In a week that continues to see an expansion of location-based social networking apps, Hot Potato Media has released an update to its Hot Potato Mobile application. Designed for users of the hotpotato.com social networking service, Hot Potato Mobile allows users to share social experiences specifically focused on live events. The latest update adds integration with Twitter hashtags and Foursquare locations, including the ability for users to automatically check-in to Foursquare when attending events. Other new features include enhanced friend management, notifications for new event updates, improved filtering and support for posting messages and images only to friends. Hot Potato Mobile is available from the App Store as a free download.
According to a new page on Apple’s website devoted to the new iBooks application for the iPad, iBooks will support non-DRM ePub books not downloaded from the iBookstore. According to the text, “you can add free ePub titles to iTunes and sync them to the iBooks app on your iPad.” In addition, iBooks also supports Apple’s VoiceOver technology. “iBooks works with VoiceOver, the screen reader in iPad, so it can read you the contents of any page,” the site says. Finally, the app will offer the ability to tap and hold on any word to look it up in the iPad’s built-in dictionary, in Wikipedia, or search for it within the book or on the web. iBooks will be a free download for iPad users from the App Store.
Atebits has released an update to its highly acclaimed Tweetie 2 Twitter client for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new update adds support for OS 3.2, Foursquare integration, Instapaper Mobilizer and video uploads to Vodpod. The new Foursquare integration identifies tweets that display Foursquare (4sq.com) links within users’ streams and allows Foursquare location information to be viewed from directly within Tweetie. Tweetie 2 is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for existing users of Tweetie 2.
Following the same testing strategy used for its previous Plus+ network games, Ngmoco has launched its newest game, GodFinger, as a limited release on the Canadian App Store. GodFinger puts the player in the role of an all-powerful deity who must customize and cultivate their world and convert its inhabitants into loyal followers. The game supports an open-ended gameplay where users can choose their playing style from being a benevolent god to a destructive demagogue. As players increase in level, additional Wonders become available for players to either impress or subdue their subjects. The game supports the Plus+ network so that players can invite their friends to become their followers or turn them into Mystics to help rule on their behalf. GodFinger is currently available from the Canadian App Store as a free download. Ngmoco has not yet announced when the game will be released in other countries. [via Touch Arcade]
Namco Networks has released Pool Pro Online 3 for the iPhone and iPod touch, incorporating Namco’s new UniteSDK technology to provide cross-platform online play with opponents on other mobile devices and desktop computers. Pool Pro Online 3 is a 3D pool game that allows players to compete against friends online in 8-ball, 9-ball and Snooker. Players can make in-game wagers against their opponents and use the winnings to upgrade their equipment and buy new pool halls. Online features include a friends list, global leaderboards, sharing of achievements via Facebook and real-time chat with opponents. In addition to online play, users can compete in peer-to-peer games with other iPhone and iPod touch users over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Pool Pro Online 3 is also expected to be available in PC, iPad, Mac, Android, RIM and Windows Mobile versions in the coming months, allowing players to compete with each other on multiple devices regardless of platform. Namco also plans to use its UniteSDK technology to expand the features of Pool Pro 3 Online to include tournaments as well as developing other titles that take advantage of the cross-platform gaming capabilities. Pool Pro Online 3 is available from the App Store for $5.
Barnes & Noble has confirmed plans to release its own eReader application for the iPad. The application is expected to be released as a free download “around the time” of the iPad availability and will allow users to read existing books in their Barnes & Noble digital library, including eBooks and content that customers have already downloaded to their nook eBook reader, as well as providing access to the Barnes & Noble eBookstore. [via Engadget]
iPhone OS 4.0, the next major revision to the software that powers the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, will offer support for multitasking, according to a new report. Citing anonymous sources “with a proven track record” in predicting Apple’s technical advancements, AppleInsider reports that iPhone OS 4.0, expected this summer, will include a “full-on solution” for multitasking, allowing third-party applications downloaded from the App Store to run in the background. According to the same sources, the software will include a multitasking manager built on interface technology already bundled with Apple’s Mac OS X operating system. Finally, the report states that the software is under development and has quite a “way to go” before its ready for release; no further specifics were given.
