In addition to our unboxing photos, iFixit very kindly provided MacNN with some hi-res photos of the tear-down of the iPod touch. The Touch, which has shipped to many retail locations ahead of customers who pre-ordered the item, is now available at many Best Buy locations as well as some Apple retail locations.
Apple's new iPod touch began shipping to its retail stores (as well as very few customers) this weekend -- but iPhones were still the popular ticket at its San Francisco flagship location. Apple's retail stores began receiving shipments of the 16GB model on Thursday, but by Friday had still not put them on display. Representatives said that they didn't know when to expect shipments of the 8GB model. Built around the iPhone design, the new iPod touch is thinner and more compact as well as sports few new features not yet available to iPhone users, including the iTunes mobile music store. However, it does uses the same multi-touch interface. We have the traditional unboxing photos and a quick look at the over-the-air purchase process. Update: While few customers report receiving their iPod touch, some Apple retail stores and some Best Buy stores have received both 8GB and 16GB models.
Apple's back to school promo for college students is coming to an end this Sunday, September 16th. The promo allows users who buy a Mac before the deadline to get a free iPod nano by mail-in rebate. Education prices include basic MacBooks for $999 ($100 off normal retail), MacBook Pros for $1799 ($200 off retail), iMacs for $1149 ($200 off retail) and Mac Pros for $2299 ($200 off retail). In order to receive the promo, users must choose a new MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, or Mac Pro, then buy an iPod, and then complete a rebate form to receive $149 back.
Videator 4.1 ($50) Vee-Jaying, movie-making and video processing application. This release uses new QuickTime 7.2 (Tiger/Leopard) capture classes, has a new Slide Editor tool, can export Movies easily to iPhone and AppleTV as well as iPod and other formats, and includes Andrew's VJ Effects for a mandalic trance vision. [Download - 11.6MB] Google Sitemap Automator 1.8 ($30) helps web-masters get their web site listed in Google, Yahoo and MSN search. This free update includes a new and improved user interface, a filter results search field so you can quickly find a web site after scanning is complete, and improvements to help support larger web sites. [Download - 7.9MB] SoftRAID 3.6.4 ($130) software RAID application. This version of SoftRAID fully supports startup volumes under Leopard, the forthcoming major update of Mac OS X. Users will be able to migrate SoftRAID volumes to Leopard machines, update their SoftRAID boot volumes to Leopard, and install Leopard onto SoftRAID volumes seamlessly. [Download - 3.3MB] Nisus Writer Pro 1.0.1 ($80) easy to use word processor for Mac OS X. This new version, which is a free upgrade for existing Nisus Writer Pro users, contains many fixes and enhancements to the Nisus Macro language, Find and Replace engine, and the application in general. [Download - 61MB] DropWaterMark 4.0.1 ($17) has two basic mode for either a single image or folder of images. You can setup two different one line text marks, an image (image on image), or set borders for your pictures. You can also set the font, font properties, rotation, position, transparency (or brightness and color) and now shadow, bevel, and emboss. The new release tweaks all major windows and fixes a bug where watermarks might appear partially offscreen. [Download - 4.4MB] Conjure 1.2 ($35) free-form Desktop replacement, that brings project management, sketchbook, video capture, and note taking to the desktop arena. It lets you build and interact with any media, in an unstructured and touch screen-like manner, via the MightyMouse scroll wheel and MacBook touchpads. [Download - 6.7MB]
Macgamestore.com today announced the release of iWin's Jewel Quest II for Mac, the third title in the Jewel Quest series of games where players complete a series of match-three puzzles in an Indiana Jones-like setting. "Africa, 1944. Join Professor Pack on the ultimate jewel matching adventure across the world's richest continent. Rearrange precious relics to turn tiles into gold as you advance through relentlessly challenging puzzles. The wilds of the safari, the history of the Zimbabwe ruins, and the majesty of Victoria Falls await your discovery. Filled with puzzles of skill, treasure, and twists, Jewel Quest 2 is the adventure you've been waiting for." Jewel Quest II is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Fastmac today announced what it says is the first and only 8x SuperDrive upgrade for Apple's 13-inch MacBook and 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks. The new drive provides single-layer DVD burning at up to 8x speeds and dual-layer burning at up to 4X. The 9.5mm ultra slim slot loading 8x SuperDrive is built specifically for Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops with a chassis thin enough to fit inside the computers without modification. The drive replaces Apple's original slow speed Combo or SuperDrve with an entirely compatible plug-and-play internal drive that is eight times faster than the MacBook Pro's original optical drive. FastMac offers the upgrade as a user-installable kit, and provides professional installations within 24 hours. The drive self-installation upgrade is priced at $180, while 24-hour professional upgrades are available for $270. The company also offers combined hard drive upgrades from $100 (160GB) for 5,400RPM SATA drives boasting 8MB of data buffer cache.
