All posts in Soon

Mac App Store Set to "Open Soon"

It has been a few weeks since we last heard anything about the Mac App Store, but last night Apple emailed developers enrolled in the Mac development program to let them know that the store would be “Coming Soon.”

The email from Apple noted, “The Mac App Store will be open soon, providing customers around the world a new way to explore and purchase apps made just for Mac. Ensure your app is ready when we open the Mac App Store — submit it for review today.”

The email went on to tell developers what they needed in order to submit Mac apps, “Log in to the Mac Dev Center for details on setting up an iTunes Connect account, creating Apple-issued Mac Distribution Certificates, and preparing your apps for the review process.”

When the Mac App Store was first detailed back in October, Steve Jobs said the store would be opened within 90-days. If this email confirms Apple’s plans, then we could see a Mac App Store in December or early January.

via 9to5 Mac

 

Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.

 

 

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iTunes URLs Could Soon be Shortened with iTun.es

With the announcement of Ping integration with Twitter, Apple seems to be stepping more and more into the web arena with their products. So, it’s no wonder that they would purchase the iTun.es domain name. But, what could it be used for? We hope an iTunes URL shortening service.

If you have used the Ping-Twitter integration, you probably know about the horribly-long URLs that can get tweeted. After doing some digging around in the WHOIS database, MacRumors found that the iTun.es domain is, in fact, owned by Apple (if the redirect to Apple.com doesn’t solidify it enough).

The domain name was purchased by Apple in December of 2006, but Apple has yet to utilize it. Perhaps the new Twitter integration will finally give them a chance to use the domain to shorten iTunes URLs.

NHL GameCenter Live Coming Soon To an iPad Near You

nhlgamecenter

(Image courtesy of sbnation.com)

Granted the sporting world may be focused on the start of the upcoming World Series, or an NFL season that’s in full swing, but the NHL season is also underway. With that, iPad puck fans can look forward in the near future to being able to watch live games on their devices.  The NHL had also been one of the first pro sports leagues to optimize their site for the iPad.

Perry Cooper, senior VP of digital media for the NHL spoke with Multichannel News saying that the league’s young, affluent fanbase are poised to take full advantage of its mobile web offerings.  According to Scarborough Research, NHL fans are more likely to own smartphones than fans of any other major professional sport.

“It really serves every aspect and segment of our fan and it allows us the opportunity to upgrade and matriculate people to a more robust experience,” Cooper said.

The league currently maintains three NHL GameCenter apps – which can vary anywhere from free options to subscriptions – and can allow fans the chance to stream live games, view in-game highlights and get access to other NHL content on devices like the BlackBerry, iPhone/iPod touch and Nokia handsets, and the iPad.

The free portion provides live scores; live in-game stats for each team and player; a full-season schedule; standings, player profiles, archived results and stats for the current season, searchable content and a personalized experience.

If you’re thirsting for something a bit more, NHL GameCenter Premium is available on the iPad for .95, which offers up video highlights, condensed games and live game audio in addition to everything found in the free edition.  Unfortunately, NHL GameCenter Live is only available in the U.S. for Verizon Wireless users, due to contractual obligations that the league has.  That version allows users to stream live video of games.  Perhaps iPhone users won’t be out in the cold if we ever see that Verizon version, hmmm?

But just the same, according to league officials, GameCenter Live is going to be due out later this year for the iPad!  Presumably it will come at a cost, but if you live out of the state of your favorite team, it could certainly be worth it!

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter

 

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Rumor: Civilization V Will Soon Be Available To Mac Gamers

Civilization isn’t so much a game franchise as it is a force of nature. Throughout the game’s various iterations and updates, the the turn-based strategy phenomenon has maintained a reputation for instantly enthralling players, causing millions of hours of sleepless nights, poor time management, the alienation of loved ones and some pretty serious cases of numb-bum.

Given the carnage that Civilization can cause in the lives of people’s lives, you’d think that Mac users, a normally enlightened, productive bunch, would want nothing to do with the latest version of the game, Civilization V. You’d do well to think again: When the game became available to eager PC-based empire builders in mid-September, great sorrow washed over Apple gamers when it became clear that for the time being, a Mac version of the game wouldn’t be available. Quietly weeping, we turned to our Boot Camp partitions to get our game on. Fortunately, the pain and embarrassment of being forced to boot into Windows to play Sid Meier’s latest offering will soon be coming to an end, as Firaxis Games/2K Games has announced that Civilization V will soon be available as an OS X application.

According to MacRumors, a reliable source has commented on the fact that Mac gamers won’t be left out of the Civilization V party for much longer. While there’s still no word on timing or pricing, a rumor, at this point, is better than nothing. For those of our readers who have already purchased the game for Windows, don’t fret–as you most likely noticed when installing it onto your system, Civilization V requires a Steam account in order to complete the software’s registration process. It’s a very good bet that as soon as a version of the game becomes available for OS X, it’ll be made available to early PC adopters for at no cost.

 

Follow this article’s author, Seamus Bellamy on Twitter.

 


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iPad Probably Hitting Walmart Shelves Very Soon

We know that not everyone has a selection of strip malls or Apple Stores to choose from, and that’s why we were excited to hear that Walmart will probably pick up the iPad for sale, supposedly by the end of the year.

It sort of makes sense that Walmart would be the next major retailer to do so, especially since Amazon, Target, and Best Buy all currently offer the iPad. We’ve even heard from an anonymous Walmart employee that the iPad is hitting the shelves in November, though no official date has been announced–or speculated.

