WebIS has updated Pocket Informant for the iPhone and iPod touch. The upgrade offers improved performance and stability, more robust synching, more complex recurrence options, shake to sync, To Do grouping/sorting, and more.
For some, the recently released iTennis game in the iTunes App Store looked extremely familiar — that’s because it was a rather blatant ripoff of code provided by the iCodeBlog, a site known for its free iPhone coding tutorials. The original tutorial, written by Brandon Trebitowski, was apparently compiled and submitted by Peter Sheen of BlaBlaIncTech and placed on sale for $.99USD on iTunes in late May.
Trebitowski revealed the theft through iCodeBlog yesterday, and Jonathan Siegel got in touch with us regarding the situation. As response has gotten out through iCodeBlog, there has been a backlash through both BlaBlaIncTech’s site and the App Store. As a result, around 4:45 Pacific Time, the game was pulled from iTunes.
In an attempt to contact someone from BlaBlaIncTech, I headed over to the site to find no contact information except for a support chat that was spammed with nearly 15,000 comments regarding the theft. While I was writing up this post, BlaBlaIncTech removed the link to its guestbook from the front page of the site. Ten minutes later, the game was gone from the App Store. Ten minutes after that, all mention of iTennis was gone from BlaBlaIncTech’s site.
That is the biggest thing that has ever hit our software updater.
"This Snow Leopard Developer Preview Update is recommended for all users running the Snow Leopard Developer Preview Build 10A394 or later. This update includes general operating system fixes for stability, compatibility, and security."
A fifth of online video aficionados watch less TV as a direct result of online video, seemingly confirming the fears of TV networks that their traditional audience is moving online. A new report from Frank N. Magid Associates and Metacafe claims that online video offerings are now becoming as or more entertaining than shows on the boob tube, and the types of clips people watch online span many different genres.
The most popular online videos were not professionally produced content, according to the study. Instead, the largest chunk of survey respondents (43 percent of a nationally representative group of 2,000 people between the ages of 12 and 64) said that they regularly watched videos shot by other Joe Schmoes. Professionally produced content like news stories came in second at 32 percent and music videos were watched by 31 percent of respondents.
In over fourteen Apple Discussion threads, over six hundred messages have been posted with the first one being written on June 17th, shortly after the release of iPhone 3.0 software. These threads have been read by thousands of users. Unfortunately, to date, a solution is not at hand.
The problem, verified by many, is that when updating to the new software, Wi-Fi connectivity on the iPhone 3G either decreased or vanished entirely. Those who were used to getting full bars of Wi-Fi connectivity now experience markedly less bars. Worse, even if some signal strength bars are displayed, often there is no Internet connectivity.
Many solutions have been proposed including resetting the router, changing settings (seemingly at random), and even putting the 3G in the freezer:
“Also i might note, I turned off wifi, turned off the phone, put it in the freezer (in a bag) for 10 mins, turned the phone back on, put the phone right next to my wifi antenna and then turned on wifi and it joined, it JUST joined and I couldnt believe it,” says one forum poster. Several others report similar results, but this fix did not last long. In fact, blog posts have been written about possible solutions, but none of them seemed to pan out after using Wi-Fi for a short period of time.
Some writers have said that the 3.1 update will fix the problem while a larger number say that the new software release won’t help at all.
Pariahware has updated Elastic Window, a set of classes for REALbasic developers that allows controls on a window to be resized proportionally with the window, to version 1.5. The upgrade adds support for TextField and TextArea controls.
GenArts has announced a monthly rental option for its flagship plugin effects, Sapphire. The plugins can be rented for $170 per month; far less than the $1699 purchase cost of the plug-in for After Effects or Final Cut Pro. This option is designed to allow artists who work on a project basis to avoid purchasing the costly full license of the Adobe After Effects plug-in or an Apple Final Cut Pro Fx…
Newmium has announced yet another internet browser, the Newmium iXBrowser. The browser boasts compatibility with all versions of HTML 4 defined by the World Wide Web Consortium. Offering platform-independent compatibility with all versions of HTML 4 allows website developers to create more consistent cross-platform designs. The Newmium iXBrowser offers compatibility with various operating systems …
Creaceed has released the CeedVocal SDK, which allows developers to build speech recognition into their iPhone applications. The CeedVocal SDK is based on acoustic models developed in English, French and German, providing voice activity detection for each of those languages. The software development kit includes a “phonetizer” that recognizes many common words and up to 5000 developer-defined word…
Rolando 2 is the sequel to Rolando, a game which proved that the iPhone can compete with Sony’s PSP and Nintendo’s DS in the handheld console wars.
