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2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

News

Bongiovi releases universal DPS app for iOS

Bongiovi Acoustics has released a new iOS app bringing the company’s patented DPS audio enhancement technology to the on-device listening experience. Known in the iOS community for its inclusion in several of iHome’s speaker products, Bongiovi’s Digital Power Station technology provides real-time audio re-mastering to improve clarity and provide cleaner and deeper bass response, even when using lower-end speakers or headphones. The new universal iOS app allows users to listen to their music, videos and podcasts in their device media library enhanced by DPS technology and optimized for playback through any device connected to the headphone or line-out jack or even the built-in speaker. The app can also compensate for differences in volume between songs, provide enhancement to dialog and sound effects in videos and improve clarity when listening in noisy environments.

Rather than adjusting individual settings, users select from a set of professionally tailored profiles designed to optimize audio for playback through specific types of headphones and speakers. The Bongiovi DPS app is ad-supported and available as a free download from the App Store; the free app includes profiles for the standard Apple earbuds and the built-in speakers of supported iOS devices. Users can purchase an in-app upgrade for an introductory price of $1 to remove the ads and provide access to the full set of audio device profiles, including any new profiles that will become available in the future. Bongiovi DPS requires iOS 4.1 or later and is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, third- and fourth-generation iPod touch and the IPad.

Apple, others sued over GPRS data transfer technology

Apple, along with a host of other well-known companies, has been sued by a Hawaii-based company over technologies related to GPRS 3G data transfer in the iPad and iPhone. AppleInsider reports that GPNE Corp. of Honolulu alleges that Apple is infringing upon three of its patents, by making and selling devices “with the ability to function with GPRS.” Specifically, the patents are related to a “Network Communication System Wherein a Node Obtains Resources for Transmitting Data by Transmitting Two Reservation Requests,” a “Communication System Wherein a Clocking Signal from a Controller, a Request from a Node, Acknowledgement of the Request, and Data Transferred from the Node are All Provided on Different Frequencies, Enabling Simultaneous Transmission of these Signals,” and a “Network Communication System with an Alignment Signal to Allow a Controller to Provide Messages to Nodes and Transmission of the Messages Over Four Independent Frequencies.” Other companies named in the suit include Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Garmin, Nokia, Pantech, Research in Motion, Sharp, and Sony Ericsson; GPNE is seeking damages, as well as ongoing post-judgement royalties.

ALK releases new CoPilot Live Premium, Standard apps

ALK Technologies has released a major update of its CoPilot Live series of turn-by-turn GPS navigation apps, dividing the product line into new and separate Standard and Premium versions. Completely redesigned with a more intuitive user interface, CoPilot Live Premium provides detailed street maps stored directly on the device with voice-guided turn-by-turn directions between destinations. The new app provides users with up to three different routes when available and allows users to drag routes on-screen to select their preferred roads. Users can choose to view a 3D map, 2D map or simply a list of directions and the app provides speed limit displays and warnings, lane indicator arrows and signpost information for major highway exits and interchanges.

The new version also provides more interactive features allowing users to tap on the map to navigate to or discover location-specific information about points of interest. Wikipedia and Bing Local Search have also been added to provide users with an extensive database of additional local businesses and places beyond those included in the built-in POI database. A new Walking Mode provides users with a more appropriate interface when navigating by foot with an on-screen interface and enhanced display of POIs and Wikipedia locations on the map.

The updated versions are being sold as entirely new apps rather than as a direct upgrade to CoPilot Live version 8, however the company is offering discounted pricing during the initial release of the new applications. For now at least, the company has chosen to release only the Premium versions for the iOS platform. CoPilot Live Standard is available only on Android devices and simply provides an “a la carte” approach to allow casual users to purchase individual features that are bundled in the Premium version. CoPilot Live Premium is available in separate versions for various regions including CoPilot Live Premium USA ($10) and CoPilot Live Premium Europe ($44) for the iPhone and iPod touch and CoPilot Live Premium HD USA ($15) and CoPilot Live Premium HD Europe ($44) for the iPad. Additional regional versions can be found on the ALK Technologies App Store Page. No specific North American version is available, however users of the USA version can add a map of Canada for an additional $5 via in-app purchase. Additional optional in-app purchases include one-year subscriptions to real-time traffic for $10 and live fuel prices for $5.

