Apps

Official Apple Find my iPhone app now in App Store

Apple has released an official Find my iPhone app, and it's a universal binary for both iPhone and iPad. (Yes, it's still called Find my iPhone on the iPad and iPod touch, what's in a name?)

It works pretty much as you'd expect -- enter your MobileMe login (it asks for the password each time, which might annoy you until you realize someone could use it to track you or your family members), see a list of your devices, tap one to locate it, send it an alert, lock it, or remotely wipe it.

I couldn't get locate or alert working in my quick tests, but it could still be rolling out. I'll try again later. If you installed it, let me know how it's working for you.

iPad screenshot after the break.

[iTunes link]

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MobileMe web apps back online with updated mail UI, app switcher

As was widely expected, Apple's MobileMe web apps -- me.com -- are back online after their scheduled maintenance, and sporting an updated look and some new features.

The new Mail has come out of beta and now everyone can enjoy server-side rules, which is terrific if way overdue. In the not-so-terrific pile, previously you could instantly switch between apps using a conventional menu bar. Now you have to figure out that clicking the cloud icon top left will bring up and icon bar which you can then click to switch tasks. Less discoverability and efficiency in one update? Not very Apple.

(They've standardized on the iPhone app icons to represent Me.com tasks, however, which is good. And they look great.)

Are you trying to new Me.com? What do you think?

UPDATE: Apple's MobileMe email announcement, after the break.

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MobileMe down tonight, updated tomorrow?

Apple is taking MobileMe's web apps down for maintenance from 10pm to 12am PST tonight. MacRumors has heard this may just be to tweak the interface and add new functionality that:

will see the rolling out of several new enhancements, including an official launch of the redesigned Mail interface for MobileMe that has been available in beta form for the past month. Included in this rollout will be push functionality for the Web-based Mail client, providing real-time updating as messages arrive.

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Apple posts WWDC session videos for developers

Apple has, with lightning quickness, posted videos from the WWDC sessions online for developers. And here's the terrific part -- they've made them available to ALL registered developers, not just those who bought expensive tickets to the event.

Terrific idea. If you're a developer who couldn't attend, you'd be crazy not to jump on this.

[developer.apple.com]

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iOS 4 updated: Dropbox, Quota, Fandango, FlightTrack, more

Not only has Apple released iTunes 9.2 to the masses, they seem to be approving and releasing apps updated for iOS 4 compatibility now as well. If you haven't checked your updates tab in a while, it may be time to tap that App Store icon on your iPhone or check in iTunes.

Out of my 100 or so apps I have installed on my 3GS, I've seen about 4 or so apps in the past 12 hours receive updates for iOS 4 compatibility. I'm assuming that number will only grow over the next couple of days as developers ready themselves for the release of iOS 4. Now that doesn't mean they have any iOS 4 specific features -- it just means they've been compiled with the iOS 4 SDK.

Some apps will have much more significant updates than others of course. So far I've seen updates for apps such as DropBox, Quota, Fandango, FlightTrack and a few others. Quota is touting the fact that it's supporting the higher resolution of the iPhone 4 in its update straight away. I'm curious to see which other developers will do this straight out of the gate. I hope most do as I can't wait to run higher resolution applications on my new iPhone 4!

Streaming music, navigation/location, or VoIP (voice over IP) app in the background are some of the big ones of course. Saving state for fast task switching is something we hope is also rolled out quickly and universally.

Hit the break for some screenshots of some I've found as well as a video from one of our readers demonstrating the in-app SMS feature Apple has given developers and API for. Thanks Ethan! Any of you find any apps that are running iSO 4 compatibility yet? Leave 'em in the comments!!

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Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney for iPhone- app review

Phoenix Wright is Capcom's latest game for the iPhone. It's a port of a port (GameBoy to Nintendo DS to iOS) that still retains it's fun factor through the years and is a great addition to any iOS gamer. The concept behind Phoenix Wright is simple; you are a new a attorney and you have taken on your first criminal case as a defense attorney for your best friend from high school, Larry Butz, and he is accused of murder!

The main game play takes place in the court room. Just like any court case, you are given evidence that you can reference at any time from the court record. And you WILL need to reference it as your clients future depends on it.

