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Walmart to start third-gen iPad sales at 12:01 am

  • March 15, 2012
  • iPad,

Walmart has announced that it will start to sell the third-generation iPad at 12:01 a.m. local time tomorrow morning. According to the retailer, there will be a “limited supply of the new iPad available” at 24-hour Walmart locations starting at one minute after midnight, giving customers a nearly eight hour jump on those choosing to purchase their iPads at other brick-and-mortar retailers. Apple will officially launch the third-generation iPad tomorrow, Friday, March 16.

Third-gen iPad lengthens charging times

  • March 15, 2012
  • iPad,

According to an anecdotal report in one of the early crop of third-generation iPad reviews, the new device takes substantially longer to charge than prior versions. “While the new battery clearly isn’t much bigger than the old one, it can hold much more juice (42 watt-hours versus 25-watt-hours)”, MG Siegler writes for TechCrunch. “The downside of this is that I’ve found it takes quite a bit longer to charge the new iPad. As in several hours — you’ll probably want to do it overnight.” Siegler also notes that the new iPad gets noticeably warm—“never hot, just warm”, he assures—in the lower lefthand corner after prolonged use; The Verge noted similar warmth when using LTE for extended periods of time, suggesting that it, and not the battery, is to blame. Expect full test results from iLounge’s independent review.

Retro64 releases Rune Raiders

Retro64 has released Rune Raiders, a new fantasy action/strategy game for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Structured as a classic board game, Rune Raiders is a casual adventure that challenges players to build a party with the right combination of skills from among twelve individual fighters to defeat enemies. Each fighter has its own unique weapons, damage, armour and speed that can be further enhanced by new power ups and perks available as players progress onto new levels. The game includes 15 levels in total as well as a random, survival mode and provides 5 level-ups for each fighter, 15 unique enemies and 3 different terrains. The game is accompanied by a classical heroic soundtrack and unique character dialogue for each level and includes Game Center integration for both leaderboards and achievements. Rune Raiders is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $2.

Evernote adds iPad UI improvements, Retina Display support

Evernote has released an update to its universal iOS app adding a Retina Display optimized interface for the third-generation iPad as well as several other general UI and editing improvements. Evernote 4.1.9 expands upon the automatic note titling introduced in the prior version by allowing users to now view a list of suggested note titles that refine as users type their own title. The update also provides significant improvements to text editing on the iPad including indentation support for checkboxes and automatic checkbox formatting on new lines in a checklist. The latest version also includes a number of bug fixes and stability and performance improvements. Evernote 4.1.9 is available from the App Store as a free download.

Kindle adds iPad Retina Display support, new library design

Amazon has released version 3.0 of its iOS Kindle app with optimizations for the new third-generation iPad. In addition to Retina Display support, the latest version sports a new library design with a new and updated look and feel including grid view support for iPhone and iPod touch users. The update also introduces a simplified and combined cloud view to allow users to more easily access all of their content stored in the Amazon cloud. Kindle 3.0 is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.

iFixit begins teardown of third-gen iPad

  • March 15, 2012
  • iPad,

After acquiring a third-generation iPad at a Telstra store in Melbourne, Australia, iFixit has begun its teardown of the third-generation iPad. The repair manual site/parts supplier is still in the early stages of the teardown, but thus far has been able to check the model numbers on the back of the device’s 9.7-inch display, which reportedly suggest that the part is a Samsung LCD. We will be updating this story with more details as they become available.

Update: As the teardown continues, chips from Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Epocs, Toshiba, Qualcomm, and Fairchild have been found inside the device, as has the silver A5X chip cover; the A5X in this particular unit was manufactured by Samsung in the first week of 2012.

Update x2: As previously revealed, the third-generation iPad’s battery is a 3.7 volt, 42.5 watt-hour battery, and, as in past iPad models, takes up the bulk of the volume inside the device’s case.

FaceTime on third-gen iPad limited to Wi-Fi networks

  • March 15, 2012
  • iPad,

As part of its testing for its review of the third-generation iPad, The Verge reports that the device still requires a Wi-Fi connection to use FaceTime. This is surprising due to the data speeds of LTE networks, which often times rival standard cable Internet, and are therefore just as capable of providing the bandwidth necessary for a video call. In addition—and as pointed out in the report—the Verizon third-generation iPad is capable of acting as a wireless hotspot, and could therefore likely provide a fast enough connection to an iPhone or another iPad to conduct a FaceTime call with little, if any, degradation in quality.

