News | iLounge

News

Browse News by Category:

Chillingo launches real location-based MMORPG

Chillingo has launched My Kingdom, a unique massively multiplayer online role-playing game that uses players’ real-world locations as part of the game play experience. In My Kington players start off as simple merchants and must establish settlements and explore territory within the game based on actual real-world locations as determined by the GPS/location services in their device. Players trade commodities by moving around and visiting other locations in the real world that corresponding to virtual locations in the game, claiming new unexplored territories and visiting villages and settlements created by other players. The game includes over 40 different kinds of land types ranging from jungles and deserts to extinct volcanoes and arctic tundra. Players expand their empire and rise to power by exploring and claiming more territory, producing goods and earning gold. As players advance in the game they rise in rank and can build a wider variety of buildings within their kingdoms and even recruit an army to demand allegiance from other players. Players can also earn achievements and reputation in one of four guilds within the game: The Traders Guild, The Explorers Guild, The Manufacturers Guild or the Thieves Guild. Game Center support is included for tracking leaderboard positions and achievements. My Kingdom is available from the App Store as a free download.

Safari Books Online launches iPad app

Safari Books Online has launched a free iPad application, Safari to Go that allows subscribers to access and read books from its online library. Safari Books Online is a subscription-based on-demand digital library that delivers expert content from leading publishers in technology and business such as O’Reilly Media, Peachpit Press, John Wiley & Sons and many others. The Safari to Go application allows users to access books from the company’s on-demand catalog for both online and offline reading. The app also provides a search feature that allows users to search the entire collection of books and articles available or search within the content of a specific book. Non-subscribers can access sample content for any books and sign up for trials and subscriptions from directly within the app. The application also provides access to folders and notes with tagging and bookmarking features that synchronize between the application and the online website. Safari To Go is available from the App Store as a free download. A subscription is required to access any content other than samples, with individual subscriptions starting at $23/month for ten books per month or $43/month for unlimited access; a free trial subscription is available.

Frotz adds UI improvements, note-taking feature

Craig Smith has released an update to Frotz, his text adventure game interpreter for iOS devices. Frotz allows users to play classic text adventure games on their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad including such titles as the Zork Trilogy, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Trinity as well as new text adventure games developed by interactive fiction writers and fans. Frotz supports any titles written in Infocom’s Z-Machine format, providing access to a wealth of downloadable content. Frotz 1.5 adds several UI improvements, particularly for the iPad, and now allows users to access a note-taking area for any story so that they can make notes from directly within the app. The new version also adds Dropbox support to allow users to synchronize saved games for playing on multiple devices and also includes authors, descriptions and artwork for its built-in stories, more bundled games from the Interactive Fiction Database (IFDB), and the ability to bookmark pages in the story browser and keep track of recently played stories. Frotz is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.

CBC Radio app adds background audio, iPad support

CBC Radio has released a major update to its free streaming radio application for iOS devices, adding background audio and native iPad support. The CBC Radio application provides both live and on-demand streaming audio from CBC Radio One, Radio 2 and Radio 3 and on-demand audio from CBC TV programs including The Hour, CBC News At Issue Panel and Mansbridge One on One. Version 2.0 adds supports for background audio and fast app switching on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices, including support for remote audio controls and the ability to resume playback automatically following interruptions such as phone calls. An updated player screen provides artist bios when available for the current track. Users can also browse and search through over 100,000 tracks from over 20,000 Canadian Indie artists in the embedded CBC Radio 3 website, and share audio links via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook from right within the app. Additional new features include automatic switching between high- and low-quality streams for Wi-Fi and 3G network use, an option to automatically play on startup and an alarm timer. CBC Radio 2.0 is now a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.

UK label releases album as iPad app

Manchester-based electronica label Clear Notice Recordings has released its most recent album in the form of an iPad application. The album, Enter Calico, is a compilation of music and videos from various electronic artists, filmmakers and animators around the world. The application includes full tracks along with streaming videos and artist biographies. Buyers also receive a code that allows them to download a copy of the audio album in a format of their choice and download the videos which are streamed from within the app. Enter Calico represents one of the first albums to be released exclusively as an iPad app; it is available from the App Store for $7. [via Mobile Entertainment]

Shape Services releases WebCamera for iPhone

Shape Services has released Mobiola WebCamera, a new application that allows iPhone and fourth-generation iPod touch owners to use their devices as high-quality wireless webcams for a Windows PC. Mobiola WebCamera uses a free Windows companion application to establish a connection between the iOS device and the Windows PC via Wi-Fi, at which point the iOS device camera simply appears as a webcam on the computer that can be used with services such as Skype, Yahoo and Windows Live Messenger. Mobiola WebCamera requires a camera-equipped iOS device with iOS 4.0 or later and a PC running Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 and is available from the App Store for $5.

