As Halloween approaches, several game developers have released Halloween-themed editions of popular iPhone and iPad game titles. Rovio Mobile has released special editions of its popular Angry Birds game, Angry Birds Halloween ($1) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Angry Birds Halloween HD ($2) for the iPad. Both versions add new levels with Halloween-themed objects such as spooky backgrounds and pumpkins to smash, and are purchased separately special editions of Angry Birds.
Lima Sky has updated the existing version of Doodle Jump ($1), adding a haunted Halloween theme as a free update for current users. Players can turn Doodle into a scary Doodlestein monster that must dodge zombies, vampires, witches and other creepy creatures. This latest version of Doodle Jump is a free update for current users.
Eyedip has released revamped Halloween versions of several of its popular applications, transforming them entirely rather than merely adding an additional theme. Flight Doodle ($1) and Flight Doodle HD ($3) sport an entirely new Halloween look with darker menus and orange and black falling tacks, ghouls, ghosts and zombies as enemies. Cargo planes have been replaced with a friendly witch to deliver tricks and treats as power-ups and numerous other Halloween themed objects and backgrounds have been added. Eyedip has also released the latest chapter in Pocket Devil ($1) and Pocket Devil HD ($3), dressing up the characters and sending them out for All Hallow’s Eve with a new mini-game, a pumpkin head editor, Halloween brain feast and new spooky scenery. All four games are available as free updates for current users.
Following yesterday’s acquisition of iOS game publisher Chillingo by Electronic Arts, Angry Birds developer Rovio revealed to TechCrunch that its relationship with Chillingo was limited to the original release of the iPhone and iPad games in December 2009 and April 2010 and did not evolve beyond that point. Peter Vesterbacka of Rovio told TechCrunch, “We only did the first iPad/iPhone integration with Chillingo and aside from that we’ve published everything ourselves. We will not use Chillingo again.” Rovio Mobile has published all of its other games directly since the initial deal with Chillingo, including its flagship Angry Birds game for other mobile platforms and its latest Angry Birds Halloween title for the iPhone and iPad. According to Vesterbacka, Rovio Mobile retained all intellectual property rights to Angry Birds in its contract with Chillingo, and Rovio plans to continue publishing the game independently.
The LA Times reports that Electronic Arts has purchased U.K. based iOS gaming publisher Chillingo. EA spokesperson Holly Rockwood confirmed the purchase this morning but did not provide any comment on the acquisition amount, although “sources close to the deal” cited by the LA Times indicated that the amount was less than $20 million in cash. Chillingo is a game publisher rather than a developer and the company represents a number of independent iOS developers. Popular titles released by Chillingo include Angry Birds by Rovio and Cut the Rope by ZeptoLab, both of which are currently hold top positions on the iTunes App Store charts. Neither Rovio or ZeptoLab are part of the EA acquisition. In a statement released this morning, EA noted that the acquisition will “combine Chillingo’s expertise in cultivating the ideas of independent developers with EA’s global mobile publishing reach.”
Bare Bones Software has released an iPad companion application for its popular information organizer for Mac users. Yojimbo for iPad allows users to sync their data from Yojimbo on their Mac and take it with them on the iPad, including encrypted items such as passwords. Users sync the iPad application with the Yojimbo Mac database over a local Wi-Fi connection, and once the initial pairing has been setup, sync occurs automatically whenever both versions are running on the same Wi-Fi network. The current version of the iPad app provides read-only access to the user’s Yojimbo data—items cannot be created or edited on the device—however full search capabilities are available as well as support for e-mailing entries as attachments, copying information to the clipboard or opening supported items in other applications. Yojimbo for iPad requires Yojimbo 3 for the Mac, which is a free upgrade for users of Yojimbo 2.x or $20 for users of older version of Yojimbo. Yojimbo for the iPad is available from the App Store for $10.
Readdle has released Printer Pro for the iPad, a new application allowing users to print documents wirelessly to a Wi-Fi or Mac/PC connected printer. Printer Pro integrates with the “Open In” feature on the iPad to allow users to open documents from other applications such as Mail or Safari in the Printer Pro application and then print them from there. Web pages can also be printed simply by adding a prefix to the Safari URL to redirect the web page to the Printer Pro application. A variety of Wi-Fi based printers are supported and users can also print wirelessly to a printer connected to a Mac or PC running the companion Printer Pro Desktop application. Printing support is expected to be included by Apple as a built-in feature dubbed AirPrint in the iOS 4.2 update scheduled for release in November. Although AirPrint has the potential to eliminate the need for third-party printing applications, other applications may still be able to provide a wider range of support and compatibility for Wi-Fi connected printers. Printer Pro is available from the App Store for $7.