Third-generation Apple TV unboxing, comparison photos posted (Updated)

iLounge has received its first test unit of the third-generation Apple TV, and has posted the first unboxing photos of the unit to our Flickr account. As expected, the unit’s packaging has changed little from the last generation, save for the updated photo on the rear and the mention of 1080p playback capability on one side of the box. Little has changed inside the box, either, as new instructions seem to be the only change, and the unit itself is virtually indistinguishable from the prior model, save for a new model number on the bottom. Expect much more on Apple’s latest-generation set-top box soon.

Update: We’ve now posted a handful of screenshots—accessible from the above link—comparing the 1080p output of the third-generation Apple TV to the 720p output from the second-gen unit.

Wolfram Alpha adds image processing

Wolfram Alpha has released an update to the iOS application for its computational knowledge engine adding a new optional image processing feature. Available as a $1 in-app purchase, the premium image processing add-on allows users to import pictures into Wolfram Alpha for quick analysis and processing either from the device’s camera or photo library. The app will provide detailed information on an image including basic characteristics and EXIF data along with other data such as an intensity histogram and colour analysis; users can then perform additional processing functions including making level and colour adjustments, adding effects and performing optical character recognition. Modified images can be shared via e-mail, posted to Facebook or saved to the photo library. The latest update also adds e-commerce links for consumer product queries and weather information and general user interface improvements. Wolfram Alpha requires iOS 4.1 or later and is available from the App Store for $3; the image processing add-on is available as an in-app purchase for an additional $1.

Third-gen iPad poll ends, third-gen Apple TV poll begins

With over 4,000 responses from iLounge readers, our latest poll—“Will you sell your current iPad to buy an iPad 3?”—has ended. Owners of both original iPad and iPad 2 units were given “yes” and “no” options, with additional options offered for those who don’t have an iPad but plan to buy the new model, and those who don’t have any interest in the iPad.

A large majority of readers—66 percent—said they plan to purchase a third-generation iPad. Broken down, 24 percent of respondents said they didn’t own an iPad but planned to purchase the new model, while 16 percent said they already own an iPad or iPad 2, plan to keep, and plan to purchase the new model in addition to their current device. Another 16 percent of respondents said they have an original iPad and plan to upgrade, and 10 percent said they own an iPad 2 and plan to upgrade. On the other side were 20 percent of reader who said they own an iPad 2 and plan to keep it, eight percent who said they own an original iPad and plan to keep it, and just six percent who said they have no interest in the iPad. Thanks for all your votes.

Our new poll focuses on the third-generation Apple TV. We’d like to know if the new model’s faster processor and 1080p capabilities are enough to entice you to purchase one. Do you have a first- or second-generation unit, and plan to upgrade, or do you plan to make this your first Apple TV purchase, or possibly purchase it to use alongside your current Apple TV somewhere else in the house? Or are you happy with your current unit, or are you not interested in the Apple TV at all? Our new poll, “Do you plan to purchase the third-gen Apple TV?” lets you answer that question. As always, you can find the iLounge Poll in the left-hand column of the main iLounge.com home page. Cast your vote today!

iHome iW2 AirPlay speaker to ship April 1

iHome has announced that it will ship its iW2 Wireless Speaker System with AirPlay on April 1. Originally debuted at the 2011 CES, the iW2 retains the flat, oval shape of the iW1, and features built-in Wi-Fi, a USB port for iPad, iPhone, and iPod charging and music playback, an included IR remote, SRS WOW HD audio processing, Reson8 speaker chambers, an aux-in jack for other audio sources, and an included universal AC adaptor. iHome’s iW2 will be available at Best Buy, Crutchfield, select Target stores, and from iHome’s website and will sell for $200.

Watch with eBay helps users find TV show related items

eBay has released Watch with eBay, a new iPad app allowing users to search the popular online auction site for items related to their favourite TV programs. The app provides an integrated, image-rich program guide that users can browse or search through based on ZIP code and service provider to see what’s on TV and then easily shop for items related to the selected program. Users can also search for specific items and bid, buy and pay for items directly within the app. The app also includes eBay Celebrity allowing users to learn about their favourite celebrities charitable causes and contribute to them as well as finding out what they may shop for on eBay. Watch with eBay requires an iPad running iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download; the app is focused on buying items only, eBay notes that sellers should continue to use the standard eBay for iPad app. [via Engadget]

New cases for third-gen iPad: a roundup

In the days following Apple’s announcement of the third-generation iPad, a number of companies have announced new and/or revised cases for the new device. Below is a brief roundup of those announcements; we will be adding to this story throughout the week as more cases are announced.

