Amazon has introduced Kindle Editions with Audio/Video for users of the Kindle application on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The new e-book format now includes embedded video and audio clips in Kindle books, allowing readers to access rich-media content as part of the reading experience. Support for the new content was quietly added to the Kindle app for iOS devices last week with the new content appearing on Amazon’s Kindle Store yesterday. Some of the first books to take advantage of the new technology include Rick Steves’ London which provides walking tours with narration and Rose’s Heavenly Cakes which includes video tips on preparing the perfect cake. The current books are priced at $12 each and although only nine audio/video titles are presently available, Amazon notes that this is only the beginning and they are collaborating with major publishers such as Wiley and Avalon Travel to take advantage of this new functionality. Kindle for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is available from the App Store as a free download. Kindle Editions with Audio/Video can be found at http://www.amazon.com/kindleaudiovideo.
Marco Arment has updated his popular Instapaper Pro application, adding basic iOS 4 support and renaming the application to simply “Instapaper,” dropping the “Pro” designation. Instapaper 2.2.4 continues to support all of the features of the previous “Instapaper Pro” version and adds support for Fast App Switching on iOS 4, swipe gestures for page-turning on iOS 4 and iPad devices with improved page turn performance and OAuth support for Twitter. The update also fixes minor interface bugs related to the actions menu, the folder list and zooming of text. iOS 4 multitasking support is currently limited to Fast App Switching; background task completion for synchronization is expected to be coming in a later update. Instapaper 2.2.4 is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $5; a free version is also available for the iPhone and iPod touch.
iTeleport has released an update to its VNC remote control application for iPhone and iPad devices, introducing support for iOS 4 Fast App Switching and the iPhone 4 Retina display. iTeleport 4.0.4 is available from the App Store for $25 and is a free update for current users.
Toodledo has updated its iPhone task management app to provide support for iOS 4 Fast App Switching and background synchronization when exiting. Toodledo 2.0.1 also provides support for the iPhone 4 Retina display, fixes a problem with the rotation lock on iOS 4 and improves French and Italian translations. Toodledo 2.0.1 is available from the App Store for $4 and is a free update for current users.
Urbanspoon has released an update adding Fast App Switching for multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. There appear to be no other notable changes beyond iOS 4 support. Urbanspoon is available from the App Store as a free download.
Amazon has updated its Kindle app with optimizations for the iPhone 4 Retina display, but oddly does not appear to have added support for other new iOS 4 enhancements such as Fast App Switching. The release notes also continue to indicate that dictionary support and Google and Wikipedia lookups will also be coming “in the next release.” Kindle 2.1.1 is available from the App Store as a free download.
MotionX has released an update adding iOS 4 background navigation to its subscription-based navigation app for the iPhone and iPod touch. When running on multitasking capable iOS 4 devices, MotionX GPS Drive 5.0 now provides routing and live guidance in the background, including live voice directions while running other applications. The update also provides improved accuracy of GPS location information when connected to a power source. MotionX GPS Drive is available from the App Store for $1 and includes 30 days of real-time routing with Live Voice Guidance. After the initial 30-day trial period, users may continue using the other navigation features of the application or purchase a subscription for $3/month or $25/year to continue using Live Voice Guidance.
Sophiestication Software has updated its award-winning Articles Wikipedia reference app to support iOS 4 Fast App Switching and the iPhone 4 Retina display. Articles 1.2 also adds several other fixes and enhancements including search interface improvements, a list of recently-used languages, improvements to font size adjustments and chapter index display and several performance optimizations. Articles 1.2 is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for current users.
The Icon Factory has released a major update to its popular Twitter client. Twitterrific 3.0 merges the previous separate iPhone and iPad versions into a single universal app for both platforms and adds support for iOS 4 fast app switching and interface optimizations for the iPhone 4 Retina display. Other new features and improvements include VoiceOver accessibility for the visually impaired, a light appearance theme, OAuth authentication and tweet integration for media upload services, new “Relationship” information on the user profile screen and a simplified and friendlier user interface for iPhone users. The update also fixes problems with shortening very long URLs and preserving draft tweets when network problems occur. Twitterrific 3.0 is available from the App Store as a free ad-supported version—a Premium upgrade is available within the app for $5 to remove the advertising and add support for multiple Twitter accounts. Twitterrific 3.0 Premium is a free upgrade for Premium users of the iPad version; users of Twitterrific 2.0 for the iPhone will need to purchase the Premium upgrade separately or use the free, ad-supported version with single account support.
