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]
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.
Gameloft has released Real Soccer 2010, its follow-up to the well-received Real Soccer 2009 game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new game offers a number of additions to and improvements upon last year’s edition, including online and local multiplayer, 8 leagues, 245 teams and real players’ names, 14 precisely modeled 3D stadiums, voice commentary, new game modes, the ability to upload replays to YouTube, and improved controls. Real Soccer 2010 is available now from the App Store and sells for $7.
Texas Instruments has introduced BA II Plus, its first application for the iPhone and iPod touch. BA II Plus Financial Calculator emulates the exact capabilities of TI’s best-selling financial calculator, including time-value-of-money calculations, generation of amortization schedules, cash-flow analysis, breakeven, profit, and percent difference calculations, a date function, scientific capabilities, 10-value memory, and an intuitive 2nd function key. BA II Plus Financial Calculator is available now and is priced at $15.
Agile partners, makers of the popular app Guitar Toolkit, has launched TabToolkit, its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Offering playback of guitar tablature files, it features support for text, PDF, Power Tab, and Guitar Pro files, a MIDI synthesizer to let users hear the instrument being played, views of both standard music and tablature notation, a metronome feature, the ability to display a fretboard or piano keyboard to show finger positions, the ability to download tabs from the Internet using a built-in browser, and more. TabToolkit sells for $10.
Kiloo has unveiled Whac-A-Mole, its first game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Officially licensed by Mattel, Whac-A-Mole offers a variety of weapons, including a mallet, spiked club, and baseball bat, four different game modes, and graphics reminiscent of real-world Whac-A-Mole games. Whac-A-Mole is available now and sells for $4.
Pantone has released myPantone, the company’s latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. myPantone allows designers to capture, create, and share Pantone Color Palettes directly from their devices. Features include full access to all the Pantone Color Libraries, including the Pantone Matching System, Pantone Goe System, Pantone Pastels, and the Pantone Fashion + Home Smart Color System, the ability to extract colors from photos taken with the iPhone’s built-in camera, matching them to the closest Pantone colors, and the ability to share color palettes via email as color patches, or as application-ready swatch files for use in applications such as Adobe’s Creative Suite, CorelDraw, and QuarkXPress. Pantone’s myPantone is available now from the App Store and sells for $10.
Opal Limited has introduced Trope, its third application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Expanding further on the concepts introduced in Bloom, in which users created ambient music by tapping and moving their fingers across the screen, Trope is designed by musicians Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers, and offers a “different emotional experience from Bloom - more introspective [and] more atmospheric,” according to co-creator Eno. Trope is available now and sells for $4.
Pioneer has unveiled its new AVIC Feeds application, its first for the iPhone. AVIC Feeds integrates with the company’s AVIC line of in-dash navigation systems—specifically, the AVIC-U310BT and AVIC Z110BT—to let users search for addresses, businesses, places of interest, or a specific spot in the Maps application, using Bluetooth to transfer the location to the system’s Contact list. Users can also get location information from geotagged photos. Pioneer’s AVIC Feeds application requires one of the two AVIC units listed above and an iPhone, and is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Artificial Life has released BMW Sauber F1 Team Racing 09, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game has players racing as either Nick Heidfield or Robert Kubica, and features eight different courses, customizable racing options including game mode, weather, and difficulty, a pit stop mini-game, a Professional game mode focusing on lap times, car configuration options, online leaderboards and Facebook Connect integration, and more. BMW Sauber F1 Team Racing 09 is priced at $2.
Apple has launched its App Store Resource Center, a new addition to the iPhone Dev Center aimed at guiding developers through the iPhone application submission and maintenance processes. In an email sent to paid iPhone developers, Apple said, “We are pleased to introduce the App Store Resource Center, a single destination designed to make it easier for you to find details on everything you need to know about distributing your app on the App Store—from how to prepare for app submission to managing your app once it’s been posted.”
