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.
NomadBrush has debuted its new Nomad Brush paint brush for use with the iPad and other capacitive touch screen devices. Handcrafted using conductive materials, the Nomad features real bristles, a 7.5” by 0.25” black body and a weight of 0.2 ounces; other sizes and colors will be available “soon.” Notably, the Nomad Brush is not for use with standard paints or inks, and some bristles will come out during normal use without affecting the performance of the brush. The Nomad Brush for iPad and other capacitive touch screen devices is available now and sells for $24.
Scosche has announced that it is now shipping its goBat II portable battery pack for the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and other portable devices. Sporting an internal 5,000mAh lithium ion battery, the goBat II features two USB ports—one with a 2.1 Amp output for charging devices such as the iPad, and one with a 1 Amp output for charging smaller devices such as the iPod and iPhone—which can be used for simultaneous charging of two devices. Other features include an LED battery level indicator and a microUSB port and wall charger for recharging the internal battery. Scosche’s goBat II portable battery pack is available now and sells for $90.
Spruce Design Studio is seeking funding on Kickstarter for its new Wedge iPad stand. Made from anodized silver aluminum, the Wedge is a minimalist stand, with a slot for holding the iPad in either vertical or horizontal orientation, multiple open cavities to reduce weight, and a non-skid case that helps hold the stand in place while protecting furniture from scratches. Interested customers can pledge as little as $20 as a pre-order for the Wedge; higher contributions include multiple stands and/or a limited-edition, laser-etched Kickstarter version.
TouCoul has rolled out its new CoulVue headrest mounting system for the iPad. The CoulVue attaches to any standard car headrest with dual steel rods, using a reinforced locking system to hold the unit securely in place. Features include a flexible arm mount, 360 degree twist/tilt functionality, open access to all ports and controls, and a secure iPad mounting bracket that is designed to be a perfect fit for unencased first-generation iPads. TouCoul’s CoulVue headrest mounting system for iPad is available for pre-order now and sells for $80.
AT&T is offering a 50 percent discount on its selection of accessories for the first-generation iPad amidst reports of the next-generation model’s impending announcement. AT&T’s assortment of cases includes offerings from AGF, iFrogz, Incipio, Griffin, OtterBox, and Speck. As noted by Boy Genius Report, AT&T traditionally doesn’t offer such discounts unless a replacement is imminent; recent reports have suggested that Apple’s second-generation iPad is in production and is expected to launch in the “next couple of months.”
OtterBox has debuted its new Utility Series Latch accessory for the iPad. The Latch is a fabric accessory that works with both encased and bare iPads, with straps that wrap around the device’s corners for a secure hold, an adjustable elastic strap for attaching to the user’s hand, leg, or car seat headrest, an included lanyard, an S-biner utility clip for attaching to a belt or bag, an accessory storage bag that doubles as a stand, and an included lightweight screen cover. OtterBox’s Utility Series Latch for iPad is available now and sells for $50.
Assero Industries has introduced its new Defender and Protector packs for the iPad. The Defender is a unique carrying solution for iPad, offering the ability to be carried as a backpack, shoulder bag, briefcase, or frontpack. Features include a neoprene iPad sleeve with a brushed tricot fabric screen protector, microfiber interior flexible pockets, a dedicated iPod/iPhone pocket with headphone cord access, a large back pocket, a carrying handle, mesh, breathable fabric on the body side of the bag, and adjustable straps in the dedicated iPad area that allow the Defender to serve as a hands-free holder when worn in a forward-facing configuration. The Protector uses a similar, but more limited design that can be work as a backpack or frontpack, and offers the same hands-free iPad holder functionality as the Defender. Other features include memory foam cushioning, breathable mesh fabric facing the body, a neoprene iPad sleeve with Velcro for easy adjustment, and a streamlined pocket with space for minimal accessories such as chargers and cables. Assero’s Defender and Protector packs for the iPad are available now and sell for $130 and $90, respectively.
Rain Design has debuted its new iRest Lap Stand for the iPad. Designed specifically for use on the user’s lap, the iRest is made from aluminum, and features a torque hinge that allows for angle adjustment up to 60 degrees, the ability to fold flat for travel, foam cushions for comfort, the ability to work as a desktop stand, cutouts for the Dock Connector and speaker, the ability to be used with encased iPads, and padding for the iPad to prevent scratches. Rain Design’s iRest Lap Stand for iPad is available now and sells for $50.
Recipient of a 2011 CES iLounge Best of Show award, iSkin’s new Q.West collection is now available online. Ranging in price from $50 for an iPad sleeve or camera pouch to $260 for the Jimmy travel bag, the collection includes 16 unique carriers in a wide variety of styles. Of particular interest to iLounge’s editors at CES was the Sling ($125), a slim, water-resistant bag with an over-the-shoulder design, a storage compartment large enough to hold an iPad or 11-inch MacBook Air, a zippered compartment for cords, compact cameras, or other accessories, and a dedicated phone or media player pocket on the front. For more information on select styles and pricing, see iSkin’s dedicated Q.West mini-site.
New company Franky Wish has launched, with a new iPad sleeve among its first products. Made from water-resistant synthetic leather, the company’s iPad sleeve features “Pro Extreme Technology,” a protective material with a unique microcellular structure that excels at absorbing the forces of an impact, a smooth interior, a protective interior border, and YKK zippers. Available in “Electric Wish” and “Urban Enigma” exterior designs, the new Franky Wish iPad sleeves are available now and sell for €47, or roughly $65; the company is expected to offer iPhone cases in the near future.