An upcoming Griffin gaming accessory for iOS devices has been outed by a recently published FCC filing. The PartyDock is a set-top gaming accessory for the iPad and iPhone 4 that allows users to dock their device and use four wireless remotes to control specially-written games, including “Midway Motors,” “Fishing Frenzy,” “Flippin’ Frogs,” and “Wits and Wagers Family,” with the potential for more Griffin-branded games in the future. The wall-powered PartyDock connects to a TV using included composite cables or with user-supplied component cables, and also allows the remote to control video, picture, and audio playback. Curiously, the PartyDock’s user manual makes no reference to support for the iPod touch or any older iPhone model, carrying only “Made for iPad and iPhone” badges. Griffin has yet to make any announcement regarding the product; thus pricing and release information has yet to be revealed. [via UberGizmo]
Update: Griffin has launched an official website for the PartyDock, and has confirmed that the device will include the “Midway Motors,” “Fishing Frenzy,” and “Flippin’ Frogs” mini-games, as well as the full game “Wits and Wagers Family,” as mentioned above.
Facebook has issued a clarification of text posted on its official Facebook for iOS app page that indicated the app had more than 100 million active users. “There are currently 44 million monthly active users of the Facebook for iPhone app,” a Facebook spokesman told Engadget. “We recently changed the definition of mobile active users to exclude those who have only liked or commented on stream stories. Instead we are counting ‘active’ users as people who have taken explicit actions within an application. This practice is more aligned with how we count overall active users for the site.” This brings the overall percentage of iOS users who also actively use the Facebook app down to roughly 40%, far from the huge percentage represented by the prior 100 million figure.
Drakfyre’s Software has released its new 720tube application for the iPhone 4. 720tube allows users to bypass Apple’s mobile YouTube upload resolution restrictions to allow for uploading of full 720p videos, including both standard recordings and those edited and exported to the Camera Roll using iMovie. Drakfyre’s Software’s 720tube app for the iPhone 4 is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Netflix has released version 1.1.0 of its iOS application, adding support for the iPhone and iPod touch. Released for the iPad in April, the Netflix app allows qualifying subscribers to “instantly” stream movies and TV shows over Wi-Fi or 3G connections, resume watching where they left off on their TV, computer, or other device, browse movies, and manage their instant queues. Netflix version 1.1.0 for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad is available now as a free download from the App Store.
2K Sports has released its new NHL 2K11 game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Created using the company’s proprietary console game engine, NHL 2K11 is a professional hockey simulation game, featuring Season, Quick Game, Free Skate and Shootout gameplay modes, and a full lineup of professional teams and players. As noted in the game’s description, this marks the first time the NHL 2K series has appeared on a portable device. 2K Sports’ NHL 2K11 is available now from the App Store and sells for $2.
Mekentosj has released an update to its Papers academic research app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad adding several improvements to its annotation and page navigation features. Papers (iLounge Rating: A-) is an application designed for academic users to create a personal library of research literature that is readily accessible on their iOS devices. Users can directly access and search a variety of academic and scientific repositories, download research papers and journals directly to their iOS device and share and synchronize their libraries with other iOS devices or Papers for Mac OS X. Papers 1.8.5 adds more intuitive highlighting and note creation, the ability to navigate pages in PDF documents by tapping the sides of the screen and fixes to highlighting and downloading PDFs from specific online sources. Papers is available from the App Store as a universal app for $15 and is a free update for existing users.
Laminar Research has released an update to its X-Plane for iPad flight simulator adding several new features including a detailed map screen for the higher-resolution iPad display. X-Plane for iPad is a highly realistic flight simulator that allows users to fly a wide variety of aircraft such as the Cessna 182, F-22, Boeing 747 and even the Space Shuttle with detailed 3-D graphics, authentic instrument panels and accelerometer-based flight controls. Version 9.61 adds reverse thrust to aircraft that include this capability, low-fuel warnings and a detailed map screen that allows users to zoom in from a whole region view right down to runway markings and terminal buildings. The update also improves performance and stability by reducing the memory requirements on the iPad. X-Plane for the iPad is available from the App Store for $10 and is a free update for current users.
