Google has released an update to Google Places, its location-based search app for the iPhone and iPod touch adding improvements to filtering and reading user reviews. In Google Places 1.2 users can now filter search results more effectively to find what they are looking for including the ability to search based on open hours for business locations. The update also adds the ability to read full reviews and load additional reviews within the app as well as numerous other bug fixes and tweaks to improve performance and stability. Google Places 1.2 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Vito Technology has released an update to Star Walk, its interactive astronomy guide for iOS devices adding improved support for external HDTV displays and a new multi-wavelength viewing mode. The new multi-wavelength sky view allows users to explore the universe in a variety of wavelengths above and beyond the visible light spectrum from X-rays to radio waves. Vito Technology has also announced that the StarWalk Project has partnered with the European Space Agency to provide expanded and more accurate content within the application. Star Walk is available from the App Store in two versions: Star Walk ($3) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Star Walk for iPad ($5).
Apple has already started production on its first iPhone 5 television ad spots, according to a new report. Citing a person familiar with the matter, AppleInsider reports that filming for the ads is taking place in Los Angeles in conjunction with the company’s long-time ad agency TBWAChiatDay. While some reports have suggested that Apple would announce its next-generation handset in late September, a second person cited in the report said the production schedules for the first-run campaign isn’t slated for completion until the first week in October, making it unlikely that Apple could preview the ad at its announcement event, something it has done numerous times in the past with different products.
Logitech has rolled out its new Fold-Up Keyboard for the iPad 2. The Fold-Up Keyboard uses a unique hinged design that allows the unit’s integrated full-size Bluetooth keyboard to split down the center and fold completely underneath the integrated iPad 2 case. It also holds the iPad at an ideal angle when opened, and offers instant-on capability when opened, USB charging, and compatibility with Apple’s iPad Smart Cover. Logitech’s Fold-Up Keyboard for iPad 2 is available for pre-order now and will ship next month for $130.
Nikon today introduced a number of new Coolpix compact cameras, including the S1200pj, which offers compatibility with iOS devices. Sporting a 14.1-megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom, 720p HD movie capture, and a three-inch LCD screen, the S1200pj’s signature feature is an integrated 20-lumen projector. The projector is capable of projecting an image up to 60-inches wide, and offers compatibility with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to allow users to project images, movies, and online content from their devices. Nikon’s new Coolpix S1200pj will be available in mid-September and will sell for $430.
A judge in Netherlands’ The Hague has ruled that the Samsung Galaxy S, S II, and Ace infringe on an Apple patent, and has banned their sales in any EU country where the patent in question is valid. iPhoneclub.nl (Translated Link) reports that the ban will take effect in mid-October, and is related to European patent number EP 2058868, which describes scrolling through a picture gallery using finger gestures on a touch screen. Notably, the ban does not include Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablet computers.
This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows a white iPhone 4 overlooking the Miraflores Lock of the Panama Canal in Panama. 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!
Nike has released an update to its Nike+ GPS fitness app for the iPhone and iPod touch adding the ability to sync recent runs across devices, Nike+ Maps integration and several other enhancements. With Nike+ GPS 3.2, users can now synchronize their last 30 runs to their device from NikePlus.com along with cumulative statistics and other related records allowing users to easily synchronize their workout data from other iOS or Nike+ devices. The update also adds integration with Nike+ Maps allowing users to not only visualize their runs on an integrated map but also track elevation, pace and save favourite routes directly from the app. Additional new features include the ability to set minimum distances for Last to Run Tag games, a new list of popular running areas and recommended routes and fixes for bugs related to Facebook sharing. Nike+ GPS 3.2 requires iOS 4.0 and is available from the App Store for $2.
Sprint will begin selling the iPhone 5 in mid-October alongside Verizon Wireless and AT&T, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that the mid-October simultaneous launch is later than expected, and will come too late to contribute sales to the company’s fiscal fourth quarter. In addition to the iPhone 5, the report indicates that Sprint will launch sales of the iPhone 4 at the same time. The report suggests that the move may help Sprint to retain customers, as the company blamed a second quarter decline in contract subscribers on “the first full quarter both major competitors offered the iPhone.” A report from June indicated that a Sprint iPhone was in advanced testing.
Ten One Design has unveiled its new Pogo Sketch Pro stylus for the iPad and other touchscreen devices. Machined from a single piece of purified aluminum, the Pogo Sketch Pro features a new Pro Tip that uses patent-pending technology to provide greater sensitivity, an ergonomic rubber grip for added control, and a tapered, balanced handle. Ten One Design’s Pogo Sketch Pro stylus is available now and sells for $25.
Samsung has filed its opposition to Apple’s motion for a preliminary injunction in the United States, and in doing so has cited a sci-fi classic as evidence that the iPad’s design existed well before Apple’s patent covering it. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents reports that in its briefing, Samsung cited a pair of devices shown during Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey as valid prior art for a certain iPad-related design patent. “In a clip from that film lasting about one minute, two astronauts are eating and at the same time using personal tablet computers,” the briefing reads. “As with the design claimed by the D’889 Patent, the tablet disclosed in the clip has an overall rectangular shape with a dominant display screen, narrow borders, a predominately flat front surface, a flat back surface (which is evident because the tablets are lying flat on the table’s surface), and a thin form factor.” While the actors are seen interacting with the tablets as they would static video screens, the scene does not show the devices running an OS, applications of any sort, or otherwise performing other tasks one would associate with an iPad. The clip is available for viewing below. [via MDN]
New evidence that the iPhone 5 will offer dual-mode CDMA and GSM capabilities has surfaced online. TechCrunch, citing information supplied by an unnamed developer, reports that the developer’s app usage logs show a small number of people using the app on a “single, brand-new Apple device” that supports both CDMA and GSM networks. More specifically, the device sports two distinct sets of mobile network codes (MNC) and mobile country codes (MCC), which can be used to uniquely identify mobile carriers. The new device is said to use the MNC/MCC codes from both Verizon and AT&T. Notably, the Qualcomm-sourced cellular communications chip found in the CDMA iPhone 4 is technically capable of supporting both CDMA and GSM networks, although the latter functionality was not used in that particular model.
