iNews Review

iPad Home Button Unnecessary?, New iPad Tops Says Consumer Reports, Nat Geo Titanic App, and More

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

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.04.05

Because many businesses close early on Good Friday, and because Low End Mac's 15th birthday is Saturday, we're posting our news roundups a day early this week. Come back on Friday as we look back at our first 15 years - and thanks for visiting Low End Mac. - Dan Knight, publisher

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

Apps & Services

Presentation & Protection

iPod Deals

These price trackers are updated every month.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

Does the iPad Have One Button Too Many?

The New York Times' Nick Bilton thinks the front of the iPad has too many physical buttons, arguing that the Home button seems pretty unnecessary now that equivalent navigation is supported by gestures.

Bilton says that for the last couple of weeks he's been using his iPad with a piece of black tape pasted over the Home button to help pretend it doesn't exist, and he contends that not only is it entirely possible to navigate the device this way, it's often more enjoyable.

Editor's note: To each his own. I rarely use the Home button for selecting or switching apps any more, but I do cherish redundancy in terms of crucial functions and consider having both the physical Home button and gesture options that support similar functions an advantage and not a hardship or annoyance. I find having a physical control interface in addition to touch technology reassuring and hope Apple continues including a physical Home button on the iPad, even if some folks think the slab would look slicker without it. cm

New iPad Tops Consumer Reports Tablet Ratings

Consumer Reports Donna L. Tapellini says the new iPad's high-resolution display has remarkable fidelity, achieving the highest score they've ever recorded for color accuracy in a tablet display, and best rendering of detail, establishing a new benchmark in excellence, providing the and color accuracy. Consequently, the iPad now tops their new tablet Ratings, posted on Monday, and as a result of the standout performance of the new iPad's screen, CR have recalibrated their standard of excellence for tablet screens with the iPad standing alone with an excellent overall score for display quality, the iPad 2 having been demoted to "very good."

CR says performance of the new iPad was superb in virtually every other way as well, and despite its energy-intensive display and graphics, it still boasts longer battery life than all other tablets.

CR also carried out more temperature tests that confirmed the new iPad is warmer in its hottest spots than the iPad 2, but say they didn't find those temperatures cause for concern.

6 Reasons to Think Twice About Getting a New iPad

International Business Times' Vinod Yalburgi says that while the new iPad features advanced technologies and features like the Retina Display and 4G LTE connections, there are issues and bugs that could make you rue the decision to buy one.

Yalburgi cites six reasons why the new iPad may not be the answer to all your dreams:

  • Data drain/speed trap - a 4G LTE-ready iPad may be too much of a step to take.
  • Overheating, although Apple has dismissed all reports, stating the device works within specified operating standards.
  • Poor WiFi reception
  • Smart Cover sleep issue
  • Battery drain/overcharging issue
  • Yellow tint on Retina Displays

Publisher's note: We covered most of these in Griping About the New iPad earlier this week. In particular, heat is in the same range as laptops and competing tablets, the smart cover sleep issue applies primarily to third-party covers (Apple will replace its own smart covers that don't work for free), battery capacity is just fine and pretty much exactly what Apple claims it to be, and there is no "speed trap" due to LTE - you just get whatever data you want faster (if you use more, that's your choice). This is the first I've heard of a yellow tint on the screen. dk

New iPad Battery Life Not as Good as iPad 2

PCWorld's Melissa J. Perenson reports that despite Apple's claims to the contrary, PCWorld Labs tests show that the new iPad doesn't match the iPad 2 in battery life, and that running in a controlled environment, Apple's claims didn't hold up, with the new iPad lasting just 5 hours, 41 minutes - nearly 2 hours less than the iPad 2, which logged 7 hours, 37 minutes, a whopping 25% difference.

