By Werner Ruotsalainen updated on 11/09/2009
There have been quite a few major updates, announcements, releases lately, since my publishing my previous news catch-up article slightly more than a month ago. Let me show you some of the most important ones.
(NOTE: I’ve already published some of these pieces of news in my all-in-one roundups and “bibles”. That is, if you do follow them (you should if you really want to know what’s happening on the iPhone scene), you already know of them. If you don’t but, in the future, would like to get notified of new releases / versions of a given application / game genre, don’t forget to subscribe to the given articles. It’s very easy.)
1. Web browsing news (also see the iPhone Web browser roundup): the two most important pieces of news is the release of
- The vastly enhanced Perfect Browser 2.5, which, at last, includes some great functionality that, so far, not even iCab Mobile supported (nevertheless, see my remark below on the just-released iCab Mobile 2.0)
- iCab Mobile 2.0 released today, introducing a LOT of goodies. A must buy!
2. Instant messaging news (see The one and only REAL iPhone Instant Messenger roundup): there have been several major updates:
- IM+, one of the best titles, received in-app purchasable (English only) speech recognition, text copy capabilities and the ability to send out Push mail to Gmail, Hotmail and, probably, now even Yahoo.
- Fring has also received some major updates; for example, support for links, copy/paste, voice improvements etc. (Note that, while it does have some speech / talk improvements, it still is unable to talk to the latest MSN clients)
- eBuddy, the free client, has just received a lot of goodies
- so did BeejiveIM, one of my favourite IM apps; the new features mostly concern group chats and showing multiple chats in one tab.
3. Radio stream receiver news (also see Everything you'll ever need to know about listening to radio on the iPhone):
- Pocket Tunes Radio has (following ooTunes, which implemented this kind of functionality first) received background playback capabilities with streams compatible with the built-in QuickTime player; that is, MP3 or AAC (but NOT AAC+)
- Some smaller bugfixes for Time-Shift Radio and Tuner2 Hi-Fi Radio
- Clock Radio has received, among other things, a sleep timer
4. Multiplayer gaming news (also see the iPhone Multiplayer Gaming Bible): now, there has been a LOT of improvemens and tons of new releases/articles.
First and foremost, I’ve added dynamic behavior to the main chart. Now, you can disable both full columns and also games fulfilling a certain criteria, making browsing the almost 200(!) games much easier.
Second, several “big names” have been released:
- DOOM Classic (FPS; with local 4-player multiplayer)
- Eliminate (FPS; with remote multiplayer with up to 8 players)
- Rock Band (rhythm / music game; appraised by TouchArcade a lot); another, similar game is Metallica Revenge.
- ATV Offroad (a GREAT motocross racer; local multiplayer up to 4 players)
- Adrenaline Golf Online (a very nice golf game)
- Sniper Vs Sniper: Online (a strictly online sniper game; players tend to love it)
- Two new kart games (Shrek Kart by Gameloft and Cocoto Kart Online; both are considered better than the previously existing Krazy Kart Racers by Konami)
- Fifa 10
- World Series of Poker Hold'em Legend by Glu (many state that, as strictly a poker game, it’s considerably better than previous titles. However, there’re few online players; hope this will change as more and more people start playing it online)
- Asphalt5 (a VERY good racing game; now, it also supports online opponents; I haven’t encountered major lags)
- Monster Ball by Full Control ApS (a decent puzzle game with remote play with, currently, few players; still, it’s well worth the current introductory price, $1)
- Cliffed by IUGO (a quick action game with remote only play with quite a few players)
Several previously existing titles have received multiplayer support in updates:
- Mecho Wars (TBS with remote multiplayer)
- Quantum Collapse (RTS with remote multiplayer)
- Warfare Incorporated (RTS with remote multiplayer)
Third, I’ve added at least a hundred high-quality (HD video, stereo audio, controlled exposure and focus, unlike most of the other iPhone videos out there) multiplayer demo video to YouTube. These are strictly multiplayer videos; in most cases, you’ll also want to watch the single player ones to for example see how one needs to play against the AI (when applicable; that is, the given game can be played against a computer opponent) . Do NOT come telling me “hey, your videos suck because they don’t show single player modes”. Yes, I know that – the point of these videos is simply NOT showing you single player.
5. Remote desktop controlling news (see Everything you will ever want to know about the remote desktop controllers on the iPhone) (note that I published this article after the publication of the last Misc news roundup; here, I only list the changes since the original publication, not 09/27!)
- The Mochasoft RDP client received Windows 7-compliance; now, if you in no way can pay for your RDP client, this may turn out to be one of the best (still, I’d still shell out the $30 for either the super-excellent Jaadu apps or LogMeIn)
- LogMeIn Ignition received far more special keys and a new “Compressed” color mode. (Note that it still doesn’t support file transfer / accented characters / audio transfer / clipboard synchronization) / real full screen mode without anything on the screen.)
6. Game console / computer emulation news
- after a very long (almost two months!) silence, the developers of the (from AppStore removed) C64 announced 1.1 is being approved (see THIS for my review of 1.0). It, in addition to the original titles, has three additional games, International Soccer, International Basketball and International Tennis. (Also note that I’ve created three multiplayer demo videos of the Windows Mobile version of the same emulator, developed by the same folks; please see the links HERE, in the UPDATE (10/31/2009) section.
- Zodttd, the developer of several iPhone emulator ports, announced he’s working on a Nintendo 64 emulator port for the latest-generation iPhones and iPod touches. (Sorry, no joy for even iPhone 3G or iPod touch G2 users, let alone the first-generation versions.) Please see THIS for more info.
- A certain ZX Spectrum emulator has also been released in the AppStore. It was simply a disaster and just a rip of an open source project; fortunately, Apple, in the meantime, has removed it. (So did the developer; it can no longer be found on their homepage.)
7. As far as jailbreaking your 3.1.2 iPhone / iPod touch is concerned, you will want to follow the links HERE, at the bottom. Note that, in the meantime, blacksn0w has been released, which is (at last) capable of unlocking the new, 05.11.07 baseband. It’s available HERE for download. blackra1n has also been updated to RC3; with some other fixes, it also contains blacksn0w; that is, you won’t need to separately jailbreak and unlock your program, you can do all this in one step, using only one executable (that is, blackra1n). Much-much easier than with the Dev-team’s old approach!