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Apple files patent for iPhone, car navigation cooperation

A new Apple patent application foresees the cooperation between an iPhone or other mobile device with a vehicle to generate more accurate navigation data. Apple iOS chief Scott Forstall is listed among inventors of a technique that would allow mobile devices and cars to collaborate on pertinent information, such as location services that could deliver navigation instructions based on the current position, with either the vehicle’s or device’s sensors assisting the other’s based on the situation. Syncing contacts between the devices would also be a possibility with the technology, conceivably to enable the car’s maps to display the contacts’ locations. The patent application was published today, and filed on May 14. [via Apple Insider]

AT&T plans 100 LTE markets by year’s end, doubling footprint

AT&T announced the expansion of its 4G LTE coverage into nine new markets today, along with plans to expand into at least 40 more markets by the end of 2012. The company’s LTE coverage is now live in 60 markets, so the new plans mean AT&T will be in over 100 total markets by year’s end, roughly doubling its prior footprint. While this is a large expansion for AT&T, the company still trails Verizon by a wide margin — Verizon 4G LTE is currently available in 371 markets. Both companies provide LTE service for the third-generation iPad, and are expected to offer LTE for the next-generation iPhone as well.

AT&T’s website notes that its 4G LTE deployment “will largely be complete by year-end 2013,” though it’s unclear how many total markets that might amount to in the end. The new markets added today were: Anchorage, Alaska; Bakersfield, Calif.; Bridgeport, Conn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Modesto, Calif.; North Montgomery County, Md.; Northern New Jersey; Omaha, Neb; and Syracuse, N.Y.

Bloomberg: No new Apple TV product this year

Apple won’t release a new TV product this year, reports Bloomberg. Seemingly confirming comments attributed to Apple executives by an analyst last month, Bloomberg’s sources note that Apple’s negotiations with cable companies have reached an impasse, with newly-reported conflicts over whether Apple could take sole control over the device’s screen interface software; Comcast reportedly has said no, while Time Warner Cable has been more open-minded. Apple and cable providers also disagree on the possible distribution method of a new Apple TV set-top box, as to whether it should be leased through the providers, or sold directly to customers.

Photoshop Touch adds Retina Display support

Adobe has released an update to Adobe Photoshop Touch for the iPad adding support for the Retina Display in the third-generation iPad along with the ability to work with higher resolution images. In version 1.3 users can now edit images of up to 12 megapixels in size, an increase from the application’s original 1600x1600 (2.5MP) limitations. The new version also adds new Shred and Colorize effects, support for Photo Stream and improvements to animation and scrolling, toggling views and precision editing. Russian and Brazilian Portuguese localization has also been added. Adobe Photoshop Touch requires an iPad 2 or third-generation iPad running iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $10.

Apple buys LTE patents to counter Samsung legal threats

  • September 5, 2012
  • Apple,

Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo reports that Apple has acquired a collection of LTE mobile technology patents in preparation for new legal challenges by Samsung. As previously reported, Samsung has threatened to sue Apple if it releases a new iPhone using LTE mobile technology, even though the third-generation iPad already includes LTE support, presumably under license from LTE chip makers. Apple now has 4.9 percent of total LTE patents, according to the Korea Intellectual Property Office, up from zero last year. Samsung has 12.7 percent of the total LTE patents, ranking first among LTE patent holders. [via MacDailyNews]

Chinese manufacturer allegedly patents new iPhone design

A Chinese manufacturer has already copied — and may have patented — the new iPhone design, according to a recent report. The Goophone I5, an Android-based smartphone released in late August, closely matches leaked images of the new iPhone, and Gizchina reports that GooPhone claims to have patented the design in China ahead of the next-generation iPhone’s launch.