The message continued, “[m]ake sure you also check out the News and Announcements section of the iPhone Dev Center for tips on submitting your apps to the App Store, turnaround time for app review, new program features, and guidance on everything from development and testing to distribution and marketing.” The launch is the latest in a series of efforts by Apple to address developer concerns about a lack of communication between the company and developers; the company previously added an App Store Review Status graphic to the iPhone Dev Center to give developers an idea of how long the average submission was taking to get approval, and also added an “all issues” escalation email address, allowing developers with urgent bug fixes in need of priority service to get help more quickly. [via Mac Rumors]
In its response to a Federal Communications Commission inquiry into why Apple rejected an official Google Voice application for the iPhone, Google stated (PDF Link) that Apple did in fact reject its Google Voice application, a charge Apple denied in its public response on the matter, claiming it was still studying the application. The majority of Google’s response was redacted from the original public filing on the basis that it was confidential; the full document was released today, and reveals that Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller personally talked and met with Google Senior Vice President of Engineering & Research Alan Eustace about the Google Voice and Google Latitude applications, both rejected by Apple on the grounds that they duplicated core iPhone functionality and could potentially lead to customer confusion. In a particularly damning passage, Google indicates that Apple rejected Google Latitude because it would “offer new features not present on the preloaded maps application,” and “did not want applications that could potentially replace such functionality,” using similar grounds to reject Google Voice. Google also states that it had no contact with AT&T on the matter, a claim which both Apple and AT&T have previously confirmed. Google says that it has no other proposed applications pending approval with Apple.
Update: Apple has released a terse statement on the matter, saying, “We do not agree with all of the statements made by Google in their FCC letter. Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application and we continue to discuss it with Google.”
Digital Chocolate has released Jurassic 3D Rollercoaster Rush, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. A follow-up to the company’s earlier Rollercoaster Rush 3D, Jurassic 3D has players attempting to raise their excitement meters and score more points by challenging drops, loops, and chasm jumps from inside a coaster car. Features include a career mode with 40 different tracks, a challenge race mode, a Bluetooth multiplayer mode, and more. Jurassic 3D Rollercoaster Rush is available now from the App Store and sells for $5; a free trial version is also available.
App Zap has released an update to PandoraBox, its deal-finding application for the iPhone and iPod touch. PandoraBox offers users continuously updated information relating to new App Store releases and price reductions. In addition, it allows users to create their own lists of favorite applications to track. PandoraBox is available now as a free download.
Opal Limited, publishers of the music application Bloom, has released Air, its second app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on concepts developed by Brian Eno and created by Peter Chilvers and vocalist Sandra O’Neill, Air assembles vocal and piano samples into new compositions. The app features four “control” modes, which let the user tap in different areas of the display to control the compositions, and three “listen” modes, which provide a choice of arrangement; the app also offers the ability to spread the composition over multiple iPhone and iPod touch units. Air is available now and is priced at $2.
Chillingo and Kinelco have released Underground, a new game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Underground is a horror/graffiti-themed side-scrolling 2D shoot ‘em up game, featuring multi-directional shooting using the touch screen, graffiti artwork by the artist Frames, an original hip-hop soundtrack scored by Pp3d, three difficulty levels, over 60 different enemies, 11 different weapons, and more. Underground is available now and sells for $4.
Spartadata has released Billing: Credit Card Terminal, its new application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Billing is a wireless point of sale terminal application, offering tax and tip inclusion, support for Authorize.net accounts, including built-in account setup, signature capture using the touchscreen, instant receipt dispatch via email, earnings and transaction statistics, secure HTTPS transactions, and more. Billing: Credit Card Terminal is available now from the App Store and sells for $20.
Cinemek has introduced Hitchcock, its first application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Hitchcock is a mobile storyboard and pre-visualization composer designed for use by directors, directors of photography, producers, writers, animators, and others who want to visualize a story. The app feature the ability to add and arrange images as panels, set durations for each in minutes, seconds, or frames, multi-touch gestures for markups such as dolly, track, zoom, and pan, the ability to add audio clips, notes, and scene descriptions to each panel, and more. Hitchcock is available now and sells for $20.
