Ngmoco has released We City, the latest entry in its building game series. Designed in the same style as its prior games We Rule and We Farm, We City challenges players to build the city of their dreams by laying down roads, buildings and decorations such as cafes, salons, apartments, hospitals and even hot dog stands. Players can choose from over 100 unique buildings and as each building is added new citizens appear on the city streets such as bodybuilders, fry cooks and fashionistas. Additional buildings can be unlocked by having citizens perform research at colleges and much like Ngmoco’s prior We Rule and We Farm games in-game processes such as research and building can be accelerated by purchasing “Zap” in exchange for real-world currency. We City includes a social multiplayer component as well allowing players to invite their friends to view their city and place orders with their businesses to earn additional money and experience points. We City is available in two separate versions: We City for iPhone and iPod touch devices and We City for iPad. Both versions are available on the App Store as free downloads.
Clickgamer has released Pipe Rush, a new connect-the-pipes game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Pipe Rush, players take on the role of Pippa and must help her connect the water supply to the thirsty townfolk using her pipe-generating system to connect all of the houses before the timer runs out. Players choose from 15 varieties of pipe across 15 varied levels and must connect the available pipes in the optimum configuration to keep all of the houses supplied with water without letting any escape from open pipe endings. Additional challenges include a conveyor belt that must be kept from filling up with pipes, earthquakes, fog and UFOs that beam pipes away as they are laid down. Players can also take advantage of special bonus powers to feed spare pipes back into the machine, remove unwanted pipes with dynamic and play special pipes which activate unique power ups. Players gain higher scores by using the minimum number of pipes in the quickest possible time and can earn 20 different achievements and compete for top scores on integrated Crystal leaderboards. Pipe Rush is available from the App Store for $1.
Screenlife has released a special 30 Rock edition of its popular Scene It trivia game for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Scene It 30 Rock includes content based on the popular hit TV comedy series including themed puzzles such as What the What? Mind Grapes, That’s a Dealbreaker and Muffin Top and includes funny video and audio clips along with challenging trivia questions from the show. Players can play against their friends using a local Bluetooth or Wi-Fi multiplayer mode or play one of 30 distinct games in single-player mode. The application includes over 50 audio and video clips and still images pulled directly from the 30 Rock TV series, Facebook Connect for posting scores and challenging friends and a “Beeper King” Group Play mode where a room of players can challenge each other to 30 Rock trivia. To celebrate the launch of the app, Screenlife is also hosting a “Stump Scene It?” 30 Rock trivia face off via Twitter (@SceneIt) on Friday September 24th from 12:00-1:30 PM Pacific time where users can submit their own 30 Rock Trivia questions to attempt to stump the developers of the app. Scene It 30 Rock is available from the App Store in separate editions for the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad: Scene It 30 Rock for the iPhone and iPod touch sells for $3 and Scene It? 30 Rock HD for the iPad sells for $5.
Synium Software has released an update to iFinance Mobile adding native iPad support and several additional new features. iFinance Mobile is a personal finance application for iOS devices that allows users to record transactions and expenses on the go and optionally sync that data with iFinance for the Mac for expanded financial review and planning. iFinance Mobile 2.0 is now a universal app providing native support for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and adds a new Account History chart, CSV export of transaction data via e-mail and an improved, redesigned user interface for both the iPhone and iPad. The update also provides several other smaller enhancements such as a graphical calendar view, automatic BIC and IBAN validation, transaction sorting by date and localization in Czech, Polish, French and Russian. iFinance Mobile 2.0 is available from the App Store for $2 and is a free update for users of any prior version.
Smule has released an update to its Glee application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Updated for Season 2 of the popular TV series, Glee Karaoke introduces a global competition mode where users sing to compete with fellow Glee fans from around the world and complete individual singing missions to gain levels and win starburst points and gleeks. Glee Karaoke also provides personal voice coaching tips to improve singing skills as well as pitch correction and three-part harmonies as fans sing along to their favorite songs from the TV series. The app includes the songs Rehab, Somebody to Love and You Keep Me Hanging On with additional songs available via in-app purchase for $1 each including such favorites as Hello, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Can’t Fight This Feeling, Imagine, Defying Gravity, Jessie’s Girl and more. Users can also get free songs by earning Gleeks through sharing their top songs with friends on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or Smule’s own Sonic Network. Additional new songs are added each week that an original episode airs. Glee Karaoke 2.0 is a universal app available from the App Store for $1 and is a free update for users of the previous Glee app.
