iNews Review

Apple Donates Thousands of iPads to Teachers, Writer Goes iPad-Only for a Day, and More

This Week's iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Apple TV News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2011.09.26

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review, and general Mac news is in Mac News Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

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News, Reviews, & Opinion

Apple Donates Thousands of Refurbished iPads to Teach for America Teachers

Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports that Apple has donated thousands of refurbished first-generation iPads to teachers in America's poorest schools, with every Teach for America Corps member - numbering more than 9,000 in 38 states - offered a free refurbished iPad in August, with registration ending Aug. 31, and the iPads distributed over the past two weekends.

Elmer-DeWitt notes that Steve Jobs' wife, Laurene Powell, sits on Teach for America's board of directors.

Writer Works iPad-Only for One Day

Ars Technica's Jacqui Cheng decided to check out the post-PC world in earnest, checking out firsthand whether it's now truly possible to do a full day's worth of work as a journalist using nothing but an iPad.

She discovered to her surprise that a day on the iPad actually worked, although she says nothing of extending the experiment into a second day or beyond, presumably going back to her usual 27" iMac and 11" MacBook Air workhorses. She also used an external wireless keyboard with via Bluetooth with her iPad.

She says that the biggest challenge was finding a writing app to suit her and the Ars Technica CMS's tastes, settling on the $4.99 Writing Kit (see below), which boasts Markdown support and clean HTML exports to the iPad clipboard or email - features she notes that are hard enough to find in a normal Mac app.

There were problems, but nothing that put the brakes on her entire day, and she says that in general everything went better than she had expected, with the takeaway that while working on a tablet made it more difficult to constantly monitor everything that happens in a day, the tradeoff was finding it significantly easier to be productive when actually writing, noting that she produced slightly more the day she worked on the iPad than on a normal day, although she did feel as if she was somewhat disconnected from the world compared to her usual setup, noting that it requires a different mental process for a typical computer user, but worked out a bit better than fine if personal productivity is the operative metric.

Editor's note: Having purchased an iPad 2 three months ago, I've been experimenting a bit as well, but I haven't come remotely close to trying a day exclusively on the slab, and while I might be able to struggle through one, my experiences so far indicate that it would be an exercise in extreme frustration - the two worst aspects being the iOS's execrable touch-based cut/copy/paste conventions, and its incapability of supporting real multitasking with multiple application windows visible. I detest the half-baked Home Button double-pump that passes for as close as you get to multitasking on the iPad. I also strenuously question whether I would be more creatively productive without the versatility that a laptop with a real desktop OS provides. cm

'Subconscious Mode' Could Boost Smartphone Battery Life More than 50%

The University of Michigan's College of Engineering says that a new "subconscious mode" for smartphones and other WiFi-enabled mobile devices could extend battery life by as much as 54% for users on the busiest networks.

The university's computer science and engineering professor Kang Shin and doctoral student Xinyu Zhang will present their new power management approach on Sept. 21 at the ACM International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking in Las Vegas. The approach is still in the proof-of-concept stage and is not yet commercially available.

A University of Michigan press release notes that:

"Even when smartphones are in power-saving modes and not actively sending or receiving messages, they are still on alert for incoming information and they're searching for a clear communication channel. The researchers have found that this kind of energy-taxing 'idle listening' is occurring during a large portion of the time phones spend in power-saving mode - as much as 80% on busy networks. Their new approach could make smartphones perform this idle listening more efficiently. It's called E-MiLi, which stands for Energy-Minimizing Idle Listening."

2 Days of iPad Sales Beat Quarterly PlayBook Sales

The Loop's Jim Dalrymple notes that it took RIM a full quarter to ship (not necessarily sell) 200,000 PlayBooks, while in its last fiscal quarter, Apple sold 9.25 million iPads, roughly 102,000 per day, so two days of sales the iPad beat the PlayBook.

RIM May Be Sitting On 800,000 Unsold PlayBooks

Cnet's Roger Cheng says Research In Motion has a backlog of roughly 800,000 PlayBooks, according to a report in The Guardian that cites an analyst from Fubon Securities saying that RIM's supplier, Quanta Computer, shipped 1.5 million PlayBooks to RIM in the first half, but RIM has managed to ship only 700,000 PlayBooks - just 200,000 during the past quarter - to its retail partners, complicating its plans to reduce inventory.

