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This Week's Most Exciting New iOS Game Releases: Chaos Rings II, MotoHeroz, and More

The new iPad is making its way to store shelves this week, though we don’t expect it to stay on the shelf for long. If you’re one of the hopeful early adopters reading this on your iPhone while standing in line outside the Apple Store, then continue reading. This week’s lineup of new iOS game titles will be the perfect compliment to the gaming power the new tablet will deliver — though they’ll look and run great on any iOS device.

MotoHeroz

From RedLynx, the creator of DrawRace 2, comes MotoHeroz (.99, iPhone), a genre-mashing racer in the style of Trials HD. MotoHeroz draws elements from platformers, side-scrollers, and racing titles to create a brand new rally-style racing experience. With a vibrantly colored world and 30 uniquely engaging tracks to dig your wheels into, you’ll want to keep going for a chance to burn rubber on the next one. Thanks to single-player challenges and multiplayer races, MotoHeroz will have you doing laps for days.

Chaos Rings

Square Enix brings its original RPG series back to iOS with Chaos Rings II (.99/iPhone, .99/iPad). You’ll play as Darwin, the chosen one, who is left with a difficult choice. With the entire world in chaos and on the edge of destruction, Darwin must slaughter five people — including a childhood friend — as a sacrifice that will save humanity. The story unfolds based off the player’s choices, so you’ll get a totaly different experience depending on the routes you choose.

Picnic Wars

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned food fight, but Picnic Wars (.99/iPhone, .99/iPad) brings a whole new meaning to the term. You’ll have to choose to side with either the fruits or the vegetables as you hunker down in the trenches of food-flinging combat. With a huge campaign, tons of fruit and vegetables to send flying and a variety of unique launchers, Picnic Wars aims to prove that it’s OK to play with your food.

 

Kung Fu Rabbit

Somehow, evil has escaped into the world. Kung Fu Rabbit (.99, Universal) puts you in control of a bunny who has mastered martial arts, as you fight to defeat evil — and save the students of your dojo. The game features 70 levels of platforming that will require all of your logic and reflexes. With clever dialogue, intuitive controls, and unique moves that could only be completed by a rabbit with a black belt, Kung Fu Rabbit is a platformer potentially worth fighting over.

Rune Raiders

If you’ve been thirsty for a little Dungeons & Dragons-style action on your iOS device, Rune Raiders (.99, Universal) could help quench your need. After assembling a ragtag team of warriors that will then be placed and moved around a game board, the pieces come to life for battle. With a variety of power-ups and upgrades, you’ll be scrapping through the randomly-generated levels to beat up all the baddies you can.

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The Week's Most Exciting New iOS Game Releases: Lightopus, Coco Loco, and More

Each week brings a mass of new game releases for both iPhone and iPad, but it’s hard to know which titles are worth a look and which are simply filler. As such, we’re launching a new weekly post to bring you the essential details on what we think are the five most interesting and exciting iOS games in a given week, complete with images and App Store links to find out more. And stay tuned, as many of the games featured in this space are sure to get full reviews on the site once we have a chance to test them out.

Lightopus

In Lightopus (.99, Universal), you’re the last of your species that is still in the wild; most of your kind were killed and the rest have been captured. Swim full speed ahead into the abyss as you aim to rescue your brethren and exact revenge on the monsters that attempted to wipe you off the planet. Lightopus features vibrant, electric graphics, intuitive controls, and lively character movement that will keep you gliding through the abyss for hours.

Coco Loco

If you could go for some hot chocolate and marshmallows, maybe stay away from Coco Loco (.99, Universal). It’s sure to make the cravings worse, as you’ll play as two gooey mallows that have set out to save their friends from the clutches of the cocoa covered villains. Armed with baseball bats — hey, why not? — and unique skills, you’ll tackle gorgeously designed stages as you aim to prove you’re not as soft as you appear.

