The counter for Apple’s billion app countdown, which currently occupies the front page of Apple.com, has revealed the company’s timing forecasts for the sale of the one-billionth app from the App Store. TechCrunch reported that the image was tied to the time and date on the user’s computer, making it possible to adjust one’s time settings forward in order to see the image Apple will display once the billionth app has been downloaded. This offers users an idea of when Apple estimates it will achieve its goal; it appears, however, that the dependency on the user’s own clock has since been fixed. According to the article, Apple previously had the time pegged at 1:24:06 a.m. PST April 23, but has been adjusting the exact timing based on the rate of app sales, meaning the actual one billionth download may take place slightly before or after the estimated time.
NBC’s Todayshow.com has released the official Today Show application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Developed by Zumobi, the app offers video and audio clips from the show, top stories and photos form popular Today topics, including health, food and wine, entertainment, relationships, and fashion. The Today Show application is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Digital Chocolate has released Mini Golf 99 Holes Theme Park, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game offers players five different characters, each with their own secret power, four unique courses, a total of 99 holes, and obstacles such as bumpers, teleporters, and spring jumps. Mini Golf 99 Holes Theme Park is available now from the App Store and sells for $5; a free Lite version is also available.
Glu Mobile has released its Cooking Star game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Cooking Star, players are asked to solve a varied set of cooking puzzles using multi-touch- and accelerometer-based controls, such as flipping kebabs, stirring soups, slicing ingredients, mixing salad, and more. Users who achieve five-star proficiency in the eight mini-games can unlock real recipes to build their cookbook; Glu Mobile also promises that new mini-games will be added periodically. Cooking Star is available now for $3.
Mac developer Steve Capps, under the company name onedoto, has released AliceX, a new iPhone and iPod touch game created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Mac. AliceX is inspired by Through the Looking Glass, a game Capps wrote for the original Mac while working for Apple; the title also has the distinction of being the only game Apple ever sold for the Macintosh. Based loosely on the rules of chess, the game puts Alice on a chess board with the objective of capturing all of the opposing pieces, and Alice begins playing as a queen but eventually moves to acting like a pawn in later levels. In total, the game offers 96 levels in four speed groups, and players must score at least 750 points to advance to the next level. AliceX is available now from the App Store and sells for $2. [via Mac Rumors]
Ngmoco has released details of its upcoming Star Defense game for the iPhone and iPod touch. A tower defense-style game, Star Defense puts players in the shoes of a starship captain, who must secure and defend an entire galaxy, consisting of seven unique worlds, each with distinct path layouts, enemy types and immunities, and weapon choices. Features include 15 weapon types, each with specific attributes, the ability to earn medals and commendations, five upgradeable tower types, three difficulty levels, and 3D environments. Star Defense is currently in development and is expected to launch in early May.
On the official website for its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference 2009 event, Apple has posted four new video profiles of various iPhone developers, explaining how the iPhone OS and SDK altered their views on what was possible on a mobile platform, and how it has affected their development processes. Included in the profiles are Dr. Ge Wang of Smule, developer of Ocarina, Werner Jainek of Cultured Code, developer of Things, Steve Demeter of Demiforce, developer of Trism, and Christina Wick of AOL, which has a variety of apps on the store, including AIM. Apple’s WWDC 2009 conference is scheduled for June 8-12 at Moscone West in San Francisco. [via TUAW]
Galcon has released Cosmic Nitro, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In the game, which is based on the classic Atari game Missile Command, players must tap on the screen to “blast” enemies, with a shield option that can be deployed by swiping across the screen. Features include five different enemies, nine levels, an “apocalypse” mode, a secret level, high score tracking, and more. Cosmic Nitro is available now from the App Store and sells for $1.
MLB.com has released MLB World Series 2009, its first game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The only game for iPhone and iPod touch featuring all 30 Major League teams, the game also offers multi-touch pitching and batting controls, accelerometer targeting, three games modes, 3-D animations, skill rankings based on 2008 player stats, and four MLB ballparks, including Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Citizens Bank Park, and the new Yankee Stadium. MLB World Series 2009 is available now and sells for $8.
