While Google has no plans yet for a dedicated iOS 6 Maps app, iOS 6 users (particularly those with an iPhone 5) finally have access to Google Street View for when the need to look up local hotspots in a virtual 360 view arises. If you’ve ever used this amazing tool before, you know just how handy it can be when trying to locate a particular landmark. This is now possible on the latest OS thanks to an updated Google Maps web app, which can be accessed from mobile browsers like Safari or Chrome. Simply head over to maps.google.com on your iDevice, look up a point of interest in the search bar and ballon-shaped markers will be displayed on the map. Tap on one of them and an info bar will appear at the bottom, with options to call, get directions and a person icon for enabling Street View (if not available for the location, it’ll be greyed out). Conversely, you can simply tap on any POIs on the map to bring up said info bar.
With the release of the iPhone 5 just weeks away (more specifically, on Sept 21st as rumor would have it), no doubt one of the most anticipated new features of the phone is its 4″ screen. With the larger real estate, more apps and content will naturally be squeezed in. So in case you’ve been wondering what it’ll all look like, check out this this great video MacRumours had put together. With a screen resolution of 1136×640, this video demo shows how games, apps and movies might appear on the next gen iPhone. Of course, how iOS 6 will run on the taller iPhone is purely speculative at the moment, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this mock up turns out nearly identical to the real thing.
This week saw the release of Horn, Phosphor Games’ follow-up to their interesting title Dark Meadow. Horror has been replaced with fantasy, on-rails movement with full 3D roaming, and the graphics have been kicked up a couple of notches as well. Tread of the Dead is a slightly different take on the whole zombie hunting theme. Instead of relying on brute force and lots of ammunition you’ll have to skillfully cut down the undead hordes with a chainsaw that you toss at them and then control by tilting the screen. Platform gamers will enjoy Random Heroes, the latest offering from Ravenous Games. It looks to combine the level design goodness of League Of Evil with the hero and gun swapping craziness of Super Crate Box.
Several weeks after the release of AutoRap on the App Store, Smule is now calling out to all the karaoke fans out there with their latest app Sing!. Much like other Smule apps that heavily rely on social networking, Sing! lets you choose from over 130 musical hits from various genres (Rolling in the Deep, Boyfriend, Call Me Maybe etc) for you to sing along. Your performance can then be shared with a friend (if so desired), at which point he/she can add their voice to the track and create some sweet sounding harmonies. Don’t exactly fancy yourself a crooner? Not to worry. Thanks to the ”voice enhancement technology” and special voice filters, you may not sound half bad after belting out your favorite tunes. The app is free to download, though most of the songs in-app will cost you $0.99. See how Sing! works in a video trailer after the break.
Smule, Sing! Join the global karaoke party! - Free
Remember those Apple Genius Ads that aired a little over a week ago? Well it would appear that you can add “saving a kidnapped woman” to the list of things you can expect when visiting a Genius Bar. According to this report, a woman was held at gunpoint in her home this past Saturday and was forced to drive to several stores, where she purchased cell phones under her name and with her own money. During this shopping spree, the pair made their way to an Apple Store in Oxmoor Mall, Louisville, Kentucky, which would eventually be the final store visited and the end of the kidnapping thanks to an alert Apple Store employee.
Have an Apple TV and live in the US? Hulu Plus – a premium video streaming service - has finally made its way onto Apple’s media receiver. Similar to Netflix, a monthly subscription of $7.99 allows you to watch on demand movies and TV shows from numerous content partners, including ABC, NBC, FOX, The CW and more. Hulu’s catalogue of shows can be found on their content page. If you’re already a subscriber, simply enter your login details under “Hulu Plus” on your Apple TV home screen. Otherwise, you can sign up through www.huluplus.com/appletv or directly on Apple TV using your iTunes account. New customers who sign up get 1 week free access to the streaming service. The Getting Started and Guided Tour videos can be found below.
The App Store’s littered with scanner apps and my favorite of the lot (and one of the apps I use most on iOS) – Scanner Pro – has received a 4.1 update. First up is a redesigned interface for the iPhone, which brings it closer to that of the iPad in terms of look and feel and user experience. Secondly, and more importantly, Readdle has implemented iCloud support for users with multiple iDevices. As such, all my receipts and docs can finally sync between my iPhone and iPad, making it immensely more convenient when accessing scans. From my brief tests, iCloud sync worked perfectly and it was a matter of several seconds before new scans from one device were uploaded to the other. If you’re serious about going paperless or simply want to store your business receipts digitally, Scanner Pro is fully featured and worth the $6.99 price tag.
Readdle, Scanner Pro - $6.99
The possible release of the iPad mini is one of those rumours that just won’t go away. The latest such rumblings come from Chinese tech site MyDrivers, where ‘anonymous sources’ claim that the 7.85 inch iPad mini will feature Sharp’s IGZO display and retail for under $300. As Wired points out, IGZO is a new and improved manufacturing process that makes displays “thinner, higher in contrast, and less power-hungry than current display technology”. It is worth noting that this technology was rumoured to replace the IPS screens on the new iPad, but this turned out to be false. The report also says that the smaller iPad will be as thin as the iPad 2, have a resolution of 330 pixels per inch and 8GB capacity, which will go for between $250-299. There is no mention of release dates, though a previous report from net portal NetEase claimed that the iPad mini will be launched in the 3rd quarter of 2012. With the recent release of the Google Nexus 7 (among a bevy of other 7″ android tablets), it’s not surprising that Apple reportedly have plans to introduce a more cost effective and portable iPad.[AppleInsider]
EA Mobile has once again launched a massive iOS sale – this time for the 4th of July celebrations and as a result, nearly 50 of their iPhone and iPad games have dropped to just $0.99 (up to 90% off). Titles like MASS EFFECT INFILTRATOR (its previous lowest price was $2.99), Burnout CRASH!, Real Racing 2 HD and much more can now be had for only a buck. The fire sale is good until July 9th, so you will have just under a week to pick up some awesome deals. As well, Chillingo – now a subsidiary of EA – is offering Air Mail and the recently released The Act (TMA Review) for a dollar. The complete roundup of App Store links after the break.