Apple has released updates to its iWork suite of productivity applications for the iPad. Pages, Numbers and Keynote have each been updated to version 1.2 adding several new features and improvements over the previous versions. All three applications can now copy documents to and from MobileMe iDisk or other WebDAV services as well as adding the ability to group and ungroup objects. Numbers and Keynote have also added support for exporting documents to the respective Microsoft Office Excel and Powerpoint formats. The updates also add improvements across the board in font matching for iWork ‘09 and Microsoft Office documents, handling of tables with image background fills in cells and customized borders, text options for tables and reliability and performance improvements when sharing documents with iWork.com and importing Microsoft Office documents.
Pages 1.2 also adds an option to display the word count for documents, the ability to open TXT files from the iPad Mail app and import and export features for footnotes, endnotes, sections and tables of contents. Numbers 1.2 adds the ability to open CSV files from the iPad Mail app. Keynote 1.2 adds support for audio in builds on imported Keynote ‘09 presentations, animated build support for grouped objects, and several new build and transition animations such as Lens Flare, Spin, Wipe, Revolving Door and Swoosh. Pages 1.2, Numbers 1.2, and Keynote 1.2 are available from the App Store separately for $10 each, and are free updates for users of the corresponding previous version.
Dropbox has released an update to its cloud file sharing app for iOS devices with a new UI design, Retina Display support and support for background file transfers on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. Dropbox 1.3 also adds the ability to view files in a full-screen view while using the app in landscape mode on the iPad, file caching to allow users to re-open files they have recently viewed and the ability to create folders from directly within the app. Dropbox is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. A free Dropbox account is required to use the app.
Disney has released an update to TRON for the iPhone and iPod touch adding new video content and trailers. Designed to promote the upcoming TRON movie and video games, the iOS TRON app provides an updated version of the classic Tanks game from Tron Arcade, with both single and multiplayer modes available. The version 1.1 update adds promotional and preview material including a three-part video series from the 2010 San Diego Comic-con TRON panel, a sketchbook featuring the first 13 pages from the new graphic novel, TRON Betrayal, and new video trailers for TRON Legacy and TRON Evolution. TRON is available from the App Store as a free download.
Netflix has officially launched its online streaming rental service and application for iOS devices in Canada, providing Canadian users with instant, on-demand access to a variety of movie and TV show content from the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Originally released for the iPad earlier this year, the Netflix app added iPhone and iPod touch support in August but remained available only in the U.S. With the launch of Netflix in Canada the same universal Netflix application is now available to Canadian App Store customers. The app allows Netflix members to stream TV shows and movies over either Wi-Fi or 3G from the Netflix catalog and browse and manage their Netflix queue from within the app. Viewing status is automatically synchronized with the Netflix service to allow users to continue watching a movie or TV show on another device from where they left off. The second-generation Apple TV scheduled to ship later this month is also expected to include Netflix support. Netflix 1.1 is available from the U.S. and Canadian App Stores as a free download. An Netflix unlimited subscription is required to use the app; an introductory one-month trial is available for Canadian users at http://www.netflix.ca.
FileMaker has released a major update to its FileMaker Go for iPhone and FileMaker Go for iPad applications that allow users to work with FileMaker Pro databases on their iOS devices. The version 1.1 updates, available separately for the iPhone and iPad platforms add the ability to create PDFs from within the app, share complete database files with other users and improves photo and media support. Users can now convert a database record directly to a PDF file that can be saved on the device or shared via e-mail, allowing reports and other information to be easily saved and distributed while on the go. The new update also provides the ability to save a copy of a complete database and e-mail it directly from FileMaker Go to exchange information with other users without requiring an intermediate desktop or laptop computer.
