iNews Review

Apple TV Overhauled, iPhone and iPod touch Gain 5 Apps, Free Ad-Supported WiFi, and More

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

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2008.01.17

Apple TV came into its own this week with a completely overhauled software package that lets you access the iTunes Store to buy music and videos as well as access Apple's new movie rental service directly from Apple TV. You no longer have to use a Mac or PC. Best of all for current Apple TV owners, the software upgrade is free.

On the iPhone and iPod touch front, Apple introduced five new apps - free for iPhone owners with the new firmware update, $20 from the iTunes Store for iPod touch users.

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review, and general Mac news is in Mac News Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News from the Macworld Keynote

iPod News, Reviews, & Opinion

iPhone/iPod Add-ons

iPhone Add-ons

iPod Add-ons

iPod and iPhone Deals

News from the Macworld Keynote

Apple Introduces New Apple TV Software, Lowers Price to $229

Apple today unveiled all new software for Apple TV that allows movie fans to rent movies on the iTunes Store directly from their widescreen TV, and lowered the price of Apple TV to just $229. With iTunes Movie Rentals and Apple TV, users can just click a button on their remote to effortlessly rent movies from a catalog of over 1,000 titles by the end of February, including over 100 titles in stunning high definition video with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound, with no computer required. DVD-quality iTunes Movie Rentals are $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases, and high definition versions are just one dollar more with library titles at $3.99 and new releases at $4.99. Apple will provide the new Apple TV software free of charge to existing Apple TV owners when it releases the new Apple TV priced at $229 in about two weeks.

"With the new Apple TV and iTunes Movie Rentals, movie lovers can rent DVD-quality or stunning HD movies from their couch with just a click of a button," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "No more driving to the video store or waiting for DVDs to arrive in the mail."

iTunes Movie Rentals feature iTunes' legendary ease of use, which makes discovering and enjoying movie rentals as simple and easy as buying music on iTunes. Once a movie is rented, it starts downloading from the iTunes Store directly to Apple TV, and users with a fast Internet connection can start viewing the movie in seconds. Customers have up to 30 days to start watching it, and once a movie has been started customers have 24 hours to finish it - or watch it multiple times.

With Apple TV, users can also view photos from their computers, Flickr and .mac Web Galleries on their widescreen TV as slideshows or screen savers, and anytime photos are updated on Flickr or .mac, they are automatically updated on Apple TV. Apple TV users can now browse and enjoy the iTunes Store podcast directory of over 125,000 video and audio podcasts, view over 50 million originally created videos from YouTube or choose from a selection of six million songs, over 600 TV shows and 10,000 music videos to purchase directly from their Apple TV. Purchases downloaded to Apple TV are automatically synched back to iTunes on the user's computer for enjoyment on their computer, all current generation iPods* or iPhone.

Apple TV easily connects to a broad range of widescreen TVs and home theater systems and comes standard with HDMI, component video, analog and optical audio ports. Using high-speed AirPort 802.11 wireless networking, Apple TV now automatically plays all of your iTunes content without setup or management**.

The new Apple TV software will be available as a free automatic download to all Apple TV customers later this month. Apple TV, which includes the Apple Remote, is available from the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $229 for the 40 GB model and $329 for the 160 GB model (US and Canada). Apple TV requires an 802.11g/n wireless network or 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking, a broadband Internet connection and a high definition widescreen TV. iPod games will not play on Apple TV. iTunes Movie Rentals are available in the US only.

*Movie rentals work on iPod classic, iPod nano with video and iPod touch.

**Compatible with 802.11b/g/n. Based on an IEEE 802.11n draft specification. Wireless video streaming requires an 802.11g/n network.

Apple Premieres iTunes Movie Rentals with All Major Film Studios

Apple announced iTunes Movie Rentals featuring movies from all the major movie studios including 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Lionsgate and New Line Cinema. Users can rent movies for as low as $2.99 and watch them on their Macs or PCs, all current generation iPods*, iPhone and Apple TV. iTunes Movie Rentals launches today and will offer over 1,000 titles by the end of February, including over 100 titles in stunning high definition video with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound which users can rent directly from their widescreen TV using Apple TV. iTunes Movie Rentals are priced at $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases, and high definition versions are just one dollar more with library titles at $3.99 and new releases at $4.99.

"iTunes Movie Rentals instantly brings great movies from all the major studios directly to your iPod, iPhone, TV or computer - without having to drive to the video store or wait for DVDs to arrive in the mail," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Movie lovers can now discover and enjoy movies as simply and easily as music lovers discover and enjoy music today on iTunes."

"Apple has created an incredibly easy and innovative way to rent and enjoy movies," said Jim Gianopulos, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox Filmed Entertainment. "Millions of movie lovers will be able to watch wonderful movies from Fox and the other major studios whenever and wherever they want, be it on their computer, TV, iPod or iPhone."

iTunes Movie Rentals feature iTunes' legendary ease of use, which makes discovering and enjoying movie rentals as simple and easy as buying music on iTunes has always been. Once a movie is rented, it starts downloading from the iTunes Store directly to iTunes or Apple TV, and users with a fast Internet connection can start viewing the movie in seconds. Customers have up to 30 days to start watching it, and once a movie has been started customers have 24 hours to finish it - or watch it multiple times.

