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Apple rejects newspaper-reading app over content

Apple has rejected Makayama’s iPhone application Newspaper(s) due to objectionable content. Newspaper is an app for the iPhone and iPod touch that will let users to read 50 national and international newspapers, including the New York Times, Frankfurter Algemeine and El Pais. The application was rejected due to content found in the Page 3 section of UK-based tabloid The Sun, which contains images of topless women. In the rejection message, Apple noted that Parental Controls have been announced for iPhone Os 3.0, adding that it “would be appropriate to resubmit your application for review once this feature is available.” Makayama has since removed The Sun from the application’s database of papers and resubmitted the application; Newspaper(s) is now available for $1.

Cyan Worlds brings Myst to iPhone, iPod touch

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Cyan Worlds has released its classic puzzle adventure game Myst for the iPhone and iPod touch. Once the best-selling PC game of all time, Myst places players in the shoes of a character named the Stranger, who uses a special book to travel to the mysterious island of Myst. Players then explore the island from a first-person perspective, solving interrelated puzzles to complete their journey. The iPhone version includes all the areas, or “Ages,” from the original, along with artwork that surpasses the original in quality, full music and sound effects, an auto-save feature, a bookmark system to save and restore progress, touch-based controls, and original movies and animations. Myst is available now from the App Store for $6, and is a 727MB download.

Apple rejects update to NIN app, Reznor responds

After allowing the original and two subsequent updates through, Apple has rejected the latest version of Nine Inch Nails’ iPhone app, citing objectionable content. In a posting to the band’s forums, founder and sole official member Trent Reznor posted Apple’s notification email, which claims that the objectionable content was found in “The Downward Spiral.” Reznor notes that the album of the same name is not available anywhere in the app, meaning Apple must be referring to a podcast that can be streamed to the app. Reznor’s response continues below.

“Thanks Apple for the clear description of the problem - as in, what do you want us to change to get past your stupid $#*!& standards?  And while we’re at it, I’ll voice the same issue I had with Wal-Mart years ago, which is a matter of consistency and hypocrisy. Wal-Mart went on a rampage years ago insisting all music they carry be censored of all profanity and “clean” versions be made for them to carry. Bands (including Nirvana) tripped over themselves editing out words, changing album art, etc to meet Wal-Mart’s standards of decency - because Wal-Mart sells a lot of records. NIN refused, and you’ll notice a pretty empty NIN section at any Wal-Mart. My reasoning was this: I can understand if you want the moral posturing of not having any “indecent” material for sale - but you could literally turn around 180 degrees from where the NIN record would be and purchase the film “Scarface” completely uncensored, or buy a copy of Grand Theft Auto where you can be rewarded for beating up prostitutes. How does that make sense?”

App Mix: Quicken, Land of the Lost, Dark Raider, Team Up

Intuit has released its Quicken Online Mobile application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The application gives users access to their Quicken Online accounts directly from their iPhones or iPod touches, letting them see bank, credit card, loan, and other accounts all in one place, utilize a Paycheck Forecaster to plan for future purchases, monitor budget goals, find nearby ATMs, and more. Quicken Online Mobile is available now as a free download from the App Store.

Universal Pictures has released Land of the Lost: Crystal Adventure, a new game promoting the release of this summer’s Land of the Lost movie starring Will Ferrell. The puzzle-based game features 25 different levels, in which players must navigate a mix of obstacles in order to reach a large crystal, collecting small crystals along the way to increase their scores. Other features include an undo button, a local scoreboard, and photos, trailers, and sound bytes from the film. Land of the Lost: Crystal Adventure is available as a free download from the App Store.

Egerter Software has unveiled Dark Raider, its new game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The top-down style game has players explore castles, tombs, pyramids, arenas, mazes, and forests, with 64 progressively more difficult levels spread across eight unique settings. Other features include a mix of environmental puzzles and combat, a variety of weapons, a choice between on-screen or accelerometer-based controls, 360-degree movement and aiming, three difficulty levels, 8-10 hours of gameplay, and a 10 song soundtrack. Dark Raider is available now and is priced at $8.

