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Apple releases iOS 5 beta 7 to developers

Apple has seeded its seventh beta version of iOS 5 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch to registered developers. Listed as build 9a5313e, the release is also available as an over-the-air update for devices running the prior beta, and is once again accompanied by matching beta versions of the iOS 5 SDK, iTunes 10.5, and Apple TV Software. iOS 5 beta 7 is now available to paid iOS developers from the iOS Dev Center.

Garmin releases StreetPilot onDemand

Garmin has released StreetPilot onDemand, a new iPhone GPS navigation app designed to provide iPhone users with subscription-based access to Premium navigation services as necessary at a low entry-level price. StreetPilot onDemand provides navigation modes for both driven and walking including multimodal pedestrian routing with bus and train schedules for many major cities to integrate public transportation into trip routing where possible. Other premium features include spoken turn-by-turn guidance with street names, 3D building and landmark representations, dynamic traffic rerouting and Google Local Search. The application also includes Garmin’s photoReal Junction View that provides a realistic depiction of intersections along with lane guidance on major roads and highways.

StreetPilot onDemand is available from the App Store for $1 and includes 30 days of premium features such as turn-by-turn voice guidance, automatic route recalculation, real-time traffic information and multimodal pedestrian routing. Following the initial 30-day introductory period, users can subscribe to the premium navigation features on a monthly or annual basis for $3/month or $30/year or continue using the app without a subscription view maps, create static routes and lookup points of interest.

Another iPhone prototype lost at N. California bar?

In a story eerily reminiscent of last year’s lost iPhone saga, a new report suggests that an Apple employee has lost an unreleased iPhone prototype in a San Francisco area bar. Citing a source familiar with the investigation, Cnet reports that the iPhone went missing at the Cava 22 “tequila lounge” in the San Francisco’s Mission district in late July, prompting a scramble by Apple to recover the device. The report claims that while Apple did not file a police report on the loss, it did contact San Francisco police to make them aware of the situation, and that the phone was electronically tracked to a single-family home. When police and Apple’s investigators arrived at the home, they spoke with a man who admitted being at the bar on the night the phone was lost, but denied knowing anything about it, and allowed the police to perform what was a fruitless search of the premises. According to the report, Apple has taken extraordinary steps to protect its devices from leaks following last year’s embarrassing incident, including transporting test units inside locked and sealed boxes.

iHome iW1 AirPlay speaker to launch September 26

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iHome today announced that its long-awaited iW1 AirPlay speaker system will be available for purchase starting September 26. Recipient of an iLounge Best of Show Award at the 2011 CES, the iW1 is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and features Bongiovi Acoustics Digital Power Station technology, four active drivers, 802.11b/g wireless networking, AirPlay support, an included charging base and integrated carrying handle, a USB port for charging and local playback of iPods, iPhones, and iPads, a 3.5mm auxiliary input, backlit buttons, and compatibility with the company’s range of iHome+ apps. iHome’s iW1 AirPlay speaker system will sell for $300.

EA releases Surviving High School HD

Electronic Arts has released Surviving High School HD, an iPad version of its popular choice-based role-playing game. First released for the iPhone and iPod touch nearly two years ago, Surviving High School has provided unique, ongoing playability by providing a storyline and framework in which the developer releases new episodic content each week allowing the player to experience new stories and adventures in the lives of a group of high school and college students in the fictional town of Centerscore.

Providing the same general gameplay as the original, Surviving High School HD also introduces two new iPad-specific game features that appear when playing in landscape mode. A new “Faceplace” section provides a fictional Facebook-style news feed where in-game characters post their thoughts as the game progresses while a Decision Tree section adds a full diagram showing the current scene and possible story branches and allows the player to skip back to specific scenes once they’ve completed an episode. As with the original version, the game begins with the included “Football Season” story and continues each week with new episodic content. Users can access the current week’s “Now Airing” episode for free or purchase previous episodes from an “On-demand” section. The application also displays a new illustrated episode timeline unique to the iPad, showing each episode in thumbnail form. Unfortunately, in-app purchases made in the iPhone version of Surviving High School are not transferable to the new iPad version and must be purchased separately, although previous seasons are available in discounted content packs. Surviving High School HD is available from the App Store as a free download.

Refurbished iPad 2 units now available from Apple

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Apple has started to offer a limited selection of refurbished iPad 2 units on its online store. Currently, the models offered include 32GB Wi-Fi + 3G models on AT&T and Verizon, 64GB Wi-Fi only models, and 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G models on both AT&T and Verizon. Each model is priced at $50 less than retail, making the prices for the three models mentioned above $679, $649, and $779, respectively. It is not clear how much stock Apple has, although it is likely that these more expensive models will be joined by more affordable 16GB and 32GB units in the coming weeks.

