Mix: Paid App Store reviews, BdEmailer OK?, Handbrake, Tetralite

According to a screenshot from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk site, iPhone developer Casual Game Network attempted to pay iPhone and iPod touch users for leaving positive, 5-star reviews on the App Store for its game SantaLive 2008. In the listing, the developer offered to pay users $4 to download and then rate the $2 application, leaving them with $2 profit. When contacted regarding the offer, company CEO Adam Majewski, who is listed as the “requestor” on the Turk page, said “I can’t speak to the marketing efforts being done. There’s numerous being done by people in my organization, and I don’t know the day-to-day aspects … so I can’t speak to that specific approach [on Mechanical Turk].”

Apple has approved a third-party email client for the iPhone and iPod touch called BdEmailer, contradicting earlier rejections due to duplication of existing functionality. BdEmailer is a widescreen email application, allowing users to take advantage of the iPhone OS’ larger landscape keyboard for typing email messages. Apple previously rejected the email client MailWrangler, which used the OS’ built-in WebKit view to check multiple Gmail accounts without needing to sign in/out multiple times, because it “duplicates the functionality of the built-in iPhone application Mail without providing sufficient differentiation or added functionality, which will lead to user confusion.” BeEmailer, unlike MailWrangler, does not allow users to check email, however, and only functions as a composer/sender application. [via Engadget]

Handbrake, a popular open-source DVD to MPEG-4 converter, has been updated to version 0.9.3. New features include the ability to convert a wide range of video formats, improved video quality and audio/video synchronization, more control over multiple audio tracks, new, better organized presets, and more. Handbrake 0.9.3 is available as a free download for Macs running OS X 10.5 or later, PCs running Windows 2000, XP, or Vista, and Linux.

Ansemond has released Tetratile, a new puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In the game, players must line up 4 tiles in a row, a column or on a diagonal. Unlike most other tile games, in which new tiles fall from the top of the board, tiles in Tetratile are inserted from the right or bottom, moving an entire row or column and making the placement of each tile more challenging. The game offers three difficulty levels, a two-player mode, and the ability to save the current board on exit, letting the player resume the game later. Tetratile is available now from the App Store and sells for $3.

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