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iLounge Weekly arrives Monday

The latest edition of iLounge Weekly, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, will be arriving in subscribers’ inboxes early next week. iLounge Weekly is a summary of the week’s best news, reviews, and feature articles we’ve published, and it also features giveaways and accessory discount offers from various companies. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address, if you haven’t done so already.

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Our first look at the 16GB fifth-gen iPod touch

  • May 31, 2013
  • iPod,

We’ve got our hands on the new, stripped-down $229 16GB iPod touch. The new edition lacks the rear iSight camera and loop wrist strap found on the 32GB and 64GB models.

We have pictures of the new device and our initial thoughts in our original fifth-generation iPod touch review. A full review of the new edition will be posted early next week.

Pioneer debuts iOS-controlled XDJ-R1 DJ system

Pioneer has announced the XDJ-R1 ($899), an all-in-one DJ system using wireless control functionality through an iOS app. The app lets users continue music mixing performances even while away from the system by allowing access to many of the system’s functions.

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The XDJ-R1 features auto beat loop, beat sync, USB connectivity, built-in dual CD players, MIDI control, and a number of music mix features. Pioneer says the XDJ-R1 will be available in June.

Fifth-generation iPad front panel leaked? (Updated)

  • May 31, 2013
  • iPad,

A photo of an alleged front panel for Apple’s fifth-generation iPad has leaked on Apple.pro. The picture shows what appears to be a smaller front panel — the left and right bezel are nearly eliminated, and the areas above and below the screen also appear to be reduced in size. [via 9to5Mac]

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The image is consistent with what we reported in January regarding the upcoming device. Visit our fifth-generation iPad rumor page to see what else we’ve heard about the device.

Update: Nowhereelse.fr (translated link) reports the leaked photo is actually the front of an iPad mini.

Update (Aug. 28): Sonny Dickson has posted what appear to be legitimate photos of the fifth-generation iPad’s front panel. The photo below shows a slightly larger side bezel than the previous alleged leak, with a connector in a different location.

Apple raises iPad, iPod prices in Japan

Apple has raised its prices for the iPad and iPod in Japan in response to a weaker yen, according to a report. For instance, the 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad now sells for 49,800 yen ($493), an increase of about $70. The iPod shuffle increased roughly the equivalent of $6. “We made some pricing adjustments due to changes in foreign exchange rates,” Apple spokesman Takashi Takabayashi said. [via Bloomberg]

August door lock system for iPhone unveiled

August, a smart lock system for doors, was recently unveiled at All Things D’s D11 Conference. The system was introduced by Jason Johnson and noted Jawbone designer Yves Behar. August automatically locks or unlocks a door using the iPhone’s Blueooth when the homeowner is near. The system has an iPhone app, which can show log records and share digital keys.

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August can grant control to who has access to a user’s home — for instance, a cleaning person could be granted access for a few hours on a single day. The system lock uses standard batteries. Reservations are currently being taken for August — the locks cost $199 a piece. August expects to ship the locks by November or December. [via All Things D]

Google Play Music All Access coming soon to iOS

Google Multiplatform Chief Sundar Pichai announced that Google Play Music All Access will launch for iOS “a couple weeks from now.” Google Play Music All Access is Google’s new streaming music service, and currently offers unlimited access for $8 a month; the price will jump to $10 a month in July. [via All Things D]

Apps: Ace Attorney, Analog Camera, Drawing Pad 2.4 + iTunes Movie Trailers 1.2.3

Capcom’s Phoenix Wright has made his way to iOS in Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD (free). The Ace Attorney games are visual adventures casting the player in the role of a defense attorney. Though marketed as a trilogy, the app is freemium; it’s notable that only the first two episodes of the franchise’s first game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, are free to play. In-app purchases are required to purchase the remaining games, either separately or in a bundle. However, even if you have no intention on spending money, the Phoenix Wright Trilogy is still worth a download for those first two episodes. The Ace Attorney games feature memorable characters and engaging gameplay.

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Realmac Software’s Analog Camera ($1) is a new camera app with three camera modes — including manual focus and exposure — and eight filters. Designed to be easy to use and minimalist, Analog Camera lets users quickly add filters to the device’s camera, with simple Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail sharing. Analog Camera doesn’t have a landscape mode or orientation support — the photos are square. The app may be best for people who want to share filtered photos, but don’t want to sign up for Instagram.

