iNews Review

4 New Kindles, iPhone Has 81% Retention, 41% of Mobile Users Want iPhone 5, 70" Padzilla Case, and More

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

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2011.09.30

Brilliant. That's the only word I can apply to Amazon's new Kindle line, especially the Kindle Fire, which is a $200 Android-based tablet computer that's not trying to take on the iPad directly - just the opposite tack from every other tablet out there. The Fire is smaller (7"), has no camera, includes a paltry 8 GB of flash memory, doesn't even have a 3G option (which is odd, considering that the Kindle Touch 3G has it), and sells for a mere $199. The dual-core processor is comparable to the one in the $499 iPad 2, and it does not appear to support Bluetooth (Amazon.com doesn't list it as a feature, although some websites do) or additional memory cards.

What Amazon has is a color Kindle - the black and white version was $139 not too long ago - that can also access email and the Internet, stream digital content, and run apps. I suspect a lot of Kindle owners are going to catch Fire when it's time to upgrade, which should give it a solid user base that the HP TouchPad and BlackBerry PlayBook never managed to develop. With its very attractive price, it may not compete with the iPad, but it's likely to own a significant chuck of the tablet market.

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.

Kindle News & Opinion

News, Reviews, & Opinion

Apps & Services

Accessories

iPod Deals

These price trackers are updated every month.

Kindle News & Opinion

Amazon's All-New Kindle Family: 4 New Kindles, 4 Ultra-Competitive Price Points

Kindle familyPR: Amazon's Kindle has been the best-selling e-reader in the world for four years running, and Amazon just introduced an all-new Kindle family: three all-new Kindle e-readers that are smaller, lighter, and more affordable than ever before, plus Kindle Fire - a new class of Kindle that brings the same ease-of-use and deep integration of content that helped Kindle reinvent reading - to movies, TV shows, music, magazines, apps, books, games, and more.

The new Kindle products are:

  • Latest generation Kindle - now lighter, faster, and more affordable than ever, priced at $79
  • New Kindle Touch with easy-to-use touch screen - $99
  • New Kindle Touch 3G with free 3G - the top of the line Kindle e-reader - $149
  • New Kindle Fire for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games, and web browsing with all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, plus Whispersync, Amazon's new proprietary cloud-accelerated web browser, with the hardware featuring a vibrant color touchscreen, and powerful dual-core processor - for $199

Kindle family"We've now reached the magical two-digit price point for Kindle - twice. The new Kindle and Kindle Touch are only $79 and $99. Kindle Touch 3G is the new top of the line e-reader with free 3G - no monthly fees or annual contracts - and is only $149," says Amazon.com Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. "Kindle Fire brings together all of the things we've been working on at Amazon for over 15 years into a single, fully-integrated service for customers. With Kindle Fire, you have instant access to all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, the convenience of Amazon Whispersync, our revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser, the speed and power of a state-of-the-art dual-core processor, a vibrant touch display with 16 million colors in high resolution, and a light 14.6 ounce design that's easy to hold with one hand - all for only $199. We're offering premium products, and we're doing it at non-premium prices."

Latest Generation KindleLatest Generation KindleNew Latest Generation Kindle - Fits in Your Pocket - $79

The new latest generation Kindle is for readers who want the lightest, most compact Kindle at a friendly price. The latest generation Kindle features a new design that is 30% lighter at just 5.98 ounces, 18% smaller, and turns pages 10% faster. Kindle is now small and light enough to fit easily in your pocket and carry with you everywhere, yet it still features the same 6", most advanced electronic ink display that reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight.

New Addition to the Kindle Family - Kindle Touch - $99

Kindle Touch Kindle Touch is a new addition to the Kindle family with an easy-to-use touch screen that makes it easier than ever to turn pages, search, shop, and take notes - still with all the benefits of the most advanced electronic ink display. Kindle Touch is also lighter, smaller, eliminates battery anxiety with extra-long battery life and holds thousands of books.

New X-Ray Feature

Amazon invented X-Ray, a new feature that lets customers explore the "bones of the book." With a single tap, readers can see all the passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari, Amazon's community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers. Amazon built X-Ray using its expertise in language processing and machine learning, access to significant storage and computing resources with Amazon S3 and EC2, and a deep library of book and character information. The vision is to have every important phrase in every book.

The new Kindle Touch sells for $99. Kindle Touch is available to customers in the US for preorder now and ships November 21.

