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News

App Store suffers In-App Purchase outage

According to reports from a number of iOS developers, Apple’s In-App Purchasing servers appear to be having problems that are preventing users from buying content within iOS applications. The problem seems to exist with Apple’s receipt verification system which is responsible for validating successful purchases; requests to this system have been returning errors since late list night, thus preventing in-app purchases from being successfully completed. Developers are complaining about lost revenue from users, with one developer reporting that the failure is “losing lots of sales” and is “threatening to more-or-less take down the entire IAP ecosystem.”

There is unconfirmed speculation that the issue may be connected to fake purchase receipts getting into the system, however it is also worth noting that Apple was scheduled to reset iCloud Backups during the daytime yesterday—a process which seemingly did not actually occur until later last night. [via Engadget]

Touch panel defect to delay iPhone 5 shipments?

A defect found in iPhone 5 touch panels produced by Wintek may affect the ability to meet initial shipment targets of the device, according to a new report. Citing iPhone supply chain makers, Digitimes reports that the defect, referred to as a “delayed bubble,” is difficult to avoid during panel production and is not detected during the lamination process, instead manifesting during assembly. While the report claims that Wintek is expected to remedy the defect quickly, as the touch panel manufacturing process for the iPhone 5 is the same as that for the iPhone 4, the company does account for 20-25 percent of the total production of touch panels used in the iPhone 5. Finally, the report claims that Apple aims to ship 25-26 million iPhone 5 units in the fourth quarter.

iHelicopters debuts iW500 Wall Climbing Car for iOS

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iHelicopters has debuted its new iW500 Wall Climbing Car for iOS. The remote controlled vehicle creates a sealed vacuum between itself and the surface of the wall or ceiling, allowing it to perform a variety of stunts. A vacuum on/off switch allows the device to be used as a traditional RC car; other features include a 200mAh Li-Polymer USB rechargeable battery, and an included transmitter which plugs into the dock connector port of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and works with a free app to allow the device to remotely control the toy. iHelicopters’ iW500 Wall Climbing Car for iOS is available now and sells for $60.

Otterbox iPhone 4S case packaging surfaces

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Photos showing the packaging for a claimed “iPhone 4S” case have surfaced online. The images, posted to Twitter by @chronic, show the packaging for what appears to be an Otterbox Commuter Series case labeled “iPhone 4S.” The same Twitter account claims that Otterbox has ordered an initial run of 3,000,000 of the cases, which, if true, suggests that the company is confident in the legitimacy of the “iPhone 4S” moniker. Notably, the back of the package shows what appear to be volume buttons on the side of the case opposite their current location, a change that has not been suggested by any prior part leaks or reports. Apple is widely expected to announce its new iPhone lineup in the next two weeks.

Netflix streaming issues persist on Apple TV

Issues with Netflix’s streaming service continue to hound users of the second-generation Apple TV and some other devices, despite complaints to Netflix and Apple dating as far back as last year. Among the issues being discussed on Apple’s Support boards, in various reports, and by iLounge’s editors and contacts include frequent pauses for buffering which can take longer than the duration of the selected program, complete connection timeouts, and error messages indicating problems loading content or communicating with Netflix. Calls to Netflix support have suggested that Netflix is blaming the issues on ISPs, regardless of the customers’ locations or bandwidths, while the ISPs have typically pointed the finger back at Netflix. Although the causes of these various issues are unclear, what is clear is that the problems appear to be widespread and unrelated to a given user’s location or internet service provider. We’ve reached out to Netflix for comment and will update this entry when we receive a reply.

Have you been experiencing issues using Netflix on your Apple TV? Let us know in the comments below.

Apple moving away from Samsung as memory supplier

  • September 22, 2011
  • Apple

Apple is increasing its purchases of DRAM and NAND flash from suppliers in Japan as part of its ongoing effort to reduce its dependence on Samsung. Citing industry sources, DigiTimes reports that Apple has purchased more NAND flash from Toshiba and more RAM from Elpida Memory. The move comes as Apple and Samsung’s relationship grows increasingly contentious, with the two companies competing in the smartphone and tablet markets, and with multiple lawsuits against each other filed in courts worldwide.

CTV unveils social iPad app

Canadian Television Network CTV has released a new iPad application that provides on-demand access to its network content alongside an interactive social environment. The app provides on-demand streaming of television shows, including popular prime-time content carried by the network such as Desperate Housewives, Flashpoint and Pan Am. Users can also bookmark episodes for future or repeat viewing, check local broadcast schedules, share web links to shows on Twitter and Facebook and view series photos, episode guides and news updates.

