During a Q&A session following today’s Facebook event, CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked whether the company had any plans for a Facebook application for the iPad. Zuckerberg’s response was simply “iPad is not mobile.” Eric Tseng, the head of Facebook’s mobile platform, clarified this statement indicating that Facebook considers the iPad to be part of a whole new class of devices, and not a mobile platform in the same way that a phone is. Tseng went on to state that Facebook is currently looking for a way to address tablet devices in general in terms of how to scale for it. Zuckerberg went on to state that “We all love Apple products” but that he considers the iPad to be a computer and not a mobile device, emphasizing that today’s event is focusing on Facebook in the mobile device space. While Zuckerberg did not rule out the eventual release of an iPad application, he did not indicate that Facebook has anything specific in the works at this point beyond simply looking at how to approach the iPad as a new computing platform; this runs contrary to recent reports from an unofficial Facebook application developer that an official Facebook app for the iPad was imminent.
At a special event today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a coming update to its Facebook app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The update will include support for the new Facebook Groups feature rolled out last month as well as enhancing support for Facebook Places first introduced to the iPhone app earlier this year. The new application will expand support for Facebook Places with a focus on improving tagging features when checking in to Places. Users will now be able to tag their Facebook friends in a Place both during and after they’ve checked-in, and can now tag friends in places from the newsfeed. A new feature in Facebook Places will also allow users to upload photos to share during the Places check-in process. The new version will also add support for Facebook’s new Deals feature, allowing users to discover deals at nearby Places.
Facebook also announced improvements to Facebook Places integration with third-party applications allowing apps to not only read Places information but now also check-in and search for Places through the Facebook APIs. Loopt and Gowalla have already been offering these features since the initial rollout of Places as part of a private beta program; this functionality will now be available to any third-party applications that wish to implement it. The updated Facebook for iPhone app is expected to appear on the App Store soon along with updates to other location-based social applications such as Yelp that will tie in tighter Facebook Places integration. There was conspicuously no mention made of an iPad Facebook application.
Update: The new version of Facebook for iPhone is now available from the App Store. In addition to adding Groups, Places and Deals support, the updated version also provides a new composer view to make it easier to upload photos, status and check-ins right from the news feed. Facebook 3.3 also adds single-sign-on integration with other Facebook-enabled iPhone applications on iOS 4, allowing users to enable Facebook Connect in other applications without having to re-enter their Facebook user ID and password, although users will still need to view and consent to the standard Facebook permissions screen in third-party apps before Facebook Connect will be enabled.
Yelp has released an update to its social city guide application adding German localization and integration with Facebook Places. Yelp for the iPhone and iPod touch is a companion app for the popular online service of the same name, allowing users to search for nearby businesses such as bars, restaurants, gas stations and more based on factors such as location, hours, distance and price. Users can add photos and reviews to any business location and read the reviews and posts left by others when browsing and searching for venues. The latest update adds German language support and now allows users to view their friends’ Facebook check-ins directly within the Yelp app. Yelp is available from the App Store as a free download.
Epic Games has revealed some additional information on its upcoming RPG for iOS devices first demonstrated at Apple’s September iPod event. Originally codenamed ‘Project Sword’ the game has now been dubbed ‘Infinity Blade’ and will deliver graphically intense sword battles and epic boss fights set in the realm of a 3D castle. The initial release is expected to include a single-player mode with an intuitive combat interface where players will gain experience, build stats and earn more powerful equipment by engaging in battles to prepare for a final encounter with the God-King. Further updates will be released for free, with an early update providing Game Center based multiplayer support. Pricing and official release date have yet been announced. [via Touch Arcade]
Legendary Canadian rock band Rush has released a new iPad application for hard-core Rush fans providing news and info on the band’s recent Time Machine Tour and exclusive behind-the-scenes content. The application includes a cross-section of 30 of the band’s songs throughout it’s 40-year history presented in a GeFilter Time Machine interface where users can warp back in time and play songs from different eras. Other features include a Gear section where fans can discover the gadgets and artifacts that the band members use while on tour, news on Rush activities, a “Moving Pictures” wallpaper section, set lists from the band’s R30, Snakes & Arrows and Time Machine tours and an interactive bobbleheads game with Geddy, Alex and Neil that includes rare audio clips. The application also includes extended itinerary, ticket and venue information for the recently-concluded Time Machine tour, suggesting that it was intended for an earlier release. Rush Time Machine is available from the App Store for $5. [via Geeklish]
Mind Crew has released a free update to Mayan Puzzle adding fourteen new levels and integration with Apple’s Game Center. Mayan Puzzle is a variant of a match-three puzzle game that provides both action and classic strategy play and includes impressive special effects, an original Mayan soundtrack and high-quality animated backgrounds unique to each level. The latest update adds fourteen new levels in classic strategy mode, bringing the total number of levels up to fifty. Two new achievements have also been added as well as free hints for two of the classic levels. The new version also provides full iOS 4 compatibility, integration with Apple’s Game Center for leaderboards and achievements and Facebook and Twitter integration. Mayan Puzzle is available from the App Store for $1.
