Rumors and purported leaks over the summer point to a relatively minor upgrade to the current iPhone 5, which has been dubbed the iPhone 5S in line with the naming convention used for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S models released in previous years. A low-cost iPhone is also expected with a plastic shell and multiple color options. For a comprehensive overview of all of the rumors and supposed leaked information to date, check out this iPhone 5S round-up and this iPhone 5C (low-cost version) round-up over at our sister site, MacRumors.
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As part of its App of the Week program, Apple is now offering Chillingo’s Cut the Rope for free from now through September 4. This is the first time that Cut the Rope has ever been free since it debuted in the App Store in October 2010. The iPhone version normally costs $.99 and the HD iPad version normally costs $3.99 (though it’s gone as low as $.99 a couple of times).
If you’re not familiar with Cut the Rope, your goal is to cut various ropes to release pieces of candy so that they fall into the mouth of a cute little monster named Om Nom. It may not sound terribly challenging and the early levels are definitely easy so you can get a hang of the mechanics, but it gets trickier as you progress. Also, Om Nom is adorable and I never seem to get tired of the cute little sounds he makes. Here’s the official trailer for the game:
If Apple’s timing for the App of the Week holds true, Cut the Rope will remain free through the end of the day on Wednesday, September 4 and possible into September 5 as well. But there’s no reason to wait until the last minute to download this charming game for your iPhone and iPad so go hit those Buy Now buttons below before you forget and miss the opportunity to get them gratis.
The sequel to Popcap’s incredibly popular tower defense game, Plants vs. Zombies has arrived. Plants vs. Zombies 2 features many of the same lovable and deadly plants from the first game along with new plants, zombies, power ups, and locations.
Here’s the official Plants vs. Zombies 2 trailer that gives some brief peeks of some of the new plants and other features:
Plants vs. Zombies 2 is free to download so there’s nothing standing in your way of getting it even if you’re watching your budget. If you still want more details before you dive in, check out the review over at TouchArcade where it’s earned five stars and deemed a “fantastic” sequel to the first version, which also earned five stars.
I just downloaded Plants vs. Zombies 2 this morning and am looking forward to playing it later (I shake my fist at you, work!). I absolutely loved the first version and expect to adore the sequel as well.
Our own official app here at AppShopper got an update on Friday to fix a few bugs and add a much-requested feature: the ability to view your friends’ app lists. Previously, you could add new friends and see their apps in your Stream but there was no way to separately view the apps of a specific friend. But now you can tap on a friend’s name in the Friends tab and you’ll see the apps he or she already has or has added to their Wish List.
You can apply filters and sort your friends’ lists as well and add any apps to your own Wish List or mark them as owned.
If you add me (my AppShopper user name is Marianne), here’s what my profile looks like:
If you haven’t tried AppShopper Social yet, you can use it to track apps you want to buy and get notified when they go on sale, just like you can here through the AppShopper website. For an overview of how our handy dandy Wish List feature works, read this article.
We’ve got more features and updates planned for AppShopper Social so stay tuned. If you like our app, please consider leaving us a review in the App Store and if you have any technical issues or feature requests, please submit them through this contact form.
Though there are several unofficial Imgur apps available in the App Store today, Imgur has just released its own official app. If you’re not already familiar with Imgur, it’s truly one of the best sites to facilitate procrastination and get a good laugh on the internet today.
Anyone can upload pictures anonymously to Imgur and you can choose to share the images you upload through social networking services (though if you do that, it’s no so anonymous anymore). Others can comment on pictures and like or dislike them and the most popular images are shown on Imgur’s home page. Imgur says that more than 1 million images are uploaded every day.
The universal Imgur app is available in the App Store now and is free to download.
Realmac Software, one of the developers of the popular list app Clear for iPhone and Mac, has released Ember for Mac. Ember is a digital scrapbooking app that lets you save, organize, and share images from the web or just about any other source. Ember is the new version of LittleSnapper, an app with similar functionality that originally debuted in the Mac App Store in early 2011.
If you were a LittleSnapper user, you can import that library right into Ember so you won’t lose anything you’d collected or worked on before. You can save images from the web or another application from your Mac. Realmac offers extensions for Chrome and Safari to make saving images to Ember even easier without leaving your web browser. You can even save screenshots and Ember will automatically recognize and sort those captured on your iPhone or iPad.
You can tag and group your saved images into Collections for easier reference later and you can even do basic editing to annotate, rotate, and crop saved images. Say you’re looking for a perfect outfit for a special occasion and you’ve come across several possibilities online – with Ember you can save images of all of them, add notes on where you found them or accessories you have in mind, and group them into a single category to keep them all in one place. Think of Ember as similar to Pinterest but more powerful and less public (unless you choose to share your collected images via Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other built-in sharing options).
Here’s a promotional video showing Ember in action:
I got a chance to check out Ember before its release and it’s dead simple to save images and tag and organize them. I don’t consider myself a fashionista but I do come across clothing and shoes (mostly boots, which are my weakness) online that I’d like to save and Ember is perfect for this. My only wish is for some sort of cloud synchronization to save your Ember library between multiple Macs automatically, though I imagine this could get unwieldy when large images are involved.
Ember is available now in the Mac App Store for $49.99. If you’re a designer or creative professional or simply into digital scrapbooking, Ember is a great way to save and organize your digital images.
