Apple is preparing to announce a new subscription plan for newspapers, according to a new report. Citing unnamed industry sources, the San Jose Mercury News reports that Apple has agreed to provide an opt-in for subscribers that will allow Apple to share their information with the newspaper’s publishers, providing the publishers with data essential to attracting advertisers. Publishers “want the data of their customers so they can integrate it into their circulation database so they know who their customers are,” said Roger Fidler, head of digital publishing at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. Fidler also suggested that Apple will take a 30 percent cut of subscriptions sold through the App Store, and as much a 40 percent of advertising revenue from within the apps. Fidler also said that publishers wanted to pay Apple a straight fee instead of sharing revenue, and are less than happy with Apple’s terms. Apple recently enabled magazine publishers to offer iPad versions of their publications to print subscribers free of charge; if accurate, the report suggests the company is taking a different approach when it comes to newspapers.
iOS developer Kevin Ng has released results from an experiment he conducted with his app Kick Flick 2010. Early last month, Ng released a free update to the iPhone and iPod touch version of his app adding support for both the iPad and the iPhone 4 Retina Display, bundling this into a single $1 application rather than following the approach of other game developers in releasing a separate premium “HD” version of the game. In reviewing the past month of sales results, Ng believes that the figures make a “compelling argument” for iPhone developers to include iPad support for free in existing apps rather than charging customers twice for the same product.
Ng constructed a graph of sales starting with its initial release in July, noting that additional purchases following the update almost matched the launch spike. Two weeks after its initial launch, Apple chose to feature the game in the iPad section of the App Store, leading to an even larger surge. Ng believes that providing support for both iPhone and iPad in the same, inexpensive app resulted in the application getting better exposure by being noticed and featured by Apple and by hitting top application charts in both the iPhone and iPad sections of the App Store. Ng notes that since the iPad and iPhone versions are the same product in the App Store, sales on either platform contribute toward the sales rankings in both sections. From this experience, Ng concludes that it makes sense for developers to add iPad support to their existing apps rather than charging extra and feels that this situation is “Win-win for the developer and the customer.”
Best Buy has announced that as of September 26, it will offer the iPad in all of its 1,000+ stores in the U.S. The announcement represents a significant jump in distribution from the roughly 673 Best Buy stores that have carried the device since its launch in April. In total, 1,093 Best Buy stores will be offering both the iPad Wi-Fi and the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G both in store and online (for in-store pick-up). A recent report suggested that Target may begin carrying the device on October 3, perhaps signaling a move by Apple to expand distribution of the device heading into the holiday shopping season.
Apple has posted a new “iPad in Business” page to its website, featuring four profiles of businesses that have integrated the iPad into their workflows. Most notable among the businesses is Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, which is using iPads to facilitate check-ins at its boutique Andaz hotels, developing iPad-accessible apps for hotel services, and has a large number of executives using iPads when traveling in lieu of laptops. “I don’t carry my diary anymore,” said Harmit Singh, Hyatt Hotels Corporation’s Chief Financial Officer. “I don’t carry a calculator. I used to subscribe to all the journals: the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times. That’s all disappeared. It’s all on iPad.” Less prominent on the page are links to profiles of rehabilitation service RehabCare, dentist Dr. Jonathan Ferencz, and the humanitarian organization charity: water.
MediaMall Technologies has announced a free update to its PlayOn Premium software enabling media streaming to the iPad over a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. PlayOn is a Windows application designed to place-shift online video content from users’ PCs to various home entertainment and mobile devices including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and iPhone. The most recent update adds the ability for iPad users to stream video content from providers such as Hulu, Netflix, CBS, MTV and more via the PlayOn media server running on their home PC. Content is streamed directly to the Safari browser using HTML5 and can be accessed from anywhere that a 3G or Wi-Fi Internet connection is available.
Existing PlayOn Premium subscribers can download the update to their PC and begin streaming video to their iPad right away; new users can sign up for a free 14-day trial after which a subscription is required to continue using the service. Subscriptions are priced at $40 for the first year and $20 per year thereafter, with a lifetime license available for $80. The PlayOn software requires Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or later with Internet Explorer 7 and an Internet broadband connection of at least 1.5 Mbps. A free trial of the software can be downloaded from http://www.PlayOn.tv.
CBS News has launched an official CBS News app for the iPad. The new app delivers the latest news stories and video and photo galleries from the complete roster of CBS News broadcasts, including videos from The Early Show, 48 Hours Mystery, CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, Sunday Morning, Face The Nation and Up to the Minute. The app also provides access to webcasts and blogs from CBSNews.com including @KatieCouric, Washington Unplugged, Political Hotsheet, Crimesider and Celebrity Circuit. Developed by CBS Mobile, the app delivers full-video episodes over both Wi-Fi and 3G networks and allows users to quickly select and watch video content or read full articles. Content is presented in a format appropriate for the iPad orientation, with portrait mode providing a graphical experience with thumbnail images and videos while landscape mode provides a more text-specific view to browse through headlines. Users can quickly access the day’s top headlines or browse and search through a variety of news categories with timelines of the latest articles and videos and links from each story to other related content. The app also provides access to weather information and forecasts powered by AccuWeather, stock market lookups through CBS MoneyWatch, a dedicated Shows section for viewing specific CBS News shows and social media integration to e-mail stores or share links on Twitter and Facebook. CBS News for iPad is available as a free download from the U.S. App Store.