Orbicule has launched Undercover, a theft recovery solution for iPhone and iPod touch. Undercover works by submitting the most accurate location data available back to Orbicule’s servers, allowing both the user and the police to view its current position. The company notes that currently the thief would need to launch the application in order for it to transmit data, but that it is working with other third-party developers in hopes of building the technology into other apps. If the thief does launch Undercover after the device has been reported stolen, it pretends to load a game while determining the current location and submitting the data to Orbicule’s servers. Undercover is available now and sells for $5.
Coupon Sherpa has released its application of the same name for the iPhone and iPod touch. Coupon Sherpa lets users access both exclusive and traditional in-store coupons directly from their devices, finding coupons by searching for the store name or browsing by category or by store list. In addition, many of the coupons include bar codes that can be scanned by the stores’ optical scanners during checkout. Coupon Sherpa sells for $2 and is available now from the App Store.
Smule has released Leaf Trombone World Stage, its latest social instrument application for the iPhone and iPod touch. First previewed during the iPhone OS 3.0 event in March, Leaf Trombone is Smule’s first “massively multi-player” musical game, expanding on the iPhone-as-instrument concept seen in the company’s prior release Ocarina. Trombone features a self tutorial mode, judging capabilities which players can use to provide critiques of other users’ performances using emoticons, text, and a 1-10 scale, and a browser-based composition tool, which allows anyone to compose new music. Smule’s Leaf Trombone World Stage is available now from the App Store and sells for $1.
For more information on Leaf Trombone World Tour, see our review.
The Tiffen Company has released Cool fx, its latest image enhancement application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Cool fx offers users 172 visual presets separated into Black & White, Color, Diffusion, Grain, and Temperature groupings which simulate a variety of photographic looks, film stocks, and lab processes. Priced at $4 but currently offered for $3, Cool fx is available now from the App Store.
Pixelexip has introduced LightSource, its new lighting application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Designed for photographers and cinematographers, LightSource uses the device’s screen as a lighting tool, letting users choose from a common light source presets. The app’s light temperature presets are based on actual Kelvin readings, and include sunlight, candlelight, 40W and 100W tungsten bulbs, sodium vapor, halogen, fluorescent black light, and others. LightSource is available now from the App Store and sells for $1.
Fishing Cactus has debuted Equilibrio, a new gravity-based game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Players must rotate the iPhone in order to move a ball through an on-screen maze, with the ball shattering if it hits a wall or other obstacle while moving too fast. The game also features traps, five different balls with unique properties, three play modes, and 60 levels to play though. Equilibrio is available now for $4.
Smallrock Software has released Doomsday Terminal, a new game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based loosely on the computer from LOST, Doomsday Terminal presents users with a computer screen and a list of numbers they must enter every 108 minutes or else the game ends. The game ties into an online scoreboard which keeps track of who has the longest streak; Smallrock promises to give a $200 gift card to the first user who breaks the one week mark. Doomsday Terminal sells for $1 and is available now.
Gameloft has released details of its upcoming Assassin’s Creed game for the iPhone and iPod touch. A direct prequel to the console game of the same name, Assassin’s Creed puts players in control of a master assassin named Altair, sent to Jerusalem in the year 1191 AD to steal a chalice in order to end the Crusades. The game offers a mix of stealth, problem solving, and action, and features skill-based mini-games, cinematic cutscenes, the ability to upgrade Altair and his six different weapons, and 3D graphics. Assassin’s Creed for the iPhone and iPod touch is expected to launch next week; pricing has yet to be announced. Continue reading for more screenshots.
Utah.gov, the official website of the state of Utah, has released two new applications for the iPhone and iPod touch to allow users to quickly and easily access various state agency information. The Utah.gov application provides users with a state agency search, including phone number, address, and web site URL, a service search, covering over 1,000 citizen, business, and government-to-government services, and a section for news from Utah.gov. The second app, Utah.gov Professional License Lookup, is a search utility that lets users verify the status of individuals with a state regulated occupation or profession, including doctors, nurses, contractors, accountants, and other state licensed professionals. It displays basic license information, and color-coded results based on active, inactive, or suspended status. Both of Utah.gov’s applications are available now as free downloads from the App Store.
