iTeleport has released an update to its VNC remote control app for the iPad adding support for Bluetooth keyboards and displaying a remote desktop screen via Apple’s iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter cable. iTeleport for the iPad allows users to securely view and remotely control a PC, Mac or Linux desktop via the VNC protocol over either a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. A free companion desktop application, iTeleport Connect for Mac and Windows allows users to easily configure their computer to accept remote VNC connections from the app while outside of their local home or office network. iTeleport for iPad 4.1 is available from the App Store for $20 and is a free update for current users. A universal app, iTeleport: Jaadu VNC is also available for $25 but has not yet been updated to receive the latest features of the iPad-only version.
Building on its successful iHome+Sleep app introduced earlier this year, accessory manufacturer iHome has released its second iOS application. iHome+Radio is a new Internet radio application that provides users with access to over 20,000 local and international radio stations streamed over Wi-Fi or 3G. iHome+Radio uses RadioTime.com as its source for Internet radio channels and can sync any presets that existing Radiotime.com users have stored online for a seamless transition onto the iPhone and iPod touch. iHome+Radio also integrates with the company’s iHome+Sleep app to allow users to wake up or fall asleep to their favorite Internet radio stations and includes controls and settings for iHome’s app-enhanced products such as the iA5 and upcoming iA100 alarm clocks. iHome+Radio is compatible with iPhone and iPod touch devices using iOS 4.0 or later and supports Radiotime listed stations streamed in MP3 and AAC formats only. iHome+Radio is available from the App Store for an introductory price of $2.
A newly published Apple patent application is causing controversy online as it contains a screen illustration that is very similar to the interface of a third-party iOS application. The patent application, titled “Systems And Methods For Accessing Travel Services Using A Portable Electronic Device,” describes an app offering services such as “reserving a travel itinerary, checking-in remotely for a reservation, providing airport information, providing for social networking, obtaining dining or entertainment during travel, controlling and requesting cabin services, providing arrival notifications to third parties,” and “providing destination location information.”
The issue stems from figure 6 of the patent application, which contains an illustration of a screen virtually identical to the main interface of WhereTo? from FutureTap. As the app has been available since day one of the App Store and the application was filed in December 2009, it is unlikely that Apple didn’t know of WhereTo? prior to the filing—in fact, the app’s name appears in the illustration. “At first, we couldn’t believe what we saw and felt it can’t be true that someone else is filing a patent including a 1:1 copy of our start screen. Things would be way easier of course if that ‘someone else’ would be really an exterior ‘someone else.’ Unfortunately, that’s not the case,” said Ortwin Gentz of FutureTap. “We’re faced with a situation where we’ve to fear that our primary business partner is trying to ‘steal’ our idea and design.” While the text of the patent application doesn’t completely overlap with the idea and purpose of the WhereTo? app, its very appearance in an Apple patent application without prior notice or warning is cause for concern; Apple has yet to comment on the matter.
Apple has updated the iPad App Store to add its Genius Recommendations feature for iPad apps. Introduced to the iPhone and iPod touch App Store last year in iOS 3.1, the Genius for Apps feature for the iPad provides personalized recommendations on additional apps that users may be interested in based on their existing purchases, installed apps and how often and how long existing apps are used for. As with the Genius feature in iTunes and on the other iOS devices, users must specifically opt-in within the iPad App Store application to enable Genius for Apps on their device and agree to additional Terms of Service. Notably, the Terms of Service indicate that Apple will anonymously collect information related to the applications installed on a users’ device, including time spent with each application and the number of times each application is launched, as well as users’ application download histories. This information is aggregated with similar information from other users who opt-in to the Genius feature along with customer ratings of applications on the App Store to provide personalized recommendations through the service. Users who have enabled the Genius feature may also later opt-out from the App Store Account settings page on their device.
Truphone has released an update to its voice-over-IP application for the iPad, adding the ability to make VoIP calls over a 3G connection. Truphone provides VoIP apps for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad allowing users to place voice calls to other Truphone users as well as Skype and Google Talk users as well as instant messaging support for Truphone, Facebook, Skype, AIM, Google Talk and MSN. Truphone for iPad 2.0 adds full VoIP over 3G support, a new Truphone Directory search, an integrated TruFriends and IM listing, multi-chat instant messaging capabilities and the ability to send and receive SMS messages, including group SMS. Truphone for iPad is available from the App Store as a free download; some calling features may require purchase of Truphone credits.
Vonage has released a new app that allows iOS device users to make free voice-over-IP calls to their Facebook friends. Vonage Mobile for Facebook uses Facebook Connect to link users with contacts on their Facebook profile and then make free calls to any of their Facebook friends who are also using the Vonage Mobile for Facebook app on their iOS or Android device. Users can make and receive calls on their iPhone or iPad or on an iPod touch using an external headset and mic. Calling is supported over both Wi-Fi and 3G networks anywhere coverage is available and calls can be made to any user regardless of location with no international calling fees or airtime charges—only data usage applies when using a 3G connection. The application uses Push Notifications to allow users to receive calls when the app is in the background; it does not support iOS 4 background VoIP features at this time. Vonage Mobile for Facebook is available from the App Store as a free download.
