Inkstone Mobile, maker of the top-selling speed-reading, ebook reader, and audiobook apps QuickReader, MegaReader, and Audiobooks HQ, has expanded its library of audiobook content with the addition of a new indie audiobooks catalog and the launch of a new subscription service. The subscription service will be available in a new update to Audiobooks HQ, Audiobooks HQ 2.0, as well as in a new free version of the app, Audiobooks Free.

Portland, Oregon – Inkstone Mobile, maker of the top-selling speed-reading, ebook reader, and audiobook apps QuickReader, MegaReader, and Audiobooks HQ, has expanded its library of audiobook content with the addition of a new indie audiobooks catalog and the launch of a new subscription service. The subscription service will be available in a new update to Audiobooks HQ, Audiobooks HQ 2.0, as well as in a new free version of the app, Audiobooks Free.

Developed with the same sleek design of Audiobooks HQ, the new Audiobooks Free app grants users instant access to over 5,450 free, high-quality audiobooks. With it, book lovers can easily browse through thousands of their favorite audiobooks, download them, and play them back at any time – no Wi-Fi connection necessary.

Users of both Audiobooks Free and the updated Audiobooks HQ can choose to broaden their listening horizons via Inkstone Mobile’s brand new subscription service. For as little as 84 cents per month, the subscription will make Inkstone’s complete collection of over 7,200 books available to app users.

“Twice a day we import the latest free audiobooks and make them available to our subscribers, giving them access to the most extensive and up-to-date free audiobook catalog on iOS,” says Inkstone Mobile CEO Patrick Thompson.

Features of Inkstone’s Audiobooks HQ 2.0 & Audiobooks Free apps include:

* 7,200 free audiobooks via subscription with additional new audiobooks added daily. This includes LibriVox Live (6,570 classic books), Podiobooks Live (630 contemporary books), and Globe Radio Repertory (4 performance audiobooks)
* Over 5,000 free audiobooks on both apps (without a subscription)
* Easy search functions. Find books by most downloaded, top rated, genres, tags, solo read books, language, recent, related books, and Inkstone’s top recommendations
* Leave a note for yourself to come back to your favorite parts of the book with the bookmarks feature
* Access downloaded audiobooks anytime, anywhere – no network connection needed

For more information about Inkstone Mobile and its collection of apps visit Inkstone Mobile online or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Language Support:
English, Bokmal, Norwegian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
* Requires iOS 5.0 or later
* 15.8 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Audiobooks HQ 2.0 is $1.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Books category. A free version is also available.

Inkstone Mobile
Audiobooks HQ 2.0
Purchase and Download
Download from iTunes
Screenshot
App Icon

Based in Portland, Oregon, Inkstone Mobile is an independent software development company founded by Patrick Thompson. Combining a strong blend of design and development skills, Inkstone Mobile’s passion is to craft elegant, easy-to-use applications for mobile devices. Copyright (C) 2013 Inkstone Mobile. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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Publications International, Ltd. is proud to team up with Sesame Workshop for the release of iCookbook 3.1, featuring a new collection of recipes for kids and their parents: Sesame Street’s Silly Snacks. This special recipe collection, available exclusively as part of iCookbook(TM), offers parents and children a hands-on way to cook together and learn about healthy snacking with the help of Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and other Sesame Street friends.

 

Chicago, Illinois – Publications International, Ltd. is proud to team up with Sesame Workshop for the release of iCookbook(TM) 3.1, featuring a new collection of recipes for kids and their parents: Sesame Street’s Silly Snacks. This special recipe collection, available exclusively as part of iCookbook(TM), offers parents and children a hands-on way to cook together and learn about healthy snacking with the help of Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and other Sesame Street(R) friends. Each recipe includes parent tips, fun facts, and cooking steps designed just for kids.

The 20-recipe collection, available for $2.99, includes snacks of all types, like Oscar’s SCRAM-bled Egg & Zucchini Pie and Big Bird’s Little Nests. Even the pickiest eaters will find something to love.

