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2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

News

Quickoffice adds Dropbox, Google Docs support

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Quickoffice today released version 3.0 of its popular Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite, bringing support for accessing and editing files stored in Google Docs, Box.net and Dropbox online services. The application also continues to support files stored on MobileMe iDisk, transferred via Wi-Fi or forwarded to Quickoffice via e-mail. Quickoffice is an iPhone office suite application that allows users to edit Microsoft Word and Excel files directly on their iPhone and view and e-mail other major file formats such as PowerPoint, PDF, iWork and image and audio files. Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite 3.0 is available on the App Store for $8 and is a free update for existing Quickoffice users.

Hudson launches Military Madness: Neo Nectaris

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Hudson Entertainment has launched a new turn-based strategy game, Military Madness; Neo Nectaris for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the classic Military Madness strategy game for the TurboGrafx-16, the iPhone game features updated visuals, cut scenes and full touch-screen gameplay capabilities. Gamers play as one of two opposing forces with futuristic military equipment battling it out on the moon. Players take turns moving their units on a hex-grid map in an effort to win by destroying all enemy units or capturing the enemy’s headquarters. As with the original title, the key element to the iPhone adaptation is understanding the strengths and limitations of each unit within the game and making the best strategic use of those resources. Military Madness: Neo Nectaris provides 48 levels of gameplay and is available on the App Store for $5.

Update: Our review of Military Madness: Neo Nectaris can be found here.

Classic game designers launch mobile development initiative

Wired reports that two iconic game designers of the classic gaming era have formed a new game publisher, AppStar Games. David Crane, co-founder of Activision and Garry Kitchen, co-founder of Absolute Entertainment plan to concentrate on small games for mobile devices such as the iPhone. AppStar has already released a reference application for the iPhone, 2600 Magic which provides an interactive tour of the unique game design challenges of the Atari 2600. The series continues with a second volume, Dragster Magic which focuses on the developers’ specific experiences in designing Activision’s Dragster for the Atari 2600 platform. Additional installments are planned in this series which will focus on tricks that Crane employed in the design of other Atari 2600 titles such as Pitfall! AppStar Games expects to release its first game titles later this year.

Tapulous releases Riddim Ribbon

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Tapulous, the developer of the popular Tap Tap Revenge series of games, has released a new beat-based game in which players use their device’s accelerometer rather than the touchscreen. In Riddim Ribbon, users tilt their device to the beat of the music as they race down a curving ribbon, picking up pebbles along the way to pass checkpoints. Players can make choices at forks in the road and jump up ramps to effects tiers to create their own unique mixes and sounds. Riddim Ribbon features beats of The Black Eyed Peas, Tiësto and Benny Benassi with more artists to come. Bundled tracks include eight remixes of Boom Boom Pow, I Gotta Feeling and Meet Me Halfway. Additional track levels can be downloaded for $1 each as In-App Purchases. Riddim Ribbon is available on the App Store for $3.

American Museum of Natural History releases Dinosaurs app

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The American Museum of Natural History has released its first official application, Dinosaurs: The American Museum of Natural History Collections. Dinosaurs is an educational application that allows users to explore the Museum’s famous fossil halls in depth from their iPhone or iPod touch. The application includes hundreds of photos and renderings from the Museum’s massive collection of dinosaur fossils complete with descriptions and background information. A unique Dinosaurs Mosaic weaves together 800 individual images to create an image of a Tyrannosaurus rex and the user can double-tap or pinch to zoom into the mosaic to inspect any of the individual photos. Dinosaurs also provides a Comments section where users can post notes on photos and share their comments with other users. Dinosaurs: The American Museum of Natural History Collections is available from the App Store as a free download.

ComScore: iPhone holds quarter of U.S. smartphone market

According to new data released by comScore, the iPhone accounts for more than a quarter of U.S. smartphone market. As of December 2009, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion led U.S. smartphone platforms, with a 41.6% share—down from 42.6% in September 2009—while Apple ranked second with 25.3% of the market, up 1.2% percent from September. Microsoft came in third, with 18% of the market, down 1% from September, followed by Palm, which accounted for 6.6% of the market, down from 8.3% in the previous report, and Google, which placed fifth with a 5.2% share, up 2.7% from September. The report ranked smartphone operating system platforms in the U.S. according to their share of current mobile subscribers age 13 and older.

id Software releases Doom II RPG

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id Software has released Doom II RPG, the sequel to its popular 2005 Doom RPG mobile game. Doom II RPG allows the player to choose from three different characters and battle through 9 different maps spanning the Moon, Earth and Hell, providing over 8 hours of gameplay. Players upgrade and customize their skill attributes and can find and use over a dozen unique weapons throughout the game. In addition to traditional combat, players must also hack security systems and interact with NPCs throughout the game to get useful information. The game provides an auto-mapping feature and mission-tracking functions, customizable controls and three levels of difficulty. Doom II RPG is available on the App Store for $4.

iKit reveals Leather Sleeve Case for iPad

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iKit has introduced its new Leather Sleeve Case for the Apple iPad tablet. Made from top-quality genuine leather, the Leather Sleeve Case features an embossed design on the interior and exterior, a secure, sleeve-style access flap, a slim, padded design, an included screen protector, and open access to all ports and controls. The iKit Leather Sleeve Case for the Apple iPad is available for pre-order and sells for $30.