New iPad Owners Weigh in on Latest iPad

PR: Two weeks ago, the new iPad hit the market and is now in the hands of early-adopter consumers, so ChangeWave Research checked out initial reactions to the new device in a March 22-28 survey of 200 new owners, looking into their impressions of the new Apple iPad, including overall satisfaction with the device, key likes and dislikes, and the impact of the notorious heat issue. Findings include:

Customer Satisfaction

overall new iPad satisfaction

User satisfaction with the new iPad is even higher than previous iPad ratings from a February 2012 ChangeWave survey. More than four-out-of-five new iPad owners (82%) say they are Very Satisfied with the device. Another 16% say they're Somewhat Satisfied.

iPad satisfaction ratings

Here is a head-to-head comparison of the new iPad user survey results with previous iPad user results from the February 2012 ChangeWave survey.

Top iPad Likes and Dislikes

ChangeWave researchers also queried new iPad owners on the three specific features they liked best and disliked most respectively.

Here's the result of response to the question "What do you like best about the new iPad?":

new iPad likes

By a landslide, the High-Resolution Retina Display (75%) is what new iPad owners report they like best about the device. Long Battery Life (22%) comes in a distant second, followed by 4G LTE Capability (21%) and the Faster Processor (20%)

New iPad Dislikes

When asked what they dislike most about their new iPad, users cited the Cost of the Device (26%) and the Cost of the Wireless Data Plan (23%) as their two biggest gripes:

new iPad dislikes

Two other issues were each cited by 8% of owners - the iPad's Size/Weight and its Amount of Flash Memory Storage. Additional dislikes mentioned include its Integration with Other Devices (7%), Excessive Heat Coming From the Device (7%), and Battery Life (6%). No other issue was cited by more than 5% of new owners.

A Closer Look at the iPad Heat Issue

In a recent release, Consumer Reports stated that the new iPad can heat up to as much as 116 degrees Fahrenheit when plugged in and continually running a game. While the consumer publication considered this to be very warm, they said it wasn't especially uncomfortable if held for brief periods and they didn't consider it to be a safety concern.

To gauge new iPad owner reaction to the heat issue, ChangeWave presented respondents with a brief summary of the Consumer Reports findings on the new iPad and asked how much of a problem the issue of excessive heat coming from their new iPad was for them.

Only 4% of new iPad owners found the issue of excessive heat to be Somewhat of a Problem for them, and 0% found it to be a Very Big Problem. Moreover, the vast majority of new owners reported they Haven't Experienced any Problem (89%).

To put this in context, back in July 2010 ChangeWave surveyed new iPhone 4 owners on the antenna and reception issue - which at the time had received an unprecedented level of news media focus. In that survey, iPhone 4 owners were asked how big of a problem the antenna/ reception issue was for them, and we found the following:

At the time, 7% of new iPhone 4 owners found the antenna and reception issue to be a Very Big Problem and 14% Somewhat of a Problem. Two-thirds (64%) reported they Hadn't Experienced any Problem.

In comparison to the 2010 iPhone 4 Antenna/ Reception issue, the new iPad heat issue hardly registered a concern among the 200 new iPad owners in this ChangeWave survey.

Simply put, the heat issue does not appear to be a perceived problem for the overwhelming majority of new iPad owners.

Android Captures Majority of US Smartphone Market, Apple Second at 30%

PR: comScore, Inc. has released data from the comScore MobiLens service, reporting key trends in the US mobile phone industry during the three month average period ending February 2012. The study surveyed more than 30,000 US mobile subscribers and found Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 25.6 percent market share. Google Android continued to grow its share in the US smartphone market, crossing the 50-percent threshold in February to capture a majority share for the first time in its history.

