Instapaper 3.0 Update gets Social

Instapaper (TMA Review), the most popular “read it later” service on the web and for mobile devices (also an essential app on my iDevice), has received its biggest update ever. With Instapaper 3.0, you can now follow other Instapaper users and check out articles they’ve “liked”, or simply browse through Instapaper’s Editor’s Picks. Friends can be added via an email address, Facebook or Twitter. Other new features and improvements include:

  • “Star” is now called “Like” to clarify its purpose.
  • New storage engine with perfect image quality, faster downloads, faster page-opening, and less space usage.
  • Search all downloaded articles by title or content.
  • Native, offline sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinboard, and Evernote.
  • Smart rotation lock offers to disable rotation if a rotation seems accidental.

If you’re new to Instapaper, it really is a fantastic tool that lets you save articles you come across on the web for viewing later (and offline). Simply visit instapaper.com to get started and sign up for your free account. As with previous versions, Instapaper 3.0 is a universal app ($4.99) and the update is free for those who’ve already purchased it.

Instapaper Marco Arment, Instapaper (TMA Review), 7.4 MB – $4.99

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TechWire in Review – An App for your Tech Blog Addiction

I watch a lot of technical blogs to get different perspectives on interesting news and for the occasional gems I find there. I don’t have time, however, to read or even scan them all every day and sometimes won’t browse through some of them for weeks. They’re just handy to have around.

The downside is that they clog up my newsreader and slow things down while waiting for refreshes. I don’t want to unsubscribe and lose them, so what do I do?

Enter TechWire, a free app that collects many of the most popular technical blogs in one place!

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CNN App for iPad now out…iPhone version goes Free

CNN has just released their app for the iPad earlier today, meaning you no longer have to load up Safari (or your favorite RSS reader) every time you want to check up on their latest news updates. Best of all is its price tag – Free. Here are some of the app features:

  • Go beyond breaking news with top headlines, in-depth feature stories and video
  • Choose your view from different navigation options; quickly scan the headlines or immerse yourself in a slideshow
  • Take part in the conversation by commenting on stories and reading others’ responses
  • Share stories on Facebook and Twitter or via e-mail
  • Save stories for offline viewing
  • Watch live video streams of breaking news and other major news events

And as an added bonus, the iPhone version of the CNN app has dropped in price to Free (down from $1.99). If you enjoy reading news on your iPad, and CNN is one of the sources you rely on, this is one app you want to grab now from the App Store. Check out the video demo after the gap.

CNN App for iPhone CNN Interactive Group, CNN App for iPhone, 4.5 MB – Free
CNN App for iPad CNN Interactive Group, CNN App for iPad, 3.7 MB – Free

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Anyone can be a DJ now with djay for the iPad

algoriddim, developers of the award-winning djay for Mac, have now released the fully featured djay app for the iPad. Utilizing the iPad’s 10″ screen and music stored within your library, you can finally scratch and mix all your favorite tunes just about anywhere.

djay transforms your iPad into a full–fledged DJ system and seamlessly integrates with your iTunes music library, giving you direct access to all your favorite tracks and playlists. A hyper–realistic touchscreen interface and ultra low–latency converge to offer you a true professional mixing experience, all with your own music. You can perform live, record mixes on–the–go, or enable Automix mode and let djay mix your favorite playlist from your iPod library auto–magically!

With unprecedented ease–of–use and innovative multi–touch mixing features, djay for iPad brings DJ’ing to the next level, offering a unique experience for beginners and professionals alike.

djay is actually the second iTunes app released by algoriddim. Their first, djay Remote ($4.99), was released earlier this year and allows iPhone and iPod Touch users to interact with the djay 3 software running on their Macs. Check out the demo video and full press release after the gap.

djay algoriddim, djay, 2.9 MB – $19.99

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Cut the Rope Updated with Retina Graphics and more Levels

iPhone Screenshot 5

Cut the Rope (TMA Review), one of the most adorable and addictive (not to mention challenging) puzzle games on the App Store, has just received its very first update. In addition to the much welcomed support for Retina Display, the puzzler has also been given a brand new “Cosmic Box” stage, which now includes 25 extra levels and the nifty gravity button (why, it inverts gravity!). Other new features include an optimized scoring system, 11 new Game Center achievements and a new leaderboard for bragging rights.

If you already own this delightful game, be sure to download the update now. If not, you can always check out the free lite versions of Cut the Rope for the iPhone and iPad before making the purchase.

Cut the Rope Chillingo, Cut the Rope (TMA Review), 20.41MB – $0.99
Cut the Rope HD Chillingo, Cut the Rope HD, 30.21MB – $1.99

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PDF Expert for iPad now Supports Signatures

Readdle, makers of the trusty ReaddleDocs app, has just updated their PDF Expert for iPad (see our iPhone review) with 2 useful new features. Already able to annotate text and allow for handwritten notes, the app now gives you the ability to include signatures into any PDF file. Rather than have the user scribble them out every single time it’s needed, PDF Expert provides a template area where you can carve out your signature beforehand. Once it’s created, simply tap and hold on the area of screen you’d like for it to appear and choose the option “Signature”. Rinse and repeat. With the template, it eliminates any potential inconsistencies and makes the process much quicker.

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Reeder for iPad now ready for iOS 4.2

iPad Screenshot 1

In anticipation of the long overdue iOS 4.2 update for the iPad (which will finally bring folders and multitasking to the tablet), Reeder for iPad (TMA Review) has just been updated with support for task completion syncing. As such, the app can be closed and your Google feeds will continue to download in the background. Facebook and Zootool are also new additions to the already expansive sharing options. Other changes/fixes include:

Other Changes:
- Less sensitive slider controls
- Larger tap area for prev/next article buttons
- Better handling of accounts with hundreds of subscriptions

Fixes:
- “Save to Delicous” with a YahooID!
- Crashes when viewing certain articles (boingboing.net)
- Scrolling issues should be fixed (inertial scrolling)
- Share article via email display issues

Reeder for iPad is arguably the best Google Reader client on the device, and it’s also one of the apps I rely on most on a daily basis. If the $4.99 price tag doesn’t quite jive with your current budget, you can also take a look at the news reader News Pulse, which was just made Free permanently by the developers.

Reeder for iPad Silvio Rizzi, Reeder for iPad, 2.2 MB – $4.99

App Updates: Evernote, Instapaper and Dropbox

Three of the apps I rely on most on my iPhone and iPad have all been recently updated with new features and improvements. The biggest update goes to Instapaper (now v2.3), which is an indispensable app for those who wish to save articles on the web for later offline reading (see our review). On the iPhone, users will now see the first few lines of text from articles in each row (previously only available to the iPad). New to both iPhone and iPad, the list now shows the approximate article length and progress read with rows of dots, much like on the Kindle’s home screen. The other new feature is the ability to enable “dark mode” automatically based on where you are (the app is now location-aware). So depending on what time it is on your iDevice, the app will invert the color scheme of the background (black) and text (white).

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