Yantouch debuts Black Diamond 2 dock for iPhone

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Yantouch has debuted its new Black Diamond 2 dock for the iPhone. The Black Diamond 2 is a unique “3D” dock which uses the iPhone’s screen to illuminate the inside of its translucent plastic body, creating different lighting effects. Unlike the original Black Diamond, the Black Diamond 2 offers the ability to function as a standalone, USB-powered light, and also offers modest amplification—8dB, the company claims—of the audio output from the iPhone’s speaker, as well as the ability to function as a speaker phone. It also offers the ability to charge the iPhone when docked, and works with an updated version of the company’s Black Diamond app, which offers new features such as a sleep and wake timer, a missed call reminder, and a “poke” control to change lighting effects and music playing back through the app. Pricing and availability for the Black Diamond 2 has yet to be announced.

U.S. moves to block AT&T, T-Mobile merger

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The United States government today moved to block AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA. Bloomberg reports that the Justice Complaint was filed in federal court in Washington, and seeks a declaration that the deal would violate U.S. antitrust law, as well as a court order blocking any arrangement in which the deal would go through. “AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low-priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” the U.S. said in its filing. The acquisition, which was announced in March, would be worth roughly $39 billion in cash and stock, and would give Deutsche Telekom—current owner of T-Mobile USA—an eight percent equity in AT&T.

Claimed iPhone ‘4S’ antenna band emerges

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Photos showing an antenna band claiming to be for a next-generation iPhone have been published online. The photos, posted by 9to5Mac, show the part in question resting in between matching parts from both GSM and CDMA iPhone 4 units. The new part appears to be a mix of the two, sporting antenna breaks—black lines—in the same places as the CDMA iPhone antenna band, but also having a SIM slot in a position similar to that of the GSM model. The report argues that these similarities suggest that any iPhone model using this band would likely support both GSM and CDMA networks. As a note of interest for case makers, the new part also appears to have its ring/silent switch and volume buttons located in the same position as the corresponding parts on the CDMA iPhone, making it unlikely that further modifications to existing iPhone 4 case designs would be necessary for compatibility with this particular model.

Scosche announces RDTX-PRO for iPhone, iPod touch

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Scosche has announced its new RDTX-PRO radiation detector for the iPhone and iPod touch. The RDTX-PRO is a dock-connecting accessory that works in conjunction with the company’s free radTEST app to accurately detect gamma radiation above 60keV within +/- 5% accuracy, with a consumer-friendly green (safe)/ yellow (elevated) / red (dangerous) display. The RDTX-PRO can also be used on its own as a radiation alarm. Scosche’s RDTX-PRO will be available in September from Synexx in Tokyo, Japan and will sell for $330; $10 of each purchase will be donated to a group of charities committed to aiding those affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

Photo of the Week: iPod touch in Vermont

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This week’s featured photo is from our iPods Around the World gallery, ans shows an iPod touch in front of a scenic, wooded landscape somewhere in Vermont. 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 with your iPod or iPhone, and maybe your submission will be our next Photo of the Week!

Elgato rolls out EyeTV Mobile for iPad 2

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Elgato has rolled out its new EyeTV Mobile accessory for the iPad 2. The EyeTV Mobile attaches to the iPad 2 via the 30-pin Dock Connector, and allows users to receive live TV broadcasts thanks to an integrated DTT/Freeview receiver. When used with the companion EyeTV Mobile app, users can pause, rewind, and record programs, and can view a TV program guide thanks to details within the broadcast stream. Elgato’s EyeTV Mobile for the iPad 2 is priced at €100/£100; a release date has not yet been announced.

EA Sports releases Madden NFL 12

EA Sports has released Madden NFL 12, this year’s edition of the popular NFL sports game for the iOS platform. Providing authentic action and rosters with over 2,500 real NFL players from the current season, Madden NFL 12 allows fans to take charge of one of the 32 NFL teams and choose to compete in a single-game exhibition mode, 16-game NFL season or relive the playoffs from last season. Players not only choose strategies and control the action but must also perform management tasks such as making trades and tracking stats in order to build a winning team. The latest version generally follows the same game design as last year’s release with the main changes being expanded rosters and a number of improvements to graphics and effects. Madden NFL 12 is available from the App Store in two versions:
Madden NFL 12 ($7) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Madden NFL 12 HD ($10) for the iPad.

Jawbone intros Icon HD Bluetooth headset

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Jawbone has introduced its new Icon HD Bluetooth headset, as well as The Nerd, a USB-based add-on that allows Icon HD users to make VoIP calls from a PC or Mac. The Icon HD features a “wideband” speaker that’s 25 percent larger than the one found in the original Icon for improved sonic performance, NoiseAssassin 2.5 noise cancellation technology, AVRCP play and pause controls, on-screen battery status indication on the iPhone, seven included earbuds for a precise fit, and compatibility with the company’s MyTALK apps, while The Nerd offers plug-and play functionality and compatibility with both Mac and PC. Jawbone’s Icon HD + The Nerd package is available now and sells for $140.

Just Mobile unveils Horizon wall mount for iPad

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Just Mobile has unveiled its new Horizon wall mount for the iPad and iPad 2. The Horizon is low-profile mount crafted from high-grade aluminum, and features rubber inserts to hold an iPad or iPad 2 firmly in place without the need for complex brackets, as well as a hidden dock connector slot and rubber home button to support use in both landscape and portrait modes. Just Mobile’s Horizon wall mount for iPad is available now and sells for $50.

