News | iLounge

2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

News

Apple restores promo codes for 17+ apps

Apple has fixed what it once described as a “minor glitch” that kept iPhone developers from issuing promo codes for apps carrying a 17+ rating. iLounge reported in December that developers were unable to issue codes for adult-rated apps, which limited the promotional avenues available to such applications. At the time, we questioned whether the problem was due to an Apple attempt to limit promotion of 17+ titles, or a temporary bug that would be resolved in time. In any case, the company took over six months to fix the “glitch.”

App rejected, Google offers Latitude via Safari on iPhone

image

Google has announced the launch of its new Latitude web application for iPhone and iPod touch, after seemingly having its native application rejected by Apple. On the Official Google Mobile Blog, Mat Balez, Product Manager for the Google Mobile Team, writes, “We worked closely with Apple to bring Latitude to the iPhone in a way Apple thought would be best for iPhone users. After we developed a Latitude application for the iPhone, Apple requested we release Latitude as a web application in order to avoid confusion with Maps on the iPhone, which uses Google to serve maps tiles.” The reality of the rejection flies in the face of past Apple-Google dealings on the iPhone; Google was widely-known to have been granted access to unpublished APIs when building its Google Mobile App, so it remains unclear why Apple would choose to reject this particular effort, especially after Google had spent the time and effort to build it. Latitude allows users to share their location with friends and see their friends’ locations on a map, use basic search and directions functionality, and, like in the native Maps application, tap a blue dot to be taken to their approximate current location. To access Google Latitude for iPhone and iPod touch, simply visit google.com/latitude from the mobile Safari browser.

Jailbroken Twitter app challenges App Store rivals

image

An update to Efiko Software’s iPhone Twitter client qTweeter for jailbroken iPhones has added a new video sharing feature that puts it functionally beyond many of the currently-available, officially-sanctioned Twitter clients in the App Store. qTweeter runs in the background of jailbroken iPhones, letting users slide their finger down from the status area to tweet or update their Facebook status. New in version 2.0, however, is the ability to share video recorded using the iPhone, iPhone 3G, or iPhone 3GS, a feat the developer claims App Store apps “will never be able to accomplish.” qTweeter is available now as a free download from the Cydia download repository.

App Mix: SI Swimsuit, Treasure Grab, HotelPal, Layers

image

Sports Illustrated has released SI Swimsuit 2009, its new application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Developed in partnership with Azuki Systems, Si Swimsuit features videos and photos of all 20 models from the 2009 SI Swimsuit franchise, and allows users to create a personalized daily sports calendar to keep track of schedules and scores for up to six professional and/or college sports teams. Rated 17+, SI Swimsuit 2009 is available now from the App Store and sells for $3.

THQ Wireless has released Treasure Grab, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Treasure Grab puts players in control of master thief Alya Loot, who must steal, sneak, and pick locks to grab the most precious heirlooms of four decadent nobles. Features include open gameplay, an original storyline and characters, and seven “Trickster” powers that can be used to fool guards and maximize treasure. Treasure Grab is sells for $3.

Mobiata, maker of FlightTrack and FlightTrack Pro, has introduced HotelPal (pictured), its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. HotelPal offers users access to over 100,000 hotels, including full-screen photos, interactive maps, and live availability info. Once a room is found, travelers can book right in the app, using a custom booking interface powered by Travelocity. HotelPal will be available as a free download from the App Store as soon as it receives approval from Apple.

Ben Gotow, developer of NetSketch, has unveiled Layers, his latest art creation tool for the iPhone and iPod touch. Layers is a natural media painting application, allowing users to add up to five layers to each drawing or photo, with the ability to email the file as a .psd file with the layers intact. Tools include a full-featured eraser for revealing hidden layers, two-finger pan and zoom, eight brushes, an eyedropper tool, precisely adjustable brush sizes, a large color picker with transparency control, undo history that is saved on exit, and the ability to email the an image in either .jpg or .psd formats. Layers is available now and sells for $5.