Sminis

What happens when an evil scientist’s robot minions suddenly have free will? They acquire a longing for freedom, and in Sminis (.99, Universal), it’s your job to safely guide the mechanical men and women through the maze that is a mad scientist’s laboratory. The game brings a stunning stylistic look that utilizes all of the abilities of the Unreal Engine. With 30 unique levels and three difficulty levels filled with increasingly challenging puzzles, there’s plenty to play.

Plants War

There are few things that are more devastating to an ecosystem than the introduction of unwelcome species. When beasts threaten to invade the Dryad Forest, the plants fight back to preserve their home. Take control of Leafy and his floral friends as you guard your land in Plants War (Free, Universal). This real-time action game puts you in control of a hero, whom you’ll upgrade while unlocking special skills that will help in your fight.

Kids vs Goblins

After an intense storm, three children find themselves trapped on an island inhabited by goblins who have captured their baby brother. Fight across the treacherous terrain of the land and recover the kidnapped infant in Kids vs Goblins (.99, Universal). You’ll control all three children at once, assigning them individual powers and spells that you’ll use and upgrade. There are over 60 spells to unlock, with countless combinations that will serve you well through all 30 levels.

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Tuesday Recap: More on March 7, Fight AT&T Throttling, Marvel on iBookstore

Marvel in iBookstoreWell, well, well… what have we here? An invitation to a special Apple media event in San Francisco next Wednesday, March 7 at 10am PST. Sounds to us like a new iPad is incoming, although there are also plenty of rumors about a third-generation Apple TV (not the kind with a display, mind you). But hey, maybe we’ll get some improvements to iTunes Match as well, judging from this “adaptive streaming” report below. Here’s a look at the rest of the day’s tech news for Tuesday, February 28, 2012.

CNBC Claims Quad-Core iPad 3 with LTE, But Bungles Event Location

Just prior to today’s official announcement from Apple about the March 7 media event, CNBC stepped in a big pile by tweeting an alert claiming that a “quad-core iPad 3 with 4G LTE” would be “unveiled in New York next week.” According to MacRumors, the Twitter moment set off a firestorm of debate over its dubious source (later revealed to be an iMore.com report from two weeks ago), even backtracking at one point by claiming that an “unspecified” Apple event would take place in New York City next week. Within an hour, Apple issued invitations for the real event, which takes place next Wednesday, March 7 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco — all the way across the country. Better luck next time, CNBC…

Apple Planning “Adaptive Streaming” Audio Format for iCloud

It’s nice to see that Apple isn’t sitting still as the king of the digital music heap with iTunes. According to a new report from The Guardian, the company is hard at work on “a new audio file format that will offer ‘adaptive streaming’ to provide high or low-quality files to users of its iCloud service.” The idea is that users who wish to download music to their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad will get the full, high-quality source material, but Apple could also offer a second, lower resolution version for those who prefer to stream — a key feature of subscription services like Spotify that’s currently missing from the .99 per year iTunes Match, with the exception of the Mac and Apple TV. “A source with inside knowledge of the process says Apple has asked a London studio to prepare audio files for a new streaming format that will adapt to bandwidth or hardware capabilities,” the report reveals. “It is unclear whether the files will convert to the smaller types such as AAC in real time, or if Apple will convert the master file to several different types upon submission to iTunes.” As usual, Apple remains mum on the possibility, but with iTunes currently encouraging labels to submit higher quality 24-bit, 96KHz master files, it would seem to be just a matter of time before it becomes reality.

MacTech Shows You How to Fight AT&T Data Throttling

Are you an iPhone user grandfathered into an unlimited data plan who’s suffering through AT&T’s attempts to throttle your data speeds? According to MacTech, you may have a small claims case against the carrier that could net you upwards of 0, the sum recently awarded to an iPhone user in Southern California after taking AT&T to court. Of course, with our society already so litigious, it would seem ill-advised to take this approach — but after all, AT&T started it by not living up to their promise. MacTech outlines the five steps you’ll need to follow, which includes finding out where to file in the first place, thoroughly reading your contract, being able to prove you have an unlimited data plan, having an amount in mind for damages and of course, being prepared and polite. The bottom line is, AT&T users have rights, and sometimes big companies need to remember that. Be sure to hit the link to read the entire story before blindly heading down to the courthouse to file your small claims action!

