If you thought we were done with today’s Sonos news, think again - they’re on a roll, having just announced the availability of Sonos Controller for iPhone and iPod touch, for free. If you’re a Sonos fan, then you immediately understand what this means. If you own an iPhone or iPod touch, you get a touchscreen Sonos controller, at no extra cost. Seriously, that rocks. The new app gives you access to all the new Sonos 2.7 features we told you about earlier as well, like Rhapsody, Sirius, Last.fm, and tons of radio from across the globe. In fact, with the Sonos Controller for iPhone, you can access music from any computer on your network, a NAS drive, or even a Time Capsule. When you realize that one of the standard Sonos Controller remote costs $400, you begin to see how big a deal this is. Releasing this as a free download makes Sonos instantly easier to use, especially in a multi-zone, multi-iPhone household, like mine.
Google just released a free iPhone/iPod Touch version of its popular Google Earth desktop mapping application. The application allows users to fly around the globe with just the swipe of a finger; tilting the unit adjusts your view, zoom in or out by simply pinching your fingers. The new app also integrates geo-located Wikipedia articles – fly to the pyramids, and read all about them, all while riding the bus to work. Check out the video above for a look at the functionality.
If you’re into Facebook, and you own an iPhone, you’ll be pleased to know that Facebook version 2 for iPhone is now available on the App Store. The original Facebook app had been referred to as “Facebook Lite” by many a user, specifically because there were very few interactions with the service that you could do on the phone, when compared to the full web experience. Not one to sit on their laurels, the Facebook team got to work on this new version, and has packed in a plethora of new features:
- Address book lookup
- Facebook Chat
- People Search
- Message Search
- Message Attachments
- Photo Tags
- Faster photo uploads
- Friend Requests
Those are the ones that caught our eye, but there are even a few more than what we listed, including a new UI, and a bunch of bug fixes. Definitely some good stuff, other App Store developers might wanna take notice of a full-blown app done right by studying this release, seriously. Go hit the App Store to grab Facebook version 2, it’s free. Oh, and feel free to hit me up on Facebook.
Read More | Facebook iTunes Link
Earlier today, I received word that a second iPhone App had been denied access into the App Store, with Apple citing that the application duplicates existing functionality already found in the Apple ecosystem. This is beginning to become a problem, and if you aren’t seeing why, allow me to explain why this is so alarming to me. In case you hadn’t heard, a couple of weeks ago, an app called Podcaster was rejected by Apple for similar reason. The line of thinking there was that Podcaster, an app that would allow you to subscribe to and download podcasts while on the go, duplicated functionality already found in iTunes.
Now, if you’ve never used an iPhone, allow me to point out the absurdity. There is nothing on the iPhone or iPod touch that allows you to subscribe to, or even download, a podcast to your device. Sure, you can open the file in Safari, but that is not what we are talking about. That’s right, even if you enter the iTunes app, you will find right away that podcasts just aren’t there. So we have to then assume that Apple was referring to the iTunes desktop software when they said that Podcaster duplicated functionality. Really? Is that a major issue that a company decided to fix a gaping hole on the iPhone, even if that hole doesn’t exist on the desktop? Why, then, are there so many calculators in the App Store? After all, not only do we have a calculator as part of OS X, but there is a calculator that ships installed by default on the iPhone as well. It seems we have a double-standard here.
Well, here’s something we could get used to. Pangea, maker of popular App Store titles like Cro-Mag Rally and Enigmo, have put their entire line of apps on sale. This is obviously just going to be for a limited time only, but we can’t seem to find the end date of the promotion anywhere. In the meantime, just know that for now, the prices on Pangea App Store software is as follows:
- Enigmo: $4.99, down from $9.99
- Cro-Mag Ralley: $1.99, down from $5.99
- Billy Frontier: $3.99, down from $5.99
- Beer Bounce: $1.99, down from $2.99
- Pangea VR Pro: $14.99, down from $19.99
A couple of these are fantastic for the money (we’re looking at you, Enigmo and Cro-Mag). Head on over to the App Store to start shopping. Here’s hoping this is just the beginning of App Store sales.
