After ICY from Rip Dev and Kryptes from Sleepers.net we have another alternative of Cydia. Needn?t to mention about the previous alternative because they were epic fail. Recently developer Xuxx / chpwn announced their project Pakage, it?s currently in[...]
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David Ross Software today announces Whimsy Animals 1.0, a simple kids jigsaw puzzle game for iPhone and iPod touch. Explore sixty beautiful animal photos and sounds by completing simple jigsaw puzzles. Practice hand-eye coordination, recognize shapes, and learn about scale while unveiling a world of animals, domestic and wild, baby and adult - all with their fun and unique sounds. Great to play with your kid or to give them for a plane or car ride or at a restaurant.
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iPhone devs are a rebellious bunch, and they don’t like to be bullied by anyone other than their Apple, which both frustrates and affirms their existence. Now, in light of what some might call a campaign being waged against the App Store by a well-known trademark troll, many iPhone devs are protesting what they see as Apple’s cowardice in the face of unjust threats.
According to TUAW, the trademark troll in question is none other than Tim Langdell, founder of the “gaming company” Edge Games. In reality, Edge Games produces very little beyond copyright infringement suits, which it launches against any and all games that feature the word “edge” in their title. EA’s Mirror’s Edge recently fell between Langdell’s crosshairs, for example, despite the fact that the game itself bears no similarity to any of Edge Games’ roster of “planned” titles.
Apparently, the App Store has been a prime target for Tim Langdell and Edge Games. Reports claim that all he has to do is contact Apple and let them know that a game is in violation of his trademarks, which basically means it has “edge” somewhere in the title, and Apple pulls the game without much fuss. No doubt Apple just doesn’t want to deal with all the fuss of yet another legal battle that could ensue if Langdell gets the opportunity to take things beyond the cease and desist phase, but this really seems unfair to honest game devs who actually work for their money.
In protest, a group of iPhone devs are changing the names of their games to include “edge” in the titles, with the desired outcome being that Apple will realize that to continue just disallowing the word completely will significantly affect the App Store’s catalog of offerings. So, for example, Canabalt becomes “Canabedge“, the Eliss sequel becomes “Edgeliss,” and Critter Crunch becomes “Critter Credge.” All of the changes mentioned haven’t actually been made to the apps in the store, but on developer websites as a show of solidarity.
Even though this particular protest limits itself to the area beyond Apple’s sphere of control, it does demonstrate a promising solution to App Store bully tactics. If developers could organize in a similar manner, but with bigger numbers and with the support of some of the pillars of the App Store, they could more effectively combat unfair policies. Apple will be less likely to anger content producers if it has potential ramifications across its catalog. Let’s see a developers rights advocacy group come to pass, so articles about the injustices of the App Store can become a more infrequent occurrence.
Samsung will make one of the largest pushes into touchscreen phones of any one company, according to...
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AT&T has turned to direct communication in order to discourage customers from believing recent Veriz...
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LaunchBar is an application (plus much more) par excellence. But a new feature in LaunchBar 5 has caused a headache for bug-finder Ted Landau.
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This is one of those items I find so hard to get behind, rather like the infrequent (boring) updates to MobileMe. But here goes; Apple has ever-so-quietly launched a new web-based front-end to their iTunes music library titled ?iTunes Preview.? It allows a visitor to view lists of music available on the iTunes Store via their web browser. There you go. That?s kinda it.
I?m going to assume 99.999 percent of our readers already use iTunes, and are probably intimately familiar with the drill by now; you?re reading a web page and you?re presented with a link to some music, tv show or maybe an app inside the iTunes store. You click the link and, after your browser does a brief Redirection Dance, iTunes pops-up, opens the iTunes store and, as you?d expect, dumps you out on the correct product page. Which is nice.
Except, this isn?t the case if you don?t have iTunes installed. If you?re one of the few people left in this crazy world who doesn’t have iTunes installed, clicking on one of those links previously dumped you (again, after the spastic redirection dance) on a web page commanding you to download and install iTunes. Which is not nice.
Well, all that has (sort of) changed. iTunes Preview exists as something of an interim step designed to partially improve the overall user experience, and partially to get the last remaining holdouts among us to install iTunes. See, despite the ?Preview? part of its name, iTunes Preview doesn?t let you actually preview anything beyond Music. And then it?s not actually a preview. It?s just track-listings and user reviews.
If you want to listen to a bit of music before you part with your cash, you?ll still need to install iTunes. And, in case that wasn?t totally obvious already, the webpage provides ample linkage to get you downloading Apple?s venerable media software.
As it stands today, the value and usefulness of iTunes Preview is limited. I guess it’s sort-of useful if all you want is a user-friendly link you can stuff into an email to your significant other (To: Other Half, Subject: Buy me this for xmas). But I?m scraping the bottom of the barrel here in search of really worthwhile functionality. Right now, iTunes Preview verges on being almost entirely pointless. Sure, browse music by artist or album, view metadata like track duration or artist bios, and even find related artists? but anything more than that is reserved for the real iTunes.
However, it?s early days. Who knows what Apple might do in the months and years to come? Is this, for instance, the first step toward freeing users from iTunes, in anticipation of a day when that bloated, lumbering beast will be replaced by a suite of modern, slimline, specialized apps?
Nah, probably not. The music in iTunes might have been liberated from its DRM-shackles, but everyone forgets that iTunes itself is, for most people, one giant walled garden. With one hundred million active credit card accounts tied to the iTunes ecosystem, it?s unlikely Apple will want to break it apart any day soon without a proven, easy and established migration route to its successor(s).
iTunes Preview might be the start of something interesting, but it just as easily might be nothing more than the result of a user-experience ?tidy-up? by the iTunes dev team, an idea that languished at the bottom of their ?might be nice? wish-list for the last few years and just got executed by their newest interns.
