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2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

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Live coverage of iPhone OS 4 event: Thursday 10am Pacific

iLounge is headed to Cupertino, California to provide live coverage of Apple’s iPhone OS 4 event. The event will be held at Apple’s campus within its Town Hall presentation room, and will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, or 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Apple is expected to discuss details of its upcoming revisions to the operating system for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, including a new mobile advertising platform. As we have done in the past, iLounge.com will take you to our streamlined special event page half an hour or so before the event; you can set your bookmarks ahead of time to live.ilounge.com, and we also hope to update our Flickr account with new photos.

Secret iPad web framework for native-like UI discovered

  • April 7, 2010
  • iPad

Done21 reports that they have discovered a new web-based framework being used by Apple on the iPad’s mobile version of Safari. First noticed when navigating to Apple’s online iPad User Guide, the framework provides a split-screen view with separately scrolling panes and a user experience similar to that of a native iPad app. Jim Hoskins of Done21 noted that the app provides a UI that shouldn’t be possible in Mobile Safari by presenting scrolling panes that can be manipulated with a single finger, complete with scroll bars. Hoskins investigated further, extracting the JavaScript and examining the code to discover that Apple had actually built an entire framework for the web application, manually reading touch events and calculating scrolling inertia. Even more interesting is that the framework, weighing in at 4,300 lines of code, was built entirely in standard web technologies: HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Hoskins dubbed the framework “AdLib” based on the prefix of the JavaScript file containing it. At this time there is no developer documentation available for this framework online or in the code itself and it appears to have been developed specifically for Apple’s own use on the iPad. The help pages for Apple’s iWork applications also provide the same user interface within the iPad Safari browser. It is unclear whether Apple has any plans to release this framework for third-party developer use. [via Mac Rumors]

Capcom releases Resident Evil 4: iPad Edition

Capcom has released the iPad version of its highly acclaimed Resident Evil 4. The iPad Edition features a new high-resolution art set specifically designed for the iPad’s larger display and an enhanced Visual Pad control system, making gameplay a more immersive and intuitive experience. In Resident Evil 4 players take on the role of Leon S. Kennedy, a U.S. agent with a mission to rescue the President’s daughter who must battle his way through numerous enemies to discover who or what is behind the plot. In developing the iPad version, Capcom leveraged App Store feedback from its Resident Evil series of iPhone apps and has implemented several platform-specific features as a result. Players can engage in running gun fights against crowds of enemies, climb ladders, equip items such as binoculars and jump out windows. Resident Evil 4: iPad Edition is available from the App Store for $13.

Camera for iPad takes pictures with iPhone camera

Headlight Software has released a new application, Camera for iPad that allows iPad users to take photos on their iPad using their iPhone camera. Users load the Camera for iPad app on both their iPhone and iPad which then established a Bluetooth connection between the two devices. Once connected, users can take photos on the iPad from the iPhone camera. A live view is shown on the iPad screen and users can zoom in and out and rotate the view using standard pinch and swipe gestures. Photos are taken at the maximum resolution of the iPhone camera and automatically transferred to the iPad over Bluetooth and stored in the iPad’s Saved Photos album. The application can also be used to take and receive photos on a second- or third-generation iPod touch or another iPhone 3G or 3GS. The original iPhone and first-generation iPod touch are not supported. Camera for iPad is a Universal app and is available from the App Store for $1.

Random House remains iBookstore holdout

Despite the successful launch of the iPad this weekend, Random House, the lone major publisher not signed on to offer its titles in the iBookstore, remains a holdout. The Wall Street Journal reports that Random House is unimpressed with Apple’s “agency” pricing model, which allows the publishers to set book pricing, while Apple takes 30% of the sales price. A senior Random House executive said that the company will benefit economically from sticking to its current model whereby it receives half of the hardcover price for new ebooks, regardless of the pricing set by the retailer. The same executive was also skeptical about publishers’ ability to effectively discount titles to drive sales, and said there could be possible contractual issues with authors now that the publishers are setting their own prices. Furthermore, he expressed concern over the potential for piracy, saying, “At $9.99, e-books are perceived as a bargain[.] When e-books are $15, it may affect the behavior of some. We don’t want a segment of the population growing up with stolen books.” Despite Random House’s concerns, the company and Apple are still engaged in “ongoing conversations that remain cordial,” according to Random House spokesperson Stuart Applebaum. Apple announced yesterday that iPad owners had downloaded over 250,000 ebooks from the iBookstore on launch day.

