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Web Albums for Picasa adds video, background upload support

Scott Sykora has released an update to Web Albums, a photo manager for Picasa. Web Albums allows Picasa users to view, create and manage albums on the popular web photo service, including uploading multiple photos, searching albums and adjusting album settings and sharing. Users can also view friends’ Picasa web albums, cache photos and entire albums for offline viewing and share their favorite pictures via e-mail or Facebook. The latest update adds the ability to upload full resolution videos from either the on-device photo library or the camera and also allows users to adjust photo upload sizes. The new version also introduces background uploading on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices allowing photos uploads to continue after the app is closed; a badge on the home screen icon indicates the number of unfinished uploads in progress. Web Albums is available from the App Store for $2 and is a free update for current users. An iPad version is sold separately for $3.

Reeder for iPad adds iOS 4.2 support

Silvio Rizzi has released an update to his popular Reeder RSS app for the iPad, bringing support for the forthcoming iOS 4.2 update. Reeder for iPad 1.2 adds task completion for syncing on iPad devices running iOS 4.2 and adds Zootool and Facebook to its list of sharing services. The update also reduces the sensitivity of slider controls, provides a larger tap area for the previous and next buttons and improves handling of accounts with a large number of subscriptions. A number of small bug fixes are also included in relation to saving articles to Delicious, viewing certain articles and inertial scrolling issues. Reeder for iPad is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for current users.

Apple to announce iAds for Europe

Apple is expected to announce the first brands to use iAds in Europe later this week, according to a new report. The Financial Times reports that Apple has twice delayed the launch of its iAd mobile advertising platform in Europe, and has in some cases been willing to discuss taking less than its $1 million minimum spend in order to attract better brands as advertisers. “Apple is in a weaker position than you’d think,” said one media agency’s digital leader. According to the report, early partners for the European launch could include L’Oréal, Renault and Nestlé, with two or three campaigns running in early December, and more planned for 2011. Last week, Apple announced a partnership with marketing firm The Dentsu Group to expand Apple’s iAd mobile advertising platform to Japan early next year; no such partnership for Europe is mentioned in the report.

Boxcar gets major update

Appremix has released a major update to its Boxcar notification management app for iOS devices. The new version represents a significant overhaul, sporting a completely new UI design and several new features. Boxcar 4.0 adds Retina Display support for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch, a and now provides a centralized inbox with more alert options. Several additional services are now available as well including Google Buzz, Google Voice and more and users can now reply to and retweet Twitter messages directly in Boxcar without having to open an external Twitter client. Boxcar is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. The free version is ad-supported; users can pay $5 via in-app purchasing to disable the advertising.

Ambiance adds iPad + AirPlay support

Urban Apps has released an update to Ambiance adding iPad and AirPlay support. Ambiance is an “environment enhancer” application that allows the user to play back a wide variety of ambient noises that can be downloaded from a very large catalog of sounds ranging from nature sounds to sounds from busy train stations. Ambiance 3.1 is now a universal application adding native support for the iPad as well as introducing AirPlay support for full audio streaming to an Apple TV, Airport Express or other AirPlay compatible output device. The new version also fixes a number of issues related to push notifications, caching of pages and general user interface problems. Ambiance is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for current users.

Facebook app adds privacy settings, fixes photo uploads

Facebook has released another update to its client app for the iPhone and iPod touch adding the ability to access account and privacy settings and the Facebook Help Center from within the app. These new options can be found by tapping on the “Account” button in the top-left corner of the main menu to open an in-app browser to the standard Facebook web pages which do not appear to be iPhone-optimized at this point. The update also fixes a problem introduced in the previous version that prevented users from uploading photos to specific albums. This most recent update does not include any of the new messaging features announced today by Facebook, however the company has indicated that these features will be coming to the iPhone application at some point in the future as the new Facebook messaging platform is gradually rolled out over the next few months. Facebook for the iPhone and iPod touch is available from the App Store as a free download.

Instapaper adds automatic Dark mode, new sharing options

Marco Arment has released a major update to his Instapaper offline reader application for iOS devices, making several UI and performance improvements and adding new sharing options. Instapaper 2.3 adds article preview text to the list view on the iPhone and iPod touch similar to that found in the iPad version, while also adding slightly longer preview text for the iPad. New indicators in the article listing now display the approximate length of each article as well as the relative progress using a row of dots. The iPhone version also adds support for toggling Dark Mode from within an article, and a new option is now available on both platforms to automatically switch the display to Dark mode at night based on the sunset times in the user’s area as determined by the device’s location. The update also adds several new sharing options including the ability to send links to OmniFocus and QuickReader as well as copy links or article text to the iOS clipboard. Other new features include performance improvements in the iPad version, simplified bookmarklet installation and the addition of an “ihttp” URL scheme for sending web pages to Instapaper without requiring the bookmarklet. Instapaper 2.3 is available from the App Store for $5.

