iNews Review

iPhone 3GS Overheating, Battery Life App, 240 GB Upgrade for 5G iPod, Total Baby App, and More

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

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2009.07.02

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

Protection

iPod and iPhone Deals

These price trackers are updated regularly.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

iPhone 3GS Overheating Reports

PC World's Melissa J. Perenson says:

"Is the Apple iPhone 3GS having overheating issues? I've seen some reports circulating on the Web today that indicate some handsets might indeed be affected. And I have my own tale to add to fray."

iPhone 3GS Is a Scorcher

Register Hardware's James Sherwood reports:

"Owners of Apple's latest iPhone, the 3GS, have begun letting off steam online with claims that the smartphone gets hot enough to cause itself and its owners physical harm."

Experiencing Short Battery Life with iPhone 3GS? Apple Has an App for That

Hardmac's Linathael and Lionel report:

"In order to deal with complains from iPhone 3GS owners experiencing short battery life, Apple has designed a procedure. If a customer claims his iPhone 3GS has a limited battery life, Apple will offer him to monitor it battery thank to a specially-designed application [Battery Life Logging] to be installed on the phone."

Apps & Services

TEL3Dialer for iPhone: Low Cost International Calls

PR: With the launch of the new TEL3Dialer App for iPhone users, TEL3 provides direct international calling experience with the most competitive rates available in the market.

TEL3DialerTEL3 has been one of the most innovative and technology driven brand name for more than a decade, and because of their reach across the prepaid market, they claim to have a unique perspective on the industry that no other company can match.

TEL3 continues to offer services that allow customers to easily communicate with anybody in the world from any phone at lower costs. The introduction of TEL3Dialer App is another example of TEL3's commitment to our customers, and we will continue making distance local for them with convenient and affordable services. We are proud to provide connectivity without boundaries.

TEL3, a prepaid long distance calling service in business for 15 years, has announced its new free application for iPhone users: TEL3Dialer App. iPhone users can now dial direct from their contact list while enjoying low international rates of TEL3 combined with superior call quality.

The company started a new campaign with the product launch for a limited time, and now offers a free trial version for new customers including up to 60 free International minutes along with the free app download on the App Store. No commitment or credit card required for the free trial.

TEL3Dialer App is a seamless software application that enables users to make international calls directly from their iPhone just the same way users access their wireless provider. The innovative difference here is users get to place international calls at very low rates because the TEL3Dialer enables a seamless direct connection to TEL3's platform without having to dial any toll free or local access numbers during the call. Customers can place calls with their iPhone direct or from existing contacts or even from recent call list.

Once a customer downloads TEL3Dialer on the App Store, the whole International calling experience will change and users will immediately start saving money while enjoying the flexibility and the convenience of their iPhone. With this application, they will be able to make International calls for pennies that will be debited from their prepaid TEL3 balance while using only regular domestic airtime with their existing wireless provider.

TEL3 is an International prepaid calling service that is available from any phone in the US and Canada. The Company last year introduced software for Blackberry and over 450 other smart phone models to enable its users to make direct International calls that will be charged again only with low rates of TEL3 instead of very expensive cell phone provider rates. The TEL3 service is an excellent choice for business travelers and students due to its ease of use and flexibility and now the iPhone App will help the Company to reach more users in the US and Canada.

"TEL3 has been one of the most innovative and technology driven brand name for more than a decade and because of our reach across the prepaid market, we have a unique perspective on the industry that no other company can match," says Burak Ozan, VP of Marketing and Business Development at TEL3. "TEL3 continues to offer services that allow customers to easily communicate with anybody in the world from any phone at lower costs. The introduction of TEL3Dialer App is another example of TEL3's commitment to our customers and we will continue making distance local for them with convenient and affordable services. We are proud to provide connectivity without boundaries."

The company continuously invests in Customer Service and Technology, and currently has A+ rating with BBB.

TEL3Dialer is available for download on the iPhone App Store.

PianoStudio for iPhone and iPod touch

PR: Frontier Design Group has launched PianoStudio, the most powerful piano composition and performance app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Unlike other piano apps that limit the user to tiny keyboards with limited range, PianoStudio takes another approach. By placing individual notes, entire chords, and even complete musical phrases onto a set of buttons that you can order and play, users can write and perform real piano music with chord progressions, "two-handed" patterns, and melodies in Allegro.

