Archive for June, 2010

Apple Releases Find My iPhone App

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Apple has released an app to help MobileMe subscribers take advantage of the service’s Find My iPhone feature. MobileMe is a subscription service that provides push email and over-the-air synchronization of contact and calendar data between multiple devices. The service costs $99 per year but can often be found for less from Amazon and other vendors. Apple also offers a free 60-day trial of the service – use the Free Trial link on Apple’s site.

Prior to the availability of this free app, this feature could only be accessed through the service’s web interface. Coinciding with the release of this app, the MobileMe web interface has gotten an overhaul, detailed by Apple on its MobileMe News page.

Despite its name, the app will also locate iPads. While iPod touch devices are not on the list of devices it can find, the app will work on an iPod touch to locate a missing iPhone or iPad. Find My iPhone is a universal app and will present an interface optimized for the iPad and iPhone accordingly.

Sign in with your member name and password (MobileMe subscription required) to locate your missing device on a map and have it display a message or play a sound. You can even remotely lock the device to protect your privacy, or wipe it to permanently delete all of your data if you think that it won’t be returned.

FEATURES

  • Locate your iPhone or iPad on a map
  • Display a message and optionally play a sound for two minutes at full volume even if your device is set to silent
  • Remotely set a passcode lock on your device (or lock it using your existing passcode)
  • Remotely wipe your device to permanently erase all of your personal data

  • Utilities

    Find My iPhone

    Last Changed:
    2 weeks ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (113)
    Version:
    4.0
    iOS Universal

    Find My iPhone: If you misplace your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, the Find My iPhone app will let you use any iOS device to find it and protect your data. Simply install this free app, open it,...

iOS 4 Compatible Apps Now Appearing in App Store

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

MacRumors points out that apps compatible with iOS 4 are starting to become available in the App Store. The free DropBox app is one of these, with its latest update to version 1.2.2 including iOS 4 compatibility released just yesterday.

iOS 4, formerly known as iPhone OS 4, will be released to the public on June 21 as a free download for all iPhone and iPod touch users.

iOS 4 includes a number of new APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that developers can now make use of to enhance their apps. These new APIs will allow apps to continue to perform some tasks in the background, albeit in a limited fashion to avoid negatively affecting a device’s overall performance and battery life. There are seven of these background APIs that Apple first announced in April: background audio, voice over IP (VOIP), background location, push notifications, local notifications, task completion, and fast app switching.

We have an iPhone 3GS running iOS 4 in hand and DropBox does take advantage of the fast app switching API – when we leave the app and return to it, it brings us back to the last saved state and does not re-open the app each time from scratch. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing more iOS 4-compatible apps become available.

  • Productivity

    Dropbox

    Last Changed:
    2 weeks ago
    Rating:
    2.50 (256)
    Version:
    3.4.2
    iOS Universal

    Dropbox lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Access any file you save to your Dropbox from all your computers, iPhone, iPad, and the web. With Dropbox...

Review: Trippo VoiceMagix Does Speech-to-Speech Translation

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Though it’s not as often as we’d like, we do occasionally get the opportunity to travel out of the country and practice our foreign language skills and past experiences tell us that whipping out a dictionary to do a translation is not always practical nor a good way to look cool. Enter Cellictica’s Trippo VoiceMagix, an iPhone app that offers speech-to-speech translation on the fly, taking your spoken or typed words and putting them back out in the selected language in writing or aloud through the iPhone’s speaker.

In terms of functionality, the app supports 27 languages: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Pashto, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Serbian, Thai, and Urdu.

Out of these 27 languages, spoken translation output is available in just under half: Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

The actual translation is handled remotely so you must have an internet connection for the app to work, so keep this mind if you use it outside of your “home” calling area as you will incur some roaming data charges using it.

Trippo VoiceMagix uses the same voice recognition technology, powered by Nuance Communications, as the Dragon Dictation and Dragon Search apps. Overall, we found the app’s speech recognition to be pretty good, catching most of what we threw at it accurately.

The app’s interface is fairly straightforward. First, you choose the languages to translate from and to and then you enter text manually through the virtual keyboard or you speak it if speech is supported for that language.

If you enter text manually, pressing the Translate button will generate the translation. If you speak the words to be translated, the translation will automatically be prompted once you’ve finished. You’ll see a “Translating…” dialogue as the translation is fetched and it will be shown once it’s been received.

