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Ravensburger launches Scotland Yard for iOS

Ravensburger Digital has launched Scotland Yard, bringing the popular board game to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. In Scotland Yard, players take on the role of one of five Scotland Yard detectives or the elusive Mister X. Detective players must work together to travel throughout London using a limited number of taxi, bus and underground tickets in an attempt to locate and capture Mister X, who must in turn attempt to evade capture by the detectives, leaving only occasional appearances and his discarded transit tickets as clues to his whereabouts.

The iOS adaptation remains largely faithful to the original classic board game, adding a few new twists such as a new night-themed London setting along with HD graphics for the iPhone and iPad Retina Display. The game is designed for 3-6 players who can participate via pass-and-play on a single device or using local Bluetooth/Wi-Fi or online Game Center multiplayer across multiple devices; a single player mode is also supported with other pieces being played by the AI. Voice and text chat is also supported in multiplayer games allowing players to easily coordinate their moves and strategy, and an integrated tutorial provides new players with easy instructions for getting started in the game. Scotland Yard is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $5.

Adobe brings Collage and Proto to the iPad

Adobe Systems has released two new creative apps for the iPad as part of its Adobe Touch Apps suite announced last fall. Adobe Collage and Adobe Proto are the latest two Adobe Touch Apps to be brought to the iPad, joining Adobe Photoshop Touch released in February.

Adobe Collage ($10) allows users to build creative “moodboards” that combine images, drawings, video and text as well as files from other Adobe Creative Suite applications to help brainstorm and illustrate ideas and concepts. Collage supports importing PDF, PSD and Adobe Illustrator files as well as directly searching for and importing content from Google, Flickr and YouTube. Variable canvas sizes are supported as well as multiple pen types and text fonts. Users can access their existing content library via Adobe Creative Cloud and export their finished mood boards to their Adobe Creative Cloud account for sharing with others. Adobe Collage is an iPad app and requires iOS 4.3 or later.

Adobe Proto ($10) is a prototyping app for websites and mobile apps that allows users to create wireframe layouts using simple touchscreen gestures. A component toolbox provides interactive wireframe components such as menus, tabs, accordions and more and users can utilize well-known CSS grid systems for building wireframes. A built-in WebKit preview with jQuery support allows users to quickly preview their designs directly within the app and the resulting work can be synced to Adobe Creative Cloud to continue work using Adobe Dreamweaver CS6. Adobe Proto requires iOS 4.2 or later and an iPad.

Apple product placement up in 2011

Mentions and appearances of Apple products on TV were up in 2011, according to a new report. Citing numbers from researcher Nielsen, Apple products were discussed or shown 891 times on TV in 2011, up from 613 in 2009. In addition, the company’s iDevices (iPhones, iPads, and iPods) appeared in more than 40 percent of weekly box office-topping films—nearly twice as often as the next most common brands, according to Brandchannel. Unlike most companies, Apple refuses to pay for product placement in movies or TV shows, although it has been known to hand out freebies. “Apple won’t pay to have their products featured, but they are more than willing to hand out an endless amount of computers, iPads, and iPhones,” said Curb Your Enthusiasm producer Gavin Polone. “It’s kind of a graft situation.”

Report: Siri APIs, Siri for iPad coming in iOS 6?

Apple may launch both developer-accessible Siri APIs and Siri for iPad with the release of iOS 6, according to a new report. Citing an anonymous source, TechCrunch reports that the software, codenamed “Sundance”, will indeed feature a new, Apple-based replacement for Google Maps in the Maps application, and while the 3D mapping feature is said to be neat, it is also unlikely to be used very often. The report goes on to state that there have been “whispers” backing up the idea that Apple might announce a set of developer-accessible APIs for Siri, which would also make its debut on the iPad in iOS 6. Regarding the latter, the report claims that the difficulty with Siri on the iPad has been in designing a UI for the larger screen, rather than any technical challenge.