Bethesda Blog has posted a special diary from id Software co-founder John Carmack in which he discusses his work on Rage and id’s Tech 5 game engine. As reported at QuakeCon 2010, Carmack is developing plans to bring Rage and other games based on the Tech 5 engine to the iOS platform. Carmack’s notes reveal some interesting new information on the company’s first Rage-based iOS game. Carmack notes that during the QuakeCon demo he may have mistakenly led people to believe that the entire Rage PC/console game experience would be coming to the iPhone and indicates here that this is definitely not going to be the case. While Carmack believes it’s possible to compile the full-blown PC/console Rage for an iPhone 4, he indicates that this would be a “hopelessly bad idea” due to performance tradeoffs and vast differences in controls. Instead, Carmack is developing something based on Rage that will be “unlike anything ever seen on the iOS platforms.” Rage for iOS will be a “little slice of Rage” built around “Mutant Bash TV,” a “post-apocalyptic combat game show in the Rage wasteland.” Carmack notes that it is the ideal setup for a “quintessential first person shooter game play experience” and goes on to state that making sure that levels can be replayed many times was an important goal of the project, which he feels was accomplished by making the gameplay the core aspect rather than focusing on a storyline. By comparison to Doom Resurrection, Carmack indicates that Rage on iOS will be “all action, all the time.” Rage for the iOS platform is expected to be released by the end of November. [via Touch Arcade]
Alberto Garcia Hierro has released an update to Latitudie, his Google Latitude client for iOS devices. Latitudie allows users to automatically keep their current location updated on Google Latitude and receive notifications when friends are nearby. Users can choose to update their position on-demand or leave the application running in the background on multitasking-capable devices to automatically update their Google Latitude location as they move around. Version 2.0 adds support for adding and managing friends from directly within the app without having to visit the Google Latitude web site and provides an enhanced user interface with a simplified options screen and Retina Display support. The update also adds support for being used offline, dramatically reduces battery consumption and fixes some specific bugs from the previous version. Latitudie is a universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and is available from the App Store for $2.
Apple has sent out an email to registered iOS developers letting them know that it is now accepting submissions for iOS 4.2 apps. According to the email, which was submitted to iLounge by a reader, the apps need to be built, tested, and compiled using the iOS 4.2 SDK GM seed and iOS 4.2 GM seed released yesterday before being submitted for review “so they can be ready when iOS 4.2 is available to iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users.” In addition, a few small new changes have been discovered in the iOS 4.2 GM seed, including a change to the Multitasking bar that allows fast access to both Brightness and Volume controls, along with a new AirPlay button, which has changed from a dot with radiating waves to a box with a triangle pointing into it. In addition, the new MobileMe account setup in iOS 4.2 GM lets users log into MobileMe settings using an Apple ID, although the Apple ID logins don’t seem to work yet, according to Mac Rumors.
Our reader added that the overall speed of iOS 4.2 on iPad is much improved, and that audio streaming over AirPlay from iOS devices to Apple TV appears to still be unstable, with drop-outs surprisingly common - the issue appears to be network-related. Updates to the Apple TV and Remote applications appear to be necessary to enable AirPlay video and photo streaming, as iOS 4.2 devices currently do not have any obvious way to share videos or photos, and iPad users will also receive a number of new wallpaper options relative to iOS 3.2. Also noticeable is a color bug in PDF rendering. Finally, the iPad’s side switch continues to be a “mute” button under iOS 4.2 GM, but only mutes alert and keyboard sounds, not other audio, which is odd considering that the iPad has so few alerts.
