JBL has rolled out its new OnBeat speaker for the iPad. The OnBeat offers a rotating dock capable of holding an iPad, iPhone, or iPod, side-mounted volume buttons, dual Phoenix full-range transducers, DSP equalization, the ability to charge the docked device, a USB for syncing, a 3.5mm auxiliary input, composite video output, an included remote control, and JBL’s Weave design. The JBL OnBeat speaker dock will be available in April and will sell for $150.
In reply to a customer email, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller has suggested that Apple won’t be making a Keyboard Dock for the iPad 2. 9to5Mac reports that the customer’s email read, “From what I’ve heard, the Apple keyboard dock is not made for the iPad 2. Is there an iPad 2 version that I can’t find on your online store – or is it coming soon?” While Schiller did not directly answer the question, he did suggest that most users prefer to use the device’s soft keyboard. “People prefer to use the iPad’s built in soft keyboard most all of the time, it works very well,” Schiller said in his response. “Those that do choose to use an external keyboard most often choose to use Apple’s bluetooth wireless keyboard for the convenience it provides.”
As noted in our comprehensive review of the iPad 2, Apple’s iPad Keyboard Dock works properly with the iPad 2, as does the original iPad Dock.
iSkin has introduced its new line of earTones earphones. The new earphones feature “FlexFit,” a flexible earbud neck allowing for easier insertion and greater comfort when worn, an in-line single-button remote and mic, and Microban anti-bacterial treatment on both the earbuds and microphone control surfaces. iSkin’s new earTones earphones are available in six color combinations—black/black, black/red, black/white, pink/black, blue/white, and purple/white—and sell for $40.
In the midst of researching new iPhone 4 cases that have recently arrived with noticeably different and larger rear camera holes than we’d seen in prior products, iLounge has received confirmation that Apple has recently published “Case Design Guidelines for Apple Devices,” a digital booklet laying out specifications for iPod, iPhone, and iPad cases, as well as an updated document suggesting a “keepout area” around the iPhone 4’s rear camera.
Notably, the documents now include specific recommendations for materials to be kept out of cases—such as various metals, plastics with carbon content or metallic painting—as well as guidelines for what should be specifically done for both the iPad 2 and iPhone 4, including a recommendation that iPhone 4 cases use an oversized hole to avoid flash and other interference with the distortion-sensitive rear camera. The documents also offer specific testing recommendations, such as device insertion and removal tests, colorfastness tests, call quality tests—conducted in handset, speakerphone, and headset mode—and control/port access tests to confirm that the cases will work with both headphones and dock connector cables with large plugs.
Also surprising: despite Apple’s own use of magnets in the iPad 2 and iPad Smart Covers, the Guidelines state that “case designs for Apple devices should avoid the use of magnets (for example, as closure devices) and magnetic materials.” Indeed, the company’s dimensional drawings for the iPad 2 make no mention of the magnets built into the device, leaving it up to case developers to discover the proper placement on their own. Though Apple has published dimensional drawings for its devices for years, these appear to be the first such documents released to developers since Apple created a new case-oriented lab and testing program last year.
Less than two weeks removed from the iPad 2’s launch in the U.S., companies are continuing to bring out new products for Apple’s second-generation tablet. CleverWraps has announced that its CleverWraps for iPad clear, disposable protective sleeve is compatible with the iPad 2. It sells for $15. MusicSkins has introduced its new line of vinyl Skins for the iPad 2 (pictured), which feature full coverage for the rear of the device save for openings to access the various ports, controls, and camera. MusicSkins’ new Skins for the iPad 2 are priced at $20.
Ozaki has introduced its iCoat Notebook and iCoat Versatile for the iPad 2. Both of these folio-style cases offer open access to all ports and controls and include free styluses; the iCoat Notebook can fold to become a dual-angle horizontal stand and comes in two different leathers with four color options each, while the iCoat Versatile functions as a multi-angle stand and features an elastic band hand grip as well as three included straps for holding, carrying, and mounting. It comes in four colors; pricing and availability information has yet to be announced for either case.
Finally, XO Skins has launched its line of film protectors for the iPad 2. Custom-designed to fit the device and requiring the use of application spray, these clear glossy protectors are available now for the screen ($25), back ($25), or as a full-body coverage set ($35).