OEM Market Share

For the three-month average period ending in February, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices. Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.6% of US mobile subscribers, followed by LG with 19.4% share. Apple captured the #3 ranking in February with 13.5% of mobile subscribers (up 2.3%), followed by Motorola at 12.8 percent. HTC moved into the #5 position in February at 6.3% (up 0.4%).

top mobile OEMs

Smartphone Platform Market Share

More than 104 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in February, up 14 percent versus November. Google Androids share of the smartphone market eclipsed 50% in February, an increase of 17% since February 2011. Apple ranked second with 30.2% of the smartphone market (up 5% versus year ago), followed by RIM at 13.4%, Microsoft at 3.9%, and Symbian at 1.5%.

top smartphone platforms

Mobile Content Usage

In February, 74.8% of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 2.2%. Downloaded applications were used by 49.5 percent of subscribers (up 4.6%), while browsers were used by 49.2 percent (up 4.8%). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 3.1% to 36.1% of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 32.3% of the mobile audience (up 2.6%), while 24.8 percent listened to music on their phones (up 3.1%).

mobile content usage

MobiLens data is derived from an intelligent online survey of a nationally representative sample of mobile subscribers age 13 and older. Data on mobile phone usage refers to a respondents primary mobile phone and does not include data related to a respondents secondary device.

Apps & Services

National Geographic Offers Free 'Building Titanic' iPad App

PR: In 1912, she was the largest, most complex moving object on the planet and it took a workforce of thousands more than two years to bring her to life.

Building Titanic iPad AppBuilding Titanic iPad App

Now, a century later, with the free Building Titanic app, you can travel back in time and witness Titanic's construction. You control the assembly of the majestic liner as you explore a dynamic interactive timeline and watch the great ship being built in simulated time-lapse, right before your eyes.

  • Over 50 in-depth points-of-interest along a dynamic interactive timeline of her construction.
  • More than 100 rare photos detail every aspect of her assembly.
  • Incredible archival film shows the laborers who built her in action.
  • Special previews of upcoming James Cameron and Bob Ballard Titanic documentaries from the National Geographic Channel.

Building Titanic iPad AppBuilding Titanic iPad App

Requirements:

  • Compatible with iPad
  • Requires iOS 4.0 or later

Free

Organic Gardening Magazine and Safer Brand Partner to Launch Free Planting Planner App

PR: Just in time for the kickoff of this year's gardening season, Organic Gardening magazine, in partnership with Safer Brand garden products, announces the release of Planting Planner, a free app designed to take the guesswork out of planning a garden. Planting Planners easy-to-use virtual platform lets users research, plan and manage their garden concept all in one place while offering growing advice that is tailored to each plant hardiness zone.

Planting Planner on iPhoneAll gardeners have different goals: Some may want to grow better tomatoes; others may be looking to try something new and unfamiliar.

"One of the largest hurdles for new organic gardeners is knowing what they can grow and where they can grow it. Providing both new and experienced organic gardeners with the resources and tools necessary to create and maintain their gardens will increase their ability to achieve success and further fuel their passion," says Justin Emig, Category Development Associate, Safer Brand.

Planting Planner helps users get the timing right to determine when to start seeds indoors and when to plant outside based on the frost dates for the given devices GPS location. Users can create a plant wish list, learn new growing techniques, and save multiple garden plans that can be referenced and edited throughout the season.

"All gardeners have different goals: Some may want to grow better tomatoes; others may be looking to try something new and unfamiliar," says Jeff Tkach, Publisher, Organic Gardening. "No matter what the interest or experience level, Planting Planner will provide peace of mind for a more enjoyable, successful gardening season."

Planting Planner on iPadAvailable for the iPhone, iPad, and Android, the app is easy to use. Users simply download it, search for ideas using the Browse tab, select plants to grow, and save their virtual garden selection under the My Garden tab. Then its time to check the weather and start planting!

Planting Planner key features include:

Searchable Plant Database

From artichoke to zucchini, alyssum to zinnia, the app includes a comprehensive range of popular vegetables, herbs, and flowers, both annuals and perennials. Just click the Browse tab!

User-friendly Planner Tab

Access crucial, plant-specific growing advice in a lean, quick-facts format to facilitate decision making and feasibility.

Click any item on the alphabetized plant list to view helpful growing advice such as seed spacing and depth, planting techniques like raised rows or hills that facilitate maintenance, and timing from sowing to first harvest.

