iNews Review

Retina Display iPad, 1080p Apple TV, iOS 5.1, and iPhoto for iOS Announced; Small iPad Rumors; and More

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

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.03.09

Apple introduced the new iPad and new Apple TV this week, both to ship on Friday, March 16. Confusingly, the new iPad doesn't have a model number or name. It's not the iPad 3 or iPad HD or iPad 2012 or Retina iPad. It's simply the new iPad. Likewise the third generation Apple TV shares the same name as its two predecessors.

Over time, I'm sure we'll all standardize on names for these devices, especially since it would be very confusing to have Apple release a second edition new iPad in 2013. For now we suggest calling them the iPad 3 and 3rd generation Apple TV.

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

Rumor Roundup

Apps & Services

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These price trackers are updated every month.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

Apple Launches New iPad with Retina Display, A5X Chip, 5 MP iSight Camera, and Ultrafast 4G LTE

PR: San Francisco - March 7, 2012 - Apple today introduced the new iPad, the third generation of its category defining mobile device, featuring a new Retina display, Apple's new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel (MP) iSight camera with advanced optics shared with the iPhone 4S for capturing higher quality photos and 1080p HD video. iPad with WiFi + 4G connects to fast networks worldwide, including AT&T's and Verizon's 4G LTE networks, and the Bell, Rogers, and Telus networks in Canada, which will all offer the faster wireless service with the iPad still delivering the same Apple-claimed 10 hour battery life1 while retaining an only slightly more portly thin and light form factor. Beginning today, iPad 2, which is being continued, will be offered at more affordable price points, starting at $399.

New iPad

"The new iPad redefines the category Apple created less than two years ago, delivering the most amazing experience people have ever had with technology," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in a news release. "The new iPad now has the highest resolution display ever seen on a mobile device with 3.1 million pixels, delivering razor sharp text and unbelievable detail in photos and videos."

The new iPad's Retina display delivers four times the number of pixels of iPad 2, so dense that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels when held at a normal distance, making web pages, text, images and video look incredibly sharp and realistic. The 3.1 million pixels in the Retina display are more than one million more pixels than an HD TV, and with 44% increased color saturation, the new iPad displays colors that are touted as richer, deeper, and more vivid. Movies are now capable of playing at full 1080p HD-resolution, delivering an unmatched viewing experience on a mobile device.

New iPad

The third-generation iPad's new A5X chip with quad-core graphics has been specifically designed by Apple to deliver a fast, responsive user experience while supporting the Retina display. With double the graphics performance of the A5 chip used in the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, the A5X CPU provides a balance between performance and power efficiency so users can enjoy all the benefits of the stunning new display while experiencing a smooth Multi-Touch interface, immersive game play, great visual depth, and all-day battery life that iPad is known for delivering.

New iPad

The new iPad's 5 MP iSight camera features advanced optics for taking a lot better pictures than the 2 MP camera in the iPad 2 does, as well as recording full HD video. Backside illumination allows you to take shoot in low-light conditions, and a new video image stabilization feature removes the bumps and shakes typically seen when filming with a handheld device. Images can be enjoyed on the large Retina display, then edited, enhanced, and easily shared with friends and family using the iOS's built-in Photos app on iPad.

iPad WiFi + 4G with built-in next generation 4G LTE has what Apple claims is the most comprehensive support for fast networks worldwide including HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA, and now both CDMA and GSM iPad users will have the ability to easily roam internationally. The world-ready iPad delivers lively download and upload speeds so web pages load quickly and email and large attachments can be sent and received easily. Personal Hotspot can be used to share the fast network connection on your iPad with up to five other devices using WiFi, Bluetooth or USB 2.

With iOS 5.1 (more below), the latest update to the world's most advanced mobile operating system, the new iPad has a number of new features and enhancements including a redesigned Camera app with video stabilization technology; the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream; support for dictation in English, French, German, and Japanese; and Personal Hotspot. iOS 5.1 also works seamlessly with Apple's iCloud free cloud services including iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream, and Documents in the Cloud, that works seamlessly with your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content and push it to your devices. When content changes on one device, your other devices are updated automatically.

The new iPad also supports dictation, another way to get things done just using your voice. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard, then say what you want to say, and the new iPad listens. Tap done, and iPad converts your words into text. You can use dictation to write messages, take notes, search the Web, and more. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so you can update your Facebook status, tweet, or write Instagram captions.

Apple also introduced the iPhoto app (more below), along with major updates to iMovie and GarageBand, completing its suite of iLife apps for iOS. iLife and the iWork apps - Pages, Keynote, and Numbers - have all been updated to take advantage of the new iPad Retina display. iPhoto includes breakthrough Multi-Touch features so you can use simple gestures to sort through hundreds of photos and find your best shots, enhance and retouch your images using fingertip brushes, and share stunning photo journals with iCloud. iMovie now gives you the ability to create amazing Hollywood-style trailers as you record HD video, and GarageBand introduces Jam Session, an innovative and fun new feature that allows a group of friends to wirelessly connect to play instruments and record music together live on their iOS devices.

iPad runs almost all of the over 585,000 apps available on the App Store, including more than 200,000 native iPad apps, from a wide range of categories, including books, games, business, news, sports, health, reference, and travel. The iTunes Store puts the world's most popular online music, TV, and movie store at your fingertips with a catalog of over 20 million songs, over 90,000 TV episodes, and over 15,000 movies. The new iBooks 2 app for iPad lets users experience an entirely new kind of ebook that's dynamic, engaging, and truly interactive. iBooks created with Apple's new iBooks Author offer gorgeous, fullscreen ebooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, unrivaled navigation, and much more.

