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Google launches iOS Google Docs editing

Google has launched a new feature giving iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users the ability to edit Google Docs directly from their devices. According to a post on the official Google Mobile blog, users simply need to visit docs.google.com in their browser, select the document they’d like to edit, and press the “Edit” button to begin editing. The post notes that the features will be rolled out to English-language users around the world in the next few days, and are compatible with all iOS devices running software version 3.0 or later.

id Software releases Rage for iOS

id Software has released Rage, its highly-anticipated first-person rail shooter for the iOS platform. Announced earlier this month, Rage for iOS is built on the same Tech 5 game engine that is being used for the upcoming PC/console game. The iOS version provides a subset of the full game built around the Mutant Bash TV combat game show from the Rage world. Rage HD for iOS is an on-rails shooter that takes the player through a wasteland stalked by mutants where they must collect weapons, ammo and power-ups to survive. The game provides three different levels and four degrees of difficulty plus specific Mutant Bash TV challenges throughout each level.

Rage for iOS is available in two versions: Rage and Rage HD, however unlike most other “HD” games, Rage HD is not the iPad version; both are in fact universal applications that simply provide different quality graphics. iPad, iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch users will be able to take advantage of higher-resolution textures in Rage HD, although this version is also compatible with the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch. The standard version of Rage is compatible with any iOS device running iOS 3.1 or later. Both applications are available on the App Store and are large compared to most iOS games: Rage ($1) is a 540MB download while Rage HD ($2) weighs in at just under 750MB.

Apple touts battery life in new iPhone 4 spot

Apple has posted a new iPhone 4 TV advertisement on its website, touting the handset’s lithium polymer battery. Entitled “Longer,” the spot states that the battery lets users work, play, laugh, listen, shoot, edit, share, update, download, read, write, and FaceTime longer, while showing off various features of the iPhone 4 and iOS 4. The ad finishes by proclaiming the iPhone 4 “the world’s thinnest smartphone.” Apple’s new iPhone 4 advertisement is available for viewing on the company’s website.

Twitter adds Push Notifications

Twitter has released an update to its official client for iOS devices adding support for Push Notifications and several other improvements and fixes. Twitter 3.2 now allows users to optionally receive Push Notifications for mentions and direct messages for some or all of their Twitter accounts and users can choose whether to receive notifications when they’re mentioned by any user on Twitter or only by those users that they are following. The new version also improves the display of shortened URLs, adds more Retina Display graphics for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch and simplifies the process of enabling geotagging. For the iPad, the new version also adds inline media support, the ability to manage saved searches and several UI improvements. Twitter is a universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and is available from the App Store as a free download.

EA releases Need for Speed Hot Pursuit

Electronic Arts has released Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, its latest installment in the popular racing game franchise. In Hot Pursuit, players take on the role of a cop chasing down street racers while driving cop versions of real-world high-performance police cars such as the Lamborghini Revention. Players can participate in quick races or undertake a career mode starting out as a rookie cop and progressing through 24 cop career events to reach the top of the ranks. In addition to 15 high-speed police cars, players have a variety of weapons at their disposal to catch racers including roadblocks, spike strips and even EMP locks. Players can challenge their friends to Cop-vs-Racer showdowns over local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth with a choice of five cop cars and five racer cars to play with. The game includes high-resolution Retina Display graphics for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch with a variety of detailed racing environments and night, day and dusk scenarios. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is available from the App Store for $5.

Google releases official Google Voice app

Google has released its much-anticipated official Google Voice app for the iPhone. Originally announced last summer, Google’s first attempt at a native Google Voice app for iOS was rejected by Apple, citing duplicate functionality with the built-in Phone application. Following Apple’s publication of a new set of guidelines for the App Store in September, Google reportedly resubmitted the app and received approval from Apple, however more work was required to provide support for the iPhone 4 and multitasking capabilities in iOS 4, delaying the application’s final release until this week.