The City of Edmonton, Alberta has announced plans to sponsor an application development contest. Scheduled to be formally announced later this month, the Apps4Edmonton contest will aim to encourage local iPhone developers to create apps that improve municipal information sharing and communications. The contest will offer $50,000 in prizes and the winning application will be showcased at the 2010 Canadian Government Technology Conference (GTEC) in Ottawa in October. Edmonton is also planning the launch of its own iPhone application, CityWatch to allow residents to report problems to 311 call centres. [via iPhoneinCanada.ca]
A pair of files offering support for new gestures have been found in the latest beta version of the iPhone SDK 3.2 for iPad. 9to5Mac reports that the latest SDK’s “gestures” folder contains two previously unseen files, named “3Tap.plist” and “LongPress.plist,” presumably offering support for triple-tap and tap-and-hold gestures, which Apple currently uses in its implementations of VoiceOver and the iPhone OS’ cut-and-paste feature. In addition, 9to5Mac discovered that the files related to video chat features found in the previous beta SDK have been removed in the latest version.
Alamofire has released a major update to its Gowalla location sharing application for the iPhone and iPod touch, introducing a completely new interface design and support for several new features. Gowalla 2.0 now allows users to upload photos when checking in, browse photos from friends, or view photos that were taken at a specific location. Users can also now comment on their friends’ checkins and update their own checkins with additional messages. The update also improves browsing for friends and viewing their favorite locations and integrates Facebook, Twitter and web links for friends. Gowalla 2.0 is available from the App Store as a free download.
UpNext has released an update to its interactive 3D city map application for the iPhone and iPod touch, adding support for three new cities and integration into the Foursquare location sharing service. In addition to New York City, the update now adds 3D maps for Boston, Washington, DC and Austin, Texas. Integration with Foursquare now allows users to see checkins from Foursquare directly on the 3D maps, and the updated version also provides menu links for restaurants and bars, expanded reviews and ratings for venues, and a faster and smoother interface. The release notes indicate that users will need to download their cities again after updating the application, but that favorites and notes will be retained. UpNext 3D Cities is available on the App Store as a free download.
Foursquare has released an update to its popular location-based social networking application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Sporting a completely redesigned user interface, the update also provides a more efficient checkin process, category support in the “Places” view and a pull-down-to-refresh option. Users can also now view a history of where they’ve been, and locations now display category icons and more detailed address information. Foursquare is available from the App Store as a free download.
Thing Labs, developer of the Brizzly.com online Twitter and Facebook reader announced today that it has acquired the Birdfeed Twitter client from iPhone developer Buzz Andersen as the foundation for its new Brizzly for Twitter iPhone application. The original Birdfeed application has been removed from the App Store and the former home page for the app now simply displays an announcement from Brizzly informing users of the news and where to download the new Brizzly for Twitter application. The announcement notes that Birdfeed will continue to work for existing users but will no longer be supported or updated. The new Brizzly application provides support for multiple Twitter accounts, Twitter Lists, sharing of photos via Brizzly Pics or Flickr, saved searches, and integration with the Brizzly.com online reader. Brizzly for Twitter is available from the App Store as a free download.