The new iPad WiFi models will be available in black or white on Friday, March 16 for a suggested retail price of $499 for the 16 GB model, $599 for the 32 GB model, and $699 for the 64 GB model. iPad WiFi + 4G for either AT&T or Verizon will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16 GB model, $729 for the 32 GB model, and $829 for the 64 GB model. iPad will be sold in the US through the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores, and select Apple Authorized Resellers. iPad will also be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, UK, and the US Virgin Islands on Friday, March 16. Customers can begin pre-ordering their new iPad today, and the iPad 2 is now offered at a more affordable price of $399 for the 16 GB WiFi model and $529 for the 16 GB WiFi + 3G model.

iOS 5.1 and iTunes 10.6 are available today as free software updates. iPhoto, iMovie 1.3, and GarageBand 1.2 are available today for $4.99 each from the App Store. Keynote 1.6, Pages 1.6, and Numbers 1.6 are available today for $9.99 each from the App Store. Updates are available for free to existing customers. By the end of March, iPad will be available in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

  1. Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.
  2. Personal Hotspot requires supporting data plan. Customers should check with their carrier for availability.

Apple Brings 1080p High Definition to New Apple TV

PR: San Francisco - March 7, 2012 - Apple today announced the new Apple TV featuring 1080p programming including iTunes movies and TV shows, Netflix, Vimeo, photos, and more in HD. With iTunes in the Cloud, customers can purchase and play their favorite movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store and watch them instantly on their HD TV. The new Apple TV features a simpler, refined user interface making it easier than ever to access your purchased movies, TV shows, and music with iTunes Match right from iCloud. With AirPlay, users can stream or mirror their favorite content from their iPad or iPhone 4S to Apple TV.

New third generation Apple TV with 1080p support

People are going to love streaming movies and TV shows in 1080p with the new Apple TV, and photos look beautiful displayed at the maximum resolution of your TV, said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. Apple TV is easier than ever to use with its new icon-based interface and the ability to access your purchased movies, TV shows and music right from iCloud.

Apple TV users can choose from an incredible selection of programming including over 15,000 movies and over 90,000 TV episodes on the iTunes Store. Apple TV also offers great content from Netflix' streaming catalog, live sports from MLB, NBA and NHL as well as Internet content from Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr.1

With iCloud, you can buy movies and TV shows on Apple TV and watch them on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. iCloud also stores photos and pushes them wirelessly to all your devices including your HD TV via Apple TV. iCloud provides an incredibly easy way to get instant access to all of your content, no matter which device is being used.

iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users can use AirPlay to stream music, photos, and videos from their devices directly to their HD TV with Apple TV. iPhone 4S or iPad users can use AirPlay Mirroring to show the screen of their device right on their HD TV, allowing them to stream web pages, spreadsheets, or even games.2

Apple TV makes it easy to enjoy iTunes video, music, and photo libraries from your computer right on your HD TV - and with iCloud you can instantly enjoy content that was purchased on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch as well. iTunes Match customers can now play their entire music library from iCloud - even songs they've imported from CDs. Users can also control Apple TV with their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using the Remote app, available as a free download on the App Store.

Apple TV will be available on Friday, March 16 for a suggested retail price of $99 through the Apple online store, Apple's retail stores, and Apple Authorized Resellers. Apple TV requires iTunes 10.5 or later. Apple TV requires an 802.11g/n WiFi network or ethernet network, a broadband Internet connection, and a HD TV capable of 1080p or 720p and an HDMI cable that is sold separately. iTunes movie and TV show availability varies by country. Second generation Apple TV users can install the new Apple TV user interface via a free software update, available today. Third generation Apple TV hardware is required to play 1080p video.

  1. Content availability varies by country and may require account subscriptions.
  2. AirPlay requires an iOS device running iOS 4.2 or later. AirPlay Mirroring not supported on original iPad.

Apple Completes iLife for iOS with Introduction of iPhoto and Major Updates to iMovie and GarageBand

PR: San Francisco - March 7, 2012 - Apple today introduced iPhoto for iPad and iPhone, and major updates to iMovie and GarageBand, completing its suite of iLife apps for iOS. iPhoto includes breakthrough Multi-Touch features so you can use simple gestures to sort through hundreds of photos and find your best shots, enhance and retouch your images using fingertip brushes, and share stunning photo journals with iCloud. iMovie now gives you the ability to create Hollywood-style trailers as you record HD video on your iPad and iPhone. GarageBand introduces Jam Session, an innovative and fun feature that allows a group of friends to wirelessly connect their iOS devices to play instruments and record live music together. Each app takes full advantage of the stunning Retina display on the new iPad for incredibly sharp and realistic images and video. The new iPad also features a 5 megapixel (MP) iSight camera so you can record, edit, and watch 1080p HD video all on the device.