New Top of the Line Kindle e-reader - Kindle Touch 3G - $149

Kindle TouchKindle Touch 3G is a new addition to the Kindle family for readers who want the top of the line e-reader. Kindle Touch 3G offers the same new design and features of Kindle Touch - small and light, easy-to-use touch screen, storage for thousands of books, and extra-long battery life - with the unparalleled added convenience of free 3G. Kindle's free 3G connection means you never have to hunt for or pay for a WiFi hotspot - you simply download and read books anytime, anywhere in over 100 countries around the world. Amazon pays for the 3G connection so there's no monthly fee or annual contract.

The new top of the line Kindle Touch 3G sells for $149. Kindle Touch 3G is available to customers in the US for preorder starting now and ships November 21.

All Kindles have instant access to the Kindle Store with the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read. Millions of free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle devices, and Kindle customers can now borrow Kindle books from their public library. Kindle books are "Buy Once, Read Everywhere" - on Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G, Kindle Fire, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PCs, Mac, Android phones and tablets, BlackBerry, Windows phones, and web browsers with Kindle Cloud Reader.

All three new Kindle e-readers also come with special offers and sponsored screensavers that appear when you're not reading. Customers enjoy special money-saving offers delivered wirelessly sponsored by AT&T, the Dove beauty brand, and Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card by Chase. Kindle e-reader customers will also receive special offers in their own backyards from AmazonLocal, Amazon's local deals marketplace with discounts on local services, products, and experiences. Customers can also choose to purchase a Kindle without special offers and sponsored screensavers.

New Class of Kindle - Kindle Fire - $199

Kindle FireKindle Fire puts Amazon's incredible selection of digital content - over 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, and magazines - at your fingertips:

  • Over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Amazon Instant Video, including thousands of new releases and popular TV shows, available to stream or download, purchase or rent - all just one tap away. Amazon Prime Members enjoy instant, unlimited, commercial-free streaming of over 11,000 movies and TV shows at no additional cost. Kindle Fire comes with one free month of Amazon Prime.
  • Over 17,000,000 songs from Amazon MP3, including new and best-selling albums from just $7.99 and individual songs from $0.69.
  • Over 1,000,000 Kindle books, including thousands of bestsellers, children's books, comic books and cookbooks in rich color.
  • 100 exclusive graphic novels, including Watchmen, the best-selling - and considered by many to be the greatest - graphic novel of all time, which has never before been available in digital format, as well as Batman: Arkham City, Superman: Earth OneGreen Lantern: Secret Origin, and 96 others from DC Entertainment.
  • Hundreds of magazines and newspapers - including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Wired, Elle, The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan, and Martha Stewart Living - with full-color layouts, photographs, illustrations, built-in video, audio and other interactive features are available from the new Kindle Fire "Newsstand." Kindle Fire customers will enjoy an exclusive free three-month trial to 17 Condé Nast magazines, including Vanity Fair, GQ, and Glamour.
  • All the most popular Android apps and games, such as Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, Cut the Rope, and more. All apps are Amazon-tested on Kindle Fire to ensure quality and Amazon offers a new free paid app every day.

Cloud-Accelerated Web Browser - Amazon Silk

Amazon Silk browserThe Kindle Fire web browser Amazon Silk introduces a radical new paradigm - a "split browser" architecture that accelerates the power of the mobile device hardware by using the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services Cloud. The Silk browser software resides both on Kindle Fire and on the massive server fleet that comprises the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). With each page request, Silk dynamically determines a division of labor between the mobile hardware and Amazon EC2 (i.e. which browser sub-components run where) that takes into consideration factors like network conditions, page complexity, and cached content. The result is a faster web browsing experience, and it's available exclusively on Kindle Fire.

To see a video about Amazon Silk go to http://www.amazon.com/silk

Simple and Easy-To-Use

Amazon designed the Kindle Fire user interface from the ground up to make it easy to purchase, manage, and enjoy your digital content. Like Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire comes automatically pre-registered to your Amazon.com account so you can immediately start enjoying your digital content purchased from Amazon or shop for new content. All of your digital content is instantly available to enjoy and manage with a simple, consistent experience across all content types.

Free Cloud Storage

Like Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire offers free storage for all your Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud. Amazon digital content is automatically backed up for free in the Amazon Cloud's Worry-Free Archive where it's available for re-downloading anytime.

Amazon Whispersync Now for Movies & TV Too

Kindle Fire uses Amazon's popular Whispersync technology to automatically synchronize your Kindle library, last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across the widest range of devices and platforms. With the introduction of Kindle Fire, Amazon is expanding this technology to include video. Start streaming a movie on your Kindle Fire, and when you get home, you can resume streaming right where you left off on your TV - avoid the frustration of needing to find your spot.

