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Google releases official Latitude app

Google has released an official iOS application for its Latitude location sharing service. Google Latitude for the iPhone allows users to share their own location and view friends’ locations on the Latitude service. Friends’ locations can be viewed either as a list or using an integrated map within the application and users can initiate phone calls or send text and e-mail messages directly from the friends list. The application also supports iOS Background Location services on the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 to allow the user’s location to be updated even while the application is not open and privacy controls allow users to choose to share only their city-level location or hide their location entirely on a per-contact basis. Google Latitude is available from the App Store as a free download.

Firemint announces Real Racing 2

Firemint has announced details on its upcoming sequel to Real Racing for the iPhone and iPod touch. Real Racing 2 introduces a number of new features along with 30 officially licensed cars, 15 locations, five different game modes and support for online multiplayer races of up to 16 players. Among the new officially licensed cars are the 2010 BMW M6 Competition Edition, the 2010 Jaguar XKR, 2010 Lotus Exige and 1995 McLaren F1 GTR, with additional cars from Chevolet, Ford/Shelby, Nissan/Super GT, Volkswagen and Volvo. Real Racing 2 provides a 16 car grid for authentic pack racing action against either computer-controlled AI opponents or up to 15 other players that can be auto-matched or invited through Apple’s Game Center. Players can choose to engage in either quick races or a full career mode where they must compete in races and earn in-game currency to buy and sell cars and upgrades, with game progress saved online. Other game modes include time trial, eight-player local multiplayer and 16-player online multiplayer and additional features such as the ability for vehicles to take damage in the game and five camera angles plus TV-style replays. The game will provide a wide variety of control options allowing users to use a combination of accelerometer/gyroscopic and touchscreen controls to steer, accelerate and brake, including optional haptic feedback during play. Real Racing 2 will be available from the App Store on December 16, 2010 for $10.

Papers adds Dropbox/iDisk, AirPrint support

Mekentosj.com has released an update to Papers, its academic library and research app for the iOS platform adding support for iOS 4.2 AirPrint and multitasking features and support for importing files from online Dropbox and iDisk services. Papers 1.9 also adds several improvements to PDF support including the ability to import and export PDF documents with annotations, better highlighting and support for password-protected PDF files. Additionally, the last visited page is remembered for each paper in the library and a “Locate with Google” button has been added to help find missing PDFs for bibliography entries. Papers 1.9 also sports a new and improved look and feel and fixes several issues with stability, syncing papers via Mail and iTunes and downloading papers from JSTOR and IEEE. Papers 1.9 is a universal app requiring iOS 3.1.2 or later and is available from the App Store for $15.

Bejeweled 2 adds in-app coins purchasing

PopCap Games has released an update to Bejeweled 2 + Blitz adding several interface improvements and support for purchasing coins directly from within the app. Version 1.4 also adds a new Boost Auto Renew feature that allows users to lock in up to three different boosts for every game as long as coins are available and provides a new look and feel with a new Options menu and a separate Boost Selection menu as well as new backgrounds. Bejeweled 2 + Blitz is available from the App Store for $1.

Howard Stern coming to iTunes via Sirius XM app

After weeks of speculation, radio talk show host Howard Stern has announced that he has signed a new deal with Sirius XM that will keep him with the satellite radio provider for another five years. Prior to the announcement, a poorly-sourced and possibly deliberately misleading rumor claimed that Apple was prepared to offer Stern hundreds of millions of dollars to bring his show exclusively to iTunes, despite the company’s recent and highly publicized stances against explicit imagery or content in the App Store. Stern has announced, as MacDailyNews notes, that under the new deal his show will be available via the Sirius XM app, meaning that his show will be available through iTunes, albeit only to current Sirius XM subscribers. The Sirius XM Premium Online app is available now as a free download from the App Store.

Epic Games releases Infinity Blade

Epic Games has released its anticipated game Infinity Blade. Developed exclusively for the iOS platform, Infinity Blade is a 3D first-person RPG shooter powered by Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 technology. Players take on the role of a knight on a quest to free the realm from an evil immortal God King and save civilization by journeying to the Dark Citadel and battling the God King’s Titans. The game provides a dynamic single-player campaign with extensive character customization of weapons, armor and magic items and advanced character progression through levelling up and increasing attack, health, shield and magic skills over the course of the game. Players navigate using intuitive tap-to-move controls to search and explore the castle realm and engage in combat moves using simple swipe gestures. The initial release of Infinity Blade provides Game Center achievements and leaderboards with a single-player campaign only; multiplayer features are planned for a future update. Infinity Blade is a universal app and is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, third- and fourth-generation iPod touch and the iPad and requires iOS 3.2 or later. It is available from the App Store for $6.