iLife apps on MacBooks

"With the introduction of iPhoto, we've brought the entire suite of iLife apps to iOS and users are going to love it," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing in a news release. "Whether brushing an effect onto a photo, shooting a movie trailer, or jamming with friends to record a song, iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand let you make amazing creations on iPad and iPhone."

iPhoto, Apple's photography app, has been completely reimagined for iOS to take full advantage of the Retina display and intuitive Multi-Touch gestures on iPad and iPhone. Simple gestures can be used to select and compare photos side by side and flag your best shots. iPhoto gives you full control over color, exposure, and contrast, and you simply touch the parts of the image you want to change. You can enhance pictures by adding beautiful Apple-designed effects with just a tap, or apply adjustments exactly where you want them with fingertip brushes. In addition to posting photos to Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter, you can beam photos between your iPhone and iPad, stream photos and slideshows to your Apple TV with AirPlay, and use iCloud to publish photo journals to the Web and share your stories with friends and family in a whole new way.

iLife greeting cards

iMovie now allows you to turn the HD video on your iPad and iPhone into beautiful Hollywood-style trailers, even as you're recording. The new Theater view lets you preview and choose from nine templates in a range of genres including Fairy Tale, Superhero, and Romance. Trailers feature gorgeous, customizable graphics with soundtracks written by legendary composers such as Academy Award-winner Hans Zimmer and performed by world class musicians like the London Symphony Orchestra. You can also share your movie trailers to YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook, and use AirPlay to stream them to Apple TV in high definition resolutions up to 1080p.

iLife photo albums

With the new Jam Session feature in GarageBand, you can invite up to three of your friends to get together and wirelessly connect your iOS devices to play and record as a group. Jam Session automatically synchronizes the tempo, key, and chords of your Touch Instruments so everyone sounds great. After jamming, everyone's tracks are automatically collected on your iOS device for you to edit and mix. GarageBand also introduces Smart Strings, a new Touch Instrument that allows you to play an entire string orchestra with just one finger, and the new Note Editor allows you to fine tune a Touch Instrument recording instead of replaying it from scratch. Integration with iCloud keeps your GarageBand songs up to date across your iOS devices, and you can share your finished songs directly to Facebook, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Apple today also updated its iWork for iOS apps to take advantage of the Retina display of iPad and to offer 3D charts so you can create and view impressive 3D bar, line, area, and pie charts. Pages now includes support for landscape orientation on iPhone and iPod touch, and Keynote gains new builds and transitions including Iris, Shimmer, Wipe, Flame, Swing, and Fade Through Color.

iPhoto, iMovie 1.3 and GarageBand 1.2 are available today for $4.99 each from the App Store. Keynote 1.6, Pages 1.6, and Numbers 1.6 are available today for $9.99 each from the App Store. Updates are available for free to existing customers.

iPhoto is a universal app that runs on iPad 2 or later and iPhone 4 or later. iMovie is a universal app that runs on iPad 2 or later, iPhone 4 or later, and iPod touch (4th generation). GarageBand, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers are universal apps that run on iPad (all models), iPhone 3GS or later, and iPod touch (3rd generation) or later. Some features require an iCloud account. Some features may not be available on all products.

Microsoft: Apple Makes Old iPhones 'Unusably Slow' on Purpose

BusinessInsider's Matt Rosoff cites Microsoft's new mobile chief, Terry Myerson saying at the Mobile World Congress on Wednesday that Apple's habit of releasing software updates for current iPhones is really just a way to sell more hardware, noting that while you can download iOS 5 for iPhone 3G, it won't be usable, making it a great hardware sales tool.

Publisher's note: As an iPhone 3GS user, I can say that it's no slower with iOS 5 than it was with 4.3. Of course Microsoft might know this if it didn't prohibit iPhones on its campus. dk

Apple's iOS 5.1 Software Update

Apple's iOS 5.1 Software Update contains improvements and bug fixes, including:

  • Japanese language support for Siri (availability may be limited during initial rollout)
  • Photos can now be deleted from Photo Stream
  • Camera shortcut now always visible on Lock Screen for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation)
  • Camera face detection now highlights all detected faces
  • Redesigned Camera app for iPad
  • Genius Mixes and Genius playlists for iTunes Match subscribers
  • Audio for TV shows and movies on iPad optimized to sound louder and clearer
  • Podcast controls for playback speed and a 30 second rewind for iPad
  • Updated AT&T network indicator
  • Addresses bugs affecting battery life
  • Fixes an issue that occasionally caused audio to drop for outgoing calls

System Requirements

Products compatible with this software update:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPad 2
  • iPad
  • iPod touch (4th generation)
  • iPod touch (3rd generation)

For information on the security content of this update, visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

For more information on: How to update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT4623

For more information on backing up you iDevice, visit https://support.apple.com/kb/HT1766

For more information on iOS 5.1, visit https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1504

10 Disappointments with iOS 5.1

Ars Technica's Charles Jade notes that the iOS 5.1 update release pretty much got eclipsed by the third-generation iPad announcement on Wednesday but suggests that those who overlooked the iOS refresh didn't miss much.