In terms of the app’s interface, we found a few rough edges. The text entry box is missing a button to delete the previous entry in its entirety – you must hold down the virtual keyboard’s backspace button to delete letter by letter. The Listen button is labeled a little misleadingly in our view – it simply plays the audio of the translation output and will repeat it as well. We think this button should be labeled with a speaker icon or change contextually to “Repeat” as needed.

The app has a shortcut button that will create a new email with the translated text in the body, so you could feasibly draft a fairly long message and use it to communicate in another language with someone else by email. The app will also accept copied and pasted text, making it very useful as a general written translation app to translate text received in an email or found on the web.

While we lacked the language skills to test all of the languages the app supports, we could test its ability to translate between English and French. We found that it worked well for basic phrases one would need while traveling, such as asking for directions, prices, etc. Where it didn’t work so well was when we tried some idiomatic expressions. For example, saying “We need to get going” in English put out something completely incorrect in French. We found the same thing happened translating written French to English.

English, with all its inconsistencies, is a tough language to translate and we wouldn’t expect just any old app to be able to do it well. However, Trippo VoiceMagix costs $24.99 (it’s currently on sale for $1.99) and this high price tag raises our expectations quite a bit. For $24.99 we’d expect very good translations all around, idioms notwithstanding, and Trippo VoiceMagix is too expensive at its regular price of $24.99 considering this. With that said, we are generally impressed to see this kind of spoken translation done well enough on a mobile platform and feel this will be very handy tool for travelers as long as they keep in mind the app’s limitations.

  • Travel

    Trippo VoiceMagix

    Last Changed:
    46 months ago
    Rating:
    2.50 (16)
    Version:
    1.0.1
    iOS iPhone

    The Ultimate Speech-to-Speech Translator! How easy can it be? Just say freely anything you want to and let Trippo™ translate and speak it in another language! Trippo™ VoiceMagix is unique in...

Sega Gives Sneak Peek at Sonic 4 for iPhone

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, is going on right now and lots of exciting iOS gaming news is coming out of it. Yesterday, TouchArcade got a hands-on look at Sega’s upcoming Sonic 4 game for the iPhone. Initially, the game was expected earlier this year but has been pushed back to be released later in 2010, with Sega citing the desire to create a high-quality gaming experience:

With this dedication to quality and the Sonic experience in mind, SEGA has decided to extend the development of the game and will now release Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I in the latter half of 2010. The additional time will allow the Development Team to focus on keeping the game high-quality, continuing tuning and balancing of levels and interface and overall maintaining the kind of polish that an important game like this demands, ultimately providing fans with an unrivalled classic Sonic feel.

TouchArcade’s look at Sonic 4 shows it be well-adapted to the iPhone and a lot of fun to boot:

Google Earth Now Compatible with iPad

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

The search giant’s Google Earth app has been updated to universal format. Version 3.0.0 hit the App Store this morning and the app now includes the following features:

  • Native support for iPad, including full resolution imagery and an iPad-specific look and feel
  • Road layer added for iPad and iPhone 3GS

Google has been fairly prompt in updating its apps to include iPad compatibility, starting with Google Mobile last month. This is in stark contrast to Apple itself, who has yet to update many of its apps own that were first released for the iPhone, including MobileMe iDisk, Remote, Texas Hold’em, and MobileMe Gallery, to take advantage of the iPad’s larger screen.

  • Travel

    Google Earth

    Last Changed:
    17 months ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (3411)
    Version:
    7.1.1
    iOS Universal

    Fly around the planet with a swipe of your finger with Google Earth for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Explore distant lands or reacquaint yourself with your childhood home. Search for cities, places,...

Apple Releases Apple Store App

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Apple released an app to facilitate shopping in its online store today. Coinciding with the beginning of pre-orders for the iPhone 4 today, the app also offers the ability to submit a pre-order for a new iPhone right within the app.

