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Magellan RoadMate adds iOS 4 multitasking, traffic info

Magellan has released an update to its RoadMate turn-by-turn GPS navigation app for the iPhone adding support for background navigation on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices, traffic information and several other new features. RoadMate 1.3 now allows iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 users to continue to receive voice guidance instructions while using another application and provides uninterrupted navigation even while on a phone call. The new version also now includes real-time traffic information with no additional in-app purchase or subscription required. Traffic data is provided by NAVTEQ and displays both incident information as well as general traffic flow for a given route. Additional new features include the ability to share points of interest and routes via e-mail, receive offers and coupons for nearby businesses and navigate while listening to music with intelligent volume fading during voice guidance. RoadMate is also compatible with the iPod touch when used with Magellan’s Premium Car Kit. Magellan RoadMate is currently available from the App Store in three versions based on the number of included maps: Magellan RoadMate North America ($45), Magellan RoadMate USA ($35) and Magellan RoadMate Canada & Alaska ($30).

Duck Duck Moose releases Park Math HD

Duck Duck Moose has released an iPad version of its award-winning Park Math educational game for the iOS platform. Selected as the Best Kids’ iPhone/iPod App of the Year in our 2011 Buyers’ Guide, Park Math teaches basic math concepts to young children through a charmingly illustrated collection of activities set in a park and playground theme with classical music and colorful original characters. Park Math HD brings the same engaging learning experience to the larger iPad screen with seven fun activities and an extra third level targeted at first grade children to teach counting up to 100 and addition and subtraction with numbers up to 20. Park Math HD is available from the App Store for $2.

Apple to launch iAd in Europe in December

Apple has announced that it will launch its iAd mobile advertising network in the UK and France this December, with Germany to follow in February. According to the release, the European iAd launch will see new ads from L’Oréal, Renault, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Perrier, Unilever, Citi, Evian, LG Display, AB InBev, Turkish Airlines and Absolute Radio. Apple claims that iAd has signed on over half of the top 25 leading US national advertisers in just four months, with a projected 21 percent share of US mobile display advertising revenue for 2010 according to research firm IDC. Also mentioned in the release is a seemingly new iAd website, advertising.apple.com.

“We’re thrilled to add leading global brands to the iAd Network in Europe and create even more great opportunities for developers,” said Andy Miller, Apple’s vice president of iAd. “In just four months, we’ve doubled the number of advertisers on the network and thousands of developers now have a valuable new source of revenue.”

“As the world leader in the beauty business, L’Oréal aims to create the most meaningful connections between its brands and its customers, so iAd was a natural choice,” said Marc Menesguen, L’Oréal’s Head of strategic marketing. “We’re thrilled by the quality, the interactivity and the depth of iAd’s user experience, giving us an unparalleled opportunity to reach and serve the most engaged and discerning customers at the digital forefront of beauty, hence our choice of Lancôme to lead our iAd campaign.”

FlightTrack adds SeatGuru and terminal maps

Mobiata has released a major update to its FlightTrack application for tracking live flight status. FlightTrack 4.0 sports a completely redesigned interface with tabs to improve organization of information about each individual flight and adds a delay forecast graph and a full display of scheduled, estimated and actual times for gate departure, takeoff, landing and gate arrival. The new version also now includes SeatGuru map integration to allow users to find the best seats on their flights and adds more detailed information about flights that have been diverted from their original destination airport. FlightTrack Pro users can now also display full-screen airport terminal maps within the app. The update also provides a number of fixes regarding weather updates and keeping displayed data up to date. FlightTrack is available in both standard and Pro versions; FlightTrack ($5) includes a full set of flight tracking features including weather radar, gate and baggage claim information, flight delay forecasts and SeatGuru charts; FlightTrack Pro adds the new terminal maps feature as well as push notifications, FAA airport delay and closure information and TripIt synchronization. Both apps are universal and require an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 3.0 or later.

id Software releases Rage for iOS

id Software has released Rage, its highly-anticipated first-person rail shooter for the iOS platform. Announced earlier this month, Rage for iOS is built on the same Tech 5 game engine that is being used for the upcoming PC/console game. The iOS version provides a subset of the full game built around the Mutant Bash TV combat game show from the Rage world. Rage HD for iOS is an on-rails shooter that takes the player through a wasteland stalked by mutants where they must collect weapons, ammo and power-ups to survive. The game provides three different levels and four degrees of difficulty plus specific Mutant Bash TV challenges throughout each level.

