- April 16, 2010
Current iPhone carriers Orange, O2, and Vodafone have announced support for the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G in the United Kingdom. All three companies will be offering dedicated monthly tariffs for the device, although exact details have yet to be revealed. Orange said it will also be offering service in France, Spain, and Switzerland, in addition to the UK. Earlier this week, Apple announced that it was postponing the international launch of the iPad until the end of May due to “surprisingly strong US demand;” international pre-orders will begin on May 10th. [via Engadget]
Movies rented from the iTunes Store using the iPad cannot be transferred back to users’ iTunes libraries, iLounge has discovered, and must be viewed solely on the iPad. When Apple introduced movie rentals as a new iTunes Store feature, it noted that movies rented using iTunes on a computer or on a portable device could be transferred to and from each other during the duration of the 30-day rental period. Movies rented from a computer version of iTunes can still be transferred to the iPad or any other Apple device, and of course, items purchased rather than rented using the iPad transfer back to iTunes in the same manner as with the iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV.
Unlike the Apple TV, however, the iTunes Store does not provide any notification of this restriction when renting a movie on the iPad; the information is hidden unless the user chooses the “Learn About Rentals” option, or looks within the iTunes Store Terms of Service—it is similarly buried in a just-published Apple KnowledgeBase Article on Viewing and downloading HD content on iPad. Although similar to restrictions for the Apple TV, this differs from renting movies directly on iPhone or iPod touch devices, which can still be transferred back to iTunes during the rental period.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the free ABC Player app for the iPad has been downloaded 205,000 times and used to watch 650,000 television episodes in the 10 days since the iPad’s release. According to ABC this has in turn generated “several million” ad impressions, and Disney-ABC television President Anne Sweeney indicates the network is pleased with the initial results. The ABC Player application allows iPad users to watch free, ad-supported television content on the iPad with five 30-second ads presented within each hour of programming in a manner similar to broadcast television. A direct link is also provided for each episode to allow iPad users to purchase the ad-free version from the iTunes Store. This coming fall ABC expects to begin providing more interactive advertising similar to that already found on its web player and eventually expects to allow affiliates the ability to sell specific advertising that would only be seen by users in their specific local markets. The ABC Player app is available from the App Store as a free download.
- April 14, 2010
Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that the Communications Ministry in Israel has blocked the import of iPads to that country, directing customs officers to confiscate any iPads that are brought in from the U.S. According to ministry officials the iPad has not received the approval required for wireless devices to operate in Israel, the problem being that its wireless technology is “not compatible with Israeli standards.” Specifically, FCC regulations allow Wi-Fi devices sold in the U.S. to broadcast at higher power levels than are permitted in Europe and Israel, potentially preventing U.S. iPads from being approved for use in Israel. The ministry has requested information from Apple’s Israeli distributor, iDigital, to determine whether it will be able to approve importing iPads under Israeli communications regulations. [via Daring Fireball]
Apple announced this morning that it will be posponing the international launch of the iPad until the end of May. Citing “surprisingly strong US demand,” in a statement released today Apple indicated that it expects demand for the device to exceed its available supply “over the next several weeks” and that they have already taken a large number of U.S. pre-orders for iPad 3G models which remain on track for delivery by the end of April. The iPad was originally scheduled to also launch outside of the U.S. at the end of April, however Apple now plans to announce international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders in other countries on Monday, May 10th for delivery by the end of May.
Apple has begun banning App Store applications that contain the term ‘pad’ in the app name. Previously, the company contacted Jesse Waites, maker of ContactPad, to inform him that an update to his application would be rejected because “it [was] inappropriately using ‘Pad’ in the application name.” The company also included its product work mark guidelines, which states that the developer can use the mark “in a referential phrase such as ‘runs on,’ ‘for use with,’ ‘for,’ or ‘compatible with.’” Following Waites’ rejection, Chris Ostmo, developer of journalPad and journalPad Bible edition, received a similar notice from Apple regarding his apps’ names, and emailed Apple CEO Steve Jobs explaining his position on the matter. 9 to 5 Mac reports that Ostmo claimed to have “spent tens of thousands of dollars” on marketing and media exposure for the two apps, both of which will need to be renamed.