Is an HP TouchPad-style fire sale in the offing?

iPad iOS 5 vs. Windows 8 Slate Video Comparison

WinRumors' Tom Warren has posted a thorough 12 minute video comparison of iOS 5 running on an iPad 2 with the Windows 8 developer preview running on a Windows tablet, noting:

"Microsoft has done some impressive work with Windows 8 to make it truly slate friendly. Hardware specifications and specifics are still being fleshed out but the core software compares favourably to Apple's iPad iOS 5 software."

Kindle Books Now Available at Over 11,000 Local Libraries

PR: Amazon.com has announced that Kindle and Kindle app customers can now borrow Kindle books from more than 11,000 local libraries in the United States. When a customer borrows a Kindle library book, they'll have all of the unique features they love about Kindle books, including Whispersync, which automatically synchronizes their margin notes, highlights and bookmarks, real page numbers, Facebook and Twitter integration, and more. For more information about borrowing library books for your Kindle or free Kindle apps, go to amazon.com/kindle/publiclibraries. To start checking out Kindle library books, visit your local library's website.

"Starting today, millions of Kindle customers can borrow Kindle books from their local libraries," says Jay Marine, Director, Amazon Kindle. "Libraries are a critical part of our communities and we're excited to be making Kindle books available at more than 11,000 local libraries around the country. We're even doing a little extra here - normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we're fixing this by extending our Whispersync technology to library books, so your notes, highlights and bookmarks are always backed up and available the next time you check out the book or if you decide to buy the book."

Customers will use their local library's website to search for and select a book to borrow. Once they choose a book, customers can choose to "Send to Kindle" and will be redirected to Amazon.com to login to their Amazon.com account and the book will be delivered to the device they select via WiFi, or can be transferred via USB. Customers can check out a Kindle book from their local library and start reading on any generation Kindle device or free Kindle app for Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry or Windows Phone, as well as in their web browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.

"This is a welcome day for Kindle users in libraries everywhere and especially our Kindle users here at The Seattle Public Library," said Marcellus Turner, city librarian for The Seattle Public Library. "We're thrilled that Amazon is offering such a new approach to library ebooks that enhances the reader experience."

When borrowing a Kindle book from their local library, customers can take advantage of all of the unique features of Kindle books, including:

  • Whispersync technology wirelessly sync your books, notes, highlights, and last page read across Kindle and free Kindle reading apps
  • Real Page Numbers let you easily reference passages with page numbers that correspond to actual print editions
  • Facebook and Twitter integration makes it easy to share favorite passages with your social networks
  • Popular Highlights show you what our community of millions of Kindle readers think are the most interesting passages in your books
  • Public Notes allow you to share your notes and see what others are saying about Kindle books

To start checking out Kindle library books, visit your local library's website.

Will Ebooks Destroy the Democratizing Effects of Reading?

"Could Abraham Lincoln have become president of the United States in a world in which poor children lack access to physical books?" asks Technology Review's Christopher Mims, noting that Andrew Carnegie's decision to fund free libraries at the turn of the last century was inspired by the belief that knowledge and education are public goods.

Mims notes that Amazon has announced that it is offering Kindle-compatible ebooks to public libraries in the U.S., but there's a larger problem that this development fails to address, to wit, that most readers' earliest experiences with books would be secondhand, passed on by family members or purchased used, but the ebook completely eliminates both the secondary book market and any control that libraries have over the copies of a text it has purchased, since under normal circumstances ebooks can't be loaned or resold, nor gifted, nor discovered on a trip through the shelves of a friend or the local library. They can't be rebound, and, unlike print on paper volumes, they will not last for centuries, with some publishers already limiting the number of times a library can loan out an ebook to 26 -the flexibility of book ownership to be gone forever.

To say nothing of the 'digital divide' whereby a secondary external device is required for playback, putting more barriers between readers and knowledge, for example between the one in five children in the U.S. who live below the poverty line and those that can afford e-readers and tablet computers.

The triumph of the copyright bullies after all at the expense of the common good?

Publisher's note: In addition to being able to read Amazon's ebooks on the Kindle, Amazon also makes available free apps for reading Kindle ebooks on Windows PCs, Macs, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Phone 7. Since almost everyone has access to one or more of these devices (and you can often find Windows PCs on the curb come trash day), there's almost no reason to believe that ebooks are creating some sort of digital divide.

