infinity Blade by Chair Entertainment. Finally, in the iPad category, the winners were Osmos by Hemisphere Games, Our Choice by Push Pop Press, and Djay by algoriddim. [via TUAW]

Quirky rolls out Stance case + stand for iPad 2

image

Quirky has rolled out its new Stance case + stand for the iPad 2. Made to fit in a variety of cup holders, the Stance’s base offers room to store a power cable and headphones inside, and attaches to a telescoping arm, which moves and locks in to a wide range of angles, including portrait and landscape display positions. The arm in turn connects to a removable, snap-style iPad 2 case, which offers open access to all ports, controls, and cameras, as well as compatibility with Apple’s iPad Smart Cover. Quirky’s Stance case + stand for the iPad 2 is currently in the pre-order commitment stage and can be pre-ordered for $28; once production begins it will be priced at $30.

Fanhattan unifies online movie, TV show searches

A new iPad app has been released to provide users with a single point for searching out entertainment content across multiple online services. Designed to make it easier for users to find their favourite movies and TV shows online, Fanhattan allows users to search for content across Netflix, iTunes, Hulu Plus and ABC all from within a single app. Users can search for and browse related content including reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, ratings, trailers, actor and crew bios and more and then easily begin watching content in the appropriate app with a single click. Fanhattan is available in the App Store as a free download.

UberMedia adds theme support, launches 50 Cent theme

Ubermedia has released an update to its Twitter client for the iPhone and iPod touch adding a redesigned user interface and support for skinning the UI with custom themes. Formerly known as UberTwitter, UberSocial 1.7 also adds support for new branded content channels from UberMedia partners such as USA Today, Mashable, The Hollywood Reporter and more. The new version also provides support for viewing photos in-stream, multiple accounts and the ability to search people and tweets and view nearby tweets.

With the release of theme support, UberMedia has also partnered with hip-hop label G-Unit Records to create Uber50, a custom theme for the iPhone version of UberSocial crafted by recording artist 50 Cent. A free version of the theme provides unique background art while a $2 version available via in-app purchase adds additional exclusive art and custom sounds recorded or selected by 50 Cent and iPhone Home Screen wallpaper. Uber50 users also get quick access to G-Unit Twitter lists and media information from directly within the app. UberSocial is available from the App Store as a free download. The Uber50 theme can be downloaded or purchased from within the app.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs outlines plans for new HQ

image

During the Cupertino City Council Meeting yesterday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs gave a presentation outlining the company’s plans for a new headquarters. The headquarters, which Jobs referred to as a “spaceship,” would be placed on the former Hewlett-Packard campus purchased by the company last year, and would be completely circular, with a courtyard in the center. According to Jobs, there wouldn’t be a single piece of flat glass used in the building; it would instead be built from curved architectural glass, of the same kind the company used to build the cylindrical glass entrance to its Shanghai retail store. The building would feature underground parking, a cafe capable of feeding 3,000 people per sitting, and would house 12,000 employees. Jobs referred to the structure as having the potential to be the “best office building in the world.”

image

Apart from the main building, the surrounding land would be heavily rebalanced in favor of green areas and away from asphalt; Jobs said the site is currently 20% landscape, and Apple’s plan would make it 80% landscape, moving from 3,700 on-site trees to roughly 6,000, the latter including some apricot orchards. Other buildings included in the plan are a separate, second parking structure, an energy center which would use primarily natural gas and other power sources, and rely on the grid for backup, an auditorium, a fitness center, and separate testing buildings. Between the company’s existing campus and the new headquarters, Apple could keep 15,000 employees in Cupertino. Jobs said that the company would like to submit plans for the site as quickly as possible, break ground in 2012, and move in to the new headquarters by 2015. A video of Jobs’ presentation is available on YouTube and is embedded below. [via ifoAppleStore]

Apple releases iTunes 10.3.1

image

Apple has released iTunes 10.3.1, the latest version of its digital media management software. The purpose of the update, which arrived without version-specific release notes, is unknown; the prior version, 10.3, was announced during the company’s keynote address on Monday but was not made available for download until early yesterday morning. iTunes 10.3.1 is available now via Apple’s Software Update utility.

