Archive for May, 2010

Notable Memorial Day Weekend App Sales

Friday, May 28th, 2010

The long Memorial Day holiday weekend is getting started in the U.S. and many developers are celebrating by cutting the prices of their apps temporarily. Here are few sales that we’ve found:

I Am T-Pain – down to $.99 from $2.99:

All Astraware/Handmark games are $.99 or free over the holiday weekend, including the following (see all of Astraware’s apps here):

Barnes & Noble eReader for iPad Released

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

It’s been a couple of months since Barnes & Noble first revealed to the New York Times that it would release an ebook reader app for the iPad, but the official Barnes & Noble eReader for iPad app is finally here. The app was released in the App Store early this morning and is free of charge.

Competing with Amazon, who beat Barnes & Noble in the iPad race having released its own app just a few days after the iPad went on sale, and Apple’s own iBooks app, the B&N eReader offers more customization to the ebook reading interface and a decent number of ebook offerings in its store. When reading an ebook in the eReader app, users can choose from more fonts and text colors than available in iBooks or the Kindle app, as well as select themes, which can be customized, to change the entire look of an ebook. Like iBooks, the eReader app can show dictionary definitions for selected words and adds the ability to search Google and Wikipedia.

Barnes & Noble claims that there are over 1 million ebooks in its store available for purchase, though many of these appear to be free or low-cost Project Gutenberg books in the public domain. Comparatively, Amazon offers over 500,000 ebooks in its Kindle store and Apple’s iBookstore debuted with around 60,000 ebooks. Books on the New York Times bestseller list cost around $9.99 to $14.99 from Barnes & Noble, which is in line with Amazon’s and Apple’s pricing.

As with Amazon’s Kindle app, purchasing Barnes & Noble ebooks requires leaving the app and browsing the ebook store on the web through Safari. Purchased ebooks are automatically downloaded the next time the app is opened.

The eReader app’s killer feature is the ability to let you lend books to others. Lendable books are marked and the Information menu lets you notify the person to whom you want to lend the ebook via email. That person then has 7 days to accept or decline the ebook and then 14 days to read it if accepted – he or she will need to use a Barnes & Noble nook ereader device or a Barnes & Noble ebook reader app on a desktop computer or iPad or iPhone. The ebook disappears from your library for that time but it will be returned to you at the end of the lending period. Neither Amazon nor Apple offer a similar feature with their ebook reading apps.

  • Books

    NOOK - Read Books, Magazines,...

    Last Changed:
    5 weeks ago
    4.50 (948)
    iOS Universal

    Get the most incredible reading experience for your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch®. Access over 3 million books—including 1 million FREE titles—plus magazines, newspapers, comics, and more. Sample...

iBooks App Gets Minor Update

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Apple released an update to its iPad-only iBooks app this morning, bringing the version number to 1.01. The update appears to be minor, with only two brief changes listed:

  • Changes how new iBooks users are provided their complimentary copy of Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne.
  • Addresses issues to improve performance.

While iPad users outside of the U.S. can’t purchase any books yet aside from free Gutenberg Project content, iBookstores around the world are already starting to go live in preparation for the device’s release in 9 more countries on May 28. On that day, the international iBookstores are expected to be live with paid content for all countries where the iPad will be available.

  • Books


    Last Changed:
    19 months ago
    2.50 (9725)
    iOS Universal

    iBooks is an amazing way to download and read books. iBooks includes the iBooks Store, where you can download the latest bestselling books or your favorite classics – day or night. Browse your...

Wired Magazine iPad App Now Available

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

It’s been a couple of months since Wired first gave us a preview of its planned iPad app, but Wired Magazine is finally available in the App Store. The app appeared in the wee hours of the morning and it offers the June issue of the magazine plus interactive content and extras for iPad readers, including videos and slide shows.

Back in March, Wired had posted the following preview video that featured the magazine’s designers and previews of how the app would work:

We’re happy to say that the app is as shown in this preview with fluid navigation, well-placed interactive content, and eye-pleasingly crisp graphics and text. Wired Magazine has always been one of our favorite publications in paper form and the added features and overall slickness of the iPad version only enhance it, making it well worth the $4.99 price tag in our view.