Rage for iOS is available in two versions: Rage and Rage HD, however unlike most other “HD” games, Rage HD is not the iPad version; both are in fact universal applications that simply provide different quality graphics. iPad, iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch users will be able to take advantage of higher-resolution textures in Rage HD, although this version is also compatible with the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch. The standard version of Rage is compatible with any iOS device running iOS 3.1 or later. Both applications are available on the App Store and are large compared to most iOS games: Rage ($1) is a 540MB download while Rage HD ($2) weighs in at just under 750MB.

Hulu updates Hulu Plus

Hulu has released an update to its streaming application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad adding a new split-screen player mode for iPad users and making enhancements to queue and subscription management from within the app. Hulu Plus 2.0 also improves playback performance and changes the thumbnail behaviour in the iPad version. Hulu also announced today that its Hulu Plus service originally released as a preview this past summer has now been officially launched. Hulu has been offering its television content streaming service free to desktop PC and Mac users for some time, however users must subscribe to the Hulu Plus service for $8/month to view content on mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad. Hulu Plus 2.0 is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. [via Mac Rumors]

OmniFocus adds background syncing

The Omni Group has released an update to its OmniFocus applications for the iPhone and the iPad adding support for iOS 4.2 multitasking to the iPad version and introducing background sync to both versions when running on iOS 4 multitasking-capable devices. When exiting the application, OmniFocus will now complete an in-progress sync or perform an automatic sync in the background if one is scheduled to occur soon. Several improvements have also been made to local notifications for due tasks with alerts presented even when OmniFocus is the active application and a custom sound now being used for these notifications to distinguish them from other system events. The updated version of OmniFocus for iPad also adds support for due reminders when running under iOS 4.2. Both versions also include a number of improvements to Maps integration for finding nearby actions more efficiently and provide several other user interface, sync performance and stability improvements. The iPad and iPhone/iPod touch versions are sold separately; OmniFocus for the iPhone sells for $20, OmniFocus for iPad is priced at $40. Both are free updates for current users of the same previous version.

Real Racing HD adds Game Center multiplayer

Firemint has released an update to Real Racing HD for the iPad adding online multiplayer support via Apple’s Game Center in the forthcoming iOS 4.2 update. Real Racing HD will allow iPad players on iOS 4.2 to invite up to three friends to race in multiplayer games via Game Center either directly or via Game Center’s auto-matching service. The latest update also adds support for fast app switching and quick save and resume on iOS 4.2 and includes several minor bug fixes and improvements. The new version remains compatible with iPad devices using iOS 3.2, although the multitasking and Game Center features will only be available on iOS 4.2 devices. Real Racing HD is available from the App Store for $10 and is a free update for current users.

Pearson, Peachpit titles launch in iBookstore

Pearson and Peachpit Press, publishers of educational and technical books, have announced that many of their titles are now available on the iBookstore. Peachpit’s titles include the Adobe Press, New Riders, Apple Pro Training, and Apple Training series, while Pearson publishes titles under the Addison Wesley, Cisco Press, IBM Press, Que, Prentice Hall, Pearson IT Certification, and Sams imprints. “I’m especially delighted to be able to bring our richly illustrated training and inspirational books for creative professionals and Apple pros to the iBookstore,” said Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel, Peachpit’s publisher. “This resource offers even more options for experiencing our authors’ great content, not just through the touch screen, but also with cool features such as the two-page spread view.” Both publisher’s titles are available for purchase via the iBookstore, which is built-in to Apple’s free iBooks app for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

