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Playing catch-up with competitors Hitachi and Samsung -- both of which have begun shipping 500GB laptop drives -- Toshiba has finally announced a new 400GB high-capacity drive along with a new line-up of high-performance 7,200rpm 2.5-inch HDDs. The new 400GB drive boosts areal density to 477Mbit/s (308Gbpsi) to achieve a capacity of 400GB on just two platters and is touted as its "low-noise flagship model." The new 400GB notebook drive (MK4058GSX) is expected to hit mass production in September and will target both notebook PC and consumer electronic applications; however, the company expects to ramp up production of its higher performance 7,200rpm models of its current drives next month, including the 320GB (MK3254GSY) model and the smaller 80GB, 120GB, 160GB and 250GB capacities.
Glitches in Apple's MobileMe service persist five days after its launch, with users unable to access either the HomePage creation tool to make or edit web sites, as well as .Mac groups. The problems have sat silently since July 10th, with a notice informing users that the issues would be solved in short order, and no other explanation for the issue. Users affected by the HomePage outage can still use iWeb or a third-party website creation tool as a supplement.
Samsung on Tuesday unveiled two digital cameras: the NV100 HD pocket digital camera with an impressive 14.7 megapixel resolution and the NV9 pocket camera with 10.2MP. The Samsung NV100 HD boasts a 3-inch touchscreen, 3.6x Schneider Kreuznach zoom lens, face recognition features, smile and blink detection, and up to ISO 3200 sensitivity. In addition, the camera's tin CCD records images with up to 4,384 x 3,288px resolution, allowing it display HD resolution on HDMI-compatible HD displays (via the optional docking station). The camera can also record HD video with 720p resolution (1,280 x 720px) at 30fps.
Zipcar -- which says it's the world's leading provider of cars "by the hour or day" -- has released a widget to help iPhone users locate the nearest available vehicle. Designed as a green alternative to car ownership, Zipcar provides a network of cars in many areas of the country so users can rent as needed. Users can also arrange carpooling by sharing real-time location data via the iPhone. The company says its users tend to be "early adopters" so iPhone technology is good fit.
USBFever has introduced two new products for the iPhone 3G: an aluminum case/a> and a flexible windshield mount. The case has a neoprene lining for shock protection and comes in metallic black or silver. The company says the lightweight case is made of high-grade aluminum and comes with a 360-degree swivel belt clip.
Despite the iPhone 3G's more modern wireless communication standards, arguably thinner design, and inclusion of GPS, its overall cost of manufacture has dropped just over $50, according to iSuppli. The company's Teardown Analysis Service reveals that the device is geared towards cutting costs, while increasing worldwide presence, rather than simply filling the iPhone with the latest and greatest. The iPhone 3G is assessed at $174.33, almost exactly the predicted $173 issued in June.
Sandisk on Tuesday introduced the "WORM," or "Write Once Read Many" SD card for professional uses such as storing evidence in police investigations, court testimony, medical records and electronic voting. Sandisk claims original data written to WORM cards are "effectively locked" and there is "no physical way to alter or delete the files." If stored properly, the company claims, WORM SD cards have an archive live of up to 100 years.
The iPhone Dev Team says it had become the first to jailbreak an iPhone 3G. In a posting just a few hours ago on its blog, the group showed a picture of its "Pwnage Tool" jail-breaking software for the iPhone and iPod Touch with a new addition -- support for the 3G. The posting says "this is not a release announcement, but we are working hard," apparently on a final version of the software.
Google, Viacom, and the Football Association of England have all reached an agreement after the latter two firms brought charges of copyright infringement to the video-based social networking site YouTube. Reuters reveals that while the service normally specializes in user-created content, YouTube also hosts many segmented commercial productions, despite the action being against its End-User License Agreement.
Funambol has released an iPhone plug-in allows "over-the-air" syncing of address book contacts with other mobile phones, free server-based backup and easy contact syncing with Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird and other popular e-mail software. The plug-in works with the iPhone 3G, iPod Touch, and first-gen iPhones upgraded to version 2.0. Funambol -- which calls itself the world's largest open-source mobile messaging platform -- says the plug-in makes it easy to migrate contacts from one phone to another. It also allows users to sync contacts without iTunes or MobileMe.
