Apps

Apple releases iTunes Connect Developer Guide 5.5

Apple has released iTunes Connect Developers Guide 5.5, with updated information on the iPad and iTunes connect features. Developers can download it via the iTunes Connect home page. (Here's the direct PDF link). Updates include:

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BabyBump pregnancy tracker for iPhone - app review

BabyBump is a pregnancy tracking application for the iPhone, and excellent for both mothers- and dads-to-be or anyone interested in following someone's pregnancy.

The home screen of BabyBump displays your chosen avatar, name, how many weeks and days you are along in your pregnancy, what trimester you're in, and how many days left until your due date. BabyBump is divided into 8 different sections:

  • Weekly info - This is my favorite section. BabyBump gives the approximate length and weight of your baby and compares his/her size to a fruit or vegetable. It also provides information about your Baby's developmental stage, what to expect with your body, and a health tip.
  • Journal - Here is where can record your weight, waist size, moods, and appointments. You can view charts of your weight and waist changes.
  • Photos - A place to store photos.
  • Birth - This is an excellent section of BabyBump. There is a very tasteful and informative video of the birth process, a list of newborn essential items that you need for Baby's arrival, and a checklist of your birth plan. When your baby is born, come to this section to create a quick birth announcement and send directly to Twitter, Facebook, and email.
  • Kick counter - A nice timer to record kick sessions.
  • Contractions - A similar counter to record contractions.
  • Baby names - An organized list of 1000 boy and 1000 girl names. You can store a list of favorite names and add any names that aren't on the list.
  • Community - This is a forums board. There are many different forum categories including a section for dads!

I have been using BabyBump since December and have seen multiple updates and improvements in the past months. BabyBump is an excellent iPhone companion for pregnancy; in fact, it's a must-have app for anyone pregnant.

[$4.99 - iTunes link]

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Fieldrunners for iPad - app review

Fieldrunners for the iPad, from Subatomic Studios, LLC, is a tower defense-style game, where the object is to obliterate the fieldrunners before they get to your base. To do this you place weapons on the field so that they will take out all fieldrunners before they get to the other side.

You start the game with 20 lives, which translates into 20 enemies that may pass through your defenses before the game ends. The placement of your defences is in real time, though after each level you do get a small amount of time before the fieldrunners start their attack. Strategy is paramount, as the towers you set up early in the game are still in play for later levels. You do not want to have to sell and move around towers as this will use up valuable resources (arms sales are not as profitable as they once were).

A large green ring indicates where your tower can be placed, a red ring indicates a illegal placement. The size of the ring shows you the range of the weapon which is very important for game strategy. Just clicking on the weapon will bring up the upgrading/sell options. Fieldrunners allows you to choose what difficulty you want to play in. So for veteran tower defense players starting on easy may be quite a bore, however as the game progresses each Fieldrunner you obliterate gains you more funds to purchase weapons.

The controls are very simple -- just point click and drag. You place your finger on the tower you want and then drag it to the location you want. All of the game options are also accessible through the game with a touch of your finger. You can also choose to put Fieldrunners into fast forward to accelerate the onslaught.

The game graphics are very clean and cartoonish yet not childish. Even the background of the game is beautifully rendered along with little bugs and flowers (not girly, I promise!).

Fieldrunners is really fun game for anyone who enjoys the tower defense genre. The increasing levels of difficulty keep Fieldrunners enjoyable and challenging. Well worth the price tag.

[$7.99 - iTunes Link]

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iPhone to iTunes Wi-Fi sync app rejected by App Store, finds home in Cydia

No shock: Apple has rejected that nifty Wi-Fi sync application that was submitted for the App Store. Good news is, it's now available via Cydia for any jailbroken iPhone for $9.99. Engadget contacted the developer by phone and here is his rejection explanation.

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QuickReply for SMS on iPhone - Jailbreak app review

QuickReply for SMS functions basically as an expanded plug-in to the built-in SMS app.  There is no icon for QuickReply and it just interacts with built-in functionality.  QuickReply attempts to solve a lot of the problems that the native SMS app still has.  The major one being when you get a text, you have two options, either close the text or view it to respond.  If you're in the middle of doing something on your phone, it'll close you out of it in order to take you to the text app.

QuickReply solves this problem by adding another button.  In addition to the traditional close and view buttons, you'll see a reply button to the right.  When you click reply, it'll simply bring up a keyboard and you can reply to the text without interrupting the app you are currently running.  When you're done, tap send and you're done!  The keyboard disappears and your text sends in the background. In settings, you have the option of changing the traditional keyboard to a transparent type keyboard if you'd like as well.  You'll also see an option to replace the view button with a call button.

With the latest update to QuickReply, contact pictures were added. I thought this was a really neat addition. If you have a picture set for a person in your address book, it'll pop up in the right hand top corner of the text on the homescreen. Speaking of the homescreen, QuickReply also allows you to reply directly from the homescreen. Enabling the lockscreen option in settings will allow you to double-tap a text off the homescreen and bring up a keyboard to respond without even having to unlock your phone.

