Category: News

Apple Announces Media Event for September 12, Invite Shows a Shadowy Number 5

Apple Event 2012 Invite

Apple today sent out invitations to select press outlets for a media event to be held Wednesday, September 12, where Apple is likely to announce the upcoming iPhone 5. In an image on the invitation is a numeral 5 traced out by the shadows of the numeral 12 shown for the date. The “5” an obvious hint toward the announcement of the iPhone 5. The invite also reads, “It’s almost here.” Unless they are talking about an Apple television, the only other thing people are waiting for more is the next iPhone.

The September 12 date does not come as a surprise to most rumor watchers, as it has been reported in the past weeks by several major media outlets, including the NY Times and Wall Street Journal, as the date for the iPhone 5 announcement.

Customers may not have to wait long to get their hands on the new phone, either. Rene Ritchie at iMore was the first to report the September 12 date for the iPhone 5 announcement and he also published a release date: Friday, September 21.

10 Most Useful iPhone/iPad Links of the Week

TiVO Stream

1. Walmart Has the Best Prepaid Carrier for the iPhone

If you’re looking for the cheapest wireless carrier for the iPhone, John Brownlee over at Cult of Mac supplies some straight talk about Straight Talk, a prepaid wireless carrier from Walmart. Pay $45 a month for unlimited data, talk, and text messages. That’s half of what I pay at AT&T. But that ain’t all. Straight Talk uses AT&T and T-Mobile’s network, so there is excellent coverage. And, it uses AT&T’s HSPA+ network, so it’s on the fastest 3G out there. And, no two-year contracts. And, there are 3 downsides: no MMS messages (but sending images over iMessage still works), no visual voicemail, and you must provide your own unlocked GSM iPhone.

2. The New TiVo Stream Will Let You Download TiVo Recordings to Your iPad/iPhone (Video Hands-on)

The Wall Street journal’s Katherine Boehret takes a hands-on look at the TiVO Stream ($130), which, I must say, looks awesome and very powerful for TiVO users even if it’s a bit expensive. The killer feature of the Stream is that you can download all your TiVO recordings to the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch and take them to watch on the go. You can also stream and watch your recordings on up to four iOS devices at a time, essentially turning your iPhone/iPad into another TV in your house, albeit a small one (hmm, maybe this functionality is part of what Apple is thinking for the rumored Apple TV set?). The bad news for the Stream is that you need to have a TiVO Premiere DVR and the $15 per month TiVo service. All those costs add up, but hey, spend it while ya got it. Available September 6.

Video review of the TiVo Stream:

3. Review: Origami Workstation for iPad

Jeff Richardson at iPhone JD recommends the Origami Workstation ($30), a popular traveling kyeboard case/stand for the iPad. The Origami is designed for use with the Apple Wireless keyboard, and it can be folded—like origami!—into a stand for the iPad. Because the Apple Wireless Keyboard is the #1 recommended keyboard for the iPad, the Origami makes for a nice accessory to…a nice accessory. Wait, now our accessories have accessories?! What a world.

4. Review: Ecoute Puts Apple’s Music App to Shame

Christine Chan of AppAdvice says Ecoute ($2.99) is so much more beautiful and pleasant to use than the iPhone’s default music app that Apple should be enraged with jealousy. I just wish the developers could have come up with a better name than Ecoute. Blehck.

5. It’s A Snap to Unsubscribe From iPad Magazines

One of the advantages of subscribing to magazines through iTunes is that it is incredibly easy to then unsubscribe. No phone calls! Patrick Jordan of iPad Insight shows you step by step how to cancel those iPad magazine subscriptions in the iPad’s settings. Not having to speak to another human being is always a plus.

6. The iPad Is the Cheapest Way to Get Your College Textbooks?

Buster Heine at Cult of Mac crunches the numbers and estimates you can save $163.88 per college semester by renting eTextBooks on the iPad and $355.13 per semester by buying them versus going the old paper-textbook route. That not only pays for the iPad itself over time but saves thousands more. Heine acknowledges that not every college textbook is available on the iPad, however, but a surprising number are.

