iNews Review

A6X Chip Analysis, Apple Will Own iHoliday Season, Surface RT Panned, and More iOS News

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

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.11.28

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review, and general Mac news is in Mac News Review. Older Macs are covered in Vintage Mac News. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

Purchases made through links to Amazon.com and Apple's iTunes/iBook/App/Mac App Store support Low End Mac.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

Rumor Roundup

The Competition

Apps & Services

Accessories

iPod Deals

These price trackers are updated every month.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

Apple A6X Chip Teardown Analysis

Apple A6X System on ChipEE Times has posted a report by Allan Yogasingam, a technical research manager at corporate sister company of EE Times UBM TechInsights, which conducted a full teardown analysis of Apple Inc.'s iPad mini and iPad 4 tablets shortly after the devices were released on Nov. 2. Engineers from UBM TechInsights put Apple's A6X system-on-chip with dual-core processor and quad-core graphics engine that powers the iPad 4 under the knife (and microscope).

Yogasingam notes that the A6X die is about 30% larger in die area and much different in size and shape in comparison to Apple's A6 SoC used in the iPhone 5, which casts serious doubt on recent rumors that Apple is planning to graft the A6X into the iPhone.

Analyst: 'Apple Will Own This Holiday Season'

Wall St. Cheat Sheet's Aabha Rathee reports that according to Topeka Capital analyst and Apple-watcher Brian White writing in a research note, Apple is poised to have a standout holiday shopping season.

White thinks the recent selloff of Apple shares was insanely insane, and cited a Consumer Electronics Association survey in a new analysis released on Tuesday finding that tablets were now the most-desired holiday present among US adults.

Cheat Sheet offers a 20-page proprietary analysis of Apple's stock.

US Kids Look Forward to an iHoliday

PR: According to a recent Nielsen study, when it comes to devices, kids holiday wish lists are simple this year. Nielsen found that the most-wanted gifts are predominantly from one company - Apple, with Apple's popularity leading up to the holiday season continuing a trend seen over the last couple of years, with American kids aged 6-12 generally more interested in the latest iOS offerings than other consumer electronics and gaming devices.

Interest in buying in next 6 monthsApproximately half the children surveyed expressed interest in the full-sized iPad (up from 44% last year), and 36% in the new. The iPod touch and iPhone are also coveted devices among these young consumers (36% and 33%, respectively). Kids are also likely to ask for dedicated gaming hardware this holiday, with 39% mentioning Nintendo's just-released console offering, Wii U, and 29% indicating they want a device from that company's portable DS family. Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 also proved appealing, with approximately one-quarter of kids 6-12 saying they want these high definition consoles.

Interest in buying in next 6 monthsAmong consumers aged 13 and older, tablets and full-sized computers were the top electronics choices, with roughly one in five indicating they want to acquire the iPad (down from 24% last year), any other tablet, or a computer. However, in the tablet market Apple's dominance is slipping with this demographic, non-Apple devices - lead by Amazon's Kindle Fire and Samsung's Galaxy offerings - proving nearly as desirable as the iPad among teens and adults, while e-readers showed a slight decline in interest from 2011. Consumers 13 years and older were also interested in purchasing the Wii U, the iPhone and Internet-enabled TVs.

With discretionary dollars and heavy competition across gift categories, these study results suggest that consumer electronics and gaming devices should be an exciting sector to watch this holiday shopping season.

More insights on consumer electronics, gamers, console dynamics, and allocations of time and money within gaming and the broader entertainment category will be featured in the third annual Nielsen 360 Gaming Report: US Market, available in Q1 2013.

DigiTimes: Global Tablet Shipments to Surpass Notebooks in 2013

DigiTimes Research senior analyst James Wang reports that DigiTimes Research expects global tablet shipments to reach 210 million units in 2013, up 38.3% on year and surpassing notebook shipments for the first time, with branded tablet shipments to account for 140 million units.

Wang projects that Apple will remain the largest tablet vendor worldwide, but that its share in the global branded tablet shipments will drop to 55.6%, from 60% in 2012, and account for 37.4% in total tablet shipments overall (including white-box models). Google is expected to become the second largest tablet brand vendor worldwide with shipments of 19 million units, and with its Android OS is expected to become the largest platform in the tablet market, surpassing iOS.

