Nordisk Film Games has released The Marbians, a retro marble-themed puzzle game for iOS devices. The Marbians are a group of aliens who have crashed in Roswell, New Mexico and donned marble-shaped spacesuits for safety. Players must help get The Marbians back home by flinging and flicking them across increasingly challenging courses, avoiding obstacles, collecting moon rocks and trying to find a way back to their UFO. Players can also score additional points by bouncing Marbians off walls at higher speeds and collecting all of the moon rocks on each level. Facebook and Game Center integration allows users to share their high scores and achievements and view global rankings from other players. The Marbians is available from the App Store in two versions: The Marbians for the iPhone and iPod touch and The Marbians HD for the iPad. Both versions are a free download and include the first eight levels of the game; the full game can be unlocked via an in-app purchase of $1 for the iPhone/iPod touch version or $2 for the iPad version.
MGS Development has released a major new update to forScore, its sheet music management app for the iPad. forScore is designed to allow musicians to take thousands of pages of music scores with them in electronic form and use the iPad as a sheet music reader while practicing or performing. forScore 3.0 adds Dropbox integration, the ability to rearrange pages in a score and save and restore multiple versions. The update also adds a new Darkroom feature that allows users to create PDF files from images in the iOS photo library or taken with the camera on the iPad 2.
The new version also includes a download manager that allow users to queue up multiple files and continue browsing and download files directly without needing to preview them first. Several updates have also been made to the application’s user interface, including a redesign of various UI elements and menus and navigable thumbnail previews of bookmarked files. Users can also now search set lists for specific titles or view and navigate their set lists alphabetically, by least-often played, or in shuffle mode. Additional new features in version 3.0 include automated backups, expanded multitouch gesture support, improved PDF import and parsing and more. forScore 3.0 requires iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store for $5.
VinotekaSoft has released an update to its wine cellar management application for the iPhone and iPod touch adding native iPad support. Vinoteka allows iOS device users to view, manage and organize their wine collection on their mobile devices. The application also provides Wi-Fi based synchronization of data with a companion Mac application ($50), allowing users to sync a database from their desktop and take it with them on the go. In addition to native iPad support, the latest version of Vinoteka for iOS also adds a new reference shelves design, the ability to manage wine collections organized by fridge shelves and updated appellations, varietals and bottle shapes. Vinoteka for iOS available from the App Store for $9; a $5 lite version is also available that excludes desktop synchronization and has not yet been updated to add iPad support.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has announced that it will investigate an Apple complaint filed against Samsung claiming patent infringement. According to an announcement on the ITC website, the investigation will include “mobile phone handsets and tablet computers, in addition to components such as software, touchpads, and hardware interfaces;” Apple is said to be seeking an exclusion order and cease and desist orders. As noted when Apple originally filed its complaint against Samsung in July, Apple is likely targeting models similar to the Infuse 4G, Galaxy S 4G, Droid Charge, and Galaxy Tab 10.1, all of which it is attempting to block with a preliminary injunction in the companies’ ongoing case in California.
Iomega has introduced its new Mac Companion Hard Drive. Available in 2TB and 3TB models, the black and silver Mac Companion features a high-powered 2.1 Amp USB charging port designed specifically for charging iPads, iPhones, or iPods, as well as 7,200 RPM, 3.5-inch drives, dual FireWire 800 ports, one regular USB 2.0 port and a two port integrated USB hub. Iomega’s new Mac Companion Hard Drive will be available later this month and will sell for $195 for the 2TB model and $295 for the 3TB version.
Skype has released an iPad native version of its popular instant messaging, video and voice chat app. Skype for iPad provides the same general features as the prior iPhone and iPod touch version, optimized for the iPad’s larger display and user interface. With the app users can make and receive voice and video calls via the Skype network over either a Wi-Fi or 3G data connection. The application provides support for both the front and back cameras on the iPad 2 in either portrait or landscape orientation and users can also simultaneously engage in instant message chats separately or while in a voice or video call. Skype for iPad also integrates with the iOS contact list allowing users to easily find and add Skype contacts. Skype for iPad is available from the App Store as a free download. Notably Skype has chosen to release this version as a separate app rather than upgrading the iPhone and iPod touch version to a universal app; users with the original Skype app installed on their iPad for use in compatibility mode will need to remove the old version manually.
Apple has once again lowered its shipping times for the iPad 2. For the first time since the device’s launch in March, all models of the iPad 2 are listed as shipping “Within 24hrs” on Apple’s U.S. online store. Apple most recently dopped the shipment estimate to 1-3 business days; the estimated wait for an iPad 2 as recently as July 1 was 1-2 weeks.
