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iOS 4.2 for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch coming later today

Apple has announced that it will release iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch later today. Announced during Apple’s September media event, the update will bring previously iPhone- and iPod touch-exclusive features like multitasking and a unified Mail inbox to the iPad, and will also add new features like AirPlay streaming and AirPrint wireless printing to all three devices. Apple is expected to release iOS 4.2 around 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Parrot announces AR.Pursuit game for AR.Drone

Parrot has announced the first game app for its AR.Drone iPhone-controlled quadricopter released earlier this year. AR.Pursuit is a two-player game that allows AR.Drone users to conduct augmented-reality dogfights using their iOS devices and the integrated cameras on their AR.Drones. In the game, one player takes on the role of pursuer and attempts to target and shoot down their opponent who must try to escape and survive as long as possible without being hit. The pursuer uses virtual weapons including an automatic machine gun and missiles to target and attack their fleeing opponent, with the AR.Drone physically reacting to virtual attacks making escape more difficult. The pursued/pursuer roles automatically switch after each successful missile strike or at a half-time point in the game and the winner is the player who survives the longest without being shot down. AR.Drones are identified using the different colour outdoor hulls or stickers than can be placed on the indoor hull, and a Bluetooth connection is used between iOS devices for multiplayer support. AR.Pursuit is expected to be available in the App Store by the end of November.

THQ launches Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner

THQ Wireless has released a new Star Wars Arcade game for the iPhone and iPod touch featuring augmented reality technology. Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner puts players in the Millennium Falcon’s gun turret where they must blast their way through waves of TIE fighters and Star Destroyers across over 20 arcade-style levels based on the Star Wars movies. The game includes legendary missions such as the Death Star escape, the asteroid field pursuit over Hoth and the infamous Kessel Run. iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch users can also engage an optional augmented reality mode that allows players to use the device’s camera to overlay enemy fighters on top of real-world surroundings and control movement with 360-degree full body motion using the device’s accelerometer/compass or gyroscope. A coming free update will also allow users to take and share augmented reality photos from within the Falcon’s turret. The game is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPod touch and requires iOS 4.1 or later with an iPad version scheduled for release in December. Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner is available from the App Store for $5.

Apple seeds iOS 4.2.1 GM amid reports of VoIP bug

Apple has seeded a new Gold Master version of iOS 4.2, labeled iOS 4.2.1, to developers. Unlike the secondary GM seed of iOS 4.2 released exclusively for the iPad, this new build is available for all capable devices, including the iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, and the second-, third-, and fourth-generation iPod touch. While it is unclear whether Apple now plans to skip a general release of iOS 4.2 and go directly to iOS 4.2.1, an email from Toktumi, makers of the Line2 VoIP application, suggests a communications bug may have led Apple to release the new build. According to the email, reprinted by Mac Rumors, the GM version of iOS 4.2 contained a “severe” bug that caused any VoIP app running in the background to continuously ring after receiving an incoming call, even after the call is answered. The email states that Apple Developer Support is aware of the bug; it is unknown whether iOS 4.2.1 includes a fix for the issue. iOS 4.2.1 GM is available as a download for paid iOS developers from Apple’s iOS Dev Center.

Magellan RoadMate adds iOS 4 multitasking, traffic info

Magellan has released an update to its RoadMate turn-by-turn GPS navigation app for the iPhone adding support for background navigation on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices, traffic information and several other new features. RoadMate 1.3 now allows iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 users to continue to receive voice guidance instructions while using another application and provides uninterrupted navigation even while on a phone call. The new version also now includes real-time traffic information with no additional in-app purchase or subscription required. Traffic data is provided by NAVTEQ and displays both incident information as well as general traffic flow for a given route. Additional new features include the ability to share points of interest and routes via e-mail, receive offers and coupons for nearby businesses and navigate while listening to music with intelligent volume fading during voice guidance. RoadMate is also compatible with the iPod touch when used with Magellan’s Premium Car Kit. Magellan RoadMate is currently available from the App Store in three versions based on the number of included maps: Magellan RoadMate North America ($45), Magellan RoadMate USA ($35) and Magellan RoadMate Canada & Alaska ($30).