Early iPad issues: Wi-Fi problems, overheating

  • April 5, 2010
  • iPad

A number of reports and Apple Support forum threads indicate that some iPad users are running into both overheating and Wi-Fi problems with their new devices. Most common among the Wi-Fi complaints are reports of a weak or fluctuating signal. Many of the users also note having other PCs, Macs, and/or iPhones on the same network, none of which exhibit the same issue. One user in particular used the speedtest.net app on both the iPhone 3GS and the iPad, and found the iPad’s download speed was 1.83 megabits per second, compared to 14.77 megabits per second for the 3GS; upload speed was comparable. Apple itself has posted a support document outlining a problem where the iPad doesn’t automatically rejoin known Wi-Fi networks, although this appears unrelated to the problems reported in the forum threads.

In addition, The Atlantic has compiled a brief list of iPad users claiming their device shut down due to overheating during outdoor use. According to the reports, the iPad shuts itself off when overheated, displaying a notification image along with a message that “iPad needs to cool down before you can use it.” One user reported that a reboot and moving to a shaded area fixed the problem, while another said his unit has shut down four separate times already. It is unclear whether the problem is actually attributable to sunlight exposure, outdoor temperature, or perhaps faulty thermal sensors, although one user did report his unit’s case was well over 90 degrees when it shut off. Apple officially lists the iPad’s operating temperature as 32° to 95° F. [via cnet, AppleInsider]

Apple posts iPad 3G battery life: 9 hours

Apple has updated its iPad Tech Specs page to list the battery life of the iPad when using the 3G network. According to the company, the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G will get up to nine hours of battery life when surfing the web over the 3G data network. The page notes that the testing was done using dedicated web and mail servers, browsing snapshot versions of 20 popular web pages, and receiving mail once an hour. We will run comprehensive battery tests on the iPad Wi-Fi +3G when it is released; for more information on the iPad Wi-Fi’s battery life, see our comprehensive review.

Apple announces iPhone OS 4 event on April 8

Apple has begun sending email invitations to select members of the media inviting them to a “sneak peek of the next generation of iPhone OS software.” The invitation features a large graphic with a large “4” shadow spread across a blue background, with “Get a sneak peek into the future of iPhone OS” overlaid in white text. The event will be held on Apple’s Cupertino, CA campus and will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on April 8.

iPad twice as fast as iPhone 3GS, say benchmarks

According to benchmarks performed on the iPad by Iconfactory developer Craig Hockenberry, the device is roughly twice as fast as the iPhone 3GS when running native applications. In native performance tests, the iPad bested the 3GS in each, ranging from 1.5x to 3.91x faster. The same improvement was not seen in the Javascript performance tests, in which the iPad was 1.2x to 2.43x as fast as the 3GS. Hockenberry attributes the results to possible “just-in-time compilation or other similar types of caching are affecting the results.” He also notes that the iPad reports having 247MB of physical memory and 200.5 available to the user, suggesting the device is using 256MB memory chips with a portion of the total being used for other purposes. Hockenberry tested the devices using the OS version they shipped with; iPhone OS 3.2 for the iPad and iPhone OS 3.0 for the iPhone 3GS.

