Apple has released an update to its Remote application for iOS devices, adding native iPad support and compatibility with iTunes 10 and the new Apple TV. Remote 2.0 provides a slightly redesigned user interface on the iPhone and iPod touch to reflect changes in the iOS 4 iPod and Music applications as well as adding support for the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G. When running on the iPad, the new Remote application mirrors the design of iTunes 10 when viewed in landscape mode, even including similar playback controls, status window and search fields found at the top of the screen. The update also adds the individual AirPlay volume controls introduced in iTunes 10 and includes support for accessing and controlling Shared Libraries on iTunes and the new Apple TV and can now automatically add iTunes and 2G Apple TV libraries through the iTunes Home Sharing feature. Remote 2.0 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Quinn Genzel has released a universal update to his Packing travel applications for iOS devices. Designed to assist users with preparing for travel, Packing and Packing Pro provide an advanced digital packing list with an extensive customizable catalog, multiple sample lists that can be used as templates, and the ability to create and save standard lists for later reuse. The apps feature multi-item selection for fast building of lists, running item tallies on a per-category basis, numerous sorting and display options, weight and value totals and the ability to share lists via e-mail and import and export between Packing apps on other devices. Packing Pro adds the ability to customize the look and feel of the app, provides twice as many sample lists, a larger master catalog and an Expert packing list that can automatically build customized lists. The Pro version also provides a Smart Search tool and landscape support on the iPhone and iPod touch. With the latest updates, Packing and Packing Pro are now universal applications providing support for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad in a single app. Specific enhancements for the iPad include a redesigned full-screen layout, iPad optimized controls and native resolution graphics. Packing is currently available from the App Store at a discounted price of $1; Packing Pro is selling now for a discounted price of $3. Users of the basic version can also add individual Packing Pro features via in-app purchase.
Condé Nast Digital has launched Gourmet Live for the iPad, the first major magazine publication to be transformed into a new iPad exclusive publication. The monthly print edition of Gourmet magazine ceased publication last year citing declining advertising sales and shifting food interests among the readership, however Condé Nast continued using the Gourmet brand in other multimedia publications and the Epicurious iPad application. In a blog post, Anil Dash who led the team at Activate developing the app in collaboration with Condé Nast, the new Gourmet Live digital edition is intended to be a re-imagining of Gourmet “as a sort of massively multiplayer magazine.”
Going beyond a simple digital print publication, Gourmet Live includes not only classic stories and recipes but also adds videos, slideshows and tightly integrated social connections that allow readers to share articles and other information with their friends. Content is available at no additional charge and the application also provides a “gameplay” experience whereby readers unlock access to additional stories and content based on the articles that they actually read. Rewards show up in the form of new custom magazine issues tailored to the readers’ interests that appear on an iBooks-style rewards shelf within the app. Gourmet Live provides mostly original content however the content library also includes stories and articles from previous issues of Gourmet dating back over half a century that may be included in the reward issues. Gourmet Live is available from the App Store as a free download. [via Daring Fireball]
Condé Nast Digital has released an iPad edition of The New Yorker Magazine, allowing iPad users to purchase weekly editions of the acclaimed magazine right from within the app. The New Yorker offers a signature mix of reporting and commentary on politics, international affairs and the arts along with fiction, poetry, humor and cartoons. Each weekly iPad edition includes all of the content from the print edition of the magazine as well as additional multimedia features including video guides, animations and weekly exclusive cartoon slide shows with bonus cartoons. Users can view the table of contents for each week’s edition before purchasing and can store the current and previous issues for offline access. The New Yorker Magazine is available from the App Store as a free download. Weekly issues are provided via in-app purchase for $5 each.
Synium Software has released an update to iFinance Mobile adding native iPad support and several additional new features. iFinance Mobile is a personal finance application for iOS devices that allows users to record transactions and expenses on the go and optionally sync that data with iFinance for the Mac for expanded financial review and planning. iFinance Mobile 2.0 is now a universal app providing native support for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and adds a new Account History chart, CSV export of transaction data via e-mail and an improved, redesigned user interface for both the iPhone and iPad. The update also provides several other smaller enhancements such as a graphical calendar view, automatic BIC and IBAN validation, transaction sorting by date and localization in Czech, Polish, French and Russian. iFinance Mobile 2.0 is available from the App Store for $2 and is a free update for users of any prior version.