Capcom has released the highly anticipated Street Fighter IV for the iPhone and iPod touch. First announced last month, Street Fighter IV brings the popular console game to the iPhone and iPod touch with a user interface specifically redesigned for the touchscreen and the same visual style and artwork found in the current generation console game. Eight classic characters are available in the game, including Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, Able, Blanka, M. Bison, Dhalsim, Guile and Ken and the game provides seven different playing environments. Familiar moves such as Unique Attacks, Special Moves, Focus Attacks, Super Combos and Ultra Combos are all present, and the game provides a “Dojo” mode to introduce new players to the game’s moves and features. In addition to the standard single-player mode, players can choose to compete against other iPhone and iPod touch users over Bluetooth in a two-player head-to-head mode. Street Fighter IV is available on the App Store for $10.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has acquired a recent copy of Apple’s iPhone Developer Program License Agreement (PDF Link) and posted it online. Previously seen only by those applying to be a licensed iPhone developer, the EFF used the Freedom of Information Act to ask NASA, which distributes a free NASA App through the App Store, for a copy. Contained within the agreement is a section prohibiting developers from making any “public statements” about the terms of the agreement, as well as sections prohibiting reverse engineering of the iPhone OS, prohibiting developers from contributing to the development of jailbreaking and or unlocking solutions, and a clause saying that Apple can “revoke the digital certificate of [an application] at any time,” a feature of the iPhone OS that Apple has yet to invoke, but keeps available as a backup plan should malicious software manage to find its way onto the App Store and users’ iPhones and iPod touches.
Apple has released the fourth beta version of its iPhone SDK 3.2 for iPad. First released in January following the introduction of the iPad, the SDK is tailored specifically to the device, including support for its 1024x768 resolution, other iPad-specific interface functions, and includes an iPad simulator application so developers can pre-test their apps in an environment similar to that of the final device. It is currently unclear what, if any, major changes were made in the updated version. The iPhone OS 3.2 SDK beta 4 for iPad is available now to registered iPhone developers through the iPhone Dev Center.
Genera Mobile has released FORMULA 1 Live Racing 2010, an unofficial Formula 1 information app that allows F1 racing fans to follow Grand Prix racing on their iPhone or iPod touch. The application provides live commentary, lap-by-lap race positions, live coverage of qualification sessions and real-time leaderboards for all Grand Prix 2010 races. Users can also view detailed circuit information including weather conditions, view stats on the drivers competing in each race and receive daily F1 news updates between races. FORMULA 1 Live Racing 2010 is available on the App Store as a free download.
CBS Interactive has released a new app for iPhone and iPod touch users to follow the NCAA March Madness tournament games on their devices. NCAA March Madness on Demand provides live streaming video of every game of the tournament, available over both Wi-Fi and 3G/EDGE connections. The application also provides Westwood One live radio broadcasts of all games, video-on-demand highlights, game previews and current scores and headlines. Users can choose to receive alerts on their favorite teams and other events and can share comments via Facebook and Twitter from directly within the application. CBS Sports NCAA March Madness on Demand is available from the App Store for $10. A free Lite version is also available that provides scores, stats, news and video highlights but excludes live video and audio streaming.
Electronic Arts has released the first new mega pack for its episodic Surviving High School game. “Homecoming Queen” casts the player in the role of a female student who must work on her popularity, dancing skills and find a date in order to become Homecoming Queen. While the original main game pack “Football Season” cast the player in the role of a male football player, the new add-on pack provides players with the opportunity to play in the first-person as a female character instead. Released last fall, Surviving High School is a choice-based role-playing game that is unique in its approach of providing free short weekly “episodes” using a TV-like model. The game includes a single full game pack, “Football Season” followed by shorter episodes released weekly that allow the player to follow various other characters and stories. New episodes are available for free each week with past episodes and new mega-packs sold as in-app purchases from within the game. Surviving High School is available on the App Store for $3, the Homecoming Queen Mega pack is $2 as an in-app purchase.
Apple has started blocking so-called “cookie-cutter” basic applications from the App Store, according to a new report. Citing developer comments, TechCrunch reports that Apple is cracking down on applications that function as little more than glorified RSS feeds or business cards, many of which have traditionally been produced by app-building services. One such service, Appmakr, said Apple has reached out to provide suggestions which could be used to improve the service. The company now plans to add more advanced features to the apps that it builds, including push notifications, in-app purchases, offline access, and landscape viewing modes. Other services, according to anonymous developer comments, are not receiving as much help from Apple on improving their products; TechCrunch suggests these are likely the services offering only the most basic of app templates. Notably, Apple does not appear to be going through the store and removing currently available applications that would not be approved under this new policy, as it did with a large number of “overtly sexual” applications last month.