That said, there's something to be said about real books printed on paper.... dk

Reed College Students: iPhone Is for Dad's Generation

TMCnet Contributor Ed Silverstein says that Reed College is considered one of the nation's most interesting liberal arts colleges, and reports that when students started to talk about smartphones, Martin Fichter, acting president of HTC Americas, listened and learned something. Fichter liked what he heard, since the students reportedly told him that iPhones are far from cool, typically telling him something like: "My dad has an iPhone."

Apps & Services

Writing Kit 1.3 for iPad

Writing KitPR: Writing Kit is built for Markdown users and comes with a web browser for researching materials.

Write Markdown-formatted text. Use your favorite TextExpander snippets. Edit your documents anywhere with Dropbox. Do quick research to find reference materials. Insert quotes and links into your documents. Upload images to CloudApp. Export your writings as Markdown or HTML files. Send them to Evernote, Facebook, Posterous, Tumblr and Twitter. Or use the generated HTML for your blog post. Your choice.

Use the power of 750+ site-specific search engines to find the materials you need. Enable Ad blocking and Text-only mode to enjoy a reading experience without visual clutters. Access your bookmarks on Delicious, Pinboard, and Zootool. Browse your Instapaper unread items. Queue interesting links to view them later. Writing Kit is built for researching and looking up stuff.

Features

  • Markdown: Use formatting tools to quickly insert headings, strong/emphasized text, links, images, code snippets and lists in Markdown syntax.
  • Writing KitDropbox Sync: Edit your documents on-the-go, then sync them back to Dropbox. And vice versa.
  • CloudApp Integration: Upload images from your library to CloudApp. Or transfer those on other web pages to your account in a snap.
  • Document Outline: Browse the list of headings, images and links in your document and jump to any of them in no time.
  • Font Choices: Choose between Georgia, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Trebuchet MS, Courier and Marker Felt to write your next great piece.
  • Quick Research: Get instant answers, word definitions, Wikipedia summaries, and related topics to any terms you wish.
  • TextExpander: Use your favorite snippets anywhere in the app: in the editor or in the built-in web browser.
  • Preview: See exactly how your Markdown-formatted document looks like in a gorgeous theme.
  • Import: Bring your plaintext and Markdown-formatted documents in from other apps and your computer using iTunes File Sharing.
  • Export: Copy Markdown or HTML source to clipboard for use in your blog posts. Or, send it directly to Evernote, Facebook, Posterous, Tumblr and Twitter.
  • Writing KitPower Search: Quickly search more than 750+ sites (Flickr, YouTube, Amazon, Ars Technica, Hacker News, [your favorite site], etc.). Ask questions, do conversions, find facts, and so on.
  • Clutter-free Browsing Experience: Make use of the built-in Ad blocker, Text mode, Readability bookmarklet and shutup.css integration.
  • Bookmarks: Organize your local bookmarks with tags. Browse your online bookmarks on Delicious, Pinboard, and Zootool. Access your favorite sites anywhere.
  • Zero-click Info: Learn about anything you come across within two taps. You don't even have to leave the current page.
  • Reading Queue: Queue things you find interesting to view later. It's as simple as that.
  • Instapaper: Send links to Instapaper. Access your unread items right from within the app.

New in Version 1.3

  • Added: External keyboard support
  • Added: Custom stylesheet for previewing document. Put a 'markdown.css' file into your Writing Kit Documents folder using iTunes File Sharing to enable this feature
  • Added: Tap on a link in Preview now alerts the destination of that link
  • Added: More than 600 !bang command autocompletion, bring the total number of commands to 1343
  • Fixed: Document sent to Tumblr now uses regular post type instead of quote type
  • Removed: 'Sent from Writing Kit' text

System requirements:

  • Compatible with iPad
  • Requires iOS 4.2 or later.

$4.99

Place and Receive Calls Over Your iPad's Data Connection with Line2 HD

Line2 HDPR: Line2 HD is the ultimate iPad accessory: a phone number - turning your iPad into a one-stop communications hub.

Place and receive calls and use carrier-grade text messaging over your iPad's data connections (WiFi or 3G data). Use the built-in speakerphone, or for privacy connect a headset or Bluetooth device.

