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Apple celebrates one year of the App Store

Apple is now promoting the first-anniversary of the App Store with a dedicated page on the iTunes Store. The message on the promo page reads, “Light a candle and cue the music. Okay, forgive us for sounding like doting parents, but we’re just so proud—having watched the App Store go from promising newcomer to full-fledged revolutionary. To celebrate its first birthday, we’ve gathered some of our favorite games and apps.” Apps featured on the page include MLB.com At Bat 2009, Pandora Radio, Brushes, Rolando, The Sims 3, Peggle, Real Racing, and Let’s Golf. The App Store officially opened on July 10, 2008 with more than 500 applications; it now offers over 50,000.

Ngmoco releases Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid

Ngmoco has released Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid, the sequel to the company’s popular Rolando game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Rolando 2, players once again control a number of round characters, using a combination of accelerometer and touch controls to roll, jump, and otherwise navigate throughout the various levels. iLounge was given the opportunity to play a pre-release build of the game while we were at WWDC, and we found it to be a worthy sequel to the first game. The 2.5D graphics add a needed sense of depth, while the branching progression—the ability to choose one of two or more paths after finishing a level—was likely a necessary change to accommodate fans of the game who found themselves sometimes stuck on a particular level. Also new to the game are several classes of Rolandos, “vehicles” such as mine cars and a spike-covered ball, environmental challenges such as rising lava, water, and boulders, Idols to collect that let players skip levels of their choosing, the ability to play music from the iPhone or iPod touch instead of the built-in soundtrack, a larger map to explore, and an integrated tutorial system for first-time players. Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid is available now and sells for $10.

Apple, developers wrestling over App Store pornographic content policy

Following its decision to allow bikini photo applications into the App Store, Apple has removed one such application from the App Store due to pornographic—in this case, illegal—content. The application BeautyMeter by German developers Braun Software has been on the store since January, but came under fire yesterday following the discovery that the developer was offering not only nude photos, but a nude photo of an underage girl. Similar to websites and apps such as Hot Or Not, BeautyMeter allowed users to upload pics of themselves for other people to judge. According to a report, one particular photo—which appeared to show full nudity—was labeled as being of a 15-year-old girl. After the report, Apple removed the application from the App Store.

Last week a separate application, Hottest Girls, was pulled from the App Store after adding topless photos of women to its available photo archive. At this point, it’s unclear what Apple’s exact intentions are in regards to such content and the App Store. Following the removal of Hottest Girls, Apple released a statement that said that the company “will not distribute applications that contain inappropriate content, such as pornography.” However, Apple’s App Store submission system provides checkboxes for such content on its content description page, including options for “Sexual Content or Nudity,” “Prolonged Graphic or sadistic realistic violence,” and “Graphic sexual content or nudity.” In addition, the company recently expanded the Parental Controls available to iPhone and iPod touch users that allow parents to keep applications rated above a certain level from being installed or run on the device.

App Mix: Droplitz, A.D.D. Lite, Card Tower, Warpack Grunts

Altus has released Droplitz, a puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Droplitz has playes rotate dials in order to create pathways through which balls called Droplitz can travel safely in order to be collected at the bottom of the screen. The game offers three distinct play modes of varying ability, as well as the ability to make multiple connections for higher scores. Droplitz is available now from the App Store and sells for $2.

IUGO Mobile Entertainment has released A.D.D. Lite, its new mini-game title for the iPhone and iPod touch. A.D.D. Lite (Another Dumb Distraction) is the free version of the upcoming title A.D.D., and offers 16 mini-games, many offering raunchy subject matter and game play. A.D.D. Lite is available now as a free download; the full version, offering 76 mini-games, is “still pending Apple approval.”

Karma World has released Card Tower: The House of Cards, its new application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Card Tower simulates building a house of cards using multi-touch controls and accurate physics rules, with an undo feature offering a chance to correct small mistakes. Card Tower: The House of Cards is available now and priced at $1.

Freeverse has released Warpack Grunts, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Warpack Grunts, players take control of a squad of fighters in order to stop “Evil Dude” and his army from taking over the world. The game offers 40 levels, four difficulty levels, online high scores for the campaign and each level, and a special unlockable game mode. Warpack Grunts sells for $1.

Id Software releases Doom Resurrection for iPhone, iPod touch

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Id Software has released Doom Resurrection, its first original game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Revealed in an interview earlier this month, the game’s storyline takes place alongside the story of Doom 3, but in a different location. Features include an accelerometer-based aiming system, eight levels, a wide variety of enemies and weapons, and four difficulty levels. Doom Resurrection is available now from the App Store and sells for $10.