Gumdrop Cases, iStyles, and Wrapsol have all unveiled new products for the iPad 2. Gumdrop’s new offerings include the Drop Series case, a ruggedized, multi-layer play-through case that sells for $60, and the Surf Convertible case, a faux-suede folio-style case that sells for $45. Both cases are available for pre-order now. Wrapsol’s new iPad 2 products include the Ultra glossy and Clean anti-glare, anti-fingerprint screen protectors, both of which utilize a new dry application process and sell for $30, as well as the company’s original screen and rear shell protection package, which uses a wet application process and sells for $40. All three are available for order now. Finally, iStyles has announced its new range of Skins for the iPad 2. Available in a range of designs, the glossy vinyl skins include both front and back covers and sell for $20; matte versions are available for an extra $5.
New cases and accessories for the iPad 2 are continuing to roll in from manufacturers. Griffin has announced updated versions of its Elan Folio Slim textured polyurethane folio case ($40) and CinemaSeat headrest adapter/case ($40) for the iPad 2, along with new colors of its Sylus for iPad ($20). Speck has introduced its iGuy case for the iPad and iPad 2 ($40), a revised version of its iconic case for the original iPad that debuted at the 2011 CES, and its new PixelSkin HD Wrap case for iPad 2 ($50), featuring an integrated cover/stand.
Orbino has unveiled its new Padova II case for the iPad 2 ($209 and up), offering integrated magnets compatible with the iPad 2’s Smart Cover technology, while XGear is offering its 360 Shield Polycarbonate Swivel Case ($40) and 360 Shield Case ($100) for the iPad 2, the latter made from real carbon fiber. Finally, Hub International has announced that a revised version of its HandStand case ($50) will be available for the iPad 2 in the next two months.
iFixit has completed its teardown of the iPad 2 and the iPad 2 Smart Cover, finding a large number of magnets in both models. The Smart Cover contains 21 magnets itself, only one of which is used to turn off the iPad 2’s screen. Another 15 of the Smart Cover’s magnets are used to attach to a hidden steel plate inside the case when assembling the triangular base; only four of those magnets actually clamp to the iPad 2 when the cover is in place. Interestingly, the row of magnets inside the iPad that work with the Smart Cover to snap the accessory onto the device had alternating polarities displayed, which matched up with the opposite alternating polarity of the magnets in the Smart Cover to ensure proper orientation.
As expected, companies are continuing to announce new iPad 2 cases prior to the device’s launch this Friday. XtremeMac‘s new lineup includes the Tuffwrap Shine, a form-fitting soft case, the Microshield hard plastic case, the Thin Sleeve with integrated eject tab, and the Tuffshield screen protector in glossy and anti-glare finishes. XtremeMac’s new lineup of accessories for the iPad 2 will be shipping at launch.
Hard Candy’s new iPad 2 offerings include the $40 Street Skin TPU case with a hinged lid and the $45 Candy Convertible folio-style case in faux nubuck; the company’s $50 Bubble Sleeve for iPad is also compatible for the iPad 2. All three are available for order now. Scosche’s lineup for the iPad 2 includes the $50 foldiO p2, a folio-style case with built-in stand, the $40 glosSEE p2, a flexible rubber case, the $30 snapShield p2 hard polycarbonate case, and the $20 klearCoat p2, $25 satinShield p2, and $50 privaSee p2 screen protectors. Scosche’s new iPad 2 accessories will be available later this month.
Case-mate will offer a variety of cases for the iPad 2, including the square-edged Simple case, the Pop! and Clario cases with integrated stands, the form-fitting Gelli case, and the Venture, Leo, and Versant folio-style cases, as well as an anti-fingerprint screen protector. Case-mate’s new accessories are listed as coming soon. NLU Products has announced that it is now taking pre-orders for its BodyGuardz and ScreenGuardz products for the iPad 2, with prices ranging from $20-$30. For a limited time, customers can receive a 15 percent discount on their order by using the code “iPad2” at checkout.
Case Closed is now taking orders for its new iPad 2 cases, which include felt sleeves in grey and charcoal for £23, or roughly $37, as well as sleeves with elastic ties to hold the iPad securely in the case for £29, or roughly $47. Finally, Nedrelow is also taking orders for its iPad 2 sleeves, which are made from wool felt, available in top- or side-loading designs and in three different colors, and priced at $39 each; Nedrelow’s sleeves will ship on March 16.
