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2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

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Black Friday App Deals

In addition to some great Black Friday deals on games this week, several other application developers are also offering discounts over the holiday season.

Garmin will be selling its StreetPilot Onboard navigation apps at 50% off on Black Friday only, allowing you to pick up Garmin U.S.A. for $25 or Garmin N. America for $30. In addition, the Navigon line of navigation applications is on sale until November 30th at $30 for Navigon USA and Navigon Canada or $40 for Navigon North America. The Navigon Regional apps for U.S. West, U.S. Central and U.S. East are also on sale for $20 each.

ALK Technologies has also marked down its CoPilot Live lineup of GPS navigation apps by 50% until Monday, including CoPilot Live Premium USA ($10), CoPilot Premium HD USA ($13), CoPilot Live Premium North America ($13), CoPilot Premium HD North America ($15), CoPilot Live Standard USA ($3) and CoPilot Live Standard North America ($4).

Readdle is selling its entire catalogue of iPhone and iPad apps at up to 40% off for 48 hours only over Friday and Saturday. Apps on sale include
PDF Expert for iPad
($7), Scanner Pro ($5), Calendars ($5), PDF Converter ($5), ReaddleDocs for iPad ($3), Printer Pro for iPad ($5), Printer Pro for iPhone ($3), Card Scanner Pro ($5), Flash Drive ($2), PDF Expert for iPhone ($7), PDF HD ($2), ReaddleDocs for iPhone ($3) and Shakespeare Pro ($7).

Black Friday Game Deals on the App Store

A number of iOS game developers have announced significant Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on a wide range of game titles.

Chair Entertainment has dropped the price of Infinity Blade to $3.

Gameloft has 20 of its titles on sale for $1 each, including Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles, Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles for iPad, BackStab, Eternal Legacy, Eternal Legacy HD, Fast Five the Movie: Official Game, Fast Five the Movie: Official Game HD, Gameloft Action Pack, Gameloft Sports Pack, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 2 for iPad, James Cameron’s Avatar, James Cameron’s Avatar for iPad, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within HD, Rayman 2: The Great Escape, Real Golf 2011, Real Golf 2011 HD, Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden, The Settlers, The Settlers HD, Shadow Guardian, Shadow Guardian HD, Shrek Kart, Shrek Kart HD, Silent Ops, Spider-Man: Total Mayhem, Spider-Man: Total Mayhem HD, Splinter Cell Conviction, Splinter Cell Conviction HD, Starfront: Collision, Starfront: Collision HD, Zombie Infection, and Zombie Infection HD

Electronic Arts has dropped prices on a significant portion of its catalog as well, with the following titles on sale for $1: American Idol: The Game, Anytime Pool, Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp, Dead Space, FIFA 10 by EA Sports, FIFA 11 by EA Sports, Fight Night Champion by EA Sports, Monopoly, Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition, Need for Speed Undercover, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Risk, Scrabble, Shift 2 Unleashed, The Sims 3, The Sims 3 Ambitions, The Sims 3 World Adventures, The Sims Medieval, Draw Jump HD, Battleship for iPad, Command & Conquer Red Alert for iPad, Coconut Dodge for iPad, Max and the Magic Marker for iPad and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 for iPad.

Other Electronic Arts titles on sale include Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for iPad ($3), Dead Space for iPad ($5), FIFA 11 by EA Sports for iPad ($5), FIFA Soccer 12 by EA Sports ($3), FIFA Soccer 12 by EA Sports for iPad ($7), Madden NFL 12 by EA Sports ($3), Madden NFL 12 by EA Sports for iPad ($5), Mirror’s Edge for iPad ($2), Monopoly for iPad ($3), Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition for iPad ($3),NBA Jam by EA Sports ($2), Need for Speed Hot Pursuit for iPad ($5), Pictureka for iPad ($2), Risk: The Official Game for iPad ($3), Scrabble for iPad ($3), SimCity Deluxe for iPad ($2) and Shift 2 Unleashed for iPad, Tetris for iPad ($3), The Game of Life for iPad, Trivial Pursuit Master Edition for iPad ($3) and Yahtzee HD for iPad ($3).

