Back in the pre-Internet days, kids who loved to learn found particular joy in the World Book Encyclopedia—a blue-spined collection of volumes, filled with information about just about everything, that could be found in most school libraries across the land. Geo Walk-3D World Fact Book should hold similar appeal to the newest generation of precocious, iPhone-savvy students.
The most appealing part of the $1 app from Vito Technology—and its $3 iPad counterpart, Geo Walk HD—is the user interface. (Though “3D” is a bit of a misnomer; the apps feature well-rendered interactive images, but no glasses are required.) A globe fills the screen, which you can spin back-and-forth or up-and-down, revealing a series of location-based flash cards. Tap a card and you’re given a picture of a person, a plant, an animal, or a landmark associated with continent or country you were viewing. Tap the picture, and it flips over to reveal a few sentences describing the person or object.
After last week’s report from the German government regarding PDF-related security vulnerabilities in MobileSafari, Apple has stepped up: The company on Friday released updates for all iOS devices that fix the problem. The updates are recommended for all users of Apple’s mobile devices.
Though they both fix the same three vulnerabilities, the patch comes in two versions, thanks to the different flavors of the iPhone 4. iOS 4.3.4 applies to the iPad and iPad 2, the third- and fourth-generation iPod touch, the iPhone 3GS, and the iPhone 4 (GSM model); users of the CDMA model of the iPhone 4 instead get iOS 4.2.9.
Another patent-holding company has set its sights on Apple, numerous other large companies, and even smaller developers like The Iconfactory, alleging violations of a patent that covers one- and two-way messaging. On Friday, Kootol Software announced that it sent notices of the alleged patent infringement to a variety of companies you may have heard of; in addition to Apple, Kootol sent letters to Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, AOL, Facebook, Twitter, Nokia, Foursquare, IBM, LinkedIn, MySpace, RIM, Quora, Salesforce, Twitpic, Ubermedia, and iOS and Mac software developer The Iconfactory. Those last three companies all make software that integrates directly with Twitter.
Kootol, founded in 2010, says it has a patent license agreement with Yogesh Rathod for control of U.S. Patent Application 11/995,343. Rathod, in fact, is a co-founder of Kootol with his brother Vijay Rathod. According to Kootol, the patent application “covers core messaging, publication and real time searching technology.” Interestingly, the patent in question hasn’t actually been awarded to Kootol or Rathod yet. Rather, The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued “A Notice of Allowance.” That’s the term for when the USPTO says that an applicant is entitled to a patent under the law, but must pay an issue fee (and potentially publication fee) first, within three months.
In my experience, iOS games that accompany the release of major motion pictures should come their own giant, flashing “Proceed With Caution” sign. I’ve found such apps usually have a rushed-to-market feel, as if they were slapped together to be on the App Store in time for the movie’s premiere. And whatever effort the developer and studio put into the initial release is usually long forgotten by the time the movie lands in the “Bargain DVDs for Under $10” bin at your local supermarket.
If Marvel Entertainment and its new corporate parent Disney aren’t careful, though, they’re going to give the movie tie-in game a good reputation. Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty, newly released to the App Store to help promote the forthcoming Captain America movie, features solid production values and engaging gameplay. This universal game will be a welcome arrival for Captain America fans and may even entertain iOS gamers who couldn’t care less about Steve Rogers’s alter ego.
In the Captain America game, Cap’s commando pals have been captured by Red Skull and his sinister Hydra organization. It’s up to Cap to lead a one-man assault to free his buddies and foil Hydra’s plot to build deadly super weapons to use against the forces of good. This backstory sets into motion a side-scrolling platform game, in which you tap into Cap’s superhuman abilities to make your way through 24 unlockable levels.
With the Volume Purchase Program you create a single Apple ID that is specifically used to manage purchases for your organization. Using that account—which needs to be linked to a corporate credit card or purchasing card—organizations can search for apps and then purchase them in bulk. (There’s no discount for purchasing in bulk, however; the prices remain the same as they are in the App Store.)
Another week, another round of iOS accessories that prove the versatility of your iPhone, iPod, and iPad. If you believe the hype, music, golf, driving, and even your health can all be improved with the right add-on. Read on for all the details and decide for yourself.
Adonit: This accessory maker has come up with an environmentally friendly Bluetooth keyboard case for the iPad 2, the Writer 2 ($100). The device is made from polycarbonate, aluminum, and biodegradable fabrics—among other materials—making it easy to recycle when it reaches the end of its life. The case incorporates magnets to work with the iPad 2's sleep/wake feature, putting the tablet to sleep when shut.
AOL on Tuesday released Play, a new social music app for iOS. Marketed as the Instagram for music, the app was first launched at SXSW, but was originally only available for Android phones. Now you can get it in the App Store, too.
Play provides basic music listening, but also adds more social elements to the listening experience. You can rock out to any music on your iOS device from within the app’s interface—and also post to Twitter or Facebook about your songs, follow others to see what they’re listening to, and comment upon and “like” your friends’ songs.