In addition to the Sesame Street collection, iCookbook 3.1 features more than 2,100 recipes hand-picked by the iCookbook(TM) team of food experts and accredited nutritionists, giving everyday cooks an easy way to navigate and discover a wide variety of accessible and affordable meal options for their family.

This updated version of iCookbook(TM) is also filled with user-friendly features that help streamline the entire cooking process including advanced filters and sorting to search for recipes based by theme, ingredient, cuisine, brand (Hershey’s(R), Campbell’s(R), Crock-Pot(R) etc.), voice-command technology to advance a recipe’s instructions completely hands-free, create shopping lists, watch how-to videos, even access articles, conversion charts, measurement tools and more. Each month, iCookbook owners can also download more free recipes to add to the app, as well as purchase themed premium recipe collections like the Sesame Street Silly Snacks Collection via the iCookbook in-app store.

“Helping families find easy ways to enjoy eating healthy is a core mission of Sesame Workshop, so we are very pleased to partner with Publications International to bring a selection of good-for-you snacks to families who use digital cookbooks,” said Jennifer A. Perry, Sesame Workshop’s Vice President of Worldwide Publishing. “The iCookbook Silly Snacks collection is our first app that specifically seeks to provide parents and children a fun way to cook healthy together.”

iCookbook featuring Sesame Street Silly Snacks is available for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch at iTunes.

Publications International, Ltd. has previously worked with Sesame Workshop(R) to publish a number of print cookbooks, sound books, and storybooks .

For more information about iCookbook and its family of white-label cooking applications including iCookbook Diabetic, CROCK-POT(TM) Recipes, Butterball(R) Cookbook Plus, Johnsonville(R) Kitchens and more please visit iCookbook online.

About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark Sesame Street. The Workshop produces local Sesame Street programs, seen in over 150 countries, and other acclaimed shows including The Electric Company, to help bridge the literacy gap. Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and resilience. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning. Learn more at Sesame Workshop online.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone 3GS/4/4S/5, iPod touch (3rd/4th/5th generation), and iPad
* Requires iOS 4.3 or later
* Universal app optimized for display on all iOS devices
* 50.2 MB

Pricing and Availability:
iCookbook 3.1 is $4.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Food & Drink category.

Publications International
Sesame Workshop
iCookbook 3.1
Purchase and Download
Screenshot
App Icon

Publications International, Ltd. (PIL) is one of North America’s leading publishers of cookbooks, with more than 400 active cookbook titles and more than 50 recipe magazine releases annually. PIL’s award winning iCookbook(TM) platform is available on Windows, Apple and Android devices. Copyright (C) 2013 Publications International, LTD. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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Leadwerks Software today announces today Leadwerks 3, their new development platform for building mobile games with native code. Based on the technology developed for their successful game engine for PC, Leadwerks 3 brings a totally new approach to mobile game development. Applications built with native code are optimized to work with each platform. Games written with Leadwerks will run faster and be more powerful than their managed code counterparts.

 

Las Vegas, Nevada – Leadwerks Software announced today the release of Leadwerks 3, their new development platform for building mobile games with native code. Based on the technology developed for their successful game engine for PC, Leadwerks 3 brings a totally new approach to mobile game development.

While environments such as Unity and MonoDevelop use managed code – that is, code that is designed to be easily run on multiple devices – Leadwerks uses an approach called native code. Applications built with native code are optimized to work with each platform. That means games written with Leadwerks will run faster and be more powerful than their managed code counterparts.

Mobile is growing rapidly, but there still exists a gap between mobile gaming and the larger game industry, which has traditionally focused on consoles. Professional game studios overwhelmingly favor native code because of its speed and flexibility. By focusing on the standard the game industry already uses, Leadwerks provides both professional studios and indie developers with an easy pathway into mobile. Games written in C can be ported to Leadwerks 3 without having to rewrite them in a new programming language.

