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iBooks 1.1 breaks dictionary for some books

Following yesterday’s iBooks 1.1 update, users have discovered that Apple’s built-in dictionary is no longer working with some e-books, a problem traced by iLounge’s editors to a difference in the way iBooks 1.1 chooses dictionaries relative to versions 1.0 and 1.01. The new iBooks appears to be using the language identifier normally stored within ePub files to determine which dictionary to use for a given e-book. Some popular e-book conversation applications such as Calibre do not insert the correct language identifier when saving in the ePub format, which will result in iBooks not knowing which dictionary to use. The problem appears to be confined to e-books that users have converted themselves or downloaded from third-party sources outside of the iBookstore, despite the fact that dictionary lookups for these books worked fine prior to the iBooks 1.1 update. More information on this problem and how to fix it can be found in our Backstage section.

Ambiance updated for iOS 4 with background audio

Urban Apps has released a major update to its Ambiance “environment enhancer” app for iPhone and iPod touch devices. Ambiance 3.0 is a complete rewrite of the application to support iOS4 and the coming iPhone 4. New features include High Definition sound images to support the new Retina Display on the iPhone 4, background audio support to allow ambient sounds to continue playing while using other applications, multiple customized alarms and alarm themes and support for downloading Ambiance sound updates in the background on iOS 4. The rewritten version also includes a completely revamped user interface to provide easier navigation. Ambiance 3.0 is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for existing users.

Apple releases iBooks 1.1 for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch

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Apple has released iBooks 1.1, the first major update to its e-Book reading and purchasing software for iOS devices. As revealed by Apple in its WWDC keynote address, iBooks 1.1 offers compatibility with the iPad as well as any iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4, and features several noteworthy improvements, including PDF support, the ability to highlight text, add notes, and bookmark, the latter two of which are reflected in the book’s Table of Contents, wireless syncing of notes, highlights, and page position between devices, and, interestingly, support for iTunes Digital Booklet files once they’ve been marked as a Book in iTunes. iBooks 1.1 is available now as a free download from the App Store.

Apple releases iPhone SDK 4 to all devs

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Apple has released its iPhone Software Development Kit for iOS 4 to all iPhone developers. Previously available only to paid developers, the updated SDK allows all registered developers a chance to develop OS 4-compatible apps, although the $99 annual fee will still be required for on-device testing and submission to the App Store. Notably, at least some of the accompanying documentation make references to iPhone OS 4, which was officially renamed iOS 4 two weeks ago. TUAW notes that Apple is expected to rescind its prior NDA covering iOS 4 developers now that the SDK and software update are more widely available. The iPhone SDK 4 s available now as a free download for all registered iPhone developers from the iPhone Dev Center.

Apple sneaks iAd opt-out into iTunes Store update

Apple has made “material” changes to its iTunes privacy policy, including a section related to the company’s upcoming iAd mobile advertising platform that gives users the option of opting out of the service. “Apple and its partners use cookies and other technologies in mobile advertising services to control the number of times you see a given ad, deliver ads that relate to your interests, and measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns,” the text says. “If you do not want to receive ads with this level of relevance on your mobile device, you can opt out by accessing the following link on your device: http://oo.apple.com. If you opt out, you will continue to receive the same number of mobile ads, but they may be less relevant because they will not be based on your interests. You may still see ads related to the contrent on a web page or in an application or based on other non-personal information. This opt-out applies only to Apple advertising services and does not affect interest-based advertising from other advertising networks.” Notably, the opt out must be performed from the device, and if a user has multiple devices, each must be opted out separately. Apple is expected to roll out its iAd platform to iOS 4 devices beginning July 1.

Pandora releases iOS 4 update with background audio

Pandora Media has released the anticipated iOS 4 update for its popular Pandora Radio application. As demonstrated by Apple at recent iOS 4 events, the latest version of Pandora Radio leverages the new background audio multitasking feature in iOS 4 to allow users to continue listening to their music while using other applications. With Pandora Radio 3.1 and a multitasking-capable device using iOS 4, Pandora Radio can operate in the background in the same manner as the built-in iPod application—audio continues to play in the background even after closing the app, and the device’s on-screen and headphone media controls will be used for the Pandora Radio application instead of the iPod application. Pandora Radio 3.1 is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.