A couple of months ago I read a New York Times article on the 7-Minute Workout and how it appears that even very short (but intense) workouts can be as physically beneficial as longer workouts. The New York Times refers to an article in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal that advocates an intense 7-minute regimen of exercises that alternately targets the major muscle groups of your upper body and legs with short breaks in between. Using just your body weight, a chair, and a wall, you can lose body fat, improve your overall fitness, and more according to recent research.
These seven minutes aren’t meant to be pleasant but they apparently can be very effective. But staying on track during this short but intense workout can be a challenge and developers saw fit to give you the guidance and motivation you needed to get through them with iPhone apps. There are a bunch of 7-minute workout apps in the App Store now and a few of the paid ones just went free recently.
Ivory Consulting’s 7 Minute Workout – With Voice Prompts debuted in the App Store just last week at $.99 and its price just dropped to free yesterday. It will guide you vocally through all of the exercises with 20-second and 10-second countdown notices and announcements of the next exercise you need to complete. It includes links to videos showing each exercise but doesn’t include any text descriptions. It has basic calendar and reminder functions to track your workout completion over the past 30 days and remind you to do the workout again tomorrow.
Bytesize’s 7 Minute Workout hit the App Store in May at $.99 and went free last month. It also guides you through all of the exercises vocally with announcements of what’s next but doesn’t give you any vocal countdowns as you complete each one. If you want to track the workouts you’ve completed or customize the order or duration of the exercises, you’ll need to pony up $1.99 via in-app purchase to get a “Pro” version of the app.
UOVO’s The 7 Minute Workout provides vocal guidance through all of the exercises along with countdowns and announcements of the next exercise you need to do. You can access both written descriptions and video overviews of the each exercise easily but it lacks any tracking or reminder functionality. It was released in the App Store in May for $.99 but just dropped to free earlier this month.
It’s not clear if these apps will remain free for good or if these are only temporary price drops so act quickly if this 7-minute workout phenomenon has piqued your interest. Out of these three apps, I’ll be keeping UOVO’S The 7 Minute Workout on my iPhone since it has the best vocal countdowns, which are important to me with intense, maximum effort exercises like these.
Before you try this or any type of workout, please see your doctor to make sure you’re physically able to do these without injuring yourself. And if you’re in an area suffering through the current heat wave, stay cool!
Google Maps for iOS got a major update yesterday that makes the popular mapping app compatible with the iPad and adds several new navigation features. The 2.0 update hit the App Store last night and is free to download.
Here’s the full list of what’s new in this version:
- New design for iPad
- Enhanced navigation including live traffic updates and incident reports
- Explore: A new way to browse and discover popular local places to eat, drink, shop, play and sleep
- Simple 5-star ratings and reviews from friends, plus expert Zagat content
- Great deals from your favorite brands with Google Offers
- Indoor maps with walking directions for malls, transit stations, airports and more
This update makes Google Maps a compelling alternative to Apple’s own Maps app for iPad users. With the furor over the errors in Apple’s Maps app last year (many of which haven’t been corrected yet in my personal experience), Google is certainly keen on keeping iOS users invested in its own map data and related services. If you haven’t yet downloaded Google Maps, it’s definitely worth a go if you’ve been unimpressed or even led astray by Maps.
Apple announced this morning the release of Logic Pro X, the next major version of its profesional audio recording and editing Mac app. Apple also released Logic Pro X companion apps MainStage 3 for Mac and Logic Remote for iPad today.
Logic Pro X lets users create music using a wide range of virtual instruments included with the app or audio imported from other sources or live recordings. Notably, Logic Pro X includes a new Drummer feature that acts a virtual player to automatically add percussion to your music. Another new feature is Flex Pitch that lets users fix out-of-tune vocals.
Logic Pro X is our most powerful version yet, with advanced tools and a modern new interface designed to streamline the process of creating professional quality music,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Musicians are going to love creative new features like Drummer, Flex Pitch, Track Stacks and the Arpeggiator.
Companion app MainStage 3 turns your Mac into a digital rig for live music performances, acting as a control system for connected instruments and virtual instruments and previously-recorded tracks and effects. The new Logic Remote iPad app lets users play Logic Pro X instruments remotely and perform basic project editing and mixing tasks.
Logic Pro X and MainStage 3 are both available in the Mac App Store now for $199.99 and $29.99, respectively. Logic Remote for iPad is also available now in the App Store and is free to download.
Version 1.0.1 of our own official app, AppShopper Social, has just hit the App Store. This update includes fixes for sharing via Facebook and email, a crashing issue for iPad users running iOS 5, performance issues for iPhone 4 users, and other bug fixes.
AppShopper Social first debuted in the App Store in April after Apple had removed the original AppShopper app last year due to a conflict with some new App Store rules. The release of this 1.0.1 update to fix some glaring problems was delayed thanks to some issues out of our control but we hope that those are behind us now and look forward to releasing future updates with additional fixes and new features more regularly in the future.
Still on our list is a universal version to add iPad compatibility. Also, we still plan to add the ability to view your friends’ lists and easier methods to discover new friends and their recommended apps.
Of course, AppShopper Social is still free to download and will automatically notify you when apps on your Wish List go on sale (see this article for an overview of how to use our Wish List feature). Following the user appshopper will show you the most popular apps among our users as well as apps featured on our blog.
(If you’re looking for new friends, my AppShopper user name is Marianne and the site’s founder’s user name is arn. Our sister sites are under the user names macrumors and toucharcade.)
If you like AppShopper, please recommend AppShopper Social to your friends to help support future updates and new features.