Apple's online store is currently offering refurbished iPod touch models at up to $100 off the original price. Three storage capacities are available to chose from, 8GB (up to 1,750 songs) for $199, 16GB (up to $3,500 songs) for $299, and 32GB (up to 7,000 songs) for $429. All models have the current software release, multi-touch display, Safari, built-in Wi-Fi and can play up to 22 hours of music or five hours of video on one charge. Current generation 8GB iPod nano models are also available in silver, blue, green, black or pink for $149 and hold up to 2,000 songs with up to 24 hours of music playback or five hours of video playback on one charge. Included with the iPod touch and iPod nano are Apple earphones, USB cable and dock adapter.
Fujitsu today introduced six new notebooks and tablet PCs based on the Intel Centrino 2 mobile platform announced last night. The two tablet PCs are the LifeBook T5010 and T1010, both sporting a 13.3-inch display. The main difference between the two is the use of the Centrino 2 vPro business chipset in the T5010 and the regular Centrino 2 in the T1010, with less security and no remote access options. The T5010 also features a modular bay that allows the optical drive to make room for a secondary battery.
Korean communications giant SK Telecom is discussing buying out third-largest American cell carrier Sprint, CNBC claims. Although technically smaller than Sprint, sources say SKT hopes to bring a private equity group into the deal that would give it enough financial clout to complete the deal. The Korean company allegedly wants any takeover to occur on friendly terms and is proceeding slowly, with any possible agreement still uncertain and weeks away at the earliest.
An iPhone and iPod touch version of Europa Universalis is in development, HSC and Virtual Programming have announced. The port is being conducted by the former company, and follows the latter's recent conversion of Europa Universalis: Rome from the PC to Mac OS X. As coding of the iPhone Universalis port has just begun, no App Store prices or release dates have so far been published.
MixMeister on Tuesday announced a new app that brings the fun of scratching like a DJ to the iPhone and iPod touch. Scratch allows users to scratch anywhere, anytime, regardless of DJ experience of technique. It allows users to take tracks already on an iPhone or iPod touch and then add on a vinyl scratch sound from a collection in the app. Users are then able to modify the scratch sound by moving their finger across a vinyl record shown on the screen, giving the feeling of actually scratching a record. Users are also able to adjust volume levels in real time simply using the touch interface, giving the user freedom to experiment and be creative in many different ways.
Sony on Tuesday announced that it would launch a lower-cost PlayStation 3 with an 80GB hard drive. The new version will have the $399 price and "same functionality" as the 40GB model but hold twice the storage, leaving more room for movies from the company's new PlayStation video service as well as more downloadable game content and personal media. Sony doesn't say whether the functionality will include software emulation of PS2 titles or whether the system will ship standard with a Dual Shock 3 gamepad.
Earlier today MacMedia announced the release of an update to PhoneAgent, syncing software for Mac OS X and Sony Ericsson mobile phones. Version 1.5 adds support to another model in the Ericsson line, the C902. This brings the number of Ericsson's supported 13, including the T610, T616, T630, T637, Z600, K700i, K750i, K790i, K800i, K810i, W800i, W880 and C902. PhoneAgent allows Mac users to easily modify the information on their phones using tools in the program as opposed to entering data directly on the phone. This means that data can be quickly and easily typed on desktop or laptop, decreasing the hassle of entering data on the phones. Tools include a Phonebook editor, SMS messaging, calender editor, MMS message editor, theme editor, tile exchange, task editor, bookmark importer and a notes editor.
Snarb.tk has released v2.2 of Cover Stream, its extension software for iTunes. The app makes access to Cover Flow more convenient by isolating it from iTunes, and making use possible without having to switch apps. Users can still filter playlists and run keyword searches, as well as run in a full-screen mode, which supports control with Apple's IR remote. Alternately, various hotkeys can be assigned.
Sony at its E3 press gathering this afternoon formally introduced a Video section to the console side of the PlayStation Store. Users of the PlayStation 3 will be able to buy or rent content from most major studios, including not just its own Sony Pictures but also Disney, Fox, NGM, Paramount, Warner, and other smaller studios. The company is uniquely one of the first to allow TV show purchases in HD as well as in standard definition, and prices them at $2 each; movies can be rented in either resolution for typical prices of $3 to $4, with permanent movie downloads selling for $10 to $20.
Sony today helped the PlayStation 2 towards the end of its life with news of a new bundle for the console. The Lego Batman bundle ties the black version of the game system with both a copy of the upcoming Lego Batman game as well as a DVD version of the new Justice League: New Frontiers superhero movie. The system is otherwise the same as the slim PS2 and comes with a lone DualShock 2 gamepad when it ships in the fall for $149.
