The world’s most subscribed-to MMORPG may be coming soon to a mobile device near you. World of Warcraft’s senior producer John Lagrave sat down with Eurogamer to discuss the future of the ever-changing gaming industry. “Maybe we’ll stumble on the great way to put WOW on the phone – maybe we won’t, but we’re certainly looking into it,” Lagrave said. “We won’t do it until we think it’s decent. But it’s interesting and the world is evolving towards [the iPhone]. It would be foolish for any game developer to not be looking at that.” Having a large game such as WoW ported to a touch-based mobile device wouldn’t come without its fair share of problems. As Gameloft’s Order & Chaos has shown, however, MMORPGs are definitely doable on portable devices. Blizzard’s only WoW app for the time being is called Mobile Armory, and it only allows users to view a character’s armor and manage auctions. “What we’ve done with WOW on mobile devices is very simplistic: view the armory, you check your auctions,” Lagrave said. “When we have an epiphany, everyone will know. But for now, no epiphany!” More →
Sparrow’s desktop email client for OS X includes a great UI and a number of great features such as multiple accounts, a unified inbox and a user-friendly layout. The company on Thursday brought those same attributes to Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with the release of its much anticipated iOS app. Much like the desktop version, Sparrow’s mobile app features a simple, Facebook-like design that is light, responsive and easy on the eyes. The iOS app supports iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, and other IMAP services, however it does not support POP accounts or push notifications. “If Sparrow was to do Push today, we would have to store your credentials (login/password) on our servers to frequently poll your accounts, and send you notifications,” the company said. “This is a responsibility we’re not ready to take. As a startup focused on iOS/OS X development, we do not have the skills to secure your data on our servers and we do not want to put sensitive information at risk. That’s why Sparrow iPhone 1.0 doesn’t do push.” Sparrow’s mobile app requires iOS 5 and can be had for $2.99 in Apple’s App Store. A video of Sparrow’s new iOS app follows below. More →
Apple, your new lock screen is terrible. It’s great that you want to make the camera even more accessible in iOS 5.1 since a lot of people didn’t know the double-tap trick, but you’ve compromised the usability of something as simple and vital as unlocking a phone. You have altered the iconic slide-to-unlock layout, and there’s no option to disable the new camera shortcut on the lock screen. Visually, an off-center slide-to-unlock mechanism isn’t appealing at all. It’s too narrow for the space and I’ve tapped the camera button by mistake more than a few times trying to unlock the phone. Give us a setting to disable this and bring back the old option of double-tapping the home button please.
Apple announced during its press conference on Wednesday that the latest version of its mobile operating system would become available for download later in the day. iOS 5.1 has now been released for the iPad 2, iPad, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and second and third-generation iPod touch handhelds, and the new iOS build brings Japanese language support for Siri along with a number of additional updates. And ridiculous though it may be, AT&T iPhone owners will now see “4G” in place of 3G next to their signal bars while connected to HSPA. We detailed key changes in our exclusive hands-on with the software last month. iOS 5.1 is currently in the process of being made available through iTunes and over the air, but impatient users can download the appropriate update via the read link below. More →
Apple is a company that somehow manages to churn out an above-average amount of beautiful products, fantastic software and class-leading services. When it misses, however, it misses big. MobileMe is one example. Ping is a better one. A third example is Apple’s Genius recommendation engine, which seeks to present App Store users with a list of applications they may enjoy based on their app download history. Right now, Genius is awful, but Apple’s recent acquisition of a company called Chomp may see things change in the near future. Read on for more. More →
Apple has been forced to take its iCloud and MobileMe push email services offline in Germany as a result of a recent ruling in a patent lawsuit filed by Motorola Mobility against the technology giant, German blog Macerkopf reports. Late last year, a German court ruled against Apple in a suit filed by Motorola citing a number of patents covering 3G communications and push email services. A permanent injunction was issued and though sales of Apple’s 3G devices were initially halted earlier this month, the products went back on sale later that day. Now, presumably as a measure to avoid further sales interruptions, Apple has confirmed that it halted push email services tied to its iCloud and earlier MobileMe products.”This ruling only impacts customers in Germany who use a Push setting to get their MobileMe and iCloud email,” an Apple spokesperson told Engadget. “These customers will still receive email to their devices. Apple believes this patent is invalid and is appealing the decision.” More →
