iNews Review

30% of iPhone 3G Buyers Switched Carriers, EU Battery Rule May Force iPhone Redesign, and More

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

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2008.10.10

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.

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News, Reviews, & Opinion

3 in 10 iPhone 3G Buyers Switched to AT&T

Almost Half Defected from Verizon, One-Quarter from T-Mobile, One-Fifth from Sprint

PR: According to a new report from The NPD Group, the leader in market research for the wireless industry, 30% of US consumers who purchased Apple's new iPhone 3G from June through August 2008 switched from other mobile carriers to join AT&T, the exclusive mobile carrier for the iPhone in the US By way of comparison just 23% of consumers, on average, switched carriers between June and August 2008. Nearly half (47%) of new AT&T iPhone customers that switched carriers switched from Verizon Wireless, another 24% switched from T-Mobile, and 19% switched from Sprint.

"The launch of the lower-priced iPhone 3G was a boon to overall consumer smartphone sales," according to Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for The NPD Group. "While the original iPhone also helped win customers for AT&T, the faster network speeds of the iPhone 3G has proven more appealing to customers that already had access to a 3G network."

Palm Centro smartphoneAccording to NPD's "iPhone 3G Report," before the launch of the iPhone 3G, iPhone sales represented 11% of the consumer market for smartphones (January through May 2008); however, after the launch of iPhone 3G, Apple commanded 17% of the smartphone market (January through August 2008).

The average price of a smartphone sold between June and August 2008 was $174, down 26% from $236 during the same period last year. During June through August 2008, the top four best-selling smartphones based on unit-sales to consumers were as follows:

  1. Apple iPhone 3G
  2. RIM Blackberry Curve
  3. RIM Blackberry Pearl
  4. Palm Centro

Methodology: The NPD Group compiles and analyzes mobile device sales data based on more than 150,000 completed online consumer research surveys each month. Surveys are based on a nationally balanced and demographically-representative sample, and results are projected to represent the entire population of US consumers. Note: Sales figures do not include corporate/enterprise mobile phone sales.

8% of US Teens Own an iPhone; 22% Want One

Apple 2.0's Philip Elmer-DeWitt says:

"Today's economic crisis doesn't seem to have reached the 769 high school students polled in Piper Jaffray's 16th bi-annual survey of teenage buying patterns and preferences.

"The survey, conducted at several apparently well-heeled high schools in the United States over the past few weeks - while the global financial markets were melting down - focused on MP3 players, online music and Apple's iPhone.

"The results, released late Tuesday, may say more about the demographics of the population Piper Jaffray is testing than the buying power of most US teenagers, but they will be music to Steve Jobs's ears...."

iPhone 3G 'The Greatest Piece of Consumer Electronics That Has Ever Been Made'

Daring Fireball's John Gruber says:

"Let's just say it up front: the iPhone is the greatest piece of consumer electronics that has ever been made.

"If I could travel back 20 years and show my then 15-year-old self just one thing the future of today, it would be the iPhone. It is our flying cars. Star Trek-style wireless long-distance voice communicator. The content of every major newspaper and magazine in the world. An encyclopedia. Video games. TV. Etc."

Over Half of 2009 Cars Will Offer iPod Connectivity

MacNN reports:

"For customers wanting a car that communicates with their iPod, 2009 is going to be a good year to shop for a new car. Over half of the 2009 model-year cars sold in the US will offer at least optional support for Apple's iPod, according to research by iSuppli. The trend reflects automakers' desire to increase sales by offering popular technological features...."

EU Battery Rule May Zap iPhone, Blow Away MacBook Air

The Register's Jan Libbenga reports:

"The EU is readying a new set of directives that could spell trouble for Apple's iPhone and any other gadget that lacks an easily removable power pack.

"A new, draft batteries directive mandates that power cells inside electronic devices must be 'readily removable' for replacement and safe disposal. This isn't the case with the iPhone, which does not have a user-replaceable battery.

"Neither do Apple's numerous iPods, or a growing number of handheld devices from other manufacturers....

"Gary Nevison of Leeds-based repair services company Premier Farnell believes the requirement is 'clearly intended to ensure that users can remove batteries by opening a cover by hand or after removal of one or two screws'."

New EU Directive Pushes Toward Replaceable iPhone Batteries

AppleInsider's Prince McLean reports:

"The European Union is preparing new directives that could have an impact on Apple's future products, including 'the New Batteries Directive,' which proposes to mandate that batteries in electronic appliances be 'readily removed' for replacement or disposal.

"The EU has taken the lead in pushing for industry regulations that impact all companies that sell their products in Europe. For example, the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, known as RoHS....

