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2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

News

WildCharge rolls out charging cases for iPhone, iPod touch

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WildCharge has introduced its new WildCharge Skins cases for the iPhone and iPod touch. Made from a flexible, form-fitting material, the cases feature embedded WildCharge technology, allowing the encased iPhone or iPod touch to charge wire-free when placed on WildCharger Pad or other surfaces that are compatible with the technology. While the charging capabilities require a connection to the device’s 30-pin jack, the cases allow for use of all other ports and controls, and are compatible with all generations of the iPhone and iPod touch. The WildCharge Skin for iPod touch is available to order now, while the iPhone model will be available in July; both cases are priced at $35.

Monster intros new chargers, transmitters for iPod + iPhone

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Monster has announced its new line of in-car FM transmitters, chargers, and other accessories for the iPod and iPhone. Previously discovered in stores and covered on iLounge, both the iCarPlay Wireless 1000 and iCarPlay Wireless 800 are iPod- and iPhone-certified. The 1000 is powered via USB, allowing it to be used both in the car and in the home or office, and also includes AutoScan 3D automatic station finding for $100. The iCarCharger 1000 is a dock-connecting car charger that offers integrated playback controls on the charging bulb and an AUX-output cable with built-in cord management. Compatible with both iPod and iPhone, it sells for $50. The company has also introduced the iCarPlay Cassette 800 tape adapter, which sells for $20, and the iCable 800 and 1000 mini-jack cables, designed to work with car auxiliary input jacks. The cables come in lengths of 3- and 7-feet and sell for $15 and $30, respectively. Finally, the iSplitter 800 is a two-way headphone jack splitter offering individual volume and mute controls. It sells for $20. All of Monster’s new accessories are available now.

Scosche intros KickBack S for iPhone 3G, 3GS

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Scosche has introduced its new KickBack S case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Constructed from a combination of polycarbonate and rubber materials, the KickBack S features nubs on the front corners to prevent the screen from touching any surface when laid face-down, rubber protection for the volume and sleep/wake buttons, open access to all other ports and controls, and a hinged kickstand for viewing videos. Scosche’s KickBack S for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS will be available soon in black, white, or pink and will sell for $35.

Apple touts ‘third-party game accessories’ on OS 3.0 page

Without further elaboration, Apple has started to tout the ability of users to connect to as-yet-unreleased new third-party gaming accessories as a feature of the iPhone OS 3.0 upgrade on its update page for the iPod touch. Alongside an icon of a Dock Connector, the page states, “[c]onnect fun new game accessories via the iPod touch 30-pin connector and Bluetooth.” Apple has previously both announced and demonstrated support for third-party accessories connecting via both methods, but has not divulged an input standard for gaming or keyboard accessories. Though companies could conceivably release joypads and keyboards without a standard in place, even including Guitar Hero- or Rock Band-style alternate input devices, the absence of such a standard could lead to numerous incompatible accessories that will only work with specific, limited applications.

Belkin rolls out new cases for iPhone 3G, 3GS

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Belkin has announced its new line of cases for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Its new Grip Cases are made from silicone and feature form-fitting construction and different textured designs. The Grip lineup includes the Ergo ($30), which features contoured ridges for added grip and comfort, the Two-Toned Vector ($30), and the Vector Duo ($20). Also new are the company’s BodyGuard cases, which are made using a combination of polycarbonate and rubber materials, and offer a slim profile and full access to all ports and controls. The lineup includes the Hue ($25), which features a two-piece snap-together design to create two shades of color, the Halo ($30), which features a colored rubber track for added grip, and the Cush ($30), featuring interior rubber lining for added scuff protection. In addition, Belkin has introduced the Micra Flex ($25), a slim, form-fitting polycarbonate and rubber case featuring a flexible design for easier removal, a easy-to-grip exterior surface, and full access to all ports and controls, as well as the Leather Sleeve with Pull Tab ($30), which features a cutout window for viewing the time and caller ID information, as well as several other revised leather offerings. All of Belkin’s new cases for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS are available now, except for the BodyGuard cases, which are expected to launch in mid-July.

