Otterbox has announced its new Armor Series of smartphone cases for the iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5. Otterbox claims these are the toughest cases they've ever built, and says they're waterproof for 30 minutes in 6.6 ft. of water, and can survive 10 ft. drops. The Armor case also allows for zero entry of dust and debris and can withstand two tons of crushing force.
The iPhone 5 case weights 3.91 oz and the iPhone 4/4S case weighs 4.23 oz. The case will set you back $100, but that's a lot cheaper than replacing your smashed or water damaged iPhone.
iFrogz previewed the new Caliber Advantage mobile gaming controller for the iPhone 5 and iPod touch at CES in Las vegas this week. The iFrogz (a ZAGG brand) Caliber Advantage aims to give gamers a more accurate gaming experience by utilizing Bluetooth 4.0 to connect directly to the corresponding app. The case also features dual slide-out analog controls with crisp and responsive keys, and the ability to flip the device to play in portrait or landscape mode.
Kent Wuthrich, executive vice president of marketing for ZAGG, claims the Caliber Advantage "is a game-changer for the mobile platform".
"Everyone from hardcore gamers to casual players will enjoy and appreciate the control and function of the Caliber Advantage. We are committed to bringing creative product solutions to gaming with not only this revolutionary gaming controller, but also a full line-up of gaming-specific audio products."
Update #3: From iLounge:
"Although iLounge contacted Walmart before posting this story to confirm that the $399 pricing did, in fact, apply to the fourth-generation iPad - and received unambiguous written confirmation of that detail from a spokesperson - the company has now retracted the claim, suggesting that the $399 price applies solely to the third-generation iPad."
However, we have received emails claiming some Walmarts are not even honoring the sale price for the iPad 3.
Update #2: There seems to be some confusion as to what iPad is on sale. According to a Walmart rep, the deal is "the iPad 3 at the iPad 2 price". User comments on iLounge also say the deal is for the iPad 3.
"I just called my local Walmart and they said the $399 pricing is for the 16GB iPad 3rd generation, not the Retina display."
Update: Quick correction. Walmart is reducing the price of the iPad 3, not the fourth-generation iPad like we originally stated.
Google has finally released a new Maps app for the iPhone after the Apple Maps fiasco.
iPhone users have been clamoring for the return of Google Maps since the release of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, when Apple replaced the app with its own mapping software. Apple Maps has been widely ridiculed for giving inaccurate information, and has even become the butt of many jokes after Australian police claimed it was dangerous.
The new Google Maps features turn-by-turn navigation and the popular Street View and transit direction options missing from Apple Maps. David Pogue of The New York Times writes: "The brand-new, completely rethought design is slick, simple and coherent. Google admits that it’s even better than Google Maps for Android phones, which has accommodated its evolving feature set mainly by piling on menus."
A mysterious and unknown hacker calling himself (herself?) "Dream JB" is promising to release an untethered iOS 6 jailbreak for the iPad mini, latest iPad and iPhone 5 on December 22. Dream JB is not associated with any known dev team, and has said he will deliver video proof of the jailbreak via Twitter on Wednesday. If true, the new untethered jailbreak will support all current Apple devices running iOS 6.0.1. This includes the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2 and beyond, iPad Mini, iPod Touch 4th generation and beyond.
Most jailbreakers only use jailbreaking tools from proven sources such as the iPhone DevTeam, or Absinthe creator pod2g. And not surprisingly, a large portion of the jailbreaking community is calling Dream JB's untethered jailbreak a scam. No one knows for sure if Dream JB will actually deliver a safe untethered iOS 6 jailbreak this December, but it will be interesting to see if his promised video actually materializes, and the jailbreaking community's reaction tomorrow.
The iPhone 5 can now be purchased unlocked in the U.S. via the Apple Store. An unlocked iPhone allows Apple customers to buy the device without agreeing to a two-year carrier contract, however, this also means users are stuck paying an unsubsidized price. Apple is offering the 16GB model for $649, the 32GB model for $749 and the 64GB model for $849.
The unlocked iPhone 5 only works with GSM wireless networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile (T-Mobile customers considering buying an unlocked iPhone 5 may want to wait until next week to see if the T-Mobile iPhone rumor is true). The unlocked iPhone 5 does not support CDMA-based carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint, and requires a nano-SIM card to work.
Deutsche Telekom is rumored to be working on a deal to bring the iPhone to its U.S. subsidiary. Merrill Lynch's Scott Craig told investors "speculation is heightening" that the telecommunications company will announce a deal with Apple at next week's analysts day.
T-Mobile has been working on expanding its high-speed HSPA+ network, and even offers free iPhone support, and iPhone nanoSIMs to its customers using unlocked devices. It has been estimated that T-Mobile is carrying nearly a million unlocked iPhones on its network.
AT&T is now offering refurbished iPhone 5 models at a discount. Sign up for a two-year contract online and you can get $50 off one of the refurbished units. On Black Friday the discount was even steeper, with $100 off being reported by Cult of Mac.
Currently AT&T has marked the refurbished 16GB black iPhone 5 out of stock, but the white 16GB and 32GB or 64GB in white or black are available. The discounts bring refurb phone prices down to $150, $250 and $350 depending on the amount of storage.
AT&T announced earlier this month that iOS 6 users with an LTE device and a "tiered data plan" would be allowed to use FaceTime over a cellular connection. While a step in the right direction, AT&T's new restrictions still left out those with grandfathered unlimited data plans and older devices. However, it looks like AT&T may have had a change of heart.
According to Cult of Mac and MacRumor forum users, grandfathered customers with unlimited data plans, and those with the iPhones 4S can now use FaceTime over a cellular connection. Cult of Mac reader Michael B. was one of the first to notice the change:
"I have AT&T grandfathered unlimited data. Rebooted my phone and now FaceTime is enabled. Woohoo! Looks like AT&T’s accountants figured out that they’ll make a bundle on overages with everyone making phone calls in High Def."
Apple is now offering Lightning to Micro USB adapters to help customers cut down on their growing piles of cables. The adapter allows users to connect the Lightning connector to a micro USB cable to sync and charge the iPhone, iPad, or iPod. The new adapter is available for $19 via Apple's online store, and should be available at brick-and-mortar locations soon. Apple also offers Lightning to 30-pin adapters for $29, and Lightning to VGA adapters for connecting to VGA-equipped TVs, monitors, or external projectors for video mirroring. The VGA Adapter is $49.