The all new Apple TV software delivers an entirely new user experience centered around iTunes Movie Rentals, allowing movie fans to rent and watch movies right from their widescreen TV, with no computer required. Users can also view photos from their computers, Flickr and .mac Web Galleries on their widescreen TV as slideshows or screen savers, and anytime photos are updated on Flickr or .mac they are automatically updated on Apple TV. Apple TV users can now browse and enjoy the iTunes Store podcast directory of over 125,000 video and audio podcasts, view over 50 million originally created videos from YouTube, or choose from a selection of six million songs, over 600 TV shows and 10,000 music videos to purchase directly from their Apple TV. Purchases downloaded to Apple TV are automatically synched back to iTunes on the user's computer for enjoyment on their computer, iPod or iPhone.

Apple TV easily connects to a broad range of widescreen TVs and home theater systems and comes standard with HDMI, component video, analog and optical audio ports. Using high-speed AirPort 802.11 wireless networking, Apple TV now automatically plays all of your iTunes content without setup or management**.

Pricing & Availability

Movie rentals from the iTunes Store for Mac or Windows require iTunes 7.6, available as a free download immediately from iTunes. iTunes Movie Rentals require a valid credit card with a billing address in the country of purchase. iTunes Movie Rentals are available in the US only and are $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases, and high definition versions are priced just one dollar more with library titles at $3.99 and new releases at $4.99.

The new Apple TV software will be available as a free automatic download to all Apple TV customers later this month. Apple TV, which includes the Apple Remote, is available from the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores, and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price $229 for the 40 GB model, and for $329 for the 160 GB model. Apple TV requires an 802.11g/n wireless network or 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking, a broadband Internet connection and a high definition widescreen TV. iPod games will not play on Apple TV.

*Movie rentals work on iPod classic, iPod nano with video and iPod touch.

**Compatible with 802.11b/g/n. Based on an IEEE 802.11n draft specification. Wireless video streaming requires an 802.11g/n network.

Twentieth Century Fox & Apple Introduce iTunes Digital Copy

Twentieth Century Fox and Apple announced Digital Copy for iTunes, which provides customers who purchase a DVD with an additional Digital Copy of the movie. Just like movies purchased from the iTunes Store, an iTunes Digital Copy can effortlessly be transferred to iTunes and then viewed on a PC or Mac, iPod with video, iPhone or on Apple TV. The first DVD to make its debut with iTunes Digital Copy is the Special Edition DVD premiere of the Family Guy "Star Wars" parody, "Family Guy Presents: Blue Harvest," which is being released in stores today. Fox and Apple are planning to deliver many more DVDs with iTunes Digital Copy this year.

"One of the most requested features DVD buyers have been asking for is the ability to get the movies they bought into their iTunes library," said Jim Gianopulos, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox Filmed Entertainment. "We're thrilled to offer such an incredibly simple way for our customers to get even more out of their DVD purchase, and we look forward to releasing many more DVDs this year with iTunes Digital Copy."

"Now movie fans can easily transfer a free copy of the movie they purchase on DVD into iTunes," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "DVDs containing an iTunes Digital Copy allow movie fans to get a copy of their movie which can be viewed on a computer, iPod, iPhone or on Apple TV."

The new iTunes Digital Copy provides a consumer friendly way to transfer a DVD purchase to a user's iTunes library. Once a customer buys the DVD, they insert it into their computer, enter a unique code into iTunes and iTunes automatically copies the movie to their iTunes library within minutes. Customers own the iTunes Digital Copy of the movie and it has all of the same great viewing options as other iTunes Store video content, including the ability to be viewed on a computer, iPod with video, iPhone and Apple TV. Each DVD will only transfer its iTunes Digital Copy to one iTunes library.

One of the world's largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, Fox Filmed Entertainment produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of FFE: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox Atomic, and Twentieth Century Fox Animation. FFE also includes Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming on VHS, DVD, Blu-ray Disc (BD) and Digital Copy as well as acquisitions and original productions.

Apple Enhances iPhone with Significant Software Update

Apple announced a free software update for its revolutionary iPhone that allows users to automatically find their location using the redesigned Maps application*; text message multiple people in one message; create Web Clips for their favorite websites; customize their home screen; and watch movies rented from the new iTunes Movie Rentals right on their iPhone. With its revolutionary multitouch user interface and pioneering software, users can easily add significant new features to their iPhone through software updates whenever an update becomes available. New iPhone products shipping from the factory will include the software update and existing iPhone customers will automatically get the update for free when they sync their iPhone with iTunes.

Apple iPhone"iPhone doesn't stand still = we're making it better and better all the time," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We've delighted millions of users with this revolutionary and magical product and it's great to share these improvements with them."

Maps, one of the most popular and helpful applications on iPhone, has a new interface that is simpler and easier to use and adds incredible new features such as the ability to find your location automatically. With just the tap of a button, iPhone can now triangulate your position using nearby WiFi base stations or cellular towers. You can use this as a starting or ending point for directions or to find local points of interest. The new hybrid map view combines map view and satellite view so you can see major street names overlaid on satellite imagery.

