Archive for June, 2011

Hulu Complies with Apple’s In-App Subscription Rules

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Hulu, the paid TV and movie streaming service, has updated its Hulu Plus app to comply with Apple’s recently-revised rules on in-app subscription pricing, as reported by All Things Digital today, removing a link allowing users to go to the Hulu site to purchase a subscription.

Hulu’s app had first debuted in the App Store last summer followed by a substantial update and subscription price reduction in November. Hulu Plus has been a regular in the Top 200 Free Entertainment apps for the iPad since its release.

Here’s what Hulu Plus displayed before (courtesy of AllThingsD):

And here’s what the Hulu Plus displays now in version 2.3.2:

See how that link to the Hulu Plus site is now missing from the bottom of the log-in-screen? If you’re unfamiliar with the Hulu Plus service, using the app now will certainly not provide you with any clues on how to sign up and you’ll probably be turning to your new BFF, Google, to get more information on where to go from here.

Apple revised its guidelines quietly earlier this month, removing the requirement that publishers make content available outside of an app available for purchase within an app at the same price or less:

11.13 Apps that link to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the app, such as a “buy” button that goes to a web site to purchase a digital book, will be rejected

Apps from other content providers, like the ebook apps by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others that offer links or direct access to their respective ebook stores, are sure to follow suit in order to remain in the App Store. I read ebooks almost exclusively over paper books and the lack of these links within apps will make it more difficult for me to get to those ebook stores. While it’s good to see Apple relaxing restrictions for developers that had the potential to push publishers to not offer content to iOS device users, it’s disheartening that the new guidelines will make some tasks harder for consumers in the end.

  • Entertainment

    Hulu Plus

    Last Changed:
    3 weeks ago
    Rating:
    2.50 (452)
    Version:
    4.0.0
    iOS Universal

    Fall TV is here and Hulu Plus is the best place to watch current episodes and full seasons of the shows you love. Get unlimited instant streaming of 1000s of current-season and library TV shows and...

‘Army of Darkness Defense’ Now Free for a Limited Time

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Yeah, I got a little too excited when Backflip Studios released Army of Darkness Defense last month, but if you’ve seen any of Sam Raimi’s moves in The Evil Dead trilogy, can you really blame me? Well, if you weren’t as excited as I was then, perhaps today’s sale will at least pique your interest.

Backflip Studios is now offering both Army of Darkness HD and Army of Darkness for the iPad and iPhone/iPod touch, respectively, for free. The iPad version normally costs $2.99 while the iPhone version regularly costs just $.99. While these prices aren’t high to begin with, you bargain hunters out there can now indulge at will without making even a little dent in your bank account.

I’ve played Army of Darkness HD through all 50 waves and loved every second of it. Well, when I wasn’t shaking my fists at the gods of gaming when I got stuck on a few waves, that is. I’ve just downloaded the version for my iPhone and am looking forward to playing it again, this time with an eye on the Game Center achievements to make sure I hit them all.

Backflip Studios has not said how long this sale will last so go snag these now before they go back to their regular prices!

  • Games

    Army of Darkness Defense HD

    Last Changed:
    37 months ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (7489)
    Version:
    1.0.6
    iOS iPad

    NOW FREE FOR A VERY LIMITED TIME!!! Get out your boomstick and rev up your chainsaw! From the makers of PAPER TOSS HD, STRIKE KNIGHT HD and NINJUMP HD comes the definitive Army of Darkness game for...

  • Games

    Army of Darkness Defense

    Last Changed:
    37 months ago
    Rating:
    5.00 (19782)
    Version:
    1.0.6
    iOS iPhone

    Get out your boomstick and rev up your chainsaw! From the makers of PAPER TOSS, STRIKE KNIGHT and NINJUMP comes the definitive Army of Darkness game for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. In this...

‘App Conductor HD’ Turns iPad into Application Control Center for Your Computer

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

m3me, a Seattle-based development company, released App Conductor HD for the iPad last week. App Conductor HD connects to your Mac or Windows computer, turning your iPad into an application control center to close, minimize, and switch applications and windows.