- September 24, 2010
Target has announced that it will offer the iPad in its stores beginning next month, according to a MarketWatch report. Speaking at the company’s first media day, Target Executive Vice President of Merchandising Kathryn Tesija said the move was part of the company’s drive to boost holiday-season sales. According to the report, Target will sell four models of the iPad, although it is unclear which specific models will be offered. A report from earlier this month indicated that Target would offer all six models of the iPad beginning October 3rd; no indication was given by Tesija as to an exact rollout date.
Update: The Associated Press reports that Target will indeed begin offering the device in its stores October 3.
Smule has released an update to its Glee application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Updated for Season 2 of the popular TV series, Glee Karaoke introduces a global competition mode where users sing to compete with fellow Glee fans from around the world and complete individual singing missions to gain levels and win starburst points and gleeks. Glee Karaoke also provides personal voice coaching tips to improve singing skills as well as pitch correction and three-part harmonies as fans sing along to their favorite songs from the TV series. The app includes the songs Rehab, Somebody to Love and You Keep Me Hanging On with additional songs available via in-app purchase for $1 each including such favorites as Hello, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Can’t Fight This Feeling, Imagine, Defying Gravity, Jessie’s Girl and more. Users can also get free songs by earning Gleeks through sharing their top songs with friends on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or Smule’s own Sonic Network. Additional new songs are added each week that an original episode airs. Glee Karaoke 2.0 is a universal app available from the App Store for $1 and is a free update for users of the previous Glee app.
Apple has released updates to its iWork suite of productivity applications for the iPad. Pages, Numbers and Keynote have each been updated to version 1.2 adding several new features and improvements over the previous versions. All three applications can now copy documents to and from MobileMe iDisk or other WebDAV services as well as adding the ability to group and ungroup objects. Numbers and Keynote have also added support for exporting documents to the respective Microsoft Office Excel and Powerpoint formats. The updates also add improvements across the board in font matching for iWork ‘09 and Microsoft Office documents, handling of tables with image background fills in cells and customized borders, text options for tables and reliability and performance improvements when sharing documents with iWork.com and importing Microsoft Office documents.
Pages 1.2 also adds an option to display the word count for documents, the ability to open TXT files from the iPad Mail app and import and export features for footnotes, endnotes, sections and tables of contents. Numbers 1.2 adds the ability to open CSV files from the iPad Mail app. Keynote 1.2 adds support for audio in builds on imported Keynote ‘09 presentations, animated build support for grouped objects, and several new build and transition animations such as Lens Flare, Spin, Wipe, Revolving Door and Swoosh. Pages 1.2, Numbers 1.2, and Keynote 1.2 are available from the App Store separately for $10 each, and are free updates for users of the corresponding previous version.
Dropbox has released an update to its cloud file sharing app for iOS devices with a new UI design, Retina Display support and support for background file transfers on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices. Dropbox 1.3 also adds the ability to view files in a full-screen view while using the app in landscape mode on the iPad, file caching to allow users to re-open files they have recently viewed and the ability to create folders from directly within the app. Dropbox is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. A free Dropbox account is required to use the app.
Netflix has officially launched its online streaming rental service and application for iOS devices in Canada, providing Canadian users with instant, on-demand access to a variety of movie and TV show content from the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Originally released for the iPad earlier this year, the Netflix app added iPhone and iPod touch support in August but remained available only in the U.S. With the launch of Netflix in Canada the same universal Netflix application is now available to Canadian App Store customers. The app allows Netflix members to stream TV shows and movies over either Wi-Fi or 3G from the Netflix catalog and browse and manage their Netflix queue from within the app. Viewing status is automatically synchronized with the Netflix service to allow users to continue watching a movie or TV show on another device from where they left off. The second-generation Apple TV scheduled to ship later this month is also expected to include Netflix support. Netflix 1.1 is available from the U.S. and Canadian App Stores as a free download. An Netflix unlimited subscription is required to use the app; an introductory one-month trial is available for Canadian users at http://www.netflix.ca.