PianoStudioPianoStudio offers mobile musicians an incredible set of tools for creating songs, including a built-in Chord Selector and a powerful Phrase Editor. You can use PianoStudio to explore musical ideas, learn songs, write your own tunes, and even play along with your iTunes music.

PianoStudio features:

  • Three high-quality piano instruments (Grand 1, Grand 2, Upright)
  • 9 built-in demo songs
  • Built-in Recorder with overdubbing, variable tempo, metronome, and undo/redo
  • Tilt-controlled volume and sustain pedal
  • Awesome phrase editor lets you create repeating patterns or passages that would otherwise be impossible to play
  • Built-in chord library with over 10,000 chords
  • Lots of visual customizations to help you organize and play your tunes
  • 5 banks of buttons per song
  • 9 available button layout styles with between 8 and 40 buttons, plus keyboard-and-buttons style

PianoStudio is the newest entry in Frontier Design's lineup of great iPhone music apps, which includes Guitar (acoustic guitar), iShred (electric guitar with effects), Theremin, Rainstick, and Cowbell Plus.

Minimum Requirements: iPhone and iPod touch 2.2.1 or later

PianoStudio is available now on the iTunes Store for $6.99.

Total Baby 1.0 for iPhone and iPod touch

PR: Andesigned announces the newest addition to the Baby Tracker Family: Total Baby for iPhone and iPod touch. Greatly expanding on Baby Tracker: Nursing and Baby Tracker: Diapers, this is a brand new Complete Baby Logging Application for the iPhone and iPod touch. It is the must-have high-tech accessory for Parents.

Total Baby will help you log and time all aspects of your child's care through a smart and sleek interface that makes tracking easy and fun. Inspired by my own family, I built this application from the ground up to support multiple children (especially twins) with unmatched features on any computing platform. Total Baby combines 11 separate timing and tracking functions into a single complete solution. Total Baby will help answer important questions, such as how old was my child when they had their DTaP shot? Or when the baby's last feeding or doctor visit was.

Total BabyFeature Highlights:

Main Screen

  • Complete summary of your child's day grouped by time (Early Morning, Morning, Afternoon, and Evening)
  • The amount of time since the last timed start or end date (selectable via preference setting) for each event
  • Your child's current age, days until their next birthday, and their most recent photo
  • Edit or Delete any entry without leaving the main screen

Timers (All timers will automatically stop in case you get too busy to remember to turn it off)

  • Diapers
  • Feeding (Nursing/Bottles - fluid selection based on child's age)
  • Sleeping
  • Bath Time
  • Other (Create your own timer or single events like Medicine or Temperature)

Entries (The baby's age is shown for every entry)

  • Diary and Milestones (Add photos with the built in camera or use previously saved photos)
  • Doctor Visits (Grouped by Past and Future Appointments)
  • Growth (Show Percentages of change for Weight, Length, and Head Circumference)
  • Vaccines (Preloaded with vaccine description and information)

Total Baby includes 74 built in descriptions and timer events to get you started, these are fully customizable and you are able to create your own. All Entries have a note and title field and all Timers have a note and fast description picker to quickly add repetitive information such as where your baby slept or how you held the baby during nursing.

Support for 6 children with an innovative dual timer display which automatically detects twins or multiples (via a preference setting). Promotion of proper alternate side nursing with both visual cues (safety pins) and automatic Start (alternate) side functionality. Export data via email, in a simple and easy to read table grouped by day.

Minimum Requirements: iPhone and iPod touch 2.2 or later

Total Baby 1.0 for iPhone is only $4.99 (Special Introductory Price) and available exclusively through Apple's App Store under the Medical Category.

iPhone/iPod touch App: Schedule U-verse DVR Recordings on the Go

PR: AT&T U-verse TV customers can now use a free application from the Apple App Store to make scheduling and managing recordings on their DVR even easier when they're away from home. The U-verse TV Mobile Remote Access App for iPhone and iPod touch lets customers record their content from virtually anywhere and is another example of U-verse TV applications and DVR enhancements that have been rolled out to customers at no extra charge.

"This is the perfect example of how AT&T is bringing services together to deliver a better experience for customers," said Jeff Weber, vice president of video services for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "With AT&T U-verse, you get DVR capabilities you can't find from any other provider, and this app gives users the freedom to schedule their DVR from their iPhone or iPod touch."

The app allows users to easily search U-verse TV program listings from the full program guide, view descriptions of selected programs, schedule program or series recordings, manage or edit scheduled recordings, and delete stored DVR content.