Shacked Software has released an update to Flickpad, its online photo viewing app. Flickpad is designed to allow users to easily browse through their friends’ online photo albums in a unique interface where photos are stacked on a desktop area. In addition to the original Facebook support, Flickpad 2.0 adds the ability to browse Flickr photosets as well as posting comments on photos from either service. The update also adds a new fast user switching feature for shared iPads that allows users to quickly switch between Flickr/Facebook user accounts. Users can navigate through all available photos by date, search for photos from individual friends or hide all photos from friends they don’t want to see. Photos can be saved to the iPad Photo Library, marked as favorites or shared via e-mail. The new version also adds a slideshow feature that allows users to turn the iPad into a digital picture frame. Flickpad 2.0 is available from the App Store for $10 and is a free update for current users.
Brightkite has released an update to its social networking app for the iPhone and iPod touch, adding iOS 4 support and several other enhancements. Brightkite 2.8 now provides native iOS 4 support including Fast App Switching and background posting and photo uploads. The new version also allows users to view badges that they or their friends have earned and limit notifications on friends’ checkins to only when they are nearby. New high-resolution icons are now included for the iPhone 4 Retina Display and the post screen now accepts 140 Japanese characters. The update also includes a “cornucopia of bug zaps and feature tweaks” and performance improvements. Brightkite 2.8 is available from the App Store as a free download.
iOS developer Max Weisel has released MiTube, an application for viewing and downloading videos from YouTube on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Although a version of this app named MxTube has been available for jailbroken iOS devices for some time, this represents the first official App Store approved version of the app. MiTube is a universal app and allows users to stream and download videos from YouTube Mobile in any available quality, including HD versions. The application provides a basic YouTube search capability to locate videos and users can choose to stream or download each video in low or high quality, with HD versions where available. Downloaded videos are stored within the app and can be transferred to the user’s PC or Mac over USB via the File Sharing feature in iTunes. MiTube is available from the App Store as a free download.
Update: Sadly, but perhaps not surprisingly, the app has been removed from the App Store.
Imangi Studios has released an update to its popular Harbor Master HD game adding a new rewind feature and two additional maps. In Harbor Master HD users must successfully navigate ships to their proper berths and then back out again by drawing pathways on the iPad screen, avoiding other ships in the process. Version 1.3 introduces a rewind feature where users can undo a crash to continue playing the game. At the end of a game, users can choose to rewind, undo the crash and continue playing. Users start out with a fixed number of rewinds available, and earn additional rewinds by playing. Only one rewind can be used per game. Harbor Master HD includes a single playing map with additional maps available via in-app purchase; the latest update adds two new maps: Bermuda Triangle and Kraken Atoll. Harbor Master HD is available from the App Store as a free download.
iPhone developer David Muzi has released an update to his Trackr RSS and web reader app, adding support for local file storage and synchronization of stored files to iTunes over USB. The update also now allows files to be previewed directly within the app and adds new social networking services for sharing links to Facebook, Twitter, Instapaper, Read It Later, Google Reader, Delicious and more. Trackr allows users to read RSS feeds and web sites on their iPhone or iPod touch and download any linked files to either the local device storage or upload them to Dropbox directly from within the app. Users of multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices can also continue file transfers in the background and the application also provides iPhone 4 Retina Display optimized graphics and offline RSS viewing capabilities. Trackr requires an iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4 or later and is available from the App Store for $3.
City Interactive has released Chronicles of Mystery: Curse of the Ancient Temple, a new game for the iPhone and iPod touch which combines features of point and click adventure, logic puzzle and hidden object games. In Chronicles of Mystery, the player takes on the role of Sylvie, a young archaeologist who travels to France to visit her uncle, a renowned historian, to find that he has gone missing after a recent discovery of a mysterious underground chapel from the times of the Crusades. Sylvie must embark on a journey to find her uncle and uncover the long-forgotten secrets of the Knights Hospitaller. Players travel through various areas to find hidden objects among the scenery and solve various puzzles such as balancing weights, matching symbols and navigating mazes. The storyline is enhanced by detailed 3D graphics and background music, and the game contains 50 fully-rendered locations, 14 mini-games and a special Hidden World game mode that allows users to play classic hidden object levels. Chronicles of Mystery: Curse of the Ancient Temple is available from the App Store for $4.
Avici Software has released Whiteboard HD, a new multi-functional interactive whiteboard application for the iPad. Designed for use in boardroom, work group and classroom environments, Whiteboard HD allows users to visualize ideas by writing notes, sketching diagrams and recording brainstorming sessions. Users can make freeform drawings or manipulate pre-drawn shapes and lines using standard multi-touch gestures, dynamically place and orient labels and text boxes and select from grid or lined template backgrounds. Images and diagrams can be imported from the iPad photo library and the whiteboard content can be saved to the app’s project manager or shared via e-mail. The application also supports video output through Apple’s iPad VGA Adapter in multiple aspect ratios to external monitors or projectors. Whiteboard HD is available from the App Store for an introductory price of $6 until August 18th, after which the price will increase to $10.
