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.
Apple today introduced a revamped version of its AirTunes technology. Dubbed AirPlay, the new streaming technology allows not only audio, but also video and photos to be streamed from any iOS device to another iOS device or the new Apple TV. The new AirPlay technology, slated to be included in iOS 4.2, will allow iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users to instantly stream content from their device directly to their Apple TV, while controlling playback and storing the content on the iOS device. Apple has also also announced plans to license its AirPlay technology for inclusion in speaker docks, AV receivers and stereo systems from companies such as Bowers & Wilkins and Denon. The new AirPlay technology will not only stream music and other media content but can also transmit information about the content allowing song titles, artists, album names, elapsed time and album artwork to be displayed on AirPlay-enabled speakers with graphical displays.
Apple today gave several updates on its iOS, App Store, and retail store businesses. It said it has now shipped over 120 million iOS devices, and is handling 230,000 new activations each day. Over 6.5 billion applications have been downloaded from the App Store, resulting in an average of 200 apps every second, and the App Store now offers over 250,000 apps, 25,000 of which are made for the iPad. The company now has 300 retail stores in 10 countries—the Covent Garden store in London was the 300th opening—and has over one million customers coming through the stores on several days each month. It will soon open a store in Spain, marking the 11th country in which it has retail stores.
It also revealed that it has sold 275 million iPods, and that the iPod touch is now the best-selling portable gaming device in the world, outselling Nintendo’s and Sony’s portable devices combined. In enjoys over 50% market share in the portable gaming device category both in the U.S. and worldwide, and iPod touch users have downloaded over 1.5 billion game and entertainment apps.
China Unicom will begin offering Micro SIM-sized “USIM” cards for the iPad beginning tomorrow, September 1, according to a new report. Chinese-language Sina reports (Translated Link) that the card is primarily aimed at customers importing iPads from other markets, as the official launch date for the iPad in China has yet to be announced.
The Cedars School of Excellence in Greenock, U.K., has moved all its students away from pen and paper and onto iPads. The Daily Record reports that the move was the idea of Frasier Speirs, the school’s IT teacher, who also happens to be an accomplished Mac and iOS developer. Speirs wrote on his blog that the first day was an “unqualified success,” adding that he “got the impression that the kids were almost relieved to be working with iOS. I have no doubt that, for a lot of them, it’s already the OS they interact with most often.” [via MDN]
A quartet going by the name of “The iPad Orchestra” has been featured in an online video. The four members of the group each play a separate iPad, using the app Seline HD to simulate the sounds of the clarinet, cello, flute, and violin. The performance pf “Sweet Dream” by Ilya Plavunov captured in the video was given for a live audience on August 8th; the video is available for viewing in embedded form below.
Uzibull has introduced its new Ektopad case for the iPad (Pictured). The Ektopad is a silicone case featuring molded grips on the ends and back for gaming, an interior rib structure for added protection, openings on the corners for attaching the included woven elastic strap, openings for access to the headphone port, dock connector, power button, and orientation lock switch, push-through button covers for the volume buttons, and open access to the screen and Home button. Uzibull’s Ektopad case for the iPad is available now and sells for $40.
Apple has once again shortened its waiting period for new iPad models. The company’s online U.S. store now shows a shipping time of within 24 hours for new iPad with Wi-Fi and iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G units, down from one to three days. Apple started out the month with a wait time of seven to ten days on new iPads, a figure that dropped on the 19th to three to five days, and was lowered again one week ago to one to three days. During the company’s Q3 2010 Conference Call, COO Tim Cook repeatedly explained that Apple was making iPad units as fast as it can sell them, and indicated that it was working to ramp up production to meet demand as quickly as possible.
Virgin Mobile has announced a new $40 unlimited monthly data plan, which, when combined with a $150 Mi-Fi mobile hotspot, provides an attractive option for iPad and iPod touch users. The new offering does not require a contract, allowing customers to start and stop their service without a fee, and the $150 hotspot would allow users to connect up to five devices at a time, including iPods, iPhones, and iPads. Notably, Virgin Mobile’s devices operate on Sprint’s nationwide network, with roaming limited to 300MB per month. [via TidBits]
A newly published Apple patent application has led to reports that the company will use a new unauthorized user recognition technology to deter users from jailbreaking iPhones. The patent application, entitled “Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device,” primarily describes methods for detecting unauthorized users—people who do not normally use the device—and taking appropriate action, such as relaying information about the unauthorized user’s identity and location to the device’s owner, restricting functions, or deleting sensitive data. The controversy stems from references in the application to jailbreaking and/or unlocking the device, both of which it describes as “activities that can indicate suspicious behavior.” In July, the U.S. Library of Congress’ Copyright Office announced a decision under which jailbreaking was deemed legal and within the user’s fair use rights, which might conceivably limit Apple’s ability to discriminate against users with jailbroken devices. However, it’s unclear as to whether Apple is patenting this invention in the hopes of actually locking out users for its own purposes, deterring certain uses of its devices, or merely empowering owners to protect their own items as they wish. As with all Apple patent applications, the filing does not necessarily represent any future product release from Apple, but offers evidence of the company’s research in this area.
Apple’s U.S. online store is now quoting wait times of one to three days for all models of the iPad, down from three to five days. The reduction in shipment wait times represents the second such drop in less than a week, as the wait dropped from seven to ten days to three to five days last Thursday, August 19. While wait times for the device continue to drop, UDN reports (Translated Link) that Acer Chairman JT Wang believes Apple’s share of the tablet PC market will drop from the nearly 100% share it currently enjoys to 20% - 30% due to competition from “open camp” competitors. [via Engadget]
Matt MacInnis, a former Apple employee, is behind a new start-up looking to bring collegiate textbooks to the iPad. The Wall Street Journal reports that MacInnis’ company, Inkling, is set to introduce four full-length interactive textbooks on the App Store. The books—McGraw-Hill’s best sellers in biology, economics, marketing, and psychology—will include features like 3-D views, video lectures, and interactive quizzes, while allowing students to highlight text and take and share notes. According to the report, Inkling has already made deals with other major publishers, including John Wiley & Sons, and Cengage Learning, to launch new titles. Prices for McGraw-Hill’s first titles are expected to start a $2.99 per chapter or $69.99 per book, with prices increasing over time to $3.99 per chapter and $84.99 per book.
A placeholder for an as-yet-unknown Apple device has appeared in the latest internal build of the iOS 4.1 beta, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, AppleInsider reports that the latest iOS 4.1 build contains code referencing both the fourth-generation iPod touch—labeled iPod4,1—and a second-generation iPad—labeled iProd2,1. Perhaps more interesting, however, is a listing for “unknownHardware,” given a productID of 20547—compared to 4765 for the second-generation iPad and 4766 for the fourth-generation iPod touch—and a productString of “Unknown- Add device descriptor info for this device.” The report speculates that the code could in fact reference a rumored iOS-based next-generation Apple TV, although it could also simply be placeholder code for some other potentially upcoming product, such as a CDMA or fifth-generation iPhone.
Apple has finally enabled publishers to offer their magazines via iPad apps to current subscribers free of charge. Beginning with the update of the People Magazine app earlier today, subscribers to Time, Inc. publications including Time, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune will soon be able to be able to access the iPad versions of issues for free as part of their print subscriptions. Fortune reports that the changes should roll out to the other magazines within 30 days, and suggests that other magazine publishers will likely adopt the same policy. The report also states that publishers who were encouraged to built iPad apps say they were ready from the start to make them free to subscribers, but Apple would not provide the tools necessary, or explain what was delaying their release. Publishers remain unable to sell subscriptions directly through the App Store.