Developer James Laird has reverse engineered Apple’s private AirPlay key, opening the door to third-party AirPlay-enabled AirPort Express emulators. In a blog post announcing the release of ShairPort, an open-source AirPort Express emulator, Laird explains that Apple used a public-key crypto scheme in the AirPort Express, hiding a private key inside. Laird ended up opening the AirPort Express, dumping the ROM, and reverse engineering the keys out of it to achieve his goal. As noted by Mac Rumors, third-party apps allowing users to stream audio to an AirPort Express or other AirPlay devices have previously been available, but none were able to accept incoming audio streams. In addition, it seems unlikely that hardware manufacturers would want to use the key, as it is possible to become an officially licensed AirPlay partner instead.
A group of French researchers has created a proof-of-concept app and video that demonstrates the iPad 2’s ability to create glasses-free 3D effects. Jeremie Francone and Laurence Nigay of the Laboratory of Informatics of Grenoble, EHCI Research Group discovered that by using the device’s front-facing camera to track the head of the user—and therefore determine the angle from which the user is looking at the device—they could create a spatially-aware display. Notably, the effect does not use the device’s accelerometer, and instead relies solely on the front camera. The video is available for viewing on YouTube via the above link or below in embedded form. [via TUAW]
Bloomberg has released an iPad app and digital subscription for Businessweek magazine. The app provides access to all of the content from the print edition of the magazine plus extra exclusive content and interactive features. Weekly issues provide behind-the-scenes video features, audio interviews, direct access to the latest market information from any article and an interactive table of contents and index of companies. The app also provides an integrated search feature that works across multiple issues, support for portrait and landscape orientation, the ability to create a personal archive of content that can be accessed from any issue, and sharing of articles via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook. Bloomberg Businessweek+ requires an iPad running iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download and includes a free issue of the magazine. Print edition subscribers receive a free subscription to the digital edition upon validating their print subscription; non-subscribers can purchase a digital-only subscription via in-app purchase for $2.99/month.
Adobe has announced a new software development kit aimed at providing developers with tools for creating mobile and tablet apps for its Photoshop CS5 desktop application. The Photoshop Touch Software Development Kit along with a new scripting engine in Photoshop CS5 will support the Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS platforms, allowing apps to interact with Photoshop CS5 using a touchscreen device.
In conjunction with the SDK release, Adobe has developed three initial Photoshop CS5 companion apps for the iPad: Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshop and Adobe Nav for Photoshop. These apps will provide a demonstration of the capabilities of the new Touch SDK, enabling users to create custom color swatches, paint from the iPad screen and access popular Photoshop tools. Color Lava will allow users to mix colors and create custom color swatches and themes on the iPad which can be transferred back into Photoshop. Eazel will allow digital artists to create sophisticated paintings on the iPad that can be transferred directly to Photoshop for further development. Adobe Nav turns the iPad into an input surface for Photoshop CS5, allowing users to select and control Photoshop tools.
The Adobe Photoshop Touch SDK is available as a free download from the Adobe Photoshop Developer Center. An update to CS5 to add the necessary scripting support will be available from Adobe on May 3, 2011 with the iPad apps expected for release on the App Store sometime in early May.
Time Warner Cable has filed a request for a declaratory judgment regarding Viacom’s cable networks, asking the court to rule that Time Warner Cable’s current carriage agreement allows it to deliver Viacom programming over its cable systems “for viewing on devices of the customers’ choosing.” The request revolves around Time Warner Cable’s TWCable iPad app, which allows subscribers to view their cable TV programming on the iPad within their own home Wi-Fi network, essentially positioning the iPad as simply another TV screen in the home.
