iNews Review

Inside 4G iPod shuffle, Samsung Galaxy Pad Takes on iPad, iPad Expansion Hard Drive, and More

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

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2010.09.13

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

Apple Updates

Accessories

iPod Deals

These price trackers are updated every month.

News, Reviews, & Opinion

4G iPod shuffleiFixit 4G iPod shuffle Teardown

iFixit's Kyle Weins says:

"Apple sent a clear message with the updated iPod shuffle: 'We were wrong.' They changed course, admitted that people actually like buttons, and brought them back for this generation. Pshhh! Those of us with 3rd Gen Shuffles just printed out this convenient chart and carried it around for reference.

"Having confessed that their lack of buttons was a problem, we wanted to see if Apple improved the repairability of the device. The 3rd Generation had a press-fit back cover and a battery soldered to the logic board, making replacement quite difficult. Unfortunately, the 4th Gen is even harder to open, thanks to the generous application of glue in addition to the press-fit back cover.

"The 4th Generation Shuffle the first of three iPod teardowns this week! We'll be taking apart the new iPod touch and iPod Nano the moment we get our hands on them."

Highlights:

  • iPod shuffle 4th Generation Repairability: 2 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)
  • Good: The click wheel is attached to the logic board via a connector, allowing it to be easily separated.
  • Good: The lack of a screen eliminates a large weak point of other devices, making the Shuffle more resilient to falls. Just don't flush it down the toilet.
  • Bad: You essentially have to break it to open it.
  • Bad: The battery is soldered to the logic board, making replacement that much more difficult.
  • Bad: Apple keeps shrinking connectors. These super-small cable connectors are increasingly difficult to open without breaking them.
  • The device was extremely difficult to open. Apple press-fit and glued the back cover onto the body, so it took us quite a while to pop the cover off the unit. We definitely had a harder time accessing the internals than in the previous generation Shuffle.
  • iPod shuffle - 4 generationsEven the seemingly simple task of disconnecting the button pad ribbon cable turns out to be quite a chore when the connector is 1/8" wide.
  • We have a feeling that as technology advances, we'll need smaller and smaller tools to take devices apart. You won't be able to see our hands in pictures, just little pointy tweezers.
  • Apple once again chose to solder the battery to the logic board. This adds another layer of difficulty to replace it (aside from breaking the back cover to open it) if it dies on you in the future.
  • Unsurprisingly, the date codes on the main Apple chip indicate die manufacture dates in late June (1025) and early August 2010 (1031).

iPad 'Has the Edge' Over Competitors

Writing for Computerworld, David A. Milman, founder and CEO of Rescuecom, ponders the difficult decision more and more consumers are faced with when they consider a tablet computer purchase: Should they go with the known factor in the iPad or wait for one of the as-yet unknown devices, noting that hardly a day passes without about the legion of supposed iPad killers lining up to take it down.

Milman wonders if the iPad's remarkable early popularity will last, observing that tablets are like all new technology - exciting, intriguing, and seductive - but he questions whether it will have staying power. However, he notes that while Windows Phone 7, Google's Chrome, and Android certainly have the potential to compete with the iPad, until they've been seen in action, Apple has the edge.

Samsung's 7" Galaxy Tab iPad Challenger

Samsung Galaxy TabPR: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. chose the IFA tech show at Berlin, Germany as the venue to announce the launch of its new Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet computer last week. Powered by Google's Android Operating System 2.2, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is the first of the company's tablet devices, representing a new category of mobile products for Samsung.

With the Samsung Galaxy Tab users will experience PC-like web-browsing and enjoy various forms of multimedia content on a 7" display, as well as communicate via e-mail, voice and video call, SMS/MMS or social networking. The Tab comes with 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage and 32 GB MicroSD expansion, and features a TouchWIZ user interface.

Samsung Galaxy Tab"Samsung recognizes the tremendous growth potential in this newly created market and we believe that the Samsung Galaxy Tab brings a unique and open proposition to market. There is a new and emerging consumer demand that Samsung can satisfy since mobile is in our DNA. This demand continues to grow and develop as users tap its limitless potential," said JK Shin, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. "The Samsung Galaxy Tab has been designed to enable consumers to maximize their online experience wherever that may be. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is pushing the market in new directions and Samsung believes this is only the beginning of its innovations as pioneers in smart media devices."

Samsung Galaxy TabThe Samsung Galaxy Tab's 7" TFT-LCD and lightweight (380g compared with the iPad's 680 grams) build provide optimum portability, and its svelte dimensions make it easy to grip and use. Another advantage the Tab enjoys over the iPad is that it support the latest Adobe Flash Player 10.1 for seamless viewing of every single page of the Web.