Jade gloomily profiles ten iOS annoyances that we're stuck with at least until the next iOS release, probably to come with the iPhone 5 later this year.

  • System Requirements - Jade suggests that "senior Safari moments" and other performance shortcomings on older hardware will not cease with iOS 5.1, and is also apprehensive that the end of discrete file management may be part of Apple's vision for personal computing's future, which he says would also explain the current OS X Finder.
  • Syncing - Syncing will continue to not really be syncing.
  • Mail - Still no junk mail filtering on iOS devices, no collapsible folders and subfolders.
  • Notification Center - Notification Center also remains unfinished.
  • Messages - Still confused about the same person sending texts from different devices
  • Photo Stream - Finally allows deletion of indiscriminate pictures, from Photo Stream, but photos can't really be shared unless you pony up $4.99 for iPhoto
  • Default Apps - Still unable to delete applications like Weather or Stocks on your iOS device.

Did Apple Just Preview a New Logo?

Cult of Mac's Buster Heine writes:

"Tim Cook & Co. just wrapped up their event on the new iPad. At the very end of the keynote the last slide showed the Apple logo as pictured above. Is this a new logo Apple will be using? Apple rarely makes artistic adjustments to their logo during keynotes. We think it looks pretty neat and is a great modern interpretation of the retro rainbow Apple logo.

Apple logos past and present

"What do you think? Will Apple use this new logo more often, or was it a one time thing?"

Publisher's note: With Apple moving to higher resolution displays with an improved color range, I think the new logo is especially appropriate. Kudos to Apple for creating a new color-rich logo. dk

Corning Initiates Volume Shipments of Gorilla Glass 2

Gorilla Glass 2PR: Corning Incorporated has announced its first shipments of Corning Gorilla Glass 2 to key device makers who plan to utilize the glass in new consumer electronics devices planned for release in 2012.

"Corning's new glass composition, Gorilla Glass 2, enables slimmer and sleeker devices, brighter images, and greater touch sensitivity, providing an ideal solution for the newest, most sophisticated smartphones, tablets, and personal computers," says David R. Velasquez, global director, Marketing and Commercial Operations, Corning Gorilla Glass.

"Since we launched Gorilla Glass 2 at CES, we've qualified the glass with more than half of our current customers, and have shipped our first orders to customers who plan to start production and release product in the first quarter this year."

Corning Gorilla Glass 2 is the next generation of the widely accepted damage-resistant cover glass for consumer electronic devices, enabling up to 20% reduction in cover glass thickness without sacrificing the performance consumers have come to expect from the world's most widely deployed strengthened cover glass.

Gorilla Glass 2Introduced in 2007, Corning Gorilla Glass set the industry standard for damage-resistant cover glass. Today it is the most widely deployed cover glass, used by more than 30 major brands and has been designed into more than 600 product models, spanning over 600 million units worldwide.

XBitLabs' Anton Shilov notes that the new Gorilla Glass 2 will allow makers of smartphones and media tablets to make slimmer products without sacrificing their durability, and that Gorilla Glass 2 will enable an up to 20% reduction in cover glass thickness without sacrificing performance. He observes that while Corning didn't reveal which companies plan to use Gorilla 2 glass in their future products, likely candidates would be Apple's iPad 3 and iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and others.

How to Securely Wipe Your iPad for Resale: The Right Way and the Wrong Way

ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes says there are two ways to erase an iPad. There's the right way and the wrong way. Both ways will wipe your iPad securely, but the wrong way will leave you tearing your hair out when you get your next iPad.

He outlines both alternatives.

iPad the Fastest Growing Technology Among Small Business Owners

On the eve of Apple's launch of the iPad 3 last Wednesday, The Business Journals released a new national study among small and mid-sized business (SMB) owners revealing how critical the iPad and other mobile devices have become to this hardworking business segment. According to the findings, iPad usage has nearly quadrupled among the SMB market over the past year, growing from 9% in 2010 to 34% in 2011, indicating that the iPad is the fastest growing technology among the SMB market.

In addition, since the iPad's launch in April 2010, familiarity with the product has reached incredibly high levels in its less than two year life span with 75% of SMB owners report now being "very or somewhat familiar" with the device.

Godfrey Phillips, Vice President of Research at The Business Journals, hypothesizes that the growth of the iPad is part of a new phenomenon overtaking the SMB market, noting: "Our research has shown that for SMB owners, productivity and efficiency, which used to be the central benefits of technology, are now declining in importance compared to accessibility. Now, it's crucial that business owners have access to their business information and data, anytime and anywhere. The iPad, as well as smartphones and cloud computing, are all part of this new trend and are experiencing significant growth as a result of that need."

The study also identified that iPad users in the SMB community - 34% - are tech-savvy and financially successful. In addition to being highly educated with 72% having a college education, this segment's annual household incomes (HHI) averages $176,000. Their companies are also well-established, having existed for an average of 28 years and averaging $9.2M in annual sales. The study, which will be available March 31st, was undertaken by The Business Journals, surveying a nationally representative sample of over 1,400 business owners, CEOs and presidents of companies with 5-499 employees. It provides numerous insights into the SMB market and identifies leading business brands, segmented opportunities, and details annual expenditures, economic viewpoints, technology and social marketing trends. For more information regarding The Business Journals' proprietary study, contact Godfrey Phillips, Vice President-Research, at gphillips@bizjournals.com or (800) 433-4565.

