Fresh off our virtual presses, iLounge’s incredible guide to the third-generation iPad and its accessories, apps and games is here! Download The New iPad Buyers’ Guide today!
The New iPad Buyers’ Guide is a single download containing everything you need to know about the current iPad lineup—24 different iPad models—plus today’s best iPad accessories and the most essential 100 apps. This 156-page book also includes a section on the just-released third-generation Apple TV, iDesign interviews with five leading Apple developers, and insights into three possible future Apple products: the “iTV,” the next-generation iPhone, and the potential for a revolutionary new Apple digital camera.
Our New iPad Buyers’ Guide is available in a computer- and iPad-friendly wide-screen version, a single-page version suitable for printing, and a small-screen version for viewing on the iPhone or iPod touch. iPad users: the two-page version is entirely readable on the iPad in landscape mode; the one-page version increases the amount of page-turning but makes text larger on the iPad, and is easier to print if need be. We strongly recommend that iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users download the Guide to their computers, then drag and drop it into iTunes for reading in iBooks. Each version is completely free for iLounge readers, and distributed in PDF format for maximum compatibility across devices. For additional details, click here to see the full story. And please do your part to share the Guide by telling a friend, or hosting it on your file sharing network of choice. Enjoy!
An eBay listing for a prototype first-generation iPad provides further confirmation that Apple produced a prototype iPad with a second Dock Connector. Although leaks, patent drawings and casings previously revealed that Apple was considering adding a second Dock Connector, this prototype represents the first complete picture of the dual-connector design.
This design corresponds to reports iLounge published prior to the announcement of the original iPad in January 2010, noting that Apple was planning a second Dock Connector on the horizontal bottom edge, which would have enabled the device to be mounted and charged in either portrait or landscape mode. The eBay listing notes that the iPad prototype and both Dock Connectors are functional, with the exception of problems with the touch screen. The prototype is running Apple’s “Switchboard” software testing suite and is running a beta version of iOS 3.2, the iOS version that shipped with the original iPad. The device carries a standard model number of A1219 along with “many identifying numbers” disclosing specific prototype information, as well as a casing date of 2009.
iLounge will be only modestly updated today as our editors celebrate the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. Our team will be back tomorrow, May 29, with regular updates.
We hope you, your family, and friends enjoy a relaxing holiday together.
Acrylic Software has released an update to its Pulp newsreader for the iPad adding a new home page feature and iCloud synchronization of content between the Mac and iPad version. Pulp provides a customizable newspaper-style view of RSS feeds with articles grouped into pages designed to allow users to quickly scan through headlines, previews and photos at a glance. Users can create their own categories and pages as well as customizing the column layout and presentation of each page.
Pulp 1.5 introduces a new home page feature that analyzes a user’s existing feeds to summarize the most relevant stories on a single home page. The new version also replaces the company’s own Pulp Sync feature with iCloud sync, allowing users to more seamlessly synchronize pages, feeds and read articles between all copies of Pulp for iPad and Pulp for Mac that share the same iCloud account. A number of other user interface tweaks and improvements and performance optimizations have also been added along with support for the third-generation iPad Retina Display. Pulp 1.5 requires iOS 5.0 or later and is currently available from the App Store for $3. Pulp for Mac ($5) has also been updated to add support for the new iCloud sync features along with improved browser integration and Safari Reading list support.
Automattic has released an update to its official WordPress app for iOS adding Push Notifications for WordPress.com blogs and a new moderation toolbar for comments. With the latest update users who host their blogs on WordPress.com can now opt to receive push notifications of new comments on their blog posts. A new Swipe-to-moderate feature has also been added in the comments list allowing users to bring up a moderation toolbar by swiping over any item. The update also vastly improves performance, particularly for iPad users and adds language support for Chinese (Taiwan), Hungarian and Polish. WordPress 3.0 is a universal app requiring iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Sony Entertainment Network has released an official iOS app for its Music Unlimited streaming music service. Music Unlimited is a subscription-based cloud music service with a global catalog of over 15 million licensed songs available on such devices as the sony PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, BRAVIA TVs and Android smartphones and tablets. Use of the service requires payment of a monthly subscription fee. A Basic subscription ($4/month) allows users to sync and match their own personal music libraries with the Music Unlimited service and access and stream that music from any supported device along with a basic set of streaming radio channels; a Premium subscription ($10/month) provides users with access to the entire Music Unlimited collection for on-demand streaming with the ability to create playlists, add items to their personal listening libraries and listen to premium content channels.
