Dropbox has released an update to its cloud file sharing app for iOS devices with a new UI design, Retina Display support and support for background file transfers on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. Dropbox 1.3 also adds the ability to view files in a full-screen view while using the app in landscape mode on the iPad, file caching to allow users to re-open files they have recently viewed and the ability to create folders from directly within the app. Dropbox is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. A free Dropbox account is required to use the app.
Disney has released an update to TRON for the iPhone and iPod touch adding new video content and trailers. Designed to promote the upcoming TRON movie and video games, the iOS TRON app provides an updated version of the classic Tanks game from Tron Arcade, with both single and multiplayer modes available. The version 1.1 update adds promotional and preview material including a three-part video series from the 2010 San Diego Comic-con TRON panel, a sketchbook featuring the first 13 pages from the new graphic novel, TRON Betrayal, and new video trailers for TRON Legacy and TRON Evolution. TRON is available from the App Store as a free download.
Netflix has officially launched its online streaming rental service and application for iOS devices in Canada, providing Canadian users with instant, on-demand access to a variety of movie and TV show content from the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Originally released for the iPad earlier this year, the Netflix app added iPhone and iPod touch support in August but remained available only in the U.S. With the launch of Netflix in Canada the same universal Netflix application is now available to Canadian App Store customers. The app allows Netflix members to stream TV shows and movies over either Wi-Fi or 3G from the Netflix catalog and browse and manage their Netflix queue from within the app. Viewing status is automatically synchronized with the Netflix service to allow users to continue watching a movie or TV show on another device from where they left off. The second-generation Apple TV scheduled to ship later this month is also expected to include Netflix support. Netflix 1.1 is available from the U.S. and Canadian App Stores as a free download. An Netflix unlimited subscription is required to use the app; an introductory one-month trial is available for Canadian users at http://www.netflix.ca.
FileMaker has released a major update to its FileMaker Go for iPhone and FileMaker Go for iPad applications that allow users to work with FileMaker Pro databases on their iOS devices. The version 1.1 updates, available separately for the iPhone and iPad platforms add the ability to create PDFs from within the app, share complete database files with other users and improves photo and media support. Users can now convert a database record directly to a PDF file that can be saved on the device or shared via e-mail, allowing reports and other information to be easily saved and distributed while on the go. The new update also provides the ability to save a copy of a complete database and e-mail it directly from FileMaker Go to exchange information with other users without requiring an intermediate desktop or laptop computer.
Improved photo and media support has also been added enabling users to capture photos on an iPhone or import photos that are already in their iOS device’s photo library and insert them directly into a database. Photos and other file types such as spreadsheets stored in a database can also be e-mailed out directly from FileMaker Go. Additional improvements include the ability to import records from local or hosted FileMaker databases using scripts and a new URL protocol that allows other iOS developers to open FileMaker Go and trigger scripts to perform actions such as importing data from other applications and generating reports. FileMaker Go is available separately for the iPhone and iPad, with FileMaker Go for the iPhone and iPod touch available from the App Store for $20, FileMaker Go for iPad for $40. Both are free updates for users of the same previous version.
Illusion Labs has released an update to Labyrinth 2 for the iPhone and iPod touch, adding integration with Apple’s new iOS 4.1 Game Center and support for Retina Display devices. Labyrinth 2 provides a virtual version of the classic ball-in-maze puzzle game where players must use their device’s accelerometer to tilt the playing field and roll their ball through a maze and around obstacles to reach the goal. The game includes advanced features such as multiple balls, duplicators, fans, magnets and more to present unique challenges as players navigate the maze and supports multiplayer options over local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Version 1.3 introduces support for Game Center with leaderboards and 36 Game Center achievements that players can vie for and adds higher-resolution graphics for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch Retina Display. Labyrinth 2 is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for current users.
