Laminar Research has released another update to its X-Plane series of flight simulator apps for iOS devices adding simulated systems failures to the experience. Continuing its focus on developing the most realistic flight simulator experiences possible on the iOS platform, Laminar has been consistently updating the entire collection of X-Plane applications with new planes and scenery, new aircraft features and regular tweaks to the flight dynamics for the different aircraft.
Version 9.7 brings X-Plane’s realism to a new level by adding a plethora of system failures that the user can optionally enable and practice dealing with, much like actual flight instructors would do. System failures available in X-Plane 9.7 include flight-control failures, engine failures, landing gear failures, tire blowouts, brake failures and even bird strikes which can be configured to take place instantly or randomly. Failures such as bird-strikes may even cascade into additional systems failures. The aerodynamics and flight model will respond accordingly to systems failures, making the aircraft more difficult to handle and creating unique challenges.
X-Plane for the iPhone and iPod touch is available in several versions divided by category of aircraft: the original X-Plane 9 ($5) includes a series of general aviation aircraft ranging from the venerable Cessna 172 to the concept single-engine Cirrus Jet, with other specific versions available such as X-Plane Airliner ($5), X-Plane Helicopter ($5) and X-Plane Extreme ($5) and more. The iPad version, X-Plane for iPad ($10) includes the full collection of different aircraft and locations from the various iPhone versions all within a single app in an interface optimized for iPad users.
Gameloft has released 9mm, a new action adventure game for iOS in which players take on the role of John “Loose” Kannon, the leader of a special team of hardened cops who become a target for revenge after taking out a local drug lord’s brother and stealing millions in cash. Kannon’s team is left with no choice but to take down the enemy gang leader first by any means necessary. The game provides fast-paced action where players dive into gunfights jumping, shooting and firing in slow-motion stunts as destructible environments splinter and explode from the gunfire.
Players can choose from an arsenal of weapons ranging from pistols to grenade launchers and fight across a variety of locations such as Latino suburbs, night clubs, police departments and more. Multiplayer support allows players to join friends and opponents in free play and team deathmatch games with up to 12 players across four different maps. A background hip-hop soundtrack intensifies the tone of the game along with high-quality graphics optimized especially for the iPad 2. 9mm is a universal app compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, third and fourth-generation iPod touch and the iPad and is available from the App Store for $7.
G5 Entertainment has released a new mystery adventure game, Special Enquiry Detail: The Hand that Feeds. In the game, players take on the role of two New York City detectives assigned to a new investigative unit, the Special Enquiry Detail, where they must solve their first case: the shocking death of the daughter of wealthy benefactors. The player must help with forensics, investigate clues and interrogate suspects in order to uncover the trail that leads to the murder. The game provides 12 chapters across 30 locations and includes 25 mini-games throughout an immersive storyline along with Retina Display support and integration with Apple’s Game Center. The game is available in two free trial versions: Special Enquiry Detail: The Hand that Feeds for the iPhone and iPod touch and Special Enquiry Detail: The Hand that Feeds HD for the iPad. The full game can be unlocked in either version via in-app purchase for $5 for the iPhone/iPod touch or $7 for the iPad.
Vito Technology has released an update to its popular Star Walk astronomy application for the iOS platform adding a comprehensive database of the approximately 8,000 currently functioning satellites presently orbiting the Earth. The database includes not only information on the satellites but also their exact positions over the ground providing for real-time tracking capabilities of interest to both hobbyist astronomers and users looking to orient satellite receivers for better reception. Star Walk 5.3 organizes the list of satellites by categories such as Special Interest, Weather & Earth Resources, Communications, Navigation, and more.
The latest update is also dedicated to the Star Walk Month of Astronomy: For one month starting July 14th the Star Walk team will be sharing the most interesting space discoveries and running a series of educational contests about the Universe. More information on the Month of Astronomy can be found on the company’s web site. Star Walk is available in two versions: Star Walk ($3) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Star Walk for iPad ($5).
