Electronic Arts has released the latest iPhone game in its popular SimCity franchise. First previewed in March, SimCity Deluxe is an improved version of EA’s original SimCity application for the iPhone and iPod touch and provides a visual style akin to EA’s SimCity 4 with noticeable enhancements in user interface, graphics and frame rate. In SimCity Deluxe, players can play an open-ended game and build their own city or choose from one of seven predesigned cities and remake them from there. The game also provides seven scenarios where users must reshape and plan their cities to meet specific goals such as staging a World Games or coping with a heat wave. SimCity Deluxe also introduces seasons with specific seasonal disasters that can befall a player’s city and allows users to modify terrain and landscape their cities using touch controls. SimCity Deluxe is available from the App Store for $7.
Omz:software has released a major update to its popular NewsRack RSS reader for the iPhone and iPad adding iOS 4 support and several additional features and improvements. NewsRack 2.5 now supports background task completion and fast app switching on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices and provides high-resolution graphics for the iPhone 4 Retina Display. A new slideshow mode is also now available for iPad users. Additional improvements include much faster synchronization with Google Reader, the ability to mark articles as unread, synchronization of Google Reader shared items, Instapaper Mobilizer support and the ability to download older news items from Google Reader. The update also provides a number of user interface improvements on both the iPhone and iPad platforms, although themes are no longer available for iPhone and iPod touch users. NewsRack 2.5 is currently not compatible with the iPhone 3G with iOS 4; the developer indicates an update for this will be “follow shortly.” The iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 are fully supported, as are any devices running iOS 3.x. NewsRack is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for current users.
Apple is to blame for the current lack of iPad magazine subscription options, according to a new report. AllThingsD reports that Time Inc. was planning to launch a subscription version of its Sports Illustrated iPad app with payments being handled by the publisher, until Apple rejected the application at the last minute, forcing Time to sell single copies as in-app purchases. Notably, a number of the app’s negative reviews mention the lack of a subscription option. The report states that Time executives “have been going nuts” trying to find a way to get Apple to approve a subscription plan. In addition, Apple reportedly approved the company’s subscription plans prior to the iPad’s launch, during a time when Apple was communicating with Time executives. As the report notes, no other magazine publisher has gained approval to sell its own iOS app subscriptions, either.
Resolution Interactive has released a sequel to its acclaimed Aqua Moto Racing game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Aqua Moto Racing 2 is a first-person water racing game that allows players to race one of 12 unique JetSkis in exotic locations such as the Tropics, Greece and Egypt. The game provides significantly improved graphics with dynamic waves and an improved wave physics engine for increased realism. Players can race in six different locations with unique lighting, choose from 48 different courses, and play in career mode to unlock new championships and achievements in the quest to attain Legendary Status. Players level-up their rider through 10 different ranks by performing stunts, beating target times, unlocking medals and winning championships, and can connect to OpenFeint to challenge other players and compare race results on the OpenFeint Leaderboards. Aqua Moto Racing 2 is available from the App Store for $5. A free Lite version with only three courses and three JetSkis is also available.
SeeItWithUs has released an iPad version of its video frame capture application for the iPhone and iPod touch. VideoPix for iPad allows users to import and play back videos in slow motion for frame-by-frame analysis and frame capture. iPad-compatible video clips can be imported from the Photo Library or directly using the Camera Connection Kit and non-iPad-compatible video files can be uploaded over Wi-Fi from a desktop web browser for use in the app. Users can play back their video clips in slow motion with a configurable frame rate from 1 to 10 fps or navigate frame-by-frame, capture individual frames and crop and apply basic effects. Pictures are captured in the same resolution as the source video and stored in an internal library within the app where multiple pictures can be selected for sharing via e-mail. VideoPix supports MP4/MOV videos in resolutions up to 720p using the H.264/MPEG-4 codecs and up to 1600 x 1200 using the MJPEG codec. Videos recorded on the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and fifth-generation iPod nano can be transferred directly into the app using Apple’s iPad Camera Connector. The app cannot access videos stored within the iPad Videos app due to iOS API limitations. VideoPix for iPad is available from the App Store for $3.
Apple has released its iOS 4.1 Beta 2 and the accompanying SDK. Reports are varied as to whether this second version of the iPhone and iPod touch operating system includes a fix for the iPhone 4’s proximity sensor issue, a problem iOS 4.0.1 failed to address; Apple has yet to indicate one way or the other. 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.
