It’s not quite what we expected, but Apple has just introduced us to a new, 4th generation iPad at its event in San Jose, California today. It’s essentially a hardware refresh for Apple’s 3rd gen slate, as it packs new A6X silicon with quad-core graphics that the company claims provides double the performance of the old A5X chip. The new iPad also gets dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, expanded LTE compatibility (including Sprint and KDDI), a 720p FaceTime camera on the front and the new image processor first seen in the iPhone 5. Of course, it also gets the reversible Lightning port that debuted on on the iPhone, and will be available in both black and white. Pricing stays the same as its predecessor, with a 16GB WiFi version for $499 and a 16GB model with cellular data on board costs $629. Interested? You’ll be able to pick one up through Apple’s online and brick and mortar stores or Apple Authorized Resellers in a host of countries — listed in the PR after the break — on November 2nd.
The New York Times isn’t beyond a little “experimentation” — not when it comes to iPad apps, at least. The old gray lady today is showing off its “experimental” iPad web app, an HTML5-powered reading experience available to digital subscribers with its Web + Tablet and All Digital Access packages. The app’s got four ways to consume all the news that’s fit to digitize, including the Trending format, which offers up the past hour’s top 25 trending stories on Twitter and the more traditional Today’s Paper, which recalls those days when people used to get their news from dead trees. More info can be found in the press release after the break, and if you’re on an iPad, you can access the site via the source link below.
While there are many third-party capacitive pens for the iPad on the market, none are as precise as pressure-sensitive models like the ones Samsung Galaxy Note aficionados have enjoyed for some time. Enter the Pogo Connect, which is described as the world’s first pressure-sensitive Bluetooth 4.0 iPad stylus. Brought to you by Ten One Design, the Pogo Connect was originally codenamed “Project Blue Tiger” back in March. The benefits of Bluetooth seem to be key here, as it offers full pressure sensitivity thanks to a “Crescendo Sensor” technology that works at multiple angles and without calibration. You also get palm rejection capabilities so the page doesn’t get smudged from your hand resting on the surface. The pen has a removable magnetic tip, leaving room for interchangeable tips in the future.
There’s also an LED status light, an integrated radio transmitter to let you know its location in case you lose it, and it runs on a single AAA battery. Be aware that the Connect is only compatible with around 16 apps for now — they include Brushes, SketchBook Pro, Paper by FiftyThree, and PDFPen — but Ten One hopes to add to the list over time. You can pre-order one now for $79.95, and if you’re one of the first 2,000 to do so, you’ll get a special edition pen with a laser-engraved tiger. Those intrigued can get a peek at the company’s promo video as well as the PR after the break.
We haven’t seen weather stations garner the same level of clever mobile integration as other pieces of household gear — like, say, thermostats. Netatmo wants its newly available Urban Weather Station to inject a similar dose of life into a category that some of us still associate with the thermometer by the window. The aluminum tube design certainly gives a fresh look to the WiFi-linked indoor and outdoor sensors, but the real trick is the matching iOS (and eventually Android) app. It’s for more than just gauging the wisdom of biking to work: the free app tracks historical trends and shares them with fellow users in a network that Netatmo hopes will provide a better understanding of wider-scale and longer-term trends. The sensors go beyond just obvious air quality, humidity, pressure and temperature conditions as well, flagging noise levels and warning if the CO2 levels are high enough to warrant airing out the house. The $179 price for the Urban Weather Station isn’t trivial, but neither is knowing just how well you can cope with your environment.
If your company doesn’t have a camera with WiFi sharing somewhere in your lineup, many will say you’re not even in the photography game. Fujifilm is definitely playing: welcome the FinePix F800EXR, its first camera with wireless sharing as part and parcel of the experience. Its centerpiece is a free Photo Receiver app for Android and iOS devices that will catch as many 30 images at a time from an ad hoc WiFi camera link. The matching (if unceremoniously named) Camera Application can return the gesture by geotagging shots as well as finding existing photos on the map. Fujifilm will even pre-Instagram the photos through six new on-camera filters for those who can’t stand posting images online without at least some Lomo or tilt-shift effects thrown in.
As for the actual camera part of the camera, Fujifilm is keeping afloat in the competitive waters with a 16-megapixel, CMOS-based EXR sensor that can widen the dynamic range or lower the noise if sheer resolution isn’t all that vital. An equally noteworthy 20x (25-500mm equivalent) lens out in front will zoom in a lot closer than any phone camera — well, most of them. We’re otherwise looking at the technology we’d expect in a point-and-shoot of this class, such as full-resolution burst shooting at up to eight frames per second, 1080p video and a RAW mode for image quality sticklers. Stores should have the F800EXR in August for about $350, or about as much as the Galaxy Nexus that just might serve as its companion.