Label Interactive announces GameTable for iPad

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Label Interactive has announced that it is developing a virtual board and card games app for the iPad. GameTable takes advantage of the iPad’s larger screen to provide a virtual game table on which users can play classic games such as Checkers, Chess, Backgammon, Poker, Solitaire and more. Rather than taking the traditional single-player game approach, GameTable is instead designed simply to provide a virtual board for players to compete against their friends using the iPad as the platform. “GameTable isn’t a typical video game,” explains Jeff Juliard, Label Interactive founder and president. “There is no ‘logic’ built in. GameTable simply provides gorgeous, photo-realistic tables, boards and game pieces along with an extremely intuitive and fun way for users to interact with them.” GameTable is expected to be available on the App Store for an introductory price of $1 shortly after the iPad is released in late March. More information can be found on the developer’s web site at http://www.gametableapp.com.

Gameloft releases GT Racing: Motor Academy

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Gameloft has released GT Racing; Motor Academy for the iPhone and iPod touch. Designed for fans of realistic racing simulation games, GT Racing: Motor Academy puts the player in the driver’s seat of authentic racing cars they compete to earn top honors in professional racing. The game allows the player to choose from over 100 fully licensed cars from 25 manufacturers ranging from the Nissan GT-R and Audi R8 to the top-end Ferrari models and race them on any one of 14 different tracks. An Arcade Mode is available for quick races, or players can choose to play in Career mode where they must progress through the racing world by passing challenges and upgrading and customizing their cars for optimum performance. Players can also compete in online competitions and post instant replays to YouTube to show off their driving skills. GT Racing: Motor Academy is available from the App Store for $7.

Apple seeking App Store feedback from developers

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Apple has begun sending out a survey to iPhone developers asking for their thoughts on the iPhone Developer Program and App Store experience. TechCrunch reports that while the lengthy survey covers a wide range of topics, the majority of questions revolve around the application review process and the developers’ overall happiness with the program. According to the report, the survey asks developers to rate their level of satisfaction with various aspects of the App submission process, app review process, and the “length of time it takes to get updates available on the App Store,” with options ranging from “Very dissatisfied” to “Very satisfied.” Another open-ended question asks “What one thing could Apple do to make the iPhone Developer Program better?”

Norwegian resellers halt iPad pre-sales due to high demand

  • February 9, 2010
  • iPad

Resellers Apple House and Humac in Norway have been forced to close pre-sales of the iPad due to high demand. iPod1 reports (Translated Link) that despite the fact that neither pricing nor an official release date has been announced, Apple House has already received a four-digit number of advance orders, with the 64GB, 3G-enabled version being the most popular. Humac made a similar claim in its order-halting explanation, saying its seen “crazy interest” and will contact customers already in the queue as soon as it knows anything more. Apple has yet to begin offering pre-orders for the device in the U.S. [via @StefaanLesage]

Hard Candy debuts line of cases for iPad

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Hard Candy Cases has unveiled its new lineup of cases for the Apple iPad tablet. The line includes the Hard Sleeve, a rigid EVA-foam case with specially fitted bumpers to keep the iPad in place, a soft interior lining, and a zippered closure. It sells for $50. A variant of the Hard Sleeve, Hard Candy’s Bubble Sleeve offers similar protection, but adds a raised, bubbled outer surface for added shock protection, and sells for $50. The Sleek Skin (previously Smooth Skin) is a form-fitting case made from TPU rubber, featuring a snap-on integrated screen protector that attaches to the rear of the case when not in use and open access to all ports and controls. It sells for $40. The Street Skin (formerly Rubber Protect) case for iPad is made from the same TPU rubber as the Sleek Skin, but offers a more rugged textured design, as well as the Sleek Skin’s snap-on integrated screen protector and open access to all ports and controls. It is priced at $40. Finally, the Hard Shell is a form-fitting polycarbonate case offering internal rubber bumpers, silicone-covered port access points, and a snap-on screen protector. It sells for $50. All of Hard Candy’s protective solutions for the Apple iPad are available for pre-order now and are expected to ship later this spring. Updated March 19 with changed names and pricing.

