Following yesterday’s statement by Apple that it was “relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code,” Adobe has announced that it has resumed development of its Packager feature for Flash, which allows developers to export Flash applications as native iOS apps. Apple’s decision has “direct implications for Adobe’s Packager for iPhone, a feature in the Flash Professional CS5 authoring tool,” the company said in a blog post. “This feature was created to enable Flash developers to quickly and easily deliver applications for iOS devices. The feature is available for developers to use today in Flash Professional CS5, and we will now resume development work on this feature for future releases. This is great news for developers and we’re hearing from our developer community that Packager apps are already being approved for the App Store.” Adobe went on to point out that Apple decision doesn’t change its stance on Flash content running in the browser on iOS devices.
Pangea Software has released an update to Cro-Mag Rally for the iPhone and iPod touch adding integration with Apple’s new Game Center and native iPad support. Cro-Mag Rally is a 3D racing game where the player takes on the role of a caveman racing primitive vehicles around prehistoric and ancient race tracks. Version 2.0 is now a universal binary providing a native game play experience on both iPhone/iPod touch devices and on the iPad, with high resolution graphics optimized for the iPad and the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G Retina Displays. The new version also adds integration with Apple’s new Game Center on iOS 4.1 devices, allowing high scores and achievements to be posted to Game Center as well as networked multiplayer racing in which up to four players can race against each other using any of the vehicles in the game. Cro-Mag Rally is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for current users.
G5 Entertainment has released the full version of Virtual City, its city building game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Released last month as a free lite version, Virtual City allows players to construct their own city, developing it into anything from a suburban utopia to a bustling metropolis. To accomplish this, players must build houses, setup industrial buildings, create mass-transit systems and entertain their city’s residents with parks, cinemas, stadiums and events. Players must also manage production chains to transport goods and services to the areas that require them, trade with neighbouring cities and look after planning and providing city services such as health care, public safety, waste collection and recycling in order to keep their city’s residents happy and healthy. In progressing through the game, players must balance time, income, environmental factors, population and happiness in order to succeed, while dealing with various political and economic crises and natural disasters. Virtual City supports high-resolution Retina Display graphics on the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G and provides 50 levels in five different geographic settings, 18 mission scenarios, over 50 types of buildings and 25 types of goods to transport and trade. Players can also earn special achievements and unlock special upgrades and additional buildings as they progress through the game. Virtual City is available from the App Store for $3.
Rockstar Games has released an iPad version of its highly popular Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. The latest game in the Grand Theft Auto series, Chinatown Wars HD brings the same intense, story-driven action from its iPhone and iPod touch counterpart to the iPad with updated, high-definition graphics. In the game, players take on the role of Huang Lee and must navigate the dangerous criminal underground of Liberty City on a quest for honor and revenge for his father’s murder. For the iPad version, Rockstar Games has produced enhanced graphics with higher polygon counts in vehicle and building models and enhanced lighting and explosion effects for the higher-resolution iPad screen. The HD version also provides a selection of multiple control schemes to offer more flexible play options on the larger device. Players can also customize the game soundtrack using music from their iPad media library. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars HD is available from the App Store for $10.
Gameloft has released Real Golf 2011 for the iPhone and iPod touch. Optimized for the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G Retina Display, Real Golf 2011 allows players to face off against some of the world’s best golfers on ten authentic real-world golf courses recreated in 3D. Players can choose from either a touch-based control scheme or more traditional controls and the game also provides support for the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G gyroscope for precise player movement. Players can choose to play either quick challenges such as Time Stroke and Closest to the Pin or play in Career mode to win tournaments and upgrade with new gear as their golfer rises in rank. Multiplayer support allows users to compete against other players either online or locally and integrates with Gameloft Live for online leader boards and achievements. Players can also upload their favorite instant replays directly to YouTube from within the game to show off their achievements. Real Golf 2011 is available from the App Store for $7.
Apple has released a statement regarding its App Store Review Guidelines, promising to publish a definitive set of rules for the first time. “We are continually trying to make the App Store even better. We have listened to our developers and taken much of their feedback to heart. Based on their input, today we are making some important changes to our iOS Developer Program license in sections 3.3.1, 3.3.2 and 3.3.9 to relax some restrictions we put in place earlier this year,” said Apple in a release. “In particular, we are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code. This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need.” This latter statement seemingly opens the door for developers to release apps and games built using Adobe’s Flash technology, so long as they don’t download any executable code.
The release also says that Apple for the first time is “publishing the App Store Review Guidelines to help developers understand how we review submitted apps. We hope it will make us more transparent and help our developers create even more successful apps for the App Store. The App Store is perhaps the most important milestone in the history of mobile software. Working together with our developers, we will continue to surprise and delight our users with innovative mobile apps.”
Update: Apple has posted a complete PDF of the guidelines online. Notably, the document states that Apple doesn’t need any more Fart apps, and that if a developer wants to describe sex, they should write a book or song, or make a medical app.