Service provider SCO Group ended a major phase in the history of both UNIX and Linux today by declaring chapter 11 bankruptcy, forcing the company to reorganize before it can resume normal business. The sometimes scorned company said it had decided to take the action before it was absolutely necessary to make sure its existing UnixWare and mobile-oriented Me Inc. services would continue running while it returned to a profitable state, which had been damaged by the legal costs incurred as part of its lawsuits against several high profile firms for allegedly violating patents SCO held for UNIX source code.
LaubLab has released, VRAYforC4D a 3D-rendering tool, based on the Vray 1.5 engine from Chaosgroup, who also produces the well known VRAY renderplugin for 3dsMax. This is the first VRAY release that runs natively under Mac OS X. The tool uses all available CPU Cores available and also can render via unlimited cinema4d NET clients with one license. The tool features full FI rendering for animation and still frames, several anti-aliasing methods, physical sun and sky, a physical camera, multipass support, colormapping methods, and real micropolydisplacement with low memory consumption. The tool is priced at 790 euros, or about $1100.
Bolstering the ranks of companies with handheld GPS/media player devices, ASUS has disclosed details on two new navigators, the R300 and R700. The R700 (pictured) has a 4.3-inch touchscreen, with 64 of RAM, 128MB of ROM and a 400MHz Samsung CPU; in terms of media, it should handle AAC, MP3 and WMA music files, along with MPEG-4 (H.263) video. Other highlights include microSD, Bluetooth 2.0 and the ability to receive SMS messages, but its distinguishing feature is a built-in RDS-TMC receiver for traffic data. Users can also tune in and control FM radio.
Samsung's vaunted F700 touchscreen phone will likely go head-to-head with the iPhone during its European launch, according to an announcement by the company. Now called the F700V Croix based on the cross-like shape of its interface, the phone will be headed to Vodafone and offer the pan-European carrier an opportunity to compete with Apple's device. The completed version runs on a slightly larger, 3.2-inch touchscreen and still includes 3G access using HSDPA, albeit with a slower theoretical 3.6Mbps peak download rate. Its front and rear cameras will also remain for video calling and capture.
Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson are among a group of companies backing a new memory standard. Called Universal Flash Storage, it would apply to both internal and removable memory; in the case of the latter, it would theoretically eliminate the need for adapters bridging different card sizes, such as SD and microSD. The group is also working towards dramtically improving power consumption and data density, as well as access times. As an example of its goal, the group says that while it can currently take three minutes to copy a 90-minute HD video, this time could be shrunk to seconds with UFS.
The Siemens-owned VDO Dayton has pulled the wraps off two new GPS car navigators. The PN 4000 and 6000 are high-end units featuring DVB-T tuners, allowing passengers to European TV on 16:9 widescreens. Their antennas are reportedly so sensitive than users can still receive signals at speeds up to 99mph. Additionally, users can browse program listings for the next four days, or play their own music and videos by loading an SD card. Users can navigate in 2D or 3D views, and install optional modules (sold separately) for Bluetooth calling or RDS/TMC traffic information. The only difference between the 4000 and 6000 is size: the 4000 has a 4.3-inch touchscreen, whereas the 6000's measures 5.3 inches. No prices or release dates have been mentioned, though the units will likely remain Europe-only.
Virtually every piece of information about the release of AT&T's variant on HTC's TyTN II smartphone has been revealed today, courtesy of a leaked presentation slide. Confirmed to bear the Tilt name, the American version will carry 3G Internet access, GPS navigation, and Wi-Fi but drop the front camera used primarily for video calls on Asian and European networks. In exchange, the angled slider will gain access to AT&T's CV video streaming, MEdia Net services, and the company's online radio and music store services. BlackBerry Connect, Good Mobile Messaging, and multi-network IM (including AOL, Windows Live, and Yahoo) should all be available at or shortly after launch, AT&T notes.
