Review: Belkin Thunderstorm iPad case brings home theater quality sound to the iPad

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With its Retina display, unmatched ecosystem of HD video content, and AirPlay streaming capabilities, the iPad is undeniably one of the best experiences for watching video on a mobile device. The one glaring omission from Apple’s recipe for the perfect mobile video experience, however, is the absence of quality, front-facing speakers. The result is a sound experience that doesn’t quite live up to HD content on the iPad’s best in class Retina display. With several newer devices (see: Galaxy Tab 2, HTC One) adding front-facing, stereo speakers, audio performance is clearly one area Apple is falling behind, and its competitors have certainly taken note.

At CES we first got a look at Belkin’s solution to the problem: A $199 iPad case with integrated front-facing ported speakers that aims to offer a home theatre-like experience right in your hands. Belkin is about to release a new Lightning version of the ‘Belkin Thunderstorm Handheld Home Theater’, so we thought the time was right to give you the full run down on how the product performs… Read more

ION Audio unveils three new iCade products at CES; iPhone and iPod Touch now supported in handheld options

The iCade is an attachable accessory for the Apple iPad that functions as a portable arcade cabinet, but now the device’s manufacturer unveiled three new products under the popular line that toggle the iPhone and iPod Touch.

ION Audio showcased the products at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The manufacturer recreated the original arcade setup by ditching the cabinet exterior in favor of landscape support.

The first product is the iCade Mobile for iPhone 4/4S or iPod Touch. According to Engadget, it is a handheld with gaming buttons and a D-pad, which subsequently adds 1.5-inches onto each side of the iOS mobile device. The iCade Mobile also allows users to switch between portrait and landscape mode. ION said it expects about 100 games to be compatible with the product, and the retail price is currently set at $79.99 USD.

Pictures for each new iCade product are displayed after the break.

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iPhone 5s or fakes confiscated at German airport

Our German is more than a little rusty (and so is Google’s) but it appears that five devices that are suspected of being either iPhone 5s or knockoffs were confiscated at the Munster-Osnabruck airport on July 21st.

It still isn’t certain if they were real or fake but it is newsworthy that Germans are confiscating iPhones, real or fake, at the Airports since there are so many fake iPhones coming out of China, India and Sears these days. Maybe they were just Samsung Galaxies?

The men in possession of the devices were coming from Turkey.

It appears that the customs officials are working with Apple to determine the origin of the devices.

Benm.at has the story

Here’s another version of the story.

Update: Reader Till translated the important bits, below:

All the fanboys are currently waiting for the iPhone 5, which is expected to launch in fall. But there is – as always – a lot of mystery about it. So it’s even more spectacular that there might was an iPhone 5 between six Apple smartphones that were confiscated at the airport of Münster-Osnabrück. “It’s possible that one of the devices in an iPhone 5″, the customs spokeswoman confirms.All of it happened on July 21st, when two men that came back from Turkey were controlled. As benm.at claims, this was done because there was a knife in a bag seen thanks to the radiograph.

The customs officers weren’t sure if the smartphones were a rip-off, but a comparison with the so-called “E-Agent” made it seem possible. Of course, the appearance of an iPhone 5 was more spectacular. “We can neither confirm nor deny if it is a real device and consequently industry spying”.

Apple was informed about the found. “We are waiting for a response of the manufacturer that tells us what to do.” Photos of the found won’t be published until then. “It could be industry spying, so you have to handle such picture with special sensibility”, said the spokeswoman.

Investors urge Nintendo to develop games for iPhone and iPad

Will Nintendo begin to produce titles for iOS devices? It’s a possibility if they take the advice of Tokyo-based Stats Investment Management Co, “Nintendo should try to either buy its way into this platform (smartphones) or develop something totally new.”

Bloomberg reports:

 “The rift highlights the dilemma President Satoru Iwata faces as consumers shun Nintendo devices to play games on iPhones, iPads and Facebook Inc.’s website. The flop of the 3DS debut prompted the company to cut prices 40 percent in Japan and 32 percent in the U.S., the first time the games developer has resorted to such a move within six months of a product’s debut.”

Historically Nintendo has made their stance clear on developing for platforms other than their own. President Satoru Iwata even went as far as saying the company would never develop for other platforms as long as he’s in charge. While their new 3DS handheld hasn’t received a great reception, investments Nintendo has made recently in the 3DS (competitor to Sony’s  Vita) portable device and Wii U makes it unlikely they will divert their attention to developing games for Apple devices anytime soon. This is especially true when talking about hallmark franchises like Mario and Donkey Kong. To provide these titles to iOS users would kill any incentive the company has to offer potential 3DS and Wii U customers.

That being said, the market opportunity is huge (just look how well Nintendo emulators do on jailbroken devices).  If the game-maker continues to lay eggs with its portable products, it might be forced to join up with Apple, or build a 3DS Android phone like Sony did with its Xperia Play.

At the very least Nintendo should build a generation-behind Emulator App like Atari’s Greatest hits.
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