PokitLint has introduced Team Up, its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Team Up is designed to easily divide groups of people into two teams. Users enter the number of people playing, tap a begin button, and then have each player tap the screen to receive their team assignment. Team Up is available now and sells for $1.

Gameloft intros Siberian Strike for iPhone, iPod touch

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Gameloft has introduced its new Siberian Strike game for the iPhone and iPod touch. A top-down shooter in the style of the 1942 series, Siberian Strike places players in the shoes of Elliott Freeman, a 1940’s fighter pilot who must destroy a Soviet cyborg before it invades Europe. Features include 12 levels, a choice between accelerometer and touch controls, local Wi-Fi multiplayer, four difficulty levels, and a mix of shooting and piloting missions. Siberian Strike is available now and sells for $6.

EA releases Tiger Woods PGA Tour for iPhone, iPod touch

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Electronic Arts has released Tiger Woods PGA Tour, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Tiger lets players create their own golfer, or control a number of professionals, including Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam, Vijay Singh, Natalie Gulbis, and Retief Goosen, using a touch-n-drag Swing Meter to perform shots. The game features seven different 3D courses, including Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, TPC Sawgrass, and Doral, play-by-play commentary, realistic sound effects, and in-flight spin control. Tiger Woods PGA Tour is available now from the App Store and sells for $10.

For more information on Tiger Woods PGA Tour, see our full review.

iPhone app makers become acquisition targets

The success of the App Store has lead several iPhone development houses, and their applications, to become targets for acquisition by larger companies. Following Amazon’s purchase of Lexcycle, maker of the iPhone book-reading application Stanza, IAC, an internet media company that also runs Citysearch, Ask.com, Match.com, and Evite, has announced its acquisition of UrbanSpoon, based in part on the strength and popularity of its iPhone and iPod touch application. These latest acquisitions are the latest in a string that includes Barnes & Noble’s purchase of Fictionwise, which included an iPhone e-reader app, and blogging service Tumblr’s acquisition of the app Tumblrette, which is now offered to users as the official Tumblr app. [via Fortune]

App Mix: Simplify Music, Hollywood Hangman, Truphone, Modulo

Simplify Media has released Simplify Music 2.0, its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Simplify Music works in concert with a free application on users’ home computers to stream their music to their device. Features in the new software include the ability to search for artist, album, and title across all shared libraries, tag favorite music, create on-the-fly playlists, and scrub forward and backward through audio files. Simplify Music is available now from the App Store and is currently priced at $3; the price will increase to $6 on May 14.

LimeLife has released its new Hollywood Hangman game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the classic word game, Hollywood Hangman features 1,500 puzzles spread across four trivia categories—celebrity, movie, TV, and music—along with single, pass n’ play, and Wi-Fi multiplayer modes, three different music tracks, 10 different Hollywood-inspired backgrounds, and the ability for users to create their own puzzles. LimeLife’s Hollywood Hangman sells for $1; a free Lite version is also available.

Truphone has launched version 3.0 of its Truphone application for the iPhone. Truphone is a VoIP app which supports calling through Skype, Google Talk, and Truphone. Improvements in version 3.0 include superior voice call quality, a new instant messaging tool with support for Skype, MSN Messenger, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk, and real-time account management. Truphone 3.0 for the iPhone is available as a free download from the App Store.

Electric TopHat has introduced its new Modulo puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Modulo, players bust rotate a set of colored cogs until they are all facing in the same direction. It features 180 different levels, all of which are accessible from the start of the game. Modulo is available now and sells for $2; a free Lite version is also available.

App Mix: Base Jumper, Flick NBA, Car Jack Streets, E*Trade

Vir2L Studios has released its new Vir2L Base Jumper game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Base Jumper puts players in control of a free flying character, who they must maneuver through three different levels, including the Alps, the canyon, and the city, using accelerometer-based controls. Users can collect rings to score points, and can also customize their jumper’s parachute, suit, helmet, and smoke color. Vir2L Base Jumper is available now from the App Store and sells for $2.