Tekkeon has introduced its new TekCharge MP1860A, a dual-port battery pack for the iPad, iPod, iPhone, and other USB-charging devices. The MP1860A features two USB ports that automatically detect how much power the connected device can receive, allowing it to provide a full 2.1 Amps for fast iPad charging while also powering a second 5V device. It also features a 4,400 mAh battery, a third USB port for charging, an included USB to 30-pin charging cable, a myCharger USB power adapter, mini and micro USB adapter tips, a retractable USB input/output cable, an integrated emergency flashlight, and a color-coded LED to indicate remaining capacity. Tekkeon’s TekCharge MP1860A is available now and sells for $70.
Both Philips and Pioneer have announced new AirPlay-compatible audio products, helping to expand the range of options for consumers looking for equipment to use with the wireless media streaming protocol. Philips’ new Fidelio SoundSphere system features two separate speakers with a curved design, “free-floating” tweeters on top, an included, separate Dock, and built-in Wi-Fi with AirPlay support. The Fidelio SoundSphere system will be available in Europe from May 11 and will sell for €799, or roughly $1,100. Pioneer, meanwhile, has announced that the company’s VSX-1021 7.1-channel home theater receiver, which connects to networks via Ethernet or an optional AS-WL300 wireless LAN adapter, will support AirPlay streaming, as well as the company’s upcoming free Air Jam and iControlAV2 apps. Pioneer says the VSX-1021, which will retail for $549, is the first of eight AirPlay devices planned for 2011.
Finally, JBL has posted a dedicated page for its upcoming On Air Wireless speaker system. Outed by the FCC last December, the system features a full color display for displaying album art and song/artist information, physical playback controls, three JBL transducers with “360-degree HALO” acoustics, a clock with dual alarms, a digital FM radio with 10 presets, and a USB port for firmware updates. No price or release date has yet been announced.
A number of manufacturers have announced new accessories and cases for the iPad 2. Belkin has announced its new lineup, which includes the FlipBlade Adjust, a portable stand offering four adjustable angles for viewing and typing, the ViewLounge, which features a beanbag base for secure footing on various surfaces, and four folio-style case/stands—the Flip Folio, Access Folio, Slim Folio, and Verve Folio. Belkin’s new accessories for the iPad 2 will be available this Spring.
iKit has announced it new iPad 2 Carbon Case, a form-fitting rubber and polycarbonate case that resembles carbon fiber while offering open access to all ports, controls, and cameras. It is available for order now and sells for $30. iSkin has posted a teaser page that lets users register to be notified when the company’s new iPad 2-specific products are available, while also highlighting several existing sleeve- and folio-style designs that offer compatibility with both the iPad and iPad 2.
Kensington has posted a dedicated page for its new iPad 2 accessories, which will include new versions of the KeyFolio Bluetooth Keyboard Case and Folio case offering compatibility with both the iPad and iPad 2, as well as an iPad 2-specific version of the BlackBelt protection band, and other accessories. Marware has announced pre-order availability of its Eco-Vue and CEO Hybrid folio-style cases for the iPad 2, which sell for $55 and $50, respectively, while Targus has posted a dedicated iPad 2 page outing its new Protective TPU skin, VuScape Cover + Stand, and 360º Rotating Stand + Case for Apple’s second-generation tablet, as well as listing a number of existing designs compatible with both generations of iPad.
Lenntek has outed its new TravelBook by Sonix case for the iPad 2. Based on a folio-style design, the TravelBook will be available in a variety of exterior materials, including leather, suede, hemp, Lycra, and felt, openings for access to the device’s ports, controls, and front-facing camera, the ability to function as a stand with two angle options, and microfiber interior lining to protect against scratches. Lenntek’s TravelBook by Sonix case for the iPad 2 is expected to ship later this month; pricing has yet to be announced.
Booq has rolled out its new Booqpad for the iPad 2. The Booqpad is a folio-style case featuring a paper notepad opposite the iPad on the interior, designated areas for a pen, stylus, cash, and business cards, and open access to all iPad 2 ports and controls, as well as the front-facing camera. It is available in an eco-friendly version made from recycled PET and leatherette for $50, or in a Nappa leather version for $100, and is expected to ship in late March.
