Selasa, 30 Desember 2008

iLuv has unveiled its latest audio device, the iHD171 HD Radio that integrates a dock for an iPod or iPhone. The device features TV connection capabilities for watching videos and iTunes tagging that will save HD radio song information on the mobile device. Station, song title, band and frequency information is displayed on the front LCD panel. The clock automatically syncs to match the time on the docked device, while users can choose to wake or sleep to the iPod, iPhone, AM/FM radio or buzzer. Standard analog AM and FM signals are also supported and can be assigned to 30 available presets.

The company will begin shipping the iHD171 in January, with a suggested retail price of $200.

USBfever has launched a new USB LED light and new iPhone camera lens attachments. In addition to the LED light, the company has released a Magnetic / Detachable Wide Angle Lens for iPhone, a Magnetic / Detachable Telephoto (2X) Lens for iPhone and a Magnetic / Detachable Fish-Eye Lens for iPhone. The USB LED desktop light features a thermometer and hygrometer, which measures humidity in the air, in its base. It is powered by a USB attachment and is now available for $17.

The iPhone lens attachments offer magnetic connections or a self-adhesive ring for a magnetic attachment, and are made with high-grade aluminum and glass. The Wide Angle lens attachment offers a .67X magnification and macro capability, with two elements in two groups. The telephoto lens offers a 2X magnification, with two elements in two groups, and the fisheye gives a .28X magnification, with a 170-degree field of view, featuring four elements in four groups. Each attachment costs $17 all are now available.


Wide-angle Adapter

Telephoto adapter

Fisheye adapter
SonicMule has released Zephyr, a new iPhone app featuring a touch-based, wind-sound generating message creator. Users create snowflake movements using touch gestures generating accompanying wind based music, recorded into a message that is sent out anonymously to other users. Recipients can label it with a heart-icon tap if they like it. The app can track a song's progress and responses across the Internet. If a song is well liked, it propagates more often to more users.

Zephyr is now available for $1 on the iTunes App Store. It works with the iPhone and the iPod touch.

iCustom, a Russian manufacturer, has announced a clear iPhone 3G replacement case. The case displays all the inner workings of an iPhone via a see-through backing, although owners may have to sacrifice their camera lens. Along with the clear case, iCustom also offers a variety of color, wood or custom design cases, for different iPhones, iPods, and MacBooks.

All cases can be found on the iCustom website.

[via Gizmodo]

iLuv has unveiled its latest audio device, the iHD171 HD Radio that integrates a dock for an iPod or iPhone. The device features TV connection capabilities for watching videos and iTunes tagging that will save HD radio song information on the mobile device. Station, song title, band and frequency information is displayed on the front LCD panel. The clock automatically syncs to match the time on the docked device, while users can choose to wake or sleep to the iPod, iPhone, AM/FM radio or buzzer. Standard analog AM and FM signals are also supported and can be assigned to 30 available presets.

The company will begin shipping the iHD171 in January, with a suggested retail price of $200.

Minggu, 28 Desember 2008

Apple's special iPod event on September 9th should see the release of two anticipated software updates, a report claims. One anonymous source "close to the situation" is cited as saying that iTunes 8, frequently expected to launch on the 9th, is indeed scheduled to go online at that date. It is rumored to bring with it a number of changes, such as the "Genius" recommendation feature, a grid view, and HD-quality TV episodes through the iTunes Store.

A separate source suggests that the iPhone 2.1 firmware will be released simultaneously, upgrading phones with background push notification as well as directional GPS, which may enable turn-by-turn navigation. Apple is further said to have kept some features out of developer seeds, with the aim of surprising the public and/or rivals. What these components might include is unclear.
Photos of the banner for Apple's upcoming event on September 9th have surfaced. The building-sized banner sports a green background, and a dancing silhouette that has become common to iPod advertising. One detail noticed by iPhone Savior is the iPod in the figure's hand, which is similar in shape to a second-generation Nano, supporting fourth-generation rumors laid out by Kevin Rose, as well as a photo obtained by MacNN.

Other accounts have come in noting that security around the area is fairly tight. A police officer and three Apple security guards have been spotted guarding a trailer across from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, located near the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, where Apple's event is taking place.

