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Zombieville USA: more weapons, more controls, more lives

Mika Mobile has released an update to their highly rated zombie slaying game.

Zombieville USA version 1.4 new features include melee weapons, an alternative control scheme, and an option for extra lives.

Zombieville USA is one of my favorite iPhone/iPod touch games. Though the gameplay is relatively simple (kill zombies and  kill them good) it does require you to manage your cash and ammo carefully as the game progresses.

When the game was first released it had 15 upgradeable weapons: a selection of handguns, machine guns, shotguns, rocket launchers and gas-powered weapons. The new version adds more to the arsenal: melee weapons. Melee weapons don’t do a lot of damage but are useful in knocking zombies away, especially those that pops up suddenly. There’s also a chance at dealing a critical damage, killing a zombie with one blow.

At the start of the game, the scowling zombie hunter is now equipped with a handgun and a baseball bat. The bat can be upgraded to a sledgehammer for $650. I’m guessing the upgrade after that would be the katana as mentioned on Zombieville USA’s App Store page.

Zombieville USA melee

Zombieville USA options

The two other new features can be accessed through the Options menu: extra lives and an alternate control scheme. Players can now choose to have 1, 3, or 5 lives. The extra lives will help give the game longevity and more mayhem. The new control scheme moves the left and right movement controls to the left side of the screen while on the right side of the screen there are the two buttons for attack: red button for the original set of weapons, green button for melee weapons.

These are welcome new features to an excellent game and Mika Mobile promises more new stuff coming.

I’ll be doing a short review of Zombieville USA real soon. Please watch out for it.

Filed under: App Store, iPhone, iPod touch,

Finding an app in a haystack

AppStore

With 56,000 apps and counting, someone new to the App Store can get overwhelmed pretty quick. The top paid and free apps section in the iTunes Store can sometimes help newbies decide which apps to download first. However, even with experience the App Store  can still be difficult to wade through.

Luckily for users, there are some websites out there that can help sort through the confusion.

TUAW listed five online resources that can help you find the right app to suit your needs as well as update you on what’s new and what’s on sale:

  • Freeappalert.com
  • Appshopper.com
  • 148apps.com
  • Iviewer.com
  • Macworld’s App Guide

A TUAW commenter has suggested Yappler as another alternative to finding (and sharing) iPhone apps. Another commenter recommended Touch Arcade for news, previews and videos of the latest iPhone games.

I haven’t used any of these services yet. For me, the iTunes Store search works well enough but as David Winograd said, it needs a lot of improvements. I have the AppMiner app on my iPod touch but I don’t use it that often.

My source for the latest iPhone apps news and reviews are from MacWorld and TUAW via RSS. I used to have iLounge on my list but it seems they don’t want me going to their website anymore.

Was it something I said?

Filed under: App Store, iPhone,

iPhone 3G more expensive than iPhone 3GS in new Globe pricing scheme

After doing a post about the July 31st iPhone 3GS release here in the Philippines, I had a comment on Plurk ask why the 16GB iPhone 3G is more expensive than the 16GB iPhone 3GS.

My first reaction was, “What 16GB iPhone 3G?”

Thinking that my Plurk friend somehow got confused with the iPhone models and pricing, I explained that the 16GB iPhone 3G has been discontinued and only the 8GB iPhone 3G, and the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 3GS will be made available. I based this reply on what Phil Schiller said during the Worldwide Developer Conference held last June 8, 2009.

However, a friend told me that there was something weird with Globe’s iPhone pricing. He mentioned that the question raised was valid. He said that according to Globe’s website, the 16GB iPhone 3G was a matter of fact more expensive than the 16GB iPhone 3GS.

What the…?

Return of the dead

Perplexed, I re-visited the Globe’s iPhone plan webpage. I was amazed to find that Globe has made some changes. I should’ve checked that webpage before posting or at least took the time to re-visit that webpage when the question was first raised.

Globe did change their iPhone plan pricing. I don’t have a screenshot of the first iPhone plan with the two iPhone 3GS models and the 8GB iPhone. Fortunately, this website does have a picture of the original iPhone plan and I used that for comparison.

Mind you, the iPhone 3GS unit prices are still the same, from plan 399 up to plan 4999.

What’s changed is the pricing of the 8GB unit and the addition of the 16GB iPhone 3G model.

Say what?!?

Under the new pricing scheme, the 8GB iPhone is now pricier. Using Plan 399 as the basis for comparison, the price of the 8GB iPhone rose from P25,050 to P32,500, or an increase of P7,450. That puts the 8GB iPhone P1,850 more expensive than the 16GB iPhone 3GS.

Perplexing? That’s not all.

Globe, for reasons unknown, has thrown the 16GB iPhone 3G back into the mix, and now costs P7,800 more than the 16GB iPhone 3GS and P2,200 more than the 32GB iPhone 3GS.

