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Misc news & roundup / guide updates (09/27/2009)

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I’ve updated several of my guides / bibles / roundups to reflect the latest changes. See the bottommost “UPDATE (09/27/2009)” section in each of them. The only news item I haven’t published in another article is the one describing the new Backgrounder version.

AppStore news:

Ever wanted to watch WMV (TV) streams on your iPhone? Now you can!: making Streamer compatible with all WMV streams; NetTV [Lite] news.


Review: Bricks Of Camelot from Donut Games

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After a certain number of variations of a particular genre come out, you begin to wonder what else can be done with that style of game.  That’s the way I’ve felt about breakout clones for quite some time, especially since I don’t particularly care for the genre in the first place.  Then one came out called Bricks Of Camelot that caught my eye because of the slick visuals.  Once I found out that it was from Donut Games I had to give it a try.  Turns out that I have not been disappointed at all. In fact, for the first time I think I can say that I actually really enjoy a breakout style game.  There’s not really anything new in the mechanics of the game, but rather in the power ups and attention to detail in the environment that make this game so much fun.



MMS is here — what you need to know about it

MacWorld has a great article on MMS — what you need to know about installing, enabling, and using MMS (multimedia messaging). It explains how to send images, location data, videos, and voice memos. And the article talks a bit about performance. An article on CNet says that some users have had problems sending messages and gives a fix. And while there had been concerns whether AT&T's network could handle the additional volume, AT&T is reported to have said that things have gone fairly smoothly.



Use App Genius to find more apps that meet your needs

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App Genius, a new feature in iPhone 3.1, is a good way to find useful apps. Go to the App Store app on your iPhone or iPod touch (the latter will need to be connected to the Internet via WiFi), and click on the Genius tab at the top right. Once you’ve enabled this feature by following the onscreen prompts, it will then show your apps and for each one will recommend a similar app. Like iTunes, the Genius function works by pooling the preferences of all those using the Genius function. I have the AP News app on my device, and Genius detected that other users who have this app installed also have the Reuters app installed, so it suggested that.



Star Walk 3.0 Giveaway...Win a Free Version!!

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 We have Star Walk 3.0 codes to give away (3 to be exact), so get your comments in before Saturday, 26 September 2009 (11PM EST), for a chance to win a copy of this great astronomy program from VITO. If you already have a copy, tell your friends and family to get over here ASAP before the deadline!!! Full rules follow the break...



iPhone Multiplayer Gaming Bible updated

I've added tons of new games and no less than four updates to the iPhone Multiplayer Gaming Bible. Next week, I'll also add tons of new videos showing each and every game in action.



New service lets you get paid apps for free — if you write a review in the App Store

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Here's a novel idea. You can sign up at a new website, FuelMyApp.com, and get paid apps for free. In exchange, you agree to review the app on iTunes. Of course, you aren't obligated to give a positive review. The way it works is that you sign up on FuelMyApp.com and give your PayPal e-mail address and iTunes nickname. Then you select an app from the website and pay for it as normal. Once you've tried it, then you review it on iTunes. As soon as your review is published, FuelMyApp automatically credits your PayPal account for the amount you paid for the app.



Polar Mobile reaches 1 Million Users!!

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 "TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 21, 2009) - Polar Mobile (www.polarmobile.com) today announced that applications built using the company's SMART(TM) content and advertising platform are now being used by more than 1 million people around the world. Media publishers are using the proprietary SMART push-publishing platform to launch custom-branded mobile applications so their readers can access content from their favorite brands much faster than browsing through traditional mobile websites.



iPhone users frustrated with AT&T network; Friday's MMS rollout could cause problems

AT&T's network has been in the news lately, with a lot of iPhone users venting about the quality of service. Of course, it depends on where you live. On Tuesday, CNet writer Elinor Mills posted an article about her problems with AT&T service on her iPhone in San Francisco. That set off a firestorm of comments from iPhone users around the country. Today she posted a followup article, summarizing the comments and listing the dozens of locations that people complained about.



Review: Champion Archer from Pocket Monkey Games

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Pocket Monkey Games is home grown gaming at its finest. The artwork may not be the best, and the game play might be lacking in some spots, but there are two things you always know about a game produced by this company. The first is that the game was made with love – these guys have a great passion for the products they turn out. The second is that they are continually improving their products. Now that the sappy stuff is out of the way, I will say that Champion Archer is a good game that has a promising future. There are just a few things that need to be tidied up to turn this from a good game to a great game.


