After less than a day of availability, id Software’s RAGE HD shot to the number 1 spot on Apple’s top-grossing App Store chart. The highly-anticipated first-person shooter costs just $1.99 for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad or current-generation iPod touch. RAGE HD is widely heralded, and is said to take iOS gaming to the next level. While mobile games will likely never quite catch up to console games in many respects, id’s first-person shooter is a stunning display of the underutilized gaming capabilities found within iOS devices. As fun as flinging birds at pigs can be, gamers are speaking loud and clear. More importantly for developers, they’re speaking with their wallets. RAGE HD replaced Rovio Mobile’s Angry Birds as the App Store’s top-grossing app in less than a day, and it is already number 2 on the top paid app charts. The instant success of the game will undoubtedly push developers to release a more advanced breed of games, which is good news for gamers and for the iOS platform. RAGE HD is available immediately in Apple’s App Store for $1.99. A standard definition version simply called RAGE is available for just $0.99. More →
A trio of Apple patent applications unearthed this morning may help shed some light on future features and functionality headed to a new crop of iPhones. Then again we all know how easy it is for patents to lead absolutely nowhere. The first and most notable of the bunch is a haptic feedback concept employing a “grid of piezoelectronic actuators” that combine to form a fully tactile touchscreen. In theory, the device could vibrate these actuators in different combinations and at different frequencies to provide a variety of tactile responses. Interesting as it may be, this isn’t the first apple patent to cover a haptic feedback solution for a touchscreen — another notable concept came in late 2007 and has yet to bear fruit. At the same time, it’s good to see that Apple recognizes the downsides of touchscreen-only devices and is working on creative solutions for the problem. From the application:
However, one of a touchscreen’s biggest advantages (i.e., the ability to utilize the same physical space for different functions) is also one of a touchscreen’s biggest disadvantages. When the user is unable to view the display (because the user is occupied with other tasks), the user can only feel the smooth hard surface of the touchscreen, regardless of the shape, size and location of the virtual buttons and/or other display elements. This makes it difficult for users to find icons, hyperlinks, textboxes or other user-selectable input elements that are being displayed, if any are even being displayed, without looking at the display.