Apple Confirms UK iBooks Will Be Available, But Timing To Be Announced At Launch


The iBooks service/feature for iPad is conspicuous in its absence from Apple iPad web pages outside of the USA, and the American site’s rather ominous “iBooks is available only in the U.S.” footnote made people ask whether Apple was going to fumble the ball. PC Pro today got confirmation from an Apple spokesperson about the subject from a British perspective, the statement being: “iBooks will be available in the UK, but the timing of that will not be announced until the iPad goes on sale”. In other words, pretty much as John Brownlee guessed here, yesterday.

Here’s hoping the timescale is ‘very soon’, rather than it taking as long to get British iBooks (and those for other non-US territories) as it did movies and other non-music media in iTunes. Here’s also hoping that PC Pro gives its headline writer a slap—titling an article ‘Book service in doubt for UK iPad’ when the Apple spokesperson confirmed the feature will be in no doubt is, to say the least, inaccurate link-bait tosh.

Apple iPad and gaming – the next big thing, or the lost platform?


When I was a kid, there were lots of gaming platforms, but several failed due to existing IP. A prime example is the Commodore 128. Commodore touted the computer’s C64 compatibility as a major plus, but it meant no-one created C128 games, because loads of C64 ones already existed. The same, to some extent, went for the Amstrad CPC, which got loads of duff ports from the ZX Spectrum, due to some shared architecture. I wonder how iPad will fare. Apple’s device not only resembles a giant iPod touch—it also runs almost all existing App Store content. You get apps sitting centrally in the screen or ‘pixel doubled’.

With nearly 30 million iPhones and millions of iPod touches in the wild, and many thousands of games available, I wonder how many devs will target iPad, and how many will just continue developing for Apple’s already popular handhelds. If the former happens—and developers take a punt, hoping Apple’s new device will become as successful as iPhone and iPod touch—you end up with another top-quality gaming platform from out of nowhere. If not—which could so easily be the case—iPad will be a pretty device playing games that look OK, but were ultimately designed for another system. Here’s hoping the former’s the case.

This article originally appeared on Revert to Saved.

iPhone OS 4 Wishlist – What Are The Features You Want To See?



Leander posted yesterday about rumoured features for iPhone OS 4.0, including multi-touch gestures OS-wide, background apps, UI changes, and more.

Today, on TechRadar, Gary Marshall outlined his thoughts on 10 ways to make iPhone OS 4.0 damn near perfect, offering ideas such as disabling orientation, deleting default apps, home-screen widgets, document sync from a Mac (or PC), Mail filters, and one I’d love to see—touchable wireless icons (so you can disable Wi-Fi without accessing Settings).

I commented on that article with ideas of my own about what I want to see in iPhone OS 4.0:

Mail needs an optional unified inbox that can be set as the default view. Forcing me to go in and out of each inbox is dumb.

All default apps should be removable, with a suitably chunky warning if you decide to do so. If Apple only hides them, I don’t care. Perhaps there should be a show/hide list in Settings.

The Springboard needs serious work, because while it was great pre-App Store, it’s now a nightmare to arrange/organise apps. One might argue you should do this in iTunes, but plenty of people only use their device, ignoring iTunes in the main.

I’d like to see an app list, available by swiping left of Spotlight to access an app launcher that lists every app on the device, but that can be filtered as per Spotlight. I did a mock-up of this for Cult of Mac back in October.

On deleting an app, you should be able to optionally store its settings, which should (again, optionally) be available when reinstalling the App via iTunes at a later date. In other words, if I’ve spent 20 hours getting 90% of the way through Myst or Peggle, but delete the app, I shouldn’t have to start from scratch on reinstalling it. As it stands, Apple’s decided iPhone and iPod touch gaming should be akin to cheapo Nintendo DS carts, as opposed to something with a battery back-up. Such a system would benefit apps, too.

Also, Apple should fire/beat to within an inch of their life whoever came up with the sync UI in iTunes and get someone with some actual talent to redesign it. I don’t appreciate ‘film’ titles being truncated after about 25 characters, forcing me to check a tiny thumbnail to see if I’m syncing the right one. And the Applications tab is a disgrace, coming across like an interactive Flash website from 1999, not a robust system for organising your apps.

So, what are your wishes for iPhone 4.0? Tell us in the comments!

Red Conquest: John Kooistra Talks iPhone Gaming and the Background Behind His Innovative RTS



Since late 2008, John Kooistra has been masterminding an intergalactic war—inside your iPhone. The reds and blues have been engaged in a deadly struggle, as evidenced in twist-based shooter Blue Defense and its more involved sequel Blue Attack.

Red Conquest is John’s most advanced and innovative game yet, a complex, exciting RTS that takes full advantage of Apple’s hardware. Cult of Mac interviewed John about how he got into iPhone games development and how the latest game in the red/blue saga came to be.

Interview: TotalFinder Developer Talks About Bringing Tabs to Mac OS X Finder


Tabs in Finder, courtesy of TotalFinder
Tabs in Finder, courtesy of TotalFinder

TotalFinder is starting to cause a buzz in the Mac community. The app aims to bring something to Finder long-rumored to be coming from Apple itself: tabs. We spoke to developer Antonin Hildebrand about his project, the reasons behind it, and his plans for its future.

Please note: TotalFinder is alpha software that integrates with Finder. Run it at your own risk and ensure you back up your system before installing it.

The Story of iPhone Developer Tapbots, Creators of Weightbot, Convertbot and Pastebot


Left: Pastebot, the latest Tapbots app. Right: Weightbot.

Creating an iPhone app is one thing, but making something that stands out in an increasingly deep, expansive crowd is something else entirely. And yet Tapbots have managed just that. Describing their trio of apps as “robots for your iPhone and iPod touch,” Tapbots has managed to infuse the most utilitarian of concepts with genuine personality, and this is largely down to playful and innovative interfaces. We caught up with Paul Haddad (“the programmer”) and Mark Jardine (“the designer”) to find out more about how Tapbots was born, the thinking behind its apps, and what their newest creation, Pastebot, can do for your Apple device.