Target may be planning to roll out the iPad in its retail stores beginning October 3, according to a new report. Engadget, citing images of what is supposedly a Target PDA, reports that the store’s product management system now has a listing for an unknown product that comes in six versions, matches the iPad’s six price points, and is to be located in the Digital Audio section, which is also home to the iPod and various e-readers, including the Amazon Kindle. The images from Target’s system indicate the product will become available in October 3, the timing of which would give Apple a significant boost in terms of iPad distribution heading into the holiday shopping season.
Apple has announced that it will launch the iPad Wi-Fi in China this Friday, September 17, at 10:00 a.m. local time. Curiously, Apple’s announcement makes no mention of when or if the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G might be available despite a recent report that indicated the company had reached an agreement with China Unicom to offer the device. The release also states that Apple plans to roll out the iPad in “many more countries” later this year, and will announce availability and pricing details for these additional countries at a later date. Notably, the announcement also refers to the model as the “iPad Wi-Fi,” and not the iPad with Wi-Fi. The iPad Wi-Fi in China will sell for CNY3988 (roughly $590) for the 16GB model, CNY4788 (~$708) for 32GB, and CNY5588 ($827) for the 64GB version.
Readdle has released an update to ReaddleDocs, its PDF viewer and file manager for the iPad. ReaddleDocs 1.6 adds a number of new features and improvements including a completely rewritten PDF reader with smooth horizontal scrolling, iPad VGA adapter support for displaying documents on external monitors and FTP/SFTP file transfer support. Additionally, support for IMAP and WebDAV file transfers has been completely rewritten and users can now upload files directly from their desktop web browser over Wi-Fi. The update also provides an improved built-in browser with HTTP authentication and support for custom SSL certificates as well as better saving of WebArchive files and the ability to download very large files. A number of other small features and bug fixes have also been addressed in the update. ReaddleDocs for iPad 1.6 is available from the App Store for $5 and is a free update for current users.
DataViz has released a new update to its Documents To Go Premium Office Suite for iOS devices. Documents to Go is a universal app that allows iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users to view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint files on their devices. iPad and iOS 4 users can open documents in Documents to Go from the built-in Mail and Safari apps as well as any third-party app that supports iOS file sharing as well as transferring documents over Wi-Fi, USB via iTunes or from online services such as Dropbox and Google Docs. Version 4.0 delivers an updated and more intuitive user interface for navigating and editing documents including improvements for the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G Retina Display as well as full support for external Bluetooth keyboards on iPad and modern iOS 4 devices including arrow keys and other keyboard shortcuts. The new version also provides significant speed improvements, the ability to freeze spreadsheet panes and extensive paragraph formatting options for Word documents such as indent, strike through and bullet styles. Documents To Go Premium 4.0 requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 3.2 or later; it is available from the App Store for $17 and is a free update for current users.
Following yesterday’s statement by Apple that it was “relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code,” Adobe has announced that it has resumed development of its Packager feature for Flash, which allows developers to export Flash applications as native iOS apps. Apple’s decision has “direct implications for Adobe’s Packager for iPhone, a feature in the Flash Professional CS5 authoring tool,” the company said in a blog post. “This feature was created to enable Flash developers to quickly and easily deliver applications for iOS devices. The feature is available for developers to use today in Flash Professional CS5, and we will now resume development work on this feature for future releases. This is great news for developers and we’re hearing from our developer community that Packager apps are already being approved for the App Store.” Adobe went on to point out that Apple decision doesn’t change its stance on Flash content running in the browser on iOS devices.
Pangea Software has released an update to Cro-Mag Rally for the iPhone and iPod touch adding integration with Apple’s new Game Center and native iPad support. Cro-Mag Rally is a 3D racing game where the player takes on the role of a caveman racing primitive vehicles around prehistoric and ancient race tracks. Version 2.0 is now a universal binary providing a native game play experience on both iPhone/iPod touch devices and on the iPad, with high resolution graphics optimized for the iPad and the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G Retina Displays. The new version also adds integration with Apple’s new Game Center on iOS 4.1 devices, allowing high scores and achievements to be posted to Game Center as well as networked multiplayer racing in which up to four players can race against each other using any of the vehicles in the game. Cro-Mag Rally is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for current users.
Rockstar Games has released an iPad version of its highly popular Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. The latest game in the Grand Theft Auto series, Chinatown Wars HD brings the same intense, story-driven action from its iPhone and iPod touch counterpart to the iPad with updated, high-definition graphics. In the game, players take on the role of Huang Lee and must navigate the dangerous criminal underground of Liberty City on a quest for honor and revenge for his father’s murder. For the iPad version, Rockstar Games has produced enhanced graphics with higher polygon counts in vehicle and building models and enhanced lighting and explosion effects for the higher-resolution iPad screen. The HD version also provides a selection of multiple control schemes to offer more flexible play options on the larger device. Players can also customize the game soundtrack using music from their iPad media library. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars HD is available from the App Store for $10.
