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Tuesday, January 9, 2007

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Apple Unveils iPhone
12:33 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 31 comments

Apple today unveiled the long-awaited and much-speculated iPhone, combining three products-a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching and maps-into one small and lightweight handheld device.

Here's more from the official press release:

iPhone introduces an entirely new user interface based on a large multi-touch display and pioneering new software, letting users control iPhone with just their fingers. iPhone also ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, which completely redefines what users can do on their mobile phones.

Phone is a revolutionary new mobile phone that allows users to make calls by simply pointing at a name or number. iPhone syncs all of your contacts from your PC, Mac® or Internet service such as Yahoo!, so that you always have your full list of up-to-date contacts with you. In addition, you can easily construct a favorites list for your most frequently made calls, and easily merge calls together to create conference calls.

iPhone's pioneering Visual Voicemail, an industry first, lets users look at a listing of their voicemails, decide which messages to listen to, then go directly to those messages without listening to the prior messages. Just like email, iPhone's Visual Voicemail enables users to immediately randomly access those messages that interest them most.

iPhone includes an SMS application with a full QWERTY soft keyboard to easily send and receive SMS messages in multiple sessions. When users need to type, iPhone presents them with an elegant touch keyboard which is predictive to prevent and correct mistakes, making it much easier and more efficient to use than the small plastic keyboards on many smartphones. iPhone also includes a calendar application that allows calendars to be automatically synced with your PC or Mac.

iPhone features a 2 megapixel camera and a photo management application that is far beyond anything on a phone today. Users can browse their photo library, which can be easily synced from their PC or Mac, with just a flick of a finger and easily choose a photo for their wallpaper or to include in an email.

iPhone is a quad-band GSM phone which also features EDGE and Wi-Fi wireless technologies for data networking. Apple has chosen Cingular, the best and most popular carrier in the US with over 58 million subscribers, to be Apple's exclusive carrier partner for iPhone in the US.

iPhone is a Widescreen iPod

iPhone is a widescreen iPod with touch controls that lets music lovers "touch" their music by easily scrolling through entire lists of songs, artists, albums and playlists with just a flick of a finger. Album artwork is stunningly presented on iPhone's large and vibrant display.

iPhone also features Cover Flow, Apple's amazing way to browse your music library by album cover artwork, for the first time on an iPod. When navigating your music library on iPhone, you are automatically switched into Cover Flow by simply rotating iPhone into its landscape position.

iPhone's stunning 3.5-inch widescreen display offers the ultimate way to watch TV shows and movies on a pocketable device, with touch controls for play-pause, chapter forward-backward and volume. iPhone plays the same videos purchased from the online iTunes® Store that users enjoy watching on their computers and iPods, and will soon enjoy watching on their widescreen televisions using the new Apple TV(TM). The iTunes Store now offers over 350 television shows, over 250 feature films and over 5,000 music videos.

iPhone lets users enjoy all their iPod content, including music, audiobooks, audio podcasts, video podcasts, music videos, television shows and movies. iPhone syncs content from a user's iTunes library on their PC or Mac, and can play any music or video content they have purchased from the online iTunes store.

iPhone is a Breakthrough Internet Communications Device

iPhone features a rich HTML email client which fetches your email in the background from most POP3 or IMAP mail services and displays photos and graphics right along with the text. iPhone is fully multi-tasking, so you can be reading a web page while downloading your email in the background.

Yahoo! Mail, the world's largest email service with over 250 million users, is offering a new free "push" IMAP email service to all iPhone users that automatically pushes new email to a user's iPhone, and can be set up by simply entering your Yahoo! name and password. iPhone will also work with most industry standard IMAP and POP based email services, such as Microsoft Exchange, Apple .Mac Mail, AOL Mail, Google Gmail and most ISP mail services.

iPhone also features the most advanced and fun-to-use web browser on a portable device with a version of its award-winning Safari(TM) web browser for iPhone. Users can see any web page the way it was designed to be seen, and then easily zoom in to expand any section by simply tapping on iPhone's multi- touch display with their finger. Users can surf the web from just about anywhere over Wi-Fi or EDGE, and can automatically sync their bookmarks from their PC or Mac. iPhone's Safari web browser also includes built-in Google Search and Yahoo! Search so users can instantly search for information on their iPhone just like they do on their computer.

iPhone also includes Google Maps, featuring Google's groundbreaking maps service and iPhone's amazing maps application, offering the best maps experience by far on any pocket device. Users can view maps, satellite images, traffic information and get directions, all from iPhone's remarkable and easy- to-use touch interface.

iPhone's Advanced Sensors

iPhone employs advanced built-in sensors -- an accelerometer, a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor -- that automatically enhance the user experience and extend battery life. iPhone's built-in accelerometer detects when the user has rotated the device from portrait to landscape, then automatically changes the contents of the display accordingly, with users immediately seeing the entire width of a web page, or a photo in its proper landscape aspect ratio.

