In its response to a Federal Communications Commission inquiry into why Apple rejected an official Google Voice application for the iPhone, Google stated (PDF Link) that Apple did in fact reject its Google Voice application, a charge Apple denied in its public response on the matter, claiming it was still studying the application. The majority of Google’s response was redacted from the original public filing on the basis that it was confidential; the full document was released today, and reveals that Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller personally talked and met with Google Senior Vice President of Engineering & Research Alan Eustace about the Google Voice and Google Latitude applications, both rejected by Apple on the grounds that they duplicated core iPhone functionality and could potentially lead to customer confusion. In a particularly damning passage, Google indicates that Apple rejected Google Latitude because it would “offer new features not present on the preloaded maps application,” and “did not want applications that could potentially replace such functionality,” using similar grounds to reject Google Voice. Google also states that it had no contact with AT&T on the matter, a claim which both Apple and AT&T have previously confirmed. Google says that it has no other proposed applications pending approval with Apple.
Update: Apple has released a terse statement on the matter, saying, “We do not agree with all of the statements made by Google in their FCC letter. Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application and we continue to discuss it with Google.”
Digital Chocolate has released Jurassic 3D Rollercoaster Rush, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. A follow-up to the company’s earlier Rollercoaster Rush 3D, Jurassic 3D has players attempting to raise their excitement meters and score more points by challenging drops, loops, and chasm jumps from inside a coaster car. Features include a career mode with 40 different tracks, a challenge race mode, a Bluetooth multiplayer mode, and more. Jurassic 3D Rollercoaster Rush is available now from the App Store and sells for $5; a free trial version is also available.
App Zap has released an update to PandoraBox, its deal-finding application for the iPhone and iPod touch. PandoraBox offers users continuously updated information relating to new App Store releases and price reductions. In addition, it allows users to create their own lists of favorite applications to track. PandoraBox is available now as a free download.
Opal Limited, publishers of the music application Bloom, has released Air, its second app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on concepts developed by Brian Eno and created by Peter Chilvers and vocalist Sandra O’Neill, Air assembles vocal and piano samples into new compositions. The app features four “control” modes, which let the user tap in different areas of the display to control the compositions, and three “listen” modes, which provide a choice of arrangement; the app also offers the ability to spread the composition over multiple iPhone and iPod touch units. Air is available now and is priced at $2.
Chillingo and Kinelco have released Underground, a new game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Underground is a horror/graffiti-themed side-scrolling 2D shoot ‘em up game, featuring multi-directional shooting using the touch screen, graffiti artwork by the artist Frames, an original hip-hop soundtrack scored by Pp3d, three difficulty levels, over 60 different enemies, 11 different weapons, and more. Underground is available now and sells for $4.
Spartadata has released Billing: Credit Card Terminal, its new application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Billing is a wireless point of sale terminal application, offering tax and tip inclusion, support for Authorize.net accounts, including built-in account setup, signature capture using the touchscreen, instant receipt dispatch via email, earnings and transaction statistics, secure HTTPS transactions, and more. Billing: Credit Card Terminal is available now from the App Store and sells for $20.
Cinemek has introduced Hitchcock, its first application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Hitchcock is a mobile storyboard and pre-visualization composer designed for use by directors, directors of photography, producers, writers, animators, and others who want to visualize a story. The app feature the ability to add and arrange images as panels, set durations for each in minutes, seconds, or frames, multi-touch gestures for markups such as dolly, track, zoom, and pan, the ability to add audio clips, notes, and scene descriptions to each panel, and more. Hitchcock is available now and sells for $20.
Gx5 has debuted qStatus, its new application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on Efiko Software’s jailbroken Twitter app qTweeter, qStatus provides a simple, single-screen interface for updating to both Twitter and Facebook simultaneously, or to only one service. Other features include support for updates longer than 140 characters through a Tweet Long feature, support for TwitPic and TwitVid with an in-app camera button, the ability to update with your currently playing music, customizable backgrounds, and more. qStatus is available now and is priced at $1.