Happy Thanksgiving 2011 from iLounge!

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As today is the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., all of us here at iLounge would like to take this opportunity to say how thankful we are for your continued readership and support, and to wish you a happy holiday. We will be on a limited posting schedule today and tomorrow; we will return to normal updates on Monday, November 28. Happy Thanksgiving!

Apple opens doors to subscription gaming on iOS?

Apple is expanding its in-app subscription model to include game titles, according to a report from Bloomberg. Seattle-based game publisher Big Fish Games has received approval from Apple to offer users access to multiple game titles for a single recurring monthly fee. Dubbed Play Instantly, the subscription service will be offered through a single iOS app that will deliver unlimited access to a number of the company’s popular game titles streamed to the user’s device via Wi-Fi, allowing the player to easily switch between different games without having to download each title individually. Big Fish Games has also announced plans to offer a free, ad-supported version of the game service that will limit play to 30 minutes per day. Paid subscriptions are expected to initially cost $5 per month with an increase to $7 per month as more titles are added. The application and subscription service are initially available in the U.S. only. Big Fish Play Instantly is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download. [via Mac Rumors]

Update (5:00 EST): The application is no longer available on the App Store. No explanation has been given as to the reason for its disappearance.  We have reached out to the developer for comment and will update the story as more information becomes available.

Update (6:30 EST): According to another report from Bloomberg, Play Instantly was removed by Apple earlier today, after having been available on the App Store since November 18th. Paul Thelen, founder of Big Fish Games indicates that the company was “notified [by Apple] that the app was removed,” and is “trying to follow up with Apple to try to figure out what happened.”  Thelen indicated to Bloomberg that “Apple had even signed off on a press release issued earlier today.” The Bloomberg report also notes that Tom Neumayr, an Apple spokesman, declined to comment.

FCC chairman aims to block AT&T/T-Mobile merger

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has moved to block the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. Cnet reports that Genachowski has filed an order asking the four other FCC commissioners to vote to have an administrative law judge hear the case. In such a proceeding, the FCC would present its findings and analysis, and AT&T would be given an opportunity to prove its case, although the burden would be on the carrier to prove that the deal is in the public interest. According to the report, FCC officials have not shared many specifics from their report, but have said that the merger would create an “unprecedented” level of concentration in the wireless market, and that it is impossible to see how the deal could serve the public.

In response to the filing, AT&T continued to defend the deal, arguing that the merger would help the company expand its 4G network more quickly and would create jobs. “The FCC’s action today is disappointing,” Larry Solomon, senior vice president of corporate communications at AT&T, said in a statement. “It is yet another example of a government agency acting to prevent billions in new investment and the creation of many thousands of new jobs at a time when the US economy desperately needs both.” The merger has already come under fire from rival carrier Sprint, which has sued to try and stop it, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, which filed its own complaint in August.

GoodReader for iPad adds RAR, public-key SFTP support

Good.iWare has released an update to its GoodReader for iPad app adding support for decompressing RAR archives and improving security for SFTP connections with public key authentication. The latest update now allows users to open RAR archives, including multi-volume archives, from directly within GoodReader and allows a public key to be specified for authentication to SFTP server as an alternative to traditional password authentication. Additional new features include the ability to disable the Downloads folder, the return of the textured background for PDF files and a fix for problems opening certain types of very large ZIP archives. GoodReader for iPad 3.11 is available from the App Store for $5.

Samsung parodies iPhone lineups in new Galaxy ad

Samsung has started to air a new commercial for its Galaxy S II phone, in which it pokes fun at those who line up to purchase new iPhones. The commercial is set outside several Apple retail stores, and shows customers waiting line for an iPhone, only to see another person using a Galaxy S II, and inquiring as to what the handset is. The Galaxy S II owners then boast of the device’s larger screen and 4G data speed, much to the chagrin of those waiting in line. The commercial is available for viewing on YouTube, or in embedded form below.

