Archive for February, 2011

‘Plants vs. Zombies’ Debuts in Mac App Store

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Plants vs. Zombies, the wildly-popular tower defense game by PopCap Games that has been a regular among the top paid iOS games, debuted in the Mac App Store today. Plants vs. Zombies is currently priced at $9.99 and joins a few other PopCap Games there including Peggle, Peggle Nights, and Bejeweled 3.

Plants vs. Zombies was first released in 2009 and debuted in the iOS App store for the iPhone in February 2010, making an impressive debut with over 300,000 downloads within the first nine days alone. An HD version for the iPad arrived in April 2010 and has remained in the Top 200 Paid iPad Games since that time.

Plants vs. Zombies in the Mac App Store requires OS X 10.6.6 or later though it is available for OS X 10.4.11 and later directly from PopCap Games here (where the cost of the game is currently $19.95).

[applink url=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id410406848?mt=12, http://appshopper.com/games/plants-vs-zombies, http://appshopper.com/games/plants-vs-zombies-hd”]

Warner Bros. Releases Feature Film App Editions

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Warner Bros., the California-based film studio, announced the release of “App Editions” of two of its major feature films today. The Dark Knight: App Edition and Inception: App Edition are now available in the App Store. Both apps are universal and allow users to view the first 5 minutes of each movie plus some bonus content for free with the option to purchase the full movie and bonus content within the app.

Warner Bros. described the App Editions concept in its press release:

App Editions provide a fully-loaded, connected viewing experience that gives consumers the first five minutes of a feature film and a portion of bonus content that can include games, trivia, soundtracks and soundboards.  The entire feature film can be unlocked via an in-app purchase, which enables downloading and unlimited streaming, as well as access to the entire array of bonus content available within the App.

Warner Bros. has posted a video demonstrating The Dark Knight: App Edition in action:




Purchasing The Dark Knight and all associated bonus content costs $9.99 compared to $11.99 for Inception and its associated bonus content.

Warner Bros. plans to release additional App Editions for more new release and older films throughout 2011.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/entertainment/the-dark-knight-app-edition, http://appshopper.com/entertainment/inception-app-edition”]

Notable App Updates and Sales: Kindle, Skyfire, Camera+, Dejumble

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

There’s always a lot going on in the iOS and Mac App Stores and we’ve seen a few updates and sales recently that we wanted to highlight for you.

First, the Kindle iOS app received an update this week adding some capabilities that mirrored a recent firmware update for the actual Kindle device. Kindle now displays real page numbers in ebooks, allowing users to match locations with paper versions of books, along with some new visual indicators of reading progress, and more.

The Mac OS version of the Kindle application is also available in the Mac App Store.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/books/kindle-for-iphone, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id405399194?mt=12″]

Skyfire, the popular app that brings Flash video content to web browsing on the iPhone and iPad, is currently on sale. Reduced by $1.00 for two days only, each version of the app will go back to its regular price at 9:00 a.m. PST on February 18 when this “Flash Sale” ends.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/utilities/skyfire-web-browser, http://appshopper.com/utilities/skyfire-web-browser-for-ipad”]

Camera+, the app that had an on-again, off-again relationship with the App Store late last year, has gotten an update to 2.1 and is now on sale temporarily, down to $.99 from $1.99. While version 2.1 doesn’t bring any major new features, developer tap tap tap states that it does include many improvements:

For version 2.1, we’ve switched gears and worked hard to make the overall experience of using the app much more pleasurable. We made a whole bunch of speed improvements so everything feels zippier. We fixed many niggling bugs so the app now has a much more solid feel to it. And we added many little features and user interface improvements so that it’s much more intuitive and more of a delight to use.

[applink url=”329670577″]

Thinking Code Software’s Dejumble is a tasks app that we’ve had our eyes on for a while. The iOS app is now free, down from $4.99 and it will sync over-the-air with its desktop counterpart for the Mac, which can be purchased from the Mac App Store.

Dejumble for the iPhone is still missing what we think are some key features–local notifications and alarms–but it syncs automatically with the corresponding app on our Macs, making it very easy to stay on top of tasks wherever we may be. It’s still worth a look in our view and you can even get a trial version of the Mac OS application from the developer’s site here.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/productivity/dejumble, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id404244198?mt=12″]

Apple Launches App Store Subscription Service

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

As expected following the release of The Daily for iPad with its in-app subscription and automatic billing capability, Apple has officially announced a new subscription service for developers of content-based apps. Developers will be able to offer media and other content within apps on a subscription basis with purchases automatically billed to users’ iTunes accounts.

Developers can define the subscription length (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) and price and will share 30% of the revenue from these subscriptions with Apple. Users will be able to manage subscriptions directly within iTunes in their account page.