A Powerful Communications Hub

  • Your very own new local number (or transfer an existing number)
  • Unlimited US/Canada calls
  • Unlimited domestic texting in US
  • Conference call up to 20 people
  • Visual voicemail
  • Voicemail by email
  • Email support from within the app

Features

  • Line2 HDManage All Your Communications in One Stream: Instead of trying to hunt down a message across multiple applications (email, text messaging, voicemail), with Line2 you get a snapshot view of your communications for each contact on your iPad.
  • World-Class Quality, Reliability and Support: Line2 isn't a peer-to-peer service. We run our service out of secure data centers for better quality and reliability. And we invest in US-based customer support agents to answer your questions quickly and easily - because your calls are worth it.
  • No Hidden Charges or Extra Fees: Your monthly subscription is billed to a credit card you provide. You can cancel the monthly plan at any time.

The Line2 HD App is free, however to use it you'll need to sign up for a Line2 account, which has a $9.99 monthly fee (free trial account available), for which you get unlimited calling in Canada and the United States, unlimited domestic texting in the United States, plus bells and whistles like support for conference calls with up to 20 people and video voicemail.

System requirements:

  • Compatible with iPad
  • Requires iOS 3.2.2 or later

Accessories

Etn Corporation Announces Mobius, Rechargeable Battery Case with Solar Panel for iPhone 4

Mobius Rechargeable Battery Case with Solar Panel for iPhone 4PR: Etn Corporation, creator of innovative products empowered by nature, announces the Mobius rechargeable battery case with solar panel. Designed for the iPhone 4, the rechargeable battery case features a high-efficiency monocrystal solar panel that needs only one hour in the sun to provide an additional 25 minutes of talk time.

"We first previewed the Mobius at 2011 International CES to rave reviews and we are proud to officially announce the product to the masses," says Esmail Hozour, CEO of Etn Corporation. "We have perfected the use of solar power to efficiently charge electronics and Mobius is a shining example of this innovation."

Mobius Rechargeable Battery Case with Solar Panel for iPhone 4Differentiating itself from solar-charging solutions on the market today, Mobius features a quick charge time and the ability to store charge until you need it. The high-efficiency monocrystal solar panel recharges the 1800 mAh Rechargeable lithium ion battery pack on the back of the case. Only one hour of solar charging provides an additional 25 minutes of talk time, 20 minutes of Internet use, 35 minutes of video playback and more than two hours of audio playback. Mobius can also be charged via the included Micro-USB cable and will sync with iTunes for maximum convenience. Once the battery has been recharged, the user is in control as to when the extra battery power is used. Mobius features a standby switch to turn off direct power transfer to the iPhone 4, allowing the case to charge and store energy in its own battery only using the power when you need it.

The durable and ergonomic battery case has both a battery charge and solar charge indicator, so the user always knows the power status of the Mobius. Weighing only 3.4 ounces, Mobius also features a USB connection to charge the battery via computer, as well as the unique and proprietary snap fit design protects the glass on the back of the device.

Mobius is available at Amazon.com and retails for $80.

Aturon GmbH Launches Moonlet iPad Protection Accessory in US

PR: Marcus Hoeglmeier, principal at Aturon GmbH, has announced that Moonlet is now available in the U.S. through its sales and distribution partner Hudson Vandam LLC. Moonlets are a precision-engineered iPad accessory that enhances the functionality and longevity of the iPad while providing excellent ergonomic comfort. Moonlets are designed in Switzerland and made in Germany.

MoonletMarcus Hoeglmeier and Aturon GmbH received the prestigious Focus Open 2011 Silver Award for Excellence in Product Design.

"We are proud to offer a product that adds to the iPad users experience, without modifying the look, design and access points," says Marcus Hoeglmeier, designer and creator of Moonlet. "Moonlets are smart round balls that protect the iPad, elevating it from any workspace, preventing scratches and unwanted spills. Its anti-slip material stabilizes the iPad while typing and providing an enhanced grip experience, including protection from tumbles and also better gaming control: It is excellent for gamers and all users - by allowing the iPad to sit securely and comfortably in the palm of your hand. I felt the need to create a product that offered multiple levels of functionality in one product. I designed the product after the limitations and desires I had experienced with my own iPad. I was not satisfied with the vast amount of cases and accessories that were available, which modified the look and feel of my Apple product. Moonlets are simple and they respect the design of the iPad."