Users can now create Web Clips - icons on the home screen that take you directly to your favorite websites, including to the exact spot you have zoomed into. Web Clips are a great way to easily track websites that you frequently check such as news, blogs, sports sites and movie listings. In addition, users can now customize their home screen by repositioning any of the icons, and even create up to nine different home screens that they can easily flick between.

iPhone's new software update also adds the ability to send the same SMS text message to multiple people, and iPhone saves a history of your text messages, so with one tap you can send a new message to the same group.

With Apple's new iTunes Movie Rentals, movie fans can rent movies on their computer, easily and quickly transfer them to their iPhone, and watch them anywhere on iPhone's gorgeous 3.5 inch screen. Users can also now navigate forward or backward through their movies by chapters, select alternate language tracks and view subtitles, if available.

The iPhone software update 1.1.3 is available immediately for free via iTunes 7.5 or later for all existing iPhone customers in the US, UK, Germany and France. New iPhone products shipping from the factory will include the software update and existing iPhone customers will automatically get the update for free when they sync their iPhone with iTunes. iTunes Movie Rentals are available in the US only.

*Availability and precision of Maps positioning features will vary depending on actual location.

Apple Announces Major Software Upgrade for iPod touch

Apple announced a major software upgrade for the iPod touch, making the best iPod into even more - the world's best WiFi mobile device. iPod touch customers already have the most advanced mobile web browser in the world with Safari™, and now Apple is adding five more great mobile applications - Mail, Maps, Stocks, Weather and Notes. The iPod touch software upgrade also includes new features such as Web Clips, a customizable home screen and beginning today, the ability to watch iTunes Movie Rentals. New iPod touch products shipping from the factory will include the software upgrade and existing iPod touch customers can get the software upgrade for $19.99 by purchasing and downloading it from iTunes.

iPod touch"These amazing new mobile applications make iPod touch not only the best iPod, but the best WiFi mobile device in the world," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "With its revolutionary touch interface and software, plus its stunning 3.5 inch screen, iPod touch is evolving into the first mainstream WiFi mobile platform of the 21st century."

Mail on iPod touch is a rich HTML email client that fetches email in the background from most POP3 or IMAP mail services and displays photos and graphics along with the text of the email. Users can configure Mail for Google's Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, .mac Mail or most POP or IMAP based mail services with just a few clicks.

Maps on iPod touch features the ability to automatically find your current location using nearby WiFi base stations*, and use it as a starting or ending point for directions or to find local points of interest. Users can get real-time traffic conditions, and view maps in map or satellite view, or a hybrid view which combines map and satellite views so you can see major street names overlaid on satellite imagery.

Stocks and Weather allow users to access live stock and weather reports at their fingertips, and Notes lets you jot down information on-the-go using the intelligent keyboard.

The iPod touch home screen can now be customized, allowing users to reorder and add new icons, with support for up to nine different home screens which they can easily flick between. With the new Web Clips feature, you can even create custom icons on your home screen for your favorite websites. Web Clips are a great way to easily track web sites that you frequently check such as news, blogs, sports sites, movie listings and more.

With Apple's new iTunes Movie Rentals, movie fans can rent movies on their computer, easily and quickly transfer them to their iPod touch, and watch them anywhere on iPod touch's gorgeous 3.5 inch screen. Users can also now navigate forward or backward through their movies by chapters, select alternate language tracks and view subtitles, if available.

The software upgrade for iPod touch is available immediately. New iPod touch products shipping from the factory will include the software upgrade and existing iPod touch customers can get the software upgrade for $19.99 by purchasing and downloading it from iTunes. iTunes Movie Rentals are available in the US only.

*Availability and precision of Maps positioning features will vary depending on actual location.

iPod News, Reviews, & Opinion

Apple to Charge $20 for iPod touch Update

Register Hardware's Tony Smith reports:

"Apple has sold more than 4m iPhones since the handset was launched in June 2007, CEO Steve Jobs said today - an average of 20,000 a day, he said. That was a prelude to the announcement of the phone's latest firmware - and one for the iPod touch that comes at a price

"Unfortunately, the Macworld keynote was short on up-to-date stats: Jobs would only point out that the iPhone garnered 19.5 per cent of the US smartphone market during the first three months it was on sale, a market share that placed Apple second only to RIM, which commanded 39 per cent of the market.

"The firmware update announced by Jobs was the anticipated update that's been doing the rumour-mill rounds since just before Christmas. It'll support the ability to send text messages to multiple recipients, make the handset's home screen customisable and incorporate Google's Locate Me feature into the iPhone version of Google Maps."

The iPod's Secret Diagnostic Tools

ZD Net blogger David Morgenstern says:

"While standing in line for a movie over the holiday, my iPod nano - out of the blue - presented me with some unfamiliar, non-musical software: Apple's set of built-in diagnostic tools. From the lack of information on its support pages, Apple doesn't encourage customers to check under the iPod's hood, so it was a fun tour while it lasted."

Canadian Appeals Court Strikes Down Controversial 'iPod tax'

CTV.ca News reports:

"A proposed levy on digital storage devices, known as the 'iPod tax,' has been quashed by the Federal Court of Appeal after opponents argued it assumed illegal behaviour on the part of Canadian consumers.