Although an HTML5 web application has been available for Google Voice for some time to allow users to place calls, access voice mail and send text messages, the new official Google Voice application provides tighter integration with iOS allowing users to receive push notifications of new messages, make use of direct access numbers to more quickly place phone calls and access contacts from the iPhone Address Book. The application requires a Google Voice account and an iPhone running iOS 3.1 or later; it is not compatible with the iPod touch or iPad. Google Voice is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.

Path creates a more personal social network

A new iPhone application and social network, Path, has introduced a new and different approach to sharing photos online. Unlike traditional social media networks such as Facebook and Flickr, Path is intended to create a more personal social network by deliberately limiting the number of friends that a user can interact with. Defined as “The Personal Network,” Path allows users to take pictures with their iPhone camera and share them online with a small and select group of friends and family members without having to worry about managing large friend lists and potentially complex privacy settings. Path limits each user’s social connections to no more than 50 other Path users, focusing on maintaining a small circle of personal friends and family members that users can feel comfortable sharing personal moments with.

Path is designed to capture specific moments, organizing photos as a realtime stream instead of photo albums. To this end the application only supports taking photos from the iPhone camera rather than sharing existing pictures from the photo library. Users can add context by tagging photos with people, places and things and friends can view photos on a map. Path also provides realtime feedback on which friends have seen photos to encourage further interaction. The current version of Path is compatible only with iPhone devices running iOS 4.0 or later—notably it does not presently run even on the camera-equipped fourth-generation iPod touch. Path is available from the App Store as a free download.

Boxcar gets major update

Appremix has released a major update to its Boxcar notification management app for iOS devices. The new version represents a significant overhaul, sporting a completely new UI design and several new features. Boxcar 4.0 adds Retina Display support for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch, a and now provides a centralized inbox with more alert options. Several additional services are now available as well including Google Buzz, Google Voice and more and users can now reply to and retweet Twitter messages directly in Boxcar without having to open an external Twitter client. Boxcar is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. The free version is ad-supported; users can pay $5 via in-app purchasing to disable the advertising.

Ambiance adds iPad + AirPlay support

Urban Apps has released an update to Ambiance adding iPad and AirPlay support. Ambiance is an “environment enhancer” application that allows the user to play back a wide variety of ambient noises that can be downloaded from a very large catalog of sounds ranging from nature sounds to sounds from busy train stations. Ambiance 3.1 is now a universal application adding native support for the iPad as well as introducing AirPlay support for full audio streaming to an Apple TV, Airport Express or other AirPlay compatible output device. The new version also fixes a number of issues related to push notifications, caching of pages and general user interface problems. Ambiance is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for current users.

Facebook app adds privacy settings, fixes photo uploads

Facebook has released another update to its client app for the iPhone and iPod touch adding the ability to access account and privacy settings and the Facebook Help Center from within the app. These new options can be found by tapping on the “Account” button in the top-left corner of the main menu to open an in-app browser to the standard Facebook web pages which do not appear to be iPhone-optimized at this point. The update also fixes a problem introduced in the previous version that prevented users from uploading photos to specific albums. This most recent update does not include any of the new messaging features announced today by Facebook, however the company has indicated that these features will be coming to the iPhone application at some point in the future as the new Facebook messaging platform is gradually rolled out over the next few months. Facebook for the iPhone and iPod touch is available from the App Store as a free download.

Apple releases updated iOS 4.2 GM for iPad

Apple has released a revised version of its iOS 4.2 Gold Master for iPad, amid reports that the software’s launch was pushed back due to a bug. Citing a number of different recent articles, Mac Rumors reports that Apple has posted Build 8C134b of the software on the iOS Dev Center, a newer version than Build 8C134 which was seeded to developers on November 1. According to the report, rumors had indicated that there were Wi-Fi connectivity issues in the initial GM build of iOS 4.2 for iPad, forcing Apple to push back its internal schedule for the software’s release from this week to at least next week, and possibly as late as November 24, as reported by The Telegraph. Apple has said only that iOS 4.2 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch would be released in November.