Web-based collaboration app developer 37signals has announced the purchase of the iPhone app Ember from developer Overcommitted. Ember was a native iPhone application for 37signals’ web-based conference app, Campfire that allows users to participate in chats, view transcripts, jump between chat rooms and share pictures in a Campfire chat. 37signals founder Jason Fried writes on the company’s blog that they considered Ember to be an excellent native iPhone app for Campfire and started discussions with Overcommitted earlier this year about buying the application. After reaching a deal and making a few changes to the app, 37signals has resubmitted it to the App Store as the official Campfire app for the iPhone. Although Ember sold for $10 as a third-party app, 37signals has released the new version as a free download; a Campfire account is required to use the app, however free Campfire accounts are supported. The 37signals Campfire app provides support for multiple accounts, unlimited chat rooms, live image previews, inline viewing of popular document formats, access to chat transcripts and the ability to upload photos. Users can also see the participants in a room, view and set the topic for a room and set preferences for message notifications on a room-by-room basis. 37signals Campfire is available from the App Store as a free download. [via TechCrunch]
Score Media has released theScore iPad edition, an iPad optimized version of its popular ScoreMobile sports app for the iPhone and iPod touch. TheScore iPad edition provides sports news, stats, scores and standings from every major sports league integrated with video and audio content from Score Media’s television, radio and web platforms. Users can follow sports information, news and stats from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, College Basketball, College Football, CFL, EPL and more. The app provides users with access to up-to-the-minute content including real-time scores, breaking news, exclusive digital video segments for iPad users and additional content from The Score Television Network, blogs for NBA, Soccer, NHL and NFL leagues and general sports and soccer podcasts. Users can also take advantage of integrated social media tools to share articles, blog posts and videos via services such as Facebook or Twitter. TheScore iPad edition is available from the App Store as a free download.
Paramount Digital Entertainment has released the latest version of its official Star Trek Captain’s Log app, adding support for iOS 4, the iPhone 4 and several additional new features. Star Trek Captain’s Log allows users to log voice recordings, take photos and video, text notes and record GPS locations in a Star Trek communicator themed app. Users can share logs with friends via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and personalize the app with different skins, sound effects, images and map pins. Version 1.1 introduces support for the iOS 4 and the iPhone 4 with multitasking features and high-resolution Retina Display graphics as well as support for the front-facing camera and gyroscope in the iPhone 4. The new version also adds a new 360-degree 3D Enterprise view that can be rotated via the touchscreen or iPhone 4 gyroscope. This update also fixes a number of bugs and makes some additional improvements regarding map pin display, image optimization and working with low-signal conditions. Star Trek Captain’s Log 1.1 is available from the U.S. App Store for $2 and requires an iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4.0 or later. Notably, the App Store description for the app indicates that users must be 17 years of age or older to use the app, however the App Store rating itself is only 4+.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Citigroup has disclosed a security flaw in its free U.S. mobile-banking application for iOS devices. Citi has indicated that the iOS app inadvertently saves information such as account numbers, bill payments and security access codes on users’ iOS devices and that this information may also be saved to a users’ desktop computer as part of the iTunes backup created during the sync process. The issue is reported to have affected approximately 117,600 Citigroup customers who have registered the iPhone app with Citi since its March 2009 launch, however the bank does not believe that any personal data has actually been exposed by the flaw. Citi has sent out letters to customers advising them of the security issue and directing users to download the newest version of the Citi Mobile app as a mandatory update. The latest version of Citi Mobile addresses this issue and also provides iPod touch support for credit card customers and other bug fixes. Citi Mobile 2.0.3 is available from the App Store as a free download and should appear as an automatic update for current users. [via TUAW]
American Airlines has launched an official travel app for iPhone and iPod touch users. The American Airlines app allows users to book and check-in for flights, check flight status and schedules, setup flight status notifications and access AAdvantage program and account information. Users can also use the app to set airport parking reminders, monitor their place on standby lists, view flight gate and seat information, access a barcoded mobile boarding pass, view terminal maps and even play a game of Sudoku. The American Airlines app is available from the App Store as a free download.
AudioBox has released an official native iOS app for streaming music from its cloud-based media storage service. The AudioBox service allows users to upload and store their own MP3 files online and stream their music from the AudioBox servers to any number of desktop computers or supported mobile devices. The AudioBox app for the iPhone and iPod touch provides streaming access to the user’s online AudioBox.fm library allowing users to listen to their online media content from their device over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. The app features support for background audio on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices, library organization by playlist, artist, album or genre, playback controls, track scrubbing and scrobbling of played tracks to Last.FM. AudioBox for the iPhone and iPod touch is available from the App Store as a free download. An AudioBox.fm account is required to use the app with 1GB of storage available in a free account and paid accounts starting at $4 for 11GB of storage. At the present time the iOS app can be used with a free AudioBox.fm account as part of a limited promotional period, at the end of which a paid account will be required to continue using any native client with the service. [via TechCrunch]
Ignition Soft has released WebPad, a new iPad drawing app that allows users to share iPad drawings in-progress with other users in real-time. Users are provided with a personal WebPad URL which friends and colleagues can access to view the drawing in real-time using any modern desktop web browser. Users can draw in both landscape and portrait orientation and the online WebPad drawing will update to reflect the iPad’s current orientation. Drawings are saved by the WebPad online service automatically and other users can comment, share and review drawings on the WebPad site. WebPad is available from the App Store for $5. Free registration with the WebPad service and an active Internet connection is required to use the app.