Easy to Hold in One Hand

Kindle Fire was designed to disappear so you can lose yourself in the content. Weighing in at just 14.6 ounces, Kindle Fire is small and light enough to hold in just one hand and carry everywhere you go. The lightweight, compact design makes Kindle Fire ideal for web browsing, playing games, reading and shopping on-the-go.

Color Touchscreen

Content comes alive in color on a 7" full color LCD touchscreen that delivers 16 million colors in high resolution and 169 pixels per inch. Kindle Fire uses IPS (in-plane switching) technology - similar technology as used on the iPad, for an extra-wide viewing angle - perfect for sharing your screen with others. In addition, the Kindle Fire display is chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic, which means it is incredibly durable and will stand up to accidental bumps and scrapes.

Fast, Powerful Dual-Core Processor

Kindle Fire features a state-of-the-art dual-core processor for fast, powerful performance. Stream music while browsing the web or read books while downloading videos.

Free Month of Amazon Prime

Right out of the box, Kindle Fire users will experience the benefits that millions of Amazon Prime members already enjoy - unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of over 11,000 movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video and the convenience of Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items from Amazon.com.

The all-new Kindle Fire - with all the content, Amazon's revolutionary cloud-accelerated browser, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, 14.6 ounce design that's easy to hold with one hand, brilliant color touchscreen, and a fast and powerful dual core processor - sells for a modest $199. Customers in the US can preorder Kindle Fire starting today and it ships November 15.

2012 Will Be the Year of the Kindle

ÜberReview's C. S. Magor says you could be forgiven for thinking that the future for e-ink pushers is bleak. The tablet market has exploded; Apple already made two, HP made a cheap one, RIM made an awful one, and Samsung made a pretty cool one that is almost as good as Apple's. But he notes that while tablets have come of age, they haven't gotten any better at reading books, and in the next few months we're likely to see Amazon release a fourth generation Kindle, which is a very interesting prospect indeed.

You can read a book on an iPad, but an LCD screen isn't paper - your eyes get tired, and staring at a screen feels too much like work. Magor says e-ink doesn't just solve these problems, it eliminates them. Kindle 3 boasted a two-month battery life, and e-ink is just as easy on the eyes as the real thing. For readers, real readers, the folks that like to spend the best part of a day in front of the book, it is godsend - a book replacement, not a pocket computer. All Amazon has to do, he says, is keep the price under the $150 mark and boost the functionality a little bit, and there will be no stopping it.

Publisher's note: The Kindle Touch and Kindle Keyboard (both also available with 3G) range in price from $99 to $149 meet that price point exactly. dk

Editor's note: I agree. My iPad is fine for news scanning and email reading, but my eyes get tired quickly from the harsh glare of the screen, and I simply can't imagine trying to read a full length book on it without laying in a supply of Visene. cm

Kindle Fire and Windows 8 Will Kill the iPad

ExtremeTech's Sebastian Anthony acknowledges that currently there is only one successful tablet, the iPad, and thus only one proven use case, content consumption, and the iPad is a content consumption tablet.

However, he notes that next year we'll have Windows 8 tablets, and Microsoft is being painstakingly clear that these computers will be full-blown tablet-and-desktop-replacing PCs. You still won't perform complex tasks using the touchscreen, but you can just plug in a keyboard and mouse, load Microsoft Office, and away you go.

And squeezing the iPad from the other end of the spectrum we have the just-announced Amazon Kindle Fire, which is a $199 content consumption tablet that's squarely aimed at every sucker who spent $500 or more on an iPad just so they could surf the Web from the living room.

Publisher's note: The HP TouchPad tried to take on the iPad at the same $499 price, and it was discontinued seven weeks later. RIM's 7" BlackBerry PlayBook has been on the market just over five months, and this week RIM announced $100 rebates and $100 coupons to stimulate sales, which have been weak. Android tablets, from a wide array of vendors and in multiple sizes, have only managed to take 20% of the worldwide tablet market. And all three of these solutions use free or company-owned operating systems - Microsoft will want a license fee for every Windows 8 tablet sold, which will make it even harder for them to compete with the iPad. dk

News, Reviews, & Opinion

iPhone Has 89% Retention Rate, Nearest Competitor Has 39%

AppleInsider's Neil Hughes says:

"A whopping 89 percent of iPhone owners have indicated they will stick with Apple for their next handset, dwarfing all other hardware makers, according to a new survey.

"The next nearest competitor to Apple in terms of hardware manufacturers is HTC, which earned a 39 percent retention rate among users surveyed by UBS Investment Research...."