Apple: We will not distribute pornographic apps

Following yesterday’s report of an iPhone app touting nudity as one of its selling points, Apple has released a statement saying it will not distribute such applications. Hottest Girls from developer Allen Leung was pulled from the store yesterday afternoon following widespread publicity of the app’s new adult content; the developer blamed the app’s disappearance on heavy server loads. “The server usage is extremely high because of the popularity of this app. Thus, by not distributing the app, we can prevent our servers from crashing… Yes, the topless images will still be there when it is sold again,” said a statement on Leung’s website. It appears, however, that Apple may have had a hand in its removal, and will likely not allow the application back on the App Store in its current form.

“Apple will not distribute applications that contain inappropriate content, such as pornography,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told CNN. “The developer of this application added inappropriate content directly from their server after the application had been approved and distributed, and after the developer had subsequently been asked to remove some offensive content. This was a direct violation of the terms of the iPhone Developer Program. The application is no longer available on the App Store.” Despite the strong statement from Apple, the App Store listing for Hottest Girls showed the app as being rated 17+ for “Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity,” suggesting the company was prepared to allow apps with adult content onto the store.

3.0 Parental Controls open gates for explicit apps

The new Parental Controls found in iPhone OS 3.0 have opened the door for Apple to begin approving iPhone and iPod touch applications containing explicit content, including nudity. The latest version of Hottest Girls - 2200+ Topless, Sexy Babes and Nude Models by Allen Leung appears to be the first app approved for sale in App Store under the new rules. Rated 17+ for “Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity” and “Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes,” the app sells for $2. “We uploaded nude topless pics today. This is the first app to have nudity,” developer Allen Leung told Macenstein. While the merits of such content on the App Store are debatable, the move should reduce the number of misguided rejections over explicit content, such as the South Park application, and more recently, the Nine Inch Nails: Access app—which Apple eventually approved, following a widely-publicized post from band founder Trent Reznor. To activate Parental Controls, go to the General > Restrictions menu in the iPhone’s or iPod touch’s Settings application.

Update: According to a post on the developer’s website, the app has been pulled to ease server strain. The message reads, “[t]he server usage is extremely high because of the popularity of this app. Thus, by not distributing the app, we can prevent our servers from crashing. Those who already have the app will still be able to use our app. To answer the question on everyone’s mind: Yes, the topless images will still be there when it is sold again.”

Apple updates Remote for iPhone, iPod touch to 1.3

Apple has updated its Remote application for the iPhone and iPod touch to version 1.3. In addition to its prior functionality as an iTunes and limited Apple TV remote, the new version allows users to control their Apple TV’s menus via a new “Control” menu, that turns the iPhone or iPod touch into a multi-touch remote control, resembling the trackpads of current-model MacBook Pro computers. Remote 1.3 is available now as a free download from the App Store. Screenshots of Remote v1.3 can be seen in this news article.

AT&T releases Navigator app for iPhone 3G, 3GS

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AT&T has released its new AT&T Navigator application for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Powered by TeleNav, AT&T Navigator is a turn-by-turn direction application, offering users voice-guided and 3D on-screen GPS navigation. Features include automatic rerouting, automatic map updates, real-time traffic updates, the ability to search for gas by price, the ability to enter an address from the iPhone or prior to a trip via computer, and a database of more than 10 million business listings. AT&T Navigator is available now for the iPhone 3G with iPhone OS 3.0 update and the iPhone 3GS, and is a free download; service is $10/month and is charged directly to the user’s AT&T bill, apparently skirting Apple’s rule on charging fees for free apps after purchase.

Push instant messaging comes to iPhone 3.0

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A handful of Push Notification-ready AIM client applications have hit the App Store. AOL has updated both its paid and free versions of AIM for iPhone OS 3.0, adding the ability for users to stay logged in for up to 24 hours after closing the app, with all messages received during that time pushed directly to their device. The paid version, which sells for $3, also adds landscape support in buddy list and conversation views; the release notes state this feature will be added to the free version in a later update. In addition to AOL’s official AIM clients, BeeJive has updated its $10 BeeJive IM client with Push Notification support, as well as performance and user interface enhancements. All three updated AIM client apps are available now from the App Store.

iPhone 3.0 App Updates: MLB, Smule, ngmoco, more

The release of iPhone OS 3.0 for the iPhone and iPod touch has brought with it a slew of new application updates, developed to take advantage of the upgraded software. Instead of breaking all these updates out into separate stories, we’ve decided to list them in this single spot; we will update this story as more news of major application updates rolls in.