FlightTrack adds SeatGuru and terminal maps

Mobiata has released a major update to its FlightTrack application for tracking live flight status. FlightTrack 4.0 sports a completely redesigned interface with tabs to improve organization of information about each individual flight and adds a delay forecast graph and a full display of scheduled, estimated and actual times for gate departure, takeoff, landing and gate arrival. The new version also now includes SeatGuru map integration to allow users to find the best seats on their flights and adds more detailed information about flights that have been diverted from their original destination airport. FlightTrack Pro users can now also display full-screen airport terminal maps within the app. The update also provides a number of fixes regarding weather updates and keeping displayed data up to date. FlightTrack is available in both standard and Pro versions; FlightTrack ($5) includes a full set of flight tracking features including weather radar, gate and baggage claim information, flight delay forecasts and SeatGuru charts; FlightTrack Pro adds the new terminal maps feature as well as push notifications, FAA airport delay and closure information and TripIt synchronization. Both apps are universal and require an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 3.0 or later.

Google launches iOS Google Docs editing

Google has launched a new feature giving iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users the ability to edit Google Docs directly from their devices. According to a post on the official Google Mobile blog, users simply need to visit docs.google.com in their browser, select the document they’d like to edit, and press the “Edit” button to begin editing. The post notes that the features will be rolled out to English-language users around the world in the next few days, and are compatible with all iOS devices running software version 3.0 or later.

id Software releases Rage for iOS

id Software has released Rage, its highly-anticipated first-person rail shooter for the iOS platform. Announced earlier this month, Rage for iOS is built on the same Tech 5 game engine that is being used for the upcoming PC/console game. The iOS version provides a subset of the full game built around the Mutant Bash TV combat game show from the Rage world. Rage HD for iOS is an on-rails shooter that takes the player through a wasteland stalked by mutants where they must collect weapons, ammo and power-ups to survive. The game provides three different levels and four degrees of difficulty plus specific Mutant Bash TV challenges throughout each level.

Rage for iOS is available in two versions: Rage and Rage HD, however unlike most other “HD” games, Rage HD is not the iPad version; both are in fact universal applications that simply provide different quality graphics. iPad, iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch users will be able to take advantage of higher-resolution textures in Rage HD, although this version is also compatible with the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch. The standard version of Rage is compatible with any iOS device running iOS 3.1 or later. Both applications are available on the App Store and are large compared to most iOS games: Rage ($1) is a 540MB download while Rage HD ($2) weighs in at just under 750MB.

Apple touts battery life in new iPhone 4 spot

Apple has posted a new iPhone 4 TV advertisement on its website, touting the handset’s lithium polymer battery. Entitled “Longer,” the spot states that the battery lets users work, play, laugh, listen, shoot, edit, share, update, download, read, write, and FaceTime longer, while showing off various features of the iPhone 4 and iOS 4. The ad finishes by proclaiming the iPhone 4 “the world’s thinnest smartphone.” Apple’s new iPhone 4 advertisement is available for viewing on the company’s website.

Twitter adds Push Notifications

Twitter has released an update to its official client for iOS devices adding support for Push Notifications and several other improvements and fixes. Twitter 3.2 now allows users to optionally receive Push Notifications for mentions and direct messages for some or all of their Twitter accounts and users can choose whether to receive notifications when they’re mentioned by any user on Twitter or only by those users that they are following. The new version also improves the display of shortened URLs, adds more Retina Display graphics for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch and simplifies the process of enabling geotagging. For the iPad, the new version also adds inline media support, the ability to manage saved searches and several UI improvements. Twitter is a universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and is available from the App Store as a free download.