Apple debuts stripped 16GB iPod touch 5G, nixes 4G model

Without a press release, Apple has quietly released an unusually stripped-down 16GB version of the fifth-generation iPod touch, eliminating the rear iSight camera and loop wrist strap found in the previously-released 32GB and 64GB models. The new 16GB iPod touch retains the other specifications of the late 2012 models, but is available solely in a silver and black color combination, selling for $229 with packed-in EarPods earphones. It is two grams lighter than before due to the missing components, and will be available in U.S. stores starting tomorrow.

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Apple simultaneously appears to have discontinued the fourth-generation iPod touch, which remained available in two storage capacities to preserve a $199 option in the touch family. iPod sales have continued to slide from previous highs quarter after quarter, due as much to weak feature and price combinations as the continued strength of new iPhone and iPad models.

Update: Apple has also announced that 100 million iPod touches have been sold since 2007. [via Engadget]

Report: Pegatron to be primary assembler of budget iPhone

Apple will use Pegatron — not Foxconn — as its primary assembler for the company’s new low-cost iPhone “expected to be offered later this year,” according to a new report. A rival of Foxconn, Pegatron was a “minor producer” of iPhones in 2011 and also made iPad minis last year. Sources say Apple decided to use Pegatron to diversify its manufacturing after Foxconn had issues with scratches on the iPhone 5’s metal casing, and because Apple is expanding its product lines. While some claim Pegatron will accept smaller profits to produce Apple products, neither company has commented. [via The Wall Street Journal]

Macally introduces iKeyLT Lightning keyboard

Macally has announced iKeyLT ($60), the second full-size wired keyboard debuted thus far for Lightning devices. iKeyLT comes with a 2.75-foot long cable, four rubber feet, and two kickstands for changing the keyboard’s position. A foldable iPad stand is also included.

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Macally’s iKeyLT comes in white, and $1 from every keyboard sold will be donated to U.S. educational charities. iKeyLT will be available in July; a 30-pin version of the keyboard called iKey30 is available now for the same $60 price.

Apple CEO Cook coy on new products at D11

Apple CEO Tim Cook was interviewed to kick off All Things D’s D11 Conference, and though Cook was reluctant to reveal details about new Apple products, he did say the company has “several more game changers.” Cook spoke about television being an outdated experience, and said Apple has “a very grand vision.” He did note that Apple has sold 13 million Apple TVs, and “about half” were sold in the last year.

Cook was even more vague on wearable technology, saying the area was “ripe for exploration,” without answering if Apple had any specific plans. He said the wrist “is more natural” than wearing glasses, but that “you still have to convince people it is worth wearing.” Cook doesn’t see Google Glass as having broad appeal, and mentioned that he wears a Nike FuelBand.

Regarding iOS 7, Cook was still vague, but verified “the future of iOS” would debut at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Cook also confirmed that Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive was key to the new operating system.

In other news, Cook mentioned Apple has already acquired nine companies this fiscal year, but only some of them were announced. He did note the company did not make a bid for Waze, as was rumored. Cook also answered questions on taxes and Apple’s stock, among other topics. On larger screens for phones, he again mentioned the tradeoffs that come with those screens, and reiterated his belief that the iPhone 5’s Retina display is the best screen on the market.

When asked about Android’s ability to let users make changes to a home screen, Cook said Apple would “open up more” and give more control to developers and users in the future, while noting, “not to the degree that we put the customer at risk of having a bad experience.” When comparing his style of leadership to Steve Jobs, Cook said he is different in many ways, “but the important things are the same.” [via All Things D]

Update: All Things D has posted the full video interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook on its website.

Apple pays $53M in class-action liquid sensor settlement

Apple has agreed to pay $53 million to resolve a class action lawsuit regarding warranty claims denied due to alleged water damage, Bloomberg reports. The lawsuit alleged that the liquid submersion indicators on iPhones and iPods could be triggered through ordinary use, which would have resulted in some devices being incorrectly excluded from warranty coverage, as Apple summarily denied repairs when the indicator was triggered on a device. Apple had denied the allegations, maintaining that the indicators were reliable.

Affected consumers whose warranty claims were denied on the basis of Apple’s liquid damage policy may be eligible for up to $300 depending on the device model owned. The settlement applies to warranty claims denied for iPhones before Dec 31, 2009 or iPod touch devices prior to June 2010.