Just over a year after opening, the App Store is coming into its own. Indeed, there’s the dodgy dirge of novelty joke apps, but at the other end of the spectrum, we’re seeing publishers like ngmoco producing smart and fun apps.
Ngmoco is the publisher that picked up the original Rolando, reviewed here back in December, and pushed it in to the realms of essential iPhone titles. Rolando 2 is ngmoco’s latest release. The game features tilting puzzle platforming action with music from Mr. Scruff, and includes Plus+ network integration for achievement and score tracking.
Tap ‘n’ Tilt
Setting the scene for the game’s exotic island adventure, the opening sequence sees a deadly disease threatening the Kingdom of Rolando’s inhabitants. It’s up to the crew of the HMS Plunderful, joined by Rolando’s dozy royalty, to travel to a distant land in search of the cure.
Alongside setting up the game’s story, the playable opening sequence also acts as a handy tutorial. You play The Finger, able to control various Rolando characters and tweak elements of the environment.
Just like the original, the controls are ingeniously simple: tap an individual Rolando, or drag a box around several, then just tilt your iPhone to get them rolling. A quick swipe upwards triggers a jump, and certain yellow objects dotted around the environment can be tapped, dragged and twisted in various ways.
Rolling in New Features
Levels are a blend of platforming and puzzling — avoiding the bad guys and ensuring safe passage to the exit for the jaunty little Rolandos. Just like the original Rolando, most maps are centered around block pushing, button triggering and door opening.
Rolando 2 builds on the original, though, introducing new features and twists every few levels. This litany of loveliness takes the game from a simple platforming adventure into the realm of a multicolor spectacle.
There are the bomb trees, carrying, as nature apparently intended, a range of different bombs, including rolling sticky bombs and, less destructive but no less useful, water bombs — great for growing giant plants from tiny shrubs.
There’s the neanderthal-esque native, Rolando, who, after eating a hot chili, inflates and begins floating through the level. And there’s the Boom Finger which transforms your own finger into a digit of destruction, allowing you to off enemies and forge new paths through the levels.
If there’s one drawback to the game’s seemingly constant inventiveness, it’s that it occasionally feels a tad overwhelming — there are so many ideas crammed in, it obscures the purity of the game’s fundamentally fun tilt ‘n’ roll controls.
Ears & Eyes
On music and artwork duties, both Mr. Scruff and Mikko Walamies have returned. Walamies is behind the game’s charming characters, and he’s done so much with so little, injecting humor and character into a cast of, essentially, rolling ball faces.
The game exceeds expectations in the artwork department, too: Rolando 2 is now in 3-D, from the game’s Super Mario World-style game hub, to each individually crafted level.
Pie-eating, tea-drinking, funk-spinning Manchester DJ Mr. Scruff also features in Rolando 2. Not only do his gorgeous grooves accompany each level, he’s even got his own Music Shack where you’re able to take a leisurely roll through the soundtrack.
Diamonds & Disappointments
The iPhone’s connectivity isn’t forgotten, either. Ngmoco has integrated Plus+, a network connecting iPhone gamers with each other. You’re able to share scores, issue challenges to other players, and track in-game achievements.
There are a few issues, though. A sound is missing here and there, and certain game objects intrude on the gameplay, but it’s so incredibly infrequent.
My concern is that the constant barrage of new ideas and gameplay twists means that the game, like its petite, rotund heroes do so frequently, will become lost in a confusing jungle filled with shiny, new playthings.
I’ve heaped on praise and extolled its many magnificent moments, and yet it must be noted that there’s room, albeit a very tiny bit of room, for improvement.
Summing Up: Golden Apple Award
Rolando 2 is a wonderful game. What’s more, it exploits the iPhone as a gaming platform so effectively. It makes use of the iPhone’s user interface, never falling back on virtual control-pad buttons. There’s connectivity with Plus+ and even music from Scruff.
The characters look good enough to consume as, I imagine, some of the island’s native tribe members would do so, given half the chance. And the gameplay is fundamentally fun and consistently inventive.
All that sounds too analytical, though. It’s a convoluted way of trying to say it’s really a very good game. A more effective way of summing it up would be to give Rolando 2 TheAppleBlog’s coveted Golden Apple Award, so that’s what I’ve done.
All that’s left to say is that Rolando 2 is the new benchmark for iPhone gaming and, as such, I highly recommend that you download it.
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Over one-third of mobile phones are expected to integrate accelerometers by 2010, according to the research firm iSuppli. Widespread adoption of the Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) sensors is being driven by popular devices such as Apple’s iPhone and the recently-launched Palm Pre. Although the trend continues to develop in the smartphone segment, the technology is also being used in simpler…