A new ultrathin iPad keyboard cover from Logitech is about to drop. The aluminum encased cover sports an ultra-quite Bluetooth® wireless keyboard and enough battery to keep it all running for months of regular use. The cover integrates well with the magnets built into the frame of the iPad 2 and iPad (3rd generation) to secure the cover, and wake and sleep your iPad as it should. From the pictures, it looks sharp enough to hang with the iPad. Available later this month for about a Benjamin. If you spend a lot of time writing email on your iPad, you might just want to pre-order one of these.
I backed Allerta’s Pebble watch Kickstarter project yesterday; this is the second Kickstarter project I’ve backed. The Pebble e-paper watch extends your iOS or Android powered smartphone by connecting to it via Bluetooth; once connected (paired), Pebble can display notifications sent from your phone (calls, text messages (Android only), alerts, etc.), act as a music player remote control, and a whole lot more.
Pebble features an ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller, a 1.26-inch 144×168-pixel black and white e-paper display with backlight, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, four buttons, a vibrating motor, a three-axis accelerometer, and a scratch and shatter resistant lens. The battery is expected to last more than seven days on a charge, and it’s water resistant to boot.
Eric Migicovsky, Allerta’s founder, has been developing smartwatches for three years. inPulse, Pebble’s younger sibling, worked originally with Blackberry phones but was upgraded to work with some Android phones. inPulse has been popular despite some serious limitations, i.e. you could only install and use one App at a time. Pebble will have an App switcher built in so core functionality like notifications and the music player remote control can remain available even while an App is in use. To support this, Allerta added the ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller and 8 times more Flash memory and 12 times more RAM than inPulse.
I’m looking forward to getting my hands on my Pebble watch this Summer or Fall. I think wearable computing is going to be a big deal in the future, and I can see the use cases for Pebble in my life today. And a big congratulations to Eric and his team, they cleared $3M in backing today, on a goal of $100,000 – I’d say that’s a pretty good indicator that wearable computing has a future. @pebblewatch
Microsoft teamed up with West Coast Customs to build the ultimate 400-hp mobile device – and they’re calling it “Project Detroit.” The Ford Mustang fast back replicate (2012 Mustang inside) is packed with the latest Microsoft technology – the list includes: a Lumina 800 running Windows Phone 7, Viper’s SmartStart App, an all digital and customizable instrument cluster, a heads-up display that includes Bing Maps, Blue Oval’s Sync system, an XBox 360, a 4G hotspot, and a whole lot more.
You can read all “Project Detroit” on the Wired Autopia site, and if you’re interested in following the build, tune in to Channel 9′s site and watch the Discovery Velocity Network this Sunday at 9:00 PM.
To top it off (pun intended), Microsoft will be making all the source code from “Project Detroit” available on CodePlex, so you can build your own Bat Car.
Good news movie fans, Apple released an update for iTunes Movie Trailers for iPad today that adds support for the new iPad’s Retina Display. Now you can watch your favorite movie trailers in Retina Definition.
Instaprint is a location based photo booth that can transform parties and events by putting a camera in everyone’s hand. By setting Instaprint to look out for specific locations or hashtags, any Instagram tagged appropriately will automatically be printed out on inkless paper.
A 30% rejection rate on iOS App submissions is a bit higher than I thought it would be. Well.. now that I’m thinking about it, maybe not.
of the 26,000 applications submitted for review each week, 30 percent are rejected for failure to meet developer guidelines. – Tim Cook (Apple CEO) – via VentureBeat MobileBeat
All of this is coming out of Tim Cook’s response to letters from G.K. Butterfield and Henry Waxman, ranking members of a congressional subcommittee dedicated to protecting the little people from evil things – like iPhones ; )
Matthew Panzarino’s (@mpanzarino) TNW post, Why do developers prefer iOS over Android? Try 75% adoption of iOS5 while ICS is stuck at 1%., and Chris Sauve’s (@pxldots) post, iOS Ebb and Flow, are both good reads for anyone interested in iOS adoption rates.
Sauve on just how incredibly fast iOS gets picked up when compared to Android:
iOS 5 captured approximately 75% of all iOS users in the same amount of time it took Gingerbread to get 4% of all Android users. Even more astounding is that 15 weeks after launch iOS 4 was at 70% and iOS 5 was at 60% while Ice Cream Sandwich got to just 1% share at the same age. – Chris Sauve
Squeeze a little more value out of your iPhone by turning it into a featured packed bike computer! The Wahoo Bike Pack wirelessly connects your iPhone to any ANT+ bike sensor so you can get all of your favorite cycling data on your iPhone, including speed/cadence, power (wattage), and heart rate.
The Wahoo Bike Pack includes a bar-mounted, waterproof case for your iPhone. Linked up with the Wahoo Fitness App, it tracks all your fitness data: power, bike speed, heart rate, etc., plus it connects wirelessly to any other ANT+ devices you’re already using.