De Voorkant has released an iOS 4 universal update to its archive file management application, iUnarchive. Originally released as an iPad application, iUnarchive 1.2.1 is now a universal app that can take advantage of the file management features of iOS 4. iUnarchive allows users to open and display the content of compressed files from other apps such as Mail or Safari using the built-in “Open In” option found in iOS 4. Users can then open individual files in other supported applications or open any additional nested archives contained within the original file. iUnarchive can open ZIP, RAR, 7-ZIP, TAR, GZIP, bz2, LhA and StuffIt archives, including password-protected files and can preview contained JPG, PNG, GIF, XLS, DOC, PPT, PDF, RTF and iWork documents as well as text files and syntax-highlighted programming language source files. iUnarchive requires iOS 3.2 or later on the iPad or iOS 4 on the iPhone and iPod touch. It is currently available from the App Store for $1 for a limited time and is a free update for users of the iPad version.
Return7 has released an update to its photo geotagging application PlaceTagger adding iOS 4 background location support. PlaceTagger allows users to track their location while taking photos using a standalone digital camera and then later use that location information to automatically add geotags to photos during import into iPhoto or Aperture or export geotag information via a GPX file for other applications. The addition of iOS 4 background location support to the latest version will allow PlaceTagger users to more effectively track their location without having to worry about leaving the PlaceTagger application constantly running. Although PlaceTagger provides options to balance location accuracy and battery usage, the release notes indicate that “PlaceTagger will consume more battery in the background than it will in the foreground” suggesting that background location tracking inherently consumes more power or simply may have fewer configuration options available for power-saving. PlaceTagger is available from the App Store for $10 and is a free update for current users.
Pangea Software, developers of such popular iPhone game applications as Enigmo and Cro-Mag Rally have announced that it will be providing free updates to all of its iPhone games to add native support for the new iPhone 4 960 x 640 Retina display. Most Pangea titles have already been updated for iPhone 4 and and are available as free updates for users of the previous versions, including Enigmo, Cro-Mag Rally, Bugdom 2, Nanosaur 2, Antimatter, Billy Frontier, PangeaVR and more. A complete list can be found on Pangea’s App Store Page. All updated applications will continue to support the older iPhone and iPod touch models running iOS 3.1.3 as well.
Magmic has released an official Rubik’s Cube game optimized for iPhone 4 devices. Rubik’s Cube provides an authentic digital representation of the classic puzzle and can take advantage of optimized Retina display graphics and gyroscope controls when used on the iPhone 4. In addition to the traditional 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube, the game provides 24 other styles with sizes ranging from 2x2x2 to 5x5x5. Players can also choose an extra challenging CRAZY Cube or create a Picture Cube with their own photos. Rubik’s Cube also supports custom background and Cube stickers, an anaglyph 3D model for three-dimensional play and an included solution guide. Using the iPhone camera, users can also take a photo of a physical Rubik’s Cube and the application will analyze it and provide hints and solutions. Rubik’s Cube is available from the App Store for $3.
Apple has released its iMovie app for the iPhone 4. Announced at WWDC 2010 on June 7th, the iPhone version of iMovie provides iPhone 4 users with a mobile version of Apple’s Mac iMovie application, providing the ability to edit videos directly on the iPhone via onscreen Multi-Touch controls. Users can add video from the iPhone library or record directly using the built-in camera, scrub through and trim videos, and add background music, photos, titles and basic transitions. A selection of five themes is available within the app, with each theme including its own distinct set of titles and transitions. Additional features include support for location services to automatically insert maps and appropriate place titles, inserted photos with a Ken Burns effect and ducking support for lowering background music and highlighting audio. Movies created in iMovie can be exported in Medium, Large or HD formats, shared via e-mail or MMS or uploaded directly to MobileMe or YouTube. iMovie runs only on the iPhone 4 and is available from the App Store in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Japan for $5.
The Omni Group has released a major update to its flagship OmniFocus productivity application for iPhone and iPod touch users. OmniFocus 1.7 adds new refreshed high-resolution artwork for the iPhone 4 Retina display and adds support for several of the multitasking features introduced in iOS 4. When running on the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch, OmniFocus 1.7 now provides fast app switching, local notifications of due tasks and the ability to complete some operations such as database optimization while running in the background. Local Notifications allow users of multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices to receive notifications when tasks are due even when OmniFocus is not the active application and regardless of whether the user is synchronizing with a back-end server or not. The previous synced calendar alert system continues to be available for users of older devices or users still using iOS 3.x or earlier. The update also includes several other minor changes including the display of completed projects within the Completed perspective and bug fixes related to audio recording. OmniFocus 1.7 is available from the App Store for $20 and is a free update for existing users. It can synchronize with the Mac version of OmniFocus (sold separately) via Wi-Fi or a WebDAV server such as iDisk or can be used by itself as a standalone application.
