Archive

Archive for January, 2009

Like Puzzle: Try Word Squares Lite

January 31st, 2009
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Imangi Studios announced Lite version of their Word Squares game.

Try it in here, it’s a great choice for crossword puzzle fans.

see preview below

iPhone, iSmashPhone

Firmware Code Gives First Hints Of "iPhone: The Next Generation"

January 31st, 2009
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This chunk of code dug out of iPhone 2.x Firmware is the first indication that a new generation of iPhones is on the way.  In particular, look at the very first line — and keep in mind that the first iPhones were tagged as “iPhone1,1″, while the current 3G models are “iPhone1,2″.

This is significant because history has shown the first of the two numbers represents a major hardware upgrade.  Proof: the latest iPod Touch (which also had the “2,1″ firmware indicator) added niceties like a speaker, volume controls, microphone support and a much faster processor.

This ties in to earlier-reported rumors that Multi-Core CPUs (and possibly Multi-Core GPUs) from Imagination Technologies would be part of the next major iPhone upgrade.

[Via MacRumors]

iPhone, iSmashPhone

New iPhone generation revealed in latest update?

January 30th, 2009
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According to MacRumors, the recent iPhone 2.x firmware has evidence of the next generation iPhone. Found in a property list inside the update image (USBDeviceConfiguration.plist), the suspected new iPhone is designated “iPhone2,1″ while the current iPhone is “iPhone1,2.”.

This lends credibility to the fact this new update includes some code that may be present in [...]

iPhonesTalk

AT&T?s success driven by the iPhone, based on earnings reports

January 30th, 2009
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While AT&T on Wednesday credited sales of 1.9 million iPhone 3Gs for helping to drive its fiscal fourth-quarter results, rival carrier Verizon won’t tell how many BlackBerry Storms were sold in its first quarter on the market; I wonder why? Embarrassment? Secrecy?

AT&T have announced full-year earnings per share of $2.16, up from $1.94 for 2007. [...]

iPhonesTalk

Apple head of iPhone/iPod dev starts soon; lawsuit a non-factor

January 30th, 2009
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Apple has cleared the way for Mark Papermaster to start working as head of iPod and iPhone development, starting April 24th.

The previous roadblock was a non-compete clause from his time at IBM, which as predicted by us and several other sites, was just a delaying tactic. The challenge has been settled and Papermaster will [...]

iPhonesTalk

UCLICK GoComics iPhone web app

January 30th, 2009
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UCLICK GoComics is the largest collection of Comic Strips, Editorial Cartoons and Graphic Novel Apps ever compiled for the iPhone and iPod touch. It is the perfect site to visit daily because the content is refreshed daily. In addition to new content there are also thousands of comics in the archives.

- 150+ Comic Strips [...]

iPhonesTalk

5 Free Tools That Find Out What Software Needs Updating

January 30th, 2009
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One question that springs to mind when I am visiting a webpage for the umpteenth time to download the latest version of an application is: ?Why isn?t there one centralised place for software update notifications?!?. Lots of pieces of software have in built updaters, but most don?t and rely on you physically checking to see what software needs updating.

Today I wish to share with you five tools (across all platforms) that will allow you to check, at a glance, what software needs updating and where to get them from.

1. FileHippo Update Checker (Windows Only)

FileHippo Update Checker is a Windows only tool that sits quietly in your system tray. It works by scanning your computer for installed software, checks the versions and then sends this information to FileHippo.com to see if there are any newer releases. The results of the scan are displayed in your browser, along with the links for you to download.

2. App Update (Mac Only)

App Update is a free widget that will automatically check for updates for your software from the safety of your dashboard. It currently supports Apple’s software directory, MacUpdate and Version Tracker. After scanning it will display a nicely formatted list of links for all the updates found, allowing you to peruse the release notes and download the updates there and then.

3. Secunia Online Software Inspector (Windows Only)

Secunia Online Software Inspector (OSI) is web based software scanner that will scan your files quickly and efficiently, checking the most common program updates as well as vulnerabilities. Reults are displayed in an easy to read list, with a status alerting you to the most important software updates.

This tool seems to be Windows only at the moment and has some issues regarding outdated versions of Flash Player. Users of this tool must have Java installed.

4. AppSnap (Windows Only)

AppSnap is a Python based application that simplifies the installation of your updates by automatically figuring out the latest verion, downloads the actual installer and then installs the software, all from the comfort of the app itself.

5. Package Managers: APT (Linux Only)

APT came to light when the Linux distribution Debian was originally released. Whilst other Linux distributions were crippled by package dependencies, Debian users were shielded from that in the respect that the system has fantastic package handling capabilities in the form of apt-get.