Apple Scores a Major Win for Multitouch Patents

Patently Apple is reporting that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has published 24 patents today which have been granted to Apple Inc. The first of these “highlights three out of five important Multi-Touch patent wins,” which cover multitouch auto scanning (for “disabling components of a touch-panel device during periods of inactivity to conserve power”), multipoint touchscreens (encapsulating 21 patents dating back to 2004) and Apple’s 3D curved substrate lamination process used for the Magic Mouse. “No matter how you slice it, it’s a huge day for Apple on the Multi-touch patent front,” the website proclaims. Today’s patent victories also include 8,125,455 and 8,125,464 which cover “Full scale calibration measurement for multi-touch surfaces” — less sexy than the others, to be sure, but definitely additional ammunition in Apple’s arsenal nonetheless.

Marvel Graphic Novels Arrive in iBookstore

The Loop is reporting that Marvel Digital Media Group has announced the availability of 80 graphic novels through Apple’s iBookstore. Titles are sorted by popular characters such as The Avengers, Captain America, Spider-Man, X-Men and The Hulk, and all of the titles can be read on an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. “Marvel is taking the world of comics by storm and releasing a massive selection of our best and brightest graphic novels on the iBookstore,” announced Peter Phillips, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Marvel Digital Media Group. “For the first time ever, fans will be able to easily find and enjoy all of their favorite heroes including The Avengers, Spider-Man and The X-Men on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch — one of the best digital platforms for reading comics and graphic novels.” The publisher also continues to offer many of these titles through its own Marvel app as well.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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More Trouble in China: Court Rules in Favor of iPads Being Pulled from Shelves

iPad seizure in ChinaAs if Apple doesn’t have enough trouble in China with the spotlight being thrown on Foxconn and other manufacturers, a lower Chinese court has now ruled that the company’s iPad should be pulled from shelves over an ongoing trademark dispute with a display company there.

Time Techland is reporting that the Intermediate People’s Court in Huizhou, China “has ruled on Friday that distributors should stop selling iPads” in the country, according to Xie Xianghui, a lawyer for Shenzhen-based Proview Technology, who claims to hold the trademark on the tablet’s name in mainland China.

Apple claims the trademark case is still pending in mainland China, having appealed to the High Court in Guangdong, the southern province where the lower court ruling was made. For their part, Proview is not backing down, “requesting commercial authorities in 40 cities to block iPad sales,” which could have a severe impact on Apple’s ambitious plans in the country.

“We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago,” explains Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu. “Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter.”

In a letter to Proview chairman Rowell Yang from Apple’s Beijing-based attorneys King & Wood, the company accuses Proview of breaching “principles of good faith and fair dealing” as well as making “false and misleading” statements.

Proview International Holdings first registered the iPad trademark in China way back in 2001, where it was “used for a computer described as an ‘Internet Personal Access Device’ that employed touch panel technology.” Apple purchased the iPad name from a Proview affiliate in Taiwan back in 2009 for a mere ,000, but a ruling from a mainland China court back in December claims Proview “is not bound by that sale.”

One thing’s for certain: The iPad trademark dispute in China is likely to get uglier before it gets better, with Proview no doubt feeling foolish for selling the iPad name trademark for so cheap before they knew what it would be used for. A court document from a ruling in Hong Kong shows that the company “demanded million for the iPad name in China” after the dispute flared up, so it may take a big payment to make this headache go away.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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BFFs No More: Apple Giving New York Times The Cold Shoulder?

