Category Archives: News
If you’re a karaoke fan, or it’s a requirement for that nightclub you’ve always wanted to run, Kjams for Mac has reached the beta for version 1.0. The karaoke software has everything you need to get the party going, and what few reviews are out there say it’s easy to use, extremely robust, and won’t lock up your Mac. Development on kJams goes back to 2004, and reading the version history is a nice little stroll down memory lane to see software being developed in the days of OS X 10.3 Panther.
After nearly nine years in development, the beta is moving along at a pretty quick clip. Kjams is a robust karaoke player already, and it’s good to see it push toward an actual 1.0 release.
Platformers are a tough genre to pull off on a touchscreen. There are a few solid core platformers out there for iOS (Mikey Shorts is probably my favorite), but in general, the lack of tactile buttons and relative shortage of screen space make really precise, strong 2D platforming games hard to do on Apple’s devices. Cling, however, is a platformer put together by a team called First5 Games, and it slickly dodges the whole problem of imprecise virtual buttons by using a virtual joystick instead.
The hero of the game is a little toy creature similar to the old “wall-crawler” rubber toys popular a while back, where you could stick them on a surface and they’d slowly “climb” down it. Edgar is this creature’s name, and he can get around in the game by grabbing on to different pegs, and using those to move through the game’s various levels. There are a few different varieties of pegs (some attract, some repel), but the main mechanic here is that if you’re not near a peg, you can’t control your little guy, which means that some of the levels have to be approached very carefully. It’s a really interesting concept, and it turns the idea of a platformer (a game where you jump from platform to platform) upside down. “Jumping” in this game means vaulting yourself from a series of pegs, and if you go off at the wrong speed or angle, it’s game over, time to restart the level.
A little over a month ago, Facebook added Voice over IP (VoIP) calling capabilities to its iOS app for users in the US and Canada. Now users in the UK have been added to the gradual rollout of Facebook’s VoIP domination of the universe.
The VoIP capability works through Facebook Messenger, both in the Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps. After selecting a chat recipient in the app, tapping the Contact Info button (the “i” in the upper right corner of the app) displays information about the recipient including a Free Call button if they’re able to accept a call. Both parties need to be online within the app for the Free Call button to be active.
The first chapter of the eponymous Steve Jobs manga is now available in Japan. The comic, penned by award-winning artist Mari Yamazaki, is reportedly the graphic version of Walter Isaacson’s official biography Jobs.
The story begins with Jobs asking Isaacson to write his biography. Shoppers in Japan will find the first chapter in the current issue of Kiss, the manga serial publication. We’d love to get a look if you care to send some photos.
As writer John Paczkowski notes in an AllThingsD article today, iTunes was originally “conceived as a low-margin ‘break-even’ operation intended to drive hardware sales” — in particular sales of iPods. Now that the iTunes Store is used to sell more than just songs and videos, it’s turning into a “significant profit center for the company”.
Paczkowski was commenting on numbers from Asymco analyst Horace Dediu, who notes that now that Apple has folded its in-house software group into iTunes, Apple software is having “significant implications for iTunes margins.” The software, including items like iWork, iLife, Final Cut Pro, Aperture and more, has much higher profit margins than traditional iTunes items like music, books, video, and apps.