FileMaker has released a major update to its FileMaker Go for iPhone and FileMaker Go for iPad applications that allow users to work with FileMaker Pro databases on their iOS devices. The version 1.1 updates, available separately for the iPhone and iPad platforms add the ability to create PDFs from within the app, share complete database files with other users and improves photo and media support. Users can now convert a database record directly to a PDF file that can be saved on the device or shared via e-mail, allowing reports and other information to be easily saved and distributed while on the go. The new update also provides the ability to save a copy of a complete database and e-mail it directly from FileMaker Go to exchange information with other users without requiring an intermediate desktop or laptop computer.
Improved photo and media support has also been added enabling users to capture photos on an iPhone or import photos that are already in their iOS device’s photo library and insert them directly into a database. Photos and other file types such as spreadsheets stored in a database can also be e-mailed out directly from FileMaker Go. Additional improvements include the ability to import records from local or hosted FileMaker databases using scripts and a new URL protocol that allows other iOS developers to open FileMaker Go and trigger scripts to perform actions such as importing data from other applications and generating reports. FileMaker Go is available separately for the iPhone and iPad, with FileMaker Go for the iPhone and iPod touch available from the App Store for $20, FileMaker Go for iPad for $40. Both are free updates for users of the same previous version.
- September 21, 2010
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia XIX Conference, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said about half a million iPad owners use AT&T’s data service to connect to the internet, according to a Reuters report. AT&T is the only U.S. carrier currently offering cellular data service for the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G; Apple said it sold 3.27 million iPads—a number that includes both 3G and Wi-Fi only models—in the second quarter alone. “Half a million at this point would seem low,” said Pacific Crest analyst Steve Clement, while suggesting that many iPad purchasers aren’t bothering to connect their devices to AT&T’s network, relying on Wi-Fi instead. Stephenson also said he was excited for the company’s Q3 sales of smartphones such as the iPhone. “In the third quarter we’re on pace to set a record for integrated devices,” Stephenson said.
Avici Software has released an update to Whiteboard HD, its brainstorming and productivity app for the iPad. Whiteboard HD provides a freeform drawing environment designed to allow users to visualize ideas, write notes, and sketch charts and diagrams on the iPad using standard multi-touch gesture controls. Version 1.1 adds a new shareable and fully-editable file format that can be used to share files and collaborate with other Whiteboard users as well as full support for Dropbox and Box.net for saving/exporting Whiteboard documents and importing images. The new version also adds a laser pointer mode for presenting Whiteboard documents on a projector or external display, the ability to interact with multiple objects on a board and copy and paste objects between multiple boards. Several interface tweaks have also been made to improve touchscreen handling and interacting with objects and external displays. Whiteboard HD 1.1 is available from the App Store for $7 and is a free update for current users.
Applidium has released its iPad port of the very popular open-source VLC media player application for desktop operating systems. The iPad version of VLC includes all of the same built-in codecs present on other platforms, supporting playback of almost any video format that can be found on the Internet, including support for a variety of streaming video formats. The iPad version continues to be part of the VLC OpenSource project with the iPad-specific patches and extensions forming part of the main VLC development tree. Applidium also indicates that a version of VLC for the iPhone and iPod touch is in the works but has not yet announced an expected release date. VLC Media Player is available from the App Store as a free download.
Though Apple has not officially enabled Retina Display emulation on the iPad, certain recent iPhone and iPod touch applications have started to display artwork in higher resolutions on the iPad screen, iLounge has discovered. Normally, iPhone and iPod touch applications run on the iPad in an emulation mode limited to the native 320x480 resolutions of Apple’s prior-generation screens. Users can optionally hit a “2X” button that merely increases the size of each dot from 1x1 to 2x2, resulting in pixellated images. Applications designed for the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G have fared no better, still presenting the lower-resolution graphics designed for the older models.