Loopt has released an update to its social location application adding integration with Facebook’s new Places feature. Loopt allows iPhone users in the U.S. to automatically update and share their location with friends, see alerts when friends are nearby and view photos and places that friends have recently visited. Version 3.2 adds support for Facebook Places allowing Loopt users to view both their Loopt and Facebook friends on a single integrated map and automatically check-in with Facebook Places when sharing Loopt updates to Facebook. In addition comments on Loopt updates for friends who are using both Loopt and Facebook Places will be simultaneously posted to both services. Any of the user’s Facebook friends who have used Facebook Places are now shown in the Loopt friends list and the user can pull up an integrated check-in history for both Loopt and Facebook Places to see where a friend has been. The latest update also provides the ability to customize the distance at which friend alerts are displayed from between one and ten miles of the user’s current location and delivers an upgraded and simplified registration system allowing users to join using either their e-mail address or phone number. Loopt is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.
More Blu Sky has released an update to its popular Flashlight+ LED flashlight application for the iPhone 4. Flashlight+ allows iPhone 4 users to use the built-in LED flash as a flashlight, strobe light or SOS beacon. Version 2.2 adds a new Multi-Control feature which provides the ability to send text and e-mail messages, select music playlists and update Facebook status directly from within the app. Since Apple does not permit applications to leave the LED light enabled when running in the background, the new Multi-Control feature takes advantage of iOS in-app integration and Facebook Connect to allow users to perform a few basic tasks without having to leave the Flashlight application. The new version also adds a new feature that allows users to dim and lock the iPhone screen within the app by double-tapping on it with two fingers while using the LED light. Flashlight+ requires an iPhone 4 and is available from the App Store for $1.
Gameloft has released Star Battalion, a new space combat simulation game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Star Battalion, players take on the role of an ace star pilot leading a resistance movement against the evil Royalists who are spreading fear and terror across the galaxy. Players explore a vast universe undertaking a variety of missions ranging from combat to tactical scenarios and can choose from four different starships with different weapons and abilities designed for different missions and playing styles. Throughout the game players become immersed in a deep storyline with epic conflicts and unexpected twists as the plot unfolds and they fight to liberate the galaxy. iPhone 4 users can take advantage of Retina Display graphics and gyroscope support and the game also provides both online and local cooperative multiplayer support including Game Center integration for teaming up with other players online or comparing scores. Star Battalion is available from the App Store for $7.
TomTom has released an update to its GPS navigation application for the iPhone and iPod touch, adding iPhone 4 specific optimizations, updated maps and a new Navigate-to-Photo feature. TomTom 1.5 now provides high resolution graphics and sharper maps for the iPhone 4 Retina Display as well as performance improvements and more accurate positioning on the iPhone 4 even with limited GPS reception. The update also includes a new feature called Navigate-to-Photo allowing users to select a geo-tagged photo from their iOS photo library and automatically navigate to the location where the photo was taken. TomTom is available in a number of different versions by country, and not all versions have yet received the 1.5 update. TomTom U.S. and Canada sells for $60 and TomTom U.S.A. for $50. Both are free updates for users of the corresponding previous version.
Apple has released a minor maintenance update to its Remote application for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices. Remote 2.0.1 addresses a number of issues in the Remote 2.0 update released earlier this month, including performance when using Remote on an iPhone with Bluetooth enabled, problems browsing artists with a large number of albums, issues waking up computers when using Home Sharing, connecting to an iTunes library or Apple TV and with Wi-Fi network connections. Remote 2.0.1 is available from the App Store as a free download and should appear as an automatic update for current users.
The New York Post has launched its new iPad application, a digital edition of the daily newspaper. It offers all the key sections of the paper—news, Page Six, opinion, Pulse, business and sports—and also lets users design their own front page to share with friends, save issues for later reading, view photo galleries and videos, and share stories via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter. Notably, the app is also the first digital iPad publication to offer in-app subscription purchases. The $1.99 price of the app itself includes 30 days of introductory access, after which users may buy monthly access for $6.99 per, or purchase a year’s subscription for $74.99. Previously, iPad periodical readers either had to purchase individual digital issues one at a time, or be either an online or print subscriber and enter their information for access. A report from last month indicated that Apple is developing a digital newsstand for the iPad aimed at helping publishers sell subscriptions, and new software to make it easier for publishers to create digital versions of magazines and newspapers. The New York Post app for the iPad is available now from the App Store. [via Forbes]
Infinite Messaging has re-released its Infinite SMS application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Originally released two years ago as a solution for sending free SMS messages via Google Talk, Infinite SMS was removed from the App Store early last year after Google shut down the ability for third-party applications to send SMS messages. With Apple now allowing Google Voice applications on the App Store, Infinite SMS has been updated to allow users to send and receive free text messages using Google Voice instead. Infinite SMS is designed for the iPhone and iPod touch and is available from the U.S. App Store for an introductory price of $1. A free Google Voice account is required to use the app.
