The folks behind the ever-amazing Game Developers Conference, held each year in San Francisco, are expanding their offerings with two new conferences to be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center November 5th-7th, 2013. The App Developers Conference (ADC) will focus on more than just game apps, bringing together developers for iOS, Android, and other mobile platforms for workshops, presentations, and seminars. The GDC Next conference, taking place simultaneously, is the spiritual successor to GDC Online. GDC Next will focus on the future of gaming experiences across all platforms.
Both conferences are looking for presenters from now until May 29, 2013, with the ADC looking for submissions in the areas of Entertainment, Enterprise, Health/Wellness, Lifestyle, Brand Marketing, and Education. Submissions for the ADS are open now at http://adc.callforsubmissions.gdc4p.com.
GDC Next is looking for presentations in the areas of The Future of Gaming, Next Generation Game Platforms, Free-to-Play & New Business Models, Smartphone and & Tablet Games, Cloud Gaming and Independent Games, with a submission form available at http://gdcnext.2013.gdc4p.com.
We spoke with Executive Vice President of GDC, Simon Carless (pictured, right), to find out a bit more about the impetus behind the two new conferences as well as the change in venue. The main reason to have the conferences in Los Angeles is one of logistics. “We’re finding a lot of the top game and app developers are on the West Coast – or can easily travel there thanks to the excellent airport connections Los Angeles has,” said Carless. He continued, saying that the lack of direct flights to Austin, TX, where GDC Online was traditionally held, made an otherwise successful conference tricky to get to.
A secondary reason, especially for the App Developers Conference, is that Los Angeles is a hub for many of the topical areas the conference will focus on, like entertainment, enterprise, fitness, and lifestyle apps.
As far as how GDC Next connects to the now-defunct GDC Online, Carless said, “We’re calling GDC Next the ‘spiritual successor’ to GDC Online, in that a lot of the advisory board from GDC Online are transitioning to this new event, but we’ve discovered that as their focus changes (to tablets, free to play, and beyond!), our focus for the show changed as well.” The resulting new conference and focus is more about the future of games, he said, to bring the conference up to date.
Carless is excited about the ADC, as its an area the group has never covered before, though he does mention that there will be a gaming apps track at GDC Next. “So what we found,” he said, “is that there are a LOT of apps being produced that are not games, and people were asking for a much more learning and takeaway-focused event around enterprise, entertainment, lifestyle, and other apps.” And that’s what the group is doing.
If you’re a developer of gaming or other apps and want to present at either conference, be sure to head to the respective pages, linked above, to submit your presentations to the committees who handle that sort of thing.
Today, John Lassiter, Chief Creative Officer of Disney and Pixar, and John Blackburn, Avalanche Software Studio VP, revealed the multi-platform, immersive world of Disney Infinity.
Disney Infinity will be a multi-property, multi-platform exploration game which will let you can combine various Disney characters and worlds to use your imagination to the fullest. It will be a combination of real world toys and video games, similar to Skylanders, but taken to the extreme. For example, in Disney Infinity you can answer the question: who would win a race between Lightning McQueen from Cars and Dash from The Incredibles?
This is both good and bad news for iOS users. While the mobile part of Disney Infinity will be initially limited to so-called support apps, it will evolve over 2013 to a full Disney Infinity platform, though we are still trying to get details on that.
The game for consoles will launch with a variety of play figures and play sets. The game will unlock various worlds and characters based on what set and individual figures you buy. And each playset will allow you to play in the world of the playset, like Monsters, Inc., or Pirates of the Caribbean , or The Incredibles.
In the various playlets, you play in the world of that playset with only the characters present from that world. But with each playset purchased, you are given the option to to also take the included characters into a Toy Box mode, in which you can mix characters and abilities from different properties.
You can also build out your world with purchasable toys, tools, and vehicles, though we’re not sure if it will be equivalent to in-app purchases, or if it will require characters to level up to purchase. You can also build out your worlds with new buildings, enhancements, and more. Once purchased, you can take the items you have into the Toy Box mode as well.
