iNews Review

iPhone Sales up 56%, Coming to Canada, Unleashed, and Amplified, Life from a Nearly Dead iPod, and More

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

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.10.11

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.

iPhone News, Reviews, & Opinion

iPod News, Reviews, & Opinion

Apple TV News, Reviews, & Opinion

iPhone Accessories

iPod Accessories

iPod and iPhone Deals

iPhone News, Reviews, & Opinion

iPhone Sales Up 56% After Price Cut

Apple 2.0 says:

Having jumped 200% immediately after the Sept. 5 price cut, sales of iPhones at Apple's flagship stores stabilized at about 142 per day, up roughly 56% from 91 per day before their price dropped $200, according to a report issued today by Piper Jaffray.

iPhone Coming to Canada via Rogers

BetaNews Staff reports:

"Apple is planning to begin selling its Apple iPhone through Rogers Wireless in Canada by mid-October, technology news site Digital Journal reported this week. The site said a source from within Canadian luxury retailer Holt Renfew said it would be receiving the phone within two weeks, and it would retail in the country for $799."

Erica Sadun Takes iPhone to the Max

The Rocky Mountain News's Jeff Smith reports:

"Just before he went off to college, 17-year-old George Hotz, of New Jersey, successfully unlocked Apple's iPhone so it could be used on wireless networks other than exclusive provider AT&T.

"But it's Denverite Erica Sadun - mother of three, software writer and gadget blogger - who could be the iPhone hacker extraordinaire.

"Sadun, 43, who has a doctorate in computer science, has created more than a dozen free iPhone applications - including a voice recorder, programs to attach songs and photos to e-mails, and a game to catch butterflies with a net.

"She has written or co-written 30 books on subjects ranging from digital photography to the soon-to-be-released Taking your iPhone to the Max.

"She writes for the unofficial Apple Weblog sponsored by AOL at tuaw.com. She calls it a 'part-time thing,' but in a recent 30-day period she posted 75 blogs.

"In the geek world, Sadun is famous. And prolific....

"Erica Sadun's newest book, Taking Your iPhone to the Max, published by Apress and due out Dec. 17, features a guide to iPhone basics as well as undocumented tricks, e-mail, voice mail, surfing the Web, using iTunes, games and iBooks, connecting to the TV, ripping DVDs and hacking OS X to run apps."

Unlocking iPhone Legal, Ethical, and Just Plain Fun

Slate's Tim Wu says:

"Apple is not happy with its customers. Disobedient iPhone owners are unlocking their iPhones (modifying them to work with carriers other than AT&T) and installing 'unauthorized' third-party apps. Last week the company struck back with a software update that acts much like a virus. It wrecks the operation of third-party applications and can turn unlocked iPhones into 'bricks.' Is Apple on the right side of this fight? Is it really wrong or illegal to unlock your iPhone? Well, I figured, there's only one way to find out...."

iPhone Could Mark the End of the Geek Affair with Apple

The Guardian's Jack Schofield says:

"The teaser ads posted in New York showed an open lock and a headline: either 'The best devices have no limits' or 'Phones should be open to anything'. They must have mystified a few people, but Apple fans had no doubt what they were about: Nokia was exploiting the furore over last week's iPhone firmware update. This not only plugged a bunch of security holes, it wiped out users' unapproved applications, and 'bricked' some phones hacked to unlock them from AT&T....

"But there was no deceit on Apple's part. Right from the beginning, its chief executive Steve Jobs had told Newsweek: 'You don't want your phone to be an open platform'....

"It seems remarkable that so many people could either fail to get the message, or could somehow convince themselves that Apple didn't really mean it. The answer, I think, is that Apple has been a personal computer company for 30 years, and everybody knows you can run whatever applications you want on your own computer. The iPhone was launched at a computer event (Macworld), it runs a computer operating system (OS X) and it does computer things like web browsing. How could it not be a computer?"

More Legit 3rd Party iPhone Applications on the Way?

9to5mac's Cleve Nettles reports:

"While Apple's official line is that the only 3rd party iPhone development will be on the EDGE-crippled Web 2.0 'SDK', behind the scenes, there is much more going on. Apple has been furiously working with their partners on games and applications for the iPhone/iPod and the standardized Human-Interface Controls that will go along with them. For instance, EA is currently porting their iPod lineup to the OS X iPod/iPhone platform to be sold along side the classic iPod OS versions. Other big developers with strict confidentiality agreements are also on board.