Apple releases iBooks 1.3 with read-aloud feature

image

Apple has released iBooks 1.3, the latest version of its e-Reader software for iOS. According to Apple’s release notes, iBooks 1.3 adds support for a new read-aloud feature for younger children that’s included in select children’s books from the iBookstore. The feature uses a real narrator to read the book to you and/or your child, and in some books, will highlight the words as its reading them aloud. Other features include automatic audio or video playback in enhanced books, improved responsiveness when opening very long books, and a fix for an issue where some books may display the same page twice. iBooks 1.3 is available now as a free download from the App Store.

iBamboo promises electricity-free iPhone 4 audio boost

image

Triangle Tree has announced its iBamboo Speaker for the iPhone 4. Made from a whole length of bamboo, the iBamboo is an electricity-free audio enhancement accessory that uses the natural resonance of the bamboo to amplify the sound emanating from the iPhone’s built-in speaker, and provides openings at both ends to intensify the stereo effect. Each iBamboo is machined, laser-cut for a proper fit with the iPhone, and then finished by hand; it also comes with a canvas drawstring protective carrying case. Triangle Tree is currently accepting pledges via Kickstarter for the project; pledges of $25 and up reserve at least one iBamboo Speaker.

Gear4 to launch Angry Birds speakers for iPod, iPhone, iPad

image

Gear4 has announced that it has signed a deal with Angry Birds creator Rovio to produce a new line of speakers based on characters from the game. The speakers will feature three distinct characters—the Black Bird, Red Bird, and Helmet Pig, and will include a docking station for iPod, iPhone, or iPad, a 3.5mm audio cable input, and crate stand. Gear4’s new line of Angry Birds speakers will range in price from £49 to £69 (roughly $80-$113) and will be available in September.

CalypsoCase wraps iPhone 4 in leather, titanium

image

CalypsoCrystal, makers of the CrystalDock for iPod and iPhone, is now taking backing pledges for its new CalypsoCase. This high-end sleeve-style case is made from multiple materials, including a titanium inner closure, a premium Italian leather exterior, a specially designed inner lining fabric that prevents the device from sliding out, and a decorative outer ring made from silver, gold, or platinum. For a pledge of $70, customers will receive a special backer’s only edition of the CalypsoCase with their name laser engraved on the case; other pledge values range from $5 to $2,500, the latter of which includes two CalypsoCases, two CrystalDocks, and hand delivery by the designer, with dinner included. Assuming the company meets its funding goal, the CalypsoCase will retail for $130.

OmniVision, Sony to supply next-gen iPhone cameras

Both OmniVision and Sony will supply Apple with eight-megapixel camera sensors for the next-generation iPhone, according to a new report. Citing market sources, DigiTimes reports that OmniVision will supply roughly 90 percent of the sensor orders, with Sony supplying the remainder. The report also states that Avago Technologies has landed orders for next-gen iPhone power amplifiers (PAs). Avago previously provided PAs for the CDMA version of the iPhone, but will now supply three of the five PAs used in the next WDCMA version of the device, with the remaining two coming from long-time supplier TriQuint Semiconductor.

Apple to MobileMe users: free* service to June 2012, then lights out

In an e-mail just sent to MobileMe members, Apple confirmed what many users have expected since rumors of a follow-up service began to spread: MobileMe as it’s currently known will cease to exist after June 30, 2012. As a goodwill gesture to current users, the company will automatically extend MobileMe subscriptions through June 30, 2012 “at no additional charge,” after which “MobileMe will no longer be available.” Attempts to purchase additional MobileMe service are being rejected and refunded by the company as of today.

Apple urges users to sign up for the just-announced iCloud in order to keep their MobileMe e-mail addresses, mail, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks, and re-confirms that iCloud will be free for iOS 5 and OS X Lion users. While the company does not specifically address what will happen to MobileMe’s iDisk, Gallery, and iWeb services, it states that “more details and instructions on how to make the move” will be shared when iCloud opens for business this fall.

Apple posts iOS 5, WWDC 2011 Keynote Address videos

image

Apple has posted the complete video from today’s WWDC Keynote Address. At nearly two hours long, the video shows Apple CEO Steve Jobs and other company executives discussing Mac OS X Lion, iOS 5, and iCloud. Apple has also posted a brief five-minute video highlighting the new features of iOS 5, including Notification Center, Reminders, Safari, and iMessage. Both videos are available for viewing now on Apple’s website.

Readers: Your chance to comment on today’s iOS 5 + iCloud news

We’ve posted a huge collection of news stories regarding all of Apple’s iOS 5 and iCloud announcements today, and wanted to give you all an opportunity to discuss everything in one central location in advance of our editorial on the topic.

image

Did Apple impress you with the collection of features added to iOS 5? Are you excited or glad to hear about the free services coming in iCloud? Was anything really important missing today? Sound off in the comments section below.