"Following hearings on Jan. 9, the court ruled that the Canadian Copyright Board did not have the right to impose new taxes on digital music players and storage devices. The taxes were to be introduced later this year."

iPhone/iPod Add-ons

JiWire to Provide Free Ad-Supported WiFi Access to iPhone and iPod touch Users

PR: JiWire, the leading provider of Ads for Access at premier WiFi locations, today announced that members of the JiWire WiFi Advertising Network are offering iPhone and iPod touch users the option to connect to WiFi networks for free in exchange for viewing a JiWire-supplied advertisement. The option will be available at select WiFi hotspots located in airports, hotels, cafes, and other desirable locations around the world. Major airports include Atlanta-Hartsfield, JFK and LaGuardia in New York and Chicago's O'Hare. Members of the JiWire WiFi Advertising Network collectively operate more than 100,000 hotspots.

The JiWire WiFi Advertising Network enables cutting-edge advertisers to target an affluent, technology-savvy demographic by device (i.e., PC vs. iPhone vs. other WiFi-enabled device), creating uniquely valuable marketing opportunities and enabling "Ads for Access" WiFi business models. Charles Schwab and HBO will be among the first to deliver advertising to iPhone users under the arrangement announced today.

"By 2011, more than 500 million WiFi-enabled mobile consumer devices will be in the market," said Daryl Schoolar, senior analyst, In-Stat. "JiWire's ad model is positioned to help drive more usage of these devices at public hotspots."

"The incredible success of the iPhone represents a tipping point in the mainstream use of handheld, WiFi-connected devices," said Kevin McKenzie, chief executive officer, JiWire. "Our WiFi advertising platform is ideal for both network operators seeking suitable business models and for marketers seeking to capitalize on the unique advertising opportunities we offer."

Macally FlexTune Portable Stereo System Puts a Twist on iPhone and iPod Video Viewing

PR: Macally has unveiled its new Macally FlexTune portable stereo system. Supporting the Apple iPhone, iPod touch, and iPod classic, the Macally FlexTune lets customers enjoy music and video with exceptional sound and the choice of docking these devices horizontally or vertically.

Macally FlexTune Portable Stereo SystemThe announcement comes on the first day of Macworld Conference & Expo at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Macally will show the FlexTune along with its full line of accessories and peripherals for the iPod, iPhone and Mac computer products at its booth, number 926, in the South Hall.

"The Macally FlexTune will help customers get the most from the widescreen video viewing and enhanced sound capabilities from their iPhone and iPod touch," said Andrew Saldana, Macally's vice president of sales and marketing. "We felt consumers would appreciate having the flexibility to choose if they wanted to place their iPhone or iPod into the cradle of the FlexTune for a vertical or horizontal viewing experience. In addition to delivering great sound, being easy to use and having a sophisticated design, the FlexTune is an all-in-one docking and charging station for letting iPhone and iPod customers enjoy music and video."

The unique FlexTune portable stereo system lets the iPhone and iPod be docked in a horizontal orientation, which is ideal for watching widescreen movies and video on an iPhone or iPod touch. It can also be docked vertically for video viewing on an iPod classic.

Stylish and space saving in a silver and black casing with a small footprint, the FlexTune portable stereo system looks great and sounds even better. The 1500mW power output per channel offers exceptional stereo sound without a headset or bulky wired external speakers.

With easy-to-access buttons for play, pause, next, previous, stop, and volume control, the FlexTune offers the functionality for avid music and movie aficionados. The FlexTune charges the iPhone and iPod products when docked and offers auto turn on/play or turn off when iPhone and iPod touch is docked or undocked.

The FlexTune can be powered by an AC adaptor (included) or by four "AA" batteries. The line-in jack lets customers take advantage of the excellent sound quality for listening to other music players.

The Macally FlexTune portable stereo system for iPhone and iPod has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $59.99, and will be available at leading electronics and technology retailers throughout the United States at the end of February 2008.

The Macally FlexTune is undergoing certification by Apple.

Pocket Express Delivers Best Travel Services for iPhone and iPod touch

PR: Free Travel Services Including OAG Airline Schedules and Flight Status

Macworld Conference & Expo 2008

Handmark has announced the availability of a new, free version of Pocket Express travel services built specifically for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch.

iPhone and iPod touch customers now have free, unlimited access to:

  • The most accurate airline schedules and flight status
  • Detailed hotel information and bookings from Hotels.com
  • Dozens of click-to-call travel numbers (airlines, rental car agencies, etc.)
  • 24/7 round-the-clock travel reservations service
  • Automatic conversions for 164 global currencies
  • READ RED: Exclusive travel commentaries

"The new travel services from Pocket Express include the best flight status data available at any price. Free or otherwise," said Paul Reddick, Handmark CEO. "We are pleased to bring Pocket Express Travel edition to iPhone and iPod touch customers, so they too can have the freedom of knowing that an answer is only a click away."

Pocket Express is the award-winning news and information service found on millions of Treo, BlackBerry and other smartphones. Pocket Express Travel edition for the iPhone and iPod touch is a suite of free ad-supported travel services including the OAG &endash; Official Airlines Guide.