Aturon GmbH currently holds the worldwide patent for Moonlet, and is in production for the Moonlet iPad 2 version and various other tablet computers. Located in Switzerland, their main area of expertise is the processing and application of engineered plastics, high performance thermoplastics, fluoropolymers, thermoplastic elastomers and silicones. They manufacture plastic parts: one-and two-component injection molding, plastic-metal hybrid technology, silicone and silicone injection molding.

USRobotics Enters Tablet Accessory Arena with Keyboards, Stands, and Dock

PR: USRobotics has announced its officia entry into the tablet accessory product category with the launch of three new tablet stands and two new wireless Bluetooth keyboards. Designed for a wide variety of devices, including tablets, iDevices, smartphones, netbooks and e-readers, the new stands include the USR5510 Tablet/Netbook Adjustable Stand, USR5511 Slim Tablet Stand, and the USR 5512 Charging Stand for iPad/iPhone. In addition, the new USR5500 Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard and USR5502 Mini Bluetooth Keyboard are for tablets as well as any computer system, including home theater PCs. All five models were developed to help maximize the use of tablet computers at home and at work and are currently available for order.

"With the explosion of the compact, more affordable tablet-sized computers for crossover consumer and business applications, there has been an increasing need for stands and wireless keyboards to support those devices and make them more comfortable to use," explains Bruce Swail, CEO of USRobotics. "USRobotics is entering the tablet accessory category with a line of stands and wireless Bluetooth keyboards that help people get the most benefit out of their iPads and other tablets so they are as effective and productive as possible."

Created for everything from watching videos, reading ebooks or using a tablet as a computer monitor, the one-piece stands are compact yet sturdy designs that can be used at home to convert a tablet into a workstation. With multiple angles, the stands provide easy typing and clear viewing also making them ideal to watch movies or work while traveling.

Stands

The USR5510 and USR 5511 are tablet/netbook adjustable stands with open designs that keep devices cool. Both are compact and foldable, which is great for travel. They can be used with most tablets, including iPad, Xoom and PlayBook and allow for viewing in landscape and portrait modes. Because of their extendable legs, the USR5510 also works with thin laptops up to 15" and most netbooks. Their handsfree fit enables videos to be watched more comfortably while the lower angle makes it easier to type emails or multitask at the office.

Docks

The USR 5512 Charging Stand is ideal for iDevice users who want to go handsfree and charge at the same time. Its a small, stable stand with a 30-pin connector for iDevices including the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and iPod. The stand can be connected to a computer with an iDevice cable to sync and charge the battery. At the same time, speakers can be connected to a line-out port to watch videos and listen to music with better audio quality.

When paired together, the stands and keyboards save time by allowing users to remotely control a movie or volume with multimedia shortcut keys or skip the virtual keyboards and type faster on longer emails.

Keyboards

The USR5500 wireless Bluetooth keyboard and USR5502 Mini Bluetooth keyboard are the ideal accessories for home and business users with tablets or computer systems placed in tight spaces. They support most tablets and also work with all major systems with Bluetooth support including Playstation 3, Windows, Macintosh and Linux. Their additional multimedia function keys control music or videos remotely, pause a video or mute the volume without leaving a fingerprint on the screen. The full size USR5500 has iDevice keys for additional functionality like slideshows, swapping between virtual and Bluetooth keyboards, and the Home key. The pocket size USR5502 with its rechargeable batteries is ideal for IT server rooms, students, and professionals on the go and want to pack light.

The new USRobotics USR5510, USR5511 and USR5512 tablet stands are all currently available at retail prices starting at $19.99. The USR5500 and USR5502 wireless Bluetooth keyboards are available for order at retail prices starting at $39.99. The products can be purchased from USRobotics authorized distributors such as Ingram Micro, Tech Data, D&H, and Synnex and reseller partners including CDW and Amazon. To learn more, call (877) 710-0884.