Rumor Roundup

China's Commercial Times: Apple to Begin Trial Production of iPhone 5S Soon

DigiTimes' Steve Shen reports that Apple is expected to begin trial production of a new version of its iPhone 5, or iPhone 5S, in December with initial production volumes likely to top 50,000-100,000 units, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Times report.

Shen says that due to low yield rates in the production of iPhone 5, Apple has accelerated the certification processes for related parts and components for the iPhone 5S, which is is expected to enter volume production in the first quarter of 2013 the paper revealed, also projecting that Apple is also likely to release a new version of iPad a quarter later than the iPhone 5S.

The Competition

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT 'Simply Not a Good Product'

Tech Crunch's MG Siegler says he asked Microsoft for a loaner Surface tablet to review but was turned down, so he bought one. In hindsight, he says he now understands why Microsoft didn't want him to review the Surface - "It's simply not a good product."

He reports that after using Surface for over a week, it's hard to come up with a lot of nice things to say about the Surface, which is by and large a strange, buggy, and clunky product that Siegler simply can't imagine many people buying after the initial hype wears off.

In short, he got one, but he doesn't get it, with the bottom line being that the Surface with Windows RT is far too buggy, too slow, and has far too few apps to recommend to anyone.

Besides Steve Wozniak, Does Anyone Likes Microsoft Surface More Than an iPad?

Mac 360's Kate MacKenzie comments on evident new Microsoft fanboy, Steve Wozniak, who was recently quoted saying: "I've seen more of the type of innovation from Microsoft and you see something wow. They really change things drastically wow. They aren't even going in the same direction as everyone else, meaning the iPhone and Android."

MacKenzie notes that Microsoft's latest public blunders include the Windows Phone disaster and the Windows RT Surface tablet disaster. On the latter, she observes that on first view, the Surface tablet with Windows RT looks compelling, but is it better? Not according to reviewers and users, who've largely agreed that Surface is a convoluted mess that fails to deliver a compelling and attractive user experience.

She suggests that Wozniak has been out of the game far too long, and his product analytical skills are rusty, but she expects more substance from one of the founding fathers of the personal computing revolution.

Lawyer Hates His New Microsoft Surface So Much He's Suing

Business Insider's Laura Stampler reports that a California lawyer is so upset with his 32 GB Surface tablet turns out to have only about 16 GB of free space for data storage that he's suing Microsoft for alleged false advertising.

By comparison, the 32 GB iPad, with its much more compact iOS operating system and bundled software, still has 28 GB of free storage space.

Incidentally, computer storage in general has always had significantly less available storage space than their nominal capacity after drive formatting and an OS install, but a 50% dissonance is pretty extreme.

Apps & Services

Advent Calendar 2012 Lite for iPad

PR: Swiss-based JustKidsApps has released a lite version of its nostalgic Advent calendar for iPad with illustrations by Swiss illustrator Viviane Dommann. The Lite version contains the first four windows of the full version, the remaining 20 windows can be obtained via In-App-Purchase.

Do you remember how excited you felt each morning in December, counting down the days until Christmas? The thrill from being allowed to eat the chocolate from your advent calendar before breakfast? Have you watched your children argue over who gets to open today's window or smiled at the delight on their faces as they uncover a little keepsake?

Starting the days in December by opening the door on an Advent Calendar is a fun tradition enjoyed by many, but the best thing about Christmas is that it's about so much more than 'things'.

"Our Advent Calendar app is a lovely way to reinforce something that we believe is really important at Christmastime: sharing as a family", says Katrin Draemann Barothy, founder and owner at JustKidsApps. "Each evening, sit down together with our app and see what our calendar has in store for you to share together."

With over 100 pages, the windows have something behind them for everyone:

  • Christmas-related short stories and poems by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, O. Henry, M. A. Haley, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Clement Clarke Moore, and others
  • 3 recipes
  • Spot the difference and other little games
  • Instructions on how to make a gift box

All beautifully and whimsically illustrated by Viviane Dommann. Zoom in and explore together all the pictures and discover:

  • Christmas figures like Santa Claus and The Nutcracker sharing the pages with characters from well-known European folk tales.
  • Interactive features such as Pinocchio's nose - do you know where it goes? That his nose in fact grows?!
  • Hidden sounds - Christmas tunes, animal noises, musical instruments and more, oh my!

