Apple has announced that its customers downloaded more than 1.5 billion applications from the App Store during its first year of operation, making it “the largest applications store in the world.” The company added that the App Store continues to grow at a fast pace, with more than 65,000 apps now available and more than 100,000 developers in the iPhone Developer Program. “The App Store is like nothing the industry has ever seen before in both scale and quality,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With 1.5 billion apps downloaded, it is going to be very hard for others to catch up.” The App Store is now available in 77 countries; the store passed the billion download milestone in late April, meaning the pace of downloads is likely quickening as well.
Apple has rejected updates to two more applications—FastFinder from Bananas Design and Chirp! Bird Songs from Spiny Software—due to what the company considers to be an inappropriate rating based on the apps’ ability to connect to the Internet. FastFinder allows users to quickly query a variety of search engines and other services such as IMDB, Amazon.com, Facebook, and more, while Chirp! Bird Songs helps users to listen to, identify, and learn about different bird songs. In the former case, Apple argued that FastFinder “allows unfiltered access to the Internet, where content with mature or suggestive themes can be accessed;” it used the same argument to reject the Chirp! update due to its ability to connect to Wikipedia, according to an email from the developer. In both cases Apple said “[a]pplications must be rated accordingly for the highest level of content that the user is able to access,” suggesting the company may continue to reject applications offering Internet access until they raise their ratings. Both FastFinder and Chirp! Bird Songs had previously been accepted into the App Store with a 4+ rating, and are available in their current versions for $2 and $3, respectively.
Epic Tilt, in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, has released TapStar, a new rhythm game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In TapStar, players attempt to tap on the touchpoints in the four corners of the screen to match up to the beat of the currently playing song, and are judged on misses, longest streak, and overall accuracy. Features include a widescreen presentation, music from artists such as John Mayer, Lit, Pink, and Cheap Trick, and four difficulty settings for each level. TapStar is available now from the App Store and sells for $1; a free trial version is also available.
American Heart Association has announced the launch of Pocket First Aid & CPR, its medical application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Developed by Jive Media, Pocket First Aid serves as a portable medical reference guide, with hundreds of illustrated pages on topics such as CPR, choking, bites, seizures, and more, videos to show users how to respond in critical situations, an area to store medical and insurance information for quick retrieval, and up-to-date emergency information. Pocket First Aid & CPR sells for $4.
Advenio has introduced Cloudburst, its new weather application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Cloudburst is designed to offer users a quick-glance look at weather conditions, including current temperature, wind speed and direction, visibility, sunrise and sunset times, a four-day forecast, and current radar image, with all data provided by NOAA.gov. Cloudburst is available now and is priced at $1.
Candywriter has released Word Solitaire, its new game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Word Solitaire merges word games with solitaire by having players drag letters onto each other to form words, completing the level by using all the provided letters in words. It features 25 levels, each with classical art backgrounds, intelligent decks that increase the difficulty slightly with each level, customizable color themes, Twitter integration for posting scores, millions of letter arrangements, and auto save. Word Solitaire is available now from the App Store and sells for $1.
Jelly Biscuits has released Volcano Planet, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Volcano Planet, users attempt to help inhabitants of a volcanic planet escape from destruction by tapping on volcanoes as they erupt—like a 3-D whack-a-mole game—while swatting away passing flying saucers. Features include local and Internet high score tracking, bonuses for speed and accuracy, and pause functionality. Volcano Planet is available now from the App Store and sells for $1.
Zachary West has introduced Prowl, a new Push Notification-enabled Growl client for the iPhone and iPod touch. The application works in concert with the Growl plugin for Mac OS X, allowing users to receive Growl notifications—for things like incoming emails, IMs, and Tweets, completed processes, and more—via Apple’s Push Notification service. Other features include the ability to keep up to 30 days of notifications stored on the server, customized notifications, and the ability to send any message to the device via the Prowl website. Prowl is available now and is priced at $3.
Sevnthsin, PopLife, and Yustin have released iMated, a new photo manipulation app for the iPhone and iPod touch. iMated lets users choose and align photos of two separate people to be combined into one face, giving an amusing look at the possible offspring of the two people pictured. Features include the ability to use a photo from the library or take a new photo with the camera, and the ability to shake to generate new results. iMated is available for $2.
Acrossair has previewed Nearest Tube, its new augmented reality application for the iPhone 3GS. Once the app receives approval from Apple, Nearest Tube will allow London-based iPhone users to hold the phone up and see their surroundings displayed in video format, with information about the nearest subway stations—gathered using a combination of Location and Compass technology—overlaid in real time over the video. Nearest Tube is pending approval from Apple; pricing has yet to be announced.