Third-gen iPad panel suppliers in doubt?

  • March 14, 2012
  • iPad,

Following a report from yesterday claiming that Samsung was the sole supplier of touch-screen panels for the third-generation iPad, a second report has been published challenging the assertion. Citing a source close to the matter, Reuters reports that LG Display is supplying panels for the new iPad, refuting a Bloomberg report from yesterday that quoted an analyst from iSuppli as saying that Samsung was the sole supplier of panels for the device, due to quality control problems at LG and Sharp. “LG is also in a panel supply deal with Samsung for the new iPad,” Reuters’ source said. Interestingly, the earliest part leak of a supposed third-generation iPad LCD panel showed it to be manufactured by Sharp, and the company had been reportedly linked to third-generation iPad panel production as early as November 2011, while both LG and Samsung were named in a report from October 2011.

Photo of the Week: iPhone 4 in China

This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone 4 looking out over the city skyline from Binjiang Ave in Shanghai, China. 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!

Apple officially confirms 8 am third-gen iPad launch

Apple this morning confirmed yesterday’s report that it will begin to sell the third-generation iPad at 8:00 a.m. local time on Friday, March 16. As revealed last week during the company’s special press event, the device will initially launch in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, and the UK, along with Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. In the US, the third-generation iPad will be available at Apple’s retail stores, as well as Best Buy, Radio Shack, Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart. Apple will continue its rollout of the device on March 23, when it launches in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Apple Configurator enables mass iOS device deployments

image

Apple last week released its new Configurator tool, a spiritual successor to the standard iPhone Configuration Utility. According to the tool’s release notes, it allows schools, businesses, and other institutions to configure up to 30 devices at a time, update those devices to the latest version of iOS, create and restore a backup of settings and app data from one device to other devices, create and install iOS configuration profiles, and enroll devices with a Mobile Device Management solution for remote management.

It also allows for the supervision of devices, including automatic application of common configurations to devices and the importation and syncing of apps, as well as the assigning of devices to users using Open Directory or Active Directory, letting a user check out a device and have their settings and data restores, check in a device and have the data backed up for future use—possibly on another device—and the syncing of documents, among other features. Apple’s Configurator tool requires Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 or later and is a free download from the Mac App Store.

Slacker Radio adds exclusive NCAA sports content

Slacker Radio has released an update to its universal iOS app adding the ability to listen to live sports content, including streaming of every game of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament. Slacker Radio provides live streaming and subscription-based on-demand access to a variety of audio content such as music, ESPN Radio, live sports, ABC News, comedy and more. The free app can be used without a subscription to listen to any one of 150 pre-defined stations or create custom stations for online streaming over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection; a Slacker Premium Radio subscription provides both offline caching of stations, playlists and albums as well as access to content on-demand. Slacker Radio 3.8 is available from the App Store as a free download. Subscriptions can be purchased either online or directly within the app for $4 per month for Slacker Plus or $10 per month for Slacker Premium.

Tweetbot for iPad adds streaming, Retina Display graphics

Tapbots has released an update to Tweetbot adding Retina Display graphics in preparation for the impending release of the new third-generation iPad as well as live streaming and several other smaller improvements. Tweetbot 2.1 now allows users to optionally stream tweets live over Wi-Fi instead of relying on a manual or timed refresh; the new tweet notification also now only sounds for mentions, direct messages, and new tweets that appear following a manual refresh. The update also improves Tweetmarker service integration and fixes a number of additional bugs related to direct messages and other issues. Tweetbot 2.1 for iPad requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $3.

IDC: Despite record sales, iPad’s share of tablets slips in Q4

  • March 13, 2012
  • iPad,

According to new data from IDC, the iPad saw its share of the tablet market slip in the fourth calendar quarter of 2011, despite selling over 15 million units. IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker claims that Apple’s iPad, which saw shipments of 15.4 million units during the period, faced increased competition in the space, most specifically from Amazon, which shipped 4.7 million Kindle Fires. Based on total worldwide tablet shipments of 28.2 million units during the quarter, Apple held a 54.7 percent share of the market—down from 61.5 percent in the prior quarter—followed by Amazon with 16.8 percent, Samsung with 5.8 percent, Barnes & Noble with 3.5 percent, and budget Android tablet maker Pandigital with 2.5 percent. Overall, Android held a 44.6 percent share of the tablet market, a number which IDC expects will continue to grow at the expense of the iPad and iOS.

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