Blame Communism, Not Apple, for Conditions in Chinese Factories

The Adam Smith Foundation's Sam Bowman says: There have been some grim stories from Apple's factories* in China, of a spate of fatal accidents and worker suicides at Foxconn plants, which make parts for iPhones and iPads. The news has caused many to accuse Apple of exploiting Foxconn workers. Some say its capitalism in action. This is understandable, but wrong.

Rather, Bowman maintains: "It's no surprise that China is still very poor compared to neighboring countries like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. Forty years of brutal socialism under Mao's Communist state halted China's development, and decimated institutions crucial for wealth creation, like strong civil society and the rule of law."

Bowman cites Frank Dikkoter's book Mao's Great Famine that describes how Chinese communism murdered at least forty million people and utterly ruined the country's economy.

He notes the contrasting topical example of Hong Kong, where conditions and wages are much better than on mainland China thanks to greater wealth caused by freer markets (i.e., capitalism), and says he doesn't think Apple should be blamed for conditions in Chinese factories, noting that Apple has already brought in the Fair Labour Association, an independent body that certifies that working conditions meet a certain standard in a workplace, which he predicts will impose a premium onto the cost of Apple products, but as long as people are willing to pay it, it's a good way of circumventing China's slow climb out of poverty.

In other words, Bowman maintains that the problems with Foxconn and other Chinese factories are problems with poverty itself, and that in the long run, investment by firms like Apple in poor countries will raise the quality of life in those places, but that Foxconn-like conditions will only be history when the rest of the world is as rich as we are, and it's capitalist free markets that will do that.

* Publisher's note: Calling these "Apple's factories" is a grossly inaccurate oversimplification. Apple contracts with companies around the world to produce components for its hardware, and Foxconn is just one of the many companies it contracts with. Apple does not own Foxconn or set its policies. Foxconn and other companies in China are subject to Chinese law, which allows the labor practices some in the West find reprehensible. Fortunately Apple does have higher standards for companies it works with than the Chinese government, which, as this article reminds us, has killed millions in its desire to enforce conformity. dk

Apple Hiring Automotive Engineers: Is an iCar Infotainment System in the Works?

Automobile blog Jalopnik.com is reporting that after years of indifference to working with automakers on tighter integration of Apple products into automotive infotainment systems, there's evidence that Apple is now hiring automobile engineering specialists to design closer in-car integration for all of their devices.

The article notes that many automakers already have in-car infotainment deals in place to use Microsoft's Windows CE-based Windows Embedded Automotive 7 system, examples being Ford's SYNC, Kia's UVO, Toyota's Entune, but that some of the major carmakers such as GM and the Volkswagen Audi Group, don't as yet.

Computerworld Editor Dumps iPhone 4 for Samsung Galaxy Nexus with Android 4

Computerworld's Editor in Chief Scot Finnie says don't blame the iPhone; it's Apple's closed ecosystem that's the trouble.

Finnie says he likes a lot of things about his iPhone 4 but always thought the screen was too small, with the virtual keyboard all but unusable to him. However, he affirms that it wasn't the iPhone's fault that he decided to shelve it in favor of a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and that most of his frustration comes directly from Apple, which, after a long period of glasnost, seems to be closing its ecosystem again.

Finnie notes that beginning with OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple Mail uses its own proprietary mailbox structure, Outlook's email importer no longer works with Lion's version of Apple Mail, and Apple doesn't offer an exporter. He's grown weary of Apple's self-serving app censorship policies and has never been a fan of the iOS hiding the file system from you. And even though he understands why Apple chose not to support Adobe Flash on the iPhone and iPad, he notes that most other mobile devices do support it for the time being, their makers having made a conscious decision not to shortchange their customers on an increasingly meaningful part of the Internet experience, and that while world is moving to HTML5, he's trying to watch video on the Internet now.

"I still love my Macs," says Finnie, "but I realized that I've been unconsciously making excuses for a subpar iOS user experience."

So it's Android for him, noting that most of his misgivings about Android devices were wiped out by the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Android 4, and that Android apps are less shielded from the hardware and the operating system, meaning that they may be able to do more powerful things with very little that's off limits, such as being able to connect your cellphone to a PC by USB cable to share your phone's 3G or 4G Internet access, with the Android Market offering literally scores of tethering apps, while Apple's our-way-or-the-highway approach to everything it does only works when it's not placing restraints on what he wants his mobile phone to be able to do.

Rumor Roundup

Display Panels Ordered for 7.85" iPad

DigiTimes' Steve Shen report that AU Optronics (AUO) has landed LCD panel orders for Apple's planned 7.85" (20 cm) iPads, which he says are expected to launch in the third quarter of 2012, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report, which says Apple will also purchase 7.85" panels from LG Display but is leaving Samsung Electronic off its supplier list.

Shen also notes that Apple reportedly plans to outsource the production of the 7.85" iPads to Pegatron Technology instead of Foxconn Electronics, which has heretofore been the largest OEM iPad supplier according to the EDN report.