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

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Fruit Ninja Updated for Game Center, Banana Mode Coming Soon

The Fruit Ninja 1.4 update was released to the App Store today, adding multiplayer support for Game Center. Battle your friends and enemies in an all new network multiplayer mode that throws blue fruits and red fruits at your screen. Slice away at your blue fruit while avoiding your opponents red fruit. The regular rules of the game still apply in multiplayer mode, such as bonuses and combo fruits.

In addition, Halfbrick, the developer of Fruit Ninja, announced that a new secret Banana mode is nearing completion and when it’s release it will add new leaderboards and achievements.

If you have Fruit Ninja on your iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4.1, you can download this update for free by going to the App Store (on your device) and clicking Updates.

You can learn more about Game Center multiplayer by checking out our Complete Guide to Game Center on iOS.

Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter or battle him on Game Center using name: coryb.

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Unreal Engine SDK Coming Soon to iOS, Android to Follow

As we previously mentioned, the Unreal Engine that powers many console-quality games, like Gears of War, was going to make the move into the hands of iPhone and iPad developers, allowing game developers to create graphically-rich games for iOS devices. But as Know Your Mobile reports today, the UDK (Unreal Development Kit) may make it’s way into the hands of iOS developers sooner than we though.

According to the blog, iOS is Unreal’s main focus right now, but they’ve also demoed the Unreal Engine on the Android platform, and said that the company would “eventually” release a version of the UDK for Android developers.

It is still unclear exactly when the UDK will be available for iOS developers, but it will no doubt mark a new era of mobile gaming when it is available.

The Unreal Engine on mobile devices means that developers for both mobile operating systems will be able to create beautiful, console-like applications for game play anywhere. Unreal recently unveiled the Unreal Engine on iOS devices by placing Epic Citadel on the App Store.

Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.

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VLC Video Player in App Store Soon

If this gets approval and the approval sticks (shed some tears for Google Voice), this might be some of the coolest news about the App Store in a long, long time. Could the sound we heard a few weeks ago be the cracking of the App Store and its over-the-top restrictiveness?

A few weeks back, it was fairly big news that Apple was going to let CineXPlayer for the iPad into the App Store. The app let iPad users play their Xvid-encoded movies without the hassle and wait of re-encoding them to be iPad compatible. Now, according to MacRumors, everyone’s favorite all codex-compatible media player, VLC is joining the fray. If you’ve ever downloaded a video to your hard drive, then found you couldn’t play it, VLC was there, patting you on the back, running that movie no matter how it was encoded. It’s long been our go-to solution when the standard video solutions weren’t cutting it.

vlc

Citing French website Mac 4 Ever and the developer Applidium, MacRumors tells us that the VideoLan team has given their blessing to the porting of VLC over to an iPad version. Not only have they given their blessing, but the app is already in submission and now we’re just waiting for approval.

But wait, there’s more. Not only will the app be free, just like your desktop VLC player, but that the developer expects to see the release into the wilds of the App Store as early as next week. At this point, the only rumor we’re hearing is an iPad version, but since we never thought we’d see this day, keep your fingers crossed for iPhone and iPod versions as well. (This commentor claims he’s heard a resounding “YES” from Applidium.)

And if you haven’t nabbed CineXPlayer, and you think someday you might buy an iPad, get it while it’s still there. The App Store gods are capricious and could dump this free app at any moment, without warning.

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Apple Peel iPod Case Coming Soon to America

For those of you harboring a bit of buyer’s remorse having shelled out the money for an iPod touch, when the device you truly wanted was an iPhone, we’ve got some cold comfort for you today. A while back, we told you about a dandy case called the Apple Peel that provided 3G cell phone capabilities to the iPod touch. It was the stuff of fairy tales: a reasonably priced case that allowed iPod touch users to get their smartphone game on. We all looked at it, wondering how well it’d work. Would the Apple Peel fill our needs? Could those still clinging to their Motorola RAZR handsets finally enter the new decade? Only those with access to the Chinese black market could know for sure, as the case wasn’t readily available stateside.

Until now.

That’s right folks, according to a press release issued by GoSolar, the Apple Peel 520 will be hitting our shores in the very near future.

So, what does it do? Here’s the lowdown: The Apple Peel 520 is an enclosure for an iPod touch that hosts an additional battery, SIM card and all the fixings required for you to transform your lowly iPod touch into the fully functional smartphone stud you always knew it could be. By slapping an Apple Peel case on your iPod touch, you’ll gain access to close to five hours of talk time and close to 120 hours of stand by use. There’s no word on what the device will cost as of yet, but we can only imagine that it’ll be significantly less expensive than the sticker price of a new iPhone 4.

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Could iTunes App Downloads Soon Eclipse Songs?

iTunes download chart
(Image courtesy of TechCrunch)

New research from an app developer and industry analysis advisory firm seems to indicate that we’ll soon be downloading more apps from iTunes than we do music. Can this be possible?

TechCrunch is reporting
on the findings of Helsinki-based analysis firm Asymco, who claims that the iTunes download rate for iOS apps is “accelerating much faster” than the data for song downloads.

Asymco notes that it took roughly 2.2 years for the App Store to sell 6.3 billion apps, while it took the iTunes Music Store closer to five years to reach the same plateau. Should the current trend continue, Asymco believes that App Store purchases may overtake song downloads before the ball in Times Square closes up shop on 2010.

Such data probably shouldn’t come as a huge shock — after all, many people have finite tastes in music, and when they’ve bought everything they like, they’re perfectly content to listen to it over and over again. Meanwhile, the App Store continues to offer fresh new fodder to entice iOS device owners to keep downloading.

Asymco claims that iOS users are downloading 17.6 million apps per day on average, compared to roughly 7.5 million songs. Most ironically, Asymco is founded and led by a former Nokia manager — who would most likely not be thrilled to hear what their longtime employee has to say on this subject.

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

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