Freeverse has released Flick NBA Basketball, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Boasting one player from each NBA team, Flick NBA offers players five individual events—3-point shootout, hotshot arcade, long shot challenge, H.O.R.S.E., and a ball spin mini-game—along with touch-based controls, realistic 3D models, and a multiplayer mode. Flick NBA Basketball is available now and sells for $5.

Tag Games has released Car Jack Streets, its new game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Previewed last December on iLounge and developed by members of the original Grand Theft Auto creative team, Car Jack Streets is a top-down-style game in which players must complete a number of missions, jobs, and assignments in order to pay down a massive gambling debt. It features a 3D city for players to explore, a variety of cars and weapons, online rankings, achievements and other hidden in-game extras, “real time” game play, and an in-game soundtrack that spans over 80 minutes. Car Jack Streets is available now and is priced at $5.

E*Trade has launched its new E*Trade Mobile Pro application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Mobile Pro allows account holders to view streaming real-time quotes with integrated charts, breaking news, and commentary, perform stock and options trades with market, limit and advanced orders, manage their account, synchronize their watch lists and portfolios with their online accounts, and perform cash transfers to and from any institution. E*Trade Mobile Pro is available now as a free download from the App Store.

Amazon buys iPhone Stanza app maker Lexcycle

Amazon.com has purchased Lexcycle, developer of the iPhone book-reading application Stanza. Stanza allows users to read e-books on their iPhone or iPod touch in the “epub” format, which is an open standard supported by the International Digital Publishing Forum that many publishers use to create e-book files. Amazon’s Kindle device doesn’t currently support “epub” files; nor does its Kindle for iPhone app let users download content from within the application, a feature Stanza offers. According to a post on Lexcycle’s blog, the company is “not planning any changes in the Stanza application or user experience as a result of the acquisition,” adding that they are “excited to join forces with a company that has innovated on behalf of readers for over a decade and is a pioneer in ebooks. Like Amazon, we believe there is a lot of innovation ahead for ebooks and we could not think of a better company to join during this exciting time.”

App Mix: iWine, WeatherBug, Uggles, Top-Tens

Ageasoft has released its new iWine application for the iPhone and iPod touch. iWine allows wine enthusiasts to track vintages that they own, taste, purchase, and recommend. The app offers attribute fields for winery, vintage, varietal and varietal type, region, rating pairing, price, and tasting notes, and also allows users to store both thumbnail and full size images of wine bottle labels. Other features include the ability to favorite wines, two separate rating systems, the ability to sort by any field, and provides a customizable library of wine varietals, varietal types, and regions. iWine is available now from the App Store and sells for $3.

Weather information service WeatherBug has introduced its WeatherBug Elite application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Devoid of the advertising found in the company’s free application, WeatherBug Elite features full radar animations, six additional contour layers including infrared satellite, humidity, air pressure, and wind speed, enhanced seven-day and hourly forecasts, full presentation of National Weather Service alerts, unlimited location settings, and an enhanced current conditions section. WeatherBug Elite is available now and sells for $1.

Frogameleon has released its new Uggles game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Uggles, players attempt to catch ball-like characters, called Uggles, utilizing touch- or accelerometer-based controls. The speed of the game increases as the player catches more Uggles. Other features include the ability to collect and display Uggles that have been unlocked, three levels of difficulty, high score listings for each difficulty, and the ability to listen to the iPod while playing. Uggles is available now and is priced at $1.

iPhone developer Rod Cambridge has released Top-Tens for the iPhone and iPod touch. Top-Tens lets users to keep tabs on multiple “top ten” lists at once, allowing them to keep up with trends in their favorite interests, hobbies, or pastimes. Categories include books, movies, video games, music charts and sales, coupons and deals, websites, blogs, and more. Top-Tens is available now from the App Store and sells for $3.