Apple released a new iPad commercial today to highlight the stunning Retina Display that will be included with the new iPad – a feature they’re expecting will set the iPad apart from the growing number of iPad competitors. Ordered my new iPad today, looking forward to the stun.
When a screen becomes this good, colors are more vibrant. Words are pin sharp. Everything is more brilliant. Because when a screen becomes this good, it’s simply you and the things you care about. The stunning Retina Display on the new iPad.
THE VERGE is reporting that the new iPad is going to ship with 1GB of RAM. That’s awesome – and double what the iPad 2 is sporting. Won’t know for sure until the 16th, but I’d say there’s a good chance this is true.
Square, founded by Jack Dorsey in May 2010, made a big splash by making it easy for iPhone users in the U.S. to accept credit cards inexpensively. Square has been showing up everywhere lately, from Farmers’ Markets to Girl Scout cookie stands. Square Register looks great, and I’m sure it’s going to be a big hit with small business owners across the country. Is Square the new Intuit? It’s starting to feel that way.
Clear, an elegantly simple and gesture based task manager for iOS, had a fantastic first week. Clear has been downloaded more than 350,000 times in the 9 days since it hung its shingle in the iTunes App Store, as reported in the Guardian. Clear was developed by RealMac Software in collaboration with Milen and Impending. You can download Clear now for the introductory price of $0.99 – MAC and iPad versions on the way.
“With Clear, the mission was pretty simple. Get rid of the bullshit, and focus on easy, quick and flexible task entry and management. We looked at what was out there, and began by forgetting everything we saw.” – Impending
Kickstarter, the crowd-source funding platform for creative projects, is moving into the mainstream. Last week, two projects – Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Adventure, and Casey Hopkins’ Elevation Dock: The Best Dock for iPhone raised over a million dollars each in just one day.
Kickstarter is democratizing the product development process by putting the decision of whether or not a product should be funded in the hands of the consumer, and consumers are coming out to vote. A new generation of makers (prefer makers over inventors) is responding to the opportunity.
Jon Atherton (t: @tunes) is a maker that recognized the Kickstarter opportunity early. He successfully used Kickstarter to fund jaja, a pressure sensitive stylus for iPad, and he’s at it again with AppTag – Laser Blaster for iPhone.
AppTag brings first person shooter console gameplay to smartphones in the real world by combining the smartphone with a laser tag like system. You can use AppTag with the included pistol grip or attach it to any blaster (a Nerf gun for example) that has an accessory rail. You can read all about AppTag on Kickstarter; Jon does a better job of describing his product than I can – and because it’s a great product, I’m sure the project will be funded. In a post on his blog, Jon talks about how Kickstarter is changing the way he does business.
Kickstarter is going to disrupt a lot of businesses! Previously an inventor like me would pitch inventions, then the toy company has a bunch of committee meetings, they then decide to evaluate it with an option, if they then proceed they offer a small prepayment and an eventual 5% royalty on wholesale. They cover all marketing and manufacture. Inventors can do really well with the right toy!
So for example with the jaja pressure sensitive stylus (which we pitched as a kids coloring in toy) we have now had over 1000 backers, and raised enough to do the tooling and final development work ourselves – we own the IP, and we can sell direct online for a cheaper price with a greater margin.
Now with Kickstarter, I can develop an idea and do the same work as I pitch to the toy companies (create a movie and do a presentation). I then upload it to Kickstarter – where thousands of people evaluate the product! Real customers put there money down if it is good! – Jon Atherton / AppTag 38% Funded – LOVE @Kickstarter
AppTag is the first Kickstarter project I’ve backed – probably because it caught my ten year old son’s attention and he can be pretty convincing. I’m not sure why I haven’t backed a project before. I’ve definitely benefited from the platform – I love my olloclip: iPhone Lens System.
Good luck Jon, and thanks for inspiring me to back my first Kickstarter project. Keep making.
The Cdock, designed by James Aloysius of Portland Oregon’s Hatchet Goods, is a horizontal docking station for your iPhone 4 or 4s that transforms your iPhone into a handsom clock or a miniature retro TV. Pair Cdock with an App like Alarm Clock Pro to replace your bedside nemesis, or the clock on your desk at work. It looks great, and you’re charging the whole time.
The Cdock is available in three faceplate options: glossy black resin, white ohh la la resin, brushed aluminum, or walnut. The resin models go for $55, brushed aluminum $65, and walnut will set you back $70. The Cdock ships with a 6′ USB charging cable (U.S. plug), and it’s handmade in beautiful Portland Oregon.
It’s a little on the spendy side, but considering it’s handmade here in the U.S., and that an Apple Dock Connector will cost you $19 – it’s a fair price. everythingicafe.com posted a nice video review of the Cdock, if you need more convincing. The Cdock, another successful KickStarter project.
