Incase has rolled out its new Pro Slider Case for the iPhone 4. The Pro Slider features a rubberized bumper that surrounds the edges and corners of the device, offering enhanced protections from drops and bumps, two soft interior pads to protect the back of the device, a glossy finish, a two-piece, slide-together design, push-through coverage for the volume and sleep/wake buttons, open access to all other ports, controls, and cameras, an included stand, and compatibility with both GSM and CDMA versions of the device. Incase’s Pro Slider Case for the iPhone 4 is available now in four colorways and sells for $35.
Musicroom.com has released Music Theory for Beginners, a new iPad app designed to teach basic rudiments in a fun and interactive manner. Designed and tested by accomplished musicians and theorists, the app provides 22 individual lessons that cover major theory topics such as reading notes, rhythm and basic harmony. Users learn to read and play music using several interactive controls and take on quizzes to receive Game Center achievement badges for each topic before moving onto the next lessons. The app includes a comprehensive library of over 2,000 questions of varying difficulty to challenge users’ knowledge. Music Theory for Beginners requires an iPad running iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $5.
Online note service Springpad has released an update adding notification support to its universal iOS app. Springpad 2.3 allows users to attach reminders to any item in their Springpad database and receive an iOS-level notification when the reminder is due. Notifications are now also integrated for events in Springpad and users can now set alarms on the device with an optional regular repeat interval. The new version also introduces support for Springpad’s Send to Phone feature allowing users to push items from the web app or Chrome and Firefox extensions directly to Springpad on an iOS device using iOS Push Notifications. Several additional improvements have also been added including better support for rich-text editing, a sync status indicator and several UI improvements. Springpad is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. A free account at Springpadit.com is required to use the app.
Apple has cut its rates for its iAd mobile advertising platform once again in an effort to attract more advertisers, according to a new report. Citing two people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg reports that Apple’s move comes as some of its most well-known clients are using rival services that offer access to a wider base of users. The report notes that Apple is now offering packages for as little as $300,000, down 70% from the initial minimum ad purchase of $1 million, and 40% from the more recent price of $500,000. The cheaper rate is reportedly being offered to agencies which bring together multiple campaigns. As noted in the report, Apple has hired former ad agency executive Carrie Frolich to help attract new advertisers, and has also launched iAd Producer, an online tool that helps agencies design ads more quickly.
Perhaps in response to Apple’s upcoming iTunes Match service, Amazon has announced that all Cloud Drive users can now enjoy unlimited storage space for music for $20 a year. The deal, which is described as a “limited time” offer, is available to customers who purchase any Cloud Drive storage plan—including the base 20GB for $20/year plan—and the unlimited space for music does not appear to count towards the 20GB file storage cap. In addition, customers who already received 20GB of free storage through prior promotions will receive the unlimited space for music at no additional cost, and users can now upload all Amazon MP3 purchases for free in Cloud Drive, including all purchases made before the launch of Cloud Drive and Cloud Player. Finally, Amazon has announced its new Cloud Player on Web for iPad, which enables customers to play music stored in the cloud via an interface specifically optimized for Safari on the iPad.
Electronic Arts has released an update to its classic Tetris game for iOS adding support for the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch and new gameplay options. This latest version introduces a new unlockable Endless Mode that allows players to continue playing beyond level 16 and updates the controls with a new flick up gesture to hold a Tetrimino in place. The update also now includes the original Tetris theme song Korobeiniki as optional background music and adds support for iOS 4 Fast App Switching and French language users. Tetris is available from the App Store for $3.
Photojojo has unveiled its new iPhone SLR Mount for the iPhone 4. The new mount consists of an aluminum case, an SLR lens adapter, and a UV filter; the case offers open access to all ports and controls, and also features two loopholes for attaching a camera strap. By connecting a traditional SLR lens, the Mount promises to offer users a wide variety of effects and features based on the type of lens used. Photojojo’s iPhone SLR Mount for the iPhone 4 is available now for either Canon or Nikon lenses and sells for $249.
