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2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

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NASA releases iPhone app

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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.

EA releases Rock Band for iPhone, iPod touch

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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 intros wireless printing app for iPhone, iPod touch

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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 launches In-App Purchase for free apps

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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.”

App Mix: Layar, TV Guide, HAVA, MLB.com

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.

Pinch Media: 1.5 million iPhone devices using pirated apps

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.

App Mix: Jeter, Brunswick, Snapfinger, Volumatic

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.

App Mix: Tweetie 2, Skullcandy, Pro Camera, BombLink

Atebits has released Tweetie 2, the sequel to its original Tweetie application for the iPhone and iPod touch. New in Tweetie 2 is support for video tweets, live filtering of users’ Twitter streams, full persistence, a fully-capable offline mode including offline reading and drafts, threaded conversations, a revamped “Nearby” mode, support for geotagging metadata, and more. Tweetie 2 is available now from the App Store and sells for $3.

Skullcandy has launched its new official application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new app offers up-to-the-minute weather conditions for a host of surfing and skiing locations worldwide, GPS-based search for nearby surfing locations, ski slopes, and skate parks, videos of all three sports fed by SkullcandyTV.com, streaming music from over 50 artists, a variety of built-in and user-submitted wallpapers, and more. The official Skullcandy application for iPhone and iPod touch is available now as a free download from the App Store.

Jens Dämgen has introduced Pro Camera 2.0, the latest version of the camera application for the iPhone. Pro Camera 2.0 features a 4x digital zoom, a hardware-based image stabilization system that monitors accelerometer data to snap a shot when the device is still, a tiltmeter to indicate the relationship of the iPhone to the horizon, a self timer option, and more. Pro Camera is available now and sells for $3.

Capcom has released BombLink, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In BombLink, players must attempt to use falling flames to light bombs’ fuses in order to clear them from the screen. Features include a variety of explosive items such as obstruction and bonus bombs, three game play modes, three levels of difficulty, in-game iPod playback support, and more. BombLink sells for $2; a free Lite version is also available.

App Store falling victim to name squatters

Some iPhone developers are having trouble finding good names for their applications as it seems that some unscrupulous developers are “name squatting” on the App Store. The problem developers, which iPhone developer Atomic Antelope calls “worse than domain name squatters,” are taking advantage of a loophole in Apple’s application submission system that lets developers partially register an app name without needing to actually submit the application. Recombu reports that not only are the names then considered taken, even though no application is submitted, but Apple also fails to disclose details of developers who have submitted a given application name, leaving developers planning on a given name for their app with no way to contact the squatter or other developer who has previously submitted the name.

Adobe unveils Photoshop.com Mobile for iPhone, iPod touch

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Adobe has released its new Photoshop.com Mobile application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new application allows users to edit and share photos directly from their device, integrating with Adobe’s Photoshop.com online service to store the original photo online, as well as edited versions; users may also save edited photos back to their devices’ photo libraries. Editing features include crop, rotate, flip, exposure, saturation, tint, and black and white settings, and the app also offers two filters—sketch and soft focus—as well as several effects including vignette blur, white glos, and soft black and white. Undo and redo features allow for non-destructive experimentation, and the app offers a built-in slideshow feature, as well. Photoshop.com Mobile for iPhone is available now as a free download from the App Store.

EA confirms Rock Band for iPhone, iPod touch

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Through a demo video loop being shown at this week’s CITA convention, EA Mobile has inadvertently confirmed an upcoming version of Rock Band for the iPhone and iPod touch. According to MobileCrunch, the video gave away very few details of the game, only showing a single screenshot of the game’s main interface, with four note rows of notes flowing downwards and four corresponding pick-shaped buttons. The video also showed all four instruments from the game—lead guitar, bass, drums, and vocals—underneath the game’s logo, suggesting that it will be possible to play multiple instruments; this was later confirmed by MobileCrunch, as it was told the game will offer premium in-game content, as well as four-player multiplayer over Bluetooth. No further details, such as pricing or a release date, have been announced.

