Dropbox has released an update to its popular iOS application adding several improvements related to file uploading and making some small UI changes. Dropbox 1.4 returns to the former tab-based navigation interface and adds a new dedicated Uploads section for tracking current and recent file uploads. The new version also adds support for bulk uploading of photos and videos from directly within the app and uploading files from other apps such as Mail and Safari using the iOS 4 “Open In” feature; the latter feature now allows users to upload any file type to their Dropbox directly from other supported apps. The update also adds Spanish, French German and Japanese language support and numerous bug fixes. Dropbox 1.4 is available from the App Store as a free download.
- April 18, 2011
Toys ‘R’ Us is now selling the iPad 2 at select stores. According to 9 to 5 Mac, the children’s retailer is offering 16GB Wi-Fi models in both black and white, as well as 32GB Wi-Fi units in black only. It is also carrying pink, blue, and green polyurethane Smart Covers at most stores, while its Times Square location in New York City will also offer leather Smart Covers in black and tan. For a full list of Toys ‘R’ Us locations carrying the iPad 2, see the company’s online store list.
Software developer Panic, known for award-winning Mac apps such as Transmit and Coda, has made its debut on the iOS App Store with Prompt, a new SSH client for the iPhone and iPad. Designed to be clean and easy to use, Prompt is targeted at system administrators, web developers and other technical users who regularly need to connect to SSH-based servers and other devices. The application provides full support for Bluetooth keyboards, including special command keys and customizable keys and shortcuts and full VT100 compatibility. Frequently used commands are automatically saved for autocompletion and each connected server is automatically saved as a favorite. The application also includes support for SSH public/private key pairs for secure password-free login, can handle multiple active connections and automatically discover local SSH servers via Bonjour. Prompt is available from the App Store for $5.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has released an iOS application based on its Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll exhibit. The app features a multimedia showcase of over 600 songs from the 1920s through to 2006 selected by the museum’s curatorial staff and a number of rock critics and historians as influential in the evolution of rock and roll. Users can swipe through the app to experience the music from each era. Individual songs in each decade are presented using an album cover slideshow and users can listen to an audio preview of the song and read about the history of it and an explanation of why it made the celebrated list. Users can build a custom playlist of songs within the app or tap a link to purchase a song from the iTunes Store. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $2.
Apple has released iOS 4.3.2 for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (GSM), iPad, iPad 2, and third- and fourth-generation iPod touch. According to Apple’s release notes, the update “fixes an issue that occasionally caused blank or frozen video during a FaceTime call,” “fixes an issue that prevented some international users from connecting to 3G networks on iPad Wi-Fi + 3G,” and “contains the latest security updates.” Notably, the notes make no mention of the problems domestic iPad 2 CDMA users had connecting to Verizon Wireless’ network, as had been previously speculated. In addition, Apple has released iOS 4.2.7 for the CDMA iPhone 4. Both updates are available now via the Update feature in iTunes.
Update: Apple has posted a support article documenting the security changes in iOS 4.3.2.
Speaking in an interview with Now Gamer, id Software co-founder John Carmack made several statements on the development of games for iPhone vs. Android. When asked, “With Rage HD on iOS do you see yourself ever working on Android?,” Carmack responded, “Every six months I’d take a look at the scope of the Android, and decide if it was time to start really looking at it.” He continued, “At the last Quakecon I took a show of hands poll, and it was interesting to see how almost as many people there had an Android device as an iOS device. But when I asked how many people had spent 20 bucks on a game in the Android store, there was a big difference. You’re just not making money in the Android space as you are in the iOS space.”
He added, “We made more money than people may expect on the Doom RPG stuff. It’s just fun to develop on iOS. We’d show people what we were working on and they’d go ‘Oh, when are you going to ship that? And I’d say “next month” and they’d go ‘Aww, I wanna work on an iPhone title.’ It’s hard to make a rational business decision to say I want to take resources from something else and put them on this. We did actually hire a person to be our Android guy, but it looks like he’s going to get stuck on iOS development!” Id has released several games for iOS devices, including ports of its classic titles Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM, as well as the aforementioned Rage HD.