Navigon debuts MobileNavigator GPS software for iPhone

image

Navigon has released its MobileNavigator North America turn-by-turn GPS application for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Taking up a massive 1.29GB of space, MobileNavigator stores all its map data directly on the device for operation in areas where cellular service is unavailable, and features Reality View Pro 3D navigation views with actual road signs and lane guidance, Lane Assistant Pro, which helps drivers prepare for an upcoming exit or tun with on-screen arrows, a Speed Assistant, day and night mode for map display, single-click “Take me home” functionality, branded POIs, both 2D and 3D map views, automatic switching between portrait and landscape formats, and more. Navigon’s MobileNavigator North America is available now from the App Store and will sell for $70 through August 15, when the price will increase to $100; no subscription is required.

Apple rejects Twitter app for resembling SMS interface

Syncode, developers of the Push-enabled Twitter client iTweetReply, has revealed that the app’s first update—version 1.1—has been rejected by Apple due to its visual similarity to the iPhone’s built-in messaging app. According to a post on Syncode’s blog, Apple’s rejection email stated, “Thank you for submitting your application to the App Store. Unfortunately, your application, iTweetReply – Push Twitter Replies and Direct Messages, cannot be added to the App Store because its usage of the standard SMS UI elements may be confusing or misleading to iPhone users. Please redesign your application to look significantly different from the standard iPhone SMS built-in app.” The developer points out that this portion of the UI remains unchanged from the already available 1.0 release, and that a similar look is used by a number of other Twitter applications; iLounge has also seen several instant messaging applications with similar layouts. Syncode says it will soon be submitting an improved 1.1 release of iTweetReply, containing several features originally planned for later updates; it is unclear how the company plans to deal with Apple’s UI complaints.

Namco announces Pac-Man Remix for iPhone, iPod touch

image

Namco has announced its latest Pac-Man title for the iPhone and iPod touch, Pac-Man Remix. Featuring an angled overhead 3-D view, the game is similar to the Pac-Man Arrangement game found on Namco Museum Battle Collection for the PSP, and adds maze traps, the ability to jump, and a number of power-ups to the classic Pac-Man gameplay. Additional features include a choice between on-screen, flick-, and accelerometer-based controls, six unique boss characters, and stage-specific gadgets. Pac-Man Remix is expected to be available in the coming weeks and will sell for $6; continue reading for more screenshots.

Apple quietly approving racy new 17+ content?

Apple has begun allowing racy new content into appropriately-labeled applications, a new update suggests. Based on the tales of woe web site, F-MyLife by enormego has been updated to version 1.5.4, which, according to the release notes posted to the App Store listing, “[e]nables the ‘Sex’ category for iPhone 3.0 users.” This category had previously been missing from the app, despite its appearance on the actual web site’s pages; the App Store now requires the user to acknowledge the potential of objectionable content within the app before the download. It is unclear whether this will lead to the approval of more controversial applications. F-MyLife and F-MyLife Pro are available now for free and for $2, respectively, and are labeled 17+.

App Mix: Inkiness, Ranch Rush, Playlist Alarm, Meditate

Fenrir has debuted Inkiness, its new drawing application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Inkiness emulates drawing with ink, on a grid patterned pad. Features include a virtual, on-screen nib for increased accuracy, the ability to save and edit up to 80 drawing pages, and the ability to save drawings to the photo library or share them via email. Inkiness sells for $3.

FreshGames has released Ranch Rush, its new game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Previously released on the Mac and PC, Ranch Rush puts players in the shoes of Sara, who must build a thriving ranch before the owner is forced to sell. Over the course of several weeks, players will need to harvest fresh produce, gather eggs from ostriches, collect honey from bees, make ketchup from tomatoes, and more. The game features more than 40 levels, four upgrades, four different animals to tend, and 20 trophies to win. Ranch Rush is available now from the App Store and sells for $2.

Chilli X has introduced Playlist Alarm Clock, its latest clock application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Playlist Alarm Clock allows users to build or choose two playlists of songs to wake up and fall asleep to. Users can choose separate durations of time for music to play when falling asleep and waking up, and can also use the app as a standard alarm or bedside clock; other features include a snooze function and auto-lock prevention. Playlist Alarm Clock is available now and is priced at $2.

SimpleTouch Software has released Meditate, its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Meditate serves as a simple meditation timer, offering a single-pane interface, customizable interval chimes, the ability to set preparation and cool down times, automatic meditation tracking, including total and daily average meditation times, statistics, and smart interruption handling and restart. Meditate is available now and sells for $2.

