Myst Comes to the iPhone and iPod Touch

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 6th, 2009, 23:35
Category: Game, iPhone, Software

Ah, the beautifully rendered scenes, the clever puzzles, and the creepy ambient sounds and music. If you’ve been a Mac user since the days of the beige cases, you probably remember all of these characteristics from playing the game Myst and its sequels, developed by Cyan which was founded by Rand and Robyn Miller.

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The original Myst, released in 1993, sold over 12 million copies and held the title of best-selling computer game until The Sims was released in 2000. The game was partly responsible for the CD’s increase in popularity as it was the first game to be released exclusively on CD. The game made extensive use of Apple’s QuickTime technology for its gameplay, and all the environments were complete 3D modeled creations, which was rare for games at the time.

Now, the entire game has been reproduced in iPhone/iPod Touch format and is available in the App Store [app link]. The game has been updated to use multi-touch controls rather than the original point and click navigation. Otherwise your trip through the four Ages of Myst to solve its puzzles and unravel the mystery of Atrus and his “linking books” remains intact from the original.

Myst requires 1.5GB of free space to install, though it will reduce in size to 727MB or so once it’s finished installing. The game requires iPhone 2.2.1 software and is $5.99 in the App Store.

Rumor: Apple May Relax App Store Rules with iPhone OS 3.0

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009, 07:22
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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Following the rejection of a recent App Store application the developer didn’t produce the content for, the rumor mill has it that Apple has given signs it may allow more risque software on the App Store once iPhone OS 3.0 and its enhanced parental locks become a reality.
According to iLounge, the response came as part of a rejection notice sent to Newspaper(s) app creator Makayama over the initial submission of its article reading software; the software’s inclusion of the UK edition of daily newspaper The Sun, which is well-known for the topless models in its Page 3 section, purportedly violated App Store rules against obscene content.
The application was eventually pulled to allow Makayama to clear Apple’s review process. Since then, Makayama has stated that it might have a chance at resubmitting the application, complete with its original content, once iPhone OS 3.0 is available. It “would be appropriate” to try submitting the app once the new firmware’s parental controls are an option for iPhone owners, the Cupertino company said.
iPhone OS 3.0, due to ship in the summer, is set to provide significantly expanded content filters that aren’t limited to Apple’s software. Although the block system hasn’t been fully illustrated, it should allow parents screen for particular kinds of apps and, in theory, prevent younger children from seeing Page 3 or other more controversial content in the future.
Requests for such a change policy are steadily becoming more prominent with the growth of the App Store and reached a possible boiling point this weekend, when Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor published Apple’s rejection letter and accused it of hypocrisy in rejecting an update to the NIN: Access music fan app.

Google Releases Picasa 3.0.5 Update

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Date: Tuesday, May 5th, 2009, 07:24
Category: Software

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Late Monday, software giant Google released Picasa 3.0.5, the latest version of its photo organization program for the Mac.
Once installed, Picasa imports (without moving or copying) photos from the iPhoto library as well as other folders and external hard drives on your Mac. The program also includes assorted editing tools for straightening, text generation, red eye removal, collage creation and Photoshop-like effects and adjustments.
The new version, a 17.6 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

  • Added support for several new RAW file formats.
  • Now you can upload videos larger than 100MB.
  • Better previews when using Sharpen, Glow, or Film Grain.
  • Improvements for syncing to Picasa Web Albums.
  • Various minor bug fixes and stability improvements.
  • Picasa 3.0.5 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

    app4mac Releases Twin 1.0 Backup Software for Mac OS X

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, May 4th, 2009, 09:59
    Category: Software

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    Software developer app4mac announced the release of Twin 1.0, the company’s online data backup system. According to Mac Observer, the Twin application supports backing up data to local drives as well as online locations via several file transfer protocols.
    The application is currently built on the code base for Persistence and supports FTP, FTPS, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, and MobileMe protocols, along with AES-256 encryption and bz2 compression. It preserves Finder information, ACLs, privileges and resource forks, and lets users schedule backup times, set which files to include, and more.
    Twin 1.0 will be priced at €29 (about US$38.38) when the final version is available on May 14 and Persistence owners will receive a free copy of Twin. The beta application is available for download at the app4mac Web site.
    Final system specifications for the application have yet to be released.

