Apple is continuing to reject charges that it conspired with publishers to fix the price of electronic books. Reuters reports that Apple has made a filing in U.S. District Court in which it argues against the Justice Department’s lawsuit and claims that it did not conspire with anyone or fix prices in an effort to undermine Amazon.com’s lead in the marketplace. “Apple’s entry into e-book distribution is classic procompetitive conduct” that helped to foster competition, Apple said in its filing. It added, “for Apple to be subject to hindsight legal attack for a business strategy well-recognized as perfectly proper sends the wrong message to the market. The government’s complaint against Apple is fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law.” Apple, along with Macmillan and Penguin, are continuing to fight the charges, while publishers HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette have all reached settlements.
Noted actor John Malkovich is the star of two new official Apple ads for the iPhone 4S. As with the prior “Date Night” and “Rainy Day” ads—starring Samuel L. Jackson and Zooey Deschanel, respectively—the new ads, entitled “Joke” and “Life”, feature the star interacting with Siri to perform tasks such as checking the weather, calendar, and searching for food. Consistent with Malkovich’s quirky persona, he mainly queries Siri with single words, with “Life” consisting of the majority of the latter commercial, and “Joke” serving as the punchline for the former. Both commercials are available for viewing now on Apple’s website.
C2 Enterprises has released Photosmith 2.0, a major update to its advanced photographic workflow app for iPad and Lightroom users. Redesigned from the ground up the new version boasts significant improvements in speed, flexibility and memory usage and adds a plethora of the most-requested features by users of the original version.
Photosmith 2.0 now supports wireless two-way synchronization with Adobe Lightroom via a free Lightroom plugin and can also directly receive photos wirelessly from Eye-Fi cards. Users can sort and filter photos, organize them into collections, and apply star ratings and colour labels, all of which can be synchronized with the photos in the user’s Lightroom library. Keywords and IPTC metadata can be applied to photos individually or in batches and users can define presets to quickly apply and reuse the same settings. Users can also share photos to Facebook and Flickr or send them out via e-mail and the app includes native support for Adobe Lightroom’s Export and Publish Services. RAW, JPG, RAW+JPG and DNG formats are fully supported along with advanced file formats from many popular cameras including Canon CR2, Nikon NEF, Pentax PEF, Sony ARW. Photosmith 2.0 requires an iPad running iOS 5.1 or later and is available from the App Store for $20 or as a free update for Photosmith 1.x users.
Seidio has unveiled its new Expert Portfolio Case for the third-generation iPad and iPad 2. The Expert is a folio-style case featuring a Clean-Grip interior panel that is used to secure the iPad in lieu of a traditional frame or straps, a foldable, bendable front cover that serves as a stand with two angles and includes magnets for compatibility with the iPad’s automatic sleep/wake functionality, open access to all ports, controls, and cameras, and a synthetic leather exterior. Seidio’s Expert Portfolio Case for the third-generation iPad and iPad 2 is available now in four different colors and sells for $55.
Google has updated its universal Google Search app for iOS devices introducing a complete redesign of the user interface for the iPhone and iPod touch. Designed with an emphasis on speed and simplicity, the new version dramatically improves performance with significantly faster autocompletion of search suggestions and faster loading of results. Users can also now easily see multiple pages with a slide-in panel, use swipe gestures to move back and forth between webpages, search results and search modes and easily locate text within any web page. Image search has also been redesigned to now display a grid view of high resolution images; users can scroll down to see additional results, tap on any image to get details about it or swipe between images and save images to the iOS photo library using a tap-and-hold gesture. Google Search is a universal app requiring iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Miniot has debuted its new Pouch case for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The Pouch is a wooden sleeve-style case featuring soft interior lining, a snap lock on the interior to hold the iPhone securely inside, and a finger opening in on the side opposite the main opening that allows users to easily disengage the lock and slide the iPhone out for use. Each Pouch is also carved from a single piece of wood and can be optionally engraved for an extra charge. Miniot’s Pouch for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is available for order now in Cherry, Mahogany, Padouk, Walnut, Wenge, or Zebrawood; pricing begins at €59, or roughly $74.
