Win a Waterfield Designs Finn wallet
Just in time for Father's Day, WaterField Designs has unveiled their new fine leather Finn wallet. This is the ultimate wallet for securely carrying cash, credit cards and even a cell phone. Electronista has two to give away, read on to learn more about this wallet, and how you can enter to win.
Touch panel patent could lead to thinner iOS devices, Apple smartwatch
Apple has been granted 26 new patents this week, two of which could end up being used in a future iteration of the iPhone. The filings from the US Patent and Trademark Office show Apple as owning patents for a push-to-talk (PTT) system, as well as one for a double-sided touch panel that could help the company make an even thinner smartphone.
Evernote now includes support for creating reminders
Evernote has added one of the most requested features to its iOS, Mac and Web apps, reminders. Available for all Evernote customers, the new option is represented with an alarm clock icon in the top-right corner of the web and Mac interfaces, and at the bottom of a note in the iOS apps. Reminders saved within the app will provide users with in-app alarms, as well as optional e-mail alerts when a reminder is due. Additionally, notes with reminders are automatically sorted into a new section at the top of the Note list, and can be reorganized by simply dragging them up or down.
Pandora iOS app gains new Facebook sharing features
Pandora has updated its iOS app with Facebook Open Graph support, allowing users to share their listening activity directly on the social network. A new "Publish" option has been added to the settings of the iOS app and the web-based player, allowing users to share music from wherever they are. Users are also provided with a number of controls that let them customize what information is shared. Finally, the update also offers an enhanced track menu that can be used to create a new station, as well as share, purchase, and bookmark music.
Rsponse to rumors of Apple, others going with sapphire instead
A new test video, along with explanation and question period, shows Corning firing back at rumors that Apple and other clients may switch to using a sapphire glass cover in future products. In addition to showing that Corning's Gorilla Glass 3 is stronger and more resistant to damage, the US-based glass company says that their product is more eco-friendly, cheaper to make, and more flexible for designing products.
Rdio adds people, artist, label search
Twitter has released a new version of its free Mac client, v2.2.1. While mostly a maintenance update, it also adds OS X Notification Center integration, pushing alerts whenever a mention or direct message is received. Some of the update's fixes solve broken Growl notifications, the account switcher going missing in the composer window, and a bug that prevented un-favoriting tweets.
May eliminate need to jump to separate Google Search app
A voice search option is being added to the iOS version of Chrome in "the coming days," according to Google. Users will just have to tap a microphone icon and ask the same sort of queries Google supports in Android and the iOS Google Search app. The change should in fact reduce the need to use Search, although that app is still iOS' gateway to Now and various other Google services.
Finn Leather Wallet for iPhone 5
WaterField Designs has announced the launch of a new leather wallet that doubles as an iPhone 5 case. Available in two sizes, a compact version for cash and cards and a slightly longer version to fit an iPhone 5, the Finn Leather Wallet is made from a naturally deer-tanned leather. The wallet features self-locking zippers to secure all contents and is offered in six different colors, including black, camel, grey, red, green and brown. Both sizes of the Finn are sold through WaterField's website for $29.
Main page updated with a slightly squarer design
As is traditional for the time of year, Apple has updated its main US homepage to promote items from its store in tune with the upcoming Father's Day holiday. In addition to the iPad and iPad mini, such items as iPhone 5, the Nike+Fuel band, the iGrill meat thermometer, the HipKey proximity alarm, the Nest thermostat and other suggestions are highlighted. The page also features a subtly cleaner and more geometric design.
Company does away with $800 base cost
Unity has announced that its mobile game development tools are now free to use for smaller developers. The Unity platform is popular amongst iOS and Android developers, but its creator previously charged $800 to publish a game to the App Store or Google Play. Under the new rules, that barrier has been lifted.
Could be used as excuse to pull YouTube support from iOS
Apple is aiming to integrate Flickr and Vimeo into iOS 7, a source tells 9to5Mac. The integration is expected to work in much the same way as Facebook and Twitter support does in iOS 6, allowing single sign-ins via the Settings menu. In the case of Flickr, at least, signing in may not only add another option to iOS' built-in sharing menus, but also simplify apps with their own hooks for the service, such as Instagram. Flickr is already integrated into OS X Mountain Lion and the iOS edition of iPhoto.