Navigon has released an update to its MobileNavigator series of turn-by-turn GPS navigation apps for the iPhone and iPad updating to the latest NAVTEQ maps and introducing new augmented reality, safety camera and traffic features. MobileNavigator 1.8 users can now take advantage of Reality Scanner, a new augmented reality feature that displays points of interest overlaid onto a live camera view, designed to help pedestrians easily locate POIs while on foot. The update also includes a new $5 optional add-on feature that provides drivers with alerts on upcoming static speed and red light cameras along their route by using data from leading safety camera detection company RoadTraps. The regularly updated RoadTraps database provides access to over 3,900 speed and red light cameras in the U.S. A new Traffic Check feature is now also included in the latest version at no additional cost, so even users who have not purchased the add-on Traffic Live feature can still get a quick at-a-glance view of current traffic conditions along their selected route; more detailed traffic information is available as before with the purchase of the Traffic Live add-on. In conjunction with this latest update, Navigon has reduced the prices on all of its MobileNavigator apps and in-app purchases until April 28. MobileNavigator North America is currently available from the App Store for $45; separate versions are available for other geographic areas with similar discounts from the company’s App Store page. Safety Cameras, Traffic Live, ZAGAT Survey Ratings & Reviews and Panorama View 3D are available separately via in-app purchase.
- April 12, 2011
Speaking with reporters, Aloizio Mercadente, Brazil’s science and technology minister, said that Foxconn plans to start assembling iPads in its plants in the country by mid-November. Reuters reports that Mercadente’s comments come as Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has said that Foxconn was considering making an investment of $12 billion to assemble monitors in the country. “You’ve got an ample range of investments [from other tech companies] that go from $300 to $400 million to $12 billion over 5 to 6 years in the case of Foxconn,” Rousseff said during a recent trip to Beijing to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao.. “They’re proposing a partnership. They came to us and said we want to invest in Brazil.”
Developer James Laird has reverse engineered Apple’s private AirPlay key, opening the door to third-party AirPlay-enabled AirPort Express emulators. In a blog post announcing the release of ShairPort, an open-source AirPort Express emulator, Laird explains that Apple used a public-key crypto scheme in the AirPort Express, hiding a private key inside. Laird ended up opening the AirPort Express, dumping the ROM, and reverse engineering the keys out of it to achieve his goal. As noted by Mac Rumors, third-party apps allowing users to stream audio to an AirPort Express or other AirPlay devices have previously been available, but none were able to accept incoming audio streams. In addition, it seems unlikely that hardware manufacturers would want to use the key, as it is possible to become an officially licensed AirPlay partner instead.
- April 12, 2011
A group of French researchers has created a proof-of-concept app and video that demonstrates the iPad 2’s ability to create glasses-free 3D effects. Jeremie Francone and Laurence Nigay of the Laboratory of Informatics of Grenoble, EHCI Research Group discovered that by using the device’s front-facing camera to track the head of the user—and therefore determine the angle from which the user is looking at the device—they could create a spatially-aware display. Notably, the effect does not use the device’s accelerometer, and instead relies solely on the front camera. The video is available for viewing on YouTube via the above link or below in embedded form. [via TUAW]
Bloomberg has released an iPad app and digital subscription for Businessweek magazine. The app provides access to all of the content from the print edition of the magazine plus extra exclusive content and interactive features. Weekly issues provide behind-the-scenes video features, audio interviews, direct access to the latest market information from any article and an interactive table of contents and index of companies. The app also provides an integrated search feature that works across multiple issues, support for portrait and landscape orientation, the ability to create a personal archive of content that can be accessed from any issue, and sharing of articles via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook. Bloomberg Businessweek+ requires an iPad running iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download and includes a free issue of the magazine. Print edition subscribers receive a free subscription to the digital edition upon validating their print subscription; non-subscribers can purchase a digital-only subscription via in-app purchase for $2.99/month.
Adobe has announced a new software development kit aimed at providing developers with tools for creating mobile and tablet apps for its Photoshop CS5 desktop application. The Photoshop Touch Software Development Kit along with a new scripting engine in Photoshop CS5 will support the Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS platforms, allowing apps to interact with Photoshop CS5 using a touchscreen device.
In conjunction with the SDK release, Adobe has developed three initial Photoshop CS5 companion apps for the iPad: Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshop and Adobe Nav for Photoshop. These apps will provide a demonstration of the capabilities of the new Touch SDK, enabling users to create custom color swatches, paint from the iPad screen and access popular Photoshop tools. Color Lava will allow users to mix colors and create custom color swatches and themes on the iPad which can be transferred back into Photoshop. Eazel will allow digital artists to create sophisticated paintings on the iPad that can be transferred directly to Photoshop for further development. Adobe Nav turns the iPad into an input surface for Photoshop CS5, allowing users to select and control Photoshop tools.
The Adobe Photoshop Touch SDK is available as a free download from the Adobe Photoshop Developer Center. An update to CS5 to add the necessary scripting support will be available from Adobe on May 3, 2011 with the iPad apps expected for release on the App Store sometime in early May.
