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2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

News

FAA committee recommends extending in-flight device use

A Federal Aviation Administration advisory committee has voted to recommend letting airline passengers use smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and other electronic devices during takeoffs and landings, the Associated Press reports. The recommendation will be sent to the FAA, which has final say on whether the restrictions will be eased. However, it’s notable that downloading data, using the Internet, and talking on the phone would still be prohibited below 10,000 feet under the recommendations. The FAA began seeking public comments on the issue more than a year ago. While the FCC urged the FAA to expand in-flight device use, another report claimed passenger electronics interfere with equipment.

Staples to sell iPads, iPods online in October

Staples’ U.S. website will sell iPads and iPods starting in October, according to a recent report. “Several versions” of the devices will be sold as soon as Oct. 1. Staples already sells the iPad in its Canadian online store. The report also notes Staples would like to sell the iPad in its retail stores by early next year. Staples started selling Apple accessories online in February. [via 9to5Mac]

Apps: 2K Drive 1.6, Lens Tutorial 1.4, Memoir + Pocket Casts 4.0

2K Drive ($5) from 2K Sports has updated to version 1.6. The new British car pack brings four new cars from Land Rover, Vauxhall, and Jaguar to the game. New events have also been added to 2K Drive, and users who were completely unable to play the game before can now get past the tutorial level and purchase cars. Additionally, vehicle control improvements have been made, including steering sensitivity tweaks, though the default steering is pretty challenging.

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Lens Tutorial (free) from Smart Learn Apps isn’t the prettiest-looking app around, but it makes up for its lack of aesthetic appeal through education. The app, now updated for version 1.4, shows how to use a variety of camera lenses, demonstrating visually how their aperture, distance from subject, and width/zoom level change their depth of field. More than 3,400 digital cameras are now included after the most recent update. The app also offers a high-contrast scheme with large fonts for outdoor use.

Apple releases iOS 7.0.2

Apple has released iOS 7.0.2 for all iOS devices — unlike the previous iOS 7.0.1 update, which was only for the iPhone 5c and 5s. The release fixes bugs that could allow someone to bypass the Lock Screen passcode.

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Also included in the update is a Greek keyboard option for passcode entry. It’s available for download now through the Software Update screen under Settings.

AppleCare+ now covers users internationally

AppleCare+, Apple’s two-year extended warranty and damage protection plan for certain devices, now allows users to receive iPhone, iPad, or iPod service in any country offering the service. Coverage is limited depending on which countries cover which device models. For example, the CDMA iPhone 5 can’t be replaced in Brazil, where it isn’t available. AppleCare+ for iPad, iPhone, and iPod is now available in 15 different countries. [via TechCrunch]

Apps: djay 2 2.1, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, FIFA 14 + TiltShiftGen2

Algoriddim’s djay 2 ($10) is now ready for iOS 7 in version 2.1. The music mixing app has a new library, and new sample packs from Snoop Dogg and DJ Qbert. DJ Qbert also has his name on new built-in scratch tools within the app. djay 2 has also added support for inter-app audio, and tracks now load faster in iOS 7. On the iPhone 5S version, Harmonic Match has been added to enable automatic key matching of two songs in realtime.

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PBS Kids recently released a newer Daniel Tiger app, but Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Play at Home ($2) is still in the App Store. Play at Home lets kids play with five different games, including Doctor, Bedtime, In Daniel’s Bathroom, Feel the Music, and Sticker Book.

Apps: Angry Birds Star Wars II, Evernote 7.0, Kindle 4.0 + Pocket 4.6

Rovio’s Angry Birds Star Wars II ($1) has arrived in the App Store. The anticipated game lets users “join the Pork Side” by letting them fling pigs — like Darth Vader and Darth Maul pigs — into the birds. More than 30 playable characters are featured in the game. Achievements are another big part of Angry Birds Star Wars II, as players can work their way up to becoming a Jedi or Sith Master. The previously announced Telepods can bring characters into the game using physical toys, but that feature is strictly optional.

