Fring, developer of the popular Voice-over-IP communications app, has reported that mobile video calling now makes up more than 40% of its worldwide calling traffic among supported devices. Fring first introduced video capabilities last November, allowing users to conduct video calls with other fring users and Skype contacts from supported mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPod touch. The company reports even higher usage rates of 60% of call traffic throughout Western European countries—more than double the usage of leading PC-based video calling services. Fring is available as a free download on the App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch, however only incoming video is supported on these devices due to the lack of a front-facing camera.
Wired Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson, speaking at the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) 2010 conference, has revealed that the publication plans to release its content for the iPad by summer. “I’m from the media world,” Anderson said, “and as you may have heard, we have lots of questions about our future. The good news is I think we found part of the answer…. We think this is a game changer.” Anderson explained that the iPad allows periodicals for the first time to offer digital content with the same values and artistic range of print magazines. The new digital edition was demonstrated on a large touchscreen-capable display, and offered both single and two-up page views, depending on orientation, as well as a thumbnail view, and interactive media and advertisements. Interestingly, Wired’s creative director, Scott Dadich, worked with Jeremy Clark of Adobe to developer the iPad edition, a process which has been ongoing over the last six months. Pricing for the iPad edition of Wired was not announced.
Update: Wired has posted a video of the interface in-action online; it is available in embedded form below.
Interview magazine, founded in 1969 by artist Andy Warhol and John Wilcock, has unveiled plans to launch new iPad-formatted versions of its issues. The Huffington Post reports that the company announced the new digital initiative at its 40th anniversary party; a video preview of the new iPad editions accompanies the article. Interview’s iPad editions will integrate photography and text with both audio and video features, and it will launch the 40th anniversary, December/January 2010, February 2010, and March 2010 issues simultaneously. The new iPad versions of Interview are expected to be available next month.
“When Andy Warhol founded Interview four decades ago, he did so with an ethos that embraced the new,” the magazine said in an announcement. “As with his art, Warhol re-wrote the rulebook with Interview, creating an innovative, intelligent, sophisticated, cutting-edge magazine that was culturally impactful, pushed the boundaries of the medium, and reinvented what a magazine could be. So it’s entirely fitting that Interview is once again at the forefront of reinventing the magazine experience for Apple’s iPad, combining the benefits of the digital age with the familiar advantages of Guttenberg’s printing press to deliver a groundbreaking, knock-out reader experience. One could call Interview magazine on the iPad ‘an affordable Warhol screenprint.’”
Oceanhouse Media has announced the release of three new officially licensed Dr. Seuss iPhone applications. The Cat in the Hat and Dr. Seuss’s ABC are interactive eBooks providing professional narration, background audio and original text and artwork from the popular Dr. Seuss children’s titles. The two eBook applications also include the ability to highlight words as the story is read and to read back words as pictures are touched. Both titles sell for $4 each on the App Store. The third application, Dr. Seuss Camera - The Cat in the Hat Edition allows users to create Dr. Seuss themed photo cards using the iPhone’s camera or existing saved photos. Users can pose for pictures either with Dr. Seuss characters or become those characters in the photos. Resulting photo cards can be e-mailed or saved to the photo library. Dr. Seuss Camera - The Cat in the Hat Edition sells for $3 on the App Store. All three applications are supported on both the iPhone and iPod touch and Oceanhouse Media has announced that they will also be available for the iPad.
Clickgamer has announced an update to its popular Angry Birds catapult destruction game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Angry Birds 1.2 adds 42 new levels, two new worlds and new graphical themes for the levels. The new version also adds support for Crystal leaderboards and provides users with the ability to listen to their own iPod music library while playing. Angry Birds 1.2 is available on the App Store for a new price of $1, and is a free update for existing users.
Coinciding with yesterday’s annoucnement of its new Gorillamobile stand for the iPod touch, Joby has released an update to its Gorillacam companion application. Gorrilacam 1.1 adds tap-to-focus on the iPhone 3GS, 4X digital zoom capabilities and selectable image sizes. The new version also introduces an anti-shake feature that uses the accelerometer to detect when the device is steady before capturing an image. Gorillacam 1.1 is available on the App Store as a free download.