Obviously, it’s the Toy Box mode where Disney Infinity will really shine. The whole world is editable, playable, and infinitely customizable. It’s the digital equivalent of opening up a toy chest filled with all of the Disney characters and using your imagination to build anything you want, playing out any story you want. You can team up with other characters and go on adventures, build things, all the while being creative. It could be fantastic. Everything in the toy box world can be changed. You can build new islands, buildings, or whole environments if you wish.
The online aspect is currently a little conservative. Though to be fair, that is to be expected with a kid-centric game like this. Disney needs to be cautious to protect the kids. There’s no giant open MMO, as I had hoped for. What you can do is to share your created worlds online. Disney will then moderate those and push them out via an online list of downloadable worlds. Once you download a world you are free to interact and further edit it at will.
The game will also offer an up to four-player multiplayer mode, a drop-in/out mode where one person hosts the world and the other three players can interact with that world and the other players.
To see what the game looks like, along with the pads and figures, take a look at the video below.
Disney Infinity will launch in June, 2013 for consoles and online, with mobile being rolled out in phases over 2013. No details have yet been given for mobile. One thing we know is that Disney considers this a key, if not the key to their future.
This week at 148Apps.com things got a little bizarre, as Jennifer Allen spotlighted the various iOS projects that have risen since Bizarre Creations was disbanded: “In January 2011, British games developer Bizarre Creations was closed by Activision. Looking through the games that Bizarre were responsible for, it’s no surprise that many fans were hugely disappointed to see its closure. Racing titles such as the Project Gotham Racing series were seen by many as the pinnacle of racing games, with similar successes coming from the retro shooter Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved and the cartoony Fur Fighters. Unfortunately, despite the release of arcade racer Blur and James Bond 007: Blood Stone in 2010, it wasn’t enough and Bizarre Creations was dissolved.
What happened next, though? And why am I talking about console games on 148Apps? Because a number of new gaming studios rose from Bizarre’s flames, many of them iOS focused. Recently, I got the chance to see how things are progressing for a few of them.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-06-10 :: Category: Games
GiggleApps.com got all mathematical on us this week with a review of Squeebles Fractions. Writer Amy Solomon says, “Squeebles Fractions is an interesting app to help children to understand fractions, creating a bright, colorful world in which to practice their math skills. I admire the cake theme found throughout this app, as players are able to, within the first section of this app, serve pieces of a cake to waiting monster-like Squeebles characters which correspond to a fraction seen on the screen, really helping children visualize the fractions they are working with.”
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-09-09 :: Category: Education
And on AndroidRundown.com, Joseph Bertolini focused his KickStarter spotlight on iMpulse Game Controller. He writes, “Welcome, iMpulse, a tiny rectangular controller that is small enough to comfortably fit on any keychain. iMpulse was specifically designed to go onto keychains because they are with the player constantly. Anytime they leave the house their keys must go with them along with the phone; meaning that at anytime, gaming with a controller is possible. At about the width of an average palm iMpulse is small but it does not seem too small where it would be frustrating or unusable. Oh, and did I mention that it will help locate lost keys? For me, as forgetful as they come, this is almost more than worth the price of the whole device, gaming notwithstanding.”
With that, we’re done with this week’s wrap-up. Join us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news, reviews and contests, and check out this post every week for a recap of the stuff you need to know. Ciao!
Posted by Rob LeFebvre on September 12th, 2012 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
While this isn’t an issue until iOS6, when the YouTube app will no longer be part of Apple’s mobile operating system, Google has just released a standalone YouTube app for the iPhone. An iPad version should be coming soon.
On one level, it’s just a new app. But YouTube’s mobile usage is large and growing – 1bn mobile views a day at the moment, with a big chunk of them coming from music videos. As Google and Apple’s fractured relationship continues to splinter, it matters to the music industry how YouTube is accessed on iOS devices.
Budgeting app Mvelopes has just added an extremely convenient new feature: the ability to pay bills directly from within the app.
See, while other budgeting apps may have the ability to list bills that need to be paid in their apps, actually paying them becomes a challenge. This new Bill Pay feature allows for transfers directly from the bank to those institutions that need to be paid. It’s possible to add multiple bank accounts – even from entirely different banks – to help make paying back bills easier, and users can transfer money between banks using the app.
