Joe Hewitt, the leading developer behind the official Facebook application for the iPhone and iPod touch, and iLounge’s Editors’ and Readers’ Choice for iPod/iPhone Application Developer of the Year, has announced that he will no longer be involved in iPhone development due to Apple’s review policies. Hewitt, who is quitting only iPhone development, and not Facebook, revealed his decision last night via Twitter, saying, “Time for me to try something new. I’ve handed the Facebook iPhone app off to another engineer, and I’m onto a new project.”
In a more lengthy interview with TechCrunch, Hewitt explained why he decided to abandon iPhone development. “My decision to stop iPhone development has had everything to do with Apple’s policies,” Hewitt said. “I respect their right to manage their platform however they want, however I am philosophically opposed to the existence of their review process. I am very concerned that they are setting a horrible precedent for other software platforms, and soon gatekeepers will start infesting the lives of every software developer.” Discussing his future, he added, “The web is still unrestricted and free, and so I am returning to my roots as a web developer. In the long term, I would like to be able to say that I helped to make the web the best mobile platform available, rather than being part of the transition to a world where every developer must go through a middleman to get their software in the hands of users.”
Universal Studios Home Entertainment, in collaboration with Deluxe Digital Studios, has released pocket BLU, a new application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Beginning with the Blu-ray edition of Bruno and continuing on for Blu-ray releases of films such as Funny People, Public Enemies, and Inglorious Basterds, iPhone and iPod touch users will be able to interact with new and upcoming Universal Blu-ray releases using the pocket BLU app. Features of the app, which uses a Wi-Fi connection to communicate with a networked Blu-ray player, include an on-screen remote that allows for menu navigation, playback and BD-Live control, a video timeline—accessed by rotating the device—which allows users to instantly access any point in the movie, the ability to unlock a selection of bonus “Mobile-To-Go” content to be saved or streamed to the device, and a pop-up keyboard for entering text. This follows Universal’s earlier foray into added Blu-ray content for iPhone and iPod touch users. Universal’s pocket BLU application is available now as a free download from the App Store; the first compatible Blu-ray disc will be released November 17.
Shazam, a popular music identification service for the iPhone and iPod touch, is splitting its single app into two separate applications. The free Shazam application will now limit new users to five song IDs per month; current users will retain the ability to tag as many songs as they like. For users looking for a more comprehensive identification solution, the company’s new Shazam Encore application offers faster, unlimited tags, the ability to add location data to tags, the ability to search Shazam’s music charts—based on other user’s requests—and the service’s music database, a new drive and tag mode that will continuously monitor and tag new songs playing over a car’s stereo while charging, the ability to store music info when offline for later identification, and more. Shazam Encore is available now and sells for $5.
A class action lawsuit (PDF Link) has been filed against iPhone game developer Storm8 accusing the company of secretly transmitting and collecting players’ phone numbers. Storm8 makes a variety of games available for download from the App Store, including iMobsters, Vampires Live, and Zombies Live, which the company says have been downloaded more than 20 million times, making them “the number one role-playing games for the iPhone and iPod touch.” While the suit acknowledges that Storm8 admitted to transferring players’ phone numbers in August, calling the problem a “bug,” it also states that the company “could not have accidentally harvested its users’ phone numbers” and needed to use “very specific and specialized software code to do so.” This is not the first time a company has been accused of secretly stealing users’ phone numbers via an application; European application mogoRoad was said to be transferring users’ numbers and using them to place the unsolicited calls in September.
Apple has officially announced that there are now more than 100,000 applications available on the App Store. iPhone and iPod touch users in 77 countries have access to the store, which includes 20 categories of applications. Application monitoring sites had claimed the company had passed the 100,000 app mark earlier, but this is the first official confirmation from Apple.
“The App Store, now with over 100,000 applications available, is clearly a major differentiator for millions of iPhone and iPod touch customers around the world,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The iPhone SDK created the first great platform for mobile applications and our customers are loving all of the amazing apps our developers are creating.”