Apple has finally given credit to a British man whose work was the inspiration behind the iPod, claims the Daily Mail. Kane Kramer, 52, is said to have created the technology that powers the digital music player nearly 30 years ago, but not received any royalties. Kramer original designed a device he called the IXI in 1979; though it would only have been capable of storing 3.5 minutes of music on a chip, Kramer was hopeful that capacity would improve over time.

Sketches outlined a credit-card sized player with a rectangular screen, and a central menu button to scroll through a selection of music tracks. Kramer acquired a worldwide patent and set up a company to further develop the concept, but after boardroom problems in 1988, he was unable to raise �60,000 needed to renew patents across 120 countries, leaving his idea public property.

Recognition of Kramer did not occur until Apple called upon him to help defend itself against, which claimed to hold patents to technology in the iPod and deserve a cut of the profits.

Kramer is presently in negotiations with Apple for compensation relating to copyright on his drawings. To date, he has received only a consultancy fee for providing his expertise in the Burst case.

"To be honest, I was just so pleased that finally something that I had done which has been a huge success and changed the music industry was being acknowledged," says Kramer. "I was really quite emotional about it all."

Bad Dog Apps has launched BdPricer for the iPhone and iPod touch. The shopping companion app tracks item prices live or with data from saved searches, and uses a directory of 15 major product categories containing over 3,000 items. The app is intended for checking prices before shopping, or alternately negotiating a better deal; listings also contain features and reviews, plus the option to buy goods online.

BdPricer requires an Internet or 3G connection for live pricing, and is available for $5 at the iTunes App Store.

Some unexpected factors could play into tomorrow's scheduled iPod event, argues Piper Jaffray. The research firm suggests for instance that it is unclear if Apple CEO Steve Jobs will be presenting, even though he usually does so; such speculation is based on ongoing rumors of ill health, originally sparked by a gaunt appearance at June's WWDC meeting. Piper says it is "confident" that Jobs will appear, however, in a move that could reassure nervous investors.

It also suggested that Apple may release a hardware update for the Apple TV, implementing features such as DVR functionality, which would place the set-top in competition with products like TiVo. Apple may also be interested in releasing audio accessories such as wireless speakers, but both this and the Apple TV upgrade are categorized as "unlikely wildcards."

Believed to be more certain are redesigned Nanos and Touches, and new capacities matched with lower prices for the Classic and Shuffle. It is also expected that Apple will not announce new MacBooks tomorrow, though a redesign is considered overdue, and may be revealed sometime this fall.
Apple today introduced the anticipated fourth-generation iPod nano. The model is said to combine the best of the second-generation player's shape with the large screen and video playback of the third-generation model but is even thinner and adds an enhanced, accelerometer-driven interface that rotates the on-screen interface; this improves the use of Cover Flow and even photo browsing, Apple says. Users can even shake the player to shuffle tracks similar to SanDisk's Sansa Shaker.

The new software also automatically builds in voice recording and has a context-sensitive menu that appears just by holding the center button.

Apple claims the same 24 hours of audio and four hours of video as with the third-generation player, but also a more environmentally-friendly device with an aluminum exterior, arsenic-free glass and toxin-free internals. It's the "cleanest iPod ever," Apple chief Steve Jobs says.

The nano will ship in an 8GB model for $149 and a 16GB version for $199; nine colors will be available and include more exotic colors such as orange and yellow. Most models should be available by the weekend, though the 16GB may be delayed to early next week.

Apple is also introducing new high-end earphones with a built-in play/pause control that works similar to the iPhone's: double-clicking skips to the next track, while three clicks skip backwards. The optional earbuds cost $79 and come with three different fits for different ears.

Additionally, Apple has also announced a slightly upgraded iPod classic; the company is scrapping the 160GB model and now just offers a single 120GB model in silver or black. It will sell for $249 and should be available in a similar timeframe.

Apple has announced the release of iTunes 8, the latest version of its music software for Macs and PCs. Features in the new software include "Genius" playlists, which automatically match songs thought to go together. iTunes can also recommend tracks to buy via a sidebar, and recommendations will be based on anonymous uploads of user data, meant to gradually improve the accuracy of what shoppers are offered in the future.

Another feature of the update is a grid-based album browsing view, an alternative to CoverFlow which lets users sort by criteria such as artist.