Time Warner Cable has filed a request for a declaratory judgment regarding Viacom’s cable networks, asking the court to rule that Time Warner Cable’s current carriage agreement allows it to deliver Viacom programming over its cable systems “for viewing on devices of the customers’ choosing.” The request revolves around Time Warner Cable’s TWCable iPad app, which allows subscribers to view their cable TV programming on the iPad within their own home Wi-Fi network, essentially positioning the iPad as simply another TV screen in the home.
Last week, Time Warner voluntarily removed several channels from their app after Fox Cable, Viacom and Discovery networks challenged Time Warner’s rights to include their feeds. Viacom has responded with a complaint stating that Time Warner “blatantly grabbed the rights that their competitors have negotiated in good faith to obtain.” [via Engadget]
Microsoft has released an iPad version of its Bing search app for iOS. Following in the footsteps of the longstanding iPhone and iPod touch version, Bing for iPad operates as a front-end for Microsoft’s online search engine of the same name. The iPad app goes beyond basic search however, providing a home screen view of news, traffic, weather, stock quotes and more as well as location-based searches. Integrated map views allow users to find places and get directions with real-time tracking and road, traffic, aerial and “bird’s eye” views. Users can also follow current news and trending search topics in an iPad-optimized interface with rich images and magazine-style layouts. The application incorporates voice-activated search and easy navigation between Bing results and web pages by displaying search results framed within a Bing search bar. Bing for iPad is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.
A recent report from ModMyI suggests that retailer Toys R Us may begin selling the iPad 2 in its stores as early as next month, revealing a photo of an iPad 2 product knowledge sheet from an internal training session intended to familiarize employees with new products. Toys R Us began selling select iPod models in late 2008, however the retailer has not previously offered the iPad. It is unclear at this time whether the iPad 2 would be sold internationally or only in the company’s U.S. stores. The iPad 2 is already being sold in the U.S. at other third-party retailers such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and Radio Shack. [via Mac Rumors]
Atari has released a huge collection of its classic games in a single universal iOS app. Atari’s Greatest Hits provides access to over 100 classic Atari titles including 18 classic arcade games and 92 games from the Atari 2600. The free app includes the classic arcade version of PONG with the remainder of the games available via in-app purchase as a series of 25 different game packs selling for $1 each; users can purchase the entire collection in-app for $15. Most packs also include at least one version of each game with multiplayer head-head play via Bluetooth, and titles include original cabinet and box art to help users relive the classic Atari experience. Atari’s Greatest Hits requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 3.0 or later and can be obtained from the App Store as a free download.
Nearly two out of every ten U.S. teens now owns an iPhone, according to the results of the latest Piper Jaffray bi-annual teen survey. Fortune reports that 17 percent of teens said they own an iPhone, up from 14 percent in the October 2010 survey. Perhaps more importantly, 37 percent said they plan on purchasing—or having their parents purchase for them—an iPhone in the next sixth months, up from 33 percent in the prior survey. 22 percent said they either owned a tablet or had one in their household, 20 percent expect said they expected to purchase one in the next sixth months, and 86 percent said they owned an iPod, up from 78 percent in the October survey. The survey was based on responses from 4,500 U.S. teenagers.
Apple has started to air its first TV advertisement devoted to the iPad 2. Entitled “We Believe,” the commercial shows the iPad 2 being used for a variety of apps in front of a black background, while a narrator states, “This is what we believe. Technology alone is not enough. Faster, thinner, lighter: those are all good things. But when technology gets out of the way, everything becomes more delightful. Even magical. That’s when you leap forward. That’s when you end up with something… like this.” The ad is available for viewing now on Apple’s website.
- April 1, 2011
A quick check of Apple’s online store suggests the company is quickly selling through its remaining stock of clearance and refurbished first-generation iPad units. Among the new, clearance-priced stock, the company is completely out of Wi-Fi only units, although it does show stock of all three capacities of Wi-Fi + 3G models. Apple also appears to be out of refurbished 16GB Wi-Fi units; Boy Genius Report suggests that the company’s stock of all remaining units is believed to be “extremely low.” Apple’s refurbished first-generation iPads are priced from $429 and up, while its clearance stock of 3G units starts at $529.
- March 31, 2011
Nearly 12,000 iPad 2s were sold on eBay in the two weeks between the device’s U.S. launch and its initial international rollout. Cnet reports that somewhat surprisingly, two-thirds of those—8,000 units—were sold inside of the United States, compared to just 35 percent for the first-generation iPad. The two largest export locations were Russia and Canada, followed by Hong Kong, Japan, and the U.K. The 16GB Wi-Fi model was the most popular, selling for an average price of $697, followed by the 64GB 3G model, which brought in $1,235 on average, a $406 premium over the retail price.