"And unlike 'real' Advent Calendars, your children can't 'cheat' and open the windows ahead of time!", says Katrin. "Starting on December 1st, a window will open each day until Christmas and cannot be opened beforehand - unless this feature is deactivated in iPad settings."

Regardless of where you live, with JustKidsApps' Advent calendar 2012 you can enjoy together an advent season full of snow, baking, stories, games, music and most importantly, family.

Device Requirements:

  • Compatible with iPad
  • Lite version requires iOS 6.0 or later
  • 53.6 MB
  • Full version requires iOS 5.0 or later
  • 49.9 MB

The Advent calendar 2012 is $3.99 (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Entertainment category. Advent calendar 2012 Lite (v1.0.1) - get in the mood for Advent time is free with $3.99 IAP to upgrade to the full version.

Here maps Here Maps by Nokia for iOS

 PR: Bummed by Apple's not-quite-ready-for-prime-time Maps feature in iOS 6? Here maps by NokiaNokia's Here Maps are intended to help you feel like a local anywhere you go. See where you are, search and discover nearby places, and get a feel for the place. Collect places to remember or for later discovery. Explore new destinations and know instantly how to get there on foot, by car or on public transport. Here Maps is based on the world-class NAVTEQ mapping data used in 90% of in-car navigation systems in the world.

Features:

  • Map views Pick the map you need from map view, live traffic view, public transport line view or satellite view
  • Save map areas & wander without data coverage
  • In selected countries, access community maps created and updated by users
  • Maps, search and place coverage for nearly 200 countries
  • Search with history and suggestions
  • Share places with just a tap, including the location and how to get there, over SMS, email, or social networks
  • Organize places you love into Collections
  • Sign in to Here Maps with your Nokia Account or Facebook login
  • Here mapsSync with Here.net Access your Collections anywhere
  • Step-by-Step voice-guided walk navigation
  • Walk navigation through pedestrian routes, parks, alleyways, and more
  • Public transportation and driving directions

Requirements:

  • Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
  • Requires iOS 4.3 or later
  • This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Snowflakes for iPad with Retina Display

PR: Seattle-based Hado Labs has introduced Snowflakes 1.0, an elegant new entertainment app developed for iPad with Retina display. Independently engineered and artistically designed, Snowflakes generates more than 9,000 unique and beautifully realistic snowflakes, Snowflakes 1.0 for iPad with Retina Displaywith intricate ice-like structural details. With the touch of a finger, you can create single snowflakes with three levels of detail or layer multiple snowflakes to build rich textural effects. Save your high-resolution snowflake compositions to your iPad or share instantly via email, Facebook or Twitter.

No two snowflakes are the same is a truism that holds up under Snowflakes powerful design engine, which renders the skeletal, ice-like structure of snowflakes with ethereal realism. No other app on the market produces such intricate, realistic snowflakes.

In Single mode, create up to 9,621 single snowflakes with three levels of detail. Multiple background effects and millions of color choices infinitely increase the design possibilities. Multi mode allows the possibility to layer snowflakes in multiple size and color combinations to create complex textural compositions. Move, scale and view snowflake designs in full 2048x1536 Retina display.

Use your high-resolution Snowflake compositions in your holiday greetings by saving them to your iPad, or share your images instantly with your friends via email, Facebook and Twitter.

Snowflakes features:

  • Elegant, intuitive interface
  • Two drawing modes: Single mode or Multi mode
  • Create up to 9,621 unique snowflakes in Single mode
  • Build rich textural effects with layers of snowflakes in Multi mode
  • Scale and move snowflakes with the touch of a finger
  • Select from 15 different backgrounds
  • Create millions of custom colors
  • Up to 10 levels of Undo
  • Erase feature
  • View stunning details with iPad's 2048x1536 Retina display.
  • Save high-resolution images to your iPad
  • Share instantly via email, Facebook or Twitter

Device Requirements:

  • Requires iPad with iOS 6.0 or later
  • 28.3 MB

Snowflakes 1.0 is currently $2.99 (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Entertainment category.

Find a Clean Public Restroom with Where to Wee

PR: If you've ever found it difficult to locate a public restroom or been disgusted by the condition of one, there's now an app for that. Cintas Corporation has introduced Where to Wee (W2W), a free iPhone and Android mobile phone application that allows users to find public restrooms in their vicinity and rate them based on their cleanliness.