The Mobile Remote Access App is available for free from Apple's App Store on iPhone and iPod touch.

The launch of the new U-verse TV Mobile Remote Access App follows several DVR enhancements that are currently being rolled out to U-verse TV customers, including an exclusive new Total Home DVR feature that allows customers to schedule and delete recordings from any U-verse receiver in the home - all from a single DVR.

A&T U-verse was one of the first providers to introduce Web Remote Access to the DVR in November 2006, and it brought three-screen DVR access to all U-verse TV customers with Mobile Remote Access to the DVR in April 2007. In 2008, AT&T launched AT&T U-verse Total Home DVR, allowing all U-verse DVR customers to watch standard and High Definition recorded shows from a single DVR on any connected TV in the home.

U-verse TV customers can also enjoy several other integrated applications, including personalized, onscreen weather, sports, traffic and stock information via AT&T U-bar; local and national weather forecasts with Weather On Demand; the ability to view personal photos on your TV that you have uploaded to flickr.com; and more.

AT&T U-verse customers enjoy quadruple-play integration, enhanced features and greater value, all made possible by IP technology. AT&T U-verse TV ranked "Highest in Residential Television Service Satisfaction in the North Central, South, and West Regions," according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Residential Television Service Provider Satisfaction Study(SM).

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

AT&T U-verse services are provided by AT&T local telephone companies. Geographic and service restrictions apply to AT&T U-verse. Call or go to www.uverse.att.com to see if you qualify. Customizing options require AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet Service. Wireless remote access requires WAP 2.0-compliant cell phone or other handheld device. Full Total Home DVR functionality requires a receiver for each additional TV at $7 per month each.

AT&T received the highest numerical score among television service providers in the South, North Central and West regions in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Residential Television Service Satisfaction Study(SM). Study based on 18,938 total responses from measuring providers in the South (13), North Central (11) and West (10) regions and measures consumer satisfaction with television service. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed in July 2008. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com (available through the iPhone App Store)

Etiquette Avenue App Puts Protocol Advice at Your Fingertips

PR: Dale Webb, Director of The Protocol Centre in Coral Gables, Florida, announced today the debut of Etiquette Avenue 1.0 for iPhone and iPod touch. Etiquette Avenue puts screens of professional protocol advice in the hands of millions who can use it in ever-more competitive times. It is the first App dedicated to the rules of professional and workplace protocol. Etiquette Avenue's information is a version of the company's Best Protocol Practices curriculum updated and adapted to an App.

To text or not to text ... the answer to that question may mean losing a job or gaining a new client. The answer is also now just a tap away on your iPhone. Dale Webb, Director of The Protocol Centre in Coral Gables, Florida, announced today the debut of "Etiquette Avenue," an iPhone and iPod touch application now available in the App Store. The App puts screens of professional protocol advice in the hands of millions who can use it in ever-more competitive times.

"We all notice the little things, especially in the workplace, when we're evaluating whether someone is a 'must-have' member of the team," said Webb. "Etiquette Avenue's information is a version of our Best Protocol Practices curriculum updated and adapted to an App. We used the most requested 'help-me topics' from our clients. These are the skills one needs to be competitive."

Etiquette Avenue, designed by Blue Whale Web Solutions, offers 14 Etiquette Categories, ranging from electronic etiquette to tips on small talk and networking. A "Tip of the Day" offers a quick tutorial, and dining photos help the uninitiated navigate complex table settings. The App can be downloaded for $2.99 at The Apple Store.

Like a polished executive, Etiquette Avenue pays attention to the details. Jim Morin, a Pulitzer-Prize winning cartoonist, created the whimsical illustrations introducing each category. Gregg Weiss of Blue Whale conceived the illustrations as 'flash cards' that flip to reveal advice, like how to deliver the perfect handshake and enter and exit a chair for dining. (Yes, there is a correct way to sit down.)

As for advice on texting in socially sensitive situations - "be respectful of others in your quest to be connected. When you are tapping and checking, you lose eye contact, and people know what you are doing. Etiquette is about respect and common sense," said Webb, who recently witnessed a groomsman checking his phone during a wedding. "The Protocol Centre wants etiquette to reach as many people as possible. What better way than on your iPhone?"

The Protocol Centre provides seminars on Business and Dining Etiquette and International Briefings for corporations, educational institutions, government and individuals. Each seminar is designed and customized for the client providing completely up-to-date information on 21st century business etiquette and dining protocols. Blue Whale Web Solutions designed the iPhone and iPod touch application Gold Price Grabber.

