Capcom has released its new Resident Evil: Degeneration game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the film of the same name, Degeneration is a fully 3-D survival horror game in which players take control of Leon Kennedy as he shoots his way through hordes of zombies. The game features both touchscreen- and accelerometer-based context-sensitive controls, a third-person over the shoulder perspective, a large variety of weapons, and in-engine cut scenes. Resident Evil: Degeneration is available now and sells for $7.
PopCap has released its long-awaited version of Peggle for the iPhone and iPod touch. Peggle challenges players to fire a metallic ball from the top of the screen in hopes of clearing as many orange, green, and blue pegs as possible. Players must clear all orange pegs from the screen to advance, while green pegs offer power-ups such as area-clearing blasts, pinball flipper-like lobster claws, and fireballs, and blue pegs can be cleared for a large point bonus. In addition, the game offers a iPhone and iPod touch-exclusive zoom mode, on-screen controls, and new types of style shots. Peggle for the iPhone and iPod touch is available now from the App Store and sells for $5.
For more information on Peggle, see our full review.
Apple has rejected yet another iPhone and iPod touch application, Me So Holy, citing “objectionable content.” Similar to the developer Lil’ Shark’s prior photo manipulation app Animalizer, Me So Holy allows users to replace the face of a religious figure with any face from the iPhone’s camera or photo library, optionally adding text. On the product’s blog, the company writes, “Our question is, is religion really to be placed in the same category as these violent apps? Sex, urine and defecation don’t seem to be off-limits, yet a totally non-violent, religion-based app is. We feel that Apple is being too sensitive to its perceived user group and are disappointed that this otherwise creative, freethinking company would reject such a positive and fun application.” [via Silicon Alley Insider]
In a recent interview with Tech-On, Sony Chairman and CEO Howard Stringer made several comments about Apple’s products, including the suggestion that the Japanese electronics giant may have been able to best the iPod had it made different business decisions. When asked about the importance of open technology, Stringer pointed to Sony’s Connect music download service as failure, saying its proprietary DRM scheme “created a problem.” Stringer added, “customers couldn’t download music from any Websites except those that contracted with Sony. If we had gone with open technology from the start, I think we probably would have beaten Apple Inc of the US.” Stringer also said that Sony needed to “grab” the opportunity to offer device-agnostic files before Apple, presumably referencing Apple’s DRM-laden movie files, since the iTunes Store has since gone DRM-free. In addition, he briefly pointed to the Apple TV as an indicator of how users are beginning to change their TV viewing habits, saying the company is “evolving the PS3 into a platform for Web services. TV development is also in a period of transition; the fact that sales volume is growing for the Apple TV, a kind of set-top box, might be evidence of an emerging trend.” [via Engadget]
A number of iPhone developers are running out of slots for the addition of Ad-Hoc testing devices, according to one developer’s blog posting. James Thompson, developer of PCalc, states that when he recently ran into problems deleting and adding new testing devices to his list, and contacted Apple about the problem, they replied saying, “Please know that each Standard iPhone Developer Program enrollment has a limit of 100 test devices please be aware that removing a device will not replenish the current amount available.”
He claims that although Apple’s user interface indicates that developers have 100 slots for the Universally Unique Identifiers (UUID) of testing devices, nowhere in the interface does it indicate that these 100 slots are limited in this manner. Thompson also points out that this restriction may become huge problem for many developers, as new iPhone and iPod touch models are released: “I can’t currently add any new testers or change their device entries if they get new ones. And I can only imagine what is going to happen when the new iPhones come along, presumably next month, and lots of people get replacements. If I bought a new iPhone for myself, I couldn’t even add it to my own list of development devices currently.”
Ahead of the release of iPhone OS 3.0, Amazon has launched a new version of its Kindle Store optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch. Accessible from the “Get Books” button in Amazon’s Kindle for iPhone app, the new site opens pages in the Safari browser, giving users the ability to make one-click purchases of the Kindle Store’s 280,000 books without using an in-application downloading mechanism. Notably, Apple has announced “In-App Purchasing” as an iPhone OS 3.0 developer tool for adding content to apps, with Apple taking a 30% cut of any sales handled in this matter; the use of Safari appears to be a workaround to enable easy purchasing without Apple revenue sharing. Ian Freed, vice president of Amazon Kindle operations, said, “The most common feedback we heard from customers was that they wanted a better experience for purchasing new Kindle books from their iPhones. We’ve been working hard to respond to that feedback with a new web site optimized for Safari on iPhone and we’re excited to do that today.” Amazon’s Kindle for iPhone application is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Apple has rejected iPhone developer Maza Digital’s Drivetrain application, a remote control for Transmission, a BitTorrent client for Mac OS X and other platforms. After an initial email stating that Drivetrain required “unexpected additional time for review,” Maza then received a rejection email from Apple, stating that “this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights. We have chosen to not publish this type of application to the App Store.”