Where to Wee"We have all been in a situation where we've really needed to go to the restroom and did not know where to go," says Staci Farmer, Marketing Manager, Cintas. "With Where to Wee, users have the peace of mind that they'll be able to find a restroom anywhere, and more importantly, that it will be clean based on others ratings."

When launching the app, users will see a map showing nearby public restrooms, which are highlighted by a colored "commodicon" based on ratings. Top-rated restrooms are indicated with a green icon, average-ranked restrooms are displayed with a yellow icon and unrated restrooms are displayed with a gray icon. By clicking a list icon, users will see a full list of available restrooms including their rating so they can choose the cleanest restroom in their area. W2W has the largest database of restroom locations compared to restroom finder apps, so users always benefit from a comprehensive list of nearby facilities.

Where to WeeTo help others locate a clean restroom, the app asks users to rate restroom conditions using a five-point system. Users can rate the availability of soap and toilet paper, the appearance of the sink and toilet areas and odor levels in the restroom. Users can also upload pictures of restrooms directly from their phone into each review. To be rated, a restroom must receive a minimum of five user reviews. Ratings will be based on the most recent reviews to guarantee accuracy and to provide below average restrooms an opportunity to improve their cleanliness for their users and earn higher ratings.

"This app is a huge improvement over basic restroom finder apps because it not only has the most restrooms in its database, but it provides the ability to find a clean restroom based on user ratings," says Farmer. "It eliminates the guesswork of wondering where you can find a restroom and whether it will be suitable when you get there. Whether you're a parent with young kids, a teenager, a road warrior, a holiday traveler, or someone with digestive issues, its a must-have app and will continue to improve as more users rate restrooms."

New in Version 2.2

  • Added a lot more restrooms
  • Showing even more restrooms for your current location
  • Support for iPhone 5's new screen size
  • You can now upload a picture from your camera roll to add to a restroom
  • Green restrooms show the top rated restrooms by Where to Wee users
  • Removed the amenities (e.g. pay toilet, change table) as the data wasn't up to date

W2W is available for complimentary download in the iPhone App store or the Android Marketplace.

Stanley Launches Free Virtual Level for iPad and iPhone

PR: Stanley has announced the introduction of its redesigned level app, now for iPad and new iPhone models. This free app is available online at the Apple App Store and brings users the accuracy and reliability users are accustomed to with traditional Stanley levels in virtual form.

Stanley FatMax Level"With over five million iPhone 5s sold in its first weekend alone, we are excited to offer our customers a revamped app compatible with features like Retina display," says Todd Langston, Director of Brand Marketing. Two virtual levels are included in the app which emulate existing Stanley levels; choose from classic cherry wood or Stanley yellow FatMax.

Stanley's Level App for the iPhone and iPad gives you a portable level in the palm of your hand. The app asks you to calibrate your phone for the first use. Once completed, the digital level is available anytime, anywhere. Just like a real level, the bubble will indicate when you're straight. For ease of use, numbers indicate how close to center you are - the farther from 0, the farther from straight you become.

Stanley FatMax LevelThe Stanley level app is ideal for simple jobs like hanging pictures, mounting shelves and more when you don't have a conventional level available. "Convenient and portable, it's a must have app for everyone from the professional contractor to the novice DIY-er," says Langston. This app combines more than a century's worth of hand tool manufacturing experience with today's latest digital technology. It harnesses the technology of an accelerometer and a digital gyroscope located in select iPhone and iPad models, to generate an understanding of where the device is in space. After an initial calibration, the bubble will read an angle up to 90 degrees and will indicate 0 degrees when you are level, with crisp, easy to read numbers.

The Stanley Level App is available for free at the Apple App Store and is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.

Stanley, a brand of Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., is a diversified worldwide supplier of tools and engineered solutions for professional, industrial, woodworking, construction and do-it-yourself use. For over 165 years, the trusted Stanley brand has been synonymous with quality, value and reliability. Its well-known hand tool and storage brands include Stanley, FatMax and FatMax Xtreme. Headquartered in New Britain, Conn., Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. operates multiple manufacturing facilities and sales offices throughout the globe.

This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad.

System requirements:

  • Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad
  • Requires iOS 5.0 or later.

