We love it when retro tech collides with new school gadgetry, such as the Boombox Bag. Now comes the “45 nano” from Contexture. Despite its name, an audio cassette (not a “45” vinyl single) is hallowed out on one side and fitted with plastic casing, with openings for the click wheel, headphones and AC adapter/charging dock. The other side still looks like an audio tape. Currently, the 45 nano is for 1st and 2nd Gen nanos, but Contexture is currently working on a version for the newest 3rd gen iPod nano. Available for $45 USD.
Yesterday morning brought Apple‘s iPhone Update version 1.1.1 which included a bevy of new features including the slick new WiFi music store for the iPod Touch and the iPhone. The WiFi music store lets users purchase songs on-the-go using any WiFi hotspot which essentially puts the entire multi-million track library of iTunes in your pocket - perfect for a quick impulse buy from time to time.
Unfortunately not all users are able to get the shiny new storefront to work. Several of the iPhone owning editors at Gear Live were able to update their iPhone and use the WiFi music store successfully - I was not. Worse yet I don’t appear to be alone as other users have reported similar problems on the internet. Click through the jump for full details on why the iTunes WiFi music store isn’t working for us.
The first major iPhone software update has finally been released from Apple. iPhone Software Update 1.1.1 includes a host of bug fixes and new features. When you launch iTunes to download the update, you are warned that if you have modified your iPhone in any way, there is a chance that the update might permanently damage it. Fun! This update is a big one, weighing in at 152.3 MB in size. Here’s the lowdown on what you can expect:
- iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store
- Louder speakerphone and receiver volume
- Home Button double-click shortcut to phone favorites or music controls
- Space bar double-tap shortcut to intelligently insert period and space
- Mail attachments are viewable in portrait and landscape
- Stocks and cities in Stocks and Weather can be re-ordered
- Apple Bluetooth Headset battery status in the Status Bar
- Support for TV Out
- Preference to turn off EDGE/GPRS when roaming internationally
- New Passcode lock time intervals
- Adjustable alert volume
Let us know if you find anything not listed there!
Surrounding the release of Apple‘s iPhone there was a flurry excitement surrounding various cases to protect and showcase a consumer’s shiny new obsession. A number of cases including simple cloth slipcovers, protective rubber enclosures, and elaborate leather constructions flooded onto the market, each with different plusses and minuses.
Gear Live has previously reviewed several of the high-end leather cases by Argentinean case manufacturer Vaja, and given our extremely positive experiences in the past, we jumped at the opportunity to check out their new iVolution line of iPhone cases. The iVolution line has a number of different styles of cases and holsters, and we selected the fully-enclosed protection offered by the iVolution Top SP Holster. Click through the jump for the full in-depth review.
Apple has announced that its new update will kill unlocked iPhones. Last week, Steve Jobs cried foul as he said that the warranty would be voided, which we are pretty sure most hackers, such as George Hotz, knew about when they performed the operation. Of course, the obvious solution here is to skip the update, but then those users will not get WiFi Tunes. Perhaps Apple should think of this as a quiet demonstration of folks who want to save a bit of cash rather than a direct attack on AT&T. Think amnesty, Apple.
Read More | Yahoo Tech
Computerworld just published its in-depth usability test of the Apple iPhone, the HTC Touch running Windows Mobile 6 Professional, and the Nokia N95 running the Symbian operating system. The tests involved a number of participants who had never used any of the three devices, and had measurable results (i.e. the time it took to accomplish various actions). Apple’s famed information architecture and interface design skills seem to have paid off as the iPhone bested it competitors by a factor of two in some of the tests.
The study praises the iPhones information architecture and consistent user experience as a strong benefit to any user be it someone new to the iPhone or a power user. At Gear Live we have noticed several inconsistencies in the user interface, for instance, the new message button being in different locations in the mail and SMS clients for instance. We do however agree with the general consensus of the study that overall the user experience with the iPhone is far more unified that it’s competitors.
Things were not entirely positive for Apple - some users found the lack of tactile feedback a little disorienting, however all users were able to finish each of the tasks with the iPhone. The also iPhone fell behind it’s competitors in the sheer count of features. The N95 managed to edge out the iPhone in this category with GPS, voice activation and the ability to record movies with it’s camera. Considering that the Nokia is $100-300 more expensive in the United States than the iPhone many users have elected to splurge for Apple’s $400 easy to use wonder device.
Read More | Computerworld
First NBC leaves Apple for AOL, and now Fox will be offering some of their fall premieres at no charge on iTunes. Programs such as “Bones,” “American Dad,” and “K-ville” are part of the package which becomes available the day after their launch dates. Check with the iTunes Store since some of the programs have already begun. We say thank you very much since we dig free stuff and not having to wait for reruns in case we missed episodes the first time around.
Read More | Fox Flash
We picked up a pair of the new V-Moda Vibe Duos and took them for a spin. The Vibe Duos sound great (almost as good as the Etymotic ER-6s), and feature a microphone for making hands-free calls on the iPhone. They also feature cloth-wrapped cords, durable metal construction, and extended plug (for easy use with the iPhone’s recessed headphone jack) all add up to a stunning package. Check out after the jump for our full review.
Apple has finally gotten around to posting the details on how early iPhone owners can claim their $100 Apple Store credit. You know, the one that was a response to the backlash the company received after dropping the price on the iPhone by $200 - or 33% - just 61 days after it’s launch? It takes about five minutes, and Apple has done it in a way that makes it so only people who actually have the purchased iPhone in their possession, and activated with AT&T, can claim it. Here’s how it works:
- Head on over to the iPhone Store Credit page
- Input your iPhone’s AT&T phone number and serial number into the fields on the site
- You will receive an SMS which includes an access code. Enter the code into the site
- Print the result page, which includes the codes you need to redeem the credit at any Apple Store location, or at the Apple Online Store
To be safe, we’d recommend claiming right away, as you only have until November 30 to do so. If you bought your iPhone between August 22 and September 4, skip straight to the Apple Store itself, as you aren’t eligible for a $100 store credit - instead, you’ll just receive $200 in cash. For those who receive the credit, you can purchase just about anything sold by Apple, except another Apple Store Gift Card or an iTunes electronic Gift Certificate. You can use up to six credit codes when making a purchase at an Apple Retail Store and up to four credit codes at the Apple Online Store.
Earlier today, Apple announced ringtones for the iPhone, by way of a new version of iTunes. This will all happen by using a new Ringtone Composer that is built in to the new version of iTunes. You will find a new bell icon next to any purchased songs that are “eligible” to be turned into a ringtone, and will be able to choose any 30 second (or less) portion of that song to use as a ringtone. You have to own the song, and then when you want to buy your ringtone, that will cost you another $.99. $1.98 buys you both the song and the ringtone, which is completely unnecessary, what with program like iBrickr, iFuntastic, and others, that allow you to use any track in your iTunes library as a ringtone - for free.
Still, for those who are uncomfortable modifying their iPhone in any way, here is your chance at expanding your ringtone library.