"Introduced with RoHS, the EU's 2006 Battery Directive updated existing regulation from 1991. It primarily sought to prevent the unnecessary use of toxic metals in batteries and attempts to make it easier to properly dispose of and recycle old batteries. The directive required EU member states to implement national laws and rules on batteries by September 2008.

"While the Battery Directive now in force states that it must be easy for consumers to remove batteries from electronic products, the 'New Batteries Directive' now being drafted over the next year goes even further to state that electrical equipment must be designed to allow that batteries be 'readily removed' for replacement or removal at the end of product's life....

"Such a regulation would seem to impact Apple's integrated battery design of its iPods and the iPhone, which are somewhat unique in that their batteries are not designed to be user replaceable and typically require special tools or professional assistance to remove them."

Woz Predicts Decline of iPod, Prefers Google G1 Openness to iPhone Locked-Downness

The Telegraph's Rupert Neate reports on a wide-ranging interview with Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak:

"Steve Wozniak was such a chronically shy teenager he could barely summon the courage to speak to other kids, instead he would spend his evenings tinkering with calculators and dreaming of super computers.

"He's a different man today. Mr. Wozniak, or Woz to use one of his many nicknames, has just had a roomful of high-powered businessmen in stitches as he recounted the rocky beginnings of one of the world's most loved companies....

"Last week Apple's shares tumbled nearly 20pc after two analysts downgraded the stock on fears that the consumer spending slowdown could seriously hit future profits.

"While many company founders would steer well clear of commenting on valuations, Mr. Wozniak says the downgrade was 'correct': an admission which could wipe further millions of the shares which have fallen by from a high of $179 in August to just over $100 on the close last week.

"In fact he believes: 'It is time for the whole computer industry to maybe have a bit of a slowdown. For twenty years we have been in this replacement and upgrade market,' he says. 'It is very easy to postpone that when there are financial irregularities.'....

"...he predicts the imminent death of the company's most popular product, the iPod.

"'The iPod has sort of lived a long life at number one,' he says. 'Things like, that if you look back to transistor radios and Walkmans, they kind of die out after a while.'

"Mr. Wozniak even speaks out against the iPhone 3G, Apple's latest cult product....

"'Consumers aren't getting all they want when companies are very proprietary and lock their products down,' he says when comparing the iPhone's closed operating system to the new Google phone's open source system which allows anyone to modify and adapt the way the phone works. 'I would like to write some more powerful apps than what you're allowed,' he laments...."

PC Magazine's Smartphone Superguide

PC Magazine's Sascha Segan says:

"Here's a look at the latest and greatest smartphones on all four major platforms: BlackBerry, Apple, Windows Mobile, and Symbian. Plus a sneak peek at the hottest handsets on the horizon."

How to Debloat Your Smartphone

PC Magazine's Jamie Lendino says:

"Even your cell phone isn't immune to crapware, so get rid of it all with these tips."

8 Ways to Track Your Portfolio on the iPhone

The Apple Core's Jason D. O'Grady says:

"In case you haven't been paying attention, US financial markets are in a tailspin (Dow and AAPL both down 4 6+% today). Securities continue on their relentless roller coaster ride that could make veteran stock brokers lose their lunch.

"If you'd like to stay more in touch with your financial portfolio there are a number of iPhone applications that can help you."

Track Presidential Election Polls with Your iPhone

The Apple Core's Jason D. O'Grady says:

"While you may not be able to watch tonight's V.P. debate on your iPhone, you can sure keep up with the polls. Poll Tracker '08 (iTunes link $0.99) is an iPhone application that's a dream for election junkies and politicos of all stripes."

Software Makes iPhone Photography Fun

Cult of Mac's Giles Turnbull reports:

"I cooked up many reasons to justify buying an iPhone, and the fact that it had a camera (no matter how poor quality) was one of them. I liked the idea of having a camera that was so well integrated with the rest of the software on the machine.

"As it turns out, third-party software that makes use of the camera is the stuff I'm getting most excited about, and playing with most often.

"The most recent addition to my iPhone home screen is CameraBag....

"CameraBag, created by 3D modeling specialists Nevercenter in what looks like quite a radical departure for them, lets you take a photo (or import one from your on-phone library) and add preset effects that mimic classic film styles from the days when cameras used to use film...."

Do-It-Yourself iPhone Stand Let's You Rock Out with Your Clock Out!

iPhoneSavior says:

"Here's a super slick concept that couples a simple do-it-yourself iPhone stand with the wildly popular app 'Digital Clock'. Nathan Barry fashioned himself a custom iPhone stand using the plastic tray found inside his original iPhone 3G packaging. The idea centered around creating a digital clock stand for his bedroom.

"'Quite easy to do,' Barry said, 'All you need is a sharp craft knife and a steady hand.'"