Jobs, in a typically brief response, wrote simply, “Its [sic] just common sense to not use another company’s trademarks in your app name.” Curiously, Apple’s Copyright and Trademark Guidelines page, linked to in the initial email to Waites, makes no mention of a “Pad” trademark, and neither does the company’s official Trademark listing. Judging by the language in both App Store correspondence emails and in Jobs’ response, however, it appears that Apple considers the “Pad” trademark to be under its ownership, and intends to defend it.
Adobe may be preparing to file a lawsuit against Apple over its refusal to allow Flash to run on its iPhone OS devices, and its recent decision to ban apps from the App Store created using cross-compilers such as Adobe’s Packager for iPhone OS, which debuted with Flash CS5. Citing source close to Adobe, IT World reports that the App Store policy change was the “last straw” for Adobe, despite the company’s refusal to talk about possible legal action. “We are aware of the new SDK language and are looking into it,” said Adobe spokesperson Wiebke Lips. “We continue to develop our Packager for iPhone OS technology, which we plan to debut in Flash CS5.” Adobe released Flash CS5 on April 12.
Colorware is now offering its custom coloring service for the Apple iPad. Customers can choose from a variety of solid, metallic, and pearlescent colors for the device’s back plate, logo, and home button. New 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB Wi-Fi models are available for customization; the company is offering a mail-in service for current iPad owners, as well. Colorware’s new custom colored iPads are shipping in about three weeks from the time of the order and sell for $910-$1110; the send-in service costs $410, and takes roughly three weeks once the iPad is received by the company.
AppStar Games, the new game publisher recently founded by acclaimed game designers David Crane and Garry Kitchen has released its first game title. Released initially for the iPad platform only, The Iron Horse is a railroad-themed game where players must build trains by tapping the screen to connect cars as they line up. The game speeds up as the player progresses and higher point values are earned for more accurate timing in connecting train cars. The game includes cinematic widescreen graphics of the Americana landscape and numerous classic train designs. The Iron Horse is available from the App Store for $2 for the iPad; an iPhone and iPod touch version is coming soon.
Laminar Research has released an iPad version of its acclaimed X-Plane application. X-Plane for iPad combines many of the features of the X-Plane series of iPhone apps into a single application; the iPad version includes all 9 regions and 13 aircraft from the existing iPhone applications with 12 more regions and 27 more aircraft listed as “Coming Soon.” Users can choose to fly a wide range of different aircraft types including a Cessna 172, Boeing 747, F-22, ASK21 glider, Blackhawk Helicopter or even a Space Shuttle. Due to the larger iPad screen and more powerful CPU on the iPad, X-Plane can now display a full virtual cockpit view and more detailed, higher-resolution aircraft textures and terrain, including 3D buildings. Virtual cockpit interfaces also provide more detailed and completely interactive controls. X-Plane for iPad is available from the App Store for $10.
During Apple’s iPhone OS 4 event today, Steve Jobs announced the creation of a new mobile advertising platform which will be integrated directly into the iPhone OS. The new platform, named iAd, is designed to allow developers to easily add in-app advertising to their applications by supplying ads through a centralized advertising network without having to implement their own solution. Apple will take care of selling and hosting the ads, providing developers with the industry standard 60% of advertising revenue.
Jobs explained that Apple wants to provide incentives for developers to keep free apps as free, but that ads based on search have not been as successful on mobile devices as they have on the desktop as users spend most of their time in apps rather than searching in a web browser. He went on the explain that the average iPhone user spends 30 minutes each day using applications, and supplying even 1 ad every 3 minutes would equate to 10 ads per day. Jobs notes that with 100 million iPhone users, this presents one billion ad opportunities per day within the iPhone community. Apple is also looking to improve the quality and accessibility of in-app advertising, with more interaction than typical web ads and allowing users to view advertising without being taken out of the application that they are currently using, thereby encouraging users to click on ads without having to worry about leaving the current app.
Opening the iPhone OS 4.0 Event today, Steve Jobs reported that Apple has sold 450,000 iPads since its initial U.S. launch last Saturday. Jobs noted that on the first day of the iPad launch the company sold 250,000 iBooks and 1 million iPad apps and that as of today a total of 600,000 iBooks and 3.5 million iPad apps have been purchased. Jobs noted that there are currently over 185,000 apps in the App Store, including over 3,500 iPad apps already available and in total users have downloaded well over 4 billion apps from the App Store.
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.
- April 7, 2010
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.
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.
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.
- April 5, 2010
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 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 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.