GoodReader for iPad adds iOS 4.2 support, improved PDF rendering

Good.iWare has released an update to GoodReader for the iPad adding compatibility with the upcoming iOS 4.2 update and several other enhancements and improvements. GoodReader 3.1 adds multitasking support for iPad devices using iOS 4.2 and includes a new rendering engine that improves performance when zooming and panning within PDF files. Users can also now repair PDF files from within the application if they are having problems opening or annotating them, and the new version also adds support for 256-bit AES encryption in PDF files on iOS 4.2 or later. Other fixes include improved support for European characters, fixes to printing documents with annotations, and numerous improvements to the freehand drawing tool for annotating PDF files. GoodReader for iPad 3.1 is available from the App Store for $2.

Twitter adds Push Notifications

Twitter has released an update to its official client for iOS devices adding support for Push Notifications and several other improvements and fixes. Twitter 3.2 now allows users to optionally receive Push Notifications for mentions and direct messages for some or all of their Twitter accounts and users can choose whether to receive notifications when they’re mentioned by any user on Twitter or only by those users that they are following. The new version also improves the display of shortened URLs, adds more Retina Display graphics for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch and simplifies the process of enabling geotagging. For the iPad, the new version also adds inline media support, the ability to manage saved searches and several UI improvements. Twitter is a universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and is available from the App Store as a free download.

EA releases Need for Speed Hot Pursuit

Electronic Arts has released Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, its latest installment in the popular racing game franchise. In Hot Pursuit, players take on the role of a cop chasing down street racers while driving cop versions of real-world high-performance police cars such as the Lamborghini Revention. Players can participate in quick races or undertake a career mode starting out as a rookie cop and progressing through 24 cop career events to reach the top of the ranks. In addition to 15 high-speed police cars, players have a variety of weapons at their disposal to catch racers including roadblocks, spike strips and even EMP locks. Players can challenge their friends to Cop-vs-Racer showdowns over local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth with a choice of five cop cars and five racer cars to play with. The game includes high-resolution Retina Display graphics for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch with a variety of detailed racing environments and night, day and dusk scenarios. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is available from the App Store for $5.

Google releases official Google Voice app

Google has released its much-anticipated official Google Voice app for the iPhone. Originally announced last summer, Google’s first attempt at a native Google Voice app for iOS was rejected by Apple, citing duplicate functionality with the built-in Phone application. Following Apple’s publication of a new set of guidelines for the App Store in September, Google reportedly resubmitted the app and received approval from Apple, however more work was required to provide support for the iPhone 4 and multitasking capabilities in iOS 4, delaying the application’s final release until this week.

Although an HTML5 web application has been available for Google Voice for some time to allow users to place calls, access voice mail and send text messages, the new official Google Voice application provides tighter integration with iOS allowing users to receive push notifications of new messages, make use of direct access numbers to more quickly place phone calls and access contacts from the iPhone Address Book. The application requires a Google Voice account and an iPhone running iOS 3.1 or later; it is not compatible with the iPod touch or iPad. Google Voice is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.

Path creates a more personal social network

A new iPhone application and social network, Path, has introduced a new and different approach to sharing photos online. Unlike traditional social media networks such as Facebook and Flickr, Path is intended to create a more personal social network by deliberately limiting the number of friends that a user can interact with. Defined as “The Personal Network,” Path allows users to take pictures with their iPhone camera and share them online with a small and select group of friends and family members without having to worry about managing large friend lists and potentially complex privacy settings. Path limits each user’s social connections to no more than 50 other Path users, focusing on maintaining a small circle of personal friends and family members that users can feel comfortable sharing personal moments with.

Path is designed to capture specific moments, organizing photos as a realtime stream instead of photo albums. To this end the application only supports taking photos from the iPhone camera rather than sharing existing pictures from the photo library. Users can add context by tagging photos with people, places and things and friends can view photos on a map. Path also provides realtime feedback on which friends have seen photos to encourage further interaction. The current version of Path is compatible only with iPhone devices running iOS 4.0 or later—notably it does not presently run even on the camera-equipped fourth-generation iPod touch. Path is available from the App Store as a free download.