Following the release of iOS 4.1 for the iPhone and iPod touch earlier today, the first Game Center enabled games have begun to appear on the App Store. Pangea Software has released updates to Nanosaur 2, Cro-Mag Rally and Enigmo, enabling support for Game Center achievements and leaderboards for single-player games as well as multilayer Game Center support including Voice Chat and Auto-Match. FireMint has also updated its iPhone and iPod touch versions of Real Racing and Flight Control with support for Game Center achievements and leaderboards. Namco Networks has also released an update to Ms. Pac-Man adding support for Game Center achievements and leaderboards. All titles are available from the App Store now and are free updates for owners of the previous versions.
Apple has released an update to its iMovie application for the iPhone 4, adding support for the fourth-generation iPod touch and several other new features. iMovie 1.1 adds the ability to split video clips and automatically loop music when video extends beyond the end of the music track. Users can also now scrub to preview clips in the Video Browser and view an in-app Tips page to learn how to use key features. The new version also includes an updated Photos Browser with the newest images at the top, a Mute badge to indicate video clips that have audio disabled and additional performance and reliability improvements. iMovie 1.1 requires an iPhone 4 or fourth-generation iPod touch running iOS 4.1 or later and is available from the App Store for $5 and as a free update for current users.
SpoonJuice has released a universal update to its Night Stand HD alarm clock app for the iPad, adding iPhone and iPod touch support.
Night Stand HD 1.5 now includes high-resolution artwork for Retina Display devices and adds support for background alarms on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices, allowing alarms to sound regardless of whether the app is running or not. Additional new features include a ninth clock theme for iPad users, a stopwatch with support for up to 99 laps, and local temperature and weather information displayed directly on the clock screen. Night Stand HD is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for current users.
Majic Jungle Software has released an update to Chopper 2 adding TV Out support for the iPhone 4 and several other improvements. Chopper 2 is a side scrolling action game where players fly a helicopter to undertake missions such as escorting vehicle convoys, rescuing civilians and attacking enemy vehicles and fortifications. A universal app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, the game features HD graphics and gyroscope controls on supported devices and includes 36 missions with 12 unique locations and a 3D game engine with spatial sound effects. Users can also use a second iPhone or iPod touch as a remote control to play Chopper 2 on the iPad or iPhone 4. Version 1.1 adds support for TV Output from the iPad or iPhone 4 when using another iOS device as a remote control, allowing the game to be played on a TV screen or computer monitor and adds Wi-Fi based remote control support to allow first-generation iPod touch and iPhone devices to be used as remote controls. Other improvements include new tilt sensitivity, manual calibration and control positioning options, the ability to sync progress and high scores between multiple devices using OpenFeint and new remote control options that can be configured on a per-device basis. The update also provides several bug fixes and game play changes. Chopper 2 is available from the App Store for $3 as a universal app and is a free update for current users.
Apple has released a minor update to its Find My iPhone app for iOS devices, adding support for the new fourth-generation iPod touch and translation fixes for French, German and Japanese languages. Find My iPhone is a free app that allows MobileMe subscribers to access the Find My iPhone service directly from an iOS device. Users can log in to their own MobileMe account and locate, play a message, or remotely lock or wipe any devices that are registered with their MobileMe account. Find My iPhone is available from the App Store as a free download. A MobileMe subscription is required.
Apple has released a minor update to its MobileMe iDisk application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. MobileMe iDisk is a free application that allows iOS device users to open, view and share files from their online iDisk storage. The application also provides the ability to continue playing audio files in the background on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. Version 1.2.1 fixes an issue that prevented package files such as Keynote presentations from opening in the correct application on the iPad and displays rotated images in the correct orientation when opened. The update also includes various stability and performance improvements. MobileMe iDisk is available from the App Store as a free download.
Nike has released Nike+ GPS, a new iPhone application that provides tracking of runs on the Nike+ service using the iPhone GPS and accelerometer. Similar in design to the integrated Nike+ app found on current iPhone and iPod touch devices, Nike+ GPS can track both indoor and outdoor workouts, recording pace, distance and run route without requiring the use of special shoes or the Nike+ sensor. The application also provides motivational messages from top athletes, voice feedback and an integrated map to track the user’s route and display their current location. Runs can be uploaded wirelessly to Nikeplus.com directly within the app for tracking progress online, setting goals, sharing runs with friends or joining challenges. The app is also compatible with the iPod touch although users of that device will not be able to access the mapping capabilities due to the lack of built-in GPS. Nike+ GPS requires an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or iPod touch running iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $2.