IMDb adds iOS 4 support, International showtimes

IMDb has released an update to its universal iOS application adding support for multi-tasking and Retina Display capabilities and expanding its theatre showtimes feature to 13 additional countries. IMDb Movies & TV 2.0 also now allows users to rate movies and TV shows by signing in with either their IMDb or Facebook accounts and provides links to the latest entertainment news from hundreds of media outlets, organized by category and linked to titles and names in the database. Movie theatre showtimes have now been expanded to include Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Columbia, Argentina, Chile, Australia and New Zealand. IMDb Pro subscribers can also now find representation listings and contact details from directly within the application. The new version also provides a redesigned home screen highlighting the latest trailers and entertainment news and supports Chinese localization. IMDb Movies & TV 2.0 is available from the App Store as a free download.

Space Invaders Infinity Gene goes universal

Taito Corporation has released a universal update to Space Invaders Infinity Gene adding Game Center integration and a new Survival game mode. An evolution of the classic Space Invaders arcade game, Space Invaders Infinity Gene 4.0 adds native iPad support and support for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch Retina Display with an improved frame rate that provides better performance. The update also adds a new Survival mode that allows multiple Extra and Chimera stages to be played in sequences with branching stages and multiple endings. Version 4.0 also adds integration with Apple’s Game Center and OpenFeint allowing users to share top scores on leaderboards from either service as well as unlocking achievements. Space Invaders Infinity gene is available from the App Store for $5.

Skyfire ‘sold out’ - temporarily pulled from App Store

Skyfire Labs reports that it has been forced to suspend sales of its new Skyfire app after only a few hours of sales due to extremely high demand. Released yesterday afternoon, Skyfire allows users to view online Flash video from the web by using intermediate proxy servers to transcode Flash video to an iOS-friendly format. Skyfire Labs reports that the application was received with “unbelievable enthusiasm” and became the top grossing app on the App Store within five hours, however the popularity of the app quickly overwhelmed the company’s proxy servers and bandwidth causing the video experience to degrade. As a result, the developer has suspended sales of the application, declaring the app effectively ‘sold out.’ Skyfire reports that it is “working really hard to increase capacity” and hopes to be able to resume sales of the application soon.

Apple adds new release titles to iBookstore in Australia

Five months after the iPad’s launch in the country, Apple has finally begun offering new release titles on the Australian iBookstore. The Age reports that the store offers titles from a variety of publishers, including Macmillan, Hachette, HarperCollins, Hardie Grant, Murdoch Publishers and Wiley. Previously, Australian iBooks users only had access to out-of-copyright titles from the store; an Apple spokesperson said that new release titles on offer now number in the “thousands.” The report also notes that like in other countries, the iBookstore will compete the Amazon Kindle and Kobo apps already available for iOS. [via Macsimum News]

Skyfire will display Flash video on iOS devices

CNNMoney reports that Skyfire, a web browser app that can be used to view Flash video, had been approved by Apple and is expected to be available for download on Thursday. Skyfire will allow users to view Flash videos from the web by using intermediate proxy servers to transcode them to an iOS-friendly HTML5 and MPEG-4/H.264 standard before streaming them to the user’s device. When using Skyfire to browse to a web site containing Flash video, a thumbnail will be displayed that the user can tap on to stream the video content to their device from Skyfire’s servers. The report notes that Skyfire will be designed to translate only video content and can’t be used to translate games or other non-video Flash content. Adobe estimates that nearly 75% of online video is encoded in Flash, however other studies have noted that many of these sites encode videos in other formats in addition to Flash to provide compatibility with a broader range of devices. However, Skyfire’s CEO estimates that Skyfire will provide access to millions of web sites that were previously unavailable to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. CNNMoney also notes however that one major Flash-based service, Hulu, will not be available as the company has blocked the Skyfire service from being able to download its videos. It is unclear whether other similar streaming services may also follow suit.

Update (11/03/2010): Skyfire is now available from the App Store—a day earlier than expected.

Update (11/04/2010): Skyfire has been temporarily removed from the App Store by the developer due to excessive demand and server performance problems.

Zuckerberg: No Facebook iPad app news, “iPad is not mobile”

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.

Facebook app update will add Groups, improve Places

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 adds Facebook Places integration, German support

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’ ‘Project Sword’ becomes ‘Infinity Blade’

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]

Rush releases Time Machine app for iPad

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]

Mayan Puzzle adds new levels, Game Center support

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.

John Carmack announces Rage-based game coming in November

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]

Latitudie adds Friends support, enhanced UI for Google Latitude

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 accepting submissions for iOS 4.2 apps

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.

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2017 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy