Firemint has released an update to Real Racing HD for the iPad adding online multiplayer support via Apple’s Game Center in the forthcoming iOS 4.2 update. Real Racing HD will allow iPad players on iOS 4.2 to invite up to three friends to race in multiplayer games via Game Center either directly or via Game Center’s auto-matching service. The latest update also adds support for fast app switching and quick save and resume on iOS 4.2 and includes several minor bug fixes and improvements. The new version remains compatible with iPad devices using iOS 3.2, although the multitasking and Game Center features will only be available on iOS 4.2 devices. Real Racing HD is available from the App Store for $10 and is a free update for current users.
Pearson and Peachpit Press, publishers of educational and technical books, have announced that many of their titles are now available on the iBookstore. Peachpit’s titles include the Adobe Press, New Riders, Apple Pro Training, and Apple Training series, while Pearson publishes titles under the Addison Wesley, Cisco Press, IBM Press, Que, Prentice Hall, Pearson IT Certification, and Sams imprints. “I’m especially delighted to be able to bring our richly illustrated training and inspirational books for creative professionals and Apple pros to the iBookstore,” said Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel, Peachpit’s publisher. “This resource offers even more options for experiencing our authors’ great content, not just through the touch screen, but also with cool features such as the two-page spread view.” Both publisher’s titles are available for purchase via the iBookstore, which is built-in to Apple’s free iBooks app for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
Good.iWare has released an update to GoodReader for the iPad adding compatibility with the upcoming iOS 4.2 update and several other enhancements and improvements. GoodReader 3.1 adds multitasking support for iPad devices using iOS 4.2 and includes a new rendering engine that improves performance when zooming and panning within PDF files. Users can also now repair PDF files from within the application if they are having problems opening or annotating them, and the new version also adds support for 256-bit AES encryption in PDF files on iOS 4.2 or later. Other fixes include improved support for European characters, fixes to printing documents with annotations, and numerous improvements to the freehand drawing tool for annotating PDF files. GoodReader for iPad 3.1 is available from the App Store for $2.
Apple has posted a new iPhone 4 TV advertisement on its website, touting the handset’s lithium polymer battery. Entitled “Longer,” the spot states that the battery lets users work, play, laugh, listen, shoot, edit, share, update, download, read, write, and FaceTime longer, while showing off various features of the iPhone 4 and iOS 4. The ad finishes by proclaiming the iPhone 4 “the world’s thinnest smartphone.” Apple’s new iPhone 4 advertisement is available for viewing on the company’s website.
Apple has announced that Dr. Ronald D. Sugar, former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Northrop Grumman Corporation, has been appointed to the company’s Board of Directors. According to the release, Dr. Sugar served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Northrop Grumman Corporation from 2003 until his retirement in 2010, and has also held executive positions at Litton Industries and TRW Inc., where he served as chief financial officer. In his role with Apple, Dr. Sugar will serve as the Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee.
“Ron is an engineer at heart, who then became a very successful business leader. We are very excited to welcome him to Apple’s Board,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “In addition to having been the CEO of a high-tech Fortune 100 company, Ron has a Ph.D. in engineering and has been involved in the development of some very sophisticated technology.”
“I have always had enormous admiration for the people of Apple,” said Sugar. “It is a special privilege to serve on the board of such an amazing company.”
This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone 3G overlooking Mt. Cook in New Zealand. To share your photos and to be considered for our Photo of the Week, you simply need to submit your own photo to one of our galleries. So get out there, take some pictures featuring your favorite iPod, iPad, or iPhone and maybe your submission will be our next Photo of the Week!
Twitter has released an update to its official client for iOS devices adding support for Push Notifications and several other improvements and fixes. Twitter 3.2 now allows users to optionally receive Push Notifications for mentions and direct messages for some or all of their Twitter accounts and users can choose whether to receive notifications when they’re mentioned by any user on Twitter or only by those users that they are following. The new version also improves the display of shortened URLs, adds more Retina Display graphics for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch and simplifies the process of enabling geotagging. For the iPad, the new version also adds inline media support, the ability to manage saved searches and several UI improvements. Twitter is a universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Perfect Third has rolled out its new WakeMate sleep accessory for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and other portable devices. The WakeMate system consists of a Bluetooth wristband that uses actigraphy to map dips and peaks in the user’s sleep cycle and communicates with an app running on his or her device to calculate the ideal wake time closest to the chosen alarm setting—up to 20 minutes beforehand—at a time when the user will wake feeling alert and refreshed. Once awake, that night’s sleep data is automatically uploaded to Wakelytics, the company’s online analytics platform. Perfect Third’s WakeMate sleep accessory for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad is available now and sells for $50.
