Omer Shoor has released Photogene², the sequel to his highly acclaimed photo editing application for the iOS platform. Released as an entirely new app rather than an update to the prior version, Photogene² has been entirely rebuilt with an interesting and fun new user interface optimized specifically for the iPhone while bringing over all of the advanced features introduced in the iPad version over the past several months. The new app features advanced photo editing capabilities such as cropping, straightening, colour adjustments with histogram and curves, sharpen and denoise filters and several retouching tools. A host of special effects are also available including centre focus, vignette, frames, reflection, text boxes and more and a large collection of presets allow users to easily choose a look and further adjust it from there.
Photogene² also includes the collage maker feature introduced on the iPad version, allowing users to choose from a variety of templates to combine several photos into a single artwork style image. An advanced metadata viewer is incorporated to display EXIF and IPTC metadata, including locations on an integrated map view and users can also edit IPTC metadata directly from within the app. Photos can be exported to a number of online services including Flickr, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, Picasa and FTP or shared via e-mail; multiple photos can be exported at once and users can choose to resize photos during export or simply send them out in the original resolution. Additional collage templates and frames can be purchased from within the application, and more advanced users can take advantage of an optional “Pro” in-app upgrade to add features such as star ratings, watermarking on exported photos, FTP history, RGB curves, JPEG quality settings, advanced white-balance adjustments and custom masking overlays for localized effects.
Photogene² for iPhone is a new application rather than an upgrade to the prior version of Photogene, however the new version is available from the App Store at an introductory price of $1 until November 17th to allow existing users to upgrade. Users who have the original version of Photogene installed on their device will also be offered their choice of one in-app purchase expansion for free when first launching the new application.
IK Multimedia has released an iPad version of VocaLive, its professional vocal recording and audio processing app for the iOS platform. VocaLive for iPad expands on the capabilities offered in the iPhone and iPod touch version, adding a fourth effect slot to the signal processing chain and allowing two vocal effects per chain. The expanded iPad screen also allows the preset browser to be presented in the main window of the interface making it easier to load and save presets on the fly. The iPad version also expands the favourites section to 40 via a new bank button, placing presets in an easily accessible location in the bottom panel for easy loading of frequently used settings.
VocaLive can be used with any audio input source via the iPad headphone jack or even the built-in mic, but is optimized for the iRig Mic (iLounge Rating: B) which also adds the benefit of real-time output to headphones, speakers or mixing boards via a dual mini-jack connector. VocaLive for iPad includes an audio recorder that can be expanded to eight track recording, along with a master effects section with Reverb, Chorus and Delay, a global parametric EQ and compressor for final mastering and a suite of 12 real-time professional vocal effects that can be combined into a chain of four processors. 50 presets are included to get users started as well as five vocal effects for tuning, pitch and harmony adjustments and a voice cancellation feature for singing along with existing songs as backing tracks. VocaLive for iPad is available from the App Store in two versions: the full VocaLive for iPad ($20) includes all of the effects while VocaLive Free for iPad (free) allows users to purchase individual effects “a la carte” for $3-$5 each. The 8-Track Recorder is a separate $15 in-app purchase in either version.
Following up on a reader comment that the iPhone 4S had an “unusual-looking” black component next to its ambient light sensor, iFixit has discovered that the component is actually an infrared proximity sensor. According to the report, the IR sensor is active any time the screen is activated — a major change from past iPhones, which only activated the proximity sensor when a call was initiated. iFixit suggests that the increased activity of the proximity sensor on the iPhone 4S may be due to Siri’s “Raise to Speak” feature, which would require such a feature active to know when the user has raised the phone to their head to speak.
Russound has introduced its new AirGo outdoor speaker, which relies on an Apple AirPort Express unit to provide support for AirPlay wireless audio streaming. The AirGo is a portable, weather-resistant speaker featuring an internal speaker and specially designed amplifier, a protective chamber for housing an AirPort express, which serves as the audio source for the unit. Alternatively, users can connect other 3.5mm audio sources. The AirGo requires connecting to an AC outlet, and is available now for $400.
Silvio Rizzi has released an update to both Reeder and Reeder for iPad to remove features no longer available in the new Google Reader web application. Last week Google rolled out a major update to its web-based Google Reader application removing the integrated social features and tying the app into its new Google+ social network instead. The latest Reeder update removes the now-unsupported features for Google Reader sharing, notes and friends. Sharing with third-party services remains supported as it was previously, and users can otherwise continue to synchronize their feeds with Google Reader normally. Reeder is available from the App Store in two versions: Reeder ($3) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Reeder for iPad ($5).