Vudu offers offline content access on iOS
Vudu has launched an update for its iOS video player that adds support for downloading movies for offline viewing. Previously, users were required to stream all of their content from within the app, however, now they may select to download any content at various qualities for offline use. Other changes include closed captioning support for the iPhone, a simplified Player, and numerous bug fixes. VUDU Player is a free Universal app that can be downloaded from the App Store.
American Express rebate, trade-in offer highlight deals
Apple is making some moves to make its iPhone line more affordable in India. Deals sponsored by Apple with partners include credit card rebates, trade-in discounts, subsidies, and modified payment plans. As a result of the plans, analysts expect "significant growth" in the region.
FaceTime, Google Hangouts primary beneficiaries of new policy
AT&T has made a statement regarding the future of video chat applications on its LTE network. According to the telecom company, all "pre-loaded video chat apps" will be available for all of its wireless customers "regardless of data plan or device" by the end of the year. The move is a turnaround from previous decisions by the company to prohibit use of FaceTime and now Google Hangouts chat on mostly grandfathered unlimited data plans.
Still unclear why app was removed
Apple has removed a well-publicized iPhone hookup app from the App Store after just one week of it going live, Valleywag notes. Bang With Friends, still accessible via Android and the web, lets people indicate if they'd like to have sex with a Facebook friend. Notifications are sent out only if the feeling is mutual. Since launching in January, the service has already accumulated about 1 million users.
New playback mode allows listening to series of old episodes
Podcast and radio streaming service Stitcher has released an important update of its iOS app, v5.3.0. The major addition is a selectable Car Mode for the iPhone, which brings up a simplified interface. The mode works in both portrait and landscape views.
Moshi now selling Lightning cables
Moshi has released its new line of Lightning cables for Apple's latest iOS devices. Encased in aluminum, the 3.2 foot cables are fully certified for use with the iPhone 5, iPod touch (5th gen), iPod nano (7th gen), iPad (4th gen) and iPad mini. Moshi's USB Cable with Lightning is sold online in two color variants, black and white, for $20.
FIPS 14-2 certification, STIG approval opening DoD doors
Apple's iPhones, iPads and other devices running iOS 6 or higher are officially cleared for use on the US government's secure networks, the Department of Defence announced on Friday. The final approval, which we first reported on in March, also grants Samsung Android devices that are running the Korean company's Knox security lockdown, as well as BlackBerry devices running BB10 the ability to be used on secure networks. The move is expected to further hurt BlackBerry, as it faces competition in the military space for the first time.
Lower-cost glass could be used for iOS, Android, other mobile devices
The maker of the Gorilla Glass used in iPhones and other mobile devices has unveiled its latest fusion-made, resilient glass for high-resolution displays. Corning, which is also continuing its Gorilla Glass line with a third version this year, officially introduced a "second-generation glass substrate" called Lotus XT Glass. The new variant features many of the properties of some of Corning's other products while being easier and cheaper to manufacture -- a fact that may persuade tech companies to use it in figure products.
The HTC One could be the most enticing Android smartphone yet
The HTC One may be the ultimate iPhone switch-inducing Android device yet, even if the Samsung Galaxy S4 juggernaut remains unstoppable for the time being. There are a few of key aspects of the HTC’s Android flagship device for 2013 that makes it the most likely to interest Apple iPhone 4, 4S and 5 users itching for a change of scenery, but who can’t wait as long as September when Jony Ive’s design-influenced version of iOS could be released. Many iPhone users also love the beautiful industrial designs that Jony Ive has cooked up for the iPhone over the past few years. For many, however, even if they have contemplated switching to an Android device, most were simply not made to Apple’s high standards of design and finish -- until now.
Sale limited to online orders
The US branch of Virgin Mobile is now offering a 15 percent discount on the iPhone 4 and 4S. The promotion is applicable only to web orders, and will last only for a limited time, or until supplies run out. Virgin hasn't said when the sale is scheduled to end.