PDF Converter turns documents into PDFs

Readdle has released PDF Converter, a new iPad app that allows users to easily convert documents into PDF files directly on their device. The application supports Microsoft Office and iWork document formats as well as web pages, photos and contacts. PDF Converter provides accurate conversion preserving important document elements such as proper page breaks and content formatting, producing professional-grade PDF files. Conversion is performed entirely on the iPad, providing a secure process and eliminating the need for an active Internet connection. Once installed, PDF Converter becomes available in the “Open In” menu in many other iPad applications allowing documents to quickly and easily be sent to PDF Converter. Users can also save web pages directly from Safari simply be prefixing the URL with “pdf” to reload the web page in PDF Converter. PDF Converter requires an iPad running iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store for $7.

Photogene for iPad improves output resolution, adds new PRO features

Mobile Pond has released an update to the iPad version of Photogene, its popular photo editing and processing app. Photogene 3.1 now allows iPad 2 users to output images up to 21 megapixels (5616x4212) in size. The latest version now allows users to create new Facebook albums directly in the app, adds an intensity slider to gradient effects such as vignette and blur and provides a progress indicator when uploading photos. Several improvements and fixes have also been made to IPTC editing and exporting photos with reflections and filters. Several new features are also available to users of the Pro version, available as an upgrade via in-app purchase. Pro users can now create and reuse their own custom IPTC sets, view and filter photos based on whether or not they have been exported and view a full export log for each photo detailing where and when it was uploaded. Photogene for iPad is available from the App Store for $3. Users can purchase the “Go-Pro” upgrade from within the app for an additional $7.

Piano Tutor for iPad adds MIDI support

SmileyApps has added MIDI support to Piano Tutor for iPad, allowing the app to be used with a real keyboard for learning piano. Designed to teach piano sheet reading skills and allow users to practice on the go, Piano Tutor for iPad includes realistic piano sounds and provides training in both Treble and Bass modes and various key signatures. The new MIDI keyboard support allows users to connect the app to any keyboard with MIDI output via a standard MIDI to USB cable and the iPad Camera Connection Kit; users can then use the real piano keyboard to practice the in-app tutorials. Despite the name, Piano Tutor for iPad is actually a universal app that can be used on any device running iOS 4.2 or later. Due to Apple’s compatibility limitations with the iPad Camera Connection Kit, the MIDI features are supported only on the iPad. Piano Tutor for iPad is currently available from the App Store as a free download for a limited time.

Apple releases iOS 5 beta 3

Apple has released its third beta version of iOS 5. Available to paid iOS developers, the release—listed as build 9A5259f—is accompanied by matching beta versions of the iOS 5 SDK, iTunes 10.5 and Apple TV Software. It is unclear what major changes, if any, may be present in the new version. iOS 5 beta 3 is available now to paid iOS developers from the iOS Dev Center.

CBS releases official Star Trek PADD app

CBS Interactive has released an official Star Trek PADD app for the iPad designed to provide fans with an interactive database of Star Trek information. Using an authentic reproduction of the LCARS style interface from Star Trek: The Next Generation, the PADD allows users to browse or search through an official database of the famous television series with information on aliens, ships, places, technologies and episode guides. The app provides authentic computer sound effects and voice from Star Trek: The Next Generation and allows users to read articles, access related information and read the latest news from the Star Trek Facebook and Twitter feeds. This initial release provides a limited set of information from the Star Trek Universe, with more database updates to follow in future versions.

This release of the official Star Trek PADD app follows legal threats by CBS earlier this year that attempted to force other independent iOS developers to remove LCARS themed apps from the App Store. claiming trademark infringement over the use of the word “PADD” and copyright on the LCARS interface—a move that many felt implied that CBS was in the process of developing their own app. Notably, DiagnosticPADD, one of the apps targeted by CBS legal, remains available on the App Store.

Star Trek PADD requires an iPad running iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store for $5.

i.TV adds social TV show check-ins with GetGlue

i.TV has released an update to its leading free TV listings app adding integration with popular TV check-in service GetGlue and support for Smart Lists and push notifications. i.TV allows iOS evic users to see what’s airing on TV as well as browse shows available on Netflix, Hulu and iTunes, remotely schedule TiVO DVR recordings and look up show information on iMDB and Wikipedia. With i.TV 3.3 users can now turn their TV viewing into a more social experience, letting their friends and contacts know what they’re watching by “checking in” to TV shows with GetGlue, Facebook and Twitter directly from within the app.