The 'Readers Hub,' Samsung's proprietary e-reading application, provides access to a vast digital library - from classical literature to the latest bestsellers and reference materials. Samsung Readers Hub consolidates e-reading applications such as ebooks, magazines, and newspapers. Users can enjoy 'reading' with unified and intuitive user experience powered by global eReading service leaders, Kobo, PressDisplay and Zinio. More than 2 million books including today's best sellers, over 2,500 titles of magazines in 20 languages and more than 1,600 newspapers in 47 languages are available at launch and will grow the library gradually.

Samsung Galaxy Tab in Times SquareServices like Google Maps Navigation (Beta) and Google Goggles are available on Google's Android platform. With useful location-based services like Google Maps, consumers can search in Standard English instead of entering an exact address. A search-by-voice function is just as intuitive, meaning searches can also be completed easily on the go. Google Goggles is a powerful, visual search tool that uses the Samsung Galaxy Tab's camera to uncover information - an image of a landmark or artwork is automatically used to perform a search, delivering relevant content like a description or history. In addition, with a camera, users can enjoy various augmented reality services which are downloadable in the application market. Samsung has also unveiled 'Media Hub,' a gateway to a world of films and videos, and 'Music Hub,' an application giving access to a wide range of music tunes.

With 3G HSPA connectivity, 802.11n WiFi, and Bluetooth 3.0, the Samsung Galaxy Tab supports video conferencing and push email, and for voice telephony, the Tab can serve as a speakerphone on the desk, or a mobile phone on the move via Bluetooth headset. The front-facing camera allows face-to-face video telephony over 3G, the rear-facing camera captures still images and video.

Powered by a Cortex A8 1.0 GHz application processor, the Samsung Galaxy Tab supports HD video content in a wide range of multimedia formats (DivX, XviD, MPEG4, H.263, H.264 and more), and will be be the worlds first DivX Certified tablet.

Samsung Galaxy TabTo enjoy high-quality DivX video on the Samsung Galaxy Tab with no file conversion needed, Tab users can load their video libraries of both standard definition and HD movies in the DivX format on the internal and external memory and then watch their collections anywhere they choose. The Galaxy Tab will also connect directly to other DivX Certified devices, such as HDTVs, turning it into a powerful entertainment gateway in the living room. It will also support the secure playback of major Hollywood titles in the DivX format from leading studios.

"DivX has become a must-have feature on every kind of consumer electronics device, and were excited to enter the burgeoning tablet market with Samsung's Galaxy Tab, a great product that offers an incredible experience to users," commented Matt Milne, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing DivX, Inc. "Now consumers throughout Asia, Europe and the United States will be able to enjoy their DivX movie collection on a breathtaking 7" screen."

"We are extremely proud to debut our first tablet at IFA 2010 with leading multimedia partners like DivX," said Younghee Lee, Senior Vice President, Samsung Electronics. "The Galaxy Tab is truly a groundbreaking product, and we know that our customers will especially enjoy the ability to enjoy their libraries of DivX HD video at home or on the go."

The Samsung Galaxy Tab (GT-P1000) Product Specifications

  • Network: 2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE) : 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
    3G (HSUPA 5.76 Mbps, HSDPA 7.2 Mbps) : 900/1900/2100 MHz
  • OS: Android 2.2 (Froyo)
  • Display: 7.0 inch TFT-LCD, WSVGA (1024 x 600)
  • Processor: Cortex A8 1.0 GHz Application Processor with PowerVR SGX540
  • Camera: 3 MP Camera with Autofocus and LED Flash
    1.3 MP front camera for Video Telephony

Value-added Features:

  • Android Market and Samsung Apps for more applications and contents
  • Readers Hub, Media Hub, Music Hub(*), Social Hub

(*) Availability will be decided by market preference.

  • Adobe Flash 10.1 player support
  • Full HD video playback, Thinkfree Office, Swype, Hybrid Widget
  • Connectivity: 30 pin connector
  • WiFi 802.11n/Bluetooth® 3.0
  • Sensor: Gyroscope sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Accelerometer, Light sensor
  • Storage Memory: 16G/32G internal memory with up to 32G external memory slot
  • RAM: 512 MB
  • Size: 190.09 x 120.45 x 11.98mm, 380g
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh (7 hour movie play)

The Samsung Galaxy Tab will be released for sale in Europe in mid September, and in other markets - including Korea, the US, and Asia - in coming months.

Dragon Dictation Nearly 100% Accurate

APTM's Mark Tennent reports:

"Dragon Dictation is 100% accurate nearly every time and far better than the iPhone's built-in speech recognition. Its sibling, Dragon Search, uses the power of Dragon Dictate to search Google (or Yahoo), YouTube, Twitter, iTunes, and Wikipedia."

