iTV Controller Concept is an iPhone Sans Screen

The updated Apple TV is (allegedly) going to be released in a few days, ready to once again revolutionize your life. If the rumors are true, Apple’s latest contender to the set-top-box market will support applications and games from the App Store. That sounds wonderful, but what good is an entertainment system without a controller? The original Apple TV uses the same minimalistic Apple Remote that is packaged with iMacs, but I can’t imagine playing Plants vs. Zombies with that.

In comes this beauty: A concept controller that has the familiar form factor of an iPhone, but without all the expensive goodies. Essentially, it is a mini multitouch trackpad with an accelerometer and gyroscope. Apple’s current option is far too large to be couch-friendly, and doesn’t have all the gizmos required to make many games playable. (Plus, at $70, it almost costs as much as the iTV itself .)

An App Store-compatible iTV couldn’t possibly use the existing Apple Remote or Multitouch Trackpad (or force users to buy an iPod Touch), so Apple must have something completely new up their sleeves. But what will it be?

[Venomous Porridge]

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Apple Ramps iPad Production Up to 11

It looks as though Apple is finally getting the components they need to meet the iPad’s incredible demand, as the wait time for ordering a new iPad online has been reduced from “3 to 5 days” to just 24 hours.

LG, the primary manufacturer of iPad displays, previously stated the following:

“We are considering increasing production lines for iPad products but overall supply is likely to remain tight until early next year.”

It’s unknown whether Apple has found a new supplier, or if LG has sped up production, but it’s good news all around. (Especially for international customers, who faced even tighter supplies.)

[Apple Insider]

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Streaming Showdown: Hulu, Hulu Plus, and Netflix

Streaming media has gotten massive over the past year, and will only continue to get bigger. If you’re having trouble deciding which service to go with for streaming movies and TV on your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, here is a handy chart that shows what each has to offer. Apple’s entry to the streaming media fray is supposedly going to be announced on September 1st, so I would wait until then to make any final choices.

Keep in mind, to get Hulu on your iDevice, you have to subscribe to Hulu Plus, which is $9.99 per month. Netflix is $8.99 for unlimited streaming (plus one physical DVD at a time) or $4.99 for 2 hours of streaming (plus two DVDs per month total).

Read more to see these three options compared side-by-side.

[Autistic Disdain]

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Apple Patents Unified Mic/Headphone Jack

A recent patent filing from Apple shows that they plan to merge the headphone jack and hole for the microphone into one, unified jack. This would further reduce any unnecessary openings in the phone’s housing, and make the design even more minimalistic. Don’t worry though, this patent does not say anything about a proprietary headphone connector, so you can continue to use your standard 3.5mm headphones.

This design would reduce the number of openings dust could potentially get into, and be more aesthetically pleasing. It’s possible that they will also introduce this design into the iPad or MacBook.

[Patently Apple]

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RTR: Recent Theme Releases

This compilation was created by jmwerkus. It includes awesome themes created by our own members, for use on iOS 3.x.x. (With the exception of Flat iOS4, which is compatible with Apple’s latest OS.) Take a look, they are all extremely impressive.

Some of you may remember “Recent Theme Releases” by Manic Nimrod, but as there has not been an update in a while I thought I would continue it.

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iOS Gets Chrome to Phone

The awesome Chrome to Phone Android app has made its way to iOS with an unofficial port, appropriately called Chrome to iPhone, created by our own Tom Lerendu. The application allows you to send any link currently opened in Google Chrome straight to your iDevice, eliminating the need to email yourself links or type them in manually.

Send any link to any iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad

  • Setup on multiple installs of Chrome
  • Setup with multiple iOS devices
  • Youtube URL’s open directly in the Youtube app
  • Google Map URL’s open directly in the Maps app

The only caveat: The application needs to be opened (before or after you send the link, it doesn’t matter) for the link to be found, due to limitations in iOS. This is only a minor setback to an overall awesome app, and I recommend all Chrome fans to take a look, it’s a huge timesaver.

Thanks Tommm!

[Chrome to iPhone]

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New Cases Reveal Updated Shuffle/Nano?

Rumors of the iPod Touch 4G and iTV have stolen the spotlight lately, so talk of the iPod Nano and Shuffle has been pretty quiet. But if these case designs are accurate, then maybe one of these all-but-forgotten models will be given an… underwhelming update.

The case is quite small and quite square, with no room for both an LCD and physical buttons, so it fits the Shuffle profile perfectly. There’s also that mysterious rectangular opening, which is too small for either a camera or clip.

If this case is in fact for a next generation iPod Shuffle, I wouldn’t expect much. Although, it does look suspiciously close in size to this mini touchscreen that was leaked last month, so maybe it will be something interesting.

Stay tuned.

[Engadget]

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Netflix Streaming Comes to the iPhone and iPod Touch

The Netflix iOS application has been updated to version 1.1.0, adding support for movie and TV streaming to the iPhone and iPod Touch. It works over WiFi or 3G, so you can watch your Instant Queue wherever you are.

The cheapest Netflix plan is just $8.99 a month, which allows you to rent one DVD at a time, and stream as many movies as you want. The Instant Queue doesn’t have the best selection available, but new titles are being added constantly. It’s going to be tough to choose between Hulu Plus, Netflix, and the rumored Apple rentals, so we’ll have to see how each service evolves in the next few months. Just a reminder, you can try Netflix free for one month if you want to test out the system.

Update: There is also a $4.99 Netflix Limited plan that offers 2 DVDs and 2 hours of streaming per month, not bad for lightweight moviegoers. Thanks Jawcl!

[iTunes]

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Aggressive Android device pricing a threat to iDevices?

Looks like the hawkers of Android wares, Amazon among them, are starting to compete aggressively on price. Amazon is selling the Samsung Captivate for $0.01 with a 2 year contract. A penny buys you a phone with some pretty beefy hardware, including 1GHz processor, 4 inch screen, and 5 megapixel camera that make it very competitive with the iPhone 4. Many previous-generation handsets, like the Motorola Droid on Verizon, are also free with 2 year contract.  Will Apple continue innovating in software experience and user interfaces fast enough to combat this threat, or will being 1/10000 of the price of the cheapest iPhone be enough to win over customers?

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Apps of the Week 7 – Casual Gaming

It’s that time again, Appman and ChrisL are back with Week 7 of the popular application review series “Apps of the Week”. This week they cover four awesome casual games: Doodle Jump, Ninjump, Top Dog, and Fastar!. Make sure to check it out, and support all their hard work!

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