"Apple is specifically looking to replicate the model of TMobile's successful SideKick application development and distribution platform (although obviously not in the Sidekick's Java). Apple has even brought in some of Danger's (SidekickOS creators) application development team to help with the architecture. A public SDK announcement will likely be made in the coming months which could possibly be included with Xcode. More likely, the SDK will be given only to high level developers with established close ties to Apple."

Apple Component Cable Works with iPhone

The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)'s Mike Schramm reports:

"So first, the iPhone appeared on the Apple Component cable page, and then we heard it didn't run video out, and then it did again, or maybe it didn't. At any rate, we finally have confirmation for you, thanks to punkassjim, that the iPhone will do video out.

"In fact, he tells us that it will even show a preview of what you're watching on the iPhone itself while the video plays, along with the standard video controls and information...."

Amplify the iPhone's Speaker for Nothing

iphonematters' Tanner Godarzi says:

No cost iPhone amplifier"When one envisions the iPhone the first things that comes to mind is elegance, simplicity and maybe accessories that cost too much. Even then the iPhone lacks in the audio department, the speaker is very weak which probably contradicts the speakerphone function but you can fix that for free.

"TUAW tried this out and I can safely say this takes a ghetto Amp, demeans it some more then strips any value from it and turns it into something worthy of MacGyver. Behold, the iPhone cardboard Amp, may music blast throughout your room and break every window in your living room, your results will vary."

Why I Won't Buy an iPhone

BusinessWeek columnist Arik Hesseldahl says:

"I don't own an iPhone, and I don't think I ever will. That may come as a surprise to anyone acquainted with my long history of owning and liking Apple products.

"It's not that I don't think it's an extraordinary device

"Having tried it, I think it represents a fundamental step forward in what a mobile phone can be. And it sure looks like it's going to be imitated six ways to Sunday.

"But what I can't take is how Apple is keeping the iPhone from evolving in a manner consistent with its corporate heritage. Over the years I've owned many wireless devices, including a Treo (PALM, three or four BlackBerrys , and tested my share of phones running Microsoft Windows Mobile and the Symbian OS, majority owned by Nokia.

"In almost every case, I've had an important option I wouldn't get on the iPhone: installing third-party software....

"...Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs will tell you opening the device could leave the network vulnerable. Carriers such as AT&T (T), Apple's U.S. iPhone provider, 'don't want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up.'

"Hogwash, I say...."

'iPhone Makes Me an Apple Believer'

RealMoney Silver blogger Doug Kass says:

"I have owned various versions of the Treo for about three years (the latest the Treo 750). I have enjoyed most functionalities of it, with the exception of the Web browsing, which was slow and cumbersome.

"I am not a typical first adopter, but I was unabashedly influenced by the buzz surrounding iPhone and purchased it on the opening weekend of its introduction.

"To sum it up: iPhone is a game changer, and I finally get what Apple bulls have been on to for awhile. That said, with the shares up dramatically both absolutely and relatively, I am late to the party for Apple as a short-term consideration."

iPod News, Reviews, & Opinion

Devices That Can Squeeze Some Life from a Nearly Dead iPod

Dr. Macenstein reports:

"Sadly, as with all electronic gadgets, there will come a day when your iPod will eventually die. I know, I know, we don't like to think of such things, but death is an unavoidable side effect of life. However, much like cutting off your deceased grandfather's head and freezing it, there are ways to extend the life of your 'dead' iPod, and most cost far less and are far less disturbing to think about than the grandpa thing."

iPod nano Spews Chest-high Flames from Trousers

Engadget's Thomas Ricker reports:

"Prepare to be amazed at what passes for investigative journalism on television these days. Atlanta's WSB-TV Action News team ran a sensational iPod 'nana' piece last night under the title 'Man's Pants Catch Fire At Airport.' To set the stage, WSB-TV says that the nano 'uses the same technology as those troubled laptop batteries under recall due to the risk of fire.' In steps Danny Williams - mild mannered consumer, airport employee - who claims that his iPod nano 'burst into' chest-high flames while he was at work. So why isn't he covered in burns after exposure to such a serious chemical fire?"

iPod Touch 'Brilliant'

t3.co.uk reports:

"What is an iPhone without the phone?

