World first FM transmitter for iPhone ships

 Griffin Technology has introduced the world’s first FM transmitter for the iPhone, a variant of its iTrip device.

That’s sure to be a popular gadget, and also suggests more such peripherals will emerge for the device in future, as iPhone generates its own surrounding ecosystem of third-party add-ons, just like iPod.

iTrip AutoPilot plugs directly into the 12V power port in your car while connecting to your iPhone or iPod through the dock connector. Built-in software scans the FM frequencies to find the best one to play music through, and the system supports RDS, meaning you can see what track’s playing on your car radio display.

The device costs £59.99 in the UK, $99.99 in the US.

SynchStep: Walk to your own beat

 We like this idea. Yet another slice of curious software for a jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch, SynchStep analyses the pace at which you walk or run in order to choose songs from your music collection which match your pace.

What this means is every step you take is marked by a beat – a drum slap, bass pluck, riff or chord. The developers built the software to help music fans who have grown tired of making the same musical choices, as the software will select the song in your library that most matches your gait.

SynchStep will select and play a song once it has analysed your pace, which takes a few seconds.

“Unlike other music players, SynchStep connects the music in your head to the music in your body. You don’t have a lot of control over what comes on; it’s liberating,” the developer said.

SynchStep was originally available as a hand-made, custom built MP3-player sporting a display-less experimental interface. The device only used an on-off switch and it was given to people age 10 to 65 to play with. Manufacturing the device cost too much, so the developer simply ported the solution to the iPhone and iTouch.

The software’s available for free, along with full instructions on how to jailbreak your iPhone or iPod touch in order to install SynchStep.


iPhone June 9 launch confirmed?

 Apple will introduce the iPhone at WWDC on June 9, the latest report claims.

Meanwhile, Apple’s set to work with Korea Telecom and NTT DoCoMo to launch the device in Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia and China; and Apple’s existing iPhone partners in the UK, France and Germany seem set to keep their exclusive status, even while the company makes deals with multiple carriers in other territories.

June 9 launch

Straight to the big deal, though, with Gizmodo this morning citing the usual shadowy “sources” to definitively claim the next generation 3G iPhone will be announced during the WWDC keynote – and will be available worldwide directly after launch, staggered across June/July (we suspect).

“In Spain, for example, the 3G iPhone will be available for sale at the June 18 grand opening of Telefonica’s megastore in Madrid,” the report explains.

Even better, “the 3G iPhone will no longer be available at a fixed price point—at least in some countries,” the Gizmodo gasps.


Apple and Asia

CNN Money reveals the Telecoms Korea news service claimed late last week that Apple plans a special joint release of the next-generation device with two carriers whose names are synonymous with 3G: Japan’s NTT DoCoMo and Korea Telecom Freetel. That covers Japan and Korea, with the latter firm also offering mobile phone services in China,  though not necessarily the iPhone.


T-Mobile keeps Germany

Finally, T-Mobile Chief Executive Hamid Akhavan said today that the carrier will stay the only one in Germany to offer the next-generation 3G iPhone according to Reuters. "If and when there is a 3G iPhone we expect to have it exclusively in Germany as well," he said.



Apple keynote bloopers

 It’s a fairly slow day today, so while you wait we thought we’d offer another re-run, here it is, the ever-popular ‘Apple Keynote Bloopers!!”

Laugh as Apple CEO Steve Jobs throws his non-functioning digital camera at a hapless Apple employee, share the pain as Phil Schiller waits and waits and waits for a game demo to start…

Anyway, you get the drift, enjoy. 


Telefonica MoviStar grabs Spain for iPhone

 The iPhone is coming to Spain under exclusive arrangement with Telefonica Movistar, the network confirmed privately this month.

Apple has been widely-expected to ink a distribution deal with a Spanish mobile phone network to bring the iPhone to the country, and it appears Movistar has won the toss.

The company’s José Santos Esteras confirmed the news speaking at the Professional Communications Congress, PROCOM, earlier this month. He revealed the network to have secured an exclusive distribution deal for the iPhone in Spain, though competing firms this is only a limited contract, offering exclusivity for just a few months.

We’ve been predicting this network would snag the distribution contract for a few months now, but it’s nice to confirm it.

Thanks to the SevenClick blog for the info.


So, who's-who in iPhone distro deals so far?