Sans Digital has unveiled its MN2L two-bay network storage enclosure that allows users to share documents and files on a home or office network. The device features FTP support to access files remotely over the internet, and offers built-in account management to keep data safe by giving read-only or full read/write permissions to specific users or groups. The device uses the latest SATA II technology and supports hot-swapping hard drives with RAID 1 (mirroring) and RAID 0 (striping) to guard against failures or expand usable storage space. The MN2L supports Mac, Linux, and Windows systems on the network and features built-in iTunes server support for sharing music to a Mac or PC. A built-in BitTorrent download station also allows users to download BitTorrent files without a powered-on computer. The MN2L is priced at $300.
Pantech's C810 Duo, first mentioned in a leak dating back to July, has been exposed in more detail thanks to a source close to AT&T. There the device will be known simply as the Duo, and moreover, it is being claimed as a "lifetime exclusive" by the carrier. It's main feature is the inclusion of both a QWERTY keyboard and a number pad, allowing control tailored to circumstance. It should also have HSDPA broadband, along with a 1.3-megapixel camera, and Windows Mobile 6 Standard with push e-mail. It is expected to ship in late September, at a cost of $250 with two-year voice and data plans. [via Boy Genius Report]
Razer today began shipping the Pro|Click Mobile, one of its first mice designed for portables. The compact design is billed as the most precise wireless notebook mouse in the world due to its gaming heritage: the same 1200DPI optical tracking engine behind many of the company's performance mice is in place for the new model, Razer says. Bluetooth 2.0 with adaptive frequency hopping also cuts down on lag and interference near Wi-Fi and other wireless devices.
In brief: A new, unreleased version of the iPhone firmware is displayed on Apple's $100 rebate page, Apple Pro Training Series: Soundtrack Pro 2 has been released, a designer puts forth some iPod touch Billboard ad designs, MacMusic has announced plans for a 10th anniversary party, and Aqua Data Studio plans to offer free Open Source Software Developer Licenses ... Apple's page detailing the $100 store credit for early iPhone buyers displays an iPhone that shows firmware version 1.1.1, which has not yet been released. The image seems to be an indication of a shortly forthcoming update. The $100 credit -- which Apple CEO Steve Jobs promised early adopters after receiving "hundreds of emails" from upset customers -- is available only to iPhone owners who have activated the device with AT&T. Early adopters who purchased iPhones without a service plan from AT&T will not be able to cash in on Apple's $100 in-store credit.
Chinese media player designer Meizu is already developing a clone of the just released iPod touch, according to a brief statement by company president J. Wong on the official forums. While details are minimal and are accompanied by a quick mockup, Wong promises that the new device will have a 3-inch, wide-aspect touchscreen interface as well as a home button on the front face, much as with the new Apple player. The white coloring of the concept image is drawn directly from a source image for the existing M6 and might not reflect the finished design.
The first functional example of Art Lebedev Studio's Optimus Maximus keyboard is now in use at the company's Moscow office, according to a brief entry in the company's photo blog. A still shot shows a staffer using the keyboard with his Mac, complete with lit keys. While it's unclear how much of the keyboard was truly active, the finished keyboard design should change the symbols on its OLED keys to reflect a given program, with the option of customizing the keys for new software.
Anonymous sources claim that Kyocera, the international cellphone maker, is nearing completion of a deal to buy the cellular division of Sanyo. If finished, the deal could cost Kyocera 50 billion yen ($435 million), and would make it the seventh-largest cellphone maker in the world. Reuters notes that the move is not a matter of aggressiveness on Kyocera's part so much as the failure of Sanyo, which has been closing unprofitable divisions in order to regain an economic foothold. As of last March, it had posted a net loss for three years running.
In an unexpected move, the Danger/Motorola produced Sidekick Slide -- formerly known as the Zante -- has been confirmed as launching in October, but not necessarily in the United States. The first mention of the product can be found on the T-Mobile UK website, where it is described as having "full" Internet access, and being suited to mobile blogging. Traditionally, Sidekicks have been a flagship product of T-Mobile US, where they have sometimes had official and unofficial celebrity endorsements.