If Apple is not involved in bringing in a subscription purchase, the 30%/70% revenue sharing model is not applied. Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs, speaks to this in the announcement:

Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app. We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers.

Developers must come up with their own way to offer digital subscriptions outside of their apps and then authenticate these outside purchases within the app to avoid sharing 30% of this revenue with Apple. Apple is also requiring that any subscriptions offered outside of an app must also be available for the same price or less within the app, preventing developers from offering a better deal for a subscription purchase made outside of an app.

All Things Digital reports that Apple has given a June 30 deadline to publishers to comply with the new subscription service.

Though not explicitly stated in Apple’s announcement, it is expected that the APIs needed for this new subscription service are contained within iOS 4.3, which has been rumored to be released this month. The Daily, which requires this subscription service API, was released with free access for the first two weeks courtesy of Verizon. This free access has now been extended, indicating that iOS 4.3 will be released later than initially planned.

Attending Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona? You Need These Apps

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Mobile World Congress, the annual conference focused on mobile technology, is taking place in Barcelona this week. If you’re attending the conference, you have earned our jealousy and some attention from iOS developers. Several apps about Barcelona are current free or on sale this week to make it even easier for you to enjoy your stay in the lovely capital of Catalonia.

First, there’s the official Mobile World Congress app that contains exhibitor and floor plan information.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/travel/mwc-2010-2″]

To help you explore the city, Lonely Planet, mTrip, and iClio have all made their respective Barcelona guide apps free.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/travel/lonely-planet-barcelona-city-guide, http://appshopper.com/travel/barcelona-audio-guide-just-in-time-tourist-en, http://appshopper.com/travel/barcelona-guide-mtrip”]

Promising a more hip approach to exploring a new city, Unlike Media has reduced the price of its Barcelona Unlike City Guide app from $4.99 to $1.99.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/travel/barcelona-unlike-guide”]

Barcelona has an excellent subway system and mxData has kindly made its app providing a map of the entire system free of charge this week.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/travel/barcelona-metro-map”]

If you’ll be driving around Barcelona or simply need more detailed map information, NAVV is offering a Barcelona-only version of its turn-by-turn navigation app for free through February 20.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/navigation/navv-mwc”]

Enjoy your time in Barcelona! Drink some sangria and bask in the beauty of the Sagrada Familia for us, would you?

Price Drop Alert: Valentine’s Day Sales Galore

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Though Valentine’s day isn’t a holiday we normally associate with sales, iOS developers have taken the bull by the horns and are offering deep discounts in celebration of the day focused on love and affection. Other developers have taken this opportunity to drop prices specifically to welcome Verizon customers following last week’s launch of the carrier’s CDMA iPhone 4.

Below are a few of the most notable price drops we’ve seen.

For the iPhone

Looking for an app that can help you find businesses around in just about any category with a minimum of typing? Then check out Where To? by Futuretap, which is on sale today for $.99, down from $2.99.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/navigation/where-to—gps-points-of-interest”]

Avatron Software is welcoming new Verizon iPhone users with a discount on its popular file sharing utility apps, Air Sharing and Air Sharing Pro.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/business/air-sharing-pro-idisk-print-email, http://appshopper.com/productivity/air-sharing”]

Want an alternative to the native calendar app on your iPhone? Developer entwicklungsschmiede’s miCal is 50% off for today only and offers more flexibility and viewing options than Apple’s own calendar app:

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/productivity/mical-missing-calendar”]

Like Halo-style first-person shooters? Then grab Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. 2 down to $.99 from $6.99.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/games/nova-2-near-orbit-vanguard-alliance”]

TomTom is joining in to welcome Verizon users with a sale on its popular navigation app, slicing a cool $20 off the price of its U.S. & Canada version.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/navigation/tomtom-us-canada”]

For the iPad

If you enjoy using your iPad to satisfy your writing fix, you should check out iA Writer, an app with a simple interface that lets you focus on writing.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/productivity/ia-writer”]

If your iPad is your cooking companion of choice, Paprika Recipe Manager should be on your shopping list at $4.99 this week, which is 50% off its regular price.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/lifestyle/paprika-recipe-manager”]

For a more unique way to browse your RSS feed subscriptions, The Early Edition displays articles in an eye-pleasing virtual newspaper format.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/news/the-early-edition”]

For the iPhone and iPad

Audanika’s unique SoundPrism app, which lets you create music even if you can’t read or write a single note, is now just $.99.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/music/soundprism”]

Though Apple offers its own Remote app to control iTunes and its Apple TV, it’s not nearly as full-featured as other alternatives available in the App Store. App Dynamic’s Remote HD is one of these alternatives, acting as a combination remote and VNC app to access and control content on your Mac, PC, or Apple TV. Remote HD is currently 50% off to welcome Verizon customers to the iPhone 4 fold.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/utilities/remote-jr”]

Fans of the Metal Gear franchise will be happy to know that Konami has reduced the price of Metal Gear Solid Touch to $.99 down from $7.99.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/games/metal-gear-solid-touch-us”]

Looking for more iOS app deals? Browse through our All Price Drops list and be sure to add our price drop RSS feeds to your RSS subscription manager: All Price Drops for iPhone and All Price Drops for iPad.