41% of Mobile Users Plan to Buy iPhone 5

InMobi, an independent mobile ad network, has released the combined results of its monthly InMobi Mobile Insights network ad data research and a custom iPhone-focused study, iPhone 5 and the Mobile Market. The InMobi announcement acts as a forecast to the scope and effect of the confirmed October 4th Apple iPhone announcement in North America. InMobi anticipates the North American mobile ad market to experience a significant increase in mobile media consumption based on the iPhone 5 consumer data findings.

Apple iPhone 5 Potentially the Most Successful Smartphone Launch to Date

The recent InMobi consumer smartphone survey discovers that 41% of current mobile users in the US, Mexico, and Canada plan to buy an iPhone 5, potentially making it the most successful launch from the consumer electronics giant to date. The study further finds that over 50% of those users will make the purchase within the first six months of the iPhone 5 launch, which could take Apple significantly ahead of its June 2011 market position, and increase its mobile platform market share from 27% in June (comScore Inc., August 2011) to 41%.

However, if Apple only unveils a product update akin to the 3GS version of the iPhone that Apple released in 2009, interest in the new smartphone will be significantly lower, with fewer than 15% of consumers likely to actively pursue the new handset.

The study finds that consumers are most hopeful for improved battery life, increased processing speed, higher-quality screen resolution, and stronger phone service in the rumored Apple smartphone.

Customer Retention and New Users

Percentage of mobile consumers planning to switch to new iPhoneThe study uncovered that over half of BlackBerry users (52%) are planning to switch to the new iPhone 5, followed by 51% of current iPhone users and over one in four (27%) Android owners. Even if the announcement only unveils an iPhone 4S, 28% of current BlackBerry smartphone owners plan to switch to Apple - more than double the amount of current iPhone and Android owners.

InMobi's North America Market Overview, which shows nearly 24 billion mobile ad impressions on the InMobi network over the past quarter, denotes that Apple mobile ad impressions are on the rise in iPod touch devices and that, as a manufacturer, Apple has the majority of the market share, at 29%. Data from the report also indicates a 33% growth in mobile ad impressions over the past three months, and a 39% growth in smart phone impressions in the North America mobile market. An infographic outlining the full findings of InMobi's most recent research is available at http://www.inmobi.com/research/

Commenting on InMobi's latest findings, James Lamberti, VP Global Research & Marketing at InMobi, says, "The combination of Apple's increasing market share in mobile advertising and general consumer interest in their latest technology is another boon for the mobile advertising industry. Apple is currently the clear leader in terms of compelling user experience and customer loyalty, and we feel that their quality and pace of innovation when it comes to mobile devices will continue to improve the content and advertising experience for consumers for iPhone 5 and beyond."

Citigroup: iPad May Dominate, but It's a Toy in Developed Markets

Chron.com TechBlog's Dwight Silverman says:

"If you live in the United States or the United Kingdom, chances are your beloved iPad is an entertainment device that's not going to displace your PC anytime soon.

"But in China, the iPad is shaping up to be computer replacement, making it much more of a mainstream device.

"These conclusions come from a new study conducted by Citigroup analysts, and help cement the image of Apple's magical tablet as something primarily used for fun and games, at least in developed markets."

Publisher's note: The iPad is finding a niche in developed markets serving the needs of those who have never owned or been comfortable with a PC, seniors in particular. They are finding it a wonderful communication device, not just a game and content consumption machine. dk

Wealthy Smartphone Users Prefer BlackBerry Over iPhone

In Paul Fussell's controversial 1983 book Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, he observed that the old moneyed class elites, when walking on the street, are more likely to carry their business papers in one of those expanding files made of reddish brown fiber that fastens with a string wound around a button, now suitably tatty, fuzzy, and sweat-stained, rather than in neat looking attaché cases displaying lots of leather and brass, items that Fussell categorized as a sad stigma of middle class, nouveau riche, and social climbers.

A report by The International Business Time's Adyty M made me think of Fussell's observation, noting that while there's always buzz around Apple's iPhone in the tech world, especially with the iPhone 5's much-anticipated release reportedly imminent, a recent Prosper Mobile Insights survey indicates a reality that contradicts the popular conception.

To wit: Most affluent smartphone owners prefer RIM's BlackBerry over Apple's iPhone, with Android the people's choice in the middle or upper-middle income group.

Prosper Mobile Insights' "Simultaneously Media Usage Survey" interviewed 25,000 respondents in June and found that BlackBerry was the top-rated smartphone for households with incomes $150,000 and up, with 11.3% owning BlackBerries, 10.9% iPhones and 7.2% Android smartphones.