The last time we heard about Next Issue, the all-you-can-read magazine store was launching on Android, with an iOS version said to be coming “soon.” Three months later, the startup’s made good on its promise: the storefront is now up and running on iOS, with an iPad app going live in the App Store today. If you’re not familiar with the way Next Issue works, it’s angling to be the Netflix of digital magazines, with a monthly subscription getting you unfettered access to a library of 39 titles. In brief, the fees break down to $10 per month for all the monthly and bi-weekly mags, and $15 if you want all that plus access to tabloids and other weeklies. One last thing: the free app is just the magazine reader; you’ll need to download the apps through Next Issue’s browser-based store.
Now, if you’re wondering what sorts of magazines will be represented in that list of 40-some-odd titles, know that every bigwig in magazine publishing is on board: Conde Nast, Time, Hearst, Meredith and News Corp. That means the The New Yorker is on board, as are Esquire, GQ, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated and Popular Mechanics. In an interview, a company rep told us that Next Issue Media plans to double the catalog by year’s end, as well as ink deals with additional publishers. The biggest caveat, it seems, is that content providers have the prerogative to make a title available on one platform but not the other, so don’t count on the iOS and Android apps offering identical selections. Feeling a bit tentative? The company is offering new customers a 30-day free trial, and we’ve also got not one, but four (yes, four) demo videos after the break.
The wait between iOS 6′s unveiling and its planned fall release just got a little bit shorter, as Apple has just pushed out beta 2. If you’re in the developer crowd that can try it out, don’t expect any revelations: the primarily focus is on the bug fixes that nudge the software closer to a final release. As in past years, multiple additional betas are expected between now and the time the iOS 6 is ready to come to the general public, so there’s likely still lots of room left for Apple to polish the release to a shine. Those paid up on their developer accounts can grab the update through the usual means and see just how much luster has been added since WWDC.
We were worried that Microsoft might wind up with frenemies in the PC industry after introducing its Surface tablets. There hasn’t been a lot of backlash so far, but the Windows 8 tablets clearly rankled some Acer executives — they’re lashing out at their OS partner in a very public fashion. Acer’s EMEA senior VP Oliver Ahrens is accusing Microsoft of trying to copy Apple’s business model and thinks the Surface line will struggle to get any traction. It could lead to a “defocus” at Microsoft as the software giant forgets the PC builders that got it to the top, he says. Meanwhile, frequently outspoken company founder Stan Shih isn’t even convinced that Microsoft is serious about the whole affair. To him, Surface is just an attempt to spur tablet designers into action that will fade away if and when Microsoft deems it a success. It’s entirely possible that either executive is right knowing Microsoft’s very mixed track record in hardware. Just consider the source before you cast too much doubt of your own: Acer isn’t exactly great with tablet market predictions.
Android and PlayStation Vita owners have felt the Music Unlimited love on their respective devices for quite some time now, but the Spotify / MOG / Rdio competitor has finally made its way to the App Store, bringing with it yet another option for streaming music on iOS. The free app appears to be optimized for iPhone and iPod touch (though it’s also compatible with iPad), and will enable on-the-go jammin’ with a $4-per-month Basic subscription over 3G, 4G or WiFi connections. You can pull in tunes from the millions of tracks in Sony’s collection, or access songs on your PC using the Music Sync service. The app is currently only available in the New Zealand App Store, but it’s expected to hit other Music Unlimited countries soon. For now, you can hit up the source link for the Kiwi App Store preview, or head over to the Music Unlimited site to sign up.
This has gotta be uncomfortable for the iPad. Now, Windows 8 tablet developers — or anyone, for that matter — can test their apps and play with the Microsoft’s Metro interface from within the confines of Apple’s ubiquitous tablet. The functionality is made possible by Splashtop, which is known for its remote desktop apps that are currently available for Android and iOS. It seems that a good amount of effort went into this application, known as the Win8 Metro Testbed, which offers the same swipe capabilities that will be available on a native system. This includes the ability to swipe from the left to switch apps, swipe from the right to reveal the Charms menu, and pull down from the top to close an application. Splashtop’s Win8 Metro Testbed is currently available for a promotional $24.99 in the iTunes App Store, whereafter it will sell for $49.99. You’ll find the full PR and a quick video tour of the app’s functionality after the break.
Go figure — Microsoft’s Courier project lives again… as an exclusive app on Apple’s iPad. FiftyThree, a company that features folks who previously worked on the aforesaid Courier initiative, has just put forth a monumental effort dubbed Paper. The app, which is available for free in the App Store, is a sophisticated sketchbook with a highly unique user interface that’s seemingly designed with the budding artist in mind. Put simply, the company feels that this app is “where ideas begin,” enabling users to capture mental light bulbs as sketches, diagrams, illustrations, notes or drawings before sharing them across the web.
Of course, “free” only gets you in the door; in-app purchases ($2 per brush, for example) keeps the creators in business, but it’s unclear at this point if a paid edition will be offered for those who aren’t much on cherry-picking what they do and don’t want to pony up for. Not surprisingly, the app ships with native support for the new iPad’s Retina display, and while fingers are welcome, a capacitive stylus is recommended. Eager to see more? Peek the video just after the break, and get your download on in the source link.