When plants that are not suited for a given planting zone are selected, the Planting Planner lets users know that the choice is not recommended.

My Garden Management Tab

Add plant selections on the go to save a customized virtual garden plan.

Looking to grow several veggie patches this year? Save multiple garden plans that can be referenced and edited throughout the season.

Programmable Weather Tab

Planting PlannerHandy Weather tab provides current conditions and the forecast based on a user-selected nearby weather station.

Quick reference National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Frost Date chart based on device GPS location helps gardeners determine when to get out and grow. The Frost Date chart shows dates for the probable first and last occurrence of frost for a given area in correlation with the probability of experiencing a given temperature, allowing gardeners to better evaluate risk in planning garden timing.

Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2012, Rodale's Organic Gardening is the leading magazine resource for an organic approach to home, food, and garden. With the mission of living lightly from the ground up, the magazine empowers readers to lead simpler, healthier lives by making positive connections with the world through gardening. Featuring fresh ideas for home-cooked meals, accessible tips, tools, and tricks for gardeners of all skill levels, and gorgeous photography that inspires, Organic Gardening helps readers garden to truly live their whole lives.

You can download the Planting Planner at the Apple App store.

Organic Gardening is also available on the iPad.

System requirements:

  • Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
  • Requires iOS 3.0 or later

Free

1-Bit Camera for iPhone and iPad

PR: Snap pictures in digital retro style with 1-Bit Camera. In an age of ever-increasing megapixels and bit depth it is now painfully clear - it is not the number of pixels that matters, but the quality of those individual pixels.

1-Bit Camera 1-Bit Camera

With 1-Bit Camera you can see and record your world in one bit clarity, processed with dithering algorithms pioneered by Bill Atkinson and Bryce Bayer. Those are only fancy names, of course, but you have probably laid eyes on their immortalized legacy as per the awe-inspiring imaging seen on 1980s desktop publishing computers and on 8-bit handheld camera accessories, respectively.

1-Bit CameraPro-gear spec:

  • 1-bit dynamic range
  • More than 150 kilopixels
  • Atkinson and Bayer dithering algorithms
  • Tumble, tweet, and share your bits on social networks

Requirements:

  • Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), and iPad
  • Requires iOS 5.0 or later.

99¢

Publisher's note: Mac users, there's a similar app for you. HyperDither uses the same Bill Atkinson dithering filter and lets you apply it to your existing images. It's free and may be compatible with OS X versions as far back as 10.3, although the author was unable to test that. We reviewed version 1.2 in 2008, including comparisons with Adobe's dithering filter. dk

Lens+

Lens+ Turns Makes iDevice Camera Act Like an Analog Camera

PR: Lens+ is an easy and fast way to change your smartphone or tablet camera into an analog camera.

  • Switch the lens to an analog lens with one touch slide
  • Real time multi-preview to take a picture fast as you see the visual effect directly
  • Combine the lens and frame quickly by one touch to take a picture.
  • Apply Lens to both photos and videos.
  • Fast and easy upload to Facebook & YouTube

Lens types: Baby Face, Darken, Color Dodge, Faded, Text, Cross Process, Redscale, Lomographic, Goth, Duo Sepia, Silver Gelatin, Diana, Kieb 16a, Ronda, SMENA 35, HOLGA, Luvitel 166+, Aqua Sapphire, Nashville, Early Bird, Newage, Skyline, Cyanotype, 1920, XPro, Super 8mm, 70s, Golden Age, Pinhole

New in Version 3.3.1

  • Bug fixes and stability improvements

System requirements:

  • Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (4th generation), iPad 2 WiFi, iPad 2 WiFi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation) and iPad WiFi + 4G.
  • Requires iOS 4.1 or later

$1.99

Infovole Releases Word-2-Text Converter for iPad

PR: Infovole's newest software release is App Word-2-Text, an essential tool for the iPad if you need to work with Microsoft Word formatted documents. Only a few iPad Apps can open Microsoft Word-documents, and most of them just display the content without the facility to edit it. Additionally, most Apps on the iOS-platform omit contents when they display DOCX- or DOC-files.

