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.
2K Games has released an iPad version of the classic high-seas adventure game Sid Meier’s Pirates. Pirates for iPad puts the player at the helm of one of 27 fully customizable ships where they must travel to various ports of call, build a crew of seafaring bandits and journey out on a quest for treasure and adventure. Re-designed specifically to take advantage of the iPad touchscreen, Pirates allows users to engage in activities ranging from sea battles to sword fights with intuitive touch controls to parry, counter and duel and challenge and pursue some of the most famous pirates from history. The game also includes enhanced features for iPad 2 users such as the ability to take your own character photo with the built-in camera and improved graphics and visual effects. Sid Meier’s Pirates for iPad requires iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store for $4.
Apple has been sued for the second time by the non-practicing entity Personal Audio, which accuses Apple of patent infringement related to downloadable playlists. FOSS Patents reports that the new filing comes just weeks after Personal Audio was awarded an $8 million jury verdict in a case involving the same patents in relation to the iPod classic, iPod mini, iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod touch, and iPhone. The new case focuses on the sixth-generation iPod nano, fourth-generation iPod shuffle, fourth-generation iPod touch, iPhone 4, and iPad 2. As noted in the report, the damages awarded in connection with the iPhone and iPad could be substantially greater than those from the first suit, which focused primarily on iPods; in any case, the report suggests it is likely that the two parties will settle their dispute soon.
Mysterious Trousers has released a major update to Calvetica Calendar adding iPad support and rebuilding the app from the ground up with an entirely new UI and feature set. Version 4.0 provides numerous interface enhancements including a month and day layout on a single screen, a portrait-mode week agenda view and the ability to hide and reorder items in the event details screen. New gestures have also been added allowing features to be activated using press-and-hold and swipe gestures to set reminders, move UI elements off the screen, and more. Enhancements to notifications allow users to enable custom alerts and improved alarm sounds and snooze alarms when they go off, along with an alarm picker that allows users to quickly and easily choose multiple alarms as well as showing complex alarms set in other applications.
The new version also introduces support for task management, allowing users to create tasks that can be organized into custom color-coded groups with title, priority and notes. A free cloud service provides automatic backup and synchronization of tasks between devices running Calvetica. A number of additional features have also been added including the ability to share calendar events via e-mail or SMS, create complex repeats in natural language, map location information, call, e-mail or SMS event attendees from within the app, search for events within a time range by title, notes or location and much more. Calvetica Calendar is a universal app requiring iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $2.
Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer noted that the company has experienced the highest quarterly earnings and revenues in its history, as well as record sales for the iPhone and iPad. Apple sold 7.5m iPods last quarter, ahead of expectations with the iPod touch being over 50% of all iPods sold. The iPod share is now over 70% of all MP3 player sales in the U.S. according to the latest NPD data, and leads in most other markets as well. The iTunes Store had revenues of almost $1.4 billion the past quarter, with continuing strong sales of music, video and apps. The iTunes Store continues to be the number one music retailer in the world with 15 billion songs downloaded to date.
Turning to the iPhone, the company sold a record 20.3 million iPhones in the past quarter, as compared to 8.4m in the year ago June quarter and over double of the smartphone growth overall. Oppenheimer reported very strong year-over-year iPhone growth everywhere, with quadrupled sales in the Asia-Pacific region. Manufacturing capacity has been increased and the iPhone is now available on 228 carriers in 105 countries. Apple now has 5.9m iPhones in inventory, which constitutes enough to meet a demand of approximately 4-6 weeks. 91% of Fortune 500 companies are now deploying or testing the iPhone, up from 88% last quarter. 57% of global 500 companies are either deploying or testing the iPhone.