Occipital has released an update to its RedLaser barcode scanning application for the iPhone and fourth-generation iPod touch adding the ability to scan QR codes as well as several other improvements. RedLaser allows users to scan barcodes with their device’s built-in camera and perform searches via Google Product Search and other search engines. RedLaser 2.9 adds the ability to scan QR codes containing information such as URLs, contacts, calendar events and more and adds eBay and Half.com searches to provide additional results. The new version also adds high-resolution Retina Display support for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch, improves scanning speed on the iPhone 4 and allows users to activate the iPhone 4 LED light during scanning. RedLaser requires an iPhone or fourth-generation iPod touch running iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
G5 Entertainment has released the iPad version of its popular Virtual City simulation game. Released last month for the iPhone and iPod touch, Virtual City is a city-building simulation where players develop their cities to meet specific goals by addressing transportation, entertainment, industrial and environmental needs while also building housing and providing city services such as health care, public safety, waste collection and mass transit. Virtual City HD brings the iPhone and iPod touch gaming experience to the iPad with graphics and controls optimized for the larger screen and includes a new Sandbox Mode allowing players to build their own cities from the ground up in addition to playing through the dozens of in-game scenarios. Virtual City HD is available from the App Store for $10; a free lite version is also available.
Audiopress has released a new iPhone and iPod touch application designed to allow commuters and other users who are frequently on the go to access a range of spoken audio content from within a single application. The Audiopress application aggregates content such as podcasts, radio, and spoken AudioArticles from the Associated Press, and users can also create customized text-to-speech updates for local weather forecasts, personal stock reports, sports scores and traffic reports. The application allows users to create playlists to build their own custom audio news feeds by choosing the order in which they want to listen to different feeds and specifying timing parameters for when and how long they want to listen to each source. Audiopress will automatically update its library over-the-air with the newest content, skipping articles that have already been heard and prioritizing the latest episodes of each show. The application includes a catalog of popular podcasts as well as the ability to import other podcasts directly from iTunes and a radio catalog of hundreds of stations. AudioArticles news content is currently limited to the Associated Press although there are plans to add additional media partners in the future. Audiopress is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.
NXP Software has released an update to CineXPlayer, an application for viewing Xvid movies on the iPad. CineXPlayer 1.4 adds support for SRT formatted soft subtitles with full international character support, allowing users to toggle subtitles on and off for their videos rather than having to encode them into the video. CineXPlayer also now allows users to open movies and SRT files from other applications such as Mail and Safari using the iOS “Open in” feature. Additional improvements in the new version include better compatibility for AVI files and Motion-JPEG support for AVIs imported from digital cameras. CineXPlayer 1.4 for the iPad is available from the App Store for $4. An iPhone version is also available separately for $2.
Apple has released the third beta version of iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch to developers, along with its accompanying SDK and a new beta version of iTunes 10.1. It is currently unknown what changes and/or new features may be present in the updated software. Slated for a November release, iOS 4.2 will bring several new features to Apple’s mobile device OS, including AirPlay streaming, AirPrint wireless printing, and the ability to import .ics files directly into Calendar as new events, and will bring the iPad’s software feature set into parity with the iPhone and iPod touch. Apple’s iOS 4.2 beta 3 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, iOS 4.2 beta 3 SDK, and iTunes 10.1 beta 2 are available now as free downloads for paid iOS developers from the iOS Dev Center.
Yahoo has released a major update to its Yahoo Messenger IM application adding support for video and voice calls over the Yahoo instant messaging network. Users can now make live video calls from their iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 with other Yahoo Messenger users on any compatible platform, including other smartphones and desktop computers. The update also adds the ability to place voice calls between Yahoo Messenger friends or to landline and mobile numbers using the Yahoo Voice Phone Out service. Other new features in version 2.0 include multitasking support on capable devices, instant notifications of new messages in the background and support for sending free SMS messages via the Yahoo Messenger network. Video calling and multitasking features require an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 running iOS 4.1 or later and a Wi-Fi connection is recommended; calls to landlines and mobile phones via Yahoo Voice Phone Out may incur additional charges. Yahoo Messenger 2.0 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple has received a trademark from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the phrase “There’s an app for that.” According to the filing, Apple first began using the phrase on January 26, 2009, likely in a television advertisement for the iPhone 3G. The trademark is filed in the category of Advertising, Business & Retail Services, Computer & Software Services & Scientific Services, and is described as “[r]etail store services featuring computer software provided via the Internet and other computer and electronic communication networks; retail store services featuring computer software for use on handheld mobile digital electronic devices and other consumer electronics.” Apple first filed for the trademark on December 4, 2009, or roughly a month after AT&T filed suit against Verizon over its “map for that” ads attacking both AT&T and the iPhone.
Nike has released an update to Nike+ GPS adding social networking integration. In addition to allowing users to share their runs via Facebook and Twitter, the new version also introduces a new Cheer Me On feature that allows users to post on Facebook that they are going on a run and then receive mid-run encouragement in the form of notifications each time a friend comments on their status. Other new features allow users to view their best runs from within the app and push past their goals by playing one more PowerSong. Nike+ GPS is designed primarily for iPhone users but also supports the iPod touch without the mapping capabilities. Nike+ GPS requires iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $2.