“The App Store has forever changed the mobile gaming industry and continues to improve,” said Travis Boatman, vice president of Worldwide Studios, EA Mobile. “With a global reach of over 50 million iPhone and iPod touch users, the App Store has allowed us to develop high quality EA games that have been a huge success with customers.”
“With 10,000 downloads a day, worldwide customer response to our I Am T-Pain App has exceeded our wildest expectations,” said Jeff Smith, CEO of Smule. “The App Store has given us a unique opportunity to create and grow a very successful business, and we’re looking forward to an exciting future.”
EnvIO networks has released Chorus, its first application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Chorus is a application discovery app, helping users find worthwhile applications on the App Store without the need to dig through the store itself. The application bases its recommendations on those of the user’s friends—which can be brought in from Facebook and Contacts, and added from a list of nearby Chorus users—as well as a select group of “App Maven” experts. Chorus is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Kodak has introduced its new Pic Flick application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Kodak Pic Flick allows users to wirelessly transmit pictures from their devices to Kodak EasyShare W820 or W1020 wireless digital picture froms, or to a Kodak ESP 5250 All-In-One wireless printer for printing out the image. Kodak Pic Flick is a free download from the App Store. [via Photography Blog]
Highlights for Children has debuted Highlights Hidden Pictures, its first game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game features eight puzzle illustrations featuring more than 100 hidden objects, a scrollable row of objects to use as clues, a hint feature, the ability to register the game for two free puzzles, the ability to play custom music in the background, and more. Highlights Hidden Puzzles is available now and sells for $2.
GLU Mobile has released World Series of Poker Hold’em Legend, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. This No-Limit Texas hold’em poker game features a career mode with cash games, bracelet events, multi-table tournaments, and more, over 20 unique achievements, up to 9-player real-time online multiplayer, a heads-up two-player Bluetooth multiplayer mode, the ability to save favorite hands, the ability to listen to music from the iPod while playing, and more. World Series of Poker Hold’em Legend is available now and is priced at $7.
Ngmoco has released Eliminate Pro, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Eliminate Pro is a first-person shooter in which players compete with one another in multi-player matches to earn credits to buy upgrades and better weapons. Features include networked play over both 3G and W-Fi, multiple weapons, power-ups, and arenas, Plus+ integration, and more. Eliminate Pro is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Electronic Arts has introduced Command & Conquer Red Alert, its latest title for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Red Alert, players use multi-touch controls to command their forces against the enemy, fighting through twelve combat levels as either the Soviets or Allies—each side has its own specific weaponry and campaign storylines. A map pack with six extra skirmish maps is available as an in-app purchase, and EA is promising Bluetooth and Wi-Fi multiplayer, as well as an “Empire of the Rising Sun” expansion pack as future updates. Command & Conquer Red Alert is available now and sells for $10.
id Software has unveiled Doom Classic, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. As a port of the original first-person shooter, Classic includes the original three episodes as well as episode four for a total of 36 levels, customizable control schemes, both Deathmatch and Co-op multiplayer modes, the ability to listen to the original soundtrack or music from the iPod library, and more. Doom Classic is available now for $7.
Izy CG has released IzyPhotoTip, its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. IzyPhotoTip is designed to help photographers and travelers mark, locate, and revisit places where they might want to take a picture with more advanced photographic equipment. Features include the ability to manage, categorize, and tags shooting locations, add photos from the camera or library to a location, save the best time to shoot the location, share locations with friends, and more. IzyPhotoTip is available now and is priced at $4.
The Iconfactory has released Pickin’ Time, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Pickin’ Time has players attempt to pick their chosen vegetable as fast as they can when it pops up. The game offers both a single-player mode plus single-device and Wi-Fi multi-player modes, as well as a family-friendly theme and original soundtrack. Pickin’ Time is available now and sells for $2.