Educational gaming company LeapFrog has released Number Rumble, the company’s first game for the iPhone and the iPod touch. Number Rumble is a math game aimed at six- to ten-year-olds that helps players learn basic math, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division using numbers 1-12. It features three different game modes, including “Learn It,” in which players choose an operation, spin number wheels to create a math problem, and then tap the equals sign to see and hear the answer, “Quiz Time,” in which players spin the number wheels to create a problem and then shake the iPhone to select an answer, and “Random Quiz,” which lets players practice all four operations at once by shaking the iPhone to see fill-in-the-blank-style questions. LeapFrog’s Number Rumble is available now from the App Store and sells for $3.
Yelp has announced an upcoming update to its same-named iPhone application, reviewed yesterday, which currently offers restaurant reviews and a restaurant finder feature. According to a company spokesman, the new Yelp version will let iPhone users “write Twitter-length ‘quick tips’ about a business, draft full reviews, browse a Facebook-style feed of reviews, tips, photos and events” either nearby or authored by friends, as well as adding U.K. support, a large photo browser, and account creation directly from the iPhone. A video of the new Yelp version, which is expected to become available in the App Store in the next day or so, can be viewed here.
Two separate developers have released what one bills as the “first dual web browser for iPhone,” both under similar names, enabling a user to look at two web pages at once. Michal Wagner/7sql’s iBrowseTwo 1.0 divides the vertical-orientation iPhone screen into upper and lower portions, with a bar dividing the two web pages and capable of being moved to let you see more of one or the other. BIG Development’s iBrowse2 1.0 divides the widescreen-orientation screen into two halves, left and right, placing pages on both sides and letting you switch into single-page vertical mode at will. Each app sells for $1.
Direct-from-iPhone postcard-creating applications have appeared in the App Store, including the $2 CardPuppy from Wildcat Mobile and the free app Postcards from Stolen Bases. Both applications let you use iPhone photo gallery images to instantly upload and create actual mailable postcards, complete with text and addresses you enter, which are sent via the developers to recipients of your choice. While CardPuppy comes with a credit good for one postcard, selling additional credits via PayPal for $2.50 and up, Postcards gives you two cards for free and then charges $1.30 and up for additional cards, depending on quantity. Both are available now.
Yahoo! has released its new Yahoo! Messenger application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The application allows users to login to Yahoo’s messaging service, set their status with custom status messages, view recent conversations, and share photos. In addition, it offers an automatic idle mode that changes users’ statuses to idle upon leaving the application, giving them ten minutes to return to the app without missing any messages. Yahoo! Messenger is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Namco has released Galaga Remix, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game includes both the arcade classic Galaga and an enhanced Remix version, featuring six unique boss battles, nine different power-ups, new background images, an updated dual-fighter mode, and a new free play mode that lets players choose from previously-cleared stages. Galaga Remix also offers three control modes, including on-screen arrow keys, a slider bar, and accelerometer control. Galaga Remix is available now from the App Store and sells for $6; a free lite version is available as well. Continue reading for more screenshots.
France’s iPhone carrier Orange has released a new application (Translated Link) that allows French users to watch TV on their devices. The Orange TV application is available for free from the App Store, but downloaders must pay separately to use the app, via either a €6-€9 monthly charge, or €.90 per 20-minute session. Between 20 and 64 channels are available, depending on the user’s plan; curiously, the app works over EDGE or 3G connections, but not over Wi-Fi due to TV channel concerns. According to MacGeneration, the app will be followed tomorrow by a version from competing carrier SFR, and Bouygues Telecom may also offer a similar application when it begins sales of the iPhone. YouTube videos of Orange TV in action are available in the MacGeneration article.
