The Amazon Appstore is pushing out a minor update this evening, brining it to version 1.14. Besides a few compatibility fixes and the ever-present "stability improvements," they have implemented a new system to help prevent accidental app buying. Now to purchase an application users will have to verify their choice, instead of the application purchase and download happening immediately after a mis-click. This should cut down the number of accidental purchases — all those $0.99 apps really do add up. I’ve done this myself, so I welcome the change.
If you don’t get the push notification about the update, you can manually initiate it by pressing the menu button, then opening the Amazon Appstore settings, where you’re given the option to manually check. It’s clicktastic!
9to5 Mac reports today that according to Digitimes? industry sources, Apple is about to sign up a new backlight module supplier ? Taiwanese firm Coretronic, whose modules are currently used in a variety of different products, including LED TVs. Apple currently has its iPad backlight modules made by Radiant, who also make parts for LG Display and Samsung. This latest news follows on from reports last month that Apple was considering sourcing its backlight modules from Everlight. It?s possible that both stories are correct and both Everlight and Coretronic have won contracts with Apple to supply backlight modules, as 9to5 Mac notes that Apple has recently been trying to source components from several different manufacturers to avoid becoming too reliant on just one company. Although Apple has so far not made any sort of official statement about the iPad 2?s backlight bleeding issues, which have been reported by many users, it may well be that Apple is quietly looking to change backlight module suppliers because of that particular ongoing problem.
Source: Coretronic to become LED backlight provider for Apple?s iPad? | 9 to 5 Mac
TUAW reports that Merriam-Webster has today unveiled a free iPad dictionary app, which contains all the definitions from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, and comes with voice search (courtesy of Dragon Dictation), antonyms and synonyms, example sentences, Word of the Day, and audio pronunciations.
As TUAW notes, although the app is ad-supported, it really is a bargain when compared to the Oxford English Dictionary app which costs $54.99. The app is actually an enhanced version of the Merriam-Webster iPhone app, which was the number 1 Free Reference app on the App Store back in January. The added enhancements introduced for the iPad version of the app include a Scrolling Index, which enables you to browse the whole dictionary, and a Recent History feature, so that you can keep track of the words that you’ve looked up recently. Everyone needs a dictionary at some point or other, so this is a great app to download and keep on your iPad. Even if you don’t need to use it immediately you’re bound to want to look something up at some point.
Click here to download the free app: Merriam-Webster Dictionary HD for iPad on the iTunes App Store
Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary now available on iPad for free, iTunes
The Moscow News reports today that the iPad 2 will be launching in Russia this Friday, May 27, a week or so ahead of its scheduled early June launch date. According to the report, the launch has been moved up because Russian retail chain Svyaznoi broke Apple’s embargo and started selling imported iPad 2s on May 12, before the official release date had even been announced. The Moscow News says that private sellers have also been doing a brisk business re-selling iPad 2s in Russia, but it’s unlikely that those private sellers, or indeed Svyaznoi, will be prosecuted. Svyaznoi appears to be unrepentant, with the store?s PR rep, Elena Nogotkova telling The Moscow News that all the iPad 2s sold in the store were bought legally in Russia.
?Unfortunately, Russia is not among the countries that get Apple?s products first,? she said. ?In Europe sales started on April 25. As soon as we got an opportunity to legally buy the iPad 2 for resale, we took it.?
Apple?s Russian office has made no comment on the iPad 2?s launch date in that country, but their partners have told The Moscow News that the iPad 2 will be going on sale in the next couple of days in Russia in stores such as Bely Veter Cifrovoi, M.Video, re:Store and z-Store.
Source: iPad 2 gets earlier Russian release | BUSINESS | The Moscow News
Chomp.com, 148apps.biz and EA?s Chillingo have today launched a Facebook page called 500,000 Apps in celebration of Apple?s incredible feat of achieving the milestone of 500,000 apps approved in the App Store in the 34 months since its inception. The page has an amazing infographic with all sorts of fascinating facts, including a timeline of Apple?s approved apps, starting from the App Store launch date of July 10 2008. There?s also a chart showing the most popular paid apps of all time in the App Store, based on number of days at #1, which is unsurprisingly topped by Angry Birds, with a staggering 275 days in the top spot.
Fortune?s Apple 2.0 blog reports that the much-heralded 500,000th app was approved by Apple just after midnight today, Tuesday May 24, although due to various factors such as app replacement and app withdrawal, and the occasional app removal, the actual number of apps available for download in the App Store is approximately 400,000.
Source: Unofficial: Apple approves 500,000 App Store apps in 34 months | 9 to 5 Mac Unofficial: Apple approves 500,000 App Store apps in 34 months | Apple Intelligence, 500,000 Apps – Wall | Facebook, Apple’s iTunes store: 500,000 iOS apps and counting – Apple 2.0 – Fortune Tech
SEGA announced this week the launch of Dinosaur King D-Team Adventures for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The app is based on the hit cartoon series, and gives dinosaur fans of all ages the chance to explore an expansive menagerie of their favourite prehistoric creatures via interactive pictorials and games.
