iNews Review

Windowed Multitasking for iPad, Puffin iOS Web Browser Supports Flash, iOS 5.1 Jailbreak, and More

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

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.05.04

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.

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News, Reviews, & Opinion

15-Year-Old's App Brings Windowed Multitasking to the iPad

Byte's Boonsri Dickinson reports that while iPad apps normally take up the machine's full screen, it doesn't have to be that way.

Dickinson notes that Pedro Franceschi, a 15-year-old Brazilian developer, has hacked the iPad to make it run more like a traditional PC, creating an app called Quasar to allow apps on jailbroken iPads to run as if they are using a desktop operating system like Windows or Mac OS X, enabling users to keep multiple apps open at the same time.

The Quasar app is available for $9.99 on the Cydia jailbroken app store.

Dickinson quotes Franceschi affirming that "Certainly multitasking is the future of any modern operating system, including iOS. I think Apple will implement in a future version of iOS something similar to Quasar to allow [better] multitasking."

Dare we hope?

In the meantime, on his own website, Pedro Franceschi notes that with his Quasar hack, you can run your applications in separate windows, as we do on a desktop operating system, resize, move, close, and put in a fullscreen window. Quasar is integrated with the iOS's default app switcher.

Quasar is available on the Cydia Store for $9.99.

iPad and iPhone Replace iPod as First Apple Device Owned in Households

PR: The iPad is drawing new consumers to the Apple brand, with more than one-in-four iPad owners saying the device is their first Apple product, according to market research firm The NPD Group's recent Apple Ecosystem Study. NPD found that 33% of US homes (37 million households) own Apple products, and while a majority (69%) of these consumers own iPods, iPad ownership is in ascendance.

"iPad sales are growing much faster than any other Apple product has this soon after launch," says NPD director of industry analysis Ben Arnold. "In fact, one-in-five Apple owner households has one - nearly equivalent to the number that own an Apple computer. This demonstrates the appeal of both the new form factor and Apple's app ecosystem.

Historically, the iPod has been the introductory Apple device for consumers, with 82% of owners saying it was their first Apple product. This, however, is changing as first-time Apple buyers gravitate toward other product lines. While over 70% of long-standing Apple owners began their relationship with the brand by way of the iPod, this number declines to just 57% among those entering the Apple franchise in the past two years. Newcomers to the brand increasingly turn to the iPhone or iPad as their first Apple device, which combined account for one-third of first-time Apple purchases since 2010. NPD's Retail Tracking Service shows iPod sales declined nearly 18% in 2011, a result of consumer preference and digital media playback functionality migrating to other portable devices.

On average, Apple households own 2.4 Apple devices but technology ownership in these homes spans across multiple manufacturers and platforms. Six-in-ten (58%) households owning a Mac also own a PC, and nearly 30% of Apple brand enthusiasts own a non-Apple smartphone.

"Apple's OS X, iOS, and App Store are platforms specially tailored for their products," observes Arnold. "Should more households become multiple Apple product homes, these platforms will become even more important in the acquisition and sharing of content between devices. 40% of electronics shoppers say owning devices in the same brand family is an important purchase factor. As consumers look for greater interoperability between devices and more brands become aligned with platforms, we could see fewer multi-brand ecosystems in the household.

More than 3,000 consumers from NPDs online panel participated in the study which was conducted in February and balanced to represent US household demographics. Nearly one-third of the respondents owned at least one Apple device

iOS Leads Enterprise Adoption with Strong Growth Driven by iPhone 4S and iPad 2

PR: Secure and managed enterprise mobility specialists Good Technology have released their quarterly device activation report for the first quarter of 2012.

The full report provides a breakdown of smartphone and tablet devices activated amongst Good's enterprise customers, which include eight of the top 10 financial institutions, seven of the top 10 healthcare organizations, half of the Fortune 100, and companies from every major industry. The results demonstrate that companies continue to embrace the "bring your own device" (BYOD) trend and accept new devices into the enterprise.

Top 10 Devices

The Q1 findings showed that Apple's iPhone 4S hit a record high, claiming the number one device spot overall, with 37% of all activations for the first quarter (four times that of any other device).

Activations by Platform

The iPad 2 claimed the second spot overall, with 17.7% of activations for the quarter. With less than one month on the market, the new iPad, released in March 2012, rocketed to the number four spot with 4.3% of all activations for the quarter, and an impressive 12.1% of activations in March alone.

Amongst Android devices, the Motorola Droid took the top spot, with 1.6% of all activations, making it the seventh most popular device for the quarter. Overall, Android smartphones represented 26.1% of all activations for the quarter, while Android tablets came in at 2.7%.

