A string of major free updates have landed this week in the App Store, just in time for the beginning of the holiday season that always witnesses fierce competition and price reductions for consumers. This week, Sleep Cycle, Twitter and Boxcar all rolled out significant additions to their already impressive applications, enhancing functionality dramatically.

Developers Maciek Drejak Labs rolled out version 3.0 of Sleep Cycle alarm clock, rated 5 stars by 148Apps and holding the position of #1 top paid application in numerous countries. The $0.99 application tracks your sleeping pattern in an effort to wake you up during your lightest sleeping phase. The free update now allows you to wake up to your own music from the iPod application, or choose not to have an alarm at all but still track your sleeping pattern. In addition, the application now offers full support for iPod Touch and is “up to 5x more sensitive to your movement”. A new intelligent snooze feature has also been integrated, along with a plethora of general improvements that make this application a thorough ‘buy’ recommendation.

In social networking news, a much-anticipated and long overdue update to the official Twitter application for iPhone and iPad brings push notifications for @replies and direct messages, a feature that third party applications such as Boxcar (see below for a twist) offered to satisfy users who were forced to make use of an unofficial alternative.

However, Boxcar, an application that satisfied push notifications for Twitter before the update, have gone one step further still and now offer push notifications from anyone on your timeline, regardless of whether or not the message is a standard tweet, @reply or direct message. This is big news, particularly for twitter feeds dedicated to posting breaking news, where speed is everything. Version 4.1 also provides Foursquare, Gowalla and Reddit push integration.

With the holiday season fast approaching, expect more and more developers to provide added incentives, release significant updates and reduce prices in a bid to ensure that their application remains top of the charts. The best things in the tech life really are free – updates!

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-07-23 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-10-09 :: Category: Social Networking

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-07-09 :: Category: Social Networking

Posted in: App Store Insiders, Blog

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