All posts by Ben Harvell
In celebration of Comic Con, the comic book convention which is currently running in San Diego, Capcom has announced a price reduction for five of its most popular iPhone titles.
The apps below are all now available for $0.99 for a "limited time" which, if we were to guess, will run until the end of the Comic Con convention which is this Sunday (25th). There are some big hitters in the list, including 1942: First Strike and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire 2010 which should keep you entertained for a good while. So if you have a few bucks to spare you could kit out your iPhone with some great games to enjoy this weekend and beyond.
Those wishing that the currently Europe-only Spotify music streaming service and iPhone app would hit to the rest of the world now have another option - MOG Mobile Music.
The MOG network has been around for a while but its new iPhone app makes it a serious contender in the audio subscription market offering similar, if not better, features by comparison to its rivals.
Highlights of the service include a library of eight million songs and some 700,000 albums that can be streamed to your iPhone over 3G and Wi-Fi and bundled into playlists. An unlimited number of songs can also be downloaded to the iPhone and stored for periods when you’re outside of Wi-Fi or cell areas.
The above features are all par for the course when it comes to this type of app and service but there are a few gems to be found in MOG Mobile Music too. The first is the true on-demand nature of the listening. Songs can be played at any time and repeated unlike many similar services that prevent repeat play, and you can listen to user playlists and customizable artist radio stations on the go. Artist radio isn't as strict as the others either, with a simple slider determining how much of the artist you hear and how many similar artists are played.
It’s flexibility that seems to be the key difference between MOG and its rivals and, for a $9.99 per month fee, looks set to take a lead in the cloud-based music subscription game.
If you fancy trying out MOG Mobile Music, a three-day free trial is currently available when you download the app. No credit card is required either so you can sample the service risk free during this period.
Gameloft has announced that Zombie Infection HD is now available on the App Store for iPad owners. Priced at $6.99, the launch continues the company's porting of its existing core titles to the iPad platform. Making use of the iPad display, Zombie Infection offers full HD graphics and continues the undead-maiming mayhem seen in the iPhone version launched in May this year.
Meanwhile, for iPhone users, Gameloft has also announced that three of its popular titles; Modern Combat Sandstorm, Dungeon Hunter and Skater Nation will all be available for the discounted price of $0.99 for a limited time, so grab 'em while they're cheap.
To find out more, check out Gameloft's homepage
Users of the popular database application FileMaker now have a new way to access important information while away from the office. The freshly launched FileMaker Go app for iPhone and iPad allows businesses and individuals to connect to, view and update a database using a local wireless network or via a Wi-Fi or 3G internet connection.
Databases shown in FileMaker Go are largely identical to their desktop equivalents, with any changes made via the app instantly written to the server. Available on PCs and Macs, a FileMaker database still needs to be created on the desktop but this new application will offer a greater degree of flexibility to users, especially those with remote sales teams. FileMaker databases can also be accessed via email, file sharing services like Dropbox and Box.net and can also be downloaded from the web and launched in FileMaker Go. Databases can also be added via iTunes file sharing on both iPhone and iPad.
As an extension to the existing FileMaker product you would perhaps expect FileMaker Go to be a free application, but the company has other ideas and is likely recouping development costs with a $19.99 price tag for the iPhone version and a hefty $39.99 for the iPad. Of course, the product is primarily aimed at business users who will likely foot the bill for the improved functionality offered. For the consumer, FileMaker also offers Bento for Mac, iPhone and iPad which is probably the best bet for non-business users.
Now Apple has announced that it will be providing free Bumper cases to iPhone 4 users and refunds to existing Bumper owners, there's never been a better time to get hold of some low cost protection for your device. UK-based case manufacturer Proporta is offering a novel spin on Apple's generous deal by offering a 20% discount on all of its iPhone 4 cases and screen protectors - if you send them your (now free) iPhone 4 Bumper case that is.
Guy Monson co-founder of Proporta says “We at Proporta think it's very generous of Apple and admire their commitment to solving the problem. We believe that it's good for Proporta as it'll help open people's eyes to the need to protect their mobile devices - something we've been saying for the past 14 years... we realise that a free case is a free case and that a lot of customers will still want fully surrounded protection."
Whether you see the deal as a handy way to upgrade your iPhone 4 case to fully surrounded protection or a sneaky marketing ploy, Proporta does offer a wide range of cases and the discount will certainly help out those in the market for a more sturdy cover.
