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Infinity Blade II: Vault of Tears update released

Epic Games and Chair Entertainment have released Infinity Blade II: Vault of Tears, the latest major content update for the critically acclaimed iOS game. Available as a free update, Vault of Tears adds a large collection of new single player content as well new social features for the game’s ClashMob multiplayer update released last month.

In Vault of Tears players delve further into Siris’ mysterious past with new areas available to explore and a plethora of new enemies to encounter. A new Treasure Map feature allows players to discover hidden items and rewards as well as searching out a hidden ally. New enemies include the Mass Golem, Dark Fiend, Bog Giant, Acolyte and more along with a collection of over 50 new items to collect and master. Several new achievements have also been added along with unique gems to forge and a few other hidden surprises.

ClashMob players can also now earn extra turns and invite non-Infinity Blade players on their social networks to do in-game damage by liking the player’s battle calls on Facebook or re-tweeting them on Twitter. Players can also earn bonus plays by liking and commenting on the official Facebook post and retweeting the official tweet for the active ClashMob challenge. Infinity Blade II is currently available from the App Store for $3 for a limited time.

Photosmith 2.0 adds two-way Lightroom sync, Eye-fi support + more

C2 Enterprises has released Photosmith 2.0, a major update to its advanced photographic workflow app for iPad and Lightroom users. Redesigned from the ground up the new version boasts significant improvements in speed, flexibility and memory usage and adds a plethora of the most-requested features by users of the original version.

Photosmith 2.0 now supports wireless two-way synchronization with Adobe Lightroom via a free Lightroom plugin and can also directly receive photos wirelessly from Eye-Fi cards. Users can sort and filter photos, organize them into collections, and apply star ratings and colour labels, all of which can be synchronized with the photos in the user’s Lightroom library. Keywords and IPTC metadata can be applied to photos individually or in batches and users can define presets to quickly apply and reuse the same settings. Users can also share photos to Facebook and Flickr or send them out via e-mail and the app includes native support for Adobe Lightroom’s Export and Publish Services. RAW, JPG, RAW+JPG and DNG formats are fully supported along with advanced file formats from many popular cameras including Canon CR2, Nikon NEF, Pentax PEF, Sony ARW. Photosmith 2.0 requires an iPad running iOS 5.1 or later and is available from the App Store for $20 or as a free update for Photosmith 1.x users.

INRIX Traffic adds Personalized Traffic, Map Enhancements

INRIX has updated its traffic information and monitoring app adding new Personalize Traffic Reports designed to assist users with their daily commute. Version 4.0 adds a new “Places” page that allows users to quickly see at a glance the fastest route between two locations, the exact estimated arrival time of the two top routes and the optimal time to leave. Users can now also specify their home and work locations in the free version to help track their normal daily commute; an in-app Premium upgrade allows additional locations to be added as well as unlimited viewing of traffic cameras. The map view has also been enhanced with new icons and an optimized layout to provide a more intuitive view of en route traffic, with colours depicting traffic flow and icons used to identify specific events impacting traffic that users can tap on for additional details; the map view also now automatically adjusts to the user’s route at regular intervals to help reduce the need to zoom in and out. In addition, users can now quickly share their estimated arrival time via text message or e-mail. INRIX Traffic is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.

DropCloud gets new name, live updates and inline previews

Popular third-party CloudApp client DropCloud has received a major update adding several new features and a new name. Now known as ClouDrop, the universal app allows users of the CloudApp online sharing service to upload, share and view files and links directly from their iOS devices. ClouDrop includes several advanced features such as background uploading from the iOS clipboard, automatic archive creation during upload and a built-in music player. Version 2.3 adds support for live real-time updating of the CloudApp item list including the view count alongside inline previews for photos and bookmarks and a corresponding redesign of the main page. A new option is also now available to automatically upload iOS screenshots while ClouDrop is running in the background. ClouDrop is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $1.

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.

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