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Apple iPhone iPod Media Random Tech

Notes from the iPhone 3.0 Event

Highlights:

  1. Developers will be allowed to create turn-by-turn GPS apps.
  2. Push Notifications are actually coming.
  3. Copy and Paste
  4. MMS
  5. Search throughout most of the OS.
  6. Notes syncing
  7. Free for iPhone owners
  8. $10 for iPod Touch owners

Notes and reactions from yesterdays iPhone 3.0 event:

  • 30 million iPod Touch and iPhone. That’s a lot of devices.
  • In app purchases sounds like a great way to spend a lot of money frivolously.
  • Only allowing for pay apps to use in app purchases is incredibly smart.
  • I wonder what happens if I uninstall an app that I have purchases content for. Will I be able to redownload that content for free?
  • Peer to Peer is a wonderful solution to the impossible to solve problem of playing multiplayer games while in the car or somewhere without Wifi.
  • Developers are now allowed to access accessories through the dock connector. It seems Apple has been listening.
  • Oh, snap Turn-by-turn GPS!
  • Push notifications are actually coming, they had to be rearchitected, I don’t know why they didn’t expect so many people to be interested in it.
  • The Sims looks great, but what happened to Need for Speed? Shouldn’t that be done by now?
  • ESPN used their familiar sound effect for their notifications, I’m getting more excited about Push Notifications as the minutes go on.
  • Not surprisingly there has been no mention of EDGE when talking about the video streaming features. I wonder if they can scale the video down to the point where it streams nicely over EDGE (I doubt it).
  • I’m very worried that developers will go in app purchase crazy. A $5 app should cost $5, not $5 plus $1 every time you want to play another couple of levels.
  • Copy and Paste looks easy enough to use but I’m worred about how the double tap to zoom will interact with the double tap to copy/paste, it could get confusing. Also, I don’t see a cancel button, is there a way to?
  • I hate the landscape keyboard, and I will only be more frustrated by the accelerometer activating when I’m laying down and using my iPhone.
  • Advancements in the messaging app are going to be very well recieved. MMS has been needed since day one and it is amazing that it has taken this long.
  • Voice Memos will be just another icon on my homescreen that I wish could go away.
  • Does anybody actually use the stocks app?
  • Search coming to Mail (thank you), iPod, Notes, and a new Spotlight homepage, to the left of other homepages, it is a universal search. I may never use this, but it looks cool, and demos real well.
  • Notes syncing, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, I was hoping for this more than copy and paste, now all those Notes on my iPhone aren’t going to be sitting in a black hole.
  • Stereo Bluetooth, for those who use it.
  • Auto-fill coming to Safari, no more typing in those long passwords.
  • parade rain, MMS and stereo bluetooth won’t be coming to the original iPhone.
  • Free upgrade for iPhone owers, $10 for iPod Touch.

Apple – QuickTime – iPhone OS 3.0 Preview Presentation

iPhone 3.0 Copy and Paste

iPhone 3.0 Messages

iPhone 3.0 Spotlight

iPhone 3.0 iTunes Options

Images above from AppleInsider

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Apple iPhone iPod Rumor

App Store Premium Section Rumor Resurfaces

App StoreWired is reviving rumors from late January regarding a premium section in Apple’s App Store. The premium section would allow hand picked developers to sell games and other more sophisticated apps for $20 or more without being lost in the crowd of free and $0.99 apps.

We’re hearing rumors that Apple could introduce a “premium” section in the store, in order to sell more expensive third-party programs. The premium section would largely be focused on games, giving game makers a channel to offer more in-depth (and pricier) titles without getting lost in the clutter of free and $1 apps.

Of course Wired was unable to get any large 3rd party developers or Apple to comment on the story.

Although many developers have been able to make a substantial amount of money selling apps in the App Store there still haven’t been any large scale development done for the iPhone. The premium section would allow a large 3rd party developer to put more resources behind an app and still be able to actually make their money back by selling more than just a few copies.

The original rumor from late January caused many to speculate a June release date (at WWDC) for the premium section, but with the announcement of an iPhone event this Tuesday it is possible we will get a sneak peak at the new feature at the event.

Rumor: iPhone to Get a Premium App Store | Gadget Lab from Wired.com.

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Apple iPod

Apple Really Pushing In-Line Headphone Controls

Is it possible that the iPod Shuffle became buttonless specifically to convince 3rd party accessory manufacturers to build headphones and other accessories with in-line controllers?

Of course 3rd party manufacturers have supported this feature since the original iPhone first  debuted but up until now the feature has only existed in headphones, but clearly it would work in other places as well.

A 3rd party manufacturer will have to come up with a solution that allows an iPod Shuffle owner to use his device in their car, why not put that little control in the cable of a cassette tape adapter, or maybe even just a regular 3.5mm headphone cable that would plug one end into your iPod Shuffle and the other into the head unit of your car?

Not only would this benefit iPod Shuffle owners but nearly everyone who owns an iPod from the most recent generation or any iPhone.

The buttonless iPod Shuffle may seem silly to a lot of you but this might have been that little extra push that Apple needed to give 3rd party manufacturers to convince them to make more accessories supporting this wonderful new feature.

