iNews Review

1 in 4 Text While Driving, AT&T Considers Cheaper iPhone Plans, Allergy Alert App, and More

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

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2009.05.26

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, Reviews, & Opinion

Apps & Services

Accessories

iPod and iPhone Deals

These price trackers are updated regularly.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

1 in 4 Mobile Users Admits Texting While Driving

Computerworld's Matt Hamblen reports:

"Despite laws against driving while texting in some states - and support from cellular carriers for stricter laws to curb the practice - about one in four mobile phone users still texts when driving, according to a recent survey of nearly 5,000 US consumers...."

Cheaper iPhone Plans Coming from AT&T?

BusinessWeek's Olga Kharif reports:

"The exclusive US iPhone service provider is considering cutting the price of its monthly service package or offering a range of lower-priced plans, say people with knowledge of the company's thinking. One plan that could be introduced as early as late May would include limited data access at a $10 monthly reduction, the people say."

1 Million Downloads for Stanford iPhone Developer Class

Cult of Mac's Nicole Martinelli reports:

"One million potential iPhone developers downloaded Stanford's dev course since it started in April. The 10-week course from the Palo Alto university's school of engineering is offered gratis on iTunes."

iPhone Tips for Teachers Launches

6th Grade Science Teacher Andrew Morris, a former Low End Mac contributor, has launched the new iPhone Tips for Teachers website.

Advice in grouped into the categories of three ways your iPhone or iPod touch can be used in the classroom to your advantage: for Classroom Management, as an Instructional Tool, and as a Multimedia device.

Apple Warns of Static Shock from iPhone, iPod Earbuds

In a new Apple Knowledge Base article entitled "Apple Earbuds and static electricity", Apple Support says:

"It's possible to receive a small and quick electrical (static) shock from your earbuds while listening to iPod or iPhone."

And notes that:

"When using headphones in areas where the air is very dry, it is easy to build up static electricity and possible for your ear to receive a small electrostatic discharge from the headphones. Receiving a static shock from a pair of earbuds does not necessarily indicate an issue with the iPod, iPhone, or earbuds.

"This condition is very similar to dragging your feet across a carpet and receiving a static shock by touching a door knob. However, instead of the static charge building up on your body, the charge builds up on the device that the earbuds are connected to. Likewise, instead of the static buildup discharging through your finger when you touch a door knob, it discharges through the earbuds."

The Art of iPhone Photography

TidBITS' Doug McLean says:

"It's common knowledge: the iPhone's 2 megapixel camera is nothing special. It was unimpressive when it shipped, and every day it suffers more and more in comparison with modern point-and-shoot cameras, or even the latest camera phones....

"But, as we'll see, the iPhone camera's technical limitations haven't prevented some artists from making great art with it, much the way artists have long produced amazing images using old or unusual photographic equipment."

Future iPods Rumored to Get Cameras, Like iPhone

AppleInsider's Katie Marsal reports:

"Apple may be planning to add camera functionality to a couple of its next-generation iPod models, according to a new report, which also claims that upcoming iPhones will retain the handsets' existing form factor."

Apps & Services

Pollen.com Launches Allergy Alert iPhone/iPod touch App

Pollen mapPR: Pollen.com, the most visited allergy site on the Web, announces the availability of Allergy Alert, an application for the iPhone and iPod touch devices. The alert provides one-day alerts and four-day forecasts for four different conditions: allergy (pollen), asthma, cold and cough, and ultraviolet sensitivity.

Available for free at the iPhone App Store, the Pollen.com Allergy Alert application allows users to take advantage of the advanced capabilities of the iPhone and iPod touch user interface.

"The iPhone application provides users with greater access to information that they've come to rely on from Pollen.com," said Glenn Connery, associate director of the application development/Web group for SDI, the company behind Pollen.com. "Having this instant, portable access for their conditions helps users plan their day or week ahead."

Features of the Pollen.com Allergy Alert iPhone application include:

  • One-day alerts and four-day forecasts for four different conditions: allergy (pollen), asthma, cold and cough, and ultraviolet sensitivity - customized down to individual ZIP codes
  • Indexes indicating severity for each condition ranging from 0.0 to 12.0
  • Easy-to-read user interface with color coding for easy focus
  • Access to the Allergy Alert application support page on Pollen.com
  • Compatible with any iPhone or iPod touch with operating system version 2.2.1, the application was designed by SDI's Pollen.com development team.

