Archive for April, 2010

CoPilot Live HD Coming to iPad

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

It was only a matter of time before GPS apps started making it to the iPad  – after all, who wouldn’t want to be able to take advantage of its gorgeous screen and GPS capabilities (in the Wi-Fi + 3G models only)? ALK Technologies, the makers of the CoPilot Live GPS apps, has announced that an iPad-specific version of CoPilot Live has been submitted to Apple for approval.

To make full use of the iPad’s large screen, CoPilot Live HD will have a split screen view that will show navigation guidance on one side and a live map showing current location on the other. ALK Technologies has posted over 80 images to Flickr showing multiple screenshots of the app in action.

CoPilot Live HD will remarkably cost the same amount as the iPhone-only version at $29.99. As with competing GPS apps like TomTom and Navigon’s MobileNavigator, CoPilot Live HD will store all map data on the iPad and no subscription is needed to access maps. Additionally, quarterly updates throughout the rest of 2010 will be included at no charge via app updates.

ALK Technologies has set up a dedicated product page on its site for CoPilot Live HD. The first release will be for North America and it is expected to hit the App Store in early May.

PopCap Bringing More Games to iPad, Offering Contest with iPad Prize

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Yesterday, TouchArcade revealed that PopCap is planning on bring more of its games to the iPad.

“We are working on other iPad adaptations of some of our leading franchises,” Andrew Stein, director of the studio’s mobile business development, told us this morning via e-mail, “so it’s probably safe to say that at least one of the games you cite will eventually make its way to Apple’s latest device.”

PopCap already has one game available for the iPad, the addictive and popular Plants vs. Zombies HD ($9.99) The iPhone version of this game was described as “phenomenal” by TouchArcade in a review earlier this year. PopCap’s current iPhone/iPod touch offerings include Bookworm ($2.99), Peggle ($2.99), Chuzzle ($4.99), and Bejeweled 2 ($2.99).

As a heads up, PopCap is currently running a contest to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Bejeweled where iPads and other items are offered as prizes. The contest details are on PopCap’s site and the entry deadline is May 26.

Urbanspoon Brings Restaurant Information to iPad

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Urbanspoon, the online user-driven restaurant review and discovery service, became available for the iPad this morning. The app uses the iPad’s location services capability to show local restaurant search results, including menu information and reviews.

The iPad’s larger screen allows Urbanspoon’s cute spinner search selection tool and a map or list of search results to be displayed at the same time, unlike the iPhone version.

Tapping on a pin marking a restaurant on the map brings up the restaurant’s name and quick stats about its popularity and menu pricing.

Tapping the blue arrow brings up a new pane with more detail.

Tapping on the View Details link within that pane takes you to the restaurant’s individual page on the Urbanspoon web site.

An internet connection is required to search for restaurants beyond what was cached when the app last had internet access, so this app won’t be quite as useful for the Wi-Fi-only iPad models on the go as it will be on the soon-to-arrive 3G-enabled models.

Since the iPad lacks a camera, Urbanspoon for iPad misses out on the augmented reality view offered in the iPhone version.

Both Urbanspoon for iPad and Urbanspoon for iPhone/iPod touch are free.

Office² HD Offers Direct File Editing to MobileMe iDisk Users

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

If you’re an iPad owner who subscribes to MobileMe, Apple’s $99 cloud service that provides over-the-air synchronization of PIM data, online storage and more, and you’ve been disappointed with the lack of integration of Apple’s own iWork iPad apps with MobileMe, Office² HD by Byte Square Limited is worth checking out.

At the iPad’s launch, Apple showed off its new iWork iPad apps, describing how intuitive and easy they would be to use on the iPad. However, these apps include no integration with the cloud storage portion, the iDisk, of Apple’s own MobileMe service and subscribers who rely on this service – yours truly included -  who had grand dreams of being able to open and edit documents stored on an iDisk on an iPad had their hopes dashed. It seems unlike Apple to miss out on this level of integration between its own products and services and it may be on the company’s radar to address in the future, but Office² HD is available right now

Before we dig into Office² HD’s MobileMe compatibility, we should note that it’s a complete document editing suite that allows users to view, create, edit, and save files in Microsoft Word and Excel formats (and these files are also compatible with other desktop and mobile applications that work with these formats). In terms of cloud storage for saving and accessing files, Office² HD will work with Google Docs, myDisk.se, Box.net and any WebDAV server in addition to MobileMe’s iDisk.

Getting to your files stored on your MobileMe iDisk is as easy as entering your MobileMe account credentials in the Services menu. Once entered, you can browse your iDisk’s file structure as well as create new folders and re-organize folders and documents.

Clicking on the plus button in the top right corner of the source pane on the left side will prompt a dialogue asking if you want to create a new document or spreadsheet workbook.

The document editor offers a good number of formatting options, accessed via buttons at the top of the editing pane. Workbooks can have multiple sheets with different cell types, pane freezing, and other features that will accommodate most basic to intermediate spreadsheet needs.

When editing documents, you can choose to show or hide the keyboard to free up more screen space to facilitate reading through a longer document.

We encountered no issues opening files created within Office² HD in Microsoft Word 2008 and Microsoft Excel 2008 on a desktop Mac and found that changes made in documents via desktop appeared without issue within Office² HD.

