Archive for March, 2011

Rovio Releases ‘Angry Birds Rio’

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Rovio, the Finland-based developer of mobile games for multiple platforms, has released another installment in its Angry Birds franchise. Angry Birds Rio hit the App Store last night and pits the various birds in previous versions against smugglers who have kidnapped two macaws. The macaws are characters from the upcoming Twentieth Century Fox animated film, Rio.

Rovio has released separate versions of Angry Birds Rio for the iPhone and iPad. Each offers 60 levels and new achievements, and new episode updates are planned throughout 2011.

The original Angry Birds has been a regular in the Top 200 Paid iPhone apps list and has reached the #1 spot in App Stores around the world.

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‘iCookBook’ Brings Voice Commands to Recipes on iPad

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Publications International released its iCookBook app this week, bringing more than 2,000 recipes to iPad users along with a unique recipe navigation feature: voice control. While preparing a dish, users can enable a voice command feature to move forward and backward through the preparation steps, manage built-in timers, and more.

While there are already several recipe apps in the App Store, this is the first we’ve seen that offers voice control so that you can avoid touching your iPad when your hands may be dirty while in the middle of preparing a dish. Along with Apple’s new Smart Cover that could attach your new iPad 2 to your refrigerator, this could be a perfect combination for cooking if counter space in your kitchen is at a premium.

The full list of iCookbook’s features is as follows:

  • An intuitive visual interface that makes finding recipes easy.
  • Stir, which suggests a selection of recipes based on your search or filter criteria.
  • Prepare, an enhanced display of the recipe a cook can read at a distance.
  • Scalability for selected recipes
  • My Recipe Box: Create a set of iCookbook favorites for easy retrieval, and add recipes of your own.
  • Share Recipes via Facebook or email
  • Print recipes and shopping lists wirelessly with AirPrint
  • Personal Notes: add and save your ideas, substitutions, and comments to any recipe
  • Kitchen Tools: Multiple timers, ingredient substitution lists and conversion charts
  • Shopping List: Add ingredients directly from a recipe, add and remove items, then print or email your list.
  • iCookbook Store: an in-app store where you can download FREE new recipe collections each month and  purchase select recipe collections. With iCookbook, there will always be new ideas to try!

iCookbook hit the App Store on Wednesday and costs $3.99 through the end of the day today, after which the special launch price will end and it will cost $4.99. iCookbook is compatible with the iPad only and requires iOS 3.2 or higher.

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New York Times Announces In-App Subscription Pricing

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The New York Times announced its digital subscription options today, including pricing to access its content via the iPhone and iPad. The venerable news publication had indicated that paid access would be coming to its iPad app last October when the app received a major overhaul with a note in the description that it would be “free until early 2011.”

Apple launched its App Store subscription service in February, which allows developers to offer content within apps on a subscription basis with purchases automatically billed to users’ iTunes accounts. Publishers reportedly have until June 30 to comply with the new subscription service terms.

While some access to the New York Times‘ content will still be free, it will be limited to 20 articles each month for non-subscribers. Those who subscribe to the paper version of the New York Times will have free access to all digital content.

When it comes to the iPhone, the New York Times will charge $15 every four weeks for access to content via the site and the NYTimes iPhone app. For access to content through the site and the NYTimes for iPad app, the cost will be $20 every four weeks. Unlimited access through all digital avenues will cost $35 every four weeks.

Paid digital subscriptions will be available in the U.S. starting March 28.

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Known Issue: Mac App Screenshots Missing

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

If you’ve been browsing through the offerings in the Mac App Store on AppShopper, you may have noticed that screenshots are not visible in the individual app listings. We obtain all of the app information shown on AppShopper directly from Apple and these screenshots are missing from the feed provided by Apple for some unknown reason.

We have reached out to Apple about this issue and a fix is on the way. We appreciate your patience in the meantime.

Algoriddim Releases ‘djay’ for iPhone

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Algoriddim, the developer of the djay for Mac application, has released a version of its djay iOS app for the iPhone and iPod touch. djay for the iPad was released in December and has been a regular in the Top 200 Paid iPad apps since then. djay for the iPhone and iPod touch offers the same features as the iPad version but with a revised interface to suit the smaller screen of each device.

Some of the highlighted features of the app are as follows:

  • Direct access to iPod library
  • Hyper-realistic low-latency turntable interface
  • Exclusive portrait and landscape modes
  • Automix mode with automatic transition control (Fade, Backspin, Reverse, Brake, and Random)
  • Automatic beat and tempo matching (BPM sync)
  • Looping (Auto, Manual, and Bounce)
  • Cue Point Trigger
  • Live Recording (with built-in organizer for recorded performances)
  • Seamless AirPlay integration (wirelessly transmit your mix to Apple TV or AirPort Express base station)
  • Pre-Cueing (with optional headphone adapter)
  • Full visual waveform
  • High-quality scratching
  • Mixer, tempo, and EQ controls
  • Pitch-Bend
  • Beat-synchronized scrubbing
  • Fully optimized for iOS multitasking and background operation
The new app debuted in the App Store earlier this week and costs $9.99.
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‘Google Search’ Gets New Interface, Gestures

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Google has updated its iOS search app, revamping its interface and adding gestures to refine search results. Google Search first became available in August 2008 shortly after the App Store opened and has received regular updates since then. Its most recent update in January enhanced the Google Goggles visual search feature with ad recognition and the ability to solve sudoku puzzles.