Forum roundup: With last Friday's release of the new iPhone 3G MacNN forum goers have discovered that it is incompatible with some older accessories that were designed to work with the original iPhone such as car chargers and sound systems, however an adapter is rumored to be available to resolve compatibility issues in the near future. Users who have been experiencing problems with the PUSH feature gather here for advice and assistance, some were able to resolve the issue by running updates, others continue to have problems.
Apple has dropped plans to lower the price of music on the UK iTunes Store, the BBC reports. Tracks on the service normally cost 79p each, as compared to the continental price of €0.99. When Apple's cuts were announced in January, the value of the Euro meant that the UK was being charged an extra 5p per track; because the Euro has since increased in value however, the pricing on iTunes is now equal on both sides of the Channel.
Monday night's launch of the new Intel Centrino 2 notebook platform, unveiling of the 45nm, 3.06GHz Core 2 Extreme mobile processor and announcement of 14 total forthcoming chips was covered last night, but there is room to expand on Intel's presentation. The company stressed its new focus, showing that laptop computers are increasingly outselling desktops.
Acer today unveiled information on nine new notebooks that take advantage of the recently introduced Intel Centrino 2 platform that uses faster processors and a 1,066MHz system bus, among other changes. The four new Aspire-line notebooks will also sport WiMAX functionality and be tailored for the multimedia user, while the five TravelMates notebooks are geared towards business users. While Acer has been thin on details, the company did reveal some information on the new notebooks.
iHome today said it has started shipping the ZN9. The stereo system is the first clock radio dock for Microsoft's player and can play live audio from a Zune 4, 8, or 80 as well as use the portable device as the source of music for the alarm; the device's AM/FM radio or a simple buzzer is also an option. Like iHome's iPod equivalents, the ZN9 also permits setting an alarm that varies for weekdays and weekends, and users can also set gradual wake or sleep timers to fade the volume.
CalDigit has announced the CalDigit RAID Card, a Mac hardware RAID card, capable of RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 and JBOD. The new card works with any PCIe-equipped computer, and supports four internal drives, with up to twelve external drives and offers full RAID hardware support. It is Mac-bootable and can boot a Boot Camp Windows volume as well. It offers speeds up to 500 MB per second and a current maximum capacity of 16 TB. The card requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher (and works with Windows and Linux as well) and is available now and lists for $550.
Less than a week after the iPhone 3G launch, a hardware-based unlock has been announced for the new phone. Gizmodo describes how the process works using the SIM card. Utilizing a special card on the back of the iPhone 3G SIM card, the phone is fed a forged International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI), tricking the phone into working on a different network. The hack is confirmed via video, but not currently available.
Memory and computer builder OCZ has announced its own, custom version of Intel's Centrino 2 platform. The OCZ interpretation comes in the form of a "whitebook" portable system labeled the OCZNBIM17A, which supports the top-end mobile version of the Core 2 Extreme processor, the X9100. The system is also capable of supporting two AMD M88XT video cards in SLI mode, or a single GeForce 8800 GTX by Nvidia. RAM extends up to 4GB of 1,066MHz DDR3 RAM.
Nintendo at E3 today expanded on yesterday's unveiling of the Wii MotionPlus. The add-on device for the Wii Remote uses a built-in spatial sensor that allows for very precise swings, twists, and rotation: a sword swing can be reflected exactly onscreen, while holding the Remote sideways gives players the ability to twist the throttle in a jet ski game or toss a Frisbee as well as they can in real life.
Square Box Systems has announced CatDV 7.0, a major update of its suite of video logging and media asset management software. The new upgrade simplifies the user interface and offers improved sequence editing. Version 7.0 adds a static playhead, support for multi-track editing, and a new Match Frame command. Square Box adds visual improvements, including a new "pro-look" color scheme, and has updated the movie controller, showing timecode event markers. The new version adds automated Targa and DPX handling and support for QuickTime high-resolution audio export with constant pitch playback. It improves support for locating media files and tracking duplicates. CatDV 7.0 requires 1GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.3 or higher, QuickTime 7.0 or higher and Java 1.4.2 or later. It is available now for $340 (pro version) and $90 (standard version).