When using this feature to directly pay bills, the app can also track payments and forecast future payments to help keep spending in line. While it’s not possible to add new bank information while on the go, scheduling payments for as soon as the next day can be done while mobile. Data is encrypted so that if a device is lost, this important data is safe. These features are available as part of the Mvelopes Premier package for $9.99 a month, and are integrated into the app, which is available now.
This week at 148Apps.com was all about the red, white, and blue as we celebrated the 4th of July. Writer Lisa Caplan contributed to the festivities with her list of Favorite Four apps for Independence Day. She writes, “It’s July 4th, so we hope most Americans are out celebrating and reading this on an iPhone or iPad or between activities. But if you are still looking for apps to help make the day even better, we’ve rounded up four of our favorties that commemorate everything from US History to the traditional BBQ for you here.”
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-06-22 :: Category: Education
GiggleApps stayed on a vacation theme with its review of Miny Moe Car. Reviewer Amy Solomon says, “Miny Moe Car is a charming and fun simulated driving app that toddlers and children in preschool will enjoy. I have always been a fan of this type of toy, both as an arcade game as well as a simple children’s plaything. I remember when my son was just a year old, I bought him the most realistic driver I could find – a toy he still enjoys today. A search on iTunes will find a few applications of this type that mostly show a POV from the driver’s seat of a car or other vehicle. This is also the case for this application which does a really nice job of recreating the driving experience for toddlers.”
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-05-09 :: Category: Education
And finally at 148Apps.biz, Carter Dotson reported on a new study revealing the iPad as the number one gaming platform. Dotson writes, “Tablets and phones are vastly different devices. This seems obvious, but in reality, they really aren’t: the difference between the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2 is basically different sized screens. However, the way that users, especially gamers, use the two devices is still dramatically different, according to PlayFirst, via Pocket Gamer. Tablet users are playing more games than phone users are, and they’re spending more on games.”
That’s the end of this week’s happenings, but there’s always more news, reviews and contests headed your way across the 148Apps network. Just follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook to keep track of all the goings-on. Until next week, enjoy the fireworks!
This week at 148Apps.com, we indulged in a little healthy living with our review of the iHealth Blood Pressure Dock. Site editor Rob LeFebvre writes, “The iHealth Blood Pressure Dock is a fantastic piece of tech that will allow anyone, regardless of experience, ability, or consciousness to have their blood pressure taken and monitored over time.
The free app that works alongside the actual blood pressure dock and arm cuff is simple, easy to use, and can be set up with multiple users. This allows families to keep track of more than one family member who might want or need to do so.
While high blood pressure is no laughing matter and should be monitored by a doctor or licensed health care provider, the iHealth blood pressure dock is ideal for tracking blood pressure in between doctor visits.”
Meanwhile, at GiggleApps.com, writer Amy Solomon took a trip to learn about polar bears via her review of the Smithsonian’s Polar Bear Horizon. She writes, “Polar Bear Horizon – Smithsonian Oceanic Collection is an interactive application based on the book of the same name and now part of a series of Smithsonian applications developed by Oceanhouse Media. Like other apps by Oceanhouse Media, this application includes the choice to listen to narration allowing readers to follow along the included text which becomes highlighted when words are spoken, or to read this book to oneself. Auto-play is also an option.”
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-02-22 :: Category: Books
Finally, 148Apps.biz founder Jeff Scott announced the return of MobileBeat to San Francisco, saying “I think of MobileBeat as the business of mobile conference. The conference is about making connections with the business side of the mobile industry. This year the focus of MobileBeat is on something we see ignored all too often, design.”
Another week has passed, but there’s still plenty more where that came from. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to track the latest developments, and maybe even score a few free apps along the way. Until next week, stay Brave!
Dolphin Browser version 2.0 was released for iOS and is now available for download on the App Store. Similar to the company’s recent Android update, the mobile browser for the iPhone and iPad now features Dolphin Connect, which enables the user to sync all of their important bookmarks across platforms. For instance, iPad owners who have an Android mobile phone are good to go with the latest update. This should make for a consistent user experience regardless of mobile platform.
