It’s hard to say why we’ve seen a glut of these adapters hit all within the same week, but hey, the more the merrier! North Carolina’s own New Potato Technologies (yes, we’re serious) has followed up on ThinkFlood and Power A’s efforts by introducing an Infrared iPhone / iPod touch dongle of its own. The difference? This one connects to the dock connector, and when used with the accompanying app, it can control lights, stereo systems, home cinemas and pretty much anything that allows dictation via IR. The best part just might be said app, as it allows users to search a database of over 14,000 device codes and just add the products they already own, which means that you’ll probably only be stuck programming that LaserDisc player you refuse to give up. It’ll start shipping today from the company’s own website for $79.99, or you can consult the middleman (read: Best Buy) on starting on March 28th.
ThinkFlood released the Redeye in December of last year, which is a little unit that hooks up to your iPhone and, working with a separate app, turns Apple’s handheld into universal IR remote. Our own Brett Terpstra liked the device, but said the unit was a little costly and could probably use a few tweaks. ThinkFlood has apparently made those tweaks, however, as they’ve now announced the Redeye mini, a smaller (and cheaper) form of the IR device. This one doesn’t use the dock connector at all — it’s a tiny little unit that just plugs into your headphone port, and then can control any IR remote device with a free app.
The price is only US$49, much cheaper than the earlier device ($188). If you’ve been looking for a cheap and easy-to-use IR hookup for your iPhone, the Redeye mini might be just what you’re waiting for. The press release does mention that the device requires you to run OS 3.2 on your iPhone, but given that the only date listed for sales so far is “Spring,” ThinkFlood likely won’t release until the new version is out anyway. But it’ll be something to keep an eye on for sure.
If you are one of them and would like to double up your iDevice as a flash drive, iPhone Explorer is for you.
This is a nifty piece of software for Windows and Mac users that offers an easy way to manage files on the iPhone. The iPhone Explorer application
is free to download and offers the following functionalities
* Drag and drop interface: Copy files from and to your iPhone using the simple click and drag interface
* Folder Management: Create, Edit or Delete files and folders on your iPhone
* Flash Drive: Use free space on your iPhone or iPod touch to carry documents like in a flash drive
* File Preview: This option is enabled by default to make file transfering easy
iPhone Explorer to manage files on iPhone easily
The best thing about iPhone Explorer is that it works even on non-jailbroken iPhones. However, if you do own a jailbroken device, iPhone Explorer will be extra useful and lets you access the address book, SMS, emails, etc. from the system root.
The application works on all versions of iPhone and iPod Touch. If you are eager to check this out, click here to download the application for free. As always, don’t forget to provide us with your feedback.
[via Life Hacker]
You can now stream live TV on your iPhone using AT&T’s 3G network. Apple has finally approved the new version of the SlingPlayer Mobile app that is enabled with 3G streaming. This comes two weeks after AT&T issued a statement stating that the company was satisfied with the 3G optimized version of Sling Media’s application and hence had no problem in letting them use their network.
Back then, AT&T had written:
“Since mid-December 2009, AT&T has been testing the app and has recently notified Sling Media — as well as Apple — that the optimized app can run on its 3G network”
This has been a long fought battle for Sling Media. You might recall that Apple refused to let the earlier version of the SlingPlayer Mobile app operate over AT&T’s 3G network after the carrier claimed that the app would “create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network”. This was contested by Sling Media in a complaint filed with the FCC where the company accused AT&T of discriminatory practices. Sling Media argued that AT&T’s position was inconsistent since other streaming apps like MLB’s were approved. AT&T’s decision to relent is thus seen as a result of Sling Media’s complaint.
The new SlingPlayer Mobile (version 1.2 )for iPhone and iPod touch is available on the App Store for $29.99. Existing customers can upgrade to the new 3G version for free. Mel Martin from TUAW writes that the iPhone app works well on 3G with “acceptable” picture quality and “good sync” between audio and video though there appears to be a marginal delay during channel changes.
Square UP was showing their new credit card processing solution for the iPhone. They are planning on offering a no-hassle way for individuals to start accepting credit card payments. Simply buy their $1 app from the App Store, sign up for service, and they will send you a small hardware dongle that will swipe credit cards (shown right). No individual merchant account is required as Square UP handles all the processing and payments and takes a 2.9% cut of all sales
The Square service is currently in beta testing and should arrive later this year.