Griffin debuts new cases for iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 2G

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Griffin Technology has introduced several new cases for the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and second-generation iPod touch. Griffin claims its new Reveal case for the iPhone 3G, 3GS, and iPod touch 2G is its thinnest case yet, adding just over a millimeter to the thickness of the device. Made from low-profile polycarbonate, it features a one-piece design, slim rubber accents for added cushioning, open access to all ports and controls, and an included screen protector. It sells for $25. The Elan Form with Sky Blue trim for the iPhone 3G and 3GS is a two-piece, form-fitting hard case featuring Griffin’s EasyDock slide-off bottom, top-grain leather covering its polycarbonate frame, and an included screen protector. It is priced at $30.

The Elan Passport Metal for the iPod touch 2G also features a folio-style design, with a horizontally-opening flap, leather construction with microsuede lining, metal accents, and an included screen protector and cleaning cloth. It sells for $35. Finally, the FlexGrip for the iPod touch 2G is made from two-tone silicone, and offers a textured back for added grip, open access to all ports and controls, and an included screen protector. It sells for $20; all of Griffin’s new cases for the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch 2G are available now.

Agent18 intros new cases for iPhone 3G, 3GS

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Agent18 has announced its new lineup of cases for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The SlimShield is a back-only case featuring chrome accents, a ten-layer hardcoat spray for added protection, openings for all ports and controls, and an included screen film and table stand. It will sell for $35. The ShockShield is a full body rubbery case featuring open access to all ports and controls, side ribs for added grip and shock protection, and an included screen protector and table stand. It will come in seven different colors and sell for $20. The FlowerVest Refresh is an update to the company’s prior floral FlowerVest design, with brighter colors and a larger rear floral design. Made from silicone, is offers a wrap around relief design, full access to all ports and controls, and included screen film and table stand. It will come in blue/white and white/pink, and will sell for $30.

The EcoShield Slider is a two-piece case made from post-consumer plastic bottles that features a removable bottom for easier docking, a secure locking mechanism, interior silicone pads to prevent scratching, outer side grips for easier handling, and an included screen film and table stand. It will come in black, blue, and white, and will sell for $35. Finally, Agent 18 is offering two Seasons Limited Edition Cases, one with a cloud design, the other with a mixtape design. Both back-only hard cases feature full access to all ports and controls, a printed design on the rear, a thin profile, and included screen film and table stand. They will sell for $30 each. All of Agent18’s new cases for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS are available for pre-order now; the company is currently offering pre-order customers a 50% discount off the regular prices, which are listed above.

WWDC Keynote heightens iPhone 3.0 accessory concerns

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During a presentation focused on re-highlighting iPhone OS 3.0 features that had previously been demonstrated at an Apple SDK event, Dock Connector accessory failures twice interrupted an extended look at OS 3.0 development efforts to date. Following smooth and occasionally impressive presentations by Gameloft, Airstrip, ScrollMotion, Tom Tom, and Ngmoco, an educational company called Pasco demonstrated what was to be a science teaching application with an iPhone OS 3.0 balloon-monitoring sensor accessory, which failed to perform during the demonstration; subsequently, co-developers Line6 and Planet Waves were scuttled in a presentation of a software and accessory-based guitar and amplifier control system when the accessory failed to work.

Though the developers made light of the accessory failures to some audience applause and laughter, Apple Senior Vice-President Scott Forstall—a participant in the first presentation—noted that the problems seemed to be correlated to the number of people watching, and said that the software had worked properly during rehearsals. Combined with problems iLounge’s editors have noted with recently released accessories and their related iPhone applications, the demonstration failures raise questions as to the user experiences that will follow when broadened Dock Connector accessory support is introduced in the iPhone OS 3.0 release this month.