Recently, however, some new applications are displaying higher-resolution assets when rendered in the iPad 2X mode. The most notable example is Napster, an iPod touch- and iPhone-formatted application without a native iPad mode. Although most of the user interface elements in the Napster app are clearly being scaled up when seen in 2X mode on the iPad, the album artwork is clearly being displayed at a higher iPad-native resolution. iLounge editors have observed several other recent iPhone and iPod touch apps showing similar behaviors, whereby some—not all—assets are being rendered in higher resolution when displayed on the iPad in 2X mode. It is unclear at this time whether developers have found some way to provide this capability or whether it is a function of compiling applications with the recently released iOS 4.1 SDK, but it is a positive sign that the iPad’s seemingly limited iPhone and iPod touch emulator is capable of more than it previously demonstrated.
Resolution Interactive has released an update to Aqua Moto Racing 2 adding support for the iPad and Retina Display graphics for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch. Released earlier this summer Aqua Moto Racing 2 (iLounge rating: B+) is a first-person water racing game that allows players to race one of 12 unique JetSkis in a variety of exotic locations across 48 different courses. Players can perform insane stunts and earn cash by participating in races and winning Championships and can then use that cash to upgrade their JetSkis. OpenFeint integration provides leaderboards, challenges and tracking of achievements. The new version also provides improved opponent difficulty, the ability to disable OpenFeint popups and minor bug fixes. Aqua Moto Racing 2 is currently available from the App Store as a universal app for $1.
Apple is currently developing a digital newsstand for the iPad that would offer digital magazines and newspapers, according to a new report. Citing two people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that the newsstand would be similar to the iBookstore, and would be separate from the App Store. The report says that the effort is aimed at helping publishers sell subscriptions, as opposed to single issues, and may also draw new customers to the iPad. Talks between Apple and publishers including Time Warner, Conde Nast, Hearst Corp., and News Corp. are said to be ongoing, with control over subscriber data, revenue splits, and pricing issues yet to be decided.
As part of the larger effort, Apple is said to be developing new software to make it easier for publishers to create digital versions of magazines and newspapers, with special emphasis placed on adding interactive content such as high-definition video, and is also working on server technology that would allow the publications to be updated in the background. Curiously, Apple in February forced iOS developer omz:software to change the name of its Newsstand RSS reader application due to what it said was a trademark complaint and later added a “Newsstand” section to the App Store highlighting a variety of publications and reading applications.
- September 17, 2010
Apple is now offering a number of refurbished iPad units via its online store. Currently, refurbished units are limited to Wi-Fi-only models, and offer a $50 discount over the retail price of the respective new-in-box units. This marks the first time that Apple has offered refurbished models of its tablet computer since the iPad’s launch in April; it is unclear whether it plans to offer refurbished iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G units at a later date.
AirPlay, Apple’s revamped version of AirTunes meant for streaming audio, video, and photos to compatible devices, may also allow for streaming of content from third-party applications, according to a new report. Citing testing done by a reader using the first iOS 4.2 beta, Mac Rumors reports that every application that uses the standard iOS audio/video playback interface now shows an AirPlay button for streaming. While the second-generation Apple TV, the only AirPlay device announced so far to accept video and photo streams in addition to audio, has yet to be released, a reader was successfully able to stream audio to an Airport Express from the following applications: Safari, YouTube, Netflix, Videos, iPod, BBC News, and MLB At Bat, suggesting that third-party apps may be able to stream video as well as audio to compatible devices. Notably, the software is still in beta, and as such the feature could be removed and/or tweaked prior to iOS 4.2’s public release.
- September 17, 2010
Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn has said that the iPad is eating into sales of traditional laptop PCs. Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Dunn said that internal estimates showed the iPad had cannibalized sales of laptop PCs by as much as 50%. “It’s a very different environment now,” said Stephen Baker, chief electronics analyst for the NPD Group. “The real cool stuff now will be the tablets, e-readers and probably the higher-end digital cameras.” A separate analyst said the iPad may also be contributing to declining TV sales, which fell by “low-double digit[s]” year-over-year, according to Dunn. “It has become largely a replacement market,” said Riddhi Patel of iSuppli. “New features are not driving sales in a significant way. People are saying, ‘I could buy a television or something totally new like an iPad that I don’t already own.’” Best Buy announced earlier this week that it would expand sales of the iPad to include all 1,093 stores by September 26.