Pepe & Pepe has released an update to its online digital photo frame app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad adding support for sharing photos from Facebook friends in addition to Flickr. Air Frame allows users to turn their iOS devices into digital photo frames that display live content streams from Facebook and Flickr. Users can choose to display photos from their own accounts, photos from friends and/or interesting public photos from Flickr and iOS 4 users can also include photos from the device’s own photo album. Air Frame supports a number of different transitions such as Ken Burns and Page Curl effects and can optionally display maps showing where photos were taken or overlay photos with a clock. Recent images are also cached by the application for offline viewing. Version 2.3.2 adds support for streaming photos from Facebook Friends, UI performance improvements, new transitions and miscellaneous bug fixes. Air Frame is available from the App Store for $3 as a universal app and is a free update for current users.
Google has released an update to its Google Mobile app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad adding support for Push Notifications for GMail messages and Google Calendar appointments. The update allows users to optionally configure the application to provide Push Notifications for new mail messages and calendar appointments. New items will appear as a badge count on the Google Mobile App on the iOS home screen and opening the app will show the number of pending items in each account. Tapping on an account will open the mobile GMail or Google Calendar web page in the Safari browser. Popup messages and sound notifications do not appear to be supported at this time. Users can configure multiple accounts for Push Notifications, including Google Apps accounts, and for each account can enable mail and calendar notifications separately and choose to receive notifications only between certain times. The Google Mobile App is available as a free download from the App Store.
Quickoffice has released an update to Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite for the iPhone and iPod touch adding support for iOS 4 features and the iPhone 4 Retina Display. Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite allows iPhone and iPod touch users to open, edit and share Microsoft Word and Excel documents directly on their devices including support for opening and sharing files via cloud storage services such as Dropbox and iDisk and transferring files via Wi-Fi. Version 3.3 provides Fast App Switching on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices, the ability to open files from other applications such as the iOS Mail app and optimizations for the iPhone 4 Retina Display. Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite is available from the App Store for $10.
Amazon has released a minor update to its Kindle app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad fixing some issues related to highlighting text. Kindle 2.2.1 improves the sensitivity of the highlighting feature to help reduce accidental highlighting of text, fixes a crash that some users were experiencing when using the highlighting feature and also corrects a problem where the most recent page is not being saved when returning to the app. The release notes indicate fixes for several other bugs based on customer feedback as well. Kindle 2.2.1 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Simperium has released a major update to its Simplenote note-taking application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad adding a number of new features. Simplenote is a minimalist note-taking app that is designed to allow users to quickly and easily make and access notes from their iOS devices and keep them seamlessly synchronized with other devices using the Simplenote web service. Version 3.0.2 adds the ability for users to tag their notes, pin important notes to the top of the list and view notes by tag as well as accessing older versions of current notes and recovering deleted notes. Users can also now easily share notes with other Simplenote users or publish notes as a web page and search within notes that they are viewing. The update also offers a number of other smaller enhancements such as a fullscreen mode for viewing notes, character and word counts and improvements to link detection and synchronization with the web service. Simplenote 3.0.2 is available from the App Store as a free download.
According to stats found on the Facebook for iOS app’s dedicated Facebook page, the app now has over 100 million monthly active users. This represents the vast majority of iOS devices sold up to this point, based on figures released by Apple at its 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and serves to highlight the app’s importance to the iOS ecosystem.
In addition to showing over 100 million users, the app’s Facebook page also suggests that the new 3.2.2 update, released on the App Store today and said to fix login issues, may actually be targeted at users of jailbroken iOS devices who had experienced problems with the app’s latest updates. Places, a feature new to version 3.2 of Facebook that was not originally working when the application launched last week, has started to become active in a number of cities coinciding with the release of versions 3.2.1 and 3.2.2. Facebook version 3.2.2 is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Matt MacInnis, a former Apple employee, is behind a new start-up looking to bring collegiate textbooks to the iPad. The Wall Street Journal reports that MacInnis’ company, Inkling, is set to introduce four full-length interactive textbooks on the App Store. The books—McGraw-Hill’s best sellers in biology, economics, marketing, and psychology—will include features like 3-D views, video lectures, and interactive quizzes, while allowing students to highlight text and take and share notes. According to the report, Inkling has already made deals with other major publishers, including John Wiley & Sons, and Cengage Learning, to launch new titles. Prices for McGraw-Hill’s first titles are expected to start a $2.99 per chapter or $69.99 per book, with prices increasing over time to $3.99 per chapter and $84.99 per book.