App Mix: Typography, Pizza Hut, Cyclops, WoW

Justin Stahl has released The Typography Manual, a new application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The Manual features a 60+ page book covering the history of type, typography basics, how to properly set text and characters, information on web typography, and more. It also offers resources such as a visual type anatomy glossary, a style guide, a keyboard character and HTML character code listing, an Em calculator, and a font size ruler. The Typography Manual is available now from the App Store and sells for $5. [via Kottke]

National chain Pizza Hut has launched a new app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The application allows users to order pizzas, wings, and pastas using interactive tools, see the latest deals, and play a racing mini-game while they are waiting for their order to arrive. The Pizza Hut app is available now as a free download.

Deep Prose Software has debuted Cyclops, its new application for the iPhone 3GS. Cyclops utilizes the iPhone 3GS’ macro capabilities to scan barcodes of items found in normal stores or at home, automatically searching Amazon to provide up to date product information and pricing. Cyclops is available now as a free download from the App Store.

Blizzard Entertainment has released World of Warcraft Mobile Armory, its second application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Built for players of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Armory lets users search for and view any character, item, guild, or Arena team in World of Warcraft, access their in-game calendars, view achievement-point leaderboards, plan out talent specs, and more. World of Warcraft Mobile Armory is a free download.

Griffin launches iFM Radio Browser for iPhone, iPod touch

image

Griffin Technology has released iFM Radio Browser, its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. iFM Radio Browser serves as an interactive radio companion, providing users with real-time data—provided by Mediaguide—on local FM stations in their area, the currently playing song, with album art, artist info, and concert date information. Users may also browse by station, artist or genre, and can instantly purchase music with the iTunes app or save songs to a wish list for later purchasing. Finally, iFM Radio Browser works with Griffin’s recently released Navigate in-line controller and FM radio for iPod and iPhone, working as a touchscreen control interface. Griffin’s iFM Radio Browser is available now as a free download from the App Store.

App Mix: Cellar, SurrounDead, Enviro-Bear, U.K. developer course

Airsource has launched Cellar, its new wine collection management app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Cellar lets users track their current wine inventory and finished bottles—stored in the “Garage”—through a graphic interface that mimics the look of real cellar, with user-specified options to match the actual bottle as closely as possible, including the ability to add a custom photo of the label. The app also stores information about each bottle, including brand, region, vintage, grape, price, rating, and personal notes. Cellar is available now from the App Store and sells for $1.

Handheld Games has released SurrounDEAD, its new game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In SurrounDEAD, players attempt to survive a zombie attack by shooting down as many as possible before their life runs out. The game features 360-degree play, with the players using either tilt controls, or—for the first time—the iPhone 3GS’ compass—to turn around and catch oncoming baddies. SurrounDEAD is available now and is priced at $1.

Justin Smith has introduced Enviro-Bear 2010, a whimsical new driving game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Players of Enviro-Bear take control of a roughly-drawn bear, who must use touch controls to interact with items, including food like fish and berries. Once sufficiently full, the player must drive into a cave to hibernate, while continuing to interact with the surroundings and avoiding other bear drivers. Enviro-Bear 2010 sells for $1 and is available now.

About Objects has announced a partnership with NTI Leeds to offer iPhone OS 3.0 developer training in the U.K. The first iPhone Development course is scheduled for July 20-22, and will be held at NTI Leeds headquarters in the Old Broadcasting House in the Civic Quarter in Leeds. A 3-day event, the course takes attendees from the fundamentals of Objective-C 2.0 through all the basics of developing apps using the iPhone SDK’s APIs, Xcode development environment, Interface Builder, and other tools. Registration is now open; the class fee is £995, or roughly $1620.

App Store hits 1.5 billion downloads in one year

Apple has announced that its customers downloaded more than 1.5 billion applications from the App Store during its first year of operation, making it “the largest applications store in the world.” The company added that the App Store continues to grow at a fast pace, with more than 65,000 apps now available and more than 100,000 developers in the iPhone Developer Program. “The App Store is like nothing the industry has ever seen before in both scale and quality,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With 1.5 billion apps downloaded, it is going to be very hard for others to catch up.” The App Store is now available in 77 countries; the store passed the billion download milestone in late April, meaning the pace of downloads is likely quickening as well.