Apple has posted its new “iPad is Musical” TV advertisement, the latest for its first-generation tablet computer. Like its prior “iPad is Delicious” commercial, the new spot shows the iPad being used mostly in front of a white background, utilizing a variety of different apps. The spot starts with the words “iPad is” on the screen, and is followed by a different descriptor—including “medical,” “live,” “musical,” “work,” “play,” “memories,” “social,” “magazines,” and “historic”—after each app is shown. As with the prior “iPad is” ad, it features the song “Never Stop” by Gonzales in the background. Apple’s new “iPad is Musical” ad is available for viewing on the company’s website.
In addition to our earlier galleries showing the unboxing of the sixth-generation iPod nano and fourth-generation iPod touch, comparisons of the new models to their predecessors, and images comparing the rear-facing camera of the iPod touch 4G to that of the iPhone 4, iLounge has posted new photos to our Flickr photostream showing off the touch-based interface of the new iPod nano, as well as a new photo—seen in limited resolution above—of the entire 2010 lineup of iPods, iPhones, and the iPad.
Majic Jungle Software has released an update to Chopper 2 adding TV Out support for the iPhone 4 and several other improvements. Chopper 2 is a side scrolling action game where players fly a helicopter to undertake missions such as escorting vehicle convoys, rescuing civilians and attacking enemy vehicles and fortifications. A universal app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, the game features HD graphics and gyroscope controls on supported devices and includes 36 missions with 12 unique locations and a 3D game engine with spatial sound effects. Users can also use a second iPhone or iPod touch as a remote control to play Chopper 2 on the iPad or iPhone 4. Version 1.1 adds support for TV Output from the iPad or iPhone 4 when using another iOS device as a remote control, allowing the game to be played on a TV screen or computer monitor and adds Wi-Fi based remote control support to allow first-generation iPod touch and iPhone devices to be used as remote controls. Other improvements include new tilt sensitivity, manual calibration and control positioning options, the ability to sync progress and high scores between multiple devices using OpenFeint and new remote control options that can be configured on a per-device basis. The update also provides several bug fixes and game play changes. Chopper 2 is available from the App Store for $3 as a universal app and is a free update for current users.
NASA has released a native iPad version of its free NASA App for the iPhone and iPod touch. NASA App HD provides access to a comprehensive library of news and information from NASA presented more effectively using the larger iPad display, including access to thousands of images from NASA’s various image libraries, on-demand NASA videos, live streaming of NASA TV, current mission information, launch information and ISS and satellite tracking. Like its iPhone counterpart, NASA App HD also includes access to NASA Twitter feeds and support for sharing information via Facebook Connect and an integrated Twitter client along with a map and links to all of the various NASA centers. NASA App HD is available from the App Store as a free download; a Wi-Fi or 3G network connection is required to use the application.
Twitter has released a universal update, adding iPad support to its official Twitter app for iOS devices. Earlier this year, Twitter acquired Tweetie for the iPhone and iPod touch for it to become the company’s official Twitter app. As part of the acquisition, Tweetie developer Loren Brichter was brought onto Twitter’s staff to continue further development of the app including work on developing an iPad-native version. Now released as a universal app for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad devices, Twitter 3.1 on the iPad provides all of the features of the iPhone version with an enhanced user interface optimized for the larger screen. Web pages, photos and videos are easily accessible from within the timeline and users can tap on any tweet and a related content pane opens to display linked content from within the tweet such as media content, web pages, profile information and hashtag searches. Panels can be slid from side to side to allow users to quickly navigate through related content, and can use two-finger pinch and drag operations to quickly peek into tweets for related information, actions and replies. Users can also access the public Twitter timelines and searches without requiring a Twitter account, or sign up for an account directly within the app. Twitter 3.1 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad is available from the App Store as a free download.
Epic Games has released a walk-through demo of its upcoming RPG for iOS devices demonstrated during today’s Apple iPod event. Codenamed “Project Sword,” the game is an impressive 3D RPG with detailed real-time graphics powered by the Unreal Engine 3. In the full game, players will be able to explore a medieval town and engage in combat with other players over the Internet. The current demo, Epic Citadel, available as a free download from the App Store, provides a simple walk-through of the game environment with no combat options, allowing users to simply explore the detailed 3D realm. The full version of Project Sword is expected to be released later this year.
Apple today gave a sneak preview of iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. While the release will bring all of the features from iOS 4.0 to the iPad, it will also include several new features including wireless printing and a revamped AirTunes, which has been renamed AirPlay. AirPlay will allow users to stream audio, videos, and photos from an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad directly to the company’s next-generation Apple TV. iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch will be released in November and will be a free update for all capable devices.