Belkin debuts App-powered TuneCast Auto Live

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Belkin has introduced the TuneCast Auto Live, a new in-car FM Transmitter that works in concert with the company’s upcoming ClearScan Live application for iPhone and iPod touch. ClearScan Live allows users to display the current FM frequency and control the transmitter directly from the device. In addition, the app utilizes the iPhone and iPod touch’s location services to determine the best possible station for broadcasting based on the user’s current location, as well as recommendations from other TuneCast Auto users. Other TuneCast Auto Live features include an in-line control module with one-touch ClearScan station locator, a Pro setting for optimizing audio and boosting volume, two programmable preset buttons, and a high-contrast backlit display, compatibility with the iPod classic and iPod nano, and in-car charging for the connected device. Belkin’s TuneCast Auto Live will be available in early fall and will sell for $80; the ClearScan Live application will be available as a free download from the App Store. Continue reading for more images.

Energizer intros Energi To Go iPhone battery packs

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Energizer, in partnership with XPAL Power, has introduced two new Energi To Go battery pack/case hybrids for the iPhone 3G. The case-like AP1000 and AP1500 feature an integrated 30-pin connector, side grips, an open face, and a 1000 mAh or 1500 mAh battery, respectively, built-in to the rear of the accessory. Other features include a battery life indicator, USB charging port, and a speaker, microphone, and camera-friendly design. The Energizer Energi To Go AP100 and AP1500 battery packs for iPhone 3G are expected to ship in July; pricing has yet to be announced.

ThinkFlood rolls out RedEye Universal Remote for iPhone, iPod touch

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ThinkFlood has introduced its new RedEye Universal Remote Control peripheral for the iPhone and iPod touch. The RedEye is a small IR transmitter box featuring Wi-Fi and a built-in Dock for charging an iPhone, iPhone 3G, or iPod touch. Users download the RedEye software application—currently in public beta—to their device and connect to the RedEye transmitter box via Wi-Fi. The application then allows the user to control nearly any IR-sensing home entertainment equipment directly from the application, with device-specific screens that only display relevant buttons, as well as macro shortcuts for activities such as “Watch TV” or “Watch a Movie.” ThinkFlood’s RedEye Universal Remote Control solution for the iPhone and iPod touch is available during the beta period for $119; the hardware will increase in price to $149 when the software leaves beta testing this fall.

Belkin intros new TuneBase FM, Direct for iPod and iPhone

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Belkin has introduced its new TuneBase FM and TuneBase Direct in-car accessories for the iPod and iPhone. Both products feature case-compatible adjustable device cradles, which are attached to a cigarette lighter-mounted arm and offer charging capabilities. In addition, both products offer push-button call pickup and speakerphone functionality, playing call audio through the automobile’s stereo via a direct 3.5mm input for TuneBase Direct, or via a built-in FM transmitter in the case of TuneBase FM. Belkin’s new TuneBase FM will be available in mid-July for $90, while TuneBase Direct will sell for $70, and will be available this month.

Pioneer announces new AV Receivers for iPhone and iPod

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Pioneer announced today that it is now shipping three new AV receivers that provide iPhone and iPod integration. The new VSX-819AH, VSX-919AH and VSX-1019AH promise a seamless user experience for iPhone and iPod owners, allowing users to simply plug their iPhones or iPods into the receivers, then utilize a full-color graphic user interface complete with album art, controlled via a remote control that can easily navigate through playlists. Additionally, Pioneer’s AV receivers will intuitively turn on the Auto Music-Mute function when a call is received on an iPhone, allowing users to maintain an uninterrupted entertainment experience.

“With our new line of A/V Receivers that seamlessly integrate with Apple’s iPhone and iPod, we now offer a complete solution for improved portable audio playback in the home theater realm,” said David Bales of Pioneer. “With Pioneer’s rich heritage in A/V receiver design and innovation, we are thrilled to give our customers the ability to make iPhone and iPod part of their home theater system.”

Pioneer’s new line of AV Receivers are available now for suggested retail prices of $299-$499, differing based on their audio and video performance characteristics, including increasing video upscaling capabilities, sound controls, and AV inputs.

Substrata offers handmade wooden case for iPhone 3G

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Etsy seller Substrata is offering handmade wooden cases for the iPhone 3G. Made from macacauba, wenge, or zebra woods, each case is finished with linseed oil and features specially shaped and sanded contours designed to snugly hold the iPhone 3G inside. When closed, the case offers complete protection for the iPhone’s ports and screen, requiring the user to open and remove the device for use. Substrata’s handmade wooden cases for the iPhone 3G are available now and sell for $85 each.