Apple has released its third beta version of iOS 4.1 as well as the accompanying SDK. It remains unclear whether iOS 4.1 addresses the iPhone 4’s proximity sensor issue, however, the release does remove support for Apple’s Game Center social gaming network on the iPhone 3G and 2nd generation iPod Touch, according to Mac Rumors. Both the new iOS 4.1 SDK Beta 2 and pre-release builds are available now for download by paid iPhone developers from the iPhone Dev Center.
Art in Games has released an iPad version of Air Attack, its top-down air combat shooter. Air Attack HD (iLounge rating: A) provides the same features as its iPhone counterpart with higher-resolution graphics optimized for the iPhone display. AirAttack is an arcade-style top down air combat shooter where the player controls an aircraft flying over enemy territory and scores points by shooting down enemy aircraft, ships, ground vehicles and turrets. The game provides eight missions, 58 different enemy types, numerous upgrades and special weapons and three difficulty modes. Players can choose to control the game using direct touchscreen control, an on-screen joypad or accelerometer-based tilt controls. The game features detailed 3D graphics within lighting and special effects, an orchestral music score and realtime physics. Air Attack HD is available from the App Store for $1. The iPhone and iPod touch version is also available separately from the App Store for $1. A free Lite version is also available.
Popcap Games has released its Boosts & Coins update to Bejeweled 2 for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new version 1.3 expands the popular Bejeweled Blitz mode, enabling players to use coins to purchase “boosts,” power-ups that can generate higher scores. Players receive a 50,000 coin bonus the first time they play online, and then earn more coins as they progress through the game. Thousands of coins are needed to purchase several extra seconds on the clock—which last for several games in a row—or gem-flipping, mystery gem, detonator, or free multiplier boosts. Coins earned on the iPhone and iPod touch version can be used anywhere that the user plays Bejeweled Blitz, whether on their device or via the web. The latest update also improves iOS 4 compatibility and support for international player names. Bejeweled 2 + Blitz is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for current users; a Facebook account is required to play in the online Blitz mode.
Apple’s Remote app was well-received by iPhone and iPod touch users when it was released in July 2008, but after eight months with no updates, many users have wondered what the status was with its development. According to Sachin Agarwal, former Apple employee and CEO of Posterous, the Remote app is written and maintained by a single man—a good friend of his—who has been busy working on other things. Agarwal explains, “Apple doesn’t build large teams to work on every product they make. Instead, they hire very few, but very intelligent people who can work on different projects and move around as needed. One day you might be working on the Remote app, and the next day you might get pulled on to another project that needs your help.” The lack of updates to the Remote app have left it unable to take full advantage of iOS 4, the iPhone 4’s retina display, or the iPad’s larger screen; no timetable has been given for when the app might again be updated.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has launched an investigation into Apple’s and Amazon’s deals with major book publishers. According to a press release released by Blumenthal, the deals both companies have signed with the major publishers may be anticompetitive; letters have been sent to both Apple (PDF Link) and Amazon requesting meetings to discuss and address these concerns. “These agreements among publishers, Amazon and Apple appear to have already resulted in uniform prices for many of the most popular e-books—potentially depriving consumers of competitive prices,” Blumenthal said. “Amazon and Apple combined will likely command the greatest share of the retail e-book market, allowing their most-favored-nation clauses to effectively set the floor prices for the most popular e-books. Such agreements—especially when offered to two of the largest e-book retail competitors in the United States—threaten to encourage coordinated pricing and discourage discounting.”
One Man Left has released an update to its popular Tilt to Live shooting game for the iPhone and iPod touch adding a new gameplay mode, a new weapon and seven new awards to earn. Tilt to Live 1.4 adds the long-fabled Frostbite mode in which a blizzard of frozen enemies fall from the top of the play area toward a steaming hot spring below and the player must shatter through waves of these frozen dots. As the player smashes enemies, a meter at the bottom of the screen fills and eventually spawns a new Burnicade weapon that allows the player to draw a burning barricade by tilting. The Burnicade weapon can also be unlocked for inclusion in the user’s weapon arsenals for other game modes. The latest update also features seven new award challenges powered by the AGON social gaming platform and fixes some minor iOS4 and sound effect issues. The developer has indicated to iLounge that this is expected to be the final update to Tilt to Live as the company shifts its focus to other new projects. Tilt to Live 1.4 is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for current users.
Jet Set Games has released an iPad version of its popular turn-based strategy game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Highborn HD provides the same casual strategy game experience as its iPhone counterpart with re-designed maps and enhanced high-resolution, hand-drawn artwork optimized for the iPad display. In Highborn, players are treated to two strategy games to provide an intelligent tactical experience in a more relaxed turn-based model. Players deploy forces using an overhead map view to secure spells and combat support and then engage in 3D combat to use those advantages against enemy forces. The strategic elements of the game are set against a background storyline with wacky heroes and witty dialogue. Players can choose from many different styles of play, unlocking hero characters with different abilities throughout the course of the game. The game also provides more than 20 single- and multi-player achievements that can be unlocked and includes OpenFeint integration allowing users to compete against other players online. Highborn HD is available from the App Store for $3; the iPhone and iPod touch version is sold separately on the App Store for $1.