App Conductor HD requires the installation of a free companion application, Conductor Server, on your computer that you can find here. Once you’ve installed Conductor Server, App Conductor HD will automatically find your computer (they must be on the same Wi-Fi network) and prompt you to pair the two. After this, it will display all of your open applications and windows as well as the applications in your Dock (Mac) or taskbar (Windows).

You can navigate open applications and windows intuitively to quickly get to the application you need. As a launcher, App Conductor HD opens applications just as if you had double-clicked on an application’s icon on your computer. If you have multiple windows open in an application, each individual window is shown in a vertical row surrounding the window currently active.

To help you visualize how App Conductor HD works, m3me has put together a demo video:

App Conductor HD requires the following:

  • Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (accessibility enabled)
  • Windows XP service pack 3, Vista service Pack 2, Windows 7 (32/64 bit)
  • iTunes
  • Wi-Fi router (local area network or Ad hoc network)
  • Conductor Server software (free download)

I’m pretty handy with keyboard shortcuts on my Mac to navigate between applications and windows so the need for App Conductor HD is less compelling for a user like me. However, I can still see it being a useful utility when I have a ton of apps open since it can be a bit tedious to navigate to the right app and window using the native keyboard controls in Mac OS X.

m3me also offers Remote Conductor HD, an app that offers similar functionality to App Conductor HD but with a few added features, including the ability to use your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch as a remote trackpad and keyboard for your computer. There’s also a version of Remote Conductor for the iPhone and iPod touch.

  • Productivity

    App Conductor HD - Remote...

    Last Changed:
    38 months ago
    Rating:
    No data
    Version:
    1.0.0
    iOS iPad

    Use your iPad along side your computer as a dedicated window manager, similar to OS X Mission Control or Exposé! - works with Windows or Mac! Turn your iPad into an application control center and...

iOS Developer Collects and Reveals Most Common Passcodes, Apple Pulls App from App Store

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

The Next Web reported earlier this week on an interesting experiment by developer Daniel Amitay who anonymously collected user passcodes through his app Big Brother Camera Security. Amitay posted the results of this anonymous data gathering on his blog and the internet was aflame yesterday with the information along with dire warnings about choosing a secure passcode for your iOS device.

From the data he collected, 1234 was revealed as the most common passcode used, followed by 0000. Note that these were not the passcodes used to access the iPhones and iPod touches sampled but simply those used to access his Big Brother Camera Security app. However, it’s likely that many of these users also use the same passcode to unlock their iPhones or iPod touches.

A chart of the most common passcodes published by Amitay:

Amitay stated today that Apple removed Big Brother Camera Security from the App Store over concerns that he was collecting this information:

Got a call from Apple last night regarding the removal of Big Brother from the App Store. Apparrently, Apple believed that I was “surreptitiously harvesting user passwords.”

Amitay has since removed this data-collecting code from the app and re-submitted it to Apple for approval though he stands firm that his app did not violate any of Apple’s guidelines since the passcode data collected came from his app alone and did not include any information to identify users.

On the surface, Amitay’s actions are a little alarming in that it’s abundantly clear developers can easily collect data on how you use their apps (not that we didn’t already know this, but this situation is a blatant reminder). I do believe that sharing information like this can help iOS device users be more mindful of the passcodes they use and could cause some to choose more secure ones. However, if Amitay did not disclose up front to users of Big Brother Camera Security that this data would be collected, his actions feel underhanded despite the lack of any malicious intent.

‘Fast Customer’ Goes Free Temporarily, Lets You Avoid Holding for Customer Service

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Fast Customer by developer Results Junkies is now free temporarily, down from its regular price of $.99. Fast Customer is a neat app and service that will connect you directly to a live person at hundreds of businesses so you don’t have to navigate complicated menu systems and suffer through muzak while you wait to speak to someone.

To use Fast Customer, you need to enter the phone number you wish to use (this doesn’t need to be your iPhone’s number). You then select the business you’d like to call – Fast Customer will make the call for you independently and then call you at the number you specified when a live person is available to talk. That’s it. Pretty straightforward and useful to avoid messing around with annoying menu trees when all you need to do is speak to a live person.