MLB.com At Bat 2009: Thanks to the enhanced video streaming support in iPhone OS 3.0, MLB.com’s At Bat 2009 application will begin offering up to two streaming, full-length live games per day, starting today. In addition, the company plans to will roll out the entire slate of out-of-market games currently offered through its premier live streaming video product, MLB.TV Premium, as part of MLB.com At Bat 2009. The application is available now for $10.

Smule Leaf Trombone World Stage: Smule has updated its virtual instrument app Leaf Trombone World Stage to take advantage of new iPhone OS 3.0 features. Users will now be able to play together in a new Duet Mode, which takes advantage of new Bluetooth-based peer-to-peer features, and will be able to receive push notifications regarding opportunities to judge friends, learn recent results of their own performances, and track individual achievements. Leaf Trombone World Stage sells for $1.

Sirius XM launches iPhone app, minus Howard Stern

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Sirius XM has released its new Sirius XM Premium Online application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Premium Online allows Sirius and XM subscribers access to 120 online channels of programming, including music, sports, talk, news, entertainment, and comedy. The app also offers the ability to immediately purchase songs heard within the app from the iTunes Store, or tag them for later purchasing, the ability to save favorite channels, and the ability to see what others around you are listening to with a feature called LookAround. Notably, the app lacks Sirius XM’s immensely popular Howard Stern channels, which has angered early reviewers. Sirius XM Premium Online is avialable as a free download from the App Store; subscription required.

Id Software reveals Doom Resurrection for iPhone, iPod touch

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Id Software co-founder John Carmack has revealed Doom Resurrection, the company’s first original game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In an interview with VentureBeat, Carmack said the plot of the game is similar to that of Doom 3, but takes place in a different place than the main Doom 3 storyline. In addition, Carmack was pleasantly surprised that the development team from Escalation Studios—which Carmack led—didn’t have to didn’t have to completely redo the PC game art for the iPhone, but instead downsampled it to fit the iPhone’s screen. The game has eight full levels, good for around five hours of gameplay, and Carmack said the game may use various iPhone software 3.0 features once they are released, including peer-to-peer cooperative multiplayer. “I love the iPhone,” Carmack said. “It’s a real game platform, not a tiny little toy.” He added, “If you look at it in raw hardware horsepower, the iPhone should be better in performance than the Nintendo DS and the PlayStation Portable[.] But the truth is, you can’t exploit it all because of software inefficiencies.” He went on to say that he is meeting with Apple to discuss how to improve the iPhone as a gaming platform, and while he is excited about the faster iPhone 3G S, he remains focused on making sure his games run on the widest number of iPhone OS devices. Doom Resurrection is expected to hit the App Store next week; pricing has yet to be announced.

Tapulous unveils Lady Gaga Revenge, UMG partnership

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Tapulous has released its new Lady Gaga Revenge game for the iPhone and iPod touch, and announced a new deal with Universal Music Group to bring more music games to the App Store. Lady Gaga Revenge features 14 tracks and remixes from the pop singer, four boss tracks featuring an all-new horizontal play mode and four rails, themes, graphics, and effects inspired by Lady Gaga videos and discography, four difficulty levels, a multiplayer mode, news feed, and Facebook Connect. It is available now and sells for $5.

Under the new UMG agreement, which kicked off with the release of the Lady Gaga game, the two companies will team up to provide a variety of music-oriented games featuring UMG artists, the ability for users to purchase songs from UMG artists in the upcoming title Tap Tap Revenge 3.0—tracks will run $.50 each and will be provided through iPhone OS 3.0’s In-app Purchases feature, and at least one new rhythm game featuring a UMG artist, to be released this fall.

Ngmoco releases Star Defense for iPhone, iPod touch

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Announced and demoed during yesterday’s Keynote Address, ngmoco has released its new game Star Defense for the iPhone and iPod touch. Star Defense is a tower defense-style game, set on different worlds, which can be rotated and zoomed via multi-touch gestures. Features include 5 classes of towers, 15 total weapons, each with unique attributes, both Campaign Mode and asynchronous multiplayer in Challenge Mode, seven distinct worlds, and three levels of difficulty. Star Defense is available now from the App Store and sells for $6.

iPhone OS 3.0: June 17, with Find My iPhone, video downloads

In addition to the previously disclosed features of iPhone OS 3.0, Apple today announced that the software—officially launching June 17 worldwide—will now include two new features that were previously rumored: Find My iPhone and direct-to-device video downloads. Find My iPhone relies upon a subscription to Apple’s MobileMe service to let users automatically create sound and text alerts on their lost devices, helping them to either find the devices themselves or inform their finders as to their presence and return details. Users can send out noises that are audible even if the iPhone’s ringer switch has been turned off; they can also completely wipe the iPhone from afar, and use the integrated GPS functionality to locate the device’s current position on a map.

iPhone OS 3.0 also adds video downloads, a feature that enables the iPhone to wirelessly download movies, TV shows, and other video content without being connected to a computer. The feature also adds audiobook download support to the iPhone’s integrated iTunes Store for the first time, and permits direct-from-device video rentals as well.

