It was a slow week for App Store releases but a few big announcements were made in the wake of Comic Con. As promised, Flappy Bird made its return, but on Amazon Fire TV not for iOS or Android devices. The new game is called Flappy Birds Family and it features a new ghost obstacle plus a head-to-head mode where players can race on a split-screen.
Rubicon Development announced development has begun on Ultimate War Game. You can see the first teaser image in the "Trailers / Preview" section below. Forsaken released the first trailer for Phantom Rift, and Luderia Games ' Spooklands is slated to hit the App Store on August 21st.
Mythic Entertainment's Ultima Forever is being shut down on August 21st. The struggling game studio was closed by EA in May after the failure of Dungeon Keeper.
Several weeks ago, Ming-Chi Kuo, a respected analyst at KGI Securities, reported that mass production of the iWatch would likely be pushed back from September to mid to late November due to engineering issues with both the hardware and software. Last week, rumors out of China claimed that mass production of the iPad Air 2 and next generation iPad mini would be delayed as well. This week appears to be the iPhone 6's turn, as a new rumor claims that the highly anticipated handset may not launch until mid October.
According to MacRumors, a source with firsthand knowledge of an internal Apple retail store meeting said that a senior Store Leader spoke of October 14 being an "immense" day, and that October as a whole would be extremely busy. This is one
It seems like everybody and their brother are crowdfunding something these days and now even celebrities are getting in on the action. For example, Zach Braff's Kickstarter funded movie Wish I Was Here just hit theaters, and Rob Zombie is offering his fans the chance to support his new film 31 through fanbacked.com. Love it or hate, crowdfunding isn't going away anytime soon, and to make matters worse, Indiegogo users now have a way to beg for money 24-hours a day.
Indiegogo is a crowdfunding service that allows users to keep donations even if they don't reach their goal. The company today released its first app for iOS devices. The app allows users to moderate comments, upload updates including pictures, and promote their campaigns on social media directly from their iPhone or iPad. Users can also receive alerts every time they receive a contribution and send messages to their Indiegogo contacts and Facebook friends.
Yelp updated its iOS app to version 8.1.0. The update allows users to upload short videos of businesses to their Yelp reviews. This will help users share aspects like "ambiance, lighting and noise level" with other users, according to Yelp. The new video feature is not intended for posting video reviews, instead users are encouraged to only post 3-12 second long clips from their point-of-view.
To upload a video, just open your Yelp app then click the star icon at the bottom of your display and then select the purple "Photo or Video" option. This will open a search page for local businesses if you have location services enabled. From here select or search for the business you want to review and then select the video camera icon to start recording your video.
Ironhide Game Studio released a new teaser trailer for Kingdom Rush and Kingdom Rush Frontiers. The video shows the new endless challenge modes coming to both games. The Frontiers' level seems to have an Egyptian theme. You can see the bottom of a pyramid and Anubis-like bosses in some of the gameplay clips. It is also nice to know that Ironhide Game Studio took the time to add new enemies instead of just recycling the old ones. This is what makes Kingdom Rush and Frontiers two of the best tower defense games ever released.
It is still unknown if this will be the last update for the franchise. Developers typically only release an endless mode when they are finished with a game. This isn't necessarily a bad thing because the ending of Frontiers does hint at a possible third game. It is also hard to imagine that Ironhide will abandoned the popular franchise since they have been adding fresh content since Kingdom Rush was originally released in 2011.
With its Beats Electronics and Beats Music acquisition recently approved by the European Commission, Apple plans to further bolster its streaming radio services by purchasing the news / podcast app Swell, according to Re/code. The deal worth $30 million will nab Apple the app which carries news from NPR, ABC, ESPN, BBC, CBC, TED and more. The Swell app will also be pulled from the App Store sometime this week.
Apple bought Beats Electronics, along with the Beats Music for $3 billion back in May. Apple plans to offer Beats Music as its own separate service instead of incorporating it into its own upstart iTunes Radio. The Beats Music app is still available on the App Store for free, but it requires a $10 monthly subscription fee to access its features. iTunes Radio will remain Apple's free music streaming option through the stock Music app available on all iOS devices.
The biggest news last week was the approval of the Unlocking Consumer Choice Act legislation by the the House of Representatives. Up until now, wireless carriers having been "locking" their devices, forcing customers to sign a new contract with them after their current one expires, rather than going to another carrier. The penalties for unlocking your phone are stiff, including fines and, believe or not, jail time. No longer though, once Obama signs the bill into law, which he is happy to do, cell phone owners will be able to change carriers and keep their phones when their contracts are up.
Apple's Q3 earnings report was issued on Tuesday. Even though they dipped from Q2, it was a record third quarter for iPhone sales. Much of the success was attributed to the 55% year-over-year increase in sales in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China).
There is a large mobile gaming presence at San Diego Comic Con this year and plenty of developers are showing off their upcoming mobile gaming lineups. Rovio Entertainment previewed Angry Birds Transformers, and AMC launched the first teaser trailer for The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land. Bandai Namco announced three titles at the event: Outcast Odyssey, Pac-Man Friends and Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. All three games will be available for mobile devices later this year. It was also announced that the original cast of Firefly would reunite to voice the upcoming online game based on the television show. You can check out the Firefly Online and the other SDCC trailers at the end of this post.
Marvel is offering 1-month of Marvel Unlimited for only $0.99 for a limited time, and the mobile game Uncanny X-Men: Days of Future Past is now only $1. Storm and Polaris were also added as playable characters along with the price decrease.
There were also a lot of iPad-only games released this week and the first Hearthstone expansion "Curse of Naxxramas" is now available. You can see a list of all the newly released iPad games here. The only one we missed was the strategy game Commander the Great War which launched later in the week. It is available now for $14.99 on the App Store.
Despite rumors that Apple's fabled iWatch could be delayed due to manufacturing difficulties, the company is widely expected to launch a wearable device later this year. In contrast to the next generation iPhone, there have been no parts leaks or photos to prove that an iWatch is actually nearing production.
Now AppleInsider reports that Apple has been granted a patent for a "Wrist-worn electronic device and methods therefor". The patent application details a device called iTime, providing the clearest indication yet that a watch is indeed in the works.
The Fire Phone was released on the AT&T network this week, roughly a month after the official announcement took place. Amazon is looking to compete with the likes of Apple, Samsung and others in the smartphone segment with a unique feature set. Initial reviews are already in, and the Amazon Fire Phone sounds less than groundbreaking.
At launch, the Fire Phone will come in 32GB and 64GB flavors for $199.99 and $299.99 respectively, with unlocked versions starting at $649. The device is exclusive to AT&T for the time being. According to some reviewers, those who are Amazon Prime subscribers or who often use other Amazon services will see more benefits from the Fire Phone.