7. Review: Bastion for iPad Gets 5-Stars From Touch Arcade

Bastion ($4.99) is likely to end up on a lot of Best iPad Games of 2012 lists. Eric Ford at Touch Arcade gives the game 5 stars and says it “nails every facet” of game design, with even the music being incredibly good. The one drawback is the virtual touchscreen controls—the curse of every console-to-iOS port.

8. List of Apps On Sale for Labor Day

AppleNApps has a good list of apps on sale this Labor Day weekend. Usually I throw together a list, but I’m too lazy this time around.

9. iPad Apps That Work With Microsoft Office

The good folks at iPadInsight put together a useful list of iPad apps that work with Microsoft Office docs. The list includes, of course, Apple’s own suite of iPad office apps, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. You’re still using Microsoft Word though? Ew, you’re gross, don’t touch me.

10. Review: Shazam Vs SoundHound

Christine Chan over at AppAdvice compared two apps that can identify music via the iPhone’s microphone: Shazam ($6.99, free) and SoundHound ($6.99, free). She picks Shazam as the winner because it works quickly and accurately. She does note, however, that with Soundhound, you can hum a song into the app, and it will recognize it.

Apple Now Giving Gift Cards Worth Up to $345 for Old iPhones

Apple Logo

If your old iPhone is just going to be laying around after you purchase the iPhone 5, you may want to consider getting some cash for it instead. Apple’s recycling program will now give you an Apple gift card worth as much as $345 for your old iPhone. The gift card can be spent on anything Apple sells, online and in its retail stores, including a shiny new iPhone 5.

Some examples I tested were a 64GB iPhone 4S in perfect condition, which netted a $345 gift card. My slightly scratched iPhone 4 32GB netted $135 (see image below). Of course, these are only initial estimates and the company can change the amount once they get the actual product in their hands.

Offer from Apple Recycling for my Used iPhone 4

Apple is not handling the recyling themselves but rather contracting through a trade-in company called PowerON to handle the process. There are many other trade-in services out there as well. Probably the most popular is Gazelle, which offered me $165 for my iPhone 4 32 GB, which was $30 more than Apple’s offer. Gazelle will send you a check, Amazon gift card, or credit your PayPal account.

You can quickly get a quote on Apple’s site here by tweaking a few options in drop-down menus.

The 10 Most Useful iPhone and iPad Links of the Week

1. The Best Cooking Apps for iPad

Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica compared 5 iPad cooking apps and picks both Basil ($1.99) and Paprika ($4.99) as her top picks. She liked Basil’s focus on collecting and storing recipes from multiple sources, then allowing you to make your own tweaks to those recipes (where most apps just show you their recipe and that’s it). Jacqui says Paprika is similar to Basil, except it’s “on steroids,” meaning it offers tons more sites to search, which can be frustrating when there are too many recipes for a single dish. Both of these apps look slick, but you gotta love Paprika’s icon.

2. The Best iPad Wireless Keyboards, by The Verge

There have been a quite a few iPad bluetooth keyboard review round-ups lately, but none as epic as this one from Ellis Hamburger at The Verge. Check out his video below. Ellis’s top choices were:

  • Apple Wireless Keyboard ($70) as his overall pick, but notes that you’ll need a stand to go along with it like the Incase Origami keyboard case and stand ($30)
  • Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio ($130) for its never-ending battery life
  • Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard and Cover ($99) because it comes with a cover to protect the iPad’s screen
  • ZAGGfolio ($99), Zagg’s third-gen iPad keyboard, which the company has refined enough to be sturdy and pleasant to use.

Video review:

3. Should You Avoid Verizon and AT&T Stores When Buying an iPhone?

There’s growing evidence that sales reps at Verizon and AT&T stores are trying to talk customers out of buying iPhones, all for the sake of a few bucks in commission on Android phones. Sebastien Page at the iDownloadBlog recounts a story where a Verizon sales rep was rude to his mother when she expressed interest in an iPhone 4S, saying it was a “boring” phone, acting annoyed when she insisted on buying it, and dropping his pen every few seconds on the counter during checkout. I guess Verizon doesn’t want her $100 a month.