The same obtained with respondents in the $100,000 to $149,000, 21.2% of whom use the BlackBerry with 19.1% and 15.8% respectively favoring iPhone and Android.

The iPhone takes a slight lead over BlackBerry in the $75,000 to $99,000 upper-middle class income group, among whom 20% prefer the iPhone, edging out BlackBerry users at 18.7% and Android the choice in middle-income homes with household income in the $35,000 to $49,000 range.

I think the analogy with Paul Fussell's Class observations is that popular tastes and fashions of the middle-classes are often not shared with and mirrored by the social and moneyed elites - not that the BlackBerry smartphone resembles a beat-up fiber accordion file. The IBT report notes that BlackBerry owners are often professionals, businessmen, or managers, who tend to be less interested in apps and mobile online multimedia than consumer users, but the article also suggests that the most probable reason for BlackBerry being more popular than iPhone with serious users is its multitasking ability. The iPhone, like other iOS devices, doesn't allow third-party apps to run in the background, obliging the user to do things one at a time, hiding the running app to use another, which is a deal-breaker for many production-oriented and content producer users.

Publisher's note: Old money tends to be conservative, and frugality is a powerful tool in creating and maintaining wealth. Those used to BlackBerry, which predates the iPhone by eight years, are less likely to leave something that has been comfortable for so long - much as many low-end Mac users continue to use old hardware, old operating systems, and/or old software in the face of newer solutions that work differently. Sticking with the familiar is not so much a judgment against Apple or Android as a desire to stick with what is known and comfortable. dk

Apps & Services

The Atlantic Magazine: Digital Edition The Atlantic Magazine: Digital Edition Version 2.1

PR: The Atlantic Monthly is my longtime favorite general interest periodical, and the magazine has upgraded its iOS application for iPad and iPhone

With the Atlantic app. subscribers ($21.95 per year) can access all of The Atlantic's award-winning content in a single app - bold ideas, all-star blogging, expert news aggregation, thought-provoking magazine stories, and more. Atlantic Online Web content can be accessed for free.

New this month: Don Peck on America's disappearing middle class, James Fallows on protests in China, P. J. O'Rourke on Barcelona, new fiction from Amy Waldman, and more

The Atlantic Magazine: Digital EditionExclusive iPad features:

  • Celebrated Journalism: The monthly Atlantic magazine issues in full
  • Multimedia Extras: Videos and slideshows that take you deeper into the articles
  • The Latest News and Ideas: The biggest blogs and stories from TheAtlantic.com
  • Fast-Paced News Curation: Top aggregation and analysis from TheAtlanticWire.com
  • Breathtaking Photography: Alan Taylor's photo blog, In Focus
  • Seamless Navigation: Politics, Business, Technology, and Entertainment channels
  • Active Conversation: Commenting on all stories with discussions that span the app and websites
  • Simple Sharing: Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail sharing capabilities
  • Uninterrupted Access: Offline viewing and ability to save articles to read later

Exclusive iPhone features:

  • Blog content from TheAtlantic.coms acclaimed Voices
  • Up-to-the-minute news and opinion from TheAtlanticWire.com
  • Comprehensive commenting and sharing tools
  • Offline viewing and ability to save great reads for later

Already a magazine subscriber? Access to the magazine section of this app is included with your print subscription.

The Atlantic Magazine: Digital EditionNot a subscriber? While The Atlantic's Web content is free for everyone, if you want more you can purchase issues individually for $4.99 or buy a full year (10 print issues) for $21.99.

Founded in 1857, The Atlantic is America's top destination for insightful thinking and commentary on the most important issues of our time. Since its inception, The Atlantic has evolved into a multimedia must-read, offering groundbreaking insights into the worlds of politics, social trends, business, technology, literature, and arts. Famous for its excellent writing by James Fallows, Hanna Rosin, Megan McArdle, Christopher Hitchens, Alexis Madrigal, and many other acclaimed journalists, The Atlantic has won more National Magazine Awards than any other monthly magazine. In print and online, its stories challenge, inform, and entertain readers through their groundbreaking ideas and unbiased approach.

