RaceCase is now offering its GP case for the iPhone 4. The GP is a hybrid case with an upper portion made from CNC machined, aircraft-grade aluminum and a lower portion made from a proprietary composite material, and features CNC machined push-though covers for the volume and sleep/wake buttons, an anodized finish, headphone- and accessory-friendly dock connector and headphone ports, open access to all other ports, controls, and cameras, and a “superlight” lower case option. RaceCase’s GP case for the iPhone 4 is available in red, blue, and black and in separate versions for GSM and CDMA iPhone units, and sells for $60.
Tap tap tap has released an update to Camera+ introducing the ability to add captions while editing photos and several other improvements. With Camera+ 2.3 users can now place captions on photos by adding a border and then inserting styled captions designed to complement the chosen border style. The latest version also adds the ability to save photos without edits, upload full-resolution photos to Facebook and improves the process of choosing editing operations and effects. The update also includes several performance improvements and bug fixes. Camera+ 2.3 is available from the App Store for $1.
Apple’s carrier partners are currently testing iPhone models with fourth-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, according to a new report. Citing an internal iOS test build, Boy Genius Report claims that the software contains a property list file for LTE, suggesting that at least some current test units contain LTE-capable hardware. Notably, the report does not claim that the fifth-generation iPhone will contain the technology—that is unconfirmed—but instead aims to offer up evidence that Apple is testing iPhone units with LTE functionality for a future release.
Apple has substantially increased the total order volume of its iPhone orders for the second half of 2011, according to a new report. Citing “Taiwan-based supply chain makers,” DigiTimes reports that the total volume of orders for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (GSM), iPhone 4 (CDMA), and iPhone 5 has been increased from an original estimate of 50 million units to more than 56 million units. The report states that iPhone 5 orders for the third quarter of 2011 have been lowered from seven million units to 5.5-6 million units, while fourth quarter orders have been raised from 14 million units to more than 20 million units, while fourth quarter orders for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 have been reduced to eight million units. Total iPhone orders for calendar 2011 are expected to reach 95 million units.
Google today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Motorola Mobility—formerly the Mobile Devices division of parent company Motorola before being spun off earlier this year—is described in the release as a “dedicated Android partner, and will be run by Google as a separate business, used to “supercharge the Android ecosystem” and “enhance competition.” Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.” The deal is subject to regulatory and stockholder approval.
Incase has debuted its new Hybrid Cover case for the iPhone 4. The single-piece Hybrid Cover combines a flexible, soft rubber top for added cushioning and grip with a hardshell bottom that adds durability and a dual-finish look. Features include a topographic patten on the interior, push-through coverage for the volume and sleep/wake buttons, open access to all other ports, controls, and cameras, and compatibility with both GSM and CDMA models of iPhone 4. Incase’s Hybrid Cover for the iPhone 4 is available now in black or gray and sells for $35.
Apple may be working behind the scenes to convince iOS game developers to raise their prices on certain titles, according to a Develop report. Speaking on stage at Edinburgh Interactive, Steve Ackerman, managing director of UK studio Somethin’ Else said, “Obviously Apple doesn’t promise anything in terms of promoting games, but before the release of Papa Sangre they said they were very interested in the game, and that they might promote it.” He continued, “They asked us how much we were going to sell it for, and we said maybe ₤1.99. They said ‘you must be joking, this is a premium app, this is worth more than the price of coffee.’” The game eventually launched at £3.99/$4.99, and has since sold more than 50,000 copies. It is unclear how common a practice this might be for Apple, or to how many developers it may offer pricing advice. [via Pocket Gamer]
Not A Basement Studio has released Wikly, a new weekly calendar app for the iPad aimed at combining functional ease of use and aesthetics. Sporting a unique interface design, Wikly provides users with a week-focused view of their calendar with multiple colour schemes and multitouch gesture controls. Targeted at delivering a simple and fun experience for the average user, Wikly deliberately omits advanced power user features preferring instead to keep the majority of interaction on a single screen. Gesture-based controls allow users to tap-and-drag to create events, use three-finger swipes to navigate between weeks and drag-and-drop events to reschedule them. Wikly also includes over 20 colour schemes to allow users to customize the appearance of the application and provides an integrated to-do list to keep track of tasks. Wikly requires an iPad running iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $1.