Pocket Express OAG Flight Status combines the best from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as well as that of premium airline, and direct telemetry from aircraft for the most accurate estimates in the industry. Pocket Express makes it easy to access data on 75,000 daily departures from more than 3,500 airports around the world. Because it is the most accurate, this same OAG data is what's actually displayed on in-airport displays at many of the busiest terminals.

To start using the new version of Pocket Express travel services on the iPhone or iPod touch, just point the device's Safari Web browser to www.pocketexpress.com using either WiFi or the mobile operator connection.

iMainGo 2 Ultra-Portable Stereo and Case for iPhone and iPod

PR: Portable Sound Laboratories, Inc., a leading innovator of portable speaker systems, today unveiled the iMainGo 2 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. A reengineered upgrade to their popular first product, iMainGo, the iMainGo 2 was designed to offer high-end sound quality and amazing light weight (only 9 oz.) portability to customers who use the Apple iPhone, any Apple iPod, the new Microsoft Zune, and most other MP3 players.

iMainGo 2 Ultra-Portable StereoThe iMainGo 2 has been created to provide even greater sound performance due to its' upgraded high quality, premium titanium speakers; giving the iMainGo 2 a sound quality usually found in systems many times its' size and price. iMainGo 2 also features a new iPod/ MP3 custom fit technology (iMainGo Foam) which was created to provide a contour fit for an MP3 player inside the unit's easily accessible MP3 control cradle. The new iMainGo 2 also received a face lift with a brighter and bolder retail package. With all of the improvements, the iMainGo2 is an amazing value, maintaining the original iMainGo's MSRP of only $39.99.

"Our goal with iMainGo was to create a new standard in ultra-portable stereo products providing users with the best in sound quality, design and function, all at a very affordable price" said Tim Jacobus, President of Portable Sound Laboratories, Inc. "With iMainGo 2 we are raising the sound quality standard even higher while making the great iMainGo sound available to iPhone, Zune and other MP3 users that have been clamoring for a quality ultra-portable stereo unit like iMainGo".

iMainGo has been highly acclaimed as "the best iPod accessory" to hit the market by leading tech gurus. Ed Baig and Jefferson Graham, of Talking Tech at USA Today were "amazed at how good a unit that costs less than $40 could sound". iMainGo has received a perfect 5-star review by Macworld as well as been featured on CNN, CNET, MTV, VH1, People Magazine, Entertainment Tonight, The Tonight Show, etc. Recently, the very popular Rachael Ray Show called the iMainGo "just possibly the greatest thing ever" to be reviewed on their show.

iMainGo is available in retail stores nationwide and online. iMainGo 2 will be available soon in the same retail stores and online.

ProClip In-Vehicle Device Holders for iPhone and iPod

PR: ProClip USA, Inc. announces the launch of new device holders designed to securely mount Apple iPhones and iPods to car, truck and SUV dashboards and consoles. These new holders will be displayed at the ProClip booth (#S543) throughout this year's Macworld exhibition.

These holders, designed and manufactured by Brodit AB in Sweden, are custom made for the Apple iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic 80 GB/160 GB, and iPod nano 3rd Generation Video and attach to vehicle specific ProClip dashboard mounts. Once this two part solution (Device Holder plus Vehicle Mount) is attached to the vehicle dashboard, the solution provides better viewing and easier access. ProClip holders may also be attached to other manufacturers' vehicle mounts or any other flat surface.

"Securely and conveniently mounting handheld devices like the Apple iPod, without damaging a vehicle's interior, is what we do best," says Bjorn Spilling, president of ProClip USA. "We offer mounting solutions that are custom designed for virtually every car in the world, and for all popular handheld devices."

The Padded Holder with Tilt Swivel is custom made with a neat and discreet design. It tilts 15 degrees in any direction for optimal viewing. The device easily slides in and out of the holder. These plush coated holders help keep iPhones and iPods in perfect condition.

The ProClip Vehicle Mount is the only vehicle specific, consumer installable mounting bracket in today's global market. The mount clips in between the panel sections of the dashboard, providing a very sturdy and tight fit. Average installation time is 30 seconds to 2 minutes. No dismantling of the dashboard is required and there is no damage to the vehicle's interior!

Holders are also available for other iPods, including adjustable holders for encased iPods.

iPhone Add-ons

Google Announces Faster, More Customizable Experience for iPhone

PR: Google has announced new improvements to the integrated Google experience on iPhone. The previous version, launched just over a month ago, brought together our suite of web applications - including Search, Gmail, Calendar, Reader, and more - into one easy-to-use interface. Since then, we've streamlined the interface even further, making the applications faster and improving their usability. Some of the improvements announced today include:

  • Improved UI: The applications look and feel slicker, and they are easier to activate, navigate and use via a touchscreen.
  • Customization of default tabs: Now Google users can have easy access to their favorite applications by customizing the applications that appear on the Google.com menu bar. Users simply choose their favorite Google applications to bring them to the front menu, ensuring that they'll be close at hand whenever they're needed. Switching between applications is effortless, as users only need to sign in once to access their Gmail, Calendar, Reader, Docs, and Picasa accounts.
  • Speedier Gmail: New emails will automatically show up so there's no need to manually refresh inboxes. And the new autocomplete feature for contacts makes composing emails faster than ever.
  • Speedier Calendar: With our new month view, users can glance at an entire month of appointments.
  • iGoogle: Now Google users can access their iGoogle gadgets on the iPhone. Everything they've customized on their iGoogle homepage including weather, stocks, and news feeds now appear on their iPhones. To go to iGoogle, simply click on the iGoogle link on the Home tab. You can customize your iGoogle page on your computer at www.igoogle.com.