Gameloft releases Assassin’s Creed for iPhone, iPod touch

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Gameloft has released Assassin’s Creed - Altaïrs Chronicles, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the Nintendo DS game of the same name and previewed last week, Assassin’s Creed puts players in control of a master assassin named Altair, sent to Jerusalem in the year 1191 AD to steal a chalice in order to end the Crusades. The game offers a mix of stealth, problem solving, and action, and features skill-based mini-games, cinematic cutscenes, the ability to upgrade Altair and his six different weapons, and 3D graphics. Assassin’s Creed - Altair’s Chronicles is available now from the App Store and sells for $10.

EA brings Trivial Pursuit to iPhone, iPod touch

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Electronic Arts has released its new Trivial Pursuit game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the popular board game of the same name, Trivial Pursuit features over 3,500 questions, including 2,900 text and 600 picture questions, both Classic and Pursuit game modes, Wi-Fi multiplayer for up to four players and pass-and-play multiplayer support for six, and touch-based controls. Trivial Pursuit is available now from the App Store and sells for $5.

App Store hits one billion downloads

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According to graphics placed on Apple’s home page and Billion App Countdown page, the App Store has officially passed the one billion download mark. The countdown page now reads “Thanks a billion. Over 1 billion downloads in just nine months. Only on the App Store.” In smaller text, the page also advises that the Billion App Countdown promotion has ended, and to please come back to the page “soon” to see who won.

Apple apologizes for approving Baby Shaker

Apple has issued an official apology for allowing the application Baby Shaker onto the App Store. “We sincerely apologize for this mistake,” Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said in a statement, adding that the game was “deeply offensive” and should not have been approved for sale. Appearing yesterday on the App Store, Baby Shaker urged users to stop the crying of a baby pictured on screen by shaking the iPhone or iPod touch, until the crying stops and two red “x” marks appear over the infant’s eyes. Apple removed the app from the Store yesterday afternoon; this is the first time Apple has publicly apologized for the publishing of an offensive application.

Konami releases Silent Scope for iPhone, iPod touch

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Konami has released Silent Scope, a new version of its sniper game for iPhone and iPod touch. Originally released as a gun-operated arcade game, Silent Scope puts players in the shoes of the world’s top sniper, who must defeat terrorists and rescue the abducted President and the first family. The game offers nine stages, two gameplay modes—arcade and training—three gameplay stages within arcade mode, including story, shooting range, and time attack, multiple difficulty levels, 3D graphics, touch-based controls, and power-ups hidden throughout the game. Silent Scope is available now from the App Store and sells for $6.

Apple sinks lower, approving Baby Shaker, Poop the World apps

Apple continued to lower its standards for acceptable App Store content this week with the approval of two new applications, one designed to simulate violent, life-threatening acts on an infant. The object of Baby Shaker from Sikalosoft is to stop the crying of a baby pictured on screen by shaking the iPhone or iPod touch, until the crying stops and two red “x” marks appear over its eyes. Jennipher Dickens, whose son Christopher was injured by being shaken by his father, told Cnet, “As a mother of a child who was violently shaken at 7 weeks old, causing a severe brain injury, and the founder of a national organization for Shaken Baby Syndrome prevention (as well as the communications director for a national organization helping children with brain injuries), I don’t have to tell you how much this horrifies me!!!”

Update: Baby Shaker was removed from the iTunes Store shortly following the publication of this story.

Meanwhile, the scatalogical Poop the World from SWS Digital is designed to let iPhone and iPod touch users share details of their bowel movements, including time, place, consistency, and smell, with other users across the globe. Users are encouraged to select from one of 20 shapes that best approximate their most recent output, then a scent from a long list of possible smells. Details, including location, are then uploaded to SWS’ servers, allowing other users to track the details. Promoted by the developer with toilet paper rolls that feature the App Store logo, the app even offers trophies to users who accomplish set “goals.” Poop the World and Baby Shaker are available now from the App Store and sell for $2 and $1, respectively.