Computer builder Overdrive PC has announced a new collection of custom-built systems. The machines use a process the company dubs "HyperClocking," a means of overclocking processors while retaining safe power levels; the systems are however divided between a variety of different price levels, beginning with the $1,500+ SmallBlock gaming PCs. These use at least Core 2 Duo E8400s clocked at 3GHz, and 512MB GeForce 9800 GTX cards.
Nintendo at its E3 press conference today introduced the WiiSpeak, a microphone add-on for its Wii game console. The device is designed to lay on top of even flat-panel TVs and lets users participate in multi-user chats during games, including Animal Crossing: City Folk. Nintendo hasn't said whether the chat function will be available outside of games but notes that it's limited to existing Wii friends.
Lenovo may be the next large PC maker to enter the mini notebook field, according to reports from those in the notebook business. The company plans to expand its IdeaPad yet again to include the G series and will target the line both at budget notebooks as well as the mini notebook field led by the ASUS Eee PC, Acer Aspire One, and other very small systems. Specifics of this system are vague, though most of these systems now use an Intel Atom processor and come with flash-based storage as well as an option for Linux.
Apple has begun legal proceedings against Psystar, documents confirm. The suit is actually noted to have been filed on July 3rd, through the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Both Apple and Psystar have generally remained quiet on the issue, however, leaving discovery of the information to investigation.
EA games has announced that it is bringing a number of titles to the iPhone. Reporting from the EA press conference at E3, Joystiq notes that EA will utilize the accelerometer in a newly announced Spore title for the iPhone, allowing full creature control. The company will offer full touch-support in Tetris and also make Scrabble WiFi compatible, allowing multi-player scrabble games from the iPhone. Sudoku, Tetris and Scrabble are already available at the iPhone App Store, while Spore Origins (a mini version of the bacteria stage of Spore, complete with a creature creator) is expected in the near future. There are also plans at EA to port popular titles such as Tiger Woods and Need for Speed to the iPhone.
Apple's financial performance in the September quarter could lead to some disappointment, says analyst Keith Bachman of BMO Capital. Bachman comments that typically, Apple has forecast 3 to 5 percent sequential revenue growth in the September quarter, which this year would amount to between $7.7 and $7.75 billion. This is below the consensus estimate of $8.27 billion, and Bachman is expecting Apple to guide to EPS of $1 per share, rather than The Street's consensus of $1.24.
Intel's first quad-core notebook processor will be ready by next month, says the semiconductor firm's Singapore marketing chief Sujan Kamran. Although the official declines to provide details, the processor is expected to be clocked at 2.53GHz and carry the same 12MB of Level 2 cache as desktop quad-core chips. It would be badged as a Core 2 Extreme processor (the QX9300) despite the clock speed gap between itself and the 3.06GHz dual-core model already made public.
Doseido has released the first version of Headline, its news reader software. The app attempts to improve on more basic rivals through options such as filters, which can display only unread items, or entries under Today, This Week and This Month categories. Users can additionally pick favorite articles, and display any text within Headline itself or else under Safari.
Microsoft today argued that US House and Senate Judiciary Committees that the proposed Google/Yahoo deal, claiming that Yahoo's agreement to support ads through a non-exclusive deal is anti-competitive and would allegedly hurt innovation. The legal counsel for Microsoft, Brad Smith, expresses fears that Google would control as much as 90 percent of online advertising, allowing it to dictate prices and force companies to advertise through it for proper exposure. He also warns that Google could potentially have a monopoly on Internet services.
The iPhone 3G is now in extremely short supply in the US, according to official Apple tracking widgets. As of 6AM Eastern time on Tuesday, the 8 and 16GB models are listed as as unavailable in the Apple Stores of 21 American states: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
HP on Tuesday used the wake of its Centrino 2 announcements to reveal three new Photosmart printers that include an allegedly record-setting model. The A630's 4.8-inch touch LCD is the largest of any totable photo printer and allows upwards of 300 potential editing touches to be made to photos on the printer itself; a simpler A530 model goes with a smaller screen but is characterized as the least expensive photo printer capable of larger 5-by-7 inch prints.
Apple may already have the next iteration of iPhone firmware in late development, web traffic indicates. Data analyzed from server logs shows a minority of references to iPhones running firmware titled v2.0.1, instead of the normal v2.0 available preloaded or as an iTunes upgrade. The connecting phones are further divided into different builds, with 2.5G models running 5B101, and 3Gs relying on 5B103.
