Apps: Google Maps, Temple Run: Oz, RunKeeper, BeatBlaster, Everpix, more

Temple Run: Oz: Developers of the Temple Run franchise have once again teamed up with Disney to release a game built on the Temple Run 2 engine but set in the world of an upcoming Disney film. This time Imangi Studios brings the Temple Run gameplay experience to the world of Oz in support of the upcoming Oz the Great and Powerful film. The game is available for 99 cents now and features new gameplay elements you haven’t seen in past Temple Run titles.

NEW FEATURES
• Stunning environments inspired by the film – explore them all.
• Fly in a hot air balloon – earn even more coins.
• Explore different locations in Oz – follow sign posts!
• The environment changes as you run – test your reflexes.
• Compete in weekly challenges – beat your friends!

Google-Maps-Contacts-iOS

Google-maps-iconGoogle Maps version 1.1: Google Maps for iOS gets the ability to search Google Contacts, quickly access search for local places, and select between Kilometers or Miles. Google announced the new features in a blog post and also noted that it is rolling out the English version of the app to seven new countries including: Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.

Your Google Contacts are now integrated into Google Maps for iPhone – meaning that when you’re signed-in and search for a friend’s name, their address will appear as a suggestion (if you have their address saved). Simply tap their name to see the address, which will visible only to you, on the map. To learn an easy way to keep your Google Contacts synced with your iPhone, click here.

* Search your Google Contacts; sign in to have your saved addresses show up when you search for friends and family by name.
* Quickly search for local places by selecting popular categories such as restaurants, bars, cafes, gas stations, etc.
* Choose between Kilometers or Miles for your preferred distance units.
* Note that some features may not be available in all countries.

RunKeeper version 3.1: Many new features for the popular RunKeeper iOS app today including a Night Mode, In-Activity Settings, and weight logging and visualization tools: Read more

Google launches web ad promoting its iOS Dev team, encourages iOS developers to do work that ‘matters’

Since the removal of YouTube, and Maps as preloaded Google apps within iOS, Google has been especially adept at developing its own set of iOS apps. We previously detailed how Google wants to own the iOS ecosystem on the apps level, providing users with an alternative universe to most of the core features of Apple’s mobile operating system. It appears Google now has a dedicated iOS app team which builds cohesive apps rather than having each business unit build its own apps. Read more

Google Maps for iOS saw 10M downloads from App Store in 48 hours

Google maps for iOS

With the highly anticipated Google Maps for iOS now among us, Google SVP of Commerce Jeff Huber shared some interesting download numbers this afternoon. In just 48 hours, Huber said that a whopping 10 million users downloaded the Apple Maps alternative from the iTunes App Store. Also, as the app climbs up the charts to the top free app, the number of downloads is likely rising quick. Google Maps for iOS was well received, garnering positive reviews and ratings, with even Google admitting that its iPhone version of Maps is better than its Android version. Additionally, things look to get even better: Google shared last week that iPad support and offline mode are launching soon.

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WSJ: Google putting final touches on Google Maps for iOS, distributed to a small number of outside testers

The previous version of Maps included on iOS 5.0.

After Apple moved to its own mapping solution on iOS, the rumors of Google bringing a standalone Maps app to the platform have intensified. The Wall Street Journal reported that the highly anticipated Google Maps for iOS may be here soon, with word that the app has entered its final testing stages and will include turn-by-turn navigation.

The WSJ wasn’t able to give specific time frame for the app’s launch, but the report added that the app has been distributed to a few members outside the bounds of Mountain View for testing before it is submitted to the iTunes App Store review team. The launch sounds like sooner than later, as several publications in the recent months have pegged the launch before the end of the year. The question is: will Apple accept it?

Google won’t be alone in the iOS Maps-alternative battleground, however. Nokia announced yesterday it plans to release its own iOS map solution under the “Here” brand. Nokia said it plans to make the app available on the iTunes App Store in the coming weeks, offering offline maps, voice-guided navigation, and information on public transport.

More on Eddy Cue’s Apple Maps involvement below

Nokia to release free ‘Here’ maps app for iOS with voice-guided navigation, public transport directions, and offline

While a native Google Maps iOS app has yet to hit the App Store, Nokia said today it plans to release a new free maps for iOS under the “Here” brand in the coming weeks. “Here” is a cross platform effort for mapping applications that the company described as “the first location cloud to deliver the world’s best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems.”

San Francisco, California – Today Nokia introduced HERE, the first location cloud to deliver the world’s best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems. With the new brand, HERE, Nokia aims to inspire a new generation of location services and devices that make the mobile experience more personally significant for people everywhere… To further extend its location services, Nokia is launching a maps application for iOS under the HERE brand. 

The new HTML5-based iOS app, also called “Here”, will arrive in the App Store in the coming weeks and feature “offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation, and public transport directions.” Read more

Xbox SmartGlass, Curiosity, Tweetbot, Sparkling Maps, Rockmelt, more

Xbox SmartGlass: Microsoft updated its My Xbox LIVE app for iPhone and iPad last night, renaming the app “Xbox SmartGlass” and introducing a number of new features. The app now works as the full fledged second screen “SmartGlass” experience for Xbox that Microsoft originally unveiled for Windows 8 devices.

Xbox SmartGlass lets you:
• Navigate your Xbox 360 with swipe and tap
• Use your phone’s keyboard to type to your Xbox 360
• Browse the Internet on your Xbox 360 with full keyboard and zooming
• Play, pause, fast forward, rewind, and stop videos and music on your Xbox 360
• Search the full Xbox catalog of music, video, and games
• Enjoy rich, interactive experiences from select game and entertainment content creators
• Track and compare your achievements with your Xbox friends
• Change up your 3D avatar
• Message your Xbox friends
• Edit your Xbox profile

Sparkling Maps version 1.1: Apple has decided to accept an update to Sparkling Maps that brings “vastly improved turn by turn navigation” and “better StreetView” powered by Google data. According to its developers,”This is now the first available app on Apple devices that offers streetview and turn by turn navigation on google maps data.”

Curiosity – what’s inside the cube: Developer of the Fable series Peter Molyneux is out with an interesting cross-platform title that is also now available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. The game consists of users tapping away at a giant cube made up of billions of smaller cubes. Nobody knows what’s inside (unsold copies of Fable?), but users will work together across platforms to find out the mystery inside of the cube.

Deep in the centre of the cube is something life-changingly amazing, but only the first person to reach the centre will discover what’s inside.

Tweetbot for Mac version 1.0.1: The Tweetbot Mac App Store app was just updated with a ton of new features, fixes, and improvements. Included in the update is support for “Reading list as a Read Later service” on 10.8 and up, the ability to disable Streaming from within preferences, as well as better keyboard support in “people searcher”. You can also now navigate the timeline using the jk keys. A full list of what’s new is below:  Read more