These new features provide iPhone users with a desktop-like Google web application experience in terms of ease-of-use, speed, and feature richness but optimized for the iPhone. This experience is made possible by the iPhone's general usability and the capabilities of its web browser, combined with Google's innovative mobile web applications. We plan to expand this experience to international versions of the iPhone and to other platforms that offer similar usability and browser capabilities. One of our goals is to support platforms that are fulfilling the promise of the mobile web - like the iPhone - and to ultimately deliver unique and compelling mobile experiences that improve people's daily lives.

To get the new Google experience on the iPhone, users simply navigate to google.com on the iPhone Safari browser.

To see the full range of mobile products and services available from Google, visit mobile.google.com. And if you're at Macworld please stop by our booth (number 1268 in the South hall) for a live demo!

DriveSavers First to Offer Data Recovery Services for iPhone

PR: As Time magazine's "Invention of the Year," the iPhone is the most sophisticated communication and data management device sold today; but, like many digital devices, irreplaceable data can be lost if the iPhone is damaged or not synchronized while out in the field. At risk are digital photos, address book contacts, calendar entries, notes and downloaded music files. Until now, "lost data" from iPhones was considered "lost forever." Now DriveSavers, the worldwide leader in data recovery services, has stepped into the spotlight to offer the most technologically advanced data recovery service to iPhone users - the first of its kind in the industry.

Solid state media built into iPhones uses less power, runs silently and is more resistant to shock than common hard drives. However, this technology can also be compromised by user error, mismanagement, trauma and/or hardware failure. Last year, DriveSavers successfully completed recoveries on a number of iPhones that lost data because of either deleted files or corrupted file systems.

"The power and simplicity of the iPhone has revolutionized the mobile phone industry," said Scott Gaidano, president of DriveSavers Data Recovery. "iPhones can go anywhere, capturing precious moments through digital photos, gathering new contacts and creating important notes. Unfortunately, if the newly created data is lost before it is synchronized with the computer, it can be devastating to the user. Now that we've added iPhones to our growing list of recovery services, customers have peace of mind that there is somewhere to go to get their critical iPhone data back. "

Data Recovery has been a lifesaver for Apple users over the past twenty years and has been an exhibitor at Macworld Conference & Expo since 1985. This year, DriveSavers will display a special enhanced version of its world-famous museum of "disk-asters" featuring the oldest rotating media, strange and curious recoveries and Macs that few have ever seen before. In addition, "Mac Goddess" Robin Williams, the author of over fifty Mac books, will be at DriveSavers booth (#S-338) signing her latest books: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: Peachpit Learning Series and The Little Mac Book; and sharing her fascinating and funny experiences with data lost and data found.

Macally Does More with New iPhone Accessories

PR: Products Include High-End Speaker Systems, Bluetooth FM Transmitter for the Car; USB Adaptor for Charging, Storage and Syncing

Macally has announced its new line of peripherals for the Apple iPhone.

The announcement comes on the first day of Macworld Conference & Expo at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Macally will show its full line of accessories and peripherals for the iPod, iPhone and Mac computer products at its booth, number 926, in the South Hall.

Included in Macally's new line of offerings are the TunePro, a sleek flat panel audio speaker with alarm clock; the FlexTune, a portable speaker system designed for vertical or horizontal video viewing; the BTCUP in-car Bluetooth compatible FM transmitter; and the PowerLink three-in-one USB adaptor.

"Our new products for iPhone reflect our commitment to quality, functionality and aesthetically pleasing peripherals that complement Apple's remarkable iPhone," said Andrew Saldana, Macally's vice president of sales and marketing. "These new products continue our move to enhance the way iPhone users enjoy their device."

FlexTune for iPhone

The unique FlexTune portable speaker system offers the flexibility of a horizontal orientation, ideal for watching widescreen movies on an iPhone or iPod touch, as well as vertical orientation for viewing video on an iPod classic. The device delivers exceptional sound for listening to music without headsets or bulky wired external speakers. See more information in the additional news release issued today "Macally FlexTune Portable Stereo System Puts a Twist on iPhone and iPod Video Viewing." The FlexTune has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $59.99 and will be available in February.

PowerLink for iPhone

The new PowerLink USB Adaptor for iPhone is a three-in-one device that is convenient to use and handy for any iPhone user to have. It's a memory stick to store files, a 30-pin cable to sync the iPhone and a charger with a built-in rechargeable battery. It can also be used with all iPod products.

The PowerLink USB Adaptor is offered at an MSRP of $59.99 and will be available in February.