The announcement brings with it the availability of HD TV episodes through the US iTunes Store, where people were previously restricted to near-DVD quality. Notable in the debut is the return of NBC, which had previously deserted iTunes on the basis of conflicts over pricing. The network has since provided shows for other iTunes storefronts however, such as the UK. HD TV shows are priced $2.99 each.

[Photo courtesy of Gizmodo]
Apple has confirmed rumors by revealing the existence of a second-generation iPod touch, bringing with it several enhancements. Central is a revised casing, which uses a contoured profile similar in shape to the iPhone 3G, but with stainless steel replacing plastic. Other similarities with the iPhone include new volume buttons, allowing blind adjustment, and a speaker, from which owners can hear both music and system sounds.

Apple has also integrated the Nike+ sport system into the device, not only through the inclusion of software support, but a built-in receiver that only demands the standard shoe transmitter to match. The company has lastly tweaked the interface to generate Genius playlists similar to those on the desktop, which can be permanently stored on a touch.

Battery life has been extended on the new touchscreen iPod from 24 to 36 hours for music, while video lasts for up to six hours.

Capacities will remain limited to 8, 16 and 32GB models, but prices have been cut to $229, $299 and $399, respectively. All variants should be available as of today from both retail and the online Apple store.

Amidst its other high-profile announcements, Apple today quietly refreshed the iPod shuffle with new colors. The update swaps out the pale colors from before with five colors largely similar to the early 2007 models in bright blue, green, red, and pink; the red iPod remains a (PRODUCT) RED variant that delivers some of the purchase price to charity and is exclusive to Apple's own online and retail stores.

However, pricing and feature sets remain the same as for the second-generation shuffle since it was introduced in late 2006, and maintain the capacities and prices introduced earlier this year. A 1GB model sells for $49 while a 2GB version is available for $69. Both ship immediately from the online Apple store.

Both NBC and Apple have made concessions in the former's return to the US iTunes Store, observers note. The first of these may be variable pricing, such as a higher cost for HD versions of TV shows. Apple is charging $2.99 per HD episode, instead of the standard rate of $1.99; it is not known if this was the result of pressure from NBC however, as Apple has long charged $1 more for HD movie rentals on an Apple TV. What is known is that back-catalog shows -- such as Miami Vice and The A-Team -- are being priced at 99 cents, whereas Apple's original deal with NBC would have called for the regular rate.

NBC's concession appears to be marketing, as the network says iTunes is now a part of its plans for promoting new fall shows, in the same way as its Hulu streaming service. Both Hulu and iTunes will get select shows in advance of their broadcast premiere, like episodes of Knight Rider, My Own Worst Enemy and Kath & Kim.
iPhone and iPod touch users have already downloaded over 100 million apps from the iTunes App Store, which has reached the milestone in its first two months of existence, according to Apple. The store is said to have amassed over 3,000 individual titles, with only 10 percent exceeding $10 in cost, and more than 600 being distributed for free.

The rate at which the App Store has grown is claimed by Apple to have surprised developers. SmugMug co-founder Chris MacAskill has seen a 300 percent increase (over all other software sales) in applications purchased from the App Store. "We've been able to do things with our iPhone app that we just couldn't have dreamed of doing on any other mobile platform, so these are revolutionary times for us and for iPhone and iPod touch users," he says.

Apple's fresh iPod-related announcements -- including iTunes 8, along with new Nanos, Touches and Classics -- were a "necessary and appropriate strategy," according to UBS analyst Maynard Um. Rather than pushing any special innovation, Um suggests that the changes were needed to maintain Apple's controlling position in the media player world, where it is faced with competition such as Microsoft's new Zunes.

Um suggests that the price cuts throughout Apple's lines, as deep as $100 in the case of the 16 and 32GB Touches, may prove critical to the iPod's future. They should keep profits and demand high, Um argues, even though they may reduce Apple's gross margins. The analyst further contends that a recent stock pullback does not reflect fundamental problems with Apple, and that the company should have a solid future. UBS has a set a price target for Apple stock of $195, based on 27x of an adjusted FY09 EPS estimate of $7.20.
Although Steve Jobs announced that the iPhone and iPod touch 2.1 software update would be released on Friday, iPod users can already download the update from iTunes. He claimed the new version fixes a lot of bugs, improves app function, enhances security, and makes the sync function faster. A "Genius" function can be used to find similar songs in a library and play them together. Multiple calendars and push functions for Microsoft Exchange are now supported.