EA releases Need for Speed Hot Pursuit

Electronic Arts has released Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, its latest installment in the popular racing game franchise. In Hot Pursuit, players take on the role of a cop chasing down street racers while driving cop versions of real-world high-performance police cars such as the Lamborghini Revention. Players can participate in quick races or undertake a career mode starting out as a rookie cop and progressing through 24 cop career events to reach the top of the ranks. In addition to 15 high-speed police cars, players have a variety of weapons at their disposal to catch racers including roadblocks, spike strips and even EMP locks. Players can challenge their friends to Cop-vs-Racer showdowns over local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth with a choice of five cop cars and five racer cars to play with. The game includes high-resolution Retina Display graphics for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch with a variety of detailed racing environments and night, day and dusk scenarios. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is available from the App Store for $5.

Google releases official Google Voice app

Google has released its much-anticipated official Google Voice app for the iPhone. Originally announced last summer, Google’s first attempt at a native Google Voice app for iOS was rejected by Apple, citing duplicate functionality with the built-in Phone application. Following Apple’s publication of a new set of guidelines for the App Store in September, Google reportedly resubmitted the app and received approval from Apple, however more work was required to provide support for the iPhone 4 and multitasking capabilities in iOS 4, delaying the application’s final release until this week.

Although an HTML5 web application has been available for Google Voice for some time to allow users to place calls, access voice mail and send text messages, the new official Google Voice application provides tighter integration with iOS allowing users to receive push notifications of new messages, make use of direct access numbers to more quickly place phone calls and access contacts from the iPhone Address Book. The application requires a Google Voice account and an iPhone running iOS 3.1 or later; it is not compatible with the iPod touch or iPad. Google Voice is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.

Path creates a more personal social network

A new iPhone application and social network, Path, has introduced a new and different approach to sharing photos online. Unlike traditional social media networks such as Facebook and Flickr, Path is intended to create a more personal social network by deliberately limiting the number of friends that a user can interact with. Defined as “The Personal Network,” Path allows users to take pictures with their iPhone camera and share them online with a small and select group of friends and family members without having to worry about managing large friend lists and potentially complex privacy settings. Path limits each user’s social connections to no more than 50 other Path users, focusing on maintaining a small circle of personal friends and family members that users can feel comfortable sharing personal moments with.

Path is designed to capture specific moments, organizing photos as a realtime stream instead of photo albums. To this end the application only supports taking photos from the iPhone camera rather than sharing existing pictures from the photo library. Users can add context by tagging photos with people, places and things and friends can view photos on a map. Path also provides realtime feedback on which friends have seen photos to encourage further interaction. The current version of Path is compatible only with iPhone devices running iOS 4.0 or later—notably it does not presently run even on the camera-equipped fourth-generation iPod touch. Path is available from the App Store as a free download.

Boxcar gets major update

Appremix has released a major update to its Boxcar notification management app for iOS devices. The new version represents a significant overhaul, sporting a completely new UI design and several new features. Boxcar 4.0 adds Retina Display support for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch, a and now provides a centralized inbox with more alert options. Several additional services are now available as well including Google Buzz, Google Voice and more and users can now reply to and retweet Twitter messages directly in Boxcar without having to open an external Twitter client. Boxcar is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. The free version is ad-supported; users can pay $5 via in-app purchasing to disable the advertising.

Ambiance adds iPad + AirPlay support

Urban Apps has released an update to Ambiance adding iPad and AirPlay support. Ambiance is an “environment enhancer” application that allows the user to play back a wide variety of ambient noises that can be downloaded from a very large catalog of sounds ranging from nature sounds to sounds from busy train stations. Ambiance 3.1 is now a universal application adding native support for the iPad as well as introducing AirPlay support for full audio streaming to an Apple TV, Airport Express or other AirPlay compatible output device. The new version also fixes a number of issues related to push notifications, caching of pages and general user interface problems. Ambiance is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for current users.