PopCap has updated Bejeweled 2 + Blitz for the iPhone and iPod touch adding the Rare Gems from the Facebook version. Appearing occasionally at the end of a level, users can harvest these Rare Gems by spending in-game coins. The Rare Gems are relatively expensive but provide extremely powerful and unique gameplay effects. Three Rare Gems are available: the Moonstone which provides the power of three star gems, the Cat’s Eye that provides massive laser explosions and large point bonuses and the Phoenix Prism that acts as a wildcard gem. The latest update also addresses network connectivity issues that some users experienced with the previous version. Bejeweled 2 + Blitz 1.5.3 is available from the App Store for $1.
A U.S. judge has denied Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction against Amazon aimed at forcing the online retailer to stop using the “App Store” name. Reuters reports that U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton did not agree with Amazon’s argument that the term is purely generic in her order released yesterday, but also stated that Apple has not established “a likelihood of confusion” with Amazon’s service needed for an injunction. A trial date in the trademark case is set for October 2012. [via Mac Rumors]
Apple today announced that over 15 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store. In the release, Apple notes that there are now more than 200 million iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users worldwide, with more than 425,000 apps available on the store, over 100,000 of which are native iPad apps. The App Store is now available in 90 countries, according to the announcement, and Apple has paid developers over $2.5 billion to date.
“In just three years, the revolutionary App Store has grown to become the most exciting and successful software marketplace the world has ever seen,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Thank you to all of our amazing developers who have filled it with over 425,000 of the coolest apps and to our over 200 million iOS users for surpassing 15 billion downloads.”
“We sparked musical magic when iPhone users experienced Ocarina three years ago,” said Dr. Ge Wang, a Smule co-founder and assistant professor at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. “And now with iPad, we’ve created the Magic Piano and Magic Fiddle apps. Who could’ve dreamt an iPad would make its way into the San Francisco Symphony?”
“iPad provides us with an unparalleled mobile device for creating gorgeous, immersive games,” said Mark Rein, vice president and co-founder of Epic Games. “Infinity Blade has been a runaway hit with customers around the world and we couldn’t be more excited about our success on iOS devices.”
“We’re bringing Martha Stewart, Angelina Ballerina, Sesame Street and many more of the world’s most popular books and magazines to iPad,” said Nicholas Callaway, CEO of Callaway Digital Arts. “We knew the iPad was going to be a revolutionary storytelling device, but never could have anticipated it would become so popular, so quickly.”
Soundfreaq has introduced its new Sound Step Recharge speaker for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. The Sound Step Recharge is a 2.1 channel system featuring dual two-inch drivers, one three-inch driver, a UQ3 spacial enhancement processor, Bluetooth for audio streaming from compatible devices, a front-mounted dock offering charging compatibility with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod, a separate USB charging port, a rechargeable lithium ion battery good for up to six hours of audio playback, composite video output, a 3.5mm line input, and an integrated FM tuner. Soundfreaq’s Sound Step Recharge speaker for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod is available now and sells for $160.
Griffin Technology has announced the immediate availability of its Crayola ColorStudio HD accessory and app combo. Announced at the 2011 CES and recipient of an iLounge Best of Show award, ColorStudio HD was developed in collaboration with Crayola, and consists of an iPad-friendly, AA battery-powered digital stylus called the iMarker, and the Crayola ColorStudio HD app for the iPad. Together, they allow young artists to color and interact with special “live” animated coloring book pages, while automatically differentiating between input from the iMarker and the child’s finger; printing is available from within the app to AirPrint-enabled printers, and favorite works can also be shared via e-mail or Facebook. Griffin’s Crayola ColorStudio HD is available now for $30; the ColorStudio HD app is available for free from the App Store. For more information, see our full review.
Starbucks has released an update to its official Starbucks app for the iPhone and iPod touch integrating its new Mobile Pay feature into the main Starbucks app. Originally rolled out across the U.S. earlier this year in the Starbucks Card Mobile app, the Mobile Pay feature allows users to pay for coffee and other Starbucks products using their iPhone or iPod touch to display a barcode that can be read by a scanner at the register.
