A new report has stated that Apple’s smaller, redesigned dock connector has been confirmed, while a separate report has appeared with claimed next-generation iPhone drawings and case renderings. TechCrunch reports that it has independently verified that Apple is working on adding a 19-pin dock connector port to the next iPhone, a fact that it cross-checked with three independent manufacturers. In addition, Mobile Fun has posted a set of images that it claims represent the next-gen iPhone—which is listed as 58.87 mm wide, 123.83 mm tall, and 7.60 mm thick—as well as renderings of what appears to be a silicone case for the device. Notably, all the images show the headphone port as appearing on the bottom of the device, lending further credence to the notion that Apple will be changing the position of that port for the first time since the original iPhone’s debut.
Tumblr has released a completely rebuilt version of its official iPhone and iPod touch app promising significant improvements to both performance the user experience. Tumblr 3.0 debuts a new, sleeker dashboard with high resolution images and easier interaction with on screen controls. The update also adds direct support for Spotify, improvements to photosets and image viewing, searching by tags, centralized notifications and new and improved posting forms. Offline support has also been introduced to allow users to post, like, reply and reblog even when no data connection is available and new gesture-based shortcuts have been added for quickly accessing the camera and creating text posts. Tumblr 3.0 requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Lantronix has rolled out its new xPrintServer Home Edition for iOS. The xPrintServer Home Edition is a followup to the company’s previously released network version, and serves as a simple, wireless bridge between iOS devices and traditional printers. According to the company, a single xPrintServer Home Edition can support multiple USB printers, up to two network-connected printers, and an unlimited number of iOS devices. The Home Edition automatically discovers and provisions both network printers and USB printers that are connected to PCs or Macs, allowing users to print via AirPrint without any additional configuration. Lantronix’s xPrintServer Home Edition for iOS will begin shipping in July and is available for pre-order now for $100.
Reading Rainbow has released an official iPad application based on the popular and long-running children’s television series. Hosted by LeVar Burton, the Reading Rainbow library provides users with access to a trusted library of books that can be customized to the child’s interests. Children can also take exciting virtual video field trips to themed islands where they can discover new fiction and non-fiction books that include audio storytelling by celebrity actors and light animations and activities to enhance the story.
Reading Rainbow provides access to over 150 interactive books and 16 video field trips and promises frequent updates to expand the available content further. Reading recommendations can be customized to the child and an integrated reward program helps to motivate reading; parents can also access a dashboard to share their child’s reading progress. The Reading Rainbow app is a free download and users can select a single book and view introductory videos for free; a recurring in-app subscription of $10/month or $30 for 6 months provides unlimited access to the library and can be used on multiple iPads that share the same iTunes Store account. Reading Rainbow requires an iPad running iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
SmileOnMyMac has updated PDFpen adding the ability to sync with Dropbox folders for sharing files between multiple devices. An iOS adaptation of the company’s popular PDF annotation and editing software for Mac OS X, PDFpen brings an advanced set of PDF editing features to the iPad such as the ability to add text, images, signatures, comments and annotations to PDF documents, make changes to existing editable text blocks and images and fill out PDF forms. Users can also e-mail documents out directly from the device or save them to Dropbox, Evernote or Google Docs or synchronize documents between multiple iPads and PDFpen for OS X. Version 1.2 adds Dropbox syncing as an alternative to iCloud and allows users to create a document from selected pages or a photo. The update also adds French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese localizations. PDFpen for iPad requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $15.
Good.iWare has released an update to GoodReader for iPad adding the ability to save HTML5 video from Safari along with several improvements for PDF handling and remote server connections. GoodReader for iPad 3.15 now allows users to create a special bookmarklet in Safari that can be used to download and save HTML5 video from web sites such as YouTube; videos can then be stored in GoodReader for offline viewing or uploaded to a computer or online file sharing service in the same manner as any other file. PDF improvements include an eraser tool for freehand PDF drawing annotations, the ability to e-mail a PDF Annotations Summary and support for links with custom URL schemes for launching other iOS apps from within a PDF document.