For more information, visit the company website or follow USRobotics on social networking sites, including Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter.

iRoom iDock: World's First Motorized In-Wall iPad Mount Now Available in North America

PR: Bracketron has announced North American availability of the iRoom iDock, the first powered and motorized in-wall mounting solution for iPad on the market today.

iRoom iDockAvailable in portrait and landscape models, the iDock can be flush-mounted to seamlessly and stylishly integrate the iPad into any room. A patented motorized docking system opens and closes the iDock to securely store the iPad, and the dock also includes both power and composite audio internal connections. The mounts faceplate comes in three sleek colors including brushed aluminum, piano black and opal white, or can be color customized so that the bezel perfectly matches your unique interior design. Compatible with both iPad and iPad 2, iDock Landscape and iDock Portrait are available now through Bracketron, the official and exclusive distributor for iRoom iDock in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

"The iRoom iDock is an elegant solution that fully integrates the iPad into a rooms design concept," says Mark Mandel, Executive Vice President of Bracketron. "The iDock is ideal for both residential and commercial settings, and will turn any room into a truly sophisticated and connected space."

iRoom iDockThe iDock features a unique opening mechanism with an invisible proximity sensor. When activated, the sensor recognizes when you are nearby and switches the iDock to the open position allowing you to insert your iPad. After ten seconds the iPad intake closes again automatically. The proximity sensor can also be disabled to lock the iPad permanently in place. When the iPad is inserted into the dock, you have total control of audio and video equipment or smart home applications on the device. The iDock also automatically charges the iPad battery when mounted. If you experience a power outage, the iDock simply opens automatically and releases the iPad for removal.

iRoom iDockThe iRoom iDock is integrated flush with the wall using a special flush-mounted socket. The iDock is then connected to the power supply and inserted into the flush-mounted socket. For added security, the iDock's proximity sensor and automatic opening and closing functions can be disabled if desired. Additionally, the integrated audio output can be connected to existing wired sound systems, making it possible for the iPad to be used as an audio source. You can then select and play songs from the docked iPad like a modern day jukebox. The iDock landscape model is particularly suited for viewing movies, presentations and photos on the iPad. The iDock is also external contact-friendly, which makes interesting new functions possible such as connecting the dock to a keypad or fingerprint entry system.

iRoom iDockThe iDock features brilliant design, engineering and high quality materials, and is manufactured to the most stringent European standards. All iRoom products come with a two-year warranty. The iDock is compatible with the original iPad and iPad 2. Two conversion sets iPad 1-kit and iPad 2-kit contain easy-to-install rails and adapters that allow users to mount any version of the iPad in the dock.

Features

  • Motorized docking and release (Watch video here)
  • Available in Portrait or Landscape models, to suit the primary in-wall usage
  • Docking status notification (iDock Landscape only)
  • Automatic opening in the event of power failure or overload
  • Quality design made in Austria
  • Dimensions (width/height/depth): 220 x 310 x 66.8 mm
  • Comes in Piano Black, Opal White or Brushed Aluminum; custom colors also available

Professional installation recommended.

Founded in 2008, iRoom is an Austria-based company that focuses on designing, developing, and producing solutions and services for automated residential homes and offices. In iRoom's Salzburg showroom, the company demonstrates the latest developments in home automation - their own developments like the iRoom iDock as well as developments from partner companies. With an R&D rate of more than 25% in 2010, iRoom proves to put a strong focus on product development. iRoom's strengths include the quick time-to-market phase of new product developments, the creativity of its team, and experience in home automation and integration. iRoom creates "Intelligente Technik", designed for everyone.

Belkin Cooks Up Convenient Solutions for the Kitchen with iPad 2 Accessories

PR: Belkin has unveiled a new lineup of kitchen accessories for the iPad 2, including stands and mounts specially designed to protect the tablet from kitchen messes and make cooking more fun and efficient.

"The iPad and other tablets open up a whole new world in the kitchen and we are just now beginning to unlock their potential as the next must-have kitchen gadget," says Jamie Elgie, senior director of product management for Belkin's mobility division. "We're excited to unveil products that will make life in the kitchen easier for everyone from professional chefs and bakers to moms and kitchen novices."

Chef Stand + Stylus

Belkin Chef Stand + StylusKitchen-safe and made for use with messy hands, the Chef Stand + Stylus allows you to scroll through recipes without getting your iPad 2 dirty. The product features dual angles for easy viewing and a non-slip rubber base, perfect for combating slippery countertops.