Microsoft releases Windows Live Messenger for iPhone

Microsoft has released an official version of Windows Live Messenger for iOS devices. Windows Live Messenger allows iPhone and iPod touch users to chat with their Windows Live Messenger and Y! Messenger contacts and view updates from social networks such as Facebook, Flickr and MySpace. Push Notifications are supported for new IM notifications. Users can also upload photos directly from their device and create albums, add captions and allow friends and family to comment on photos. Windows Live Messenger also provides built-in support for Hotmail so users can read, reply to and compose e-mails and receive e-mail notifications within the application. Windows Live Messenger is available from the App Store as a free download. [via TechCrunch

iAd apps begin appearing on App Store

The first applications supporting Apple’s new iAd mobile advertising platform have appeared on the App Store. Avantar, developer of mobile search applications such as OneTap Movies, Showtimes, Munch and Yellow Pages, has updated several of its applications integrating the new mobile advertising platform. Apple’s iAd does not go live until July 1st, and at this time these apps appear to be showing either a test ad or an empty banner. The release notes for these apps originally cited iAd integration; this note has since been removed and replaced simply with “minor bug fixes,” however the apps themselves remain on the App Store and continue to display the iAd banners. Avantar’s App Store page can be found here.

Evernote adds iOS 4 support, background recording

Evernote has released an update adding iOS 4 support to its popular cloud-based note application. In addition to Fast App Switching, Evernote 3.3.5 also adds support for some more advanced iOS 4 capabilities. When using iOS 4, Evernote will now automatically finish synchronizing with the Evernote servers even after the application has been closed. Further, users can now continue recording voice memos while outside of the application; iOS 4 will note a recording in progress by a red status bar at the top of the screen, similar to the iPhone’s built-in Voice Memos application. Evernote 3.3.5 is available from the App Store as a free download.

Elgato updates EyeTV for iPad

Elgato has released an update to its EyeTV client for iOS devices, adding support for iPad users. EyeTV 1.1 is now a universal app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices and has been specifically optimized for the iPad screen. Version 1.1 also adds separate bitrate settings for streaming via local Wi-Fi, remote Wi-Fi and 3G connections and the ability to select composite or S-Video inputs from the channel favorites list. The EyeTV application allows users of Elgato’s EyeTV software for the Mac to stream live TV and view previously recorded shows from their Mac over Wi-Fi or 3G connections as well as viewing their program guide and scheduling recordings remotely. EyeTV 1.1 is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for existing EyeTV users.

Facebook update adds video support

Facebook has released an update to its popular iPhone application adding the ability to view Facebook videos through the app. Previous versions allowed users to upload video to Facebook, however even videos uploaded directly from the iPhone could not be viewed from Facebook once saved. Facebook 3.1.3 also allows users to write on walls of events and uploads photos with a maximum 720 pixel width. The update also addresses a number of bugs, including problems commenting on photos accessed from Notifications, problems uploading smaller photos, incorrect highlighting and sorting in certain areas, and broken photo album links in the news feed. Notably, Facebook 3.1.3 adds no support for iOS 4, suggesting that the app may have been submitted to the App Store for review prior to the iOS 4 announcement. Facebook is available from the App Store as a free download.

Apple releases Find My iPhone app

Following a recent update to its MobileMe service, Apple has released Find My iPhone for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices. A native app for the web-based service, Find My iPhone can be installed on any device running iOS 3.1.3 or later and assists users in locating another lost or missing iPhone, iPod touch or iPad that is using the MobileMe service. Users simply sign in with the MobileMe member name associated with the missing device and the Find My iPhone app provides an integrated map to show where the lost device last reported its location. Users can then display a message and/or play a sound on the remote device, remotely lock the device with a passcode or wipe the device completely in the same way as through the MobileMe web-based Find My iPhone service. Note that the Find My iPhone service must already have been enabled on the missing device in order for the app to locate it. Find My iPhone is a universal app that runs natively on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices and is a free download from the App Store, although a $99/year MobileMe subscription is required to use the Find My iPhone service.

Ngmoco releases Godfinger worldwide

Ngmoco has released its latest online social media game Godfinger (iLounge rating: C) to App Stores worldwide. Initially released for limited testing on the Canadian App Store in March, Godfinger puts the player in the role of an all-powerful deity who must customize and cultivate their world and convert inhabitants into loyal followers. The game provides an open-ended gameplay where users can choose to play as a benevolent god or a destructive demagogue. Players increase in level by generating additional followers and can then earn additional Wonders to impress or subdue their subjects. The game utilizes the Plus+ network for players to invite their friends to become followers or Mystics to help rule on their behalf. Godfinger is available as a free download from the App Store in separate iPad and iPhone versions; game progress is synced via the Plus+ network so the same world can be played on multiple devices. The game is free to play but like other recent Ngmoco titles encourages users to accelerate their progress in the game by purchasing upgrades and currency via in-app purchase.

iBooks 1.1 to offer iTunes Digital Booklet support

Apple has posted a new Knowledge Base document revealing that iBooks 1.1 and iTunes 9.2 now support the sync of iTunes Digital Booklets to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. According to the document, users simply need to select the desired iTunes Digital Booklet from the Music library, click Get Info, change the Media type to Book, and hit okay. The Digital Booklet will then be moved to the Book library, and can be synced like any other book. Apple has already released iTunes 9.2, and is expected to release iBooks for iPhone and iPod touch alongside iOS 4.0 on June 21.

iOS 4 apps begin to appear on App Store

Following last week’s announcement that developers can begin submitting updates for iOS 4 compatibility, updates have now begun to appear on the App Store. Among the first applications boasting iOS 4 compatibility is the popular Dropbox app, which has also received some minor bug fixes as well. Developers can simply recompile their applications using the iOS 4 SDK to take advantage of the new Fast App Switching feature in iOS 4, allowing applications to be suspended in the background and resumed at their current state, and all applications listing iOS 4 compatibility should at least support this new multitasking feature. Other multitasking capabilities such as Background Task Completion will need to be specifically added by developers and will not necessarily be inherent in iOS 4 compatible applications.