With the Apple Store app, you can:

  • See new and featured products from Apple.
  • Shop the full selection of products available from the Apple Online Store.
  • Find the latest accessories and software.
  • Read customer reviews and get answers to product questions.
  • Buy or reserve a new iPhone with just a few taps.
  • Locate any Apple Retail Store in the world, instantly.
  • Sign up for workshops and events at your favorite Apple Retail Store.
  • Make Personal Shopping, Genius Bar, and One to One appointments.
The app is a free download and is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, though it is not optimized for the iPad’s larger screen.
  • Lifestyle

    Apple Store

    Last Changed:
    9 hours ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (16)
    Version:
    3.0.1
    iOS Universal

    Shop for Apple products and accessories, and get the most from your visits to the Apple Retail Store. Start your order on one device and finish it on another. Get items shipped to your door or choose...

mSpot Brings Streaming Movie Rentals to iPad

Monday, June 14th, 2010

mSpot, a company that provides ringtones, music, and video for mobile devices in the U.S. and Canada, has updated its iPhone app to add iPad compatibility. mSpot first came to our attention in September when it started offering streaming rental movies viewable on iPhones and other mobile devices. mSpot then released an iPhone app for its movie streaming service in May and the universal version of the app just hit the App Store over the weekend.

Movie rentals can be purchased à la carte for around $4.99 for recent releases and as low as $2.99 for older movies. mSpot also offers Movie Club plans that put credits into your account, starting at $9.99 for 20 credits (that will purchase up to 4 movies) and topping out at $15.99 per month (enough for up to 8 movies). Free movies can be viewed without requiring a credit card on file in your account. Once rented, you have 10 days to start watching a movie. Once started, you have between 24 and 48 hours to finish watching it. Movies can be streamed over Wi-Fi or a 3G cellular data connection.

As far as offerings go, new movies like The Blind Side and Sherlock Holmes are available for rental. Free movies are also available though the app only showed us four, all of which were first released at least 30 years ago. mSpot faces tough competition in this space, going up against Netflix, who offers a large streaming library with no watching limits in combination with its least expensive DVD mail rental service that costs $8.99 per month. Apple’s own iTunes movie rentals are also in the running here and while they can’t be streamed, they are priced competitively with mSpot’s à la carte selections.

  • Entertainment

    Movies by mSpot

    Last Changed:
    39 months ago
    Rating:
    3.00 (392)
    Version:
    1.7.100
    iOS Universal

    Watch full-length feature films currently rented on mSpot Movies! Seamlessly shift between iPhone, iPad, PC/Mac and other devices. This app displays our large catalog of titles from Hollywood’s...

Time Magazine to Revamp iPad App

Friday, June 11th, 2010

All Things Digital recently reported that Time Magazine is planning on releasing a significantly-revised iPad app in the near future. The current version of the app has been widely criticized for its pricing, with each issue costing $4.99, slightly more than the print version with a $4.95 cover price and significantly more than the equivalent per-issue subscription price of the print version of under $.40 ($20 for 56 issues). There’s currently no option to subscribe to the digital version, though Time has stated this is coming.

Time showed a video demonstration yesterday of the new app in action:

The new app looks like it will almost be a little too much in the snazzy department, though we’ll reserve judgement until we see it in person and we still appreciate that Time is making an effort to provide an immersive and intuitive experience with its digital version.

FIFA World Cup, Other EA Games On Sale

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Electronic Arts is currently running a sale on many of its iPhone and iPad games, including its FIFA World Cup game to kick off the World Cup tournament that begins today. FIFA World Cup is on sale only through this weekend. EA has not stated how long this sale will last for its other games that are currently discounted, and we recommend that you act soon to take advantage of these lower prices if any of them have been on your wish list.

  • Games

    FIFA World Cup™

    Last Changed:
    55 months ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (7043)
    Version:
    1.0.2
    iOS iPhone

    ** NEW LOW PRICE! OVER 1/2 OFF! ** Keep the FIFA World Cup celebration going and SAVE NOW! Relive the tournament and see if Spain can win again. Or lead another country to victory in the official...

Here are a few of EA’s other games that are currently on sale:

  • Games

    Mass Effect Galaxy

    Last Changed:
    44 months ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (2818)
    Version:
    1.1
    iOS iPhone

    See all of our EA DAILY DEALS at eamobile.com/dailydeals. New Play, Every Day! WHEN THE GALAXY IS IN PERIL—ONLY A BIOTIC-POWERED SUPER-SOLDIER CAN SAVE THE DAY! "The BioWare...