The Letter from the Editor reveals a few more details about what Wired has in store. Chris Anderson, Wired’s Editor in Chief, promises Wired in digital format for other tablet devices beyond the iPad, as well as social media integration in future versions. In committing to “ways to subscribe in digital form,” it sounds as if future digital issues of Wired for the iPad will need to be purchased individually until the subscription process is worked out.

  • Newsstand

    WIRED Magazine

    Last Changed:
    25 weeks ago
    2.00 (32)
    iOS iPad

    It’s easier than ever to enjoy this groundbreaking monthly on your iPad. Just download the WIRED app for access to individual copies or to sign up for a subscription. If you’re already a print...

Quick Look: Air Display Turns Your iPad into an Extra Display

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Avatron Software, the developer of the popular Air Sharing HD app that allows you to store, print, and share documents on your iPad, now has another app that will turn your iPad into an additional external display for your Mac. This new app, Air Display, became available today in the App Store and costs $9.99.

At 9.7 inches with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, the iPad isn’t exactly enormous for use as a computer display, but the extra screen real estate could be very valuable, particularly for those using a laptop. Air Display works with Macs only (requiring OS 10.6 Snow Leopard) at the moment though Avatron has promised that a Windows version of the companion desktop application is coming soon.

Note that both your Mac and your iPad must be on the same Wi-Fi network. The companion desktop app that’s needed for the app to work is free and weighs in at a scant 2.1 MB and can be downloaded from Avatron’s site here. It does require a re-start to install it, so be prepared to stop everything you’re doing for a moment to get it up and running. Once it’s installed, turn it on and open the app on your iPad. Then, select your iPad in the task bar menu on your Mac.

You use the Displays preferences menu in Mac OS X to select where your iPad’s display should appear relative to your main display. Air Display also gets its own pane in Systems Preferences as well.

You’re not restricted to using your computer’s mouse to navigate the display on the iPad – you can use its multi-touch display to click links and buttons. To enter text, you’ll need to use your computer’s keyboard since the iPad’s virtual keyboard won’t pop up when you get to a text field.

We found the app to be quite usable, though dragging windows results in some fragmenting and delay, but these disappear once the window is stationary. Watching YouTube videos in Safari on the iPad works relatively well, though video is a little choppy and there is a small noticeable lag between video and audio.

Avatron recommends using the iPad’s display for utility applications and inspector windows to keep your main display uncluttered and we think Air Display will be perfect for this kind of usage. For $9.99, Air Display offers a downright dirt-cheap and highly portable alternative over buying an actual LCD display, particularly if your external display needs aren’t demanding. Air Display is one app that’s going to stay on our iPads.

  • Productivity

    Air Sharing for iPad

    Last Changed:
    8 months ago
    2.50 (1746)
    iOS iPad

    The most powerful way to view your documents on the go. —IMPORTANT NOTE— This app runs only on the iPad. Want to run Air Sharing on your iPhone or iPod touch as well? Check out our new Universal...

NDrive USA GPS App on Sale for $2.99

Friday, May 21st, 2010

NDrive just let us know that its full-featured GPS app that offers coverage for the entire U.S. is on sale for $2.99 for the first 1,000,000 downloads, This promotion is intended to help increase the company’s visibility in the U.S. There’s no telling how quickly those 1,000,000 downloads will go, so we advise that you get moving and download it as soon as possible!

USA, 21 May 2010— After seriously impacting the European Apple App Market, NDrive Navigation Application Solutions S.A, a leading iPhone on-board navigation system in the Apple App Store in countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, Italy and Brazil has launched a campaign today to offer a promotional price of $2.99 for the first 1,000,000 downloads in the United States.

Their campaign seeks to make NDrive software appealing to the masses of hardworking individuals in the US. The launch will leverage their core-competencies which include an excellent development team while staying true to their motto, ‘It’s not what the software does. It’s what the user does.’ Whether you’re a taxi driver in the big apple or a white collar weekend warrior, NDrive has targeted you. Their Application turns your iPhone 3G/3GS into a fully functioning GPS navigation device that is ready to use in the car, while walking in the city or during outdoor adventures.