Following an update to Photogene for the iPad earlier this week, the iPhone version has also received an update. Photogene 2.6 for the iPhone and iPod touch adds the new features introduced in the earlier iPad version including support for Flickr and FTP uploading, custom resizing and IPTC metadata. This update also adds support for the Retina Display, 5MP camera and rear-facing camera on the iPhone 4 and brings Fast App Switching and background saving and uploading for multitasking-capable devices. Users can also now share photos while preserving geo-tag information stored in the EXIF data. Photogene 2.6 requires an iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4 or later and is available from the App Store for $2.
Gameloft has released an iPhone 4 update to its acclaimed Modern Combat: Sandstorm for the iPhone and iPod touch. Modern Combat: Sandstorm (iLounge Rating: A) is a first-person action-thriller where players must locate and annihilate a terrorist cell in a remote desert hotspot. Users play through 10 missions featuring detailed Middle Eastern environments and are provided with a wide range of authentic advanced weapons ranging from assault rifles to rocket-propelled grenade launchers. The game provides local and online multiplayer support, a choice of multiple control systems and polished 3D graphics with cinematic interludes and voice-overs. The latest update brings support for gyroscopic control mode on the iPhone 4 with full 3D range of motion, high-resolution graphics for the iPhone 4 Retina Display and support for Fast App Switching on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. Modern Combat: Sandstorm is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for current users.
Apple has finally enabled publishers to offer their magazines via iPad apps to current subscribers free of charge. Beginning with the update of the People Magazine app earlier today, subscribers to Time, Inc. publications including Time, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune will soon be able to be able to access the iPad versions of issues for free as part of their print subscriptions. Fortune reports that the changes should roll out to the other magazines within 30 days, and suggests that other magazine publishers will likely adopt the same policy. The report also states that publishers who were encouraged to built iPad apps say they were ready from the start to make them free to subscribers, but Apple would not provide the tools necessary, or explain what was delaying their release. Publishers remain unable to sell subscriptions directly through the App Store.
Black Enterprise, the premier business and wealth building resource for African Americans, has released a digital edition of its magazine publication exclusively for the iPad. The application, Black Enterprise Wealth for Life serves as a portal to download and read monthly issues of the magazine and will provide access to additional exclusive content not found in the printed edition including full-screen high-definition videos, slide shows, photo galleries, social networking links and extended editorial content. The application also allows users to sign-in to their custom reader accounts to share, bookmark and reference personal notes and includes the ability to search by keywords including names, tools, brands and services. An integrated browser allows users to select their desired content with color-coded categories and quick access to an itemized display of pages, photos, videos, bookmarks and ads. Black Enterprise Wealth For Life is available from the App Store as a free download. The app includes the 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition and Best Companies for Diversity issue at no cost; subsequent issues will be priced at $2.
Paramount Digital Entertainment, in cooperation with Freeverse, has released Top Gun 2, the sequel to its earlier first-person combat jet shooter for the iOS platform. In Top Gun 2 players engage in air-to-air and air-to-ground arcade style combat with new high-speed defensive maneuvers and offensive attacks. Players fly using the accelerometer to engage in combat with multiple enemies through seven unique environments, including outer space, in a variety of different mission types. Top Gun 2 features dynamic level design with surprise attacks and unique gameplay and an enhanced AI. Players can choose to pilot an F/A-18 Hornet, F-16 Fighting Falcon or F-14 Tomcat, each with upgradeable cannon and missile systems and unique offensive and defensive capabilities. Top Gun 2 features full-screen anti-aliasing and enhanced visual effects and a soundtrack by Brooklyn-based Daredevil Squadron as well as the classic track “Danger Zone” from the Top Gun movie. Top Gun 2 requires an iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4 or later and is available from the App Store at a discounted price of $3 until August 23.
Facebook has released an update to its iPhone and iPod touch application adding support for its new Places feature and improving iOS4 multitasking support. Introduced by Facebook earlier this week, Places is a new location-based social networking that allows users to register their presence at physical locations in a manner similar to services such as Foursquare and Gowalla. Facebook 3.2 provides a new section on the home screen for accessing the new Places location feature and integrates GPS location services support to allow users to view nearby places from within the app, check-in at various locations and view friends’ locations. The new version can also now continue photo and video uploads in the background on iOS 4 multitasking-capable devices and adds the ability to set the privacy of individual status updates and see all recipients of inbox messages. Facebook 3.2 is available from the App Store as a free download. The Facebook Places feature is presently only available in the U.S.