The app’s Webzine received several enhancements, including bringing 16 of the most popular channels directly to the home screen for easy, one-touch access. The company also announced that they’ve surpassed 10 million users and in celebration are giving away a trip to Disneyland for one lucky Dolphin user. This also includes a guest. The prize is five nights at the Walt Disney Dolphin Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Find out all the details on the company’s blog.
Social reporting, a feature available on the web-version of Facebook since March, allows users to submit a report on content they are unhappy about both to the posting user and Facebook. “Safety and child psychology experts tell us that online issues are frequently a reflection of what is happening offline. By encouraging people to seek help from friends, we hope that many of these situations can be resolved face to face,” says the social reporting page itself. This feature will now be available on mobile devices, as Facebook reports that almost 70% of these reports result in the original poster removing the offending content on their own. Makes sense why they’d want this on mobile apps, as many of us do our Facebook activities from our iPhones.
The second feature, mobile password reset, seems like a no brainer in a world with continuous access and private information coming and going from websites and iPhone apps like Facebook’s. If the comments to the announcement are any indication, many users will benefit from this enhanced security precaution.
Looking to “liven up” contacts on mobile devices, LiveContacts has created LiveContacts for iPhone, Android, Windows 7 Phone and Symbian devices. The app promises to “spice up” the standard contact app on mobile devices, offering to save new phone numbers, photos, and addresses as they change, in real time. We’re assuming that the app will use a web-enabled back end to search out contacts publicly available information, then offer to sync it to the iPhone and other devices if it is different than the information stored there locally. Users will also be able to search the very same publicly available information for people they wish to contact.
In addition, LiveContacts will sync users’ contact information, and then connect that information to any other phone enabled with the same account. This could be a boon to users with more than one iPhone, or possibly a combination of different devices. In addition, if the device gets lost, LiveContacts will allow users to sync the data to a new device, through a simple login. Cloud-save saves the day once again!
LiveContacts will be “available soon,” so stay tuned right here for an update as soon as we know more.
It’s no secret folks love using the Facebook app on their iPhones and it seemed like just a matter of time before a dedicated Facebook app made its way over to the iPad. Funny story – sometimes foregone conclusions aren’t as foregone as you think, and it would seem that Facebook currently has no immediate plans to create an iPad app. The reason? Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that the iPad “Isn’t mobile.”
The initial response to such a statement is one of sound and fury, but it seems that Facebook’s true planning is actually a bit more elegant than Zuckerberg let on. According to company Mobile VP Erik Tseng, Facebook is trying to figure out a unified strategy across all tablet devices so that there can be one tablet-optimized Facebook for Apple, Dell, HP, etc. The thinking goes that Facebook is currently tinkering with an HTML5 version of the service which will present a user-friendly, unified experience across all devices.
Furthermore, Facebook fanatics can still put up wall posts or upload embarrassing pictures via the traditional Facebook website which is easily accessible on the iPad’s web browser. It may not be as streamlined or elegant as the iPhone’s Facebook app, but it’s still perfectly functional.
Even though there’s no official iPad Facebook app on the immediate horizon things are far from dire. While it would be nice to go to an tablet optimized version of the social networking site in one click, having to navigate for a few more seconds has never killed anyone and it won’t start now. I’m sure we’ll all find a way to manage somehow, and we’d rather Facebook take their time and get it right then rush out a half-baked app that barely works and proves to be more cumbersome than helpful.
Following our report on the launch of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Square app and payment service for iPhone, Visa and DeviceFidelity have joined the iPhone payment market with a solution named In2Pay. This time, enabling iPhone uses to make contactless payments with their device rather than receive them.
Announced today, the In2Pay solution allows iPhone users to make “contactless transactions” by positioning their iPhone in front of a contactless payment terminal. In order to use the service, the iPhone must be housed within DeviceFidelity’s protective case, which uses microSD technology. The case is said to allow “mobile contactless capability” to the iPhone and is compatible with the 3G and 3GS models.