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Evernote has updated to version 7.0. The free app has been completely redesigned for iOS 7 with a new layout. A new audio recorder gives users space to type while listening, and it’s easier and quicker to access some of the app’s most used features. Most notably, notes are always kept up-to-date now, as the app syncs in the background. AirDrop also allows users to share notes with others around them. It’s also possible to add arrows, shapes, and text to images and PDFs with the Markup feature.

Apple lets developers decide on legacy app downloads

Apple has told developers they can now manage the availability of previous versions of their apps. As noted earlier this week, the iOS App Store is now allowing users of older versions of iOS to download specific legacy versions of apps. Users are asked if they would like to download the “last compatible version” of an app. However, developers of these apps are now able to choose whether or not they want to make these older versions available.

iOS 7 blocking non-certified Lightning cables

iOS 7 is blocking non-certified Lightning cables from charging devices. In the first beta version of iOS 7, users were already being prompted to the presence of a cable or accessory that wasn’t certified. It’s now been verified that the final OS is actually preventing non-certified cables from charging. There’s a workaround involving a specific sequence of connecting and disconnecting the Lightning cable, but Apple could block that method in a future iOS 7 update. [via 9to5Mac]

Apple increases cellular app download bar to 100MB

Apple now allows App Store downloads up to 100MB over cellular in iOS 7—the limit was previously 50MB. Apps larger than 100MB must be downloaded over Wi-Fi. [via MacRumors]

Apple sets iOS 7.0.1 update for new iPhones

Apple has released iOS 7 today, and iOS 7.0.1 is already in the queue for the upcoming iPhone 5s and 5c. iOS 7.0.1 reportedly aims to fix issues with Touch ID and iTunes purchases. It’s unclear if the two new devices will ship with iOS 7.0.1 on Friday, or whether buyers of those phones will be prompted to update to 7.0.1; the latter is more likely. [via 9to5Mac]

Apple releases iOS 7 to the public

As expected, Apple released its iOS 7 operating system to the public just ahead of 1 p.m. Eastern today. iOS 7 is currently available as an over-the-air software update in the Settings app.

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iLounge has posted a full review of iOS 7 here, and an Instant Expert: Secrets and Features of iOS 7 tutorial, as well.

Apps: Amazon Instant Video 2.1, Infinity Blade III, OpenTable 6.0 + Pandora 5.0

Amazon’s Amazon Instant Video app updated to version 2.1. Most notably, the free app now supports AirPlay to let users watch Amazon’s titles on the Apple TV. IMDB cast and director information, ratings, trivia, quotes, and goofs have also been added to the app.

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Infinity Blade III ($7) from Epic Games’ Chair Entertainment Group debuted on iOS today. The game features two playable characters, Siris and Isa. As expected, the game’s graphics — powered by the Unreal Engine — are top-notch, running smoothly on all supported devices while adding additional special effects to take advantage of Apple’s latest hardware. On the other hand, the gameplay is largely more of the same, and beginning to feel stale despite the addition of potions to mix and enemies that switch weapons mid-fight. Fans of the series may enjoy the additional emphasis on the sci-fi/fantasy storyline this time around. Apart from some crash bugs we experienced on the iPad mini, Infinity Blade III is certainly worth grabbing for longtime fans of the series, and anyone looking to see what a given iOS device is really capable of.

Apple updates first-party apps for iOS 7

Apple is currently in the process of releasing iOS 7-focused updates to its own apps, and we’re expecting a bunch to hit the App Store today. Here’s what’s now available.

The Apple Store app has been updated to version 2.8 — it’s been optimized for iOS 7 with a new UI.

Apple updated its AirPort Utility app to version 1.3.2. The app added support for iOS 7.

This story will continue to be updated as more Apple apps get iOS 7 updates over the course of the day.

iOS App Store now allows legacy app downloads

Apple’s iOS App Store is now letting users of older versions of iOS download specific legacy versions of apps. The App Store now prompts users to ask if they want to download “the last compatible version” of a selected app. First noted on Reddit, the move is beneficial to those with older hardware, or those using older versions of iOS for other reasons. App developers will also benefit from the change, as they’ll be able to offer staggered stable versions of software to users at various stages of iOS adoption. Apple has yet to officially comment on the new feature. [via TheNextWeb]

