Share iPad displays with Philips In-Car Screen Kit

I have kids, and I live over three hours away from our nearest family. I know how difficult it is to entertain a car full of kids while driving, which is why the Ubergizmo post about the Philips In-Car screen kit caught my eye.

It’s simply a pair of LCDs that strap to the back of a car seat and connect to your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. A single cable connects the LCD displays to your iOS device and lets you watch videos from the comfort of you car seat. There are no proprietary cables or DVD players to setup, which makes setup a breeze.

Amazon launches iPad-optimized Kindle store

You may remember the good old days when you could use Amazon’s Kindle e-reader app for iOS to pop right into the online Kindle store to purchase ebooks. That feature went away in July of 2011 in order to comply with Apple’s policies. Amazon today launched an iPad-optimized Kindle Store website that, while still separate from the Kindle reader app, makes browsing for ebooks a much more touch-friendly process.

The new website is visible at http://amazon.com/iPadKindleStore/ and features a touch-scrollable horizontal bar of recommendations for you. Down below are the Top 100 paid and free ebooks, along with the “New & Noteworthy” section.

Google+ app for iPhone updated to launch hangouts from Messenger

Do you use the video hangout feature of Google+ on a regular basis? If so, you might be happy to hear that you can now use your iPhone to join those video hangouts from the Google Messenger IM app. There’s an update now available for the Google+ app that will give you the video love you crave.

I was interested in the hangout capability, which arrived back in September, because there’s a meeting I need to join into every week or so. That meeting takes place in a Google+ hangout, and up until this time I’ve been tied to either a desktop or laptop. Now if I’m out doing my daily exercise walk or lounging on a cruise ship, I can pull out my iPhone or iPad and join into the meetings. If nothing else, it should be fun to see if I can videoconference and walk at the same time.

On the idea of a 7-inch Apple iPad

There’s been much debate over the idea of a 7-inch iPad from Apple. Today, our pals at MacObserver jumped into the mix with their take on things. The Kindle Fire, Ted Landau points out, offers “an e-reader with added iPad-like features for half the price of an iPad.”

Speaking as a happy Kindle Fire owner, I rather like the medium form factor. This is not an opinion universally shared in the TUAW trenches, but I appreciate the way I can carry it around in a purse — something not possible with the iPad. That means, when I head out, I now often take the iPhone and the Fire along, where as before I’d have only had the iPhone with me. My iPad remains reserved for backpack or briefcase excursions.

A 7″ screen offers a very good reading size. It’s more portable than the iPad screen and offers more area than the iPhone. It also excels at gaming and video watching, providing that same middle balance.

iPhones accounted for almost half of October, November smartphone sales

Market research group NPD is reporting some good news for Apple ahead of the January 24 earnings call. The three models of the iPhone that are currently for sale — the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS — accounted for 43 percent of US smartphone sales in October and November.

Android phones saw a significant drop of 13 percent of share during that same period, while Apple’s share bumped up 17 percent. Where are RIM and Windows Phone handsets in all of this insanity? Well, RIM saw a 6 percent share in the US, while Windows Phone and “all others” were barely above the zero line.

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