Facebook app adds privacy settings, fixes photo uploads

Facebook has released another update to its client app for the iPhone and iPod touch adding the ability to access account and privacy settings and the Facebook Help Center from within the app. These new options can be found by tapping on the “Account” button in the top-left corner of the main menu to open an in-app browser to the standard Facebook web pages which do not appear to be iPhone-optimized at this point. The update also fixes a problem introduced in the previous version that prevented users from uploading photos to specific albums. This most recent update does not include any of the new messaging features announced today by Facebook, however the company has indicated that these features will be coming to the iPhone application at some point in the future as the new Facebook messaging platform is gradually rolled out over the next few months. Facebook for the iPhone and iPod touch is available from the App Store as a free download.

Apple releases updated iOS 4.2 GM for iPad

Apple has released a revised version of its iOS 4.2 Gold Master for iPad, amid reports that the software’s launch was pushed back due to a bug. Citing a number of different recent articles, Mac Rumors reports that Apple has posted Build 8C134b of the software on the iOS Dev Center, a newer version than Build 8C134 which was seeded to developers on November 1. According to the report, rumors had indicated that there were Wi-Fi connectivity issues in the initial GM build of iOS 4.2 for iPad, forcing Apple to push back its internal schedule for the software’s release from this week to at least next week, and possibly as late as November 24, as reported by The Telegraph. Apple has said only that iOS 4.2 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch would be released in November.

Instapaper adds automatic Dark mode, new sharing options

Marco Arment has released a major update to his Instapaper offline reader application for iOS devices, making several UI and performance improvements and adding new sharing options. Instapaper 2.3 adds article preview text to the list view on the iPhone and iPod touch similar to that found in the iPad version, while also adding slightly longer preview text for the iPad. New indicators in the article listing now display the approximate length of each article as well as the relative progress using a row of dots. The iPhone version also adds support for toggling Dark Mode from within an article, and a new option is now available on both platforms to automatically switch the display to Dark mode at night based on the sunset times in the user’s area as determined by the device’s location. The update also adds several new sharing options including the ability to send links to OmniFocus and QuickReader as well as copy links or article text to the iOS clipboard. Other new features include performance improvements in the iPad version, simplified bookmarklet installation and the addition of an “ihttp” URL scheme for sending web pages to Instapaper without requiring the bookmarklet. Instapaper 2.3 is available from the App Store for $5.

Evernote adds multiple image support, audio recording improvements

Evernote has released an update to its universal cloud note storage app for iOS devices. Evernote 3.4 now provides users with the ability to select multiple images from their device’s photo library for adding to a single note or creating multiple snapshot notes rather than needing to add images one at a time. The update also offers several improvements to audio note recordings, increasing the maximum recording time for a single note to 90 minutes and adding playback, pause and replay controls both within the app and via background iOS 4 audio controls. Additional new features include iOS 4 “Open In” support allowing users to send PDFs and text files from Safari, Mail and other compatible third-party apps directly into Evernote and AirPrint support for printing notes directly from Evernote to a network printer. Evernote is a universal app for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad and is available from the App Store as a free download.

Apple teams with Dentsu Group on iAds in Japan

Apple has announced a partnership with marketing firm The Dentsu Group to expand Apple’s iAd mobile advertising platform to Japan early next year. According to the announcement, Dentsu will handle the selling and creative execution of iAds in Japan, while Apple will host, target and deliver the iAds to its iOS users. In addition, Dentsu subsidiary cyber communications, inc. (cci) will provide one-stop services for iAd in Japan including creative production and media planning.

“After an incredibly successful launch in the US where we’ve already doubled the number of brands on the network, we’re excited to bring iAd to Japan,” said Andy Miller, Apple’s vice president of iAd. “Dentsu is one of the world’s most prestigious advertising agencies, making them an ideal partner for iAds in Japan.”

“We’re thrilled to be joining with Apple to introduce such a powerful new ad platform in Japan,” said Ryuichi Mori, Senior Executive Vice President, Dentsu Inc. “Mobile advertising is Japan’s fastest-growing platform and iAd’s rich media experience and engaged audience of iPhone and iPod touch users make it uniquely positioned to capture mobile’s full potential for advertisers and developers.”

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