 

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Gizchina speculates that Goophone’s alleged patent could prevent Apple from selling the new iPhone in China, and it may even mean that Goophone could block new iPhone exports. As hard to believe as this may be, Apple has previously faced legal challenges due to manipulation of the Chinese legal system, most notably settling a lawsuit with a company that negotiated in bad faith over the “iPad” trademark. [via Wired]

Grove debuts first wood case for new iPhone

Grove has announced its new Grove case ($79), the first wood case for the new iPhone. The case is being billed as ready for the iPhone 5, albeit with a note that the “final design may vary.” Made out of a hand-sanded, oiled bamboo exterior with a plant fiber core, the new Grove case is a slider-style two-piece design, with a white or black face plus a distinctively wooden back.

 

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Available for pre-order with a refundable $20 deposit, pre-ordering entitles customers to a $59 introductory price, which does not include customization such as engraved rear artwork, apparently to be offered for an additional fee. Grove plans to release the case by the first week of October.

Ten One redubs, prices “Blue Tiger” stylus as Pogo Connect

Ten One Design has renamed its “Blue Tiger” stylus as Pogo Connect ($80), and promised that the accessory is nearly ready for release. Billed as “the world’s first pressure-sensitive Bluetooth 4.0 stylus for new iPad,” the Pogo Connect is said by the company to be compatible with the third-generation iPad, iPhone 4S, plus “the new iPhone, and iPad mini.” Interestingly, users of the first two iPad generations can also use the stylus through the free Pogo Bridge app, if they have access to an iPhone 4S or the new iPhone. The Pogo Connect features a new patent pending technology dubbed the “Crescendo Sensor,” which can work from all angles, with zero grams of activation force. The stylus requires no calibration, provides hundreds of levels of pressure and has no moving parts, arriving as a competitor to Adonit’s Jot Touch.

 

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Pogo Connect promises extra-long battery life by using Bluetooth Smart technology with a AAA battery, and it’s said to be compatible with certain existing apps, including Procreate. Another novel touch: the stylus can transmit a signal that allows users to track down its location. Ten One Design has announced that Pogo Connect will be available for pre-order on Oct. 1.

Apple denies handing over UDIDs to FBI

  • September 5, 2012
  • Apple,

Apple has publicly denied claims that it supplied the FBI millions of Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs), according to a report from All Things D. This follows Tuesday’s similar statement of denial from the FBI following a release of over 1 million UDIDs by hacking group Antisec, which said that a database with more than 12 million UDIDs was discovered on a compromised FBI laptop. Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris told AllThingsD, “The FBI has not requested this information from Apple, nor have we provided it to the FBI or any organization. Additionally, with iOS6 we introduced a new set of APIs meant to replace the use of the UDID and will soon be banning the use of UDID.”

Antisec claimed that it obtained UDIDs and related personal account information—including user names, device names, telephone numbers, and addresses—from a breached FBI computer. The group suggested that the UDIDs may have been used by the FBI for device surveillance. Subsequent reports suggested that the database included President Obama’s UDID, though their veracity remains unclear at this time. [via 9to5Mac]

Working new iPhone leaks in photos next to iPhone 4S

New images and the first video of Apple’s next-generation iPhone in action have appeared online. Posted by Vgooo, the video shows a side-by-side comparison of the new iPhone booting up next to the iPhone 4S, while the video and photos spotlight previously fuzzy details of the device’s metal and glass enclosure. A protective metal rim is clearly shown surrounding the rear glass antenna windows, while a new, smaller “nano SIM” slot is found on the side, and the top surface is shown without a headphone port, all details that were assumed from earlier leak but rendered clearly in the latest images.

 

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The taller and thinner new iPhone can be seen booting just slightly quicker than the 4S, though the setup process is stopped early on by an iOS 6 registration error. A report from M.I.C. Gadget states that a tipster told Chinese tech site Vgooo.com that the new iPhone was “discovered” when he visited his friend at a Foxconn factory. Video and photos are embedded below. [via M.I.C. Gadget]

Sources: Apple to be sole maker of Dock Connector Adapters

Responding to earlier reports that Apple hasn’t offered developers parts or specs for next-generation Dock Connector accessories, additional sources have confirmed to iLounge that Apple will be the exclusive initial vendor of a new Dock Connector Adapter, to be sold individually and/or in three-packs. According to sources, the Dock Connector Adapters will sell for approximately $10 each or three for $29, with Apple-branded new USB cables selling for $19 each. For reference, Apple’s MagSafe to MagSafe 2 Converter sells for $9.99, while international pricing for Apple’s earlier iPhone Micro USB Adapter is €9 ($11) or £8 ($13).