Transform Your iPhone into a Toolbox

Hardmac's Lionel reports:

"The number of applications available from the iTunes Store and destined for the iPod touch and iPhone keeps growing. Among this crowd of impressive products, we found a small perl which will please both DIYers and those who just want to impress their friends with the capabilities of their phone...."

Apple's Classical Music Growth Suggests an App Store Growth Path

Macworld's Ben Boychuk reports:

"Apple has a well-earned reputation for fulfilling customer desires on its own timetable. The disharmony around the App Store is hardly the first time Apple sounded off-key to its fans. Consider the flat note that the iTunes Music Store struck with classical music fans early on.

"The parallel between classical fans and iPhone users feels apt. Classical music aficionados are a peculiar and particular breed. iPhone users are particular, too. Each has specialized needs and certain expectations. But Apple has come a long way with classical music lovers....

"Fact is, Apple has steadily improved the classical (and jazz) sections of the store. The company imposed order on the chaos, making listings more accurate. Searching and browsing is much improved. Users can browse by subgenre - contemporary, orchestral, piano, opera, etc.

"Where five years ago recordings of major composers such as Beethoven and Mahler numbered in dozens, today they number in the hundreds...."

Apps

Easy WiFi Now Available at Apple's App Store

PR: Devicescape Software, the leader in secure and seamless WiFi technology for devices, announced today that the company's Easy WiFi application is available for download at the Apple iTunes store. With Easy WiFi, iPhone and iPod touch users can automatically connect to the WiFi networks they use, without the headache of using a browser and entering usernames and passwords.

"We are very excited about the ability to distribute Easy WiFi through Apple's App Store. We've built a vibrant user community on other platforms but it's clear that WiFi use on iPhones and iPods is uniquely strong, and that's been reflected in immediate and strong demand from people all over the world. Easy WiFi improves the user experience by allowing users immediate access to the services they care about," said Dave Fraser, CEO at Devicescape.

Devicescape Easy WiFi supports thousands of networks with hundreds of thousands of hotspots all around the world. While most major carriers are supported, Devicescape aims for relevant, personal coverage for users and includes many local networks such as small retail stores, universities, municipal networks and free hotspots. Uniquely, Devicescape users can customize and improve their own coverage by reporting new networks to be supported.

Free, Interactive Virtual Zippo Lighter

PR: Zippo Manufacturing Company and Moderati Inc. today announced the launch of the Virtual Zippo Lighter, a free, branded application available in Apple's iTunes App Store for the iPhone and the iPod touch.

Virtual Zippo LighterVirtual Zippo LighterThe Virtual Zippo Lighter brings the look and feel of Zippo's iconic lighter to the iPhone, with interactive action that mimics the real thing. It opens with a flick of the wrist and lights with a turn of the flint wheel, and the truly windproof flame sways as the device is moved back and forth. The Virtual Zippo Lighter allows Zippo fans to experience the famous "Zippo Moment"* for free, by holding their cell phones aloft and swaying to power ballads at concerts.

Zippo manufactures an average of 12 million windproof pocket lighters each year, and nearly 450 million since the first lighter was created in 1932. Zippo windproof lighters enjoy a widespread and enviable reputation as valuable collectibles throughout the world. In the United States alone there are more than four million collectors, plus millions more worldwide - and throughout cyberspace. This collaboration with Moderati represents the brand's first cooperative foray into downloadable applications for mobile devices.

"We are excited to launch the Virtual Zippo Lighter into Apple's App Store," said Pat Grandy, Marketing Communications Manager at Zippo. "It's a true representation of our brand in a virtual format and our partnership with Moderati, with their experience in mobile marketing and development, is helping to bring a digital alternative to the 'Zippo Moment' for 21st century concertgoers."

This collaboration marks Moderati's entry into iPhone application development. Long known for its mobile on-deck content services and ringtone application development, Moderati has been increasingly working to introduce brands to the mobile arena through its relationships and expertise.

The Virtual Zippo Lighter features a selection of designs to customize the skin of the lighter, as well as an animated flame that reacts to movement of the phone. The application takes advantage of several features of the iPhone and iPod touch developer platform, including the accelerometer to enable movement of the flame in response to motion. Realistic sound effects highlight the action of the lighter when it opens and closes, and the vibration feature lets you know when the flame is upside down.

"Zippo is widely-known as the best and coolest lighter in the world," said Cindy Mesaros, SVP of Marketing and acting President of Moderati. "We are taking that concept to the virtual world, and the iPhone is the perfect platform for it. We are proud to hold our Virtual Zippo Lighters aloft."

Currently, the Virtual Zippo Lighter is the only free and branded lighter in the App Store with fully interactive lighter simulation, a realistic looking flame and multiple case designs. Future releases of the application will include the ability to engrave on the lighter and blow out the flame.