My friend Pat McCarthy, cofounder and CEO of Fantuition, posted his thoughts on the new Batch photosharing App the other day. I haven’t had a chance to check Batch out yet, but based on his review, it sounds like a great tool for sharing photos with friends and family.
You can see the future potential if batches from one event or location are grouped automatically and viewable together. It could nicely fulfill the promise of Color that never came to be.
- Pat McCarthy / ConversionRater.com
Batch is available for download now from the iTunes App Store. Thanks for bringing it to my attention Pat!
The Magnus Stand from Ten One Design (t: @TenOneDesing) is good enough to carry the Apple brand. The design is minimalist, it’s made from recycled aluminum, and it uses the iPad 2′s build-in magnetic hinge to lock your iPad in place. The stand only works in the portrait orientation, but the minimalist design and use of the iPad 2′s magnets to support the iPad leave the various ports, controls, and camer unencumbered.
The Magnus was unveiled at CES 2012, and will be shipping later this week. Available from Ten One for about $50 bucks, which a bit steep for what you’re getting, but like I said it’s good enough to carry the Apple brand.
Google Chrome BETA for Android dropped today. Engadget, Droid Life, and the Wired Gadget Lab all posted good hands-on reviews – pocketnow.com posted a video that demonstrates Chrome for Android’s slick tab management system.
Early reviews are positive, and most are pleased with the way Google Chrome for Android ties into the desktop Chrome experience. Your bookmarks, Omnibar results, and tabs are all synced, and better yet tab syncing includes tabs you currently have open.
Google Chrome BETA for Android is available now in the Android Market – Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) required.
Attach the VooMote Zapper to the 30-pin port on the bottom of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (iOS 5 required) to transform it into a universal remote control. After installing the free VooMote Zapper App, and running through a quick set up process (learning function supported) you’ll be set to control all of your devices from your iDevice. The VooMote supports: multiple room configurations, macros, custom remotes, and multi-remote views.
The VooMote Zapper dongle is available in a variety of colors and costs $70. A matching cover for the iPhone will cost an extra $10, and a cover for your iPad will cost an extra $20.
I ordered an iBamboo iPhone Speaker today – the black limited edition – from New York area Etsy member and maker Anatoliy Omelchenko (@anatoliyart). It was an impulse buy, instigated by Adam Flaherty’s MAKE blog post iBamboo Passive Acoustic Amplifier. Like Adam, I fell in love with the simplicity of the design and the black lacquer finish that’s unique to the limited edition version of the iBamboo Speaker. All of that said, I don’t think I would have clicked the “Add to Cart” button if Anatoliy hadn’t put the time into making sure his product had equally cool packaging.
“The speaker consists of a piece of bamboo, open on both ends and machined in a way that allows you to place it on a flat surface and insert your iPhone 4/4S at the top. The natural resonance of the hollow bamboo speaker body amplifies sound. This unique property makes bamboo an ideal material for making an all-natural, no-power-needed iPhone amplifier.”
Looking forward to pushing a playlist or two through the iBamboo. Keep making Anatoliy.
UPDATE: There’s one major flaw with the iBamboo iPhone Speaker. If you look at the bottom of your iPhone, you’ll find what look like two speakers. Unfortunately, only one is a speaker, the other is a microphone. The iBamboo Speaker works pretty well, but the little bit of bamboo the iPhone sits on gets in the way of the acoustics. If sound actually came out of both sides of the bottom of the iPhone, the iBamboo would really rock it. Hard to go wrong for $25+ shipping, but still, I was a little disappointed with this design flaw – I really wanted sound to come out of both sides of the iBamboo Speaker at the same intensity.
AirPlay enabled audio accessories were big at CES this year. Both Griffin and Altec Lansing announced new products.
Griffin’s Twenty digital audio amplifier makes it possible to play digital audio from iTunes, or any other AirPlay enabled app (e.g. Pandora), to an existing set of non-AirPlay enabled speakers wirelessly using an Airport Express wireless base station paired with Apple’s AirPlay wireless technology.
The Twenty is equipped with a power connect and mount for an Apple AirPort Express. The result is a zero-configuration audio set-up that features a 2.1 channel sound system with 20 watts of output per channel. The Twenty is a great way to wirelessly push audio to those old classic speakers you just don’t want to part with.
Altec Lansing’s new inAir 5000 is an AirPlay enabled speaker that has 110 watts of power, two 1-inch soft-dome neodymium tweeters, two 3-inch Kevlar drivers, one 4-inch subwoofer, and one passive bass radiator. It’s a high-quality speaker. The inAir 5000 combined with Apple’s AirPlay, makes it easy to stream music from your computer, iPhone, or iPad to any room in the house without wires. Most iDevice owner are going to appreciate the stylish teardrop design.
The inAir 5000’s release date hasn’t been released yet, but it should be released before summer 2012. Pricing hasn’t been released yet either.
More was announced, but the Twenty and the inAir 5000 definitely desserve to be highlighted. Looking forward to seeing how both are received in 2012.