Jobs' Death Cleared Way for 7.85" iPad

The Register's Anna Leach reports that sample screens for a 7" iPad have been delivered for testing, according to Taiwanese manufacturing bible DigiTimes, which means that production lines could start knocking out baby iPads as early as June, enabling a lower price in order to compete directly against the Kindle Fire, which is raking in significant sales in the lower price bracket. Rumors of a smaller iPad have been swirling for a while.

Ms. Leach notes that Apple cofounder and ex-CEO Steve Jobs dismissed the concept of a smaller iPad a couple of years ago, but observes that Mr. Jobs often vehemently dismissed ideas before taking them up, and now he's obviously unable to make executive decisions, having lost his battle with cancer.

7" Tablet Makers Concerned About Rumored 7.85" iPad

DigiTimes' Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai report that Apple's rumored forthcoming launch of a 7.85" iPad in the third quarter of 2012 has other vendors concerned about the huge competitive pressure it would bear on them, according to sources from upstream component makers.

The article notes that Samsung Electronics' recently announced Galaxy Tab 2 in its a WiFi version is priced at $450 and the 3G version at $550, while Asustek plans to launch its MeMO 370T 7" tablet PC featuring quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 silicon and Android 4.0, priced at $249 to challenge Amazon's Kindle Fire, and Google is also rumored to be planning the launch of a 7" tablet PC in the second quarter with cooperation from Asustek priced at $199.

Chan and Tsai think that non-Apple tablet PC vendors can still survive in the 7" tablet PC market under the status quo, but with both Google and Apple reportedly planning to join the 7-8" tablet club in the near future, non-Apple vendors may soon have difficulty surviving.

Apps & Services

Fast Camera App Makes Capturing Action on the iPhone Lightning Quick

PR: Fast Camera 3.0 from mobile app developer I4software, just got a major update, a complete redesign that makes the app quicker, easier, and more refined. Boasting that, you'll never miss a beat of the action, Fast Camera 3.0 delivers on that promise.

Fast CameraA simple, yet powerful concept drives Fast Camera 3.0. The app starts snapping high-speed photos as soon as it opens, and continues until you hit stop. Review the photos and save only the ones you love so you don't waste valuable memory.

"I spend less time shooting and more time sharing," says Michael Zaletel, i4software CEO, "Having the ability to shoot on-the-fly means I capture perfect candid moments. A genuine smile or laugh is something you can't reproduce."

Fast Camera 3.0 takes the worry out of hitting the trigger at just the right moment. Snapping high-resolution photos at blazing speeds means you'll never have to ask the subject to smile, just one more time.

Group photos are easy with this app;I set the timer, get into the picture, and Fast Camera 3.0 starts snapping away.

Fast Camera 3.0 allows you to set a timer for 3, 5, 10, or 30 seconds before it starts taking pictures. No running back and forth between the group and setting the timer. Let Fast Camera 3.0 take the pictures while you worry about getting everyone to smile.

Taking a series of photos allows the photographer to review everything and discard images with blinking eyes, distracted looks, or other things that ruin otherwise perfect pictures.

The iPhone 3GS doesn't have a front facing camera, so this app's a lifesaver for taking self-portraits.

In addition the standard manual controls for focus, white balance, and exposure, Fast Camera 3.0 allows you to control the interval of photos being taken, allowing for speeds as slow as 5 seconds between photos up to 720 pictures a minute.

Fast Camera 3.0 is one of over twenty apps by i4software currently available on the App Store, including Video Camera, Best of Show winner at Macworld 2012, and the #1 Utility App Flashlight. With 30 apps currently under development, including an ambitious pirate-themed game and an interactive children's book, expect huge things from i4software in 2012.

There's no repeating sports action, funny pets, or live events. Don't risk missing the moment with a slow camera.

Visit i4fastcamera.com for more information about Fast Camera 3.0 and information about other apps by i4software.

Free Race Results App with Up to the Minute Motorsports News, Results, and Standings

PR: Nitto Tire, a leading producer of high performance tires, has released the Race Results app for iOS. This free mobile app will provide race fans and enthusiasts the most comprehensive real-time news, results and current driver standings.

Race Results App Race Results App Race Results App

The app includes all major motorsports such as Formula 1, NASCAR, NHRA, Formula Drift and Redline Time Attack, among others. Race Results allows users the ability to customize and select which race series they want to follow and set the level of frequency of updates. Users will be able to connect with all the popular social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to share statistics and results from their favorite races or drivers. The free app can be downloaded via the Apple App Store.

Newsfeeds for all major race events are included:

  • Race Results AppFormula 1
  • NASCAR
  • NHRA
  • NMRA (National Mustang Racing Association)
  • NMCA (National Muscle Car Association)
  • Formula Drift
  • Lucas Oil Off-road Series
  • SCORE
  • Redline Time Attack

Race Results offers comprehensive statistics and news as users will be able to view snap shot results from a specific race or scroll back through entire seasons. Additionally, the new app features a special "Read News" section where RSS feeds can be accessed for all racing category news, and a dedicated area where users can visit the Nitto Tire Mobile enhanced site, Nitto Tire Facebook and YouTube channels.

