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Vertical Horizon releases The Concept Clock

Vertical Horizon has released The Concept Clock for iPhone and iPod touch. Designed to provide unique artistic visualizations of time and the passing of time, The Concept Clock allows users to choose from seven different visualizations, changing views by using swipe gestures directly on the main screen. The application includes a gallery of selected background wallpapers or users can choose to use their own photo as the background and can also select from a variety of colour sets to match the chosen wallpaper. The Concept Clock requires iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $3.

Padded Spaces debuts Prop ‘n Go Slim for iPad

Padded Spaces has debuted its new Prop ‘n Go Slim stand for the iPad, iPad 2, and other tablet devices. The Prop ‘n Go Slim features a slim memory foam base to contour to the user’s lap, a new anti-slip silicon surface to keep the device firmly in place while in use, the ability to lock in to 14 different angles, and breathable fabric. Padded Spaces’ Prop ‘n Go Slim for the iPad and iPad 2 is available now in blue or black for $35; shipping is expected to begin on February 3.

Ant Raid comes to iPhone and iPod touch

Prank Ltd has released an iPhone and iPod touch version of Ant Raid, its arcade action game originally released last summer for the iPad. Ant Raid combines both arcade and casual RTS gameplay with cartoon graphics and a light horror themed storyline, challenging players to help a vibrant colony of ant-like creatures defend against swarms of mutated insects. The new iPhone version provides Retina Display support along with controls optimized for the smaller screen and 100 playable levels, four endless play modes, 24 different enemies and 47 Game Center achievements. Ant Raid for iPhone requires an iPhone 3GS/4/4S or a third- or fourth-generation iPod touch and is available from the App Store for $1. Two limited free versions have also been released, Ant Raid Free for the iPad and Ant Raid for iPhone Free which each include 10 unique levels.

Appigo releases Notebook 2.0

Appigo has released a major update to its Notebook application for the iPhone and iPod touch, reintroducing it as a simple, universal note taking app. Designed to provide the ability to quickly and easily take notes and access them from anywhere, Notebook 2.0 uses a plain text format and stores notes in Dropbox for access from multiple iOS devices or any desktop computer. Notes are now organized into collections; users can continue to access their Toodledo notes from the previous version in the “Toodledo” collection and a local collection is available for notes that the user wishes to store only on a single iOS device. Users can create additional Dropbox collections based on Dropbox folders and share collections with other Dropbox and Notebook users simply by using the Dropbox folder sharing feature. Notebook 2.0 is a universal app requiring iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store for $5.

Outline Coach helps prepare compelling speeches and presentations

Brian Barnes has released Outline Coach, a new iPad app designed to help users learn how to create more compelling speeches and presentations. The app is designed in a tutorial format, guiding users through a three-step process to create their best presentation; users begin with a brainstorming process by answering a few key questions presented by the application such as the purpose and style of the presentation to be given and are then taken through the process of organizing their thoughts around a storyline. A draft outline is then presented for users to work with and finalize using the app’s built-in outline editing tools. The resulting presentation outline can be printed via AirPrint, sent out via e-mailed or saved to Dropbox.

Outline Coach is based on years of experience in developing engaging presentations at various levels of business and combines western behavioural science and eastern philosophy, providing key perspectives such as emotional stickiness, motivation & urgency and argument theory and assisting with developments of a value proposition, hooks, case studies and more. In total, 37 key techniques are covered which can be configured to a user’s own needs.  Outline Coach requires an iPad running iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store for $3; a free, limited version, Outline Lite, is also available.

German upholds Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban

Samsung was dealt another blow in its ongoing patent battle with Apple as a court in Germany has upheld a ruling barring sales of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the country. Reuters reports that a higher regional court in Duesseldorf, Germany, said that Samsung may not sell the older version of the 10.1 in Germany. Samsung redesigned the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for the German market only and named it Galaxy Tab 10.1N to get around the sales ban; Apple subsequently challenged that version in court, but had its claims rejected in a preliminary judgement. A final ruling in that case is expected on February 9.

China Telecom to launch iPhone 4S as early as February

China Telecom, mainland China’s third-largest carrier, is preparing to launch the iPhone 4S—perhaps as soon as February, according to a new report. Citing a news release from China Telecom subsidiary Beijing Telecom, China Daily reports that a version of the iPhone 4S compatible with the company’s CDMA network is likely to hit the market by the end of February or beginning of March. “China Telecom has already started preparatory work for the launch of the iPhone 4S,” said the release. Earlier this month, a version of the iPhone 4S compatible with China Telecom’s CDMA-2000 network received approval from the China Radio Management agency, clearing the way for its release. According to the report, no pricing details have yet to be disclosed; the iPhone 4S is currently available from China Unicom.

Apple hires Dixons CEO Browett to lead retail

Apple has announced that John Browett will join the company as senior vice president of Retail. Browett, who will report to Apple CEO Tim Cook, was previously CEO of European technology retailer Dixons, a title he had held since 2007. Browett will join Apple in April, and be responsible for Apple’s retail strategy, as well as the continued expansion of Apple retail stores around the world. Prior to Dixons, Browett held a series of executive positions at Tesco, advised retail and consumer goods clients at Boston Consulting Group, and earned a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University before receiving his MBS from Wharton Business School. He replaces Ron Johnson, who left Apple late last year to become CEO of retailer J.C. Penney.

“Our retail stores are all about customer service, and John shares that commitment like no one else we’ve met,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his incredible retail experience to Apple.”

Spigen SGP intros Glas.t screen protector for iPhone 4/4S

Spigen SGP has introduced its Glas.t screen protector for the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. Unlike traditional screen protectors, the Glas.t is made from oleophobic coated, chemically treated glass, which attaches using a strong silicone adhesive. According to the company, no gap is left between the LCD and the Glas.t when installed, and thus the touch screen sensitivity is supposedly unaffected. The material is also said to offer a hardness of 8-9H, or three times stronger than PET film. Spigen SGP’s Glas.t screen protector for the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S is available now and sells for $28; for more information, see our First Look article.

Office² for iPhone adds advanced editing tools

Byte² has released a major update to Office² designed to bring the advanced document editing features of Office² HD to the iPhone and iPod touch. The latest update to Office² provides a variety of new layout tools for working with Microsoft Word documents including multi-column layouts, text boxes, page rulers, file versioning and the ability to insert shapes and section breaks. Images can now be set to float above text and support for headers, footers, footnotes and endnotes has also been added in the update. Saved documents now preserve existing content and formatting for proper collaborative sharing between Office² on the iPhone and Microsoft Office on the desktop. Office² is available from the App Store for $6.

iPhoneso releases Gekko Financial and Stock News Browser

iPhoneso has released Gekko, a new universal financial and stock news browser app for iOS devices. Designed to provide a simple and intuitive interface, Gekko allows investors to keep track of financial markets, providing stock and financial news in an iOS-optimized presentation without additional distractions such as ads or pop-up windows. The app provides a collection of pre-defined sources to get new users started or users can choose to add their own preferred financial news feeds. Favourite news items can be saved to services such as Evernote, Instapaper and Read It Later or shared via Twitter, e-mail or SMS/iMessage. The application also integrates with the Yahoo API for searching for stock symbols and quotes and allows users to view raw data associated with any given stock. Gekko is a universal app requiring iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $5.

Shoppie provides a simple shopping list manager for iPhone

Sockii has released Shoppie, a simple shopping list manager and planner for the iPhone and iPod touch. Designed with a focus on ease of use, Shoppie provides a UI design reminscent of the iOS 5 Reminders app with support for multiple shopping lists and the ability to swipe between them along with additional columns for quantity and price information. A total price for each list is displayed at the bottom and Shoppie can be configured to display the total of all items in the list or only those items that have been checked off. Shoppie includes iCloud support for automatically synchronizing lists across multiple iOS devices and users can also e-mail or print their shopping lists directly from within the application. Shoppie requires iOS 4.2 or later, with iOS 5.0 or later required for iCloud support, and is available from the App Store for $2.

SmileOnMyMac releases PDFpen for iPad

SmileOnMyMac has released an iPad version of PDFpen, its popular PDF annotation and editing software for Mac OS X. The iPad version of PDFpen brings an advanced set of PDF editing features to iOS such as the ability to add text, images, signatures, comments and annotations to PDF documents, make changes to existing editable text blocks and images and fill out PDF forms. Advanced annotation features include highlighting, underscoring and strikethrough along with a collection of pre-defined proofreading symbols that can be applied to a PDF document along with drawing support for freehand scribbles and standard shapes. PDFpen also allows users to e-mail documents out directly from the device or save them to Dropbox, Evernote or Google Docs; iCloud integration allows documents to be automatically synchronized between multiple iPads and PDFpen for Mac OS X. PDFpen for iPad is available from the App Store for an introductory price of $10.

Apple using lottery system to battle iPhone scalpers

Apple has implemented a new lottery reservation system for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S sales in Hong Kong that it hopes will help limit the efforts of scalpers. 9to5Mac reports that the new system should prevent the scalpers from using automated bots to overwhelm Apple’s reservations servers by requiring prospective buyers to give both a name and ID number, which need to match a government ID presented at the time of purchase. It is unclear if Apple plans to expand the use of the system to other areas and countries; the full text of Apple’s message regarding the change appears below.

“Due to high demand, we are accepting a limited number of iPhone reservations per day. To request an iPhone reservation, please choose your store and the iPhone you want. If we have an iPhone reservation for you, you’ll receive a confirmation email by 9:00 p.m. tonight that includes the time when you can pick up your iPhone tomorrow. A government-issued photo ID matching the name and ID number on your reservation is required for iPhone purchases. If you don’t receive an email, we were unable to reserve an iPhone for you, and you can try again another time. Only those who receive an email confirming their reservation will be able to purchase an iPhone; we will not be selling iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S to walk-in customers.”

iPhone 4S now ‘In Stock’ on Apple online store

After months of backlog, Apple appears to have finally reached a supply/demand balance on the iPhone 4S, at least in the United States. A quick check of the company’s online store shows all three iPhone 4S capacities—in both black and white—as “In Stock”, suggesting that new orders likely ship out as soon as the payment can be processed. During last week’s financial results conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed the overwhelming demand for the iPhone 4S, saying that the company made a “large bet” in building as many units as it did, but still “bet too low”, as it ended the quarter with a backlog of orders. [via Electronista]

Photogene adds in-app print orders, new editing tools

Omer Shoor has updated Photogene² for iPhone and Photogene for iPad adding the ability to order print products directly from within the app, support for inter-device photo transfers and several new editing features. With the latest version, users can now order physical photo products such as greeting cards and magnets via tap2print and take advantage of new editing tools such as a clarity slider and clone tool. The update also allows users to create their own presets and copy-and-paste edits between multiple photos.

Both the iPad and iPhone versions also now have the ability to transfer photos directly between the Photogene apps running on two different iOS devices and upload photos directly to Evernote and Tumblr. iOS 5 users can also now preserve original file names when uploading photos to Dropbox, FTP or sending via e-mail and add date-stamps to exported photos. Photogene for iPad also gains the ability to copy and paste IPTC data between photos and set star ratings in full-size view for users who have purchased the Pro upgrade pack. Photogene² for iPhone ($1) and Photogene for iPad ($3) are both available from the App Store.

Apple posts warranty advisory on online store in Italy

After being fined late last year by the Italian antitrust authority for failing to inform its customers of their legal right to two years of technical support, Apple has posted a new notice regarding the case on its online store in the country. Ars Technica reports that the Italian Apple Store now features a prominent link at the top which leads to directly to the court decision, which contains an explanation of how Apple must change its marketing language for its AppleCare Protection Plans to reflect the mandatory two-year warranty. Apple’s products typically come with only a one-year limited warranty.

Yamaha releases NoteStar digital sheet music app

Yamaha Music Interactive has released NoteStar, a new advanced digital sheet music application for the iPad. NoteStar provides a hands-free, smooth-flowing transcription of keyboard sheet music synchronized with professionally recorded audio backing tracks that allow users to play along as if they were in the band. Sheet music display is handled automatically and the app provides playback control features including A-B looping, track muting and metronome support. A variety of note size and layout options are available with automatic sheet music resizing to provide customizable views of the sheet music and the app supports both portrait and landscape orientations. Users can also choose to play songs in different key signatures or a half or three-quarter speeds without changing the pitch. The app provides an extensive library of popular songs available for in-app purchase for $4 each; one free song download is included with online registration. NoteStar is available from the App Store as a free download.

Ntractive releases Elements CRM for iPad

Mac Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software developer Ntractive has released a native iPad version of its Elements CRM app. Building upon Ntractive’s desktop cloud application, Elements CRM for iPad provides a user experience on the iPad that looks, works and feels like a desktop app. Elements CRM for iPad has been optimized for iOS 5 and integrates features such as AirPrint support for the ability to print invoices and other documents directly from within the app. The iPad version is designed to allow users to carry their entire customer relationship management system around with them on the go, with the same functionality as the Elements CRM Mac app and data accessed directly from the cloud, facilitating instantaneous collaboration with other team members. The Elements CRM for iPad app requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download. A monthly subscription to the standard Elements CRM cloud service is required to use the app as well as an additional subscription to Elements CRM Mobile. Small business subscription pricing starts at $25/user/month with the Mobile add-on priced at an additional $10/user/month.

Telltale Games launches Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space

Telltale Games has released Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space for iOS. The latest instalment in the classic comedic gaming series brings back the eponymous dog and hyperkinetic lagomorph duo Sam & Max to the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad platform with the release of the first episode in the new series, Ice Station Santa. In the initial episode players must help the Freelance Police duo fight the most ancient and powerful opponent they’ve yet faced: Santa Claus and save the world’s children from a holiday tainted by tears, turmoil and Torture-Me-Elmer toys. This latest title also includes two iOS exclusive features: a ‘Whack da Ratz’ mini-game where players can compete for the top score in the Freelance Police Hall of Fame and a soundboard to allow players to create new and deranged quotes from their favourite Sam & Max lines. Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Episode 1 is a universal app and requires an iPhone 3GS/4/4S, third- or fourth-generation iPod touch or iPad running iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store for $7.

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