iPhone's built-in proximity sensor detects when you lift iPhone to your ear and immediately turns off the display to save power and prevent inadvertent touches until iPhone is moved away. iPhone's built-in ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the display's brightness to the appropriate level for the current ambient light, thereby enhancing the user experience and saving power at the same time.

iPhone will be available in the US in June 2007, Europe in late 2007, and Asia in 2008, in a 4GB model for $499 (US) and an 8GB model for $599 (US), and will work with either a PC or Mac. iPhone will be sold in the US through Apple's retail and online stores, and through Cingular's retail and online stores. Several iPhone accessories will also be available in June, including Apple's new remarkably compact Bluetooth headset.

iPhone includes support for quad-band GSM, EDGE, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR wireless technologies.


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Inside Mac Games Reviews Age of Empires III
2:04 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of MacSoft's Age of Empires III. Here's a clip from the review:

At its core, Age of Empires III maintains the essence of its best-selling predecessors. Armies begin as simple men killing each other with bows and swords, only to advance to more efficient implements of war, such as cannons and rifles. Peasants gather resources, such as food and gold. All that was loved about the previous Age of titles remains intact, with a host of refinement and additions to make things even better. Among the host of new features not offered in past Age of incarnations we have a 24-mission, 3-act single-player campaign, a unique Home City feature, role-playing game (RPG) elements that work, adequate multiplayer support, 8 playable civilizations and stunning 3D visuals. That's right, no more 2D sprites in Age of Empires III.
To check out the full review, follow the link below.

Inside Mac Games Review: Age of Empires III
Age of Empires III
Buy Age of Empires III

Apple Announces Apple TV, New AirPort Extreme
1:05 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 3 comments

Apple today premiered two new products at Macworld Expo San Francisco, the Apple TV and Airport Extreme with 802.11n networking.

Apple TV is an easy to use and fun way to wirelessly play all your favorite iTunes content from your Mac or PC on your widescreen TV, including movies, TV shows, music, photos and podcasts.

Using Apple TV's stunning new interface, anyone can quickly browse and view their entire collection of digital media from across the room using the simple and intuitive Apple Remote. Apple TV easily connects to almost all modern widescreen televisions, and will be shipping in February for just $299.

Apple TV has a 40GB hard drive to store up to 50 hours of video, 9,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each and is capable of delivering high-definition 720p output. Apple TV is easy to connect to a broad range of widescreen TVs and home theater systems and comes standard with HDMI, component video, analog and optical audio ports. Using high-speed AirPort 802.11 wireless networking, Apple TV can auto-sync content from one computer or stream content from up to five additional computers right to your TV without any wires.

The seamless integration of Apple TV and iTunes lets users choose from over 250 feature-length movies and 350 TV shows in near DVD quality; four million songs, 5,000 music videos, 100,000 podcasts and 20,000 audiobooks. Users can enjoy their favorite music on a home entertainment system and view slideshows of their photo albums on a widescreen TV. Apple TV makes it easy for users to explore their entire media collection with an easy to use and intuitive new interface. With the Apple Remote, consumers can easily browse through their favorite movies, TV shows, music and photos from up to 30 feet away.

Apple today also took the wraps off Airport Extreme.
Based on 802.11n, AirPort Extreme extends a wireless network to even more areas in a home or office and makes streaming digital content and transferring large files faster and easier. The new AirPort Extreme Base Station features a sleek, new design with connections for networked computers, printers and a USB hard drive to quickly and easily share files or back up valuable data and content.
For more on Airport Extreme or Apple TV, follow the link below to Apple's web site.

3DU Contest Winners Announced
9:06 AM | Anthony Wang | 8 comments

The winners of the 2006 3DU Game Development Contest has been announced in the iDevGames forum. With only 30 days to create a new game and with cool prizes which included Unity Pro and ATI Radeon X1900xt graphics for the winner, over 25 developers submitted their creations.

1st Place: MegaPixel by Forest Johnson

Description: Abstract first person shooter made entirely with one texture. Play through several challenging levels of falling red enemies and bosses while collecting powerups and upgrades for six different weapons.
2nd Place: A Tack! by Matt Diamond
Description: Arcade shooter. Defend your sheet of paper from the scribbles of your mutinous writing utensils.
3rd Place: I Hate Clowns by Adam Mechtley & Matthew Wegner
Description: A fun physics game where you throw metal pies at ragdoll clowns. Take it, clowns.
Please follow the links below to learn more information.

3DU Contest Results
Download 3DU Contest games

Legion Arena: Cult Of Mithras Reviewed
9:06 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Applelinks' latest review covers Cult of Mithras, an expansion pack for the Roman era strategy title, Legion Arena. Stepping outside the historical focus of the original game, Cult introduces supernatural enemies into the mix. Players will have to invent new strategies to deal with undead forces and mythical beasts.