Apple seeking iCloud executives

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Apple has recently been looking to hire senior-level executives with backgrounds in web-based software, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that since earlier this year, the company has approached at least one “prominent” Internet entrepreneur about a possible position, the details of which are unclear. Apple is also said to have discussed its needs with recruiters. The report goes on to say that Apple is considering building new cloud-based web applications, and is seeking web-focused managers who could work at the director level. [via Mac Rumors]

Garmin StreetPilot adds Live Traffic Camera integration

Garmin has released an update to its StreetPilot Onboard apps adding several new features including traffic camera support, live weather information and Facebook and SMS sharing. Available as a $10 in-app purchase, photoLive Traffic Cameras is an optional feature in the new version that augments Garmin’s existing traffic monitoring by providing access to real-time photos from traffic cameras across the U.S. and Canada to enable drivers to see traffic and weather conditions at a glance. Over 10,000 traffic cameras are included with photo updates every few minutes and users can also save their favourite cameras for quick one-touch access.

Garmin StreetPilot 2.0 also adds the ability to view live weather conditions and five-day forecasts for the user’s current location and destination and enables quick sharing of points of interest via Facebook or SMS. Additional enhancements include improved searching to get updated results while typing and an integrated POI and speed limit editor to allow users to customize their own points of interest and even add photos of locations. Garmin StreetPilot Onboard is available from the App Store in several region-specific versions: Garmin N. America ($60), Garmin U.S.A. ($50) and Garmin U.K. and Ireland ($75).

NFB PixStop allows users to create stop-motion animated films

The National Film Board of Canada has released NFB PixStop, a new app designed for shooting and scoring stop-motion animation films on the iPad 2. NFB PixStop allows users to capture up to 10,000 images to create stop-motion films up to 13 minutes in length and add background music titles and descriptions. Finished videos can be exported to the iOS camera roll for sharing via e-mail or uploading to YouTube. Inspired by the stop-motion animation workshops offered at the Toronto Mediatheque and Montreal CineRobotheque, NFB PixStop is designed to be educational as well as creative, offering three short tutorials by NFB experts covering principles of animation, creating a flipbook and storyboarding; integrated help also explains all of the application’s functions and a sample movie is included to get users started. NFB PixStop is available from the Canadian App Store as a free download, or from the U.S. and other International App Stores for around $3.

Hub Innovations intros Couture cases for iPhone 4/4S

Hub Innovations has introduced its new Couture cases for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Available in three different designs—Pretty Girl, Punx Not Dead, and Classic—each Couture case features an elaborate, raised design on the back, incorporating materials such as Swarovski crystals and black jewels, while offering open access to all ports, controls, and cameras, as well as a two-piece snap-on design. Hub Innovations’ Couture cases for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are available now and sell for $80 each.

Squeaky Frog releases Hiding Hannah

Squeaky Frog has released Hiding Hannah an interactive book for children ages 2 and up. Hiding Hannah is about a little girl who loves to hide, challenging young readers to look for her across 12 pages with hiding places that change each time to provide different experiences upon re-reading. The app is narrated by Tom Kenny, the voice of TV’s Spongebob Squarepants and illustrated by Sesame Workshop digital media artist Melanie McCall. Hiding Hannah is a universal app compatible with the iPhone 3GS/4/4S, fourth-generation iPod touch and iPad and is available from the App Store for $2.

Fondu builds a social network for foodies

GetSpotOn has released Fondu, a new social networking app designed to create a community for sharing bit-sized reviews about restaurants, bars, cafes and other similar venues. Described by the creators as a “Foursquare for foodies,” Fondu allows users to write short reviews of places they’ve eaten at and provide simple ratings of one to four “petals.” Users can search for nearby places or draw from a list of their recent check-ins on Foursquare and quickly and effortlessly add mini-reviews and ratings. In contrast to other social networks and online review sites, Fondu is designed to focus only on the reviews from people that a user wants to hear from: friends, family, foodies or others that they trust rather than having to read through a larger collection of essentially anonymous comments from strangers. Reviews can also be published from within the app to Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare for extended sharing and users can cheer and comment on their friends’ reviews, bookmark interesting places for later and give tokens of appreciation to places they particularly like. An integrated map provides a graphical display of nearby popular spots and the service also provides an index of trending reviews in the nearby area or around the world. Fondu requires iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download. [via TechCrunch]