Foxconn staff still overworked
Apple's biggest supplier, Hon Hai -- better known as Foxconn -- is continuing to break Chinese labor laws, according to a newly-published audit by the Fair Labor Association. The latest evaluation was conducted in January, and did find that Foxconn is complying with 98.3 percent of the 360 points of action the FLA and Apple initially agreed to. 70 out of 76 items that were pending in mid-2012 have been complied with.
eBay update brings many new features
eBay has released an updated version of its iOS app featuring a redesigned interface with multiple search views, new shopping car functionality, and larger photo views. Unlike previous versions, users can now add multiple items into their shopping cart and pay for all of them simultaneously. The iPad version has also received several new image editing tools, while the iPhone version includes a new account creation tool that can setup a new account by scanning the barcode of a drivers license. Other changes include new "Search By Best Offer" options, feedback filters, and support for uploading multiple photos from a library.
IK Multimedia updates iPad stand lineup
IK Multimedia has announced that its iKlip 2 and iKlip Studio accessories for the iPad and iPad mini are now available for purchase. Designed to securely hold an iPad on a microphone stand, the iKlip 2 evolves from its predecessor through the use of a new ball-joint hinge that improves a users ability to position the device. Meanwhile, the iKlip Studio is a desktop stand that provides 8 different viewing angle options in 10 degree increments. Both products can be purchased from IK Multimedia's online store for $40 and $30 respectively.
Various other parts photos in high-res leaking onto net
A long-standing rumor that the next iPhone -- presumably called the 5S -- will be available in colors beyond just black and white received a boost with the publication of photos featuring differently-colored SIM trays, along with high-rez pictures of various other small parts said to be from the forthcoming iPhone model, expected to be released sometime this summer. Though the SIM tray images would be easy to fake, Apple has been making the iPod touch and iPod nano in a set of colors and may have decided to follow suit with the iPhone 5S -- and perhaps a future iPad.
Associated contest winner, 50 billionth app name announced
[Updated with the winner's name, the winning app and other details] The App Store has officially surpassed 50 billion downloads, Apple has announced. The company has now announced the winner of the associated contest. Brandon Ashmore of Mentor Ohio, who downloaded the 50 billionth app, will get a $10,000 App Store gift card; meanwhile, 50 runner-ups will each get a $500 card.
Shipments for iOS rises for the quarter, market share drops
Shipments of Windows Phone devices have overtaken those of BlackBerry phones for the first time, according to a report. Numbers from IDC places the Microsoft mobile operating system in third place, still a considerable away behind iOS and Android shipments, which are said to make up 92.3-percent of all shipments when combined.
Aimed at existing customers eligible for an iPhone 5 upgrade
Hot on the heels of iPhone 5 promotions from T-Mobile and Verizon, AT&T appears to have thrown its hat into the ring with reports that existing, upgrade-eligible customers are being targeted in a new email. The email offers special trade-in pricing for used iPhone 4S models, promising up to $200 in credit towards the cost of an iPhone 5 -- effectively cancelling out the up-front cost of moving up. Appleinsider reports that the email may be only a regional promotion instead of national.
Adds 2,100mAh battery
Accessory maker Mophie has launched an iPhone 5 version of the Juice Pack Plus. The new case adds a 2,100mAh battery, which can roughly double the usable life of an iPhone. It in fact holds slightly more power than the Plus for the iPhone 4/4S, which is rated at 2,000mAh.
Read Now section allows quicker access to items
Google has updated the iOS and Android versions of Play Books with the ability to upload already-owned books and documents. The option supports PDF and EPUB files, but uploads must be done via the Google Books website. Any uploaded titles sync across devices.
Google believes FTC consent decree restrictions overstated
A Google-made appeal filing in the Motorola Mobile versus Apple smartphone patent trial in Judge Richard A. Posner's court has been made public. Controversially, the Google-owned Motorola claims that the still-pending FTC consent decree it agreed to does not prevent it from seeking an injunction against Apple products -- claiming that in refusing a 2.25 percent fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) license, Apple is unwilling to negotiate in good faith for use of the patent.