Writing on the iPad: Love, Heartache, and Infuriating Bugs

binarybonsai.com says:

"Even when I close any notifiers and twitter-/chat clients, I'm just too easily distracted to get writing done in proper on my Mac. I blame Command-Tab, however I guess I'll have to take full responsibility myself....

"Then I bought a keyboard dock for the iPad, because it hit me: The iPad is single-tasking (in terms of its interface-regime). It doesn't have menubar items. It doesn't have Command+Tab or a Dock (in the traditional sense). In fact, one of the things I love the most about it is exactly the fact that it becomes the very app you have open at any given time, to the exclusion of almost everything else....

"However, this article is mainly a detailed discussion of the iPad's many shortcomings as a writing device."

Apple Updates

How to Check Battery Status on the 4G iPod shuffle

A new Apple Knowledge Base article explains how to check the battery status of the iPod shuffle (4th generation) .

Multitouch Gestures for the 6G iPod nano

A new Apple Knowledge Base article notes that the Multi-Touch™ screen on the iPod nano (6th generation) responds to your finger gestures, and explains how to use gestures to manipulate the features on iPod nano.

Accessories

HyperDrive iPad Hard Drive HyperDrive iPad Expansion Hard Drive

PR: One of the most frequently cited criticisms of the iPad is its mediocre data storage capacity, even on the pricey 64 GB model. Those little SSDs are speedy, but their capacity is yesterday's news.

HyperDrive for the iPad to the rescue, claimed to be the world's first and only iPad compatible USB hard drive. It isn't cheap, but it could mark the tipping point between the iPad being a diverting toy and consumption device and a useful work tool.

The HyperDrive iPad Expansion Hard Drive lets you:

  • Carry up to 750 GB of HD 720p video and photo data with you
  • Back up and view memory cards without computers or external power

Features:

  • From memory cards to HyperDrive to the iPad
  • Directly backup memory cards on to the HyperDrive at speeds up to 2 GB per minute without using a computer
  • Or if you wish, you can connect HyperDrive as a USB hard drive to the computer to transfer files
  • Transfer HD movies, photos and other supported media to the iPad at 1 GB/minute speed.

HyperDrive iPad Hard DriveHigh Resolution 3.2" Color LCD

  • Display full screen image, thumbnails or slide shows.
  • Built-in fast real RAW image decoder.
  • Supports JPEG and all types of RAW including those from medium format cameras.
  • New RAW format support can be added via firmware update.

Advanced File Manager

  • Explore contents of internal hard drive or any memory card.
  • Preview images in the background without entering folders.

Computer-Like File Operations

  • Perform advanced file and folder operations like copy, cut, paste, delete, rename, create new folder, sort file directory by name/date/type, format hard drive, erase card etc.
  • Selectively copy single or multiple files/folders between memory card and internal hard drive.

Visual Information

  • Histogram (individual R/G/B/L channel) overlay display.
  • Rotate and zoom image in stages up to 100% pixel level to confirm image focus and fine detail.
  • Detailed EXIF data displays more information about your photo.

High Capacity Drive

  • Supports any 2.5" SATA hard drive (120~750 GB & beyond).
  • No capacity limit.
  • S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) monitors internal hard drive for potential problems.
  • Multiple hard drive partition format support.

HyperDrive featuresOther Advanced Tools

  • Hard drive and memory card speed benchmark tools.
  • Memory card data recovery.

User Replaceable Drive & Battery

  • Generic 18650 li-ion battery commonly used to power notebook computers.
  • Extremely long battery life.
  • Backup 250 GB of data on a single charge.
  • Easy access design.
  • Deep CF slot.

The HyperDrive is available now at the following capacities and MSRP price points:

  • 120 GB ($299)
  • 160 GB ($349)
  • 250 GB ($399)
  • 320 GB ($449)
  • 500 GB ($499)
  • 640 GB ($549)
  • 750 GB ($599)
  • Or as a bring-your-own-drive empty case at $249

Publisher's note: As far as I can determine, there is no connection between this device and the GCC HyperDrive, the first Macintosh hard drive, which was introduced way back in 1985. dk

Waterfield Unveils 4G iPod touch Cases

iPod Suede JacketPR: California based Waterfield Designs announces Suede Jacket cases to clothe Apple's latest iPod touch. Each is custom-fitted to the iPod touch dimensions and is available in black, cheetah or zebra Ultrasuede®.