Apple paid a “7-figure settlement” to settle a trademark lawsuit related to its iAd mobile advertising platform, according to a new report. Cnet reports that Apple is cited as having paid the settlement to Innovate Media, a client of “intellectual asset management” firm Consor, in a news release briefly posted to Consor’s website. Innovate Media filed a lawsuit against Apple over its iAds trademark, which it had used since 2006, in May; in the release, Consor claimed that “the comprehensive confusion analysis and quantification of economic damages performed by Consor were instrumental to Innovate Media reaching a highly favorable settlement with Apple.” Following the discovery of the release, a Consor employee claimed that it was never posted, and later said that some of the information in the release “wasn’t accurate” without elaborating further. [via Mac Rumors]
IslandJohn has released Bee Patrol, a new flight-strategy game for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Bee Patrol provides a creative take on the line-drawing game genre where players must draw individual flight paths for a swarm of bees to ensure the survival of the colony, encountering new creatures and gameplay mechanics as they progress. Players must guide their bees to cross-pollinate flowers and collect nectar on their way back to the hive while avoiding enemy insects, forces of nature and mid-air collisions with other bees. The game provides several beautifully rendered environments for players to explore through 18 different levels. Players can choose from two game modes: “Worker” to simply play for survival or a timed “Queen” mode. OpenFeint and Game Center integration is also included for sharing high scores and tracking achievements. Bee Patrol is available separately for the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. Bee Patrol for the iPhone and iPod touch sells for $1; Bee Patrol HD for the iPad sells for $3. A free version, Bee Patrol Lite is also available for the iPhone and iPod touch.
G5 Entertainment has released Treasure Seekers: Vision of Gold, an iPhone and iPad version of the best-selling hidden object game initially developed for the PC. Visions of Gold is the first game from the famous casual game franchise Treasure Seekers and allows users to play more than 40 levels on seven specific sites of action, solving puzzles in 19 challenging minigames. Users proceed at their own pace with no time limit, becoming engaged in an exciting storyline where they take on the role of Nelly as she and her younger brother embark on an adventure to unravel family secrets and find hidden treasure. The iPhone and iPod touch version provides high-resolution graphics for the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch, while a separate iPad version provides graphics and a UI optimized for the iPad. Treasure Seekers: Visions of Gold for the iPhone and iPod touch sells for $3 and Treasure Seekers: Visions of Gold HD for the iPad for $5. Free “Lite” versions of each are also available.
Five Lakes Studio has released an update to its Picross HD logic puzzle game for the iPad. In Picross HD, players must fill in squares in a grid by using numeric clues beside the grid in order to reveal a picture formed by the filled squares. Version 1.1 adds 100 new puzzles including 20 puzzles from Conceptis Puzzles, a leading supplier of logic puzzles for printing and electronic gaming media. The update also provides a set of new, professionally-rendered background screens that users can choose from to customize their gaming experience as well as new background music. Users can also now disable the background music and play their own music instead and hints can now be disabled in the new settings screen. Picross HD is available from the App Store for $3.
Callaway Digital Arts has released a new iPad application featuring a compilation of Martha Stewart’s cookie recipes. Martha Stewart Makes Cookies features more than 50 cookie recipes ranging from classic shortbread to chocolate-chestnut meringues presented on a “cookie runway” to allow users to peruse the recipes on the iPad touchscreen. The application provides video tutorials, built-in timers, a glossary of baking terms and the ability to generate and e-mail shopping lists based on recipe ingredients. Martha Stewart Makes Cookies represents the first of several applications being produced as a joint collaboration between Callaway Digital Arts and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. The application is targeted at both experienced bakers as well as those who are learning to bake for the first time. Users can search through all of the application’s recipes by name, type, flavour or ingredients and share their favorite recipes via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook. Martha Stewart Makes Cookies is available from the App Store for $8.