* The term Zippo Moment was coined by Ann Powers, former Village Voice and New York Times music critic, to describe the way in which fans would light their Zippo lighters in anticipation of a favorite song or power ballad.

The Talking English Dictionary Available for iPhone & iPod touch

PR: Paragon Software Group has launched The Talking English Dictionary for the iPhone and iPod touch. The most authoritative coverage of vocabulary in the English-speaking world is coupled with Paragon's advanced SlovoEd engine to bring premium dictionary content to iPhone users directly on the mobile device screen.

The Talking English Dictionary was tailor-made for the iPhone, with all special characteristics and unique features of the device in mind. The dictionary database contains more than 240,000 words, phrases and definitions in British English, and is the most up-to-date dictionary of its kind available on the market. No Internet connection is required - simply download once and use it without incurring any additional expenses. The "History" feature shows the last 15 translated words, and the "Cross-Lookup" feature is an easy check of language comprehension. For users wishing to take advantage of the premium audio abilities of the iPhone, a native British sound module of 20,000 words is available as well.

"We are pleased to include one of Oxford University Press's premium British dictionaries in The Talking English Dictionary," said Evan Schnittman, Vice President of Business Development at OUP. "Oxford University Press has a 600 year history of being at the forefront of technology in scientific, linguistic and scholarly research. OUP dictionary content made available on latest-generation iPhones through Paragon's SlovoEd dictionary engine helps further that mission."

The Talking English Dictionary features rapid browsing through the SlovoEd engine, which compresses the dictionary content to a minimum of memory space while allowing the user to perform multiple learning, word reference and translation functions as quickly as possible. Now, users can find authoritative definitions with a single click without having to leave the active application and switch to the dictionary.

Paragon Software Group offers a wide choice of more than 120 dictionaries for 30 languages, and the best dictionary content from world-famous publishers. The product is available for $24.99 (19.99 € or £14.99) from the Apple Store.

NetSketch 1.3 Now Available on the App Store

PR: Gotow.net announces the release of NetSketch 1.3, a collaborative drawing application for the iPhone and iPod touch. NetSketch is a full-featured vector drawing app and allows you to sketch in real-time with friends on multiple iPhones. The update is available through the App Store and includes several new features.

Gotow.net announces the release of NetSketch 1.3, a collaborative drawing application for the iPhone and iPod touch. NetSketch is a full-featured vector drawing app and allows you to sketch in real-time with friends on multiple iPhones. The update is available through the App Store and features several performance improvements:

  • A tabbed color picker allows you to rapidly flip between brushes as you draw. Select a different brush color and size for each of the three tabs in the color picker, and you can flip between them as you work. Leave one of the brushes white, and you can quickly erase unwanted lines.
  • An improved emailing interface allows you to more reliably email large drawings to others. A progress indicator appears as the drawing is sent.

See the NetSketch web site for screenshots, uploaded drawings and additional information about the update.

System Requirements:

  • iPhone or iPod touch
  • Wireless network required for sharing features

NetSketch is $5.99 and is available for immediate download on the iTunes App Store. All updates are free!

NetSketch allows you to draw on the iPod's screen using a full range of colors and brush sizes. You can share drawings over the wireless network, and others using the NetSketch application can contribute to your work. As you draw, everyone's changes are reflected in real time.

Unlike other drawing programs, NetSketch features infinite pan and zoom based on familiar gestures. It is the only iPhone app to render drawings in a fully scalable vector space independent of the size of the iPhone's screen. When you zoom in, you get smooth, accurate lines - not huge pixels. You can draw at any level so it's easy to add detail.

Dilithium Releases Live and Video On-Demand Streaming for iPhone

PR: Dilithium, a leader in high-quality multimedia delivery over mobile and broadband networks, announced the availability of live video and Video On Demand (VOD) streaming support for the iPhone utilizing the Dilithium Content Adapter (DCA). The DCA iPhone solution is an infrastructure offering that can be deployed by operators and service providers enabling their customers to access live or on demand video content through the standard iPhone Safari browser.

The DCA solution supports live and prerecorded clips in a wide range of video formats. DCA performs on the fly and on demand media format and codec adaptation. iPhone users do not need to install a special application, and may be on WiFi, WiMax, 3G, or 3.5G (HSDPA) networks.

DCA patent-pending technologies and architecture allow smart transcoding, transrating and transsizing on the fly. It supports the widest range of phones and devices through RTSP and HTTP (including progressive download) and has a PHP-based high level API that offers easy integration in operator and service provider frameworks and workflows. DCA has the most advanced built-in caching feature allowing significant reduction in unnecessary adaptation while providing support for ad-insertion.

Weather Underground Launches WunderRadio for the iPhone

PR: Weather Underground announces the availability of WunderRadio, an iPhone application that gives users access to thousands of streaming internet radio stations powered by RadioTime's extensive guide.