We’ve got a hold of what is said to be Apple’s iOS 5.1 GM, the version that will be released to the public on or around March 9th, and we can now confirm an earlier report detailing two new changes. The lock screen in iOS 5.1 has a fixed camera button located next to the slide to unlock button, and instead of tapping on it to launch the camera, you simply drag the entire unlock section up to reveal the camera finder. This makes photo-taking instantly fast when you’re getting the phone out of your pocket or bag. Siri has indeed learned Japanese as well, and we’ve been able to confirm that in Settings. We’re told there are no roadblocks as of now in this release candidate, so we’d expect the version we have to be the version released in the coming weeks. Another photo can be seen after the break. More →
Owners of Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch can now enjoy a remake of the first-ever PC game, co-written by Bill Gates himself, which came pre-installed on several IBM computers in 1981. First released late last month, XVision’s DONKEY.BAS is a terrific recreation of the PC game by the same name. Players control a race car as it advances up the screen. Donkeys repeatedly come into view, and the simple goal is to switch lanes before colliding with any curious creatures. “We did this game as a tribute to the original,” XVision founder Johnny Ixe told BGR, noting that the firm added a number of new features to the game in order to distinguish it from the original. The spirit of the game remains, however, and gamers looking for a bit of nostalgia would be hard-pressed to find a better blast from the past. DONKEY.BAS is available now in the App Store for $0.99. More →
Apple recently published eleven new profiles for various iPhone-operators that point to a potential iOS 5.1 release date, according to YourDailyMac. The files include references to iOS 5.1, and they mention an update launch date of March 9th, indicating an iOS update could be released around the same time for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The profiles are intended for operators in Japan, France, Greece, Finland and Sweden, and will ensure network connectivity after an update is downloaded. There is also speculation that Apple could release iOS 5.1 along with the announcement of the next-generation iPad, which is rumored for to be unveiled sometime next month. Hit the break for an screenshot of an iOS 5.1 mention with the code of an operator profile. More →
On Monday, a Touchstone Arcade thread from a disgruntled developer claimed numerous apps in Apple’s App Store were promoted into the top 25 using illegal services. The poster accused a number of big-name developers such as Crowdstar of using such services. Crowdstar’s co-founder Suren Markosian immediately denied the accusation, assuring customers it promotes its apps “using legitimate advertising channels such as flurry, chartboost, iAds, etc.” The thread gained a good deal of buzz, however, prompting Apple to post a warning to remind developers to adhere to guidelines when promoting their apps. “Once you build a great app, you want everyone to know about it,” reads Apple’s warning. “However, when you promote your app, you should avoid using services that advertise or guarantee top placement in App Store charts. Even if you are not personally engaged in manipulating App Store chart rankings or user reviews, employing services that do so on your behalf may result in the loss of your Apple Developer Program membership.” More →
Apple has hired a former marketing executive from Microsoft to help promote the App Store and iTunes in Europe, MCV reports. Robin Burrowes, former head of Xbox LIVE marketing in the EMEA region for Microsoft, joined Apple in January according to his LinkedIn profile. His formal duties at Apple remain unclear — Burrowes’s profile only states that his role involves “App Store Marketing” — but the executive’s background suggests gaming will be a strong focus. Apple has hired a number of executives with experience in the gaming market recently, including Nintendo’s former head of public relations Robert Saunders and former Activision, EA and Xbox PR head Nick Grange. The video game industry finds itself among a number of businesses that have been disrupted by Apple’s iOS lineup, and the company’s recent hires suggest that Apple intends to continue pushing the gaming capabilities of its mobile device lineup. More →
Valve on Thursday released mobile versions of Steam, the company’s digital game distribution platform. The mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Games cannot be played through the app for obvious reasons, however users will be able to access to the store and connect with friends. ”With the free Steam app, you can participate in the Steam community wherever you go,” read the app’s description. “Chat with your Steam friends, browse community groups and user profiles, read the latest gaming news and stay up to date on unbeatable Steam sales.” Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve. The software was first released in 2003 and as of January 2012 and it now features 1504 games and 40 million active user accounts. It is estimated that Steam has roughly a 70% share of the digital distribution market for video games. More →
Last summer, Cablevision was one of the first cable providers to release an app for watching live TV on mobile devices. The Optimum App for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch allows Optimum subscribers to watch live television when connected to their home networks. Cablevision is now testing the Optimum App for Laptops, which transforms a user’s laptop into an additional TV when connected to a home network. A beta version of the application is currently available to select customers for a limited time and we managed to put it through the paces on Thursday. Check out our hand-on photo gallery below and hit the break for some quick impressions.