Pollen app screen shots

Pollen.com recently received the Health On the Net Foundation's Code of Conduct certification (HONcode©), identifying Pollen.com as an internationally reliable source of health information. Certification by HON, the most widely accepted reference for online health and medical publishers, denotes that Pollen.com provides sound, authoritative information; data confidentiality and privacy; proper attribution of sources; and transparency, such as a clear delineation of advertising and editorial content.

SDI developed Pollen.com's proprietary forecasts and also manufactures Rotorod®, the leading tool for pollen count measurement. For more than 10 years, SDI has helped to set the standards by which scientists, researchers, and doctors operate their samplers, and by which they analyze their pollen samples to obtain accurate and consistent counts.

Read 2 Me Brings eBooks to Life on iPhone/iPod touch

PR: Retinal Media today announced Read 2 Me 1.0 for iPhone and iPod touch. Read 2 Me gives users the ability to listen to e-text files read aloud, using Acapela-Group's text-to-speech synthesis technology. It also allows readers to import any plain .txt file into the synthesizer from any URL based location on the web. Acapela's natural voices give users a way to turn the smart iPhone into a friendly storyteller with the ease pressing a button.

"Read 2 Me", from Retinal Media, is a successful deployment of Acapela-Group's text-to-speech technology, and offers both productivity and accessibility features. Acapela's natural voices give users a way to turn the smart iPhone into a friendly storyteller with the ease pressing a button.

"Read 2 Me" users can easily import .txt files from the Gutenberg website (which includes over 27,000 e-texts), or can create their own .txt files by converting word docs or PDFs. Read 2 Me's FAQ page on the "Read 2 Me" website explains various methods of accomplishing conversion.

David Hoofnagle of Retinal Media states, "Our goal was to create a product that rivaled other text-to-speech synthesizers at a nominal cost, in order to give accessibility features to those who can benefit from this kind of technology in a mobile phone. Having a device that can 'mimic' human voices with such incredible realistic and natural tones is an exciting step in the merging of mobile media and entertainment technologies."

Read 2 Me Version 1.0 features include:

  • Optimization for Gutenberg.org plain text ASCII files
  • Optimization for ANY.txt file (UTF-8, ASCII encoding) at any web-based URL
  • Prev/Next custom bookmarking navigation
  • Elegant scrolling text view of imported text with line break optimization for ease on the eyes
  • Automatic scrolling of the spoken text
  • Easy navigation of sections of texts, saved bookmarks, and library content

System Requirements: iPhone or iPod touch 2.2.1 or later

Read 2 Me is available immediately from the Apple iTunes App Store for a one-time fee of $6.99 and includes 4 high quality voices (UK and US female and male voices) from Acapela-Group.

Glu Mobile Launches Deer Hunter 3D for iPhone/iPod touch

Deer Hunter 3DPR: Glu Mobile Inc. announces the launch of Deer Hunter 3D for iPhone and iPod touch on the Apple App Store. Deer Hunter 3D is based on Atari Inc.'s Deer Hunter franchise which is the biggest hunting game franchise of all time, leading the hunting genre in gaming since 1997. This is Glu's first Atari title for iPhone and iPod touch.

"Glu is excited to be working with Atari to provide the most authentic hunting experience on iPhone and iPod touch," said Jill Braff, senior vice president of global publishing, Glu Mobile. "The stunning graphics and innovative gameplay of the latest version of Deer Hunter will quickly engage fans of the franchise, while also creating a captivating experience for those new to the brand."

"Launching Deer Hunter on the Apple App store is another big step for our renowned and hugely successful franchise," said Jim Wilson, CEO Atari Inc. "For Atari it's vital, with such an important franchise, to deliver outstanding gameplay with impressive graphics and Glu has done a great job on both counts with this app."

Features include:

  • 3D Graphics - a virtual hunting simulation with realistic 3D visuals
  • Two Play Modes - get straight into the game with quick play mode, or embark on a full hunting experience
  • Upgrades - unlock new weapons, accessories and skills by bagging the biggest animals
  • Realistic Targets - seven types of animals with true-to-life senses and behaviors
  • Varied Locations - 27 different locations set across three destinations worldwide with changing seasons and weather conditions
  • Trophy Room - view your best kills and achievements in the trophy room

Deer Hunter 3D is now available worldwide for $5.99 from the Apple App Store. For live updates, follow Glu on Twitter at www.twitter.com/glumobile or become a Glu Mobile fan on Facebook.

Accessories

6" USB Data Sync & Charge Cable for iPod/iPhone

PR: On your desk, you have USB Cables, FireWire 1394 cables, Audio cables. Is it a mess, or will you find that there is too many cables on your desk? It is worse still that if they are tied up with each other.