Echofon Pro updated for iPad

Naan Studio has released an update adding native iPad support to its Echofon Pro Twitter client. Echofon Pro 3.1 provides a redesigned user interface for the iPad with a split-pane view in landscape mode, a thumbnail user list view and pop-over windows for opening picture links, conversations and user profiles. The update also provides additional features and fixes for iPhone and iPod touch users, including a refined user profile and web view, optimized scrolling speed, OAuth authentication, API support for bit.ly and Japanese localization. Echofon Pro for Twitter 3.1 is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for existing users.

Parrot AR.Drone release date and pricing announced

Parrot has announced a U.S. release date and pricing for its much-anticipated AR.Drone. First demoed at CES 2010, where it received a Best of Show Award, the AR.Drone is a quadricopter that can be piloted by remote control from an iPhone or iPod touch device using an accompanying iOS application. Users control the AR.Drone via Wi-Fi using their device’s touchscreen and accelerometer controls while the quadricopter employs two on-board cameras, an accelerometer, gyro and ultrasound sensor to help control the device and provide first-person video. The AR.Drone will go on sale in the U.S. this September via “selected retailers” for $299. Parrot expects to announce U.K. availability soon after the E3 Expo and availability in Asia and Europe “in the following weeks.” The Parrot Free Flight control app is already available from the App Store as a free download. Parrot also has two additional augmented-reality iOS games in the works for the AR.Drone allowing users to explore virtualized environments and conduct simulated dogfights with other AR.Drone users. More information and demos of the apps can be viewed at the company’s website. Parrot has also released an open source SDK for the AR.Drone to allow other third-party developers to create their own augmented reality applications for the quadricopter. [via Engadget]

Disney launches Toy Story 3 app for iPhone and iPod touch

In anticipation of this week’s release of the movie Toy Story 3, Disney has launched an official Toy Story 3 app for iPhone and iPod touch users. The new app is designed as a portal to the entire Toy Story franchise and provides a collection of games and other activities for fans of the series. The free application includes a feature to create personalized greetings from Woody, collect virtual Toy Story pins by unlocking achievements and a Toy Story Community where users can share game scores, pins and achievements with their friends. The iOS app also allows users of the Mac version of Toy Story 3: The Video Game to control their gaming experience from their iOS device. Additional premium games and content are also available as In-App purchases, with three premium games available right now ranging from $1-$4 in price. Disney has also stated that it plans to update the app with new features throughout 2010. Disney-Pixar’s animated film “Toy Story 3” opens in theatres on June 18, 2010. The Toy Story 3 app is available from the App Store as a free download.

Apple developer video takes shots at Android

A brief Apple-produced video that highlights Apple’s iOS development tools—while taking veiled shots at Google’s Android OS—has been posted online. The video, presumably made for use at the company’s WWDC conference, features a number of notable developers talking about their experience developing for iOS, as well as other platforms. “We’ve actually spent some time working with other platforms,” said Calvin Carter of Bottle Rocket. “It’s a night and day difference. They’re more difficult for the user. They don’t have the power or the tools available. They don’t have the distribution network. They don’t have the standards, both in hardware or in software.” Later, Tom Conrad of Pandora added, “It’s really evident in Apple’s APIs, in the developer tools, that you’re working with something really mature, not something that was invented two years ago.” The full video is available for viewing on YouTube or can be seen in embedded form below. [via Fortune]

Make Coffee developer shows iPhone 4 app scaled on iPad

iOS Developer Mario Baluci of The App Machine has released some screenshots of his Make Coffee application for the iPhone 4, illustrating how the higher-resolution version will scale and render on an iPad device. Baluci notes in the company’s blog that the iPhone 4 native resolution application looked “terrific” on the iPad and actually runs at an almost full-screen resolution. The resolution of the iPhone 4 is 640 x 960 as compared to the 320 x 480 display used on prior iPhone models. By contrast, the iPad uses a 768 x 1024 resolution screen. Make Coffee is a virtual coffee machine novelty application for iOS devices. Version 2.0 will provide higher-resolution graphics for the iPhone 4, more advanced 3D animations and sound effects and Twitter integration.

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