Rocket Taxi 2.0 for iPhone and iPod touch

Rocket Taxi's Trip CalculatorPR: Edovia announces Rocket Taxi 2.0 iPhone and iPod touch. Rocket Taxi uses the device's Location Services to find nearby taxi companies. Search has been extended to taxi companies, and the biggest new feature is the new map system that is powered by Apple's MapKit. This new map is far more precise than on the older version and lets the user interact with it. Moreover, in addition to the estimated fare, Rocket Taxi 2.0 now shows you the best route between your starting and destination points. This new version represents a much more mature product and includes a lot of improvements that users will enjoy.

Rocket Taxi is now available on the App Store. Rocket Taxi uses the device's Location Services to find nearby taxi companies. The new 2.0 versions has several improvements such as faster results and better overall performance.

"Rocket Taxi has been a hit since it's release and we're very happy to release this new version. With the new integrated map, the app is a lot more useful and when Apple announced MapKit, we were quickly at work to improve our best selling app", said Luc Vandal, founder of Edovia Inc. "We have also fixed a lot of bugs and polished the overall user experience and feel that the app is very solid and a must have update."

Minimum Requirements: iPhone or iPod touch 3.0 or later

Rocket Taxi 2.0 is available on the App Store now for $1.99. This is a free update to all current users.

Accessories

Sync Blocker USB to Dock Cable for iPhone/iPod

Sync BlockerPR: If you are at home, you naturally will sync (and also charge your iPod/iPhone with your PC; however, if were out or at your office, you may just want to charge your iPhone/iPod, if you plug your iPhone/iPod with other computer, of course, it has no problems, just that it may have some little disturbances to you.

Here is a cable for you to manage your iPhone/iPod. This cable is designed to have 1 button on the Dock connector, one side is at any other ordinary Dock cable for iPhone/iPod. To hotsync with and charge your iPhone/iPod; if you just want to charge your iPhone/iPod, you may push the button to another side, then no matter which PC/laptop that you connected with, it will just drag power from the computer to charge your iPhone/iPod, will not hotsync with.

This is especially useful for travellers.

Portable ChargerFeatures:

  • Help you to manage your iPhone/iPod
  • 2 modes: Data HotSync + Charging and pure Charging
  • Compact and lightweight

This accessory is compatible with: (see notes below)

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

Specifications:

  • Length: 115cm (45 inches), approximately
  • Net Weight: 29g approximately

Note:

  • See its compatibility above
  • All the brandname and trademarks are the properties of their respective owners
  • iPhone 3G is not included.
  • If you cannot switch between the 2 modes when the dock connector stay plugged, please unplug and select your desired mode plugging into the dock connector on your iPhone/iPod side.

$12.99

240 GB Upgrade Kit for 5G iPod

upgrading a 5G iPodPR: Apricorn announced its 240 GB Upgrade Kit for 5th Generation Video iPod. With added capacity, your 5G iPod can hold up to 60,000 songs, 50,000 photos, or 300 hours of video; a 300% increase from the largest video iPod's original 80 GB.

Apricorn's Do-It-Yourself Upgrade Kit enables you to upgrade your video iPod hard drive and battery in just 10 to 20 minutes. Apricorn's comprehensive kit includes an intuitive step-by-step instructional video to guide you through the entire upgrade, a high capacity hard drive up to 240 GB, a lithium ion battery, and case opening tools.

The upgrade is completed in a few steps. Start by watching the instructional video to view the procedure in its entirety. After watching the video, you are ready to upgrade your video iPod. If you need to review a step, the video will allow you to watch the entire process or review individual sections. After the process is complete, just plug the iPod into your computer and restore using iTunes.

240 GB Upgrade Kit for 5G iPodIn addition to increasing the capacity of your 5th Generation iPod, Apricorn's Upgrade Kit also increases your iPod's battery life. The kit's 240 GB Toshiba drive has lower power requirements, showing a 33% overall improvement in energy efficiency vs. the original drive. This, in addition to the new replacement lithium ion battery, vastly increases your iPod's play time. This can come in handy with all of the new songs, videos and games that your upgraded iPod can now store.

In addition to free technical support, Apricorn backs their kit's hard drive and battery with a limited 1-year warranty, in effect, renewing the warranty that may have expired on many well loved Video iPods.