While leaks of the new connector have been numerous, Apple has remained mum on what developers are calling the “9-pin Connector,” even though sources claim that Apple has in recent months stopped approving third-party proposals for connector-equipped accessories. Some developers fear that Apple will corner the market for both the adapters and cables, much as it did with MagSafe connectors for MacBook laptops, using licensing agreements and threats of lawsuits to prevent less expensive third-party solutions from coming to market. One source notes that Apple will reap a windfall by limiting competition in this manner, generating revenues of $100 million for every 10 million Dock Connector Adapters it sells for $10. According to the source, Apple estimates that it will sell the first 10 million Adapters by the end of 2012. It remains unclear whether Apple will allow third-party developers to release competing alternatives before then, or afterwards.

Impending iPhone launch inspires fake box leaks

With Apple’s special iPhone-focused event only a week away, leaks of supposed packaging and parts have continued to appear online, some increasingly dubious—a reason we haven’t been posting everything that’s flooding in these days. In a recent post at TechnoBuffalo, pictures of alleged “iPhone 5” packaging from HDBlog clearly show the “iPhone 5” name on the side of the box, with an angled picture of the new iPhone on the front. An Apple logo can also be spotted on the edges of the box. However, both the iPhone edges and box dimensions look off, there’s no iCloud logo to be seen, and the font doesn’t seem quite right, either. Other supposed box images for “the new iPhone” look equally suspicious for different reasons, including decidedly un-Apple-like text, and iPhone screenshots featuring YouTube, an app that’s already known to have been pulled from iOS 6.

 

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Though it should go without saying at this point, this is just a reminder that faked images and details tend to increase in number immediately ahead of new Apple product launches, so it’s important to take late-stage rumors with an extra grain of salt. Bogus packaging leaks ahead of June’s release of new MacBook computers contained wildly inaccurate specifications, making Apple box “leaks” especially suspect.

Focusrite introduces iTrack Solo audio interface for iPad

Established British audio accessory developer Focusrite has debuted iTrack Solo ($200), a dual-input audio interface for recording and mixing directly to an iPad. Similar to the company’s Scarlett 2i2 for computer use, iTrack Solo features a professional-grade microphone preamp with low distortion and noise, plus phantom power, promising “pristine quality” for guitar and microphone recording. GarageBand and other apps are compatible with the unit, which offers up to 24-bit, 96kHz sampling for two channels. iPad-specific and USB power cables are included, along with input and output ports for a mic, guitars, and playback devices.

 

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An aluminum unibody case houses the unit, which can connect directly to a loudspeaker, as well as a Mac or PC when you’re not using the iPad. The iTrack Solo will be released in October, with street pricing at a lower price of $160.

Krusell bows Motörheadphöne, inspired by Motörhead

Following the success of Monster’s Beats by Dre series of headphones and similar musician-inspired alternatives, Krusell has announced the release of Motörheadphöne, a series of headphones inspired by metal band Motörhead. The series includes five products: the over-ear 40mm driver-based Motörizer ($130) with three-button remote, and remote-less Iron Fist ($120) headphones, the on-ear 30mm Bomber ($100) headphones with remote, plus mic-equipped Overkill ($60) and mic-less Trigger ($50) earphones. Motörizer, Iron Fist, and Bomber all use branded leather sides, while Overkill and Trigger have metallic circular edges.

 

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Krusell also announced three simple, iPhone-sized cases, the hard shell Metropolis ($35), a sealed pouch called Capricorn ($40), and open-topped sleeve Burner ($35). Each uses black leather with Motörhead logo and text branding in either white or red. All of the cases and headphones are expected to be released this fall.