If you?re keen to try it out, you?ll be pleased to learn it works on all the major browsers and is available right now. I’ll get you started with this link to the Michael Jackson artist page so you can see for yourself how it works. You can also access more content from the iTunes Charts page. But don?t get excited — there?s really nothing to see here, folks.
Rogue Amoeba submitted a small bug fix update to Airfoil Speakers Touch in July. It wasn’t accepted until this week. The reason: when you use it to stream audio from a Mac on your local network, it (a) shows a picture of the type of Mac doing the streaming, and (b) shows a small icon of the app on the Mac playing the audio. Version 1.0 did these things and was in the Store. Version 1.0.1 did the exact same things and was not accepted.
Rogue Amoeba no longer has any plans for additional iPhone applications, and updates to our existing iPhone applications will likely be rare. The iPhone platform had great promise, but that promise is not enough, so we?re focusing on the Mac.
At a certain point good developers are just going to say, “I don’t need this.” Also, judging from the comments on the piece from die-hard defenders of the App Store, there’s clearly a misconception about where these images of Mac computers and app icons are coming from. These images — which, yes, are copyrighted by Apple — are not stored within the Airfoil Speakers Touch application. They are being sent from Airfoil on the Mac over the network, live, as the audio streams. Airfoil on the Mac is using public APIs do get these images. It’s petty nonsense. It’s like if you wrote a VNC client for the iPhone and Apple rejected it because when you connect to the display of a remote Mac, you can see Apple trademarked icons in the Dock. The UI problem Rogue Amoeba solved was the question of which computer your iPhone Airfoil client is connected to. Which computer? This computer, look at it. Apple, of all companies, should know that a visual solution is better than a textual one.?
It boggles the mind, it really does. Microsoft tries so hard but for each step forward, it seems to take three steps back. Windows 7, Redmond’s answer to the train-wreck that was Vista, has been out for just a matter of weeks and has managed to garner mostly positive reviews. But Microsoft can?t help itself. It has to do something silly, and, true to form, it has.
It seems Microsoft?s middle management can?t decide whether or not it ripped-off Mac OS X when it was redesigning its flagship product. This is the result of a bewildering comment from Microsoft Partner Group Manager Simon Aldous in an interview this week with PCR. He?s neither a developer nor a designer, and he didn?t work on Windows 7. But Aldous didn?t let that stop him saying this about Microsoft?s latest OS:
One of the things that people say an awful lot about the Apple Mac is that the OS is fantastic, that it?s very graphical and easy to use. What we?ve tried to do with Windows 7 [?] is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics.
So. Aldous just made it clear; Windows 7 copies borrows its design from the Mac. Only, no, it doesn?t. Not according to a retort yesterday from Windows Communications Manager, Brandon LeBlanc. Writing on The Windows Blog, LeBlanc said:
An inaccurate quote has been floating around the Internet today about the design origins of Windows 7 and whether its look and feel was ?borrowed? from Mac OS X. Unfortunately this came from a Microsoft employee who was not involved in any aspect of designing Windows 7. I hate to say this about one of our own, but his comments were inaccurate and uninformed.
The tech press is going bonkers about it, of course, but let?s be honest — when it comes to operating systems, the days when these two giants outright-copied one another and it mattered are far behind us. The common elements of an OS user interface are driven largely by user need/behavior. High resolution color displays and the ubiquity of the mouse and keyboard combo would have led to these similarities irrespective of the company behind them. Put simply, thirty-odd years of OS evolution would result inevitably in functional and aesthetic similarities.
When people say that Windows 7 ?looks like? Mac OS X, I don?t understand exactly what it is they?re looking at.
Mac OS X’s Dock and Windows 7’s Taskbar are similar in function, but not design. The desktop and windows are, again, similar in function — but they don’t look the same.
Windows 7 has gone overboard with transparencies everywhere, to the detriment of ease of use. Mac OS X, on the other hand, introduced transparencies many years ago and has consistently dialled them down in successive OS updates.
Windows was long-criticized for its drab, gunship grey interface. XP and Vista moved gradually away from grey, and now Windows 7?s UI is an explosion of green and blue (or red or pink or purple or whatever godawful theme you choose). Mac OS X, on the other hand, remains a stately, elegant? gunship grey. Not at all like Windows 7. I suspect people mistake Microsoft?s bold-yet-vomit-enducingly-colorful design of Windows 7 with the elegance of Mac OS X.
I’m aware that these observations are subjective. My opinions are just that — my opinions. You might agree with me that it?s wrong to say Windows 7 and Mac OS X look ?the same.? You might think I?m desperately uninformed and waste no time telling me as much. (In fact, the predictable result of any article comparing Windows with Mac OS X is the vitriol from commenters apparently unaware they?re reading TheAppleBlog.)
In any case, consider this; here we have two Microsoft execs, one in product sales, one in product design & development. The former sees how customers perceive the Mac to be a superior product, and tries to exploit that perception by ‘connecting’ Windows 7 to it. (“The Mac is great, so by copying it, Windows is great, too.” etc.) The latter has spent years working hard on this new OS and responds with understandable indignation to the suggestion his team copied anything from the competition.
Either way, it’s embarrassing. At a time when they ought to be extolling the wonders and miracles an upgrade to Windows 7 may bring, they’re instead drawing attention to their biggest rival.
I can’t help but imagine an email winging its way through Apple’s Marketing department this week, its subject line reading, “With competition like this, who needs an ad campaign?”
RIM's rumored BlackBerry 9900 and WebKit-based browser gained corroborating evidence today with a re...
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