Improved photo and media support has also been added enabling users to capture photos on an iPhone or import photos that are already in their iOS device’s photo library and insert them directly into a database. Photos and other file types such as spreadsheets stored in a database can also be e-mailed out directly from FileMaker Go. Additional improvements include the ability to import records from local or hosted FileMaker databases using scripts and a new URL protocol that allows other iOS developers to open FileMaker Go and trigger scripts to perform actions such as importing data from other applications and generating reports. FileMaker Go is available separately for the iPhone and iPad, with FileMaker Go for the iPhone and iPod touch available from the App Store for $20, FileMaker Go for iPad for $40. Both are free updates for users of the same previous version.
Illusion Labs has released an update to Labyrinth 2 for the iPhone and iPod touch, adding integration with Apple’s new iOS 4.1 Game Center and support for Retina Display devices. Labyrinth 2 provides a virtual version of the classic ball-in-maze puzzle game where players must use their device’s accelerometer to tilt the playing field and roll their ball through a maze and around obstacles to reach the goal. The game includes advanced features such as multiple balls, duplicators, fans, magnets and more to present unique challenges as players navigate the maze and supports multiplayer options over local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Version 1.3 introduces support for Game Center with leaderboards and 36 Game Center achievements that players can vie for and adds higher-resolution graphics for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch Retina Display. Labyrinth 2 is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for current users.
Facebook has released a minor update to its application for iPhone and iPod touch devices, addressing a number of bugs and providing an improved login experience for developers using the Facebook SDK. The Facebook 3.2.3 update fixes crashes related to receiving push notifications and navigating in the private messages section of the app. The new version also addresses inconsistent notification counts on the application badge and fixes problems related to Facebook’s new Places feature. Facebook Places is available to Facebook users in the U.S. only at this time. Facebook 3.2.3 remains an iPhone and iPod touch native app and is available from the App Store as a free download. No information is available on whether Facebook is working on an iPad version or when such a version might be released.
Update: Readers are reporting that Facebook Places is available and working in the U.K. although the App Store page still indicates that “Places is only available for users in the US at the moment.”
Avici Software has released an update to Whiteboard HD, its brainstorming and productivity app for the iPad. Whiteboard HD provides a freeform drawing environment designed to allow users to visualize ideas, write notes, and sketch charts and diagrams on the iPad using standard multi-touch gesture controls. Version 1.1 adds a new shareable and fully-editable file format that can be used to share files and collaborate with other Whiteboard users as well as full support for Dropbox and Box.net for saving/exporting Whiteboard documents and importing images. The new version also adds a laser pointer mode for presenting Whiteboard documents on a projector or external display, the ability to interact with multiple objects on a board and copy and paste objects between multiple boards. Several interface tweaks have also been made to improve touchscreen handling and interacting with objects and external displays. Whiteboard HD 1.1 is available from the App Store for $7 and is a free update for current users.
Kishonti Informatics has released GLBenchmark, a universal app for measuring 3D graphics performance on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices. GLBenchmark provides 36 different tests to measure graphic and computational performance of the various iOS devices, focusing on the underlying OpenGL ES 1.x graphics implementation. The app includes a variety of GPU/CPU skinning and 3D rendering tests as well as graphic measurements for fill rate, lighting, texture filters/size and triangles. Users can choose which specific tests to run and tap on any specific test to read more information about that test. Users can view results directly within the app and optionally upload and share their results on the developer’s web site where results are compared to a variety of other mobile devices. GLBenchmark 1.1 is available from the App Store for $5.
Foursquare has released an update to its iPhone and iPod touch application, adding a new to-do list and expanding the integrated maps feature. The Foursquare app allows iOS device users to connect to the popular location-based social networking service, easily check in at nearby venues using their device’s GPS and see and share commentary on venues with their friends. The new To-Do List section in Foursquare 2.0 allows users to quickly see a list of things to do as suggested by other users based either on nearby location or recent items. The integrated map view introduced in the last version has now been expanded to include nearby friends, tips and to-do items and venue and profile pages have been redesigned to provide more relevant information. Foursquare 2.0 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Applidium has released its iPad port of the very popular open-source VLC media player application for desktop operating systems. The iPad version of VLC includes all of the same built-in codecs present on other platforms, supporting playback of almost any video format that can be found on the Internet, including support for a variety of streaming video formats. The iPad version continues to be part of the VLC OpenSource project with the iPad-specific patches and extensions forming part of the main VLC development tree. Applidium also indicates that a version of VLC for the iPhone and iPod touch is in the works but has not yet announced an expected release date. VLC Media Player is available from the App Store as a free download.