Users can now choose from 30 keyboard layouts, 19 dictionaries, or 17 languages. A search box is provided to search through contacts, and a scientific calculator has been included. Email function has also been improved, PowerPoint and iWork attachments can be viewed, messages mass deleted, and replies sent from a different account. Runners can track their progress with an integrated Nike+iPod app.

A bug has been fixed from the previous software which contained a sandbox flaw that would let one application read files from another. Another corrected flaw had allowed arbitrary code execution from maliciously coded font data. The DNS protocol has been strengthened to avoid forged information and cache poisoning from affecting apps that use mDNSResponder. TCP sequence numbers are now randomized to help prevent spoofing or hijacking. WebKit's handling of document references has also been improved to protect against malicious websites.

For iPods that have software version 2.0 already, the upgrade to 2.1 is free. The update will cost $10 for users of version 1.0. The iPhone update has not been made available yet, but can be expected on its official release Friday.
Although Apple is headed in the right direction, it still hasn't gone far enough in pricing for the iPod touch, claims analyst Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. The new 8, 16 and 32GB models have dropped in cost compared to their predecessors, by as much as $100 in the case of the larger players, but Wu argues that this is still too high, mainly in relation to the terrible economic environment. The other major concern is the iPhone 3G, which is comparatively cheap next to the Touch, even if the former is tied to monthly carrier fees.

Wu notes, however, that supply chain checks indicate Apple is continuing with normal build plans. The analyst also suggests that while the fourth-generation Nano is a "moderate" refresh, he is impressed with the accelerometer and new colors, as well as a $50 price cut for new capacities, which he suggests will make the player an attractive proposition for holiday shoppers.

AmTech is continuing to forecast sales of 11 million iPods for Apple's September quarter, and 24 million in the December quarter.
Following the release of new iPod nano, touch and classic models yesterday, Belkin has announced a series of new accessories for each player. The Sports Armband and Sport Armband Plus were made to allow users to quickly attach an iPod to their arm. The Plus version features a FastFit system, which allows one-handed fastening. Both products are compatible with Nike+, and are available for the Nano 4G, Touch 2G and Classic 2G at a price of $30.

The Clear Acrylic Case can be purchased for the same models, with versions molded to fit their respective device. Prices vary; the Nano version costs $25, while the Touch and Classic models cost $30.

The Remix Metal has been designed solely for the Nano 4G and Classic 2G, costing $25 or $30, respectively. It features a metal faceplate molded to the shape of the device, and provides clickwheel protection as well as a choice of four different colors: red, silver, pink and black.

The Sonic Wave Two-Tone Silicone Sleeve is available for all three of the new iPods, and features a two-tone, laser-etched design on a form-fitting silicone enclosure. The case also allows the device to be charged without the need to remove it, and is available in several color options: black/infrared, cool gray/grapefruit, pink/translucent white, black/blue, black/green, black/white and blue/orange. The case costs $20 for the Nano model, $25 for the Touch and $30 for the Classic.

The regular Sonic Wave Silicone Sleeve is similar to its sibling, but features only one color. The cases are sold in packs, each pack includes two different colored cases: black and white, pink and purple or red and grey. The packs cost $20 for each iPod model.

Another silicone option is the Simple Silicone Sleeve, which removes the laser etching and gives users a solid-color casing. The Simple is also sold in packs of two, the Nano models being priced at $15, while the Touch and Classic models cost $20. Color options include black and black, black and blue, pink and translucent as well as red and gray.

A Leather Sleeve has also been designed to fit all of the new iPods. The sleeve has a soft microfiber lining, and additionally allows full use of the iPod while in its case. The Leather Sleeve is available at a cost of $25 for the Nano model, or $30 for the Touch and Classic editions. Color options include black and pink, or in "eco-conscious" options that are vegetable-tanned rather than chemically stained, black and walnut.

A Leather Folio is being released for the Nano and Touch, which fully encloses an iPod in a leather case but has a flap on the font that can be opened for access. The case is available in black or pink, or again in eco-friendly models that come in black or walnut. The case sells for $25 or $30, respectively.