Read More | App Store
Okay, Apple, we know that you’ve had some trouble getting your act together since the iPhone 3G launch, but when you list two different prices in different areas of iTunes for the same app, that is when it is just getting ridiculous. Case in point, Dashbuster. I downloaded the free version from the App Store about a week ago, as it sounded fantastic to be able to manage my Netflix queue from the iPhone. The app, however, was missing a couple of features that I wanted - namely, the ability to add movies to the queue, select the format of the disc, etc. That was to come in the pad version.
Well, due to the fact that Apple has been unable to push updates out in a timely fashion, the paid version was finished, but I had to wait about a week for it to hit the App Store. I searched for the app, saw it was available for $5, and proceeded to download it. I then saw that there was a bug in the app, where it wouldn’t show my queue at all. I emailed the developer, and he responded (almost immediately) offering help. He also mentioned that the app should have been $3.99, not $4.99 like I paid.
Read More | Gallery: Dashbuster pricing screwed up
Last year, my interest in Scrabble was brought to life with the release of the Scrabulous Facebook application. It was a good time challenging Facebook friends to old-fashioned word battles, and destroying them all with my superior wordsmithing skills. Or not. If you wanna test me, feel free to challenge me on Facebook. So what’s the point? Well, the moment that I saw that EA had released a version of Scrabble for the iPhone and iPod touch, I had to grab it immediately. I mean, an official Scrabble game for the mobile device that I use more than any other? What’s not to love about that?
Well, we will tell you. Step on in for our full review of the Scrabble app for iPhone.
Well, if you were curious just how successful the App Store has been since its launch, Steve Jobs spilled the beans in an interview published in the Wall Street Journal this morning. First and foremost, the most amazing part is that sales in the App Store hit about $30 million. Now, if you think about that figure and realize that Apple only keeps 30% of it (well, 30% of sales of apps that aren’t their own), that is $9 million for Apple, and $21 million for developers.
Of course, a large percentage of apps downloaded are free. You just know those have to be popular, right? Well, we didn’t get an official breakdown of free app downloads versus paid, but Jobs did say that there have been over 60 million downloads from the App Store. That’s an average of 2 million downloads per day, every day. If you had any doubt that the App Store would be a hit, well, there’s your proof.
See, it’s things like this that get me super excited for the App Store. The app is called Friend Book, and it takes the iPhone contact list and adds a bunch of fantastic features. You get thumbnail images for contacts that you have pictures of, an alternate view that allows you to tap on a face to dial. However, what I love is the Handshake feature. Using the built-in GPS, it determines if two iPhones are in the same place running the apps trade function. If they are, and both phones shake, information is traded. How cool is that? This is going to be one of the first apps that I download as soon as I am running iPhone 2.0 software.
My pal Nate True has been hard at work on improving his iPhone game, tap Tap Revolution. He made the game in his spare time after jailbreaking his phone early on, and then it got bought up by a new iPhone App company called Tapulous. They went into sweatshop mode, and it turns out that the game (which they are hoping makes it into the App Store at launch) has come a long way from the version you will find in Installer.app.
First of all, it has received a name change. Tap Tap Revolution has become Tap Tap Revenge, and it features improved graphics, the addition of shakes (where you shake the phone to do certain actions), and a hot-looking two player mode. Check the video above for proof. The game will ship with a a few songs, and you can download add-ons (a la Rock Band and Guitar Hero) for free. Down the road, there should be tracks available for purchase as well. The reason for having to download tracks is because Apple has stupidly put more silly restrictions on iPhone developers, and Apps don’t get access to the iTunes library. Sigh.
If you like rhythm games, this is gonna be one to download. It will be available for free, and you can download it from the App Store on July 11th.
Read More | cre.ations.net