WunderRadio for the iPhoneWunderRadio utilizes the iPhone's GPS capability to locate nearby radio stations including NOAA weather radio streams. RadioTime guide provides a quick and easy way to find radio content from thousands of stations across the world. Listeners can browse by genre or location to see what is available for their tastes, locations and connections. Users can build a list of their favorite stations providing instant access to a personalized directory. WunderRadio also allows users to access radio scanners to pick up local police, fire and EMS agencies across the US.

"The initial impetus behind this application was to provide iPhone users with instant access to local weather radio streams," said Alan Steremberg, President of Weather Underground. "During development, we decided to extend the scope of radio stations offered by working with RadioTime. The result is an easy to use portal to over 60,000 of the best talk, music and sports radio stations around the globe."

WunderRadio provides links to the web site of the radio station that you are listening to as well as information on any songs that are playing. When listening to the weather radio stations users can link to Weather Underground's free iPhone weather. The application features internet radio stations that are streamed by Windows Media and MP3 formats - providing users with a vast number of stations.

"WunderRadio has created an innovative approach for iPhone users to explore the unique music, talk formats and personalities only radio can offer, and which online streaming music services just can't provide," said Bill Moore, CEO, RadioTime. "The integration of RadioTime guide with Weather Underground's technology makes it easy to browse the enormous selection of radio the world has to offer."

As part of the ongoing relationship between Weather Underground and RadioTime, both companies are also pleased to announce that Weather Underground powered weather radio stations are now to be included in RadioTime's directory of channels.

The nation's first online weather service, Weather Underground is committed to delivering the most comprehensive, reliable weather information possible. The company's state-of-the-art technology monitors conditions and forecasts for locations across the world. With thousands of international users contributing local observations from personal weather stations, Weather Underground is able to provide up-to-the-minute weather conditions for the most finely targeted areas. In addition to serving free online weather information to millions of Web users at www.wunderground.com , Weather Underground delivers custom-designed weather page solutions to an array of businesses and media clients - both online and in print.

RadioTime is the leading radio tuner that powers Internet services and devices by connecting them to radio broadcast DJs, talk personalities, and sports programming. Listeners easily access free, live, local, and global radio programming through RadioTime service. Its service enhances other products and services by powering them with thousands of radio channels and programming. RadioTime, founded in 2002, is based in Dallas, Texas. More information is available at www.radiotime.com .

WebIS Announces Note2Self 2.00 for iPhone

PR: WebIS has announced Note2Self 2.00, a major update to their easy-to-use audio recorder for Apple iPhone. It allows anyone to quickly record a voice note, save it in a Saved Notes list and automatically send it to any email address, all without pushing a single button. Instant, hands free voice mail. Improvements include a WiFi web server, automatic level pause during recording, multi-note delete, audio scrubbing, three defaults using Contact Pictures, and many other improvements.

As wonderful as iPhones are, they still lack an easy way to create actionable items with the most natural method of output: the human voice. Note2Self allows anyone to quickly record a voice note, save it in a Saved Notes list and automatically send it to a preset email address. All of this can be performed handsfree, without having to select a contact, type text, or any other distraction that could prove dangerous or difficult to do.

The key to unlocking productivity is for Note2Self to be incredibly streamlined and focused. Start Note2Self. Bring the iPhone up to the ear and start talking. Bring it back down and the recording stops. The recorded message is saved or emailed automatically.

"... collecting short notes to yourself and sending them off - it works extremely well" Jesse David Hollington, iLounge.

Version 2.0 brings Note2Self to the level of the most complete professional level audio recording tool on the iPhone today. It does this by bringing some major new improvements, an updated look and a completely overhauled set of options. A full list of 2.0 features include:

  • Built-in WiFi Note2Self Server allows you to record and download nearly any size* voice note to your desktop (Mac, PC, Linux)
  • Settings moved into the application itself and redesigned * Automatic Pause During Recording when Level goes below user setting
  • Badge Count is now user configurable
  • Support for Landscape mode and rotation (rotation disabled during recording)
  • Awesome new Multi-Note Delete/Send user interface
  • Now offers 3 Default Emails with Contact Pictures for sending email
  • Added ability to specify custom email during initial recording
  • New Volume Bar
  • Pause and Seek through your audio while playing
  • Elapsed time while playing
  • Improved Spanish Localization
  • Many other improvements throughout the application

Leveraging Apple's Cocoa Touch foundation, Note2Self is gorgeous looking and truly an easy to use application. It uses the accelerometer to toggle recording on and off automatically. Instant, hands free voice mail. Only on the iPhone.