Lima Sky has released an update to its popular Doodle Jump game for the iPhone and iPod touch adding support for Apple’s Game Center. In Doodle Jump, players use their device’s accelerometer to guide Doodle the Doodler on a journey up a sheet of graph paper, picking up jet packs, avoiding balck holes and blasting enemies while trying to beat other players’ high scores scribbled in the margins. The latest update adds integration with Game Center allowing players to compare their scores using Game Center’s online leaderboards. By popular demand the update also brings back the original doodle ghost halloween theme to the game. Doodle Jump is available from the App Store for $1.
Rémi Denis-Courmont, one of the primary developers of the VLC Media Player has sent a formal notification of copyright infringement to Apple regarding distribution of the VLC media player for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Denis-Courmont indicates that VLC media player is free software licensed solely under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and Apple is violating the terms of the GPL through its App Store usage rules which restrict free and open distribution of applications by applying Digital Rights Management (DRM) that prevents users from freely sharing the application.
Denis-Courmont goes on to state that although VLC is still available on the App Store, “it is to be expected that Apple will cease distribution soon” pointing to the example of GNU Go which was removed by Apple earlier this year under similar circumstances. Denis-Courmont notes that the developers who published VLC for the iPad should have been fully aware of the incompatibility of the GPL with the App Store distribution model and “they bear full responsibility for any consequences” however he also notes that “users of iOS-based devices [will] be deprived of VLC media player, as a consequence of the intransigently tight control Apple maintains over its mobile applications platform.” The GNU General Public License requires that works licensed under it must be free to be used for any purpose, freely shared with others, and open to modification by individual users to suit their needs and share those changes with others. The iOS and App Store distribution model precludes most of these uses through Digital Rights Management of the application as well as the inability for end users to create their own modifications to the source code without being a member of Apple’s iOS Developer Program.
Condé Nast has released an update to its Gourmet Live app addressing the serious iPad crashes reported earlier this week. The previous version of Gourmet Live was in some cases causing iPads to lock up completely, requiring a hard reboot to restore normal operation of the device and may have even led to more serious stability problems. Gourmet Live 1.05 addresses these crashes as well as providing fixes for Lost Rewards in the library, updates to increase accuracy of history and reward tracking and a number of other additional bug fixes and improvements. Gourmet Live is available from the App Store as a free download.
Namco Networks America has released a major update to Pac-Man Championship Edition for the iPhone and iPod touch including all of the expansion pack content—30 levels and 120 missions—now bundled within the app at no additional charge. Previously the game included only a handful of levels, requiring users to purchase additional levels and missions from within the application. The expansion pack Challenge Mode is also now included instead of requiring a separate purchase. Further, the update adds integration with Apple’s new Game Center in iOS 4.1 providing leaderboards for all 15 Championship mode stages and twenty unlockable achievements and also introduces new and more intuitive virtual pad controls. Pac-Man Championship Edition is available from the App Store for $5.
ABC has released an update to its ABC News application for the iPad adding new features for the 2010 U.S. Elections. ABC News 1.2 provides the ability to see live results for both Senate and Congressional elections displayed on a U.S. map as they come in. The update also adds a new “What if” game that allows users to interact with a map of the U.S. and tap on States and Congressional Districts to turn them red or blue and see how their guesses will impact the balance of power. A Settings section has also been added where users can choose a default launch view, turn shuffle on and off and choose whether to show the info screen. The new version also improves performance, wireless detection and adds more content to the globe view. ABC News for iPad is available from the App Store as a free download.
KainosAgora has released an update to TweetAgora adding more UI improvements and the ability to share Agoras with other Twitter users. TweetAgora is a Twitter client designed to allow Twitter users to get the most out of their Twitter streams by providing advanced filtering and aggregation features and the ability to create “Agoras”—custom feeds based on lists, keywords and people. TweetAgora 2.1 now allows users to share their Agoras with other users by posting them right in the Twitter stream with a #SharedAgora hashtag. Other TweetAgora users can import these Agoras directly into TweetAgora simply by tapping on the appropriate link. Users can also now customize which actions are performed when swiping a tweet in the timeline. The new version also provides a more dark-leather style UI, gap detection in Agoras and improved integration with Instapaper and Read It Later as well as performance improvements and bug fixes. TweetAgora is available from the App Store as a free download. The free version allows users to filter up to three keywords and three people, create up to three Agoras and load up to 150 tweets in a timeline. Users can upgrade to the paid version for $5 via in-app purchase to remove these limitations and add support for multiple accounts.