Film Festival TV is a new free app by Culture Unplugged designed to provide access to a global collection of documentaries and films by independent film-makers, activists, grassroots production organizations and purpose-driven institutions. Presenting stories by film-makers from 113 different countries, Film Festival TV is a philanthropic offering from Culture Unplugged Festivals with the aim of uplifting collective consciousness and global cultural harmony by revealing the interconnected world and also includes content from non-profit broadcasting network Link TV. Film Festival TV allows users to watch a variety of documentaries, films and stories across a broad variety of subject areas ranging from human rights, peace and democracy to science, politics and globalization. Beyond simply viewing the films, the application also offers users the ability to respond and provide feedback to the film-makers and story tellers through interactive dialogs. Film Festival TV requires an iPad running iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Firemint has released an update to Real Racing 2 adding additional Career mode events to the iPhone and iPod touch version and multiplayer improvements to both versions. iPhone and iPod touch users can now take advantage of seven new Career events including the H2NRG Cup, Nissan GT-R H2H and IEJ Volkswagen Scirocco R Time Trial, among others. Several significant multiplayer changes have also been made to both the iPhone and iPad versions that should improve the gameplay experience, including preventative measures to counteract wall-riding, fairer track selection and a new track voting system and fixes related to high latency connections.
This latest update introduces in-app purchasing for trading real money for in-game currency in order to buy new cars and upgrades. Players can also disable previously purchased upgrades to adjust a car’s performance and P-Rating, allowing users to more easily compete in different race categories and can now trade-in their only car for another model provided they can afford the upgrade price. Additional graphics enhancements have also been added, including anti-aliasing support for third-generation devices and visual improvements to body roll and wheel simulation. A number of other fixes and improvements have been made to optimize performance and enhance game precision. Real Racing 2 is available from the App Store in two versions: Real Racing 2 ($7) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Real Racing 2 HD ($10) for the iPad.
Bongiovi Acoustics has released a new iOS app bringing the company’s patented DPS audio enhancement technology to the on-device listening experience. Known in the iOS community for its inclusion in several of iHome’s speaker products, Bongiovi’s Digital Power Station technology provides real-time audio re-mastering to improve clarity and provide cleaner and deeper bass response, even when using lower-end speakers or headphones. The new universal iOS app allows users to listen to their music, videos and podcasts in their device media library enhanced by DPS technology and optimized for playback through any device connected to the headphone or line-out jack or even the built-in speaker. The app can also compensate for differences in volume between songs, provide enhancement to dialog and sound effects in videos and improve clarity when listening in noisy environments.
Rather than adjusting individual settings, users select from a set of professionally tailored profiles designed to optimize audio for playback through specific types of headphones and speakers. The Bongiovi DPS app is ad-supported and available as a free download from the App Store; the free app includes profiles for the standard Apple earbuds and the built-in speakers of supported iOS devices. Users can purchase an in-app upgrade for an introductory price of $1 to remove the ads and provide access to the full set of audio device profiles, including any new profiles that will become available in the future. Bongiovi DPS requires iOS 4.1 or later and is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, third- and fourth-generation iPod touch and the IPad.
Apple, along with a host of other well-known companies, has been sued by a Hawaii-based company over technologies related to GPRS 3G data transfer in the iPad and iPhone. AppleInsider reports that GPNE Corp. of Honolulu alleges that Apple is infringing upon three of its patents, by making and selling devices “with the ability to function with GPRS.” Specifically, the patents are related to a “Network Communication System Wherein a Node Obtains Resources for Transmitting Data by Transmitting Two Reservation Requests,” a “Communication System Wherein a Clocking Signal from a Controller, a Request from a Node, Acknowledgement of the Request, and Data Transferred from the Node are All Provided on Different Frequencies, Enabling Simultaneous Transmission of these Signals,” and a “Network Communication System with an Alignment Signal to Allow a Controller to Provide Messages to Nodes and Transmission of the Messages Over Four Independent Frequencies.” Other companies named in the suit include Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Garmin, Nokia, Pantech, Research in Motion, Sharp, and Sony Ericsson; GPNE is seeking damages, as well as ongoing post-judgement royalties.
ALK Technologies has released a major update of its CoPilot Live series of turn-by-turn GPS navigation apps, dividing the product line into new and separate Standard and Premium versions. Completely redesigned with a more intuitive user interface, CoPilot Live Premium provides detailed street maps stored directly on the device with voice-guided turn-by-turn directions between destinations. The new app provides users with up to three different routes when available and allows users to drag routes on-screen to select their preferred roads. Users can choose to view a 3D map, 2D map or simply a list of directions and the app provides speed limit displays and warnings, lane indicator arrows and signpost information for major highway exits and interchanges.
The new version also provides more interactive features allowing users to tap on the map to navigate to or discover location-specific information about points of interest. Wikipedia and Bing Local Search have also been added to provide users with an extensive database of additional local businesses and places beyond those included in the built-in POI database. A new Walking Mode provides users with a more appropriate interface when navigating by foot with an on-screen interface and enhanced display of POIs and Wikipedia locations on the map.