App Store promo codes now work internationally

Apple has removed its restrictions on where App Store promo codes can be used, allowing developers to send codes to journalists and other users worldwide. “Your promo code distribution is no longer limited to U.S. customers,” says the Apple alert, reposted by Mackinando (Translated Link). “Promo codes in iTunes Connect can now be redeemed by all App Store customers worldwide. Your Team Agent can request 50 codes per version of your app in iTunes Connect and your customers can redeem these codes in any App Store. To learn more about requesting promo codes in iTunes Connect, see the iTunes Connect Developer Guide.” [via Mac Rumors]

iPhone game specialist leaves Apple

Long time game designer and programmer Graeme Devine has left Apple’s iPhone Game Technologies division. According to Kotaku, Devine’s last day with the company was Friday. “My job there was basically to make gaming on the iOS devices fantastic,” Devine said. “Basically that meant looking at the technologies involved and making sure the software played well with the hardware, to look at upcoming hardware/API and say ‘Yup, that is a good thing’. Apple didn’t have an in-house game designer before me so I think it was pretty unique, game technologies touch everything from the graphics stack to touch latency to push notifications. No other app type covers so many technologies and having someone there to validate and help shape that was basically my day job.” Devine, who joined the company in November 2009, said that gamers shouldn’t worry about his departure from the company, saying, “I can’t comment on what’s next inside Apple, but I can tell you, they really do ‘get’ gaming.”

Peel announces Universal Control for iPhone

Peel has announced a new hardware accessory that allows iPhone users to control their home entertainment system from the company’s Peel TV discovery app. Released in October, the free Peel app provides a simple TV guide based on personalized content using user preferences and tailored recommendations to allow users to view programming and discover shows that they are interested in. The application provides detailed show information such as time, channel, lead actors and a synopsis and also includes integration with Facebook and Twitter for sharing favorite shows. The Peel Universal Control accessory allows the Peel app to be used to control a home entertainment system in a program-oriented fashion instead of simply channel-surfing. Rather than connecting directly to the iPhone, the Peel Universal Control is a separate device that is placed within line-of-sight of the user’s home entertainment devices and communicates with the iPhone application over Wi-Fi to transmit IR commands to the system. Users can simply fire up the Peel app and use a simple gesture-based interface to select programming and control volume, menu systems and more right from the iPhone. The app can recommend top viewing choices from a user’s available sources based on their individual viewing patterns and preferences and once a show is selected the app is designed to be used intuitively for adjusting volume and navigating PVR functions without having to look at the iPhone.

Peel has not yet announced pricing for the Peel Universal Control and is currently running a social media campaign to help determine hardware pricing based on user feedback. A limited quantity of units will be directly available from Peel for auction and once that quantity has been sold Peel Universal Control will be available in major online and retail stores. Peel Universal Control works with iPhone OS 3 and above and supports controlling a wide variety of home media devices ranging from traditional TVs and set-top boxes to the Apple TV, Tivo and Roku. The Peel discovery app is available from the App Store as a free download.

Flight Control adds Game Center multiplayer support

Firemint has released an update to Flight Control for the iPhone and iPod touch adding support for multiplayer games via Apple’s Game Center. The update allows players to use Game Center to either invite their own friends or auto-match with other random Flight Control players to engage in multiplayer games. Game Center voice chat is also enabled so that users can optionally talk with each other during online multiplayer games and a new menu button provides users with the latest news from the developer. Several other minor bug fixes and improvements are also included in this latest update. Flight Control is available from the App Store as a free download and remains compatible with any iPhone or iPod touch using iOS 2.0 or later; Game Center features requires iOS 4.1 or later.

NYT: iPad ads ‘sold out’ since app launch

Speaking today at the UBS Securities media conference, The New York Times Company digital manager Martin Nisenholtz said the company had been “sold out” on iPad advertisements since the paper’s app went live in the App Store. Barron’s reports that Times CEO Janet Robinson also made mention of the company’s plan to start a paid access model next year, saying that “users will get access to a set number of articles per month, but will be asked to pay after that,” and added that the Times will offer “packages” across “platforms,” which the article suggests may be referencing combined web and iPad/iPhone/tablet access. Robinson added that the company already has several commitments from advertisers for ads in its iPad app for 2011.

Gourmet Live adds in-app purchases, landscape view

Condé Nast Digital has released an update to its Gourmet Live interactive magazine app fro the iPad. The new version adds support for landscape viewing and the ability to purchase back issues and special features items directly from within the application. Additional new improvements include the addition of a home button, in-app badging and improvements to the sign-in and registration procedures, eliminating the need to setup a social networking account within the app. Gourmet Live is available from the App Store as a free download; individual issues are available for $1 each via in-app purchase.

GoodReader for iPad adds AirPrint support

Good.iWare has released an update to GoodReader for iPad adding support for AirPrint in iOS 4.2 higher quality image rendering and several other new features. GoodReader for iPad 3.2 also now allows users to choose between the new and old PDF rendering engines via an option in Settings and adds a “Higher quality images” switch to compensate for a new way of handling PDF images in iOS 4.2, trading off PDF rendering performance for image quality. Other improvements include direct access to actions while viewing a document, a PDF Night Mode brightness slider in viewer mode and several improvements for working with PDF Annotations. GoodReader for iPad is available from the App Store for $1.