Taiwan-based Radiant Opto-Electronics is set to become the major supplier of backlight units for the iPad 3, according to a new report. Citing anonymous industry sources, DigiTimes reports that LG Display will be the largest supplier of LCD panels for the next-generation iPad, while Samsung and Sharp will also be counted on as LCD suppliers. The report claims that Samsung relies on Radiant for all its backlights for iPad 3 panels, while Radiant’s backlights account for over half the backlights needed by LG, and will also be used in some of Sharp’s panels, although Sharp also sources some of its panels from a Japan-based supplier. A report from late last week indicated that the iPad 3 will launch in early 2012 and will sport a high-resolution 2048 x 1536 display.
Alongside the expected launch of the iPhone 5, Apple will launch an 8GB version of the iPhone 4, according to a new report. Citing persons with knowledge of the matter, Reuters reports that the flash memory for the handset is being manufactured by a Korean company, and refers to the handset as “the cheaper 8GB iPhone 4,” perhaps indicating that it will fill the spot in the iPhone lineup currently held by the 8GB iPhone 3GS. The report also states that Apple is targeting a late September launch for the next-generation iPhone 5, which it claims is also referred to as the iPhone 4S due to its “largely identical” appearance to the iPhone 4, save for a larger screen, “better antenna,” and 8-megapixel camera. Finally, the report states that the two manufacturers of the new handset—Foxconn and Pegatron—have been told to prepare production capacity for up to 45 million units.
Apple has released iTunes 10.4.1, the latest update to its digital media management software. According to Apple’s release notes, the new version fixes a problem where the media keys on some third-party keyboards would work inconsistently, addresses issues with adding artwork to songs and videos, resolves an issue which may cause iTunes to become unresponsive when purchasing an HD movie, fixes a problem where iTunes may take longer than expected to open after waking your Mac from sleep, and addresses issues with VoiceOver support. iTunes 10.4.1 is available now via Apple’s Software Update utility or as a free download from apple.com/itunes.
Apple has dropped its pricing on refurbished first-generation iPad units, offering them for as low as $299. As of the time of this writing, 16GB Wi-Fi only refurbished units are priced at $299—although currently out of stock—while 32GB units sell for $399 and 64GB models are priced at $499, with the latter pair listed as in stock and shipping within 24 hours. Wi-Fi + 3G models are also available and sell for a $100 premium over their Wi-Fi only counterparts.
Backflip Studios has released a new advanced solitaire game for iOS combining classic solitaire gameplay with rich graphics and effects, unlockable content and an accruable point system. Designed to appeal to a variety of players, Solitaire by Backflip features traditional Klondike solitaire along with Vegas style scoring and prizes to earn. Users can choose from a variety of high-quality themes along with visual effects, sounds and an original background music score. Game Center integration provides the ability to earn achievements and post high scores to leaderboards, and the game also provides the ability to use earned points to cheat when stuck on a hand. Solitaire by Backflip is available as a free download from the App Store in two separate versions: Solitaire by Backflip for the iPhone and iPod touch and Solitaire HD by Backflip for the iPad.
Support for Japan’s earthquake warning system has been discovered in the latest beta release of iOS 5. 9 to 5 Mac reports that iOS 5 users in Japan can turn on an early earthquake notifications via a slider at the bottom of the iOS Notification Center settings pane. According to a Time magazine profile of the system from earlier this year, it provides warning messages to users from seconds to one to two minutes before the most damaging waves strike, giving them a chance to seek cover. As noted in the report, the new feature will likely replace third-party apps offering similar functionality.
Evernote has released a major update to its universal note management app for iOS devices adding support for creating and editing rich text notes, accessing shared notebooks and more. Evernote 4.1 now allows users with iOS 4.2 or later to add rich text styles, lists and links to notes as well as editing existing Evernote items containing simple styles; prior versions of Evernote could display rich-text content from Evernote, however users were limited to appending plain-text information to existing formatted notes. Additional new features include the ability to access notebooks shared by other users, view images in notes as a slideshow and search within individual notes.
The iPad version of the universal app also now sports a new look look and feel with the ability to pinch and zoom in the note list and select multiple notes for simplified sharing and deletion. The iPhone and iPod touch version also includes redesigned screens for creating and editing notes. Additionally, users with an Evernote Premium subscription can now also specify a password to lock the Evernote application on the device. Evernote is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. An Evernote Premium subscription is required for some features and additional storage and can be purchased within the app for $5/month or $45/year.
Online music service Rdio has introduced a new Family Subscription Plan allowing users to purchase multiple Rdio Unlimited accounts for family members under a single subscription and at a discounted price. Rdio Unlimited accounts are designed for individual personal use and do not allow streaming of music from more than one device simultaneously; under the family plan each member gets their own separate Rdio Unlimited account with control over their own music collection, social network and other Rdio features.
Once subscribed to the Family Plan, the master user can invite users via e-mail to either create new accounts or link their existing accounts to the plan. Invitations are accepted either via the Rdio website or using the Rdio iOS app and users under the same Family Plan are automatically setup to follow each other on Rdio by default. Family Plans start at $18/month for two accounts with each additional account priced at $5/month extra. Recently updated with iPad support, the Rdio iOS app is available from the App Store as a free download.