Note2Self can record audio as long as there is free space, and offers two encoding options to help decide the quality of the voice message which are playable with Apple's QuickTime software.

Note2Self Sending Service:

While the iPhone email client is capable of sending attachments, this ability is not yet available to Apple iPhone Developers. So for Note2Self to send email voice notes, WebIS has set up a passthrough server that accepts voice notes via a web service and then sends the email to the recipients.

System Requirements: iPhone or Second Generation iPod touch 2.0 with microphone

TalkingPics 1.2 by Big Stone Phone

PR: Big Stone Phone announces immediate and free availability of an update to its popular program TalkingPics v1.2 - the audio recorder/picture taking field data gathering tool.

Key features in TalkingPics include:

  • Create as many projects as you want
  • Each project can have unlimited recordings
  • Attach a notes and photo to each recording
  • Attach map of current location to recording
  • Run Slideshows on the iPhone
  • Offload files to the Desktop

"TalkingPics users wanted two features: the ability to download files to Windows as well as the Mac and the ability to record audio in a highly compressed format that would allow for lengthy recordings. We listened, and we have delivered! " said TalkingPics Project Leader Jeff Biggus of Big Stone Phone.

TalkingPics v1.2 features the ability to upload audio and images to the desktop via Safari on Windows or the Mac. Users of other browsers can install Apple's free Bonjour plugin to allow them to download files right through the browser.

Additionally, Mac users can automate the process with an Applescript produced by TalkingPics. This version can handle audio files of any size, including extremely large ones. Upload speed has been drastically improved as well.

This version adds a new preference to choose either the ultra high quality lossless format (which is great for music, but creates large file sizes) or the WAV compressed format (which is good for voice and where small file size is the most important consideration). Another advantage of the WAV format is that it can be used on the web without further processing.

Additionally this version has an option to use the full size image (1200 by 1600 dpi) and more than doubles the default size image (600 by 800). Speed to take snapshots has also been dramatically improved.

TalkingPics is available for download and use today directly from your iPhone or computer from the App Store.

Babelingo Travel Phrases 1.3 for iPhone

PR: Alta Vida LLC announces Babelingo 1.3, their language translation utility for iPhone and iPod touch. Containing more than 300 useful phrases in 10 languages, Babelingo is an easy-to-use phrase book communicator, allowing anyone to show a professionally translated phrase to a foreign language audience. Phrases are displayed in a large and beautifully rendered script, easily read from a distance. Version 1.3 includes professionally translated phrases in the Portuguese language.

Alta Vida LLC announces Babelingo 1.3, their language translation utility for iPhone and iPod touch. Containing more than 300 useful phrases and words, Babelingo is an incredibly fast and easy-to-use phrase book communicator, allowing anyone to show a professionally translated phrase to a foreign language audience.

Babelingo can translate to and from 10 different languages, including English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, German, Czech, Hindi, Japanese and Chinese. Each phrase is carefully translated by highly skilled professional translators and displayed in a large, beautifully rendered script that is easily read from a distance. With the latest version users can enable viewing of phonetic phrases for Japanese, Chinese, and Hindi (Romaji, Pinyin, and Romanized Hindi respectively).

Each category, phrase, word, and screen can be presented in any one of the supported languages. The user chooses their native language, the alternative audiences language, and Babelingo does the rest. Phrases are grouped by category in a flat list for fast navigation. Simply tap a phrase and its translation is immediately displayed.

For commonly used phrases, users may add them to a favorites list for quick and easy access. Quickly search for phrases using key words. Hindi speakers can search for Hindi script using the English keyboard and phonetic spellings (Romanized Hindi). And Babelingo is more than a simple phrase book too. The application also enables two way communication by allowing the alternate party to navigate Babelingo in their own language and respond to requests, making it the perfect travel companion for both business and leisure.

Version 1.3 includes professionally translated phrases in the Portuguese language, and a recommended update. In addition, this version allows users to enable viewing of phonetic phrases for Japanese, Chinese, and Hindi (Romaji, Pinyin, and Romanized Hindi respectively). Customers who have a need for a specific language are urged to contact support so that it may be prioritized into a future release of Babelingo.

Feature highlights include:

  • Over 300 useful phrases and words
  • Each and every phrase carefully translated by highly skilled professional translators
  • 25 different categories
  • Large and beautifully rendered translations
  • Native language responses
  • Phrase search
  • Favorites list
  • No network connection required

Language support: English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, German, Czech, Hindi, Japanese, and Chinese

Minimum Requirements: iPhone or iPod touch 2.0

Babelingo 1.3 for iPhone and iPod touch is only $5.99 and available exclusively through Apple's App Store.

Accessories

Waterproof Headphones and Armbands for iPhone, iPods

PR: H2O Audio, the leading water sports music company has announced the launch of their new range of waterproof headphones and waterproof armbands for your iPod, MP3 Player or Phone - liberating swimmers, surfers, kayakers and runners throughout the country.