Finally, the report claims that new iCloud functionality and deep ties to OS X Mountain Lion will also be key parts of the software, which it claims may arrive at the same time as a completely revamped version of iTunes, and potentially even a “full-on Spotify competitor.” Apple is expected to unveil iOS 6 at its Worldwide Developers Conference next month.

Apple rebrands third-gen iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G

Apple over the weekend quietly went about changing the official name of its third-generation iPad with cellular data capabilities. Previously known as the Wi-Fi + 4G model, it is now referred to on Apple’s website and in its retail locations as the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. It “connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi and fast mobile data networks,” reads the description on Apple’s UK online store. Apple had been facing scrutiny from regulators in several countries, which claimed that the “4G” moniker was misleading as the device didn’t support 4G LTE networks anywhere but in the US and Canada. [via 9to5Mac]

Adobe Photoshop Touch increases maximum photo resolution

Adobe has updated Photoshop Touch for the iPad increasing the maximum supported resolution and adding new synchronization and export features. Adobe Photoshop Touch 1.2 now allows users to work with 2048x2048 resolution photos with up to 10 layers, although the default remains at 1600x1600 with 16 layers; users can choose the higher resolution in the application’s Preferences. In addition, Photoshop Touch can now automatically synchronize with Adobe’s Creative Cloud and users can export images to PSD or PNG via the iOS Camera Roll, e-mail and iTunes File Sharing. The updated version also improves workflows for rotating and flipping images, adds two new tutorials and four new effects and is now available in English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Italian. Adobe Photoshop Touch requires an iPad 2 or third-generation iPad with iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $10.

Apple to drop Google Maps in iOS 6

Apple will drop Google Maps as the backend to its built-in Maps application for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, according to a new report. Citing trusted sources, 9to5Mac reports that Apple will make the move in iOS 6, and will replace Google’s mapping solution with an in-house mapping service built upon technology from acquisitions Placebase, C3 Technologies, and Poly9. The report claims that the application design is “fairly similar” to the current Maps app, but is described as a much cleaner, faster, and more reliable experience. The new app will also feature a new 3D mode built upon technology from C3 Technolgies, and, according to the report, and the change will be signified with a redrawn icon. The report claims that iOS 6 is likely to appear at Apple’s WWDC conference in June.

Instapaper adds Fast Pagination, UI improvements

Marco Arment has released an update to Instapaper, his popular offline reading app for iOS. Instapaper 4.2 adds several new user interface improvements including a new redesigned Fast Pagination mode that improves accuracy and performance when turning pages and adds new page turning animations and gestures similar to iBooks. A new draggable dot bar can also now be used in place of the scroll bar in pagination mode. A new two-finger swipe gesture has been added for closing an article view, an option is also now available to automatically switch to full screen reading view after a few seconds. The new version also allows users to manually select the Twilight Sepia colour theme; previously it only appeared during twilight hours when automatic day/night mode was enabled. Instapaper 4.2 now requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $5.

Gameloft releases N.O.V.A. 3

Gameloft has released the third instalment in its popular sci-fi FPS series, Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance. N.O.V.A. 3 puts players back in the role of Kal Wardin, four months after the climactic events of the prior game; Wardin, who has been keeping a low profile in the aftermath of the assassination of President Folsom, suddenly receives a desperate message from Yelena to travel to Earth where he must again rise to save mankind.

This latest title expands upon the epic storyline of the series with the return of humanity to Earth after years of exile, taking the player across the galaxy through ten immersive levels. Players are given multiple weapons and power ups to master including driving vehicles and piloting mechs and can also engage in multiplayer games with up to 11 other players. Six different game modes and six maps are available for multiplayer games, and multiple allies can now share a vehicle on the battlefield. N.O.V.A. 3 also takes advantage of the latest iPhone and iPad hardware to deliver high-resolution, console-quality graphics with features such as real-time dynamic lighting and shadows, ragdoll physics and more. N.O.V.A. 3 is a universal app requiring an iPhone 3GS/4/4S, third- or fourth-generation iPod touch or iPad with iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $7.

