RadioShack has announced that like Target, it too will be offering a $50 discount on the iPhone. According to the company, the discount is good for both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S on all carriers, and can be combined with trade-in offers via the company’s Trade & Save program. The promotion runs through the end of June.
Apple is testing the use of iOS-style notifications on iCloud.com, according to a new report. Citing a reader tip that was subsequently confirmed by other staff members, TUAW reports that the notifications appear in the middle of the screen, and currently use placeholder text, stating “Default Title for English” and “English - This is test message description”. Apple has not made any announcement of web-based iCloud notifications, and would likely need to integrate more functionality into the website to make the notifications truly useful, as Mail and Calendar are the only current web-based applications that could fully take advantage of such a system.
Another group of small regional carriers has announced that they will be launching the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S on May 18. Bluegrass Cellular of Kentucky, Golden State Cellular of California, and Nex-Tech Wireless of Kansas — all CDMA carriers, incidentally — have all announced plans to launch the iPhone on that day. As noted by MacRumors, all three carriers are expected to offer the iPhone for $50 off the standard price as set by Apple and the major carriers, with the iPhone 4 selling for $49 and the iPhone 4S starting at $149.
Etón has announced that it is now shipping its Rukus Solar Bluetooth speaker. Designed for portability, the Rukus features an integrated carry handle, two full-range speaker drivers, an embedded 40 square-inch solar panel that can completely charge the unit in six hours of direct sunlight, an internal lithium battery, an integrated USB port for charging mobile devices on the go, an e-ink display, and onboard playback controls. Etón’s Rukus Solar Bluetooth speaker is available now in three colors and sells for $150; a non-Solar version is also available and is priced at $100.
Apple has offered Proview Technology a compensation package to settle the ongoing trademark dispute over the iPad name. Citing Proview lawyer Roger Xie, Bloomberg reports that Apple proposed the settlement as part of an ongoing mediation process that’s being directed by the Higher People’s Court of Guangdong. “The Guangdong Higher People’s court is trying to mediate this, and both parties are trying to negotiate and come to a settlement,” Xie said. “Right now, there is still a big gap between the two sides on the settlement amount.” Apple declined to comment on Xie’s remarks, but has long claimed that it acquired the rights to the iPad trademark in China from a Proview sister company in 2009.
Speaking in a recent on-stage interview at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson made several comments about the iPhone. According to The New York Times, he was particularly hard on the company’s decision to introduce the iPhone with unlimited data. “My only regret was how we introduced pricing in the beginning, because how did we introduce pricing? Thirty dollars and you get all you can eat,” he said. “And it’s a variable cost model. Every additional megabyte you use in this network, I have to invest capital.”
Stephenson also said we worries about potentially disruptive new technologies replacing the company’s own offerings, singling out iMessage as one example. “You lie awake at night worrying about what is that which will disrupt your business model,” he said. “Apple iMessage is a classic example. If you’re using iMessage, you’re not using one of our messaging services, right? That’s disruptive to our messaging revenue stream.”
Finally, Stephenson briefly mentioned the board meeting in which the company discussed whether to carry the iPhone. At the time, the company was named Cingular, and was headed by Stan Sigman; Stephenson was on the company’s board. Sigman was enthusiastic about the product’s potential, even though he had yet to actually see the device. “I remember asking the question: Are we investing in a business model, are we investing in a product or are we investing in Steve Jobs?” Stephenson said. “The answer to the question was, you’re investing in Steve Jobs. Let’s go after this thing. And we went after it, and the rest is history.”
Bracketron has unveiled its new MetalDock Charging Dock for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Crafted from solid metal, the MetalDock is a thin, curved dock that wraps around the bottom left corner of the iPhone, allowing the stand to work in either portrait or landscape orientation. Other features include an integrated 3-foot cable, fast charging support, and rubberized feet to hold the dock in place. Bracketron’s MetalDock will be available in June and will sell for $35.