The iPod Suede Jacket is a minimalist case offering elegant protection from scratches without bulk. Waterfield also offers the Travel Case to keep the iPod touch and its cords and accessories organized and tangle free. Available for preorder now; ships September 15.

iPod Suede JacketEach Suede Jacket is custom-fitted to the iPod touch dimensions and is available . Waterfield also offers the Travel Case to keep the iPod touch and its cords and accessories organized and tangle free.

The iPod Suede Jacket is a minimalist case offering elegant protection from scratches without bulk. The Ultrasuede® case fits iPods snugly and actually serves to clean the iPod touch screen every time the device is inserted and extracted from the case. As a bonus, the case itself can be used to clean any digital screen.

iPod Travel CaseThe iPod Travel Case is designed to keep the iPod and its accessories all together and tangle-free. Custom-sized, padded, interior compartments keep gear organized. Self-locking zippers ensure contents don't spill out accidentally. All three sizes maintain a thin and compact shape even when fully packed, so they can be easily stowed in a work or day bag. The case is available in six eye-catching colors.

iPod Travel Case"I love the Suede Jacket because it's so simple and practical; I can slip it in my pants pocket and my iPod won't get dinged by my keys," explained owner and chief designer, Gary Waterfield. "It even keeps my screen clean."

The iPod Suede Jacket:

  • Black: $10 - with pocket $14
  • Zebra or Cheetah: $12 - with pocket $16
  • Available now for preorder from company website. Ships by September 15, 2010

iPod Travel CaseThe iPod Travel Case:

  • $35 to $39
  • Three sizes: small, medium, and large
  • Six colors: black, blue, brown, green, red, silver
  • Available now

Grove Bamboo iPhone Cases

PR: The Grove group are a small team of designers, programmers, and makers led by Joe Mansfield of engrave and Ken Tomita of TomitaDesigns specializing in:

  • Product and package design
  • Logo and graphic design
  • web design and development
  • Photography
  • CNC/laser programming and operation
  • All handwork and finishing
  • Marketing

Short of growing the bamboo themselves and digging up the aluminum out of the ground, Grove tries to be involved as deeply as possible.

Grove Bamboo iPhone CasesGrove products are 100% designed and made in Portland, Oregon USA. We utilize sustainable materials, natural finishes, and responsible packaging. FSC certified bamboo is used when available. The Grove folks don't operate a production factory but rather create as artisans.

After roughing out via machine, extensive shaping is done manually to form the case. Assembly and sanding are done by hand by furniture makers. At least 4 coats of our natural oil/wax finish is rubbed on by hand (not for sumi cases).

No two of Grove's products are exactly the same due to the natural variations of the material and hands of the makers involved.

Why Bamboo? Experience the feel of natural material made possible by our use of natural oil/wax finish rather than the industry standard plastic clear-coat(not for sumi cases). Aside from the natural beauty and strength, bamboo is ideal for products due to its dimensional stability in comparison to wood. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable grass which is the fastest growing plant in the world and can be harvested for use in 4-6 years. It plays an increasingly important role in environmental protection by reducing our reliance on timber forests.

Grove offer a choice of either plain bamboo or specially designed patterns, created by talented illustrators from across the globe. The designs are then laser-etched onto the bamboo using some of the latest technologies. The finish is beautiful; the tiniest detail is viewable, and on the review case there were no visible errors. It is also lined with a felt-like fabric to minimize scratches.

You can use all the controls of your iPhone freely. Charge your phone and plug in headphones without removing the case.

The two-piece slider case slips on easily and adds only .075" thickness to your phone. Choose your favorite color of anodized aluminum. The bezel protects both your iPhone and your grove case. Cove detail helps align case parts. Refuel your iPhone without removing your Grove case.

Rock out to your latest iTunes playlist. Speaker holes allow for full volume of music and ringtones.

Know that you are supporting the use of rapidly renewable materials; lessening our reliance on timber. Grove use 100% solid bamboo.

Available for both 3G and 4G iPhones and priced from $69 to $89.

Easily Access Your 4G iPod touch with Protective Belkin Cases

PR: Belkin launches stylish new cases for the iPod touch that make it easier to access and use your iPod.

Belkin has designed these cases for the always on-the-go iPod owner that complement a mobile lifestyle and also cater to the different ways an iPod is carried. We've identified five main ways people carry their iPod: in a pocket, in the hand, in a bag, on themselves, and while being active.

For those carrying their iPod in their pocket, Belkin's slim cases are easy to grip, slide in and out of a pocket smoothly, and provide impact protection from everyday drops. For those who keep their iPod in hand at all times to text, game, or check their email, our line of cases are comfortable to hold, shock-absorbing, and easy to grip. Belkin also has cases that make it easy to find your iPod within a travel bag or purse while protecting it against constant contact with other items.