Moredays HD provides a highly visual day planner

Moredays has released Moredays HD, a unique new graphical time management tool for iPad users that focuses on images rather than text. Combining the features of a digital planner and a scrapbook, Moredays uses pictures, doodles and sketches to help users organize information in the style of a traditional paper planner. Users can record events, tasks, notes and contacts within the app or simply save an item to the inbox and decide on its type later; a quick entry mode also allows new items to be easily added from any screen. Pictures can be inserted from the iPad photo library or the user can choose from over 60 included sketches to enhance and distinguish items; in addition to a photo or sketch, stamps can also be applied to help categorize items visually. Users can also add notes and location to any item and Moredays automatically synchronizes with its own web application for access from a computer. Moredays HD requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download; an iPhone/iPod version is also currently under development.

U.S. iPad trademark suit thrown out of court

A complaint filed by China-based Proview against Apple over the iPad trademark has been thrown out of court. The Wall Street Journal reports that Judge Mark Pierce of the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara County dismissed Proview’s suit on May 4, a decision which Proview attorney Christopher Evans said “was not based on the merits of the case.” A separate trademark dispute is ongoing in China, although according to a statement from Proview’s lawyers, Apple has proposed a settlement in that case, which was said to leave a “big gap” between the companies on the amount. [via AppleInsider]

Third-gen iPad to launch in 30 new countries May 11-12

Apple plans to roll out its third-generation iPad in 30 new countries over the coming weekend. Citing Apple’s iPad selection page for Latin America, MacRumors reports that the device will launch in Argentina, Aruba, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuaçao, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Malta, Martinique, Mauritius, Morocco, Peru, Taiwan, Tunisia, and Vietnam on Friday, May 11. The following day, the new iPad will roll out in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. As noted in the report, Apple appears to be awaiting certification in China, Honduras, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and the Philippines before it can sell the new tablet in those locations; following this weekend’s launches, the third-generation iPad will be available in nearly 90 countries around the world.

Apple offers settlement in iPad trademark dispute

Apple has offered Proview Technology a compensation package to settle the ongoing trademark dispute over the iPad name. Citing Proview lawyer Roger Xie, Bloomberg reports that Apple proposed the settlement as part of an ongoing mediation process that’s being directed by the Higher People’s Court of Guangdong. “The Guangdong Higher People’s court is trying to mediate this, and both parties are trying to negotiate and come to a settlement,” Xie said. “Right now, there is still a big gap between the two sides on the settlement amount.” Apple declined to comment on Xie’s remarks, but has long claimed that it acquired the rights to the iPad trademark in China from a Proview sister company in 2009.

Evernote acquires Penultimate

Evernote announced today that it has acquired Cocoa Box, developer of Penultimate, the highly acclaimed digital ink notebook app for the iPad. In a post on the company’s blog, Evernote CEO Phil Libin noted that the handwriting app has been one of the company’s favourites since it was first released two years ago and goes on to announce that Penultimate creator Ben Zotto will be joining Evernote to head up future development on the app; Penultimate is expected to remain a separate application but will gain new Evernote integration features such as full search and synchronization. Zotto will also work with Evernote to bring handwriting and digital ink functionality into the company’s other products and platforms. Penultimate remains available on the App Store for $1.

Sports Car Challenge adds Lamborghini Aventador

Fishlabs has released an update to Sports Car Challenge for iOS adding the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 to its fleet lineup. A joint project with Volkswagen China, Sports Car Challenge is a 3D racing simulator that allows users to race a collection of high-performance sports cars from Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche and Volkswagen. The game provides realistic driving physics, handling and performance modelling for each sports car along with high-quality graphics for both the exterior and interior details. Players can compete in time trial, slalom and braking game challenges across a number of different race courses and more regular content updates are expected to add additional new cars and tracks in the future. Sports Car Challenge is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.