Those interested can simply enter the promotional code "CASEFREE" at proporta.com to take advantage of the discount.
The team over at PowPowGames has announced the release of its first iPhone game, Rocket Boy 2D. The colorful side-scroller offers over 35 guns and more than 70 items to collect and use across three worlds. What sets Rocket Boy 2D apart from other titles of this type, however, is its RPG-esque leveling system which calculates stats and damage leading to unlockable content and powerups.
As the enemies, which range from aliens to zombies, get tougher the leveling up process allows you to equip more powerful weapons and skills in order to remain competitive. Rather than just blindly moving to the next available gun, users can choose which areas they wish to enhance in order to defeat the more challenging levels later in the game.
The control system also sounds interesting, using a mixture of the accelerometer for moving the character and touch input to aim and fire a weapon. As you would expect from the name of the game, the hero is also the proud owner of a jetpack which is controlled by the user’s thumb.
From what we’ve seen so far, Rocket Boy 2D looks like a fun arcade game with some interesting takes on the genre and, should the control system work as fluidly as promised, will likely become an addictive time waster for your iPhone or iPod touch.
If you liked our coverage of Air Display but it left yourself cursing your lack of a Mac, fear not. MaxiVista has arrived for iPad and will transform your device into an external display for your PC.
For $9.99, MaxiVista can wirelessly add an additional screen to your setup by connecting to your PC via the app and is compatible with XP, Vista and Windows 7. And this is no fly-by-night developer either. MaxiVista has existed in the Windows world since 2003 and now brings its experience to iPad users, with a Mac version also on the cards for the cross-platform iPad owners out there.
Offering a frame rate that comes close, via wireless, to the same quality found with traditional wired displays, MaxiVista looks to be great solution for Windows users who work with multiple windows, palettes or apps.
This iPhone 4 signal problem is building to a critical mass and Apple will apparently address the issue at a press conference on Friday.
From the moment the first iPhone 4 owner complained that holding the phone in a certain (fairly normal) way meant reduced signal bars, through Steve Jobs' clumsy "hold it differently" email response and now Consumer Reports' review U-Turn, things are not looking good for Apple's latest device.
To further ignite the issue, Cult of Mac has posted the comments of leading crisis communications expert Chris Lehane who dealt with the worst of President Clinton's White House mishaps. Yes, he's THAT good!
Along with other leading crisis management experts included in the post, Lehane's message is simple: Apple needs to accept blame and deal with the issue as soon as possible.
We've received mixed reports on the iPhone 4's signal issues here with some finding problems and others barely noticing an issue. That said, should the more severe complaints keep coming and major sources like Consumer Reports maintain their hard line on this design flaw, we're likely to see a big move if not a full product recall very soon.
The Cult of Mac post also brings into question Apple's "half-loaf" approach at calming matters by proposing a software fix, which the experts feel was rushed. The announcement was perhaps a little hasty, but we're still waiting for the software update itself, expected later today.
It's sad that such a seemingly minor design glitch that can easily be remedied with the use of a case has become the thorn in (quite literally) the iPhone 4's side.
With Apple's quarterly earnings report coming up later this month, the company needs to make a bold move in order to resolve this issue quickly and, according to Gizmodo, may already be doing so under the radar. Several users have reported that new iPhone 4s, offered by Apple as replacements in the event of accidental damage or non-signal related hardware problems, do not suffer the same signal issues as their original phone. While some have seen no improvement, a large number of testimonies point toward replacement iPhone 4s simply working better, leading to the suggestion that Apple might be quietly pushing out updated devices as replacements.
These revelations arise in the wake of rumors that Apple will be holding a press conference Friday in which it is expected to outline its stance on the problem and a potential resolution. Analysts are pegging the cost of a total iPhone 4 recall at around $1.5 billion, that's 3.5 percent of Apple's cash reserves.
An alternate option, suggested by Bernstein Research, would be for Apple to provide free bumper cases, that are known to fix the signal attenuation problem, at a cost to the company of $1 per unit. With Apple's official bumper case costing $29 retail, it seems the free case route could be far more appealing to Apple than replacing an entire phone with a retail value of over $500.
Apple has refused to comment on the nature of its press conference on Friday, merely stating that it will be iPhone 4 related, but it's a safe bet that a solution to this PR nightmare will be provided.
With any luck, come this weekend, the bad press will have died down, the world will continue to turn and iPhone 4 signal strength will rise along with Apple's stock price.
