Category Apps

Gorillaz’ iPad album ‘The Fall’ now streaming for free

Damon Albarn of Gorillaz hasn’t been shy of his love for Apple’s iPad nor of his intention to release an album made with one ‘before Christmas’. Sure enough, Gorillaz’ follow-up to ‘Plastic Beach’ entitled ‘The Fall’ is now one email sign-up away for those who want to give the English alternative hip hop band’s freshest record a listen.

Mailing list subscribers can enjoy free streaming of all 15 tracks from Christmas Day on, while Sub Division fan club members ($45/£30) are treated to the gift of a free download. ‘The Fall’ will see a physical release sometime in 2011. The full track listing is:

  1. Phoner To Arizona
  2. Revolving Doors
  3. HillBilly Man
  4. Detroit
  5. Shy-town
  6. Little Pink Plastic Bags
  7. The Joplin Spider
  8. The Parish of Space Dust
  9. The Snake In Dallas
  10. Amarillo
  11. The Speak It Mountains
  12. Aspen Forest
  13. Bobby In Phoenix
  14. California And The Slipping Of The Sun
  15. Seattle Yodel

‘The Fall’ — Gorillaz’ fourth album — was recorded in the fall of 2010 while frontman Damon Albarn was on tour with the band. ‘The Fall’ was recorded almost entirely on an iPad using no less than 20 apps including Korg’s iElectribe.

Although Apple has positioned the iPad as primarily a content consumption device, Gorillaz’ ‘The Fall’ is just another reminder that Cupertino’s Multi-Touch tablet is equally poised as a vehicle for content creation.

Source: Gorillaz

Mac App Store opens January 6, raring to revolutionize PC app discovery

Ready for the walled garden to expand from iOS devices to include Macs running OS X? Apple is.

Today Apple announced in a press release that the Mac App Store launch date is scheduled for Thursday January 6, 2011 with an initial roll out in 90 countries that ‘will feature paid and free apps in categories like Education, Games, Graphics & Design, Lifestyle, Productivity and Utilities.’

The Mac App Store is Apple’s attempt to bring back the raging success of app discovery and download on iOS devices to its Macintosh line of personal computers and will be available as a free download via Software Update for OS X Snow Leopard users.

It will be interesting to see how Apple’s curated app model translates into the personal computing space and whether it will be enough to disrupt the traditional means of application installation on PCs.

Official Google Voice app lands in App Store

The Beatles and Google Voice hit iTunes on the same day. Hell hath frozen over.

Download here.

Source: Google Voice Blog via TechCrunch

Google Goggles integrated in Google Mobile App for iPhone

It was late this summer that we learned that Google Goggles was coming to the iPhone. With the latest version of Google Mobile App hitting the App Store today, Goggles functionality is finally available for iOS.

Google Mobile App already enabled users to search via voice, current location, or traditional text. Now, with Google Goggles support, the app also allows users to search the web using pictures. Simply tap the camera button in the app and take a snapshot. Google will then do its best to match your picture to relevant search criteria.

Google Voice app GV Mobile + available for free in App Store

GV Mobile + has just been updated to version 1.0.2 — and for a limited time — developer Sean Kovacs is giving it away for free. Thanks Sean!

Source: @seankovacs iTunes link: GV Mobile +

Google Voice apps return to App Store

It’s been a long, thorny road for Google Voice apps in the App Store. When Google initially launched the service, an iPhone app was on many a user’s wishlist. It wasn’t long before developers answered the call, most notably Sean Kovacs with his GV Mobile app. Shortly thereafter, however, Apple inexplicably pulled all Google Voice apps with no notice. Google itself had submitted an official one that has infamously been ‘in review’ for over a year now.

Even after an FCC inquiry into the absence of Google Voice on the iPhone, Apple provided little useful information stating it was still ‘pondering’ the matter. Speculation as to why Google Voice was banned from the iPhone included Apple’s anti-competitive stance towards Google, finger pointing at AT&T, and the App Store guideline that states that submitted apps shall not duplicate existing functionality.