App Mix: Metal Gear, Nationwide, Currencies, 9 Innings

Konami has released the completed version of Metal Gear Solid Touch for the iPhone and iPod touch. Expanding upon the 12 stages included in the “Initial Release” version of the game, the new complete version — listed in the App Store as version 2.0.0 — includes eight additional “Mission” stages, 20 new wallpapers, and language support for French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Metal Gear Solid Touch is available now from the App Store and sells for $8; the complete version is a free update for those who purchased the initial release.

Nationwide Insurance has released its new Nationwide Mobile app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Designed for use by Nationwide customers, the app helps users find local resources and document accidents. The app can help find local authorities and emergency services, as well as local towing services, Nationwide Blue Ribbon Repair Service Facilities and Nationwide agents. In addition, it provides an interface for entering the other driver’s insurance and contact information, and users can also store photos of the accident taken with the iPhone’s camera and automatically record the exact location of the accident using the iPhone’s built-in GPS. Other features include a flashlight function and a tool to help non-customers locate a Nationwide agent. Nationwide Mobile is available now as a free download from the App Store.

Edovia has introduced Currencies, its new currency conversion tool for the iPhone and iPod touch. Currencies offers a one-pane interface, with support for over 75 currencies, a customizable rate refresh delay, the ability to refresh exchange rates on the fly by shaking the device, the ability to reorder the currency list to display them in the user’s desired order, and the ability to drag amounts to switch the conversion order. Currencies sells for $1 and is available now.

Com2uS has released 9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2009, its new game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The baseball simulation game offers users four play modes, including season, tournament, exhibition, and homerun modes, eight different teams and managers to select from, and on-screen controls. In addition, the developer promises to add auto fielding, auto running, a pitching guide, and enhanced artwork and effects in a future update. 9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2009 is available now from the App Store and is priced at $5.

Apple’s homepage points to end of billion app countdown

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The counter for Apple’s billion app countdown, which currently occupies the front page of Apple.com, has revealed the company’s timing forecasts for the sale of the one-billionth app from the App Store. TechCrunch reported that the image was tied to the time and date on the user’s computer, making it possible to adjust one’s time settings forward in order to see the image Apple will display once the billionth app has been downloaded. This offers users an idea of when Apple estimates it will achieve its goal; it appears, however, that the dependency on the user’s own clock has since been fixed. According to the article, Apple previously had the time pegged at 1:24:06 a.m. PST April 23, but has been adjusting the exact timing based on the rate of app sales, meaning the actual one billionth download may take place slightly before or after the estimated time.

App Mix: Today Show, Mini Golf, Cooking Star, AliceX

NBC’s Todayshow.com has released the official Today Show application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Developed by Zumobi, the app offers video and audio clips from the show, top stories and photos form popular Today topics, including health, food and wine, entertainment, relationships, and fashion. The Today Show application is available now as a free download from the App Store.

Digital Chocolate has released Mini Golf 99 Holes Theme Park, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game offers players five different characters, each with their own secret power, four unique courses, a total of 99 holes, and obstacles such as bumpers, teleporters, and spring jumps. Mini Golf 99 Holes Theme Park is available now from the App Store and sells for $5; a free Lite version is also available.

Glu Mobile has released its Cooking Star game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Cooking Star, players are asked to solve a varied set of cooking puzzles using multi-touch- and accelerometer-based controls, such as flipping kebabs, stirring soups, slicing ingredients, mixing salad, and more. Users who achieve five-star proficiency in the eight mini-games can unlock real recipes to build their cookbook; Glu Mobile also promises that new mini-games will be added periodically. Cooking Star is available now for $3.

Mac developer Steve Capps, under the company name onedoto, has released AliceX, a new iPhone and iPod touch game created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Mac. AliceX is inspired by Through the Looking Glass, a game Capps wrote for the original Mac while working for Apple; the title also has the distinction of being the only game Apple ever sold for the Macintosh. Based loosely on the rules of chess, the game puts Alice on a chess board with the objective of capturing all of the opposing pieces, and Alice begins playing as a queen but eventually moves to acting like a pawn in later levels. In total, the game offers 96 levels in four speed groups, and players must score at least 750 points to advance to the next level. AliceX is available now from the App Store and sells for $2. [via Mac Rumors]

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