Electronic Arts has released Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, its latest installment in the popular racing game franchise. In Hot Pursuit, players take on the role of a cop chasing down street racers while driving cop versions of real-world high-performance police cars such as the Lamborghini Revention. Players can participate in quick races or undertake a career mode starting out as a rookie cop and progressing through 24 cop career events to reach the top of the ranks. In addition to 15 high-speed police cars, players have a variety of weapons at their disposal to catch racers including roadblocks, spike strips and even EMP locks. Players can challenge their friends to Cop-vs-Racer showdowns over local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth with a choice of five cop cars and five racer cars to play with. The game includes high-resolution Retina Display graphics for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch with a variety of detailed racing environments and night, day and dusk scenarios. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is available from the App Store for $5.
Google has released its much-anticipated official Google Voice app for the iPhone. Originally announced last summer, Google’s first attempt at a native Google Voice app for iOS was rejected by Apple, citing duplicate functionality with the built-in Phone application. Following Apple’s publication of a new set of guidelines for the App Store in September, Google reportedly resubmitted the app and received approval from Apple, however more work was required to provide support for the iPhone 4 and multitasking capabilities in iOS 4, delaying the application’s final release until this week.
Although an HTML5 web application has been available for Google Voice for some time to allow users to place calls, access voice mail and send text messages, the new official Google Voice application provides tighter integration with iOS allowing users to receive push notifications of new messages, make use of direct access numbers to more quickly place phone calls and access contacts from the iPhone Address Book. The application requires a Google Voice account and an iPhone running iOS 3.1 or later; it is not compatible with the iPod touch or iPad. Google Voice is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.
Sam’s Club, the warehouse club arm of retail giant Wal-Mart, is beginning to roll out iPads to its stores with mild discounts on Apple’s standard pricing. 9 to 5 Mac reports that Sam’s is offering an $11 discount on iPad Wi-Fi units, bringing the prices for 16, 32, and 64GB Wi-Fi models to $488, $588, and $688, respectively. iPad 3G units see an even larger discount of $20, bringing the prices of the three models to $609, $709, and $809. Based on an image of a Sam’s Club iPad display posted in the same article, it appears the warehouse club will also be offering the iPad Camera Connection Kit for $27.86, down from Apple’s standard price of $29.
Apple has secured exclusive digital rights for The Beatles’ catalog into next year, according to AllThingsD. EMI spokesman Dylan Jones told the publication that Apple has exclusive digital rights for The Beatles “into 2011,” and noted that the exclusive does not expire at the first of the year. Jones added that the exclusivity period does have a set expiration date, but did not share when that might be. In addition, Jones was vague when asked whether The Beatles would be available from other digital outlets such as Amazon and various subscription services, saying only “[t]hat’s a question, isn’t it.”
A new iPhone application and social network, Path, has introduced a new and different approach to sharing photos online. Unlike traditional social media networks such as Facebook and Flickr, Path is intended to create a more personal social network by deliberately limiting the number of friends that a user can interact with. Defined as “The Personal Network,” Path allows users to take pictures with their iPhone camera and share them online with a small and select group of friends and family members without having to worry about managing large friend lists and potentially complex privacy settings. Path limits each user’s social connections to no more than 50 other Path users, focusing on maintaining a small circle of personal friends and family members that users can feel comfortable sharing personal moments with.
Path is designed to capture specific moments, organizing photos as a realtime stream instead of photo albums. To this end the application only supports taking photos from the iPhone camera rather than sharing existing pictures from the photo library. Users can add context by tagging photos with people, places and things and friends can view photos on a map. Path also provides realtime feedback on which friends have seen photos to encourage further interaction. The current version of Path is compatible only with iPhone devices running iOS 4.0 or later—notably it does not presently run even on the camera-equipped fourth-generation iPod touch. Path is available from the App Store as a free download.