Google has released an update to Google Translate for the iPhone and iPod touch adding support for five additional Indic languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. The update also adds the ability to view dictionary results for single words and display romanizations for the new Indic languages, allowing users unfamiliar with the script to read the translations. Google notes that these are still experimental alpha languages and translations may be less fluent and include more untranslated words than other more mature languages. With this update, Google Translate now supports text translation among 63 languages with voice input in 17 languages and text-to-speech in 24 languages. Google Translate is available from the App Store as a free download.
Bluelounge has unveiled its new Shell case for the iPad 2. Shell is a snap-on hard case, featuring a soft-touch finish, one of three unique tactile patterns on the rear, a built-in cover for the sleep/wake button, open access to all other ports, controls, and cameras, a perforated grid to allow audio out of the speaker, and a cutout on the side to accomodate Apple’s iPad Smart Cover. Bluelounge’s Shell case for the iPad 2 is available now in black or white and with a golf, tartan, or floral rear pattern, and sells for $30.
In responding to a developer bug report, Apple has reaffirmed that its Siri virtual assistant will remain exclusive to the iPhone 4S for now. Citing a person who submitted a bug report suggesting that Apple release a paid version of iOS for iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch users that would include Siri, Michael Steeber reports that Apple responded with a simple statement: “Siri only works on iPhone 4S and we currently have no plans to support older devices.” While Apple has given no indication of plans to add Siri to any of its other products, several members of the jailbreak community have been able to get the feature running on various older Apple products.
We’re looking for your great iPad, iPhone, and iPod images to add to our galleries! Springtime shots and anything else you might be able to contribute would be appreciated! So get out there, take some pictures featuring your favorite iPod, iPhone, or iPad and maybe your submission will be our next Photo of the Week!
Adobe has told developers that it will soon cease development of its Flash Player for mobile devices. Citing sources close to Adobe that have been briefed on the company’s future development plans, ZDNet reports that Adobe plans to release the following announcement:
“Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.”
Adobe and Apple had an ongoing public dispute over mobile Flash, as the latter refused to support Flash on its iOS devices. The situation prompted late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to pen an open letter, entitled “Thoughts on Flash”, that called for the embrace of open standards such as HTML5 instead.
Apple has started to seed non-developer end-users with a pre-release version of iOS 5.0.1 for testing. According to 9to5Mac, the new software is being offered to a small number of customers who have complained about battery life issues in iOS 5. The invitation email apparently warns that their devices cannot be downgraded to iOS 5.0, but that they will be allowed to upgrade to the final version of iOS 5.0.1 once it’s released. The report goes on to state that Apple Stores have been given a memo regarding battery life issues, which instructs them not to replace any phones that don’t exhibit hardware issues during regular testing, and to inform customers that Apple is aware of battery life issues in iOS 5 and will release a software update to address those in “a few weeks.”
AT&T has released AT&T Call International, a new application that allows AT&T iPhone customers to place calls to and from international destinations at much lower rates than traditional mobile voice calls. AT&T customers can use the application to place calls from within the U.S. to international numbers or use the app over Wi-Fi while abroad to place calls back to the U.S. or to other countries. Call International provides rates as low as $0.02 per minute for calls to Canada and $0.04 per minute for calls to landlines in China, France, Germany and the U.K. Regular airtime rates and a “small amount of domestic data usage” also apply when placing a call from within the U.S. over the AT&T 3G network. AT&T Call International is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download. [via Engadget]
Security researcher Charlie Miller has been kicked out of Apple’s iOS Developer Program over a proof-of-concept app that Miller released on the App Store. According to Forbes, Miller discovered an exploit that allows apps to call out to an external server that downloads new, unapproved commands onto the device and can execute them at will. Using the exploit, a malicious app could potentially steal a user’s photos, read contacts, make the phone vibrate or play certain sounds, or repurpose normal iOS apps for nefarious purposes. To demonstrate the exploit, Miller submitted and had approved a fake stock ticker program which was available for a time on the App Store, which led to the termination of his developer agreement with Apple.