The New York TimesAh, the tech media are such a fickle beast. The recent contacts privacy “oops” with the Path app has turned many members of the media against each other, and now it appears that The New York Times may have fallen from Apple’s graces after its exposé on working conditions at its Chinese factories.

The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple had an interesting opinion piece on Thursday night in the wake of Apple’s announcement of OS X Mountain Lion, its next-generation operating system for the Mac. The announcement was followed up with an exclusive interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook — but instead of Cupertino’s favored newspaper, The New York Times, the interview appeared in the pages of The Wall Street Journal instead.

The reason for the shift appears to come from Apple’s displeasure with a recent series of articles called “iEconomy” in the Times, which painted Apple and its suppliers in a rather negative light. CEO Cook, in particular, has been quoted in recent weeks as taking such comments rather personally, given his former position as chief operating officer, where he was directly in charge of such issues.

With the post-announcement exclusive going to The Wall Street Journal, many are speculating that Apple has now “Gizmodo’ed” The New York Times — a reference dating back to the lost iPhone 4 prototype in 2010, which wound up in the hands of tech blog Gizmodo, who proceeded to show off every inch of the hardware and was summarily cut out of all future Apple events as a result.

Apparently, the Times agrees. “They are playing access journalism,” says a source at the newspaper. “I’ve heard it from people inside Apple: They said, look, you guys are going to get less access based on the iEconomy series.”

Times tech editor Damon Darlin went on the record to clarify: “We’re never happy with our access to Apple. We never have been. Apple is a difficult company to report on.” And what of the lost exclusive interview with Cook? “Talking to the CEO of one of the largest technology companies, the highest-valued company of the world? Yes, we would like to do that. They know that,” Darlin said.

For now, The New York Times doesn’t appear to be in the same doghouse as Gizmodo — tech reviewer David Pogue posted his own look at OS X Mountain Lion on Thursday, even though it came much later in the day compared to others.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


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Wednesday Recap: Firefox 9, No More CES for Microsoft, Naturespace & Kindle Updates

Naturespace 3.0Christmas falls on Sunday this year, which means most of us have an extended work week and are now truly feeling the “hump day” blues like never before. The good news is, you still have time to take care of everyone on your gift list, but hurry — time stands still for no one, after all. We’ve found one of the best ways to get through “hump day” is to kick back for a few minutes and catch up on the day’s news… which we just so happen to have right here for Wednesday, December 21, 2011.

Mozilla Release Firefox 9 with OS X Lion Enhancements

Is it that time again? Just in time for some lazy holiday web browsing, Mozilla is back with Firefox 9, and this time OS X Lion gets a little love. Among the improvements are “significantly” improved JavaScript performance thanks to Type Inference, support for querying Do Not Track status via JavaScript, font-stretch and text-overflow support and “improved standards support for HTML5, MathML and CSS.” Oh yeah, and those OS X Lion improvements? How does “improved theme integration” and the addition of two-finger swipe navigation sound to you? We thought so. Mozilla is also rolling out the first tablet-native version of Firefox 9 for Android as well, so if you have one of them fancy Android slates you might want to visit Android Market and give it a whirl as well. In the meantime, you can download Firefox 9 for Mac, Windows or Linux directly from the company’s website.

Naturespace Hits 3.0 with 15 New Aural Treats

We haven’t heard much news from the folks at Naturespace since covering them at this year’s Macworld Expo, but they haven’t been exactly sitting idle all this time. The company announced this week that the Naturespace app has hit version 3.0, bringing with it a new feature called “Visitor’s Pass,” which offers 30-second previews of the high-quality nature sounds offered in their catalog. Visitor’s Pass itself is a .99 in-app purchase, but users that have purchased five or more tracks can access it for free. Users can now review tracks right from within the app, which has been updated with 15 new soundscapes for your listening pleasure. Last but not least, Naturespace is offering a holiday deal on the entire catalog for only .99, which is a significant discount over the normal 0 price. Naturespace 3.0 is available now from the App Store as a universal build and requires iOS 4.0 or later.

