iFrogz has announced a number of additions to its holiday iPhone 4 case lineup. The new additions include the Luxe Lean Frost Phase, a semi-translucent polycarbonate case, the Luxe Edge, a two-piece bumper-like case sold in a two-pack, the Fusion case, which features a material insert on the back of either plaid, argyle, or metal, the Fusion Sole, which features a rubbery rear insert, and the Spy, a one-piece case with an eye-catching rear design and Apple logo cutout. All of the cases offer full access to all ports, controls, and the cameras. iFrogz’s new iPhone 4 cases are available exclusively at Best Buy and vary in price.
Parrot has announced the first game app for its AR.Drone iPhone-controlled quadricopter released earlier this year. AR.Pursuit is a two-player game that allows AR.Drone users to conduct augmented-reality dogfights using their iOS devices and the integrated cameras on their AR.Drones. In the game, one player takes on the role of pursuer and attempts to target and shoot down their opponent who must try to escape and survive as long as possible without being hit. The pursuer uses virtual weapons including an automatic machine gun and missiles to target and attack their fleeing opponent, with the AR.Drone physically reacting to virtual attacks making escape more difficult. The pursued/pursuer roles automatically switch after each successful missile strike or at a half-time point in the game and the winner is the player who survives the longest without being shot down. AR.Drones are identified using the different colour outdoor hulls or stickers than can be placed on the indoor hull, and a Bluetooth connection is used between iOS devices for multiplayer support. AR.Pursuit is expected to be available in the App Store by the end of November.
Doom co-creator and co-founder of iD Software John Carmack has said that the iPad is more capable graphically than the Nintendo Wii. In an interview with Kotaku following the release of iD’s Rage and Rage HD titles for iOS, Carmack said that “it is great for me to see a lot of people saying this looks better than anything on my Wii and a quarter of the games on my 360, which is about how I would rank the power levels there.” He continued, “you should be able to do something that’s better on an iPad than anything that’s done on the Wii. A 360 or PS3 does have several times integral-multiple more power but there’s certainly some games where developers don’t take much advantage of it. We’re nowhere close to maxing out what could be done on an iPad.”
Carmack also made note of the control limitations of the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, admitting that the devices’ touchscreens make for inferior first-person shooter (FPS) controls. “It does feel kind of like an inferior version when you play that,” he said, referring to playing any FPS game on an iPhone or iPad. “It’s cool that it’s on there. It’s good enough to enjoy and have fun. But clearly you’re a step down from analog sticks, which is a step down down from mouse-keyboard interface. And it just makes me think that may not be the best style of game on these platforms.” Carmack finished by lauding the fast turn-around of games on iOS, but said he doesn’t have the time he’d like to have to devote to iOS development. “There’s a half-dozen things I’d love to do on iOS right now,” he said, “but the most I can possibly manage is help with two of them a year.”
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THQ Wireless has released a new Star Wars Arcade game for the iPhone and iPod touch featuring augmented reality technology. Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner puts players in the Millennium Falcon’s gun turret where they must blast their way through waves of TIE fighters and Star Destroyers across over 20 arcade-style levels based on the Star Wars movies. The game includes legendary missions such as the Death Star escape, the asteroid field pursuit over Hoth and the infamous Kessel Run. iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch users can also engage an optional augmented reality mode that allows players to use the device’s camera to overlay enemy fighters on top of real-world surroundings and control movement with 360-degree full body motion using the device’s accelerometer/compass or gyroscope. A coming free update will also allow users to take and share augmented reality photos from within the Falcon’s turret. The game is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPod touch and requires iOS 4.1 or later with an iPad version scheduled for release in December. Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner is available from the App Store for $5.
Headcase and Ohio Art have introduced their new Etch A Sketch case for the iPhone 3G/3GS, and iPhone 4. These officially licensed cases are designed to resemble Ohio Art’s iconic drawing toy, and feature impact resistant ABS construction, cutouts for access to all ports, controls, sensors, and cameras, and a snap-together design. Headcase’s Etch A Sketch cases for the iPhone 3G/3GS and iPhone 4 are available now and sell for $25.
Oceanhouse Media, developer of the popular Dr. Seuss and Berenstain Bears children’s applications has released a new digital book for the holiday season. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer presents the classic children’s Christmas story in an interactive multimedia digital book that includes background music and audio, enlarged artwork for each scene and audio clips from the timeless 1964 TV Christmas special. The application is designed to be both entertaining and educational, promoting reading in young children by highlighting individual words as the story is read or allowing children to simply read the story for themselves without narration. Images and animated effects are used to build word associations and keep children engaged in the reading experience, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a universal app for both the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad and is available from the App Store for $3.