Gx5 has debuted qStatus, its new application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on Efiko Software’s jailbroken Twitter app qTweeter, qStatus provides a simple, single-screen interface for updating to both Twitter and Facebook simultaneously, or to only one service. Other features include support for updates longer than 140 characters through a Tweet Long feature, support for TwitPic and TwitVid with an in-app camera button, the ability to update with your currently playing music, customizable backgrounds, and more. qStatus is available now and is priced at $1.
Berbie Software has released RaceBunny, its first application for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. RaceBunny is a GPS sport companion, designed to work with the company’s TrailRunner route planning and journaling application for Mac OS X. RaceBunny receives routes from TrailRunner to display on the iPhone’s map, with a carrot that moves along the trail at a pre-selected pace. The app can then record the user’s route, sending the information back to TrailRunner for analysis of distance, speed, and altitude. RaceBunny is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Perhaps in an effort to help address some iPhone developers’ concerns, Apple has added a Top Grossing Apps list to the App Store. The new list, which sits below the Top Paid Apps and Top Free Apps lists on the redesigned App Store front page, ranks applications by the amount of money they are bringing in rather than units sold or downloaded. This new metric provides an interesting comparison to the Top Paid Apps list, reordering the top three apps on the Paid list—top-seller by unit AppBox Pro is third on the Grossing list, behind Madden NFL 10 and I Am T-Pain, which are second and third by unit sales—and offering more expensive applications such as TomTom and Navigon’s GPS navigation apps the opportunity to gain more exposure despite their comparatively high prices relative to more common apps like games and utilities. Thus far, Apple has yet to add a similar list to any of the individual app genre pages.
Apple has approved Real Networks’ Rhapsody application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new app will allow subscribers of the Rhapsody service to queue songs from the service’s 8 million tracks, and create custom playlists that will stream directly to their device over cellular or Wi-Fi connections at 64 kilobits per second. New users will have a seven-day trial period before needing to sign up for a $15 a month subscription; Real Networks plans on adding a feature that would allow users to load songs onto their devices for offline playback in an update later this year. “This breaks us out of the non-Apple MP3 player segment and now we can reach the iPod Touch and iPhone audience that was unavailable to us before,” said Neil Smith, vice president of business management for Rhapsody America. Real’s Rhapsody application is expected to hit the App Store in the next few days and will be a free download.
Electronic Arts has released Madden NFL 10, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Previewed late last month, the game features complete rosters for all 32 NFL teams, authentic models of NFL stadiums, a season mode with in-depth trades, stats and individual player rewards, in-game commentary from John Madden, Tom Hammond and Cris Collinsworth, detailed roster management, roughly 300 plays to choose form, the ability for players to draw up their own plays using the iPhone’s or iPod touch’s screen, and an action control mode that slows the game down to give the player more time to react to ongoing plays. Madden NFL 10 is available now from the App Store and is priced at $8 until kickoff of the Steelers v. Titans game at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time, at which time it will increase to $10.
Photo sharing service Flickr has launched its official application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new native app was preceded by a large number of third-party solutions, many of which we reviewed previously, and is also complimented by the service’s iPhone-optimized mobile site, available at m.flickr.com. Flickr for iPhone allows users to shoot, upload, and share photos and videos, geo-tag photos, view photos by set or tag, see recent photos from friends and family, search and view photos by contact, make comments or mark photos as favorites, and explore other photos by subject, people, or places. Flickr for the iPhone and iPod touch is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Following an initial rejection by Apple and a later reversal of that decision, Manomio’s C64 Commodore 64 emulator application has been released and then pulled from the App Store. Meant to serve as a game emulator, C64 was rejected in June for violating terms of the iPhone SDK despite being fully licensed for both the Commodore ROMs and the five included games, with promises for in-app purchases of more games as they were licensed from the original developers. A slightly modified version was accepted into the App Store over the weekend, after the developer disabled a BASIC interpreter function that would have allowed the app to run arbitrary code. Following its release, the app was pulled from the store when it was discovered that users could re-enable the BASIC interpreter through the software; a revised edition has been re-submitted to Apple for approval.