Results Junkies has created a video demonstrating how their service works (the video focuses on initiating their service through the web but the concept is the same as the iPhone app):




Fast Customer currently works with customer service lines of over 900 companies – a full list is provided here. You can also request other companies to be added to this list via their contact form here.

Grab Fast Customer now if it’s been on your Wish List or if you make even one customer service call a year – the time and frustration this app could save you is worth it, even at its regular price of $.99.

  • Lifestyle

    FastCustomer: Fast customer...

    Last Changed:
    26 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (36)
    Version:
    3.0.1
    iOS iPhone

    **"Top 10 Smart-phone App of 2011" - TIME Magazine** Hate waiting on hold for customer service? Then don't! With a single tap, we navigate the phone tree to whichever department...

U.S. Department of State Releases ‘Smart Traveler’ for iPhone

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

The U.S. Department of State has released an iOS app to assist travelers heading to destinations outside of the the country. Smart Traveler hit the App Store this afternoon and features travel alerts, warnings, embassy location information and more for hundreds of and countries and areas.

Smart Traveler, the official State Department app for U.S. travelers, invites you to see the world with easy access to frequently updated official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings, maps, U.S. embassy locations, and more.

Smart Traveler also allows users to enter travel itinerary details and notes and join the Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive information about emergencies and other issues in the country you’re traveling to. The app is available for free and requires iOS 4.0 or higher on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Smart Traveler joins other official U.S. government apps in the App Store like The White House and My TSA by the Transportation Security Administration. While you could argue that the U.S. government could have allocated the funds used to create these apps more effectively in other ways, I’m personally thrilled to see our government provide resources that leverage the technology many of its citizens are using more and more every day.

  • Travel

    Smart Traveler

    Last Changed:
    10 months ago
    Rating:
    1.00 (21)
    Version:
    1.3.0
    iOS Universal

    Smart Traveler, the official State Department app for U.S. travelers, invites you to see the world with easy access to frequently updated official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings,...

Domino’s Pizza Joins Pizza Hut, Others in App Store

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Domino’s Pizza, the second largest pizza chain in the U.S., has released an iOS app. The company’s free self-named app hit the App Store earlier this month and offers the ability to place an order for delivery (where available) or carryout and track the resulting order.

The app’s full features list includes the following:

  • The ability to order from almost any Domino’s in the U.S. (Nearly 5,000 locations)
  • Access to all the items on our national menu.
  • Find coupons available for use at your selected store.
  • The app will remember your most recent store and other useful information.
  • We do not require you to login.
  • In app credit or debit card payment.
  • Use Domino’s Tracker to follow your order from the “make line”, into the oven, then out for delivery or ready for pickup!

Competitor Pizza Hut’s app debuted in the summer of 2009, beating Domino’s by nearly 2 years to a presence in the App Store. Other major pizza chains that offer apps include Papa John’s, California Pizza Kitchen, and Papa Gino’s.

If you’re looking for something other than pizza, restaurant chains Outback Steakhouse, Chipotle, Bob Evans also offer official apps through which you can place food orders.

  • Food & Drink

    Domino's Pizza USA

    Last Changed:
    4 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (2452)
    Version:
    2.3.2
    iOS Universal

    Did Domino's just release their fastest, easiest, most appetizing ordering experience yet? Oh Yes We Did. Use your iPhone, iPod touch and now iPad to build your perfect pizza and order from our...

Junecloud’s ‘Notefile’ Syncs Notes Between Your iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Junecloud, the developer of the excellent Delivery Status Touch, has released Notefile, a note-taking app for the iPhone and iPad with a Dashboard Widget-based counterpart for the Mac. Notefile debuted in the App Store earlier this month and offers a clean and straightforward interface to type and store notes along with great flexibility to access and edit notes.

Notes can be added or edited within the Notefile app, on the Junecloud website, or through a free Notefile Dashboard Widget – all that’s required for synchronization between devices is a free Junecloud account (which also works with the Delivery Status Touch app and widget).

