This could be one of the first Apple authorized iPhone gaming controllers

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We already know that Apple has added support for game controllers in iOS7, but it appears that these plans are further along than first thought.  According to Kotaku, the above image shows an early  iOS gaming controller prototype made specifically for the iPhone 5 by gaming giant Logitech. While they weren’t forthcoming with details of where the device was seen or who showed it to them, Kotaku is standing firm that they believe this photo to be absolutely authentic.  The decision to support integrated gaming accessories is in stark contrast to Steve Jobs’ stance that such products would ruin the “elegance” of Apple devices (even though he got his start at Atari).

A reader reached out with this image from one of Apple’s WWDC sessions, which appears to show the same Logitech controller.

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Bluetooth gaming devices have existed for iOS devices for quite some time but most have had limited compatibility and fragmented compatibility.  An integrated, Apple authorized (MFi) gaming controller is going to be a welcomed addition for the iOS gaming community.

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 8.13.24 AM3rd party gaming accessories like the iCade Mobile (Above) have existed for years

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Comcast isn’t waiting around for new Apple TV, shows off next-gen ‘X2′ TV platform & iOS apps

We didn’t get any updates to Apple TV at WWDC this week like some were hoping for, but yesterday Comcast–one of the cable companies that has been rumored to be in discussions with Apple over a new and improved Apple TV service– unveiled its next-generation cable box arriving this fall. On top of a brand new UI and platform dubbed “X2″, the company also gave us a look at its revamped iOS apps & a new controller with voice control features that will let you search by actor, show type, series, etc.

Comcast-X2-02While showing off a new slick UI with recommendations and brand new, customizable guide views, the company also showed off integration with apps such as Pandora, Rotten Tomatoes, and zeebox for ratings. Within the new apps section (shown at 16:40), we see integration with Facebook, Pandora, Instagram, Xfinity Home apps, and much more.

An interesting aspect of the presentation, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts noted that the company sees the new open platform as being an open architecture that would allow for a “family of boxes” and a family of personalized remotes. We’re not sure if that means the company has plans to integrate third-party hardware with its platform, like an Apple TV for example, but it’s clear Comcast has no plans on completely getting rid of its own cable box anytime soon. It also doesn’t look like Comcast is waiting around for Apple to revamp its TV service with apps and voice control, and we also got a quick look at the new X2 experience running on an iPad and iPhone (pictured right). Read more

9to5Toys Last Call: $59 Logitech UE Mini Boombox Bluetooth speaker, $15 Apple Leather Smart Cover (open-box), Father’s Day Gifts, more

From 9to5Toys.com:

A large majority of the deals we cover each day come from a variety of ‘Daily Deal’ websites or are so popular that they don’t even last 24 hours.  We know you can’t be at your computer every second, so we’re going to roundup the best deals each day to make sure you have a fair shot at the deals you want. Be sure to follow 9to5Toys.com so you never miss a deal... TwitterRSS FeedFacebook

Today’s Featured deals:

91bci4gzz7l-_sl1500_Logitech UE Mini Boombox Bluetooth speaker, ‘the best portable speaker you can buy’: $59 shipped

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Apple iPad Leather Smart Cover (open box) $15 Shipped (Reg. $69 new)

3-in-1 Universal USB Charging Cable -This universal USB cable is the last charging cable you’ll ever need. It can charge up to 3 devices simultaneously, and is compatible with iPhone 5/4S/4/3GS/3G/3, iPad, iPod, Android, HTC, Samsung and other devices. It’s optimized to avoid tangling, and for $7 + Free Shipping (a big discount from $59) it is the same price as Apple’s single Lightning cable. We reviewed the Cable here for more information.

Other great deals we love:

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Apple’s App Store reaches 50 billion downloads

50 Billion

In just over a year since its 25 billion milestone, Apple’s App Store has just crossed the threshold of 50 billion downloads. As a reminder, the App Store launched just shy of five years ago, on July 10, 2008. The App Store has celebrated three major milestones since its launch, the first for the 10 billionth download in January of 2011, followed by 25 billion just a little over a year later.

In a press release this January, Apple noted that over 40 billion apps had been downloaded, meaning that one-fifth of all downloads from the App Store have already come in 2013. It remains quite remarkable that five years after launch, the App Store is still seeing such accelerated growth.

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Get Mac Blu-ray Player, Snapz Pro, Disk Tools, CrossOver, Paperless OCR, Gemini de-duper, more: $9

From 9to5Toys.com:

We covered this earlier this week when it was under $7 but it bears repeating as the price is still under $10.