UPS has launched UPS Mobile, its new application for the iPhone and iPod touch. UPS Mobile lets users track package and freight shipments, find nearby UPS locations, and estimate shipping costs and delivery times; users logged in with a My UPS ID can also nickname tracked shipments, see recent tracks, create shipping labels to e-mail and then print, access their ups.com address books, and use saved shipping and payment preferences. UPS Mobile is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Nikon has introduced Nikon Learn & Explore, its new photography application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Learn & Explore gives users access to a host of photography tips and information, including educational images and videos, advice on shooting techniques, guides to fundamental photography principles, a photography glossary, complete access to Nikon’s quarterly print magazine Nikon World, and more. Nikon Learn & Explore is available now as a free download.
Namco has released Garters & Ghouls, its latest title for the iPhone and iPod touch. Developed in collaboration with Big Blue Bubble, Garters & Ghouls puts players in the shoes of Marie Dupois, who has been summoned to battle a horde of baddies with dual on-screen stick controls. Features include over 25 levels, a variety of weapons and power-ups, extra downloadable content, the ability to share in-game achievements via Facebook Connect, and more. Garters & Ghouls is available now and sells for $5.
Apple has released an update to its Remote application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Remote allows iPhone and iPod touch users to control their iTunes installations or Apple TVs directly from their devices. New in version 1.3.2 is compatibility with iTunes 9 and Apple TV 3.0, as well as unspecified bug fixes. Remote 1.3.2 is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Disney.com has launched its new official application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new app offers access to Disney news and entertainment, interaction with popular characters through customizable photo frames and audio greetings, the ability to listen to Radio Disney live and watch videos, in-app games like Name That Song, and more. In addition, it offers a “Click2Life” feature that allows iPhone users to take pictures of images on the disney.com website that then become animated images within the app. Disney.com is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Priceline.com has released its Hotel Negotiator application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app lets users find and book last-minute accommodations using the site’s Name Your Own Price hotel service. Features include a winning bids listing that displays multiple recent winning bids made by other customers for hotels across a city, a shake-activated, location-based winning bids search, the ability to sort listings by star level, price, proximity, and popularity, instant bid results, the ability to browse Priceline’s published-price hotel listings, and a specially-designed one-page checkout screen. Priceline.com’s Hotel Negotiator app is available as a free download.
Seeitwithus has introduced Videopix, its first application for the iPhone 3GS. Videopix allows iPhone 3GS users to scrub through their videos frame-by-frame, extracting 640x480 stills directly from the video files. Features include precise navigation controls, automatic video orientation detection for proper photo exporting, and the ability to take images from any video in the Camera Roll. Videopix is available now and sells for $5.
Location-aware social networking service Brightkite has updated its native iPhone and iPod touch application to version 2.0. Sporting a slightly tweaked interface, the new version gives users access to new features recently added to the service’s website, including a new Friend model that allows others to follow as a fan, leaving the choice as to whether or not they are a “friend” up to the user, a new privacy model that lets users decide who sees each post, post-by-post settings for sending updates to other sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, the option to post without location data, and more. Brightkite 2.0 is available now as a free download.
Google has revealed details of its upcoming free turn-by-turn Google Maps Navigation, and has said it plans to bring the app to the iPhone. The new application will offer common Google Maps features, including the ability to search by name of business and traffic data, as well as new features like voice-assisted turn-by-turn navigation, integration with Satellite and Street View, and the ability to search along the selected route for upcoming points of interest like gas stations and restaurants.
The application will launch with Android 2.0 on the Motorola Droid, which will be available on Verizon on November 6, and will be featured on other upcoming GPS-capable Android 2.0 devices. Google’s Vice President of Engineering, Vic Gundotra, also confirmed that the company is currently working with Apple to bring the application to the iPhone, but noted that the process is different than the normal App Store submission process, because Maps is a built-in iPhone application. No preliminary launch date was mentioned for the iPhone version.