Target is offering a $50 discount on both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, according to a new report. Citing email tips, 9to5Mac reports that a number of Target locations are offering a deal on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, with the prices of 16GB and 8GB units respectively cut to $150 and $50 on a two year contract, regardless of carrier. It is unclear whether more capacious models are also included, and the deal does not appear to be available online.
T-Mobile hopes to have its network ready for iPhone users by the fourth quarter of this year. AllThingsD reports that T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray, speaking at a dinner event in New Orleans on Monday, said that the effort to move much of its HSPA+ network over to the iPhone-friendly 1900 MHz spectrum should reach a critical mass in the fourth quarter of 2012. Ray declined to comment on whether the company would target iPhone users in a marketing push, saying, “It would make sense; we’re not there yet.” T-Mobile also announced that Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks will be helping it to build out its next-generation LTE network.
Evernote announced today that it has acquired Cocoa Box, developer of Penultimate, the highly acclaimed digital ink notebook app for the iPad. In a post on the company’s blog, Evernote CEO Phil Libin noted that the handwriting app has been one of the company’s favourites since it was first released two years ago and goes on to announce that Penultimate creator Ben Zotto will be joining Evernote to head up future development on the app; Penultimate is expected to remain a separate application but will gain new Evernote integration features such as full search and synchronization. Zotto will also work with Evernote to bring handwriting and digital ink functionality into the company’s other products and platforms. Penultimate remains available on the App Store for $1.
Fishlabs has released an update to Sports Car Challenge for iOS adding the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 to its fleet lineup. A joint project with Volkswagen China, Sports Car Challenge is a 3D racing simulator that allows users to race a collection of high-performance sports cars from Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche and Volkswagen. The game provides realistic driving physics, handling and performance modelling for each sports car along with high-quality graphics for both the exterior and interior details. Players can compete in time trial, slalom and braking game challenges across a number of different race courses and more regular content updates are expected to add additional new cars and tracks in the future. Sports Car Challenge is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Garmin has released an update to its fitness training app for the iPhone adding a new feature that allows users to share their favourite fitness pursuits with their friends. Garmin Fit allows users to track walking, running or cycling stats using their iPhone for viewing on their device or uploading to the online GarminConnect service, providing basic GPS-based tracking in the app itself as well as integration with Garmin’s ANT+ fitness sensors for monitoring advanced workout data. With the new LiveTrack feature in version 1.5 users can now easily setup online real-time tracking sessions and share a link via e-mail, Facebook and/or Twitter to allow friends and family to follow their event or training session. Tracking sessions are private and only available to users with the link.
LiveTrack displays the user’s pace/speed in real time as well as distance and elevation; users with a Garmin ANT+ accessory and the ANT+ Adapter for the iPhone can also share additional stats tracked by their particularly monitoring accessory such as heart rate and cadence. The LiveTrack feature also provides a mobile-optimized version of the web site to allow friends and family to follow along using a smartphone or tablet instead of a traditional computer browser. Garmin Fit is available from the App Store for $1; the LiveTrack feature is available via in-app subscription for $2/month or $20/year.
Facebook has updated its Facebook Messenger app with several enhancements to the instant messaging service. Facebook Messenger 1.7 now includes the user’s location by default when sending messages with the option to disable location status on a per-message basis. A new typing indicator has also been added allowing users to see when another person in the conversation is typing a reply. The update also now adds “Seen by” read receipts allowing users to see who else in the conversation has seen a given message. Facebook Messenger 1.7 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple has dropped its prices on refurbished iPad and iPad 2 units. As noted by MacRumors, original iPad units can be had for as little as $279 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model, with pricing extending up to $549 for a 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G unit. Pricing on refurbished iPad 2 units now starts at $319 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model; the top-of-the-line 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G iPad 2 is now $629. Overall, the discounts represent price drops of between $20 and $50, with the 16GB models receiving smaller discounts than the more capacious units.
