Hands-on with whistle-locating, solar-powered KudoCase and KudoMate for iPad

Anyone who has ever misplaced an iPad and felt a sudden urge of panic —or better yet, anyone who has ever watched an iPad’s battery drain without access to power while on a long trip— can now rejoice, as there is a solution to both problems in one, nifty case.

Wireless NRG developed a renewable charging resource for the iPad by simply converting the sun’s rays, indoor lights, and practically any other luminescent substance into a perpetual stream of free energy. The high-end, portable charging case, dubbed “KudoCase,” launched earlier this summer for $199.95 with a slew of innovative accessories. But that’s not all…it responds to whistling. If your iPad is ever lost at a friend’s house, just whistle. The KudoCase will set off an alarm. Yeah, I know—awesome.

Anyway, enough jibber-jabber—check out the hands-on review below.

KudoCase Video Overview

(The 1080p version is processing; coming soon.)

 

Read more

iPad mini will look like a large iPod touch with smaller side bezels [Gallery]

We received a number of tips over the last few weeks from sources that we have reason to believe hold knowledge about Apple’s plans on the upcoming iPad mini. A recurring theme of late is that the iPad mini will “look like a big iPod touch” with smaller bezels along the sides in portrait mode and separate volume buttons and not a “rocker” and a mic on the back.

In addition, we received a number of different iPad mini back plates with the best quality being these from case maker Devicewear.

We were not confident enough to post the above information alone (but did make the atop mockup), but the very reliable John Gruber chimes in today with many of the same bits of information.

Here is a gallery of all the iPad mini images and mockups we have obtained to date: Read more

Amazon Instant Video app for iPad hits the App Store with offline viewing and Prime streaming

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just 24 hours after Hulu started popping up on Apple TV, we now see Amazon’s Instant Video Store in the App Store for iPad. It looks like a full app capable of not only streaming Prime content for free (with the$79 a yearl Amazon Prime membership, but the first month is free) as well as being able to download content for offline viewing. Also, Season Pass is available for TV shows, and episodes are available the morning after the show airs on TV. The app will also resume where you left off watching from Kindle Fire, PS3, PC, Mac, or hundreds of models of connected TVs and Blu-ray players with Amazon Whispersync.

Interestingly, no iPhone version yet.

I can confirm that Airplay only works for audio in streaming video so you can’t stream to an AppleTV, yet. Also, I am able to stream my purchased movies but offline downloading doesn’t appear to be working at the moment (update: 8 hours later, 1 movie has finished downloading).

Amazon’s Cloud Drive got updated just yesterday as well, but with the proximity to the Hulu announcement, we’re thinking this might be Apple’s move more than Amazon finally building the app. On the other hand, perhaps the $199 Google Nexus 7 is signaling a big shift – that Amazon doesn’t need to build its own hardware and it can just produce software for the variety of tablets out there.

Full App Description below: Read more

On iPad ‘Mini/7′ colors, TV remote, pocket-ability, price and kids

Since the first credible rumors of a 7.85-inch iPad started surfacing last October, we have been trying to wrap our heads around what is coming. Beyond what is already reported, our sources haven’t had much to say…yet.

But that gives us some time for some broad Mini iPad speculation:

A 7.85-inch iPad with a 3:4 screen ratio is not the same thing as a 7-inch 16:10 Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire. For better or worse, it is much bigger. Take these drawings from @trojankitten that were popular a few weeks ago:

Better, of course, being more screen real estate. While that will not help much for video content, which is generally in the 16:9 format, web pages will look better, Maps will be bigger, and, perhaps most importantly, books will be easier to read. Worse is that it is going to be much harder to fit in your pocket. In fact, as tight as the Nexus 7 is in those skinny jeans and purses, I am going to go ahead and say this form factory will be close to impossible to fit in pants pockets. So, forget that.

So, what is this thing good for?

Read more

IDC: iPad’s all-purpose functionality allows it to trump content consumption Android devices

The iPad is more than just a content-yielding eReader, and consumers are finally making the distinction.

Analytics firm IDC released new data today illustrating Apple’s global tablet market share having increased dramatically from 2011’s holiday quarter. The firm accredited the iPad’s success to its all-purpose functionality that outshines Android devices’ content.

The iPad rose to 68 percent in Q1 2012 from 54.7-percent in Q4 2011. Apple’s 13.3-percent gain is attributed to the Kindle Fire’s staggering 12.8-percent drop to 4 percent in Q1 2012.

IDC’s Mobile Connected Devices Research Director Tom Mainelli explained the market share differences:

“Apple reasserted its dominance in the market this quarter, driving huge shipment totals at a time when all but a few Android vendors saw their numbers drop precipitously after posting big gains during the holiday buying season. [...] Apple’s move to position the iPad as an all-purpose tablet, instead of just a content consumption device, is resonating with consumers as well as educational and commercial buyers. And its decision to keep a lower-priced iPad 2 in the market after it launched the new iPad in March seems to be paying off as well.”

Read more

9to5Toys: Amazon cuts Kindle Fire to $139 (refurb), Airport Extreme for $99, lots more

Some good deals from 9to5Toys.com today:

.

If you like Kindle, no better time to jump on the refurb Kindle Fire for $139 + free shipping.  Like new with 1 year warranty.

MacConnection has the Airport Extreme Base Station ($30 off) for $149.  Best Buy has refurb for $99

Used iPhone 4 (no contract): $235 at Cowboom

Transcend 8GB Class 4 SDHC Memory Card for $5 + free shipping

iTunes library fixer upper Tuneup bundle is $30

Logitech Wireless Keyboard: $15 at Best Buy

Lots more at 9to5toys.com (Facebook) (Twitter)(RSS)(Subscribe via eMail)

Read more