Did Apple approve an escort app?

All checks indicate they have, which would be a first for the puritan California-based gadget maker that likes to keep things under control in the App Store. ZDNet has a story about SugarSugar Dating App somehow making it through Apple’s stringent review process and launching on the iPhone on June 1. The app is a mobile client to SugarSugar.com, which advertises itself as the “leading sugar dating website”.

They also say the app helps one seek “mutually beneficial” arrangements with other users, a telling tongue-in-cheek definition treading the fine line between dating and escorting, if not worse. Maybe Apple censors weren’t paying attention… So, how’s this going to work?

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Angry Birds hits Chrome Web Store (yes, it's free)

Angry Birds theme song cover by Pomplamoose (Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn)
(Cross-posted on our sister site 9to5Google.com)

Here at San Francisco’s Moscone West, the Google I/O 2011 keynote has just wrapped up. Being their most important annual pilgrimage for developers, the show is a launchpad for important new products and announcements. For some people, the biggest news is that popular Angry Birds franchise is now available for the most popular platform of all – the web. Joining Google’s senior vice president of Chrome Sundar Pichai on stage was Peter Vesterbacka, the CEO of Espoo, Finland-based multi-million dollar Angry Birds developer Rovio Mobile. Wearing a red Angry Birds sweatshirt, Vesterbacka announced that the Angry Birds web app is now available on the Chrome Web Store. More information and three screenies right after the break.

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Apple's 30 percent rule forces eBook publisher to shut down

Sad news for fans of e-reading. BeamItDown Software announced they are closing down the shop and ceasing development of iFlow Reader, an e-book reader for iOS, due to Apple’s 30 percent cut and new rules that require all content sales to go through the iOS in-app purchasing mechanism. As a result, publishers like iFlow Reader are increasingly finding that Apple’s 30 percent cut is eating into their margins, leaving them with little or no revenue.

BeamItDown Software and the iFlow Reader will cease operations as of May 31, 2011.  We absolutely do not want to do this, but Apple has made it completely impossible for anyone but Apple to make a profit selling contemporary ebooks on any iOS device. We cannot survive selling books at a loss and so we are forced to go out of business. We bet everything on Apple and iOS and then Apple killed us by changing the rules in the middle of the game. This is a very sad day for innovation on iOS in this important application category. We are a small company that thought we could build a better product. We think that we did but we are powerless against Apple’s absolute control of the iOS platform.

“They [Apple] screwed us”, BeamItDown Software’s Philip Huber told Fortune.
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iOS chat client IM+ Pro gets location-aware Neighbors feature

IM+ Pro, one of the best multi-client chat programs for iOS devices, has been updated with a location-based feature that makes it easy to find random chat participants nearby your current location. Developer Shape Services says Neighbors provides users “the opportunity to find new real life connections and friends with common interests”. This is interesting as we haven’t seen a beneficial integration of location, which is the latest fad, with chat services.

The Neighbors feature works pretty straightforward. You locate people on the map to engage in chat sessions with nearby friends. Others discover you based on your location information that can be as accurate as house, street or city – your choice.

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Cydia tweak integrates native Facebook uploader with Photos app

It’s been four years since the original iPhone came out, but the rumored Facebook integration with iOS remains non-existent. iPhone users, however, needn’t eye their webOS- or BlackBerry-toting friends with envy – there’s an app for jailbroken devices that addresses this issue.

Native FB Upload, a two-buck download from the Cydia Store, enables you to share images by choosing a photo in the Photos app and tapping the new Facebook option in Export menu. Once you authorize via Facebook Connect, you can compose an optional message or share the image as is. Multiple photo uploads and other tweaks are being planned for future versions, Modmyi noted (via Cult of Mac).

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Duke Nukem Forever likely arriving to iOS

Mobile devices, especially iOS gadgets, command the largest share of digital game downloads so it doesn’t really come as a surprise that big games publishers are scrambling to port famous franchises over to the iPhone. According to TouchArcade, Duke Nukem Forever is almost certainly in the works for iOS devices. The publication spotted a mention of the App Store in the game’s manual on Steam, leading them to speculate that Gearbox is planning an iOS release of Duke Nukem Forever as well.

What reason could there possibly be to include App Store licensing terms in a document for a PC game?

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