    iMac EFI Firmware Update 1.4 Released for iMacs with ATI Radeon HD 4850 Card

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, May 4th, 2009, 07:43
    Category: iMac, Software

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    Over the weekend, Apple released its iMac EFI Firmware Update 1.4 patch for iMac desktops equipped with ATI’s Radeon HD 4850 graphics card. The update, a 1.7 megabyte download (also available via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature) fixes intermittent system freeze issues and fixes wake-from-sleep issues in Boot Camp.
    To run the firmware update process, please follow the instructions in the updater application (/Applications/Utilities/iMac EFI Firmware Update.app). The updater will launch automatically when the Installer closes.
    After the firmware is successfully applied to your Mac, your Boot ROM Version will be:
    IM91.008D.B08.
    The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

    Intuit Releases Quicken Online Mobile App for iPhone, iPod Touch

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, May 1st, 2009, 08:30
    Category: iPhone, iPod Touch

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    Recently, software developer Intuit released Quicken Online Mobile, the company’s iPhone and iPod touch companion to the Quicken personal finance web service.
    According to Macworld, the application focuses on a forward-looking view of your money, showing you how much you have left until your next paycheck. It lets you set budgets and keep track of them while you’re out and about, and you can enter cash purchases on the go to track spending, among other features.
    Upon setting up a free account with Quicken’s online service (which reportedly works with more than 5,000 financial institutions for checking, savings, investments, loans, and credit cards), Quicken Online and the Quicken Online Mobile app lets you see and tracks all of those accounts, downloading your financial data once a day (Wells Fargo accounts, however, don’t currently support auto updating.)
    Intuit has stated that the application doesn’t store any of your financial passwords and the Quicken Online Mobile app uses a four-digit passcode for added protection on your iPhone.
    The app also includes an integrated ATM finder that uses the iPhone 3G’s GPS capabilities to help you find nearby places to get cash at ATMs that won’t add a surcharge. You can also enter a zip code to search for ATMs, which lets users of the iPod touch and older iPhones use the feature as well.
    Quicken Online Mobile requires iPhone OS 2.2 or later to install and run.

    Blu-Ray Support Code Found in iTunes 8.2 Beta

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, April 30th, 2009, 09:24
    Category: Rumor, Software

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    Apple’s long had a strange relationship with Blu-Ray support on its machines, often cited as the company’s hesitancy when it couldn’t get all the concessions it wanted on licensing. Even with this, an interesting article on MacRumors has discovered references to Blu-Ray data from the Gracenote music service in the latest version of the iTunes 8.2 beta.
    In short, official Blu-Ray support may not be far off for the Mac.

    Truphone 3.0 Released

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, 23:26
    Category: iPhone, Software, Uncategorized

    Software Cellular Network Ltd., makers of Truphone software and call services, released version 3.0 of its popular iPhone app. The new version, available in the App Store (iTunes link), adds the following new features:

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    • View your call history in real time.
    • Instant messenger tool is now integrated into the app.
    • Super-clear sound and improved reliability.

    The new version requires an iPhone running firmware 2.1 or higher.

    Versions of Truphone are also available for the iPod Touch and G1 (Android) Smartphone.

    Amazon Acquires iPhone eBook Reader Stanza

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, 22:16
    Category: iPhone, News, Software

    Apparently the Kindle app for iPhone wasn’t enough for Amazon. Monday it was announced on Lexcycle, Inc.’s blog that the online retailer purchased the company which includes the popular iPhone eBook reader Stanza.

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    According to the Lexcycle blog, there will be no changes to the Stanza application or it’s function as the result of the acquisition. They imply that they hope they will be able to offer more books and services through the Amazon connection. No mention of the company’s purchase on Amazon’s web site or PR releases.

    Lexcycle is encouraging discussion of the move on their forums or by contacting them directly at info@lexcycle.com. You can discuss it on OUR forums and tell us whether you think this is a good thing or a bad thing. Is this the first step in an Amazon eBook monopoly? Personally, I think Stanza is a great program so I hope Amazon leaves it alone and just makes good deals on books available to it.

    Google Earth 5.0.11729.1014 Released

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, 08:10
    Category: Software

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    Late Tuesday, software giant Google released version 5.0.11729.1014 of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 27 megabyte download, adds the following new features:

  • Historical imagery from around the globe.
  • Ocean floor and surface data from marine experts.
  • Simplified touring with audio and voice recording.
  • The new version requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.