The Atlantic Magazine: Digital EditionNew in Version 2.1:

  • Stability and launch speed improvements for slower networks

This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad

System requirements:

  • Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
  • Requires iOS 4.2 or later

Free (App and Web content; see subscription info below)

Subscriptions to the digital edition of The Atlantic Magazine can be managed via your iTunes account. Issues are sold individually for $4.99 or for a year-long (ten issue) subscription which costs $21.99. Payment will be made through the iTunes store to your iTunes account and subscriptions automatically renew unless auto-renew is turned off at least 2 4-hours before the end of the current period. Account will be charged for renewal within 24-hours prior to the end of the current period, and identify the cost of the renewal. Subscriptions may be managed by the user and auto-renewal may be turned off by going to the user's Account Settings after purchase. No cancellation of the current subscription is allowed during active subscription period. Any unused portion of a free trial period, if offered, will be forfeited when the user purchases a subscription to that publication.

iCar Comfort for iPhone, the Only App Capable of Measuring Vehicle Comfort

iCar ComfortPR: Morning Dew Apps recently released iCar Comfort 1.0.1 for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users. iCar Comfort is not only a new launch, it is also a unique product. This is the only application on the market capable of measuring a vehicle's ride comfort level. Users can very easily get a comfort reading for any vehicle, including public transportation, with results displaying in graph and report form. As a special bonus, users are able to start, rev, and stop a sports car from the app's main menu.

iCar Comfort is a ride comfort measuring tool. It consists of specially formulated and calibrated algorithms that measure vehicle vibration using an accelerometer sensor. The user simply places their iDevice on a level surface inside a vehicle and drive, letting the app do the rest. Ride results are presented in both graph and report forms.

The application works on any and all vehicles, including cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, buses, planes, ships. It doesn't matter which mode of transportation it's used on, the vehicle just has to move.

Here are some of the features offered in iCar Comfort:

  • Sleek styling and easy to use interface
  • Measures comfort level of any vehicle
  • Specially formulated, carefully calibrated algorithms ensure accuracy
  • Results displayed in graphic and report form
  • Start, rev and stop a sports car from the main menu
  • App is free for a limited time

As a special bonus for users, developers have included a couple of treats. From the main menu screen of the app, users are able to start, rev, and stop a sports car, which is a lot of fun and pretty cool. Also, Morning Dew Apps are giving the download away for free for a limited time in honor of the one year anniversary of the company's founding.

Device Requirements:

  • 3G, 3GS, 4 iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
  • Requires iOS 3.0 or later
  • 5.9 MB

iCar Comfort 1.0.1 is 99¢ and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Utilities category. Promo codes are available for qualified reviewers. Please specify the website or blog you represent when making your request.

Read Kindle Books on Your iPad

PR: New Features on the Kindle for iPad App

  • This update removes the Kindle Store button from the app. Customers can shop for over one million books in the Kindle Store by visiting Amazon.com/kindlestore in Safari or any web browser.
  • Read over 100 newspapers and magazines including The Economist and Reader's Digest with high resolution color images. Visit the Kindle Store to subscribe to a newspaper or magazine and have each edition automatically delivered, or purchase individual issues.
  • Customers who receive newspapers and magazines on Kindle can download recent editions to their iOS devices from Archived Items. Many newspapers and magazines are supported, and more are on the way.
  • Share quotes and passages with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter while reading.
  • Kindle apps for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad are now available in German for customers purchasing content from the Amazon.de Kindle Store.
  • Instant dictionary word lookup in German-language books using the Duden Deutsches Universalwörterbuch.
  • Real page numbers for thousands of books in the Kindle Store, with more coming soon. Now you can make proper citations in the classroom or follow along with people reading print books in a book club.
  • Home screen now shows your progress through books in list view.
  • Look up words on Google and Wikipedia without leaving the app.
  • Instant word lookup on included dictionary with 250,000 entries and definitions.

Read Kindle Books on Your iPhone

PR: Read Kindle books on your iPhone or iPod touch

  • No Kindle required
  • Get the best reading experience available on your iPhone or iPod touch
  • Access your Kindle books even if you don't have your Kindle with you
  • Automatically synchronizes your last page read between devices with Amazon Whispersync
  • Adjust the text size, add bookmarks, and view the annotations you created on your Kindle

Accessories

iHog Pink & White Hog-shaped iPod/iPhone Docking Station/Speaker System

PR: Take the fun outdoors with this portable battery-operated hog-shaped 28+ watt super amplification stereo system for kids, teens, and adults - 360° of booming crystal clear sound fills a room with music.

iHogSpeakal has launched iHog, the stylish hog-shaped iPod/iPhone docking station speaker system. Available in pink and white, the booming iHog speaker system makes a fun holiday gift for kids, teens and adults that love music.