Word-2-Text Converter for iPadWith Word-2-Text, the content of a Word-document can be extracted as plain text and transferred to any iPad App. This way users can import DOCX- and DOC-files to all common text editors, notebooks and other Apps and have them on hand for full-text-search and editing.

Mail, Safari, Dropbox, Evernote and all other WebKit-based Apps omit certain contents when they display a Word-document. For example, the user can not see if someone left comments, footnotes or endnotes in the document. This limitation can lead to unfortunate misunderstandings. Infovole's Kathrin Sauerwein cites certified tax consultant Norbert Schaffrinna, commenting: "Especially when you have many meetings and you're always on the go just like me, you have to be sure to really see all information from a Word-document on your iPad. This is why Word-2-Text is an indispensable tool on my iPad."

However, Word-2-Text is not only useful for displaying and reading contents: For example, Word documents can be saved in note-taking Apps like Evernote, but they are not trackable in their full-text-search. With Word-2-Text, the searchable text can be filed together with the original document.

Word-2-Text Converter for iPad

In other cases comments and table-in-table structures have to be preserved when importing a document to Pages; or contents of Word-documents need to be applied to text processors like Textkraft or Writer. All this is no longer a problem if you have Word-2-Text.

The plain text format is also very important for long-term filing: If users want to access, read or edit contents, they don't necessarily need a Word-program. Moreover, the plain text format can be read by humans and all electronic platforms in its compact and direct form without conversion and special software.

The most important features of Word-2-Text in brief:

  • Processing Microsoft Word-documents (DOCX & DOC) from Windows and Macintosh.
  • Opening Word-documents directly from e-mail attachments.
  • Receiving Word-documents from all Apps that can share those.
  • Loading Word-documents from Dropbox or iTunes file sharing.
  • Exporting text via clipboard, email text, email attachment, iCloud, Dropbox or local on the iPad.
  • Passing on plain text directly to other iPad Apps.
  • Variable font size with "pinching".
  • Direct printing from the iPad with AirPrint!.

System requirements: Compatible with iOS 3.2, 4.x, 5.x or newer.

Technical details:

  • Word-2-Text supports MS-DOCX "Word Extensions to the Office Open XML (.docx) File Format"; which is the standard document format for Word 2008 and Word 2011 Macintosh and for Word 2007 and Word 2010 for Windows (and newer versions).
  • Supports MS-DOC Word (.doc) Binary File Format; Word-97-2004-Document, which is compatible with Word 98 to Word 2004 Macintosh and Word 97 to Word 2003 for Windows.
  • Creates UTF-8 compliant text as TXT files.
  • Text formattings, images and other Word-options that can not be displayed with plain text, are naturally getting lost with the conversion. Whenever possible, tags will be used to reproduce the document structure. This way headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes and comments don't get lost.

Infovole GmbH is developer of a suite of iPad text processing apps including Textkraft, Schreibkraft, and 1a Easy Writer. Textkraft - the language specialist - contains an extensive offline-dictionary that shows synonyms and potential follow-ups. Schreibkraft is the first multilingual text processor: It speaks 10 languages in 14 country specific flavors without having to switch the language on the iPad.

Price: $1.99

Captain FTP for iPad

PR: The makers of the popular Captain FTP for Mac OS X, now unleash mobile Captain FTP for iPad, a powerful, secure, user-friendly FTP Client with tabbed interface for multiple remote connections to support uploads to remote sites and download files to your iPad.

Captain FTP for iPad

With the added ability to drag'n'drop files from your Mac or PC to the iPad, Captain FTP is the ideal tool for the mobile user to update your website, online business, blog or photo galleries while commuting, traveling and generally on the go.

Captain FTP for iPad provides simple navigation in an attractive the GUI, the Home screen and tabbed interface offers quick access to multiple remote connections, your sites are available at the touch of a finger.