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Apple iPhone iPod

Apple Invites Media For March 17 iPhone 3.0 Media Event

iPhone 3.0 Event Invitation

Apple has sent out invitation to a media event that will be held in Cupertino at Apple’s campus on March 17 at 10:00am Pacific time. The event will focus on iPhone software version 3.0 and will give the press “an advance preview” of what Apple is building. Based on that line it is a pretty safe bet that we won’t actually be getting anything other than a demo, the actually firmware will most likely not ship until sometime this summer.

This media event will be held about 1 year after the iPhone SDK roadmap event where Apple unveiled the SDK and demoed several applications from big name developers. Since last years event was all about features that developers can make use of, it would be logical to think that Apple would do the same this year.

But, already the fairly reliable Boy Genius Report is claiming that MMS and iPhone tethering will be among the announcements made at the March 17 event. Boy Genius Report doesn’t go into much detail but they do say that tethering will come over USB and Bluetooth.

Many (including me) are also hoping to hear a little bit more about Push Notifications, you remember that cool feature that allowed developers to push notifications and icon badges to your iPhone by allowing your iPhone to keep a persistant data connection between it and Apple’s push notification servers. Yeah, the one that was announced last June at WWDC and was later pulled from iPhone firmware 2.1 Beta 4. Well, hopefully Apple will make good on its promise of giving us some sort of Push Notification-like service, late is better than never.

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Apple iPod

Apple Announces The New iPod Shuffle

3rd Generation iPod Shuffle

Thats right, Apple threw us a curve ball today and released the brand new iPod Shuffle.

The Shuffle still features the fantastic clip introduced with the previous generation iPod Shuffle. But, this new iteration has a new feature called “Voice Over” which will not only name the song and artist of the current song but it also will name playlists to you so you can switch between them without the need of a display. To activate the Voice Over function just press and hold the earbud button and your Shuffle will tell you the current track name and artist. To hear the name of your playlists hold the button until you hear small beep, your Shuffle will name your current playlist and then all of your playlists, to choose one click the button as it is being said.

3rd Gen iPod Shuffle Earbud Controls

The new Shuffle has the familiar volume up, volume down, play/pause, next, and previous functions on the earbud remote as many of you have gotten used to with your new iPod Nano, iPod Touch, iPod Classic (or iPhone, minus the volume control). With the Shuffle now supporting the earbud remote Apple was able to completely remove any buttons from the device itself, now the only controls that exist on the device are a switch that lets you choose between shuffle your songs, playing them in order, or turning the device off.

The Shuffle now comes in just black or silver anodized aluminum. It seems a little odd that Apple would yet again move away from the colored iPods, especially since they were talking up their iPod Nanos colors just a few months ago.

The only odd thing (which is only odd if you don’t understand how the Shuffle gets its voice over functionality from) is that the voice used in the Voice Over feature is different depending on what computer you are using. The actually text to speech is happening in iTunes and the audio files are transfered to your iPod Shuffle for you to use as you need them, this way your computer can do all the heavy lifting for the Shuffle (which I’m sure wouldn’t be able to actually do the voice synthesizing on its own). When using a computer running OS X Leopard you hear the new “Alex” voice, but with any other computer (it appears) that you will hear the old voice from OS X Tiger.

3rd Gen iPod Shuffle Black and Silver

The new iPod Shuffle comes in (as I said above) black and silver, it has 4GB of storage, and offers 10 hours of battery life. The brand new iPod Shuffle will cost you $79.

What baffles me about this announcement is the fact that it is happening now, which breaks Apples previous trend of releasing all new iPods in the Fall. Those of you who subscribe to many of the outrageous rumors that Apple seems to be the subject of might theorize that Apple has something big to announce this Fall and wants to get some of their iPod releases out of the way, but then again it is also possible that Apple wanted to release this last Fall but it wasn’t ready yet and instead just announced new color options for the previous Shuffle. I personally think that this is just one of the first examples of Apple releaseing a product when it is ready, not when Apple is ready to have a press event.

Apple – iPod shuffle – The first mp3 player that talks to you.

Categories
Gaming iPhone iPod Review

Tap Tap Revenge 2

Tap Tap Revenge 2

Tap Tap Revenge 2 hit the App Store two nights ago, the application is the sequel to the wonderfully successful Tap Tap Revenge.

The sequel is very similar to the first version but there have been some improvements. The new game features over 150 free tracks to play with more tracks added every Thursday. The game has a whole new game engine which debuted with Tap Tap Dance, which makes for a much better 3D experience. Tapulous has also introduced “tap and hold” and “multi-tap” features in the higher levels.

Tap Tap Revenge 2 has 3 ways to play with your friends, Challenge mode lets you email your friends challenging them to beat your score, a progress meter lets them know how they did compared to you and Tapulous will let you know how they did. The two player split-screen mode which was so well done in the original is even better now, it has a brand new look and now has a progress meter. You can also use a vastly improved online play option.

The game also has career achievements but from what I have seen of the game there is no benefit from doing them except for the ability to show off how good you are at (or how much you play) the game.