BYOD and Tablets Drive Substantial Year-over-Year and Quarter-over-Quarter Activation Growth for Good

As a leader in enabling BYOD, Good Technology is seeing rapid growth in both the quantity and size of its customers' deployments. The number of Good customers deploying iOS and/or Android devices grew by more than 50% over the past 12 months, while the average Good customer deployment size more than doubled over the same period. Even more impressive, in Q1 2012 alone, Good's activations grew by 50% over Q4 2011, and were nearly double the two previous quarters combined.

Activations by Device Type

"BYOD smartphones and tablets combined with proactive, company-owned iPad deployments are driving rapid growth both the size and number of new deployments amongst our customers," says John Herrema, Good Technology's SVP of Corporate Strategy. "This includes significant growth in the number of Good users who have both a smartphone and a tablet, with the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 as the most frequently occurring combination."

Enterprise Users Driving Tablet Adoption

A recent Gartner press release ("Gartner Says Worldwide Media Tablets Sales to Reach 119 Million Units in 2012") forecasts 118.9 million tablets will be sold this year. Good found that iPads collectively represented roughly 97.3% of its tablet activations for Q1 2012. Apple's continued growth is not only being driven by consumers and the overall BYOD trend, but also by proactive enterprise deployment of iPads. Apple's iPhones and iPads remain the clear choice amongst end users when it comes to both BYOD and large company-driven deployments in verticals such as Financial Services, Business and Professional Services, Life Sciences and Healthcare.

Net Activations by Industry

Life Sciences witnessed the highest rate of growth in the quarter for iPad net activations by industry, steadily increasing from less than 3% in October 2011 to nearly 14% in January 2012. This growth mirrors anecdotal data around proactive iPad deployments to sales forces in that industry, most notably among Pharmaceutical and Biotech companies.

"With Windows 8, we expect more competition for Apple and the iPad in the enterprise tablet space, especially for proactive, company-owned device deployments," says John Herrema, Good Technology's SVP Corporate Strategy. "On the smartphone side, we just released support for Windows Phone 7.5 last week and it will be interesting to see how it performs over the coming quarters."

New iPad 2 vs. Old iPad 2

Macworld's James Galbraith reports that the iPad 2 sold prior to March 16 and those sold after the launch of the third-generation iPad differ in more ways than the $100 price drop.

To wit: Apple is using a different production process for its A5 processors, having switched from using Samsung's 45nm process to its 32nm process, reducing the size of the chip by 41%.

Theoretically, the smaller size could mean better performance or lower power consumption, and to see if they could find any measurable performance differences between the two versions of the iPad 2, Macworld Labs purchased a brand new model and ran their standard set of tests on them.

Tim Cook Scoffs at Tablet-Laptop Hybrids, but Apple Is So Close

Forbes Contributor Michael Humphrey says that when the CEO of a company scoffs at a concept the way Apple's Tim Cook did at the Tablet-Laptop hybrid concept that Microsoft has been developing for its Windows 8 OS on Tuesday, it doesn't mean the company will never manufacture that product. It just means someone else is going to have to prove people want it.

Humphrey cites Cook as quoted by CNN saying:

"Anything can be forced to converge, but the problem is that products are about tradeoffs, and you begin to make tradeoffs to the point where what you have left at the end of the day doesn't please anyone. You can converge a toaster and refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user."

He says he thinks Cook is right about tradeoffs, but they're really beside the point, noting that while Apple seems determined to take the keyboard out of the mobile computing experience and that while it's fine for texting and light emailing, the iPad typing experience is hardly optimal, while no such issues obtain with his MacBook Air, which, when it comes to work, he would take it over anything else. The Air is so light and portable he would gladly give up all other devices if it offered the tablet-style lean-back experience, meaning that Apple is so close to the perfect hybrid already.

Successful Jailbreak and Unlock for iOS 5.1 for iPhone 4S/4/3GS

A leader in the iPhone unlocking service globally, iphone4sjailbreak.com has announce the release of its recently updated iPhone 3GS/4/4S Jailbreak/Unlock 5.1 software.

Through its website, iphone4sjailbreak.com reveals that its software can unlock the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and the iPhone 3G up to the latest iOS 5.1, also enabling video chat on the 3GS iPhones. This also allows the iPhone to have Flash and Cydia applications installed. Providing GPS Navigation application for free, this software can be used on any GSM SIM card worldwide and is compatible with the latest baseband, while guaranteeing zero loss of features or functionality and charging zero on roaming for calling from overseas. Moreover, customers will be able to avail of lifetime updates and support upon purchase of this software.