Apple today made its $100 credit available to early iPhone adopters who paid the full introductory price for the device less than three months prior to its hefty cost reduction earlier this month. The $100 credit -- which Apple CEO Steve Jobs promised early adopters after receiving "hundreds of emails" from upset customers -- is available only to iPhone owners who have activated the device with AT&T. Early adopters who purchased iPhones without a service plan from AT&T will not be able to cash in on Apple's $100 in-store credit, which the company says is available to iPhone owners who purchased their devices before August 22nd and who meet other specified requirements.
iRex on Friday launched the iLiad 2nd Edition, a significant upgrade to its successful eBook device. The upgrade includes a brand new battery that extends battery life up to 20 percent, allowing it to run for up to 15 hours with its Wi-Fi switched on for downloading new books. The new design is also more rugged than the original model and includes a smaller travel hub for syncing the iLiad through USB or connecting to the network with a built-in Ethernet jack. A major upgrade to the back's ergonomic design also makes the design more surefooted when staying still on a desk, according to iRex.
Adobe has updated two of its critical photography-related applications. The Photoshop Lightroom workflow software is now at v1.2, and fixes several problems, such as XMP auto-write performance, and noise reduction for Bayer-patterned sensors; quality has been raised at the default settings. The patch also increases camera compatibility, incorporating the Canon EOS-40D, Fuji FinePix IS-1, Olympus EVOLT E-510, Panasonic DMC-FZ18 and others. The download is 40.8 MB.
Mercora has rebranded itself and its website under a new moniker, Social.FM, and increased its compatibility. Thanks to new code, it is now compatible with Mac OS X and Linux, and can stream in MP3 and Flash formats. Similar in concept to sites like Last.fm, Social.FM allows users to search for music and play it instantly, whether as individual tracks or as part of a playlist. Users can further set themselves up as a DJ, streaming their own music choices to others. Other new features of the site include shuffling, an increased number of tracks (about 3.5 million), and background material such as charts, biographies and music videos.
Verizon late Thursday revealed that it was contesting the FCC's rules for the upcoming 700MHz wireless auction through a lawsuit in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, potentially sabotaging the bidding process. The rules, which demand that companies allow open access to devices and software on the frequency when it becomes available in early 2009, were labeled "arbitrary" and "capricious" by Verizon, which has typically preferred a model that locked customers to its own cellphones and services. The provider's specific legal case accused the FCC of violating the US Constitution and the Administrative Procedures Act by imposing the open-access rule on the auction, preventing Verizon and others from using their own business models.
Nisus is now shipping Writer Express 3.0, its latest word processor. The program is a scaled-back version of Writer Pro, missing features such as indexing and tables of contents; it nevertheless shares common elements, such as the ability to open Word, WordPerfect and AbiWord documents, as well as view text in scripts such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Hebrew. One of the major upgrades from earlier versions of Express is "floating" graphics, enabling text wrap around them. Users can also create glossaries, insert small caps, and more easily find and replace text. Writer Express costs $45 and is a Universal Binary for Mac OS X 10.3.9; 10.4 is needed for right-to-left input.
Deutsche Telekom's cellular carrier T-Mobile will be officially confirmed as the exclusive carrier for the iPhone in Germany next week, according to an unnamed industry insider speaking with Reuters. Apple will allegedly use its London press event next week to announce the deal and has privately negotiated a revenue sharing deal similar to that with AT&T, in which Apple collects a portion of the monthly subscription fees. Pricing will reportedly be set at 399 Euros ($554) for an 8GB model, reflecting typically high European costs. T-Mobile has so far declined comment.
Code Rebel has debuted with iRAPP 1.0, a program that lets PC owners run applications residing on their Mac systems. Users can choose to see fused, Mac-only or PC-only desktops, with the former two displaying both Mac OS X icons and the Menu Bar. Text and images can be copied between the two operating systems, and iRAPP also grants access to any peripherals that might be attached to a Mac. Users are further able to access multiple accounts on a single Mac, and multiple Macs hooked up to a network; these can be assigned to separate screens on multi-monitor PCs. On the PC side, Windows 2000, XP or Vista is required; Macs must be running Mac OS X 10.4.8 or higher, installed on iMacs, Mac minis, MacBooks or Mac Pros. iRAPP costs $80.
