Apple’s Remote app was well-received by iPhone and iPod touch users when it was released in July 2008, but after eight months with no updates, many users have wondered what the status was with its development. According to Sachin Agarwal, former Apple employee and CEO of Posterous, the Remote app is written and maintained by a single man—a good friend of his—who has been busy working on other things. Agarwal explains, “Apple doesn’t build large teams to work on every product they make. Instead, they hire very few, but very intelligent people who can work on different projects and move around as needed. One day you might be working on the Remote app, and the next day you might get pulled on to another project that needs your help.” The lack of updates to the Remote app have left it unable to take full advantage of iOS 4, the iPhone 4’s retina display, or the iPad’s larger screen; no timetable has been given for when the app might again be updated.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has launched an investigation into Apple’s and Amazon’s deals with major book publishers. According to a press release released by Blumenthal, the deals both companies have signed with the major publishers may be anticompetitive; letters have been sent to both Apple (PDF Link) and Amazon requesting meetings to discuss and address these concerns. “These agreements among publishers, Amazon and Apple appear to have already resulted in uniform prices for many of the most popular e-books—potentially depriving consumers of competitive prices,” Blumenthal said. “Amazon and Apple combined will likely command the greatest share of the retail e-book market, allowing their most-favored-nation clauses to effectively set the floor prices for the most popular e-books. Such agreements—especially when offered to two of the largest e-book retail competitors in the United States—threaten to encourage coordinated pricing and discourage discounting.”
One Man Left has released an update to its popular Tilt to Live shooting game for the iPhone and iPod touch adding a new gameplay mode, a new weapon and seven new awards to earn. Tilt to Live 1.4 adds the long-fabled Frostbite mode in which a blizzard of frozen enemies fall from the top of the play area toward a steaming hot spring below and the player must shatter through waves of these frozen dots. As the player smashes enemies, a meter at the bottom of the screen fills and eventually spawns a new Burnicade weapon that allows the player to draw a burning barricade by tilting. The Burnicade weapon can also be unlocked for inclusion in the user’s weapon arsenals for other game modes. The latest update also features seven new award challenges powered by the AGON social gaming platform and fixes some minor iOS4 and sound effect issues. The developer has indicated to iLounge that this is expected to be the final update to Tilt to Live as the company shifts its focus to other new projects. Tilt to Live 1.4 is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for current users.
Jet Set Games has released an iPad version of its popular turn-based strategy game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Highborn HD provides the same casual strategy game experience as its iPhone counterpart with re-designed maps and enhanced high-resolution, hand-drawn artwork optimized for the iPad display. In Highborn, players are treated to two strategy games to provide an intelligent tactical experience in a more relaxed turn-based model. Players deploy forces using an overhead map view to secure spells and combat support and then engage in 3D combat to use those advantages against enemy forces. The strategic elements of the game are set against a background storyline with wacky heroes and witty dialogue. Players can choose from many different styles of play, unlocking hero characters with different abilities throughout the course of the game. The game also provides more than 20 single- and multi-player achievements that can be unlocked and includes OpenFeint integration allowing users to compete against other players online. Highborn HD is available from the App Store for $3; the iPhone and iPod touch version is sold separately on the App Store for $1.
MGS Development has released an update to its forScore app for reading and storing musical scores on the iPad, adding several UI improvements and support for new annotation and metadata features. forScore is a musical score reader that allows iPad users to take their sheet music with them in PDF format, and includes such features as an audible and visual metronome, the ability to make on-screen annotations, easily navigate through pages and associate scores with tracks in the iPad music library. forScore 1.5 adds a number of new features including pinch-to-zoom, the ability to auto-turn sequential pages using the metronome, set additional metadata for rating, difficulty and genre, adjust annotation brush sizes and stamp annotations for commonly-used symbols. Users can also now create and e-mail forScore-specific files that include all metadata, annotations and links for sharing with other forScore users. Other improvements include built-in database backup and restore capability, a redesigned integrated Setlist Builder with submenu search and batch editing capabilities. forScore 1.5 is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for current users.
The Omni Group has released the much-anticipated iPad version of its OmniFocus professional task management app. Although OmniFocus has been available on the iPhone and iPod touch for some time, OmniFocus for iPad has been completely redesigned for the iPad user interface. The iPad version provides in-depth desktop-style task management capabilities, allowing users to take advantage of features previously only available in OmniFocus for the Mac. OmniFocus for iPad includes flexible viewing options, location-aware task lists and on-the-fly task entry including voice notes and image attachments. Users can use the iPad version as a standalone task management app or synchronize with the Mac or iPhone versions of OmniFocus using any WebDAV server or The Omni Group’s own free sync service. Advanced features include full search capabilities, location-based task assignment with an integrated map view, daily and weekly forecasts or due tasks and a built-in task review feature. OmniFocus for iPad is available from the App Store for $40. More information on the app, including demonstration videos can be found on the company’s OmniFocus for iPad Product Page
Amazon has released an update to its Kindle app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad adding an in-app dictionary, book searching, and iOS 4 improvements. Kindle 2.2 now provides the ability to instantly lookup selected words in a 250,000-entry built-in dictionary as well as searching for words on Google and Wikipedia from within the app. The update also brings the ability to search inside books to the iPad and improves the in-book search introduced to the iPhone and iPod touch in the previous update. The latest version also brings iOS 4 Fast App Switching on multitasking-capable devices and other iOS 4 related bug fixes. Kindle is available from the App Store as a free download.
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.