Apple sells over 300,000 iPads on launch day

Apple has announced that it sold more than 300,000 iPads on launch day, surpassing the launch weekend total of the original iPhone. These sales included deliveries of pre-ordered iPads, deliveries to channel partners, and sales at Apple retail stores. In addition, iPad users downloaded over one million apps from the App Store and over 250,000 ebooks from the iBookstore during the first day. “It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world—it’s going to be a game changer,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPad users, on average, downloaded more than three apps and close to one book within hours of unpacking their new iPad.”

iPad OS hints at future iPhones, iPod touch, iPad

Following the device’s release on Saturday, one iPad owner has discovered pointers to a number of upcoming iPhone OS devices within the iPad’s filesystem. The Boy Genius Report states that two references were found for new iPhones; iPhone 3,2 and iPhone 3,3 are both new, with the iPhone 3GS being identified as iPhone 3,1. A new iPod touch model, iPod 4,1—compared to the third-generation touch’s iPod 3,1—has been found, as has a reference to iProd 2,1, believed to be a next-generation iPad. While these references offer little in the way of information about these upcoming products, they have generally correctly indicated that a given product is coming, as with the iPad, which first surfaced as a prototype—iProd 0,1—in March 2009, then again in August as iProd 1,1, which is believed to be the currently shipping product.

iPod Camera Connector incompatible with iPad

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Despite the physical and functional similarities between it and the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit, Apple’s iPod Camera Connector—originally released to allow the iPod photo to connect to and access images stored on a camera connected via USB—is incompatible with the iPad. Upon connecting the five-year-old accessory to the iPad, a simple notification dialog pops up to say that “[t]his accessory is not supported by iPad.” The new Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit includes both a Dock Connector-to-USB adapter and a Dock Connector-based SD Card reader which allow users to offload photos from the connected camera or card onto the iPad, and sells for the same $29 price as the original iPod Camera Connector.

Apple iPad unboxing and accessory gallery posted

iLounge has just posted its gallery of iPad unboxing photos online. The images include those of the iPad, pictures of Apple’s first official iPad accessories, as well as pictures of the device being tested for compatibility in the large variety of cases we’ve received. Notably, only one case—the Griffin FlexGrip Case—had any compatibility problems, those being with the microphone and headphone port hole; all of Griffin’s other cases fit without a problem. It is also possible that the Vaja Retro Slim Jacket’s magnets may rub on the iPad as it’s inserted into and removed from the case. Be sure to keep an eye on our Flickr account for more photos of the iPad.

Google announces iPad-optimized GMail web app

Google has announced a new iPad-optimized version of its Gmail for Mobile HTML5 web app. Launched last year for the iPhone and Android platform, the GMail for mobile web app provides an optimized browsing experience on the iPhone and iPod touch and uses HTML5 to provide a native app-like experience in the web browser. For the iPad browser, Google has created a two-pane view to take advantage of the larger screen. In the new iPad web app, the list of messages and conversations appears on the left with detailed messages appearing on the right, similar to the iPad’s built-in Mail application. To access the new site, users merely need to visit gmail.com in their iPad web browser, and can also add a home screen icon for easier access in the same manner as on the iPhone and iPod touch. Google notes that its other web-based apps have not yet been specifically optimized for the iPad, but that it has evaluated the behaviour of each app using the iPad Simulator to serve the desktop or mobile user interfaces based on which user experience it thinks will be the best for iPad users.

Apple Store iPad purchasing protocol: unlock, setup available

Based on iLounge’s initial iPad purchases this morning, we can now confirm that the iPad arrives in its box in need of a brief unlocking via iTunes on a PC or Mac. This unlock does not appear to automatically start a sync with the copy of iTunes used to perform the task, and takes only a brief amount of time. When purchasing an iPad at an Apple retail store, customers are being offered the option of having an employee unlock the device; customers may also choose to have the employee go through an entire setup process with them before they leave the store. Notably, these early iPad units are arriving with the latest version of iPhone OS 3.2 installed, as no software update is required.

Apple posts new iPad app demo videos

Apple has posted a number of videos showing off a handful of launch day iPad applications. Featured on the new “Apps for iPad” page are The Elements, Real Racing HD, Marvel Comics, The Wall Street Journal, Epicurious, MLB.com At Bat 2010, E*TRADE Mobile Pro, Asphalt 5, Scrabble, F1 2010, and Labyrinth 2 HD. Notably, the video for EA’s Scrabble shows off the game’s ability to use iPhone and iPod touch units as personal tile racks, with the players “flicking” the desired tiles over to the main iPad game board. The company has also changed the main graphic on its home page to a large image of the iPad with the text “iPad is here.”