QuickReply is definitely one of those apps I'd sorely miss on a stock iPhone. For anyone who's jailbroken, it's definitely worth the $2.99. And if you'd like to try it out, they have a trial period available.

[$2.99 - Cydia Link]

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CBC Hockey for iPhone: stream games live

CBC Hockey from the iconic Hockey Night in Canada series is a free download from the iTunes App Store and comes ready to stream all the live NHL hockey playoff action straight to your iPhone -- via $2.99 in-app purchase.

  • LIVE box scores from every NHL game
  • Standings by division and conference
  • Stats for every team, every player
  • League leaders for points, goals,+/-, GAA, Sv%, and Wins
  • CBC Sports stories and features from our writers
  • Complete NHL schedule including CBC broadcasts and streaming info

And no, I'm not just posting this because of Montreal's stellar playoff victory last night against Pittsburgh (for those who are more geek than hockey freak, that was the team with the big C's on their chests beating the guys wearing the Linux Tux jerseys).

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FlickStackr for iPad - App Review

FlickStackr for iPad is a Flickr browsing application. The interface is beautiful, intuitive, and a pleasure to use.

With FlickStackr, you can browse photos on Flickr, even if you don't have a Flickr account. If you do, then you can also browse your photostream, sets, favorites, groups, and contacts. FlickStackr also displays EXIF data, tags, and comments. The main feature that is missing from FlickStackr is the ability to upload photos. However, iPont promises to bring that ability in a future update.

In addition to the wonderful online photo viewing that FlickStacker brings to iPad, it also allows you to save photos locally for offline viewing. iPont calls this feature a "Stack". You can choose any photos from Flickr to save to your stack. It only saves the actual images, however, not the EXIF data that's associated with them.

FlickStackr is an excellent app for experiencing Flickr on the iPad, and for only $0.99, it's quite a steal!

[$0.99 - iTunes Link]

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Comcast demos Xfinity Remote app for iPad

Today Comcast demoed Xfinity Remote, a prototype of a web-based remote control that aims to extend their interactive programming guide to many IP-enabled devices such as an iPad. Unlike their current sub par iPhone application [iTunes Link - Free] this application allows Comcast subscribers to have full control over cable boxes.

"The Xfinity Remote, which Brian Roberts demoed today on an iPad at the NCTA show, enables you to search for your favorite shows and movies on television and video on demand, change the channel on your cable box right from your iPad, and set your DVR remotely."

Comcast also mentions the app will allow for integration into social networks and allow for chatting live while watching a show or send invites to friends to watch programming at the same time.

The Xfinity Remote should be free when in lands into the App Store and while no release date has been given, Comcast promises we will see it before the end of the year.

Video after the break!

[MacDailyNews via Comcast]

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Give away: Appigo Todo for iPad brings task management to the bigger screen

Appigo has just released Todo for iPad, and like Apple themselves, they've used the larger canvas for a more real-world inspired interface. Binders, pages, and pockets, oh my! For fans of Appigo Todo for iPhone, rest assured all your favorite features are here, they're just bigger than ever before. Appigo Todo for iPad currently on sale for $4.99 so if you've been waiting for it, jump on it now. [iTunes link]

All the features come fully loaded:

  • Sync with iCal (Wi-Fi required)
  • Sync with Outlook (Wi-Fi and Outlook 2003 or newer required)
  • Sync with Toodledo.com
  • Task reminder alerts (Wi-Fi or cellular data network required)
  • Projects and Checklists (subtasks)
  • Full Landscape Support
  • Notes on tasks with clickable phone numbers and URLs
  • Manage multiple tasks at once with multi-select
  • Full Calendar View for choosing Due Dates
  • Drag and Drop sorting
  • Contact, Email, SMS, Phone integration
  • Full Task Searching including notes
  • GTD support with Contexts and Tags
  • Repeating Tasks
  • Quick Add Task Entry
  • Task Sharing via Email (Import back into Todo)
  • Customizable App Badge
  • TextExpander touch snippet expansion support (SmileOnMyMac, LLC)

The great folks at Appigo have also been kind enough to give us a couple promo codes to pass on to you, so if you want in, leave a comment below telling us what's on top of your iPad to do list. Make sure to use a real email address, it won't be made public but we'll need it to send you a promo code. Also, promo codes still require a US iTunes account (Apple's rules, not ours).

More screenshots after the break!

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Panda Hero for iPhone - game review

Panda Hero from Barefoot Explorers LLC is a cute iPhone game with a cuddly eco-friendly message where the objective is to free your animal friends from poachers while you avoid poisonous mushrooms, pits, and other dangers. After you complete a level you also get to have your own virtual panda to take care of and enjoy.

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