“This letter serves as notice of termination of the iOS Developer Program License Agreement…between you and Apple,” Apple’s email to Miller read. “Effective immediately.” The email cited the portion of the agreement that forbid him to “hide, misrepresent or obscure” any part of the app. Miller claims that he was only trying to demonstrate the issue, and argues that his past track record should have been taken into account. “I report bugs to them all the time. Being part of the developer program helps me do that. They’re hurting themselves, and making my life harder,” he told Forbes. “They went out of their way to let researchers in, and now they’re kicking me out for doing research. I didn’t have to report this bug. Some bad guy could have found it instead and developed real malware.”
Quinn Genzel has released a major update to his popular Packing Pro travel list app for iOS with a new design and simplified list making. Packing Pro 7.0 adds a new default theme, app icon and graphics with streamlined home, settings and info pages to make the application easier and more intuitive to use. A new quick add and quick edit feature for packing list and catalog items has been added to speed up the data entry process along with improvements to smart search and fewer popups to interrupt the process. The update also addresses several issues with the previous version including iPad menu row selection highlights disappearing, incorrect icons on packing lists, improvements to CSV support and better performance and stability. Packing Pro 7.0 is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $3.
iVerse Media has released an update to its Comics+ reader app for iOS devices adding support for display video within comic books. Comics+ allows readers to purchase and download a wide variety of popular comic books in digital form including titles from publishes such as Marvel Comics, IDW Publishing, Archie Comics and more. Over 100 free comics are available and highlighted in a specific section with over 4,000 titles available for purchase and new comics added each week. The latest version adds video support in preparation for the release of new titles in the coming weeks that will include bonus video features. Comics+ 3.71 is available from the App Store as a free download.
MaterialSix is now offering a complete line of wooden replacement back plates for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Built using OEM components—the back frame and camera lens—these handsome backs replace the original glass with a hand-crafted and -finished piece of wood. According to the company, installation of the replacement back requires the removal of only two screws from the bottom of the iPhone, and leaves the users’ existing plate completely intact, so that they may reinstall it later should they need to have the phone serviced, or if they simply tire of the wooden replacement. MaterialSix’ replacement backs for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are available in a wide variety of woods for $89; special engraved “Art Series” backs run $99 each.
Programmer Conrad Kramer has discovered a hidden Panorama mode inside the Camera app of iOS 5. According to Kramer’s Twitter account, activating the feature is as easy as changing the key for “EnableFirebreak” from “NO” to “YES” inside the com.apple.mobileslideshow.plist file. Speaking with Gizmodo, Kramer said that the feature only works on the iPhone 4 and later devices, as it is dependent on an internal gyroscope. This file is only available for editing to those who have chosen to jailbreak their devices; however, it does serve as proof that the feature exists, and suggests that Apple may plan on activating it in a future update to iOS 5.
iTeleport has released an update to its remote desktop application for iOS devices adding support for voice commands on the iPhone 4S. iTeleport VNC is a universal application that allows iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users to remotely control a desktop PC or Mac using the popular VNC remote control protocol. The application can be configured to work with any VNC server or users can download and install the free companion iTeleport Connect application to simplify the setup process, particularly when working with home routers and firewalls. Version 5.2 adds the ability for Mac users to launch applications from iTeleport simply by saying “Launch” and the name of the app. The new feature requires iTeleport Connect 5.2 or later on the desktop and is presently limited to Mac OS X users, although the developer notes Windows support is coming soon. iTeleport VNC is available from the App Store for $20.
Apple has released an update to its Apple Store iOS application incorporating the new in-store pickup and self-checkout features revealed last month. With Personal Pickup, U.S. based Apple Store customers can purchase items within the Apple Store application and choose to pick them up at any Apple Retail Store in the U.S. with most in-stock orders available within an hour.
The update also adds a new EasyPay feature allowing iPhone 4/4S users in U.S. Apple Stores to purchase select accessories in-store by scanning the barcode with the camera and completing the transaction directly within the application. The Apple Store application is also now available in Canada and China, although some features such as the new Personal Pickup and EasyPay remain available in the U.S. only at this time. The latest version also adds the ability for users to track their current and previous orders from within the application. Apple Store 2.0 requires iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Startup Milk has released Oink, a new location-based social networking application that allows users to rate specific items and content in locations rather than the places themselves. Moving beyond other location-based applications that simply allow general ratings for venues such as restaurants, Oink allows users to actually review and rate specific things such as menu items and products and share that information with their friends. Users can also use the application to browse and search for popular items around them or in specific places, enabling features such as finding the best pizza in the area, or the best roller coaster at a theme park. Users can build credibility points around their particular areas of expertise and share their Oink activity on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Oink requires iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.