TunePro for iPhone

The Macally TunePro flat panel speaker and alarm clock &endash; previously available for iPod &endash; is now available for iPhone. It offers the latest NXT flat panel loudspeaker technology coupled with SRS Labs' renowned SRS WOW technology for superior audio enhancement with immersive 3D audio that creates a full, rich sound for consumers who want to enjoy music from their iPhone. The TunePro alarm clock will awaken users with snooze, a favorite tune, AM or FM radio, or even an alarm buzzer. Macally also took sleep habits into consideration when it developed the alarm function; it can be set to gradually increase the alarm's volume, so sleepers are not jarred awake but are awoken gradually. It also charges the iPhone when docked.

The Macally TunePro for iPod was voted best of show for Macworld 2007 by iLounge.com, and the new version for iPhone continues to offer a visually stunning design with clean lines and a small footprint. Paired with its advanced feature-set, the TunePro's aesthetically pleasing look and feel makes it ideal for virtually any room in the home &endash; the bedroom, a dorm room, family room, office or the kitchen.

The Macally TunePro for iPhone has an MSRP of just $99 and will be available in February.

BTCUP for iPhone

The Macally BTCUP for iPhone is a full-channel FM transmitter with a clever design that lets consumers enjoy their iPhone in the car. Fitting into standard car cup holders, the BTCUP keeps the iPhone upright while also giving the driver full access to the touch screen. Its FM transmitter capabilities lets everyone in the car enjoy the music on the iPhone via the car's speaker system.

The BTCUP can sync with the iPhone's integrated Bluetooth technology for handsfree usage while driving &endash; something that is increasingly being made law across the United States. As a result, the BTCUP is easy to use for both playing music and managing incoming calls from the iPhone. When a call comes in, auto-switching between music and phone modes allows users to answer the call handsfree for improved safety, then returns to music play mode when the call is completed. It offers easy-to-reach buttons and switches including, a power on/off/privacy switch, a button for Bluetooth/answer/hang-up, frequency up and down buttons, as well as a "quick channel switch" button. The Macally BTCUP for iPhone also comes with an earphone for enhanced call privacy.

The Macally BTCUP for iPhone delivers all these features at an MSRP of $99 and will be available in February.

The above Macally products for the iPhone are undergoing certification by Apple.

FastMac iV iPhone External Battery Case

PR: Connect Yourself

Even though the iV gives you instant power on the go, the unique design allows you to directly insert it into an Apple dock to charge both your iPhone and the iV at the same time. Another great feature of the iV is the full size USB port that enables you to charge another device such as your Bluetooth headset or even a digital camera. Lights, Camera, Action!

FastMac iV iPhone External Battery CaseEver try to find something in the dark with your cell phone as a light source? Well, if your cell phone wasn't bright enough, fear not, the iV comes packed with a bright built-in flash to help you during those tough situations. This bright LED light will give you the power to find anything in the dark without any problems. Besides acting as a flash light, it also doubles as a flash for photos as well. Now you can take pictures with your iPhone camera in low-lit areas. A feature that will surely make any camera-phone enthusiast thrilled.

To Clip or Not To Clip

Having options is always a plus and the iV doesn't disappoint. The easily removable belt clip gives you the option to either wear it on your belt or simply detach it from the case to carry it in your pocket. However, the clip is not just for your belt, it can also be used as a stand to view videos and pictures with your iPhone. Regardless of how you use your belt clip, the option will always be available to suit any situation you're in.

FastMac iV iPhone External Battery CaseiV Features

  • External Battery Charging Unit
  • Up to an Additional 24 Hours of Talk Time
  • Up to an Additional 72 Hours of Audio Playback Up to an Additional 21 Hours of Video Playback
  • Up to an Additional 750 Hours of Stand by Time
  • Flash Light for Emergency Use and Low Light Photos USB Port for Multi-Charging Purposes
  • Lower Dock Connector for Charging

Product Dimensions: 2.46 inch x 5.53 inch x .5 inch

$79.95 up

iPod Add-ons

Bluetooth Dongle for iPod Adds SRS WOW HD Support

Electronista reports:

"Hitachi Maxell today introduced an SRS WOW HD-enabled Bluetooth audio transmitter (site not updated) for iPod to enhance sound quality of the portable player's digitally compressed audio and video files. The new Bluetooth-enabled dongle is compatible with all full-size iPods as well as iPod nano and iPod mini, and uses the proprietary Apple DIN connector that attaches directly to the iPod dock. The company offered no shipment details or pricing."

iRepo X Utility Recovers Songs from iPods

PR: Repossess your music! - iRepo X is a very easy to use iPod utility to recover songs off your iPod. It makes it effortless to copy all the songs that are on the iPod to your Mac and/or to iTunes.

iRepo X is a very easy to use iPod utility to recover songs off iPods. You simply connect your iPod and iRepo X will show you all the songs on the iPod. You can then easily select which songs you want to transfer and then tell iRepo X to start transferring. This is very useful in the following situations:

Recover from computer crash: If you've lost all your songs on your Mac due to a computer crash, iRepo X can let you copy the songs back from your iPod. This is impossible using iTunes alone.

Load songs onto new computer: When buying a new computer, iRepo X makes it possible to easily transfer your songs to your new computer from your iPod.