Web Albums for Picasa adds video, background upload support

Scott Sykora has released an update to Web Albums, a photo manager for Picasa. Web Albums allows Picasa users to view, create and manage albums on the popular web photo service, including uploading multiple photos, searching albums and adjusting album settings and sharing. Users can also view friends’ Picasa web albums, cache photos and entire albums for offline viewing and share their favorite pictures via e-mail or Facebook. The latest update adds the ability to upload full resolution videos from either the on-device photo library or the camera and also allows users to adjust photo upload sizes. The new version also introduces background uploading on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices allowing photos uploads to continue after the app is closed; a badge on the home screen icon indicates the number of unfinished uploads in progress. Web Albums is available from the App Store for $2 and is a free update for current users. An iPad version is sold separately for $3.

Reeder for iPad adds iOS 4.2 support

Silvio Rizzi has released an update to his popular Reeder RSS app for the iPad, bringing support for the forthcoming iOS 4.2 update. Reeder for iPad 1.2 adds task completion for syncing on iPad devices running iOS 4.2 and adds Zootool and Facebook to its list of sharing services. The update also reduces the sensitivity of slider controls, provides a larger tap area for the previous and next buttons and improves handling of accounts with a large number of subscriptions. A number of small bug fixes are also included in relation to saving articles to Delicious, viewing certain articles and inertial scrolling issues. Reeder for iPad is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for current users.

Apple to announce iAds for Europe

Apple is expected to announce the first brands to use iAds in Europe later this week, according to a new report. The Financial Times reports that Apple has twice delayed the launch of its iAd mobile advertising platform in Europe, and has in some cases been willing to discuss taking less than its $1 million minimum spend in order to attract better brands as advertisers. “Apple is in a weaker position than you’d think,” said one media agency’s digital leader. According to the report, early partners for the European launch could include L’Oréal, Renault and Nestlé, with two or three campaigns running in early December, and more planned for 2011. Last week, Apple announced a partnership with marketing firm The Dentsu Group to expand Apple’s iAd mobile advertising platform to Japan early next year; no such partnership for Europe is mentioned in the report.

Boxcar gets major update

Appremix has released a major update to its Boxcar notification management app for iOS devices. The new version represents a significant overhaul, sporting a completely new UI design and several new features. Boxcar 4.0 adds Retina Display support for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch, a and now provides a centralized inbox with more alert options. Several additional services are now available as well including Google Buzz, Google Voice and more and users can now reply to and retweet Twitter messages directly in Boxcar without having to open an external Twitter client. Boxcar is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. The free version is ad-supported; users can pay $5 via in-app purchasing to disable the advertising.

Ambiance adds iPad + AirPlay support

Urban Apps has released an update to Ambiance adding iPad and AirPlay support. Ambiance is an “environment enhancer” application that allows the user to play back a wide variety of ambient noises that can be downloaded from a very large catalog of sounds ranging from nature sounds to sounds from busy train stations. Ambiance 3.1 is now a universal application adding native support for the iPad as well as introducing AirPlay support for full audio streaming to an Apple TV, Airport Express or other AirPlay compatible output device. The new version also fixes a number of issues related to push notifications, caching of pages and general user interface problems. Ambiance is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for current users.

Facebook app adds privacy settings, fixes photo uploads

Facebook has released another update to its client app for the iPhone and iPod touch adding the ability to access account and privacy settings and the Facebook Help Center from within the app. These new options can be found by tapping on the “Account” button in the top-left corner of the main menu to open an in-app browser to the standard Facebook web pages which do not appear to be iPhone-optimized at this point. The update also fixes a problem introduced in the previous version that prevented users from uploading photos to specific albums. This most recent update does not include any of the new messaging features announced today by Facebook, however the company has indicated that these features will be coming to the iPhone application at some point in the future as the new Facebook messaging platform is gradually rolled out over the next few months. Facebook for the iPhone and iPod touch is available from the App Store as a free download.

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