The iphone4sjailbreak.com software guarantees ease of use. Along with the product is an illustrated guide that shows how to unlock an iPhone. The whole process takes approximately 5 minutes.

iphone4sjailbreak.com says its software has been downloaded by over 250,000 customers located in over 145 countries. To further ensure customers of its products usability, iphone4sjailbreak.com offers a 100% full money back guarantee on all orders. Customers dissatisfied with the company's product will be given a full refund, no questions asked. Customer service offers 24/7 support via email, phone and live chat.

Apps & Services

Fast Puffin Web Browser Supports Flash on iOS Devices

Puffin Web BrowserPR: Puffin Web Browser is a wicked fast web browser. With the help of cloud servers, it brings the desktop web browsing experience to tablets and smartphones, and also supports Flash video on iPads and iPhones.

The developers, CloudMosa Inc., say that more than 700,000 licenses were sold globally for Puffin Browser version 1.0., launched last year, and Puffin was ranked as the #1 paid iPad Utility in more than 10 countries. Puffin 2.0 is a major re-write and a significant upgrade. With the new algorithm, Puffin 2.0 is even faster loading, panning, and zooming of web pages.

Puffin Web Browser with GoogleFeatures:

  • Speed: Render the full versions of web pages extremely fast through cloud computing
  • Flash Support
    • Great support for Flash games
    • Play millions of Flash videos
    • Watch Flash videos in full screen mode
  • Tabs: Multi-tab UI to switch tabs between web pages with a single tap
  • Others
    • Bookmark
    • Search suggest
    • Popup blocker
    • Option to clear browser history, cookies, or cache
    • Support most international web pages and input methods

Puffin Web Browser with New York TimesA free version, Puffin Free, is also now available.

Highlights on the differences of the Puffin Free and the Puffin Web Browser:

  • Puffin Free will be search and ads sponsored - The choice of the default search engine is subject to change, and content ads may be displayed alongside with the web pages
  • Puffin Free is feature restricted - Expensive features (on the server side) may be suspended temporarily on the free version to reduce operating cost
  • Puffin Free is on the leading edge - New and experimental features will be available on the free version sooner than on the paid version
  • Puffin Free is a preview of the Puffin Web Browser - During the evaluation period (14 days), the free version has the full feature set of the paid version
  • Puffin Free does not support Flash - Flash videos and games will not play after the eval period. Nevertheless, HTML5 videos and games will be fully supported

Puffin Web Browser for iPhoneSystem Requirements:

  • Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
  • Requires iOS 5.0 or later

The paid version of Puffin sells for $2.99.

Panes iPad Widget Utility for Enhanced Multitasking

Panes iPad Widget UtilityPR: Panes is an app designed to enhance your multitasking experience on the iPad by creating a user interface in which you can easily switch between tasks (e.g., tweeting, browsing). The App comes preloaded with several core mini-apps (also called widgets) that you can switch between.

Unfortunately, due to App Store restrictions, you can still only perform one task at a time. You cannot run these widgets simultaneously.

Currently, the following widgets are available:

  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Facebook
  • Weather
  • Web
  • YouTube
  • Tasks
  • Notepad
  • Converter
  • Calculator
  • Stopwatch
  • Calendar
  • Google Reader
  • Read It Later
  • Stocks
  • Clock
  • Simple Note

Panes iPad Widget UtilityMore planned to be added in future updates

New in Version 1.0.5

  • Fixed bug affecting settings loss.
  • Fixed minor issue with weather units (C/F).
  • Updated the RSS/Google-Reader widgets to properly fit in embedded images

NOTE: If your settings disappear after updating, force close the app (double tap home button, tap+hold app icon, tap the "-") and reopen it.

Panes sells for $2.99

System requirements:

  • Compatible with iPad
  • Requires iOS 5.0 or later

Accessories

'Magic' Magnetic iPad Stand

Magnus Magic Magnetic iPad StandPR: Montclair, NJ based Ten One Design have just unveiled a very slick new iPad stand, which they claim as incredibly secure, with magnets and all that cool stuff, but they say that to be honest they're "only selling it because it looks super hot."

This isn't just a portable travel stand, and is intended to be for desktop use as well. Its developers say Magnus works beautifully with unfettered iPads (iPad 2 or later), and that protective skins on the back are no problem either.

The Magnus' hand-finishing does limit production speed, so they caution that stock levels may be low for the first few weeks.

Magnus Magic Magnetic iPad StandYou many note that the front of the Magnus shows no visible support, and the magic, so to speak, is in the magnets. Ergo, Magnus uses a strong magnetic link to hold the iPad while remaining completely out of sight.