Users may also drag'n'drop files from their Mac or PC to the iPad using iTunes and the USB cable.

Text files may be edited locally for quick and simple website updates.

Preview media files such as movies or photos before uploading to the remote site.

Experience increased productivity, update website on the fly, text files may be edited locally and quickly uploaded to the server, new media files such as movies or photos may be previewed before uploading.

Feature List

  • Supports FTP protocol.
  • Tabbed Graphical Interface.
  • Upload to remote FTP servers.
  • Download to local iPad.
  • Drag'n'drop files from PC to iPad with iTunes.
  • Local text editor.
  • Supports International Character sets & fonts.
  • Localised in English, French & German.
  • Local Media Preview pane.

System requirements:

  • Compatible with iPad
  • Requires iOS 5.0 or later

Euro 7,99, US $9.99

Back Up Your iOS Device Files to Your Mac with Free iBackup Viewer

PR: iBackup Viewer is free iOS backup extractor for the Mac that browses and manages backups and is capable of extracting information from iPhone/iPad backups. As backup extractor, with iBackup Viewer it's easy to save backed-up contacts to the Mac Address Book, save call history and SMS messages, view and save application data of Apps, list out web visit histories and URL bookmarks, and export bookmarks to desktop Safari's bookmark organizer including folders and links by syncing.

iBackup Viewer

iBackup Viewer automatically loads local backup databases, convert the information including contacts, call history, SMS messages and MMS messages to readable lists. Also, it lists out App and user data, previews and saves to various formats.

iBackup Viewer lists out iPhone Apps' data with original path information, it's easy to preview in Image mode or Text mode before saving the file. As an iPhone backup browser, iBackup Viewer easily shows the call history and exports the history to well formatted text file, so does SMS messages.

New in version 1.020

  • Add new feature of listing web visit histories
  • Add new feature of listing URL bookmarks
  • Sync URL bookmarks to Safari
  • Layout bug fixes

System requirements:

  • PPC/Intel
  • Mac OS X 10.5 or later

Accessories

Hip Street Bluetooth Multimedia Aluminum Keyboard Case for New iPad and iPad 2

Hip Street iPad Aluminum Keyboard CaseHip Street iPad Aluminum Keyboard CasePR: Hip Street has announced their new iPad 3rd Generation/iPad 2 Bluetooth Keyboard case. This ultra thin, space saving case is made out of durable aluminum that matches the look and feel of your iPad 3rd Generation/iPad 2.

The Bluetooth keyboard allows for fast and responsive typing. Simple to connect and simple to use in either landscape or portrait positions, Hip Street comes complete with a long lasting integrated lithium battery.

Features:

  • Hip Street iPad Aluminum Keyboard CaseUltra thin profile keyboard case
  • Automatically wakes and sleeps your iPad
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Use in portrait and landscape positions
  • Integrated, long lasting lithium rechargeable battery
  • LED charging and Bluetooth indicator lights
  • Operating distance up to 10m

Price: $129.99

ipad2casecovers.com Releases iPad 2 and 3 Compatible Cases and Covers

PR: The new iPad 3 costs as much or even more than some of the top-of-the-line PC laptops. With a reduced base price of $399, the iPad 2 is still a must-have for the everyday American family or business.

The new iPad 2's base price gives access to millions of new customers who are eager to take advantage of access to the Apple App store, meaning thousands of apps adding unbelievable controlled functionality and productivity to the everyday American.

Most families and businesses though already have an iPad 2, complete with all the accessories, but the one thing that they absolutely need is to maximize their investment by not overspending on accessories.

"We've had a lot of requests for new customers curious to make sure any iPad 2 covers, cases and accessories that they acquire are dual compatible," says Nicholas Kamau of ipad2casecovers.com. "They also want to invest in cases and covers that can be backwards compatible to maximize their investment."