Samson has debuted its new Expedition 40iw Portable PA System with iPod dock. The 40iw features a top-mounted iPod dock, 40 watts of power from a Class D amplifier, a six-inch woofer and titanium dome compression driver, a built-in wireless microphone system and rechargeable battery, dual channel inputs for connecting additional microphones or other instruments, and the ability to link two units together for stereo sound. Samson’s Expedition XP40iw Portable PA System is available now at Best Buy stores and online, and sells for $300.
Discount department store chain TJ Maxx is now selling 16GB iPad Wi-Fi units for $399 in certain stores, according to a new report. Citing a reader email and photos, Engadget reports that some TJ Maxx stores in Ohio, New York, and New Jersey are offering the tablet computers at a $100 discount; one store claimed it was holding its stock for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Some stores in other parts of the U.S. reported they had no iPads in stock. A sign posted outside one store noted that quantities of the discounted devices were limited, sales are limited to one per customer, and returns will only be accepted if the package is unopened.
Update: Mac Rumors reports that TJ Maxx sister chain Marshalls is also offering the same deal at certain stores, and are reportedly receiving 100 iPads per day over a three-day period.’
Update x2: Steve Jobs has reportedly told a customer via email that TJ Maxx is not an authorized reseller of iPads.
Apple has seeded a new Gold Master version of iOS 4.2, labeled iOS 4.2.1, to developers. Unlike the secondary GM seed of iOS 4.2 released exclusively for the iPad, this new build is available for all capable devices, including the iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, and the second-, third-, and fourth-generation iPod touch. While it is unclear whether Apple now plans to skip a general release of iOS 4.2 and go directly to iOS 4.2.1, an email from Toktumi, makers of the Line2 VoIP application, suggests a communications bug may have led Apple to release the new build. According to the email, reprinted by Mac Rumors, the GM version of iOS 4.2 contained a “severe” bug that caused any VoIP app running in the background to continuously ring after receiving an incoming call, even after the call is answered. The email states that Apple Developer Support is aware of the bug; it is unknown whether iOS 4.2.1 includes a fix for the issue. iOS 4.2.1 GM is available as a download for paid iOS developers from Apple’s iOS Dev Center.
BoxWave has unveiled its Keyboard Buddy case for the iPhone 4. The Keyboard Buddy is a snap-on case with a slide-out Bluetooth mini-keyboard integrated into the rear of the case. Other features include 45 days of use via the built-in rechargeable battery, open access to all ports, controls, and the cameras, a smooth exterior coating, an on/off switch for the keyboard to conserve power when not in use, and an included USB charging cable. BoxWave’s Keyboard Buddy for the iPhone 4 is available now and sells for $70.
Magellan has released an update to its RoadMate turn-by-turn GPS navigation app for the iPhone adding support for background navigation on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices, traffic information and several other new features. RoadMate 1.3 now allows iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 users to continue to receive voice guidance instructions while using another application and provides uninterrupted navigation even while on a phone call. The new version also now includes real-time traffic information with no additional in-app purchase or subscription required. Traffic data is provided by NAVTEQ and displays both incident information as well as general traffic flow for a given route. Additional new features include the ability to share points of interest and routes via e-mail, receive offers and coupons for nearby businesses and navigate while listening to music with intelligent volume fading during voice guidance. RoadMate is also compatible with the iPod touch when used with Magellan’s Premium Car Kit. Magellan RoadMate is currently available from the App Store in three versions based on the number of included maps: Magellan RoadMate North America ($45), Magellan RoadMate USA ($35) and Magellan RoadMate Canada & Alaska ($30).
Duck Duck Moose has released an iPad version of its award-winning Park Math educational game for the iOS platform. Selected as the Best Kids’ iPhone/iPod App of the Year in our 2011 Buyers’ Guide, Park Math teaches basic math concepts to young children through a charmingly illustrated collection of activities set in a park and playground theme with classical music and colorful original characters. Park Math HD brings the same engaging learning experience to the larger iPad screen with seven fun activities and an extra third level targeted at first grade children to teach counting up to 100 and addition and subtraction with numbers up to 20. Park Math HD is available from the App Store for $2.
Apple has announced that it will launch its iAd mobile advertising network in the UK and France this December, with Germany to follow in February. According to the release, the European iAd launch will see new ads from L’Oréal, Renault, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Perrier, Unilever, Citi, Evian, LG Display, AB InBev, Turkish Airlines and Absolute Radio. Apple claims that iAd has signed on over half of the top 25 leading US national advertisers in just four months, with a projected 21 percent share of US mobile display advertising revenue for 2010 according to research firm IDC. Also mentioned in the release is a seemingly new iAd website, advertising.apple.com.