There have been some other utilities that turn your iPhone/iPod touch into a flash drive, but this one is free and very easy to use. It’s called iPhone Explorer. You install the app on your Mac, or your PC (there’s an app for each platform) and you’re ready to go. You’ll see your iPhone appear when it’s plugged into your computer. You can view the folder structure, and drag and drop items to or from the iPhone to your desktop or back the other way.
You can create, delete and rename folders on your iPhone. If your iPhone is jailbroken, you can access the real root and then recover things like your address book, emails and SMS messages.
if you want to do this over a wireless network there is Discover and Air Sharing. Discover is free, Air Share is U.S. $2.99.
I’m not really sure why Apple didn’t allow this functionality to begin with, but that’s Apple just being Apple. I tried iPhone Explorer on my desktop Mac and it connected to my iPhone 3GS in a split second and I was good to go. Don’t expect to be able to interact with your iPhone with this app in any complex way. It’s really just giving you flash drive capability, and if that’s what you want, this is a good place to get it.
I’m still skeptical about laser projectors — while the technology is impressive, the practicality is still a little limited. And unfortunately, Microvision’s demo of their SHOWWX projector here at Macworld 2010didn’t do much to change my mind. It’s a nice little device — it’s almost exactly the size of the iPhone, and the rep told me that most of the unit is actually the battery — and there are some good applications for it. But for the consumer market that Microvision really wants, the $500 unit (that will go on sale in March) is still a little too small in terms of scale and usability.
Just using the device, which will project clear images and video from an iPhone or iPod on a wall about three to four feet away (more or less depending on ambient light), you can tell that the idea of a microprojector is almost at the level where it could be really successful. As the rep said to us, the iPhone is a 1:1 device, and while many of us do use it to show pictures and video to each other, it’s really only meant to show one person at a time. But the projector goes to a “1 to few” relationship instead, and that’s a prospect that will be appealing to anyone who wants to show off business presentations, video, or pictures of family members to anyone else.
There are a lot of other good things about the projector as well: since it’s a laser projector (the specific technology is called “pico p,” and Microvision is looking to sell not just these retail units, but the tech itself to anyone willing to pay), there’s no focal requirements — you can basically point it at any surface shape, and it’ll project in a visible way. It’s a piece of cake to use — just plug it into the iPhone and go.
There are enough issues that the unit isn’t perfect yet, and not all of them are Microvision’s fault. For one thing, that battery — it only lasts two hours (enough to watch a movie, but not much else), and it basically doubles the size of the iPhone. For another, the capability — Apple hasn’t yet enabled developers to project screenshots or actual app screens from the connector port, so while this might be a great device for showing off apps to friends and business groups, no dice. And the price is still a bit high — at $500, business users may be interested, but not many regular people will pay more than they paid for their iPod touch just to project pictures from it.
Personally, I think we will see projectors more and more — eventually, they’ll be included in a successful device (maybe even an Apple device), and consumers will enjoy projecting their favorite content on makeshift larger screens. But the technology just needs to get a little smaller, less power intensive, and a little cheaper. Microvision’s projector will be available in the US in March, and you might even see the sales guy bring one around the next time he arrives at your company for a pitch.
[ Via tuaw.com]
Mac peripheral maker ZoomMediaPlus will be launching an interesting iPhone accessory at MacWorld today.
ZoomIt is an SD card reader that users can connect to their iPhone to access external photos, videos, music and other documents.
ZoomIt SD card adapter is an application-driven hardware, which will require users to download a free iPhone app called zoomIt from the App Store. The adapter connects to your iPhone via the dock connector and thanks to the application, enables you to watch photos, play music and access a wide variety of files including .PPT, .XLS, .PDF and .DOC files.
The iPhone app comes with its own interface for viewing photos both from the iPhone camera as well as those from the SD card. However, in case of videos and music, only unprotected files shall be playable from the SD card. ZoomMediaPlus CEO Chris Fisher has indicated that support for protected content shall be made available in the future. ZoomIt is also likely to support the iPad though Fisher refused to officially confirm the same.
This is probably the first accessory that will make it possible for iPhone users to access foreign files from their handset without a need for syncing. The ZoomIt SD card adapter is now available for preordering from the company’s website for $59.95 and is expected to start shipping from April. Chris Fisher has noted that the first 250 preorders will receive a 4GB SDHC card. Additionally, all preorders from the website will receive a discount of $10.
Users interested in preordering a unit may do so from the ZoomMediaPlus website by clicking here.
[via Venture Beat]