4. 8 Things You May Not Know Your Apple Headphones Can Do

Chris D’Lando of TekServe has a short ‘n sweet list of things the 3-button control dongle of iPhone headphones can do, like snap photos, prompt Siri to listen, or to fast-forward several seconds during a song (I admit, I didn’t know it could do that.) Very handy.

5. How to Quickly Share Your Location Using iMessage

“Where are you?” That’s a common text message I get. Well, Allyson Kazmucha of iMore shows how easy it is to share your precise location using the Maps app on the iPhone. Just a few taps and you’ve shared.

6. Bank of America iPhone App Now Lets You Deposit Checks

Bryan Wolfe at AppAdvice points out that the Bank of America app now has the ability to deposit checks using the iPhone. Simply snap a photo using the app, and it will upload it to Bank of America and deposit it. I think all the major US banks now offer this feature in their iPhone apps. Imagine, if the iPhone becomes a credit card, and we can deposit money using the iPhone, what do we need banks for?

7. 50 Fashion Apps for iPhone & iPad

Are you a fashionista? Marie Look from AppStorm has compiled a list of 50 Fashion Apps. Since I know nothing about this topic, I’ll leave it to you to decide if the apps are any good.

8. How to Choose Between Verizon and AT&T’s Shared Data Plans

Nick Guy at iLounge takes an in-depth look at Verizon and AT&T’s new shared data plans. The shared plans let you share a pool of data each month between up to 10 iPhone/iPad devices. Guy says that Verizon has more options when it comes to data pools, but AT&T may be a better value if you (or someone you love) likes to gab on the phone a lot.

9. SPOT Connect Lets Your iPhone Connect to Satellite Internet

Going hiking in the middle of nowhere without a cell phone signal? Mel Martin of TUAW says to take along the SPOT Connect, which lets you connect your iPhone to satellites to either send an SOS to Emergency Response teams or, yes, even update Facebook, Twitter, and send text messages or short email messages–essentially, it’s not for browsing the web or making phone calls, but for short and small data communications in the middle of nowhere. Your iPhone connects to the Spot Connect via bluetooth, and an app lets you do all of the data communication stuff. The SPOT Connect hardware costs $100 (with a $50 rebate) and then another $100 for 1 year of limited satellite time.

10. Why You Should Play CrossWords for iPhone/iPad

If classic games are more your thing, Dan Moren at TechHive does a great job convincing me that Crosswords for iPhone and iPad ($9.99) is worth the premium price. Some of Crossword’s nice subtle premium features are a specialized crossword-puzzle keyboard, printing of puzzles via AirPrint, and synching between iPhone and iPad. Definitely an app for a serious crossword puzzle addict.

The Next iPhone Will be Announced Wednesday, September 12, Say Several Major News Outlets

There’s a stage at which iPhone rumors pass from unconfirmed to very likely true, and in the past few days, the date for the announcement of the next iPhone has reached that stage. The rumored date for an Apple media event to announce the next iPhone, as “verified” by several news outlets, is Wednesday, September 12, 2012.

The September 12 date was first reported by Apple blog iMore, then news heavyweights Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, All Things Digital, and NYTimes, all independently confirmed the date, as well as well-connected Apple blogger Jim Dalrymple, who confirmed it with a Steve Jobs-esque “yep.”

Of those news outlets, only iMore is supplying a ship date for the hardware: Friday, September 21, which is 9 days after the announcement. Last year, the iPhone 4S shipped on Friday, October 14, 2011, 10 days after its own media-event announcement on October 4.

Amazon’s Netflix Competitor Hits App Store, But Without AirPlay Streaming

Amazon Instant Video iPad App Icon

The Amazon Instant Video for iPad app is now available in the App Store as a free download. Amazon’s relatively unknown Instant Video service is essentially a Netflix clone with around 18,000 titles available for streaming compared with Netflix’s estimated 30,00-45,000. You can also download and watch movies in the app you bought from Amazon’s digital catalog, which is much larger at around 120,000 titles.

