‘Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition’ Coming to iPad

The popular 1998 PC role-playing game, Baldur’s Gate, is being remade by the original maker Overhaul Games. Overhaul Games’s new version will be called Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition.

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition iPad

In addition, the company has announced that the new version will also be available for iPad and be available in the summer of 2012. IGN has already had some hands on time with an early build.

The iPad port will include all the improvements and additions found in the PC version, including full integration of the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack. The title is also running on the refined Baldur’s Gate II Infinity Engine, allowing gamers to experience the original adventure with the sequel’s refined graphics options and other engine tweaks.

IGN  also reports that the new version of the game will feature new content, more quests, and a new party member. In fact, the early build of the iPad version runs smoothly. However, the game’s interface has not yet been remade to be more touch friendly. The changes are still in the works, but pinch and zoom has already been implemented. The iPad version is expected to launch this summer.

Austin City Council Approves $8.6M grant for Apple Facility

Last year, we reported that Samsung has started to produce A5 chips in Texas. Then earlier this month it was reported that Apple is investing $300 million in Austin, Texas to add 3,600 more workers. Today, local Austin TV station KVUE reports that the council has reached an unanimous vote to approve the request.

The city’s motive will be in addition to a Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) award approved by Texas’s governor Rick Perry. The company will receive $21 million over 10 years from the TEF as Apple expands its local customer support, sales, and accounting operations. Travis County is also considering contributing $6 million to the expansion.

MacNN reports that the facility will be built on “38 acres of land with at least one million square feet of office space” and will function as a new “Americas Operations center” for the company.

In addition, Apple will become the second-largest private employer in Austin, behind only Dell, if the company follows through with the proposal. Apple currently employs around 3,100 people at its Austin offices.

iTunes Movie Trailers App Updated for iPad’s Retina Display

Just yesterday, we reported that Netflix had updated its app for the iPad’s Retina display. In addition, Netflix had announced via their official Twitter account that HD video streaming will be coming soon.

Today, Apple has updated their iTunes Movie Trailers app to add support for the iPad’s Retina display. The trailers app makes it easy to access the content on Apple’s own Movie Trailers website and really puts the stunning Retina display in perspective. The app works both on Wi-Fi and 4G/LTE.

Apple’s iTunes Movie Trailers app is available as a free download via the App Store. [Direct Link]



Review: iPhoto for iOS

The photo editing software originally created for Apple’s desktop operating system, OS X, is now available for iOS devices as well. iPhoto for iOS has been completely re-imagined for the “post-PC era”. This new application was released alongside updates for iMovie and GarageBand. Both these apps also offer an easy to use interface and phenomenal functionality made to take full advantage of your Retina displays. iPhoto for iOS offers an easy way to view, edit, and share photos in various ways.

iPhoto for iOS 2

This app allows you both simple and pre-packaged changes for your photos as well as some advance abilities where you decide how each pixel should look like. Apple has designed effects to easily allow users to make one-shot changes to your photos. Another nice option is the fingertip brushes. The fingertip brushes allow you to take parts of your photo you want to change and changing them at will. Your photos, tags, and other elements like location are collected into one tool kit, which you can use to make a journal.

iPhoto for iOS 3

iPhoto for iOS

The application is available for $4.99 via the iTunes App Store and requires that you have an iPhone 4 or later or iPad 2 or later. Also, the app requires your devices to run iOS 5.1. At $4.99, you can’t go wrong and this app is definitely worth a purchase. In fact, the app just hit a million users today.

Netflix App Updated for New iPad Retina display

With the introduction of the new Apple TV, Netflix announced that it will offer 1080p streaming for the new Apple TV with direct iTunes Store Account billing.

Netflix for iOS Retina display app update

Today, Netflix has updated its iOS app for the iPad’s Retina display. Version 2.1.1 not only adds higher resolution artwork but also fixes VoiceOver, improved playback on external displays, and other minor tweaks. In addition, Netflix has promised its users via the official Twitter account that HD video streaming is in the works and will be available soon!

The @Netflix iPad App now has high resolution icons and images, enhancing Netflix on the new iPad, HD video to follow later. Enjoy!

The Netflix iOS App is a free download, but you need a Netflix account to use it. [Direct Link]


China Now Leads World in iOS and Android Device Activations

This should come as no surprise, but China’s growing smartphone demand has continued to cause a steady rise in the mobile device sales over the past year. New data reveals that the country now has overtaken the U.S. to become the world’s largest market for iOS and Android devices activations for the first time.

Flurry iOS and Android China Activations

Today, a new study from analytics firm Flurry has revealed that in February Chinese mobile users activated more devices running the two top mobile operating systems, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. By tracking the data set of over 1 billion app sessions per day across 160,000 apps, the analytical firm was able to measure the growth rate of device activations through software usage. Flurry calculates an app session by the launch and use of a particular app.