Apple has launched a beta version of its online tools for iCloud at iCloud.com, and has also announced pricing for the service. The online tools include revised versions of Mail, Calendar, and Contacts, with a “Find My iPhone” button that currently sends users back to me.com, and an iWork button that sends users to an Apple developer site where, if registered as a paid developer, they can download pre-release versions of Pages, Keynote, and Numbers that work with iCloud’s “Documents in the Cloud” service. In regards to pricing, Apple’s website states that all users get 5GB of free storage, but should they need more, 10GB of extra storage will be available for $20 per year, 20GB will run $40 per year, and 50GB of additional storage will cost $100 a year. Notably, purchase music, apps, books, and the user’s Photo Stream do not count against the 5GB total. Apple is expected to launch iCloud for all users this fall. [via Ars Technica]
Apple has rolled out extended 90-second song previews to the iTunes Store in several international countries. Launched last January in the U.S., the longer previews are available for all songs with a duration longer than two minutes and 30 seconds. Mac Rumors reports that the longer previews are now available in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., and other parts of Europe. As noted in the report, it is unclear what caused the extended delay between the U.S. roll out of the feature and its appearance in other countries, as Apple told labels before the U.S. rollout that they could either leave their tracks on the Store and thereby indicate their acceptance of the longer preview standard or remove their tracks from the store.
Apple has released Apple TV Software 4.3, the latest update for its second-generation set-top box. According to John Gruber of Daring Fireball, the update adds the ability to purchase TV show episodes directly from the device, and to access and stream any TV show episodes previously purchased using the iTunes Store account tied to the device. In support of this feature, Apple has added a listing for TV shows to the “Purchased” section of the iTunes Store, allowing users to download previously purchased TV show episodes, and the update also adds support for Vimeo.
Notably, the ability to re-download previously purchased TV show episodes seems to be tied to the particular network or studio that owns the rights to the show, as iLounge has discovered that certain shows—including, specifically, episodes from series that originally ran on Comedy Central and FX—do not appear under the Purchased section and are therefore unavailable for re-download. Apple TV Software 4.3 is available now via the device’s software update feature.
Bitcount has released an update adding native iPad support to Cleartune, its tuner app for iOS devices. Cleartune is a chromatic instrument tuner and pitch pipe that uses either the built-in microphone or an external mic to identify the pitch of a sound and assist users in tuning a wide variety of pitched instruments. The app features a unique note wheel interface to help users easily select a standard pitch combined with a fine-tuning meter to display slight variations. Users can also choose custom temperaments and a variety of alternative notations such as solfège as well as perform transpositions and custom calibration. With version 2.0, Cleartune is now a universal app providing support for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad in a single app. The update also adds presets, automatic A440 calibration, and optional hardware acceleration to reduce battery usage. Cleartune 2.0 is available from the App Store for $4 and is a free update for current users.
Futuremark Games has launched Hungribles, a new physics puzzler for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. In the game, the player must keep a group of Hungribles happy by feeding them orbs launched from a strange glowing mushroom. Players earn bonus points by bouncing the orbs off walls, curving them around the Hungribles or hitting gold pieces in their path. There are seven different types of Hungribles, each affecting the trajectory of the orbs differently and presenting unique challenges. Hungribles provides 30 story levels across three unique game worlds along with 15 special challenge levels and a story illustrated with hand-drawn pictures. Hungribles is a universal app and is currently available from the App Store for $1.
Both Target and Radio Shack are preparing to drop their prices on iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS units, according to a pair of new reports. Citing a pair of “tipsters,” Engadget reports that Radio Shack is dropping its prices on the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 4 to $169.99 and $269.99, respectively, while pricing on the iPhone 3GS is said to fall to $19.99; all three offers would require a two-year contract. Phone Arena is reporting that Target stores will see even more substantial markdowns on the iPhone 4, with prices for 16GB units dropping to $149.99 and the 32GB Verizon iPhone 4 sliding $249.99, while the iPhone 3GS drops to $19.99 and the AT&T 32GB iPhone 4 stays at its current pricing. The report also states that Target will be offering a trade-in promotion through which customers can trade-in an iPhone 3GS and receive $100 off the cost of a new iPhone 4.
iLounge is pleased to announce the Fanny Wang Headphone Giveaway. In our Giveaway of the Month for August, iLounge and Fanny Wang are giving away two pairs of Black & White DJ Over Ear Wangs Tuxedo Headphones. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on August 31, 2011 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!
Apple plans to launch its next-generation iPhone a month later than recent reports have indicated, based on a new report. Citing sources with knowledge of the situation, AllThingsD reports that Apple will launch its next-generation iPhone in October, and that reports of an AT&T employee vacation black out for the last two weeks in September are “misinformed.” “I don’t know why AT&T’s calling for all hands on deck those weeks, but it’s not for an iPhone launch,” said a source familiar with Apple’s plans. The report goes on to state that while one source simply said the device would launch in October, without providing any further details, other sources said the launch would take place later in the month.