A.B. Sutton debuts Sport Slip for iPhone 3G

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A.B. Sutton has introduced its new Sport Slip for the iPhone 3G. The Sport Slip features a play-through design, with openings for access to all of the iPhone 3G’s ports, controls, and sensors; the customer may decide whether or not to leave an opening for the Dock Connector. Other features include a high-quality leather exterior with baseball-like curved seams, silk lining, and options such as a braided leather strap, silk-backed monogram, and specific thread color. Available in a wide variety of colors and lining combinations, A.B. Sutton’s Sport Slip for the iPhone 3G is available now and starts at $88.

Plantronics debuts Voyager Pro Bluetooth headset

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Plantronics has introduced its new Voyager Pro Bluetooth headset. The successor to Plantronics’ well-received Voyager 510 and Voyager 520 headsets, the Voyager Pro features AudioIQ2, the next generation of the company’s AudioIQ digital signal processing (DSP) technology, offering noise and wind cancellation, as well as more natural-sounding inbound audio. Other features include an adjustable dual-microphone boom, dual external stainless steel microphone screens and acoustic fabric covers for the microphone to help reduce wind noise, a custom speaker with adaptive 20-band equalizer, a soft silicone ear tip, power, volume and mute buttons, a lithium polymer battery that provides up to six hours of talk time and five days of stand-by time, and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR with multipoint technology. Plantronics’ Voyager Pro is available now and sells for $100.

iPWR intros SuperPack for iPod and iPhone

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iPWR has introduced its new iPWR SuperPack external battery for the iPod and iPhone. Both “Made for iPod” and “Works With iPhone” certified, the iPWR SuperPack is a dock-connecting battery pack featuring a 1800 mAh lithium-polymer battery, which according to the company provides up to 40 additional hours of music, up to seven hours of additional talk time, 10 hours of additional video, or ten additional hours of Internet access on an iPhone 3G. Other features include a weight of 1.5 oz. mini-USB recharging, and an included top cover which protects the dock connector when not in use. The iPWR SuperPack is available now in white or black and sells for $60.

Aliph unveils Jawbone Prime Bluetooth headset

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Aliph has introduced the Jawbone Prime, the third generation of its noise-canceling headset. The Jawbone Prime features NoiseAssassin 2.0, Aliph’s latest version of its noise elimination technology which offers an improvement of 6 to 8 decibels in noisy environments, an integrated digital approach to wind reduction, a voice activity sensor, and an acoustic voice activity detector which kicks on when the sensor is not touching the user’s face. Other features include a slightly revised outer texture, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR with Multipoint functionality, and three new fit earbuds for a more comfortable, stable fit in the user’s ear. Aliph’s Jawbone Prime will be available in black, “coffee,” and platinum, or in an Earcandy Edition in green, pink, yellow, or purple, and will sell for $130. Users can pre-order the Jawbone Prime now from Aliph’s website; it is expected to ship on May 2.

Apple rebrands iPhone Stereo Headset, drops ‘iPhone’

Apple has quietly rebranded the iPhone Stereo Headset, dropping the device-specific iPhone name to transform it into the Apple Stereo Headset. This brings the branding of the Headset, which debuted with the original iPhone in 2007 but is now also compatible with the 120GB iPod classic, fourth-generation iPod nano, and second-generation iPod touch, in line with Apple’s more recent In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic and Earphones with Remote and Mic, both of which offer compatibility with these newer iPods as well as MacBook computers. Notably, the Apple Stereo Headset is not compatible with the third-generation iPod shuffle, while its newer counterparts are.

Vuzix rolls out iPhone-compatible cable with 3-D support

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Vuzix has announced its new “Works with iPhone” cable, offering both iPhone and 3-D compatibility. According to the company, the new cable supports 3-D video in side by side, interlaced, and all three major anaglyph mode formats. The cable will be bundled with the company’s iWear AV230XL Video Eyewear, and will be available as an upgrade for all Vuzix Video Eyewear customers for $40.

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