Amazon has launched a new web-based app for reading Kindle e-books on a PC, Mac or iPad. An alternative to Amazon’s native Kindle apps, the Kindle Cloud Reader provides access to users’ Kindle libraries from compatible web browsers, specifically Chrome and Safari and includes the ability to continue reading even without an Internet connection. Notably, the web application specifically indicates support for the Safari browser on an iPad running iOS 4.0 or later; as a web application the app can also provide access to an integrated “Kindle Store for Tablets,” allowing users to easily purchase content directly from their device.
Earlier this year Apple revised its App Store policies and began requiring iOS applications to remove links to external services for purchasing content, resulting in Amazon being forced to remove the Kindle Store button from its native iOS Kindle app. The new Kindle Cloud Reader provides an alternative for users who wish to easily browse for and purchase content from their iPad. Kindle users can access the Kindle Cloud Reader simply by visiting http://read.amazon.com and logging in with their Amazon ID and password.
The Iconfactory has released an update to Twitterrific, its Twitter client for iOS introducing the ability to synchronize timeline positions across multiple devices. Twitterrific 4.3 adds support for the Tweet Marker API to automatically bookmark the user’s current timeline position and sync that information to Twitterrific running on other iOS devices or Twitterrific for Mac. The latest version also improves t.co and Twitter picture handling, adds support for displaying Camera+ campl.us images inline, improves error handling related to time zones and makes several graphical refinements. Twitterrific 4.3 is a universal app available as a free download from the App Store; the free version includes ads and support for a single Twitter account. A one-time $5 in-app upgrade is available to remove the ads and provide multiple account support.
Apple has been granted a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the European Union. Citing German-language dpa, FOSS Patents reports that the injunction bars distribution of Samsung’s largest tablet in the entire European Union, save for the Netherlands. In its argument supporting the injunction, Apple claimed that the Tab imitates the iPad and infringes on various IP rights owned by Apple. Apple asked for an injunction under which Samsung is threatened with fines of up to €250,000 (roughly $356,000) for each violation or imprisonment of Samsung’s management in the event of continued infringement, which are “standard sanctions” under German law, according to the report. Notably, Florian Mueller, the author of the post, is a resident of Germany, and states that the Düsseldorf district court—in which the case is being tried—is similar to the Eastern District court of Texas in its tendency to side with the patent holders in such disputes.
Apple over the weekend released the fifth beta version of its upcoming iOS 5 operating system for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Listed as build 9A5288d and available exclusively to paid iOS developers, the release does not appear to include any major changes from prior versions, and is once again accompanied by matching beta versions of the iOS 5 SDK, iTunes 10.5, and Apple TV Software. iOS 5 beta 5 is now available to paid iOS developers from the iOS Dev Center.
Following its acquisition of online image service Pixlr, Autodesk has released Pixlr-o-matic, a new retro photo editing app for iOS devices. Originally a web app, Pixlr-o-matic allows users to quickly and easily edit, layer and filter photos right from their mobile devices. Users can apply colour filters and lighting effects to adjust mood, amplify tone, add surreal effects and more and finish off photos with a variety of border styles, providing a retro grunge look for photos in three easy steps. Photos can be taken directly in the app on camera-equipped iOS devices or users can choose an existing photo to work with from the device’s photo library. The resulting images can be shared from within the app via Facebook or imm.io. Pixlr-o-matic is a universal app requiring iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Silvio Rizzi has released an update to his Reeder apps for iOS adding full integration with web-based reading service Readability. Originally introduced in Reeder for Mac last month, Reeder’s Readability integration allows users to not only save articles to the Readability service for later viewing and publisher-crediting, but also provides direct access from within the app to the user’s saved content on Readability.com. With the latest version of Reeder, users can now sync, read offline and manage their Readability reading list from directly within Reeder right alongside their RSS feeds. Reeder is available from the App Store in two versions: Reeder for the iPhone and iPod touch ($3) and Reeder for iPad ($5).
