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U.S. iPad trademark suit thrown out of court

A complaint filed by China-based Proview against Apple over the iPad trademark has been thrown out of court. The Wall Street Journal reports that Judge Mark Pierce of the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara County dismissed Proview’s suit on May 4, a decision which Proview attorney Christopher Evans said “was not based on the merits of the case.” A separate trademark dispute is ongoing in China, although according to a statement from Proview’s lawyers, Apple has proposed a settlement in that case, which was said to leave a “big gap” between the companies on the amount. [via AppleInsider]

Third-gen iPad to launch in 30 new countries May 11-12

Apple plans to roll out its third-generation iPad in 30 new countries over the coming weekend. Citing Apple’s iPad selection page for Latin America, MacRumors reports that the device will launch in Argentina, Aruba, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuaçao, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Malta, Martinique, Mauritius, Morocco, Peru, Taiwan, Tunisia, and Vietnam on Friday, May 11. The following day, the new iPad will roll out in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. As noted in the report, Apple appears to be awaiting certification in China, Honduras, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and the Philippines before it can sell the new tablet in those locations; following this weekend’s launches, the third-generation iPad will be available in nearly 90 countries around the world.

Apple offers settlement in iPad trademark dispute

Apple has offered Proview Technology a compensation package to settle the ongoing trademark dispute over the iPad name. Citing Proview lawyer Roger Xie, Bloomberg reports that Apple proposed the settlement as part of an ongoing mediation process that’s being directed by the Higher People’s Court of Guangdong. “The Guangdong Higher People’s court is trying to mediate this, and both parties are trying to negotiate and come to a settlement,” Xie said. “Right now, there is still a big gap between the two sides on the settlement amount.” Apple declined to comment on Xie’s remarks, but has long claimed that it acquired the rights to the iPad trademark in China from a Proview sister company in 2009.

Evernote acquires Penultimate

Evernote announced today that it has acquired Cocoa Box, developer of Penultimate, the highly acclaimed digital ink notebook app for the iPad. In a post on the company’s blog, Evernote CEO Phil Libin noted that the handwriting app has been one of the company’s favourites since it was first released two years ago and goes on to announce that Penultimate creator Ben Zotto will be joining Evernote to head up future development on the app; Penultimate is expected to remain a separate application but will gain new Evernote integration features such as full search and synchronization. Zotto will also work with Evernote to bring handwriting and digital ink functionality into the company’s other products and platforms. Penultimate remains available on the App Store for $1.

Sports Car Challenge adds Lamborghini Aventador

Fishlabs has released an update to Sports Car Challenge for iOS adding the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 to its fleet lineup. A joint project with Volkswagen China, Sports Car Challenge is a 3D racing simulator that allows users to race a collection of high-performance sports cars from Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche and Volkswagen. The game provides realistic driving physics, handling and performance modelling for each sports car along with high-quality graphics for both the exterior and interior details. Players can compete in time trial, slalom and braking game challenges across a number of different race courses and more regular content updates are expected to add additional new cars and tracks in the future. Sports Car Challenge is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.

Apple drops pricing on refurb iPads

Apple has dropped its prices on refurbished iPad and iPad 2 units. As noted by MacRumors, original iPad units can be had for as little as $279 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model, with pricing extending up to $549 for a 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G unit. Pricing on refurbished iPad 2 units now starts at $319 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model; the top-of-the-line 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G iPad 2 is now $629. Overall, the discounts represent price drops of between $20 and $50, with the 16GB models receiving smaller discounts than the more capacious units.

Apple releases iOS 5.1.1 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Apple today released iOS 5.1.1 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. According to Apple’s release notes, iOS 5.1.1 contains several improvements and bug fixes, including improvements for HDR photos taken using the Lock Screen shortcut, a fix for bugs that could prevent the third-generation iPad from switching between 2G and 3G networks, fixes for bugs that affected AirPlay video playback, improved reliability for syncing Safari bookmarks and Reading List, and a fix for an issue where an “Unable to purchase” alert could be displayed following a successful purchase. iOS 5.1.1 is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad, iPad 2, third-generation iPod touch, and fourth-generation iPod touch, and is available now via the update feature in iTunes or as an over-the-air update. To update your iOS device over-the-air, open Settings, tap on General, and tap on Software Update.