Users can also now setup one-way download-only Auto Sync to allow local files to be overwritten with remote files even if they have been edited on the local device and a new “Upload” button provides a quick shortcut for uploading files and folders to remove servers. Dropbox links can also now be created for any file or folder from directly within the app, allowing users to send out the link for sharing files with other users via Dropbox. Several issues have also been addressed with AFP servers and video files losing their playback position on iOS 5.1. GoodReader for iPad 3.15 is available from the App Store for $5.
Speaking at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou recommended that consumers hold off on buying Samsung’s latest smartphone. According to the CNA English News, Gou urged consumers to wait for the launch of Apple’s next-generation iPhone, and claimed that it will put Samsung’s recently-announced flagship Galaxy III to shame. Gou went on to say that he has made it a lifetime goal to defeat Samsung, and also said that Sharp’s Sakai-based 10th generation LCD panel plant—in which Gou took a 46.5 percent stake under his own name—has an exclusive agreement with Corning for large panel supply. According to Gou, the plant is the only facility in the world capable of mass producing 60- to 80-inch panels. [via Patently Apple]
Chevrolet will be the first GM brand to debut Apple’s new “Eyes Free” feature for Siri, according to a new report. GM Authority claims that the feature—in which automakers include a button on the steering wheel for Siri access, removing the user’s need to look at or touch their phones—will initially debut on the Chevrolet Spark and Sonic. According to the report, GM media representatives couldn’t provide specific timing details, but said that the announcement should be coming in the next 12 months. GM was one of nine automobile manufacturers announced for the feature, alongside BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda.
Apple and Liquidmetal have extended an agreement between the two companies into 2014. According to an SEC filing, the original agreement expired this past February 5, but has now been extended to February 5, 2014. The original agreement gave Apple “a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercial such intellectual property in the field of electronic products in exchange for a license fee.” Liquidmetal’s alloys feature an amorphous, non-crystalline structure that gives them a greater strength than comparable aluminum or titanium alloys, or even stainless steel, while offering a scratch and corrosion-resistant exterior. Liquidmetal technology is believed to have been used in the SIM ejector tool included with the iPhone 3G, but has yet to appear in a prominent position on any subsequent Apple product. [via MacRumors]
Google has released an iOS version of its Google Offers app, allowing iPhone and iPod touch users in the U.S. to discover, buy and redeem Google Offers while on the go. Users can quickly discover new offers in their vicinity by using an integrated map view or search for deals by category and instantly redeem offers simply using their iPhone without the need to print vouchers. A “My Offers” section allows users to keep track of all of their purchased and saved offers for easy access from their iPhone or directly from the Google Offers web site and users can enable notifications to see when new deals are available or when a purchased or saved deal is about to expire. Google Offers is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download; actual offers are available only in select U.S. cities at this time.
ID America has unveiled its new Hue case for the third-generation iPad and iPad 2. The one-piece, snap-on case features a rubberized soft grip texture, open access to all ports, controls, and cameras, and an opening to allow for compatibility with Apple’s Smart Cover. ID America’s Hue case for the third-generation iPad and iPad 2 is available now in six pastel colors and sells for $30.
Cyan Worlds has released realMyst for the iPad, an iOS version of the 2000 remake of the classic video game Myst. As with the original remake, realMyst for the iPad provides a realtime 3D environment in which users can freely move rather than being restricted to pre-rendered stills, with higher resolution graphics and controls optimized for the touchscreen display. realMyst provides the full gameplay and interaction of the original classic with all of the original Myst Ages plus the bonus Rime Age along with Interaction Guides to get users started and an integrated Hint Guide. Dynamic environments provide effects such as rippling water, falling rain and waving trees accompanied by dynamic 3D sounds and the haunting Myst music score; Full Retina Display support is also provided for the third-generation iPad. realMyst requires an iPad 2 or third-generation iPad using iOS 3.2 or later and is available from the App Store for an introductory price of $7.
Photojojo is now offering its iPhone Scuba Suit for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The Scuba Suit is a 100% waterproof case designed for photographic use. Factory tested for waterproofing up to 15 feet, the case features a touch-sensitive gel screen cover that allows for use of the screen underwater, a waterproof headphone jack, water-tight, push-through coverings for the volume and sleep/wake buttons, and an optical grade lens cover to preserve the clarity and quality of shots taken while the iPhone is in the case. Photojojo’s iPhone Scuba Suit for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is available now and sells for $60.