App Critics agree that NDrive USA Version 10 has great usability, fluid GPS tracking, and fully functional signposts and info-lanes which are sound improvements to their existing platform.

Like competing apps from Navigon and TomTom, NDrive USA stores all map data within the app on your iPhone so there’s no need for a subscription or an internet connection to get navigation guidance. Weighing in at almost 1.8GB, it’s recommended that you purchase the app through iTunes on your computer and then transfer it to your iPhone to avoid any data overage fees or other issues.

  • Navigation

    NDrive USA

    Last Changed:
    65 months ago
    3.00 (344)
    iOS iPhone

    - Turn your Iphone into a FULLY FUNCTIONING GPS NAVIGATION DEVICE with all map data stored in memory. This way you can NAVIGATE WITHOUT THE USE OF FURTHER DATA OR NETWORK QUALITY PROBLEMS. - Get a...

Seesmic for iPhone Released

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Seesmic, the start-up company that that develops clients for social networking services for various platforms, now has an iPhone app. Seesmic offers the ability to manage accounts from multiple social network services, such as Twitter, Facebook, and, all within a single app. The app’s description lists the following features:

  • Seamlessly manage multiple Twitter accounts
  • Explore and save Twitter Searches and Trending Topics
  • Browse Twitter Lists, share your location by Geotagging your updates
  • Facebook support
  • support that lets you update dozens of social networks at the same time (including MySpace, WordPress, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Flickr, Blogger, and many more!)
  • Store updates into Evernote
  • Post to multiple accounts at the same time
  • Share photos to the photo sharing service of your choice

The app appeared in the App Store early this morning and it has already moved up quickly in the Top 100 Free Apps in the Social Networking category.

  • Social Networking


    Last Changed:
    37 months ago
    4.00 (113)
    iOS iPhone

    Seesmic for iPhone lets you update and view multiple social networks in an efficient and powerful application. Manage multiple Twitter accounts, your Facebook account, your Chatter accounts, a...

Review: Keyboard Upgrade for iPad

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

While the iPad’s on-screen keyboard works pretty well for a virtual keyboard, it’s not ideal for everyone. Enter Keyboard Upgrader, an app by G.P. Imports that promises a modifiable virtual keyboard so you can split, re-size, and re-position the keyboard any way you want to optimize your iPad typing experience. For $.99, this doesn’t sound like a bad deal at all, does it? Unfortunately, we found that while the concept of Keyboard Upgrade is a good one, it fails in execution in many, many ways.

When you open the app, you’re presented with a blank screen and a smaller version of the iPad’s virtual keyboard at the bottom. Tapping on and dragging the keyboard reveals that it’s actually cut in half and you can drag, re-size, and re-position these halves as you see fit. Unfortunately, every time you touch a virtual key as you re-size and move these halves around, a character registers in the text entry area above. So, once you get the keyboard pieces the way you want them, you need to tap on the Erase button at the top to clear the screen. This app definitely needs a “position keyboard” mode that ignores entry so you don’t need to do this.

If you’ve found the perfect position for the keyboard halves that you always want to use, you can’t save it, unfortunately. You need to re-position the keyboard every single time you open the app since it doesn’t save your keyboard’s position when you leave the app.

As touch typists intimately familiar with physical keyboards, the iPad’s virtual keyboard slows us down since it clearly offers no tactile feedback, but it’s not that bad since we pretty much already know where everything is from years of practice with regular keyboards. To help make up for the lack of tactile feedback, the iPad’s iPhone OS incorporates a feature that tries to guess what you’re typing intelligently even when you’re not hitting the intended keys dead on. Also, it offers word completion and spelling corrections as needed. The keyboard in Keyboard Upgrade does not offer these features at all. No spelling correction, no guessing. Nothing. We found typing on it after using the iPad’s regular keyboard  in other apps to be an exercise in frustration without these key iPhone OS features.

Also, the keyboard is a little glitchy. The portion of the space bar on the right half of the keyboard appears to register touches by lighting up a little where your finger makes contact with it, but it doesn’t enter a space and only the portion of the space bar on the left side works. This is very inconvenient, particularly for typists taught to hit the space bar with your right thumb. And you know that handy feature in the iPhone OS that enters a period and capitalizes the next letter you type when you hit the space bar twice? Well, that doesn’t work in Keyboard Upgrade either.