Apple Drops New OS X Lion 10.7.3 Build to Developers

The folks in Cupertino’s iTunes Connect developer portal division are shutting off the lights later tonight and going on an extended vacation until Friday, December 30, but they couldn’t help pushing out one more beta of OS X 10.7.3 so developers have something to play with over the Christmas holiday. According to MacRumors, the new build 11D36 “comes with no documented known issues” while developers are encouraged to test iCloud Document Storage, Address Book, iCal, Mail, Spotlight and Safari in the meantime. The new build is available as a 986MB download for updating from OS X 10.7.2, or a beefier 1.2GB combo version for those updating from a prior build of the big cat. If we had to venture a guess, we’d say OS X 10.7.3 will be unleashed to the public sometime next month, but Apple remains mum on those details for now.

Microsoft Pulling Out of CES After 2012 Keynote

Taking a cue from Apple’s Macworld departure two years ago, The Official Microsoft Blog today announced that the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show will be the company’s last — at least where swanky booths and splashy keynote addresses are concerned. According to vice president of corporate communications Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft’s “product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing,” so the folks in Redmond will forego the keynote and booth after the 2012 CES, which kicks off on January 9. That rationale was almost the exact same reason Apple gave for their withdraw from the annual Macworld Expo after their January, 2009 keynote there. Like Apple, Microsoft plans to focus on their own events as well as take advantage of existing social networks and the company’s own website and retail stores (?!) for new ways to “tell our consumer stories.” The move ends a nearly two decade run for Microsoft and CES, where former CEO Bill Gates was always a lively way to kick off the festivities — big shoes that current CEO Steve Ballmer has been quite happy to step into.

Amazon Kindle for iOS Gains Magazines, Cloud Documents

Not content to simply push their own tablet and e-reader devices, Amazon today pushed out version 2.9 of their Kindle iOS app, bringing some feature parity to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users at long last. iOS users can now email documents to your Send-to-Kindle email address and have them delivered on your device, while also syncing them across hardware Kindle devices as well. The Kindle app is also now a PDF document reader with table of contents and thumbnail navigation as well. Last but not least, Amazon’s own Newsstand is now built into the app so purchases or subscriptions made on the e-tailer’s website will now sync across to the iOS app, with an all-new design on the iPad. The Kindle app is compatible with all devices running iOS 3.2 or later and available now from the App Store.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Price Drop: RPGs and More

It’s hardly news that the iOS platform is one of the biggest markets for gaming. Whether it’s a small developer or a huge app studio, games make  up a huge percentage of the App Store. And who doesn’t like a little gaming now and then? With these price drops, you’ll be getting even more gaming bang for your buck.

King of Dragon Pass

king of dragon pass

An old favorite, King of Dragon Pass is like Civilization meets Oregon Trail. A choose your own adventure style game, King of Dragon Pass is a combination of interactive storytelling and resource management. In the world of Glorantha, where HeroQuest and RuneQuest take place, you must control your clan as you move through daily clan life. There’s not much time left in this sale, as the game turned twelve years old on October 29th and they cut the price from .99 to just .99. If you played this before, get your hands on it now while it’s still hot.

Gamebook Adventures 3, 4, & 5

gamebook adventures 4

And if role playing games of fantasy adventure are your cup of tea, then be sure to check out the Gamebook Adventures series. Tin Man Games has put together some of the finest story telling, role playing, and zombie killing games out there on the market. Read and play Slaves of Rema, Revenant Rising, and Catacombs of the Undercity all with a buck shaved off their prices, bringing these epic adventures down to just .99 a piece.

Alien Glyphs 

alien glyphs

We’re not sure what prompted developer Viacheslav Klimov to jack up his app’s price from .99 to .99 early last month, but apparently he’s relented down from that incredibly high-price point to giving Alien Glyphs away for free. To read this puzzle game’s price fluctuation history is something of a challenge in and of itself, but the games inside are no joke. Match the glyphs from an alien species in a race against time — just watch out for the mutators. 