The Surge headphones and Amphibx armbands are guaranteed to an impressive 3.6 metres and are the ultimate wearable music solution for any watersports.

H2O Audio is the first company in the UK to launch a range of watersports music products which house in an armband your everyday iPod, MP3 Player or Phone. The Surge and Amphibx range are the products of years of research and development by H2O Audio and athletes, including the pioneering water sport's legend Laird Hamilton and Natalie Coughlin, 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze medals for Team USA swimming in Beijing.

The Amphibx's unique shape and specialist materials have been designed to comfortably grip your arm while you are dropping in, cutting it back or wiping out. The latch tight locking closures provides a 100% watertight and secure seal, while the clear touch window enables full operation of iPod touch and wheel controls. The Amphibx range comes in both medium and large sizes; the medium fits a nano or small MP3 players, whilst the large fits a standard iPod, an iPhone and any size MP3 player.

For extreme comfort and the perfect fit during action waterports Surge waterproof headphones come with 5 different size earpieces. Sound-isolating, watertight earplugs harness the full audio experience provided by Surge's waterproof 8mm neodymium drivers. Their gold plated 3.5mm jack will fit most players on the market.

For the serious swimmers out there, H2O Audio also offers the iSH2 Shuffle Headset - a sleek waterproof headphone that includes an integrated waterproof case for the iPod shuffle. The iSH2 Shuffle Headset attaches easily to goggles, and allows perfect freedom of movement for those tumble turns.

H2O Audio Surge headphones are available now priced at £49.95, the Amphibx waterproof medium case £54.95, large is £64.95 and iSH2 Shuffle Headset is £59.95 and are all available from Harrods, The Kings Road Sporting Club, or online.

Car Windshield Mount with Handsfree and Charger for iPhone 3G

windshield mount iPhone chargerPR: This auto mount is designed to give you a convenient, user-friendly and safe way of having your device easily accessible in your car - so you can be productive during your commute without becoming a hazard on the road.

Features:

  • Powered by Car Cigarette / lighter Socket
  • Charging your iPhone on the go
  • A handsfree while you are driving
  • Power indicator
  • You can connect to headphones / earphones if would like
  • On / Off Switch for charger
  • Accept / Reject calls
  • Volume Control
  • Superior Voice Quality

This device is compatible with: iPhone 3G

Color - Black

$39.99

Marware Sportsuit Convertible for iPod nano 4G

Marware Sportsuit Convertible for iPod nano 4GPR: Marware Inc. announces the Sportsuit Convertible for the iPod nano 4G. The new Sportsuit Convertible is the ideal 3-in-1 case for anyone who desires versatility and a cool look. Resilient Lycra protects your iPod while the Orca-skin material provides a comfortable feel.

The new ergonomic design allows you to insert or remove your iPod nano both quickly and easily. The patented Multidapt system gives added versatility, allowing for the use of the included stretchable armband and belt clip, or a variety of car and bike solutions (sold separately). Simply remove the clip or armband and the Lycra and Orca-skin material provide a protective, slim sleeve for carrying or placing in a bag. All this, an included key pouch and easy access to all iPod nano 4G functionality truly makes the Convertible 3 cases for the price of one.

Features:

  • Multidapt system provides a 3-in-1 solution for use as an armband, belt clip, or ultra-low profile sleeve
  • Lycra and Orca-skin construction provides protection and a very cool feel
  • Clear vinyl protects the screen and Click Wheel
  • Easy access to all nano functionality
  • Use in the car, on a bike, or at the gym (clips and accessories sold separately)
  • INCLUDES: case with Multidapt base, armband, belt clip, and key pocket
  • Marware's Lifetime Warranty

The Sportsuit Convertible is available in black neoprene. It retails for $29.99 and is available now for pre-order online.

Marware Sportsuit Convertible for iPod touch 2G

Marware Sportsuit Convertible for iPod touch 2GPR: Marware Inc. announces the Sportsuit Convertible for the iPod touch 2G. The new Sportsuit Convertible is the ideal 3-in-1 case for anyone who desires versatility with a cool look.

Resilient Lycra protects your touch while the Orca-skin material provides a comfortable and smooth feel. The new ergonomic design allows you to insert or remove your iPod touch both quickly and easily. The patented Multidapt system gives added versatility, allowing for the use of the included stretchable armband and belt clip, or a variety of car and bike solutions (sold separately). Simply remove the clip or armband and the Lycra and Orca-skin material provide a protective, slim sleeve for carrying or placing in a bag. All this, an included key pouch and easy access to all iPod touch functionality truly makes the Convertible 3 cases for the price of one.