The new version also introduces a new Smart Lists feature that makes it easier for users to discover and organize content through dynamically updated lists themed by content type such as new shows, most favorited, and award winners. Support for push notification alerts also returns in this version allowing users to receive reminders when their favourite television shows air. i.TV also announced a partnership with AOL TV earlier this year, collaborating on the launch of the new i.TV-powered AOLTV.com site and the AOL TV mobile app, extending the reach of the i.TV platform to millions of AOL users and making way for future enhancements to the platform to improve the TV watching experience. i.TV 3.3 is a universal app requiring iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download. The i.TV-powered AOL TV mobile app is also expected to be updated with these new features in the coming weeks.

Apple drops iPad 2 shipment wait times

Apple has made a substantial change to its estimated shipment wait times for the iPad 2 on its online store, dropping them to just 3-5 days on all models. The previous estimate was 1-2 weeks, and had been in place since April 20, when it was lowered from 2-3 weeks. The reduced wait appears to have taken affect in many countries; iLounge checked availability in the U.S., UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and Mexico, all of which showed the improved 3-5 day wait. [via AppleInsider]

Second AT&T iPad hacker indicted

Andrew Auernheimer, one of two hackers blamed for the exposure of email addresses and SIM ICC-ID numbers for 114,000 iPad 3G users in June 2010, has been indicted by a grand jury. Reuters reports that Auernheimer is charged with one count of conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to computers and one count of identity theft. The charges follow a guilty plea from co-defendant Daniel Spitler to the same two charges, each of which carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Spitler will be sentenced September 28. The pair, under the name of “Goatse Security,” discovered a publicly accessible script on AT&T’s website through which they extracted the data. The pair alerted the carrier only after they had stolen the data, shared the PHP script used with several third-parties, and supplied Gawker with the user account information.

Apple plans to fix iOS security hole in update

Apple has announced that it plans to patch an iOS security hole discovered earlier this week in a future update. Reuters reports that the hole is related to opening an ‘infected’ PDF file from within the Safari browser, which could give hackers access to confidential data; the flaw gained attention earlier this week when a site released a tool that allowed users to jailbreak their devices without needing a separate computer. Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller said that Apple is “developing a fix that will be available to customers in an upcoming software update.” It is unknown when the update might be available.

Pro-oriented iPad HD, redesigned iPhone 5 coming this fall?

Apple plans to introduce an iPad HD alongside an iPhone 5 sporting a new design later this year, according to a new report. Citing multiple unnamed sources, This is my next… reports that the iPad HD will sit in the iPad family alongside the iPad 2, and will be aimed at the higher end market, sporting a 2048 x 1536 display and possibly launching alongside “something like an iPad version of Final Cut or Aperture.” The product is said to not be the iPad 3, but instead a compliment to the iPad 2 line, much like the relationship between the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

The report also states that the next-generation iPhone will carry the iPhone 5 moniker, and will sport a new design, as the iPhone 4’s design is said to be out of favor at the “highest levels of the company.” As for the “iPhone 4S” rumors, the report blames the confusion on the fact that Apple has been placing iPhone 5 components inside a casing that looks nearly identical to the iPhone 4 — since the components are designed for a thinner enclosure, they are said to easily fit — and using these as test units.

Bing for iPad adds gesture-based searching

Microsoft has released an update to its Bing search app for the iPad adding a new gesture-based search feature. Dubbed Lasso, the new feature allows users to select a word or phrase from within the app by outlining it with a touch gesture rather than needing to copy and paste it into the search box. In the company’s blog, the developers note that the new feature is a result of research into the way that searches are conducted, noting that many searches are inspired by things people are already seeing in their web browser, rather than original words. Lasso is designed to reduce the number of steps required to search on an item in a web page by allowing users to simply “circle and search in just two steps.” The new version also adds improvements to searching for movies, allowing users to view multiple showtime days and theatres, support for swiping through previous Bing homepage images and a number of other performance and UI improvements. Bing for iPad is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.