While Apple offers a native Notes app out-of-the-box on the iPhone and iPad, its counterpart on the Mac is the Mail app, which I find distracting and cumbersome to use for simple notes. I’m all for apps like Notefile that offer alternate seamless over-the-air synchronization with multiple ways to access and edit my data.

Notefile debuted in the App Store earlier this month and costs $4.99. It’s a universal app that works on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The free companion Dashboard Widget (which requires Mac OS 10.5 or higher) is available from Junecloud’s site here.

  • Productivity

    Notefile

    Last Changed:
    5 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (90)
    Version:
    2.1.1
    iOS Universal

    “The best app for simple notes” — Tap! Magazine "a simple, yet seamless syncing experience between all of your Apple devices in a familiar interface" — MacStories “a...

Nuance Releases ‘Dragon Remote Microphone’ for iPhone

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Nuance Communications, the maker of speech recognition software for a variety of platforms, has released an iPhone app that acts as a companion to its Dragon Naturally Speaking desktop application. Dragon Remote Microphone allows the use of an iPhone as a wireless microphone for speech dictation.

There is a significant catch, though – Dragon Remote Microphone works only with the Windows version of Dragon Naturally Speaking so those who use the equivalent Dragon Dictate for the Mac are out of luck here. Hopefully Nuance will support Mac users similarly in the near future.

Nuance has been in the news lately with indications of integration of its speech recognition technology in recent internal iOS builds though nothing has been officially announced by neither Apple nor Nuance so far.

Dragon Remote Microphone requires the iPhone and PC to be connected via Wi-Fi. Dragon Naturally Speaking for Windows–based computers starts at $99 while Dragon Remote Microphone for the iPhone is free.

  • Productivity

    Dragon Remote Microphone

    Last Changed:
    26 months ago
    Rating:
    2.50 (33)
    Version:
    1.4
    iOS iPhone

    The Dragon Remote Microphone app turns your iOS device into a wireless microphone, making it easier and more comfortable for individuals to use their Dragon Desktop software. Users can now opt to...

‘Reeder’ Arrives in Mac App Store

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Developer Silvio Rizzi has released his popular RSS feed reader app for the Mac. Reeder hit the Mac App Store earlier this week and has already garnered hundreds of 5-star ratings from users. Reeder was first available for the iPhone, debuting in September 2009 in the iOS App Store, with the iPad version following suit last June.

Reeder is a Google Reader client so you’ll need a (free) Google Reader account to use it. It offers complete synchronization with Google Reader when it comes to adding and removing feeds, read status, and more. It also works with several services, including Readability, Instapaper, Delicious, and others. Reeder for the Mac offers the same minimalist yet functional interface as the iOS versions.

The iPad version of Reeder was last a topic in our blog in December when it appeared that another developer, NibiruTech, had copied its interface in its MobileRSS HD app. NibiruTech updated MobileRSS HD shortly afterward to remove the similarities between the two apps.

Reeder for Mac costs $9.99. The iPhone version costs $2.99 and the iPad version costs $4.99. All of them are worthy purchases in my view if you are looking for a solid Google Reader-compatible RSS feed reader for your iOS devices and Mac.

  • News

    Reeder

    Last Changed:
    21 months ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (405)
    Version:
    1.2
    Mac OS

    Google Reader Client. ★ Syncs with Google Reader. ★ Full Readability (readability.com) integration (see Preferences → General) ★ Customizable interface (see Preferences → Appearance) ★...

  • News

    Reeder

    Last Changed:
    17 months ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (247)
    Version:
    3.2
    iOS iPhone

    Google Reader will be closed on July 1st. Please see here for more information on the future of Reeder: http://reederapp.com/reader RSS reader and client for Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, Fever,...

  • News

    Reeder for iPad

    Last Changed:
    21 months ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (271)
    Version:
    1.5.7
    iOS iPad

    Google Reader Client. - Syncs with Google Reader - Browse by feed or folders - Manage starred items, notes - Mark as unread - Image caching - State saving - Slider control for list entries: ...