Apple is now promoting the first-anniversary of the App Store with a dedicated page on the iTunes Store. The message on the promo page reads, “Light a candle and cue the music. Okay, forgive us for sounding like doting parents, but we’re just so proud—having watched the App Store go from promising newcomer to full-fledged revolutionary. To celebrate its first birthday, we’ve gathered some of our favorite games and apps.” Apps featured on the page include MLB.com At Bat 2009, Pandora Radio, Brushes, Rolando, The Sims 3, Peggle, Real Racing, and Let’s Golf. The App Store officially opened on July 10, 2008 with more than 500 applications; it now offers over 50,000.
Ngmoco has released Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid, the sequel to the company’s popular Rolando game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Rolando 2, players once again control a number of round characters, using a combination of accelerometer and touch controls to roll, jump, and otherwise navigate throughout the various levels. iLounge was given the opportunity to play a pre-release build of the game while we were at WWDC, and we found it to be a worthy sequel to the first game. The 2.5D graphics add a needed sense of depth, while the branching progression—the ability to choose one of two or more paths after finishing a level—was likely a necessary change to accommodate fans of the game who found themselves sometimes stuck on a particular level. Also new to the game are several classes of Rolandos, “vehicles” such as mine cars and a spike-covered ball, environmental challenges such as rising lava, water, and boulders, Idols to collect that let players skip levels of their choosing, the ability to play music from the iPhone or iPod touch instead of the built-in soundtrack, a larger map to explore, and an integrated tutorial system for first-time players. Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid is available now and sells for $10.
Following its decision to allow bikini photo applications into the App Store, Apple has removed one such application from the App Store due to pornographic—in this case, illegal—content. The application BeautyMeter by German developers Braun Software has been on the store since January, but came under fire yesterday following the discovery that the developer was offering not only nude photos, but a nude photo of an underage girl. Similar to websites and apps such as Hot Or Not, BeautyMeter allowed users to upload pics of themselves for other people to judge. According to a report, one particular photo—which appeared to show full nudity—was labeled as being of a 15-year-old girl. After the report, Apple removed the application from the App Store.
Last week a separate application, Hottest Girls, was pulled from the App Store after adding topless photos of women to its available photo archive. At this point, it’s unclear what Apple’s exact intentions are in regards to such content and the App Store. Following the removal of Hottest Girls, Apple released a statement that said that the company “will not distribute applications that contain inappropriate content, such as pornography.” However, Apple’s App Store submission system provides checkboxes for such content on its content description page, including options for “Sexual Content or Nudity,” “Prolonged Graphic or sadistic realistic violence,” and “Graphic sexual content or nudity.” In addition, the company recently expanded the Parental Controls available to iPhone and iPod touch users that allow parents to keep applications rated above a certain level from being installed or run on the device.
Altus has released Droplitz, a puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Droplitz has playes rotate dials in order to create pathways through which balls called Droplitz can travel safely in order to be collected at the bottom of the screen. The game offers three distinct play modes of varying ability, as well as the ability to make multiple connections for higher scores. Droplitz is available now from the App Store and sells for $2.
IUGO Mobile Entertainment has released A.D.D. Lite, its new mini-game title for the iPhone and iPod touch. A.D.D. Lite (Another Dumb Distraction) is the free version of the upcoming title A.D.D., and offers 16 mini-games, many offering raunchy subject matter and game play. A.D.D. Lite is available now as a free download; the full version, offering 76 mini-games, is “still pending Apple approval.”
Karma World has released Card Tower: The House of Cards, its new application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Card Tower simulates building a house of cards using multi-touch controls and accurate physics rules, with an undo feature offering a chance to correct small mistakes. Card Tower: The House of Cards is available now and priced at $1.
Freeverse has released Warpack Grunts, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Warpack Grunts, players take control of a squad of fighters in order to stop “Evil Dude” and his army from taking over the world. The game offers 40 levels, four difficulty levels, online high scores for the campaign and each level, and a special unlockable game mode. Warpack Grunts sells for $1.
Id Software has released Doom Resurrection, its first original game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Revealed in an interview earlier this month, the game’s storyline takes place alongside the story of Doom 3, but in a different location. Features include an accelerometer-based aiming system, eight levels, a wide variety of enemies and weapons, and four difficulty levels. Doom Resurrection is available now from the App Store and sells for $10.