Facebook has released a minor update to its application for iPhone and iPod touch devices, addressing a number of bugs and providing an improved login experience for developers using the Facebook SDK. The Facebook 3.2.3 update fixes crashes related to receiving push notifications and navigating in the private messages section of the app. The new version also addresses inconsistent notification counts on the application badge and fixes problems related to Facebook’s new Places feature. Facebook Places is available to Facebook users in the U.S. only at this time. Facebook 3.2.3 remains an iPhone and iPod touch native app and is available from the App Store as a free download. No information is available on whether Facebook is working on an iPad version or when such a version might be released.
Update: Readers are reporting that Facebook Places is available and working in the U.K. although the App Store page still indicates that “Places is only available for users in the US at the moment.”
Avici Software has released an update to Whiteboard HD, its brainstorming and productivity app for the iPad. Whiteboard HD provides a freeform drawing environment designed to allow users to visualize ideas, write notes, and sketch charts and diagrams on the iPad using standard multi-touch gesture controls. Version 1.1 adds a new shareable and fully-editable file format that can be used to share files and collaborate with other Whiteboard users as well as full support for Dropbox and Box.net for saving/exporting Whiteboard documents and importing images. The new version also adds a laser pointer mode for presenting Whiteboard documents on a projector or external display, the ability to interact with multiple objects on a board and copy and paste objects between multiple boards. Several interface tweaks have also been made to improve touchscreen handling and interacting with objects and external displays. Whiteboard HD 1.1 is available from the App Store for $7 and is a free update for current users.
Kishonti Informatics has released GLBenchmark, a universal app for measuring 3D graphics performance on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices. GLBenchmark provides 36 different tests to measure graphic and computational performance of the various iOS devices, focusing on the underlying OpenGL ES 1.x graphics implementation. The app includes a variety of GPU/CPU skinning and 3D rendering tests as well as graphic measurements for fill rate, lighting, texture filters/size and triangles. Users can choose which specific tests to run and tap on any specific test to read more information about that test. Users can view results directly within the app and optionally upload and share their results on the developer’s web site where results are compared to a variety of other mobile devices. GLBenchmark 1.1 is available from the App Store for $5.
Foursquare has released an update to its iPhone and iPod touch application, adding a new to-do list and expanding the integrated maps feature. The Foursquare app allows iOS device users to connect to the popular location-based social networking service, easily check in at nearby venues using their device’s GPS and see and share commentary on venues with their friends. The new To-Do List section in Foursquare 2.0 allows users to quickly see a list of things to do as suggested by other users based either on nearby location or recent items. The integrated map view introduced in the last version has now been expanded to include nearby friends, tips and to-do items and venue and profile pages have been redesigned to provide more relevant information. Foursquare 2.0 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Applidium has released its iPad port of the very popular open-source VLC media player application for desktop operating systems. The iPad version of VLC includes all of the same built-in codecs present on other platforms, supporting playback of almost any video format that can be found on the Internet, including support for a variety of streaming video formats. The iPad version continues to be part of the VLC OpenSource project with the iPad-specific patches and extensions forming part of the main VLC development tree. Applidium also indicates that a version of VLC for the iPhone and iPod touch is in the works but has not yet announced an expected release date. VLC Media Player is available from the App Store as a free download.
Though Apple has not officially enabled Retina Display emulation on the iPad, certain recent iPhone and iPod touch applications have started to display artwork in higher resolutions on the iPad screen, iLounge has discovered. Normally, iPhone and iPod touch applications run on the iPad in an emulation mode limited to the native 320x480 resolutions of Apple’s prior-generation screens. Users can optionally hit a “2X” button that merely increases the size of each dot from 1x1 to 2x2, resulting in pixellated images. Applications designed for the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G have fared no better, still presenting the lower-resolution graphics designed for the older models.