System requirements:

  • Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
  • Requires iOS 4.0 or later

Accessories

Charge Your Mobile Devices Untethered with FatCat mPower Travel Chargers

FatCat mPower Travel ChargerPR: If you leave home and forget to charge your mobile devices or run out of power on the go, finding an outlet or the time to wait near an outlet for your gadgets to charge is nearly an impossible feat. Now, there are three pocket-size travel chargers to meet all your portable power needs that are capable of charging your cell phone, smartphone, iPod, camera or iPad anywhere.

Whether you're lounging on the couch at home and want to still be able to text or browse the Internet and your charger cord is too short to reach the outlet, or flying on a plane and need a power boost, or find yourself in an emergency situation and need to charge a device to reach help, the FatCat mPower Travel Charger Series has a device to fit your needs. All FatCat devices can be relied on to store and supply high-density power delivered by the latest in lithium polymer technology. Additionally, FatCat devices are claimed to retain an 80% charge after one year of nonuse making them an ideal source of power for unexpected, emergency situations.

The FatCat mPower Travel Charger Series includes:

  • FatCat mPower Travel ChargersChargeCard - Weighing just two ounces, the ChargeCard is the lightest and slimmest portable charger available. With an output of 2,000 mAH, the ChargeCard is capable of delivering two full charges for a cell phone, and one full charge for an iPod, iPhone or handheld gaming system. MSRP $49.95.
  • PowerBar 4200 - Compact and stylish, the PowerBar 4200 (4,200 mAH) has the power to charge any mobile phone, smartphone or iPod device twice and any handheld gaming system up to 2.5 times. Available in five colors (black, blue, red, orange and silver), the PowerBar 4200 is the take-everywhere travel battery pack for the user needing mobile power on a regular basis. The advanced electronics built into the PowerBar 4200 enables it to recognize the power needs of your device. The PowerBar 4200 embodies overcharging, over-discharging, over-current and short circuit protection. MSRP $69.95.
  • PowerBar 9600 - Designed specifically with the iPad in mind, the PowerBar 9600 (9,600 mAH) can recharge your iPad anytime, anyplace to full battery power. It can also be used to charge a mobile phone eight times, an iPod four times, an iPhone 3.5 times and a handheld gaming systems 2.5 times before it needs to be recharged. Additionally, the PowerBar 9600 can charge your devices while it is simultaneously being charged. MSRP $119.95.

Each of the FatCat m Power Travel Charger Series devices comes with a male USB, female USB, micro USB, and Apple iPod/iPhone compatible tips and DC 3.5 x 1.3 plug. Tips for less common devices are available through the company website.

Pillow Tablet Lap Pillow Stand - Comfortable, Convenient, Portable

PR: Use your iPad or other Touch Screen Tablet comfortably anywhere, anytime, even sitting in bed or on the couch. With ePillow, you won't get tired of holding your tablet and it's ideal for reading or watching movies with a friend.

ePillow ePillow

Whether you want to play a game or do some typing, ePillow has you covered, with an adjustable viewing angle that fits your tablet in both portrait and landscape modes.

ePillowePillow is great for use on the go and can help make using your iPad or Touch Screen Tablet comfortable in any environment. ePillow is perfect for travel whether flying or driving. Most tablets fit the ePillow with or without a case.

ePillow works with : iPad 1 and 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, Acer Iconia A500 Tab, LG Optimus Pad, HP Touchpad, Android Toughbook Tab, Sony Tab S, Asus Transformer Prime, ePad, and even books.

Available colors:

  • Brown ePillow
  • Black ePillow
  • Red/Grey ePillow
  • ePillowAqua/Grey ePillow
  • Pink/Black ePillow
  • Black/Pink ePillow
  • Red/Black ePillow

$29.95

newMacgadgets Introduces Pad-Lock to Secure iPad 2 and iPad 3

PR: From the manufacturer of the original Apple Security Kit, which sold over 2 million units, newMacgadgets introduces the new Pad-Lock - claimed to be the first security kit designed exclusively to work with the iPad 2 and the soon to be released iPad 3.

Pad-LockThe Pad-Lock is engineered to allow full motion of the iPad 2 while minimizing any additional weight, and constructed from lightweight aircraft grade aluminum brackets that attach to the outer diagonal corners of the iPad 2. The security brackets attach below the iPad and create a base to raise the iPad 1 off the desktop. This allows the power cable and coated steel wire security cable to route underneath the iPad and out the back to provide a professional look.

The Pad-Lock secures to any fixed object with a 7' black steel wire cable and 32 mm brass padlock. The security brackets are held together with an aluminum sleeve and Torx tamperproof screw. A universal mount is also included to provide an anchor point if a fixed object is not available. The included rubber pads create a soft cushion between the aluminum brackets and iPad surface to prevent scratching.

Once assembled the Pad-Lock is barely noticeable. The black powder-coated security tabs match the iPad 2 front surface give it a professional look along with added security.

Pad-LockThe Pad-Lock is ideal for all open environments where security is a concern. Businesses and organizations that use the iPad as a presentation tool will want to use the Pad-Lock to secure their valuable investment.