Infinite Dreams has released Shoot The Birds (iLounge Rating: A-), a new universal iOS game that challenges players to get revenge on flocks of flying vermin by shooting down waves of birds in mid-flight. In Shoot The Birds, the player takes control of a crossbow-armed scarecrow and must fire arrows at bird targets flying above. Players must take down as many birds as possible within a set time limit with the goal of accumulating the highest score, the time limit varying based on how well the player performs. In-game objectives provide the opportunity to gain additional power-ups and point multipliers to rack up even more points with achievements and high scores tracked and shared via Apple’s Game Center. Shoot The Birds is a universal app requiring iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $1.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has started trial production of Apple’s next-generation A6 processor, according to a new report. Citing industry sources, Taiwan Economic News reports that the production design is on schedule to be “taped out” in the first quarter of next year and publicly unveiled in the second quarter of 2012. The report states that TSMC is using a 28-nanometer process and 3D stacking technologies in the production of the A6, which once again is based on ARM architecture. TSMC was previously capable of handling processor production for Apple, according to the report, but had not pursued a relationship with the company due to limited production lines that were fully booked by existing customers including Nvidia and Qualcomm. If Apple follows its pattern of the last two years, it will debut the A6 in its next-generation iPad next year. [via BGR]
Tapulous has released a new Glee themed app in its popular Tap Tap Revenge series of rhythm-based music games. Tap Tap Glee challenges players to tap and shake to their favourite music from the popular TV series while also offering a Glee Trivia game, a yearbook section with information on Glee characters and a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming film, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie. The game includes five free tracks and access to over 50 tracks via in-app purchase with a new free promo track released every day. Players can also connect to Facebook and post as a Gleek or a Jock and slushy their friends’ Facebook walls. Tap Tap Glee is available from the App Store as a free download.
PAN Vision and Tactile Entertainment have released Pigs in Trees, a new iOS game that puts players in charge of a group of tree-dwelling pigs that must defend their home from an invading army of woodpeckers. Described as the antithesis of Angry Birds, players use a real-time line drawing mechanic to navigate their flying pigs around a map shooting down enemy birds and racking up points. The game provides multiple ammo types and power-ups and challenges users with different types of enemies each with their own abilities as they play through three campaigns and 45 levels. Game Center integration provides support for tracking and sharing achievements and high scores. The game is available in separate versions, Pigs in Trees ($1) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Pigs in Trees HD ($2) for the iPad.
The Omni Group has released an update to OmniFocus for the iPhone adding additional Forecast mode features and home screen customization. OmniFocus for iPhone 1.11 now includes the Forecast mode calendar integration feature found on the iPad version that provides a view of hard landscape events from the iOS Calendar displayed directly beneath overdue and due soon actions. Forecast mode can also now optionally display items starting on a given day. The new version also includes the ability to customize the home screen by reordering the built-in categories and adding frequently used perspectives directly to the home screen. OmniFocus for iPhone 1.11 available from the App Store for $20.
Apple is planning to hold its traditional music event on Wednesday, September 7, according to a new report. Citing a report from Japanese-language Kodawarsian based on information from a source “in the know,” Mac Rumors reports that the event’s timing is similar to events held the last three years, on September 1, 2010, September 9, 2009, and September 9, 2008, respectively. The website for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts—Apple’s preferred venue for the event in past years—shows no programs scheduled for September 7, suggesting that the space would be available. As noted in the report, Apple has normally used the event to introduce new iPod models, however, the company is widely expected to announce its next-generation iPhone instead of or in addition to whatever iPod models it may have ready as it did not announce a new iPhone at its earlier WWDC event, which it had done the three years prior.
Update: Jim Dalrymple of the Loop claims that Apple will not hold an event on September 7.