Following yesterday’s report of an iPhone app touting nudity as one of its selling points, Apple has released a statement saying it will not distribute such applications. Hottest Girls from developer Allen Leung was pulled from the store yesterday afternoon following widespread publicity of the app’s new adult content; the developer blamed the app’s disappearance on heavy server loads. “The server usage is extremely high because of the popularity of this app. Thus, by not distributing the app, we can prevent our servers from crashing… Yes, the topless images will still be there when it is sold again,” said a statement on Leung’s website. It appears, however, that Apple may have had a hand in its removal, and will likely not allow the application back on the App Store in its current form.
“Apple will not distribute applications that contain inappropriate content, such as pornography,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told CNN. “The developer of this application added inappropriate content directly from their server after the application had been approved and distributed, and after the developer had subsequently been asked to remove some offensive content. This was a direct violation of the terms of the iPhone Developer Program. The application is no longer available on the App Store.” Despite the strong statement from Apple, the App Store listing for Hottest Girls showed the app as being rated 17+ for “Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity,” suggesting the company was prepared to allow apps with adult content onto the store.
The new Parental Controls found in iPhone OS 3.0 have opened the door for Apple to begin approving iPhone and iPod touch applications containing explicit content, including nudity. The latest version of Hottest Girls - 2200+ Topless, Sexy Babes and Nude Models by Allen Leung appears to be the first app approved for sale in App Store under the new rules. Rated 17+ for “Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity” and “Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes,” the app sells for $2. “We uploaded nude topless pics today. This is the first app to have nudity,” developer Allen Leung told Macenstein. While the merits of such content on the App Store are debatable, the move should reduce the number of misguided rejections over explicit content, such as the South Park application, and more recently, the Nine Inch Nails: Access app—which Apple eventually approved, following a widely-publicized post from band founder Trent Reznor. To activate Parental Controls, go to the General > Restrictions menu in the iPhone’s or iPod touch’s Settings application.
Update: According to a post on the developer’s website, the app has been pulled to ease server strain. The message reads, “[t]he server usage is extremely high because of the popularity of this app. Thus, by not distributing the app, we can prevent our servers from crashing. Those who already have the app will still be able to use our app. To answer the question on everyone’s mind: Yes, the topless images will still be there when it is sold again.”
Apple has updated its Remote application for the iPhone and iPod touch to version 1.3. In addition to its prior functionality as an iTunes and limited Apple TV remote, the new version allows users to control their Apple TV’s menus via a new “Control” menu, that turns the iPhone or iPod touch into a multi-touch remote control, resembling the trackpads of current-model MacBook Pro computers. Remote 1.3 is available now as a free download from the App Store. Screenshots of Remote v1.3 can be seen in this news article.
AT&T has released its new AT&T Navigator application for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Powered by TeleNav, AT&T Navigator is a turn-by-turn direction application, offering users voice-guided and 3D on-screen GPS navigation. Features include automatic rerouting, automatic map updates, real-time traffic updates, the ability to search for gas by price, the ability to enter an address from the iPhone or prior to a trip via computer, and a database of more than 10 million business listings. AT&T Navigator is available now for the iPhone 3G with iPhone OS 3.0 update and the iPhone 3GS, and is a free download; service is $10/month and is charged directly to the user’s AT&T bill, apparently skirting Apple’s rule on charging fees for free apps after purchase.
A handful of Push Notification-ready AIM client applications have hit the App Store. AOL has updated both its paid and free versions of AIM for iPhone OS 3.0, adding the ability for users to stay logged in for up to 24 hours after closing the app, with all messages received during that time pushed directly to their device. The paid version, which sells for $3, also adds landscape support in buddy list and conversation views; the release notes state this feature will be added to the free version in a later update. In addition to AOL’s official AIM clients, BeeJive has updated its $10 BeeJive IM client with Push Notification support, as well as performance and user interface enhancements. All three updated AIM client apps are available now from the App Store.
The release of iPhone OS 3.0 for the iPhone and iPod touch has brought with it a slew of new application updates, developed to take advantage of the upgraded software. Instead of breaking all these updates out into separate stories, we’ve decided to list them in this single spot; we will update this story as more news of major application updates rolls in.
MLB.com At Bat 2009: Thanks to the enhanced video streaming support in iPhone OS 3.0, MLB.com’s At Bat 2009 application will begin offering up to two streaming, full-length live games per day, starting today. In addition, the company plans to will roll out the entire slate of out-of-market games currently offered through its premier live streaming video product, MLB.TV Premium, as part of MLB.com At Bat 2009. The application is available now for $10.