Mint.com has updated the iOS app for its online personal finance service adding support for creating and editing budgets and creating split transactions from directly within the app. With Mint 2.4 users can now set up budgets from the iPad or iPhone version while on the go or adjust existing budgets created on the Mint.com web site; a new budget slider feature also allows users to adjust their budget by increments. The update also adds the ability to create split transactions while on the go, allowing users to easily record a single transaction on the go with purchases in multiple categories without having to visit the web app later to re-adjust the transaction. Mint.com Personal Finance is a universal app requiring iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive was knighted today at Buckingham Palace. According to an interview piece with the Telegraph, Ive was knighted for services to design and enterprise, and honor he described as “incredibly humbling.” During the interview, Ive also made several comments about his work at Apple. “We try to develop products that seem somehow inevitable. That leave you with the sense that that’s the only possible solution that makes sense,” Ive said. “Our products are tools and we don’t want design to get in the way. We’re trying to bring simplicity and clarity, we’re trying to order the products. I think subconsciously people are remarkably discerning. I think that they can sense care.”
Ive also made some comments about unreleased products. When asked if he was to be remembered for just one of his Apple designs, which one would he pick, Ive took a long pause, and responded, “It’s a really tough one. A lot does seem to come back to the fact that what we’re working on now feels like the most important and the best work we’ve done, and so it would be what we’re working on right now, which of course I can’t tell you about.”
This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone 4S sitting on top of the famed Green Monster, overlooking Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. 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!
INRIX has updated its traffic information and monitoring app adding new Personalize Traffic Reports designed to assist users with their daily commute. Version 4.0 adds a new “Places” page that allows users to quickly see at a glance the fastest route between two locations, the exact estimated arrival time of the two top routes and the optimal time to leave. Users can now also specify their home and work locations in the free version to help track their normal daily commute; an in-app Premium upgrade allows additional locations to be added as well as unlimited viewing of traffic cameras. The map view has also been enhanced with new icons and an optimized layout to provide a more intuitive view of en route traffic, with colours depicting traffic flow and icons used to identify specific events impacting traffic that users can tap on for additional details; the map view also now automatically adjusts to the user’s route at regular intervals to help reduce the need to zoom in and out. In addition, users can now quickly share their estimated arrival time via text message or e-mail. INRIX Traffic is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.
ANDESigned has released a major update to Total Baby, its iOS app for logging and tracking baby and toddler care information. Total Baby 3.0 is now a universal app providing a native iPad user interface, including Retina Display support for the third-generation iPad and adds a new Quick Timer Entry feature for faster saving of timing information and the ability to keep active timers paused when navigating to other information screens. The new version also now allows users to select from five different alarm sounds and assign a custom alarm sound for different children and adds new swipe gestures for data selection along with a number of bug fixes. Total Baby 3.0 is available from the App Store for $5.
Popular third-party CloudApp client DropCloud has received a major update adding several new features and a new name. Now known as ClouDrop, the universal app allows users of the CloudApp online sharing service to upload, share and view files and links directly from their iOS devices. ClouDrop includes several advanced features such as background uploading from the iOS clipboard, automatic archive creation during upload and a built-in music player. Version 2.3 adds support for live real-time updating of the CloudApp item list including the view count alongside inline previews for photos and bookmarks and a corresponding redesign of the main page. A new option is also now available to automatically upload iOS screenshots while ClouDrop is running in the background. ClouDrop is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $1.
