Apple has released Remote 1.2, the latest version of its iTunes and Apple TV remote software for the iPhone and iPod touch. According to Apple, the new release contains bug fixes and provides compatibility with iTunes 8.1. More specifically, it adds the ability for guests to select songs to add to the iTunes DJ playlist, and vote for songs picked by others. Remote 1.2 is avialable now as a free download from the App Store. Continue reading for screenshots of Remote 1.2.
Google will today shut down a feature of its Gmail service that allowed third-party applications to send SMS messages using Google’s servers. According to Inner Fence, developers of the iPhone SMS app Infinite SMS, Google contacted them Monday regarding their decision to shut down the feature, causing Inner Fence to pull their product from the App Store, despite the fact that it was among the Top 10 Paid Apps on the store. Google has notified Inner Fence that the service will be officially blocked starting today. Below is Google’s official statement on the matter.
“Infinite SMS is a third party app that has been using Google technology to provide free SMS for users, while we were paying for the cost of the text messages. While Google is supportive of third party apps, we’ve decided we can’t support this particular usage of our system at this time…. We’re blocking all external XMPP clients from sending SMS; we’re not singling out Inner Fence.” Inner Fence notes that Apple doesn’t offer them a way to issue refunds, saying, “[h]opefully, at 99¢ people will feel like our app paid for itself after only a few messages.”
Version 1.3 of Tweetie, a popular Twitter client for the iPhone and iPod touch, has been rejected by Apple due to the appearance of an offensive word in the site’s “Trends” data. “Trends” is a list of the most frequently referenced topics or words on Twitter at that moment. A picture of the offensive language in question is available online (NSFW), while a list of the improvements expected in version 1.3 is available here. Tweetie 1.2.1 is available now in the App Store and sells for $3.
Update: Tweetie 1.3 has been resubmitted and approved, and is now available from the App Store.
FremantleMedia Enterprises has released the first official American Idol application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Developed by Zumobi, American Idol Season 8 Exclusive allows users to follow the top 13 contestants from Season 8, providing contestant bios, pictures, news, and exclusive behind-the-scenes videos. FremantleMedia promises 78 original videos to be released weekly between now and the Finale episode. American Idol Season 8 Exclusive is available now from the App Store and sells for $2.
Gameloft has revealed that it is working on an iPhone and iPod touch game based around the upcoming film Terminator Salvation. In an interview with MTV Multiplayer, Gameloft CEO Michel Guillemot revealed little about the gameplay, but said that assets from the film are being incorporated indirectly into the game. “We worked closely with Halcyon,” Guillemot said. “There isn’t direct footage of the movie, but we do incorporate cut scenes that give a realistic rendering of the movie atmosphere.” Guillemot noted that the iPhone development team consists of Terminator fans, and that their game is not the same as the console version that’s also under development. Terminator Salvation for iPhone and iPod touch is expected to launch alongside the film on May 22.
iPhone game development firm Geppetto has released iNinja, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Created by former Square Enix programmer Yoshiyuki Miyagawa, iNinja is a shooting game in which players attempt to hit enemy ninja by using a flicking motion to throw shuriken (throwing stars). The game features an air hockey-inspired two-player versus mode, various one-hit-kill traps, the ability to hold down on the screen to charge the shuriken, and 34 single-player stages. iNinja is available now from the App Store and for $1; the price will raise to $2 when the new version arrives.
Skyworks Interactive, developers of prior iPhone titles Arcade Bowling, Arcade Hoops Basketball, and Arcade QB Pass, have introduced three new games for the iPhone and iPod touch. Mental Blocks is a block-based puzzle game in which players must tap on sections of four or more same colored blocks in order to clear them from the screen, while attempting to leave as few single blocks as possible. It features unlimited levels, four types of special blocks, and both online and local high score tracking. Mental Blocks sells for $2; our review of the game can be found here. Poker Matchup is a unique card game in which the player tries to build the best hand possible from two sliding rows of cards. It features local and online high score boards, and sells for $2. Finally, 3 Point Hoops is a basketball-oriented game in which players use their fingers to fling the ball toward the basket in order to take a shot. Speed and direction are controlled with the fling gesture, and there are a variety of shooting positions. Other features include a classic mode, sudden death mode, unique position mode, bonus balls, local and global high score listings, and two background music tracks. 3 Point Hoops is available now and also sells for $2.