A unique CTV Social Screen feature also provides a ‘second-screen’ experience during select live broadcasts where users can interact with other CTV app users in a moderated, live chat using their existing Facebook or Twitter accounts. The curated chat environment also integrates tweets from cast members, Facebook comments and other insider commentary from across the social web to act as a companion during primetime shows. The CTV app for iPad requires iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.

Edge adds new 3D engine, Game Center sync

Mobigame has released an update to its popular block-rolling puzzle game Edge adding a new 3D engine and Game Center integration. With the new engine the latest version of Edge now runs a full 60 FPS and users can sync progress between their devices using Apple’s Game Center. The update also includes graphics optimized for the Retina Display and iPad 2 multisample anti-aliasing along with optimizations for older first- and second-generation devices. Users can also now play against a ghost block and several bug fixes are included to improve playability. Edge 1.7 is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $3.

iPad 2 with 3G launches in China to empty lines

  • September 22, 2011
  • iPad

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Despite the country’s seeming fervor for Apple products in recent months, the iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G launched in China with no lines whatsoever, according to a new report. Citing reports from Chinese-language Eastday and Netease, M.I.C. Gadget reports that Apple’s flagship stores in Shanghai and Beijing failed to bring in crowds for the release, despite preparations that included hiring black-shirted security guards and the set up of long queues outside the stores, which are shown sitting empty in photos accompanying the report. An anecdotal report from the Beijing Xicheng Apple Store included in the report indicates that the store actually delayed opening for ten minutes due to the fact that there were no customers inside, with the first customers to arrive looking to purchase iPhones, not iPads—the first 3G iPad 2 wasn’t sold until the store had been open for twenty minutes. The report suggests that this particular model isn’t selling well due to a combination of price, the fact that it had been available in other parts of the world for some time and was therefore sold on the grey market, and China Unicom’s data offerings for the device.

KDDI to offer iPhone 5 in Japan alongside SoftBank

KDDI will offer the iPhone 5 in Japan, ending rival carrier SoftBank’s three-year exclusive on the popular handset. Citing a report from Japanese-language Nikkei Business, MarketWatch reports that KDDI was making preparations to sell the iPhone 5 at its au shops throughout the country beginning in November. The iPhone has been a major draw for SoftBank over the last few years as it has battled both KDDI and market leader NTT DoCoMo for subscribers. [via 9to5Mac]

Gowalla releases major app update with Social Guides

Gowalla has released an update to its iPhone and iPod touch app in conjunction with a major revamp of the location-based social network. Completely redesigned, Gowalla 4.0 promises to deliver a new and re-imagined experience for users centered around a new Social Guides feature that provides a collection of the best sights and venues in cities, parks and regions around the world. The Guides are currently available in 60 cities with plans to rapidly expand to hundreds more featuring photos, highlights and experiences from friends, locals and experts in each area. Gowalla has also partnered with organizations such as Disney and National Geographic to create guides to places such as walt Disney World and various National Parks across the U.S.

Gowalla has also rolled in several other changes to the service, including replacing the concept of simply “checking in”—now referred to as “stories” the service encourages users to share their experiences at a location alongside photos and comments that can be used as part of the new Social Guides. The service has also adopted a new “following” model similar to Twitter where users can subscribe to the feeds of other members without the requirement to create a two-way “friend” relationship. More information on the new Gowalla can be found on the Gowalla Blog. Gowalla 4.0 for the iPhone and iPod touch requires iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download. The iPad version has not yet been updated to 4.0, however the existing version will continue to work with the new service; Gowalla has noted that an iPad update is a high priority.

Eton debuts Mobius solar battery case for iPhone 4

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Eton has debuted its new Mobius rechargeable battery case with solar panel for the iPhone 4. The Mobius combines an 1,800 mAh lithium ion battery pack with a high-efficiency solar panel that’s used to recharge the battery when not in use. Other features include a Micro USB port for charging the battery via USB, dedicated charge indicators for the battery and solar panel, and a standby switch for control over when the battery is supplying power to the encased iPhone. Eton’s Mobius rechargeable battery case with solar panel for the iPhone 4 is available now from Amazon and sells for around $85.

Alawar Entertainment releases Farm Frenzy 3

Alawar Entertainment has released Farm Frenzy 3, the third instalment in its popular farming sim series for the iOS platform. The latest game features a revamped art style, new gameplay and introduces a new storyline presented in comic-book style interludes. In Farm Frenzy 3 players take on the role of a new character, Scarlett, whose must earn the trust of the community by building a successful farming business and unseat the greedy president of the Farmers Union in the next election. The game provides 95 levels where players must manage local farms across exotic locations from the South Pole to Africa, feeding animals, protecting the farm, collecting produce and manufacturing goods. Game Center and OpenFeint integration also provide tracking of 16 different trophies and achievements and the developer plans to offer sequels via in-app purchase providing additional levels and new challenges. The full game is available in two versions: Farm Frenzy 3 ($3) for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and third- or fourth-generation iPod touch and Farm Frenzy 3 HD ($5) for the iPad. Free Lite versions are also available that provide a more limited set of levels and animals.