Smule, in collaboration with hip-hop artist T-Pain and Antares Audio Technologies, has released I Am T-Pain, its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Thanks to audio processing software provided by Antares, I Am T-Pain allows users to sing along to the artist’s tracks, or record their own, using Auto-Tune to create an effect similar to the one heard on T-Pain’s albums. Users simply choose a song to sing or select freestyle to record their own and sing into either the iPhone’s built-in mic or an external mic connected to a second-generation iPod touch. The app includes five full songs with lyrics, integrated Auto-Tune settings, and timings, three background tracks, and lets users expand the functionality by purchasing more songs from within the application. I Am T-Pain is available now and sells for $3.
Namco has announced Solitaire: Deck of Cods, its latest game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Developed in partnership with Red i Studios, the game expands on the traditional solitaire formula by having players move cards from the playing field to the deck below in sequential order, with them catching larger fish the more cards they are able to move in succession. Wildcards help the player increase the size of their catch, and varying levels challenge the player to bring in a different size catch or multiple catches per round. Other features include Facebook Connect, access to the music library, and a Bluetooth two-player mode. Solitaire: Deck of Cods is expected to hit the App Store soon and will be priced at $1.
Loopt, a location-aware social network, has gained constant location updates for its iPhone users via a tie-up with AT&T. The company’s native iPhone application, like all other third-party applications, isn’t allowed to run in the background on iPhone—a limitation not enforced on other mobile phones—so Loopt reached a deal to let users constantly update their locations, even when the application isn’t running. The feature will allow users to receive updates when they are near friends or places they might interested in, and, the report suggests, will open the door for more intelligent location-based advertising. According to Silicon Valley Insider, the new always-on feature will launch in a limited 5,000 user trial, and will come at a charge of $4 a month after 14 days.
Hudson Soft has released details of its fall lineup of games for the iPhone and iPod touch. The company will be offering four new titles in the fall, including a sequel to the well-received Aqua Forest. Knights of the Phantom Castle is a hybrid strategy and action RPG game offering deep character customization including the forging of new weapons and development of new abilities, touch-screen controls, and numerous strategy decisions for the player to make in battle against the enemy. Military Madness: Neo Nectaris is an adaptation of the mobile game Military Madness 2, a sequel to the original and widely acclaimed TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine game Military Madness. In the turn-based strategy game, players will be asked to control armies via touch commands through 50 levels of tactical gameplay. Other features include upgraded visuals and an all-new musical score.
World RPS is a global rock-paper-scissors game that allows users to play the classic game against other players from around the world. The location-aware game will keep track of where the player scores wins and losses, as well as a global leaderboard to keep track of the top players worldwide. Finally, Aqua Forest 2 is a follow-up to last year’s Aqua Forest physics game, keeping the same water physics gameplay in place while adding 50 new environments, and an in-game level editor that allows players to make and share their own Aqua Forest levels, and play levels created by others. All four titles are slated for release this fall; more exact release and pricing information has yet to be announced. Continue reading to see more screenshots.
Rockstar Games has announced that it will be releasing its first two games for the iPhone and iPod touch this fall, including the platform’s first Grand Theft Auto title. Beaterator is a portable music-making application that allows people of all musical backgrounds and ability to create beats and songs, featuring thousands of loops and sounds made by both well-known producer/rapper Timbaland and Rockstar. Currently available for the Nintendo DS, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars follows the story of Huang Lee, a young Triad who travels to Liberty City after the mysterious death of his father to uncover the truth behind his demise. Both games are listed as coming this fall; more exact release or pricing information has yet to be announced.