Last week, Time Warner voluntarily removed several channels from their app after Fox Cable, Viacom and Discovery networks challenged Time Warner’s rights to include their feeds. Viacom has responded with a complaint stating that Time Warner “blatantly grabbed the rights that their competitors have negotiated in good faith to obtain.” [via Engadget]
Microsoft has released an iPad version of its Bing search app for iOS. Following in the footsteps of the longstanding iPhone and iPod touch version, Bing for iPad operates as a front-end for Microsoft’s online search engine of the same name. The iPad app goes beyond basic search however, providing a home screen view of news, traffic, weather, stock quotes and more as well as location-based searches. Integrated map views allow users to find places and get directions with real-time tracking and road, traffic, aerial and “bird’s eye” views. Users can also follow current news and trending search topics in an iPad-optimized interface with rich images and magazine-style layouts. The application incorporates voice-activated search and easy navigation between Bing results and web pages by displaying search results framed within a Bing search bar. Bing for iPad is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.
A recent report from ModMyI suggests that retailer Toys R Us may begin selling the iPad 2 in its stores as early as next month, revealing a photo of an iPad 2 product knowledge sheet from an internal training session intended to familiarize employees with new products. Toys R Us began selling select iPod models in late 2008, however the retailer has not previously offered the iPad. It is unclear at this time whether the iPad 2 would be sold internationally or only in the company’s U.S. stores. The iPad 2 is already being sold in the U.S. at other third-party retailers such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and Radio Shack. [via Mac Rumors]
Atari has released a huge collection of its classic games in a single universal iOS app. Atari’s Greatest Hits provides access to over 100 classic Atari titles including 18 classic arcade games and 92 games from the Atari 2600. The free app includes the classic arcade version of PONG with the remainder of the games available via in-app purchase as a series of 25 different game packs selling for $1 each; users can purchase the entire collection in-app for $15. Most packs also include at least one version of each game with multiplayer head-head play via Bluetooth, and titles include original cabinet and box art to help users relive the classic Atari experience. Atari’s Greatest Hits requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 3.0 or later and can be obtained from the App Store as a free download.
Nearly two out of every ten U.S. teens now owns an iPhone, according to the results of the latest Piper Jaffray bi-annual teen survey. Fortune reports that 17 percent of teens said they own an iPhone, up from 14 percent in the October 2010 survey. Perhaps more importantly, 37 percent said they plan on purchasing—or having their parents purchase for them—an iPhone in the next sixth months, up from 33 percent in the prior survey. 22 percent said they either owned a tablet or had one in their household, 20 percent expect said they expected to purchase one in the next sixth months, and 86 percent said they owned an iPod, up from 78 percent in the October survey. The survey was based on responses from 4,500 U.S. teenagers.
Apple has started to air its first TV advertisement devoted to the iPad 2. Entitled “We Believe,” the commercial shows the iPad 2 being used for a variety of apps in front of a black background, while a narrator states, “This is what we believe. Technology alone is not enough. Faster, thinner, lighter: those are all good things. But when technology gets out of the way, everything becomes more delightful. Even magical. That’s when you leap forward. That’s when you end up with something… like this.” The ad is available for viewing now on Apple’s website.
A quick check of Apple’s online store suggests the company is quickly selling through its remaining stock of clearance and refurbished first-generation iPad units. Among the new, clearance-priced stock, the company is completely out of Wi-Fi only units, although it does show stock of all three capacities of Wi-Fi + 3G models. Apple also appears to be out of refurbished 16GB Wi-Fi units; Boy Genius Report suggests that the company’s stock of all remaining units is believed to be “extremely low.” Apple’s refurbished first-generation iPads are priced from $429 and up, while its clearance stock of 3G units starts at $529.
Nearly 12,000 iPad 2s were sold on eBay in the two weeks between the device’s U.S. launch and its initial international rollout. Cnet reports that somewhat surprisingly, two-thirds of those—8,000 units—were sold inside of the United States, compared to just 35 percent for the first-generation iPad. The two largest export locations were Russia and Canada, followed by Hong Kong, Japan, and the U.K. The 16GB Wi-Fi model was the most popular, selling for an average price of $697, followed by the 64GB 3G model, which brought in $1,235 on average, a $406 premium over the retail price.