Tap Tap Revenge 2 has some decent improvements over the original but I’m a little worried that it will end up being used the same way Tap Tap Revenge did, not at all. I haven’t played Tap Tap Revenge since about a week after I downloaded it, there just isn’t enough depth to the game. Maybe if you could unlock songs instead of being able to just download all of them it would be a little different. Or better yet if it featured a career mode similar to Guitar Rock Tour‘s. For fans of the original it is must have, otherwise it might not be that compelling.

Luckily the game is free so even if you don’t end up liking it you really only spent a little time and some hard drive space on it.

Tap Tap Revenge 2 – Free
icon.

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Apple Gaming iPhone iPod Review

Zen Bound Review

Zen Bound 1

Zen Bound is a fantastic game from Secret Exit. The game is described as “a calm and meditative game of wrapping rope around wooden sculptures,” and that is exactly what it is.

The challenge in the game is to wrap the rope around the wooden sculpture so that a certain percentage of the sculpture is wrapped up. You can see what areas are wrapped based on the color change on the statue but you can also see your progress at the top of the screen.

There are three goals that you can reach for each statue, 70% completion, 85% completion, and 99% completion. Flowers blossom on a tree (where all of the various levels live), up to three flowers will blossom for each level (depending on which goal is reached). There are lanterns up the tree that light your way once enough flowers have blossomed. According to the in game help “once you reach the top of the tree, things will be different,” but I haven’t quite reached the top of the tree yet, I’m about 5 or so flowers away from doing so.

Now to wrap the rope around the statues Zen Bound uses a very simple control scheme, you just drag your finger around on the screen to spin the statue, if you want to rotate the statue just use two fingers and rotate it. You may also tilt your iPhone to change the angle of the rope.

The game is incredibly addicting and more difficult once you reach the higher levels, trying to fit the rope into tight corners gets complicated when the statue is split up into several different parts that all rotate together.

The music in the game which is an original score by “Ghost Monkey” and is available to all customers in 320kbit MP3.

The game has 51 levels with an additional 25 levels to come this month.

What is so memorizing about this game is how wonderfully simple it is, that isn’t too say it is easy because it can be hard, but the concept of the game is incredibly simple, anyone can pick up and enjoy this game very quickly.

Zen Bound is the kind of game that you can play for 5-10 minutes and then put down again, it doesn’t take long to complete a level but the replayability appears to be pretty high, it is well worth the $4.99.

Zen Bound – $4.99

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Gaming iPhone iPod Video

Coming Soon to the App Store: Tap Tap Revenge 2

The guys over at Tapulous has submitted Tap Tap Revenge 2 for App Store approval. The  iPhone game is the sequel to the ever so popular Tap Tap Revenge but is based on the game engine that powered another Tapulous game, Tap Tap Dance.

The game is expected to be free and should be available in just a few days.

Tapulous – Social Apps for iPhone – Tap Tap Revenge 2: The Countdown.

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Apple iPhone iPod Linked List Video

iPhone Homescreen Management From Within iTunes

App management on the iPhone and iPod Touch is really good already but this concept above would make things a lot easier. But, I almost wish that this was the way that you installed apps on the iPhone, just by dragging the app onto a homescreen and than syncing.

YouTube – App Management in iTunes ~ concept.

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Gaming iPhone iPod Video

Metal Gear Solid Touch Trailer

The game is basically going to be another tap to shoot iPhone game but it will have some interesting pinch to zoom features which will (hopefully) make tap to shoot gameplay fun.

Konami has revealed that there will be two editions of the game, the special “advance release edition” will come first and you will be able to save your progress for the “final release” that will come out later. The final release will be a free update to the advance release owners. The advance release edition looks like it will only include the first half of the storyline but the teaser website doesn’t make that very clear. The game looks really good and hopefully the fact that it is a “tap to shoot” game won’t hurt them. tap to shoot isn’t exactly the most exciting game genre out there but hopefully Konami can do it right.

“METAL GEAR SOLID TOUCH” OFFICIAL SITE.

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Apple iPhone iPod Linked List

Stop the iPhone’s AutoCorrect Feature by Typing a “Z”

iPhone Z AutoCorrectA Lifehacker Australia reader found out that if you type a z into any area of the iPhone where auto-correct is used you can type immediately before the z and auto-correct won’t attempt to fix anything. This is especially useful for those you occasionally type in different languages.

Stop The iPhone’s AutoCorrect Feature Ruining Your SMS Messages – Lifehacker Australia.

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Apple Gaming iPhone iPod Linked List Photos

First Screenshots of Tiger Woods ’09 for the iPhone

Tiger Woods '09 1

Craig Law of EA has posted some screenshots on the Touch Arcade forums showing the first glimpses of Tiger Woods ’09 for the iPhone. The game was announced in September and although a release date is yet to be announced the game will probably be out in just a few months.

I have to say it is looking really good. I’m not really in to golf video games but I can appreciate the graphics in this game. These screenshots really show that the iPhone has some horsepower and stuff like this gets me really excited for the future of the iPhone as a gaming platform.

Tiger Woods '09 2

Tiger Woods '09 3

First Screenshots of EA’s Tiger Woods ‘09 iPhone Game | Touch Arcade.