Lines growing outside of Apple Stores for iPad launch (Updated)

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According to reports from iLounge editors and across the web, lines are growing outside Apple retail stores in anticipation of the iPad’s official launch at 9:00 a.m. Our editor at the Walden Galleria store in Buffalo, NY, the crowd is split up into two lines—one for customers with reservations, and one for those without—with the lines roughly equal in size. Notably, the customers in line have been told that the store has plenty of iPads on hand, so many in fact that customers who made reservations are being allowed to upgrade the capacity of their iPads to 64GB if they like, although this moves them out of the reservations line and into the general purchasing pool, and customers can even expand their single iPad reservations to two units. Unsurprisingly, several iPhone developers who are anxious to test their iPad apps on a real device are among the first people in line at the Galleria store, a situation likely similar to that of other stores across the country. A small number of accessories are also being shown, including Apple’s iPad Case, Dock, and VGA Adapter, along with cases from Belkin, Hard Candy, Incase, and Speck. We will continue to update this post as more information comes in; if you’d like to share your line photos and notes with us, please email news (at) ilounge.com and include your name and Apple Store location.

Update x1: The line at the Walden Galleria store has grown by roughly 60 people over the last 45-50 minutes, from 90 to 150 customers.

Update x2: The crowd at the Walden Galleria store was roughly 300 people by the time the store opened; we’ve added pics of the iPad window display and in-store display below.

Update x3: A crowd is beginning to gather outside the South Coast Plaza store in Costa Mesa, CA. Pictures from that location are available below.

Update x4: More photos from the South Coast Plaza store have been added.

Internal iPad Wi-Fi photos hit FCC (Updated)

  • April 2, 2010
  • iPad

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A new set of photographs (PDF Link) showing off the inside of the iPad W-Fi have been published by the FCC. The Wi-Fi iPad contains a 3.75V 24.8 Watt-Hour battery, twin antennas—one routed to the rear Apple logo, and one routed to the volume button area—and a comparatively small logic board. The vast majority of the interior space is taken up by the battery; notably, the unit also includes dual speakers, a detail mentioned briefly in some of the early reviews of the device.

Update: iFixit.com has discovered and posted two images of the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G internals from the FCC. The images show the black antenna housing on the top of the 3G model, which does not appear to have any noticeable slot for the microSIM card, as well as the GPS antenna, which is attached to the backside of the display assembly.

Standout iPad applications available now

A number of noteworthy iPad-optimized applications have hit the App Store ahead of the device’s April 3 launch. Below is a list of some of the titles we consider to be the most interesting, important, or otherwise worth mentioning.

Pandora Media has released a new universal version of its free Pandora Radio app offering an enhanced iPad interface.

Smule has released Magic Piano, an iPad-specific virtual instrument app.

Social networking service Loopt has released Loopt Pulse, offering location-based event, restaurant, entertainment, and nightlife search.

Chillingo has released Cogs HD, an iPad version of its well-received game for the iPhone and iPod touch, along with 13 other games.

Ngmoco has released new iPad versions of We Rule, Charadium, and Flick Fishing amongst other titles, including prior Freeverse iPhone/iPod touch games.

New iTunes terms confirm: no iTunes Extras, LP on iPad

Apple has updated its iTunes Store Terms & Conditions ahead of the iPad’s launch, revealing a few minor details about the device’s functionality. Most notably, and despite reports indicating that the formats were developed with the iPad in mind, the initial iPad software will not offer support for iTunes Extras or iTunes LP content. The new terms state, “iTunes LP and iTunes Extras Products are usable only on computers with iTunes 9 or higher and Apple TV with software version 3.0 or higher,” adding that if the user purchases a album or movie that includes such content, it won’t be downloaded to the iPad, but instead will be placed in the user’s download queue for later downloading via iTunes. In addition, the terms also state that movies rented using the iPad may not be moved from the device, mirroring the behavior of movies rented on the Apple TV.

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