Nook for iPhone, iPad and PC see updates, slew of new features in tow
Barnes & Noble told us this update was in the pipeline when it introduced Nook for Android, and sure enough, said update is hitting the intertubes this fine morning. The iPhone and iPod touch version of the Nook app is said to be completely overhauled, while the iPad edition is the company’s first to offer an in-app “rating” feature. In case you couldn’t guess, the former also adds support for the iPhone 4’s Retina Display, while also tossing in a slew of new customization options (themes, day / night content options, line spacing, font styles, preferred justification, previews, etc.). Finally, today also marks the reintroduction of the Nook for PC client, though it seems that most of the fanciful new features are reserved for the more portable versions. Hop on past the break for the full skinny, and tap that source link to get to downloadin’.
Shopkick, Best Buy team up to use location-based app for loyalty program
…Best Buy has partnered up with an iPhone app called Shopkick, set to go live later this week. Shopkick is an app designed to automatically “check-in” with partnered retailers, so you can earn rewards bucks or other loyalty currencies whenever you stop by a specific retail location. Instead of using GPS, the app uses the smartphone’s speaker to pick up a certain audio signal being played in-store, so “checking-in” at a Best Buy with the signal running will apparently grant rewards or discounts to customers.
…But we’ve heard already that Apple themselves are interested in location-based networking, and this seems like exactly the kind of system that retailers and app creators alike are trying to build, enticing customers to visit and interact with brands and products in their stores. Shopkick goes live later this week and has already partnered with 25 malls in cities across the US, so we’ll see how customers react to it.
Sony Ericsson “PSP” phone could threaten Apple’s iOS game revenue
An unconfirmed report claims that Sony Ericsson is at work on a Playstation-branded Android smartphone with a new gaming ecosystem.
Published by Engadget, the report cites “a trusted source” for leaked details of the upcoming device. Described as a cross between “the Samsung Captivate and the PSP Go,” the phone would use PSP-style controls instead of a traditional QWERTY keyboard. It could also include a 5 megapixel camera and a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor.
With a potential release as early as October of this year, the phone would pioneer both an Android dedicated gaming ecosystem and the long-rumored PSP phone combination.
The smartphone will reportedly run Android 3.0, also known as Gingerbread. A new area of the Android Market would be created specifically for games, which could be ported from the PSP or PSX library. These games could then be brought to other Android phones, provided they meet certain specification and control requirements.
Flight Control HD lands on PSN Sept. 15 with Move support
Having already soared onto millions of iPhones, iPods and iPads (and maybe like a couple dozen DSis), Australian developer Firemint’s casual “plane landing game,” Flight Control HD, is officially set for arrival on PS3 as a downloadable title on September 15. We first learned of the port last month, when it was revealed as an upcoming title by Sony Computer Entertainment Korea.
The PS3 version of the game will run at 1080p resolution and feature support for two heavily hyped technologies: PlayStation Move and stereoscopic 3D. Though it supports Sony’s motion controller for guiding aircraft to a safe landing via “line drawing” gameplay that spawned an entire genre on iOS devices, Flight Control HD will also support old-fashioned DualShock 3 control and will bring to PS3 a four-player, drop in / drop out co-op mode, as well as an exclusive “Metropolis” map with changing day/night cycle.
Flight Control HD for PS3 will also arrive in the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia on September 15, followed up by an October 21 release in Japan. This post may also be used as a flotation device in the event of a water landing.
RIM’s Flickering Torch Should Signal Defeat For The “Consumer-Grade” Blackberry
In Zork, when your torch goes out you’re eaten by a grue. In real life, when your Torch phone is a flop – about 150,000 sold opening weekend and not many more sold over the week it’s been out – you could be eaten by your competitors.
As I said before, the hard-core Blackberry audience cares about the much-ballyhooed features of the Torch – namely social media connectivity and add-on functions already available on other phones – about as much as they care about Arcade Fire. The Blackberry is a business tool and each time RIM has tried to push it into hipster and soccer mom territory, they’ve failed. The perception is that Blackberry is the go-to phone for email. If you need anything else, there are plenty of other phones out there much more competitive.
Why should we write the Torch’s obituary right now? First, it recieved bad reviews left and right and Amazon cut the Torch’s price in half on launch to $100 with two year contract. The last phone that got a price cut so quickly was probably the KIN, and we all know how that turned out.