The Leather Pull-Tab Holster is intended for the Touch and Classic, and encloses an iPod while sealing it with a pull tab on top. The case is available for $30 for both players.

Belkin is also releasing screen overlays for all of the new iPod models, in packs of three. The overlays will cost $13 for the Nano, and $15 for the Touch and Classic.

All of these products will become available mid-September.

Sports Armband

Sport Armband Plus

Clear Acrylic Case

Remix Metal

Sonic Wave Two-Tone Silicone Sleeve

Sonic Wave Silicone Sleeve

Simple Silicone Sleeve

Leather Sleeve

Eco-Conscious Sleeve

Leather Folio

Eco-Conscious Folio

Leather Pull-Tab Holster
Sony has created a third-generation iPod/iPhone clock radio dock with a new look, the ICF-CD3iP, according to an apparent leak by Sony Insider. The unannounced dock would have a unique, circular side pod that both holds a clock, AM/FM radio and CD player and simplifies the controls with obvious front buttons to control playback. A side pod would hold the Apple device itself.

Music can be played using any of the sources and includes MP3 CDs and CD-R/RW audio discs. The iPhone or iPod are integrated with the alarm clock to wake up the owner and can be controlled using the included remote control. The ICF-CD3iP will reportedly be available in October, with a price estimated at $100.

Sony has created a third-generation iPod/iPhone clock radio dock with a new look, the ICF-CD3iP, according to an apparent leak by Sony Insider. The unannounced dock would have a unique, circular side pod that both holds a clock, AM/FM radio and CD player and simplifies the controls with obvious front buttons to control playback. A side pod would hold the Apple device itself.

Music can be played using any of the sources and includes MP3 CDs and CD-R/RW audio discs. The iPhone or iPod are integrated with the alarm clock to wake up the owner and can be controlled using the included remote control. The ICF-CD3iP will reportedly be available in October, with a price estimated at $100.

Apple has posted an online copy of the first TV ad for the second-generation iPod touch. The ad concentrates primarily on the gaming capabilities of the Touch, and highlights titles currently sold through the App Store, such as Super Monkey Ball and a variety of racing and puzzle titles. The spot concludes with a user going back to music, and Apple's new marketing slogan for the device, "The funnest iPod ever."

Tunewear today announced new protective cases and clear film for the iPod touch 2G. The new silicone case, ICEWEAR, features ribbed texture for solid grip. The LCD screen is not covered, but the silicone case edges extend slightly past the surface for protection when the iPod is placed face down. TUNEFILM is provided if added screen protection is desired. All ports remain unobstructed, allowing the USB cable to be used without removing the case. Small holes are found on the back for attaching lanyards or wrist straps.

TUNESHELL provides polycarbonate hard shell protection for an iPod touch. The material is clear, leaving the colors and look of the device to be seen. The texture has been left smooth and the screen open. The case snaps onto the iPod, and leaves all controls and ports open.

TUNEFILM can be used to protect the LCD sreen, covering it with a clear film to protect against dirt or scratches. The ICEWEAR and TUNESHELL cases for the iPod touch 2G will both cost $25, while the TUNEFILM can be purchased for $14. All three products will ship sometime this month.



Apple has taken steps in iTunes 8 to prevent people from jailbreaking iPhones and iPod touches, claims the unofficial iPhone Dev Team. The group notes that while the jailbreaking component in PwnageTool can never be permanently sabotaged unless Apple changes its hardware, iTunes 8 has been configured to detect the Dev Team's exploit, and trigger error messages if a hacked IPSW file is being used on a device. In theory, this could prevent users from syncing devies properly without restoring firmware.

The Team says, however, that it has already released a patch that circumvents the problem for Mac owners of the iPod touch, and that future patches will support different combinations of hardware and software. A "full suite" is expected to be released over the course of the next week.

FlyCast, formerly known as FlyTunes, has released the first native version of its self-named radio application for iPhones and iPod touches. By default the app lists and streams more than a thousand radio stations, divided between formats such as music, talk and information. Listeners can also access any Internet-only stream listed through Shoutcast, of which there are said to be over 25,000.