A new part claimed to be the front panel of a fifth-generation iPod touch has surfaced online, suggesting that the device will sport a substantially larger screen. MacRumors reports that the part, which appears to be for a white iPod touch, sports a 4.1-inch opening for the display. As Apple would be unlikely to increase the size of the iPod touch’s screen without doing the same for the iPhone—the two devices have traditionally shared the same screen size—the part, if genuine, represents the first physical evidence to support the release of an iPhone with a larger screen. While the report points out that the 4.1-inch opening is slightly out of line with prior reports of 4- or 3.95-inch screens for the next iPhone, it seems likely that some portion of the interior will be taken up by black space between the edges of the opening and the screen itself—as is the case with current iPhone and iPod touch models—and is therefore sized appropriately for a 4-inch screen. Also mentioned in the report are purported home button, front camera, and rear camera parts for the next iPhone; these parts are said to be in the “verification” stage.
Griffin Technology and Crayola have announced the new Crayola Case Creator, a new case and app combination that lets users create their own cases for the iPhone and iPod touch. The Case Creator includes a clear hardshell case and perforated inserts that fit the clear back plate of the case; users can create their artwork using the free Case Creator app. Griffin’s Crayola Case Creator is available now for $30 in models specific to the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S or fourth-generation iPod touch.
Apple has at least two roughly 4-inch iPhone prototypes in testing, according to a new report. 9to5Mac claims that it has “independently heard” that the two prototypes sport 3.95-inch displays, which are the same 1.94 inches wide, but 3.45 inches tall, giving the display an aspect ratio close to 16:9. The resolution of the screen is said to be 1136 x 640 — to account for the extra height while keeping the same pixel density; the report further substantiates a new, smaller Dock Connector that’s between Mini-USB and Micro-USB in size. Notably, these specs match up very well with iLounge’s prior report on the next iPhone. The prototypes are said to be encased in thick shells so as to disguise their actual design, and are codenamed N41AP (5,1) and N42AP (5,2); it remains unclear which of the two models Apple plans to release as its next iPhone.
Incase has introduced its new Book Jacket Revolution for the third-generation iPad and iPad 2. The folio-style case features an integrated rotating mount, three viewing angles and an additional working angle for the stand, built-in magnets for activating the iPad’s automatic sleep/wake function, a faux leather exterior, a sueded interior, and an elastic strap for secure closure. Incase’s Book Jacket Revolution is available now in black and sells for $70.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Choi Gee-sung are set to meet today in San Francisco for court-ordered talks. Reuters reports that the talks will be held in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood and will be overseen by U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero. Based on comments made by a Samsung official over the weekend, it appears the company is not adverse to a settlement. “There is still a big gap in the patent war with Apple but we still have several negotiation options including cross-licensing,” said Samsung mobile division chief JK Shin. The talks are scheduled for today and tomorrow.
Foxconn is investing $210 million to build a new Apple production line in China, according to a new report. Citing local officials, China Daily reports that the line will be located in Huai’an city, in Jiangsu province. The office of Taiwan Affairs in Huai’an said that the plant housing the production line will produce components for Apple. The plant plans to hire over 35,000 employees; the article does not speculate on what types of components or products might be produced at the facility. [via Engadget]
XVision has released an update to DataMan, its real-time data usage tracking app for iOS devices. DataMan allows iPhone users to keep track of their Wi-Fi and cellular data usage. Users can view usage by date and time and location and even plot usage on a chart or a map and set alerts to be notified when data usage exceeds certain daily, weekly or monthly thresholds. Version 5.2 adds a new “App Watch” feature that allows users to track usage on a per-application basis so they can see which of their apps are using the most data. The new App Watch feature supports not only third-party apps but also built-in apps and services such as Siri and iCloud. DataMan Pro requires iOS 5.1 or later and is available from the App Store for $1.
National Geographic has released a new educational iOS app, Look & Learn: Animals. Based on the popular early National Geographic learning books series, the app teaches preschoolers about animals and the alphabet through a collection of beautiful animal photography and sounds with three age-appropriate learning games. Children can play animal matching games and practice shape recognition, bounce animals around and try to imitate their sounds, guess animal names while learning the alphabet and view animal photos and listen to fun facts about each animal. Look & Learn: Animals Vol. 1 is a universal app requiring iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store for $3.