Square Enix ship Song Summoner for iPod

 The creators of Final Fantasy, Square Enix, have introduced Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes, a game for iPods that’s now available through iTunes.

The role playing game takes the songs on your iPod to turn into soldiers you control in a battle against mechanical creatures on a mission to destroy all life on the planet.

As the protagonist, Ziggy, players must embark on an epic journey to rescue their brother from the mechanical enemy.

"From the days of old, Melodica was a land of music, a land of freedom. The people sang, played and danced to the music they so cherished. Until one day, they came – the Mechanoids, who enhanced their bodies with machinery. Those who were tempted by greed and power willingly gave away their souls for bodies of steel, forsaking their humanity to become cold, emotionless automatons. Now, they seek to destroy all that do not embrace their way of life," Square Enix explains.

The game’s compatible with the iPod nano with video, iPod classic and fifth generation iPod.  Check the Video below.


Italian customers furious at expensive European iPhone deal

Just like Canada, Italian iPhone customers are angrily denouncing the deals they’re being offered by Vodafone Italy and Telecom Italia for the iPhone 3G. Italian customers reckon they are being stitched-up by both.

Italian users are so angry that they’re expected to pay double what anyone in the US or UK must pay for using an iPhone that they’ve also launched a petition against it. While the campaign hasn’t ignited the same level of international interest as that against the deals on offer from Rogers Wireless in Canada, the petition has still attracted 3,000 signatures inside a week.

"TIM and Vodafone prices are way too high and completely beyond any level of acceptability," the petition reads. "For this reason, all we ask is a price adjustment in line with the italian market. Otherwise, we’ll be forced to boicot the 3G iPhone."

Italy has the most 3G users in Europe and 1.58 mobile phones for every citizen, making it a strategically important market for the iPhone, which will also be sold unlocked there. For many Apple-loving Italians, the demand they pay twice what US and UK customers must hand over has raised concerns Apple’s Italian iPhone launch could flop.

Only Vodafone has announced its three monthly subscription plans for iPhone 3G users, Entry plan:        €49/mo ($92/mo) 400 minutes voice; 400 texts. 600MB data iPhone 8 GB: €199 ($311) iPhone 16 GB: €269 ($420) Special plan:    €79/mo ($123/mo) No limits in minutes and texts to Vodafone users, 250 minutes or texts towards other carriers. 600MB data iPhone 8 GB:  €99 ($ 154) iPhone 16 GB: €169 ($ 264) Large plan:        €99/mo ($154/mo) 900 minutes included 900 texts included 600MB data iPhone 8 GB:  €49 ($76) iPhone 16 GB: €119 ($186) 600 MB DATA (for web surfing, emails, Voicemail….)

Flash Lite runs on the iPhone

 Adobe Flash is already running on an iPhone, well, Flash Lite does just that thanks to Belgian designer/coder Thomas Joos.

Joos has managed to port Flash onto an iPhone in order to run an event guide he had prepared for a local music festival. While the developer hasn’t managed to make Flash run as a browser plug-in he has managed to get the Adobe multimedia software running, thanks to b.Tween and a graphics tool called eyeGT. You can take a look at Flash running on an iPhone in the video above.

Neil Young slams iTunes sound quality

Neil Young has slammed iTunes, hates MP3’s and wants better quality musical products – and has a plan to make it happen.

Speaking to the Financial Times, the singer said: "It’s like all new digital media technologies," he said: "great for convenience, but the sound quality sucks – putting on a headphone and listening to an MP3 is like hell."

Young is developing an alternative, higher-quality digital distribution platform that could provide an alternative to the download world and perhaps even a new business model for music, the artist claims.

The technology behind this was first shown off last month at Sun’s JavaOne conference. Young has spent 15 years experimenting with different technologies to assemble a complete archive of his career, and will release the first part of this on Blu-ray disc, with additional content set to be introduced later on.

As Young explains his technology: "It has every media component you could want, and they’re all married together in a platform. That means other artists could use it, other record companies could use it and gain the knowledge of our 15-year development curve."

Apple limits UK iPhones on unlock scourge

 Up-and-coming gadget site, Electric Pig, claims the UK is the unlock capital of the iPhone world, saying Apple will limit supplies of the next-generation iPhone 3G as a result.

Citing insider sources, the report explains that fewer than 15 per cent of all the iPhones sold by O2 when it slashed prices on the 8GB model actually ended up in use on the carrier’s network. The rest of them were unlocked for use on other UK networks, or were sold abroad.

That move likely reflects habit and custom among mobile users in the UK, who are now well-versed in switching networks to get the best deal. iPhone critics here have frequently slammed Apple’s decision to offer the device through just one carrier.

Whatever the consumer politics inherent in the claimed unlock craze, Apple has apparently elected to limit supplies of the iPhone 3G in the UK, with the report claiming 16GB models will be particularly hard to find, and warning the white model may never ship in the UK.

We do hope this report is incorrect, as the 16GB model appears the only sensible choice of model, once we consider the applications we’ll likely download from the App Store.