Recently, however, Apple seems to have had a change of heart. Just this month, a controversial ban on third-party developer tools has been lifted and App Store review guidelines are freely available in all their candor. With guidelines in the hands of developers, Sean Kovacs sent an inquiry regarding GV Mobile. He was greeted with a favorable response to resubmit his app for approval. In the meantime, another Google Voice app GV Connect by developer Andreas Amann — in review for over 200 days — has recently been accepted and is available in the App Store for $2.99.

As of this evening, GV Mobile + has been accepted as well and will also retail for $2.99 when it hits Apple’s servers.

One more thing from Sean Kovacs: “I’ll be blowing away some promo codes via Twitter (@seankovacs) once I get them AND if #gvmobile trends on Twitter, I’ll set that bad boy to free for the night.” Thanks, Sean!

Sources: Andreas Amann, Sean Kovacs via TechCrunch, intomobile

iPhone 4 free case program ends September 30

iPhone 4 antenna issues got you down? There’s an app for that — but only until September 30. Apple has reevaluated the program, and has decided to discontinue it stating that ‘the iPhone 4 antenna attenuation issue is even smaller than we originally thought.’ I have to agree, although it is a very real, easily reproducible phenomenon. In practice, I have yet to experience any dropped calls or diminished data speeds in using the iPhone 4 as is. I’ve also noticed that the majority of people I have seen with the phone don’t use a case — and seem perfectly happy with it.

Even still, I’m not one to turn down a free Bumper and neither should you. Other options exist if Apple’s ‘uncase’ is not to your liking. If you’re interested, you can download Apple’s case program app in the App Store, but come October 1, you’ll have to direct antenna-related inquiries to AppleCare — they’ll still be providing free cases for those with issues. The return policy reverts to normal on the first as well.

Source: Apple via Gizmodo

Apple lifts ban on third-party dev tools, publishes App Store review guidelines

Unreal Engine 3 demo

In a surprising turn of events, Apple announced today in a press release that they are now allowing developers the freedom to use third-party tools to create iOS apps ‘as long as the resulting apps do not download any code.’ Apple claims that this will give developers ‘the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need.’

Previously, Apple’s developer agreement had explicitly stated that ‘only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).’ The new terms allow developers the liberty to use third-party tools like Appcelerator and Adobe Flash CS5, interpreters like Lua, and ported engines like Unreal — used to create the stunning Epic Citadel demo pictured above — to further innovate in app space.

In the same press release, Apple revealed that it was publishing its App Store review guidelines in an effort to bring as much transparency to the App Store review process for developers as possible — a step that should be welcomed by any developer who has had an app rejected or relegated to limbo with little reason as to why. The guidelines — described as a ‘living document’ presumably open to evolutionary change — are written in a surprisingly candid, even informal tone. ‘We don’t need any more Fart apps’ the introduction proclaims. Apple is right on the mark there, and hopefully, its actions today will encourage and enable developers to produce less iCrap and more Epic Citadel.

For a copy of the press release and App Store review guidelines, hop on after the break. Continuing coverage and analysis is also provided in the source links at the end of the article.

Phantasy Star II in App Store

One of my favorite RPGs of all time. Now available for iPhone.

App Store link: Phantasy Star II, $2.99

R-Type for iPhone stays true to original

With its ubiquity in many a pocket, iPhone has really taken off as the go-to mobile gaming platform for casual and enthusiast gamers. Numerous ports of classic console games of yore pop up all the time in the App Store, but many suffer from a poor transition to the realm of tilt and touch control or are not quite faithful reproductions of the original. R-Type for iPhone avoids both pitfalls admirably.

R-Type is the quintessential side-scrolling shooter in which you pilot Arrowhead through 8 fiendishly difficult levels to defend humanity from the Bydo. EA has done a smashing job recreating the original arcade title while allowing less experienced gamers the opportunity to finish what could be a very frustrating game. Although the virtual D-pad and tilt control modes are nothing to brag about, the touch controls are well done. R-Type is now available in the App Store for $1.99 — a relative steal considering how many quarters some have lost to the game.

Sources: EA, R-Type iPhone via iLounge