Free apps from Time, Sports Illustrated, and Business Week magazines

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It's great to see so many major publications creating apps for the iPhone. Nowadays it seems like every company feels as if it's necessary to have an iPhone app, just as it's necessary to have a website. Polar Mobile has been working hard creating apps for some top magazines, having recently released apps for Time, Sports Illustrated, and BusinessWeek — all free.



ESPN Radio now available in the App Store!

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"ESPN today launches its newest application to the Apple iTunes App Store for ESPN Radio.


Star Walk 3.0 Now Available!

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 Star Walk 3.0 is now available in the App store, and you can learn more at the links provided (our original review). I added my own mini-review after the break, and am working on getting some codes for a giveaway, so if you don't have a copy, stay tuned. This is a highly recommended amateur astronomy app, and has recently been included in the Apple "What's Hot" list, so if you are a space geek like me, or have kids who are, you will want to check this out!



Interview With AddictingGames Part 3 (include 50 States review)

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This is the final segment of my interview with Kate Connally, Vice President of AddictingGames.  I once again want to thank Kate for the time she took out of her schedule to answer my questions, and I hope you've enjoyed reading her thoughts about AddictingGames' transition into the iPhone world.  This time around we discuss how the users will feel about transition from the web to their iPhone, as well as what plans AddictingGames has for the future of iPhone development.  This segment will conclude with a review of 50 States.  Here we go again...



Connect your iPhone or iPod touch to the Internet using your Mac as a wireless router

I still have a first generation iPhone, and the data connection is slow. But even if I had a more recent device, I'd still have a slow connection here in rural Iowa because there ain't no 3G network in this area. So I was delighted to find out from a friend that I can use my Mac as a wireless router to connect my iPhone to the Internet via Wi-Fi. I can turn it on and then use the wireless access anywhere in the house. It's cheaper and simpler than buying a wireless router. Here's how to do it. First be sure that AirPort is turned on on your Mac by going to System Preferences and clicking Network, then selecting AirPort in the left menu, then clicking Turn AirPort On at right. Then go back to System Preferences and select Sharing. Next select Internet Sharing in the menu at left.



SnaBiz needs more work but has potential

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A business card scanner, such as SnaBiz, makes transferring contact information from business cards to your address book both quick and easy. 



Free Comics app offers 50+ free comic books

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If you're bored this weekend and enjoy comics, the Comics (Free) app might be just the thing. It offers over 50 free comic books, with more being added every week. If you get hooked, then you can buy the paid version (99 cents), which has in-app purchasing so that you can load up on more comics. The publishers include AdHouse Books, Creative Impulse, Evil Twin Comics, Moonstone, and Zenescope. The app requires iPhone 3.0 or later.



16 things you should know about MMS and tethering

The new iPhone 3.0 software brought with it two features that have been much in demand: MMS, which is multimedia text messaging, and tethering, which lets you connect your laptop to the Internet via your phone's data connection. The trouble was that although these features were now part of the software, they hadn't yet been enabled by AT&T. That's changing, with MMS imminent (and some people already using it) and tethering coming in the not-to-distant future. iLounge posted a helpful article today titled Sixteen things you should know about MMS and Tethering. If you're interested in either of these features, you'll want to read this article. 



OutColor out does itself!

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To hijack a bit of Elizabeth Browning’s famous poem, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height” of OutColor’s newest update!  YESSSS!  The good people at Vizros Software have done it.

You can now add your own background and use their expanded stock backgrounds as masks.

If you enjoy using your iPhone's camera and digital photography, do yourself a favor and get this app you will not be sorry.



Review: Underground from Chillingo

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Here we are again. It’s time for me to review another scrolling shooter, this time Underground from Chillingo. I really should just come up with a standard header for scrolling shooter reviews, which I think would go something like this: “I love scrolling shooters. I don’t care if they are horizontal or vertical, or maybe even a mix of the two views. All that matters is that the visuals look pretty good, the sound doesn’t make my ears bleed, and the action is fast and furious. Not R-Type level of insanity, mind you, but I don’t want it to be a walk in the park either. Oh, and for good measure the developers should throw in some nifty power-ups. Give me these things, and I’ll be a happy man.” Well, I’m happy to say that for the most part Underground delivers, and it manages to provide a solid, old style shooter that’s lots of fun.



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