Free

Partnering with 170+ Retailers, CoffeeTable Launches iPhone App in Time for Critical Holiday Shopping Season

PR: CoffeeTable, the top-ranked catalog shopping app in the App Store, debuted its iPhone app today, putting CoffeeTable in shoppers pockets as well as hands. Previously exclusive to the iPad, CoffeeTable is now compatible across popular Apple iOS mobile devices iPhone, iPad and iPad mini, in time to make the most of the upcoming holiday shopping season. CoffeeTable appThe new iPhone version of the app can be viewed in portrait mode and features a product menu at the bottom of each catalog page, allowing shoppers to see all items in an easy-to-view browse screen.

CoffeeTable is a free catalog shopping application for the iPad and iPhone, aggregating leading retailers and boutiques into a single app for a premium browsing, shopping and purchasing experience.

Currently, CoffeeTable is the only catalog aggregator app to bring their 170+ retailers to the iPhone.

A Catalog Experience That Fits in Your Pocket

The unveiling of CoffeeTable's iPhone app comes at a critical time, giving the company's retail partners access to a massive mobile audience before the two busiest shopping days of the year - Black Friday and Cyber Monday. According to a report from Deloitte, 68% of smartphone users are planning CoffeeTableto use their devices for shopping this holiday season, and smartphones are predicted to influence $36 billion of in-store sales during this period. With 26.9 million iPhones sold last quarter, retailers on CoffeeTable now have the opportunity to engage with consumers in new, incremental ways outside of the traditional brick and mortar stores and ecommerce sites.

"We first brought CoffeeTable to the couch and the bed with our award-winning iPad app, and now, iPad mini and iPhone-optimized versions will extend that experience outside of the home," says CoffeeTable CEO Ben Choi. "Shoppers can now use the CoffeeTable app to find what they love during every part of their day."

Happy Birthday CoffeeTable!

Since launching in November 2011, CoffeeTable has risen to become the #1 catalog app in the App Store with a user base that continues to explode. The startup began with less than a dozen retailers and has grown to house some of the worlds leading brands and boutiques. Marquee retailers include L.L. Bean, Express, Crate and Barrel, Sephora, Eddie Bauer, and others. In April, CoffeeTable announced raising a $2.5 million Series A round of fundraising from strategic investor RR Donnelley, the worlds premier content aggregator, distributor, and marketing services provider. Also, with more than 170 brands choosing CoffeeTable as their tablet partner, the company has seen the number of retailers using their solution increase 33% within the past three months.

Additionally, CoffeeTable recently released a retailer analytics dashboard that is revolutionizing both the mobile commerce and catalog industries. The dashboard provides brands with unprecedented real-time analytics about shopper engagement that retailers can apply to both their online and offline strategies in areas such as catalog layout, product merchandising, pricing, inventory planning, and more. CoffeeTable for iPhoneThis rich and abundant data has lead to the creation of their Couch Commerce Index (CCI), a free quarterly report generated by the company to track consumer engagement in the tablet space. Now with the introduction of the iPhone app, CoffeeTable will be able to reach a new set of users and gain additional analytics about how mobile shoppers are engaging with catalogs and discovering new products.

"We're extraordinarily proud of what we've accomplished in the past 12 months at CoffeeTable," says Ben. "Not only have we been able to provide shoppers convenient access to their favorite retailers, but shoppers are also discovering new boutique brands via our app as well. Meanwhile, our retail partners have found our analytics offerings extremely useful, applying them immediately to their holiday marketing strategies. With the app now available on the iPhone, our data will be even more informative, now including analytics of mobile users as well as tablet shoppers."

Accessories

SunLeaf Pro, a Powerful and Portable iPad Solar Charger

SunLeaf Pro solar chargerPR: Designed with the iPad 3 in mind, the 15 watt SunLeaf Pro is the perfect solar charger to keep your gadgets charged during your extended treks around the globe. Portable and lightweight, the unique folding design allows for maximum power when expanded while still folding up to be just 1/8th the expanded size. The synthetic fabric is both durable and water proof, inside the fabric are 6 solar panels producing 15 Watts of power. Plenty of power to charge the demanding iPad 3.

Having a SunLeaf Pro in your pack means you are only a sunny day away from a fully charged iPad. SunLeaf Pro solar chargerImagine charging your iPad on the side of a mountain, how about somewhere warmer, like the beach, or a desert! All possibilities when you have the SunLeaf Pro in your pack. It has the perfect combination of portability and power.

