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.
It has been a busy few months for Amazon. The internet giant has recently launched its own smartphone, music streaming service, digital book service and now it has announced its own card reader to take on PayPal and Square. Amazon Local Register allows small businesses to accept credit card payments with their iPhone or iPad, some Android devices and Kindle Fire tablets. The service will only cost users 2.5 percent per transaction, which is currently cheaper than PayPal and Square. Amazon is also offering an introductory rate of 1.75 percent to entice new businesses to switch to their service.
The card reader will be supported by a free companion app that will offer Amazon customer support and business tracking tools. Local Register users will also be able to purchase compatible accessories such as cash drawers, receipt printers, smartphone cases and stands. The physical card reader is now available on Amazon.com for $10 with free two-day shipping or at at Staples retail locations nationwide. It only compatible with devices running iOS 7.0 or later.
Here are this week's top Apple related stories and rumors. Be sure to check out our weekly App Store recap for the latest app, game and jailbreak tweak news and releases. This week also features a list of the most useful Fantasy Football apps available on the App Store.
Apple will announce its next-generation iPhone on September 9th, according to a report filed by re/code. The iPhone 6 is expected to feature an improved Touch ID fingerprint sensor, faster Wi-Fi and LTE capabilities, NFC technology and a more powerful A8 processor. Rumors also suggest that Apple will unveil a 4.7-inch model and a 5.5-inch version of its new handset at the event.
Beat Electronics LLC became an official part of Apple last week, and today the first Beats by Dr. Dre accessories appeared on Apple's online store. An official Beats by Dr. Dre category can be found between the Apple Accessories and Exclusives tabs on the Shop Accessories page. Apple customers can now shop for Beats headphones, which start at $169, Beats speakers and other accessories such as earpods and "Beats Pill Dudes".
Beats headphones are available in a variety of colors and are compatible with all iOS devices including the original iPad and iPhone 3G. They're also wireless and feature noise canceling capabilities. Beats also offers a line of in-ear headphones starting at $99.95. The in-ear headphones are equipped with an in-line mic for calls just like Apple's earpods.
Just in time for pre-season, NFL Now has hit the App Store. The new app "delivers a personalized video stream of your favorite NFL teams, players and coaches right to your iPad or iPhone," according to the official App Store description. The app also promised to deliver hundreds of videos based on your personalized tastes and real-time in-game highlights.
The app is free to download but premium access will cost users from the U.S., Mexico and the U.K. $1.99 a month. NFL fans in the rest of the world will have to shell out $4.99 a month for full access. The service is also now available as a new channel on Apple TV.
NFL Now the app supports all devices running iOS 7.0 or later.
2K Games, the team that successfully brought XCOM: Enemy Unknown to mobile devices, is working on BioShock for iOS. For those who don't know, BioShock is a popular first-person shooter that was released for the Xbox 360 in 2007. The iOS version will be another "premium" title, meaning it will cost around the same amount as XCOM when it was originally released for the iPad and iPhone. 2K Games caused an uproar on social media when it was originally announced that XCOM would be available for $20 on the App Store. Even with its high price tag the game was met with positive reviews and it was eventually dropped to only $10.
BioShock has been scaled down graphically to work with Apple devices. The iOS version is also "distinctly less immersive" than the original, according to Engadget. Both Engadget and Polygon said the game plays well on the iPad but not when using the touch controls. Luckily BioShock will come with Bluetooth support so players will be able to use an external MFi controller instead of the onscreen option.
There has been a serious lack of second-generation iPad 2 rumors, unlike the iPhone 6 which has had almost all of its components leaked online. Some alleged images of an iPad Air 2 dummy unit were posted in June, and now we have our first look at a purported second-generation rear shell. The images posted below were first spotted on China’s microblogging site Weibo on Sunday.
The new images reveal a redesigned speaker grille and relocated microphone next to the camera lens. The volume buttons also seem "more recessed than before," according to Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate].
Apple on Friday posted a message on its website welcoming Beat Electronics and Beats Music to its family.
"Today we are excited to officially welcome Beats Music and Beats Electronics to the Apple family. Music has always held a special place in our hearts, and we’re thrilled to join forces with a group of people who love it as much as we do. Beats cofounders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre have created beautiful products that have helped millions of people deepen their connection to music. We’re delighted to be working with the team to elevate that experience even further. And we can’t wait to hear what’s next."
Apple purchased Beats Electronics and its music streaming service Beats Music from Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre for $3 billion in May. Both Iovine and Dre have accepted positions with Apple, and Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers was assigned as the head of iTunes Radio to help it compete with other music streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify.