Pandora Media has released the anticipated iOS 4 update for its popular Pandora Radio application. As demonstrated by Apple at recent iOS 4 events, the latest version of Pandora Radio leverages the new background audio multitasking feature in iOS 4 to allow users to continue listening to their music while using other applications. With Pandora Radio 3.1 and a multitasking-capable device using iOS 4, Pandora Radio can operate in the background in the same manner as the built-in iPod application—audio continues to play in the background even after closing the app, and the device’s on-screen and headphone media controls will be used for the Pandora Radio application instead of the iPod application. Pandora Radio 3.1 is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.
Microsoft has released an official version of Windows Live Messenger for iOS devices. Windows Live Messenger allows iPhone and iPod touch users to chat with their Windows Live Messenger and Y! Messenger contacts and view updates from social networks such as Facebook, Flickr and MySpace. Push Notifications are supported for new IM notifications. Users can also upload photos directly from their device and create albums, add captions and allow friends and family to comment on photos. Windows Live Messenger also provides built-in support for Hotmail so users can read, reply to and compose e-mails and receive e-mail notifications within the application. Windows Live Messenger is available from the App Store as a free download. [via TechCrunch
The first applications supporting Apple’s new iAd mobile advertising platform have appeared on the App Store. Avantar, developer of mobile search applications such as OneTap Movies, Showtimes, Munch and Yellow Pages, has updated several of its applications integrating the new mobile advertising platform. Apple’s iAd does not go live until July 1st, and at this time these apps appear to be showing either a test ad or an empty banner. The release notes for these apps originally cited iAd integration; this note has since been removed and replaced simply with “minor bug fixes,” however the apps themselves remain on the App Store and continue to display the iAd banners. Avantar’s App Store page can be found here.
Evernote has released an update adding iOS 4 support to its popular cloud-based note application. In addition to Fast App Switching, Evernote 3.3.5 also adds support for some more advanced iOS 4 capabilities. When using iOS 4, Evernote will now automatically finish synchronizing with the Evernote servers even after the application has been closed. Further, users can now continue recording voice memos while outside of the application; iOS 4 will note a recording in progress by a red status bar at the top of the screen, similar to the iPhone’s built-in Voice Memos application. Evernote 3.3.5 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Elgato has released an update to its EyeTV client for iOS devices, adding support for iPad users. EyeTV 1.1 is now a universal app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices and has been specifically optimized for the iPad screen. Version 1.1 also adds separate bitrate settings for streaming via local Wi-Fi, remote Wi-Fi and 3G connections and the ability to select composite or S-Video inputs from the channel favorites list. The EyeTV application allows users of Elgato’s EyeTV software for the Mac to stream live TV and view previously recorded shows from their Mac over Wi-Fi or 3G connections as well as viewing their program guide and scheduling recordings remotely. EyeTV 1.1 is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for existing EyeTV users.
Facebook has released an update to its popular iPhone application adding the ability to view Facebook videos through the app. Previous versions allowed users to upload video to Facebook, however even videos uploaded directly from the iPhone could not be viewed from Facebook once saved. Facebook 3.1.3 also allows users to write on walls of events and uploads photos with a maximum 720 pixel width. The update also addresses a number of bugs, including problems commenting on photos accessed from Notifications, problems uploading smaller photos, incorrect highlighting and sorting in certain areas, and broken photo album links in the news feed. Notably, Facebook 3.1.3 adds no support for iOS 4, suggesting that the app may have been submitted to the App Store for review prior to the iOS 4 announcement. Facebook is available from the App Store as a free download.
Following a recent update to its MobileMe service, Apple has released Find My iPhone for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices. A native app for the web-based service, Find My iPhone can be installed on any device running iOS 3.1.3 or later and assists users in locating another lost or missing iPhone, iPod touch or iPad that is using the MobileMe service. Users simply sign in with the MobileMe member name associated with the missing device and the Find My iPhone app provides an integrated map to show where the lost device last reported its location. Users can then display a message and/or play a sound on the remote device, remotely lock the device with a passcode or wipe the device completely in the same way as through the MobileMe web-based Find My iPhone service. Note that the Find My iPhone service must already have been enabled on the missing device in order for the app to locate it. Find My iPhone is a universal app that runs natively on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices and is a free download from the App Store, although a $99/year MobileMe subscription is required to use the Find My iPhone service.
Ngmoco has released its latest online social media game Godfinger (iLounge rating: C) to App Stores worldwide. Initially released for limited testing on the Canadian App Store in March, Godfinger puts the player in the role of an all-powerful deity who must customize and cultivate their world and convert inhabitants into loyal followers. The game provides an open-ended gameplay where users can choose to play as a benevolent god or a destructive demagogue. Players increase in level by generating additional followers and can then earn additional Wonders to impress or subdue their subjects. The game utilizes the Plus+ network for players to invite their friends to become followers or Mystics to help rule on their behalf. Godfinger is available as a free download from the App Store in separate iPad and iPhone versions; game progress is synced via the Plus+ network so the same world can be played on multiple devices. The game is free to play but like other recent Ngmoco titles encourages users to accelerate their progress in the game by purchasing upgrades and currency via in-app purchase.
Apple has posted a new Knowledge Base document revealing that iBooks 1.1 and iTunes 9.2 now support the sync of iTunes Digital Booklets to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. According to the document, users simply need to select the desired iTunes Digital Booklet from the Music library, click Get Info, change the Media type to Book, and hit okay. The Digital Booklet will then be moved to the Book library, and can be synced like any other book. Apple has already released iTunes 9.2, and is expected to release iBooks for iPhone and iPod touch alongside iOS 4.0 on June 21.
Following last week’s announcement that developers can begin submitting updates for iOS 4 compatibility, updates have now begun to appear on the App Store. Among the first applications boasting iOS 4 compatibility is the popular Dropbox app, which has also received some minor bug fixes as well. Developers can simply recompile their applications using the iOS 4 SDK to take advantage of the new Fast App Switching feature in iOS 4, allowing applications to be suspended in the background and resumed at their current state, and all applications listing iOS 4 compatibility should at least support this new multitasking feature. Other multitasking capabilities such as Background Task Completion will need to be specifically added by developers and will not necessarily be inherent in iOS 4 compatible applications.
Naan Studio has released an update adding native iPad support to its Echofon Pro Twitter client. Echofon Pro 3.1 provides a redesigned user interface for the iPad with a split-pane view in landscape mode, a thumbnail user list view and pop-over windows for opening picture links, conversations and user profiles. The update also provides additional features and fixes for iPhone and iPod touch users, including a refined user profile and web view, optimized scrolling speed, OAuth authentication, API support for bit.ly and Japanese localization. Echofon Pro for Twitter 3.1 is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for existing users.
Parrot has announced a U.S. release date and pricing for its much-anticipated AR.Drone. First demoed at CES 2010, where it received a Best of Show Award, the AR.Drone is a quadricopter that can be piloted by remote control from an iPhone or iPod touch device using an accompanying iOS application. Users control the AR.Drone via Wi-Fi using their device’s touchscreen and accelerometer controls while the quadricopter employs two on-board cameras, an accelerometer, gyro and ultrasound sensor to help control the device and provide first-person video. The AR.Drone will go on sale in the U.S. this September via “selected retailers” for $299. Parrot expects to announce U.K. availability soon after the E3 Expo and availability in Asia and Europe “in the following weeks.” The Parrot Free Flight control app is already available from the App Store as a free download. Parrot also has two additional augmented-reality iOS games in the works for the AR.Drone allowing users to explore virtualized environments and conduct simulated dogfights with other AR.Drone users. More information and demos of the apps can be viewed at the company’s website. Parrot has also released an open source SDK for the AR.Drone to allow other third-party developers to create their own augmented reality applications for the quadricopter. [via Engadget]
In anticipation of this week’s release of the movie Toy Story 3, Disney has launched an official Toy Story 3 app for iPhone and iPod touch users. The new app is designed as a portal to the entire Toy Story franchise and provides a collection of games and other activities for fans of the series. The free application includes a feature to create personalized greetings from Woody, collect virtual Toy Story pins by unlocking achievements and a Toy Story Community where users can share game scores, pins and achievements with their friends. The iOS app also allows users of the Mac version of Toy Story 3: The Video Game to control their gaming experience from their iOS device. Additional premium games and content are also available as In-App purchases, with three premium games available right now ranging from $1-$4 in price. Disney has also stated that it plans to update the app with new features throughout 2010. Disney-Pixar’s animated film “Toy Story 3” opens in theatres on June 18, 2010. The Toy Story 3 app is available from the App Store as a free download.
A brief Apple-produced video that highlights Apple’s iOS development tools—while taking veiled shots at Google’s Android OS—has been posted online. The video, presumably made for use at the company’s WWDC conference, features a number of notable developers talking about their experience developing for iOS, as well as other platforms. “We’ve actually spent some time working with other platforms,” said Calvin Carter of Bottle Rocket. “It’s a night and day difference. They’re more difficult for the user. They don’t have the power or the tools available. They don’t have the distribution network. They don’t have the standards, both in hardware or in software.” Later, Tom Conrad of Pandora added, “It’s really evident in Apple’s APIs, in the developer tools, that you’re working with something really mature, not something that was invented two years ago.” The full video is available for viewing on YouTube or can be seen in embedded form below. [via Fortune]
iOS Developer Mario Baluci of The App Machine has released some screenshots of his Make Coffee application for the iPhone 4, illustrating how the higher-resolution version will scale and render on an iPad device. Baluci notes in the company’s blog that the iPhone 4 native resolution application looked “terrific” on the iPad and actually runs at an almost full-screen resolution. The resolution of the iPhone 4 is 640 x 960 as compared to the 320 x 480 display used on prior iPhone models. By contrast, the iPad uses a 768 x 1024 resolution screen. Make Coffee is a virtual coffee machine novelty application for iOS devices. Version 2.0 will provide higher-resolution graphics for the iPhone 4, more advanced 3D animations and sound effects and Twitter integration.
Sprouter, the well-known social networking service for entrepreneurs has released an application for iPhone and iPod touch users. The Sprouter app provides a native interface for Sprouter members to connect with other startup founders around the world for networking, collaboration and knowledge-sharing. The app includes all of the functionality from the Sprouter website including the ability to post updates, access pre-defined and custom filters, view replies, send and receive private messages, star posts, view and RSVP to events, and search the service. Users can also seamlessly switch back and forth between the iOS application and the Sprouter website to follow feeds and events on whichever platform is most convenient. Sprouter is available from the App Store as a free download. A free Sprouter membership is required; users can sign up from within the app.
Google has released a Universal version of its free Google Earth application for iOS devices. Google Earth 3.0 adds native support for the iPad, including full resolution imagery and a new iPad-specific interface redesign. The update also adds a road layer for iPad and iPhone 3GS devices. Google Earth is an iOS version of Google’s popular application that allows users to navigate and view satellite imagery of Earth simply by using touchscreen swipe gestures. Google Earth also allows users to via millions of geo-tagged photos and Wikipedia articles from around the world and integrates with Google Local search for find cities, places and businesses anywhere on the globe. Google Earth 3.0 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Coinciding with the problematic launch of pre-orders for the iPhone 4, Apple has launched an official, free Apple Store application formatted for the iPhone and iPod touch, but also compatible with the iPad. The application is designed to let customers “buy Apple products and accessories, read customer reviews, find an Apple Retail Store, stay up to date with in-store events, and make Personal Shopping, Genius Bar, or On to One appointments,” and is billed as “the easiest way to buy or reserve your new iPhone—right from your current iPhone.” It also uses push notifications to provide updates for as yet unknown purposes.
Like the Apple Store web site, the application’s main screen currently displays a “We’ll be back soon” post it note graphic, seemingly related to the iPhone 4 ordering outage currently affecting the Store. Screenshots show the application offering five bottom-of-screen buttons to toggle between Featured, Products, Stores, Search, and Cart screens that are not yet available. This is Apple’s fourth separate selling app for iOS devices, following iTunes, App Store, and iBookstore within the iBooks application.
Update: The Apple Store app became functional shortly after 9:30AM. It notably offers iPhone 4 pre-ordering only for existing iPhone customers who wish to replace current iPhones with iPhone 4 models, and only reservations for customers who intend to create new accounts or add lines.
Microsoft is currently offering money to iPhone developers if they port their games to the company’s Windows Phone 7 platform, which will launch later this year. Citing an unnamed developer that was contacted by Microsoft, PocketGamer reports that Microsoft is contacting “successful” iPhone developers, offering them cash to port their games to the new platform. Although the amounts being offered are said to be substantial, they’re reportedly not enough to offset the costs of porting the games over to Microsoft’s programming languages; however, the developer speculated that Microsoft still might be able to woo some developers by tweaking their development tools to make it easier to port from iOS. Sony followed a similar developer recruitment strategy prior to the launch of its PSPgo gaming system.
Apple has updated its iPhone Developer Program License Agreement to allow for a more relaxed stance on interpreted code inside apps. Section 3.3.2 of the agreement previously stated that “[n]o interpreted code may be downloaded or used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple’s Documented APIs and built-in interpreter(s).” The new revised version notes that with Apple’s prior written consent, “[a]n Application may use embedded interpreted code in a limited way if such use is solely for providing minor features or functionality that are consistent with the intended and advertised purpose of the Application.” The new terms should open the door for a number of possibilites for developers, including for games to use third-party rendering engines and libraries.