Marshall has updated its Major Over-Ear Headphones with a new in-line remote and microphone module. The single-button, Apple-friendly remote can be used to play, pause, and skip tracks, and can also be used to answer and end phone calls. Other features include 40mm dynamic drivers, soft ear cushions, an included 6.3mm adapter for use with amplifiers and larger stereos, a collapsible design, and styling reminiscent of the company’s on-stage amplifiers and audio gear. Marshall’s Major Over-Ear Headphones are available now and sell for $119.
Aji has released a major update to iAnnotate PDF, its iPad viewing and annotating app for PDF files. The update adds advanced annotation features, improved navigation and WebDAV server support. iAnnotate PDF 1.5 introduces an improved navigation panel which allows users to navigate by page thumbnails, an outline/bookmarks view or by searching on text or annotations. Users can also now add photo and voice annotations to PDF files, insert and remove pages and rotate individual pages or an entire document. A new “Master Button” has also been added to provide quick access to all available tools that aren’t currently on the toolbar and improved security options allow users to take advantage of iOS 4.0 Data Protection and keychain support. Additional enhancements include the ability to e-mail or print a single page of a PDF file, the ability to select and copy images and improvements to stamp management. iAnnotate PDF 1.5 requires an iPad running iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store for $10.
TripIt has release an update to its travel organizer app for iOS adding support for adding and editing trips and plans on the iPad. Updated last month to add iPad support to the iPhone and iPod touch version, although the initial update provided iPad users with read-only support for travel itineraries. With the latest update, in addition to now being able to add and edit travel plans in the app, iPad users can also create turn-by-turn directions based on their itinerary, their current location, or any other address. The update also sports a new and improved look for the itinerary view on both the iPhone and iPad and includes several other bug fixes. TripIt is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free, ad-supported app. An ad-free version is also available for $4 but has not yet been updated to version 2.6. A free TripIt.com account is required to use the app; new users can create a new account from directly within the app or existing TripIt users can easily sign in to access their active itineraries.
Halfbrick Studios has released an update to Fruit Ninja for the iPhone and iPod touch adding a new special fruit, the pomegranate. The new fruit appears in both classic and arcade mode games providing players with an opportunity to earn bonus points and destroy bombs and multiple other fruits by repeatedly slicing the pomegranate until it bursts apart. Version 1.7 also adds a new musical score for the Dojo, provides a list of friends all-time best scores on the results screen, and makes several tweaks to arcade mode to provide better scoring opportunities. Fruit Ninja is available from the App Store for $1.
Readdle has re-released Terra, its free alternative web browser for the iPad with several improvements to bookmark handling and social network integration features. Terra 1.3 now stores user bookmarks in a separate “Other Bookmarks” section and makes improvements to bookmark importing via iTunes. Users can now also share pages directly from the browser via Facebook and Twitter and save pages to Instapaper for reading later. The update also includes several other bug fixes and improvements. Terra is available from the App Store as a free download.
Audio-Technica has announced that it will show its new line of Solid Bass Headphones at CE Week 2011. The new line will include the ATH-CKS50BK In-Ear Headphones, featuring 12.5mm direct diaphragm drivers, an elastomer sheath cable, two sound chambers for improved bass response, and an included carrying pouch and ear tips. They will sell for $70. The ATH-CKS70 In-Ear Headphones also offer 12.5mm direct diaphragm drivers and dual sound chambers, but also feature a two-position post for better fit and sound isolation, titanium construction, an included carry pouch and ear tips, and an L-type plug. They will sell for $120.
The lineup will also include two pairs of Over-Ear Headphones. The ATH-WS50BK will feature 40mm drivers, an adjustable headband, acoustically-sealed oval ear pads for reduced sound leakage, double air chambers for improved bass, and a foldable design, and will sell for $100. The ATH-WS70 Over-Ear Headphones will also feature dual chambers, an adjustable headband, foldable design, and 40mm drivers, but add a machined aluminum housing for increased rigidity and vibration reduction, as well as soft insulating ear pads. They will sell for $150; release dates for the new lineup have yet to be announced.
iHome, Philips, and RCA have all debuted new iPad-ready docking speaker systems. Shown by the company at the 2011 CES, the iHome iD85 is a dual-alarm clock radio for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod, featuring a top-mounted dock, one-button sync of the iD85’s clock to the device’s an AM/FM radio, EQ controls, Reson8 sound technology, an auxiliary input, and support for the company’s iHome+Sleep and iHome+Radio apps. It is available now and sells for $140.