Miniot has debuted its new Miniot Cover for the iPad 2. Apart from being the first third-party iPad 2 accessory iLounge has seen that takes advantage of the device’s built-in magnets to ensure proper alignment and automatic lock/unlock functionality, the Cover features an ultrasuede microfiber interior lining to prevent scratches, is able to fold up for use as a two angle stand, and is crafted from a single piece of smoked oak, walnut, cherry, padouk, or mahogany. Miniot’s new Miniot Cover for iPad 2 will begin shipping before the end of March and is priced from $69 and up.
We’ve just posted an iPad 2 hands-on interface video (new: HD version) on Vimeo so that you can check out the new camera features, settings, and other neat features of the second-generation iPad, as well as a hands-on iPad Smart Cover installation video showing how the magnetic clasp system and auto-lock/unlock features work. For more hands-on details, check out our First Looks at the iPad 2 and the iPad Smart Cover.
Following today’s iPad 2 announcement, Apple has unveiled a new iPad 2 Dock. Priced at $29, the Apple iPad 2 Dock includes a 30-pin Dock Connector port for charging and syncing the iPad as well as connecting other accessories such as the Apple Digital AV Adapter cable and iPad Camera Connection Kit. The Dock also provides a 3.5mm audio line-out port for connecting to powered speakers. The new Dock uses a slightly different design from the original iPad Dock with a small lip at the front. The package will include the Dock only, requiring users to use the cables included with the iPad 2 or purchase additional cables separately.
Apple today also announced two new accessories that will be available for the iPad 2. A new $39 HDMI video output cable will allow iPad users to connect their devices to an HDTV, providing not only support for displaying HD video content but also mirroring the iPad screen onto a TV, allowing any iPad application to be viewed on the larger screen, including support for both landscape and portrait orientation with no setup or configuration required.
A new Smart Covers accessory was also unveiled for the iPad 2, designed in tandem with the new model. The Smart Cover attaches to the glass screen using magnets built into the iPad 2 which can also detect when the cover is closed. The iPad 2 will be able to automatically sleep when closed, and wake when opened, and magnets will grab and auto-align the cover for easy attachment and removal. The cover also folds into a triangle to be used as a typing stand or video stand and includes a microfiber lining to clean the screen. The cover will be sold in five colours in either polyurethane or leather for $39 and $69 for each version, respectively.
Update: The new HDMI adapter, dubbed the “Apple Digital AV Adapter” has appeared on the Apple Store with a ship date of “Coming Soon.” The cable includes an HDMI port and a 30-pin Dock Connector port for charging the iPad while connected to a TV. The cable is compatible with the iPad, iPhone 4, fourth-generation iPod touch and iPad 2. The product page notes that display mirroring will only be available on the IPad 2.
MountMe has introduced its new Freedom mounting solution for the iPad. The Freedom is a combination case and mounting solution offering full access to all ports and controls, a quick release rear bracket that doubles as a kickstand for video viewing and typing while offering panning and tilting capabilities, and the option to mount the bracket using screws, suction cups, or a mounting strap good for in-car use. MountMe’s Freedom mounting solution for iPad is available in a variety of colors and sells for $50; a model compatible with the second-generation iPad is listed as “coming soon.”
Two new accessories, the PadPivot and Waldok, have reached their KickStarter funding goals and are set to become commercial products in the coming days. The PadPivot is a tablet stand for the iPad and other tablet devices, offering a curved base for resting on both curved and flat surfaces, a central, hinge-mounted sticky pad for setting the tablet at a desired angle, and a slot in the front which works to hold the tablet with the sticky pad providing extra support. It is available for pre-order via a $25 pledge. The Waldok is a plug-in speaker/charger for the iPod and iPhone. The device was originally designed primarily for the sixth-generation iPod nano, but has since been modified for compatibility with most docking iPods and iPhones. Features include a 40mm driver, a top-mounted dock, and retractable, flip-out prongs that allow the Waldock to attach directly to a power outlet. The developers are asking for a $59 pledge to secure one of the first Waldok units; neither product has yet received a firm release date.