Smule Leaf Trombone World Stage: Smule has updated its virtual instrument app Leaf Trombone World Stage to take advantage of new iPhone OS 3.0 features. Users will now be able to play together in a new Duet Mode, which takes advantage of new Bluetooth-based peer-to-peer features, and will be able to receive push notifications regarding opportunities to judge friends, learn recent results of their own performances, and track individual achievements. Leaf Trombone World Stage sells for $1.
Sirius XM has released its new Sirius XM Premium Online application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Premium Online allows Sirius and XM subscribers access to 120 online channels of programming, including music, sports, talk, news, entertainment, and comedy. The app also offers the ability to immediately purchase songs heard within the app from the iTunes Store, or tag them for later purchasing, the ability to save favorite channels, and the ability to see what others around you are listening to with a feature called LookAround. Notably, the app lacks Sirius XM’s immensely popular Howard Stern channels, which has angered early reviewers. Sirius XM Premium Online is avialable as a free download from the App Store; subscription required.
Id Software co-founder John Carmack has revealed Doom Resurrection, the company’s first original game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In an interview with VentureBeat, Carmack said the plot of the game is similar to that of Doom 3, but takes place in a different place than the main Doom 3 storyline. In addition, Carmack was pleasantly surprised that the development team from Escalation Studios—which Carmack led—didn’t have to didn’t have to completely redo the PC game art for the iPhone, but instead downsampled it to fit the iPhone’s screen. The game has eight full levels, good for around five hours of gameplay, and Carmack said the game may use various iPhone software 3.0 features once they are released, including peer-to-peer cooperative multiplayer. “I love the iPhone,” Carmack said. “It’s a real game platform, not a tiny little toy.” He added, “If you look at it in raw hardware horsepower, the iPhone should be better in performance than the Nintendo DS and the PlayStation Portable[.] But the truth is, you can’t exploit it all because of software inefficiencies.” He went on to say that he is meeting with Apple to discuss how to improve the iPhone as a gaming platform, and while he is excited about the faster iPhone 3G S, he remains focused on making sure his games run on the widest number of iPhone OS devices. Doom Resurrection is expected to hit the App Store next week; pricing has yet to be announced.
Tapulous has released its new Lady Gaga Revenge game for the iPhone and iPod touch, and announced a new deal with Universal Music Group to bring more music games to the App Store. Lady Gaga Revenge features 14 tracks and remixes from the pop singer, four boss tracks featuring an all-new horizontal play mode and four rails, themes, graphics, and effects inspired by Lady Gaga videos and discography, four difficulty levels, a multiplayer mode, news feed, and Facebook Connect. It is available now and sells for $5.
Under the new UMG agreement, which kicked off with the release of the Lady Gaga game, the two companies will team up to provide a variety of music-oriented games featuring UMG artists, the ability for users to purchase songs from UMG artists in the upcoming title Tap Tap Revenge 3.0—tracks will run $.50 each and will be provided through iPhone OS 3.0’s In-app Purchases feature, and at least one new rhythm game featuring a UMG artist, to be released this fall.
Announced and demoed during yesterday’s Keynote Address, ngmoco has released its new game Star Defense for the iPhone and iPod touch. Star Defense is a tower defense-style game, set on different worlds, which can be rotated and zoomed via multi-touch gestures. Features include 5 classes of towers, 15 total weapons, each with unique attributes, both Campaign Mode and asynchronous multiplayer in Challenge Mode, seven distinct worlds, and three levels of difficulty. Star Defense is available now from the App Store and sells for $6.
In addition to the previously disclosed features of iPhone OS 3.0, Apple today announced that the software—officially launching June 17 worldwide—will now include two new features that were previously rumored: Find My iPhone and direct-to-device video downloads. Find My iPhone relies upon a subscription to Apple’s MobileMe service to let users automatically create sound and text alerts on their lost devices, helping them to either find the devices themselves or inform their finders as to their presence and return details. Users can send out noises that are audible even if the iPhone’s ringer switch has been turned off; they can also completely wipe the iPhone from afar, and use the integrated GPS functionality to locate the device’s current position on a map.
iPhone OS 3.0 also adds video downloads, a feature that enables the iPhone to wirelessly download movies, TV shows, and other video content without being connected to a computer. The feature also adds audiobook download support to the iPhone’s integrated iTunes Store for the first time, and permits direct-from-device video rentals as well.