Instapaper adds automatic Dark mode, new sharing options

Marco Arment has released a major update to his Instapaper offline reader application for iOS devices, making several UI and performance improvements and adding new sharing options. Instapaper 2.3 adds article preview text to the list view on the iPhone and iPod touch similar to that found in the iPad version, while also adding slightly longer preview text for the iPad. New indicators in the article listing now display the approximate length of each article as well as the relative progress using a row of dots. The iPhone version also adds support for toggling Dark Mode from within an article, and a new option is now available on both platforms to automatically switch the display to Dark mode at night based on the sunset times in the user’s area as determined by the device’s location. The update also adds several new sharing options including the ability to send links to OmniFocus and QuickReader as well as copy links or article text to the iOS clipboard. Other new features include performance improvements in the iPad version, simplified bookmarklet installation and the addition of an “ihttp” URL scheme for sending web pages to Instapaper without requiring the bookmarklet. Instapaper 2.3 is available from the App Store for $5.

Evernote adds multiple image support, audio recording improvements

Evernote has released an update to its universal cloud note storage app for iOS devices. Evernote 3.4 now provides users with the ability to select multiple images from their device’s photo library for adding to a single note or creating multiple snapshot notes rather than needing to add images one at a time. The update also offers several improvements to audio note recordings, increasing the maximum recording time for a single note to 90 minutes and adding playback, pause and replay controls both within the app and via background iOS 4 audio controls. Additional new features include iOS 4 “Open In” support allowing users to send PDFs and text files from Safari, Mail and other compatible third-party apps directly into Evernote and AirPrint support for printing notes directly from Evernote to a network printer. Evernote is a universal app for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad and is available from the App Store as a free download.

Apple teams with Dentsu Group on iAds in Japan

Apple has announced a partnership with marketing firm The Dentsu Group to expand Apple’s iAd mobile advertising platform to Japan early next year. According to the announcement, Dentsu will handle the selling and creative execution of iAds in Japan, while Apple will host, target and deliver the iAds to its iOS users. In addition, Dentsu subsidiary cyber communications, inc. (cci) will provide one-stop services for iAd in Japan including creative production and media planning.

“After an incredibly successful launch in the US where we’ve already doubled the number of brands on the network, we’re excited to bring iAd to Japan,” said Andy Miller, Apple’s vice president of iAd. “Dentsu is one of the world’s most prestigious advertising agencies, making them an ideal partner for iAds in Japan.”

“We’re thrilled to be joining with Apple to introduce such a powerful new ad platform in Japan,” said Ryuichi Mori, Senior Executive Vice President, Dentsu Inc. “Mobile advertising is Japan’s fastest-growing platform and iAd’s rich media experience and engaged audience of iPhone and iPod touch users make it uniquely positioned to capture mobile’s full potential for advertisers and developers.”

Urban Apps releases All Recalls

Urban Apps, developer of the highly acclaimed Ambiance noise generator, has released a new app, All Recalls that provides iPhone and iPod touch users with quick and easy access to product recall notices and information from five major U.S. Government Agencies. The application provides a combined list of product recall announcements from the Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Organization, Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Users can view details and images for any recall notice, view recalls by product category and link to specific manufacturers and organizations. The application includes recall data as far back as 1969 complete with the original recall notices and users can bookmark recalls for later and share them on Facebook or Twitter from within the app. The application also provides HD images for Retina Display capable devices. The standard version of All Recalls is ad-supported and available from the App Store as a free download; a Pro upgrade is available via in-app purchase for $1 that removes advertising and adds the ability to search the Recall Database and receive realtime alerts for new recalls.