RadioShack is requiring customers wishing to purchase iPad 2 units to purchase AppleCare as well, and possibly an accessory as well, iLounge has learned. According to multiple reader reports, the stores are very limited on the stock they are receiving, with one sales associate saying that AppleCare was required with an iPad 2 purchase as it was the only way Apple would allow the company to sell the device. It appears some stores are also requiring the purchase of an accessory, although it is less clear as to whether this is a company-wide policy or something that’s being implemented on a store-by-store basis. RadioShack began selling the iPad 2 at 500 of its stores earlier today. [Thanks, Rob]
RadioShack will begin to offer the iPad 2 at 500 locations around the United States tomorrow, March 29, according to a new report. Citing an internal RadioShack notice, Mac Rumors reports that stores that will offer the device have been sent details about the launch; the report notes that representatives at multiple stores have confirmed that they are scheduled to launch the device tomorrow, but stock levels are unknown. iLounge has contacted RadioShack for comment on the story and will update this post if/when we receive a reply.
Update: RadioShack has since confirmed its iPad 2 rollout, and is now offering an online tool to help customers find stores carrying the device.
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.
Apple has released iOS 4.3.1 for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad, iPad 2, third-, and fourth-generation iPod touch. According to Apple’s release notes, the update fixes an occasional graphics glitch on the fourth-generation iPod touch, resolves bugs related to activating and connecting to some cellular networks, fixes an image flicker issue when using the Apple Digital AV Adapter with some TVs, and resolves an issue authenticating with some enterprise web services, among other big fixes and improvements. iOS 4.3.1 is available now via the Update feature in iTunes.
Verizon Wireless retail stores are currently offering deep discounts on first-generation iPad models. According to The Appera, the company is selling 16GB units for $299, 32GB models for $399 and 64GB units for $499. The 64GB price, in particular, represents a $100 savings over Apple’s clearance pricing; according to the report, no contract is required for purchase. Verizon started selling the first-generation Wi-Fi-only iPad on October 28, 2010, bundled with a Verizon MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot, with pricing matching the GSM Wi-Fi + 3G model. [via Mac Rumors]
To celebrate the start of the Formula 1 racing season, Firemint has announced that an upcoming update for its Real Racing 2 HD game will enable full HD, 1080p output via the Apple Digital AV Adapter. According to the company, the feature will be a first for iOS, and will offer 30 frames per second performance, real-time telemetry, and a “console-like” experience. Real Racing 2 HD is available now from the App Store for $10; the 1080p HD output will require an iPad 2.
Lines for the launch of the iPad 2 have begun to form in many of the 25 countries where the device will go on sale tomorrow. iFun.de (Translated Link) reports that two men in folding armchairs were camped out the Apple Store in Munich, Germany more than 24 hours before the launch; when asked about the cold night ahead of them, they said they were well equipped. According to iTWire, the line outside the Apple Store in Sydney, Australia has now wrapped around the corner and is expected to grow throughout the night, while the first person in line outside Apples Regent Street store in London got there at 7:30 this morning, local time, saying, “I was fourth in the queue for the first iPad, and it was such an amazing atmosphere, I really wanted to be first this time.” The iPad 2 will launch in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK tomorrow at 5 p.m. local time. [via Fortune]
Apple is in the process of launching its online sales across the 25 countries slated to receive the iPad 2 tomorrow. As noted by iLounge reader Michael W, online ordering is now open in in Australia and New Zealand—orders are slated to open at 1:00 a.m. local time in each country where the product is launching—and new orders are showing a 2-3 week estimated ship time. Mac Rumors adds that Apple typically maintains separate distribution channels for its North American, European, and Asian markets, thus shipment estimates in the countries where online orders have yet to begin could be different. Meanwhile, Apple has dropped its estimated shipping wait time for new iPad 2 orders placed on the U.S. online store from 4-5 weeks down to 3-4 weeks, suggesting that the supply shortages seen for the device in its first two weeks of availability may be starting to subside.