Apple drops pricing on refurb iPads

Apple has dropped its prices on refurbished iPad and iPad 2 units. As noted by MacRumors, original iPad units can be had for as little as $279 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model, with pricing extending up to $549 for a 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G unit. Pricing on refurbished iPad 2 units now starts at $319 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model; the top-of-the-line 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G iPad 2 is now $629. Overall, the discounts represent price drops of between $20 and $50, with the 16GB models receiving smaller discounts than the more capacious units.

Apple releases iOS 5.1.1 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Apple today released iOS 5.1.1 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. According to Apple’s release notes, iOS 5.1.1 contains several improvements and bug fixes, including improvements for HDR photos taken using the Lock Screen shortcut, a fix for bugs that could prevent the third-generation iPad from switching between 2G and 3G networks, fixes for bugs that affected AirPlay video playback, improved reliability for syncing Safari bookmarks and Reading List, and a fix for an issue where an “Unable to purchase” alert could be displayed following a successful purchase. iOS 5.1.1 is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad, iPad 2, third-generation iPod touch, and fourth-generation iPod touch, and is available now via the update feature in iTunes or as an over-the-air update. To update your iOS device over-the-air, open Settings, tap on General, and tap on Software Update.

Third-Gen iPad shipping times improve in Europe

Apple has dropped its estimated shipping wait time for new orders of the third-generation iPad in Europe. Brief checks of Apple’s online stores in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy show that the all models of the device—including both black and white variants of either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 4G models, across all capacities—are listed as shipping within 7 business days, down from the previously quoted delay of 1-2 weeks. Apple recently dropped its estimated shipping wait times for new third-gen iPad orders from the US and Canadian stores, as well, suggesting that the company is closer to reaching optimal supply/demand balance for the new model. [via Cult of Mac]

Thursby launches PKard Reader Smart Card solution for iOS

Thursby Software Systems has released PKard Reader, the world’s first smart card authentication solution for logging into secure web sites on iOS devices. Consisting of a free universal iOS app and a $150 card reader accessory, the PKard solution allows iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users to access secure sites requiring two-factor smart card authentication, such as corporate and government web portals and collaboration sites. The PKard Reader accessory supports industry standard CAC, PIV, PIV-I and CIV smart cards and the solution is designed to operate in the background to maintain the secure connection once authenticated, allowing the user to switch apps without compromising security or needing to re-authenticate.

Using the PKard Reader, corporate and government employees who require access to secure smart card protected sites can now more effectively do so while on the go without needing to be tied to a desktop or laptop, with the same smart card and PIN that they already use. Further, no changes need to be made on back-end servers to support the PKard Reader solution, allowing users to easily transition to accessing the same secure sites on their iOS device as on their computer. ALmost five million Federal workers at hundreds of U.S. government agencies and the Department of Defense are issued smart cards for secure web access and it is estimated that almost one third of large corporations worldwide are now issuing smart cards to their employees, particularly in the healthcare and financial sectors. The PKard Reader accessory is available directly from the company’s web site; the iOS application is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.

New iPad 2 CPU boosts runtime, in unchanged boxes

The new, cheaper model of the iPad 2 has been found to have better battery life than its predecessor thanks to its smaller A5 processor, according to a new set of tests. Anandtech reports that the iPad 2,4—Apple’s internal reference for the new iPad 2 variant—offers significant battery life improvements over the prior iPad 2, with the increase ranging from 15.8 to 29 percent depending on the task. For example, the iPad 2,4 was able to playback a 720p video file for over fifteen hours on a single charge, easily besting the thirteen hours of the prior model. Notably, there have been conflicting reports as to how big an improvement users can see from the revised iPad 2; prior tests showed a far smaller improvement over the previous version. There appears to be no way to tell whether or not an iPad is a 2,1 model or a 2,4 model from outside the box, so consumers are currently left to guess as to which model they might be purchasing.

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