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TouchMyApps is giving away 5 copies of Ascendancy (TMA Review), the classic 4X sci-fi strategy game that recently made its way onto the iOS platform. If you’re not familiar with this extremely deep and addictive title, here’s an overview courtesy of iTunes:
Pick any of twenty-one wildly different alien species to lead to the stars. Each one has its own personality, evolutionary history, and theme music. Strange effects abound; each species has its own special power, and technological advances allow you to bend the rules of the cosmos.
Manage your planets, research new technologies, design ships, and explore the cosmos. Once your people venture to the stars, they will encounter exotic spacefaring life forms. Be a diplomat or a warlord. Win by force or by unity. Can you lead your people to Ascendancy?
So you want to get your hands on Ascendancy and play it either on your iPhone or iPad? Check out the full contest details after the break!
The new iOS 4.3 update is now available via iTunes and will work on the iPhone 3GS/4, iPod Touch 3rd/4th gen and the iPad. This latest update brings about faster safari performance, WiFi hotspot, Home Sharing and more. To grab iOS 4.3, simply plug the iDevice into your computer and navigate to the device’s Summary tab. Under “Version”, click on the Update button. Voilà! (Note, you may have to click it twice for it to go through).
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to download the latest version of iTunes (10.2.1), which is needed to make use of certain iOS 4.3 features.
Along with the announcement of the iPad 2 earlier today, Steve Jobs also introduced the next version of the iOS. Set to be released on the same day as the iPad 2 launch, iOS 4.3 will bring forth several enhancements, some of which will undoubtedly be welcomed with open arms by iDevice users. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect:
- iTunes Home Sharing – Easily the most sought after feature in new OS. Users will soon be able to play their entire iTunes library (music, movies, tv shows, podcasts etc) over the same Wi-Fi network. As long as it’s on your Mac or PC, you’ll be able to stream content to your iPod Touch, iPod or iPad.
- iPad Side Switch - Ability to set switch on side of iPad to either lock screen rotation or mute the volume. Good for users to have a choice as to what function the switch performs.
- Personal Hotspot for iPhone 4 - First seen with the launch of the Verizon iPhone 4, users will be able to turn their iPhone into a Wi-Fi hotspot using 3G connection. You can share it with up to 5 devices at once over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB.
- AirPlay Enhancements - In addition to streaming music, movies and photos from iDevice to Apple TV, 4.3 will allow additional content (including video) from 3rd party apps (along with Apple’s own Photos app) and websites to be streamed.
The full press release of the iOS 4.3 announcement can be found below.
Every once in a while, I’ll come across an app in my TMA inbox that stands out from the crowd – either by way of features or uniqueness. One example was GestureMatic, an app that allows you to perform various functions via user-created gestures. And most recently, I came across a 3rd party Web Browser app that’s unlike anything we’ve experienced before on the iDevice — Portal. Using a unique “Portal” button at the bottom of the screen, you tap on it to bring up a 1st gen like iPod click wheel interface, where you can then perform all the actions you’re used to on Mobile Safari…and a whole lot more.
EA is one of the few major publishers that have truly embraced the App Store. Even better, many of their titles truly set a quality benchmark for others to follow, from the classic boarding goodness of SCRABBLE to becoming the mayor in SimCity Deluxe to the parkour action of Mirror’s Edge. And now they’ve has set out to redefine the 3rd Person Shooter genre with the highly anticipated release of Dead Space.
It seems that many of the most popular puzzle games involve bright, colorful characters in fun settings. That’s perfectly fine by me, and Moonsters is no exception to the rule. You play a trio of quirky aliens that are lost, hungry and just want to go home. The game feels like something ripped from a Disney cartoon, yet it’s challenging enough to give even the seasoned puzzle gamers pause when trying to score four stars on a level…this is a nice solid puzzle game that deserves a place among the best in the genre.
Once you do give Moonsters a chance, you’ll find a surprisingly addictive game that’s hard to put down. Now that it is free, be sure to grab it for your app collection. Lots more Freebies can be found within, including Burger Queen, Doodle Fit and Knight Defense!
Google has implemented a neat little weather widget to their mobile search pages and it’s actually good enough that I can see people using it rather than dedicated weather apps (at the very least, replacing the default one on iOS). From the Google Team:
We’d been wanting to build a fun, useful, app-like way to display weather information on our search results pages in the mobile browser. So we pulled together a user experience designer and team of engineers and built a new weather search results snippet that lets you actually play with the results. To try it out, just go to google.com on your iPhone or Android-powered device and search for ‘weather’.