Flick Golf Extreme! HD

flick golf

The most extreme golfing game you’ll find on the iOS platform, Full Fat’s Flick Golf Extreme! HD puts you on top of icebergs, skyscrapers and grand canyons. You’ve never seen courses like this  on the back nine. Just flick the ball, that’s all there is to it, though we bet with a 3 dollar price cut all the way down to .99 you won’t be putting this one down too quickly.

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Tuesday Recap: More Apple TV News, Fetch 5.7, LTE iPhone, Macworld Registration

Macworld/iWorld 2012Does it feel like a long week to anyone else? Yeah, we know it’s only Tuesday, but still… the weekend can’t come soon enough! The week has brought bad news for both Netflix and Amazon (both taking a hit after reporting third-quarter results), but there are plenty of other things happening as well. Take a look at what you might have missed for this Tuesday, October 25, 2011.

Apple’s Television Spearheaded By iTunes Creator Jeff Robbin?

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs lived to realize his dream of taking on the smartphone and tablet markets, but he may have left behind a legacy in the living room as well. According to Bloomberg, the company’s iPod and iTunes guru, Jeff Robbin, has been put in charge of the Jobs’ final creation, an Apple-branded television set. It’s been widely reported that Jobs told official biographer Walter Isaacson that he had “finally cracked” that elusive goal with “the simplest user interface you could imagine.” Analysts are predicting a true Apple TV could be introduced in late 2012 or early 2013. Would you like our credit card number now…?

Apple TV Gets 4.4.2 Update, Resolves Updating Problems

Speaking of the Apple TV, that little black box hasn’t been pushed aside quite yet. MacRumors is reporting the second-generation device has received a third update this month, version 4.4.2, which appears to clear up problems with the 4.4.1 update released last week. Apple suggests resetting all settings on the device prior to updating, but recognizes “that this is an inconvenience” and apologies.

Veteran FTP Software Fetch Bumped To Version 5.7

There are plenty of ways to access FTP servers on the Mac, but one of the oldest is still the best: Fetch, who released a new version 5.7 update this week. Among the laundry list of changes are improved compatibility with OS X Lion as well as better control over files, monitoring the progress of transfers and support for syncing Fetch shortcuts between computers using Dropbox. Unfortunately, in a sign of the times, Fetch 5.7 requires an Intel Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later. Fetch 5.5 and 5.6 users who purchased after January 28, 2009 are eligible for a free update; older version upgrades are and a new license is from either the company’s website or the Mac App Store.

Rumor: LTE iPhone Targeted for 2012?

There’s little doubt that Apple is working on a 4G LTE version of the iPhone, and many expect it to arrive as early as next year, when the carriers finally roll out across the country. According to a new report from DigiTimes, Apple will be among the members of “the LTE club” in 2012 alongside Nokia, RIM and Sony Ericsson. Third-place U.S. carrier Sprint is planning its own LTE rollout next year, with 15 devices already planned for release at the same time. Could the iPhone 5 be one of them?

Macworld Expo Rebrands, Adds iWorld to “Ultimate iFanEvent”

We’ve been wondering when registration for the 2012 Macworld Expo would open, and it turns out that today was that day. Unfortunately, this year event hosts IDG World Expo has done away with the early bird free passes (they’re now until December 1), but the show is expanding its horizons as “the ultimate iFanEvent” which is now rebranded as Macworld/iWorld to incorporate more iOS into the mix. The three day event kicks off on January 26, 2012 and promises tech talks, music, film and more. Will MacLife.com be there? You’ll just have to attend and find out…

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Friday Recap: 22 More Countries Preorder iPhone 4S, TomTom Hits iPad, iPad 2 Smart Cover Vulnerability

TomTom for iPadWho’s amped up for the weekend?! iPhone 4S early adopters are now celebrating their seven-day anniversary with their new little friend and everyone is geared up for Monday’s debut of the Walter Isaacson authorized bio of Steve Jobs — but those aren’t the only things making news today. Here’s a look at what’s new for this fine Friday, October 21, 2011.

