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All posts in Releases

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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Dev-Team Already Releases iOS 5.1 (Tethered) Jailbreak

The Dev-TeamMuch to Apple’s chagrin, releasing beta versions of forthcoming iOS software for developers to work with also has the unwanted side effect of jailbreakers getting an advance peek at what’s to come — which is how iOS 5.1 has already been jailbroken, less than 24 hours after its release.

The Dev-Team Blog is reporting that they’ve successfully jailbroken iOS 5.1 already, and have released redsn0w 0.9.1.10b6 for Mac and Windows to make the magic happen. Unfortunately, as is often the case with early releases, it’s not quite ready for the general public since it’s a tethered jailbreak.

A “tethered” jailbreak requires users to connect to their Mac or PC using redsn0w’s “Just Boot” mode every time the device in question is turned on, which makes it rather inconvenient for most of us — without the tethered boot, the device is essentially unusable without a computer handy nearby. But that’s not about to stop hardcore jailbreakers.

“We realize that some of you non-A5 jailbreakers are itching to get to 5.1, even though there seems to be no compelling new feature there,” the Dev-Team writes. “Because of geohot’s limera1n exploit, those with devices earlier than the iPad2 can test the 5.1 jailbreak waters if they really want to, using redsn0w 0.9.10b6.”

There’s one exception to the tethered dilemma — iPhone 3GS owners with old bootroms (for example, devices purchased on launch day back in 2009) will actually get the full untethered experience. Unlockers will still need an update to the Dev-Team’s ultrasn0w patch, which will be arriving soon to Cydia. That said, the patch will continue to offer the same older baseband support, since no new unlock exploits have been discovered over the last year or more.

Last but not least, “iBooks won’t work until a future update of redsn0w,” so if you’re addicted to your ebooks, best to stay away from this for now. As always, be sure to thoroughly read the warnings on The Dev-Team Blog — while your life may not depend on it, the future jailbreaking/unlocking of your iOS device probably does.

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

 

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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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Apple Releases Public Beta of OS X Mountain Lion Messages App

Messages betaReady for OS X Mountain Lion to roar into your life this sunny summer? Well, Apple has been kind enough to share a taste of what’s to come with users today in the form of a free Messages beta which allows text messaging between iOS and Mac users.

Apple announced Mac OS X 10.8. Mountain Lion today, which developers are no doubt feverishly downloading and installing as we write this. So what about the rest of us? Aside from looking at the pretty pictures on the company’s new Mountain Lion section of the website, Apple has delivered one goodie that can be downloaded right now: A beta of the new Messages app.

“Messages does everything iChat does, and so much more,” Apple’s website explains. “For starters, it comes with iMessage. And just like iMessage in iOS, it lets you send unlimited messages to anyone on a Mac or an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 5. Send photos, videos, documents, and contacts — even send messages to a group. You can see when your message has been delivered and when someone’s typing a reply. Turn on read receipts, and they’ll see when you’ve read a message. With end-to-end encryption, your messages stay safe and private. And you can start a conversation on your Mac and pick it up on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. So nothing is left unsaid.”

As we reported earlier, iChat will be put out to pasture with OS X Mountain Lion, replaced by the Messages app available to users of Mac OS X 10.7.3 today. At least for now, the app separates traditional IM services (AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk and Jabber) from the actual iMessage service, so they appear in different windows.

The Messages beta is a 63.8MB download from Apple’s website and requires OS X Lion 10.7.3 to install — so make sure your operating system is up to date before you try to install. The beta will also require a restart of your computer before you can start chatting with friends.

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

 

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Apple Releases Logic Pro 9, MainStage 2 on Mac App Store

Logic Pro 9Despite the rumors of a Logic Pro X being nearly complete, Apple has today released a minor update to the existing Logic Pro 9 and MainStage 2.2 to the Mac App Store, thus ending an era of boxed software from Cupertino. The good news is you can now buy these pro music apps cheaper than ever before!