Kenwood on Friday upgraded its top-end Music Keg media players with the HD60GD9. The new 60GB version doubles the storage of the model from a year before and also supports unprotected AAC, giving it access to CDs ripped in iTunes and songs bought in iTunes Plus format. The audio specialist also promises that its extreme attention to sound quality has only been enhanced for this model. An updated Supreme EX decoder actively interpolates compressed tracks to fill in missing detail. Engineers also went so far as to build a vibration-free plastic and gel mount for the hard drive and a non-magnetic metal frame inside the system that prevents interference, Kenwood boasts.
Apple is offering a new iMac Software Update to its customers, through the Software Update utility in Mac OS X, or alternately via the Apple website. The v1.1 file is aimed at "20-inch and 24-inch iMac models with 2.0, 2.4, or 2.8GHz processors" -- the new aluminum iMacs -- but is only described as providing "important bug fixes." The file is 5.1MB; no other official information is available, but some accounts suggest that it may address monitor issues, as well as provide driver updates for the Radeon HD 2400 XT and Radeon HD 2600 PRO video cards.
Samsung's i760 text messaging phone is already at Verizon more than a week ahead of its actual release date, according to reports from several subscribers. Though reports have put the official release on September 24th, contacting either the business or customer service lines gives access to the unique phone, which centers around its unique front keypad. The layout is angled to still provide a natural typing feel when the phone is tilted on its side for the lateral slide-out keyboard.
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Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock
Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ
Spotify deploys new $15 family plan
Spotify has today launched a new family program. Up to six family members can have individual accounts for $15 per month for the group. All current "Premium for Family" members will be migrated to the new program. The new plan is available today globally, minus Canada. http://spoti.fi/1OSJrCK
Speck CandyShell Clear with Glitter case
Speck today announced CandyShell Clear with Glitter. Thousands of tiny pieces of glitter are embedded within the case, with what the company calls "military-grade drop protection in a slim profile." CandyShell Clear with Glitter is available now on Speck's website for $40 and up. http://bit.ly/1OSHIgM
Three UK nudges MMS users toward apps
British carrier Three has suggested its users take advantage of messaging apps, as part of an announcement regarding multimedia messaging (MMS) price rises. While the price of a message will increase on June 13 from 17.4p ($0.25) to 40p ($0.58) per MMS, Three notes that customers can avoid the hefty fees by using Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other services. http://bit.ly/1Rk0TKM
Belight Soft launches Art Text 3
Belight Soft has launched the latest version of its graphic design software, Art Text 3. The new version sticks with the goals of the previous iterations in developing a creative art text tool that is easy to use for beginners, but produces powerful results that will also appeal to pros. Among its key features are over 70 customizable templates to assist with logo design, word art, web elements and picture captions. Users can customize 3D materials using over 200 textures, over 140 bump map surfaces and over 80 environment map textures. Users of either of the two previous versions can upgrade to the new version for $30, a $20 savings. New users can also enjoy the $30 price as an introductory offer through the Mac App Store until May 31. http://bit.ly/1U6jFqu
KnowRoaming network now extends to 86 countries
KnowRoaming customers can now use its global SIM sticker to take advantage of its unlimited data plans when travelling in 86 countries. The SIM sticker is, as its name suggests, a special sticker that is applied to the back of an existing SIM card for use outside the US in supported countries. It works in conjunction with the KnowRoaming smartphone app. The latest expansion of its network came with the addition of 12 Latin American countries where travelers can now also enjoy its unlimited data plans, which are available for $8 per day. http://bit.ly/27KkXli
BMW to start supporting CarPlay this fall
BMW will add CarPlay support as one of the entertainment add-on for its X5M and X6M models, the first BWM models to do so, starting from this summer. A German-language catalog for the manufacturer spotted by Bimmerpost advises the option will arrive in August. It is unclear if the support will only be included in European versions of the car, or for further afield. The display in the vehicles will be among the largest thus far seen for CarPlay, at 10.25 inches, and hinted at possible wireless CarPlay support. The X5M currently sells for €96,470 (US$108, 275), while the X6M retails for €99,327 ($111, 453). http://bit.ly/1XnZ4DJ