Four months after its official release, the ultra popular productivity suite, Microsoft Office for iPad, has added some of the most sought after features in its latest update.
Powerpoint for iPad now includes "Presenter View," a very useful tool that allows the presenter to see more information on his iPad screen than what is being projected to the audience. For example, the presenter will be able to see notes and what's coming next and more. Additionally, integrating video and audio recordings into presentations has become easier. They now play directly from Powerpoint for iPad and you can insert them directly from your Camera Roll. There is also a new pen and eraser setting that allows you to make annotations during presentations more easily. You can now edit hypertext links from within the app as well.
Towards the end of summer when many parents have to spend money on back to school items, several states hold weekend long sales tax holidays in effort to ease the burden (or promote spending, if you prefer). In anticipation of the upcoming holiday, Apple has launched a promotional page encouraging people to take advantage of the lower prices.
The sale period begins this Friday, August 1, and runs through Sunday, August 3 in all states that have the holiday except for Georgia, where it ends on Saturday. The states involved include:
Foursaken Media today released the first teaser trailer for Phantom Rift. The game is being described as a mix of Bastion and Mega Man Battle Network with tons of equipment, abilities and customization." In the game, players take on the role of a wizard who must journey through various dungeons while battling random monsters and collecting loot.
The game will feature a unique battle system with over 120 spells. Players will be able to carry up to 30 magic spells at one time, but will only get a "random selection of 5 spells" to use when they fill their special meter during a battle, according to Touch Arcade. This will give battles a sense of randomness and force users to use various combinations of spells to defeat their opponents instead of sticking to a few favorites.
Apple today refreshed its MacBook Pro lineup with three new 13-inch models and two new 15-inch models. All the new models have received updated processors and more memory. The 13-inch models now ship with a 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 chip and 8GB of memory. The new 15-inch models are now powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and come with 16GB of memory. All models are equipped with Apple's Retina display and feature up to 9 hours of battery life.
As for prices, the 13-inch lineup still starts at $1,299 and the 15-inch models start at $1,999. The pricier 15-inch model is the only unit that has received a price change and it is now only $2,499.
We missed Slitherine's new strategy game Commander the Great War in our iPad Games of the Week recap because it was released over the weekend, instead of on Wednesday or Thursday when most iOS titles are released to the App Store. The World War I simulation game features five different campaigns that take place during different periods of the great war. The game also includes 40 different real war events that players can alter based on their decisions, 18 different unit types, the ability to research and improve units and realistic combat scenarios.
Some gamers may be worried about shelling out $20 for another turn-based strategy title, especially if they were burned by Civilization 2 a few weeks earlier. Unfortunately there seems to be a lack of reviews for the game on the internet, but it does currently have a 4 1/2 star rating based on 17 App Store reviews, and it is also receiving positive remarks from the Touch Arcade community.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the "Unlocking Consumer Choice Act" on Saturday. The new bill will make it legal for customers to unlock their mobile devices and join any carrier they choose. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law and credits the "We the People" petition started in February 2013 as to why the bill was a success.
"I applaud Members of Congress for passing the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act," said Obama. "Last year, in response to a 'We the People' petition from consumers across our country, my Administration called for allowing Americans to use their phones or mobile devices on any network they choose."
The consensus so far this year holds that Apple will be releasing the the iPad Air 2 and next generation iPad mini sometime before the end of the year. While this may still be true, the latest rumor claims that production of both devices has been delayed.
According to Chinese media, via G4Games, production of the two new iPads is being pushed back to September. It was previously thought that both would enter mass production in August. The phablet size 5.5" iPhone 6 is also being pushed back to September, which dispels rumors that it would launch alongside the 4.7" model in late September. The smaller model has reportedly already entered mass production. The delay supposedly comes due to "yield issues" within Apple's supply chain.
This was a big week for iPad releases and mobile gaming as a whole with San Diego Comic Con kicking off on Thursday. Here are some of the big stories that broke this week. On Tuesday, Blizzard Entertainment opened the first wing of the Curse of Naxxramas expansion for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. The Arachnid Quarter is free to play, but the next four wings will cost 700 gold per wing or $6.99 per wing. There are also bundle packages available for those who want to open all five wings at once, but they do not give you early access to the remaining four wings which will be opening weekly for the next four weeks.
AMC and Next Games released a very brief teaser trailer (see below) for The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land. AMC will be previewing the game at Comic Con booth #4237.
Bandai Namco is unveiling three games in San Diego at booth #121. The games include a collectible card game called Outcast Odyssey, Pac-Man Friends and a mobile version of the 2010 Xbox Live title Pac-Man CEDX.
Apple TV isn't really known for video games, but app developer Rolocule has changed all that with a new title called Dance Party. The game is available as an iOS app that allows a player to use their iPod or iPhone as a motion controller to control the movement of a dancer on their television. The app uses AirPlay and Rolocule’s tracking technology called Rolomotion to make the magic happen.
As of right now, Dance Party only offers a limited number of songs, but it does allow you to track the amount of calories you burn while playing. The game also features a real time multiplayer mode for up to four people, and a "Global Fitness Battle" mode is coming soon.
In celebration of Comic-Con kicking off in San Diego, Marvel starting today is offering a special all-access pass to its digital library. Comic fans can now gain access to Marvel Unlimited for only $0.99. One-dollar will give you access to over 15,000 digital comics for one month. To take advantage of this deal, go to http://marvel.com/mu and use the promo code SDCC14 when purchasing a monthly subscription. The price will go to $9.99 after your first month is complete.
iOS users can use the free Marvel Unlimited app to read the digital comics on their iPad or iPhone. The service also works online with most browsers and on select Android devices. Users can save up to 12 comics on their device for offline reading. This means you're not getting 15,000 comics to keep for only $0.99, but you should be able to rip through big events such as the Age of Ultron, depending on how fast you read.