Aurora Feint has announced plans to expand its OpenFeint social gaming network to connect users on both iOS and Android devices. Named OpenFeint PlayTime, the service will allow multiplayer gameplay, matchmaking, and even real-time voice chat between users playing games on iOS and Android devices. The service is currently available in a private beta; iOS and Android developers can apply to the program at the OpenFeint Developer page. No further details have been announced on when the service will actually be released and begin appearing in games. [via Engadget]
NASA has released a native iPad version of its free NASA App for the iPhone and iPod touch. NASA App HD provides access to a comprehensive library of news and information from NASA presented more effectively using the larger iPad display, including access to thousands of images from NASA’s various image libraries, on-demand NASA videos, live streaming of NASA TV, current mission information, launch information and ISS and satellite tracking. Like its iPhone counterpart, NASA App HD also includes access to NASA Twitter feeds and support for sharing information via Facebook Connect and an integrated Twitter client along with a map and links to all of the various NASA centers. NASA App HD is available from the App Store as a free download; a Wi-Fi or 3G network connection is required to use the application.
Twitter has released a universal update, adding iPad support to its official Twitter app for iOS devices. Earlier this year, Twitter acquired Tweetie for the iPhone and iPod touch for it to become the company’s official Twitter app. As part of the acquisition, Tweetie developer Loren Brichter was brought onto Twitter’s staff to continue further development of the app including work on developing an iPad-native version. Now released as a universal app for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad devices, Twitter 3.1 on the iPad provides all of the features of the iPhone version with an enhanced user interface optimized for the larger screen. Web pages, photos and videos are easily accessible from within the timeline and users can tap on any tweet and a related content pane opens to display linked content from within the tweet such as media content, web pages, profile information and hashtag searches. Panels can be slid from side to side to allow users to quickly navigate through related content, and can use two-finger pinch and drag operations to quickly peek into tweets for related information, actions and replies. Users can also access the public Twitter timelines and searches without requiring a Twitter account, or sign up for an account directly within the app. Twitter 3.1 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad is available from the App Store as a free download.
Epic Games has released a walk-through demo of its upcoming RPG for iOS devices demonstrated during today’s Apple iPod event. Codenamed “Project Sword,” the game is an impressive 3D RPG with detailed real-time graphics powered by the Unreal Engine 3. In the full game, players will be able to explore a medieval town and engage in combat with other players over the Internet. The current demo, Epic Citadel, available as a free download from the App Store, provides a simple walk-through of the game environment with no combat options, allowing users to simply explore the detailed 3D realm. The full version of Project Sword is expected to be released later this year.
Apple today announced iOS 4.1, brining with it a multitude of bug fixes, built-in HDR photography, the Game Center social gaming service, and HD video uploads over Wi-Fi. The free update for iPhone and iPod touch users will fix existing bugs with the proximity sensor, Bluetooth, and iPhone 3G performance, and will feature built-in High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography, a feature through which the camera takes three photos in rapid succession and combines them to make a picture with a wider dynamic range than a traditional photo. In addition, the update will provide HD video uploading over Wi-Fi, and the aforementioned Game Center social gaming service. iOS 4.1 will be available next week and will be a free update for users of capable iPhone and iPod touch devices.
Apple today gave several updates on its iOS, App Store, and retail store businesses. It said it has now shipped over 120 million iOS devices, and is handling 230,000 new activations each day. Over 6.5 billion applications have been downloaded from the App Store, resulting in an average of 200 apps every second, and the App Store now offers over 250,000 apps, 25,000 of which are made for the iPad. The company now has 300 retail stores in 10 countries—the Covent Garden store in London was the 300th opening—and has over one million customers coming through the stores on several days each month. It will soon open a store in Spain, marking the 11th country in which it has retail stores.
It also revealed that it has sold 275 million iPods, and that the iPod touch is now the best-selling portable gaming device in the world, outselling Nintendo’s and Sony’s portable devices combined. In enjoys over 50% market share in the portable gaming device category both in the U.S. and worldwide, and iPod touch users have downloaded over 1.5 billion game and entertainment apps.
ALK Technologies has released an update to CoPilot Live, its turn-by-turn GPS navigation app for the iPhone and iPod touch adding support for new services and updated maps. CoPilot Live North America and CoPilot Live USA now provides ActiveTraffic, an upgraded version of its optional Live Traffic service which improves on the prior service by extending live traffic coverage beyond highways and interstates to also include arterial roads, city streets and secondary roads across the U.S., using data from traffic information provider INRIX. The ActiveTraffic feature is a free upgrade for current CoPilot Live users who have already subscribed to Premium Live Services, and a 14-day free trial of ActiveTraffic is available for other CoPilot Live users. The update also provides in-app MapSure reporting for submitting map updates and corrections and a full map update to the latest Q2 2010 map data which adds thousands of new miles of roads in the U.S. and Canada including map improvements submitted by customers. The latest version also reducing the amount of time that the app remains running in the background while idle on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices and improves memory usage for iPhone 3G and 3GS users. CoPilot Live North America is available from the App Store for $20; CoPilot Live USA is available for $5. Both versions are free updates for current users.