All posts in Holiday

Free App Friday: Holiday Traveling

It’s holiday time and you know what that means–legions of families and singletons everywhere traveling back to their home bases for some tasty Turkey, and maybe even to receive a present or two. Of course, traveling around the country may also mean a whirlwind of headaches and missed sleep. But fear not, because this year could really change–all you have to do is enlist the help of your trust iOS device. Well, that is, as long as you’re in an area where there’s some radical reception and strong WiFi. We compiled a list of some of the helpful free travel apps and services out there that’ll help you get to your gate on time and keep your plans in order.

Mac/iPhone

TripIt

I’ve used this service for the last year or so, and I can guarantee that when we missed that flight to San Diego two months ago, it was not because TripIt was wrong about our flight time–instead, it reminded us that we most definitely didn’t pay attention to the take off time. Even better, when my plane was running late on my way back home from Comic Con, TripIt alerted me before the airline could call with one of their automated messages.

To use the service, all you have to do is forward the emailed itinerary to [email protected], and it’ll instantly upload all that information to the cloud so it’s available for you on the spot. The app allows you to bundle together flights and reservations so that you have ’em all in one place for your next trip out West, and it even pulls up maps and directions for you so all that information is available the instant you need it.

iPhone

Travel Channel GO

You do not want to be going to Nebraska right now. You’d rather be in Mexico laying on the sandy beaches and soaking up the sun.  Well, it’s not going to happen for you right now, so why not check out the Travel Channel’s GO app to explore the world from your palm? The app features clips from various Travel Channel shows and might even inspire you for your next vacation.

iPad

Kayak HD

If you’re in a tiff and need to quickly book a flight away from the torture of your mother, download Kayak HD for the best deals on domestic flights and hotels.

News

iTunes Connect Taking Extended Holiday from December 23-28

iTunes Connect closed for the holidays
(Image courtesy of 9to5Mac)

If you’re an iOS developer or just a user who’s hopelessly addicted to app updates, you might want to find something else to do come late December — Apple’s iTunes Connect is closing its doors for nearly a week over Christmas.

9to5Mac is reporting that Apple has notified iOS developers that iTunes Connect will be closed for the holidays from December 23 through 28, with App Store management service getting back to normal on Wednesday, December 29 in time to close out 2010 and usher in the New Year.

iTunes Connect is how iOS developers interact with Apple and make their apps and subsequent updates available to the end users. Having the service go dark for nearly a week doesn’t affect users — you’ll still be able to make purchases during the outage — but there will be no one manning the cubicles at Apple HQ to tackle new app submissions or approve updates to existing apps during that time.

“iTunes Connect will be temporarily unavailable from Thursday, December 23 through Tuesday, December 28 for the winter holidays,” the developer site reads. “iTunes Connect access will be back online for use on December 29. If you choose to set an available date for your app to go live during the scheduled holiday shutdown, your app will not go live on the App Store until iTunes Connect resumes for business on December 29. Please plan your releases accordingly.”

If you’re one of those users who compulsively look for fresh updates to your apps every day — you know who you are! — we’d recommend taking a vacation from December 23-28, because you’re likely to be wearing the sad face otherwise. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

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

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Epic Annonces Holiday Release for Infinity Blade

Epic Games and ChAIR Entertainment have announced that they will release the Unreal-engine powered title Infinity Blade to iOS devices this holiday season. The action-RPG sword fighting adventure for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad was unveiled last month at Apple’s Special Event in San Francisco and fully utilizes Epic’s Unreal Engine 3.

The graphically intense Infinity Blade features sword battles and boss fights centered around a fully 3D castle. The game’s single-mode features a combat interface and two-button touch controls. As players progress, they can gain experience, build on their stats and earn items to prepare their knight in shining armor for the game’s final boss fight.

The game will also feature additional content that will be released free of charge via updates. There will also be a multiplayer mode that lets players find their friends and other users online to battle them in Game Center.

“More than one million people have been introduced to the world of ‘Infinity Blade’ through our free app, ‘Epic Citadel,’ and soon everyone will be able to play our first fully featured game for iOS devices,” said Dr. Michael Capps, president of Epic Games.

The pricing and official release date for “Infinity Blade” has not yet been announced.

Follow this article’s author, Florence Ion, on Twitter.

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