On your Linux system, you will need to set up your system to connect to repositories that house the updated versions of your software. A complete how-to guide for using apt-get can be found here.

Conclusion

There are many ways to get on top of your software updates, many people will manually check every so often and some may just be happy with the versions they already have. If you ever feel the need to systematically check all your installed software, these tools will light the way.

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WillINeedIt, iPhone

Smultron: A Powerful Text Editor For Mac

January 30th, 2009
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Finding the right text editor for your needs can be a frustrating experience. On a Windows machine, I swear by Notepad++, an app we reviewed last month, for it?s clever features and lightweight filesize. If I am ever installing programs on someone?s Mac, I will always suggest the inclusion of Smultron, an equally powerful editor with the all important price point: Free.

Smultron is designed to work perfectly for a whole variety of needs, including internet programming, script editing and to do lists. All socuments open within the application are ordered on the left hand sidebar, a la iTunes, enabling you to copy and paste code from one document to another without having to select different files from your dock. If that doesn?t work for you, configure the application to display them in tabs, it?s all down to the user.

All supported code is highlighted accordingly, giving you the ability to find and detect errors and keep your code annotated. Searches can be performed on words and line numbers, helping find the code you are looking for.

Smultron supports the previewing of HTML files directly inside the application and save pieces of text with a simple shortcut. Regular expressions, commands and scripts are all supported, as well as international encoding for non-english users.

The only down side I can see to using it is that it doesn?t currently support FTP transfers, something that would be a very useful feature for an app such as this. Other than that, all I can say is that it will help you infinitely with your coding, poetry, writing, it does what it needs to and it does it well.

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WillINeedIt, iPhone

[Review] Archibald’s Adventures

January 30th, 2009
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Archibald's Adventures Premise is simple - you’re an average kid in an average neighborhood with a somewhat kooky mad scientist living in the vicinity. Doing a mad trick on his skateboard at the city dump, Archibald ends up Professor Klumpfus’ basement. Alas, this is only the beginning of your troubles, as genetically engineered experiments are on the loose and the central computer decides to lock both you and the Professor in the mansion. 
How do you get out you may ask? Well, luckily, Archibald is paired with his trusty skateboard and a good dose of wit to get himself out of the mess… and a few of the Professor’s zany inventions help to aid his escape.
Archibald’s Adventures by Rake in the Grass, is a mix between a platform side-scrolling arcade game and puzzle game. The intro is a montage of cute illustrations depicting Archie and his friends getting into trouble. From there, there is an on-screen directional pad that you touch to move Archie around. The mansion is full of hint machines that help you through each level and you build on those skills to solve more difficult puzzles later.
The first stage of levels is relatively (to deceptively!) simple, but as you move through the stages and levels, the puzzles become increasingly more difficult. Timing is important as well as thinking out of the box. 
I doubt I’ll be able to get through all 100+ levels anytime soon - I’m currently stuck mid-way through Stage 2, although you can try out various levels of the first three stages. I personally have some difficulty with the onscreen directional pad - sometimes either my fingers are in the wrong place or it’s unresponsive - either way, when I’m attempting to get through an obstacle and miss my window of opportunity and “die”, it’s frustrating. 
All in all, Archibald’s Adventures is a nice challenge for kids and adults alike. The art reminds me of early 16-bit games. The art is retro and easy to navigate. As far as I’ve seen, there aren’t any spooky surprises or timed levels (perhaps in later stages?) so you can take your time to solve all the puzzles at your own pace. There’s a lot of stages to unlock to complete the game, so don’t expect to finish it in one sitting! 
The price of $7.99 might be a little steep for some, but considering it is a “basic” puzzle-adventure game. However, the sheer size of the Professor’s mansion might make up for it in actual game play time.
UPDATE: Rake in the Grass just released a FREE version called Archibald’s Adventures Lite which offers 32 levels of game play! This is a great way to try before you buy this great game!

iPhoneNewsBlog

Apple Releases iPhone OS 2.2.1 and Updates the SDK

January 30th, 2009
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Funny how I mentioned that we haven’t seen an iPhone OS update in a while and sure enough the same day I say it, an update comes out…albiet a small one. In any case, yesterday, Apple released a small 246 MB update to their iPhone/iTouch platform. Here’s what was included:

  • General bug fixes and improvements
  • Improved stability of Safari
  • Saving of images in Mail to the Camera Roll

In any case, the big changes that people were expecting was not the update that was delivered yesterday but rather we got a maintenance update. But, having this minor update makes me wonder, just when IS Apple planning their next major OS release.

I can’t help but wonder what changes are in store for us in the next big OS release…but until then, the hardest part will be the waiting. Be sure to let me know of any leads you may have, I’ll check them out and post them.

iPhoneNewsBlog