Tapulous has teamed with rock band Metallica for the release of its new Tap Tap Revenge: Metallica game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Like prior Tap Tap releases, Revenge: Metallica is a rhythm game in which players attempt to hit one of three, four, or five tracks in time with the music and with the note indicators moving down the screen. The game features 10 songs, four boss tracks, a landscape mode with four rails on hard difficulty and five on extreme, an arcade mode, a Bluetooth multiplayer battle mode, four difficulty levels, and Facebook Connect functionality. Notably, several iLounge editors wondered whether Tapulous would continue releasing artist-specific editions of Tap Tap games after its launch of Tap Tap Revenge 3, which can be expanded via an in-game music store; this release seems to suggest that it will. Tap Tap Revenge: Metallica is available now from the App Store and sells for $5.
Electronic Arts today released NBA Live by EA Sports ($10), a full-featured basketball game title with a number of features such as real teams and real players, an 82-game season mode, a shorter playoff mode, and light managerial options. Our review is available here.
NASDAQ announced today that it has introduced a new stock market application, NASDAQ Portfolio Manager, allowing investors to build watch lists and detailed portfolios of U.S. stocks, track price performance in real time, access pre-market and after-hours quotes, and view dynamic charts. NASDAQ Portfolio Manager is available for free from the App Store.
The National Film Board of Canada has released NFB Films, an app for the iPhone or iPod touch that provides access to hundreds of independent films, documentaries, and animation films from the NFB collection. The application, available free from the App Store, allows users to search or browse through the NFB library and view content on their device, as well as downloading content to watch offline for up to 24 hours, marking content as favorites. The app also includes a “nearby” feature to show you what other people in your area are watching.
GameFly also recently introduced its free GameCenter app for the iPhone and iPod touch. GameCenter provides users with access to information on more than 5,000 video games across major gaming platforms, as well as news, videos, screenshots, release dates, user reviews, gameplay controls, cheat codes, and more. The GameCenter App is available free on the App Store.
NASA today announced the release of an application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The NASA app for iPhone aggregates and delivers up-to-the-minute information, videos, images and news updates about NASA missions. Users can access NASA countdown clocks, the NASA Image of the Day, Astronomy Image of the Day, online videos, NASA’s Twitter feeds and more in an interface optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch. The NASA App also provides three different views to allow users to track the current positions of the International Space Station and other spacecraft currently orbiting Earth. The NASA app for iPhone is available free from the iTunes App Store.
Electronic Arts has released its Rock Band music game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Like the console version of the game, Rock Band for iPhone and iPod touch has players attempting to time up taps on a set of four virtual picks or drum pads to a cascade of corresponding notes that fall vertically down the screen, or sing along to notes that travel horizontally from right to left, depending on whether the player chooses guitar, bass, drums, or vocals. A four-player Bluetooth multiplayer mode lets players enjoy a “full band” experience; other features include three difficulty levels, twenty included tracks with more available from the in-app Music Store, a rewards and achievements system, Facebook integration, Push Notifications for game invites, and more. Rock Band is available now from the App Store and sells for $10.
Canon has released Canon Easy-PhotoPrint for iPhone, its first application for the iPhone and iPod touch. PhotoPrint allows users to print photos directly from their devices on a compatible Canon PIXMA printer over Wi-Fi. Features include a wide selection of paper sizes and types, the ability to print multiple photos at once, and up to 20 copies of each, the ability to print bordered or borderless prints, automatic printer finding, and the ability to access and take photos using the iPhone’s built-in camera from within the application. Canon’s Easy-PhotoPrint for iPhone is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Apple has sent out an e-mail communication to its paid iPhone developers announcing the availability of In-App Purchases in free applications. Prior to this announcement, Apple has repeatedly stated a “free stays free” mantra for keeping In-App Purchasing out of free apps. The announcement reads, “In App Purchase is being rapidly adopted by developers in their paid apps. Now you can use In App Purchase in your free apps to sell content, subscriptions, and digital services.”
The message continues, “You can also simplify your development by creating a single version of your app that uses In App Purchase to unlock additional functionality, eliminating the need to create Lite versions of your app. Using In App Purchase in your app can also help combat some of the problems of software piracy by allowing you to verify In App Purchases.”
