PopCap Games has released an update to its acclaimed Peggle arcade game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Peggle, players fire a ball into the playing field with the goal of clearing pegs from the board by hitting them with the ball either directly or rebounding off other objects. Players advance to the next level by clearing all orange pegs while other colored pegs offer additional points and power-ups. Players can choose a Quick Play mode or progress through an Adventure mode where they train with Peggle Masters and learn to use special power-ups on each level and master more complex shots. Peggle includes 55 levels and 40 Grand Master Challenges and support both single and multiplayer modes. Version 1.2 adds the sequel levels from Peggle Nights to the existing iOS game, with five Peggle Nights levels available for free and the remaining game levels unlockable via in-app purchase. The new version also adds support for French, German Italian and Spanish languages. Peggle is currently available from the App Store for $1; version 1.2 is a free update for current users. The Peggle Nights expansion is available for purchase within the app for $3.
Apple has released an update to its MobileMe Gallery application adding native iPad support. MobileMe Gallery is a free app that allows iOS device users to browse through their own and their friends’ MobileMe Galleries directly on an iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The application provides features similar to the built-in Photos app including pinch-to-zoom for photos, portrait and landscape orientation and support for playing videos from MobileMe. Previously-viewed photos are also cached for offline viewing. MobileMe Gallery version 1.2 is now a universal app offering full iPad support as well as fast app switching for iOS 4 devices and support for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch Retina Displays. iPhone and iPad users can also now view friends’ galleries without requiring their own MobileMe subscription, a feature conspicuously omitted for iPod touch users. MobileMe Gallery is available from the App Store as a free download.
The NPD Group has released several new pieces of information from its second in a series of surveys about the iPad. The study found that customer satisfaction was higher among early adopters of the iPad—those who purchased the device in its first two months of availability—than those who purchased their iPad more recently, with 80 percent of early adopters very satisfied with the device, compared to 65 percent of more recent purchasers. Interestingly, this wasn’t the only metric in which the early adopters differed from new owners; early adopters were 44 percent more likely to watch YouTube videos, 50 percent more likely to watch movies, 60 percent more likely to watch TV shows, and 38 percent more likely to read e-books. Early adopters were also slightly more likely to be Mac owners, with 50 percent owning Macs compared to 45 percent of later purchasers. Overall, 38 percent of iPad users also own an iPhone, only 13 percent said they purchased an iPad instead of a PC, and 24 percent said the iPad replaced a planned e-reader purchase. NPD’s online survey was conducted in August amongst more than 500 adult iPad owners.
The App Store is holding its first major sale on popular iOS game titles, offering discounts of up to 70% off normal prices. All of the included titles are selling for $3 or less and the list includes such acclaimed titles as Peggle ($1), Mirror’s Edge ($2), Real Racing ($3), NFL 2011 ($3), Need for Speed Shift ($1), DOOM Resurrection ($2), Osmos ($1), Resident Evil 4 ($2), Civilization Revolution ($1) and many more. The sale runs until October 7th. A complete list of game titles included in the sale can be found on the App Store.
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After numerous other companies have debuted similar case designs, Moleskine has finally entered the iPad and iPhone case market with their Tablet Cover and Smartphone Cover. Unlike previous lookalike products, both the Tablet and Smartphone Covers feature blank notebook pages on their interiors opposite the devices, as well as light suede inner lining, a strong elastic closure band, and a smooth black cover. Moleskine’s new Tablet Cover and Smartphone Cover for the iPad, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3G/3GS have yet to receive pricing or a release date.
iLounge is pleased to announce the Sonos ZonePlayer S5 Giveaway. In our Giveaway of the Month for October, iLounge and Sonos are giving away two Sonos ZonePlayer S5 units paired with a Sonos ZoneBridge. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on October 31, 2010 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. Good luck!
Good.iWare has released a major update to GoodReader for iPad, its popular iPad document reader and file management app, adding full PDF annotation support and several other enhancements. GoodReader for iPad allows users to download and view and store various file formats including PDF, text, Microsoft Office, iWork and audio and video and includes advanced features for working with PDf files. Version 3.0 adds full PDF annotation support, including notes, highlights, markups and drawings in PDF documents. Annotations created and edited in GoodReader are saved into the PDF file so they can be accessed on other platforms such as a desktop computer, and PDF annotations created and properly stored by other applications can be viewed and edited in GoodReader. Users can create and edit comments and tag them with different icons, highlight text in a PDF document and add freehand drawings, lines, arrows, strikeouts, text insertion/replacement marks, and more. GoodReader also allows support for viewing, limited editing and removing several other types of annotations such as text boxes, rubber stamps, and file attachments. Files can also now be extracted from PDF file attachments and viewed or saved within GoodReader. Other new features in GoodReader for iPad 3.0 include the ability to select text directly on a page and hide PDF watermarks as well as stability improvements when loading certain types of PDF files. Users can also now choose a minimum zoom ratio for PDF pages, extract files of any size from a PDF portfolio and duplicate files for creating annotations without modifying the original. GoodReader for iPad is available from the App Store for an introductory price of $1.
Facebook CTO Bret Taylor has reportedly made some positive comments about the potential for a collaboration between Apple and Facebook in regards to the former’s new Ping social music network. Business Insider reports that Taylor said he is “very confident” Facebook and Apple will figure out how to work together on Ping. The report, which sites no sources but notes that Taylor made his comment at a recent dinner with New York media, speculates that Facebook blocked Apple’s access to its Facebook Connect service at the last minute because Apple notified Facebook of Ping’s existence at the last minute.
Speaking at the Royal Television Conference in London, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes cautioned against potential deals with Apple and/or Amazon that could harm sales of TV shows to other networks. “How can you justify renting your first-run TV shows individually for 99 cents an episode and thereby jeopardize the sale of the same shows as a series to branded networks that pay hundreds of millions of dollars and make those shows available to loyal viewers for free?” Bewkes said. “These new entrants must meet a few criteria: They must provide consumers with a superior TV experience, and they must either support or improve the overall economics that funds and creates the programming in the first place.” NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker, who has a history of playing hardball with Apple, recently voiced similar concerns about Apple’s 99-cent TV rentals, saying, “We do not think 99 cents is the right price point for our content. ... We thought it would devalue our content.”
The second-generation Apple TV is capable of decoding and playing back 1080p video, according to a discussion thread on Mac Rumors’ forums. Users of the new set top box report that iTunes accepts 1080p content, which can then be streamed to the Apple TV 2G. While some 1080p material has caused the Apple TV to struggle—likely because of a higher bit rate than other 1080p files that did play without issue—it is encouraging that the second-generation Apple TV is able to decode 1080p at all, a process that’s considered the most resource-intensive part of playing a video. Unfortunately, 1080p video streamed to the Apple TV is downscaled to match the device’s 720p output cap before being sent to the connected TV, but this discovery bodes well for a potential future 1080p update to the device, and also keeps users with large libraries of 1080p content from needing to re-encode those videos, as long as they play back normally.