Philips’ Rise and Shine DC291/37 is an aluminum clock radio for iPad, iPhone, and iPod, featuring a top-mounted dock, automatic clock synchronization, 10W RMS of total power, a digital FM tuner, a front-facing LCD display, a 3.5mm input, weekday/weekend alarm settings, and neodymium drivers. It sells for $120; a dual-dock version, the DC390/37, has yet to be released.
Finally, RCA has introduced its Ri173 Sound System for the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, featuring a slim design, a top-mounted dock, a digital FM tuner, stereo speakers, digital volume control, and an included remote control. It is available now and sells for $100.
Withings has announced that it is now shipping its Blood Pressure Monitor for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch in the U.S. Shown during the 2011 CES in Las Vegas, the Blood Pressure Monitor is a compact blood pressure cuff with integrated motor and battery pack that connects to an iOS device via a 30-pin cable and works with the company’s free app to display results and track them over time with graphs that can be shared via email with a physician. Withings’ Blood Pressure Monitor for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch is available now and sells for $130.
Apple has started to air its latest TV commercial for the iPad 2. Entitled “Now,” the 30-second spot is similar in tone to the company’s first to iPad 2 commercials, and features a narrator—Peter Coyote—saying, “Now we can watch a newspaper, listen to a magazine, curl up with a movie, and see a phone call. Now we can take a classroom anywhere, hold an entire bookstore, and touch the stars… because, now, there’s this.” The commercial is available for viewing on Apple’s website.
Facebook is planning to launch a native iPad app in the “coming weeks,” according to a new report. Citing people briefed on Facebook’s plans, the New York Times reports that the new application will be free, and has been specifically designed and optimized to take full advantage of the iPad. According to the report, the app has been in development for almost a year, and is now in the final stages of testing after going through several design iterations. While the Chat and Groups features have undergone overhauls for the launch, the photo sharing features—including the ability to shoot and upload photos and videos directly from the iPad 2’s cameras—will likely grab the most attention. “The photo and video experience is amazing, offering full resolution and full-screen images,” said a person who has seen the app. Facebook currently offers no iPad-optimized experience via an app or the web, instead directing users to the service’s standard desktop website.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked about plans for such an app last November, and responded by stating that the “iPad is not mobile,” before Facebook’s mobile platform chief Eric Tseng clarified by indicating that Facebook considers the iPad to be part of a whole new class of devices, and not a mobile platform in the same way that a phone is.
Apple has amended and expanded its complaint against Samsung ahead of a ruling as to whether or not Apple will receive samples of upcoming Samsung devices. FOSS Patents reports that new language in the amended complaint portrays Samsung as being “even bolder” than other competitors in copying Apple’s designs and has created “products that blatantly imitate the appearance of Apple’s products to capitalize on Apple’s success.” Apple also added a portion explaining the time and work that went in to create the basic iPhone look and feel, as well as examples from journalism which directly call out certain Samsung products as being copies.
Added to the devices listed in the prior complaint—the Samsung Captivate, Continuum, Vibrant, Galaxy S 4G, Epic 4G, Indulge, Mesmerize, Showcase, Fascinate, Nexus S, Gem, Transform, Intercept, and Acclaim smart phones and the Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet—are the Droid Charge, Exhibit 4G, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Prevail, Galaxy S (i9000), Gravity, Infuse 4G, Nexus S 4G, Replenish, Sidekick, Galaxy Tab 10.1, and Galaxy S II (aka Galaxy S 2). Finally, Apple also removed two utility and one design patents from the complaint while adding three utility and five design patents, and also clarified its trade dress claims to make clear distinctions between different product generations.
Nedrelow has unveiled its new Tote bag for the iPad. Handmade from thick 3mm German-made wool, the Tote bag features built-in shoulder strap/handles, a built-in sleeve made to fit the iPad, iPad 2, or iPad 2 with Smart Cover, and a spacious main compartment. Nedrelow’ Tote bag for the iPad is available now and sells for $89; it is also available in a version for the 11.6” MacBook Air.
ThinkGeek has debuted a new, smaller version of its Joystick-It physical joystick accessory compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch. Like the prior version for iPad, the Joystick-It for iPhone and iPod touch is made from solid milled aluminum, can be placed overtop any virtual on-screen control, and can be removed and repositioned without harming the screen. ThinkGeek’s Joystick-It for iPhone and iPod touch is available now and sells for $18; the iPad version sells for $25, or in a two-pack for $40.