Google introduces Google Talk for iPhone

Google has introduced Google Talk for the iPhone, a web-based version of the service that’s compatible with existing iPhones, and will also work with the iPhone 3G, and, naturally, the iPod touch. 

The new service has been released in the US, and is available to users who visit the http://www.google.com/talk page using their Apple device. Users must sign into their Google account, and that’s it – the service runs within the browser.

The Google team explains there are a few differences between the way Google Talk works on an iPhone and a Mac, principally due to the iPhone’s lack of support for background processes: "In order to receive instant messages with Google Talk on your iPhone, the application needs to be open in your Safari browser. When you navigate away to another browser window or application, your status will be changed to "unavailable" and your Google Talk session will be restarted when you return."


Otherwise, its pretty much the same, users can select from a quicklist of the people you contact most, search your contacts, and manage multiple conversations.


You’re all  familiar with last Friday’s iPhone tragedy, so I won’t dip into that again, but what I really want to know, and I’m sure everyone else wants to know is, what Steve was thinking! How could he not see that coming? I mean, you roll out the iPhone in twenty-one countries on the same day, and expect everything to be fine? Most would wonder, “what would the implications of millions of people creating the same transaction around the world at the same time be?” Apparently, Steve does not fall into the “most” category. Don’t get me wrong. I love Steve. I love him so much I feel like I can refer to him by his first name, without sounding like a dork. The thing I don’t like is his casualness and laid-back personality.    


Since my mom is making me wait for a 32GB iPhone,(I’m 14) I was not stuck in those jaw-dropping lines. (By the way, when is the 32GB coming out? Most seem to say before Christmas. I’ll have to stay on top of that). If I was to wait in those lines and experience what thousands went through that day, I would have shot myself. (But only in my foot so I could still get my phone!!) To top it off, you have thousands of other people trying to download the iPhone 2.0 software. Nice job Steve. Nice job. I could understand if they were using the different carrier’s servers, but iTunes??? Owning an iPhone, (or any Apple product for that matter) is all about the first experience. I must say, not being able to activate your phone until the end of the day and having to use it as a paperweight is not such a pleasurable experience, or thought.

What we need to learn from this: Be first in line, so you don’t run into any problems! We also know now to expect the worst. Nothing can go perfectly as planned. We just need to understand that it’s Apple, and it will be fixed. Just not as soon as you think…

Crash Bandicoot coming to iPhone

 Polarbit, developers of Raging Thunder for the iPhone, are now working on a Crash Bandicoot-branded kart racing game for the device – and will introduce the title through the App Store when development is complete.

The game includes twelve tracks, many characters, multiple weapons and configurable controls.

Mmm, yes, and there’s a video here, enjoy…

iPhone coming to Best Buy and Radio Shack later this year…

It has been a busy day here in iPhone land.  The latest bit of rumor news comes fron the Boy Genius report.  According to their "reliable source" the iPhone will be available later this year from Best Buy and Radio Shack.   The deals are already secured and the iPhones are en route. 

This isn’t as big a stretch as we originally thought because both Best Buy and Radio Shack already sell AT&T phones and activation plans in the store.  Best Buy even sells Apple Computers and iPods while Radio Shack is an authorized iPod dealer

They sell iPods, they sell AT&T plans.  Why not?  This makes perfect sense. 


10 million iPhones?  Probably by September!


AT&T selling iPhones sans plan for $600-$700

Yes, you heard right!  Ma Bell is slanging iPhones without plan obligations in the US for $400 extra without a contract.  The unlocked devices will not allow users to switch SIMs however when they travel overseas which would negate most of the benefit of buying without a contract. 

As it stands, it is hard to see why someone would buy without a plan because you can opt out of your AT&T plan right after signing up for much less money.  This isn’t a prepaid contract either, AT&T is still working on that…

BTW, if you want to see how to get ready for AT&T 3G iPhone goodness check this video if you are a new customer and here if you already roll with AT&T.

The AP goes on to say:


Without a contract, users can cancel service without incurring an early termination fee. But both contract and contract-free phones will be "locked" to work only on AT&T’s network, and the monthly service plans available will be the same, said AT&T spokesman Michael Coe. The plans add a $30 monthly charge for data like e-mail and Web surfing on top of a calling plan.

As previously announced, the cheapest monthly calling plan for the iPhone will cost $70 per month, before taxes and fees that can add $10 per month. That plan includes 450 minutes of calls and unlimited e-mail and Web browsing.

AT&T is working on providing a prepaid plan, Coe said. A prepaid option was available to buyers of the first iPhone who failed a credit check.


iPhone with slide out keyboard on the way?

Yes! According to the sometimes accurate and always wittily sarcastic (in a British sort of way) Register.co.uk.  They go on to give all of the prerequisite "rampant speculation alerts" but say they have contacts inside mobile operators (ahem O2?  you are now on Jobso’s shitelist) who have seen the device. 

According to their source, the slide out keyboard isn’t perfect but it does work and there are prototypes aimed at the corporate market.  That would indicate that they will be available fairly soon.  El Reg says one year, but that seems kind of a long way off if the carriers are already messing with it.

(Yeah we know that isn’t an iPhone to the right but an iPhone with a slider would most likely look like this.)