SplashData has released File Magic 2.0, the latest update to its file transfer utility for the iPhone and iPod touch. File Magic allows users to copy files to their device over Wi-Fi using a desktop-based client program, and supports a wide variety of file formats for handheld viewing. New in version 2 is the ability to transfer files directly from device-to-device, the ability to email files as attachments from File Magic, and the option to set a password to protect File Magic access. File Magic 2.0 is available now from the App Store and sells for $5.
Konami has released its DanceDanceRevolution S game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the popular arcade dancing game series, the main Game Mode requires users to tap on the screen to the rhythm of the song, with upcoming arrows rising from the bottom of the screen. Two other game modes are available, including Shake Mode, in which players shake the device in the direction of the arrows, and Training Mode, which helps novice players acclimate themselves to the main game mechanics. In addition, the game offers 26 and 18 playable characters, with a soundtrack featuring both new and old tracks from past DDR titles. DanceDanceRevolution S is available now and sells for $7; a free Lite version is also available.
Zynga has released its Scramble Live word game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on what the company’s Scramble game for Facebook, Scramble Live lets users build words by using connecting letters on a 4x4 or 5x5 board. The game offers both solo and play n’ pass modes in addition to its Live mode, in which players can compete with friends or other Facebook, iPhone, and iPod touch users in real time over 3G or Wi-Fi. Scramble Live is available now from the App Store and is priced at $3 through March 8, at which point it will cost $5.
Amazon has released Kindle for iPhone, a new application that lets iPhone and iPod touch users read Kindle books directly on their devices. Kindle books may be purchased from a Mac, PC, or the iPhone using a browser and wirelessly transferred to the iPhone or iPod touch, and users may also download Kindle books they already own for free, adjust the text size, add bookmarks, and view annotations created on the Kindle. In addition, the app includes Amazon’s new Whispersync technology that saves and synchronizes users’ bookmarks across their original Kindle, Kindle 2, iPhone and iPod touch devices, so they never lose their place.
Like the Kindle itself, the Kindle iPhone app is only available in the U.S. iTunes Store, and Kindle content is likewise only available to Amazon U.S. customers, differing from competing iPhone apps eReader and Stanza, which seem to have no country-based distribution restrictions on their apps or their content. Additionally, and unlike the Kindle devices, Kindle for iPhone currently works only with books, and not with other downloadable content such as magazines, newspapers, and blogs that are supported by the Kindle and Kindle 2. Kindle for iPhone is available now as a free download from the U.S. App Store; our full review is also available.
Tapulous has released Tap Tap Revenge 2, the sequel to its original Tap Tap Revenge game that saw over one million downloads in its first month. Tap Tap Revenge 2 features a completely new gaming engine with improved graphics and effects, new “tap and hold” and “multi-tap” features for more varied gameplay, and a five game modes, including a Kids mode, Challenge mode, Two-Player Split-Screen, Online, and Career modes. The game also features a download catalog featuring over 150 free new songs, including tracks from artists such as Daft Punk, Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie, Crystal Method, and others. In addition, Tapulous promises to add more free tracks every Thursday. Tap Tap Revenge 2 is available now as a free download from the App Store.
CBS has launched its new TV.com application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new application gives users mobile access to TV.com content, including full episodes of CBS TV shows such as CSI and Star Trek, and also features programming from other CBS-owned networks such as Showtime and the CW, as well as videos from Internet properties CNet and GameSpot. The app also lets users add keywords to create their own feed—a custom list of video based on favorite programs, channels, or topics—and will operate on both Wi-Fi and cellular networks. CBS’ TV.com application is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Apple has quietly removed older App Store reviews from users who had not purchased the applications they were reviewing. Prior to last September, when Apple changed the App Store rules to require users to purchase or download an app prior to review, any user could leave a negative review on any application he/she wished, leading to developer complaints and reports of astroturfing. While the rule was changed, the older, possibly fraudulent reviews remained on the pages of the App Store until this week. Mac Rumors reports that several long-released apps have seen noticeable drops in the number of reviews; for example, Super Monkey Ball has dropped from 4197 reviews to 3714, while Pac-Man has gone from 395 to 122. Interestingly, the reviews for iPod Click Wheel Games continue to include numerous reviews from people who acknowledge that they have never played the games.