If you have this cable, then you just take them out whenever you need them and put them inside drawer whenever you don't need them.

It is specially useful when you are out that you don't want to have too many cables and you cannot afford to have too many cables.

Mini USB Data Sync & Charging Cable for iPod and iPhoneFeatures:

  • Optimal length (6" or 15.5cm approximately)
  • Never get your cable tied, no more mess.
  • Compact and lightweight
  • For Charging and data sync

This accessory is suitable for:

  • iPhone 3G (or iPhone 2.0)
  • iPhone 2G (or iPhone 1.0)
  • iPod classic (120 GB)
  • iPod touch 1st & iPod touch 2nd
  • iPod nano 2nd, iPod nano 3rd, iPod nano 4th

$6.99

6" USB Data Sync & Charge Cable for 2G/3G iPod shuffle

PR: On your desk, you have USB Cable, FireWire 1394 cable, Audio cable. Is it a mess, or will you find that there is too many cables on your desk? It is worse still that if they are tied up with each other.

If you have this cable, then you just take them out whenever you need them and put them inside drawer whenever you don't need them.

USB Data Sync & Charge Cable for iPod shuffleIt is specially useful when you are out that you don't want to have too many cables and you cannot afford to have too many cables.

Features:

  • Optimal length (6" or 15.5cm approximately)
  • Never get your cable tied, no more mess.
  • Compact and lightweight

This accessory is suitable for:

  • iPod shuffle 2nd
  • iPod shuffle 3rd

$4.99

iPWR, 1800mAh Apple Certified iPhone/iPod Backup Battery

PR: Compact iPhone/iPod battery with a capacity of 1800mAh battery - Official product certified by Apple for "Works with iPhone" and "Made for iPod" logo.

Feature Highlights

  • Official product certified by Apple for "Works with iPhone" and "Made for iPod" logo.
  • Smallest dimension with highest capacity. There are two other backup batteries on the market with capacity of 1000mAh and 1200mAh. Capacity for this battery is 1800mAh, which has at least 50% to 80% more power compared with those products.
  • Models supported: all iPhone models, including iPhone 3G and iPhone (iPhone 4 GB, iPhone 8 GB, iPhone 16 GB, etc.) It also supports all iPod models with 30-pin connectors, including iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod Video, iPod nano, etc.
  • User doesn't need to carry adapters or bulky cables. When power is needed, user can insert backup battery into the iPhone/iPod to continue phone call, web surfing or movie watching.
  • Complete protection for iPhone/iPod with circuits that avoid overcharging, over-discharging, output-shorting, etc.
  • Compact size and lightweight: only 1.6 oz (45g). This is the lightest with such a large capacity.
  • Specifically designed cap to cover the 30-pin connector. User can conveniently slide it into pocket or carry it together with iPhone/iPod.
  • Stylish design. Shiny surface finish, just like a black diamond matching iPhone/iPod perfectly.
  • Bright green and red LED to indicate charging and working status.
  • 180-day warranty from Wirelessinput.com

To charge iPhone 3G, iPhone and iPod, open the cap and slide the switch to "On" position. Green LED turns on, plug the iPWR into iPhone 3G, iPhone or iPod, charging will be initiated instantly. When green LED turns off, all energy in iPWR has been transferred. iPWR must be recharged before using it the next time.

To charge the iPWR backup battery, using a MiniUSB cable (included) to connect the iPWR backup battery with computer or USB charger (USB charger is included in iPhone's retail box from Apple); Red LED on backup battery will be turned on indicating that charging is in process. When Red LED turns off, charging is complete. It may take 4-8 hours depends on the charging rate to fully charge the backup battery.

Compared with those emergency chargers in market using AA batteries, the advantages of this mobile power are:

  1. Stylish design. Compact size and lightweight enough for attaching to a key chain (850mAh model). It will be your most convenient portable chargers.
  2. Users don't need to carry any adapters, just plug & power
  3. It is rechargeable, user can just use his/her current cellphone charger to charge it. No need to purchase additional charger.
  4. High capacity. We have 850mAh Li-Polymer battery inside as power source. It can add up to 10 days (240 hours) standby time, up to 8 hours of talking time.
  5. It is pretty. Each model has colors blue/red. For those folks using cell phone a lot, this is a perfect gift (for both her/him). Satisfaction is guaranteed.
  6. 100% protection for your cell phone: overcharge, over-discharging, output-shorting circuit, etc.