Edge goes universal, adds Retina Display support

Mobigame has released an update to its acclaimed Edge puzzle game adding iPad support and Retina Display graphics for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch. Edge is a unique geometric puzzle game where players must push a cube through a maze-like playing field avoiding obstacles and making use of moving platforms, elevators, and other objects. Players work through 46 distinctive levels each with their own unique challenges. The new version also provides general performance improvements, four new unlockable levels and a new login screen to submit scores on iOS 4 devices. Edge is now a universal app for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad users and is available from the App Store for $3.

Bento for iPad adds iCal task sync, related field support

FileMaker has released an update to its Bento for iPad database application adding several user interface and synchronization improvements. Bento 1.0.3 expands text fields to up to 34 lines and now allows users to view them in full screen and adds the ability for related data fields to be created and edited on the iPad. Users of Bento 3.0.5 for Mac can now sync tasks from iCal directly into Bento on the iPad and the update also provides two new themes and fixed performance issues related to library loading and synchronization of larger databases. Bento for iPad is available from the App Store for $5. Synchronization of databases with a Mac requires Bento for Mac, sold separately.

Evernote adds multiple image support, audio recording improvements

Evernote has released an update to its universal cloud note storage app for iOS devices. Evernote 3.4 now provides users with the ability to select multiple images from their device’s photo library for adding to a single note or creating multiple snapshot notes rather than needing to add images one at a time. The update also offers several improvements to audio note recordings, increasing the maximum recording time for a single note to 90 minutes and adding playback, pause and replay controls both within the app and via background iOS 4 audio controls. Additional new features include iOS 4 “Open In” support allowing users to send PDFs and text files from Safari, Mail and other compatible third-party apps directly into Evernote and AirPrint support for printing notes directly from Evernote to a network printer. Evernote is a universal app for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad and is available from the App Store as a free download.

Dropbox adds iOS 4.2 support, improves photo caching

Dropbox has released an update to its file sharing application for iOS devices, adding support for the forthcoming iOS 4.2 and improving photo display support. Dropbox 1.3.1 adds persistent photo caching to improve performance when viewing photos from the online Dropbox, renders PNG and GIF files natively rather than using JPEG compression and provides higher-quality thumbnails on Retina Display devices. The update also fixes several bugs related to media player performance, downloading of favorites and less common Microsoft Office file extensions and re-enables the ability to upload photos from the entire Photo Library rather than only the Camera Roll/Saved Photos section. Dropbox 1.3.1 is available from the App Store as a free download.

Griffin iTalk Recorder Premium adds background recording

Griffin has released an update to iTalk Recorder Premium adding support for background recording and playback on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. The new version also provides updated graphics for the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch and adds a search bar to allow users to easily find recordings. Originally released in November 2008, iTalk Recorder became a top-selling voice recorder app for the iPhone and iPod touch but was supplanted by Apple’s Voice Memos app which offered background recording before third-party applications could multitask and integrated voice memo synchronization with iTunes. iTalk Recorder Premium is available from the App Store for $2. The free version has also been updated for iOS 4 with the search bar and Retina Display graphics but lacks the support for background audio.

Twittelator for iPad adds iOS 4.2 improvements

Big Stone Phone has released an update to Twittelator for iPad adding improvements for the upcoming iOS 4.2 release. Twittelator for iPad is an enhanced Twitter client designed specifically for the iPad user interface that provides advanced features such as inline image support and posting to Facebook. Version 1.5 adds multitasking support and fast app switching and improves loading times on iOS 4.2. The update also introduces AirPrint support to allow users to print individual tweets or groups of tweets. Twittelator for iPad is available from the App Store for $5.

OmniGraffle adds AirPrint support and more

The Omni Group has released a major update to OmniGraffle, adding support for iOS 4.2 as well as several other new features. OmniGraffle 1.4 adds AirPrint and multitasking capabilities that will allow iOS 4.2 users to print documents directly from within the app and maintain application state and perform tasks in the background. Support has also been added for storing and retrieving files on MobileMe iDisk and other WebDAV services as well as exporting and e-mailing documents natively as PDFs and PNGs to online services or iTunes File Sharing. The new version also adds the ability to selectively view documents based on file type and change the sorting order and scrub through documents in the Document Browser view. Users can now create their own custom stencils from scratch and selectively show and hide stencils in the popover view. Stencils from Graffletopia that perform poorly or not at all on the iPad version of OmniGraffle are now filtered out and will not be displayed in search results. OmniGraffle 1.4 is available from the App Store for $50 and is a free update for current OmniGraffle for iPad users.

BeejiveIM update temporarily removes ICQ support

Beejive has released an update to its BeejiveIM for iPad multi-platform instant messaging application adding some new features while also removing ICQ support. BeejiveIM version 3.5.2 adds message status indicators for sending messages, updates VoiceNotes support for Bluetooth and now uses WAV files to improve compatibility with other platforms. The update also removes support for the ICQ IM network due to contractual issues; Beejive indicated to iLounge that with the recent sale of the ICQ service to Russian Internet company Digital Sky Technologies it was informed that a formal agreement must be worked out with the new owner to continue supporting ICQ. The company is working on this and it hopes to return ICQ support to BeejiveIM as soon as possible; in the meantime users who rely on BeejiveIM for ICQ support may want to avoid updating to the latest version.