Canon adds AirPrint support to PIXMA printers

Canon has announced that it has added AirPrint support to three PIXMA printers. According to the announcement, the PIXMA MG8220, MG6220 and MG5320 Wireless Photo All-In-One inkjet photo printers will now support AirPrint wireless printing from the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. In addition, the company also announced that the majority of PIXMA inkjet printers launched from this point forward will include support for the feature. Introduced in iOS 4.2 last November, AirPrint allows for configuration- and driver-free printing to supported printers directly from iOS devices.

SugarSync adds text editing, sync and UI improvements

Cloud storage provider SugarSync has released an update to its iOS app adding text editing capabilities and several user interface and synchronization improvements. SugarSync 2.4 now includes a built-in simple text editor that can be used to create or edit plain text files from directly within the app for syncing via SugarSync, eliminating the need to use a third-party app for working with basic text files. The update also adds a new menu bar that allows users to quickly sort files, upload photos and videos and create new files and folders from any location in the app, making it possible to upload media content directly to any folder and sync it with other devices and desktop computers. Users can also now select multiple files and folders for synchronization to their device with a single click and the UI has been designed to provide a simpler interface requiring less taps for common tasks. SugarSync 2.4 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.

CableJive dockBoss+ expands speaker dock compatibility

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CableJive has introduced its new dockBoss+, a unique accessory that aims to expand the compatibility of most iPod/iPhone/iPad docking audio systems. The dockBoss+ connects to the speaker’s dock using a female connector, which is attached to a single cable that splits into separate 3.5mm headphone plug and micro USB connectors, allowing the system to receive audio from and send power to a wide range of devices, including Android phones and non-Apple audio players. As noted in the description, the accessory does not provide integration features like device control or playlists, leaving it up to the device’s owner to come up with a remote control solution. CableJive’s dockBoss+ USB and audio adapter cable for docking audio systems is available for order now for $30 and is expected to ship September 28.

Report: Tim Cook to unveil iPhone 5 on Oct. 4

Apple CEO Tim Cook will unveil the iPhone 5 at a special media event early next month, according to a new report. Citing sources close to the situation, AllThingsD reports that Apple will hold the media event on Tuesday, October 4, with the iPhone 5 available for purchase “within a few weeks” thereafter. The report goes on to state that it will be Cook onstage for the unveiling—not an executive with prior product announcement experience, such as Phil Schiller—as the newly-installed CEO seeks to set the tone for his new role, and will likely preside over Apple media events going forward. The early October date meshes well with prior reports of a mid-October launch, and with a prior AllThingsD report that no announcement regarding the iPhone would be made until October.

Photo of the Week: iPhone 3G in Bangladesh

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This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone 3G beachside at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. 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!

Mophie updates Juice Pack external battery lineup

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Mophie has taken the wraps off its new lineup of Juice Pack external batteries for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The Juice Pack Powerstation is a 4,000mAh external battery offering 2 amp output capabilities for fast charging of the iPad over USB, a four LED charge status indicator, and built-in short circuit, overcharge and temperature protection. It will sell for $80.

The smaller Juice Pack Boost offers a 2000mAh capacity lithium polymer battery, a slim profile with a pivoting Dock Connector, a soft touch finish, and a four LED charge status indicator. It is priced at $50. Finally, the Juice Pack Reserve is a compact power solution offering a hidden, flexible integrated charging cable, a built-in key ring, a LED power indicator, and a two-tone soft touch and metallic finish. It will sell for $35; all three Juice Pack models are expected to ship September 30th.

Targus unveils new accessories for iPad

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Targus has unveiled a number of new accessories for the iPad and iPad 2. The Swivel Stand for iPad securely holds an iPad or iPad 2 in any orientation while offering multiple viewing/typing angles, the ability to store the iPad when not in use, and compatibility with Apple’s iPad Smart Cover. It is available exclusively at Best Buy and sells for $40. Also new is the Executive Stylus & Pen, which combines a rubber-tipped stylus and refillable ballpoint pen in a traditional enclosure for $40, and the 3-in-1 Stylus for Capacitive Devices, which offers a rubber-tip for use as a stylus, a ballpoint pen, and a laser pointer, all in a single enclosure. It is available now and sells for $35. Finally, the Lap Lounge for Tablets is a device-agnostic solution for casual tablet use, offering a 360-degree rotating base a built-in stylus loop, and a zippered pocket that stores a tuck-away handle and also serves as an accessory pouch. It is priced at $50; the Executive Stylus and Lap Lounge are listed as “coming soon.”

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