Following Apple’s announcement of iPhone OS 3.2 in late January, the first application update boasting compatibility with the iPad-ready operating system has appeared on the App Store. The release of TextExpander 1.1.3 lists only “updates for iPhone OS 3.2” in its release notes, without citing additional features. Taking directions from Apple in new iPad Human Interface Guidelines, numerous developers are updating their applications to provide improved compatibility with the iPad upon its release, including higher-resolution graphics and in some cases entirely new user interfaces.
Quinn Genzel has announced a major update to his popular Packing and Packing Pro applications. Packing is designed to help iPhone and iPod touch users with their packing lists when preparing to travel. The applications allow the user to create fully customizable packing lists from scratch or based on sample lists designed for typical travel scenarios. Users can track which items have been packed or not, tally up packed items and even calculate the size and weight of their luggage. Packing Pro provides additional organization features and an expert list assistant that can automatically create packing lists based on criteria such as number of travellers, weather conditions and food and clothes washing preferences. The latest versions of Packing and Packing Pro include a complete redesign of the application with new artwork and a redesigned and simplified layout. Both applications are currently on sale on the App Store, Packing selling for $1 and Packing Pro for $3.
Rockstar Games has announced a special price promotion for its highly-rated Grant Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars game (iLounge rating: A-). From Friday, February 12th until 11:59pm EST on Sunday, February 14th, the game is being offered at 30% off its normal $10 price. GTA: Chinatown Wars is a sandbox-style driving, shooting, and adventure game that puts the player in the role of a Triad gang member who must battle his way through a dangerous and morally bankrupt city in search of honor, riches and revenge. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is available on the App Store and our review can be found here.
SHAPE Services has released Mobiola Headset, an application that allows iPhone and iPod touch owners to use their device as a wireless headset for a PC. The Headset app connects with the free Mobiola Headset Desktop PC application over Wi-Fi to provide two-way audio communications between the device and PC applications such as Skype and MSN Messenger. Users can also record, pause and playback audio sent and received by the headset application. The desktop application requires Windows XP (SP2) or later and the iPhone app is compatible with iPhone and second-generation iPod touch devices running iPhone OS 3.0 or later. Mobiola Headset is available from the App Store for $2.
According to text found on Apple’s iPad features page, the iBooks app for iPad will be an optional download from the App Store, instead of a pre-installed application. The iBooks application serves as a virtual library and reading application, and also offers access to Apple’s upcoming iBookstore for purchasing new e-books. “Download the free app from the App Store and buy everything from classics to best sellers from the built-in iBookstore,” the passage reads. Apple is expected to begin shipments of Wi-Fi only iPad models in late March or early April. [via Daring Fireball]
A recent update to AOL’s AIM instant messaging application has added Facebook integration. AIM users can now log in to their Facebook account and chat with their Facebook friends, who will appear integrated into the buddy list alongside other AIM users. Status updates from Facebook friends can also be viewed in the Lifestream section of the app and users can comment on their friends’ status updates. AIM continues to also provide access to AOL, AIM, ICQ, .Mac and MobileMe accounts, AOL’s Lifestream, support for multiple identities, SMS messaging and push notifications. AIM is available from the App Store either as a free ad-supported version or an ad-free version is available for $3 which also provides landscape support.
Positioning Animals Worldwide has released a free app to allow users of its Spotlight GPS Dog Collar to locate and track their pets using their iPhone. The SpotLight GPS Pet Locator application allows the user to locate one or more pets, plot their locations on a map and use the iPhone’s GPS to provide real-time tracking and turn-by-turn directions to their pet. Users can also toggle the Dog Collar’s LED beacon on or off from within the app to help find their pet at night. The Spotlight GPS Pet Locator application is available on the App Store as a free download.
Wide Angle Software has released an update to TouchCopy, a utility that allows Mac or Windows users to transfer media content from their iPods or iPhones back to their computers, complete with playlists, ratings and play counts. Featured in our tutorial on Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer, TouchCopy also provides the ability to copy and manage calendars and voice memos, and allows the iPhone and iPod touch to be used as external storage devices for any type of file. Version 9.5 adds support for copying SMS messages, contacts and notes from the iPhone.