Berbie Software has released RaceBunny, its first application for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. RaceBunny is a GPS sport companion, designed to work with the company’s TrailRunner route planning and journaling application for Mac OS X. RaceBunny receives routes from TrailRunner to display on the iPhone’s map, with a carrot that moves along the trail at a pre-selected pace. The app can then record the user’s route, sending the information back to TrailRunner for analysis of distance, speed, and altitude. RaceBunny is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Perhaps in an effort to help address some iPhone developers’ concerns, Apple has added a Top Grossing Apps list to the App Store. The new list, which sits below the Top Paid Apps and Top Free Apps lists on the redesigned App Store front page, ranks applications by the amount of money they are bringing in rather than units sold or downloaded. This new metric provides an interesting comparison to the Top Paid Apps list, reordering the top three apps on the Paid list—top-seller by unit AppBox Pro is third on the Grossing list, behind Madden NFL 10 and I Am T-Pain, which are second and third by unit sales—and offering more expensive applications such as TomTom and Navigon’s GPS navigation apps the opportunity to gain more exposure despite their comparatively high prices relative to more common apps like games and utilities. Thus far, Apple has yet to add a similar list to any of the individual app genre pages.
Apple has approved Real Networks’ Rhapsody application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new app will allow subscribers of the Rhapsody service to queue songs from the service’s 8 million tracks, and create custom playlists that will stream directly to their device over cellular or Wi-Fi connections at 64 kilobits per second. New users will have a seven-day trial period before needing to sign up for a $15 a month subscription; Real Networks plans on adding a feature that would allow users to load songs onto their devices for offline playback in an update later this year. “This breaks us out of the non-Apple MP3 player segment and now we can reach the iPod Touch and iPhone audience that was unavailable to us before,” said Neil Smith, vice president of business management for Rhapsody America. Real’s Rhapsody application is expected to hit the App Store in the next few days and will be a free download.
Electronic Arts has released Madden NFL 10, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Previewed late last month, the game features complete rosters for all 32 NFL teams, authentic models of NFL stadiums, a season mode with in-depth trades, stats and individual player rewards, in-game commentary from John Madden, Tom Hammond and Cris Collinsworth, detailed roster management, roughly 300 plays to choose form, the ability for players to draw up their own plays using the iPhone’s or iPod touch’s screen, and an action control mode that slows the game down to give the player more time to react to ongoing plays. Madden NFL 10 is available now from the App Store and is priced at $8 until kickoff of the Steelers v. Titans game at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time, at which time it will increase to $10.
Photo sharing service Flickr has launched its official application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new native app was preceded by a large number of third-party solutions, many of which we reviewed previously, and is also complimented by the service’s iPhone-optimized mobile site, available at m.flickr.com. Flickr for iPhone allows users to shoot, upload, and share photos and videos, geo-tag photos, view photos by set or tag, see recent photos from friends and family, search and view photos by contact, make comments or mark photos as favorites, and explore other photos by subject, people, or places. Flickr for the iPhone and iPod touch is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Following an initial rejection by Apple and a later reversal of that decision, Manomio’s C64 Commodore 64 emulator application has been released and then pulled from the App Store. Meant to serve as a game emulator, C64 was rejected in June for violating terms of the iPhone SDK despite being fully licensed for both the Commodore ROMs and the five included games, with promises for in-app purchases of more games as they were licensed from the original developers. A slightly modified version was accepted into the App Store over the weekend, after the developer disabled a BASIC interpreter function that would have allowed the app to run arbitrary code. Following its release, the app was pulled from the store when it was discovered that users could re-enable the BASIC interpreter through the software; a revised edition has been re-submitted to Apple for approval.
Smule, in collaboration with hip-hop artist T-Pain and Antares Audio Technologies, has released I Am T-Pain, its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Thanks to audio processing software provided by Antares, I Am T-Pain allows users to sing along to the artist’s tracks, or record their own, using Auto-Tune to create an effect similar to the one heard on T-Pain’s albums. Users simply choose a song to sing or select freestyle to record their own and sing into either the iPhone’s built-in mic or an external mic connected to a second-generation iPod touch. The app includes five full songs with lyrics, integrated Auto-Tune settings, and timings, three background tracks, and lets users expand the functionality by purchasing more songs from within the application. I Am T-Pain is available now and sells for $3.
Namco has announced Solitaire: Deck of Cods, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Developed in partnership with Red i Studios, the game expands on the traditional solitaire formula by having players move cards from the playing field to the deck below in sequential order, with them catching larger fish the more cards they are able to move in succession. Wildcards help the player increase the size of their catch, and varying levels challenge the player to bring in a different size catch or multiple catches per round. Other features include Facebook Connect, access to the music library, and a Bluetooth two-player mode. Solitaire: Deck of Cods is expected to hit the App Store soon and will be priced at $1.