"We understand and have confirmed that the new iPad is slightly thicker and has a different rear beveling, but the leather and fabric cases that we currently have should do the trick for anyone looking for backwards compatibility and protection of their iPad 2 and iPad 3s," he added.

"Some of our sleeves automatically just slip in any iPad, iPad 2 or iPad 3," says Kamau.

ipad2casecovers.com has focused on not only stocking iPad 2 accessories but has also added a complete new selection of iPad 3 cases and covers that will help users have a single destination to get all the products that they need at the highest quality available.

Seidio Launches Surface and Convert Plus, Protective Battery Powered iPhone 4 Cases

PR: Houston based Seidio, Inc. has announced the launch of Surface Plus and Convert Plus, the newest addition to their line of mobile accessories. These new additions provide Apple iPhone 4/4S users with a comprehensive set of power solutions.

Seidio's new line of products consists of the Surface Plus, Convert Plus, Innocell 1700 mAh Replacement Battery, and the Multi-Function Battery Charger. The Surface Plus integrates sleek protection with battery life in one case. The removable battery in the case allows users to switch out the battery with a spare to extend usage time. Adding versatility is the Convert Plus, which is the first battery powered case on the market that can be converted between sleek and rugged protection. Users can simply add layers to the Surface Plus, resulting in maximum protection with the Convert Plus. Holsters accompany both cases, making it a convenient and secure carrying method.

"We wanted to provide a solution for iPhone users that is comparable to the extended batteries we manufacture for Android and BlackBerry devices," says Anthony Kan, product manager. "These new accessories form a complete line, with different levels of protection available, to meet the needs of many users."

In addition to the Innocell 1700 mAh Replacement Battery, which can be used as a spare battery to carry around, Seidio is also releasing the Multi-Function Battery Charger that can charge an Apple iPhone 4/4S and a spare battery at the same time. With Seidio's new line of solutions, users can now choose their level of power and protection.

Seidio products are available at various local retailers and online at SeidioOnline.com and Amazon.com.

LifeProof Wins About.com 2012 Readers' Choice Award for Best iPhone 4S Case

PR: San Diego based LifeProof has announced that LifeProof for the iPhone 4/4S has been selected as the About.com 2012 Readers' Choice Award for Best iPhone 4S Case. Now in its fifth year, the About.com Readers' Choice Awards honor the best products, features and services across more than a dozen categories, ranging from technology to hobbies to parenting and more, as selected by its readers.

LifeProof iPhone case"This year's Readers' Choice Awards program had a record number of nominations submitted across dozens of categories and featured hundreds of finalists," says About.com managing editor Margot Weiss. "We are thankful to all our readers for their participation and congratulate LifeProof on their success."

LifeProof is a waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, and snowproof case for the iPhone 4/4S in a slim and sleek design that provides full access to all device functions. As an everyday, everywhere case that protects the iPhone from any usual hazard encountered in daily life, LifeProof is ideal for adventurers, road warriors, fitness enthusiasts or anyone who wants the freedom to be connected everyday and everywhere.

"We are honored to be recognized by About.com readers as the best case for the iPhone 4/4S. We designed LifeProof to give people complete freedom to take their mobile device with them wherever they go and use it in everything they do," says LifeProof CEO Gary Rayner. "With LifeProof, it is no longer about fear of damaging your iPhone, but instead it's about all of the things that you are now able to do with your device, such as using it to take HD videos underwater or accessing apps while running or on your mountain bike."