MrSun tracks the sun’s position

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Amber Digital has released MrSun, a free app for iPhone and iPod touch users to determine the location of the sun at any given time, date or place. Using a slider control, users select the time of day and are shown the direction of the sun and angle over the horizon both numerically and visually. The application can also use the iPhone 3GS compass to display the direction of the sun relative to the user’s current position. Users can get information for their current location using the device’s location services or can choose any other place in the world by selecting it on a map. MrSun is available as a free download on the App Store.

Apple already considering iPad price reductions?

  • February 8, 2010
  • iPad

Apple executives, speaking in a meeting with Credit Suisse analysts, have suggested that the company is already considering price reductions for its yet-to-be-released iPad tablet should early sales of the device fail to live up to internal expectations. Citing Credit Suisse analyst Bill Shope, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple wants the iPad to be the best device in several usage cases, including consuming media and browsing the Internet. Since other devices, including laptops and the iPhone or iPod touch, may be more appropriate to use under certain conditions, Shope indicates that cannibalization may be less of a concern than some believe. In addition, Shope said that Apple management indicated that it will remain nimble in terms of pricing, suggesting that the company could lower prices on the iPad if consumer response is lower than projected. Apple is expected to begin shipping Wi-Fi-only models of the iPad late next month.

Gamevil debuts ink-styled historic action RPG

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GAMEVIL has announced the release of VANQUISH: The Oath of Brothers, a new action RPG presented with a unique ink and wash painted graphic style. Based on the historical novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” the game’s storyline follows the adventures of the hero Guan Yu as he journeys to reunite with his sworn brother, battling the generals of Cao Cao and their armies along the way. The game combines action and RPG elements, allowing the player to choose one of three characters to play as through three different scenarios. VANQUISH: The Oath of Brothers is available on the App Store for $3.

Loopt adds location-based offers and discounts

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Loopt announced today that it has partnered with Mobile Spinach to integrate location-based advertising into its social networking service. The new feature provides Loopt users with access to offers, coupons and discounts from local neighbourhood retailers. Users are informed about nearby offers based on their current location and directions and contact details for the retailers. Offers can be redeemed directly from the phone or can be sent via SMS or e-mail. The service is initially being rolled out in the San Francisco area with plans to add additional major metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles and New York during the coming months. Loopt is available in the U.S. only as a free download from the App Store.

Bluetooth Helper improves iPhone AVRCP support

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Eventual Innovations has released an application that aims to improve upon the limited AVRCP capabilities in the iPhone and iPod touch. Apple first introduced support for stereo A2DP Bluetooth accessories in iPhone OS 3.0, however AVRCP remote control capabilities over Bluetooth were limited to only starting and pausing playback. Bluetooth Helper is a third-party application that provides additional playback controls including next track, previous track and seeking within tracks. Users enable Bluetooth Helper by starting their music within the iPod application and then starting the Bluetooth Helper app to allow access to the additional playback commands. Bluetooth Helper is available on the App Store for $1.

Chinese maker of iPad clone vows to sue Apple

  • February 8, 2010
  • iPad

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Shenzhen Great Long Brother Industrial Co., which produces the P88, a Windows-based, multi-touch tablet computer, is vowing to sue Apple for patent infringement as soon as the company launches the iPad in China. Claiming that the P88, which was announced last October, is “identical” to the iPad, Wu Xiaolong, president of Shenzhen Great Long Brother Industrial Co., said, “I was very angry and flabbergasted when I saw the news of the iPad presentation… It is certainly our design. They’ve stolen because we present our P88 to everyone six months ago at the IFA (International Electronics Fair in Berlin).” Wu went on to add that sales of the P88 in China would “definitely take a hit” should the iPad launch in China, and admitted that it would be difficult to take on Apple in the United States, but also said “if the iPad enters the Chinese market, we will sue them this spring.” While the P88 does share a slightly similar design, with a black front bezel surrounding a touch screen, the iP88 offers a variety of ports that the iPad does not, and overall more closely resembles the original iPhone than the iPad.

AT&T releases NBC Olympics App

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AT&T has released the official NBC Olympics app, providing iPhone and iPod touch users with NBC’s coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games right on their devices. NBC Olympics on AT&T provides live, real-time updates on every event complete with video highlights, news stories, schedules, results and medal counts. Users can configure push notifications for their favorite events, view a TV schedule for NBC Olympics’ on-air coverage or search for more information on specific events and athletes. Social networking integration is also provided to enable users to follow their favorite athletes on Twitter or share content with their own friends via Facebook or Twitter postings. NBC Olympics on AT&T is available on the App Store as a free download.

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