Twelve South has introduced its new BookBook for iPad. While maintaining the book-like exterior of the prior model, the new BookBook is 33% thinner, and features an all-new interior frame that serves as a multi-angle display and typing stand, dual zippers for access to the Dock Connector while the device is encased, open access to all other ports, controls, and cameras, and a hand-distressed exterior crafted from premium leather. Twelve South’s new BookBook for the third-generation iPad and iPad 2 is available now in brown, black, and red, and sells for $80; for more information, see our full review.
FileMaker has released a major new version of its Bento personal database application for the iPad, adding new design tools that allow users to effectively use the iPad version as a standalone app. A complete reinvention of the original Bento iPad app, the new version allows users to build their own database solutions right on the iPad for organizing contacts, tracking projects, planning events, managing lists and much more, all using powerful and intuitive drag and drop design tools. Users can choose from 25 included database templates or link directly to the Bento Template Exchange to access hundreds of free templates to get up and running quickly or simply start from a blank slate and build their own solution; the new design tools allow users to quickly and easily customize templates and create forms with 40 Retina Display ready themes that can also be used to add coordinated backgrounds, fonts, and shading.
Bento 4 for iPad also expands the data views available, allowing users to visualize their information in Table, Split and Full screen views in addition to custom form designs. Multi-field sorting and highlighted searching are also now available to make information easier to find and organize and new database fields have been added for calculations, encrypted data and GPS location. With the new design tools the iPad version of Bento can be used by itself to create database apps on the iPad; Bento for Mac users can also still continue to sync with Bento for Mac, including the ability to transfer new libraries and apps created on the device back to the desktop version. Bento 4 for iPad is a new app rather than an update, although users can optionally import and update databases from the earlier version. Bento 4 for iPad requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for an introductory price of $5 until July 31. Bento 4.1 for Mac is required to sync with the new Bento 4 for iPad; it is available from the Mac App Store for $30 and is a free update for existing Bento 4 for Mac users. The iPhone and original Bento for iPad apps also remain available on the App Store and provide a more limited set of features designed for viewing and updating database content on the go.
Apple has started to air its latest TV advertisement for the third-generation iPad. Entitled “Do It All”, the add focuses on a number of tasks that can be completed using the device. “Send a note. Stay informed. Catch a show. Make your point,” the narrator states. “Make a memory. Make a masterpiece. Read something. Watch something. And learn something. Do it all more beautifully, with the Retina Display, on iPad.” The ad is available for viewing below in embedded form or on YouTube via the above link.
Bugun Software has released Display Recorder, a new app designed to allow iOS device users to make live recordings of what is happening on their device’s display. To record, users simply open the app, tap the record button and then exit the app and carry on using their iOS device while the app records video in the background. Recordings are made in real-time directly to an H.264 MP4 format and include both video and audio; users can upload the resulting recordings directly to YouTube or save them to the device’s Camera Roll. The app also features adjustable video orientation and video and audio quality settings and hardware accelerated video recording; a Screen Capture recording mode is also available for capturing OpenGLES apps such as games.
Notably, Apple has not traditionally allowed third-party screen capturing applications on the App Store, effectively relegating such features to the realm of jailbroken devices. It is unclear whether this represents a change in Apple’s App Store policies or merely an application that has slipped through the review process and may soon be removed from the App Store. For now at least, Display Recorder is available from the App Store for $2. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple has made changes to an iOS configuration file commonly known to hold references to future products. TUAW reports that the USBDeviceConfiguration.plist file no longer contains any references to non-shipping products, which was a common occurrence in prior versions of iOS. As noted in the report, Apple had previously obscured references to future products in the same file by humorously loading it up with references to products that were obviously fake.
USB Fever has rolled out its new Case with Smart Cover for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The two-piece system includes a hard shell case that covers the back and sides of the phone while allowing for open access to all ports, controls, and cameras, and a magnetic, iPad Smart Cover-like magnetic pad that can fold up for use as a stand, serve as headphone storage, and form a bond between the case and any magnetic surface, allowing users to attach their phones directly to refrigerators, blackboards, and more. USB Fever’s Case with Smart Cover for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is available now in three colors and sells for $19.
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