Amazon Instant Video is included with a $79/year Amazon Prime membership. A Prime membership includes free 2-day shipping on eligible items and unlimited ebook borrowing (again, only on eligible books).

Amazon’s Instant Video is actually a bit cheaper than Netflix, as it works out to about $6.67 a month compared to Netflix’s $8 a month. It also has some content not on Netflix, like Mission: Impossible III and Mean Girls.

Alas, the app has no support for AirPlay, despite the fact that an AirPlay button appears when playing video. So there’s no watching on your big-screen TV via AppleTV. But with Hulu Plus recently showing up on the AppleTV, could Instant Video be right around the corner, too? Here’s hoping.

A screenshot of Instant Video’s most-popular movies is below. The list is usually a good source of movies not available on Netflix.

Amazon Instant Video popular movies

The 11 Most Useful iPhone & iPad Links of the Week

1. Mountain Lion and the iPhone/iPad

The Mountain Lion update is for the Mac, but there are some features that affect the iPhone & iPad as well. App Advice’s lovable pixie Robin Rhys put together a nice video overview of the iPhone & iPad-related features, including:

  • A iCloud button in Safari that can show your recent websites you visited on the iPhone/iPad.
  • A new Messages app for Mac that syncs wirelessly with your iPhone/iPad Messages app.
  • The Notes app for the Mac that syncs wirelessly with iPhone/iPad’s Notes (and vice versa).
  • Reminders app for Mac does the same.
  • Game Center for Mac has a few games that sync between the two platforms as well.
  • A new iCloud Documents folder where you can store iWork, TextEdit, and Preview documents that sync wirelessly to the iPhone/iPad for editing and viewing.

See Robin go over the features below:

2. Pages, Numbers, Keynote for iOS Updated, Now With iCloud

The iWork apps for iPhone & iPad (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) now work with iCloud, which means you can create and edit documents on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, and the documents will be kept updated and in sync across all those devices, wirelessly and automatically.

3. iCrime: the Growing Plague of iPhone/iPad Theft

Ralph Winkler of the Wall Street Journal writes a powerful article about the iPhone-theft crime wave that’s sweeping the country. Winkler was personally caught up in it to the tune of a broken jaw. A subway thief snatched his girlfriend’s iPad, and when Winkler gave chase, an accomplice waiting on the platform broke his jaw. Winkler examines why thieves are stealing iPhones (because they can be resold for hundreds of dollars for sale to third-world markets) and some of the measures the FCC is taking to combat the crime (a blacklist of device IDs that will prevent stolen devices from working on other networks).

4. Video Tip: How to Print From Your iPhone or iPad Without an AirPrint Printer

Lex Friedman from MacWorld has a video tip about a Mac app called Printopia that basically lets your iPad/iPhone print to any printer connected to your Mac. But more important to Friedman was Printopia’s Print-to-PDF functionality, which is not so much about printing but instead about being able to turn any document quickly into a PDF, then email it, send it to DropBox, etc. Printopia has a free demo, then it’s $19.95 to own.

5. Siri: The Ultimate Guide

Whenever the iPhone 5 arrives, a lot more people are going get acquainted with Siri, currently only available with the iPhone 4S. Rene Ritchie over at iMore has created the most-thorough guide I’ve seen on how to do just about everything you can with Siri, from creating a 5-minute timer to sending an email to multiple recipients. Now, if Apple can only get Siri to work most of the time instead of only some of the time, they could really have something there.

6. The iPad Makes a Good Workout Partner

I can personally attest that the iPhone is a powerful tool for workouts—I use it to measure runs and my heart rate, track weight-lifting progress, and count calories. But the iPad? A forum user named Silellak over at The Verge says he uses it during his treadmill workouts. He noticed how he would lose hours of the day to browsing on his iPad, so he decided to harness that phenomenon at the gym instead. He uses his favorite news-reading apps, listens to audio via Motorola bluetooth headphones, and makes sure his heart rate stays between 150-165 BPM via a Wahoo Fitness Heart Rate Monitor. Now if they only could make an armstrap big enough to hold the iPad.

