This is just one specific case out of the many, many organizations and individuals publishing content on Apple’s iBookstore, but it’s an interesting call by Apple nevertheless. Seth Godin tried to publish a book of his through Apple’s iBooks, but the content was rejected by Apple’s system. Not because it was offensive in some way, but simply because it contained links to Amazon’s booksore. These weren’t even links to Godin’s books — they were simply links to reference books, but because they went out to a competing service, Apple pulled the plug.
Before anyone starts yelling about censorship, keep in mind that this is Apple’s playground, and it can take its ball home whenever it wants, no matter how inane the reason. But this reason seems particularly inane — Apple can’t really be worried about one link in a ebook promoting a competitor’s sales, right? Not to mention that the book in question was a hardcover copy, and unless I’m mistaken, wasn’t even sold on Apple’s iBooks store anyway.
Ever wanted to use AirPlay mirroring to show the screen of your iPad 2 or iPhone 4/4S on your Mac? Just released, Reflection ($14.99 for a single license, $39.99 for a 5 pack) offers a well-featured mirroring receiver for OS X, ideal for education and demos — and a great way to eliminate the Frankencable for iPad video capture.
I’ve been beta-testing Reflection for several weeks. I watched as David Stanfill (developer of AirParrot, which I introduced a few weeks ago on TUAW) refined and stabilized this app. With Reflection, you can project app demos to your Mac in real time. This is a great feature for any developer or teacher, or even for business folk who would like to bring along their presentations on their phone.
LookTel, which came out with the Money Reader app last year that helps the visually impaired accurately count money, has come out with a new app using the same technology to help people with vision problems to identify common objects.
LookTel Recognizer allows users to magnify items and store them to a database for later reference. You can use this for groceries, credit cards, ID, medicine or anything you can think of. Snap a picture with an iPhone, add an audio message, then save it to the database. When someone who is visually impaired uses the app, they can point the iPhone at an object. If it’s in the database, it’ll be recognized, and the user is informed what the item is using the prerecorded audio message.
We got to see and play with the new Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 back at CES earlier this year, and now Parrot has announced that you’re closer than ever to getting your hands on one yourself. The new version of the iOS-controlled quadricopter has gotten a release date: It’ll be out for sale in May 2012. Brookstone is also exclusively hosting the pre-order for the new device, and pre-order sales will start up tomorrow, March 1.
In addition to the preorder information, Parrot’s got more news. Since we last saw that prototype at CES, the company has added two big new features to the device. First off, as this very reported suggested to them in person at CES, they have added a “flip button” to the controller app, which means that with just a double-tap on the screen, the Drone will do a barrel roll while flying around. Very cool.
Another sign that baseball season is just around the corner — MLB At Bat 12 is now available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.
The app is free, but that only gives you access to scores. If you want all of the goodies that make MLB At Bat the powerhouse app that it is, you need to do a in-app purchase — one month for US$2.99 or $14.99 for the entire season. That gives you MLB Gameday, live radio, stats, a live “Game of the Day,” live look-ins of games in progress, and in-game highlights. Since the app is now universal, that $14.99 buy-in works for both devices — no more paying $30 for the privilege of having full access on both your iPhone and iPad.