TunedOn has released a new app, Texto, that allows iPhone users to setup and send pre-written canned text messages via the iPhone’s built-in SMS app. Users can choose from a list of pre-defined short messages such as “running late” or “I’m here” or create their own custom entries. Using the in-app SMS feature introduced in iOS 4, tapping on a canned message opens the iPhone’s native SMS compose screen where users can add additional text or simply send the message as-is. Users can also associate canned messages with individual contacts from the iPhone address book allowing quick access to frequently-used messages or responses. Texto is available from the App Store for $1 and requires an iPhone running iOS 4 or later. The developer indicates that an iPod touch version is currently under development.
Cultured Code has released an update bringing iOS 4 support to its popular task management app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Things 1.6 now provides support for Local Notifications allowing users to be reminded of scheduled and due tasks even when the app is not actively running. The new version also adds Fast App Switching support, Retina Display graphics for the iPhone 4 and integration with the third-party TextExpander app in addition to improved stability and bug fixes. Things is available from the App Store for $10; an iPad version is sold separately for $20. Things can be used as a standalone app or synced via local Wi-Fi with Cultured Code’s Mac app of the same name. Syncing between iPhone and iPad versions requires that both devices be synced with the desktop app.
Apple has added a new section to the App Store called “Newsstand,” highlighting a variety of publications. The section is divided into three sub-sections, one for magazines, showcasing apps from Wallpaper and GQ, among others, one for newspapers, promoting apps from USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, and more, and one for digital news sources, which includes the RSS application Reeder, Marco Arment’s Instapaper, and the Zinio Magazine application. Interestingly, Apple forced the iPhone RSS application Newsstand to change its name—it became NewsRack—due to a trademark complaint that was received by Apple, yet the company itself is now using the moniker. The new “Newsstand” section is accessible from the front page of the App Store on the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, and via iTunes on a Mac or PC.
Nuance Communications has released an update to its Dragon Dictation app adding iOS 4 compatibility, multilingual support, direct speech-to-SMS and social networking integration. Dragon Dictation 2.0 takes advantage of iOS 4 in-app SMS support allowing users to send text messages directly from the app. The update also provides a redesigned interface with a pop-up toolbar and the ability to post dictated text directly to Twitter and Facebook. Support for Fast App Switching allows dictated text in the scratchpad to be automatically saved when leaving the app so users can resume their dictation where they left off after answering a phone call. Dragon Dictation 2.0 adds support for U.K. English and is now available in the U.K. App Store. Nuance indicates that German language support will be coming by the end of July and that it plans to provide support for French, Italian and Spanish later this year. Dragon Dictation 2.0 is available from the App Store as a free download for a limited time.
Dropbox has released an update to its popular file storage client adding support for recording and uploading HD video on the iPhone 4. Dropbox 1.2.4 allows users to upload videos recorded within the app on an iPhone 4 in full HD resolution, although videos selected from the photo library remain limited to 640 x 480 due to iOS API limitations. Quality settings in the update now also affect videos selected from the photo library in addition to those recorded with the iPhone camera. The update also presents the password lock screen more aggressively when switching back to the app on multitasking-capable devices, including an option to require the password immediately upon returning to the app. Dropbox 1.2.4 is available from the App Store as a free download. A free Dropbox account is required to use the service.
Mekentosj.com has released an update to its popular Papers academic research app. Papers 1.8 adds support for PDF annotations and note-taking for iPad users and adds Fast App Switching support on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. The update also includes high-resolution artwork for the iPhone 4 and brings support for opening PDF files in Papers from other applications such as Mail and Safari on iOS 4. Additional improvements include the ability to delete authors and journals that have no stored papers, move webpage-only papers into collections and case-insensitive sorting of authors and journals. Papers 1.8 is available from the App Store for $15 and is a free update for current users.
The Iconfactory has released an update to its Twitterrific app adding a number of new features and improvements. Twitterrific 3.0.1 provides new timeline shortcuts including the ability to tap an avatar to view a user’s profile, a tap-and-hold menu for additional options and double- and triple-taps for replying and marking tweets as favorites. Users of iOS 4 devices also gain the ability to tap-and-hold on links such as usernames, hashtags and web URLs to perform additional actions. The latest version also adds several improvements including changes to the retweet with comments format, improved e-mailing of links from the mini-browser, copy actions for tweets on iOS 4 devices, emoji character support on the iPad and several graphical and UI tweaks and includes several bug fixes. Twitterrific for Twitter is available from the App Store as a free ad-supported version with a $5 Premium upgrade available within the app to remove advertising and add support for multiple Twitter accounts.