7. Taxi Magic App Gets Both Big and Subtle Changes

Taxi Magic (free) is an app that lets you book a taxi, track its arrival, and even pay for it, all on the iPhone. The app’s interface and backend where completely rebuilt, and a few nice subtle changes include an opening prompt that asks if you need the cab now or want to schedule it for later, and saved favorite locations in case you consistently call for cabs in different places.

8. iTunes U App Gets Note-Taking, Search, and Sharing Features

If you haven’t checked out the iTunes U app for iPhone/iPad (free), you should, even if you’re not interested in learning anything new (but shame on you if you aren’t). Unlike Apple’s embarrassingly buggy and awkward Podcasts app, iTunes U is beautifully designed, slick, and useful. And you gotta love that you can watch lectures from colleges like Yale without having to spend 100k+ to go there. I found the app useful to revisit some of my old English Lit topics and enjoyed the Yale Financial lectures.

9. iCloud Tip: How to Watch Your iTunes-Bought TV Shows On All Your Devices

Allyson Kazmucha of iMore put together a nice How To article that covers where to look on your iOS device to stream or download those TV shows you bought on iTunes.

10. Review: iCade Core for the iPad

MacMost put together a nice video review (embedded below) of the iCade Core ($89.99), a bluetooth game controller that recreates ultra-comfortable, button-mashing arcade controls for the iPad. Note that the iCade Core is different from the similar iCade Cabinet controller from last year that was like a mini arcade cabinet. The reviewer seems to like the iCade Core, concluding at the end of the video that it’s “must-have if you’re in to this kind of stuff.” Just a warning though, the iCade currently supports only a 100 or so games, and while that may seem like a lot, it’s not considering the few hundred thousand games out there. Chances are it doesn’t support your favorite iPad game.

11. Ars Technica Reviews the iCade Mobile

The iCade Mobile, not to be confused with the just-mentioned iCade Core, is supposed to turn your iPhone into a PSP via bluetooth and hardware buttons. Kyle Orland at Ars Technica says the iCade Mobile is a bit too bulky for his tastes and dislikes that it only works with a hundred or so iPhone games. His sentiments seem to match Andrew Podolsky’s of Slide to Play, who also reviewed the iCade Mobile two weeks ago. I have to say, on one hand I want a tactile button experience for the iPhone to play games from the past (like Street Fighter), but on the other hand, developers need to leave that old interface behind and create for the touchscreen experience instead.

The 8 Most Useful iPhone/iPad Links of the Week

1. A Good Pair of Earbuds for $7? Yup, the Monoprice 8320s

Tired of breaking $100 pairs of earphones? Whitson Gordon over at LifeHacker says to check out the Monoprice 8320 earphones, which currently cost just $7.11. Whitson not only points to reviews at The Wirecutter and, but tested them himself and says they have some “great, thumping bass” along with decent mids and highs. Of course, being $7 earphones, they’re not perfect. The rubber earbud tips come in only one size, and they don’t have the iPhone 3-button dongle, but hey, $7. Enough said. I just bought a pair myself. And, man, if there’s one online store you should know about after Amazon, it’s Incredibly cheap online version of Radioshack.

Monoprice 8320 earphones

2. Best Apps of 2012 So Far, According to Appolicious

Brad Spirrison of Appolicious puts together his picks for the best apps of 2012 so far. He makes some interesting picks here, his opinion is not of the run-of-the-mill variety. But the list is also a little short, only 10 Apps. Check’em out, I won’t spoil t.

3. Review: RetailMeNot for iPhone Can Save You Money

If you’re a frugal shopper or just buy stuff online a lot in general, you should know about The website has been blowing up in popularity the past few years. Well, now there is a RetailMeNot app (free), and, wow, it’s a good-looking app. Jake Rocheleau over at AppStorm took a detailed look at the app and says it’s the “most consistent app for producing real working coupons at so many different establishments.” I agree.