There’s been a flurry of iPhone distribution announcements from a variety of mobile phone networks in recent weeks. We were beginning to lose track of which nations have been declared with some kind of iPhone presence, so we thought it may be of some use to provide a list of announcements made so far:

  • Argentina, Claro
  • Australia, Optus & Vodafone
  • Austria, One & T-Mobile
  • Belgium, Mobistar
  • Brazil, Claro
  • Canada, Rogers
  • Chile, Claro…
  • Colombia, Comcel
  • Czech Republic, Vodafone
  • Dominican Republic, Claro & Orange
  • Ecuador, Porta
  • Egypt, Mobinil & Vodafone
  • El Salvador, Claro
  • France, Orange
  • Germany, T-Mobile
  • Greece, Vodafone
  • Guatemala, Claro
  • Honduras, Claro
  • India, Bharti Airtel & Vodafone
  • Ireland, O2
  • Italy, Telecom Italia & Vodafone
  • Jamaica, Claro & MiPhone
  • Jordan, Orange
  • Mexico, Telcel
  • New Zealand, Vodafone
  • Nicaragua, Claro
  • Paraguay, Claro
  • Peru, Claro
  • Philippines, Globe Telecom
  • Poland, Orange
  • Portugal, Optimus & Vodafone
  • Puerto Rico, Claro
  • Romania, Orange
  • Singapore, SingTel Mobile
  • Slovakia, Orange
  • South Africa, Vodacom
  • Switzerland, Orange, Swisscom
  • Turkey, Vodafone
  • UK, O2
  • Uruguay, Claro
  • USA, AT&T


Spain, Telfonica Movistar



TeliaSonera AB: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia

As you can see, there’s still some major holes in coverage, principally in Russia, Japan and China. We can’t believe Apple will waste too much time entering these countries.


Holland and the Netherlands, Royal KPN NV.


Hong Kong, Macau, Hutchison Telecommunications International.


Have we missed any? Let us know in the comments below:


Soulseek for iPhones

 Here’s an interesting one for all you jailbroken iPhone users out there: the developers behind Soulseek have introduced iSisk, a file-sharing client for jailbroken iPhones.

Now, as we all know, Soulseek was developed by former Napster programmer, Nir Arbel. And while it isn’t as widely-used as other file-sharing applications, meaning its kind of a place where people go to steal music from independent labels and artists (you know, the people who don’t have the kind of legal funds of the RIAA, the indies who were prepared to reach a deal with Napster 1).

Returning to iSisk, application developer Errrick created the software because he “saw the capabilities this little gadget had and then thought, ‘why didn’t someone already do something like this?” At least, that’s what he told TorrentFreak.

iSlsk lets iPhone users search for and download files directly on their phone. The software also imports downloaded files to the iPod music database so that they can be played with native iPhone controls.

Now, given that WiFi hotspots are available worldwide, will major labels begin serving cease and desist orders against providers such as McDonalds when people choose to use their public network for sharing files? 

Oh – here’s a video of it in action:


Orange confirms iPhone in 12 countries

France Telecom’s Orange mobile phone unit today announced a deal with Apple to bring the iPhone to a dozen additional countries.

The network will offer Apple’s device in Austria, Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Jordan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland and Orange’s African markets later this year.

Once again, this news quadruple confirms Apple to be moving away from its original strategy of offering iPhone through exclusive launch partners, as Swisscom this week also confirmed plans to offer iPhone in Switzerland. Vodafone will also offer iPhone in Portugal and Egypt.


720×480 iPhone/iPod Touch Tablets coming

Intel Germany World’s managing director Hannes Schwaderer just revealed what a lot of people have been predicting.  A larger iPod Touch and iPhone is on the way and powered by the intel Atom Processors.  According to ZDNet Germany, Schwaderer said the devices will sport a Nokia N810-like 720×480 resolution.  If all of the other rumors are true, this will be one nice little media playing device.

Will we see this device at WWDC?  We hope so!


Update: Intel is backpedalling like crazy from the German’s remarks which means that Apple is (rightfully) furious or the head of Intel Germany doesn’t know what products their processors are going into.

Swisscom confirms iPhone launch plan

Swisscom has officially confirmed it plans to introduce the iPhone in Switzerland.

There’s been a deal of speculation claiming the network will offer the Apple device in the country, and this has now been confirmed with Swisscom’s publication of an iPhone page on its website.

The page is lean of further information, of course, simply asking Swiss customers to drop an email into the firm in order to register their interest in the device.

The official confirmation follows a string of rumours this week which claimed the company would make such a move. A report from Swiss newspaper Le Matin claimed company sources who said the product would be made available from Swisscom, describing the device as offering 3G support, GPS and video-conferencing. This followed an unsubstantiated rumour to the effect that the bext-generation iPhone would be available in three colours with a maximum capacity of 32GB. 


Mobile TV, GPS, video-conferencing for iPhone?

Yet more rumour and speculation from Switzerland this time claims iPhone users could soon enjoy live television shows and TV screenings of sporting events on their device, at least, that’s what leading Swiss newspaper Le Matin says.

Citing “a source at Swisscom’, this report claims Swisscom will offer the new 3G iPhone. Somewhat circumstantially, it also claims the network to be a long-standing partner of Vodafone, which itself announced ten-country iPhone launch plans last week.

Introduction of 3G support may open the door to a wave of additional high bandwidth features for iPhone users, such as video conferencing, GPS and – new to us – support for live TV, Le Matin notes. (Speculation or sources, we’ll know for sure in June).  Also, they mention that the processor will be faster this time around.

“Who could indeed resist a football match live on its 3G,” the report ends. Google Translate version is here.

(We apologise to Swiss readers for the cuckoo image – sort of)