Urban Apps releases All Recalls

Urban Apps, developer of the highly acclaimed Ambiance noise generator, has released a new app, All Recalls that provides iPhone and iPod touch users with quick and easy access to product recall notices and information from five major U.S. Government Agencies. The application provides a combined list of product recall announcements from the Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Organization, Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Users can view details and images for any recall notice, view recalls by product category and link to specific manufacturers and organizations. The application includes recall data as far back as 1969 complete with the original recall notices and users can bookmark recalls for later and share them on Facebook or Twitter from within the app. The application also provides HD images for Retina Display capable devices. The standard version of All Recalls is ad-supported and available from the App Store as a free download; a Pro upgrade is available via in-app purchase for $1 that removes advertising and adds the ability to search the Recall Database and receive realtime alerts for new recalls.

Darling Dash releases Pitch ‘n’ Toss for iPad

U.K. startup Darling Dash has released Pitch ‘n’ Toss, a new game for the iPad that recreates the classic coin toss game with a twist. In Pitch ‘n’ Toss players attempt to get their three coins as close as possible to the far wall of the playing field by adjusting sliders and using swipe gestures to control the angle, speed and direction of the coin. The game begins with a simple open playing field and progresses through 40 unique levels, introducing additional objects such as bounce pads, cannons, flippers and laser force fields. By using these objects creatively with their coin tosses, players earn additional style points using a combination of skill and puzzle-solving to work out the best way to get their coin closest to the wall. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded for higher scores and users can share their scores and achievements via Twitter and Facebook. The game also provides a VS mode which allows up to four players to go head-to-head playing specifically designed challenge levels.

Notably, Pitch ‘n’ Toss was developed as a result of the iPad development fund started last February as a partnership between U.K. investment and digital business development firms Northern Film & Media and NoTosh to encourage and fund local iPad developers in northeastern England. Pitch ‘n’ Toss is available from the App Store for $5; a free Lite version is also available.

CineTap for Netflix adds movie trailers, guest mode

Imaginary Spinor has released an update to CineTap, its alternative Netflix browsing app for the iPad. CineTap provides Netflix users with an enhanced, iPad-optimized user interface for searching and browsing content on the Netflix service. CineTap provides information in a more hierarchical structure to enable users to find titles more quickly and easily while simplifying access to a larger portion of the Netflix Instant Watch catalog. Users can also browse and search titles via actor, director or genre with biographical information displayed where available. CineTap also provides enhanced detail screens for movie and TV show titles, providing information such as title, parental rating, synopsis, cast and director, with links to related content as well as quick access to playback and queue management controls. Version 1.2 adds the ability to play movie trailers via YouTube directly from a movie’s details screen and non-Netflix subscribers can now use the app to search and browse the Netflix catalog without requiring an account. The official Netflix app must still be installed to actually watch Netflix content, however CineTap will seamlessly launch the Netflix app as required to play back selected content and transition back to CineTap when playback concludes. CineTap is available from the U.S. App Store for $2.

Chillingo launches real location-based MMORPG

Chillingo has launched My Kingdom, a unique massively multiplayer online role-playing game that uses players’ real-world locations as part of the game play experience. In My Kington players start off as simple merchants and must establish settlements and explore territory within the game based on actual real-world locations as determined by the GPS/location services in their device. Players trade commodities by moving around and visiting other locations in the real world that corresponding to virtual locations in the game, claiming new unexplored territories and visiting villages and settlements created by other players. The game includes over 40 different kinds of land types ranging from jungles and deserts to extinct volcanoes and arctic tundra. Players expand their empire and rise to power by exploring and claiming more territory, producing goods and earning gold. As players advance in the game they rise in rank and can build a wider variety of buildings within their kingdoms and even recruit an army to demand allegiance from other players. Players can also earn achievements and reputation in one of four guilds within the game: The Traders Guild, The Explorers Guild, The Manufacturers Guild or the Thieves Guild. Game Center support is included for tracking leaderboard positions and achievements. My Kingdom is available from the App Store as a free download.

Safari Books Online launches iPad app

Safari Books Online has launched a free iPad application, Safari to Go that allows subscribers to access and read books from its online library. Safari Books Online is a subscription-based on-demand digital library that delivers expert content from leading publishers in technology and business such as O’Reilly Media, Peachpit Press, John Wiley & Sons and many others. The Safari to Go application allows users to access books from the company’s on-demand catalog for both online and offline reading. The app also provides a search feature that allows users to search the entire collection of books and articles available or search within the content of a specific book. Non-subscribers can access sample content for any books and sign up for trials and subscriptions from directly within the app. The application also provides access to folders and notes with tagging and bookmarking features that synchronize between the application and the online website. Safari To Go is available from the App Store as a free download. A subscription is required to access any content other than samples, with individual subscriptions starting at $23/month for ten books per month or $43/month for unlimited access; a free trial subscription is available.

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