  • Games

    NBA Live by EA Sports

    Last Changed:
    51 months ago
    Rating:
    No data
    Version:
    10.1.35
    iOS iPhone

    Match up the Celtics and Lakers in an epic finals showdown or simulate your own dream matchup. Get the most realistic 5-on-5 action available for iPhone® & iPod touch® at an amazing low price!...

  • Games

    Mirror's Edge™ for iPad

    Last Changed:
    14 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (293)
    Version:
    1.1.52
    iOS iPad

    “With crisp visuals and sharp gameplay, you dear Mirror's Edge are the fairest iPad launch game of them all.” – Tracy Erickson, PocketGamer.com “Mirror’s Edge is not just one of the top...

  • Games

    NBA Live by EA Sports

    Last Changed:
    51 months ago
    Rating:
    No data
    Version:
    10.1.35
    iOS iPhone

    Match up the Celtics and Lakers in an epic finals showdown or simulate your own dream matchup. Get the most realistic 5-on-5 action available for iPhone® & iPod touch® at an amazing low price!...

  • Games

    Need For Speed™ Undercover

    Last Changed:
    14 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (17447)
    Version:
    1.2.0
    iOS iPhone

    DRIVE THE WORLD'S #1 CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED RACING FRANCHISE TODAY. Real cars! Real Fast! Drive 20 of the world’s fastest, hottest cars like the Porsche Carrera GT. Each one boasts its own style...

  • Games

    TETRIS.® for iPad

    Last Changed:
    32 months ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (534)
    Version:
    1.5.46
    iOS iPad

    Get the biggest blockbuster game ever, designed just for iPad™! With bolder, brighter HD graphics, plus all-new intuitive controls and features, this TETRIS® game is unlike any you’ve played...

A full list of all EA’s apps can be found here.

KidCalc 123 Color HD Will Delight and Educate a Child Near You

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

The iPad and iPhone, with their intuitive user interfaces, have already been proven to be popular among children as evidenced by multiple YouTube videos of kids figuring out to use these popular devices in a matter of seconds. If those videos didn’t convince us, the reaction of kids who see our own shiny iPads and iPhones and the ease with which they navigate through apps when we let them play with them certainly does. The iPad, with its larger screen, presents a significant opportunity to turn the device into an educational tool, and developer Steve Glinberg has done just that with KidCalc 123 Color HD.

KidCalc 123 Color HD is meant to teach kids numbers, colors, and even geography. The app does this through color-by-number and color-by-letter exercises. These coloring exercises are done using the provided blank templates of geometric shapes, cartoons, and world maps.

In the color-by-number exercises, sections of the selected blank template are tagged by numbers, and a child must find the right number in the palette  at the bottom of the screen and then tap the areas tagged with that number in the drawing to color that section. The color-by-letter exercises work the same way, though sections in the template and the palette at the bottom of the screen are labeled with lower case or upper case letters.

In-app music is played as a child works on an exercise and a new “reward” song is played when one is completed. Completed pages can be emailed or saved to the camera roll for future use.

KidCalc 123 Color HD can even help your child learn a second language. English, French, German, and Spanish are all available as the primary and secondary languages used to announce the selected color (color-by-number exercises only) and these can be selected in the Settings menu.

When it comes to geography, there’s a World Maps section that offers continental and country maps to be used as coloring templates (and more maps can be obtained via in-app purchase). When a color is assigned to an area, it is labeled with the name of the continent or country and a Google Maps pin appears on it. Tapping on the pin brings you to the Google Maps view of that area, and you can explore it just as you would within the Google Maps app by pinching and dragging to zoom and pan.

All in all, KidCalc 123 Color HD is a fantastic educational app that makes good use of the iPad’s large screen and offers excellent options to teach secondary language skills and geography. While we’re not sure if every parent will be willing to hand over an expensive iPad to a young child for an extended period of time, those who are have an excellent option in this and other KidCalc apps to ensure the experience is rife with learning for their children.

  • Education

    123 Color HD: Talking Coloring...

    Last Changed:
    14 months ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (589)
    Version:
    21275
    iOS Universal

    *** SALE, 67% OFF, TODAY AND TOMORROW *** CELEBRATING 123 COLOR HD BEING A FEATURED APPLE STAFF FAVORITES APP! FREE Summer artwork now included! • Woman's Day names 123 Color the #1 app for kids...