New in iOS 5: Twitter integration + Reminders

image

Apple today demonstrated the new Twitter integration features and Reminders app of iOS 5 as part of its WWDC keynote address. The software’s Twitter integration will allow users to sign in once and then tweet directly from all Twitter-enabled apps, which include Photos, Camera, Safari, YouTube, and Maps; new APIs will allow third-party developers to take advantage of the feature, as well. Reminders is a new app that helps users manage tasks, offering features that include creating and grouping related tasks together and setting time or location-based reminder alerts, letting the device remind the user when a certain deadline approaches or when the arrive at or depart a location. iOS 5 will be available this fall.

iTunes in the Cloud services now live on iOS 4 devices

If you’ve purchased music or music videos from the iTunes Store in the past, now would be a good time to check out the iOS 4 version of the iTunes Store application. A new “Purchased” tab has just been added dynamically to the iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad versions of iTunes, enabling you to see and retrieve the entire collection of music that you’ve previously purchased from the iTunes Store—including music videos. This is the live implementation of the iTunes in the Cloud.

image

Several options are available from the Purchased tab. A list of “All” songs shows you everything you’ve purchased, with 50 Recent Purchases as a secondary list, above a scrollable alphabetical collection of individual artists with a number of downloaded files off to the side. You can Download All [Artist’s Name] Songs by clicking a cloud download icon, or do the same with the Recent Purchases list—but not the “All Songs” collection. You’re also able to use a tab to sort the list by Not On This iPad/iPhone/iPod files, seeing only the ones you don’t currently have on the device.

image

Songs are downloaded individually to the device, and cannot be streamed; this is solely a locker to retrieve tracks as needed for your device. For users who thought they’d lost their only backups of iTunes-purchased music, this is a great new feature, and provides high-quality 256kbps AAC versions of tracks, assuming that you purchased the “iTunes Plus” versions from Apple. We’ve discovered that tracks that were purchased at 128kbps and not upgraded to iTunes Plus will still redownload via iTunes in the Cloud at 128kbps.

Note: The feature appears to be working only for U.S. iTunes Store accounts for the time being, notes our Canada-based editor Jesse Hollington.

Apple unveils $25/year iTunes Match service

image

As part of its new iCloud service suite, Apple today unveiled iTunes in the Cloud, a service which allows users to download previously purchased iTunes music to all devices at no additional cost. For music that wasn’t purchased from iTunes, users can gain the same benefits by signing up for a service called iTunes Match. iTunes Match scans a user’s existing music library and replaces existing tracks with 256 kbps AAC DRM-free files if they can be matched to the over 18 million songs on the iTunes Store and will upload any tracks that it can’t match to Apple’s servers. Apple indicated during its keynote address that there will not be any limit to the number of tracks that can be used with the service. iTunes Match will be available this fall for a $24.99 annual fee.

Update: Apple has updated its website to indicate that iTunes Match will be limited 25,000 songs, but that any purchases made from the iTunes Store don’t count against the limit.

New in iOS 5: Accessibility Changes, iPad Gestures + Split Keyboard

Two of the new changes in iOS 5 were not given special attention during the WWDC 2011 Keynote today. First, Apple has officially added new multitasking gestures to the iPad that were previewed—originally for comments from developers—starting in a prior beta version of iOS 4. The gestures include four- or five-finger swipes to reveal the multitasking bar, pinch to return to the Home screen, and left- or right-swipes to switch between apps. While some developers complained that the gestures created issues in their apps, Apple’s decision to preview them in iOS 4 and then include them in iOS 5 gave developers a chance to figure out ways to accommodate them; the beta version of iOS 5 will continue this testing opportunity through fall.

Additionally, Apple has disclosed a collection of Accessibility updates. In addition to adding support for specialized hardware accessories created for users with mobility, hearing, vision, and cognitive disabilities, iOS 5 includes LED flash and custom vibration settings to signal when people are calling. It also includes VoiceOver improvements such as custom element labeling to provide personalized spoken cues for menu options.

A third interesting feature was briefly previewed: a new iPad “split keyboard” that lets users rely on their thumbs or fingers on opposite sides of the screen for typing. Swiping down with four fingers will bring up the keyboard, which includes roughly half of its smaller-sized keys on each side of the screen, and can be repositioned upwards or downwards as you prefer. The new keyboard enables you to see more of the center of the screen without having keys in the way.

Apple releases iTunes 10.3 with iCloud support

  • June 6, 2011

image

Apple has released iTunes 10.3, the latest version of its digital media management software. New in iTunes 10.3 is compatibility with Apple’s iCloud service, enabling iTunes to automatically download new music, app, and book purchases. In addition, it adds support for the iBookstore, allowing users to browse and purchase books directly from a Mac or PC, and support for individually downloading past purchases. iTunes 10.3 is slated to become available today; we will update this article as soon as it’s available for download.

Update: iTunes 10.3 is now available for download from Apple’s website.

Shop for Accessories: Cases, speakers, chargers, etc.