Usually, these ‘name your own price’ bundles are full of duds but this one is pretty impressive. You get Mac Blu-ray Player, Snapz Pro, Disk Tools, CrossOver, Paperless OCR, Gemini de-duper, MusicTube and more. There is a catch though. It isn’t really “name your own price”, it is pay a bit more than the last folks did. The good news is that it is currently under $9.17. The bad news is that the more people that buy, the higher the price goes, so get in quick. Read more

Review: CamFind for iPhone lets you search for anything with your camera

CamFind for iPhone

Back in late 2010, Google brought Google Goggles (not to be confused with Google Glass) to the Google Search app for iPhone. At the time, it seemed like a great feature. You could take a photo of anything with your iPhone, and Google would instantly identify the object in the frame, returning relevant data about the photo.

That was 2010. You’d probably think that in the years following, Google would’ve continually updated Goggles, making the recognition more accurate and expanding its features. Well, you’d be wrong. In fact, Goggles functions entirely the same as it did in 2010, another fine example of Google’s continued dedication to their products.

Image Searcher, the developers behind a new app called CamFind, have seemingly stepped in where Google failed, creating a image-based search service that they claim is “four times more accurate than Google Goggles.” Let’s take a look at how it really performed.

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Yahoo plans to launch iPad email app, new iOS weather app tomorrow (Update: Live)

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Update: Yahoo! Weather is now available in the App Store. Yahoo! Mail for iPad is also available in the App Store.

Yahoo plans to release an in-house weather app for iOS and an iPad version of its Yahoo Mail app as soon as tomorrow, according to a person familiar with the apps.

The iPad version of Yahoo Mail is optimized for the iPad’s larger screen, and it is already available for the iPhone and iPod touch. Late last year, Yahoo released a redesigned version of its iPhone application that focused on speed and intuitiveness.

Yahoo’s new weather app is notable as the company already is in a partnership with Apple to provide the data for the Weather app pre-installed on all iPhone and iPod touch models…

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The search for the top App.net client

Welcome to 9to5Mac’s Smackdown series, where we compare the top hardware and software accessories for your Apple products.

App.net (or “ADN,” as many users have come to call it) was launched last year as an alternative to other microblogging platforms that had become more hostile to developers in recent months. The idea wasn’t so much about ripping off Twitter as it was about giving developers a friendly place to build cool apps and services. Rather than being funded by venture capitalists or advertisments, ADN was funded solely by the people using the platform. Users and app developers paid a yearly fee to get into the network or build on its API.

In the time since it was opened to the public, ADN has lowered their annual fee, introduced feature-limited, invitation-only free accounts, a cloud storage service, and more. Thanks to the developer-friendly atmosphere, many amazing iPhone clients have been released. In today’s smackdown, we’re going to put three of the most popular, fully-featured apps head-to-head to determine which one is the best.

If you want to give these apps a try, you’ll need either a free or paid ADN account. The free accounts are only available by invitation, but lucky for you we happen to have 400 invitations to hand out. Want to claim one? Just click this link and sign up. Once you get there, be sure to follow us.

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Apple nears ‘iRadio’ streaming deal with Warner and Universal in a dozen markets, royalties on par with Pandora rates

We’ve heard no end of rumors of a streaming Radio player from Apple.  We even found pay radio buttons in the iPad’s music player app code earlier this year:

The Apple radio service, once rumored for late 2012 to Q1/2013, has now been pushed back to mid-late 2013 because of difficulty signing the labels. Today the Verge says that Warner is all but signed up at rates comparable to what Pandora pays the labels  – which is to say a lot. Earlier reports put Apple’s asking price much lower.

Apple is expected to sign its first interner radio licensing agreement with a major record label perhaps as soon as next week, multiple sources with knowledge of the talks have told The Verge…Apple initially offered to pay 6 cents per 100 songs streamed, or about half of what Pandora pays. Now, Apple will pay rates nearly “neck and neck” with Pandora, one of the sources said.

Update: CNET reports that Universal is also close to signing and that Apple is hoping to go into a dozen territories by summer:

The press has dubbed the service iRadio, in negotiations with the labels Apple is referring to it as its “new streaming service,” says a source…Apple is building some unique features, such as the ability to jump back to the beginning of a song…Apple is hoping to quickly unveil the service in up to a dozen territories, according to sources, including the U.K, France, Germany, Australia, and Japan.

We’re hoping that Apple has an announcement to make at WWDC, if not earlier.

Apple Stores pushing new table-based sales strategy, minor emphasis on third-party product support

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Apple is slowly rolling out a new customer service initiative across its retail stores called ‘table selling.’ With the new strategy, Apple Store employees are assigned a product table where they are responsible for working with groups of customers with different needs, albeit the same device, according to people familiar with the strategy. Previously, customers were individually helped on a first-come, first-serve basis and organized by an “iQueue” system that often resulted in lengthy wait times and customers walking out.

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