Layar has introduced its Layar Reality Browser for the iPhone 3GS. Using the iPhone 3GS’ data connection, camera, GPS, and compass in concert, Layar allows users to search for and view nearby businesses, places of interest, and other data sets by displaying them over top the live view from the iPhone’s camera. Users can filter by distance, and can also view all points on a single screen by using the map or list view. Layar Reality Browser is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Roundbox has released its new TV Guide Mobile application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app offers local TV listings by zip code and cable provider, the ability to view air date, time, channel, and episode and cast details, the ability to add channels and shows as favorites, the ability to search for shows, actors and actresses, and episodes, and a news section with entertainment news, episode recaps and other content from TVGuide.com. TV Guide Mobile is also available as a free download from the App Store.
Monsoon Multimedia has debuted its HAVA Player application for the iPhone and iPod touch. HAVA Player works with the company’s line of video-streaming devices to allow users to watch and control their home TV or TiVo directly from their devices over Wi-Fi. Features include complete compatibility with most free and paid TV services, including DirecTV, Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner, Dish Network, and others, the ability to browse the service provider’s program guide, schedule or watch recordings form a DVR, an on-screen remote control, and more. Monsoon Multimedia’s HAVA Player is available now and sells for $10.
Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) has revealed that of the 350,000 average live streams it served for the first round of the 2009 MLB playoffs, roughly 10 percent were viewed on an iPhone or iPod touch. According to PaidContent, 314,000 streams were routed through MLB.com, with another 36,000 viewed on an iPhone or iPod touch via the MLB.com At Bat application. In addition, another 88,000 live audio-only streams were delivered via At Bat. MLBAM employee in part credited the introduction of live mobile streaming technology on the iPhone for increasing the group’s potential audience and for the “great fan response” it has received thus far.
New data published by analytics firm Pinch Media suggests that as many as 1.5 million iPhones and iPod touches have used a pirated application. The company states that it has received data from approximately 4 million jailbroken devices, about 38% of which have used pirated applications—an estimate it claims is low, due to application pirates taking steps to avoid detection. The company also says 60% of paid apps have been pirated, with an average of 34% of installs representing cracked copies once an app has been pirated. Debunking the idea that those using pirated applications are simply taking a “try before you buy” stance, the report also reveals that the percentage of users who try “Lite” or free versions of applications that then purchase the full paid version is roughly 7.4%, while only 0.43% of those who try a pirated copy of an app go on to purchase a legitimate copy.
Gameloft has released Derek Jeter Real Baseball, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game offers full 3D player and stadium models, the ability to listen to music from the iPod in-game, and the ability to post replays to YouTube, a variety of different game modes including a 162-game season plus playoffs mode and a home-un challenge, and audio commentary. Derek Jeter Real Baseball is available now and sells for $5.
Crave Entertainment has introduced Brunswick Pro Bowling, its first game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the Wii game of the same name, Brunswick Pro features real pin and ball physics, including changing oil patterns and lane conditions, five unique locations, vertical and horizontal play modes, a Wall of Fame high score board, a choice between touch- and accelerometer-based controls, unlockable balls and bowling centers, realistic sound effects, a variety of game modes, and more. Brunswick Pro Bowling is priced at $3.
Snapfinger.com has launched its new Snapfinger - Restaurant Ordering application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app lets users order meals from more than 28,000 restaurants across 1,600 U.S. cities, including popular chains such as Subway, Outback, California Pizza Kitchen, and more. Features include a location-based restaurant finder, the ability to save favorite orders, complete menu and item selections, a selectable pick-up time and date, a map of and directions to the selected restaurant, pre-payment via credit card, and order confirmation via text and e-mail. Snapfinger - Restaurant Ordering is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Independent developer Robert Scarano has released Volumatic, his second application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Volumatic is an iPod player application that offers automatic volume adjustment based on the ambient noise level, monitored through either the iPhone’s built-in microphone or the earphone microphone on the iPod touch. Features include fully customizable settings for fine-tuning the sensitivity and an “office mode” that automatically pauses playback when a loud noise is heard. Volumatic is available now as a free download from the App Store.