Third-Gen iPad shipping times improve in Europe

Apple has dropped its estimated shipping wait time for new orders of the third-generation iPad in Europe. Brief checks of Apple’s online stores in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy show that the all models of the device—including both black and white variants of either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 4G models, across all capacities—are listed as shipping within 7 business days, down from the previously quoted delay of 1-2 weeks. Apple recently dropped its estimated shipping wait times for new third-gen iPad orders from the US and Canadian stores, as well, suggesting that the company is closer to reaching optimal supply/demand balance for the new model. [via Cult of Mac]

Thursby launches PKard Reader Smart Card solution for iOS

Thursby Software Systems has released PKard Reader, the world’s first smart card authentication solution for logging into secure web sites on iOS devices. Consisting of a free universal iOS app and a $150 card reader accessory, the PKard solution allows iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users to access secure sites requiring two-factor smart card authentication, such as corporate and government web portals and collaboration sites. The PKard Reader accessory supports industry standard CAC, PIV, PIV-I and CIV smart cards and the solution is designed to operate in the background to maintain the secure connection once authenticated, allowing the user to switch apps without compromising security or needing to re-authenticate.

Using the PKard Reader, corporate and government employees who require access to secure smart card protected sites can now more effectively do so while on the go without needing to be tied to a desktop or laptop, with the same smart card and PIN that they already use. Further, no changes need to be made on back-end servers to support the PKard Reader solution, allowing users to easily transition to accessing the same secure sites on their iOS device as on their computer. ALmost five million Federal workers at hundreds of U.S. government agencies and the Department of Defense are issued smart cards for secure web access and it is estimated that almost one third of large corporations worldwide are now issuing smart cards to their employees, particularly in the healthcare and financial sectors. The PKard Reader accessory is available directly from the company’s web site; the iOS application is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.

New iPad 2 CPU boosts runtime, in unchanged boxes

The new, cheaper model of the iPad 2 has been found to have better battery life than its predecessor thanks to its smaller A5 processor, according to a new set of tests. Anandtech reports that the iPad 2,4—Apple’s internal reference for the new iPad 2 variant—offers significant battery life improvements over the prior iPad 2, with the increase ranging from 15.8 to 29 percent depending on the task. For example, the iPad 2,4 was able to playback a 720p video file for over fifteen hours on a single charge, easily besting the thirteen hours of the prior model. Notably, there have been conflicting reports as to how big an improvement users can see from the revised iPad 2; prior tests showed a far smaller improvement over the previous version. There appears to be no way to tell whether or not an iPad is a 2,1 model or a 2,4 model from outside the box, so consumers are currently left to guess as to which model they might be purchasing.

IDC: Apple increases share of tablet market in Q1

Apple increased its share of the worldwide tablet market in the first quarter of 2012, according to the latest data from IDC. Apple shipped 11.8 million iPads during the quarter, good for 68 percent of the market, as sales of Android tablets declined sharply. Amazon, which had captured 16.8 percent of the market in Q4 2011 with its Kindle Fire tablet, saw its share of the market fall to just 4 percent in Q1 2012, allowing Samsung to pass them for second-place; Amazon was the third-largest tablet maker in the quarter, and was followed by Lenovo and Barnes & Noble.

Contre Jour HD adds Retina support, new levels

Chillingo has released an update to its highly-acclaimed physics puzzler Contre Jour HD (iLounge Rating: A) adding support for the iPad Retina Display along with 20 new levels. Contre Jour HD challenges players to move a small creature through a variety of levels consisting of resculptable platforms, ropes and slingshots to collect glowing lights and reach the exit while avoiding various obstacles and pitfalls. The latest update adds 20 new levels set in a jungle environment along with new movable tentacles and platforms; a bonus ending sequence is also now available for players who manage to collect all 300 lights in the game. In addition, players can now purchase the Contre Jour Soundtrack, produced by David Ari Leon, from directly within the game. Contre Jour HD is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $3.

Third-gen iPad shipping times improve to 3-5 days

Apple has once again dropped its estimated shipping wait time for new orders of the third-generation iPad. According to a brief check of Apple’s online store, the estimated wait for all models—including both black and white variants of either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 4G models, across all capacities—is just 3-5 days, down from 5-7 business days. As has been the case in the past, the changes appear to apply only to the US and Canadian stores, as quick checks of several international Apple stores show that the device is still listed with a 1-2 week wait in most other countries.

PlaceTagger adds iCloud sync, iPad support

Return7 has released a major update to PlaceTagger adding support for the iPad and for synchronization of location data via iCloud. PlaceTagger allows iOS devices to be used for recording location data while taking photos with a digital camera; recorded data can then be added to the photos as geo-tags during import using a companion desktop application.