Dinosaur King D-Team Adventures features 80 different dinosaurs, such as Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops, in its ?Dinosaur Pictorial,? providing details such as physical data and name explanations, and all rendered in realistic CG, with iPad-specific touch operation. In ?Dinosaur Quiz King,? players are challenged with trivia questions about their favourite species by characters from the cartoon, and in ?Dinosaur King Around-The-World Game,? players can race their favourite characters to victory in a board-game type challenge. Definitely looks like an app that dinosaur-crazy younger family members might enjoy!
Click here to download the game for $2.99: Dinosaur King D-Team Adventures A Dinosaur Pict… for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store
To-Fu: The Trials of Chi is a new iOS action-puzzler game from HotGen studios due for release later this month. The game features a one-of-a-kind touchscreen mechanic that enables you to stretch and ?ping? the courageous To-Fu through each of the 100 levels. The 100 trials feature an abundance of obstacles, such as crumbling blocks, conveyor belts, slippery glass and metal plates, as well as a host of treacherous booby traps such as circular saws, spikes, lasers, teleports, and rotating platforms. Each of the 100 trials also has a unique challenge, such as performing the ?Ultimate Ping,? by flinging To-Fu towards the Fortune Kitty with just one ping.
The game?s control system is simplicity itself, negating the need for onscreen buttons ? all you have to do is grab To-Fu with your finger and drag him to stretch him and then release him to ping him forward. To-Fu will then stick to almost any surface.
The player?s main objective in the game is simply to reach the mystical Fortune Kitty, but there?s also the optional challenge of collecting the game?s 300 emblems. Looks like a very addictive puzzle game, with an unusual vegan hero!
We hope that gamers enjoy playing the game as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it," says Stuart Ryall (Lead Designer). "Our objective with To-Fu was simple: to create something that’s completely intuitive and accessible but without sacrificing on gameplay. I hope we’ve achieved that".
Apple has today completed its massive retail store revamp in which iPad 2s now take centre stage. Following on from the first news of the revamp that came through from Australia, which is 18 hours ahead of the US (see Col.Bris?s news story below), MacRumors reports on the new store set up. Basically the main thrust of the whole thing seems to be that Apple is using iPads in its retail stores as interactive information points for customers, and the display iPads even have a ?Specialist? call button so that you can summon a specialist over to you when you want to ask a question. According to one MacStories reader, the amount of space given over to Personal Setup tables has also increased in their local store, with the reader saying that they though approximately 35% of the store is now devoted to setup.
9to5 Mac has more information on the in-store iPads, including their security features, such as the fact that if they are removed from the store they keep calling home with Wi-Fi co-ordinates.
9to5 Mac says that the Apple Store app update that was talked about yesterday is also on the way, but that will be happening tomorrow, Monday 23 May. The updated app will be available worldwide, unlike the current version which is only available in the US, and the iPad will have its own enhanced version of the iPhone app.
Source: Apple Revamps Retail Stores with Interactive iPad Displays – MacRumors.com, First Impressions and More Details On Apple?s Updated Retail Stores, Apple Store employees talk about the new iPad displays | 9 to 5 Mac Apple Store employees talk about the new iPad displays | Apple Intelligence
The Google Mobile Blog announced today that Google has updated its Google Maps experience for iOS and Android browsers, adding many more of the features that you?ll be familiar with from the desktop browser version of Google Maps. When you point your iPad or iPhone?s browser to maps.google.com, you?ll be prompted to share your location, and if you agree, you?ll then have access to the following desktop features:
Google says that Google Maps for Mobile Browsers is ?platform independent,? so you should always get the same experience and the latest features without having to install any updates whether you use Google Maps on your desktop, iPhone or iPad.
Source: Google Maps on your mobile browser – Official Google Mobile Blog
Great story on TUAW about a documentary that was just shown on BBC 3 tonight in the UK called Secrets of the Superbrands, which looks at the role that brands play in all our lives. The show?s creator, Alex Riley, has been talking about one particular part of the show where the Bishop of Buckingham, who likes to read the Bible on his iPad, said that Apple was similar to a religion. The programme investigated this aspect of Apple fandom by having some neuroscientists study an Apple fan?s brain by scanning it with an MRI. The results of the brain scan indicated that Apple was stimulating the same areas of the brain that are stimulated by religious symbols in religious people. A good way to hype up the whole "Apple-as-a-religion" point of view, but as TUAW points out, surely the brain would have the same reaction looking at anything that interests the person who?s brain is being scanned? The programme is certainly worth watching as Riley spends a lot of time trying to understand the Apple phenomenon, including featuring the opening of the biggest Apple store in the world to date in London’s Covent Garden. If you missed the programme, it?s got top billing on the BBC iPlayer at the moment for those in the UK who can watch it, but it seems to be crashing the iPlayer app at the moment with so many iPad owners trying to watch, maybe, so possibly wait until tomorrow to check it out.
Source: TUAW BBC: Loving Apple looks like a religion to an MRI scan