Out with the old, in with the old

What happened here? Lyle speculated that maybe someone screwed while updating Globe’s iPhone webpage. He might be on to something there because when I checked the old iPhone 3G page it shows the exact pricing scheme for the 8Gb and 16GB iPhone 3G units on the updated iPhone 3GS page. Maybe somebody got careless with copy and paste.

However, if this wasn’t a mistake, why in the world would Globe re-introduce an otherwise discontinued product and also increase the price of the supposedly cheapest iPhone? This messes up Apple’s plan for world domination with the “$99 iPhone” (we really don’t have a “$99 iPhone” here. Under the old plan, it’s either a $158 iPhone [plan 1599] or a free iPhone [plan 2199]).

Globe might be deliberately jacking up the prices on iPhone 3G units to sell more iPhone 3GS phones. Maybe there’s some sort of incentive from Apple. Or they figured that they can earn more profit by selling more iPhone 3GS than iPhone 3G.

Then again, maybe someone did make a mistake and that a correction will soon me made before July 15 (when Globe will start accepting reservations) or before July 31. I hope so. If not, I’m sure hope Apple hears about this.

Filed under: iPhone, iPhone 3GS, ,

Updates: iPhoto, MacBook Air firmware, iPhone SDK 3.1 beta [u]

Apple’s has released iPhoto 8.0.4 “addresses a rarely encountered issue involving photos imported into a previous version that could affect overall stability, and corrects references to a few points of interest and location names that were labelled incorrectly” and this update is recommended to all iPhoto ’09 users.

MacBook Air SMC Firmware Update 1.2 has also been released which according to AppleInsider delivers compatibility for a new series of internal MacBook Air replacement batteries. AppleInsider also notes that firmware update requires Mac OS X 10.5.7 and will make modifications to the MacBook Air’s micro-controller on the logic board.

Both updates can be downloaded by using the Software Update utility or from Apple’s Support page:

iPhoto 8.0.4 (102.3 MB)

MacBook Air SMC Firmware Update 1.2 (623 KB)

AppleInsider also reported that Apple has just posted a beta upgrade to their iPhone SDK as well as their iPhone OS . Coming on the heels of the just released iPhone OS 3.0, iPhone OS 3.1 beta and iPhone SDK 3.1 beta is said to include new extensions for the OpenGL ES Graphics which can be used to improve graphics on the iPhone 3GS. The beta also lets developers choose their preferred video recording quality.

Update:

MacDailyNews has noted that aside from the above mentioned features, iPhone OS 3.1 beta might also have non-destructive video editing, vibrates when moving home screen icons, faster boot time, and Voice Control over Bluetooth.

Oh, MMS support is back for AT&T customers. Yay.

Filed under: Apple, Inc., iLife, iPhone, , ,

Another 1,000,000 milestone: Flick Fishing

MacNN has reported that Flick Fishing has become the first paid iPhone app to reach the one million download mark. Freeverse, maker of Flick Fishing, announced that the milestone was reached over the weekend.

Flick Fishing is an iPhone and iPod touch game the lets users take a virtual fishing trip and uses the devices’ accelerometer to recreate the casting motion. The application has been updated to support the peer-to-peer networking in iPhone OS 3.0 which allows users to compete and compare their catches with other players.

Flick Fishing is available on the Apple iTunes Store for $0.99, and is just one of the many different titles from Freeverse. Check out their iTunes App Store page for more.

Filed under: iPhone, ,

Over one million iPhone 3GS sold

Apple announced in a press release yesterday that over one million iPhone 3GS units have been sold over the weekend. Billed as the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet, customers lined up outside Apple Stores as early as June 18, a day ahead of the official launch, in order to be one of the first to get the iPhone 3G S.

The lines were not as long as when the iPhone 3G was launched but this might have been in part due to the fact that some customers already have pre-ordered the iPhone 3GS online. These customers had their iPhones delivered right on their doorstep.

Though the iPhone 3G also sold one million units over the same time period last year, this milestone is made remarkable by the fact that the iPhone 3GS for now is just being sold in eight countries. In contrast, the iPhone 3G was made available in over 20 countries when it was released on July 11, 2008.

In the same announcement, Apple also said that the new iPhone OS 3.0 have been downloaded six million times over a five day period. The iPhone OS 3.0, released on June 17, is a free update for all iPhone users. However, iPod touch users must pay $9.99 to get the latest iPhone operating system.

The iPhone 3GS is scheduled to be released in 30 more countries by July and will be in more than 80 countries by August. Japanese customers have already lined up to pre-order the iPhone 3GS last week and they will get the new iPhone by June 26.

