Here are this week's top Apple related stories and rumors. Be sure to check out our weekly apps and jailbreak recap for the latest App Store and Cydia releases and news.
Reversible Lightning to USB Cable
Several sources have posted images and video of a fully reversible Lightning to USB cable that will allegedly ship with the iPhone 6 and new iPad models. iOS fans who do not want to wait until the iPhone 6 is released to get their hands on a reversible USB can purchase one now for $9.99 from Truffol.com.
Bandai Namco today has released its newest mobile Pac-Man title to the Apple App Store and Google Play. Pac-Man Friends was originally announced alongside Bandai Namco's new collectible card game, Outcast Odyssey, and its mobile port of Pac-Man Championship Edition DX at San Diego Comic Con a few weeks ago.
Bandai Namco describes the game as an "original arcade-style action-puzzler". As the title suggests, Pac-Man Friends features all your favorite characters from the franchise, plus 95 levels across seven different worlds. The goal of the game is to rescue 8 of Pac-Man's friends from Ghosts’ Castle while trying to avoid Pinky, Inky and its other ghostly inhabitants.
Disney has finally released Star Wars: Commander to the U.S. App Store. The new Star Wars title was originally soft launched in Australia a few months ago. Unfortunately the game is a free-to-play, base building title much like Clash of Clans. This means it is full of timers and in-app purchases instead of anything fun.
The game includes the usual features found in most timer-based strategy titles. The only twist on the genre is that players can choose to join either the Empire or the Rebellion. Players can then train troops, build defenses and team up with other players to attack other bases. Here's the official description:
"During a time of Galactic Civil War, competing forces need allies for their cause. The Rebellion rallies for justice and freedom, while the Empire seeks control of the galaxy. Where does your allegiance lie? Will you side with the Empire’s strength and relentlessness, or the Rebellion’s heroism and resourcefulness? The choice is yours!"
This is normally a quiet time of year for smartphone/tablet manufacturers as the world waits for Apple's newest iPhone and iPad to be released, but Samsung and HTC have decided not to sit ideally by this September. Samsung recently announced that its iPhone 5s lookalike the Galaxy Alpha will launch around the same time as the iPhone 6, and HTC has scheduled a press conference a few days before Apple's rumored September 9th iPhone event. Samsung has also teamed up with Barnes & Noble to release the Galaxy 4 Nook.
The e-reader/tablet is basically just a Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 with dedicated Barnes & Noble widgets. The new Nook is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor and it runs Google's Android operating system. It is equipped with a 1280 x 800 (216 PPI) display, front- and rear facing cameras and it ships with 8GB of internal memory plus a microSD slot for up to 32GB of expandable memory.
Target is offering discounts on select iPad mini and iPad Air models. The 16GB Wifi-only iPad mini is now available online for $199, and every model of the iPad Air is on sale staring at $449 for 16GB Wifi-only model, and $579 for the 16GB cellular model. That's $100 off the iPad mini and $50 off the iPad Air. REDcard holders can save an additional 5%. There is limited supply and a 2 iPad limit per customer. The sale ends on 08/23/2014 at 11:59 PM PST.
The deal is available online, except for the white 16GB iPad mini, and in-store. You can also reserve a model online at Target.com and pick it up at a retail location near you.
UPDATE: The Pokemon Trading Card Game will be available for the iPad "later this year," according to Kataku.com.
The Pokémon Company has confirmed that the Pokémon Trading Card Game is coming to the iPad, but the company did not "provide a timeline for its release," according to Polygon. The new version of the game was first spotted at the the Pokémon World Championship in Washington D.C. by Twitter user Josh Wittenkeller. Wittenkeller tweeted an image of TCG online being played on a white iPad with the message:
"It looks like Pokémon TCGO is in works for the iPad! Should be a huge way to expand the game. #PlayPokemon"
The Pokémon Trading Card Game is based on the popular collectible card game released by Wizards of the Coast in the '90s. TCG was first launched as a video game to the Game Boy Color and then as an online version for Mac and Windows. Pokémon TCGO allows players to use their Pokémon Trainer Club accounts to build custom decks and battle against other players online.
Yahoo today updated its fantasy sports app to version 5.10. The update added the ability to edit team names, view league settings and see players news when drafting. The iPad app also received a news stream with "shareable articles". Other improvements include a faster way to renew your league, benched players added to the matchups screen and other bug fixes.
The Yahoo Fantasy app allows fantasy sports managers to create and manage teams for all four major sports. Of course the main focus of the app right now is football, since the 2014/15 season is only a few weeks away. The app is a great way for players who compete in a Yahoo league to manage and draft their teams while on the go.
There were zero noteworthy iPad releases this week but there were a few big game announcements. Ironhide Studios teased a new Kingdom Rush title on its Facebook page on Thursday. Ironhide posted an image with the tagline, "Every Adventure Has a Beginning," hinting that the third game in the series will be a prequel. The post also read, "A new world, a new race, a new ancient evil... Get ready for an awesome overwhelmingly new #KingdomRush game". Kingdom Rush 3 will be available this Fall.
The Call of Duty: Heroes beta is now available on the New Zealand and Australian App Stores. The game is a free-to-play strategy title like Clash of Clans. You can download Call of Duty: Heroes now if you have a New Zealand or Australian App Store account.
Activision plans to release the full version of Skylanders Trap Force to tablets the same day the console version hits stores on October 5th. The tablet version will offer the same experience as the console version plus it will ship with its own built-in tablet stand, portal and exclusive wireless controller This will be the first time that an AAA title will be simultaneously released in its full version for both consoles and tablets.
The Skylanders Trap Team Tablet Starter Pack will retail for $75, the same price as console Starter Packs, and include two Skylanders characters, two traps, the controller and portal. The only bad parts is that app itself will take up a whopping 6GB of space. The Tablet Starter Pack is now available for pre-order through retailers such as Amazon.com
Ubisoft announced that the console game Valiant Hearts: The Great War is coming to iOS devices on September 4, 2014. The game is a puzzle adventure title that follows a German soldier named Karl and his wife Emile in World War I. Emile must team up with Freddy, an American volunteer in the French army, and Anna, a Belgian student, to take down the German leader Baron Von Dorf.
The game was partly inspired by "letters and postcards of Félix Chazal, a French solider and great-grandfather to Yoan Fanise, a Valiant Hearts producer at Ubisoft Montpelier," according to Touch Arcade. The letters are featured in the game along with real-world facts about the Great War. Valiant Hearts is also powered by Ubisoft 's UbiArt Framework game engine.