The SunLeaf Pro's unique folding design allows for maximum power when expanded while still folding up to be just 1/8th the expanded size. The lightweight synthetic fabric is both durable and water proof, inside the fabric are 6 solar panels producing 15 Watts of power. Plenty of power to charge the demanding iPad 3. The 15 watt SunLeaf Pro is the perfect solar charger to keep your gadgets charged during your extended treks around the globe:

  • Powerful: Charges iPad 3 (newest model) to 50% in 4.5 hours, iPad 2 to 50% in 3 hours, and iPhone 4S charges fully in under 2.5 hours
  • Lightweight: Only 1.5 lb.! ~.68 Kg
  • Smart Construction: No rigid corners means maximum portability and easy packing

The SunLeaf Pro can provide power to your other USB gadgets as well. The SunLeaf Pro's USB port is universal and works with most USB gear. Guaranteed to work between the temperatures of -35°F to 110°F. Includes USB AA/AAA battery charger and 2 rechargeable AA batteries.

The SunLeaf Pro is $179.99 MSRP. The box includes one SunLeaf Solar Charger, one USB voltage controller, and one Quick Start Guide.

iGearUnlimited: 'Quite Possibly the World's Perfect iPad mini Case'

PR: Gadget case maker iGearUnlimited.com. asked customers for the features they'd look for in a perfect iPad mini case, and the top six answers were:

  1. Protect the iPad mini from all angles front, back, all sides, and all corners
  2. Auto wake/sleep using Apple's Smart Cover design
  3. Lightweight, thin profile, durable protection without adding bulk
  4. Full access to all ports, buttons, and controls
  5. Multiple viewing angles: completely flat on the table, slightly tilted for typing, and at least three vertical angles for movie watching
  6. Customizable design let users put their favorite images on the case for a completely customized experience

While some cases on the market have some of these features, finding a customized iPad mini case generally means giving up front protection, since almost all customizable cases only are available as a one-piece clip-on style for the back of the iPad mini. While a magnet-attached smart cover can be added, Custom iPad mini Case from iGearUnlimited.commany users are thinking twice about this combination because of the horror stories of users grabbing onto the cover while the iPad mini itself does a free fall.

The new Custom iPad mini Case from iGearUnlimited.com delivers on all points. The case is engineered to great precision and the iPad mini fits snugly. The lightweight hard shell case is made with polycarbonate, one of most durable materials around, protecting the iPad mini from daily use and abuse. The iPad mini is completely enclosed from all sides, with the precise cutouts for all ports and buttons.

The Custom iPad mini Case comes with two sets of magnets one set to activate the iPad mini's auto wake/sleep feature, and another to keep the case closed when not in use. Using three strategically positioned hinges, the iPad mini can be positioned at five different viewing angles, from completely flat to vertically tilted for use in any situation.

Most importantly, the customization feature on iGear's iPad mini case is unmatched by any other similar product on the market. Customers can upload their own photo artwork to the ordering website, scale and crop the image, add text, and approve the design immediately online. The design tool with built-in Facebook integration makes the process super-easy, even for novice users, and the HTML5-based customization engine means it can be used on virtually all mobile devices, including the very iPad mini the case for which is being designed.

"Quite possibly, this is the world's most perfect iPad mini case," says Jimmy Sun, president of iGearUnlimited.com. "The case delivers all the features our customers are looking in an iPad mini case good protection, light and slim profile, full-customization this is truly a home-run product."

Users can upload their own photo artwork for personal use or give as gifts, and businesses can send in high-resolution vector logo artwork for branding their company. For classic fine art lovers, the company offers a stock photo library with close to 8,000 high-resolution fine art images from the worlds most famous artists, including Van Gogh, Monet, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Cezanne, and more.

Priced at $79.99 each, manufacturer claims it's "the Porsche of iPad mini cases" and deserves a spot on anyone's holiday shopping list.

The company is taking preorders and will start shipping on 11/29/12.

WaterField Designs Releases Indy Mini: New Leather iPad mini Bag

Mini Indy iPad CasePR: San Francisco based WaterField Designs, purveyor of custom laptop sleeves, and designer bags and cases for digitally-minded professionals, has unveiled their new Indy Mini minimalist leather shoulder bag to carry the iPad mini and a few necessities.