Though Apple has not officially enabled Retina Display emulation on the iPad, certain recent iPhone and iPod touch applications have started to display artwork in higher resolutions on the iPad screen, iLounge has discovered. Normally, iPhone and iPod touch applications run on the iPad in an emulation mode limited to the native 320x480 resolutions of Apple’s prior-generation screens. Users can optionally hit a “2X” button that merely increases the size of each dot from 1x1 to 2x2, resulting in pixellated images. Applications designed for the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G have fared no better, still presenting the lower-resolution graphics designed for the older models.
Recently, however, some new applications are displaying higher-resolution assets when rendered in the iPad 2X mode. The most notable example is Napster, an iPod touch- and iPhone-formatted application without a native iPad mode. Although most of the user interface elements in the Napster app are clearly being scaled up when seen in 2X mode on the iPad, the album artwork is clearly being displayed at a higher iPad-native resolution. iLounge editors have observed several other recent iPhone and iPod touch apps showing similar behaviors, whereby some—not all—assets are being rendered in higher resolution when displayed on the iPad in 2X mode. It is unclear at this time whether developers have found some way to provide this capability or whether it is a function of compiling applications with the recently released iOS 4.1 SDK, but it is a positive sign that the iPad’s seemingly limited iPhone and iPod touch emulator is capable of more than it previously demonstrated.
Resolution Interactive has released an update to Aqua Moto Racing 2 adding support for the iPad and Retina Display graphics for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch. Released earlier this summer Aqua Moto Racing 2 (iLounge rating: B+) is a first-person water racing game that allows players to race one of 12 unique JetSkis in a variety of exotic locations across 48 different courses. Players can perform insane stunts and earn cash by participating in races and winning Championships and can then use that cash to upgrade their JetSkis. OpenFeint integration provides leaderboards, challenges and tracking of achievements. The new version also provides improved opponent difficulty, the ability to disable OpenFeint popups and minor bug fixes. Aqua Moto Racing 2 is currently available from the App Store as a universal app for $1.
Mind Crew has released a free update to Mayan Puzzle adding new content and achievements. Mayan Puzzle is a variant of a match-three puzzle game that provides different playing styles ranging from an action puzzler approach to a more classic strategy game and includes impressive special effects, an original Mayan soundtrack and high-quality animated backgrounds unique to each level. Version 1.1 adds four new levels in classic strategic mode, bringing the total number of levels to 36, and adds four new unique themed animated backgrounds for the new levels. The update also adds two additional OpenFeint game achievements for a total of 37 achievements and provides new effects and enhanced graphics throughout the game. Mayan Puzzle is available from the App Store for $1; version 1.1 is a free update for current users.
Electronic Arts has released its latest games in The Sims franchise for the iPhone and iPod touch. The Sims 3 Ambitions expands upon the features and scenarios offered in the earlier two Sims titles allowing players to turn their Sims’ hobbies into professions, build homes and businesses and even have babies. In The Sims 3 Ambitions, players can now develop their Sims along a variety of career paths such as firefighter, rock star, artist, teacher and more, with career-focused goals and locations in the game. The game also includes an improved build mode allowing players to resize, add and delete rooms, floors, walls and doors from their homes in addition to also building business and workplaces such as bistros, night clubs and preschools. The Sims 3 Ambitions also adds the much-requested ability for Sims to have babies in the game and interact with them by feeding them, playing with them, and putting them to bed and watching them grow into Sim toddlers. Players can choose to begin the game as a new character or import their favorite Sims from the original Sims 3 and The Sims 3 World Adventures for the iPhone and iPod touch. The Sims 3 Ambitions is available from the App Store for $5.