Calling the rejection “ridiculous,” Maza notes that “a BitTorrent client or the BitTorrent protocol are not illegal (and does not infringe on third party rights),” and points out that Drivetrain does not download anything itself, instead allowing users to manage the activity of Transmission, including controls for stop, start, and delete; while it allows users to upload .torrent files to Transmission, it does so by sending links to Transmission instead of downloading/uploading files itself. Maza suggests that Apple “seems to have decided that any app that has anything to do with BitTorrent (even if the app does not download/upload anything!) is treated as doing something that ‘is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights,’ and will therefore likely be rejected.”
Update: iPhone developer David Muzi contacted iLounge to point out that his iPhone and iPod touch RSS application Trackr, currently available on the App Store, also lets users remotely queue torrents to start downloading to a computer running uTorrent or Transmission—functionality similar to what Apple rejected in DriveTrain. Trackr sells for $2.99.
If you haven’t yet entered our FastMac TruePower iV Giveaway, there’s still time to do so. In our Giveaway of the Month for May, ten lucky iLounge readers will receive a FastMac iV Battery Extender and Charger for the iPhone or iPod touch. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on May 31, 2009 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!
A.B. Sutton has introduced its new Sport Slip for the iPhone 3G. The Sport Slip features a play-through design, with openings for access to all of the iPhone 3G’s ports, controls, and sensors; the customer may decide whether or not to leave an opening for the Dock Connector. Other features include a high-quality leather exterior with baseball-like curved seams, silk lining, and options such as a braided leather strap, silk-backed monogram, and specific thread color. Available in a wide variety of colors and lining combinations, A.B. Sutton’s Sport Slip for the iPhone 3G is available now and starts at $88.
iPodweek, iLounge’s weekly newsletter recapping the last seven days in news, articles, reviews, and more, will be sent out to our email subscribers later today. In addition to rounding up the week’s top stories, iPodweek also features giveaways and accessory discount offers from various companies. If you haven’t yet signed up to receive iPodweek, there’s still time to register and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address.
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Elgato has introduced its new Elgato Video Capture hardware for Mac. Designed to capture and encode analog video, the Video Capture features composite RCA and S-Video inputs, supports NTSC, PAL, PAL/60 and SECAM formats, and records video at resolutions up to 640 x 480, in either H.264 or MPEG-4 formats, either of which can be easily transferred into iTunes and onto an iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV. Users may also select between 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios and trim the beginning and end of recordings. The Elgato Video Capture is available now for $100, and requires an open USB 2.0 port, and a Mac with an Intel Core Duo processor, Mac OS X 10.5.6 or later, QuickTime 7.6 or later, and iTunes 8.1 or later.
The Iconfactory has released version 2.0 of its Twitterrific and Twitterrific Premium Twitter client applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. New in version 2.0 is a redesigned user interface, new themes and timeline layouts, support for multiple Twitter accounts, extended author information, support for Twitter searches and trends, timeline filtering, conversation threads, retweeting support, an improved posting interface, and advanced setting options. Twitterrific and Twitterrific Premium are available now from the App Store; Twitterrific is a free download, while the Premium version is priced at $4.
New screenshots taken from a debugging menu in the latest iPhone OS 3.0 beta suggest that Apple is planning to add a magnetometer to future iPhone models. The shots, published by the Boy Genius Report, show a toggle switch for logging “Compass” information, along with Location, GPS, Motion, and Accelerometer info. Evidence of a magnetometer was first found in early April, with the term magnetometer specifically referenced inside a configuration file. The inclusion of a magnetometer would allow applications to understand not just where users are, but in which direction they are facing, allowing for features not presently possible on the iPhone platform. Examples could include automatic rotation of Google Street View information based on the orientation of the user, the overlay of information about the business, building, or venue the user is looking at, or the ability to place accurate star map information on the screen that corresponds with the part of the sky the user is facing. [via Mac Rumors]
Namco has released Dig Dug Remix, its latest retro-inspired game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Like Galaga Remix, Dig Dug Remix includes both the arcade classic and a new “remix” version of the game, featuring all new graphics, boss battles, six different power-ups, 35 levels, and five bosses. Both versions of the game offer a choice between an on-screen D-pad and a “flick” control mode, three difficulty settings, and normal or free play game modes. Dig Dug Remix is available now from the App Store and sells for $6.
