Reportedly involved in producing the iPhone 5C, Apple supplier Jabil Circuit has been accused of numerous labor violations by China Labor Watch. The watchdog group has alleged that Jabil Circuit’s factory in Wuxi, China has engaged in infringements including millions of dollars in unpaid overtime wages, more than 100 hours of monthly mandatory overtime, more than 11 hours of daily standing work with no rest other than 30-minute meal breaks, hiring discrimination, and inadequate pre-work training. The full report can be found on the China Labor Watch website. Notably, the company is based in St. Petersburg, Florida.
IK Multimedia has announced the iRig Pro ($150), a universal digital mobile audio/MIDI interface for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. A pocket-sized, battery-powered interface, the iRig Pro is a step up from the company’s iRig HD. It “accepts virtually every type of audio and MIDI input” — dynamic or condenser microphones, guitars, line-level sources, keyboards, pads, and controllers are all compatible. The audio and MIDI inputs can be used simultaneously to control guitar or vocal software with foot controllers or pedals, for switching presets, and for controlling effects levels. A suite of IK’s music creation apps is also included.
iRig Pro features a 1/4”-XLR combo input connector for use with standard XLR cables, a 1/4” mono line, or instrument signal cables. A switchable 48V phantom power supply can be used with studio condenser microphones. iRig Pro is powered by a 9V battery, and comes with three detachable cables that are compatible with Lightning, Dock Connector and USB connectors. IK Multimedia’s newest interface is set to ship this month.
Harman debuted its fall line of products today, notably including two Harman Kardon speakers and one JBL speaker. Borrowing design elements from the earlier Go + Play speaker system, the Harman Kardon Onyx Wireless Speaker System ($500) can use either Bluetooth or AirPlay to stream music. Built with four speakers and a 60-Watt amplifier, the circular Onyx also has a six-hour rechargeable battery inside. Harman Kardon also unveiled Esquire ($249), a square wireless portable speaker and teleconferencing system featuring dual audio drivers and dual noise-cancelling microphones. Esquire uses Bluetooth for up to 10 hours of wireless operation during music streaming and phone calls. An adapter with three built-in USB ports is also included for charging multiple devices at once.
Harman also announced the JBL Spark ($129), a colorful cone-shaped wireless speaker system. Two 40mm drivers are included in the speakers, which can stream audio via Bluetooth. Spark includes a stainless steel hanging hook and fabric cord with inline controls, as well as a power adapter.
- September 4, 2013
- iPhone Accessories
Booq has revealed its Complete Protection Kit ($35) case for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5C. The bundle is set to ship Sept. 20 — the expected release date for the iPhone 5C.
Booq’s Complete Protection Kit is a polycarbonate shell with a tempered glass screen protector and two adhesive Home Button covers. It comes in black, though Booq’s website also shows a clear version of the case, which has Oct. 7 listed as a shipping date.
- September 4, 2013
A new report claims that Apple is working on a new 17-Watt power supply for a new product. The new product would require around 40% more wattage than the current iPad, but considerably less power than the 11” MacBook Air. Apple has reportedly started to obtain components for the 17W adapter, which could belong to a “portable product which could launch within the next 12 months.” The report notes that the new adapter would not upgrade any existing Apple products, and it’s possible that such a power supply could be for a new, larger iPad; a July report claimed Apple is testing tablet screens “measuring slightly less than 13 inches,” following rumors of a 12.9” iPad prototype. [via AppleInsider]
Three recent shipments of “set top boxes” received by Apple in August could signify a new upcoming version of its Apple TV. A blog post citing bills of lading documents notes that Apple received a 35,000-pound shipment from Shenzhen, China on Aug. 25 described as “Set Top Box with Communication Function.” An Aug. 18 shipment with the same weight was described as “Set Top Boxes,” and an initial 15,000-pound shipment of set top boxes was received another week earlier on Aug. 11. The large shipments came from Apple supplier BYD; a previous shipment of “set top boxes” from Apple partner Hon Hai/Foxconn in December 2012 contained prior-generation Apple TVs. It’s possible Apple could reveal a new TV product — a refreshed Apple TV or something else — at the company’s Sept. 10 event, which is believed to be focused on iPhones and iOS 7. If not, a later expected event for new iPads could bring news of a new TV-related product. [via Panjiva]
Apple has invited Chinese media for a second special event, set to be held at Beijing’s China World Trade Center on September 11. Scheduled to start roughly six hours after the conclusion of Apple’s American iPhone event on September 10, it’s speculated that Apple will use the Beijing venue to announce a deal with China Mobile to bring the iPhone to the world’s largest carrier. Apple CEO Tim Cook met with the chairman of China Mobile about a month ago, and negotiations have been ongoing for some time. The official Apple event will be the first of its kind in China. [via 9to5Mac]
Jawbone has introduced Mini Jambox ($180), the newest and smallest addition to its line of Jambox Bluetooth speakers. Made from a single piece of aluminum with three drivers inside, Mini Jambox weighs 9 ounces, is just over six inches long, and slightly less than an inch deep. Using Bluetooth 4.0, Mini Jambox streams audio from within 33 feet of a Bluetooth-enabled device. The speaker offers about 10 hours of continuous playback and packs a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It debuts at a slightly lower price than the original Jambox did, though both models will now sell for $180 due to a post-release Jambox price drop.