4. Review: Julia Child’s Master the Art of French Cooking, Selected Recipes for iPad

Perhaps no chef changed the way Americans cook more than Julia Child did. The Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Selected Recipes ($2.99) for iPad gathers 32 of her “most often prepared and best-loved dishes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1.” The app doesn’t just supply recipes but more importantly explains the technique required to cook them correctly—something that distinguishes the app from other “recipe books.” Leanna Lofte over at iMore reviewed the app and says it’s “beautiful and very well made” with her only complaints being non-support for Retina Display and poor scrolling on the Videos page.

5. 50 Fantastic Free iPad Apps

You always gotta love a big ol’ app roundup, and Joel Bankhead over at AppStorm has published 50 great free iPad apps. A good mix of classic selections with some new ones I hadn’t heard of.

6. AT&T and Verizon’s Shared Data Plans, Compared

AT&T just announced their shared data family plans, and Leanna Lofte compares them with Verizon’s. Pricing is pretty comparable between the two, although if you have 3 to four phones, AT&T can save your between $50-$240 a year.

7. Review: Checkmark for iPhone

Checkmark ($0.99) is a powerful new reminders app that uses the iPhone’s geofencing feature to remind you to do stuff whenever you arrive/leave at a location. Dan Moren over at MacWorld calls the app a “step up from Apple’s Reminders” app, liking not only the efficiency of the app’s interface but also that you can add a timer element on top of the location-based reminders (for example, remind me 15 minutes after leaving home to call Dad). An app for the forgetful.

8. Fieldrunners 2 Gets a 5-Star Review

Touch Arcade’s Cassandra Khaw gives Fieldrunners 2 ($2.99) a 5-star rating, saying its graphics are “stunning, an audiovisual treat” and “It’s the little things that make Fieldrunners 2 shine so bright.” Me, I’m a little tired of tower defense games (heck, I was already tired of iPhone tower defense games two years ago), but you gotta love Fieldrunners. Maybe it’s time to come back to the genre, like reigniting the flame with an forgotten ex-girlfriend. OK, that sounds like a bad idea.

Smarter Stand Turns Your Smart Cover Into a More Versatile iPad Stand

Most people don’t use their iPad Smart Cover as a stand because, well, frankly it sucks as a stand. It offers only two angles to view the iPad at, and neither of them are particularly useful. The Smarter Stand seeks to remedy that situation. Smarter Stand is actually two plastic clips you attach to the Smart Cover to add 3 more viewing angles. It’s simple, cheap, and ingenious.

The Smarter Stand works like this: you slide the two plastic clips over the joints of the Smart Cover where it folds. The clips prevent the joints from folding, and thus through the simple laws of geometry and physics, the iPad can be propped upright at 3 additional angles. See the chart below for the positions

Smarter Stand is a successfully funded Kickstarter project that is going to ship (they sent over some samples that work as advertised). The clips can remain on the cover during normal use. Currently, $12 will get you a Smarter Stand in white. $14 will get you a color to match your Smart Cover’s color.


Image Gallery:

The 10 Most Useful iPhone/iPad Links of the Week

iCade Mobile for iPhone

1. Review: iCade Mobile

Andrew Podolsky of Slide to Play reviews the iCade Mobile ($69.99), an accessory that turns your iPhone into a Gameboy/PSP competitor (as if it wasn’t already) with hardware buttons and a directional pad. Andrew reviews the device with 8 different games and notes that, overall, there are a hundred or so games that are compatible with it. A hundred sounds like a lot, but it isn’t really. Anyways, Andrew seems to dig it. The iCade Mobile sounds awesome to me but limited in its usefulness. And will it work with the iPhone 5? That’s the 69-dollar question.