Copy songs from any iPod: iRepo X gives you the ability to copy songs onto your computer from any iPod. If your friend has songs you would like, you can connect their iPod to your computer and transfer over all the songs you don't have.

How it works: You simply start up iRepo X and connect your iPod. After connecting your iPod, iRepo X will display a listing of all the songs on the iPod in a very easy to use interface much like the browser interface in iTunes. You select which songs you want and click a button to start the transfer process.

New in version 2.1:

  • Added support for jailbroken iPod touches and iPhones
  • Fixed bug that would display "iPod not found" in status bar when an iPhone or iPod touch was connected
  • Added "main playlist" to the Playlist Transfer plugin - this playlist has the same name as the iPod's name and contains all the songs on the

New in version 2.0

  • Added support for iPhone and iPod touch.

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.4 or later
  • 2.4 MB of available hard drive space
  • Now compatible with iPod touch and iPhone!

System Support: PPC/Intel

$12 Shareware

iGadget X Turns Your iPod Into an Information Repository and More

PR: Realize the full potential of your iPod. You will have the tools necessary to copy songs off and iPod and back onto your Mac. You will also be able to transform your iPod into much more than a music player. You can turn your iPod into an information repository by transferring all kinds of data to your iPod, including driving directions, contacts, appointments, email, notes, tasks, podcasts, RSS news feeds, weather forecasts, daily horoscopes, movie showtimes, gas prices and more.

  • Driving Directions - Never get lost again! Put driving directions right onto your iPod
  • Always pay the lowest prices for gas by having a list of gas prices for your area right on your iPod
  • Movie Showtimes - Get the movie showtimes for your local theaters stored onto your iPod
  • Weather Forecasts - Never get caught without your raincoat by keeping your local weather forecasts on your iPod
  • Backup - Backup any set of files and/or folders from your computer onto your iPod for safe keeping RSS News Feeds
  • Get the latest news headlines on your iPod for reading at your leisure
  • Library - Keep a library of text files on your iPod for reading on-the-go - these could be e-books, recipes, bible verses, anything

New in version 2.1:

  • Added support for jailbroken iPhones and iPod touches
  • Fixed bug that would display "iPod not found" in status bar when an iPhone or iPod touch was connected
  • Updated Driving Directions plugin to work with new design of source website
  • Added "main playlist" to the Playlist Transfer plugin - this playlist has the same name as the iPod's name and contains all the songs on the iPod Version 2.0:
  • Updated to work with iPhone and iPod touch.

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.4 or later
  • 2.4 MB of available hard drive space
  • iTunes 4.7 or later
  • All Apple iPods (1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G (video), classic, iPod mini, iPod

System Support: PPC/Intel

$15 Shareware

Proporta Mini Mod (3G iPod nano) Alu-Leather Case

PR: Order a Mini Mod Alu-Leather case now for the chance to win Quadrophenia on DVD.

The Proporta Mini Mod Alu-Leather case has been classically designed to fit your Apple 3G iPod nano perfectly and is available in either red or black with a white stripe. As the name would suggest, the Mini Mod is at the height of style, but can toughen up when needed and is lined with a sheet of rigid, lightweight aircraft grade Aluminum, which protects your delicate screen from crushing and impact shocks.

While supplies last, Proporta giving away a free copy of the DVD "Quadrophenia" when you order the Mini Mod Case (Apple iPod 3G nano 4 GB and 8 GB).

Features:

  • Advanced Aluminum "Screen Saver System"
  • Secure magnetic clasp closure
  • Cut aways give access to ports and controls so that you can use your device in the case
  • Vehicle mountable - perfect for GPS and in car audio systems
  • Hand made with stylish stripe design

$45.95

Atlantic Expands EGO Line of iPod Accessories

PR: Atlantic Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of media storage solutions and gaming and iPod accessories, announced an addition to its award-winning EGO line of waterproof iPod sound cases - the ice - a portable, waterproof, floating iPod speaker system outfitted with two high-powered, waterproof, neodymium drivers, bass ports and an adjustable shower strap for hanging the unit from a shower head. Three customized spacers are provided for compatibility with most versions of the iPod including the classic, photo, video, nano and mini. Wrist and shoulder straps offer two carrying options, while a pullout stand supports desktop use. MSRP is $99.99.

Other products from Atlantic's EGO line of iPod accessories showcased at Macworld 2008 include:

  • iceBar2 - a compact, portable, shatterproof, and waterproof sound case designed to fit all generations of the iPod nano, including the new widescreen nano video, and small enough to fit into a purse, gym bag or beach bag.
  • iceBar - a slim, portable, shatterproof and waterproof sound case designed for the first two generations of the iPod nano. The iceBar won the 2008 CES Innovations Award for excellence in design and engineering.
  • Waterproof Sound Case - a fully controllable waterproof iPod music player system that floats in water. The Waterproof Sound Case, which can be used in the pool, in the shower, on a boat, or in any wet environment, won the 2007 CES Innovations Award for excellence in design and engineering.

The iceBar is currently available for $59.99, while the iceBar2 will be available in April for $69.99.

Macworld Conference & Expo 2008
Moscone Center, Booth # 4130

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