Filed under: Apple, Inc., iPhone, ,

Much ado about [space]

Harry McCracken can’t believe he’s writing about it but I’m sure a few minutes to an hour from now other blogs will pick on it.

Apple did do away with the [space] in their latest press release.

Filed under: iPhone,

iPhone OS 3.0 release is NOT delayed

I’ve read from several Twitters that the release of Apple’s latest iPhone OS will be delayed to June 18.

This, unfortunately, is an example of how people want to be the FIRST in everything, especially when it comes to spreading rumors.

What these Twitters and their sources failed to notice was the URL (http://www.apple.com/sg/iphone/softwareupdate/) they were reading from was the Apple Singapore Online Store.

June 18

I guess people need to be reminded that there is such a thing as time zones. You know, where one part of the world is one day ahead of another.

While I’m not the kind who would like to repeat rumors and hearsay, there are tweets that say the release of iPhone OS 3.0 will be 10AM PST. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Filed under: iPhone, OS X, , ,

iPhone OS 3.0: Just a few hours away

screenshots3.0
I’m eagerly waiting for the release of the new iPhone OS 3.0 though it’s going to cost me $9.99.

I’m definitely going to be one of the early adopters. That means I’ll be taking one for the team.

There are two new things that I can’t wait to try out: Cut, Copy and Paste, and the new Spotlight feature. But I’m sure the novelty will wear off pretty quick.

Alas, I can’t try out the MMS. That will have to wait until I can get my hands on the iPhone 3G S. (Lucky bastards are going to get theirs Friday).

MacRumors has of what the iPhone 3.0 software update page will look like once the update is officially released. The page later reverted to iPhone OS 2.2 update.

Filed under: iPhone, iPod touch, OS X, ,

New iPhone OS 3.0 to be released next week

Last March, Apple gave everyone a sneak peek at the new iPhone operating system. Three months later, iPhone OS 3.0 is ready for release.

At a small event held last March 17, Apple gave the whole world a sneak peek of the next operating system that will run their iPhone and iPod touch mobile devices. During the March iPhone OS 3.0 presentation, Scott Forstall, Apple’s SVP of iPhone Software, highlighted several key new features as well as showed demonstrations of some apps running under the new OS.

During this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Forstall reiterated what was presented last March as well as some new features and threw in more demonstrations.

Cut, copy and paste, finally. (MMS, too)

Probably one of the highly anticipated feature in iPhone OS 3.0 is Cut, Copy and Paste. Apple has been criticized for not including this rather commonplace feature when the first iPhone was released. Nonetheless, iPhone and iPod touch users are glad to finally have cut, copy and paste on their devices.

CCP

Cut, Copy and Paste works across all applications and the shake gesture is used to undo a cut, copy or paste command.

Multimedia Messaging Service or MMS (another feature users have been clamoring for) can be used in sending photos, contacts, audio files, and location. This new feature can be accessed in the Messages application. MMS is carrier dependent.

What else?

Other features included in iPhone OS 3.0 are:

  • Landscape and landscape keyboard support in Mail, Notes, and Messages.
  • Search is now available in a variety of applications, not just in Contacts. Search is available in Calendar, iTunes, Notes, and Mail. There’s also support for searching the user’s email server.
  • Spotlight is located on the iPhone’s homescreen and can be used to search for any text on the iPhone, including applications. Useful especially if the user has tons of apps installed.Spotlight
  • iTunes on iPhone OS 3.0 will allow users to rent and purchase movies, TV shows, music videos, and audiobooks. iTunes U has also been added.
  • Parenteral controls have more controls and is fine-grained.
  • iPhone OS 3.0 allows tethering. This allows the iPhone to share an internet connection with a Mac or PC via cable that comes with the iPhone or via bluetooth. Tethering is a carrier-dependent feature.
  • Safari is faster in running Javascript. Also supports HTML 5 and HTTP streaming of audio and video and can automatically detect the quality of your connection.
  • Autofill can remember usernames and passwords as well as use contact information to fill up webforms.
  • Support for more than 30 languagesChinese
  • Find My iPhone service allows users to locate their iPhone in case they lose it or it gets stolen. This service is only available for MobileMe customers. You can look at it as a sort of insurance with a yearly fee of $99.Find My iPhone
  • Accessories support such as blood glucose monitors, GPS devices, and musical instruments.Airstrip

To know more about other features like Peer-to-peer gaming and Notes syncing, go visit the iPhone OS 3.0 New Features page at Apple.com.

Availability
iPhone OS 3.0 will be released June 17 and is a free update for all iPhone users. iPod touch users have to pay $9.99 to get the new OS.

Filed under: iPhone, ,

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On July 21, I moved my blog to its own server.

So www.davaomacuser.com no longer points to davaomacuser.wordpress.com.

I've already got a few new posts over there so please join me at www.davaomacuser.com.

See you there. Thanks!

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