Product Description

  • High capacity of 1800mAh mobile power that can charge iPhone/iPod on-the-go.
  • Supports iPhone 3G, iPhone and iPod touch, Video, Nano, Classic, etc. Complete protection for your iPhone/iPod.
  • Elegant and stylish Design. Shiny finish matches iPhone/iPod perfectly. Compact size. Truly portable.
  • It is rechargeable, user can just use a USB cable connecting to PC/USB charger to charge it.
  • Apple certified product which is imprinted with "Works with iPhone" and "Made for iPod".

Technical Specification

  • Capacity: 1800mAh
  • Input voltage: 4.75V-5.5V
  • Output voltage: 5.0V
  • Output maximum current: 1A
  • Color: Shining Black
  • Weight: 1.6 oz (45g)
  • Dimensions: 2.4"x2.3"x0.5", 62x60x12.9(mm)

iPWR for iPhone 3G, iPhone and iPod sells for $59.95

iPhone 3G Fuel: Rechargeable Battery Pack

PR: Here's your iPhone's new best friend . . . the iPhone 3G Fuel. It's a protective case, carrying solution, and extended battery life all in one. So from here on out you're good to charge on the go. So the next time you're rushing to get to the airport at 6 AM and you forget your charger . . . relax, your iPhone 3G is taken care of. Now you can focus on hitting up Starbucks and get to recharging yourself.

For a limited time, purchase an iPhone 3G Fuel and get a $5 Starbucks gift card!

Extended Battery Life Features

  • Talk time: up to 9 additional hours beyond standard iPhone 3G battery life
  • Internet use: up to 7 additional hours beyond standard iPhone 3G battery life
  • Video playback: up to 8 additional hours beyond standard iPhone 3G battery life
  • Audio playback: up to 24 additional hours beyond standard iPhone 3G battery life
  • Stand by time: up to 250 additional hours beyond standard iPhone 3G battery life

Additional Features

  • Power on/off button makes more efficient usage of the fuel by only engaging when you decide to
  • Rechargeable through a standard 5-pin USB cable (included)
  • Fully supports synching while iPhone 3G is docked in the fuel
  • Fully ratcheting 180-degree belt clip
  • Easy slide in/out access to your iPhone 3G

Specifications:

  • battery capacity: up to 2300mA
  • battery charging current: up to 450mA
  • battery max discharging current: 2A
  • power consumption: 5v/2.5w
  • battery operational temperature range: 5°r;F to 122°r;F or -15°r;C to 50°r;C

The iPhone 3G fuel has a 2300 mA battery, more than any other battery pack for the iPhone. Also, the lithium polymer battery is a superior battery because of it's capacity and discharge rate.

The iPhone 3G fuel is not designed to work with the iPod touch but will work with the original iPhone. Since the 1G iPhone is a few millimeters wider that the 3G iPhone the fit is a little tighter on the device.

Price: $79.99

Leather Case for iPhone 3G (Ready for Car Windshield Mount)

PR: If you have an iPhone, where you should place when you are on the road?

Yes, there is car windshield mount for iPhone, but they all require to take off the case, it is a hassle and not so convenient. What's more, placing your iPhone in a car windshield mount with a case will make it not tight and some while later, it may even drop down.

Here is a solution from us! This Leather Case for iPhone 3G could be directly mounted Bracket, it is so convenient.

it eliminates the troubles that you have to take off the case when you want to mount it to a custom-made mount for iPhone 3G. While it is perfect fit for iPhone 3G that other universal mount could not compare.

Leather Case for iPhone 3GIt can mount to bike, air vent, windows bracket, lighter sockets (note brackets are sold separately)

Note that the item in this product page is just the leather case, the bracket is SOLD SEPARATELY.

Features:

  • As a part of your Car Windshield Mount (directly mounted to Windshield bracket)
  • Unique ergonomic design, custom for iPhone. No need to take off your case before placing to your windshield mount.
  • Comfortable
  • Good hand feel
  • Protected from bumps and scratches
  • Easy access to all the vital controls and switches
  • High-grade textured leather
  • Secure

Compatible with Apple iPhone 3G

The following Windshield bracket Mounts are ready to mount the Leather Case in this product page

  • Bicycle Bracket with strap to lace up & Locking Tip with 360°r; Swivel Head
  • Air Vent Mount (2)
  • Lighter Socket Mount with Power output
  • Twin Flexible Bracket Mount with 68mm Suction Cup
  • Super / Triple Flexible Bracket Mount with 68mm Suction Cup
  • Flexible Arm Car / Windshield Bracket
  • Firm Arm Car / Windshield Bracket

Color: Black

$22.99

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