Tapulous has released Tap Tap Coldplay (aka Tap Tap Revenge: Coldplay Edition), the latest in its series of Tap Tap rhythm games for the iPhone and iPod touch. Tap Tap Revenge: Coldplay Edition includes ten songs from the Grammy-winning English band, including “Yellow,” “Clocks,” and “Lost,” plus remixed versions of Lovers in Japan and Viva la Vida. The game also features new themes, graphics, and effects inspired by the band’s music videos, four difficulty levels, each with unlockable boss tracks, a multi-player mode, and Facebook Connect high score tracking. Tap Tap Revenge: Coldplay Edition is available now from the App Store and sells for $5.
For more information on Tap Tap Coldplay, see our review.
iPhone developer Illusion Labs has posted a video to YouTube showing two of its iPhone games, TouchGrind and Sway, being played on a large multi-touch table. The technology for table was developed by Touchtech in cooperation with Crowd; according to Mac Rumors, the games, which had been slightly modified to accommodate the larger screen, were running on a MacBook Pro with input from the table being sent via a network cable. Continue reading to watch an embedded version of the video.
Sony Pictures Television has released its new Jeopardy! game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the popular quiz show of the same name, Jeopardy! lets players compete against two computer opponents, with the same gameplay as seen on the television show. Features include the ability for players to write their names on the podium using the touchscreen, a landscape view for showing both the contestants and categories at once, real sound effects from the game show including the Final Jeopardy theme, the ability for players to create their own custom contestants, and over 1,500 clues. Jeopardy! is available now from the App Store and sells for $5.
Apple has released Remote 1.2.1, the latest version of its iTunes and Apple TV remote software for the iPhone and iPod touch. According to Apple, the new release contains bug fixes and provides compatibility with iTunes 8.1; however, this is the same “What’s New” description it used for Remote 1.2, making it difficult to ascertain what changes have been made. Remote v.1.2 added the ability for guests to select songs to add to the iTunes DJ playlist, and vote for songs picked by others. Remote 1.2.1 is available now as a free download from the App Store.
T-Mobile Germany, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in Germany, has said it will block customers from using the new Skype application for iPhone, both on a network and contractual basis. “It is clearly stated in our customer contracts that such services may not be used,” T-Mobile spokesperson Alexander von Schmettow told German publication The Local. “There are two reasons for this – because the high level of traffic would hinder our network performance, and because if the Skype programme didn’t work properly, customers would make us responsible for it.” Skype for iPhone works only over Wi-Fi connections, meaning it would have no effect on T-Mobile cellular network performance, only at company-owned Wi-Fi hotspots. Skype General Counsel Robert Miller points out in a blog post that the application is the number one download on the App Store in Germany, but that customers in the country have no choice but to abide by the company’s rules, at least while on T-Mobile controlled networks, because all German mobile operators forbid the use of VoIP applications.
“[T]here is no technical justification for this arbitrary blocking of Skype, and it represents a barrier to online business put in place by a private company just because they can, because they control access to the Internet,” Miller writes. “Yet, no one can do anything about it: German or EU regulation does not forbid such blatantly unfair practices, and the new EU legislation for telecoms which the European Parliament and European governments are supposed to adopt later this month will not help either, it seems from the latest texts being considered in Brussels: it may even make things worse, by legitimizing restrictions put in place by operators to users’ Internet access, as long as they inform consumers.” Meanwhile, Schmettow said the company will not hesitate to enforce the policy, stating, “[T]hose who violate their contracts can expect to have them cancelled. It’s the same with any contract. If you rent a no-pets apartment and expect no one to notice your little dog, you can’t be surprised when your landlord comes knocking.”
Sony Pictures Television has announced three new iPhone and iPod touch games slated for release in 2009. Based on the upcoming console game, Ghostbusters will let users catch ghosts and save NYC citizens from being slimed when it is released in June. Q*Bert is an update of the classic arcade game, featuring new graphics and maps, animations, 50 new levels, and the retro arcade game. It will launch in July. Finally, players will create their own spy in Top Agent, a multi-player game that pits users against henchmen, famous villains from the James Bond films, and other players’ agents. It is expected to be released in August.