If you’re specifically interested in iOS game sales, check out the following developer sale lists at our sister site TouchArcade.com: Namco, Sega, Capcom, EA, and Gameloft.

‘Yelp’ Gets OpenTable Reservations

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Yelp, the popular online user-drive business review service, updated its app yesterday adding OpenTable reservations. When viewing participating restaurants listed in Yelp, users can now make reservations directly within the app. OpenTable is a free, online restaurant reservation service used by thousands of restaurants throughout North America and the United Kingdom.

Participating restaurants have a “Make Reservation” button in their listings. Tapping on this button brings you to a page where you can choose the preferred date and time and specify how many will be in your party. If the desired time is available, you can confirm the reservation right away. If not, the closest available options will be offered instead.

Yelp was last in the news in November when it gained Facebook check-in capability. With over 10 updates to the app in 2010, Yelp is clearly working to keep bringing new features to its users.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/travel/yelp”]

Twitterrific 4 Arrives in Mac App Store

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Iconfactory has released Twitterrific 4, a long-awaited update to its popular Twitter application, in the Mac App Store. Twitterrific 4 brings an interface and features similar to the existing versions for the iPad and iPhone, adding extensive keyboard support for fast navigation.

The app’s full feature list is as follows:

  • Simple to use, easy to understand
  • Consistent and clear interface across platforms
  • True multi-account/multi-window support
  • View mentions, messages and favorites quickly and easily
  • View Twitter trends, searches and lists
  • Browse conversation threads between users
  • Translate tweets to your native language
  • Helpful color-coding of tweets
  • In-app picture viewing for supported services like Instagram, plixi & more
  • Tweet actions including email tweet, replies to author & others
  • Collapsible sidebar for quick access to timelines, searches and trends
  • Theme control (light or dark)
  • Font size control
  • URL shortening
  • Instapaper support
  • Cloud.app support
  • Reply all (by default)
  • Picture and video uploading
  • Fully customizable toolbar
  • Robust keyboard control
  • View user profiles, including large avatars and other details
  • Follow, unfollow, block & report spammers easily

The full version of Twitterrific 4 in the Mac App Store costs $9.99 and all features are enabled in this paid version. A free version is available on the Twitterrific site here which is ad-supported and lacks the multi-account and multi-window support of the paid version.

Iconfactory already has several successful apps in the iOS App Store, including Twitterrific, Take Five (which we reviewed), Ramp Champ and others. While Iconfactory is not new to the Mac platform, this is the company’s first offering in the new Mac App Store.

[applink url=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id414957465?mt=12″]

AppShopper Update: iTunes App Ratings Return

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

A few months ago, we had to make some changes to the iOS app information shown on AppShopper to comply with Apple’s policy on pulling information from the App Store. At that time, Apple’s policy specified that certain information, including app ratings, could not be pulled from the App Store and this feature was removed from AppShopper. However, Apple has recently adjusted the App Store information available for public use and app ratings have returned to AppShopper!

Average rating information is now shown in search results and in each individual app listing near the bottom of the page:

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/utilities/appshopper”]

The rating reflects the actual App Store user ratings for the current version of each app.

‘Google Translate’ for iPhone Released

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Google announced today the release of its Translate app for the iPhone. The app translates spoken or typed input in 15 languages to more than 50 languages. Google had previously made its free translation service available as an HTML5 web app for iPhone users and the new native iOS app includes all of the features available in that web version along with many more.

The app’s feature list includes the following:

  • Translate text between 57 languages
  • Translate by speaking the text instead of typing it (15 languages)
  • Listen to your translations spoken aloud (23 languages)
  • Display translations in full screen mode to make it easier for others nearby to read
  • Star your favorite translations for quick access even when you’re offline
  • Access your translation history even when you’re offline
  • Spell out the translation of non-Latin script languages (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, etc..) in Latin characters to read it phonetically (e.g. Pinyin, Romaji)
  • View additional dictionary results for single words or short phrases

Google Translate is free and available now in the App Stores in all countries.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/reference/google-translate”]