Features:

  • Multidapt system provides a 3-in-1 solution for use as an armband, belt clip, or ultra-low profile sleeve
  • Lycra and Orca-skin construction provides protection and a very cool feel
  • Clear vinyl protects the screen
  • Easy access to all touch functionality
  • Use in the car, on a bike, or at the gym (clips and accessories sold separately)
  • INCLUDES: case with Multidapt base, armband, belt clip, and key pocket
  • Marware's Lifetime Warranty

The Sportsuit Convertible is available in black Lycra and Orca-skin. It retails for $34.99 and is available now for pre-order online.

Protection

Transparent, Scratchproof Protection for the New iPhone

PR: NLU Products, the developer of scratchproof, transparent skins for mobile devices, and Micro Center, the leading US retailer focusing on the needs of dedicated computer users, has announced that NLU's BodyGuardz for transparent, scratchproof protection for the Apple iPhone are now available at Micro Center's twenty-one retail locations across the United States. BodyGuardz are an ultra thin residue-free layer of 'skin' that adheres directly to the iPhone, protecting the exterior from scratches and daily wear and tear in addition to providing a scratch-guard barrier for the phone's screen.

BodyGuardz"Adding Micro Center to our growing list of retail partners gives iPhone users the flexibility of either ordering BodyGuardz online or picking them up from a retail location," said Marc Hodson, Sales Vice President of NLU Products. "BodyGuardz skins protect the iPhone from environmental and physical threats to eliminate dings and scratches as well as preventing more serious injury to the device."

BodyGuardz are made from the very same material that is typically used to shield the fronts of automobiles from abrasive elements and environmental impact. Applying BodyGuardz protective skin to the surface of the Apple iPhone leaves no residue, nor does it cause any damage to the device itself. A transparent scratch-guard barrier protects the screen and the skins provide a custom-fit that protects the device without interfering with operations.

"Micro Center is always looking for new products which add value for our customers. BodyGuardz skins not only extend the life of iPhones and protect them against accidental damage, but are also sleek and stylish," said Kevin L. Jones, Vice President-Merchandising for Micro Center.

All BodyGuardz iPhone protectors are backed by the BodyGuardz Advantage program that includes a lifetime replacement program, two custom-fit protective skins with purchase, the BodyGuardz application solution, squeegee card and complete application instructions.

BodyGuardz for the new Apple iPhone are now available for US MSRP $24.95. BodyGuardz for the Apple iPhone are available for purchase at all Micro Center retail locations from coast to coast and online.

Crystal Case for iPod touch 2nd Gen

Crystal Case for iPod touchPR: Features:

  • Unique ergonomic design
  • Crystal clear
  • Fully Protected from bumps and scratches
  • Light weight
  • Perfectly fit
  • Anti-dust
  • Easy access to all ports, buttons and sockets

Color - Crystal Clear

$11.99

Marware Glide for iPod touch 2G

Marware Glide for iPod touch 2GPR: Marware Inc. announces the Glide for the iPod touch 2G. The firm-textured Nappa leather construction hides your touch neatly out of harm's way. Here's the best part: the Glide uses a dual-purpose strap system for easily removing the touch, as well as locking it in place.

Gently pull the strap, and the touch slides partially out of the case for easy removal. Slide the touch back into the case and the strap recedes and folds over the top with a secure Velcro closure system. The Glide is available in four festive colors and is now shipping.

Features:

  • Textured leather protection with microfiber interior
  • Secure premium Velcro closure system
  • Built-in, recessed pull-tab for easy iPod retrieval
  • Ultra-slim profile: great for carrying in pocket, purse or bag
  • INCLUDES: leather sleeve, clear protective film, and microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Marware's Lifetime Warranty

The Glide is available in black, blue, purple and pink textured leather. It retails for $24.99 and is now shipping.

Marware Sport Grip for iPod nano 4G

Marware Sport Grip for iPod nano 4GPR: Marware Inc. announces the Sport Grip for the iPod nano 4G. The Sport Grip is the ideal colorful complement for your nano. Slip-free, high-grade silicone protects the sides, top, back and bottom while providing access to the ports.

The docking port is safely covered by an easy-access silicone slot. Subtle texturing allows for a secure grip, and the result is an ergonomic, comfortable and sporty way to get a firm grip on your nano.

Features:

  • Rugged but soft silicone protection
  • Contains antimicrobial additive
  • Docking port is safely covered until you need it
  • Textured side for gripping
  • Easy access to hold switch, Click Wheel, headphones port, and dock connector
  • INCLUDES: silicone skin, clear film protector, and microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Marware's Lifetime Warranty

The Sport Grip for the Apple iPod nano 4G is available in black, white, and frosted. It retails for $14.99 and is shipping now.

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