In addition, China was also the fatest growing country in app usage as measure by app session growth. The country is the second largest app economy and saw an increase in app sessions over the past year, moving up from 7th place on a 1126 percent increase in app usage since the first quarter of 2011.

iPhoto for iOS Hits 1 Million Users

During the new iPad keynote, Apple introduced iPhoto for iOS. iPhoto for iOS is a new application for iOS that allows users to quickly edit their photographs in an easy to use way.

Today, Apple has revealed (via LoopInsight) that the recently released iPhoto for iOS has sold a million copies from the App Store in just 10 days. According to the report, there are now a million users of iPhoto for iPad and iPhone. This number applies to users and not downloads, meaning that the company sold a million copies of the software.

Apple told me today that its newest iOS app, iPhoto, hit 1 million users in less than 10 days after its release. It’s important to note that figure is users, not downloads. It’s quite possible that one user downloaded the app multiple times, but Apple isn’t counting those, only the unique users.

In fact, in just two weeks, at $5 a copy, Apple made $5 million from the app in the first 10 days of availability. The new version of iPhoto takes advantage of the multi-touch capabilities of the iPad and iPhone. The app also supports sizes up to 19 megapixels. Currently, iPhoto is the second most popular paid application in the iPad App Store. In the iPhone App Store, iPhoto is currently the 18th best selling paid application.


Apple’s nano-SIM Proposal Draws Controversy from Motorola, Nokia, RIM

The Financial Times (via Engadget) reports that Apple is planning to go against rival smartphone makers over the next industry standard for miniaturized SIM cards. Apple is apparently planning to suggest its own nano-SIM proposal in Europe’s standards body, ETSI.

According to the report, Apple’s version of the nano-SIM would call for a “drawer” to protect. It would be something similar to the designs already used in the iPhone and iPad. Last May, MacRumors pointed out that Apple had submitted a proposal for a standardized SIM card design. That design was smaller than the micro-SIM currently used in the iPhone 4S and iPad. Supposedly, this would allow Apple to create smaller and thinner devices.

Motorola, Research in Motion, and Nokia are also trying to push their own standards for these so-called “nano-SIM” cards. Nokia has raised objection about Apple’s use of a “drawer” to protect the nano-SIM card.

Apple is said to have already won over support by “most of the European operators”. In addition, the company has also reportedly taken some controversial actions to gain more votes in the final decision on proposals next week.


Apple Could Become Top Mobile Processor Maker by End of 2012

A new study from mobile technology research firm from In-Stat suggests that Apple will pass Intel in the mobile processor business if smartphone and tablet sales continue to grow, and this will probably occur before 2013, reports IDG News Service. 

By the end of 2011, Apple has shipped around 176 million iPhone mobile processors accounting for 13.5 percent of the market and was behind Intel by only 5 million units. Intel represents only a 0.4 percent difference in market share.

This study consisted of processors found in various mobile devices, including the iPod touch, portable gaming devices like Sony’s PlayStation Vita, and e-readers. Desktop computers and servers were not included in the survey.

“Apple’s continued success of the iPhone and iPad, as well as the stronger growth rates of the smartphone and tablet markets than PCs” will help the company catch Intel, said In-Stat Chief Technology Strategist Jim McGregor. “The more successful Apple is, the more credibility it adds to the entire ARM camp and the more competitive the ARM camp becomes as a whole,” McGregor observed.

Apple’s ARM-based A-series chips are already in every iOS device sold, while Intel has just begun to introduce Atom chips in smartphones and tablets.

Apple Responds to Heat Complaints on New iPad

It seems that with every Apple product launch, the media loves to wreak havoc on Apple in whatever way they can. Remember Antennagate? Well, now the media is causing controversy over heat complaints about the new iPad. Apple has responded only hours after  an infrared test of the new iPad showed it running 10 degrees hotter than the previous-generation iPad 2. The new iPad was measured at 92.5 degrees Fahrenheit, while the iPad 2 measured 83 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Loop reports that Apple issued a statement regarding the heat complaints about the new iPad. The company says that the iPad operates “well within our thermal specifications”.

“The new iPad delivers a stunning Retina display, A5X chip, support for 4G LTE plus 10 hours of battery life, all while operating well within our thermal specifications,” Apple representative Trudy Muller, told The Loop. “If customers have any concerns they should contact AppleCare.”

This is beyond ridiculous, really. Customers aren’t complaining, and yet media thinks it is OK to cause problems. Maybe media needs to get its definition of “hot” checked, really. Of course one needs to cautious. After all, Consumer Reports iPhone 4 recommendation affected sales. Oh wait, no it didn’t!

I have been using the new iPad for 4 days now and have not had any issues at all. Yes, the iPad does get “warm”, but not “hot”. Can somebody please point out a device that doesn’t get warm while using?

Anyway, this isn’t going to affect sales by any means. In fact, yesterday, Apple announced that they had sold 3 million iPads in just 4 days.