Well that was quick. Apple has already done the courteous thing and offered up today’s full launch event for your viewing pleasure. Marvel at the new TV unit, be bamboozled by exactly how much money Apple is now making and gasp at the battery times of the new LTE iPad — all over again. Hit up Apple’s own events site below for the full show.
DirecTV debuted its iPad app in February with an impressive suite of remote control and content browsing options, but one of the few missing features was the ability to watch TV on it, which has now been added. Like similar apps from Cablevision and Time Warner Cable, v1.3.1 adds the ability to watch 38 channels live on the tablet, provided you’re connected to the same home network as your DirecTV Plus HD DVR. That home restriction, plus being limited to only live TV streams and not DVRed programming separates it from Sling’s apps, but at least it’s still a free add-on. If you want to watch recorded shows or take them on the go you’ll still need the Nomad box for that. Check below for a link to one of DBSTalk’s usual thorough walkthrough PDFs breaking down the new features, a few screengrabs sent in by a reader, and the complete channel list after the break.
Have a soft spot for wireless speakers? There were tons of options out there already, but JBL just threw one more into the ring with its On Tour iBT. As we’d expect form the audio gurus, the system boasts wireless audio internals that play nice with both A2DP and AVRCP Bluetooth devices. In addition to four JBL Odyssey transducers, the kit packs a built-in microphone for Facetime or hands-free calls, an adjustable iPad stand and a USB connector for charging — when the Katy Perry tune blastin’ device is plugged in itself, of course. Interested? It can be yours now via the source link for $150, but if you’d care to take a closer look before committing, peep the gallery below.
If we’re going to spend $599 on a phone for our phone, it needs to offer unparalleled audio quality, absolutely seamless device integration, and a drop-dead gorgeous design. Invoxia, a new entrant to the world of VoIP telephony, claims to have created just that, with its NVX 610. The desktop unit uses an iPhone (or iPod touch or iPad) app as its control interface — the hardware itself includes only touch-sensitive volume, mute, speakerphone, and voicemail keys. With the exception of accessing your iOS device’s address book, however, all of the phone’s hardware is self-contained. Calls are processed using the built-in ARM Cortex-A8 processor, and can be made via Skype or any third-party SIP. You can also take incoming iPhone calls using the handset or speakerphone, but all outgoing calls are processed using VoIP, not your iPhone’s mobile network. We took a peek at the NVX 610 at IFA, and definitely liked what we saw. Jump past the break for our initial impressions, and a (somewhat noisy) intro video from Invoxia CEO Serge Renouard.
From what we saw, the NVX 610 appeared to be conceptually sound, though because of connectivity issues we were only able to listen to a simulated demo mode. The device connects to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad using the 30-pin dock connector, or over Bluetooth (a built-in connector and attachments can fit a variety of iPhones and iPod touches, and you can connect your iPad using an Apple-supplied dock connector cable). Renouard insisted that audio quality was identical when making actual phone calls, and if that’s really the case, we could easily see this replacing both corporate desk phones, which can sometimes cost close to the 610′s $600 retail price, and conference room speakerphones, which occasionally cost even more. And since the device can access your iPhone or iPad’s address book, being able to use multiple phones in the office while maintaining access to all of your contacts could prove invaluable.
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Since that whole Revue thing didn’t go over so swimmingly, it looks like Logitech’s going back to its accessory roots, with a manic hope that tablet add-ons are the future. The company just announced a fold-out keyboard for the iPad 2 that’s pretty much what it sounds like: a keyboard split in two whose halves flip out and connect to form a full QWERTY. As you can see in those shots below, you can still use your magical, candy-colored Smart Cover when your iPad is docked. At $129.99, it’s hardly a cheap doo-dad and frankly, we would have hoped for higher quality. In our brief hands-on, the keys felt unstable and stiff — an ideal combination for anyone who thought their iPad needed more chintz. Pre-order it at the source link if you must, though you might do just as well gawking at our pics below.
Were you excited to try Spotify, only to be dismayed by the lack of native iPad support? Enter Rdio’s latest update to its iOS app, now with gratuitous support for Cupertino’s sweetheart. Just like its iPhone and iPod touch forebearer, slate fans can now stream music, cache songs, futz with playlists, all while being “social” with friends on the service. Like the company’s other mobile apps (on iOS, Android or Blackberry) — and its cross-Atlantic Swedish rival — one has to spring for the pricier $9 monthly sub to unshackle from web-only streaming and enjoy portable bliss. In our quick run-through, we found the app to be slick and fast, and searching for obscure music was painless. With most of our friends strewn across other streaming platforms, the community features fell on deaf ears — so clearly your mileage will vary. Rdio’s offering a week-long trial gratis, so go-on and give it a whirl yourself.