Tascam debuts iM2 microphone for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch

Tascam has debuted its new iM2 Stereo Microphone for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The iM2 is a dock-connecting accessory that features dual condenser microphones, the ability to adjust the microphones over 180 degrees, a built-in microphone per-amp and analog-to-digital converter, a stereo limiter to reduce the effect of sudden loud sounds, a microphone level adjustment knob, a USB input to allow for charging while the iM2 is attached, and compatibility with the company’s free PCM Recorder app. Tascam’s iM2 Stereo Microphone for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch is available now and sells for $79.

Briox launches Riversip Technology News Reader

Briox has launched Riversip Technology News, a new iPhone and iPod touch application designed to help users easily stay on top of major tech news in a stress-free way. Designed for busy and on-the-go consumers and professionals, the app focuses on efficient news consumption by bringing the reader up-to-date on the biggest news items the user may have missed rather than focusing on traditional content discovery or real-time news streams. Riversip’s main goal is to update the reader on the major headlines of interest and then allow the user to drill down and explore further if desired, adapting the flow of news for quick consumption rather than forcing the user to follow an ongoing stream of updates. Key features include summaries of major tech news prioritized by prominence, the ability to view important items in a given time perspective, adaptability to a user’s source preferences and social graph to provide the most relevant results and grouping of social chatter to focus on the news at hand. Users can also view expanded coverage for each item, customize a list of desired topics to focus on and search for and share items from within the app. Riversip Technology News is available from the App Store as a free download.

Digital Legends releases Nutty Sam

Digital Legends, award-winning developers of EA’s Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Disney’s Split Second have released their first free-to-play title, Nutty Sam. This new physics puzzler follows the exploits of Sam, a half chameleon half blowfish who is on a quest to collect shiny golden nuts. Players inflate, throw, catapult and slingshot Sam using one finger touchscreen controls to pass over and collect the nuts with unique air-bending physics that increase in complexity to add new challenges with each level. The game features over 60 total levels with unique environments and puzzles; the free version includes 20 levels to get stated with an additional 40 levels available via in-app purchase for $1. Nutty Sam is a universal app requiring iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.

Apple teases Black Friday shopping event

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Apple has posted a teaser image on its online store, informing customers of an upcoming sale this Friday. The teaser page indicates that the one-day shopping event will be held this Friday, November 25, at which customers can “discover amazing iPad, iPod, and Mac gifts” for everyone on their shopping list. At past Black Friday events, Apple has offered modest discounts on its iPod and iPad models, as well as more substantial savings on Macs and select accessories.

Apple airs new iPad 2 TV ad, ‘Love’

Apple has started to air a new television ad for the iPad 2. Entitled “Love”, the 30-second spot continues Apple’s recent trend of showing the device being used in different ways, while a narration track plays in the background. “For some, it’s a lifelong passion. For others, it’s something discovered yesterday,” the narrator—Peter Coyote—says. “We all have things that speak to us. They drive us to get up early, and stay up late. Getting lost in the things we love has never felt quite like this.” The new ad is available for viewing now on Apple’s website.

Booq rolls out Folio for iPad 2

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Booq has rolled out its new Folio case for the iPad 2. The Folio is, as its name suggests, a folio-style case featuring a leatherette exterior, a suede interior, open access to all ports, controls, and cameras, rubber bumpers for added stability when used as a viewing stand, and magnets for compatibility with the iPad 2’s automatic sleep/wake functionality. Booq’s Folio case for the iPad 2 is available now in four colors and sells for $40; for more information, see our First Look article.

Incase adds new designs to Andy Warhol collection

Incase has announced that as part of its collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation, its Snap Case for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is now available in five additional designs. Featured in this latest update are Warhol’s 1964 Self Portrait, 1963’s Crowd, Cars and Handle with Care - Glass—both from 1962—and 1980’s Diamond Dust Shoes. Each case features Warhol’s signature on the inside, and offers full access to all ports, controls, and cameras. Incase’s Warhol Collection Snap Case for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is available now and sells for $40.

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