Apps: Go Dance, Joust Legend, Photogene 4 4.0 + Plasma Globe

Sega’s Go Dance ($2) is an iOS dancing game, actively tracking your body movements using a FaceTime camera. Your hand, arm, and torso motions automatically are registered by the camera, which moves the on-screen character to follow your motions, hitting or missing beat-based triggers. Songs such as LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” come pre-loaded, while other songs are available as in-app purchases. Go Dance also supports AirPlay, letting players with an iPhone 5 or fourth-gen iPad view the game on an HDTV. Although the app is universal, we found that it’s much better when played with an iPad — standing at a distance from the iPhone’s small screen while trying to follow required dance movements presents obvious problems.

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Joust Legend ($2) is a jousting game, though fans of classic arcade games may regret that no platforms or ostriches are involved. Rebellion Games has brought an authentic jousting game to iOS, with warriors charging at each other on horses, using lances to knock their opponents off their trusty steeds. The graphics are striking in Joust Legend, highly detailed with excellent polygon counts that really show off Retina displays. Gameplay itself is largely timing-based, with swipe and hold gestures determining the speed of your horse and direction of your lance, though the game gives players the option of upgrading armor, skills, and tricks before the joust.

Gray iPod nano, shuffle gallery posted

  • September 13, 2013
  • iPod

iLounge has posted a comparison gallery featuring the newest color of the iPod nano and iPod shuffle. While Apple.com’s web site calls it “Space Gray,” the newly released iPod color is only listed as “gray” on the nano’s packaging, and has no name on the shuffle’s smaller box. Our photos compare it to the previous slate and silver versions of the device, as well as the first-generation iPhone that some have said the color would resemble. In person, the gray color is surprisingly close to Apple’s classic silver aluminum—just a little darker—with small differentiating touches such as a dark Apple logo on the iPod shuffle’s back, and a dark wireless antenna compartment on the iPod nano.

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The new gray color is markedly lighter than the now discontinued slate color. iLounge will have complete unboxing and color comparison photos of the gray iPod touch, as well as the space gray iPhone 5s next Friday upon release.

Apps: Angry Birds Star Wars, Infinity Blade 3, Reeder 2, ShutterSnitch 2.11 + Strata

Rovio’s Angry Birds Star Wars ($1) has updated to version 1.4. The game now features 30 new Endor levels. New gameplay elements including bouncing items off drums and waking up jumping Ewoks have also been introduced with the update. A big battle has also been added, in which players must destroy a bunker to disable the Death Star’s deflector shield. Angry Birds HD ($3) for iPad has also been updated.

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Epic Games debuted Infinity Blade III ($7) during Apple’s iPhone event on Tuesday. The newest adventure in Epic’s acclaimed series is scheduled to hit the App Store next Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Silvio Rizzi has introduced Reeder 2 ($5). The new RSS reader is a sequel of sorts to Rizzi’s Reeder, and it brings the reader back to the iPad — Reeder 2 is universal. Reeder 2 is a client for Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, Fever, and Readability. It has a number of new sharing services, and its new interface has been redesigned to match iOS 7. Gesture-based navigation has also made its way into the new app.

AppleCare+ now for iPod touch/classic, iPhone price hiked

Apple has added its AppleCare+ extended warranty coverage to iPod touch and iPod classic, at a cost of $59 for either device, then $29 per service incident. AppleCare+ launched in Europe yesterday, with iPod coverage in the UK, France, and Italy. That iPod coverage is also now available for countries that already had AppleCare+.

Apple also quietly increased the service fee for iPhone AppleCare+ to $79 per incident, from $49. New customers will now pay $99 for AppleCare+ for iPhone, then $79 each time they require a replacement device under the plan. Up to two replacement devices can be issued under the policy.

Apple kills Cards app

Apple quietly announced that as of yesterday, its Cards service for iOS is no longer available, putting an end to an unusual standalone app that debuted in October 2011. A support page notes that “Cards ordered before 1 PM Pacific time on September 10, 2013, will be delivered, and push notifications will continue to work.” Previous purchases can still be viewed in the app’s Saved Cards feature. On the same support page, Apple recommends using iPhoto on the Mac for ordering letterpress cards with customized photos and text.

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