Apps: Clear Day, Halftone 2, Ultima Forever + Units 2.0

Formerly known as Weather HD, a long-time favorite of iLounge’s editors, Vimov has re-released its weather app as Clear Day ($2). Clear Day is version 2.5 of the prior app, with a new layout that reduces obscuring elements to let you see more of the weather videos. A free version — Clear Day Free — is ad-supported and lacks push notifications for severe alerts. Users of the full version can add an unlimited number of cities, as well as advanced weather data using in-app purchases.

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Photo editing app Halftone 2 (free) from Juicy Bits allows users to turn their photos into comic book pages. A sequel to the original Halftone app, Halftone 2 is freemium, offering many in-app purchases. Users can easily insert thought bubbles and words into their photos, as well as tweaking colors and comic book-style layouts. There are also plenty of sharing options, via e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox, and more.

 

Apple patent adjusts iPhone audio based on proximity

A new Apple patent describes a system that can adjust an iPhone’s receiver volume based on the proximity of the device to a user’s ear. The phone would be able to sense if a user has moved the telephone further away from his or her ear, and raise the receiver volume in response. Additionally, the speakerphone volume could also be adjusted based on the user’s distance from the telephone, while another concept would allow the phone to automatically switch from using the receiver to using the speaker as the phone gets further from a user.

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Users could conceivably store proximity audio settings within user profiles. Proximity changes could trigger a recall of these various user profiles — each profile could have its own default volume. Other acoustic properties, such as frequency response, could also be adjusted based on proximity. [via Apple Insider]

Foxconn expanding to branded accessories, mobile apps

Apple’s largest manufacturing partner Foxconn may be planning to sell its own line of iPhone, iPad, and iPod accessories, according to the Wall Street Journal. According to executives with the company who declined to be named, Foxconn has been looking for ways to diversify beyond contract manufacturing, with investments in media content and software and is now apparently reviewing plans for its own brand of electronics accessories to include data transmission cables, headphones, and keyboards under the Foxconn brand. It also plans to license Apple’s technology to produce accessories compatible with the iPhone and iPad.

Foxconn is also expanding into the software and content market with the aim to directly supply content for all of the devices it assembles. The company has reportedly begun hiring software engineers for a research and development centre in southern Taiwan to focus on developing mobile applications, cloud computing technology, and smart watch apps.

EU investigation into Apple’s iPhone sales tactics proceeds

A new report from the Financial Times indicates that the European Union is proceeding with an investigation into alleged anti-competitive tactics by Apple in regard to sales and distribution of the iPhone in the European market. A nine-page questionnaire was sent to a number of EU mobile network operators last week relating to iPhone distribution terms, sales practices, minimum iPhone purchasing requirements, and marketing budget restrictions. The questionnaire also reportedly asks whether Apple limits the use of the iPhone 5 on high-speed European 4G networks.

Reports of an EU antitrust probe first surfaced in March when a group of carriers complained about the strict contract terms required to sell iPhones. Apple maintains that its contracts “fully comply with local laws.”

Happy Memorial Day!

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 28, with regular updates.

We hope you, your family, and friends enjoy a relaxing holiday together.

iLounge Weekly coming Monday, giveaway update

The latest edition of iLounge Weekly, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, will be arriving in subscribers’ inboxes early next week. iLounge Weekly is a summary of the week’s best news, reviews, and feature articles we’ve published, and it also features giveaways and accessory discount offers from various companies. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address, if you haven’t done so already.

Your Email Address:   

IMPORTANT: Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Earthlink and others, make sure we don’t end up in your spam box. Please accept emails from iLounge.com. Thank you.

This is also the last week to enter our May giveaway. This month, iLounge and Kensington are giving away ten KeyCover iPad keyboard cases. Simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page to enter; the giveaway will end on May 31, 2013 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!

Apple drops refurbished fourth-gen iPad, mini prices

  • May 24, 2013
  • iPad,

Apple has dropped its prices on refurbished fourth-generation iPads and iPad minis in its online store. Refurbished fourth-generation iPads are now $419, $499, and $579 for Wi-Fi 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB models, and $529, $609, and $689 for corresponding Wi-Fi + Cellular models. Refurbished iPad minis are now $279, $359, and $439 for Wi-Fi 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB models, and $389, $469, and $549 for corresponding Wi-Fi + Cellular models. [via MacRumors]

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