Magnus is first machine-crafted from pure aluminum and then hand-finished using cutting-edge manufacturing techniques. After that, customized magnets are installed into the base, and rubberized feet fitted to the bottom surface. Materials employed include machined Magnus Magic Magnetic iPad Standrecyclable aluminum, nickel-plated neodymium, recyclable plastics, recyclable carton, PET-coated paper fiber.

In terms of industrial design, Magnus' designers say they targeted a reduced silhouette. Viewed from the side, you see only the iPad's tilt, and a flat plate on the desk, and from there, engineering took over.

While the iPad mounted on Magnus may look like it's defying gravity,we're assured that the magnetics keep it secure, and indeed counseled to be sure to use two hands when removing the iPad from the stand, since Magnus will try to hold on and may lift off the desk.

Magnus Stand for iPad sells for $49.95

PadPillow Pillow Stand for iPad

PadPillow Pillow Stand for iPadPR: The iPad accessory formerly known as Cushi Pillow Stand has a new name and is now known as PadPillow Pillow Stand for all generations of iPad.

PadPillow, which comes in one of three colors: Steve's Blue Jeans, Light Khaki, and Charcoal Gray sells for a price of $34.00 and is currently available for purchase through Ipevo's online store.

The name change is effective immediately. According to Ipevo, the physical packaging is also being changed to reflect the name change as swiftly as possible. During this transition, some customers may still receive packaging with the Cushi name. Ipevo assures customers that the product they receive is identical in features and functionality to the PadPillow advertised on the online store.

PadPillow Pillow Stand for iPadAs the new name implies, PadPillow is designed for all three generations of Apple's iPad. However, ebook readers like Barnes & Noble's Nook and Amazon's Kindle, other brands of tablet computers, and even traditional books and magazines are suitable for use with PadPillow.

The accessory is a plush pillow designed for reading and other tablet computing activities away from the desk. PadPillow conforms to the user's body to provide a soft yet sturdy stand while sitting, reclining on the sofa, stretching out on the carpet or lying in bed.

PadPillow has two triangular sections which can be folded together for a compact stand or stretched apart to accommodate a wireless keyboard. A 100% cotton denim cover is removable and machine-washable.

PadPillow Pillow Stand for iPad"The new name more strongly aligns PadPillow with Apple's iPad, but the overall versatility and value of this accessory remain the same," says Royce Hong, CEO and Big Head of Design for Ipevo. "Particularly for avid readers who enjoy relaxing and assuming a comfortable position as they read, PadPillow is the ideal companion whether you place it in your lap, on the bed, or on the arm of the sofa. We call it 'comfort computing,' and in fact PadPillow is so soft that you could use it as a pillow for your head after you're done."

PadPillow for all generations of iPad is available for $34 through Ipevo's online store.

Wheeled Glass Floor Stand for iPad

Wheeled Glass Floor Stand for iPadPR: This iPad (or Tablet PC) Stand Prop is a support bracket that can make iPad use more comfortable by freeing users' hands from holding the device in hand all the time, letting you enjoy the iPad in a more comfortable way.

Wheeled Glass Floor Stand for iPadThe stand prop is 360° rotatable, and the bracket part is made of metal, so it is extremely durable. It comes with four wheels supporting the the glass base, so you can move it to any place you want. The stand prop can lengthen and the prop holders are four small rubber sponges which avoid nicking your iPad.

Features:

  • With Wheels, easily move to any place in a convenient way!
  • The floor stand is made of durable Glass - as a part of your living environment.
  • Allows tilt and swivel in all directions
  • Large range of height adjustment (from 0.17m to 1.5m)
  • Heavy Duty base lets it stand reliably and easily
  • East to insert and remove iPad from Plastic holder
  • Easy to assemble, easy to store

Wheeled Glass Floor Stand for iPadThis accessory is suitable for:

  • Apple iPad 3
  • Apple iPad 1, iPad 2
  • UMPC
  • eee PC (Netbook)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9"
  • Samsung Galaxy P7100 Tab 10.1
  • Motorola Xoom MZ601
  • Motorola Xoom MX604
  • Motorola Xoom MZ600
  • LG Optimus 3D P920
  • HP Touch Pad
  • Blackberry PlayBook LTE
  • Blackberry PlayBook
  • etc... check its specifications, this is universal, could be suitable for many tablets.

Specifications:

  • Device weight (Loading): <= 1 Kg
  • Device's thickness: 5mm ~ 19mm
  • Device's dimensions: 5 inches ~ 10.1 inches.(or adjustable between 13cm ~ 26cm)
  • Gross Weight: 5.1 KG

Only ships to: USA, Canada, Australia, West and North Europe (Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, UK, Ireland), Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan ROC, Korea, Japan). For other countries, USB Fever reserves the right not to ship or you may need to pay extra shipping costs for that.