Loopt, a location-aware social network, has gained constant location updates for its iPhone users via a tie-up with AT&T. The company’s native iPhone application, like all other third-party applications, isn’t allowed to run in the background on iPhone—a limitation not enforced on other mobile phones—so Loopt reached a deal to let users constantly update their locations, even when the application isn’t running. The feature will allow users to receive updates when they are near friends or places they might interested in, and, the report suggests, will open the door for more intelligent location-based advertising. According to Silicon Valley Insider, the new always-on feature will launch in a limited 5,000 user trial, and will come at a charge of $4 a month after 14 days.
Hudson Soft has released details of its fall lineup of games for the iPhone and iPod touch. The company will be offering four new titles in the fall, including a sequel to the well-received Aqua Forest. Knights of the Phantom Castle is a hybrid strategy and action RPG game offering deep character customization including the forging of new weapons and development of new abilities, touch-screen controls, and numerous strategy decisions for the player to make in battle against the enemy. Military Madness: Neo Nectaris is an adaptation of the mobile game Military Madness 2, a sequel to the original and widely acclaimed TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine game Military Madness. In the turn-based strategy game, players will be asked to control armies via touch commands through 50 levels of tactical gameplay. Other features include upgraded visuals and an all-new musical score.
World RPS is a global rock-paper-scissors game that allows users to play the classic game against other players from around the world. The location-aware game will keep track of where the player scores wins and losses, as well as a global leaderboard to keep track of the top players worldwide. Finally, Aqua Forest 2 is a follow-up to last year’s Aqua Forest physics game, keeping the same water physics gameplay in place while adding 50 new environments, and an in-game level editor that allows players to make and share their own Aqua Forest levels, and play levels created by others. All four titles are slated for release this fall; more exact release and pricing information has yet to be announced. Continue reading to see more screenshots.
Rockstar Games has announced that it will be releasing its first two games for the iPhone and iPod touch this fall, including the platform’s first Grand Theft Auto title. Beaterator is a portable music-making application that allows people of all musical backgrounds and ability to create beats and songs, featuring thousands of loops and sounds made by both well-known producer/rapper Timbaland and Rockstar. Currently available for the Nintendo DS, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars follows the story of Huang Lee, a young Triad who travels to Liberty City after the mysterious death of his father to uncover the truth behind his demise. Both games are listed as coming this fall; more exact release or pricing information has yet to be announced.
Facebook has released version 3.0 of its application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The updated app sports a redesigned interface and several new capabilities, including the ability to write notes and read friends’ notes, upload photos to any album and manage a photo collection, zoom photos, see mutual friends, change profile pictures, and more. Facebook 3.0 for iPhone and iPod touch is available now as a free download from the App Store.
OnOne Software has released version 1.1 of its DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition for the iPhone and iPod touch. Originally able to control select Canon EOS digital cameras with Live View support, version 1.1 adds support for select Nikon DSLR cameras, AutoFocus during LiveView, burst mode for sports photographers, bracketing for HDR photography, and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom auto-import. DSLR Camera Remote Professional 1.1 is available now from the App Store for $20; a feature-limited Lite version is also available and sells for $2.
AllergyFree Passport has released its iCanEat OnTheGo Gluten & Allergen Free application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Designed for users suffering from celiac/coeliac disease, food allergies or intolerances, iCanEat allows users to pinpoint what meals they can eat at 15 major U.S. fast food and quick service restaurants. Users can select from one or any combination of 9 allergens including eggs, fish, gluten, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat, and can browse over 1,500 food items in color-coded columns to quickly view appropriate meals. iCanEat OnTheGo Gluten & Allergen Free is available now and sells for $5.
Chilli X has introduced PlaySafe, its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. PlaySafe is designed to make the iPhone or iPod touch’s music player easier, and therefore safer, to use while driving, by providing a full-screen start and stop button, with swipe gestures for changing tracks. The on-screen interface shows large album artwork, supports both landscape and portrait modes, and turns off auto-lock to prevent the device from sleeping while playing music. PlaySafe is available now and sells for $1.
