Google Maps for iOS updated with improved search features

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Google Maps, hands down the best maps app for iOS, has received its first update and users now have better integration with their Google contacts. Upon signing in with v1.1 of the Maps app, any saved addresses on your Google account will show up when you look up the name of a friend of family member. This makes it easier to find driving directions to your contact’s address, of course provided that you’ve already entered their details beforehand. To help distinguish between search results of names you’ve typed in, your saved contacts will show up with a person icon to the left, while general results with a similar names will have a magnifying glass icon beside it. Currently, Google Contacts search only works with regular Google email accounts, and is not available for Enterprise Apps accounts.

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Price Drop Alert: Polaris Office now $3.99 (80% off)

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To celebrate over 300 million copies on Android and iOS Devices, Polaris Office has dropped in price from $19.99 to $3.99 for iOS (though it’s been on sale at $12.99). A solid office suite that’s improved over various updates (the latest adding iPhone 5 support), Polaris lets you view and edit Microsoft Office documents like Word, Excel and Powerpoint on the iPhone and iPad. The main cloud storage services – Dropbox, Google Drive and Box.net – are also supported, so you can access your files just about anywhere. The price drop is good for 3 days, until March 7th, so you still have plenty of time to pick up this universal app up at a steep discount.

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Make your Pottery designs come to life

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Infinite Dreams’ Let’s create! Pottery HD (makers of iQuarium and Jelly Defense) has already been downloaded 5 million times and is widely considered one of the more unique experiences on the App Store. Not only can you create virtual pottery, but now thanks to a partnership with Sculpteo and their innovative 3D printing technology, users can finally turn their works of art into real objects.

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Pick a Bundle lets you choose 10 Mac Apps for $49

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Unlike most of the previous Mac bundles we’ve seen in the past, Paddle.com’s Pick a Bundle let’s you pick the Mac apps you want, just so you’re not stuck with ones you don’t particularly care for. For $49.99, you get to choose 10 out of 30 different Mac apps and games, and they include Rapidweaver (web design tool), DEVONthink (notes and data manager), HandsOff! (control network and disk access) and Moneywell (personal finance software). All the apps range in price – retailing anywhere from $145 to under $10 – so if you’re able to come up with 10 that look appealing, the $50 is a great bargain. Head over to the bundle site for the complete details and check out all 30 apps being offered.

Fleksy gets update, price drops to free forever

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While iOS’ autocorrect feature is fairly competent, there are undoubtedly times when users have wished that its text prediction was much improved. Enter  Fleksy, the iOS app released last year where the developers called it the “most powerful text prediction engine out there”, has been embraced by thousands of users who are able to type on their iPhones and iPads without having to even look at the keyboard. The app was after all designed with the visually impair in mind. With its most recent update (new gestures, new menu and increased accuracy), the devs have also announced that the app has gone free (the full version was previously $4.99) – now and forever.

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Splashtop 2 – Remote Desktop for iPad now Free for a limited time

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Splashtop 2, the popular remote desktop app for the iPad (there’s an iPhone version as well), has gone free on the App Store for the very first time. For the uninitiated, the app lets you control your PC/Mac remotely right from the comforts of your iDevice. Once connected into your home/work computer, you’ll then be able to view your files, work on your Word/Excel documents, watch a movie that’s been stored locally and much more.

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iOS 6.1 Security Hole Found: Access phone module from locked screen

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Remember the major security hole found in iOS 4.1 from a few years back that would allow someone to access your contacts even though the phone was locked with a passcode? Well it appears someone has figured out another way to exploit a serious flaw in iOS 6.1 that would enable them to have access to your phone module – where they can then view/edit contacts and make calls. As per Gizmodo:

First you have to pretend to turn the phone off, then make an aborted emergency call, then a quick bit of off button and cancel pressing. That boots you into the full phone app where you can pretty much call or message anyone you like.

Until Apple patches this in a future update, your safest best is to keep your iPhone close by 24/7. Check out the video on how the hack is done after the break.

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Infographic: Pixel People by the numbers

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To celebrate both the successful launch of Pixel People and Valentine’s Day, Chillingo and LambdaMu Games have released a fact-filled Pixel People Infographic. The highly addictive town building sim (which Eric touched on in the recent New Games roundup) is the latest on the block to drain the iOS population of their productivity. If you’re already deep into the game, you’ll appreciate the numbers found within, like how in the past 2 weeks, 232 years were spent playing Pixel People, or 19,680,022 clones were spliced. And as a V-Day’s special, all in-game Utopium prices have been slashed for a limited time. If you’ve yet to check it out, you have nothing to lose (other than your time) as the sim builder is completely free to play.

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The Lifehacker Mac Bundle: 9 Mac apps for $49.99

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Users looking to get more out of their iMacs and Macbooks will find plenty to love about the Lifehack Mac Bundle, where 9 handy Mac apps are now on sale for just $49.99 (a $310 retail value). Apps that are part of this bundle include Mac Pilot 5 (easily enable and disable hundreds of hidden features in Mac OS X, among other things), TechTool Pro 6 (complete diagnostic checks, drive repair and data recovery) and one of my favorites, TextExpander 4 (create custom keyboard shortcuts for “expanding” user-defined text). To take advantage of this great bundle, head over to Stacksocial (deal ends in 18 days) to add some or all of these apps to your desktop workflow. And if you’re feeling lucky, several Giveaways are still ongoing, including 2 iPad minis, a Dropbox Pro account for life and The Omni Group bundle.

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FAA’s Free App of the Day: Letters from Nowhere (Full)

We’re working together with the team at Free App Alliance to highlight a great free app for you to check out.

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G5′s Letters from Nowhere is a hidden object game in which you explore more than 48 puzzle-filled locations in search of your husband. He’s only gone and mysteriously disappeared, you see.

Throughout your search, you’ll have to seek out over 1,000 unique items and complete 11 mini-games. Dig Achievements? You’ll be pleased to read that Letters from Nowhere features Game Center support, then. Both the iPhone and iPad versions were previously $4.99, so if you’re a fan of the genre, be sure to grab them while they’re still free.

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