"Apricorn has answered the call from consumers to provide an easy, low-cost way to increase the capacity and battery life of their iPod," said Mike McCandless, VP of Sales and Marketing. "For the same price as an iPod classic 120 GB, you can have twice the space. If you love your Video iPod, but are just not getting the same amount of play time, or are just running out of space with podcasts, games and video, Apricorn's Do-It-Yourself Upgrade Kit is a great alternative."

Package Contents:

  • Hard Drive up to 240 GB capacity
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • Case Opening Tools
  • Step-by-Step Instructional Video

Apricorn's Upgrade Kit for iPod is currently available in the US, Canada, and online at apricorn.com.

MSRP

  • 240 GB Upgrade Kit (for 60 GB or 80 GB video iPods) - $249
  • 120 GB Upgrade Kit (for 30 GB video iPods) - $159

1 year limited warranty

Xtand iPhone Stand Reviewed

Test Freaks says:

"For today's review I will be looking at a simple yet functional iPhone stand that looks sleek and stylish on ones desktop; especially if you own an aluminum iMac or an Apple Cinema Display. Just Mobile has designed an iPhone stand dubbed the Xtand (thank God they did not name it the iStand) that mimics the base of an aluminum iMac. It is an elegant looking device that allows any model iPhone to rest in a horizontal or vertical orientation. "

Protection

Contour iSee Crystal Clear Protection for iPhone 3G/3GS

Contour iSeePR: Hot on the heels of the iPhone 3G/3GS is Contour Design's iSee case. Matching the iPhone 3G/3GS curve for curve, the iSee offers more reasons than ever to safeguard your investment. Why compromise protection by stretching a rubber skin or style by hiding behind an opaque shell when you can get both in the iSee? Introducing the iSee iPhone 3G/3GS, hard shell crystal clear protection for the iPhone 3G/3GS.

With a two-piece snap together polycarbonate chassis, the ultra lightweight iSee iPhone 3G/3GS creates a sleek, nearly invisible shield around the iPhone 3G/3GS. Add removable silicone covers to the hold switch and volume buttons, as well as total access to the touch screen, and the iPhone 3G/3GS is not only completely protected, but also fully functional. The iSee iPhone 3G/3GS, where form meets functionality.

  • Discreet Protection: A case so unobtrusive, you'll forget it's there.
  • No Hidden Compartments: Being completely transparent, the iSee has nothing to hide
  • Stylishly Efficient: Just two pieces, the iSee snaps together for ultimate protection.

$29.95

iPhone 3G and 3GS Get New and Improved Protection

PR: With Apple's release of the new iPhone 3GS and an ever increasing user base of iPhone owners with a need for gadget protection, up and coming iPhone accessory company Krypton Products LLC has recently announced the release of its new Screen Armor line of product. The Screen Armor line, which is now available through Krypton's website and Amazon.com, aims to reinvent iPhone protection through sleek design, unique functionality, and best in class materials.

Made with three layers of tough scratch resistance, Krypton's Screen Armor line will not only provide users with added iPhone screen protection, but will also allow for greater touch navigation to help users glide even more effortlessly from menu to menu.

Consisting of the Ultra Clear, Anti-Glare, Privacy 180, and Privacy 360 models, the Screen Armor line gives customers the ability to select the right protection and functionally for their needs. The Ultra Clear model protects the iPhone screen without any degradation in viewing quality. The Anti-Glare gives users the ability to see their screen more clearly while outdoors or in bright areas. The Privacy 180 affords the user side to side privacy and wards off nosy neighbors. Finally, the Privacy 360 provides maximum privacy protection by offering side to side and top to bottom privacy ensuring that personal information stays personal.

Upon releasing this line, Krypton also highlights its commitment to serving customers through dialogue that aims to speak with them, rather than at them. In this paradigm, Krypton utilizes social media tools like Twitter and Facebook with hopes of engaging in meaningful a dialogue with customers to not only better serve them, but to represent the ideal that customers should be at the top of every corporate organizational chart in America.

A dynamic, modern, carbon-free company, Krypton is fundamentally aware of the fact that you love your gadgets. A California company, Krypton is committed to protecting your envied collection of technological marvels while ensuring style, function, and fashion are still fully addressed. Apart from selling fashionable, practical, and brilliantly designed iPhone accessories, Krypton's Random Acts of Greenness movement encourages waste consciousness in everyone and aims to one day make "leaving lights on because you're too lazy to get up" and "driving one mile to get to work" a thing of the past.

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