Microsoft continued its string of E3 hardware announcements today with two new Xbox 360 gamepads, including the company's first gamepad bundle. Those who buy the Limited Edition Red Wireless Controller get both a unique, special-run color of the console peripheral but also get a Play and Charge Kit that supplies both the extra power of a color-matching lithium-ion pack but also the USB cable to recharge the battery without interrupting gameplay.
The upcoming Dell E mini notebook may finaly make its appearance next month and may be one of the least expensive, claim alleged insiders. The 8.9-inch portable will have the same 1.6GHz Atom processor, Linux, and flag storage storage of many similar devices but will purportedly sell in August for just $299, or $80 less than the Acer Aspire One that has held the price crown in the class for just a matter of weeks.
Logitech is expanding its game controller lineup for E3 with new PlayStation 3 and Wii peripherals. The Driving Force Wireless wheel is Logitech's first to go without a direct connection to the Sony console and uses a custom 2.4GHz adapter and transmitter that are said to be lag-free. The device is built to never need an elaborate setup to be comfortable for driving; a built-in rest lets the new wheel sit on a lap, armrest, or most other common gaming spots without having to construct a special driving environment.
With announcements from HP, Lenovo, and Sony, Toshiba also took the opportunity to announce (and ship) new Centrino 2 versions of its recently announced notebooks for faster networking, better performance, and improved battery life. The Satellite Pro S300 laptop, updated with latest Core Duo processor and Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD, offers Toshiba's fourth-generation EasyGuard technology, sleep-and-charge USB ports, optional SSD/flash-memory drive configurations, built-in docking capabilities and Webcam with business card reader software (starts at $1,2993). For its business-oriented Tecra models, Toshiba is using Intel's Centrino 2 with vPro micro-architecture to manage and secure mobile workforces using hardware-assisted remote isolation, diagnostics and repair: the Tecra M10 has a starting MSRP of $1,399, while the Tecra A10 pricing has yet to be determined.
In addition the ultra-portable X200 and U330, Lenovo on Tuesday morning announced its new Centrino 2 ThinkPad SL notebooks as well as new IdeaPad notebooks. The trio of black-glossy covered ThinkPad SL notebooks, targeted to small- and medium-size business includes the SL300, SL400 and SL500; all offer built-in high speed mobile broadband connectivity along with Centrino 2's 802.11n networking, the latest Core 2 Duo processing, and new software that helps with data recovery, Internet connection setup, and a new optional service package featuring on-line data backup and on-site warranty repair. Some models also offer the now-in-vogue (but optional) Blu-Ray DVD player and optional webcam as well as support for HDMI/VGA for both high-quality and legacy connectivity to external video displays.
Bolstering the Intel Centrino 2 launch, HP on Tuesday said it was shipping new Centrino 2-versions of its recently debuted business notebooks. The new notebooks feature the Centrino 2 platform's 802.11n networking, longer battery life, better performance, a faster 1,066MHz system bus, DDR3 memory support, and new vPro features for advanced IT management. In early June, the company launched its durable, aircraft-inspired HP EliteBook Notebook PC as one of 10 newly designed business notebook lineup. As HP's first rugged notebook, the EliteBook is designed to survive both cosmetic and internal damage with anodized aluminum on the palm rest, an external scratch-resistant shell, a magnesium honeycomb cage, and an anti-twist 14-inch display along with a shock-resistant hard drive and spill-proof keyboard -- all of which help meet US military-grade 810F levels for survivability in extreme temperatures as well as vibrations and very damp environments.
Lenovo tonight had its turn at upgrading to Centrino 2 with two new notebooks that are billed as blurring the lines between ultraportables and full-power models. The ThinkPad X200 is Lenovo's first major X series update since the X300 but is smaller than both the X300 and its rival MacBook Air while keeping many features and only thickening a tenth of an inch to 0.8 inches. Although it uses just a 12-inch display, the X200 still finds room for up to a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo on the new Intel platform as well as up to a Blu-ray optical drive.
Sony on Monday unveiled the VAIO SR series ultraportable notebook, offered in five colors, and offering users a Centrino 2-based computing experience. The SR is constructed from magnesium alloy in night black, sunset pink, glossy pink, classic silver, and glossy silver, weighing in at just over four pounds with a 13.3-inch LED-backlit screen. The SR series features a MacBook style keyboard: integrated, with squared, and raised keys. This prevents debris from getting under keys easily, while also providing a more comfortable typing experience.
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Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t