The updated versions are being sold as entirely new apps rather than as a direct upgrade to CoPilot Live version 8, however the company is offering discounted pricing during the initial release of the new applications. For now at least, the company has chosen to release only the Premium versions for the iOS platform. CoPilot Live Standard is available only on Android devices and simply provides an “a la carte” approach to allow casual users to purchase individual features that are bundled in the Premium version. CoPilot Live Premium is available in separate versions for various regions including CoPilot Live Premium USA ($10) and CoPilot Live Premium Europe ($44) for the iPhone and iPod touch and CoPilot Live Premium HD USA ($15) and CoPilot Live Premium HD Europe ($44) for the iPad. Additional regional versions can be found on the ALK Technologies App Store Page. No specific North American version is available, however users of the USA version can add a map of Canada for an additional $5 via in-app purchase. Additional optional in-app purchases include one-year subscriptions to real-time traffic for $10 and live fuel prices for $5.
Readdle has released PDF Converter, a new iPad app that allows users to easily convert documents into PDF files directly on their device. The application supports Microsoft Office and iWork document formats as well as web pages, photos and contacts. PDF Converter provides accurate conversion preserving important document elements such as proper page breaks and content formatting, producing professional-grade PDF files. Conversion is performed entirely on the iPad, providing a secure process and eliminating the need for an active Internet connection. Once installed, PDF Converter becomes available in the “Open In” menu in many other iPad applications allowing documents to quickly and easily be sent to PDF Converter. Users can also save web pages directly from Safari simply be prefixing the URL with “pdf” to reload the web page in PDF Converter. PDF Converter requires an iPad running iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store for $7.
Mobile Pond has released an update to the iPad version of Photogene, its popular photo editing and processing app. Photogene 3.1 now allows iPad 2 users to output images up to 21 megapixels (5616x4212) in size. The latest version now allows users to create new Facebook albums directly in the app, adds an intensity slider to gradient effects such as vignette and blur and provides a progress indicator when uploading photos. Several improvements and fixes have also been made to IPTC editing and exporting photos with reflections and filters. Several new features are also available to users of the Pro version, available as an upgrade via in-app purchase. Pro users can now create and reuse their own custom IPTC sets, view and filter photos based on whether or not they have been exported and view a full export log for each photo detailing where and when it was uploaded. Photogene for iPad is available from the App Store for $3. Users can purchase the “Go-Pro” upgrade from within the app for an additional $7.
SmileyApps has added MIDI support to Piano Tutor for iPad, allowing the app to be used with a real keyboard for learning piano. Designed to teach piano sheet reading skills and allow users to practice on the go, Piano Tutor for iPad includes realistic piano sounds and provides training in both Treble and Bass modes and various key signatures. The new MIDI keyboard support allows users to connect the app to any keyboard with MIDI output via a standard MIDI to USB cable and the iPad Camera Connection Kit; users can then use the real piano keyboard to practice the in-app tutorials. Despite the name, Piano Tutor for iPad is actually a universal app that can be used on any device running iOS 4.2 or later. Due to Apple’s compatibility limitations with the iPad Camera Connection Kit, the MIDI features are supported only on the iPad. Piano Tutor for iPad is currently available from the App Store as a free download for a limited time.
Apple has released its third beta version of iOS 5. Available to paid iOS developers, the release—listed as build 9A5259f—is accompanied by matching beta versions of the iOS 5 SDK, iTunes 10.5 and Apple TV Software. It is unclear what major changes, if any, may be present in the new version. iOS 5 beta 3 is available now to paid iOS developers from the iOS Dev Center.
CBS Interactive has released an official Star Trek PADD app for the iPad designed to provide fans with an interactive database of Star Trek information. Using an authentic reproduction of the LCARS style interface from Star Trek: The Next Generation, the PADD allows users to browse or search through an official database of the famous television series with information on aliens, ships, places, technologies and episode guides. The app provides authentic computer sound effects and voice from Star Trek: The Next Generation and allows users to read articles, access related information and read the latest news from the Star Trek Facebook and Twitter feeds. This initial release provides a limited set of information from the Star Trek Universe, with more database updates to follow in future versions.
This release of the official Star Trek PADD app follows legal threats by CBS earlier this year that attempted to force other independent iOS developers to remove LCARS themed apps from the App Store. claiming trademark infringement over the use of the word “PADD” and copyright on the LCARS interface—a move that many felt implied that CBS was in the process of developing their own app. Notably, DiagnosticPADD, one of the apps targeted by CBS legal, remains available on the App Store.