"In a word . . . brilliant. Not so much an upgrade as a total revamp of the iPod, the Touch 16 GB is basically Apple's iPhone without the disappointing aspects of that device - such as the recessed earphone socket, the paltry storage, the crappy camera and, err, phone bit. It's also thinner - about a third as thick as the iPhone.

"Everything we love about the iPhone is still here....

"The iPhone without the crap bits, this is the most technologically-advanced iPod yet, and a true breakthrough product."

Fixing Dark Spots When Viewing Video on iPod touch

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"When viewing videos on iPod touch, the picture may appear with one or more of the following:

  • Dark or black spots
  • Video is very dark and looks like a negative image
  • Dark colors look like film negative
  • Black areas appear oversaturated to the point of being reflective
  • Black areas appear to shimmer

"Products affected

  • iPod touch

"Solution

"Use iTunes to update iPod touch software to version 1.1.1 or later."

Apple TV News, Reviews, & Opinion

Apple TV Quick and Easy to Use but Limited

The Register's Leo Waldock reports:

"Over the past couple of years we've tried at least four different media extenders from Buffalo, D-Link and Pinnacle in an attempt to send AVI movie files from a PC to a TV. The PC is in a home office box, and the TV is in the living room, and all we want to do is watch recorded American TV shows on the big screen....

"We have to admit that we haven't used an Xbox 360 as a Media Extender, so it's possible that Microsoft cracked this particular problem a while back, but the Apple TV aroused our interest, despite its daft name - it's not, when all said and done, a TV: it's a set-top box. Yes, it's a networked unit, but unlike other devices stores content locally so there's no need to stream anything.

"The first thing that strikes you is the tiny size of the unit. It measures 19.6 x 19.6cm and is only 2.8cm tall, which is miniscule compared to the hefty boxes supplied by the networking boys, all of which are the size of a domestic DVD player. This is especially impressive as the Apple TV contains plenty of hardware, including the power transformer."

iPhone Accessories

Proporta Releases a Gaggle of iPhone Products

PR: British-based Proporta have stayed one step ahead of the game as usual with their cases and accessories already available and ready for purchase. With only a couple of cases on standby for another few weeks, Proporta have stopped anyone missing out by opening up their doors and allowing interested customers to pre-order them. And of course, for Americans who already have the iPhone, Proporta ships worldwide.

Alu-Leather caseEver since news of the much-awaited November 9 UK iPhone release was announced, British-based Proporta have stayed one step ahead of the game as usual with their cases and accessories already available and ready for purchase. With only a couple of cases on standby for another few weeks, Proporta have stopped anyone missing out by opening up their doors and allowing interested customers to pre-order them. And of course, for Americans who already have the iPhone, Proporta ships worldwide for a reasonable flat rate of $4.95.

Proporta's trademark iPhone Alu-Leather case comes in two forms, flip and book type - both beautifully hand crafted and, like many other Proporta cases, meet the exact specifications of your precious device. These cases incorporate a screen saver' system which uses a sheet of lightweight, rigid, aircraft grade aluminium to line the case, protecting it from scratches and impact shocks.

Alu-Leather caseFor those among us who fancy a bit of colour in their lives, Proporta offer the iPhone Alu-Sheepskin Case. Featuring the same screen saver' system and lightweight aluminium protection as the alu-leather case, this also comes in a choice of pink or brown so you can really go wild.

Alu-Leather caseWhether you're vegetarian or just fancy an alternative to real leather, try Proporta's iPhone Classic Case. Not only does it provide the same stylish protection as a leather case, it's also a little easier on the wallet (not to mention the cows).

A couple of cases due to arrive at the Proporta headquarters a bit later than the aforementioned are the Alu-Crystal and the Crystal Holster.

The Proporta iPhone Alu-Crystal Case allows you to proudly show your device to the world, as well as adding a little extra protective bulk. Using a material that combines the durable and scratch resistant polycarbonate plastic with an aircraft grade aluminium, you'll struggle to find a more lightweight yet protective case.