Facebook has released version 3.0 of its application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The updated app sports a redesigned interface and several new capabilities, including the ability to write notes and read friends’ notes, upload photos to any album and manage a photo collection, zoom photos, see mutual friends, change profile pictures, and more. Facebook 3.0 for iPhone and iPod touch is available now as a free download from the App Store.
OnOne Software has released version 1.1 of its DSLR Camera Remote Professional Edition for the iPhone and iPod touch. Originally able to control select Canon EOS digital cameras with Live View support, version 1.1 adds support for select Nikon DSLR cameras, AutoFocus during LiveView, burst mode for sports photographers, bracketing for HDR photography, and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom auto-import. DSLR Camera Remote Professional 1.1 is available now from the App Store for $20; a feature-limited Lite version is also available and sells for $2.
AllergyFree Passport has released its iCanEat OnTheGo Gluten & Allergen Free application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Designed for users suffering from celiac/coeliac disease, food allergies or intolerances, iCanEat allows users to pinpoint what meals they can eat at 15 major U.S. fast food and quick service restaurants. Users can select from one or any combination of 9 allergens including eggs, fish, gluten, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat, and can browse over 1,500 food items in color-coded columns to quickly view appropriate meals. iCanEat OnTheGo Gluten & Allergen Free is available now and sells for $5.
Chilli X has introduced PlaySafe, its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch. PlaySafe is designed to make the iPhone or iPod touch’s music player easier, and therefore safer, to use while driving, by providing a full-screen start and stop button, with swipe gestures for changing tracks. The on-screen interface shows large album artwork, supports both landscape and portrait modes, and turns off auto-lock to prevent the device from sleeping while playing music. PlaySafe is available now and sells for $1.
The latest update to the Yelp application for the iPhone and iPod touch sports a hidden augmented feature, called Monocle, for iPhone 3GS users. The hidden feature, which is activated by shaking the device three times, allows 3GS users to see nearby Yelp-reviewed restaurants overlaid on video of the user’s surroundings, showing the aggregate rating, type of cuisine, and pricing scale information, if available. Yelp for the iPhone and iPod touch is available now as a free download from the App Store; continue reading for screenshots of the feature in use. [Picture courtesy of @modernmod]
European music subscription and download service Spotify has received approval from Apple for its iPhone application after a month-long delay, paidContent UK reports. The app lets users stream music from the Spotify service, access and edit saved playlists, save playlists for offline listening, and search for new music. It also offers album artwork and detailed information for each song. The company submitted the application to Apple in late July, and had been in subsequent contact with the company, finally gaining approval today. Some had suggested that Apple was attempting to block the app, as paid subscription services could be seen as direct competitors to the iTunes Store; Real Networks has also submitted an application for its Rhapsody service, which also offers a paid subscription model. Spotify is currently available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France and Spain, and hopes to launch in the U.S. later this year.
Apple is forcing developers to update, or otherwise pulling, applications offering a “Free Memory” function in an apparent attempt to ban the feature from the App Store. The “Free Memory” feature is most often a button found in iPhone and iPod touch activity monitoring programs such as Bjango’s iStat, allowing users to free up RAM that remains marked for use by closed programs. According to Bjango, iStat’s Free Memory function was removed at Apple’s request, and “all other apps with Free Memory appear to have been removed or updated without their Free Memory function.” It is unclear why Apple just now decided to outlaw the feature, or if the company plans on offering a similar built-in alternative, apart from simply restarting the device; users have long reported iPhone system and application instabilities traceable to memory problems.
Metro Paris Subway 3.0 from Presselite has been released onto the App Store with augmented reality features, possibly becoming the first application released to offer such functionality. Augmented reality applications utilize the iPhone’s Internet connection, GPS, Compass, and camera to overlay information atop a stream of video showing the user’s surroundings; Metro Paris Subway allows iPhone 3GS users to see nearby subway stations and points of interest. It is unclear what method the app is using to provide the background images, as it was previously believed that APIs allowing augmented reality applications to gain access to live video from the 3GS’ camera would not be implemented until iPhone OS 3.1. Metro Paris Subway is available now and sells for $1.