The Indy sports distressed leather, a discreet hint of color, and carefully designed, functional organizational pockets. All WaterField Designs products are manufactured to exacting standards entirely in San Francisco.

Mini Indy iPad CaseThe Indy Mini features:

  • Black or brown, naturally-tanned leather for an elegant yet outdoorsy, well-worn look
  • Choice of black matte or nickel metal hardware
  • Gold-colored interior lining so contents are easy to see
  • Virtually hidden main compartment zipper that sits below the opening
  • An organizational pocket and key fob within the main compartment
  • Ultrasuede-lined diagonal front pocket with a hint of color for storing phone and quick-access items
  • Self-locking zippered back pocket
  • Adjustable strap for wearing cross body or over the shoulder

Mini Indy iPad Case"My new iPad mini has already become as indispensable as my wallet, phone and keys, but I can't fit all four in my pockets," says owner Gary WaterField. "The Indy Mini fits all of these and easily hangs across my body. There's no need to walk around with bulging pockets when I've got the iPad mini along."

Mini Indy iPad CaseThe Indy Mini sells for $169, and is available in your choice of distressed black or grizzly brown naturally-tanned leather with front pocket color accents in black, copper, pine, grass, flame, or pearl. Hardware is also offered in customer specified metal black matte or nickel.

Available now.

New BookBook for iPhone 5

PR: Twelve South has announced the release of the much-anticipated BookBook case for iPhone 5. Redesigned exclusively for iPhone 5, BookBook combines a wallet with an iPhone case, creating a handsome, genuine leather case that protects and disguises both wallet and phone. This installment of BookBook features five slots for cards, cash and ID, a secure, leather-wrapped frame to hold iPhone 5, and a built-in camera hole. The Vintage Brown and Classic Black versions of BookBook for iPhone 5 are available at TwelveSouth.com for $59.99.

BookBook for iPhone 5BookBook for iPhone 5, the latest chapter in the Twelve South BookBook collection, has been reconfigured to protect and promote the best features of Apple's latest iPhone. To hold iPhone 5 in place, BookBook has a leather-wrapped inner frame that provides edge-to-edge access to all four inches of the beautiful retina display on iPhone 5. Users also have access to all iPhone ports and buttons. By popular request, BookBook for iPhone 5 has a built-in camera hole to quickly grab photos with the iSight camera and shoot stunning HD video with iPhone 5.

All of those reward and airline frequent flyer cards that fatten your wallet are still there, tucked inside Apple's Passbook app. Users will find reading books on iPhone even more fun with BookBook. This unique case becomes your wallet, checkbook, address book, notebook and diary. Simply put, BookBook becomes the story of your life.

On the wallet side of BookBook for iPhone 5, you will find three slots for debit, credit or business cards, plus a window slot to display a drivers license or ID. The window has a convenient thumb slide for quick removal of your ID. BookBook also has a slot for cash and receipts. If you ever lose your wallet, simply use Apple's Find My Phone feature to retrieve your wallet and iPhone 5.

"The sign of a great accessory is how much you miss it when it's gone," says Andrew Green, Creative Director of Twelve South. "The demand for the BookBook for iPhone 5 has shown just how essential our iPhone case and wallet has become in many of our customers lives. I am thrilled to say its finally ready. But its not just a rehash of the previous version, it includes a much-requested camera hole, extra card slot and an entirely new leather-covered interior support frame. Our favorite thing to do is make our customers happy. Today many of them are smiling."

BookBook for iPhone 5BookBook for iPhone 5, like previous versions, is crafted from high-quality, genuine leather and hand-distressed so that no two look exactly alike. Color options include Vintage Brown and Classic Black. In addition to standout looks, BookBook protects iPhone 5 with a rigid spine and two hardback book covers. Perhaps the best feature of all is the fact that BookBook turns your wallet and iPhone 5 into a pocket-sized book, keeping it out of sight from any would-be thieves.

Reduce the clutter in your pocket by combining your wallet and iPhone case into one BookBook. The Vintage Brown BookBook for iPhone 5 will also be exclusively available at Apple Stores worldwide soon.

Haven't upgraded to an iPhone 5? Not to worry. BookBook for iPhone 4/4S is still available from Twelve South.

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