Star Trek PADD requires an iPad running iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store for $5.
i.TV has released an update to its leading free TV listings app adding integration with popular TV check-in service GetGlue and support for Smart Lists and push notifications. i.TV allows iOS evic users to see what’s airing on TV as well as browse shows available on Netflix, Hulu and iTunes, remotely schedule TiVO DVR recordings and look up show information on iMDB and Wikipedia. With i.TV 3.3 users can now turn their TV viewing into a more social experience, letting their friends and contacts know what they’re watching by “checking in” to TV shows with GetGlue, Facebook and Twitter directly from within the app.
The new version also introduces a new Smart Lists feature that makes it easier for users to discover and organize content through dynamically updated lists themed by content type such as new shows, most favorited, and award winners. Support for push notification alerts also returns in this version allowing users to receive reminders when their favourite television shows air. i.TV also announced a partnership with AOL TV earlier this year, collaborating on the launch of the new i.TV-powered AOLTV.com site and the AOL TV mobile app, extending the reach of the i.TV platform to millions of AOL users and making way for future enhancements to the platform to improve the TV watching experience. i.TV 3.3 is a universal app requiring iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download. The i.TV-powered AOL TV mobile app is also expected to be updated with these new features in the coming weeks.
Apple has made a substantial change to its estimated shipment wait times for the iPad 2 on its online store, dropping them to just 3-5 days on all models. The previous estimate was 1-2 weeks, and had been in place since April 20, when it was lowered from 2-3 weeks. The reduced wait appears to have taken affect in many countries; iLounge checked availability in the U.S., UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and Mexico, all of which showed the improved 3-5 day wait. [via AppleInsider]
Andrew Auernheimer, one of two hackers blamed for the exposure of email addresses and SIM ICC-ID numbers for 114,000 iPad 3G users in June 2010, has been indicted by a grand jury. Reuters reports that Auernheimer is charged with one count of conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to computers and one count of identity theft. The charges follow a guilty plea from co-defendant Daniel Spitler to the same two charges, each of which carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Spitler will be sentenced September 28. The pair, under the name of “Goatse Security,” discovered a publicly accessible script on AT&T’s website through which they extracted the data. The pair alerted the carrier only after they had stolen the data, shared the PHP script used with several third-parties, and supplied Gawker with the user account information.
Apple has announced that it plans to patch an iOS security hole discovered earlier this week in a future update. Reuters reports that the hole is related to opening an ‘infected’ PDF file from within the Safari browser, which could give hackers access to confidential data; the flaw gained attention earlier this week when a site released a tool that allowed users to jailbreak their devices without needing a separate computer. Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller said that Apple is “developing a fix that will be available to customers in an upcoming software update.” It is unknown when the update might be available.
Apple plans to introduce an iPad HD alongside an iPhone 5 sporting a new design later this year, according to a new report. Citing multiple unnamed sources, This is my next… reports that the iPad HD will sit in the iPad family alongside the iPad 2, and will be aimed at the higher end market, sporting a 2048 x 1536 display and possibly launching alongside “something like an iPad version of Final Cut or Aperture.” The product is said to not be the iPad 3, but instead a compliment to the iPad 2 line, much like the relationship between the MacBook and MacBook Pro.
The report also states that the next-generation iPhone will carry the iPhone 5 moniker, and will sport a new design, as the iPhone 4’s design is said to be out of favor at the “highest levels of the company.” As for the “iPhone 4S” rumors, the report blames the confusion on the fact that Apple has been placing iPhone 5 components inside a casing that looks nearly identical to the iPhone 4 — since the components are designed for a thinner enclosure, they are said to easily fit — and using these as test units.
Microsoft has released an update to its Bing search app for the iPad adding a new gesture-based search feature. Dubbed Lasso, the new feature allows users to select a word or phrase from within the app by outlining it with a touch gesture rather than needing to copy and paste it into the search box. In the company’s blog, the developers note that the new feature is a result of research into the way that searches are conducted, noting that many searches are inspired by things people are already seeing in their web browser, rather than original words. Lasso is designed to reduce the number of steps required to search on an item in a web page by allowing users to simply “circle and search in just two steps.” The new version also adds improvements to searching for movies, allowing users to view multiple showtime days and theatres, support for swiping through previous Bing homepage images and a number of other performance and UI improvements. Bing for iPad is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.