Cellphone allegedly sends aircraft off course
An iPhone has been blamed for a navigation error during a commercial airline flight in 2011, fueling the ongoing debate surrounding in-flight device usage. According to a Bloomberg report, an unnamed regional airliner experienced compass malfunctions when climbing past 9,000 feet, sending the aircraft off course until a flight attendant asked a passenger to turn off an iPhone.
May hint at upcoming discount
[Updated with Verizon confirmation] Earlier today, Verizon briefly posted a $100 pricetag for the 16GB iPhone 5 on its website this morning, a move the company later confirmed was a genuine offer, but only for select customers. The phone typically sells for $199 with a two-year contract, which was also a stipulation for the $100 cost. Verizon quickly reverted the price back to normal, and in response to inquiries would only say it doesn't discuss rumors.
DirecTV now offers voice search functionality
DirecTV has launched a new version of its iPhone app that introduces new voice recognition functionality. Located in a new Voice tab, the voice recognition tool can be used to search for programs by speaking the title, channel, keyword, actors, and more. Also new to this release is a new TV mode that can be used to view dialogue and search results on a TV screen that is connected to an HD DVR running on the same network as the iOS device. Additionally, the TV mode also offers a few of personalize recommendations.
Says Apple was aware of issue but kept quiet
A Florida woman, Debra Hilton, has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of iPhone 4 owners, says GigaOM. The case alleges that Apple knew about a flex cable defect that was causing problems with the phone's power button, but stayed quiet to sell phones without fixing the issue. A lawyer for Hilton points to threads on Apple's support forums, as well as a repair video on YouTube claiming that the issue is prevalent with the 4.
Apple discourages complicated requests
Apple has run a server-side update to Siri, changing how the service responds to long commands, notes iLounge. If Siri judges that a request is too long, it will now reply with a quote from either William Strunk or Thomas Jefferson, in either case praising brevity of language. It's not clear exactly when the update was made, but it appears to have happened during the last week and a half.
Prizmo now Universal app
Creaceed has released the next major version of its Prizmo iOS app, complete with an all new user interface and support for PDF files. Version 2.0 is now a Universal app, working on both the iPhone and iPad, and offers iCloud integration for automatically syncing documents between multiple devices. The document scanner has also been improved with automatic frame detection when taking images, as well as enhanced tools for better corner positioning when cropping. Other new features includes 30 new OCR languages, voice guidance for positioning documents within the camera's line of sight, and multipage document handling. For the next few days Prizmo 2 will be offered at the discounted price of $6, after which it will rise to $10.
Would perform the same as current mechanical button, report says
Rumors that Apple was going to incorporate a fingerprint sensor in the home button of the next iPhone still have no evidence to support them behind Apple's acquisition of Authentec in 2012. A new rumor has thus appeared, saying that Apple plans to do away with the physical push-style home button entirely in the next iPhone release, replacing it with a capacitive touch area that would perform the same functions. The new "button" will be covered in sapphire glass to prevent scratches.
Second patent suit against Samsung scheduled for spring 2014
Apple has told the US District Court in California hearing motions for the upcoming second patent-infringement trial against Samsung that it intends to add the Galaxy S4 as an infringing device. In order to do so, the iPhone maker will have to drop one of its previously-listed infringing devices from the list, such as the Galaxy S III, S II, Note or Nexus (among other possible models). Judge Lucy Koh is attempting to keep both companies down to a minimum number of patent claims and infringing devices.
Points to violent assaults over iPhones
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sent letters to several smartphone makers asking them to explain what they're doing to deter thefts, Bloomberg reports. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung are said to have been contacted on May 10th. "I seek to understand why companies that can develop sophisticated handheld electronics, such as the products manufactured by Apple, cannot also create technology to render stolen devices inoperable and thereby eliminate the expanding black market on which they are sold," reads Schneiderman's letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Twitter client gets Readability, Droplr support
Two iOS apps, Twitterific and 1Password, have today received significant updates. Twitterific 5.2.2 adds support for bookmarking service Readability and image service Droplr. A number of smaller improvements have also been made, such as automatic flipping of the read/unread state of tweets as users scroll, and similar updating of indicators in timeline tabs. Yfrog images should appear in the in-app browser instead of the photo viewer.