The latest update to the Yelp application for the iPhone and iPod touch sports a hidden augmented feature, called Monocle, for iPhone 3GS users. The hidden feature, which is activated by shaking the device three times, allows 3GS users to see nearby Yelp-reviewed restaurants overlaid on video of the user’s surroundings, showing the aggregate rating, type of cuisine, and pricing scale information, if available. Yelp for the iPhone and iPod touch is available now as a free download from the App Store; continue reading for screenshots of the feature in use. [Picture courtesy of @modernmod]
European music subscription and download service Spotify has received approval from Apple for its iPhone application after a month-long delay, paidContent UK reports. The app lets users stream music from the Spotify service, access and edit saved playlists, save playlists for offline listening, and search for new music. It also offers album artwork and detailed information for each song. The company submitted the application to Apple in late July, and had been in subsequent contact with the company, finally gaining approval today. Some had suggested that Apple was attempting to block the app, as paid subscription services could be seen as direct competitors to the iTunes Store; Real Networks has also submitted an application for its Rhapsody service, which also offers a paid subscription model. Spotify is currently available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France and Spain, and hopes to launch in the U.S. later this year.
Apple is forcing developers to update, or otherwise pulling, applications offering a “Free Memory” function in an apparent attempt to ban the feature from the App Store. The “Free Memory” feature is most often a button found in iPhone and iPod touch activity monitoring programs such as Bjango’s iStat, allowing users to free up RAM that remains marked for use by closed programs. According to Bjango, iStat’s Free Memory function was removed at Apple’s request, and “all other apps with Free Memory appear to have been removed or updated without their Free Memory function.” It is unclear why Apple just now decided to outlaw the feature, or if the company plans on offering a similar built-in alternative, apart from simply restarting the device; users have long reported iPhone system and application instabilities traceable to memory problems.
Metro Paris Subway 3.0 from Presselite has been released onto the App Store with augmented reality features, possibly becoming the first application released to offer such functionality. Augmented reality applications utilize the iPhone’s Internet connection, GPS, Compass, and camera to overlay information atop a stream of video showing the user’s surroundings; Metro Paris Subway allows iPhone 3GS users to see nearby subway stations and points of interest. It is unclear what method the app is using to provide the background images, as it was previously believed that APIs allowing augmented reality applications to gain access to live video from the 3GS’ camera would not be implemented until iPhone OS 3.1. Metro Paris Subway is available now and sells for $1.
Q Entertainment has revealed plans to bring the puzzle game Lumines to the iPhone and iPod touch, 1-Up reports. Originally released for the PSP in 2004 and later adapted for other consoles, Lumines is a block-dropping game in which players must align rotate 2x2 multi-colored blocks and drop them onto the playing field in order to create solid 2x2 squares, which are then cleared away by a timeline that moves in sync with the background music. According to the company, the game will include new skins and music, and will be available in September.
After a multi-month delay, burrito chain Chipotle has re-released its ordering application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Launched alongside a newly updated online ordering system, the new Chipotle Ordering application lets users order food directly from their device, securely pay with a credit card, utilize Location services to find the nearest Chipotle restaurant, view the menu and fully customize their orders, save favorites for future orders, and more. Chipotle Ordering is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Gameloft has released Gangstar: West Coast Hustle, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Gangstar is a 3D Grand Theft Auto-style game, putting players in a fully-3D reconstruction of a city with open-ended environments. Players can complete missions at their own pace, and the game offers a variety of vehicles, weapons, and in game music; players can also choose to play their own music. Gangstar: West Coast Hustle sells for $7.
PawPaw has released Farm Idol, its new application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Farm Idol is a music app in which users select from a cow, chicken, duck, pig, or sheep, and use a combination of on-screen notes and accelerometer-based pitch control to create music. Farm Idol is available now and is priced at $1.
Bump’ny Company has released Bump’ny, its first game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Bump’ny is based on an English pub game called Shove Ha’penny, in which players drag a coin to the bottom of the board and bump it so that it lands between two lines. the game offers both single and two-player modes, three levels of difficulty, varied playing surfaces, realistic gesture controls to “shove” coins into play, and accelerometer-based bump controls. Bump’ny is available now and sells for $2.