In a press release, Visa says: “By placing a removable In2Pay microSD into the protective case, iPhone users can take advantage of In2Pay’s secure contactless capabilities where contactless transactions are offered. They range from buying goods in retail stores and at unattended kiosks, to transit ticketing, and even securely accessing buildings and computers networks.”
Trials of the service are scheduled to start during the second quarter of this year.
The service builds on Visa’s payWave technology for contactless transactions and uses the DeviceFidelity In2Pay technology to make use of any mobile phones with a microSD memory slot. This suggests that the iPhone may not be the only device Visa is aiming In2Pay at. The iPhone, of course, does not currently support microSD and therefore needs a casing to house the microSD card.
“The more than 200,000 apps on the App Store are an integral part of iPhone users’ lives.” said Amitaabh Malhotra, COO, DeviceFidelity. “With our In2Pay solution, we want to give both iPhone users and app developers the power to do even more, by putting the convenience of interactive secure mobile transactions, right at their fingertips, anywhere they are.”
The In2Pay case is apparently designed to stay attached to the iPhone and offers a micro USB slot for charging and syncing their device.
It will be interesting to see how the service will be priced by Visa when it comes to roll out the service and, whether or not the DeviceFidelity case will be free or part of a subscription package. While the additional case could be seen as a benefit to some, many iPhone users dislike the idea of any housing that adds weight or thickness to the device and others preferring specific cases.
News Fuse is a streamlined app that gives you easy access to a wide variety of news sites. It's not rich in features, but it makes up for it in ease-of-use. If mobile Safari is too cumbersome for you, give this app a go.
Bio: Web developer by day, Mac and iPhone developer by night.
- Created iPodderX, the world’s first podcast client
- Wrote “Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Safari” prior to the SDK being released
- Loan Shark was chosen early on by Apple as a “Featured” app, and is also featured in Apple’s own “iPhone Your Life” pages.
Finishing up our interview with August, I ask him about what it is like being an iPhone developer in the lime-light, or Celebrity Developer. He talks about how much fun it has been to break out of the traditional role from time to time, and how it has really helped out his programming business.
I also get his opinions on Apple’s filing to have jailbreaking iPhones judged illegal, what that means to the development community, and how jailbreaking is actually beneficial to the App Store and making the iPhone a popular development platform. August also tells us why he has avoided it.
Most importantly, August gives us the breaking story about the soon to be released app, YOWZA!!, and how it will change the way you shop and use your iPhone.
Listen to how August met Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman on Heroes) on Twitter, and joined forces with Rick Yaeger from MacMerc, to create a whole new business model for an iPhone app, and how they have tackled the problems of turning your iPhone into a money-saving shopping tool! And it’s going to be FREE!
Yelp for iPhone is an amazingly feature packed, incredibly useful app for finding services and entertainment in your urban bubble. Need to find a cafe, restaurant, tire changing station, drug store, etc that's approved by the community around it? Yelp is here to help! (I totally didn't intend for that to rhyme and even though it's lame, I'm leaving it in the review)
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted January 31st, 2009 by Perrin Stewart Our Rating: :: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Colloquy began life as an excellent open source Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client for the Mac desktop, and now the fine folks at Colloquy Project have released a mobile version to the App Store. The iPhone / iPod Touch edition is an incredibly robust application, with an eye towards making mobile IRC a pleasing experience - as well as raising the bar for usability in general.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted January 20th, 2009 by Gary Lucero Our Rating: :: RECOMMENDED
When connected to the Internet you can use Wikipedia Mobile to search Wikipedia for articles, which can then be saved to you're iPhone for offline viewing. Pages retain their original formatting and can be searched for words or phrases, but the app has no built-in zoom, nor does it offer bookmarking or annotation capabilities. Regardless, it's a great way to create a library of articles conventiently available whether you have connectivity or not.
We’ve been working the past couple weeks on an Mobile Safari version of 148Apps.com. It’s now ready for your mobile viewing pleasure. Just go to http://148apps.com with Mobile Safari to see it. We’ll still be making a few adjustments in the coming weeks but let us know if you see any problems with the mobile version.