“We’re thrilled to add leading global brands to the iAd Network in Europe and create even more great opportunities for developers,” said Andy Miller, Apple’s vice president of iAd. “In just four months, we’ve doubled the number of advertisers on the network and thousands of developers now have a valuable new source of revenue.”
“As the world leader in the beauty business, L’Oréal aims to create the most meaningful connections between its brands and its customers, so iAd was a natural choice,” said Marc Menesguen, L’Oréal’s Head of strategic marketing. “We’re thrilled by the quality, the interactivity and the depth of iAd’s user experience, giving us an unparalleled opportunity to reach and serve the most engaged and discerning customers at the digital forefront of beauty, hence our choice of Lancôme to lead our iAd campaign.”
Mobiata has released a major update to its FlightTrack application for tracking live flight status. FlightTrack 4.0 sports a completely redesigned interface with tabs to improve organization of information about each individual flight and adds a delay forecast graph and a full display of scheduled, estimated and actual times for gate departure, takeoff, landing and gate arrival. The new version also now includes SeatGuru map integration to allow users to find the best seats on their flights and adds more detailed information about flights that have been diverted from their original destination airport. FlightTrack Pro users can now also display full-screen airport terminal maps within the app. The update also provides a number of fixes regarding weather updates and keeping displayed data up to date. FlightTrack is available in both standard and Pro versions; FlightTrack ($5) includes a full set of flight tracking features including weather radar, gate and baggage claim information, flight delay forecasts and SeatGuru charts; FlightTrack Pro adds the new terminal maps feature as well as push notifications, FAA airport delay and closure information and TripIt synchronization. Both apps are universal and require an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 3.0 or later.
Google has launched a new feature giving iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users the ability to edit Google Docs directly from their devices. According to a post on the official Google Mobile blog, users simply need to visit docs.google.com in their browser, select the document they’d like to edit, and press the “Edit” button to begin editing. The post notes that the features will be rolled out to English-language users around the world in the next few days, and are compatible with all iOS devices running software version 3.0 or later.
id Software has released Rage, its highly-anticipated first-person rail shooter for the iOS platform. Announced earlier this month, Rage for iOS is built on the same Tech 5 game engine that is being used for the upcoming PC/console game. The iOS version provides a subset of the full game built around the Mutant Bash TV combat game show from the Rage world. Rage HD for iOS is an on-rails shooter that takes the player through a wasteland stalked by mutants where they must collect weapons, ammo and power-ups to survive. The game provides three different levels and four degrees of difficulty plus specific Mutant Bash TV challenges throughout each level.
Rage for iOS is available in two versions: Rage and Rage HD, however unlike most other “HD” games, Rage HD is not the iPad version; both are in fact universal applications that simply provide different quality graphics. iPad, iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch users will be able to take advantage of higher-resolution textures in Rage HD, although this version is also compatible with the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch. The standard version of Rage is compatible with any iOS device running iOS 3.1 or later. Both applications are available on the App Store and are large compared to most iOS games: Rage ($1) is a 540MB download while Rage HD ($2) weighs in at just under 750MB.
iPads sold in China come with a two-year AppleCare warranty as a standard option, according to a new report. Citing a South China Morning Post article, Bloomberg reports that because the Chinese government has categorized the iPad as a laptop computer, Apple by law must offer a two-year warranty for key components. iPads sold in other parts of the world come with a one-year limited warranty by default; the company sells an extra year of AppleCare coverage for $99.
Hulu has released an update to its streaming application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad adding a new split-screen player mode for iPad users and making enhancements to queue and subscription management from within the app. Hulu Plus 2.0 also improves playback performance and changes the thumbnail behaviour in the iPad version. Hulu also announced today that its Hulu Plus service originally released as a preview this past summer has now been officially launched. Hulu has been offering its television content streaming service free to desktop PC and Mac users for some time, however users must subscribe to the Hulu Plus service for $8/month to view content on mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad. Hulu Plus 2.0 is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. [via Mac Rumors]
The Omni Group has released an update to its OmniFocus applications for the iPhone and the iPad adding support for iOS 4.2 multitasking to the iPad version and introducing background sync to both versions when running on iOS 4 multitasking-capable devices. When exiting the application, OmniFocus will now complete an in-progress sync or perform an automatic sync in the background if one is scheduled to occur soon. Several improvements have also been made to local notifications for due tasks with alerts presented even when OmniFocus is the active application and a custom sound now being used for these notifications to distinguish them from other system events. The updated version of OmniFocus for iPad also adds support for due reminders when running under iOS 4.2. Both versions also include a number of improvements to Maps integration for finding nearby actions more efficiently and provide several other user interface, sync performance and stability improvements. The iPad and iPhone/iPod touch versions are sold separately; OmniFocus for the iPhone sells for $20, OmniFocus for iPad is priced at $40. Both are free updates for current users of the same previous version.