Apple today released Logic Pro 9.1.6 and MainStage 2.2 to the Mac App Store, which marks the end of the company’s efforts to sell retail boxed copies of its software. Musicians and other pro audio users can now enjoy writing, recording, editing and mixing their work at a new low price of only 9, with the companion MainStage 2 available separately for only .99.

Logic Pro 9.1.6 may not be the fully reworked Logic Pro X that was rumored back in September, but the app does get a few minor bug fixes according to The Loop, and users are likely to get a free update to the next major version, in keeping with Mac App Store tradition. Purchasing Logic Pro from the Mac App Store also gets you access to Apple’s sound library, clocking in at around 25GB of media comprised of six Jam Packs, sound effects and more, downloaded from within the app much in the same way that Final Cut Pro X did over the sunny summer.

MainStage 2.2 users will also gain access to the downloadable content, and the app “now takes full advantage of Macs with four or more processor cores” with added support for more MIDI devices. The Loop also reports that the user interface has been rebuilt to “make some elements a bit larger.”

And what about current users of LogicPro 9? Apple will release a Software Update to patch existing versions, although MainStage 2.2 is considered a new app and must be purchased as such from the Mac App Store for only .99. Apple will continue offering the boxed version of Logic Pro 9 on its online store, but it will no longer be available at retail.

Finally, if you were holding out hope that Soundtrack Pro 3 might continue to exist after being ignored when Final Cut Pro X was released back in June, we have some bad news for you: It’s dead and gone and won’t be coming to the Mac App Store.

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

 

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Apple Releases iTunes 10.5.1 with iTunes Match

iTunes MatchOriginally announced for a late October release, iTunes Match is finally here, a couple of weeks late but no worse for the wear. The service requires iTunes 10.5.1, which went live on Monday and now allows users to “scan and match” their music library against iCloud for only .99 per year.

Now here’s an odd one: Apple announced last Friday that it was wiping developers’ iTunes Match accounts on Saturday ahead of the release, which everyone assumed would be this week. But then, late Saturday night, the company pushed out iTunes 10.5.1 beta 3 so developers could continue testing the scan and match service.

Imagine our surprise when iTunes 10.5.1 was actually released on Monday, complete with the .99 per year iTunes Match service available to developers and the rest of us regular folks as well. To get it, simply hit Software Update and download the latest version, or you can jump over to Apple’s website and grab it directly.

So what exactly does iTunes Match offer for .99 per year? For those who don’t purchase music from iTunes, quite a lot, actually. The service does a “scan and match” against your music library, making available any tracks that it’s able to match and allowing you to download 256Kbps AAC DRM-free versions to any computer or iOS device where it’s turned on (requires iOS 5). With more than 20 million songs in Apple’s coffers, “most of your music is probably already in iCloud,” according to the company.

We’ll have some detailed coverage on iTunes Match coming up shortly — including a list of things we’d still like to see it do.

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

 

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iFixit Releases Official iPhone 4S Teardown

We’ve only got one day to go until the iPhone 4S is officially in stores or on our door steps, but iFixit has already done an official tear down of the new phone.  You already know that inside it’s got an 1GHz Apple A5 dual-core processor, plus a dual-band radio chip and an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera. And this is what it looks like:

It looks like a convoluted mess of circuits and wires. The iPhone 4S also has an upgraded Qualcomm MDM6610 radio chipset (refer to the red box), plus flash memory provided by Toshiba (the same manufacturers of those evil Windows laptops).

It’s interesting to note that while the Retina Display on the iPhone 4S hasn’t changed from its predecessor, Apple stuck with the linear oscillating vibration motor that was standard in the Verizon iPhone 4 (the AT&T version contained a rotational electric motor).

Visit iFixit for the complete teardown of the iPhone 4S.

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Apple Releases Free Cards, iTunes Movie Trailers iOS Apps

iTunes Movie Trailers appHaven’t had enough free apps from Apple for one day? Well saddle up and hit the App Store, partner — there’s more gold to be found in them thar hills, with the promised Cards app arriving for the iPhone as well as a new universal iTunes Movie Trailers app for enjoying previews of Hollywood’s finest.