Applelinks gave Legion Arena: Cult of Mithras a score of 4 out of 5.

The range of new forces available make the game an interesting improvement on the original, requiring new levels of problem solving. It is certainly more intense than Legion Arena. I found in early levels of Legion that no matter how I matched my forces up, they would win certain battles. And healing the casualties suffered never cost enough for me to worry about the ramifications. I would, on occasion, be lulled into a battle for which I was woefully unprepared and have my, umm, cassock handed to me rather quickly, but I could generally enter battle rather recklessly without consequence. In Cult of Mithras, these pairings and pre-battle preparations become crucial when you're facing a group like the ghost archers, which not only lack fear, but also are unable to be hit with your missile fire and stand up for themselves admirably in hand to hand combat too.

Cult of Mithras does not deliver new gameplay innovations, but instead a new level of interest to the original game. There remains an emphasis on strategy and planning over mere warfare, accented by intriguing new match-ups that change the way you must approach each scenario. Additionally, battles are occasionally extended beyond the initial scenario as new enemies approach before you've had the chance to rebuild your army. This further accents the need to plan in advance, making many of the scenarios rewarding cerebral challenges, rather than mere bloody clicks of a mouse.
The full review is available at the link below.

Applelinks: Legion Arena: Cult of Mithras Review
Legion Arena: Cult of Mithras

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The Broken Hourglass Lore Update
9:06 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Planewalker Games has released chapter 5 of On The Fly, a short story set within the world of The Broken Hourglass, the upcoming fantasy RPG. The chapter continues the tale of Lyrio, Maron, Zephra and Aenarii.

Zephra stood numbly for a blink of an eye before attempting to dash into the room after him. One footman caught her around the waist while the other sealed her access. She struggled for a glimpse of Desonir as the doors closed, metal scraping against stone. She saw his red mask turned toward the caucus of his peers and called his name, but he made no sign that he heard her voice. Then the bolt landed home, and Desonir was gone from sight again. Zephra wandered back to the parlor--angry, humiliated, lonely--and resumed waiting.

It wasn't that she feared what Desonir might do if she left. She feared that he might not even notice.

Click on the link below to read the rest of the chapter.

On The Fly, Chapter 5
The Broken Hourglass

Macworld Expo 2007 Keynote
9:04 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 2 comments

The 2007 Macworld Expo Keynote, delivered by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, has just begun at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Stay tuned to Inside Mac Games for up to the minute coverage of Apple's announcements as they become available.

Be sure to stop by our live chat room to discuss today's announcements. All you need to chat is a browser. Follow the link below to login to our chat room!

10:50 - The iPhone will be available in June. $499 for 4 GB model with a 2 year contract. $599 for 8 GB model. Will be available through Cingular in June in the US. Fourth quarter in Europe. 2008 for Asia.
9:43 - Jobs announces a revolutionary product called the iPhone. The device has no buttons but instead uses a multi-touch screen interface running on top of Mac OS X. The iPhone has built-in networking, apps, core animation and has video/audio capabilities. Syncs with iTunes just like an iPod and can also sync address book, calendars, and more. 2 megalpixel camera, 8 GB storage, 3G radio. 3.5-inch screen with 160 pixels per inch. Visual voice mail, GSM/EDGE. The iPhone also features rich html email, safari web browser, google maps, widgets, and Wi-Fi + Edge ntworking! Jobs says 5 hours of battery life. 16 hours of audio playback.
9:28 - Apple TV debuts (formally known as iTV). The device can stream movies (directly from Apple), show video and photos, play music, etc. WiFi enabled, Ethernet, USB 2.0 HDMI, component video. It can sync recent movies and store it on the onboard 40 MB hard drive. Comes with simple Apple remote. Priced at $299 and will ship in February.
9:25 - Jobs shows off new iPod ads to the keynote crowd.
9:21 - iPod Nano most popular MP3 player. Two billion songs sold on iTunes. iTunes sells 58 songs per second (5 million per day). 50 million shows sold through iTunes.
9:19 - Fifty percent of Macs sold in the USA are to first time Mac buyers
9:16 - Jobs says Apple has completed Intel transition in 7 months, instead of the anticipated 12 months.
9:15 - Steve Jobs takes the stage

Inside Mac Games Chat

Mac Games News for Monday, January 8, 2007

IMG Reviews Scrabble1:15 PM
Virtual Programming Seeks Beta Testers For New Games1:09 PM
3D Game Shootout: MacBook Pro - Core Duo vs Core 2 Duo10:21 AM
Dominions 3: The Awakening Reviewed10:21 AM
Midnight Mansion Updated to 1.0.710:21 AM
The Broken Hourglass: First Gameplay Screenshots10:21 AM
Close Combat Universal Binary Released10:20 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, January 8, 2007 on one page

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