Hothead Games has released Cell Bound, a new puzzle matching game for the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch. Cell Bound puts players in control of a sterile culture dish where they must fight contamination from a constant bombardment of foreign cell structures. Players are challenged to catch and match different coloured cell structures as they drop into the playing field by spinning the dish around using on-screen controls; players must link five or more of the same colour cells to cause them to burst and vanish before they can contaminate the whole dish. Higher scores are earned by bursting more chains at a faster rate. Cell Bound provides three modes of play: In Infinite Mode, players accrue smart bombs by racking up points which can be used to burst all of the cells in the playing field; in Timer Mode, players must score as many points as possible before the timer runs out and in Burst Mode, cells that connect and are not the same colour turn black and inert, obstructing new cells and making it more difficult to connect same-coloured cells. Cell Bound is available from the App Store for $1.
iLounge is pleased to announce the winners of our iPad 2 Buyers’ Guide Top Tweeter Contest. Our two Grand Prize winners are FaresF (Farès Fayad) and DinaJ (Dina L), each of whom will receive a Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air sound system. Our two First Place winners, craigt44 (Craig Thornton) and msmorev (Maureen) will receive Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 multimedia speaker systems, while our Second Place winners—mitchg (Mitch Gurowitz) and tannawings (Ellen Beck) will receive Zeppelin Mini systems, all courtesy of Bowers & Wilkins. Congratulations to our winners and thanks to everyone who entered, and if you haven’t already, be sure to grab a free copy of our iPad 2 Buyers’ Guide!
A new fitness app from developer Fit Brains aims to encourage healthy lifestyles by turning regular walking exercise into a social game. Arookoo helps to motivate iPhone and iPod touch users to take regular daily walks around their area by sending them on challenges and rewarding them with points and achievements for an increasing amount of steps walked each day. Users can engage in activities such as GPS map-based scavenger hunts and daily team challenges with friends to make going out for walks a more fun and engaging experience. The app leverages the iPhone’s accelerometer to keep track of players steps and uses the built-in GPS to provide maps, nearby landmarks and location-based rewards. An enhanced health tracker is also available in the app which provides features such as a “Snack Burner” that allows users to choose a food and have the app tell them when they’ve walked enough to burn it off. Arookoo is available from the App Store as a free download. An optional $3 in-app add-on provides detailed health tracking such as calories burned and distance walked.
Griffin Technology has announced its new DJ Cable, with works with the djay app from Algoriddim to enable new functionality in the iOS app. Unlike standard splitter cables, the DJ Cable is specifically wired for djay’s Split Output mode, which sends the master speaker output to the left channel and the cue output to the right channel, letting the user cue songs through their headphones independently of the live mix that is sent to the speakers. The cable offers a male end for connection to the headphone port of an iOS device, as well as two female ports for connection to headphones and a set of speakers or amp. Griffin’s new DJ Cable is available now and sells for $20.
SugarSync has added a new Mobile Device Management feature to its online file sharing and storage service providing users with the ability to use the web console to manage the files synced to their iOS devices. With the latest version of the universal SugarSync iOS app, users can now log onto the SugarSync web console from any browser and select files to be transferred to their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad; a Push Notification is sent to the device which the user can then use to open the app and sync the chosen files. From the web console users can also see a list of all of the files and folders synced to their iOS devices and select files to be removed from their devices the next time the app is opened. SugarSync 2.3 is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. A SugarSync account is required to use the app; new users can sign up within the app for a free account with 5GB of storage with additional storage available for a monthly fee.
JVC has introduced its new RV-NB70 Kaboom! boombox for iPod and iPhone. In keeping with the line’s lineage, which dates to 1998, the latest Kaboom! features an oversized, tube-like design, 40 watts of total power, 3-3/16” full-range drivers, 5-1/8” subwoofers, a central iPod/iPhone dock with a sealing door to prevent damage, a USB port for connecting other audio sources, a CD player, an FM radio, an auxiliary input, a 1/4-inch guitar/mic input with mixing capabilities, video output, the ability to run off wall power or 10 D cell batteries, and an included shoulder strap and remote control. JVC’s new RV-NB70 Kaboom! boombox for iPod and iPhone is available now and sells for $300.
An update to Angry Birds has been released adding a new underground episode, Mine and Dine, with 15 new levels. In this latest episode, the bad piggies are now hiding in underground caverns with the stolen eggs; players must chase the pigs out of their hiding holes using the landscape and geology such as hanging stalactites to retrieve the eggs and gather rare collectible gems. The Mighty Eagle power up introduced in the previous version also remains available as an in-app purchase even in the underground levels to help players pass the more difficult levels. The update also makes some minor changes to some of the tougher game levels to reduce their difficulty. Angry Birds for the iPhone and iPod touch is available from the App Store for $1; Angry Birds HD for the iPad is available separately for $5. The Mighty Eagle is available as a one-time in-app purchase for $1.