Recently, however, some new applications are displaying higher-resolution assets when rendered in the iPad 2X mode. The most notable example is Napster, an iPod touch- and iPhone-formatted application without a native iPad mode. Although most of the user interface elements in the Napster app are clearly being scaled up when seen in 2X mode on the iPad, the album artwork is clearly being displayed at a higher iPad-native resolution. iLounge editors have observed several other recent iPhone and iPod touch apps showing similar behaviors, whereby some—not all—assets are being rendered in higher resolution when displayed on the iPad in 2X mode. It is unclear at this time whether developers have found some way to provide this capability or whether it is a function of compiling applications with the recently released iOS 4.1 SDK, but it is a positive sign that the iPad’s seemingly limited iPhone and iPod touch emulator is capable of more than it previously demonstrated.
Resolution Interactive has released an update to Aqua Moto Racing 2 adding support for the iPad and Retina Display graphics for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch. Released earlier this summer Aqua Moto Racing 2 (iLounge rating: B+) is a first-person water racing game that allows players to race one of 12 unique JetSkis in a variety of exotic locations across 48 different courses. Players can perform insane stunts and earn cash by participating in races and winning Championships and can then use that cash to upgrade their JetSkis. OpenFeint integration provides leaderboards, challenges and tracking of achievements. The new version also provides improved opponent difficulty, the ability to disable OpenFeint popups and minor bug fixes. Aqua Moto Racing 2 is currently available from the App Store as a universal app for $1.
Mind Crew has released a free update to Mayan Puzzle adding new content and achievements. Mayan Puzzle is a variant of a match-three puzzle game that provides different playing styles ranging from an action puzzler approach to a more classic strategy game and includes impressive special effects, an original Mayan soundtrack and high-quality animated backgrounds unique to each level. Version 1.1 adds four new levels in classic strategic mode, bringing the total number of levels to 36, and adds four new unique themed animated backgrounds for the new levels. The update also adds two additional OpenFeint game achievements for a total of 37 achievements and provides new effects and enhanced graphics throughout the game. Mayan Puzzle is available from the App Store for $1; version 1.1 is a free update for current users.
Electronic Arts has released its latest games in The Sims franchise for the iPhone and iPod touch. The Sims 3 Ambitions expands upon the features and scenarios offered in the earlier two Sims titles allowing players to turn their Sims’ hobbies into professions, build homes and businesses and even have babies. In The Sims 3 Ambitions, players can now develop their Sims along a variety of career paths such as firefighter, rock star, artist, teacher and more, with career-focused goals and locations in the game. The game also includes an improved build mode allowing players to resize, add and delete rooms, floors, walls and doors from their homes in addition to also building business and workplaces such as bistros, night clubs and preschools. The Sims 3 Ambitions also adds the much-requested ability for Sims to have babies in the game and interact with them by feeding them, playing with them, and putting them to bed and watching them grow into Sim toddlers. Players can choose to begin the game as a new character or import their favorite Sims from the original Sims 3 and The Sims 3 World Adventures for the iPhone and iPod touch. The Sims 3 Ambitions is available from the App Store for $5.
A number of new features and improvements have been discovered in the first beta version of iOS 4.2. AppleInsider reports that the software features an updated YouTube application with like and dislike buttons, as well as support for the CoreMIDI framework, which could enable iOS devices to interface with MIDI instruments via an adapter. Also new in 4.2 are restrictions allowing users to prevent the deletion of App Store applications and prevent changes to accounts in the Mail application, iTunes links in the iPad’s Videos app, and a dedicated FaceTime button at the top of all messaging sessions. Apple is expected to release iOS 4.2 in November.
Capcom has released an update to its acclaimed Street Fighter IV for iPhone and iPod touch devices. First released earlier this year, Street Fighter IV is an iOS optimized version of the popular console game with the same visual style and artwork and a user interface specifically redesigned for the touchscreen. The iOS version initially included eight classic characters from the game, with Cammy added as a ninth character in a subsequent update later in the spring. This most recent free update adds E. Honda and C. Viper-Ryu to the game, bringing the total number of playable characters from the Street Fighter franchise up to 11. The update also adds a new costume for Chun-Li that can be purchased from within the app. Street Fighter IV is available from the App Store for $10; the update is free for current users.
