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Apple rebrands third-gen iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G

Apple over the weekend quietly went about changing the official name of its third-generation iPad with cellular data capabilities. Previously known as the Wi-Fi + 4G model, it is now referred to on Apple’s website and in its retail locations as the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. It “connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi and fast mobile data networks,” reads the description on Apple’s UK online store. Apple had been facing scrutiny from regulators in several countries, which claimed that the “4G” moniker was misleading as the device didn’t support 4G LTE networks anywhere but in the US and Canada. [via 9to5Mac]

Adobe Photoshop Touch increases maximum photo resolution

Adobe has updated Photoshop Touch for the iPad increasing the maximum supported resolution and adding new synchronization and export features. Adobe Photoshop Touch 1.2 now allows users to work with 2048x2048 resolution photos with up to 10 layers, although the default remains at 1600x1600 with 16 layers; users can choose the higher resolution in the application’s Preferences. In addition, Photoshop Touch can now automatically synchronize with Adobe’s Creative Cloud and users can export images to PSD or PNG via the iOS Camera Roll, e-mail and iTunes File Sharing. The updated version also improves workflows for rotating and flipping images, adds two new tutorials and four new effects and is now available in English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Italian. Adobe Photoshop Touch requires an iPad 2 or third-generation iPad with iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $10.

Apple to drop Google Maps in iOS 6

Apple will drop Google Maps as the backend to its built-in Maps application for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, according to a new report. Citing trusted sources, 9to5Mac reports that Apple will make the move in iOS 6, and will replace Google’s mapping solution with an in-house mapping service built upon technology from acquisitions Placebase, C3 Technologies, and Poly9. The report claims that the application design is “fairly similar” to the current Maps app, but is described as a much cleaner, faster, and more reliable experience. The new app will also feature a new 3D mode built upon technology from C3 Technolgies, and, according to the report, and the change will be signified with a redrawn icon. The report claims that iOS 6 is likely to appear at Apple’s WWDC conference in June.

Instapaper adds Fast Pagination, UI improvements

Marco Arment has released an update to Instapaper, his popular offline reading app for iOS. Instapaper 4.2 adds several new user interface improvements including a new redesigned Fast Pagination mode that improves accuracy and performance when turning pages and adds new page turning animations and gestures similar to iBooks. A new draggable dot bar can also now be used in place of the scroll bar in pagination mode. A new two-finger swipe gesture has been added for closing an article view, an option is also now available to automatically switch to full screen reading view after a few seconds. The new version also allows users to manually select the Twilight Sepia colour theme; previously it only appeared during twilight hours when automatic day/night mode was enabled. Instapaper 4.2 now requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $5.

Gameloft releases N.O.V.A. 3

Gameloft has released the third instalment in its popular sci-fi FPS series, Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance. N.O.V.A. 3 puts players back in the role of Kal Wardin, four months after the climactic events of the prior game; Wardin, who has been keeping a low profile in the aftermath of the assassination of President Folsom, suddenly receives a desperate message from Yelena to travel to Earth where he must again rise to save mankind.

This latest title expands upon the epic storyline of the series with the return of humanity to Earth after years of exile, taking the player across the galaxy through ten immersive levels. Players are given multiple weapons and power ups to master including driving vehicles and piloting mechs and can also engage in multiplayer games with up to 11 other players. Six different game modes and six maps are available for multiplayer games, and multiple allies can now share a vehicle on the battlefield. N.O.V.A. 3 also takes advantage of the latest iPhone and iPad hardware to deliver high-resolution, console-quality graphics with features such as real-time dynamic lighting and shadows, ragdoll physics and more. N.O.V.A. 3 is a universal app requiring an iPhone 3GS/4/4S, third- or fourth-generation iPod touch or iPad with iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $7.

Moredays HD provides a highly visual day planner

Moredays has released Moredays HD, a unique new graphical time management tool for iPad users that focuses on images rather than text. Combining the features of a digital planner and a scrapbook, Moredays uses pictures, doodles and sketches to help users organize information in the style of a traditional paper planner. Users can record events, tasks, notes and contacts within the app or simply save an item to the inbox and decide on its type later; a quick entry mode also allows new items to be easily added from any screen. Pictures can be inserted from the iPad photo library or the user can choose from over 60 included sketches to enhance and distinguish items; in addition to a photo or sketch, stamps can also be applied to help categorize items visually. Users can also add notes and location to any item and Moredays automatically synchronizes with its own web application for access from a computer. Moredays HD requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download; an iPhone/iPod version is also currently under development.

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.

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