Apple rejects bird chirp, search query apps over Internet content

Apple has rejected updates to two more applications—FastFinder from Bananas Design and Chirp! Bird Songs from Spiny Software—due to what the company considers to be an inappropriate rating based on the apps’ ability to connect to the Internet. FastFinder allows users to quickly query a variety of search engines and other services such as IMDB, Amazon.com, Facebook, and more, while Chirp! Bird Songs helps users to listen to, identify, and learn about different bird songs. In the former case, Apple argued that FastFinder “allows unfiltered access to the Internet, where content with mature or suggestive themes can be accessed;” it used the same argument to reject the Chirp! update due to its ability to connect to Wikipedia, according to an email from the developer. In both cases Apple said “[a]pplications must be rated accordingly for the highest level of content that the user is able to access,” suggesting the company may continue to reject applications offering Internet access until they raise their ratings. Both FastFinder and Chirp! Bird Songs had previously been accepted into the App Store with a 4+ rating, and are available in their current versions for $2 and $3, respectively.

App Mix: TapStar, Pocket First Aid, Cloudburst, Word Solitaire

Epic Tilt, in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, has released TapStar, a new rhythm game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In TapStar, players attempt to tap on the touchpoints in the four corners of the screen to match up to the beat of the currently playing song, and are judged on misses, longest streak, and overall accuracy. Features include a widescreen presentation, music from artists such as John Mayer, Lit, Pink, and Cheap Trick, and four difficulty settings for each level. TapStar is available now from the App Store and sells for $1; a free trial version is also available.

American Heart Association has announced the launch of Pocket First Aid & CPR, its medical application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Developed by Jive Media, Pocket First Aid serves as a portable medical reference guide, with hundreds of illustrated pages on topics such as CPR, choking, bites, seizures, and more, videos to show users how to respond in critical situations, an area to store medical and insurance information for quick retrieval, and up-to-date emergency information. Pocket First Aid & CPR sells for $4.

Advenio has introduced Cloudburst, its new weather application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Cloudburst is designed to offer users a quick-glance look at weather conditions, including current temperature, wind speed and direction, visibility, sunrise and sunset times, a four-day forecast, and current radar image, with all data provided by NOAA.gov. Cloudburst is available now and is priced at $1.

Candywriter has released Word Solitaire, its new game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Word Solitaire merges word games with solitaire by having players drag letters onto each other to form words, completing the level by using all the provided letters in words. It features 25 levels, each with classical art backgrounds, intelligent decks that increase the difficulty slightly with each level, customizable color themes, Twitter integration for posting scores, millions of letter arrangements, and auto save. Word Solitaire is available now from the App Store and sells for $1.

App Mix: Volcano Planet, Prowl, iMated, Nearest Tube

Jelly Biscuits has released Volcano Planet, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Volcano Planet, users attempt to help inhabitants of a volcanic planet escape from destruction by tapping on volcanoes as they erupt—like a 3-D whack-a-mole game—while swatting away passing flying saucers. Features include local and Internet high score tracking, bonuses for speed and accuracy, and pause functionality. Volcano Planet is available now from the App Store and sells for $1.

Zachary West has introduced Prowl, a new Push Notification-enabled Growl client for the iPhone and iPod touch. The application works in concert with the Growl plugin for Mac OS X, allowing users to receive Growl notifications—for things like incoming emails, IMs, and Tweets, completed processes, and more—via Apple’s Push Notification service. Other features include the ability to keep up to 30 days of notifications stored on the server, customized notifications, and the ability to send any message to the device via the Prowl website. Prowl is available now and is priced at $3.

Sevnthsin, PopLife, and Yustin have released iMated, a new photo manipulation app for the iPhone and iPod touch. iMated lets users choose and align photos of two separate people to be combined into one face, giving an amusing look at the possible offspring of the two people pictured. Features include the ability to use a photo from the library or take a new photo with the camera, and the ability to shake to generate new results. iMated is available for $2.

Acrossair has previewed Nearest Tube, its new augmented reality application for the iPhone 3GS. Once the app receives approval from Apple, Nearest Tube will allow London-based iPhone users to hold the phone up and see their surroundings displayed in video format, with information about the nearest subway stations—gathered using a combination of Location and Compass technology—overlaid in real time over the video. Nearest Tube is pending approval from Apple; pricing has yet to be announced.