Continuing to erode the line between “potentially offensive” and acceptable content, Apple has approved Peep Show, a virtual peep show app for the iPhone and iPod touch. As explained by developer Blazing Lizard, Peep Show puts you in front of a partially obscured window, with “shake controls” that are “easy and intuitive when looking at attractive women.” Users shake the device at a certain time to drop a coin into the slot, further revealing a photo of a woman. Missing the slot causes the blinds to cover up more of the image as a penalty. A total of six pictures of women are displayed over and over again by the app, none the same as the ones shown in the app’s current App Store preview page, and each only vaguely risque. Following last week’s revelation that Apple rejected a South Park application for “potentially offensive content,” however, this application only furthers the notion that Apple’s approval process is inconsistent at best. Rated as appropriate for users 9 years of age or older, Peep Show sells for $1.
AOL is splitting its AIM app for the iPhone and iPod touch into two versions, and both add location services and SMS integration. The free version of AIM, now known as AIM Free, is currently available in the App Store and is now supported by ads, while the paid version will remove the advertisements; both will include the same features. The new features include the ability to access Contacts directly from the app to send an IM to a saved screen name or SMS to a phone number, the ability to stay logged in for up to 24 hours after the app has been closed and optionally receive notifications via SMS when a new IM arrives, support for multiple accounts, and the ability to share location information with buddies and access a new Buddies Near Me smart group. According to the free version’s description, AIM Paid is currently going through the App Store approval cycle and will be available soon; pricing has not yet been revealed. [via Ars Technica]
Update: The paid version of AIM is now available on the App Store and sells for $3.
Gameloft has revealed new details regarding its upcoming game The Oregon Trail for iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the Apple II classic, this updated take on the game features the same trail, from Independence, MO to Willamette Valley, OR, and the same random events, such as disease, bandits, bear attacks, and more. The side-scroller also offers updated graphics, side missions, and eight mini-games, including hunting, fishing, wagon repairing, river crossing, rafting, telegraphing, gold panning, and berry picking. The Oregon Trail is expected to arrive in the App Store in the next week, and will sell for $6. Continue reading for more screenshots from the game.
Gameloft has released details on its upcoming Let’s Golf game for the iPhone and iPod touch, which appears set to become the most thoroughly developed golf title yet for the platform. Let’s Golf features cartoonish 3D graphics, four customizable 3D characters, and arcade-style game play with 63 different holes set across four different landscapes, including Fiji Beach, American Mountains, English Countryside, and Scotland Lochs. In addition, the game will offer two control schemes—one for more casual players that uses a simple gauge, and a more advanced mode that provides better accuracy. Notably, Let’s Golf will also include a multiplayer mode that allows two users to play over a local Wi-Fi or online connection. The title is expected to hit the App Store next week and will sell for $6.
Konami has launched a new website for its upcoming iPhone and iPod touch game Metal Gear Solid Touch. According to the site, the company has decided to offer a special “advance release” edition of the game that will offer the first half of the story—which is based on the Playstation 3 title Metal Gear Solid 4. The final release version will include both halves of the game, and purchasers of the advance release edition will receive a free update to the final release, with the ability to carry over game save information. Gameplay will be handled via a multi-touch interface, with the ability to slide a finger for aiming, pinch gestures for zooming in and out, and taps for firing a weapon. Metal Gear Solid Touch is listed as coming soon; continue reading for more screenshots and a preview trailer.
Update: in a new press release, Konami has said that the Advance Release edition of Metal Gear Solid Touch will launch in March.
Taito has released its classic Space Invaders game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game offers a faithful recreation of the arcade experience, providing a simulated cabinet mode with on-screen joystick, button, and arcade-style display; touch/drag and tilt controls are also available, along with four different screen modes. In addition, it features bonus extras including materials from the original game’s development. Disappointingly, the game does not include any of the features of Taito’s later, better Space Invaders sequels, including the well-regarded Space Invaders Extreme. Space Invaders is available now from the App Store and sells for $5.