[ via Cult of Mac ]
If you’re looking to buy a new BMW or a Mini, take note. There’s an iOS 4 feature you’ve probably never heard of that you’re going to love.
Car manufacturer BMW has announced that it will be supporting iPod Out in iOS 4. What’s that? You say. Hidden among the many exciting features in Apple’s latest mobile operating system, the relatively obscure iPod Out is a way for iPhone and iPod models to show the iPod interface on a connected display, in this situation, the dashboard of a car.
While many docking stations and other accessories offer this facility already, this is an Apple-endorsed way of showing and controlling the classic iPod screen and album artwork on an external device and should translate very nicely to in-car entertainment. In the case of BMW, the in-built “infotainment” systems will allow control and playback of a connected device through the car’s existing controls and will even allow access to and creation of Genius and custom playlists.
BMW said of its iPod Out support “Future vehicles equipped with this technology will be able to adapt more quickly to the software lifecycles of iPod touch and iPhone”, basically taking the pressure off them to remain compatible with Apple’s mobile devices as they are updated.
BMW refers to “future” vehicles in its press release so existing owners may miss out on this upgrade, however iPod and iPhone owners in the market for a new car should certainly bear a BMW or Mini in mind when on the forecourt.
While Pandora got the top billing when Apple demoed iOS 4 multitasking, other music services are also updating their apps to support background play.
Multitasking in iOS 4 allows compatible apps to run in the background while another app runs in the foreground. Apps in the background can continue to perform tasks such as play music streams.
Slacker Inc has announced that its personal radio application, Slacker Radio, has been updated to support multitasking and is available now for free on the App Store. The currently Europe-only Spotify is also headed for background-centric adjustment with the company announcing on its blog that an update has been submitted to Apple. The blog post goes on to suggest that a “surprise” will also be included in the update to thank users for their patience.
As well as music streaming, GPS navigation apps and social networking clients are also popular background enabled apps. Expect to see many more updates of this type in the coming days.
Even since the introduction of a 5-megapixel camera in the iPhone 4, Apple’s phone isn’t blessed with the ability to take large photos. As those familiar with photography know and Apple is keen to point out, it’s not the megapixel count that determines the quality of your snaps, merely the size.
Our title doesn’t lie, however. You can achieve images equivalent to 20-megapixels from your iPhone if you make use of AutoStitch Panorama and apply a little concentration. Now updated to version 3.0, AutoStitch allows iPhone users to take multiple photos on their iPhone and stitch them together to create a poster-sized image. Ideal for when the subject you want to capture is too big for the iPhone’s screen (and lens) or you simply want to take bigger pictures.
This latest update adds enhanced compositing techniques, new algorithms to compensate for blending and exposure and automatic brightness matching between images. Users can also now share their shots to Facebook or via email right from their device.
Compatible with the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4 as well as the iPad and iPod touch, AutoStitch 3.0 is available now for $2.99.
The Hulu Blog today confirmed what many have been murmuring about online for some time. Hulu is bringing its streaming TV service to the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The aforementioned murmurs also questioned how this delivery of most of America’s top TV shows would be paid for, they too were given an answer with the introduction of the Hulu Plus subscription.
Formerly only available via a PC or Mac, the Hulu Plus app and subscription service will combine to deliver episodes from current and classic TV shows on iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 as well as the iPad and third gen iPod touch.
At present the service is working on an invite-only basis (apply for one here) and will cost users $9.99 per month but, for this fee you do get a good deal of benefits. Full seasons of TV shows will be available including big hitters such as Family Guy, 30 Rock and The Office with up to 720p HD resolution available. Through the Hulu Plus app, users will be able to browse, search and resume playback at the same point on different devices. For iPhone and iPad users, you will even be able to stream over 3G!
While we’ve not had the chance to fully test Hulu Plus yet, this sounds like the service Apple’s portable devices have been crying out for and one that will likely bring about a few discussions inside Apple HQ. With the recent acquisition of media streaming startup Lala, it is rumored the company is gearing up to introduce a cloud-based iTunes service that could include streaming TV shows to iPhones and iPads.
The Hulu Plus app is available for free on the App Store and includes a bunch of freebies that don’t need a subscription in order to try out. The movie Super Size Me is included as well as clips and episodes from a number of TV shows as well, so it’s worth sampling the app for these bonuses alone.
Check it out on the App Store here