Twitter has announced that it has launched a new HTML5-based web interface for the iPad, and will be rolling it out soon. “We’ve launched our HTML5 version of twitter.com for iPad,” reads an update on Twitter Mobile’s account. “It will be rolling out to device owners over the next week or so.” Citing Twitter mobile engineer Manuel Deschamps, TechCrunch reports that the new interface was based on Twitter’s HTML5 client for iPhone and Android. “The HTML5 app provides a great option for people who prefer to use the browser over native apps,” said Twitter representative Carolyn Penner. “Its two-column view is consistent with the Twitter experience you’re used to (on Twitter.com), and it takes advantage of touch gestures and other device capabilities.” The new interface will be accessible by loading twitter.com from the Safari browser on the iPad.
Spielhaus has released Pixel Dude, a new app for creating and editing pixel art on the iPad. Designed with usability in mind, the app provides useful shortcuts and drawing tools to allow users to put together creative pixel art directly on their iPad. Tools include a colour gradient like selection tool, selected colour history, symmetric drawing tools and layer support along with selective layer movement and unlimited undo and redo support. Multitouch gestures provide shortcuts such as a three-finger swipe for undo/redo and double-tapping to switch between eraser and pen modes. In true retro pixel art fashion, users are limited to a 32x32 canvas which is automatically scaled up to 64x64 and 128x128 when saving. Dropbox support allows work to be saved and seamlessly synchronized across multiple devices. Notably, almost all interface graphics in the application were created with an early prototype of the app itself. Pixel Dude requires iOS 4.0 is later and is available from the App Store for $4.
MGS Development has released a major new update to forScore, its sheet music management app for the iPad. forScore is designed to allow musicians to take thousands of pages of music scores with them in electronic form and use the iPad as a sheet music reader while practicing or performing. forScore 3.0 adds Dropbox integration, the ability to rearrange pages in a score and save and restore multiple versions. The update also adds a new Darkroom feature that allows users to create PDF files from images in the iOS photo library or taken with the camera on the iPad 2.
The new version also includes a download manager that allow users to queue up multiple files and continue browsing and download files directly without needing to preview them first. Several updates have also been made to the application’s user interface, including a redesign of various UI elements and menus and navigable thumbnail previews of bookmarked files. Users can also now search set lists for specific titles or view and navigate their set lists alphabetically, by least-often played, or in shuffle mode. Additional new features in version 3.0 include automated backups, expanded multitouch gesture support, improved PDF import and parsing and more. forScore 3.0 requires iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store for $5.
Skype has released an iPad native version of its popular instant messaging, video and voice chat app. Skype for iPad provides the same general features as the prior iPhone and iPod touch version, optimized for the iPad’s larger display and user interface. With the app users can make and receive voice and video calls via the Skype network over either a Wi-Fi or 3G data connection. The application provides support for both the front and back cameras on the iPad 2 in either portrait or landscape orientation and users can also simultaneously engage in instant message chats separately or while in a voice or video call. Skype for iPad also integrates with the iOS contact list allowing users to easily find and add Skype contacts. Skype for iPad is available from the App Store as a free download. Notably Skype has chosen to release this version as a separate app rather than upgrading the iPhone and iPod touch version to a universal app; users with the original Skype app installed on their iPad for use in compatibility mode will need to remove the old version manually.
Apple has once again lowered its shipping times for the iPad 2. For the first time since the device’s launch in March, all models of the iPad 2 are listed as shipping “Within 24hrs” on Apple’s U.S. online store. Apple most recently dopped the shipment estimate to 1-3 business days; the estimated wait for an iPad 2 as recently as July 1 was 1-2 weeks.
Google has announced that it plans to roll out an improved search experience for users of the iPad and Android 3.1 tablets. According to a post on the comapny’s Mobile Blog, the revised service offers a simplified layout of search results, larger page contents like text, buttons, and other touch targets, a search button below the search box for quick access to specific categories of results like Images, Videos, Places, etc., and improved images results, with enlarged previews, continuous scrolling and faster loading of image thumbnails. To see the new enhancements, visit google.com from an iPad or Android tablet.
iStudentPro has released an update to its iStudiez Pro class and study management app for iOS adding several new improvements related to tracking and scheduling class and exam information. iStudiez Pro is a universal app designed to help students, teachers and parents easily keep track of school schedules, homework, exams and grades by providing planner tools, notifications, grade and GPA tracking features and much more. iStudiez Pro 1.5.2 adds options for grading exams, assigning multiple instructors to classes and exams and re-enables the option to add partners to assignments. Users can also now enter grading and GPA scales with more precise values, take advantage of a GPA scale for percentage-based marks and assign negative values for grades.