  • only ships to PayPal address
  • Ships in 7 ~ 10 days

$149.99

Bowden and Sheffield Minimalist iPad Cases

PR: The Bowden and the Sheffield iPad cases are a product design project from Provo, UT by Kickstarters Levi & Eric.

Bowden and Sheffield Minimalist iPad CasesThe cases have been designed to fully protect your iPad during everyday use while not sacrificing the design and feel of the iPad itself. The idea was to build a case sturdy enough to take a beating, but sleek enough for any setting. The developers' focus was to create a simple, clean look, while using as many natural materials as possible. They wanted this product to be crafted of the finest materials in their home state because "it just makes sense to build things close to home."

The names of products in their Fine Grain line are Eric and Levi's ancestral surnames - Sheffield coming from Eric's family tree while Bowden and Palmer come from Levi's.

Both the Bowden and the Sheffield originate from the same design, with the only difference being the materials used. Both cases will fit the iPad 2 and New iPad, and measure 10-7/8 x 8-1/2 inches and only 3/4 inch thick. They both come equipped with a magnetic closure system to keep your iPad securely in place at all times. The lining is ultra-soft felt flocking that is claimed to actual clean your screen as it goes in and out of the case. If you use your iPad with the Smart Cover, the Smart Cover can lie on the outside of the case but securely underneath the leather or felt cover of The Bowden and Sheffield.

The Bowden

The Bowden iPad caseThe Bowden is milled from aircraft-grade aluminum, bead-blasted and hard-anodized for a long-lasting finish. This is the same process that Apple uses to achieve the beautiful finish you find on Apple's unibody MacBook Pro and iMac. The Bowden also features your choice of hand finished The Bowden iPad casewalnut or cherry hardwood and black or brown full-grain, chrome-tanned leather. This leather is claimed to be the finest quality available, and will wear naturally with time, adding to the unique, natural look of your case.

The Bowden will retail for $190.

The Sheffield

The Sheffield iPad caseThe Sheffield is made of milled polycarbonate with your choice of either hand finished cherry or walnut hardwood. The cover is precision cut from 100% natural wool felt, which is strong and also wicks away liquids. Another intriguing feature of the Sheffield is its ability to be used as a dry-erase board, making it ideal for anyone needing to take temporary notes or sketches without the hassle of carrying around a separate notebook.

The Sheffield iPad caseThe felt cover can also be used as a stand when you need to type, surf the web, or whatever.

The Sheffield will retail for $190.

Materials

Eric and Levi say they strive to make each product with locally produced materials. Most of the raw materials in both the Bowden and Sheffield are produced within 50 miles of their studio, and all of their outsourced processes are performed locally as well.

Levi & Eric are attempting to collect $20,000 in funding so they can buy the tools and materials necessary to launch their iPad cases.

Dirtproof, Snowproof, and Shockproof LifeProof iPhone 4/4S Case

LifeProof iPhone 4/4S Case

PR: LifeProof, a provider of protective, everyday cases for smartphones and tablet PCs, has announced that LifeProof for the iPhone 4/4S and LifeProof in Motion accessories are now available for sale at J&R Music and Computer World in its New York megastore and online at jr.com.

LifeProof gives users freedom to use their mobile device everywhere, while singing in the shower, skiing, biking, surfing, working on LifeProof iPhone 4/4S Caseconstruction sites, playing with children - in everyday activities. The LifeProof case is claimed to deliver the highest level of waterproof, shockproof, dirtproof, and snowproof protection in an incredibly low profile, adding only 1/16" to the width of the phone, while providing full access to all device functions.

J&R Music and Computer World on Park Row in downtown Manhattan, opposite City Hall, is New York's largest electronics, music, video, and computer megastore. Occupying an entire city block across from City Hall, the 300,000 square foot store stocks everything in photography, including professional equipment, audio, video, home office, housewares, personal care, music, and movies.

"LifeProof has gained a big following in a short time because it answers a need for so many people, giving them the freedom to live their lives and stay connected anywhere," says LifeProof CEO Gary Rayner,. "At the same time, it is has a sleek and slim design and slips easily in and out of your pocket. We are excited be able to offer LifeProof at J&R stores and make it more accessible to a growing market."

J&R Electronics sells LifeProof in two locations in their New York megastore, in the Mac Dept. at 1 Park Row, 4th floor, and in the cell phone store, in store 3 on Park Row. The LifeProof iPhone case is $79.99.

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