Reporting its third quarter 2011 financial results today, Apple said it sold 7.54 million iPods during the quarter—a 20% percent decrease compared to the same quarter last year. Apple also sold 20.34 million iPhones in the quarter, a 142% percent increase year-over-year, and up from the 18.65 million units sold in the second quarter. Apple also sold 9.25 million iPads during the quarter, up 183% from 3.27 million units in the year-ago quarter. The unit sales of iPhones, iPods, and iPads bring the cumulative unit sales for the three device categories to 128.89 million, 314.56 million, and 28.73 million, respectively. The company posted revenue of $28.57 billion and net quarterly profit of $7.31 billion, or $7.79 per diluted share, compared with revenue of $15.7 billion and net quarterly profit of $3.25 billion, or $3.51 per diluted share, in Q3 2010.
“We’re thrilled to deliver our best quarter ever, with revenue up 82 percent and profits up 125 percent,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Right now, we’re very focused and excited about bringing iOS 5 and iCloud to our users this fall.”
“We are extremely pleased with our performance which drove quarterly cash flow from operations of $11.1 billion, an increase of 131 percent year-over-year,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011, we expect revenue of about $25 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $5.50.”
iTeleport has released an update to its popular desktop remote control application adding compatibility with Mac OS X Lion and introducing the ability to wake remote computers from standby or sleep modes. iTeleport is a VNC-based remote control app that allows iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users to remotely access and control their computer’s desktop anywhere a Wi-Fi or 3G connection is available. The application can connect to Mac computers using the built-in VPN capabilities in OS X or Windows or Linux PCs using any number of third-party VNC server apps. A companion app, iTeleport Connect allows users to easily access their computer when away from their home or office network, or iTeleport can use the VPN capabilities built into iOS to establish a connection through a home or office firewall. iTeleport is available from the App Store for $25 as a universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad; an iPad-only version is also available for $20.
CNN has introduced live streaming of its 24-hour television networks via its web site and iOS apps for subscribers in the U.S., making it the first news organization to provide a service of this nature. With this launch, CNN.com is also debuting a higher-quality video player capable of delivering HD quality streams to users. CNN streaming will be available to subscribers of participating TV providers such as AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Dish Network, Suddenlink and Verizon; users will be required to validate their cable, satellite or telco provider by logging in with a username and password before being granted access to the live video streams. In addition to the live network stream, users can also continue to access four specific live streams for breaking news and events as well as access on-demand video clips. For iOS users, the new streaming video requires the latest version of the free CNN App for iPhone (U.S.) or CNN App for iPad and iOS 4.0 or later.
Electric Pocket has released Coverjam, a new iOS application that displays dynamic slideshows of images related to the songs a user is listening to. Coverjam takes the currently playing track and searches for photos on Instagram and Flickr tagged with the artist’s name, presenting the images in a full-screen slideshow as the user listens. Typical photos that Coverjam finds and displays include shots of the band on stage, publicity stills and fan photos inspired by the band. A fresh slide-set appears each time a new track starts playing and the app allows users to share their favourite photos on Twitter, Facebook or via e-mail or flag unwanted photos to remove them from future slideshows. Users can select music for playback within Coverjam or simply open the app while a track is already playing to load photos for the current song. The app is available in two versions: The basic version, Coverjam, is free and ad-supported and is an iPhone and iPod touch app; Coverjam Pro sells for $1 and is an ad-free universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Gameloft has released an iPad version of its popular Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard title released for the iPhone and iPod touch earlier this year. As with the iPhone version, Shadow Vanguard HD is an FPS game where the player leads a team of elite soldiers on a quest to stop an organization of global terrorists. Unlike traditional FPS games, the player must not only control their own character but provide tactical direction to the other team members in order to accomplish each mission. The game includes eleven missions with levels based on the original Rainbow Six game such as the Embassy Hostage Crisis and the infiltration of a rebel camp in Africa and a new Rainbow unit with three new members and unique abilities. Multiplayer support allows players to join with up to two friends as additional team members in cooperative play through the standard missions or go head-to-head against up to ten other players across five additional specific multiplayer maps. Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard HD is available from the App Store for $7.