eNotify provides background new mail alerts

Josh Pressnell has released an update to eNotify, an app for providing background notification of new mail on the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Unlike other push notification e-mail apps that require users to setup mail forwarding rules, eNotify is unique in that it leverages background multitasking features in iOS 4 to check for mail and provide local notifications when new messages are received, operating entirely on the device. Users can create custom notification profiles based on account, priority, sender, subject line or recipient and can scan multiple IMAP folders for new mail. POP3, Hotmail, Yahoo and IMAP accounts are supported, and IMAP users can get immediate push e-mail via the IMAP IDLE protocol. A Do Not Disturb schedule can also be set to silence all alerts during certain times of the day and settings can be transferred between multiple iOS devices using Bluetooth.

eNotify version 1.7 adds configurable options to repeat new message alerts and override the silent switch for high priority e-mails or other specific alerts. The new version also includes several fixes for memory issues with IMAP servers, improves support for Hotmail POP3 servers and adds support for screen rotation on the iPad. eNotify is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $5; the app requires iOS 4.0 and a multitasking-capable device.

Extra Live launches official Tour de France Game

Extra Live has released an official game of the Tour de France 2011 for the iOS platform, allowing players to build a team and race virtually in the world’s biggest and oldest cycling event. Players must assemble, manage and train their own team of five cyclists and race against challenging AI opponents across 21 realistic stages of the Tour. Riders of varying styles such as rouleur, baroudeur, sprinter and climber are available with varying physical abilities allowing players to build their ideal team and players must employ real cycling strategy and cycling tactics to beat the AI opponents who will be using their own tactics to win.

Races travel through the real 21 stages of the Tour de France with true-to-life locations, vivid scenery and names and features from the climbs of Mont Ventoux to the flat laps of the Champs-Élysées. A unique Facebook integration feature allows players to ask for moral support from their friends—the game posts a message to the player’s Facebook wall and each “Like” received on the post will add energy points to give riders an instant boost in the game. Tour de France 2011 - The Official Game is available in two versions: Tour de France 2011 ($3) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Tour de France 2011 HD ($4) for the iPad.

App Store hits 100,000 iPad app milestone

Based on information available from the iPad’s App Store, there are now over 100,000 iPad-specific or Universal apps available. As of this writing, 100,146 apps are available, up from 90,000 at the time of Apple’s WWDC 2011 Keynote. As noted by Macstories, the milestone comes just 453 days after the launch of the first iPad, a rate of growth that is comparable to the App Store itself, which hit the 100,000 app mark in November 2009, slightly more than 15 months after its launch.

Samsung files ITC complaint against Apple

Samsung has filed a complaint against Apple with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), the latest move in its ongoing legal battle with the Cupertino, CA-based iPhone-maker. The complaint covers “Mobile Electronic Devices, Including Wireless Communication Devices, Portable Music and Data Processing Devices, and Tablet Computer,” which FOSS Patents takes to mean that Samsung is seeking an import ban against the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. The ITC has yet to agree to investigate the complaint, but should they do so—an outcome the report suggests is “pretty certain”—a final decision would be reached within 16 to 18 months.

Carriers working on shared iPhone, iPad data plans

Both Verizon Wireless and AT&T in the U.S. are working on data plan offerings that would allow users to share their monthly data allotment between the iPhone and iPad. AllThingsD reports that AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said in a interview at the D9 conference that “We’re working on one. It will be soon. I can’t comment on a quarter (when it will launch) but it will be soon,” while Verizon CFO Fran Shammo also recently indicated that the company is exploring such an offer. These moves follow launches of shared data plans France Telecom’s Orange unit in Austria, France, Spain, and the U.K., under which users pay an “extra couple of dollars” each month for each additional device that shares the same data allotment. In Austria, where such a plan has been offered the longest, Orange claims that 38 percent of all iPads on its network are now using the shared plans.

Apple to team with TSMC on A6 production?

Apple will tap Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to produce its next-gen “A6” ARM-based System-on-a-Chip sometime in 2012, according to a new report. Citing multiple sources inside the semiconductor industry, Ars Technica reports that the move is partially the result of increasing tension between Apple and Samsung, which are involved in a heated patent dispute with opposing lawsuits in multiple countries. As noted in the report, rumors of a partnership between Apple and TSMC date back to 2011, and it was been suggested that Apple was working with TSMC to move its mobile processors to the foundry’s 28nm process; Samsung currently produces the A5 chip using a 45nm process.

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