Griffin Technology has debuted its new Slap wristwatch case for the sixth-generation iPod nano. Unlike other wristwatch cases for the new nano, Slap uses a flexible, spring-steel band wrapped in silicone to self-adjust to the user’s wrist, and also features a thick frame of silicone to protect the nano, push-through coverage for the volume and sleep/wake buttons, and open access to the headphone port and screen. Griffin’s Slap wristwatch case for the iPod nano 6G will be available soon in a variety of colors and will sell for $25.
As expected, Apple today announced the immediate availability of The Beatles’ entire back catalog on the iTunes Store. All of the Fab Four’s remastered albums are available for purchase individually in iTunes LP format, priced at $12.99 for standard length albums and $19.99 for double-length offerings; also available is the The Beatles Box Set ($149), which contains remastered versions of all the band’s studio albums in iTunes LP format, as well Past Masters Vols. 1 & 2, a series of Mini Documentaries, and a film of the band’s performance at the Washington Coliseum from 1964, a worldwide iTunes exclusive which captures the Beatles’ very first US concert in its entirety. Notably, the concert film will be available for fans to stream and view from iTunes for free for the remainder of this calendar year. All of the band’s singles are offered for $1.29 a song. In conjunction with the release, Apple will be running a series of five TV advertisements, featuring clips of the band’s arrival in America, and the songs “All You Need Is Love,” “Let It Be,” “Yesterday,” and “Here Comes The Sun,” respectively, all of which are available for viewing on the band’s iTunes landing page.
Scott Sykora has released an update to Web Albums, a photo manager for Picasa. Web Albums allows Picasa users to view, create and manage albums on the popular web photo service, including uploading multiple photos, searching albums and adjusting album settings and sharing. Users can also view friends’ Picasa web albums, cache photos and entire albums for offline viewing and share their favorite pictures via e-mail or Facebook. The latest update adds the ability to upload full resolution videos from either the on-device photo library or the camera and also allows users to adjust photo upload sizes. The new version also introduces background uploading on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices allowing photos uploads to continue after the app is closed; a badge on the home screen icon indicates the number of unfinished uploads in progress. Web Albums is available from the App Store for $2 and is a free update for current users. An iPad version is sold separately for $3.
Silvio Rizzi has released an update to his popular Reeder RSS app for the iPad, bringing support for the forthcoming iOS 4.2 update. Reeder for iPad 1.2 adds task completion for syncing on iPad devices running iOS 4.2 and adds Zootool and Facebook to its list of sharing services. The update also reduces the sensitivity of slider controls, provides a larger tap area for the previous and next buttons and improves handling of accounts with a large number of subscriptions. A number of small bug fixes are also included in relation to saving articles to Delicious, viewing certain articles and inertial scrolling issues. Reeder for iPad is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for current users.
Altec Lansing has taken the wraps off its new Octiv Stage speaker system for the iPad. Winner of an Innovations Design and Engineering Award from the CEA, the Octiv Stage is the company’s first iPad speaker system, and features a unique docking arm that supports charging of the iPad while enabling the user to rotate the iPad from portrait to landscape orientation; the docking arm also tilts, allowing for multiple viewing angles and a more comfortable typing experience. Other features include dual two-inch drivers inside a ported enclosure for increased low end response, a 3.5mm input jack for connecting alternate audio sources, Audio Alignment technology for enhanced presentation of dialogue as well as music, and a full-featured remote control. Altec Lansing’s Octiv Stage speaker system for the iPad is available starting today at Apple Stores, the company’s website, and other retailers, and sells for $149.
Apple is preparing to announce the arrival of The Beatles’ catalog on the iTunes Store tomorrow morning, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has been in talks with the representatives of the band, as well as EMI, the band’s label, as recently as last week, but that Apple could change its plans at the last minute. The report notes that an agreement would represent a watershed event in a decades-old relationship that has seen lawsuits filed against both parties, beginning in 1978 with a dispute over the “Apple” brand that wasn’t fully resolved until early 2007.
Proporta has introduced its new TurboCharger Back Pack case for the iPhone 4. The TurboCharger Back Pack is a hybrid battery/case, featuring a built-in 1700 mAh rechargeable battery pack, a microUSB port for charging, pass-through openings for the speaker and microphone, open access to all ports and controls save for the dock connector, an LED battery status indicator, and a two-piece slide-on design. Proporta’s TurboCharger Back Pack for iPhone 4 is available now and sells for $67.