TomTom International has updated its series of turn-by-turn navigation apps to take advantage of the new multitasking features in iOS 4. A required update for iOS 4 users, TomTom 1.4 adds support for the new background location feature available on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. The update provides continuous visual driving instructions on iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS devices even while the user is on a call and background navigation for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch devices allowing users to open other applications while still receiving spoken turn-by-turn directions. The update also adds several other new features including updated maps, sharing of routes via e-mail, the ability to add departure reminders directly to the iOS Calendar and a new fuel-efficient “Eco Route” selection. TomTom 1.4 for the U.S. & Canada is available from the App Store for $60 and is a free update for existing users. Versions for other regions can also be found via TomTom’s App Store page.
Trapster has released an update to its social driving navigation app, adding background location support for multitasking capable iOS 4 devices. Trapster leverages a social network and user-maintained database to track road hazards such as speed traps, red light cameras and police check points and uses iOS location services to alert users as they approach such locations. When running on iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch devices, the latest version of Trapster can now continue running the background to monitor the device’s location and provide alerts. Trapster also includes a Caravan feature to communicate with other users in real time and a Patrol feature that identifies which roads users have recently travelled on. The Trapster service represents the world’s largest social driving network with 6.5 million users and a database of over two million reported traps worldwide. The application also includes a My Trips feature for general travel navigation and support for local search, Google Live Traffic, turn-by-turn directions, full iPod controls and Facebook and Twitter integration. Trapster 4.3 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Slacker has released another update to its popular Slacker Radio personalized streaming radio application, adding support for background audio on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. With Slacker Radio 2.1, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch users can now start a personalized radio station playing and then exit the app while the music continues playing in the background. Slacker Radio 2.1 also builds upon the offline listening feature introduced earlier this month, allowing users to listen to cached versions of their favorite playlists in the background even without an active Internet connection. Although the actual station caching process will only occur while Slacker Radio is running, users can continue to listen to their cached content while using other applications in the same manner as for live streaming stations. As before, station caching requires a Slacker Radio Plus subscription for $5/month or $48/year, which also provides users with ad-free listening, song lyrics, and unlimited song skipping and song requests. Background audio support is available with either the free Slacker Radio Basic or paid Slacker Radio Plus subscriptions. Slacker Radio 2.1 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Microsoft has released an update to its Bing application for iOS devices. Going beyond the basic search engine features now included in iOS4, the Bing 1.2 app brings support for conducting searches by scanning barcodes and cover art with the iPhone camera and connecting to Facebook and Twitter accounts. The new version now combines results from users’ social networks when searching the web and allows users to share their search results via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail. An expanded shopping section with reviews, ratings and prices is also now available as well as additional clips and trailers when searching movies. Bing 1.2 is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.
For a limited time Electronic Arts has dropped the prices on 17 of their popular game titles for the iPhone and iPod touch. For 48 hours, EA titles such as Need for Speed Shift (normally $6.99) and Madden NFL 10 (normally $6.99) are selling for only $0.99 each. Other titles include SimCity, Command & Conquer Red Alert, FIFA 10, NBA Live, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Need for Speed Undercover, Dragon’s Lair, Clue, Trivial Pursuit, The Game of Life, YAHTZEE Adventures, Battleship, Connect 4, Surviving High School and Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald Tear. The games normally sell for $1.99-6.99 each.
Phantom Fish has released an iOS 4 update to its popular Byline RSS client for Google Reader. Byline 3.2 introduces higher-resolution graphics for the iPhone 4 Retina display and adds background task completion for multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. When exiting Byline on an iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS or third-generation iPod touch with iOS 4, the app will finish the current syncing or caching process in the background. Fast App Switching is also supported on these devices to allow users to quickly return to where they left off when re-entering the application. Byline 3.2 also tweaks swipe sensitivity to improve navigation and fixes several bugs related to syncing, caching and handling of links to iTunes and the App Store. Byline is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for existing users. A free ad-supported version is also available.
Firemint has released an iPhone 4 update to its popular Real Racing game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Real Racing 1.22 features new graphics for the iPhone 4 Retina display with higher-resolution textures, more detailed car interiors, updated menus and improved graphical performance on the iPhone 4. The update also promises smoother graphics on iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch devices through the use of anti-aliasing in iOS4. With this version Real Racing adds support for the iPhone 4 gyroscope to provide more responsive and accurate controls for iPhone 4 users in addition to accelerometer-based controls. iOS 4 Fast App Switching is also supported to allow users to exit the game and automatically pick up where they left off when returning to it. Real Racing 1.22 is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for existing users.
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.