Apple Lights Up iPhone 4S Preorders in 22 More Countries

With the U.S. launch a clear success for Apple and its trio of carriers here (not to mention in six other countries lucky enough to get it first), the iPhone 4S now marches off to 22 new countries abroad. According to 9to5Mac, preorders for the handset kicked off today in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, where the locals there will actually get to hold them in their hands next Friday.

Paragon Updates NTFS for Mac with Lion Compatibility

If you exchange hard drives with Windows users, you’ve no doubt discovered that Mac OS X can read from — but cannot write to — NTFS-formatted disks. That’s why Paragon Software offers their popular NTFS for Mac OS X, and today the company announced a new version 9.5 with complete OS X Lion compatibility. Best of all, the update is free for 9.0 owners and a mere .95 for everyone else (upgrades from older versions are also available). Paragon also shored up their Mac commitment with two other products, CampTune X, a free beta which changes volume sizes on dual-boot systems) and Virtualization Manager, a free app for migrating to a Mac OS X-based virtual machine.

Verizon Q3 Reveals Two Million iPhones Sold, Android Half of All Smartphones

AllThingsD is reporting that Verizon’s third-quarter financial results are out, and Big Red is actually trailing second-place AT&T when it comes to the iPhone, with only two million activations compared to Ma Bell’s 2.7 million. Verizon Wireless appears to be Android Country, with half of their 5.6 million smartphones sold coming from Google’s competing mobile OS. Wonder how those numbers will look in January when the iPhone 4S is factored in…?

Valve Announces Portal 2 with In-Game Editor

Portal 2 gamers, Valve has just announced their second add-on for your favorite multi-platform game in the form of an easy to use in-game map editor “that will let users design, build and share their own single-player and co-op test chambers with the community, who will be able to view, play and vote on them with a simple click.” The only bad news is that the add-on is in development right now and “targeted for release early next year.”

iPad 2 Smart Cover Security Flaw Exposed

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the Siri feature in iPhone 4S putting your personal data at risk, but iPad 2 users have a bit more to worry about, assuming they’re using Smart Covers. According to 9to5Mac, a password-protected iPad 2 running iOS 5 (and possibly iOS 4.3 as well) is vulnerable just by opening your Smart Cover and clicking Cancel at the bottom of the screen while your iPad 2 is locked. The workaround for now is to disable Smart Cover unlocking via Settings, but we’re guessing a fix will be on the way soon from Apple now that this is making the rounds.

TomTom Makes Leap To iPad with Version 1.9

When it comes to turn-by-turn navigation on the iPhone, TomTom is among the most respected companies. Today, they earn more brownie points by releasing version 1.9 of their popular iOS apps, which are now universal builds fully optimized for the iPad. Existing users can even transfer in-app purchases or subscriptions from their iPhone, and the update also features up-to-the-minute maps and an improved interface. On the bad news front, version 1.9 is the end of the road for iPhone 3G owners. TomTom U.S. & Canada is available from the App Store for .99, with other variations also available.

No MacBook Pro Refresh Until November?

There have been persistent rumors that Apple may be launching a refresh of the MacBook Pro this month, but now that there’s only one Tuesday left in the month of October, it’s not looking likely. According to AppleInsider, potential MacBook Pro buyers may have to wait until November to wrap their arms around a spec-bumped slab of notebook goodness, but that’s assuming the delays at Taiwanese manufacturer Catcher Technology don’t hold things up. Turns out those unibody MacBook enclosures are causing a “strange odor” from the plant, so they were shut down earlier this month to get to the bottom of it. Could that be the reason the rumors are wrong this time around?