Again, the RIM knows what they’re doing when it comes to fleet distribution of hardware. They can run with the bulls in the business arena and I would say they’re the single most successful business phone manufacturer on the market. But, as we all know, wearing wingtips and black socks with shorts and a t-shirt doesn’t make you a skater any more than adding Exchange support makes you popular with the IT crowd. These are two incompatible markets and RIM is far too entrenched to break free.
While I don’t want to discourage change, I just don’t think RIM can pull off such a drastic turnabout into the consumer market. While phones like the Pearl and the Curve are popular with many non-CEOs, the consumers buying those phones are using them for email and BBM – not connecting to Facebook and chilling with Plants vs. Zombies. Things need to change at RIM before they can have a consumer-grade hit.
Geek This Week:
Deloreans! Nothing like driving in a caravan of 15 stainless steel beauties. Checked out the Sterling Hill Mine. Fluorescent zinc ore.
Finished Red Dead Redemption and Uncharted 2. Red Dead was friggin amazing. The build up at the end was so emotional. The choice of music when u r going home was amazing. The end of the game was one of the best i have ever played. If you think you are done with the game, check out the train station in Blackwater then you’ll get your last big acheivement for completion. Better than GTA 4!!
Uncharted 2 i enjoyed but i felt was too long and repetitive. Ending was challenging but fairly easy once you figured out the strategy. Started playing GOW 3 again and would love to start Alan Wake.
Foursquare Rampage!! Awesome to check in when you are in a very touristy town like Lake George. My first mayorship at the Surfside motel!
Surprise! Another Allen Android geek out! This time it’s the brand new Samsung Vibrant which is sitting in front of me at this very moment. Mmmm.
The Geek’s Choice: Tweetcaster twitter client for Android
Used twidroid and was happy but found Tweetcaster.
Really slick interface. 5 tabs on the top of the screen
1) bird face icon for tweets
2) and @ section for when people mention you
3)a mail icon for private messages
4) a star for a favorites section
5) list follower
Above that is a little pencil icon for writing messages. Easy to add things to a tweet as well. Hit the info button to bring up: add pic, add video, shrink url, geotag and a username section. You can pick different themes.
You can also choose what image and/or video services you want to use as a default, such as twitpic or yfrog for pics and twitvid.com for video
Free with ads. $4.99 for the pro version.
Pro version comes with :
URL shortening and preview
Is it worth it to upgrade to pro? Yes because I like to upload photos/videos. If you just wanna tweet and don’t mind ads then just get the free version.
Featured Segment: Allen says let’s play the game of “Kill, Marry, Frak” with the following phones: iPhone, Blackberry, Android
Feedback & Items of Note:
Hi guys. Great show. Just finished listening to it (I’m a little behind) and had a couple of thoughts to share.
1. Can the Handy Light program still be bought elsewhere? Will it be allowed to be? If so, then I wonder if his getting it into the app store on Apple (since he had to know it would be found out quickly) was just a marketing ploy.
2. While listening to you talk I came up with an idea for the Back to the Future game (please keep in mind that I formed this idea in two minutes). You play as Marty. Large world sandbox game (like GTA IV). Game starts out like the movie (Marty filming Doc, terrorists show up, he goes back in time). When you arrive in the past you interact with various people (free roaming, no order must be followed, but you can’t see Doc until certain things happen.) Every person you interact with has 4 possible outcomes, including escape/chase, fetch missions, help/not help, etc. You eventually find Doc, character tree conversation convince him what happened and he sends you back via lightning bolt. Then the fun begins. All of those interactions had consequences (NOTE: Unlike in the movie, Marty/you exist outside the timeline. Changes don’t affect you, but they do effect everyone else). There will be 25 different outcomes for the player to discover when he arrives back in his own time; some better, some worse and only one the correct one. The rest of the game is you interacting with the new Doc to help you go back and make the changes needed to fix the timeline. Included in the outcomes are the possibility of making a world so perfect you don’t want to change it, and so screwed up you CAN’T fix it.
3. The Miso app sounds great! But apart from the goals that the CEO listed on your show I thought of another function for this app: a way to replace the Nielson ratings. This would be a way for the networks and the sponsors to get immediate and accurate feedback on what shows are being watched, and by how many people. How many Nielson boxes are there? Now think of how many smart phones there are.
So guys, what do you think?
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