Apple has pushed out two more new apps on Wednesday after releasing Find My Friends and AirPort Utility prior to the release of iOS 5 today. One of them is Cards, which was announced at last week’s “Let’s talk iPhone” event, but the other was something of a pleasant surprise: An app dedicated to watching movie trailers posted on iTunes.

Cards arrives right on cue, promising to help you create and mail beautifully crafted cards personalized with your own text and photos, right from your iPhone or iPod touch. The app includes 21 designs which can be customized with your personal message and photo, and U.S.-bound creations will get a push notification when they’ve been delivered — only .99 anywhere in the United States or .99 anywhere else in the world, and those prices include postage.

The free Cards app is a 19MB download from the App Store compatible with all devices running iOS 5 or later — but for some strange reason, it’s not a universal app so using it on the iPad won’t be an ideal situation.

The same cannot be said of the free iTunes Movie Trailers app that Apple also released today, which is indeed a universal build for checking out the latest Hollywood has to offer from your iOS device. Now that it’s here, we’re left wondering what took them so long to make something like this available in the first place!

iTunes Movie Trailers
is a 2.8MB download now available from the App Store and requires iOS 5 or later.

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

 

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Apple Releases iOS AirPort Utility App for PC-Free Setup (Updated)

AirPort Utility appiOS 5 ushers in a new “PC-free” era for Apple’s mobile devices, with Cupertino acknowledging that many owners are using their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch without a computer. To aid such users, the company has also released a new AirPort Utility app for setting up and managing their AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule without a computer as well.

Apple has just pushed out a free AirPort Utility app for iOS, which will help iOS 5 device users set up and manage their networks without the need for a Mac or PC. At this writing the app is only available to existing iOS 5 users, where it can be found by accessing your Wi-Fi network via the Settings app and tapping on the new “Manage this Network” button, which whisks you away to the App Store and presents the new app for download.

“Use AirPort Utility to manage your Wi-Fi network and AirPort base stations, including AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule — right from your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch,” the app description explains. “See a graphical overview of your Wi-Fi network and devices. Change base station and network settings, or manage advanced features such as security modes, wireless channels and more.”

According to the release notes for the app, you’ll need an 802.11n Wi-Fi base station to use the app, but thankfully that includes almost all of the models released in recent years. Features include the ability to restart or restore a base station, update the base station firmware when available, manage DHCP reservations and port mappings and easily access your IP address, DNS servers and router addresses.

AirPort Utility is a 4.5MB download and the free app is also universal so it works equally well on an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Of course, the app requires iOS 5, which should start rolling out to users today.

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

 

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And So It Begins: Apple Releases iTunes 10.5

Download iTunes 10.5Tuesday, October 11 may not mean much when the real action is set to arrive tomorrow with iOS 5 and iCloud, but there are a few components that will need to be updated on your Mac before that magic arrives. One of them is an update to iTunes, which has just hit Apple’s website and is ready for your downloading pleasure.

Apple has just released iTunes 10.5, the latest version of the company’s media player which developers have been beta testing most of the sunny summer as part of iCloud and iOS 5. The update is required to take advantage of those new features, which will be rolling out on Wednesday.

Included in iTunes 10.5 is the final version of iTunes in the Cloud — no longer a beta, you’ll now have automatic downloads and the ability to download previous purchases from here on out. The update also ensures syncing your device with iOS 5, including the long-awaited Wi-Fi syncing.

iTunes 10.5 is a 102.5MB download requiring a Mac with Intel or PowerPC G4 or G5 processor, 512MB of RAM minimum and Mac OS X 10.5 or later. It can be downloaded via Software Update or direct from Apple’s website.

We’re also anticipating updates to iPhoto (for Photo Stream syncing) and OS X Lion 10.7.2 later today to prep users for full iCloud sync.

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

 

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