Jawbone has also released an app to access saved and streaming music on the new speaker. Offered in nine different color/design combinations, Mini Jambox comes with a micro-USB charging cable and 3.5 mm stereo cable. The speaker will be released late this month.
- September 4, 2013
A leaked internal document from Telus appears to reveal that the Canadian carrier will discontinue the 32GB and 64GB iPhone 5 models on Sept. 28.
The document hints—but doesn’t confirm—that Apple will discontinue those models, while continuing to sell the 16GB iPhone 5 as a mid-tier option between the upcoming iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S. It’s unclear why the discontinuation would take place on the 28th—eight days after the likely new iPhone launch day—but an accompanying report suggests that Apple could stagger the iPhone 5C and 5S release dates by one week, which would be unusual. [via mobilesyrup]
A recent update to the Google Authenticator app may be causing user’s one-time password credentials to be erased, potentially preventing them from accessing online services using two-step verification, according to several user reports in the Google Authenticator project group. Google Authenticator is an iOS app that allows users to store credentials for Google’s 2-Step Verification feature, and is also used for two-step verification with other third-party services such as Dropbox and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Although several iOS 7 beta users had reported problems with losing credentials in the app, it wasn’t until a recent update, presumably intended to address the iOS 7 issue, that the app began exhibiting the same behaviour for iOS users upgrading to the new version, resulting in users possibly losing access to some of their online services, particularly in cases such as AWS, where alternative “backup codes” are not made available. Users relying on the Google Authenticator app should avoid installing this update. Note that Google Authenticator uses an open-source one-time password generation method, so alternative apps are available, many of which were discussed in the same thread as a result of problems using the app with the iOS 7 betas.
Update: Google Authenticator appears to have been removed from the App Store, suggesting that Google may have pulled it while it works to address the issue.
Apple has released minor updates to its iLife apps for iOS — iPhoto, iMovie, and Garageband. The heavily skeuomorphic apps are all described by Apple as receiving compatibility and stability fixes, without additional details, and continue to run without obvious changes on iOS 6 and iOS 7. While these behind-the-scenes fixes are not a surprise considering the upcoming launch of iOS 7, this may also signal that Apple is not planning to make major visual changes to those apps to coincide with iOS 7’s release. [via 9to5Mac]
ArtRage for iPad ($5) from Ambient Design Ltd. has updated to version 1.6. The updated art studio app has enhanced stylus support, as the app now supports the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus and TenOne Pogo Connect Stylus, in addition to the original Adonit Jot Touch. Tap and hold color sampling is now optional, and a number of UI issues have been addressed to make the app easier to use.
Combo Crew ($4), a touchscreen-optimized brawler by The Game Bakers, has added two new special characters in version 1.2.0. Viewtiful Joe of the Capcom series and Lester Knight from the classic action puzzle game Out of this World (aka Another World) join the fray. A $2 in-app purchase is required to unlock Joe, but Lester Knight — an inspired addition — comes unlocked with the update. The game has also added new challenges and missions to King of the Tower mode.
Apple has started to invite members of the media to a special event on September 10 at 10:00AM Pacific Time, one week from today. Scheduled to be held at Apple’s campus in Cupertino, the event’s invitation includes the phrase, “This should brighten everyone’s day.” It consists of an Apple logo atop a collection of dots, brightly colored similarly to tones seen in both iOS 7 icons and leaks of the iPhone 5C.
The event will almost certainly include the formal announcement of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, as well as the final release of iOS 7—at the very least, for iPhones and iPod touches. Reports have suggested that Apple will use a separate event, most likely in October, to debut new iPad models.
- September 3, 2013
- iPhone Accessories
A number of alleged iPhone 5C cases have leaked, following numerous other leaks related to Apple’s upcoming entry-level iPhone. Twitter account @evleaks tweeted a few pictures of alleged Case-Mate cases earlier today. Evleaks also tweeted that Case-Mate listed a shipping estimate as 8 a.m. Sept. 20, the expected launch date and time of the iPhone 5C and 5S.
Additionally, 9to5Mac has posted photos of promo shots for a number of new Switcheasy cases — new cases from the company’s Numbers, Colors, Nude, and Tones lines. Most of the cases are for the iPhone 5C, but the Odyssey case is notably listed as compatible with the iPhone 5 and 5S, according to the image.
- September 3, 2013
Following numerous leaks of rear shells and other small components, leaks of complete and boxed iPhone 5C units have hit the web. A photo of iPhone 5Cs in packaging comes from iapps.im, appearing to show a red iPhone 5C inside a plastic box. The packages appear to match those from an earlier leak.
A few other images were leaked and seen on Weibo, showing alleged iPhone 5C packaging materials. One picture shows what appears to be the manual for the 5C, while the next shows instructions for the SIM card ejection tool.