With the appropriately geeky tag line, "Take THAT BlackBerry!" the shopping website ThinkGeek has announced a flip-out physical keyboard accessory for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. The TK-421 iPhone case comes complete with a rotating hinge and its own built-in Bluetooth mini-keyboard.
The TK-421 is no iTwinge, but it does have a similarly odd name. The keyboard has its own USB-rechargeable battery and works with any application that already uses the on-screen keyboard. The product provides protection for the sides and back of the iPhone just like a case.
Apple's free iPhone 4 case program and app may have smoothed over any lingering doubts over the new antenna design with consumers. Consumer Reports, however still has a bone to pick with Apple over the end of the program, scheduled for September 30. Starting in October, Apple will no longer offer third-party cases to iPhone 4 users.
The company will continue to offer free Apple Bumper cases, but only to those customers who contact AppleCare support with antenna problems. Those purchasing an iPhone 4 by September 30 will still have 30 days to claim their free case under the original program using the iPhone 4 Case Program app.
Playing games on the iPhone can be fun, but usually it's a solitary experience. Game Center will change that some, with social features and multiplayer gaming. Problem is you're still staring at that little screen by yourself. Enter the Griffin PartyDock. The iPhone plugs right into the dock and now you're talking four-player console gaming on your iPhone.
Four controllers are stored in the dock, which charges the iPhone and provides composite or component video out to your television. Griffin is calling the PartyDock a "media and game dock" for a reason. The unit does more than just play games.
Mophie and Intuit have entered the iPhone credit card transaction game with the Complete Card Solution for iPhone. Mophie, known for its iPhone battery pack cases, developed an iPhone 3G/3GS case that includes a magnetic card reader built in. When the card is swiped, data is encrypted before it uploads to the iPhone to be processed by the Intuit GoPayment 3.0 app.
Mophie is working on an iPhone 4 version of the device. In the meantime, Square features a portable card reader that plugs into the headphone jack of any iPhone or iPad. The two competing payment systems have different costs, with Square being completely free to set up. Complete Card Solution is $179 for the card reader unit and requires a $12.95 monthly subscription.
Millions of Apple customers who have already purchased an iPhone 4 Bumper case have been promised a refund by Steve Jobs over the antenna problems affecting some users. The company has started automatically sending refunds to those customers who ordered the Bumper online. Email notifications are being sent out as well, detailing the refund processing.
The email reads, “As of today, we have automatically processed your refund. You have also been refunded for any Shipping or VAT charges that may have been applied to your order.” Credit cards are expected to show the refund on accounts within 3-5 days after processing.
A couple of designers took Steve Job's press conference suggestion to make an iPhone 4 antenna band-aid to heart. The product is for sale in an assorted color six-pack for five bucks plus shipping. The two are now struggling to keep up with orders on the web site Etsy.
Reports have suggested that electrical, duct, or even scotch tape applied to the lower left hand side of the iPhone 4 alleviates antenna problems when the area is touched. The idea behind the Antenna-aid is to separate your hand from the exposed external antenna to preserve the best signal possible. It should also garner some laughs, too.
If you find yourself wondering why your Jawbone won't pair with your new iPhone 4, or are having problems pairing your Jawbone with your 3GS that you recently upgraded to iOS4, you're not alone.
Here are instructions from Jawbone that are helping most people get paired up again:
1. Start with the headset OFF (slide the power switch to OFF, the position where you cannot see the blue indicator).
2. Press and hold the TALK button
3. Slide the power switch ON.
4. Wait for LED starts to flash red and white.
5. Release the TALK button.
Kee Utility Incorporated will debut the Desk Phone Dock for iPhone in April at the China Sourcing Fair in Hong Kong. This slick device has an aluminum base and a USB port for syncing built into the rear cord. Just dock your iPhone and you have complete access to iPhone functions .
Browse contacts, listen to the iPod or Internet radio in stereo, and of course make phone calls. Use the corded receiver or built-in speakerphone. The dial is a mute button and volume control. Desk Phone Dock even charges your iPhone while it's docked so when you leave your desk the battery is ready for action.
In mid-April AT&T Wireless subscribers will have the option of purchasing their own personal 3G cell phone tower. The MicroCell will run $149.99 and is fully compatible with the iPhone 3G and 3GS. The devices will be rolled out in different markets over the next few months.
The MicroCell is a solution for users who have little or no 3G coverage in their home and access to a broadband Internet connection. The device allows users to make calls and send text messages against their AT&T Wireless account using a 5,000 square foot personal 3G network.