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.
Skype for iPad has been updated to version 4.5 and with it, comes several new additions:
- The app automatically reconnects a dropped call when wifi or 3/4G network reception is poor
- Add money to your Skype account from within the app to call mobile/landlines worldwide or send SMS (currently only available in US, UK, France, Sweden and Estonia)
- Swipe from left of the screen to open a new sidebar of your recent conversations
App Savvy’s Agenda Calendar has been on the App Store for nearly a year now and thanks to various updates, the app has continued to receive improvements and features. It’s already one of the easiest calendar apps to navigate around (simply swipe left/right to move between year/month/week/day views), and now, with the 3.0 update, the developers have made it significantly faster to create events.
Over the past 24 hours, several notable iPad apps were updated to include support for the new iPad’s retina display. PDF Expert, my favorite PDF reader/annotator on the iPad, also received a great new feature – Document Thumbnails. Now all files are shown as thumbnails and moving PDFs around (i.e into folders) can be done via simple drag ‘n drops. Another anticipated update came from Air Display, where turning on the “HiDPI mode” on your Mac OS Lion will essentially turn that new iPad into a gorgeous 2048 x 1536 secondary display for your iMac/Macbook. Check out the complete “what’s new” for these updated apps after the break.
Path, a social networking app released over a year ago by David Morin (co-founder and CEO of Path and the man responsible for Facebook Connect), has received its biggest update yet. With version 2.0, Path is described as a “smart journal” and can do so much more than just being able to share photos with your Path contacts.
Path is the Smart Journal that helps you share life with the ones you love — your thoughts, the music you’re listening to, where you are, who you’re with, when you wake and when you sleep, and beautiful high quality photos and videos. And for those of you who like to share on public networks like Twitter, Foursquare, and Facebook, you can easily check-in, upload photos and videos, and tweet directly from Path.
Think of it as a journal app that can be used to record day-to-day stuff, much like how you can collect and store notes/documents on Evernote – but with a social twist. You can keep any post to yourself by turning on the private option, or simply share them with others. Unlike Facebook however, you’re limited to having 150 Path contacts, which ensures that you’ll only be sharing things with close friends and family. Take a look at the two demo videos below; they’ll give new users a quick rundown of Path’s latest update.
Path, Inc., Path, – Free
In preparation for the holiday season, Firemint has updated their mighty popular iOS games with new additional content. Flight Control (TMA Review) for the iPhone receives the new Storm Airfield map. As the name implies, any aircraft zapped by lighting can’t turn for a period of Time. Meanwhile, Flight Control HD offers the new Moon Base Map, where you not only have to avoid other spacecrafts, but asteroids as well. More importantly, both Flight Control games now allow players to buy Rewind credits ($0.99 for 10 rewinds), which can then be used to turn back time and potentially earn higher scores by averting imminent disaster. Last but not least, the splendid puzzler SPY mouse is now Holiday themed (World 1). So expect snow, Christmas decorations, candy canes instead of cheese crumbs and more. Full “What’s New” details after the break.
Agenda Calendar, one of my favorite apps for quickly browsing calendar entries on the iPhone, now adds themes to its minimalist design (12 in total, some of which are inspired by several Apple related websites) and portrait view on the iPad with to its 2.3 update. These two additions address concerns that the black and white interface can get drab for some, and how on the iPad, users had no choice but to use the app in landscape view.
While Agenda Calendar falls behind in adding/editing events (it simply uses the iOS interface), the fact that you can easily swipe left/right to move between year, month, week, day, or event views is quite fantastic. And at its current $0.99 price, this universal app is worth investing in to replace the stock calendar app.
App Savvy, Agenda Calendar, 1.1 MB – $1.99
NAVIGON, formally known as MobileNavigator in the US (TMA Review), has just been updated to 2.0 and showcases some brand new features. Already considered by many as the top navigation app for the iPhone/iPad (myself included), NAVIGON 2.0 now boasts a “fully refined and even easier to use UI” and more importantly, the ability to download only the maps and regions that you actually need (US and North America versions). So instead of having to download/install a 1.8 GB app right off the bat, they weigh in at just 45 mb.
Better yet, the apps are now $20 off, so NAVIGON NA is on sale for $39.99, and the USA and Canada apps are only $29.99. Check out the press release and video demo for more info after the break.
Pushme.to, a superb messaging app for the iDevice, has become even more versatile thanks to the latest 2.0 update. Much like Ping!Chat and WhatsApp Messenger, Pushme.to allows users to send and receive text messages for free right from their iPhone/iPod Touch (think SMS without the added cost). With the 2.0 update however, Pushme.to further distances itself from the pack with the added ability to chat with anyone via a web browser. That’s right, the other party doesn’t even need to have an iPhone or the app to carry out the real-time chat session. All they need to do is visit pushme.to/yourusernameon a browser and bam!, you’re ready to go. I’ve tested the service quite a bit and it works like a charm. Throw in push notifications and you’ve just made it that much easier for friends and family to send you a quick message or two. Some of the other new features include:
- Free registration for web (non iPhone) users
- Completely redesigned, messages organized per conversation
- Ability to link Pushme.to usernames to iPhone contacts
- Avatars support both on the web, and from iPhone contacts
(automatically uploaded to the web when linked from iPhone)
- Softer incoming message sound 😉
Best of all, Pushme.to is now FREE for a very limited time (down from $2.99). If SMS and staying in touch is your thing, I HIGHLY recommend that you download the app now and snap up your unique username. It’s already become one of my favorite apps.
Microsoft’s mobile search app Bing, first released for the iPhone back in Dec’09, has received its first update. Listening to user feedback, Microsoft has made various improvements and implemented several new additions, including the ability to bookmark maps, directions, weather reports etc., parental controls, search history and private searches and more. Oddly enough, just as the update was made available, it had been reported that the app was subsequently pulled from Non-US App Stores.