With PlaceTagger 2.0, users can now synchronize location data between devices using iCloud rather than requiring a direct USB connection; a $5 Mac app, sold separately on the Mac App Store, provides geotagging of photos during import. Alternatively, users can geotagging photos imported directly to the iPad using the Apple Camera Connection Kit. GPX track export is also available for geotagging with any third-party application supporting the GPX format. The new version also sports an entirely new user interface with an integrated map view for displaying location data and improvements to the GPS recording precision. PlaceTagger 2.0 is a universal app requiring iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $5, or as a free update for users of an earlier version. The companion Mac app is available separately from the Mac App Store for $5.

Tweetbot adds UI enhancements, Droplr and Storify support

Tapbots has updated its Tweetbot apps for iOS with a new and improved tweet detail view and integration with Droplr and Storify. Tweetbot 2.3 now sports a redesigned tweet detail view that displays inline conversations and replies; the tweet detail view is accessed by swiping right to left on a tweet and users can return to the timeline by swiping left to right. The conversation view has also been updated to display both the conversation and replies in a single list. The update also adds the ability to e-mail or link to Twitter conversation threads via the Storify online social story service directly from the conversation view.

Additional enhancements in the latest update include integration with Droplr for media and link sharing, the option to turn off the display of the timeline sync bookmark icon, and general user interface and e-mail format improvements. A play icon is now displayed on video thumbnails to help distinguish them from images, and Vimeo links now also display a video thumbnail. In addition, higher resolution images can be uploaded when using a Wi-Fi connection. Tweetbot 2.3 is available from the App Store in two separate versions for $3 each: Tweetbot for the iPhone and iPod touch and Tweetbot for iPad.

Apple launches third-gen iPad in 9 new markets

Apple is today launching the third-generation iPad in nine additional markets. According to the company, the device is launching in Colombia, Estonia, India, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, South Africa and Thailand today. Apple earlier this week announced sales of 11.8 million iPads during the March quarter, and called the manufacturing ramp-up for the device extremely successful.

Apple Stores replacing kids iMacs with iPads

Apple has started replacing with iPads the iMacs that have traditionally served as kids’ areas in its retail stores. iMore reports that the kids’ tables, which previously held four iMac computers in an outward-facing display, now sport four iPads instead. As with the iMacs, the iPads have a variety of kid-friendly apps installed; it is unclear when the switch was made, or if Apple has yet made the switch at all of its retail stores. [via MacRumors]

Study: A quarter of iPad buyers new to Apple

According to new data from The NPD Group, one-in-four iPad purchases are made by first-time Apple owners. The Apple Ecosystem Study found that 33 percent of US homes own Apple products, and while a majority—69 percent—of those own iPods, iPad ownership is growing. While 70 percent of long-standing Apple owners report that an iPod was their first Apple product, that number declines to just 57 percent among those buying their first Apple product in the last two years. Accordingly, the iPhone and iPad account for one-third of first-time Apple purchases since 2012. On average, Apple households own 2.4 Apple devices.

LinkedIn app now universal with iPad support

Popular business networking service LinkedIn has released an update to its iOS app adding native iPad support. LinkedIn 5.0 is now a universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with a redesigned user interface specifically optimized for the new iPad and the Retina Display. The update also adds a new calendar feature that allows users to quickly access LinkedIn profile information for other participants in scheduled meetings and a redesigned updates view for a more accessible overview of connections, industry news, groups and other relevant information. LinkedIn 5.0 is available from the App Store as a free download.

Jetpack Joyride update adds a new collection of gadgets

Halfbrick Studios has released a major new content update to its hit game, Jetpack Joyride, adding a multitude of new gadgets along with new achievements and missions. Jetpack Joyride is a side scrolling action/adventure game that puts players in the role of Barry Steakfries who breaks into a secret laboratory to commandeer experimental jetpacks from a group of evil scientists and must use them to escape from the lab. Version 1.3 adds 15 new gadgets such as Air Barry sneakers for leaping obstacles, Nerd Repellant for avoiding scientists, an Insta-Ball for gaining a few extra meters by bouncing off the floor and many more crazy and cool new items to help push the envelope, earn higher scores and just generally have fun with. Along with the new collection of gear, the update adds four new Game Center achievements to unlock and a new set of missions to challenge players to make best use of the new toys. Jetpack Joyride is available from the App Store as a free download.

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