Your Portable Music Companion Up to 10 Hours Rechargeable Battery Life

Lightweight at around 4 lb., the iHog is a powerful portable outdoor speaker, providing up to 10 hours of lithium rechargeable battery life that also charges your iPod. Its universal cradle lets you play all your iPhones and iPods (including iOS 4, iPhone 3 and iPhone 4) outdoors or indoors with 4 high-quality speakers delivering 360 degrees of sound with 2 tweeters, 2 sound diffusers and a downring 20 Watt subwoofer, a super amplification stereo system and optimized airflow, with frequencies from 50 Hz - 20 KHz for a total output of 28+ Watts that fills up a room with sound.

Features Fun Controls: Just Push the Hogs Ears to Adjust Volume

Based on Speakal's best-selling iPig docking station, the iHog is more powerful and portable, with a battery-operated docking station that features easy-touch Humanized Touch Volume Controls to adjust the iPods navigation with a light touch of the hand. Just push the hogs ears to turn the volume up or down, or its head to skip tracks, pause, or stop or use the included remote to adjust the controls from a distance. In addition, the iHog also lets you add drama to your movies or gaming - just connect iHog to a TV, gaming console, or other music source with the included 3.5mm to amplify sound with its super amplification system.

The iHog's friendly hog shape will instantly become a party conversational piece and a rooms central design focus, as well as impressing all with its powerful speaker system that's perfect for parties, outdoor events, or for just relaxing at home.

"After 2 consecutive years of great success for the smaller iPig, Speakal is excited to launch the most powerful speaker system yet - the iHog," says Speakal CEO David Solomon. "For everyone who enjoyed their iPig at home, now you can take the fun outdoors anytime, with the new portable music companion."

iHog Features

  • iPod Docking Station compatible with all dock connector iPods and iPhones.
  • 2.1 Stereo Speaker System.
  • Humanized Touch Volume Control and iPod music navigation.
  • Lithium rechargeable battery for up to 10 hours of battery life.
  • Remote control.
  • Adjustable Bass and Treble.
  • 4 Speakers positioned for maximum sound separation and distribution with tweeters and midrange.
  • 20W Subwoofer.
  • Total output of 28+ Watts.
  • Shape designed to deliver 360 degrees of sound.
  • Airflow optimized design for consistent sound performance.
  • Bass Reflex Technology.
  • 3.5mm AUX input jack to connect to TV, gaming consoles, or other music sources.
  • Manufacturer's Warranty

The iHog iPod docking station speaker system is available immediately in the iHog colors of pink and white (with black and black/white Panda style colors coming soon) through Speakal and Amazon.com.

Priced at $119.99 until Sept. 30, $139.99 after. iHog comes with the docking station, AC power adapter/power cable, 3.5mm Audio Jack Connection, Remote Control with battery, and user manual.

Padzilla 70" iPad/iPhone Case

PadzillaPR: Modestly claimed to be "one of the greatest iPad/iPhone accessories ever created," this interactive case allows you to use your iPad/iPhone with a massive screen that is multitouch capable. Shown in the video on the Web page is a 70" version, but Padzilla can be made in any size up to 150". Jailbreak is not required. However, this is an accessory and does require an iPad or iPhone (3GS or 4) to work properly. This unit can be positioned vertically or in a table mode, thanks to a special mounting system.

PadzillaPadzilla Interactive Case and Plug it in and change the world are registered trademarks of Crunchy Logistics, LLC, founded in August 2007, a minority-driven all-encompassing technology company based out of Orlando, Florida. Crunchy Logistics is focused on developing and supporting business critical and entertainment driven technology systems for the global marketplace.

Handler iPad Hand Strap and Desk Mount

PR: Ergonomists warn that holding an iPad or tablet for extended periods of time will cause hand fatigue that could eventually lead to more serious health issues like Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD) if not prevented.

Just as the incidence of Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) increased dramatically with improper use of notebook computers, similar injuries related to gripping an iPad for extended periods are beginning to surface.

So how does one avoid CTD when using the iPad? The simple answer is to change the way you hold the device. Since iPads don't come with handles, a user can benefit from a simple attachment that provides a stress-free means of holding an iPad. Enter the Handler iPad Strap and Desk Mount from LapWorks.

Handler iPad Hand Strap and Desk MountThe Handler iPad Strap and Desk Mount is claimed to be the first non-gripping, handheld iPad holder and desk stand available. Now you can say good-bye to hand fatigue and sore fingers from gripping your iPad for way too long. The Handler iPad Strap and Desk Mount is not a partial hand-strap that still requires you to use your thumb for gripping or a finger loop handle or a rigid rounded hand grip. It's the real deal - completely non-gripping and stress-free allowing you extended one handed operation with less strain and fatigue.

This new iPad accessory from LapWorks is actually two separate functioning components that work as one when joined together.