The full list of new features and changes in version of Google Search is as follows:

  • New user interface with improved fast app-switching support
  • Swipe right to make your search more specific
  • Swipe down to access settings and log in to Google
  • Updated help screen
  • Certain corners rounded
  • Goggles support for iPod touch and iPhone 3G
  • Bug fixes

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Capcom and Sega Donating App Sales Proceeds to Japan Earthquake Relief

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan last week, iPhone developers are also pitching in to raise funds for relief efforts. Game developers Capcom and Sega, both with headquarters in Japan, have announced app sales with proceeds going directly to organizations providing relief to those affected by last week’s natural disasters.

Capcom has reduced the price of its flagship Street Fighter IV iOS game from $4.99 to $.99 with all sale proceeds from today through March 22 going to charity.

Sega has reduced the prices of several of its Sonic titles with all proceeds from these apps through March 20 going to the Red Cross. Sonic Spinball is now $.99, Sonic the Hedgehog is now $1.99, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is now $2.99. The most recent iOS entry in the Sonic lineup, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1, is down to $3.99 from $6.99.

If you’ve had your eye on any of these games, now would be a great time to snap them up and support those in need in Japan at the same time.

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Time Warner Cable Releases TV Streaming App for iPad

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Time Warner Cable, an American cable television service provider, has released an iPad app that offers free live streaming television to its subscribers. The free TWCable TV app hit the App Store this morning and lets subscribers view live streams of 32 channels within the company’s lineup through a home Wi-Fi network.

Available channels include A&E, Animal Planet, Comedy Central, CNN, FX, SyFy, USA and others. The full list of channels is provided on Time Warner Cable’s site here.

To use the app, Time Warner Cable subscribers must also have high-speed internet service from Time Warner Cable or Earthlink Cable since the streams are available only on the company’s network. This requirement is detailed in the company’s blog:

To use our iPad app, you must subscribe to video service from us. Also: this is a video product that for technical reasons requires that you have HSD (high-speed data) service from either us or Earthlink Cable. The video streams do not go out over the public internet at all, but stay exclusively within our network. Both analog and digital video customers with HSD can use the app, but you’ll only receive the channels you receive as part of your video package. Our Wideband, Extreme, Turbo and Standard HSD customers will have an optimal experience with our streaming video. Basic HSD customers may be able to stream, but the experience will be inconsistent.

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Verizon and AT&T Offer Free Calls to Japan

Monday, March 14th, 2011

To help customers with friends and family in Japan following last week’s earthquake and tsunami, both AT&T and Verizon are offering free calling and texting to Japan from the U.S. Post-paid iPhone users on Verizon and AT&T are eligible for these offers.

AT&T has announced that its wireless post-paid customers (those who receive a monthly bill) can make free international calls to Japanese numbers from the U.S. and Puerto Rico and send text messages at no charge to Japanese numbers between now and March 31.

We want to help our customers connect with loved ones in Japan in anyway we can,” said Mark Collins, senior vice president, Voice and Data Products, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “Connecting with family and friends is most important at times like this— we want to make it as easy and worry free as possible for our customers.”

Verizon Wireless has announced that it is offering its wireless post-paid customers free international calls and text messaging to Japan between now and April 11. Pre-paid wireless customers also benefit from this offer with any charges for calls made to Japan during this period waived.

Apple is providing an easy method to donate money to the American Red Cross to support the relief efforts in Japan through iTunes. Customers can elect to donate between $5.00 and $200.00 directly through an iTunes account in the iTunes store.

Our thoughts are with those in need of help in Japan in the wake of this disaster.

Apple Releases GarageBand and iMovie for iPad

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Like yesterday’s release of iOS 4.3, Apple is moving ahead of schedule and has released the new Garageband app for the iPad as well as an update for its previously-released iMovie app that adds compatibility for the iPad today. Apple had announced at last week’s media event that these apps would not be available until Friday, March 11 to coincide with the release of the iPad 2.

iMovie is a movie editing app available for the Mac and iOS. The iOS version was initially released for the iPhone 4 last June and allows users to apply themes and add music, photos, and special effects to videos. This latest version of the iOS iMovie app is compatible only with the new iPad 2, iPhone 4, and 4th-generation iPod touch.

Garageband is a music creation and editing app also available for the Mac and now iOS. It offers several virtual instruments including a grand piano, organ, guitars, drums, and a bass. Users can also connect a guitar directly to the iPad. The app provides 8 track recording and mixing, guitar amps and effects, over 250 loops, and the ability to email completed songs in AAC format.

Garageband is compatible with the iPad (first and second generation) running iOS 4.2 or higher only.

Both apps cost $4.99 each and are available for purchase in the App Store now.

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