And One More Thing: The First iPhone 4S Commercial

We’ll close up Friday’s edition with some eye candy: Namely the first Apple commercial to feature the wonder that is Siri, which is now live on the company’s YouTube page. Take it away, Siri!

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


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Monday Recap: More Adobe Touch Apps, Growl Hits Mac App Store, Sprint Gambles Big on iPhone

Adobe Photoshop Touch appThere’s less than 24 hours before Apple’s big media event on the company’s Cupertino campus and the rumor mill is in high gear. Here’s all the news you need to know for Monday, October 3, conveniently put together in one place!

Analysts Predict Free iPhone 3GS with Contract

While the spotlight has been shining on a potential iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 for Tuesday’s main event, RBC Capital Markets analyst expects Apple to continue offering the iPhone 3GS as an entry-level handset, priced at 9 off contract or the low, low price of absolutely free with a two-year agreement, according to MacRumors. We already know it’s a fine device and iOS 5 capable, so why throw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak?

Adobe MAX 2011: Six New Tablet Apps, But No iOS Until Next Year

Adobe Systems is holding their annual MAX conference this week, announcing a new Adobe Creative Cloud initiative as well as six new tablet apps that will debut first on Android devices in November, followed by the iPad editions in early 2012. The apps will feature introductory pricing of .99 each and include Adobe Photoshop Touch for image editing, Adobe Collage, Adobe Debut presentation software, Adobe Kuler for generating color themes, Adobe Proto for roughing out websites or mobile apps and Adobe Ideas, a vector-based drawing app already available for the iPad.

Apple Says No Live Stream for Tuesday Event

We’re sad, too, because it makes our job that much harder to report whatever Apple has in store. 9to5Mac reports that one of Cupertino’s own press representatives has thrown cold water on the possibility of the company live streaming the “Let’s talk iPhone” media event, which kicks off at 10am PST on Tuesday. But fear not, we’ll have folks on hand to report everything that goes down as quick as our little fingers can hit those keys.

Growl Arrives in Mac App Store, No More Freebies

There are few apps that truly make our lives easier, but one of them has to be Growl, the ultimate notification system for download adobe oem your Mac. Particularly useful for those of us with apps always churning away in the background, Growl has taken a huge leap with its latest version 1.3 — not only is it now available exclusively from the Mac App Store, it’s no longer a free app. But don’t let the meager .99 price dissuade you — new features like Rollup (which lets you revisit missed notifications similar to the forthcoming iOS 5) more than make it worth the price of admission. You’ll need OS X Lion and a 64-bit processor to make the jump, however.

Sprint Committing To Billion Worth of iPhones, May Get iPhone 5 Exclusive?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that third-place U.S. carrier Sprint is planning to “bet the company” on Apple’s iPhone, committing to 30.5 million units over the next four years — whether they’re purchased by customers or not. That adds up to a nearly billion commitment, which is likely to see the carrier pushing the iPhone over rivals such as Android as well as a “staggering” whack to Sprint’s operating income.

“In order to keep the price people pay for the phone low and competitive with rivals, Sprint would be subsidizing the cost of each phone to the tune of about 0, which would take a long time to recoup even at the high monthly fees iPhone users pay,” the report claims.

Meanwhile, all this talk about Sprint landing the iPhone has apparently made the folks at BGR a bit loopy, with the website separately reporting that the carrier may get an exclusive in return for this massive investment — as in the iPhone 5 we’re all hoping will be announced tomorrow, which could launch as a 4G WiMAX capable handset.

“I have been told that Sprint will be getting the iPhone 5 — yes the real iPhone 5, not the iPhone 4S — as an exclusive,” BGR reports. “And it will be a WiMAX device. AT&T and Verizon would launch the iPhone 4S and get the iPhone 5 sometime in the first quarter of next year as an LTE device. Globally, the iPhone 5 might be available as a 4G HSPA+ device.”

No offense to BGR, but it might be time to switch medication. Then again, who’s up for switching to Sprint if this rumor pans out on Tuesday morning?

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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