Apple celebrates one year of the App Store

Apple is now promoting the first-anniversary of the App Store with a dedicated page on the iTunes Store. The message on the promo page reads, “Light a candle and cue the music. Okay, forgive us for sounding like doting parents, but we’re just so proud—having watched the App Store go from promising newcomer to full-fledged revolutionary. To celebrate its first birthday, we’ve gathered some of our favorite games and apps.” Apps featured on the page include MLB.com At Bat 2009, Pandora Radio, Brushes, Rolando, The Sims 3, Peggle, Real Racing, and Let’s Golf. The App Store officially opened on July 10, 2008 with more than 500 applications; it now offers over 50,000.

Ngmoco releases Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid

Ngmoco has released Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid, the sequel to the company’s popular Rolando game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Rolando 2, players once again control a number of round characters, using a combination of accelerometer and touch controls to roll, jump, and otherwise navigate throughout the various levels. iLounge was given the opportunity to play a pre-release build of the game while we were at WWDC, and we found it to be a worthy sequel to the first game. The 2.5D graphics add a needed sense of depth, while the branching progression—the ability to choose one of two or more paths after finishing a level—was likely a necessary change to accommodate fans of the game who found themselves sometimes stuck on a particular level. Also new to the game are several classes of Rolandos, “vehicles” such as mine cars and a spike-covered ball, environmental challenges such as rising lava, water, and boulders, Idols to collect that let players skip levels of their choosing, the ability to play music from the iPhone or iPod touch instead of the built-in soundtrack, a larger map to explore, and an integrated tutorial system for first-time players. Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid is available now and sells for $10.

Apple, developers wrestling over App Store pornographic content policy

Following its decision to allow bikini photo applications into the App Store, Apple has removed one such application from the App Store due to pornographic—in this case, illegal—content. The application BeautyMeter by German developers Braun Software has been on the store since January, but came under fire yesterday following the discovery that the developer was offering not only nude photos, but a nude photo of an underage girl. Similar to websites and apps such as Hot Or Not, BeautyMeter allowed users to upload pics of themselves for other people to judge. According to a report, one particular photo—which appeared to show full nudity—was labeled as being of a 15-year-old girl. After the report, Apple removed the application from the App Store.

Last week a separate application, Hottest Girls, was pulled from the App Store after adding topless photos of women to its available photo archive. At this point, it’s unclear what Apple’s exact intentions are in regards to such content and the App Store. Following the removal of Hottest Girls, Apple released a statement that said that the company “will not distribute applications that contain inappropriate content, such as pornography.” However, Apple’s App Store submission system provides checkboxes for such content on its content description page, including options for “Sexual Content or Nudity,” “Prolonged Graphic or sadistic realistic violence,” and “Graphic sexual content or nudity.” In addition, the company recently expanded the Parental Controls available to iPhone and iPod touch users that allow parents to keep applications rated above a certain level from being installed or run on the device.

App Mix: Droplitz, A.D.D. Lite, Card Tower, Warpack Grunts

Altus has released Droplitz, a puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Droplitz has playes rotate dials in order to create pathways through which balls called Droplitz can travel safely in order to be collected at the bottom of the screen. The game offers three distinct play modes of varying ability, as well as the ability to make multiple connections for higher scores. Droplitz is available now from the App Store and sells for $2.

IUGO Mobile Entertainment has released A.D.D. Lite, its new mini-game title for the iPhone and iPod touch. A.D.D. Lite (Another Dumb Distraction) is the free version of the upcoming title A.D.D., and offers 16 mini-games, many offering raunchy subject matter and game play. A.D.D. Lite is available now as a free download; the full version, offering 76 mini-games, is “still pending Apple approval.”

Karma World has released Card Tower: The House of Cards, its new application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Card Tower simulates building a house of cards using multi-touch controls and accurate physics rules, with an undo feature offering a chance to correct small mistakes. Card Tower: The House of Cards is available now and priced at $1.

Freeverse has released Warpack Grunts, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Warpack Grunts, players take control of a squad of fighters in order to stop “Evil Dude” and his army from taking over the world. The game offers 40 levels, four difficulty levels, online high scores for the campaign and each level, and a special unlockable game mode. Warpack Grunts sells for $1.

Shop for Accessories: Cases, speakers, chargers, etc.