Proporta's iPhone Crystal Holster, made from a durable and scratch resistant frosted plastic, differs slightly from their usual cases by not only offering protection for your iPhone, but by also incorporating a detachable belt clip that can act as a stand to enable video viewing. When your device in the holster is clipped to your belt, it operates on a ratchet system enabling it to be rotated whilst still attached.

Not content with the above, Proporta also have a brand new case design on the cards due for availability in November. Stay perched on the edge of your seats - more details to follow.

The guys at Proporta know that the touch screen display plays an important role in the life of your iPhone, which is why they also recommend their Advanced Screen Protector. It incorporates an improved thickness, made from a new ultra high-clarity plastic, which improves screen feel' during stylus use, without impairing screen brightness and quality. This screen protector reduces glare from sunlight or bright lighting and is fully washable and replaceable.

Visit proporta.com and see for yourself everything that they have to offer, iPhone related and otherwise.

And if you really want to look after the lovely screen on the iPhone, check out the Proporta Mobile Device Cleaner. Now there's no excuse not to have your screen looking as shiny as a new penny.

iPod Accessories

Iluv Portable Video, MP3, and DVD Player

Iluv Portable Video PlayerPR: High-end retailer and purveyor of innovative and unusual gifts to the carriage trade crowd Neiman Marcus is offering the very classy Iluv Portable Video MP3 & DVD Player, which is capable of outputting videos from MP3 player to television, has an integrated dock for MP3 players with video (30 GB, 60 GB, or 80 GB), and charges MP3 player while docked.

About the Player:

  • Black.
  • 8.4" widescreen TFT LCD.
  • Transparent, protective screen (see open below).
  • Light-emitting, touch-sensitive function keypad controls.
  • Includes carrying pouch, car adapter, AC adapter, AV cable, and remote control.
  • Imported.

Iluv Portable Video PlayerFeatures for MP3:

  • Capable of outputting videos from MP3 player to television.
  • Integrated dock for MP3 players with video (30 GB, 60 GB, or 80 GB).
  • Charges MP3 player while docked.

Features for DVD:

  • Playable media: DVD, VCD, Audio CD, MPC CD, and JPEG CD.
  • Connect to television through S-Video or AV output.
  • Convenient OSD (Onscreen Display).
  • Multiple subtitle, angle, and audio functions.
  • Slow and fast motion playback and zoom operation.
  • Built-in high capacity Li-Polymer rechargeable battery.

Please note: Does not work with iPod touch, iPod classic, or new iPod video nano.

Iluv Portable Video MP3 & DVD Player - $275

Whiten Your Teeth with Your iPod?

PR: Who would have ever thought you could whiten your teeth with music from your iPod? I have to say it's something that would never have occurred to me.

Professor Bocelli's Rock My Teeth Musical Whitening kitHowever, that's what Professor Bocelli's Rock My Teeth Musical Whitening kit promises to do.

The unit's custom cable with earphones and tray jack works with all digital music players.

As the good doctor puts it:

You can even turn up the music to your teeth and turn down the music to your ears during treatments. The louder the music to your teeth, the more whitening energy you provide to the hydrogen peroxide in your whitening strip to go deep into the stained teeth.

before and afterNo mess, easy to use and you can do it anywhere. It whitens your teeth, freshens your breath and dissolves in your mouth.

The Bocelli Musical Whitening kit comes with speaker mouth tray, custom earphone cable, and 50 dissolvable whitening strips in a black sheer nylon draw string bag. All you need is your musical device & you are ready to Rock Your Teeth. Strips have 5% whitening peroxide.

$49.95

Refill Bocelli Dissolvable whitening strips whiten your teeth, freshen your breath with mint flavor.

Dissolves in your mouth. 50 strips per package.

Free shipping if ordered with any other product.

Includes special TV discount of $10

$19.95

Keyspan Ships iPod Cable for Ford's Sync Media System

PR: Keyspan announced its "Sync Cable for iPod", a cable that connects an iPod to the new Sync media system available in 12 models of 2008 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. The cable works with recent generations of the iPod, including the: iPod video, iPod nano, iPod touch, etc. It also has the unique ability to connect older iPods to the Ford Sync media system. Older models of iPod that are supported include the iPod mini, the 4th generation iPod, and the iPod with color display.