Tapulous releases Tap Tap Revenge 3

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Tapulous has released Tap Tap Revenge 3, the latest installment in its series of rhythm games for the iPhone and iPod touch. Tap Tap Revenge 3 offers players a number of free downloadable tracks, as well as downloadable songs from artists such as the Killers, Foo Fighters, and Korn, which can be bought using the in-app purchasing feature. The game’s online features have also been expanded, with custom avatars, more robust profiles, integrated chat, weapons and shields for use during online play, challenges, and battles. Other features include a unique theme for each premium track, a new look for the game’s menus, a quickplay mode, the ability to resume, restart, and replay games, and more. Tap Tap Revenge 3 is available now from the App Store and sells for $1.

AT&T opens 3G network to iPhone VoIP apps

AT&T has announced that it has taken the steps needed so that Apple can begin allowing VoIP applications on the iPhone to run on its 3G network. Prior to the announcement, AT&T had blocked VoIP applications on its network, forcing applications such as Skype and Truphone to run over Wi-Fi only. The company previously allowed VoIP applications on other wireless devices, and has informed both Apple and the FCC of its decision. It will likely be some time before VoIP-over-3G applications begin appearing in the App Store, however, as the developers of VoIP apps will need to update their code to allow for 3G connectivity, and Apple will then need to approve the updates.

“iPhone is an innovative device that dramatically changed the game in wireless when it was introduced just two years ago,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets. “Today’s decision was made after evaluating our customers’ expectations and use of the device compared to dozens of others we offer.”

Vonage launches Vonage Mobile for iPhone, iPod touch

Voice-over-IP service provider Vonage has released its new Vonage Mobile applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. Vonage Mobile allows users to place low-cost international calls over Wi-Fi or, in the case of the iPhone version, over a cellular connection. Features include the ability to dial using saved contacts, the ability to use the iPhone’s existing phone number for caller ID, real-time balance updates, and more. The Vonage Mobile applications for the iPhone and iPod touch are available now as free downloads from the App Store.

EA releases FIFA 10 for iPhone, iPod touch

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Electronic Arts has released FIFA 10, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The first release of the well-regarded soccer series to be released for the platform, FIFA 10 includes over 30 different leagues, 570 teams, and 12,620 players, and 20 licensed tournaments and cup competitions. Other features include six different camera angles, on-screen controls with accelerometer-based tempo control, local Wi-Fi multiplayer, a “Be a Pro” mode in which players can create their own custom characters, earning skills in competition and tracking his play over multiple seasons. FIFA 10 is available now from the App Store and sells for $10.

App Mix: EyeTV, CNN, Cadence, Zipcar

Elgato has released its new EyeTV application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The EyeTV app will allow users of the company’s EyeTV desktop software for Macs to watch live TV and recordings, browse the program guide, and start or schedule recordings, all directly from their devices. Live video is delivered over Wi-Fi only, with H.264 video, AAC audio, and iPhone hardware acceleration for playback. EyeTV requires a Mac running EyeTV 3.2 or higher, a compatible TV tuner, and iPhone OS 3.0 or later, and is available now for $5.

CNN has introduced its new CNN Mobile application for the iPhone and iPod touch. CNN Mobile offers users live video of breaking news, streaming video of top stories from all categories, the ability to view, record, and submit video and photo iReports, view stories from a variety of topics, in condensed or full versions, view local news, weather, and traffic, save stories and videos for later viewing, and more. CNN Mobile is priced at $2.

TrekoClinics.com has debuted Cadence, its new application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Cadence is designed to let users perform activities such as running or dancing while listening to a steady stream of songs that match the beat of their movements. The app offers a slider for selecting songs according to beat per minute (BPM) values of 70-200, as well as forward, back, and play/pause controls; users must download the Cadence desktop application and use it analyze their iTunes libraries in order for the app to function properly. The Cadence application for iPhone and iPod touch requires OS 3.0 or later and sells for $3; the desktop software is available for download on a “pay what you want” basis, with 20% of all proceeds going to support Shoe4Africa.