Starbucks 2.0 brings this feature to the company’s core Starbucks app along with the ability to reload and transfer balances on Starbucks cards, see their rewards levels and star balances, locate Starbucks stores and browse the Starbucks menu all within a single app. The new version also sports a redesigned look and feel with improved performance and offers user-customizable navigation. Starbucks 2.0 is available from the App Store as a free download. The Mobile Pay and Starbucks Card management features are currently available only to users in the U.S.
Groundspeak has released an update to its official Geocaching app for the iPhone and iPod touch adding an advanced search feature and several improvements for offline use. Geocaching 4.5 now allows users to search and filter lists by a number of criteria including cache type, difficulty, terrain and keyword. With the update users can now also sync personal cache notes with the Geocaching website and create and store multiple offline cache lists for outings away from network coverage and easily refresh saved cache data to retrieve the latest information from the web site. The update also adds several other performance and reliability improvements. The Geocaching app is available from the App Store for $10. For users new to Geocaching, a free introductory version is also available to help familiarize them with the activity.
Nike has released a minor update to its GPS-based run tracking app adding improvements to its social media integration and a new auto-calibration feature. Nike+ GPS 3.1.1 now allows users to include their pace in their Facebook and Twitter posts and provides the option to edit Twitter messages before posting. The app now also makes use of Push Notifications for keeping track of ongoing Nike+ Tag games and allows users to link the music play/pause button to start and pause runs. The update also adds an auto-calibration feature to assist users with calibrating their runs to actual distance and improve accuracy. Users can also now register or login using Facebook or Twitter accounts in addition to their Nike+ account. Nike+ GPS is available from the App Store for $2.
iLounge is pleased to announce the PhoneSuit Elite Battery Case Giveaway. In our Giveaway of the Month for July, iLounge and PhoneSuit are giving away 10 PhoneSuit Elite Battery Cases for iPhone 4. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on July 31, 2011 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!
Waterfield Designs has debuted its new Apple TV Case. Designed for the second-generation Apple TV, the case is made from nylon, with an orange or silver textured exterior, soft padded interior pockets for the Apple TV, HDMI cable, power cord, and Apple remote, and a self-locking zipper to hold everything securely inside. Waterfield Designs’ Apple TV Case is available now and sells for $45.
Apple plans to ship 25 million next-generation iPhones by the end of this year, according to a new report. Citing people within Apple’s component suppliers, the Wall Street Journal reports that the new iPhone is expected to be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4, with an eight-megapixel camera, and Qualcomm wireless baseband chips. “Apple’s sales estimates of the new iPhone is quite aggressive. It told us to prepare to help the company meet its goal of 25 million units by the end of the year,” said a person at one of Apple’s suppliers. “The initial production volume will be a few million units… we were told to ship the components to assembler Hon Hai in August.” Two sources cautioned that shipments of the new handset could be delayed if Hon Hai can’t improve its yield rate, as the phone is said to be “complicated and difficult to assemble.”
This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone in front of Tōdai-ji’s Great Buddha Hall, the largest wooden building in the world, located in Nara, Japan. 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!
Gaming site Kotaku is reporting that Nintendo is planning to release its first iOS app in the form of a Pokémon title. The game Pokémon Say Tap? BW will be a rhythm-based game where players will tap on-screen Pokémon cards in time with the music. The game is scheduled to be released this summer as a free download and will require iOS 4.3 or later, suggesting it will be compatible only with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, third- and fourth-generation iPod touch and iPad. This is particularly noteworthy as it represents the first sign of the company’s departure from its prior policy of releasing its mainstream titles exclusively for its own hardware. The game is being published by The Pokémon Company, the Nintendo affiliate responsible for the Pokémon brand, rather than by Nintendo itself and it is not yet clear whether the app will be released only in Japan or available internationally.