Features:

  • Magnetic tip wakes up iPad 2
  • Stylus protects from dirty hands and messes
  • Hand-washable
  • Case-compatible
  • Compatible with most tablets

$39.99

Fridge Mount

Belkin Fridge MountThe Fridge Mount allows you to keep your to-do list up-to-date and grocery list handy. Maximum-strength 3M Command Strips snap the iPad 2 firmly in place and attach securely to the fridge without damaging surfaces when removed. The minimalist design stylishly keeps the iPad 2 safe and secure.

Features:

  • Easy installation - no tools needed
  • iPad is easy to slide in and out
  • Compatible with 7" to 10" tablets
  • Case-compatible

$39.99

Kitchen Cabinet Mount

Belkin Kitchen Cabinet MountCreated to help free up valuable counter space, the Kitchen Cabinet Mount helps keep your tablet in view and securely suspended on any cabinet or shelf. It can be easily installed, removed, and stored.

Features:

  • Easy installation-no tools needed
  • Easy to remove and store
  • Compatible with 7" to 10" tablets
  • Case-compatible

$49.99

Logitech Harmony Link to Enable One-Touch Control of Home Entertainment System from iPad

PR: With thousands of TV channels and seemingly unlimited choice of shows and movies, getting to the content you are looking for is often a challenge as you navigate among programming guides and juggle multiple remotes to control your home entertainment system. With this in mind, Logitech has unveiled Logitech Harmony Link, a small device designed to fit in next to your TV and media electronics and communicate over WiFi with the free Logitech Harmony Link App for iPad. After setup, the Logitech Harmony Link and the Logitech Harmony Link App work together to let iPad users browse a personalized schedule of their favorite shows, channels and genres to find something good to watch and with one touch turn on all the right devices and tune to the right channel.

"Logitech Harmony Link extends our vision of removing barriers between people and their entertainment by replacing the clutter and confusion of multiple remotes and different program guides with a single intuitive touch interface," says Ashish Arora, vice president and general manager of Logitech's Digital Home Group. "Our research revealed that many iPad owners are using their iPad on the sofa while watching TV, many of them seeking ways to find out what shows are on. We set out to make this experience easier. Using Logitech Harmony Link and the Harmony Link App, iPad users can browse for what is on television, and with one touch of "watch now" icon next to the show of their choice, they can automatically turn on their TV and other electronics, and tune directly to the show they want to watch."

Logitech Harmony Link delivers more than just a personalized program guide to iPad users. By leveraging Logitech Harmony technology, it offers the activity- and device-based control provided by the award-winning line of Logitech Harmony Advanced Universal Remotes. Just select what you want to do, such as "Watch a Movie" or "Listen to Music," and Harmony Link automatically switches your devices to the right settings meaning you won't be fumbling with multiple remotes or manually switching inputs anymore.

Control from Your iPad

The Logitech Harmony Link connects to your existing home wireless network to receive WiFi signals from the Harmony Link App and turns them into IR commands that home-entertainment devices can understand. Harmony Link can control up to eight devices, is compact (about the size of a hockey puck) and was designed to integrate neatly and discreetly with your home entertainment system. Harmony Link includes an IR mini-blaster accessory so you can control entertainment devices both inside and outside of a closed entertainment cabinet.

And because the Harmony Link App transforms simple swipes and taps into useful actions, such as volume control and video playback, you can stay in control of your entertainment without taking your eyes off whatever you're watching on your big screen.

Harmony Link can even connect with more than one iPad at a time, letting multiple family members use their own iPad with their own set of favorite channels rather than fighting over a single remote.

Turn Your Smartphone into a Remote Control

The remote control functionality of Logitech Harmony Link also works with the iPhone or iPod touch as well as with Android smartphones. Initially, smartphones will not receive personalized program guides from the downloadable App; however, Harmony Link will deliver complete activity-based control over up to eight devices in your entertainment system. Now you can essentially turn your smartphone into a great universal remote.

Program Information Provided by Rovi

Logitech has teamed with Rovi Corporation to provide program information behind its free Harmony Link App. An important element to entertainment discovery, Rovi data includes show synopses, movie overviews, and images to give you an in-depth and visually rich experience as you navigate through entertainment content and connect to your television guide.

The Logitech Harmony Link is expected to be available in the U.S. in October for a suggested retail price of $99.99. The Harmony Link App for iOS tablets and smartphones and the Harmony Link App for Android smartphones are expected to be available as free downloads in October from the iTunes App Store and Android Market, respectively.

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