Amazon offers up to $500 credit for iPhone trade-in

With the new iPhone launch rapidly approaching, companies are offering trade-in options for the iPhone 4/4S, and Amazon is now offering up to $500 for a 64GB iPhone 4S in “like new” condition, with payment in the form of an Amazon gift card. The iPhone must come with the original manufacturer packaging and accessories, be in “perfect working condition,” and be free of visible wear or personalization to qualify. A 64GB model in “good” condition can still net up to $425. Notably, for those looking to use those dollars towards a different phone, Amazon gift cards cannot be used on AmazonWireless purchases.

As previously noted, Apple is offering $345 for a top condition 64GB iPhone 4S, with payment in the form of an Apple gift card. Gazelle is currently offering $329 in cash for the same phone. [via 9to5Mac]

iPad mini mockup shows expected design

  • September 4, 2012
  • iPad,

Images purporting to show the design of the upcoming iPad mini have been posted on Apple.pro. The photos depict what appears to be a realistic mockup of the smaller iPad’s front—complete with a 7.85” screen surrounded by a bezel that’s thinner on the left and right than the top and bottom — as well as the unit’s back, thin sides, and large speaker grilles on the bottom alongside the smaller Dock Connector. A rear-facing camera and cellular antenna bar are included on this unit, as well as separated volume buttons below the orientation/silent side switch.

 

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While Apple.pro’s images are consistent with dimensional drawings, case leaks, and other bits of information that have been circulating for some time, it’s worth noting that a supposed iPad mini internal cable part leak suggested that the smaller tablet might have a bottom-mounted headphone port—the only piece of evidence thus far casting doubt on the widely expected design.

Nano SIM cards released, bound for new iPhones

New Nano SIM cards are being distributed by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom ahead of Apple’s new iPhone release. A recently published picture at ifun.de (translated link) illustrates the smaller size of the Nano SIM compared to the Micro SIM cards used in the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPads.

 

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While Deutsche Telekom doesn’t mention the new iPhone specifically in an included explanation of the cards, the text alludes to “a new generation of SIM cards for the latest generation of smartphones” that will be released in the near future. [via 9to5Mac]

 

Apple announces September 12 iPhone event

Confirming months of rumors, Apple has officially announced a special event for September 12, 2012, expected to see the launch of the next-generation iPhone. The invitation graphic reads “It’s almost here,” with a large number 12 casting the number “5” as a shadow—a hint, perhaps, that Apple has chosen to go with the name “iPhone 5” for the sixth-generation iPhone.

 

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The event will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, at 10AM Pacific Time.

Walmart testing iPhone app checkout

According to a Reuters report, Walmart is currently testing an iPhone app-based checkout alternative that allows shoppers to scan items using their phones and pay at a self-checkout counter. Notably, the test system doesn’t involving paying via phone; instead, the app transfers the list of scanned items to the self-checkout kiosk, where testers complete the transaction normally with cash or cards. Walmart invited employees with iPhones to participate in testing at a store near the company’s headquarters in Arkansas.

Harman and JBL debut Flip, SoundSticks Wireless, soundbars

JBL and Harman Kardon have announced seven new speakers for the iPod, iPhone and iPad, ranging from updates of classic models to brand new designs. JBL’s Flip ($100) is a Bluetooth-compatible portable speaker that can be used horizontally or vertically, including a built-in microphone for Bluetooth calls. Built for placement near a television, the Cinema SB 200 ($300) is a Bluetooth-equipped, 120-watt soundbar with two woofers, two tweeters, an amplifier and a built-in subwoofer, designed be compatible with JBL-designed apps.

 

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Also introduced were the latest version of Harman Kardon’s SoundSticks, the Bluetooth-streaming SoundSticks Wireless ($230); two other portable speakers, the Bluetooth-enabled JBL Micro Wireless ($60) and the hockey puck-sized, non-Bluetooth Micro II ($40); and two other Cinema Soundbars, the non-Bluetooth SB 100 ($200) and the SB 400 ($550), the latter of which is a Bluetooth-enabled soundbar designed for HDTVs 46 inches and larger, packed with a separate 200-watt wireless subwoofer. All products are set for a fall release.

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