If you want to delete an entire sentence in another app using the iPad’s regular keyboard, you just need to keep pressing the delete key and it will keep deleting until you let go. Not so in Keyboard Upgrade – it deletes one letter with every touch and maintaining pressure on the key does absolutely nothing more, requiring numerous taps to delete large sections of text.

Want to go back and edit something you typed earlier? Well, you can’t do that either. The app does not support the ability to tap on a section of text to re-position the “cursor” and it does not support the native copy and paste function. To copy and paste what you’ve typed, you need to use the Copy button at the top and then paste it later into the other app where you want to place that text.

We’re not done yet. Tapping on the shift button just once enables Caps Lock. This almost makes us thinks that the developers of this app like to yell virtually quite a lot.

If you happen to leave the app before using the Copy or Email buttons to make use of the text you just typed in another app and then go back to the app later to pick up where you left off, you can’t. Text entered is not saved on exit.

That’s a long list of flaws and we were frankly surprised by how painful this app is to use. Again, we think the concept of this app is interesting and it could be quite useful to a lot of people who need a little more customization for text entry over the iPad’s standard keyboard. But Keyboard Upgrade has so many problems that we can’t justify the $.99 to buy it or even see how it could be useful over the iPad’s standard keyboard for most users. In fact, it makes entering text even harder and the last thing we want to do is pay money to someone else to make that happen. We can only hope the developer makes a lot of changes to improve this app in future updates.

  • Productivity

    Keyboard Upgrade

    Last Changed:
    65 months ago
    1.50 (79)
    iOS iPad

    Keyboard Upgrade Finally! After much request, we have developed an application that will finally make typing on your iPad a breeze! Main Features: ✓ Rotate Keyboard ✓ Drag/Move Keyboard ✓...

Netflix App Updated to Offer Video Out

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Netflix is hard at work keeping iPad users happy. The company’s app has been updated to version 1.0.2 and it now offers video-out capabilities so that iPad users can use a VGA, component, or composite dongle to show streamed movies on a connected monitor or TV. Apple sells a new iPad-specific VGA adapter which will work with the app, as will Apple’s existing Composite AV Cable and Component AV Cable accessories.

This is the second update to the Netflix app since its release in early April. The last update changed some navigation elements and fixed bugs causing crashes for some users.

While Netflix has revealed that an iPhone version of this app is in the works, there is no official information on when it will be released.

  • Entertainment


    Last Changed:
    6 weeks ago
    3.50 (2207)
    iOS Universal

    Netflix is the world’s leading subscription service for watching TV episodes and movies on your phone. This Netflix mobile application delivers the best experience anywhere, anytime. Get the...

Official Twitter App Now in App Store

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Twitter, the wildly popular social networking service, now has its own official iPhone app. The Twitter app starting appearing in the App Store for international users last night and just became available in the U.S. App Store a short while ago.

The release of the Twitter app falls in line with the company’s announcement last month about its acquisition of Atebits’ Tweetie. Twitter had then stated that Tweetie would be re-branded to be the official Twitter app and would be offered for free. The app’s description notes the transition from Tweetie to Twitter and describes some new features that have been added:

Tweetie is now Twitter! We didn’t just do a name change, we’ve added a bunch of new stuff

  • Search has been reorganized, now you can search all tweets and find users in the same spot, view Top Tweets and Browse Suggested users.
  • Search results now include Top Tweets, try it with Trends…winner combo!
  • You can now use Twitter without an account! Search, Browse uses, view trends and top tweets.
  • Sign-up is now availabile within the application as well, complete with Suggested user list.
  • More tab has been re-organized to accomplish all this. Users with one account can add a second account under the Accounts and Settings button here.
  • Actions we’ve found people use most, like Retweet have been moved to the main actions bar.
  • Minor tweaks were made to tweet rendering so they match tweets

  • Social Networking


    Last Changed:
    2 weeks ago
    3.00 (1231)
    iOS Universal

    Twitter is now available for Apple Watch. Tweet, Retweet, reply and favorite in a flash. Quickly see recent Tweets and top trends. Share your location, a song, or your thoughts with a flick on the...