Apple has emailed registered iPhone developers to inform them all app submissions will be tested on iPhone OS 3.0, starting today. In the email provided to iLounge, Apple states, “Beginning today, all submissions to the App Store will be reviewed on the latest beta of iPhone OS 3.0. If your app submission is not compatible with iPhone OS 3.0, it will not be approved.” The email continues, “[e]xisting apps in the App Store should already run on iPhone OS 3.0 without modification, but you should test your existing apps the iPhone OS 3.0 to ensure there are no compatibility issues. After iPhone OS 3.0 becomes available to customers, any app that is incompatible with iPhone OS 3.0 may be removed from the App Store.” Apple is expected to release iPhone OS 3.0 this summer.
Following its rejection of an update to rock band Nine Inch Nails’ iPhone app “nin: access,” which was followed by a profanity-laden response from band founder Trent Reznor, Apple today unexpectedly reversed course and approved the application. According to a series of posts to Reznor’s Twitter account, the app was approved as recently as today, and should be live in a “few hours.” Despite the fact that Apple originally rejected the app due to objectionable content, Reznor claims the approved app is unchanged, saying that the “‘issues’ seem to have been resolved.” Nine Inch Nails’ nin: access application is a free download from the App Store.
Despite the fact that it doesn’t offer the iPhone, T-Mobile in the U.S. has pledged to support its customers who are using the devices on their network, according to a new report. The Consumerist reports that due to a recent T-Mobile voicemail system change, iPhone users were unable to check their voicemail, and were being sent blank text messages when they tried to call in to check their messages, or when a new one arrived. One customer who emailed about the issue received a call from T-Mobile’s Executive Customer Service, acknowledging the problem and offering a one-month service credit for his/her troubles. in addition, the representative also stated that “T-Mobile, though they do not offer the iPhone, [a]re committed to supporting users on their network who have them.” The problem was reportedly fixed “within a day or so.”
Ebay CEO John Donahoe, speaking at a retail conference in Barcelona, has revealed that roughly ten percent of all iPhone and iPod touch users have downloaded the Skype application. According to the Wall Street Journal, Donahoe said that within 24 hours of its launch, Skype was the top application on the iPhone in 40 countries. Ebay purchased Skype in September 2005, and plans to spin the VoIP service off as a separate company with an IPO announced for 2010.
The University of Missouri School of Journalism has added the iPhone or iPod touch as a requirement for incoming freshman, reports the Missourian. Brian Brooks, associate dean of the school, hopes to turn the devices into learning tools. “Lectures are the worst possible learning format,” Brooks said. “There’s been some research done that shows if a student can hear that lecture a second time, they retain three times as much of that lecture.” Brooks went on to explain that while the devices are listed as a requirement, the rule will not be enforced, and students will have the option of listening to lectures on their laptops instead. “The reason we put required on it is to help the students on financial need,” Brooks said. “If it’s required, it can be included in your financial need estimate. If we had not required it, they wouldn’t be able to do that.”
A new Apple patent filing suggests the company is working to develop an iTunes kiosk which would allow users to wirelessly purchase and download media to their device. According to the application, the system would establish a virtual physical connection between the kiosk and the device to reduce wear and tear on the device, and avoid the possible calamities—eavesdropping, hacking, and overloading—to which a standard Wi-Fi connection would be susceptible. The filing indicates that the kiosks could be placed anywhere the user might not have wireless service, including airports, hotels, stadiums, train stations, shopping malls, ships, stores, planes, and more. As with all Apple patents, this filing does not necessarily represent any future product release from Apple, but offers evidence of the company’s research in this area. [via AppleInsider]
Audrey Charm has introduced its line of decor frames for the iPhone 3G, iPod touch 2G, and iPod nano 4G. Made from silver, gold, or chromium plated metal, each frame features protective neoprene inner lining, cutouts for access to all ports and controls, as well as holes for attaching a lanyard or decorative charm, and either pink, clear, or black Swarovski crystals on the front. Audrey Charm’s Swarovski decorative frames for the iPhone 3G, iPod touch 2G, and iPod nano 4G are available now and are priced at $66, $56, and $46, respectively.
Gameloft has released its Terminator Salvation game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the upcoming film of the same name, Terminator Salvation is a third-person shooting game that puts players in the shoes of John Connor, who must battle against the forces of Skynet. Features include four different control schemes, 11 different enemies, including some models designed especially for the iPhone and iPod touch game, six weapons to choose from, eight levels, and an unlockable game mode in which players can play as a T-600. Terminator Salvation is available now and sells for $10.
For more information on Terminator Salvation, see our review.
Apple has released its fifth beta version of iPhone OS 3.0 to developers, along with an updated version of the iPhone SDK and iTunes 8.2. It is currently unclear what changes might have been made to the SDK, OS, or iTunes with this release. The updated SDK weighs in at 2.13GB and is listed as build 9M2735, while iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5 is listed as build 7A312g.
Registered developers can download iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5 and the updated versions of the SDK and iTunes 8.2 from Apple’s iPhone Dev Center.