Several synchronization improvements have also been added including the ability to sync cancelled classes and class notes. iPad users can also now enter calendar events directly from iStudiez Pro. The update also addresses several performance and stability issues. iStudiez Pro is a universal app requiring iOS 4.1 or later and is available from the App Store for $3; a free Lite version is also available with limited class management features. A companion Mac desktop application is also available from the Mac App Store for $10.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has agreed to investigate Samsung’s claims that Apple is infringing on its patents. Samsung filed a complaint against Apple with the ITC last month, and as Reuters reports, is accusing Apple of infringing five patents with the iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone. Apple filed an ITC complaint of its own against Samsung earlier this month; both companies are seeking to ban imports of the other’s products into the U.S.
Fishlabs has released Waterslide 2, a sequel to its previous hit game Waterslide Extreme with newer and faster challenges. In Waterslide 2 players take on the role of a male or female character or a penguin and race through a gigantic, city-wide waterslide at high speed, collecting pearls and avoiding obstacles; wild algae, crabs, jellyfish and other sea creates will slow the player’s progress and present other unique challenges. Additional in-game power ups such as a vortex and inner tube can be collected and used at the right time to help avoid obstacles and gain additional points. Waterslide 2 includes 30 brand-new levels with atmospheric lighting, OpenFeint and Game centre integration for tracking high scores and achievements and a variety of new enemies, obstacles and items. The game is a universal app with full Retina Display resolution for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch and can be downloaded from the App Store for $1.
TechCrunch has discovered code within the official Facebook app for the iPhone and iPod touch suggesting that a universal version of the app with native iPad support may be coming soon. The report further notes that the iPad code is operational and with a bit of hacking the app can be forced to run on an iPad using the new native iPad interface, although Facebook has since blocked access when using the app in iPad mode. A gallery of images from the Facebook app running in iPad can be found at TechCrunch.
Amazon has released an update to its Kindle app for iOS devices adding newspaper and magazine support and removing direct access to the Kindle Store from within the app. Kindle 2.8 allows users to read over 100 newspapers and magazines on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad complete with high resolution colour images. Users can purchase individual newspaper and magazine issues from the Kindle Store or subscribe to have each edition delivered automatically. Recent newspaper and magazine editions from subscriptions or recent purchases can also be downloaded from the Archived items section. The new version also introduces integration with Facebook and Twitter allowing users to share quotes and passages from what they’re reading. Notably, with this latest update the Kindle Store button has also been removed from within the app in order to comply with Apple’s new policies on in-app purchases and subscriptions. Kindle for iOS devices is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple today released iOS 4.3.5 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. According to Apple’s release notes, the update “fixes a security vulnerability with certificate validation.” A separate update is available for the CDMA iPhone and is listed as iOS 4.2.10. [via Mac Rumors]
Apple has started to air its latest TV commercial for the iPad 2. Entitled “We’ll Always,” the 30-second advertisement is similar in tone to the company’s prior iPad 2 commercials, and features a voiceover by Peter Coyote which states, “We’ll never stop sharing our memories, or getting lost in a good book. We’ll always cook dinner, and cheer for our favorite team. We’ll still go to meetings, make home movies, and learn new things. But how we do all this will never be the same.” The new commercial is available for viewing on Apple’s website.
Apple has released its fourth beta version of iOS 5. Available to paid iOS developers, the release—listed as build 9A5274d—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 4 is available now to paid iOS developers from the iOS Dev Center.
Update: 9 to 5 Mac reports that the update can be installed on devices running iOS 5 beta 3 via the over-the-air software update feature found within the Settings app.