Belkin recognizes that people typically either carry their iPod or they wear it. While working out or when you need to keep your iPod close by for intermittent, easy access, Belkin offers a range of armbands and a clip case.

  • Cases in select styles will be available starting September 2010 in North America and parts of Europe.
  • Other styles will continuously be made available for purchase throughout 2010.
  • Variety of Belkin cases include stylish, functional designs to keep you always connected by providing easy access to your new iPod
  • Cases cater to the different ways you carry your device
  • Variety of Belkin cases include stylish, functional designs to keep you always connected by providing easy access to your new iPod
  • Cases cater to the different ways you carry your device

Grip Cases

Grip cases protect your iPod and come in a variety of textured designs while adding style, color, and grip-ability. Grip cases formfitting design lets your iPod charge while still in the case.

Grip Ergo with Strap (F8Z653)

  • Ergonomic case design and removable hand strap provide a secure way to hold your iPod
  • Colors: Translucent Black, Translucent Taro

Grip Groove Duo (F8Z652)

  • Adds texture to your iPod to increase grip-ability
  • Colors: Black/Clear, Berry/Royal Purple

Grip Graphix (F8Z655)

  • Features designs that make it easy to grip your iPod
  • Colors: Aqua with White, Mauve with Shell Pink, Black with Clear

Grip Vue (F8Z657)

  • Designed to increase grip-ability with a sleek, high-gloss finish
  • Colors: Tints: Clear, Taro, Royal Purple, Night Sky, Black; Metallic: Black Pearl, White Pearl, Taro Pearl

Grip Edge (F8Z650)

  • Features a unique combination of grip and style
  • Colors: Black Leather with Black Stitching, Brown Leather with Brown Stitching

Shield Cases

Shield cases protect your iPod while providing increased shock absorption and impact resistance. These sleek cases add no extra bulk and offer maximum protection while allowing full access to connector, buttons, and iPod screen.

Shield Eclipse (F8Z647)

  • Provides a firm grip in your hand
  • Easily slides in and out of your pocket
  • Colors: Night Sky, Black, Taro, Vivid Blue

Shield Micra (F8Z646)

  • Features sleek design for protection without bulk
  • Colors: Tints: Black, Royal Purple, Coral, Clear; Metallic: Black Pearl, White Pearl, Taro Pearl

Verve Cases

These fashion-inspired leather cases protect your iPod from everyday scratches and scuffs. Tailored to be slim and formfitting, they also provide easier and more sensitive access to the home key and inputs. Made with premium leather and contrast stitching, these cases offer sleek style.

Verve Cinema (F8Z764)

  • Features kickstand to view media content comfortably

Verve Sleeve (F8Z687)

  • Fashion-inspired leather protects your iPod in style

Verve Sleeve with Clip (F8Z672)

  • Clips onto a beltideal for those who like to keep their iPod on their body at all times
  • Secure-hold clip design keeps your iPod in place

Verve Folio (F8Z673)

  • Features a cover that folds to protect the screen and a soft inner lining
  • Interior pocket stores credit card, money, and a key

Fit Armbands

Belkin Fit ArmbandFit armbands are designed for the active user. Made with breathable and hand-washable fabric, these cases are easy to put on and remove, and flex with you as you move about your workout.

ProFit (F8Z692)

  • Ultra-thin, athletic armband slides on easily for a comfortable fit
  • Patent-pending clip system provides easy on/off access
  • Made with special lightweight, water-wicking material to improve breathability
  • Innovative fusion of materials offers a secure hold

DualFit (F8Z674)

  • Adjustable dual-fit system allows for best fit on any arm, maximizing sizing
  • Key pocket for convenient storage while at the gym or outdoors

FastFit (F8Z675)

  • Patent-pending clip system provides easy on/off access
  • Features removable sleeve for iPod, low-profile belt clip, and key pocket
  • Cable capsule stores and manages earphones in convenient rubber dome
  • Key pocket for convenient storage

Overlays

Belkin overlays protect your new iPod screen from everyday scratches.

MatteScreen Overlay - 3-Pack (F8Z686)

  • Features glare-reducing protection for your iPod screen

ClearScreen Overlay - 3-Pack (F8Z685)

  • Provides a clear protective shield for your iPod screen

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Links for the Day

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Custom Search

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

MacSurfer
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
MacInTouch
MyAppleMenu
InfoMac
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
RetroMacCast
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
DealMac
Mac2Sell
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

Affiliates

Amazon.com
The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac
eBay

Low End Mac's Amazon.com store

Advertise

Open Link