Bitwise Design has released Hospital Havoc 2, a new fast-paced time management game with a medical theme. In Hospital Havoc 2, players take on the role of a doctor who must diagnose, treat, cure and discharge a parade of patients as quickly as possible. Players earn muffins for being efficient which can be used to upgrade gear and take on more challenges, expanding office space and acquiring zany tools and machines from the in-game Quick-Med Catalogue. Available as a free download, the game uses an in-app currency in the form of “muffins” which can either be earned through gameplay or purchased in exchange for real-world money via in-app purchasing. Players can also customize the appearance of their in-game character and the game includes 100 experience levels with a wide variety of patient scenarios and profiles to challenge the player. OpenFeint and Game Center integration is included for connecting and competing with friends as well as sharing scores and achievements. Hospital Havoc 2 is a universal app requiring iOS 4.1 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
V-Moda has announced that it is now shipping its M-80 on-ear headphones. Sharing most of its styling and internal components with the previously-released True Blood V-80 headphones, the M-80 offers 40mm dual-diaphragm drivers, detachable Kevlar-reinforced cables with 24k gold-plated plugs, interchangeable metal ear shields on either side of the ear cushions, one 3.5mm fabric cable with an inline, single-button remote and mic box, one standard 3.5mm fabric cable, and an included exoskeleton carrying case, and is made from steel, aluminum, and microfiber suede. V-Moda’s M-80 on-ear headphones are available now and sell for $230; for more information, see our full review.
Coolous has offered iLounge a preview of its upcoming Alien cases for iPhone 4. Sporting an extra terrestrial-inspired design on the back, the Alien case offers a hybrid build with an inner, shock-absorbing layer of soft TPU and an external polycarbonate plate for added rigidity, as well as access to all ports, controls, and cameras. Coolous’ Alien cases for the iPhone 4 are expected to sell for $35; a release date has yet to be announced.
Editor’s Note: These and other Coolous cases are wastefully packaged in hard plastic boxes, a practice that iLounge has noted is environmentally harmful; we recommend against patronizing products that are packaged in this fashion.
Apple was the fourth-largest cell phone maker in the world in the second quarter of 2011, according to new research by Gartner. Apple’s shipments of 19.6 million placed it behind only Nokia, Samsung, and LG, and gave it a 4.6 percent share of the overall market. In terms of smartphone operating system marketshare, Apple’s iOS was in third place in the second quarter with a 18.2 percent share of the market. Leading the OS race was Android with 43.4 percent share of the market, followed by Symbian with 22.1 percent share of the market. Gartner did not break down smartphone sales by manufacturer.
The U.S. International Trade Commission has said it will investigate a complaint of patent infringement filed by Apple against HTC. Bloomberg reports that in the complaint Apple is targeting HTC’s Flyer tablet computers as well as the Droid Incredible, Wildfire, EVO 4G and Desire phones, claiming that they infringe five patents related to software architecture and user interfaces in portable devices, hardware for touchscreens, and movement sensors. Notably, the ITC ruled last month that HTC violated two Apple patents in some of its Android-based phones. “HTC respects intellectual property and will continue to protect and defend its protected innovations,” Grace Lei, general counsel at HTC, said in an e-mail. “We will fully cooperate with the ITC’s investigation and look forward to showing that we are not in violation of any of Apple’s patents.” HTC released its seven-inch Flyer tablet in the U.S. in March.
Boxee has released an iPad app for accessing, viewing and sharing video content. Boxee for iPad allows users to view videos from popular services such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr as well as streaming content from the user’s own computer; the application connects to the user’s social networks and aggregates all video content in a single view and allows users to easily share their own videos on the same networks. A watch later feature also allows users to create a queue of videos from various sources around the web and a featured videos section provides a curated list of funny, creative and insightful videos.
Using the companion Boxee Media Manager application on a Mac or Windows PC users can also stream content to Boxee on the iPad from their computer using a local Wi-Fi connection in almost any file format supported by the computer without having to worry about converting videos to an iPad-ready format. A “Send to TV” feature also provides integration with the hardware Boxee Box allowing users to send video from their iPad directly to the big screen; the feature is expected to be added in an update to the Boxee software coming this fall. Boxee for iPad requires iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.