The new iPhone and iPod touch app provides subscribers with access to their Music Unlimited subscriptions from their iOS devices streamed over either a Wi-Fi or cellular network connection. Premium subscribers can also add songs to their personal libraries for faster access, add to and edit playlists and browse Premium Channels and top songs in favourite genres. The Music Unlimited app requires iOS 4.3 or later and a subscription to the Music Unlimited service and is available from the App Store as a free download.
With nearly 3,200 votes from iLounge readers, our latest poll—“What do you use today as your primary Apple device for media playback?”—has ended. Readers were given the choice between the iPad, the iPhone, each model of iPod, and the Apple TV.
Unsurprisingly, iOS devices represented the bulk of the responses, accounting for 83 percent of votes—89 percent if the Apple TV is included. 42 percent of respondents said they use an iPhone as their primary Apple media playback device, followed by 29 percent who prefer the iPad. The iPod touch was next up with 12 percent of the vote, followed by the iPod classic with seven percent, the Apple TV with six percent, the iPod nano with four percent, and the iPod shuffle with one percent. Thanks for all your votes!
Our new poll focuses on primary computing devices. We’d like to know what you’re using as your primary computing device these days. Is it a Mac desktop or laptop, or their PC counterparts, or an iPad—by itself, or as an increasingly full-fledged replacement for a Mac or PC—or a smartphone, or an iPod touch, or something altogether different? Or do you not own a computer? Our new poll—“Which one of the following devices is your primary computer now?”—lets you answer that question. You can find the iLounge Poll in the left-hand column of the main iLounge.com home page. Vote today!
Halfbrick Studios has released a major content update to Fruit Ninja in celebration of the game’s two year anniversary. The game update provides a range of new features to provide additional challenges and excitement for both new players and veteran fans alike. A new in-game currency and power-up shop have been added; players can earn Starfruit after each game which can then be spent at Gutsu’s Cart to boost their arsenal with unique super fruits and power-ups. Berry Blasts turn normal strawberries into an explosive super fruit taking out nearby fruits in a single swipe, Peachy Time adds extra time in Arcade and Zen modes with each sliced peach, and the Bomb Deflect ninja move allows players to deflect bombs rather than setting them off. Fruit Ninja 1.8 is available from the App Store for $1.
iLounge has learned that Apple will soon offer the Nest Learning Thermostat for sale through the Apple Store, an interesting development given both Nest’s history and the types of products commonly sold by Apple. Nest founder and CEO Tony Fadell is the former senior vice president of Apple’s iPod division, and is regarded by many as the “father of the iPod.” After leaving Apple for “personal reasons,” Fadell was replaced by Mark Papermaster, whose brief tenure at the company was marked by controversies; Fadell soon created Nest as a place to build intuitive and elegant in-home electronics informed by his experiences at Apple, and only recently expanded distribution to the large third-party retailer Lowe’s. The Nest Learning Thermostat will be sold at Apple Stores for $249, the same price as via Nest’s own online store.
Update: 9to5Mac reports that Apple retail stores have started to receive stock of the units, which carry the part number H9279LL/A in Apple’s systems. It remains unclear when the Learning Thermostats will go on sale; the report suggests that the product may not launch at all Apple retail stores simultaneously.
Update x2: Apple is now offering the Nest Learning Thermostat on its online store for $249.99.