To coincide with the update, iLounge readers have been offered a substantial coupon savings for the application. Normally, TouchCopy is sold for $25, with a free 15-day trial version also available; through April 30th, iLounge readers can use the coupon code 8E503286A at the developer’s web site to receive 50% off the normal price.
Bite Interactive has announced the release of The Red Carpet, a new iPhone application where users can participate in a contest to select their predictions for the 2010 Academy Awards with a $1,000,000 prize for users who correctly predict all 24 televised Oscar winners. In addition to the contest, The Red Carpet application provides real-time information on Oscar nominees, ratings and reviews, Facebook, Twitter and Netflix integration and information on theatres, showtimes and previews of nominated films. The contest itself is open only to U.S. residents and full terms and conditions can be found on the application page on the App Store. The Red Carpet is available on the U.S. App Store for $3.
Norwegian browser company Opera Software has announced plans to show off a version of its Mini browser for the iPhone and iPod touch next week at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, according to a Reuters report. The company claims the browser will offer download speeds up to six times faster than the built-in MobileSafari browser, and could cut data traffic by up to 90 percent. Opera also said it saw no reason why its browser should be rejected by Apple. “We have not submitted it yet to the Apple App Store. However, we hope that Apple will not deny their users a choice in Web browsing experience,” said Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder of Opera. Apple in January began allowing some third-party browsers into the App Store, but those that have been approved thus far use WebKit, the same built-in browser engine that powers Safari, and not a third-party solution.
Shazam Entertainment quietly updated to its popular free Shazam app last night to add support for looking up tour information for tagged artists. The Shazam 1.8.5 update now provides the tour info feature previously found only in the $5 Shazam Encore app allowing users of the free version to look up tour dates both nearby and internationally and purchase tickets. Tour information can also be sent out via e-mail, and the service can also provide information on local concerts from other related artists. Shazam is available from the App Store as a free download.
iPhone Developer Siri has released Siri Assistant for the iPhone, a novel application that provides iPhone users with a voice-activated personal assistant. Users can request information from Siri Assistant simply by speaking natural language questions such as “Where is the best sushi near here” or “What PG-13 movies are playing this afternoon.” Siri Assistant can presently handle requests for information on restaurants, events, movies, taxis, weather and local points of interest and the developer plans to expand the service to include features such as reminders, flight information and reference questions. Siri Assistant can also personalize each users’ results based on the information that they most commonly request. The present version of Siri Assistant is compatible only with the iPhone 3GS using iPhone OS 3.1 or later and works only in the United States. It is available as a free download on the U.S. App Store.
Quickoffice today released version 3.0 of its popular Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite, bringing support for accessing and editing files stored in Google Docs, Box.net and Dropbox online services. The application also continues to support files stored on MobileMe iDisk, transferred via Wi-Fi or forwarded to Quickoffice via e-mail. Quickoffice is an iPhone office suite application that allows users to edit Microsoft Word and Excel files directly on their iPhone and view and e-mail other major file formats such as PowerPoint, PDF, iWork and image and audio files. Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite 3.0 is available on the App Store for $8 and is a free update for existing Quickoffice users.
Hudson Entertainment has launched a new turn-based strategy game, Military Madness; Neo Nectaris for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the classic Military Madness strategy game for the TurboGrafx-16, the iPhone game features updated visuals, cut scenes and full touch-screen gameplay capabilities. Gamers play as one of two opposing forces with futuristic military equipment battling it out on the moon. Players take turns moving their units on a hex-grid map in an effort to win by destroying all enemy units or capturing the enemy’s headquarters. As with the original title, the key element to the iPhone adaptation is understanding the strengths and limitations of each unit within the game and making the best strategic use of those resources. Military Madness: Neo Nectaris provides 48 levels of gameplay and is available on the App Store for $5.
Update: Our review of Military Madness: Neo Nectaris can be found here.