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New, updated, and discounted apps: Angry Birds Epic, Game of Thrones Ascent, and more!

Every day dozens and dozens of new and updated apps and games hit the iOS and Mac App Stores. More still go on sale all the time. It's impossible to keep up with them all, but it's not impossible to pick out the very best. Here they are!

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AOL cuts AIM staff: Is instant messenger dead or just dying?

When you think about the available instant messaging clients out there nowadays, AOL's AIM may not be at the top of the list but for some, that's exactly where it is. Recent employee cuts at AOL and more specifically the AIM team has had many claiming the service is already dead and others pondering if it's only a matter of time.

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Verbs IM client for iPhone now available in the App Store

Verbs for iPhone is a gorgeous new IM client that just recently hit the app store. It supports GTalk and AIM/MobileMe at the moment. I'm hoping support for more clients like Facebook chat and MSN are added in an update. What really got me hooked on Verbs is the beautiful interface. It looks like an app Apple would build natively into iOS.

Another feature I really like is the fact that it supports Cloud and Droplr file transfer services. I personally love Droplr and use it exclusively for sharing images and video. I chose it as my Pick of the Week a few weeks back. This is an added bonus for me.

I would like to see full push implemented as it currently only supports local notifications. This means you'll receive notifications only if the app is running or multitasking. If you close it from the multitasking tray, you won't receive notifications any longer. Not a huge issue for some, but may be a big one for others. If you're looking for a decent IM client that comes at a fair price, make sure you give Verbs a try and let us know what you think!

[$2.99 - iTunes Link]

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AIM Push Problems - Hacktivated iPhones to Blame?

Crunchgear is reporting that Till Schadde of Equinux has been noticing some weirdness with his AIM app and push notifications. Namely, Schadde has been seeing his AIM messages go to random recipients. He discovered this by being notified that a message he had sent to his iPhone version of AIM was redirected to a random stranger. That stranger then contacted Schaddle to let him know and to supply him with a screen shot of his message.

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iPhone Push Notification Testing Round 2: AIM

Apple previously invited developers to help test the upcoming iPhone 3.0 Push Notification service using AP (Associated Press). Now they're ready for some IM action, and have prepared a special, 7-day build of AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) to put push through its paces:

As a developer actively working with iPhone OS, we would like your help in a private test of the Apple Push Notification service. For this test, we have selected AOL's AIM Developer Preview for iPhone OS 3.0 to create a high-volume test environment for our server.

Of course, as with most everything iPhone 3.0-related, at least news of the test didn't stay private for long.

For a sampling of some of the screenshots we've received, check out the gallery after the break!

[Thanks to Rikimaru, and all the anonymous tipsters!)

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Apple Videos Highlight iPhone Developers in Advance of WWDC

Not sure when this went live, or how I missed seeing it the moment it did, but the snippet of video on Trism that Apple showed off in their iPhone 3.0 Sneak Peek Event is up in full on Apple's developer site, and it's brought along some friends. The full list includes:

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BeejiveIM (JiveTalk) coming to the iPhone? Sounds Good, Looks Better

If you've never played around with BeeJive's JiveTalk, boy, you don't know what you're missing! Even though third party apps such as AIM and Palringo are available, I still prefer the look and feel of the JiveTalk WEB APP. I'm sure Crackberry Addicts can attest to JiveTalk's IM supremacy. And you know what? BeejiveIM (formerly JiveTalk) is coming to the iPhone and from the looks of it, seems to better than ever.

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Palringo Now Available for iPhone: Multi-Client IM FTW!

Folks who've transitioned over from Windows Mobile (or BlackBerry) to the iPhone (or folks who, like me, are dual-wielding) take heed: one of our favorite IM apps from those other platforms has finally made its way into the App Store. It's Palringo (iTunes Link) and it's free. Palringo is an instant messenger app that's able to talk to AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, etc. It will also let you send media files (like photos). There is one downside -- you do need to set up a Palringo account to get it all going, but for now at least, if you want multi-client IM, Palringo's your best option.

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Tip o' the Week: Free SMS from your iPhone

With the advent of the App Store where you can download AIM for free, there is now a way to send SMS messages for free.  This method is brought to you by Jeff Carlson of and will comprise this week's Tip!  (Important note: the following method is only proven to work in the U.S.)

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Multitask-Masters: No AIM Loophole



As part of his piece on the continuing confusion surrounding the $99 iPhone SDK program acceptance/pending/rejection letters, Daring Fireball's John Gruber also dropped this very interesting nugget about the equally continuing and confusing situation surrounding the apparent Apple ban on multitasking and background apps:

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