Apple May Open Premium Game Section in App Store

App Store

One of the worries many big game developers have had about the iPhone is that they can’t put enough money into a game to make it good because unless they sell it at $1-3 it will get lost in the shuffle.

Apple may have found a solution to that problem however. PocketGamer.biz is reporting that Apple is planning on introducing a new section to the App Store with premium game titles priced at $19.99. The developers of those games would be hand picked by Apple and the games themselves would be of “PSP-quality.”

PocketGamer’s sources didn’t have any information as to when this new section would be implimented but WWDC seems to be a fairly logical announcement venue.

Not only will this convince some big developers to invest more money into game development but it would also indicate that Apple has been listening to criticisms about the problem with low priced iPhone apps.

The one thing that hasn’t been mentioned in all of this is that from a money standpoint Apple couldn’t care less about the price of applications in the App Store, as long as the amount of money spent on apps as a whole stays the same (they still get 30%). The only incentives Apple has for doing this is to keep the developers happy and to keep the quality of applications high.

I do think that this would fix many problems with the App Store but does add another one. How will Apple decide who is going to be in the premium section? I’m sure many indie developers of high quality games that don’t get into the premium section will be pretty peeved off that they are not included. The fact is that Apple isn’t going to make everyone happy with the App Store but this move gives some more indications that they are at least trying to.

Apple to Open $19.99 Premium Games Section in App Store? – Mac Rumors.
More Confirmation of a $19.99 Premium Games Section | Touch Arcade.

Google Readying a GrandCentral 2.0

“a new version on new infrastructure will be coming soon. Apologies to anyone who has run into issues on the legacy version.” -Jeff Huber, Google

Recently David Pogue has also mentioned a new version of GrandCentral saying that everyone who works on GrandCentral still works on it and a new version is imminent.

I have used GrandCentral for quite a while and love its functionality. I can’t wait to see what new features are going to be added with the next version.

GrandCentral 2.0, Almost Ready to Be Released.

Gmail Finally Supports Google Gears

The obvious best usage of Google Gears has always been with Gmail, but up until now you couldn’t use Gears with Gmail, but now you can start syncing to your hearts content.

The feature is still within the Google Labs feature set but because this functionality seems to be such a perfect fit for email I’m sure it will become a standard feature sooner or later (although with how long it takes Google to take things out of beta nothing would surprise me).

To enable it:

  • Sign in to Gmail and click ‘Settings’.
  • Click the ‘Labs’ tab and select ‘Enable’ next to ‘Offline Gmail’.
  • Click ‘Save Changes’.
  • In the upper righthand corner of your account, next to your username there will be a new ‘Offline’ link. Click this link to start the offline synchronization process.

Announcing offline access in Gmail Labs

From the Ashes of Podcaster Comes RSS Player

RSS Player

If you remember back in September there was an application announced for the iPhone called Podcaster that was denied from the App Store. The developer of Podcaster later released the application through Apple’s Ad-Hoc system essentially allowing him to sell the application without the App Store.

Recently Almerica resubmitted Podcaster, under a different name (RSS Player) and with some slight modifications (he removed the podcast directory from the app). And, suprisingly, it was accepted. The application still does essentially the same thing but now you have to input the URL for either an RSS feed or an OPML file to set up which podcasts it will follow.

RSS Player is now available from the App Store, it is currently $1.99 but the price will be raised to $4.99 shortly.

I don’t know if Almerica (the developer of the app) did this for everyone who purchased Podcaster but he did send me an email with a beta version of the application (a newer version then what is available in the App Store). So, if you purchased Podcaster ou might want to check your email and see if you got a beta copy before you head over to purchase it from the App Store.

Rss Player: Native iPhone App: Rss Player – Native iPhone App.

Meizu M8 Prepping for March Release

The Meizu M8  is ready for a full scale launch (and by full scale I mean mainland China) sometime in March.

The Meizu M8 has been an incredibly interesting phone to watch since it was first announced shortly after the iPhone was. The phone is obviously inspired by the iPhone and it is very possible that Apple may try and take them out with any lawsuits they can pin on the manufacturer.

The video above shows the Meizu M8 unboxed and demoed a bit. Although I am not going to be switching from my iPhone (not just because of the fact that I live in the US but also because I prefer the iPhone user experience) it is a really cool phone and I hope to see some of its more unique features in an upcoming iPhone release.

iLife ’09 Now Shipping (Update: Tomorrow)

iLife '09

According to some MacRumors readers, iLife ’09 is now shipping. So that means that not only will you be able to get your hands on it (legitimately) soon but, you will also be able to grab it on torrent sites in just a few days (if that is what you’re into, and of course I don’t condone it).

Update: Although some MacRumors readers have seen the shipping status change to prepared for shipment iLife ’09 won’t actually ship until tomorrow. According to Apple’s own press release not only will pre-orders begin shipping tomorrow but iLife ’09 should also be available in stores tomorrow.

So you should be able to head on over to your local Apple store and pick up a copy of iLife ’09 tomorrow but if you are just too lazy to do so or would like to help out CyberSurge.org you can use the links below to purchase it.

iLife ’09 Single User

iLife ’09 Family Pack

iLife ’09 Now Shipping – Mac Rumors.

Apple TV Sales, Mac Netbooks, and iPhone Nanos

During Apple’s latest earnings conference call Tim Cook said said that sales of the Apple TV were up 3 times what they were at the same point last year. Although they still describe the Apple TV as a hobby Cook noted, “We think there’s something there.”

I’m convinced that the Apple TV was the best purchase I’ve made in the past decade when it comes to home theater gear (not including my HDTV of course) and truly believe that Apple is going to do some really interesting things with it in the coming years. But, the fact that it is selling so well is what gets me excited. I hope that some day I won’t have to explain to people what the Apple TV is when I mention it in conversation.

Apple also dismissed the idea of a low end iPhone in the same earnings call saying “We’re not going to play in the low end voice phone business. That’s not who we are, that’s not why we’re here. Goal is not to lead unit sales, but to build the world’s best phone.”

Regarding Apple’s interest in the netbook market Cook said “we’re watching that space, but from our [point of view] the products are based on hardware that’s much less powerful, software technology that’s not good, cramped siplays. We don’t think that people are going to be pleased with those type of products. It’s a category we watch, we have some ideas here, but we think the products there now are inferior and won’t provide the kind of experience people want.”

So all indications show that Apple isn’t going to sell an iPhone Nano or a Mac Netbook, but then of course if you remember that Steve Jobs said that they never wanted to have a video iPod and now one of the best features of the flagship iPod is video playback.

Apple reports record profit for first quarter | Macworld.