Once you search for “weather” on google.com with Mobile Safari (or any other 3rd party browser on iDevice), you can use the “My Location” feature or manually enter the city. The unique aspect of this new widget is that users can move the slider over the next 12 hours to see the change in weather conditions. If you do wish to start making use of this new feature, you can add this search page to your home screen (as an app icon) for quick access. To do this, tap on the action arrow icon in Safari (a ‘+’ sign on pre-iOS 4.2) and select “Add to Home Screen”. Now every time you tap on this “web app”, the browser will open up to your location’s weather. As well, you can create a “Weather” folder in your mobile Safari bookmarks and add different cities you wish to keep track of.
[via Google Mobile Blog]
One of the worst kept secrets is now official – the iPhone 4 will finally be making its way to Verizon. Earlier today, Verizon held its own iPhone Event to announce that its CDMA network is now ready for Apple’s most successful iPhone to date. The phone will be available for pre-orders online (for existing customers) starting February 3rd and will go on sale in Verizon and Apple Stores on the 10th. Here’s a quick run down of the Verizon iPhone 4:
- 16GB -$199, 32GB – $299 on 2 yr agreement
- Unlimited data plans for $30
- Runs on 3G network (no support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network)
- Personal Hotspot feature – turns iPhone 4 into wifi hotspot and connects up to 5 devices
- As with other CDMA phones, no voice calls and data usage at the same time
- Phone now has 4 antenna break lines instead of 3
- Mute and volume buttons moved down a notch for new antenna design
While it’s undoubtedly good news that US users will soon no longer have to stick with AT&T’s just to use the iPhone (without unlocking), the fact that voice and data can’t be used together on the CDMA network could be a deal breaker for many. Personally, being able to do both (iOS does support multitasking after all) simultaneously is a pretty big requirement. Still, you can bet that the iPhone 4 will bring loads of business for Verizon. Full press release after the gap.
Verizon’s iPhone FAQ can be found here.
A week after Skype posted a help guide for making video calls on the iPhone, the Skype app was updated earlier today and users can now finally do just that on their iDevices. With the 3.0 update, you can make Skype to Skype video calls on WiFi and 3G, and two-way video calls are supported on the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 4th gen. On the iPad and iPod Touch 3rd gen where there’s no camera, you can only receive the video feed. Here’s the complete run down of what’s new:
- Call Skype desktop users (Mac OS X or Windows) and other iPhone users.
- Two-way video calls supported on iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 4th gen.
- Receive only video supported on iPad and iPod touch 3rd gen, with no camera.
- Make video calls in portrait and landscape.
- Skype video calling requires iOS 4.0 or above.
- Additional Data charges may apply
While the quality of the video calls isn’t quite as good as on Facetime, it’s certainly good enough and it does have the added bonus of being able to run on both WiFi and 3G. If you’re a Skype user and have one of the newer iPhones or iPod Touches, be sure to grab this update asap. You can also check out the wacky Skype iPhone video calling promo below.
Skype Software, Skype, 11.9 MB – Free
It appears that Skype is finally going to allow users to make video calls on their iDevice. In a help page found on Skype’s website earlier this morning (which has since been pulled), a section titled How do I make video calls with Skype for iPhone? gave a quick glimpse of what we can expect when the service goes live:
To make video calls with your contacts, you will need an iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, 3rd generation iPod touch, 4th generation iPod touch or an iPad. Your contacts will only be able to see you if your device has a camera. Make sure your device is running iOS 4.0 or above and that you are using Skype for iPhone 3.0 or above.
The contacts you are calling must be using one of the following Skype clients:
- Skype for Windows version 4.2 and above
- Skype for Mac OS X version 2.8 and above
- Skype for iPhone 3.0 and above
You can make Skype video calls by using a WiFi or 3G connection*. The quality of the video will depend upon the available network conditions.
*Additional data charges may apply. Check with your operator for details.
Aside from Apple’s Facetime, there are plenty of apps that already support video calls, like Yahoo! Messenger, fring: Video Calls + IM and Tango. But seeing how a vast number of people actually rely on Skype to keep in touch with family and friends, video calls via the Skype app won’t come a moment too soon. Take a look at the full help page after the gap.