EA Mobile has released the first screenshots and details of its upcoming Madden NFL 10 football game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game will feature complete rosters from all 32 NFL teams, authentic models of NFL stadiums such as Lambeau Field and the Metrodome, a season mode with in-depth trades, stats and individual player rewards, in-game commentary from John Madden, Tom Hammond and Cris Collinsworth, detailed roster management, the ability for players to draw up their own plays using the iPhone’s or iPod touch’s screen, and an action control mode that slows the game down to give the player more time to react to ongoing plays. The three screenshots, meanwhile, show the in-game interfaces for both passing and running, with what appears to be a color code system for indicating whether a receiver is in heavy, moderate, or light coverage. Notably, both interfaces include a mix of an on-screen analog stick and a bevy of buttons in the lower right-hand corner for handling player action and movement. Madden NFL 10 is currently slated for a September release; continue reading to see more screenshots.
In a lengthy, in-depth investigation spurred by an anonymous developer tip, MobileCrunch has revealed that the PR firm Reverb Communications has been actively posting bogus reviews on the App Store for its clients’ games, and offering the same service to potential clients. A check of the App Store, cross-referenced with information from the Internet, shows that Reverb has employed at least seven different iTunes accounts to create positive reviews for clients including IUGO, Pangea Software, which had its game Cro-Mag Rally featured prominently in a TV advertisement for the iPhone 3G, and Publisher X, which is owned by Reverb. In each case, the iTunes account in question had posted only 5-star reviews to a select number of these clients’ games, and had not posted a single review for any non-Reverb application.
In addition to the phony positive reviews, which are created by in-house writers to target select age ranges and are posted upon the game’s release, the company also promises clients “online message boards” management, and preferential placement on the App Store via its dealings with Apple. The company claims to work directly with Apple on “each and every iPhone title,” claiming to have secured on-stage Apple keynote appearances, national iPhone TV commercials, placement on the “What’s Hot,” “Staff Favorite,” and “What’s New” lists, and more for its clients. Other Reverb clients include Harmonix, International Game Technology, Realtime Associates, Playlogic, Zen Studios, Graffiti Entertainment, and MTV Games, and the company claims its clients have sold over $2 billion in product while contracted with the firm.
Over the course of a number of our own reviews of these companies’ titles, iLounge’s Editors have repeatedly noted a pronounced disparity between the quality of the apps and the App Store user comments. We urge our readers to exercise extreme caution in relying upon App Store ratings, as they continue to be subject to considerable manipulation by anonymous users.
Infinite Labs has released Mover+, its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. As a paid alternative to the company’s free Mover app—featured prominently in a recent Apple iPhone commercial—Mover+ offers the same Wi-Fi-based picture and contact sharing as its free counterpart, as well as sharing via Bluetooth and e-mail, the ability to paste text, links, and other media from other applications into Mover for sharing, and support for bookmarks, which can be created by pasting in a URL or by using a new Safari bookmarklet. Mover+ is available now from the App Store and sells for $2.
McDSP has introduced Retro Recorder, its new audio application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Retro Recorder is an audio recording application with a tape recorder-like interface, and uses patent pending Audio Level eXtension (ALX) signal processing to boost the decibel level of quiet material and maintain the sound level of louder recordings, without the distortion caused by a traditional volume control. Other features include the ability to export recordings in WAV format to the Mac or PC, support for mono recordings at up to 22,050Hz sample rates, and more. Retro Recorder is available now and sells for $2. the company is also holding an audio clip contest in which users can win up to $50 of iTunes Store credit by submitting an audio clip made using the app’s ALX processing feature.
TapFactory Apps has released Stick It, its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Stick It is a sticky note application, offering users 17 styles of notes, papers and objects, more than 25 backgrounds, full note customization with varied font styles, sizes, and colors, the ability to create wallpapers for one-touch note access, a preview feature to visualize the lock screen with the current Stick It layout applied, automatic saving, and the ability to share notes via e-mail. Stick It is available now and sells for $1.
WEsoft has debuted Comb, its new game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Comb is a match 3-style game, in which players must touch and rotate surrounding hexagons to arrange same-colored stones in diagonal rows, in order to get three or more stones of the same kind placed in the row to clear them. Users can choose to play the game with touch- and accelerometer-based controls, or can use on-screen controls to play the game. Comb is available now from the App Store and sells for $1.