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Twitter is Testing Auto-Play Videos on the iPad and iPhone

Twitter has taken a page from Facebook's playbook by beginning to test auto-play videos in its iPad and iPhone apps.

"We're running a small test on a few variations on the video playback experience," a Twitter spokesman confirmed in an email statement to Ad Age.

Twitter iPad iCon

This means some iPad and iPhone users may experience videos automatically playing in their news feed when using the Twitter iOS app. The auto-play videos are being tested on promoted ads, clips that are part of Twitter's Amplify program for advertisers and videos being directly uploaded by users. Videos shared from Twitter's Vine app will not play automatically and will still require users to launch them.

Hearthstone: Pre-Purchase Blackrock Mountain to Get the Exclusive Molten Core Card Back

Blizzard is now accepting pre-orders for the new Hearthstone campaign Blackrock Mountain. Players who pre-purchase the entire adventure with real world money will receive an exclusive Molten Core card back. You can also use any iTunes or Google Play credits, but no in-game gold, to receive the card back. Players who do not want to pre-order the adventure can buy individual wings for $6.99 USD or 700 gold when the game is released in April. The entire Blackrock adventure can also be unlocked for a onetime fee of $24.99.

Blackrock Mountain

Blackrock Mountain is the second Hearthstone adventure released by Blizzard Entertainment. It follows the Curse of Naxxramas which launched on July 22, 2014. In Blackrock Mountain players must climb Blackrock Spire to defeat Ragnaros the Firelord. The adventure features five new wings with lots of nasty enemies, boss battles including nine all-new class challenges and a Heroic mode. Players can earn up to 31 new cards including legendary cards, such as Rend Blackhand, for completing the adventure.

Productivity App OmniOutliner 2 Updated with iPhone Support and More

The Omni Group has finally delivered on their promise to bring their iPad app OmniOutliner 2 to the iPhone. The company announced today that version 2.3 of the app with iPhone support has landed on the App Store. The update also adds a ton of new features including a redesigned outline view, additional templates and other improvements. You can see the complete release notes here.

OmniOutliner 2

For those who are not familiar with OmniOutliner, it is a feature-rich word processor that promises to be good enough to write a novel. The app features the ability to sync your documents between your iPad, Mac and now your iPhone or iPod touch. It also includes a custom rich-text editor, attachment support, audio recording and much, much more.

PlayStation Vue Coming to the iPad in "Near Future"

Sony on Wednesday rolled out its new streaming television platform called "PlayStation Vue" to Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia. The service allows PlayStation 3 and 4 owners to stream live and on-demand television, movies and sports without a cable or satellite subscription. PlayStation owners can also save content for up to 28 days using the built-in cloud based DVR.

PlayStation Vue

The service is available in three tiers starting at $49.99. The basic Access plan includes more than 50 channels including broadcast and basic cable networks such as CBS, Fox, CNN and Comedy Central. The $60 Core plans features all the same channels as the Access tier but includes more local sports. And finally, the Elite Vueing experience gives you all of the above plus more basic cable channels for $70 a month.

UPDATE: Available channels depend on your region. You can see some of the channels offered here.

NCAA March Madness App Allows You to Watch Every 2015 Game Live on Your iPad

The NCAA March Madness Live app has been updated with a new look for the 2015 Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. Like previous years, iPad owners can use the app to watch every game live when they log in with their TV provider information. Users without a cable/satellite subscription can only watch the CBS games, not the games that air on TBS, TNT and truTV.

NCAA March Madness Live

The official March Madness app also features up-to-the-minute scores and stats, an interactive bracket, bracket challenges and more. The app is available for free on the App Store. It supports all devices running iOS 7.0 or later.

FiftyThree Announces Think Kit for Paper

FiftyThree, the creators of the Pencil stylus, today teased its next suite of tools coming to its iPad app Paper. The company describes Think Kit as an "auto­correct for drawing" that speeds up the "creation of diagrams, charts, and presentation sketches." The Think Kit tools are powered by a new technology called "Intention Engine," that promises to augment the way you write and draw. FiftyThree didn't reveal many details about the new technology, but CEO Georg Petschnigg did give The Verge a clue on how it works.

Think Kit

"When you're working on a mobile device, you always have to tell it what you want to do before you can do it. Open a keyboard to type. Grab a shape or a pen tool to draw. We want to make it possible to create with a fluid ease, without having to prompt the computer first."

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Race to the Moon with Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager

Slitherine has launched another simulation game for the iPad. Instead of its typical war title the video game publisher has released Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager. The game allows players to take on the role of Director for either NASA or the Soviet Space Agency in the 1960s.

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager

In the campaign mode players can choose to recreate the famous "space race" between the Cold War rivals, or play as the fictional Global Space Agency (GSA). The NASA vs.USSR campaign allows players to build their own space agency from the ground up by assembling a team of Scientists, Engineers, Technicians (SET), Flight Controllers and Flight Crews. Players can also recreate famous space programs and launch missions such as the Sputnik satellite, and manage other aspects of their space agency while dealing with political pressure to beat their rival to the Moon.

New iPad Games and Apps of the Week: Sid Meier's Starships and More

It was a big week for both iPhone and iPad games this week. Several big titles including Sid Meier's Starships (iPad only), Dungeon Hunter 5 and Five Nights at Freddy's 3 all landed on the App Store on Thursday. The question isn't if you should download these games, but which one should you play first? Other big universal titles released to the App Store this week include: Angry Birds Stella POP!, Star Wars: Card Trader and Card Crawl.

Apple Watch

Here are the rest of this week's most noteworthy iPad app releases for 03/08/15 to 03/07/14. Apple's Free App of the Week is 8bit Doves. The game will be free on the Apple App Store until 03/19/15. Also don't forget to check out our App Store recap every Saturday for all the weekly universal releases, jailbreak tweaks, App Store news and important app updates.

Sid Meier's Starships Now Available for the iPad

2k Games today has released the follow-up to Civilization: Beyond Earth to the Apple App Store. Sid Meier's Starships continues the futuristic Civilization franchise after players have presumably colonized an alien world in Beyond Earth. The idea of the game is to build and maintain a fleet of starships to protect the future of your new home world.

Sid Meier's Starships

Like most Civilization titles there are four ways to win the game. Players can try to recruit other planets to join their alliance and build a planetary federation. This is achieved by stopping space pirates and saving other worlds to build good will in the universe. Other peaceful victories include being the first to finish all the branches of your research tree or being the first to complete all the Wonders of the universe. Players can also decide to wipe out all their enemies and take other planets by force.

Apple and HBO Now Deal to End in Three Months

HBO's deal with Apple to release its new online subscription service only on Apple devices is not permanent, according to IGN. An HBO spokesperson told the entertainment website that the deal with "Apple begins in April and will last for three months". This means HBO will eventually be free to launch the HBO Now app on other streaming devices like Roku or the PlayStation 4.

HBO CEO Richard Pepler announced that HBO Now would launch exclusively to Apple devices at the Spring Forward event on March 9. The new service offers access to HBO content to anyone with a broadband connection for $15 a month. Subscribers will be able to access HBO programming from the past, present and future including Hollywood movies, original HBO films, HBO documentaries and other HBO specials.

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