Fring adds video calling improvements

Fring has released an update to its voice and video calling application for the iPhone and iPod touch making several improvements to the video calling features. The update adds a new Dynamic Video Quality feature that optimizes video calls based on available network bandwidth; users can also now see a live video call quality indicator and video is now displayed on a new full-screen interface. The latest version also improves video call setup time and fixes a bug where calls were disconnected when switching from 3G to Wi-Fi. Fring allows iPhone and iPod touch users to make and receive video calls between a variety of mobile device platforms. Users can receive one-way video calls on any iPhone or iPod touch and send video from any camera-equipped iOS device, although the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch are preferred for two-way video calling due to the front-facing cameras. Fring is available from the App Store as a free download.

Path simplifies sharing, adds photo library support

Path, the new personal photo sharing network has updated its iPhone application simplifying sharing features and allowing users to upload photos from their photo library. Introduced last month, Path is an iPhone-based social network designed for freely sharing photos and experiences with a limited group of close friends and family members, eliminating the need for managing large friend lists and complex privacy settings by limiting each user to no more than 50 contacts. The initial release of the Path application for the iPhone only allowed users to take photos from directly within the app; this latest update now allows users to select existing photos from the device’s photo library for uploading. The new version also adds support for the fourth-generation iPod touch and improves the user interface for managing user profiles and sharing and finding friends. Path is available from the App Store as a free download.

Gowalla adds Facebook + Foursquare checkins

Gowalla has released a major update to its location-based social networking application for the iPhone and iPod touch adding integration with competing location-based networks and a number of other significant new features and enhancements. Gowalla 3.0 expands its services to include Facebook Places and Foursquare, allowing users to connect to their other accounts to check-in and view friends’ check-ins across all three networks in one place. Check-ins can also be posted to Twitter and Tumblr for sharing. Users can now leave personal notes at a location for their Gowalla friends who will receive the note when they next check-in at that location and bookmark specific spots for later. Other improvements include faster check-ins based on user history, the ability to add and browse highlights for a city and the ability to flag spots to report problems or closed locations right from within the app. Gowalla 3.0 also sports a completely re-imagined user interface design to improve the user experience and makes uploading photos, creating spots and browsing friends much easier than in the previous version. Gowalla is available from the App Store as a free download. An iPad version is also available however it has not yet been updated to include these latest features.

ReaddleDocs for iPad adds multitasking, AirPrint support

Readdle has released an update to its ReaddleDocs document viewer and file manager for the iPad adding iOS 4.2 support and several other new features. ReaddleDocs for iPad 1.7 includes multitasking support including Fast App switching and background file transfers as well as adding AirPrint capabilities. Other new features include synchronization with online storage services such as iDisk, Dropbox and Readdle Storage as well as the ability to setup and configure a Readdle Storage account directly in the app. The new version also makes several speed and stability improvements in the built-in PDF viewer and allows users to configure horizontal or vertical page scrolling and choose a default page zoom setting. ReaddleDocs for iPad is available from the App Store for $5.

The Sims 3 adds Retina Display support

Electronic Arts has released an update to its original The Sims 3 game for the iPhone and iPod touch adding Retina Display support and iOS 4 Fast App switching. The Sims 3 is EA’s original title in The Sims franchise for iOS devices and was released last year, later followed by two additional expanded titles, The Sims 3 World Adventures and The Sims 3 Ambitions. Notably, neither of the subsequent titles yet include Retina Display support or iOS 4 features, even though The Sims 3 Ambitions was released in September, after the release of the Retina Display equipped iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch. EA appears to be updating other titles such as Monopoly for iOS 4 and Retina Display support as well, although we have not received word on how many of EA’s titles will be getting these updates or when they will be coming.

Acrylic Times rebrands as Pulp, adds Magic Reader

Acrylic Software has released an update to its RSS reader for the iPad, adding several new features and renaming the application Pulp for iPad. Pulp provides iPad users with a customizable newspaper-style layout for reading RSS feeds, combining multiple feeds into a single page and allowing users to quickly scan through headlines, previews and photos. Users can create their own categories to separate feeds into newspaper-like pages and customize the column layout and presentation of information on each page. The application also includes support for importing feeds from Google Reader and sharing articles via e-mail and services such as Facebook and Twitter. Pulp 1.2 adds a new Magic Reader mode that allows users to view full stories from preview-only feeds presented in a clean iPad-friendly format. The update also redesigns the reading view to take better advantage of the iPad screen and provides full support for iOS 4.2 multitasking support. Pulp was originally released as Times and was renamed to Acrylic Times and then finally renamed to Pulp as a result of legal and trademark issues. Pulp for iPad is available from the App Store for $5.

Steve Jobs confirms AirPlay for Safari, 3rd-party apps?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has reportedly responded to a customer email, saying the company hopes to expand the scope of its AirPlay streaming feature in 2011. Mac Rumors reports that a reader emailed Jobs, asking whether Apple planned to make AirPlay video streaming available in Safari and to third-party app developers. In typically terse fashion, Jobs supposedly responded, “Yep, hope to add these features to AirPlay in 2011.” The inability to stream video from Safari or third-party apps, as well as the inability to stream videos shot on an iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS directly to an Apple TV, have been discussed as major shortcomings of AirPlay.

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