In addition to their new Pad-Lock, newMacgadgets has also successfully recreated the Apple Store experience with their line of acrylic display products that are designed to replicate the look of the world's most popular retail outlet. Current products include their popular iPad 2 Security Dock, iPad 2 Wall Mount Display and their just released Apple Store Headphone Stand.

The Pad-Lock retails for $49.95 and is available directly from newMacgadgets

New PIXMA Printer Supports AirPrint for Wireless Printing from iPad, iPhone & iPod touch

PR: Canon USA, Inc., has announced that its PIXMA MX892 Wireless Office All-In-One inkjet printer will support Apple AirPrint wireless printing from iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. AirPrint allows users to wirelessly print photos, email, web pages and documents without installing device drivers. AirPrint will be available with all Canon PIXMA Wireless All-In-One inkjet printers launched from this point forward. AirPrint works with iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPod touch (3rd generation and later) running using iOS 4.2 or later. Notes:

1 Printer firmware update may be necessary for AirPrint function. Certain exceptions may apply. A PC running Windows XP or later or A Mac running OS 10.4.11 or later and USB cable required to perform firmware update. AirPrint functionality requires an iPad, iPhone 3GS or later, or iPod touch 3rd generation or later device running iOS 4.2 or later, and an AirPrint-enabled printer connected to the same network as your iOS device. A printer connected to the USB port of your Mac, PC, AirPort Base Station, or Time Capsule is not supported.2 Wireless printing requires a working network with wireless 802.11b/g or 802.11n capability. Wireless performance may vary based on terrain and distance between the printer and wireless network clients.

SkinPea Premium Screen Protection for iPhone 4S and Much More

PR: SkinPea is a new company that sells high quality screen protectors with Anti-Ripple Technology and much more.

SkinPea Screen Protectors with Anti-Ripple Technology are the optically clearest and toughest screen protectors available to help defend your device against any and all scratches caused by keys, nails, normal use or even contact with asphalt. Many competitors have claimed that their screen protectors are "invisible," when in fact, they are not. But at SkinPea, the screen protectors are Anti-Ripple Technology which prevents virtually 100% of unsightly "orange peel" or "ripple" effects caused by reflected light. The SkinPea Screen Protectors also features a 8mil film which is among the thickest in the industry. The Anti-Ripple Technology prevents unsightly "rippling" or "orange peel" effect on covered surfaces which has Antimicrobial Treatment to provide germ protection from constant handling. Also, this product has a Ultra Heavy-Duty 8mil Film reinforces shock absorption and screen protection with UV Stability eliminating yellowing of screen protector for super conforming maximum contour coverage.

Features:

  • Anti-Ripple Technology prevents unsightly "rippling" or "orange peel" effect on covered surfaces
  • Antimicrobial Treatment provides germ protection from constant handling
  • Ultra Heavy-Duty 8mil Film reinforces shock absorption and screen protection
  • UV Stability eliminates yellowing of screen protector
  • Super Conforming for maximum contour coverage

Added Features:

  • Simple Installation
  • Precise edges for exact fit
  • Increase the trade-in value of your devices
  • 30 day hassle-free money back guarantee with lifetime warranty

Zagg Introduces invisibleSHIELD, Zaggfolio, Other Accessories for New iPad

PR: Zagg Inc. has announced that it will introduce new designs of its award-winning invisibleSHIELD protective film and Zaggfolio keyboard case for Apple's new iPad. The invisibleSHIELD and Zaggfolio will be available at Zagg.com and select retailers on the same day Apple releases its updated version of the revolutionary tablet computer." Zagg has a proven track record of providing creative product solutions that protect and enhance Apple devices," says Robert G. Pedersen II, chairman and CEO of Zagg. "The invisibleSHIELD is the preferred brand for providing thin, clear scratch and smudge protection, and will allow users of the new iPad to appreciate their gadget even more. Our Zaggfolio is a leading keyboard accessory for the iPad 2, and will provide unbeatable functionality and style for owners of the new iPad."

The invisibleSHIELD is Zagg's patented, virtually invisible and indestructible film. It is available in more than 5,000 designs for the most popular electronics. The invisibleSHIELD line of films prevents smudges and fingerprints, includes a lifetime replacement warranty, and covers millions of devices around the world from bumps, scratches and dings. The Zaggfolio is a thin, yet durable, multifunction carrying case with a removable Bluetooth keyboard, and provides a built-in stand to hold the new iPad in either portrait or landscape orientation. The durable folio cover offers a sleek design with unbeatable style and function. Island-style keys provide maximum typing room and shortcuts to access special features with a push of a button. Zagg will also release an updated version of their iFrogz Summit case for the new iPad through a retail partner. The invisibleSHIELD and the Zaggfolio for the new iPad can be found online at Zagg.com and through select retailers. The retail price of the invisibleSHIELD is $29.99 for a screen cover and $39.99 for a full body cover, and the Zaggfolio for the new iPad retails for $99.99. The invisibleSHIELD HD and the invisibleSHIELD Smudge-Proof for iPad will be available within days of the device launch. Zagg offers additional unique accessories that are also available and compatible with Apples new iPad, including a range of protection, power, audio and cleaning products like the Zaggskins, the Zaggsparq 2.0, and Zaggsmartbuds, and can be found online at Zagg.com.

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