Your first case deals with Larry's girlfriend's murder. The witness pins Larry as the killer... but is he? This is where the fun begins. It is up to you to prove his innocence. In the courtroom you listen to the witness testimony and try to find holes in it based on the evidence you have in your possession. Regretfully, I can't give away too much more without spoiling the story... There are additional levels though and each one gets more and more challenging, you even move out of the courtroom to gather evidence yourself.

As fun as the game is, the writing is geared towards a younger audience. Even though the subject matter is adult, it often uses "childish humor" to get points across at times. Though I shrug this off, it may bother some adult gamers, kids will love it. But I do admit, I chuckled from time to time. It is important to note that this game is not 3D but instead kind of like one of those old Choose Your Own Adventure books. The game is based primarily on reading and critical thinking skills and lends itself as a quick pick up and play game, but you will be spending some quality time with it. The good news is that you can save anytime and it usually places you right at the spot you were last at in the story.

In the end I found Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney very enjoyable and fun. Was it challenging? Yes. Was the crude humor at times? Yes. Will I play it again? Most definitely.

[$4.99- iTunes Link]

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Apple Store app for iPhone now in App Store

Looks like Apple has finally released an Apple Store mobile application for the iPhone.  I would have thought we'd see this a lot sooner but we all know Apple.  Looks like you can not only browse the store, but search for Apple Stores close to you and even make appointments with the Genius Bar.

As of now, it's only showing up in the US app store, so those of you in other countries, feel free to let us know when you see it show up in yours.  Given iPhone 4 pre-order madness is upon us, I can't access the Apple Store to test it so if it gives you problems just wait a while and try again when the the pre-order insanity dies down.

Jump to the break to see some basic screenshots, and I'll add more once the Apple Online Store is up and running again.

[iTunes link]

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Official Apple retail store application for iOS set to launch?

MacRumors says they are recieving several reports from their sources claiming that Apple is ready to debut their official retail store application for all iOS devices.

"Apple is planning to launch a new iOS application tomorrow that will offer customers access to the company's online store and iPhone pre-ordering, as well as the ability to book Genius Bar appointments at brick-and-mortar retail stores."

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MindNode for iPad- app review

I am always looking for tools to help me be more productive. I am very excited over discovering MindNode. MindNode is a suite of mind mapping products across multiple Apple platforms that allows you to brainstorm or mind map out thoughts and ideas. MindNode is available as a universal app for iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad as well as a free and paid version for the Mac. Today I will be looking at the iPad version, but functionality is the same across apps.

You start off with a simple node. That node can be an idea or thought, perhaps an object. You can rename the node to what ever you like. From here, you can add another node by tapping the plus icon. You can really start to branch out quickly too. You can branch from the main node, any children nodes, or just make a new node from scratch. If you find your ideas are taking over on a particular node, you can detach it and make it a new node.

To help differentiate nodes and thoughts, you can change colors of the connector lines and the node itself. You can even setup the colors that will be used and what order they appear if you like. If you need to move around a node, simply drag the title to a new location, or you can cut, copy or paste by double-tapping on the node. To help keep your mind maps organized, MindNode gives you the ability to search within your document and look at a list of all of the existing nodes and their parent-child relationships in your document.

Sharing documents is a snap in MindNode. You have several options at your disposal:

  • Mail to MindNode
  • Freemind
  • png
  • Text Outline
  • OPML Outline

Desktop:

  • WiFi sharing with MindNode Pro only
  • Websharing, provides URL, port and user name/password

For all that MindNode does it is an incredible value. The ease of exporting is a particular plus in such a specific type of product. If you enjoy visually brainstorming ideas, concepts and more, MindNode for iOS is a fantastic product that helps to make us more productive.

[$5.99- iTunes Link]

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How-to build or edit a custom iPhone theme

The jailbreak community offers an abundance of tools that allow you to make your iPhone fit your personality and mood.  If you're anything like me, I can be pretty picky about layouts and exactly how my phone is set up.  I want all my most frequently used apps in one place, neat and tidy, and ready to use.

For some iPhone users, that plain black background and all the stock icons get pretty boring.  I change my theme on my iPhone a couple times a month, if not more.  There are several jailbreak tools that can help turn your iPhone from boring, to brilliant.

There's always one problem with paid and free themes, you get what the theme developer gives you.  There may be some theme elements you don't like at all, or ones that are missing that you'd like to add.  There are several ways to edit themes and customize them to fit you individually. Today, we'll show you how to do just that.

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