The LifeProof case sells for $79.99 MSRP and can be purchased at all Best Buy stores and at lifeproof.com

Ready for iPhone Deployment: OtterBox Cases Featuring Military-Style Camo

Pubilsher's note: Even if camouflage isn't your favorite color... dk

PR: For a fashionable Apple iPhone 4/4S fad, OtterBox has introduced military-style camouflage patterns to its Defender Series line of cases. Eleven options are available for deployment:

Camo OtterBox Cases

  • Urban Funk: black/gray digital camouflage silicone with pink polycarbonate
  • Blizzard: gray/white digital camouflage silicone with black polycarbonate
  • Ocean: blue digital camouflage silicone with black or blue polycarbonate
  • Desert: brown/tan digital camouflage silicone with black or white polycarbonate
  • Urban: black/gray digital camouflage silicone with black or gray polycarbonate
  • Jungle: green/brown/black old-school camouflage silicone with black or orange polycarbonate
  • Forest: green digital camouflage silicone with black polycarbonate

In traditional Defender Series form, the new military-style camouflage cases feature three rugged layers that offer the utmost defense against drops, dust, dirt and scratches. Layer one is an impenetrable screen protector that is built into the second layer, a high-impact polycarbonate shell. Layer three is robust silicone skin featuring a military-style camouflage pattern. A holster-style swivel belt clip is included for convenient carrying.

For the ultimate camo collector, OtterBox also offers Defender Series cases for the iPhone 4/4S that feature Realtree camouflage.

More OtterBox Defender Series for iPhone 4/4S Features:

  • Environmental Protection:
    • Drop and shock - protects device against drop, shock and bump
    • Dust intrusion - dust does not enter in a sufficient quantity to interfere with satisfactory operation of device
    • Water protection - not tested or recommended for water protection
  • Approximate Weight (case only): 1.83 oz (52.06 g)
  • Approximate Dimensions (case only): 4.88 (123.94 mm) x 2.71 (68.83 mm) x 0.66 (16.76 mm)

Tom Barrington Offers New Line of Exotic Leather Accessories in Variety of Colors

PR: Tom Barrington recently launched a line of exotic leather accessories that allow people to go beyond the traditional color choices. Now instead of being restricted to bland brown and black, consumers of luxury leather goods can opt for colors like emerald green, sunburst orange, indigo blue, merlot, purple and teal.

The Tom Barrington brand of luxury leather goods is perfectly suited for consumers who desire choices beyond basic brown, black and red. Because we are a specialty design brand, it is easy for us to develop leather products in a broad selection of colors - something that might be too risky for larger more established brands, said Tom Barrington, the company's owner and namesake.

The creation of Tom Barrington leather goods was driven by sheer necessity. Several years ago, while searching for a colorful leather case for his iPhone, Tom realized that there were very few color options available in quality leather mobile phone cases. After several months of researching the leather goods industry, he decided to fill the void by creating his own line of colorful handmade leather mobile phone cases. His richly-hued products became an instant hit with customers who were thrilled to have more color choice selections in luxury leather mobile phone cases.

It wasn't much of a stretch for Barrington to transform the idea of colorful leather mobile phone cases into a successful venture. He had previously been involved with leather working, making hand-tooled belts, wallets and other small leather goods. By combining this knowledge with nearly six months of research, he was able to create a leather goods brand that gives shoppers a wider selection of color choices in luxury leather goods - without sacrificing quality.

"To make it happen, the company analyzed products that were already being manufactured, determined their strengths and weaknesses, and then modified the designs to give them more uniqueness. This enabled us to turn what is normally a very conservative selection of available leather mobile phone cases into products that allow consumers to colorfully express themselves," Barrington says. "We use the highest standards of manufacturing to ensure that we make only top quality leather products available to our customers."

Today, Tom Barrington's product line of exotic leather accessories includes brightly-colored cases for Apple iPhone 4, Blackberry and Galaxy S cellphones. The company also offers cases for iPods and tablet computers, as well as key rings and men's wallets. Tom Barrington is also distinguishing itself by manufacturing and selling handmade leather products using a variety of exotic leathers, including stingray, ostrich, crocodile, tilapia, and even pony.

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Links for the Day

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Custom Search

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

MacSurfer
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
MacInTouch
MyAppleMenu
InfoMac
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
RetroMacCast
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
DealMac
Mac2Sell
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

Affiliates

Amazon.com
The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac
eBay

Low End Mac's Amazon.com store

Advertise

Open Link