Chillingo has released Seed 2: Vortex of War, the fantasy RPG sequel to Seed 1: Rise of Darkness. In Vortex of War, players re-enter the world of Litta and his companion Gina five years after Litta’s previous adventure. Litta, now a teacher, experiences a powerful dream that encourages him to undertake a new epic quest and travel to the once bright city of Molzer only to discover it completely destroyed through war. With another looming crisis approaching in distant lands, Litta and Gina travel to the continent of Kalikuf to undertake a dangerous adventure. The game features a vast virtual world for players to explore and interact with local villagers and enemies and an immersive storyline that allows players to delve deeper into the relationships between the characters and their rivals. Players can customize their own character attributes and upgrade their character as they progress in the adventure, adjusting stats toward swordplay, firearms or magic and engage in challenging battles with over 160 different types of monsters across more than 200 battlefields. The game also features a diverse and dynamic combat system with a variety of attack moves based on character attributes and skills and various quests and missions such as destroying monsters, collecting treasures, defending villagers, attacking enemy fortresses and more. Seed 2: Vortex of War is available from the App Store for $4.
Eye-Fi has released an update to its wireless photo uploading app for the iPhone and iPod touch, adding compatibility with iOS 4. The Eye-Fi application allows iPhone and iPod touch users to wirelessly upload photos from their device to various online photo services and their own computer via the Eye-Fi service, similar to how the company’s wireless SD memory cards operate. Supported photo sites include Evernote, Facebook, Flickr, Kodak Gallery, MobileMe, Photobucket, Picasa and many more. The new version adds the ability to upload video content to Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, Smugmug and YouTube and create and edit destination sites from directly within the app. Eye-Fi 1.1.9 for the iPhone and iPod touch is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple today announced that it is releasing a beta version of AirPrint wireless printing for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch to members of its iOS Developer Program, and that the new feature will be part of iOS 4.2 when it is released publicly in November. AirPrint automatically finds printers on local networks that can print text, photos, and graphics wirelessly over Wi-Fi without the need for additional drivers or software. Supported printers include HP Photosmart, Officejet, Officejet Pro and LaserJet Pro series ePrint models, as well as printers shared through a Mac or a PC. Notably, Apple claims that printing will only be supported on iOS devices that support multitasking, yet lists the second-generation iPod touch as compatible, while omitting the iPhone 3G.
“AirPrint is Apple’s powerful new printing architecture that matches the simplicity of iOS—no set up, no configuration, no printer drivers and no software to download,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users can simply tap to print their documents or photos wirelessly to an HP ePrint printer or to a printer shared on a Mac or PC.”
“We’re pleased to work with Apple to bring Apple’s AirPrint to our fall lineup of ePrint printers in time for the holiday shopping season,” said Vyomesh Joshi, HP executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group. “Making it easy for our customers to print anytime, anywhere, is a key priority for HP. iPad, iPhone and iPod touch customers are going to love how easy it is to print using our new range of ePrint printers, creating high-quality printed pages in an instant.”
Apple is preparing to announce a new subscription plan for newspapers, according to a new report. Citing unnamed industry sources, the San Jose Mercury News reports that Apple has agreed to provide an opt-in for subscribers that will allow Apple to share their information with the newspaper’s publishers, providing the publishers with data essential to attracting advertisers. Publishers “want the data of their customers so they can integrate it into their circulation database so they know who their customers are,” said Roger Fidler, head of digital publishing at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. Fidler also suggested that Apple will take a 30 percent cut of subscriptions sold through the App Store, and as much a 40 percent of advertising revenue from within the apps. Fidler also said that publishers wanted to pay Apple a straight fee instead of sharing revenue, and are less than happy with Apple’s terms. Apple recently enabled magazine publishers to offer iPad versions of their publications to print subscribers free of charge; if accurate, the report suggests the company is taking a different approach when it comes to newspapers.