Of course, you need an internet connection at all times to access and edit files on an iDisk. Or, you can download a file saved on an iDisk to the iPad (these will show up in the Local Files folder), edit it offline on the iPad within Office² HD, and then re-upload it to your iDisk when you get back to a place where you have internet connectivity as a workaround when a Wi-Fi or cellular (for those soon-to-be iPad 3G owners) network is not available.

Office² HD costs $7.99 and is for the iPad only, though there’s an iPhone/iPod touch version for $5.99. Byte Square Limited also offers Sheet² HD and Doc² HD if you’re only interested in one of the respective document types, along with Files² HD which is a document viewer only without any editing capabilities.


Avatar Debuts on iPad, Doodle Jump On the Way

Monday, April 26th, 2010

A game based on James Cameron’s hit movie, Avatar, made its first appearance on the iPhone in December and it officially made the leap to the iPad over the weekend with an iPad-specific version. James Cameron’s Avatar for iPad, by Gameloft, is now available for $9.99 in the App Store.

TouchArcade reviewed the iPhone version ($6.99) of the game in December and while a few bugs and minor issues were encountered, the game offers a high level of immersion into the Avatar world and a story line that precedes the events in the movie. According to TouchArcade, the iPad version “does not appear to have any new content, but does have improved graphics and reconfigured controls for your iPad-enjoyment.”

Doodle Jump, the wildly popular jumping game, will be coming to the iPad soon according to TouchArcade. The Game’s developers, Lima Sky, are working on truly optimizing the game for the iPad instead of simply adjusting the graphics to suit the device’s larger screen.

Additionally, TouchArcade notes that Doodle Jump has been downloaded over 4 million times since it debuted in the App Store, an impressive statistic for an iPhone game.

Amazon Mobile App Optimized for iPad

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Amazon’s free mobile shopping app has been optimized for the iPad and appeared in the App Store over the weekend. Version 1.2.4 of Amazon Mobile also brings a few new features not previously present, including the ability to preview videos and music:

Optimized for iPad with new features including bestseller and recommendation lists, video preview and music track samples.

With more screen real estate to work with, Amazon Mobile offers quicker access to the company’s daily deals as well as recommended and Wish List items for account holders via tabs at the bottom.

Unfortunately, without a built-in camera the iPad can’t take advantage of one the app’s more notable features found in the iPhone version – the ability to use photos taken of desired items to create a Remembers list. Amazon uses the images to search for the captured items in the Remembers list and provide shopping results to make purchasing the items easier.

Square Enix Preparing Chaos Rings for iPad

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

It was just yesterday that we talked about the release of Square Enix’s RPG Chaos Rings for the iPhone and now TouchArcade points out that the Final Fantasy developer is planning on creating an iPad version, dubbed Chaos Rings HD.

The news comes via the company’s Facebook page where Takehiro Ando, the game’s producer, is pictured playing the game on an iPad.

The game needs some “revising and adjustments” before it will be ready for the iPad. Meanwhile, Chaos Rings for the iPhone is already number one on the list of Top Grossing games for the iPhone despite its relatively high $12.99 price tag.

Hulu May Come to iPad with Subscription Service

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that Hulu, provider of a popular online video service, may soon offer a paid subscription service. Called Hulu Plus, a subscription would cost $9.95 per month and offer access to older episodes of hit TV series:

Under the proposal, Hulu would continue to provide for free the five most recent episodes of shows like Fox’s “Glee,” “ABC’s “Lost” or NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” But viewers who want to see additional episodes would pay $9.95 a month to access a more comprehensive selection, called Hulu Plus, these people said.

The New York Times had previously reported that the company has an iPad app in the works, also noting that any subscription service the company may implement would debut with the app.

People briefed on Hulu’s plan believe it may test the subscription approach with its iPad app.

The Los Angeles Times stated that testing of the subscription service may start on May 24, which could point to the arrival time of the corresponding iPad app.

Lonely Planet Offering Free iPhone Guides

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Lonely Planet, the popular travel guide company, announced earlier this week that it is offering 13 of its European iPhone guides for free temporarily to help travelers affected by the Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption in Iceland.

‘Travellers stuck in unfamiliar places need access to practical information as well as suggestions on what to do whilst stranded’, said Tom Hall, Lonely Planet Travel Editor. ‘That’s why we’re giving away iPhone city guides to major affected destinations.’

These free guides are for the following cites:

These guides are free until 11:59 p.m. GMT on Thursday, April 22.

Chaos Rings RPG Released for iPhone

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Chaos Rings, the highly-anticipated iPhone RPG game from the makers of the massive Final Fantasy franchise, Square Enix, debuted in the App Store this week.

TouchArcade reviewed the game upon its release, giving it high praise for its overall design, graphics, and engaging gameplay:

Chaos Rings defines what an RPG experience should be like on a mobile platform.

In the game, you control a 2-person team (out of four possible team options) to compete in a fighting tournament where immortality is the prize. Interspersed between tournament fights are character story lines and puzzles.

The game’s trailer provides an overview of its key elements:

Priced at $12.99, Chaos Rings is one of the more expensive iPhone game titles out there, though it’s proving to be popular right out of the gate and is currently in the Top 20 Paid Apps in the iPhone Games category.