Promotional $99 down payment rises to $149 for 16GB model
The newest national carrier of the iPhone, T-Mobile, has ended a promotional "introductory price" period for the iPhone 5, raising the down payment from $99 to $149 for the 16GB model -- with similar $50 increases for the 32GB and 64GB models. Though it is still one of the cheapest ways to buy an iPhone 5 rather than buying a no-contract phone or going through a contract with one of the other carriers, the price difference with a T-Mobile plan is now down to about $20 less than buying the iPhone outright.
Flipboard update launched
Flipboard has launched a new version of its popular news aggregating app for the iPhone and iPad. Following March's update which introduced user-created magazines, the v2.0.2 release adds a new Friends category in the Content Guide that can be used to quickly find magazines created by friends. Flipboard has also added new profile pages that provide details on readership and curation activities, as well as the ability to share content via SMS and to save images to the Camera Roll.
Does not require jailbreaking, doubles throughput rates
An altered carrier update that has been modified by two hackers successfully increases the bandwidth available for iPhone 5 units on T-Mobile's US network, tests have found. The patch to the carrier update file, which was originally distributed to add LTE signal to the iPhone 5 using T-Mobile's 1900MHz band, works on both unlocked AT&T units as well as "native" T-Mobile iPhone 5 devices without requiring a jailbreak, though instructions vary for customers using jailbroken iPhones.
BlackBerry likely to suffer due to loss of monopoly on secure devices
A spokesperson for the Pentagon has told Bloomberg that mobile devices using Apple's iOS 6 as well as Samsung devices supplemented with the company's Knox security lockdown as well as BlackBerry devices running BB10 are expected to be allowed onto the Defense Department's high-security data networks early next week, barring final approvals. The news comes on the heels of iOS's FIPS 140-2 certification for the CoreCrypto kernel module, which was added in the iOS 6 release.
Focuses on iPhone 5 discount
T-Mobile is planning to push the iPhone 5 heavily in weekend advertising for Mother's Day, according to an internal memo obtained by TmoNews. The effort should specifically focus on the trade-in offer T-Mobile has had since April 12th, in which new or otherwise qualified customers can hand in an iPhone 4 or 4S and negate the cost of buying a 5. The deal applies to both GSM and CDMA trade-ins, but does require that the old hardware have no damage.
Agencies stymied by locked-down operating system
Apple is receiving so many requests from police agencies looking to decrypt seized iPhones that the company has started a waiting list, CNET reports. In an example exposed by court documents, the ATF is said to have wanted to break through the encryption of an iPhone 4S owned by a Kentucky man accused of distributing crack cocaine. The agency "contacted Apple to obtain assistance in unlocking the device," according to US District Judge Karen Caldwell, but was "placed on a waiting list by the company."
iPad Netflix now cues TV episodes automatically
Yesterday Netflix rolled out the next major release of its iOS app, introducing a new auto-play feature for TV shows. While currently restricted to the iPad users, the new feature brings the software in line with the functionality of the current web and TV app. At the end of a TV episode Netflix will minimize the credits and cue the next episode in the season. If users do nothing, then the episode will will automatically begin playing within 10 seconds. In addition, post play also works for movies by providing users with three recommendations of other movies they may enjoy.
Google called itself a neutral third party, judge questions impartiality
Magistrage Judge Paul S. Grewal, the judge in charge of pre-trial discovery issues in the second Apple vs. Samsung patent trial, has ruled that Google must provide Apple search terms used in the unearthing of documents related to the case. Google is now compelled to "produce search terms and a list of custodians that Google used in response to requests for production Apple served on it." The seven-page ruling makes a point clear -- Apple wasn't seeking further discovery, it just expressed concern on the information Google pulled for discovery.
Win a Bracketron Sport Case with Strap Mount
With spring in full force and summer right around the corner, it's hard not to think about getting outside for some biking, hiking and water sports -- and keeping an iPhone or iPod safe while on these adventures is essential. Bracketron has come up with a great water-resistant protective case with a strap that can be used to securely attach the device to a bike or anywhere else. MacNN has one of these handy cases to give away; read on to learn more about this case and find out how to enter to win.