EA releases The Sims 3 for iPhone, iPod touch

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Electronic Arts has released The Sims 3, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Demonstrated during Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 event, The Sims 3 is a life simulation game, in which users take control of their Sim’s life, customizing personality traits and physical characterisitcs, and choosing their destiny by deciding what actions they take, where they go, whether they fufill their goals, and who they interact with. The Sims 3 is available now from the App Store and sells for $10.

Mix: BeatRider Touch, Sims 3, Hero of Sparta, Doom Classic

BeatRider, a new rhythm game, has been released in the App Store. Similar to the popular Tap Tap series of games, BeatRider players tap the screen along with the rhythm of the music. BeatRider, however, allows players to use their own music when playing the game, rather than only canned music provided within the application itself. As the Apple SDK does not currently provide the ability for third-party applications to access the device’s music library, BeatRider uses a hosted web site where players can upload their own tracks in MP3 or M4A format. BeatRider is available from the App Store in both a full version for $5 and a free lite version.

Apple and Electronic Arts have released demonstration versions of the highly-anticipated game, The Sims 3 in Apple Retail stores in advanced of the game’s release on June 2. At the Apple Store, customers can use the “Create A Sim” feature to test-drive the game by creating their own unique Sim characters. [via MacDailyNews]

Gameloft has begun to release “lite” versions of some of their games, such as Hero of Sparta (iLounge rating: A-) which provide single-level demo versions that users can try before purchasing the full games. As many of the Gameloft titles have rated high or general recommendations from iLounge, these lite versions may be of special interest to readers.

Doom creator John Carmack has posted a progress report on his iPhone Doom Classic project, describing the development process and some of the challenges he has been facing in bringing Doom to the iPhone platform. Specifically, Carmack indicates while making Doom run on a new platform is relatively simple, “making it a really good game on a platform that doesn’t have a keyboard and mouse or an excess of processing power is an honest development effort.”  Carmack states that he is making good progress and hopes to have Doom Classic available on the App Store by next month.  [via TouchArcade]

Sirius XM depicts iPhone app, shopping feature

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During a summit for shareholders today, Sirius XM displayed a slide revealing a screenshot of its forthcoming iPhone app. From the presentation, it appears that users will be able to browse audio programming by categories, channels and favorites. The app also appears to include a “shopping” feature which may integrate with the iTunes Store. While the app itself is expected to be available as a free download from the App Store, a Sirius XM radio subscription will be required. Subscribers may also be required to add an additional $3/month “streaming” package to their existing subscriptions. [via MacDailyNews]

Mix: Tiki+, 32Gb iPhone, Toki Tori, iPod in space

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Skorpiostech, maker of the Cocktails+ app for the iPhone and iPod touch (iLounge rating: B+) has announced the release of Tiki+, a new recipe app for Tiki cocktails and exotic drinks. Tiki+ shares most of the features of Cocktails+, including the ability to search recipes by ingredients, mark favorites, email recipes, and share recipes through Twitter and Facebook. In Tiki+, you can browse recipes by base liquor, type, flavor and other characteristics. Measurements can be displayed in imperial or metric units, and comprehensive ingredient definition and substitution information are provided. Tiki+ costs $4 and is available now from the App Store.

T-Mobile Austria briefly listed an “iPhone 32GB” placeholder in the “Coming Soon” section on its web site. A similar slip at T-Mobile Germany two years ago foretold the availability of the original iPhone on the German carrier. [via Engadget Mobile]

Two Tribes has just released its long-awaited iPhone version of Toki Tori. Originally released for the Game Boy Color in 2001 and later updated for the Wii, Toki Tori is a puzzle platform game where players take on the role of a chick working to free his kidnapped siblings while avoiding various obstacles and enemies. Tiki Tori includes 80 levels and is available from the App Store for $5. [via TouchArcade]

A reader at TUAW notes that a photo from the latest STS-125 space shuttle mission shows Astronauts John Grunsfeld and Andrew Feustel posing for a photo aboard the space shuttle with an iPod clearly visible in the background. On closer inspection, the iPod appears to be a fourth-generation model with what looks to be a Belkin TunePower battery pack.

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