2. 4 iPad Writing Apps Compared

Jacqui Cheng of Ars Technica says to hold on to your butts as you read her review of 4 iPad writing apps. She picks Writing Kit ($4.99) as her top choice. She likes the app’s Dropbox support, diverse exporting formats, and Quick Research tool. Her second choice is the popular iA Writer ($0.99) for its Dropbox and iCloud support. Now that you have all the tools, its time to write Great American Novel, on the iPad.

3. iPhone Tip: Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Quickly Fill In Usernames and Passwords

Rob LeFebre has a sweet little tip over at Cult of Mac. He suggests using Keyboard Shortcuts to enter in usernames, passwords, addresses, etc, into web fields instead of repetitively typing them in. This would come in especially handy if you like to use the Private Browsing mode where login details aren’t saved.

4. Review of Mophie’s New Rugged Juice Pack Pro Battery Case for iPhone 4/4S

There are few accessories more useful than an iPhone battery case. The problem is that they usually aren’t very protective. The new Mophie Juice Pack Pro is a solution. The company brags that the Pro “exceeds military specification” for protection. Steven Sande of TUAW reviews the Juice Pack Pro and says don’t expect to stick the iPhone in your pocket with this thing on as it’s a monster (thankfully, it comes with a belt clip), but do expect your iPhone to be well protected. The Pro is also water resistant (but not water proof), and its rubberized surface improves grip.

5. Review of the TouchFire iPad Keyboard Accessory

Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac reviews the TouchFire ($49.99), a clear plastic overlay that attachs to the iPad’s screen and fits perfectly over the touchscreen keyboard’s keys, the idea being the TouchFire adds tactile feel to the touchscreen keys. Gurman recommends the accessory, saying it’s like “night and day” using the TouchFire than without, providing improved typing speed and accuracy. My opinion? Just buy an iPad bluetooth keyboard.

6. NBC’s Official 2012 Olympics App in App Store

The good news is that the NBC Olympics Live Extra app (free) lets you watch every event of the 2012 Summer Olympics. It also has full event replays, push notifications, and even freakin’ DVR capabilities for live events. This is one slick app. The bad news? You have to pay for cable in order to watch it. Just enter in your log-in details for your cable provider, and you’re good to go. A lot of streaming video apps are going this route these days.

7. Hungry? App Store Now Has a Food and Drink Section

Tired of searching high and low for food apps in the App Store? Me neither, but maybe the new Food and Drink section will come in handy for someone someday. Click here to peep an ugly browser view of the new section’s popular apps.

8. Next Issue App Offers All-You-Can Read Magazines (Free 30-Day Trial!)

Loius over at TouchMyApps shines his spotlight on Next Issue for iPad (free), an app that offers you unlimited access to 34 magazines for $9.99.There are some good ones like Esquire, GQ, Vanity Fair, Wired, Car and Driver, and Elle. If you toss in the more expensive weekly magazines like Entertainment Weekly, then its $14.99 a month. There is a free 30-day trial with the app. Not sure I dig the cost. $120 a year is a lot. You could subscribe to a lot of magazines yourself for that much, especially if you use some of these discount websites. I’ll pass.

9. Target Offering a $25 Gift Card When You Buy the New iPad

Hey, if you’re going to buy the New iPad, why not get a $25 gift card for free? That way you can also pick up the Michael Graves-designed shoe rack you’ve had your eye on as well. The deal starts July 15. And if you buy an iPhone? A $20 gift card. Enough for a Michael Graves garlic press.

10. Klipsch S4i iPhone Earphones Getting Ruggedized

The Klipsch Image S4i are probably the best value in iPhone earphones when it comes to sound quality vs price (says me and many others). But their main problem is, like most earphones, they’re flimsy. Well, Joe Pollicino of Engadget reports Klipsch is introducing a rugged version of of the S4i that are water resistant. The best news is that the new Image Rugged S4i are keeping the same 8.5mm dual-magnet micro-speakers inside as their un-ruggedized predecessor, so you’ll get the same beautifully rounded sound and thumping bass. Klipsch already makes the “Rugged” S5i, but they don’t sound as good as the S4i. You can read my S4i review here. $99, and they come in some kooky colors. Get your credit cards warmed up.