The app's primary feature is said to be TimeSlip, which supports several timeshifting functions. Users can opt to rewind to the beginning of a talk show, perform buffering to keep listening without a connection, or skip tracks on certain webcast stations. Also present in FlyCast is an internal web browser, and a battery conservation mode. The software is a free download from the App Store.

USBfever and Case-mate have both announced new protection options to coincide with the new iPod releases. USBfever is now offering a new silicone case that has been molded to fit the fourth-generation iPod nano. It is said to protect an iPod's body against bumps and scratches, while not inhibiting the use of any of its controls. It is being sold for $10, and is available in 10 different colors, including: pink, solid white, smokey black, purple, green, red, blue, light blue, light green and solid black.

Case-mate has updated its Clear Armor line with designs to fit each of the new iPods. Clear Armor is a film which wraps around the entirety of a device, protecting it from scratches and dust. Three new versions have been produced, specifically for the second-gen Touch, 120GB Classic, and the fourth-gen Nano. The Touch and Classic editions retail for $20, while the Nano adaptation is available for $15.

Apple has made yet more environmental progress with its latest iPods, but still has more to accomplish, claims Greenpeace. The activist organization notes that the latest iPod nano has a number of positive checkpoints, such as arsenic-free glass, and a complete lack of mercury, PVC or brominated flame retardants (BFRs), all of which are said to be toxic in varying degrees. Though not immediately dangerous, the chemicals can form a cumulative threat when deposited en-masse in landfills.

Greenpeace also praises Apple for aiming to phase out toxins by the end of 2008, and increase recycling by 2010, but suggests that there is still room for improvement. The group notes that it is comparatively easy to eliminate PVC and BFRs from handheld devices, because they require less power, and therefore produce less heat. It is Macs, Greenpeace says, that are the true challenge, and Apple would be an industry leader if none of its computers used the chemicals.

The organization also calls on Apple to implement a free recycling program available worldwide, a move which would divert tons of waste from landfills.

Greenpeace has been sharply critical of Apple in the past, most recently in regards to the iPhone 3G, which was attacked for containing the same toxins found in the original iPhone.
Apple did not make any concessions to NBC in order to get the network back on iTunes, says Apple's vice president for the iTunes Store. Eddy Cue refutes claims from NBC digital head JB Perrette, who on Tuesday suggested that Apple tailored its new pricing specifically to lure NBC. "Frankly, ever since we dropped our relationship with Apple last fall, they have made a gradual progression culminating in [Tuesday's announcement]," Perrette added.

Cue comments that while standard episode pricing is $1.99 on iTunes, Apple has always allowed networks to charge less for videos, citing 99-cent episodes for shows like South Park and Ice Road Truckers. Regarding HD content, Cue notes that the extra $1 fee is applied universally, rather than just to NBC files. "People can see [Showtime's] Californication in HD live right now on the site," he says.

The executive also defends against the notion that custom bundles were allowed for NBC. "If you look at some of the things we've done for holidays," according to Cue, "we've had holiday packages with shows with the right themes. We've done things in the past with big name actors so we've packaged those things in the past."

"We're glad to have NBC back," Cue muses, "and they are participating under the same terms with all of the other content providers."
EWOO has unveiled three new iPod docks: the HandMusic, eFizz, and eFizz Travel. The HandMusic can be used to connect the iPod to AV equipment, allowing the user to browse content with an included remote control. The interface on the remote has been designed to match the player, with similar control layout and a 1.8-inch color LCD for viewing playlists, menus, and album art. Its 2.4GHz RF transmitter will also work through walls, at a range up to 500 feet, according to EWOO. Video output is sent using S-Video, with analog connections for audio.

The eFizz dock features a 2.1-channel sound system developed by speaker maker Cabasse. The speakers and subwoofer produce 70W of RMS power, and the system uses the same remote as the HandMusic. Other sources can be connected to the eFizz using digital optical (S/PDIF) or RCA analog inputs. Tracks can be selected to be play as an alarm.

The eFizz Travel was also co-developed with Cabasse, and features a lithium-polymer battery claimed to last for 20 hours of play. A thin infrared remote allows basic controls.

All three of the docks are compatible with all iPods, beginning with the first-generation Nano. iPhones are supported as well. The HandMusic and eFizz Travel both cost $200, while the eFizz is priced at $600.



[eFizz Travel]