Apple created team in 2008 to tackle counterfeiting

Apple organized a team in 2008 to crack down on the spread of knockoff iPods and iPhones in China, according to a new report. Citing a September 2008 memo from the Beijing embassy that was published online by WikiLeaks, CNN reports that despite Apple’s move, progress has been slow, as gadget piracy isn’t a high priority for the Chinese government. The report states that members of Apple’s global security team were recruited from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer after it executed a series of crackdowns on counterfeit Viagra production in Asia, and that former Pfizer security chief—and former FBI agent—John Theriault leads the team. It goes on to say that China’s Guangdong province has become a hub for manufacturing and selling counterfeit Apple products, as Apple manufacturing parter Foxconn operates factories there. According to the report, the Chinese counterfeit ring is also responsible for supplying knockoff goods to India, where officials had discovered shipments that came from China through Hong Kong.

Apple launches iTunes Match beta for developers

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Apple has made a beta version of its new iTunes Match cloud music service available to developers. The service, announced in June, allows users to pay $25 a year for the ability to match songs on their personal library with songs in the iTunes Store library—and upload any songs that can’t be matched—for cloud access from any Mac or iOS device. The service limits the total number of songs at 25,000, and iTunes Store purchases do not count against that total. In the email announcing the beta release, Apple states that beta subscribers will receive an additional three months free with their paid 12 month subscription, and advises users to maintain a local backup of their iTunes library, as well as any music they upload to iCloud. “Apple will periodically reset your iCloud library during the beta and it is critical that you backup your music regularly,” the email states. “Some features and optimizations of iTunes Match will not be available during the beta.” In support of the service, Apple has released iTunes 10.5 beta 6.1, which is now available to registered developers from the iOS Dev Center.

Insanely Great Mac has posted a video walkthrough of the new service showing that it is capable of not only allowing for downloads to iOS devices—which is how the company’s current “iTunes in the Cloud” service works—but also streaming, integrating the customer’s iTunes Match library into the Music application, and letting the user choose between downloading or streaming each song. Apple is expected to officially launch iTunes Match later this fall. [via Mac Rumors]

Update: Apple has posted a notice on the iTunes Match signup page noting that “beta testing has begun with an initial set of developers. Over the next days, we will continue to expand our testing.”

Update x2: Apple has informed AllThingsD that the new iTunes Match service isn’t technically streaming songs, but is instead offering a simultaneous listen and download feature that, on the surface, appears quite similar to streaming.

Cellular data poll ends, post-Jobs poll begins

With nearly 1,600 votes from iLounge readers, our latest poll—“How much cellular data do you normally use in a month on your iPhone/iPad?”—has ended. Readers could choose from options including 0-250MB, 250-500MB, 500MB-1GB, 1GB-2GB, 2GB-5GB, and 5GB+, with a separate option for readers who don’t own an iPhone or iPad.

Votes were spread quite evenly among the options, with 0-250MB being the most selected option with 19 percent of the vote. 18 percent said they used 500MB-1GB of data per month, followed by 17 percent who average 250-500MB, and 16 percent who said they normally use 1GB-2GB. 12 percent said they average between 2GB and 5 GB, while just six percent said they normally use more than 5GB per month. 13 percent said they didn’t have an iPhone or iPad. Thanks for all your votes!

Our new poll focuses on Apple as a company following Steve Jobs’ resignation. Do you think the company will stay on its current track, keep making great products but slip a little on its internal schedule, fall prey to bad ideas, leading to sub-par products, or experience issues with both products and timing? Or do you not have an opinion? Our new poll—“How do you think Apple will do now that Steve Jobs has resigned?”—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!

Tweetbot adds Tweet Marker support

Tapbots has released an update to Tweetbot for the iPhone and iPod touch adding support for the Tweet Marker API for bookmarking timeline positions. First introduced earlier this month in Twitterrific for iOS and Mac, Tweet Marker is a third-party service that allows applications to automatically register and save the last read tweet for a user so that the information can be used to sync reading positions between multiple Twitter clients.

Tweetbot is now the second iOS Twitter client to add support for the new service, allowing users of both Tweetbot and Twitterrific to store and synchronize reading positions for the main timeline as well as mentions, direct messages and even lists and searches even between the separate applications. The latest Tweetbot update adds several other enhancements as well including improvements to username searches when composing new tweets, location improvements and bug fixes. Tweetbot 1.6 is available from the App Store for $3.

Next-gen iPhone front plate pics published

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A group of images claiming to show a front panel of a next-generation iPhone have been published online. The new photos, published by MacPost, show a complete front panel with glass front, LCD screen and openings for the front-facing camera and a circular Home button. The part in question is again labeled “N94”—believed to be the codename for a next-generation, A5-powered handset—and carries a date of March 3, compared to June 7 for the white front plate posted last week. It also sports a new circular feature near the ambient light/proximity sensor holes, although its purpose is unclear.

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