Google had plenty to say about its Maps app at this year's Google I/O keynote presentation. Ever since Apple launched its own mapping application millions of iOS 6 users have downloaded Google's stand-alone Google Maps app, released in December. iPad owners were left out of the fun, but the company now says an iPad version is in the works and will arrive this summer.
iPad compatibility alone won't be the only improvement coming to Google Maps for iOS. Google touted a new "Experience" feature that will display indoor maps for many places on an interface designed for tablet displays. The Maps update will also include new location and restaurant ratings from Zagat along with Google Offers integration.
A Dutch website has published a set of specifications that they are claiming to be for the upcoming iPad Mini 2. Although there will be no Apple devices released until the third quarter of this year, the iPad Mini will be turning a year old, which according to the pattern of Apple's releases, means there's a good chance we'll be seeing the next-generation iPad Mini at that point.
Although no official announcements have been made, Tim Cook's had a hard time keeping the specs of upcoming Apple devices behind the curtain for a long time now. Bearing much resemblance to previous claimed leaks by rumor-obsessed iPad bloggers, many wait with bated breath to see what Apple has in store for the baby tablet.
Square, a San Francisco based start-up focused on creating new methods of mobile monetary exchange, unveiled their new product this Tuesday. It's called the Square Stand, and the device is a piece of hardware that an iPad can be seated in to replace a traditional cash register. The product was first demonstrated at a press conference with Square co-founder Jack Dorsey at a Blue Bottle Coffee, a San Francisco coffee shop located near the Square headquarters.
Businesses have been using tablets like the iPad for the last few years to monitor inventory and perform other tasks. Square has been a part of that for some time, allowing merchants to connect to them via their tablet through an additional card swiper. Now the Square Stand is doing away with that entirely with the Stand's included credit card reader.
Rovio Entertainment entertainment has added 15 new levels to its Angry Birds spin-off Bad Piggies. Version 1.3.0 also brings some new features, toys, plus the ability to record your best tricks and share them through your favorite social networks.
Bad Piggies was launched for the iPad and iPhone on September 27, 2012. The game allows users to play as the Angry Birds' nemesis the Bad Piggies. Players must help the Bad Pigs on their quest for food by building them "flying machines" with random objects. The game features more than 120 levels, 8 sandbox levels, and 35 objects to create the ultimate Bad Piggies machine.
Blockbuster has had a rocky relationship with online streaming, but that hasn't stopped the rental company from bringing its On Demand service to iOS devices. Blockbuster on Demand was originally launched for Android, Roku and Samsung Smart TVs, but it didn't manage to make much of a splash. DISH Digital L.L.C. hopes the new iOS app will give its Blockbuster streaming service the push that it needs to keep the company alive.
Blockbuster on Demand allows users to stream thousands of movies in HD to any iOS device. There are no subscription plans, late fees, contracts or commitments. You just pay as you go... If you can get the app to work. My Blockbuster on Demand app keeps getting stuck at the start up screen every time I relaunch it. This might also explain why there are zero customer reviews in the App Store rating section.
Keep an eye out for the MirrorCase, which deceptively looks just like a normal iPad typing accessory. In reality, the case contains a covert mirror which allows the iPad to record video and snap photos while the device is horizontal. The effect is achieved thanks to a built-in mirror and software which inverts the image from the iPad rear camera.
MirrorCase is currently a project on Kickstarter, however an iPhone version of the MirrorCase is already on the market. Besides the potential for secretly capturing images of unsuspecting subjects, MirrorCase can be useful for recording lectures or seminars directly from your desk with a minimum of distraction. The MirrorCase is designed to fit second, third and fourth generation iPads.
Looking to pick up an iPad mini 2 with Retina display during the holiday shopping season? This might not be possible according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities. Production issues are to blame for the delay in a report acquired by AppleInsider detailing the issue. Manufacturing a large volume of 7.9-inch displays with high pixel density is proving to be a challenge.
An iPad mini 2 Retina display is expected to feature 2048 x 1536 pixels, resulting in a density of 324 pixels per inch. Should the delays persist, Apple will likely commence mass production starting in October, which could push the release date forward into early 2014. Kuo is described by AppleInsider as "well-connected" since the analyst has offered accurate predictions on many things Apple in the past.
Nickelodeon has released Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rooftop Run for iOS devices. The game is another endless runner where users must run and jump over obstacles while playing as either Leo, Donnie, Raph, or Mikey. Players can also use various weapons, gadgets, and boosts to defeat enemies like the Foot Clan, Kraang, and Dimension X. The game features in-app purchases, unlockable characters like Dogpound, mini-games, and the ability to fight in slow-motion combat sequences when activating the power-up "Turtle Time".
The official iTunes page oddly features a lot of warnings from the developers. According to the official description, the game is not "compatible with older devices", and only works with the fifth generation iPod touch, iPhone 4 or higher, and the iPad 2 or higher. It's unclear if this message was added in response to all the user complaints about frequent app crashes. There are also some "additional notes" about in-app purchases and data collection. Be sure to read everything carefully before downloading the app.
Griffin Technology is offering 50% off its SeeSaw iPad case and stand. The colorful iPad accessory makes using the tablet easier in the classroom or lab, by allowing you to view it while sitting or standing. You can also easily switch between portrait or landscape mode without removing the iPad from the case.
The SeeSaw is constructed from a lightweight material that is easy to clean, and it features a built-in carrying handle so you can move it from desktop to desktop. The case also offers full access to the tablet's ports, cameras, speakers and controls.
MacPhun FX Photo Studio HD for the iPad is now free for a “very” limited time. MacPhun decided to drop the $1.99 price after its FX Photo Studio app for the iPhone was downloaded over a million times. The photo editing app features over 190 effects and filters, and one click image sharing for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr.
Other features include: a powerful editing toolbox, smart Color Splash tool, and the ability to create and order postcards. FX Photo Studio HD is compatible with the iPad only, and requires iOS 5 or later. The iPhone version is also currently still free through the App Store.