Chillingo launches real location-based MMORPG

Chillingo has launched My Kingdom, a unique massively multiplayer online role-playing game that uses players’ real-world locations as part of the game play experience. In My Kington players start off as simple merchants and must establish settlements and explore territory within the game based on actual real-world locations as determined by the GPS/location services in their device. Players trade commodities by moving around and visiting other locations in the real world that corresponding to virtual locations in the game, claiming new unexplored territories and visiting villages and settlements created by other players. The game includes over 40 different kinds of land types ranging from jungles and deserts to extinct volcanoes and arctic tundra. Players expand their empire and rise to power by exploring and claiming more territory, producing goods and earning gold. As players advance in the game they rise in rank and can build a wider variety of buildings within their kingdoms and even recruit an army to demand allegiance from other players. Players can also earn achievements and reputation in one of four guilds within the game: The Traders Guild, The Explorers Guild, The Manufacturers Guild or the Thieves Guild. Game Center support is included for tracking leaderboard positions and achievements. My Kingdom is available from the App Store as a free download.

BofA, Citi testing iPhones for corporate e-mail

Both Bank of America and Citigroup are currently running trials with the iPhone as they decide whether to allow employees to use the iPhone as an alternative to RIM’s BlackBerry for corporate e-mail. Citing three people familiar with the plans, Bloomberg reports that the companies are testing software designed to make it secure enough for company messaging. “People are delighted with their iPhones and Android phones and they want to use them for work,” said Roger Entner, head of telecom research at Nielsen Co. “The result is RIM now has real competition for corporate customers.”

The report states that both trials involve more than 1,000 employees; testing at Bank of America is said to be in advanced stages and will likely be followed by a pilot project prior to wider implementation. Both companies are also said to be testing Android-based devices for the same purposes. In addition to Bank of America and Citigroup, the report claims that JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UBS are considering letting using employees use iPhones for corporate e-mail, while Standard Chartered Bank said in May that it was switching from BlackBerry to the iPhone and expects to have 15,000 of the devices deployed by the end of 2010.

T-Mobile: Lack of iPhone costing customers

Reporting its third quarter fiscal results, T-Mobile U.S. parent Deutsche Telekom at least partially blamed the company’s lack of the iPhone for its struggles to keep contract customers. The Wall Street Journal reports that it cost T-Mobile in the U.S. $87 to keep an existing subscriber, up from $58 the year-ago quarter, while it paid out an average of $134 to acquire a new customer, up from $116 a year earlier. Still, the company lost 60,000 contract customers during the period, which Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann blamed on the iPhone. “Consumers like T-Mobile but they also want to have the iPhone,” which the company has no chance of getting in the short term, he said. The company also lost iPhone exclusivity in its home market of Germany, but the company feels it has more compelling offerings than rivals, and seems unconcerned by the loss.

CBC Radio app adds background audio, iPad support

CBC Radio has released a major update to its free streaming radio application for iOS devices, adding background audio and native iPad support. The CBC Radio application provides both live and on-demand streaming audio from CBC Radio One, Radio 2 and Radio 3 and on-demand audio from CBC TV programs including The Hour, CBC News At Issue Panel and Mansbridge One on One. Version 2.0 adds supports for background audio and fast app switching on multitasking-capable iOS 4 devices, including support for remote audio controls and the ability to resume playback automatically following interruptions such as phone calls. An updated player screen provides artist bios when available for the current track. Users can also browse and search through over 100,000 tracks from over 20,000 Canadian Indie artists in the embedded CBC Radio 3 website, and share audio links via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook from right within the app. Additional new features include automatic switching between high- and low-quality streams for Wi-Fi and 3G network use, an option to automatically play on startup and an alarm timer. CBC Radio 2.0 is now a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.

IDC: Smartphone market grows as Apple grabs second spot

According to the latest research released by IDC, worldwide smartphone shipments increased 89.5 percent year-over-year in the third-quarter of 2010, to 81.1 million units. While Nokia continues to hold the top spot in the worldwide smartphone market with 32.5 percent of all shipments, Apple’s Q3 shipments of 14.1 million iPhones — good for a year-over-year unit shipment increase of 90.5 percent — were enough to vault it past BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) into second place with a 17.4 percent share of the market. RIM ranked third with 15.3 percent of the market, followed by Samsung with 8.9 percent, and HTC with 7.2 percent.

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