Handler iPad Hand Strap and Desk MountWhen used separately, the handheld component, called the Handler, is suitable for 9.7 to 10.1 iPads and tablets. The iPad 1 fits perfectly in the Handler without accommodations. To create the perfect fit for the iPad 2, snap on the sizing clips and the iPad 2 has its perfect fit. For any tablet between 9.7" and 10.1", adjust the sizing clips accordingly.

The Handler snaps on to the back of the iPad and the user simply slides one hand through a Velcro strap. The strap fits over the back of the hand comfortably and provides a safe, secure and effortless way of holding the iPad without having to grip it.

The Handler has a built-in swiveling hub that allows the user to easily rotate the iPad between portrait and landscape views or any position in between. The Velcro strap is adjustable, so one size really does fit all, left or right hand.

Handler iPad Hand Strap and Desk MountWhen its time to set up the iPad for handsfree viewing, insert the Handler onto the desktop component called the Desk Mount and voilà: instant desk-stand viewing and operation. Once locked into the Desk Mount, the Handler still rotates in windmill fashion from portrait to landscape. But the Desk Mount also has a few tricks of its own.

First, the Desk Mount reclines from a 90° vertical stance to a 165° reclining position, suitable for direct typing or game play. The reclining mechanism is based on a friction locking system that can support weights in excess of the iPad or any hand pressure the user can apply while typing or inputting. Second, the Desk Mount base swivels 360° for the benefit of screen sharing and optimum viewing angles.

The Handler was designed to accommodate the naked iPad without cases or folios. An iPad with the Smart Cover can still fit, but the Locking Key must first be rotated 180° upward in order to fold the Smart Cover over the screen and then rotated back again to lock the iPad firmly in place.

Price $39.95

Sale Price $29.95

Leather Orikata Convertible iPad 2 Case/Stand

PR: Acme Made has rolled out a new Orikata Leather model case/stand for the iPad to accompany the original polyurethane faux leather version launched last month.

Orikata Convertible iPad 2 Case/StandOrikata is a case, inspired by Japanese origami, a perfect fit for your iPad 2, featuring a clever flip port so it doesn't cover the rear-facing camera. The Orikata's soft, velvet-like microfiber liner and thoughtful detailing make this case stylish without sacrificing protection.

With an exacting fit for the iPad 2, the Orikata leverages complete docking and play-through functionality within its unique case design.

Taking cues as above-noted from the Japanese art of origami, the Orikata's folding elements reconfigure in a snap, providing a stable stand for either cinema viewing or keyboard mode at optimal ergonomic angles.

Orikata Convertible iPad 2 Case/StandAvailable in both real leather or vegan-friendly PU "leather" with red top stitch details.

"As the most recent addition to our line of premium accessories for emerging Apple mobile products, the Orikata is among the best designed, most functional iPad 2 cases on the market," says Kirk Thornby, Acme Made Senior Vice President. "The top-of-the-line protection features and thoughtful details that define the Orikata make it the breakaway leader in the iPad case market. You've truly never seen anything like it."

The Orikata is available immediately starting at $49.99.

Belkin Unveils Two New Smart Cover Compatible Cases for iPad 2

Snap Shield SecurePR: Belkin has unveiled two new cases for the iPad 2, the Snap Shield Secure and the Emerge 024. Both cases are part of Belkin's Snap Shield lineup and are designed specifically to work with the Apple Smart Cover.

"These new cases build upon the success of the original Snap Shield and bring a new level of functionality and personality to one of our most successful accessories," says Jamie Elgie, senior director of product management for Belkin's mobility division. "People love their iPad 2 and we wanted to give them new options for protection that enhances the products design and works seamlessly with the Smart Cover."

Snap Shield Secure - $39.99

Thin, translucent case snaps to the back of the iPad 2 for streamlined protection that shows off the iPad 2's design elements. The integrated steel strip holds the Smart Cover flat against the case when it is open. The soft-touch material feels great in-hand and will shield against wear and tear without adding bulk.

  • Lightweight, impact-resistant protection for use with the Apple Smart Cover
  • Integrated steel strip securely holds Smart Cover open
  • Case snaps onto the back of iPad 2 for formfitting protection

Emerge 024Emerge 024 - $39.99

The unique design has a perforated pattern and comes with colored inserts for a versatile pop of color to match a Smart Cover.

  • Lightweight protection with a pop of color
  • Four colored inserts coordinate with Smart Cover
  • Case snaps onto the back of iPad 2 and works seamlessly with Smart Cover
  • Soft-touch finish

Cases are available now at Amazon.com and Belkin.com.

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