Car sharing service Zipcar has released its official application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Demonstrated during Apple’s 2009 WWDC Keynote Address, the app allows Zipcar members to find available Zipcars on a map using current location, favorite location, or any location, reserve cars, sort cars by time available, car type, and model, view upcoming reservations, easily locate a reserved Zipcar by honking its horn and lock and unlock the Zipcar from within the app, get directions to a reserved Zipcar, and more. Zipcar requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is available now as a free download from the App Store.

iPhone app used to grab users’ phone numbers

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A number of European readers of the French-language site Mac4Ever are complaining of receiving unwanted calls after downloading and installing a specific iPhone application, suggesting the application is grabbing the users’ numbers via the app itself and using them to place the unsolicited calls. The article states that Mac4Ever successfully tested a line of code meant to retrieve an iPhone’s number, which can then be sent to remote databases or used in other nefarious ways without any notification to the user; it appears the behavior has been available since iPhone OS 2.1. The application in question, mogoRoad, is not available in the U.S. App Store, but we recommend European readers use caution when downloading this or any other apps from the company.

App Store hits two billion downloads

Apple has announced that more than two billion applications have been downloaded from the App Store since its launch on July 11, 2008. The company also revealed that over 85,000 applications are now available from the store, with over 125,000 developers in Apple’s iPhone Developer Program and more than 50 million iPhone and iPod touch users worldwide.

“The rate of App Store downloads continues to accelerate with users downloading a staggering two billion apps in just over a year, including more than half a billion apps this quarter alone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “The App Store has reinvented what you can do with a mobile handheld device, and our users are clearly loving it.”

iPhone developers report problems with iTunes Connect

A large number of iPhone developers are reporting problems with iTunes Connect, the service used to submit applications to the App Store. Many developers have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns, with most claiming that the service is either terribly slow or completely unresponsive, leaving developers with important updates and/or new products unable to submit. Andreas Fink, developer of the SMS application Global.AQ, has had the problems delay the release of version 2.0 of his application, and claims that “Apple is apparently ‘aware’ of the problem,” although the company has yet to respond to any of his emails. Earlier this week, Apple launched the App Store Resource Center, a new area of the iPhone Dev Center meant to help guide developers through the iPhone application and submission process; it is unclear whether the iTunes Connect problems are related to the new feature. [via AppleInsider]

App Mix: Starbucks, Best Camera, Lumines, Sliding Heroes

Starbucks Coffee Company has released two new applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. MyStarbucks offers users an interactive drink builder, with the ability to share your drink via email or SMS, a store locator, food and coffee menus, and a favorites feature for quick recall of past orders. A separate application, Starbucks Card Mobile, allows users to check their Starbucks Card balance, reload the card, view transactions, and, in 16 select test stores—located in Cupertino, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and San Jose, CA, and Seattle, WA—users can actually pay with their Starbucks Card using only their iPhone or iPod touch. Both applications are available as free downloads from the App Store.

Ubermind has launched Best Camera, its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Created by well-known photographer Chase Jarvis, Best Camera is a new camera application conceived by Jarvis while he was shooting The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You, a new book of nothing but iPhone photography. Best Camera allows users to take pictures from within the app or pull pictures in from the library, and then apply a variety of filters and effects using a “stackable” design, so that multiple filters can be applied at once, and can be reordered to achieve various results; pictures can also be saved to the camera roll, emailed, or sent to Twitter, Facebook, or Jarvis’ sharing site thebestcamera.com directly from within the app. Best Camera is available now and sells for $3.

Q Entertainment has unveiled Lumines - Touch Fusion, its new game for the iPhone and iPod touch. 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. The game features single lap, endless, and time attack play modes, tap, slide, and flick controls, and a variety of built-in skins; the company plans on releasing new “specially-themed Skin Packs” soon. Lumines - Touch Fusion is priced at $3; a free Lite version is also available.

Square Enix has introduced Sliding Heroes, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Sliding Heroes is a real-time strategy game in which players must “slide” their units across the game map by tilting their devices. Features include two completely separate game modes—original and endless—with over 130 stages, a variety of unit types, and more. Sliding Heroes is available now and sells for $5; a free Lite version is also available.

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