Apple today released iOS 5.1.1 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. According to Apple’s release notes, iOS 5.1.1 contains several improvements and bug fixes, including improvements for HDR photos taken using the Lock Screen shortcut, a fix for bugs that could prevent the third-generation iPad from switching between 2G and 3G networks, fixes for bugs that affected AirPlay video playback, improved reliability for syncing Safari bookmarks and Reading List, and a fix for an issue where an “Unable to purchase” alert could be displayed following a successful purchase. iOS 5.1.1 is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad, iPad 2, third-generation iPod touch, and fourth-generation iPod touch, and is available now via the update feature in iTunes or as an over-the-air update. To update your iOS device over-the-air, open Settings, tap on General, and tap on Software Update.
Audio-Technica has debuted its new ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint active noise-canceling over-ear headphones. As the company’s new top-of-the-line model, the ATH-ANC9 features new Tri-Level Cancellation with three preset filter for noise reduction, a cable with an in-line mic and remote, replaceable memory foam earpads, 40mm drivers, newly-developed electronics, the ability to work when the noise-canceling function is turned off—or in passive mode when the single AAA battery has lost its charge—a fold-flat design, and an included 1/4-inch adapter, airline adapter, and hard carrying case. Audio Technica’s ATH-ANC9 QuietPoint active noise-canceling headphones are available now and sell for $300.
Apple has dropped its estimated shipping wait time for new orders of the third-generation iPad in Europe. Brief checks of Apple’s online stores in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy show that the all models of the device—including both black and white variants of either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 4G models, across all capacities—are listed as shipping within 7 business days, down from the previously quoted delay of 1-2 weeks. Apple recently dropped its estimated shipping wait times for new third-gen iPad orders from the US and Canadian stores, as well, suggesting that the company is closer to reaching optimal supply/demand balance for the new model. [via Cult of Mac]
Apple has filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) over the domain iPhone5.com. Fusible reports that the dispute appeared on WIPO’s website in the last week, and indicates that Apple is using the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy to contest ownership of the domain. As noted in the report, Apple has used similar tactics in the past with success, securing the rights to iPhone4S.com, iPods.com, and several other domains. Currently, iPhone5.com displays text-based advertisements and serves as the home to online forums. [via MDN]
Thursby Software Systems has released PKard Reader, the world’s first smart card authentication solution for logging into secure web sites on iOS devices. Consisting of a free universal iOS app and a $150 card reader accessory, the PKard solution allows iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users to access secure sites requiring two-factor smart card authentication, such as corporate and government web portals and collaboration sites. The PKard Reader accessory supports industry standard CAC, PIV, PIV-I and CIV smart cards and the solution is designed to operate in the background to maintain the secure connection once authenticated, allowing the user to switch apps without compromising security or needing to re-authenticate.
Using the PKard Reader, corporate and government employees who require access to secure smart card protected sites can now more effectively do so while on the go without needing to be tied to a desktop or laptop, with the same smart card and PIN that they already use. Further, no changes need to be made on back-end servers to support the PKard Reader solution, allowing users to easily transition to accessing the same secure sites on their iOS device as on their computer. ALmost five million Federal workers at hundreds of U.S. government agencies and the Department of Defense are issued smart cards for secure web access and it is estimated that almost one third of large corporations worldwide are now issuing smart cards to their employees, particularly in the healthcare and financial sectors. The PKard Reader accessory is available directly from the company’s web site; the iOS application is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.
Light Room has released a major update to GoDocs, its application for working with Google Docs on the iPhone and iPad. GoDocs for Google Docs 3.0 adds a redesigned user interface focused on provide a more user-friendly experience and adds a new, professional-quality PDF viewing engine. Users can now open links in PDF files and read PDF files in two dimensions. A new search feature provides the ability to locate specific content in a document and users can create new documents, spreadsheets and folders directly from within the app as well as moving files into folders. Support for both “Mobile” and “Desktop” editors is also now included along with Google Drive support and the ability to switch between multiple Google accounts. Push Notifications have also been implemented to provide alerts when documents are shared or changed by other users, and users can also now view and manage separate document revisions. The update also adds Retina Display support for the third-generation iPad and addresses a number of other bug fixes and UI tweaks. GoDocs for Google Docs 3.0 is a universal app requiring iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store for $5.