Sync Cable for iPodKeyspan announced its "Sync Cable for iPod", a cable that connects an iPod to the new Sync media system available in 12 models of 2008 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. The Sync Cable for iPod is available today in the Keyspan online store at a price of $49.

The cable works with recent generations of the iPod, including the: iPod video, iPod nano, iPod touch, etc. It also has the unique ability to connect older iPods to the Ford Sync media system. Older models of iPod that are supported include the iPod mini, the 4th generation iPod, and the iPod with color display.

Once the iPod is connected to the Sync media system, the iPod's content is automatically displayed on the screen of the Sync media system. The iPod can be externally controlled by the Sync media system and will charge while connected when the vehicle is running.

"The Keyspan Sync Cable for iPod provides the most universal solution for connecting iPods to the Sync media system," noted Mike Ridenhour, president at Keyspan. "It not only works with current iPods, but it also has the unique ability to support the millions of iPod minis and 4G iPods still being used by consumers in North America."

Designed in collaboration with Microsoft, the Sync media system is offered exclusively through Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products in North America. The Sync media system is available on twelve models of 2008 vehicles including: Ford Focus, Ford Fusion, Ford Edge, Ford Explorer and Explorer Sport Trac, Ford Taurus and Taurus X, Mercury Mountaineer, Mercury Sable, Mercury Milan, and Lincoln MKS and MKZ.

Duracell Powers Portable Lifestyle with First-of-its-Kind Mobile Charger

PR: Duracell has announced the introduction of Mobile Charger, which offers gadget-loving consumers a more convenient way to power personal devices anytime, anywhere.

The innovative Duracell Mobile Charger serves as a portable power hub, delivering power to a variety of high-drain devices, ranging from digital cameras and portable gaming systems to iPods, MP3 players and BlackBerrys, through several methods. With more than $20 billion expected to be spent on portable devices in 2007, new products such as the Duracell Mobile Charger help answer consumer demand for power on-the-go.

The Duracell Mobile Charger offers strong power performance and convenience in a compact, sleek design. Providing extreme convenience, the Mobile Charger enables users to charge AA or AAA rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries by plugging the unit directly into the wall or into a car outlet. The Mobile Charger also features a USB port, which allows users to charge a wide range of USB-enabled devices with built-in rechargeable batteries such as iPods, MP3 players and BlackBerrys. For ultimate flexibility, the Duracell Mobile Charger can provide power to USB enabled devices in three ways - 1.) via Pre-Charged NiMH batteries, 2.) by plugging the Mobile Charger into a wall outlet or 3.) by plugging the Mobile Charger into a car adaptor. This unique tri-charging feature makes powering a wider range of devices even easier, equipping consumers to better manage the many portable devices in their lives.

For added convenience, the Mobile Charger is packaged with Duracell Pre-Charged Rechargeable batteries which come charged and ready to use straight out of the pack. Pre-Charged batteries can be recharged hundreds of times, delivering hours of music and up to 5,000 digital photos over the life of two batteries.

Duracell Pre-Charged Rechargeable batteries feature a new rechargeable technology, eliminating the need to charge the batteries before using them for the first time. These batteries also retain power for up to one year while not in use, helping raise the bar on convenience and satisfaction as more and more consumers look for advanced battery solutions for power hungry devices. In addition, these new batteries stay charged longer and have to be recharged less often, packing more power for consumers' favorite gadgets.

"Today's on-the-go consumers are looking for new ways to power their portable lifestyle," said Rachel Calomeni, brand manager, North America, Duracell. "Our innovative and easy-to-use Mobile Charger is the ultimate power pack, delivering extraordinary performance and giving users the flexibility to power devices anytime, anywhere."

Available at mass, drug, grocery and specialty stores nationwide beginning in Fall 2007, the Duracell Mobile Charger will have a suggested retail price of $24.99.

The Mobile Charger joins Duracell's complete portfolio of rechargeable power solutions, incorporating the latest features and functionality to satisfy consumers' device needs. The Duracell Power Gauge Charger features a LED indicator that displays the charge status for each battery, enabling consumers to easily tell when each charge will be complete. The Duracell Mini-Charger provides strong power performance in a compact design that plugs directly into the wall. The Duracell 15-minute Charger provides Duracell's fastest charge time for immediate power needs.

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