Apple will launch the third-generation iPad in Guam and the Philippines on May 29. The company’s iPad selection page for Asia shows both countries receiving the device on that date; Apple recently launched the third-generation iPad in 30 new countries on May 11 and 12. The device is currently available in roughly 90 countries around the world, and Apple has on several occasions noted that the worldwide rollout of the third-generation iPad has been the fastest ever for an Apple device. [via MacRumors]
Apple has made some minor but notable changes to its front page App Store listings. In place of the prior App of the Week listings are two new Editors’ Choice picks for both the iPhone and the iPad, which rotate in the top slot alongside traditional themed bundles of promoted apps—a number of apps dedicated to Dinosaurs is being highlighted this week, for instance. The App of the Week moniker is not being retired, however, as it is now being used further down the page to promote a Free App of the Week—this week, Cut the Rope: Experiments for the iPhone and Cut the Rope: Experiments HD for the iPad. [via The Verge]
Panic Software has released Diet Coda, an iPad adaptation of its popular web code editor and development app for Mac OS X. Designed to allow users to make quick edits and adjustments to their websites on the go, Diet Coda provides an advanced web editor with an intuitive touch interface that includes remote editing with syntax highlighting, FTP/SFTP file management and a built-in SSH terminal. A new Super-Loupe feature makes positioning the iOS cursor more seamless, particularly when working in more complex blocks of code and a contextual keyboard provides access to the appropriate special characters based on whatever the user is currently working on. Users can also store chunks of code as clips to be easily inserted in a single tap and an advanced find-and-replace feature is available including a wildcard token for easily searching out and replacing blocks of text or code. Diet Coda can also be used as a companion application for Coda 2.0 via its AirPreview feature, which allows the iPad to be used as a dedicated preview screen while developing on Coda 2 on the Mac. Diet Coda requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $10 as a special 50% launch discount.
Booq has rolled out its new Folio case for the third-generation iPad and iPad 2. Available in handcrafted natural fiber fabric or Nappa leather, the Folio features a tri-fold cover that allows for multiple viewing and typing angles and also sports built-in magnets for compatibility with the iPad’s automatic sleep/wake functionality, and open access to all ports, controls, and cameras. Booq’s new Folio case for the third-generation iPad and iPad 2 is available now and sells for $50-$90; for more information, see our full review.
Rogue Amoeba reports that Apple has removed its Airfoil Speakers Touch app from the App Store. In a post on the company’s blog, CEO Paul Kafasis states that the company was informed today that “Apple has removed Airfoil Speakers Touch from the iOS App Store” although he first heard about the decision from Apple two days ago and has been in ongoing discussions since then regarding the pending removal.
Kafasis goes on to indicate that he does not yet have any clear answer on why Apple has chosen this course of action, and that he believes Airfoil Speakers Touch is “in full compliance with Apple’s posted rules and developer agreements.” He also mentions that Rogue Amoeba had not submitted any new versions for approval recently, and that this removal is therefore not related to a pending review process, but rather concerns the existing version of Airfoil Speakers Touch that was approved and released in April. Notably, Rogue Amoeba went through a another issue with the App Store and Airfoil Speakers Touch 1.0.1 back in 2009 regarding the display of artwork representing the computer and source application from which audio was being streamed—images that were provided by Mac OS X itself, but were trademarked Apple images. Apple later reversed its policy on this issue, allowing Airfoil Speakers Touch 1.0.2 to reincorporate this functionality.
Kafasis indicates that the company has filed an appeal with Apple’s App Review Board and is presently awaiting further information. In the meantime, users who have already downloaded Airfoil Touch Speakers should be able to continue using the app.
Tapbots has released an update to Tweetbot adding a cornucopia of new features including support for finding tweets by geo-location, improvements to offline reading, mute filters based on keywords and several other UI enhancements. With Tweetbot 2.4 users can now easily find tweets posted near their current location or specify an alternate location to search from there; location-based keyword searches are now also supported for finding tweets based on location. The new update also allows users to mark tweets as favourites or add links to a Read Later service even when offline.
