Lots of big app updates and releases today: The Simpsons, Puzzle Craft, Horn, more

There’s just something about this day, apparently. There are a whole bunch of new big releases in the App Store, and quite a few apps have added updates; most of them claiming it’s just in time for the back-to school rush. Here’s a sampling of the best stuff out there for you to browse through.

  • EA’s The Simpsons: Tapped Out has returned to the App Store after being pulled earlier this year. The game’s been updated with new graphics and new gameplay, so hopefully Simpsons fans will like it better.
  • Scribblenauts Remix is the recipient of a new Back to School update, with a new playground area featuring school-themed challenges.
  • Following in the footsteps of EA, Chillingo has launched its own Daily Deals site, and Angry Birds HD is 66% off to celebrate.
  • Chillingo’s also got a new game out called Puzzle Craft that looks like it’s about to steal way too much of my time.
  • Codea got a big update, with a few new features, and it’s now run using ARC (which just means it runs a little cleaner for us users).
  • Ok, it’s not much of a surprise, but Phosphor Games’ Dark Meadow followup, the Zynga-published Horn is out this week, and it’s a very good-looking action game.
  • The great iBlast Moki 2 HD is free right now. In no uncertain terms, get this game.
  • A new endless runner game called Flip’s Escape was just released, and it looks good.
  • And finally, I don’t see it on the App Store yet, but don’t forget: Dominion is finally due out in that official form later on this evening. Stay tuned.

Sega Alliance launched, will provide marketing and production support for indies

Sega has announced a mobile initiative that it’s calling the Sega Alliance, which seems like a publishing division of Sega Mobile.

Sega says the Alliance will “provide participating developers with comprehensive marketing and production support as well as creative consultation.” In other words, this is Sega’s version of Chillingo, where the company will find indie developers doing good work and back them up with production and creative support, as well as partnering in the revenues when the apps are released.

AAPL closes at all-time high

AAPL closes at alltime high

Shares in Apple closed at an all-time high today. At the closing bell at 4 p.m. ET, AAPL was trading at $636.34.

That’s not the all-time high price; that came Tuesday when the stock peaked temporarily at $644.00, but the share price dropped to about $632 a share that day by the close of trading.

TIME: How your phone is changing the world

TIME magazine’s cover story for Aug. 27 addresses how phones, specifically smartphones, have revolutionized the world in the past few years. TIME paired with Qualcomm to conduct a mobility poll to see how glued we are to our mobiles; if you think we’re addicted to our phones in the U.S., take a look at the numbers for Brazil, India and China. Out of the 5,000 people surveyed, 84% of them can’t go for a day without their phones.

The issues TIME dove into include: using texting and apps to promote charity, how phones are slowly replacing toting cards in a wallet, access in rural areas, photography, politics, health, education, the thorny issue of how old should a child be before texting and more. Every image shot in the package was done so using a mobile phone camera.

Mac Blu-ray Player software plays HD movies on your Mac

Want to play a Blu-ray disc on your Mac? Apple doesn’t include Blu-ray as an option, but they are readily available through 3rd parties like Amazon or Other World Computing. You’ll also need software to play the disc, which is where the Macgo Blu-Ray Player comes in.

I reviewed the Macgo Blu-ray Player software more than a year ago and found it pretty flaky. It dropped frames, was slim on features, and not something I could get to excited about.

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