Mute filters can now be created based on keywords in addition to the previous options for people, hashtags and clients, with regular expressions also supported for creating advanced keyword patterns to mute; users can also now choose to mute mentions as well as posts in the main timeline. A number of other UI enhancements have also been made in this latest update, including an updated search view with a more efficient search box and a new browse section containing Trends, People and Top Tweets. In addition, double-tapping the search button now automatically takes the user to the keyword field for quicker entry and users can also now change their preferred location for viewing Trends. Several other minor user interface tweaks have also been made along with a number of bug fixes. Tweetbot 2.4 is available from the App Store in two separate versions for $3 each: Tweetbot for the iPhone and iPod touch and Tweetbot for iPad.
Facebook has released Facebook Camera, a new iPhone application designed specifically to focus on posting and viewing photos on the company’s social network. With Facebook Camera, users can take photos directly within the app and select multiple photos from the iOS camera roll for posting on their Facebook timeline. Users can also crop and apply any of 14 pre-defined filters to their photos and add the standard text, captions, location and friend tags when posting their photos as part of a status update. In addition, the app provides a simple view of the user’s news feed with only photo-related posts displayed, including photos not only from standard Facebook posts but also from third-party Facebook apps, with the user’s own camera roll photos displayed above the news feed for quick access. Facebook Camera is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple has dropped its estimated shipping wait time for new orders of the third-generation iPad. Apple’s online store shows that the estimated shipment wait for all models—including both black and white variants of either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 4G models, across all capacities—is now 1-3 business days, down from 3-5 days. The changes appear to apply only to the U.S. and Canadian stores, as the company’s European online stores still show a wait of 7 business days; it is the second time this month that the shipping wait times for the third-generation iPad have dropped, as the wait for new orders was 5-7 business days at the end of April.
Bump Technologies has released an update to its popular inter-device sharing app for iOS adding the ability for users to transfer photos from an iPhone to a desktop computer. Primarily designed to allow users to share common information between mobile devices simply by bumping two devices together, this latest Bump update broadens the scope of the application by allowing photos to also be transferred to any computer that the user happens to be working at, with no additional software required on the computer side.
To bump photos to a computer, users simply open the computer’s browser to the Bump web site, choose photos in the Bump app and then lightly tap the spacebar with their iPhone. The selected photos are displayed in the web browser where users can view them and download them all to a folder on the computer, drag-and-drop them directly into other apps or get a short link for sharing them elsewhere. Bump 3.3 requires iOS 4.1 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Sharp will supply technical know-how to Foxconn for a new plant in China that will produce display panels for the iPhone and other consumer electronics, according to a new report. Citing the Nikkei business daily, Reuters reports that the technology sharing agreement only further serves to tie the company to Foxconn, which in March agreed to buy a nearly 47 percent stake in a Sharp LCD manufacturing plant in Sakai, Japan. That plant is said in the report to be Japan’s most advanced panel factory; at the same time, Foxconn also agreed to purchase an 11 percent stake in Sharp for roughly $844 million.
Epic Games and Chair Entertainment have released Infinity Blade II: Vault of Tears, the latest major content update for the critically acclaimed iOS game. Available as a free update, Vault of Tears adds a large collection of new single player content as well new social features for the game’s ClashMob multiplayer update released last month.
In Vault of Tears players delve further into Siris’ mysterious past with new areas available to explore and a plethora of new enemies to encounter. A new Treasure Map feature allows players to discover hidden items and rewards as well as searching out a hidden ally. New enemies include the Mass Golem, Dark Fiend, Bog Giant, Acolyte and more along with a collection of over 50 new items to collect and master. Several new achievements have also been added along with unique gems to forge and a few other hidden surprises.
ClashMob players can also now earn extra turns and invite non-Infinity Blade players on their social networks to do in-game damage by liking the player’s battle calls on Facebook or re-tweeting them on Twitter. Players can also earn bonus plays by liking and commenting on the official Facebook post and retweeting the official tweet for the active ClashMob challenge. Infinity Blade II is currently available from the App Store for $3 for a limited time.