Leadwerks 3 brings some innovative new approaches to the table:
* The editor features tools for building game levels using a technique called constructive solid geometry. This streamlines the process of creating games, and makes it easier for artists to see what their games will look like as they build them.
* Leadwerks 3 uses automatic asset conversion. This means that images and objects can be reloaded on-the-fly, so an image can be modified in Photoshop and the result will show up in the editor right away. This removes tedious steps from the game development workflow.
* AI is supported out-of-the-box. The traversable areas AI can travel within are highlighted in the editor as you build your game level. Pathfinding is dynamic, meaning that if a door opens or a drawbridge lowers, the AI is smart enough to take the new routes that appear.
* The script language Lua is also supported, and can be combined with games written in native code. Scripted objects can be linked together in a visual flowgraph editor. This makes it easy to set up game interactions, something that can be a challenge when working with development platforms based solely on code.

Leadwerks CEO Josh Klint said that “Leadwerks 3 is a big step forward for our company and our users. We’re bridging the gap between mobile gaming and the traditional game industry.” The product received a favorable response at the GDC 2013 expo. “C is the game industry standard. Our market research at GDC 2013 revealed a huge demand for a cross-platform game engine built on native code. We found the design philosophy of Leadwerks resonates with a lot of developers.”

Leadwerks 3 can be purchased from the company’s website for $199 USD, with add-ons for iOS and Android publishing available separately. A source code license is available for professional studios. A 30-day trial can be downloaded from the company’s website.

Leadwerks 3

Leadwerks Software has provided game development tools to thousands of developers worldwide since 2006. It’s technology has been used in commercial games, education, training simulations, and military applications. To find out more, please visit Leadwerks online. Copyright (C) 2013 Leadwerks Software. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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Nutritionist and metabolism whisperer Haylie Pomroy goes mobile and adds another tool to her successful program that streamlines weight loss and kick starts metabolisms. The Fast Metabolism Diet App 1.0 coordinates with the 28-day weight loss program championed by Pomroy, a celebrity nutritionist revolutionizing the way people think about the word “diet.” Pomroy’s strategic system encourages a dramatic weight loss without counting calories, carbohydrates or fat grams.

New York City, New York – Today, Random House Digital and Harmony Books released “The Fast Metabolism Diet App,” a companion iOS app for the book, “The Fast Metabolism Diet” by Haylie Pomroy. The Fast Metabolism Diet App coordinates with the 28-day weight loss program championed by Pomroy, a celebrity nutritionist revolutionizing the way people think about the word “diet.”

Pomroy’s strategic system encourages a dramatic weight loss without counting calories, carbohydrates or fat grams. She says this about her program: “On the 28-day diet, we use specific whole, delicious foods eaten on strategic days to repair the metabolism. By rotating the types of nutrients you’re getting,
we can get your body burning fat like never before.”

The app gives dieters the tools they need to put the book’s plan into action. The Meal Planner helps users plan their day and customize the diet to their tastes and busy schedules. A dashboard offers a day-at-a-glance view so users can check off what they ate and track their water intake throughout the day. Push notifications help keep users on track by pinging reminders for an upcoming meal or snack. A master food list makes it easy to stick to the diet while dining out or grocery shopping.

Other features include:
* Complete lists for all the foods and ingredients allowed in each phase of the diet
* “My Day” tracker with upcoming meals and activities
* Interactive water tracker
* Email grocery lists to print or share
* Export your meal data for your records or for future use
* Daily tips and advice from Haylie

Device Requirements:
* iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch and iPad
* Requires iOS 5.0 or later
* 25.8 MB

Pricing and Availability:
The Fast Metabolism Diet App 1.0 is $1.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available exclusively through the US and Canadian App Store in the Health & Fitness category.

The Fast Metabolism Diet App 1.0
Purchase and Download
Screenshot
App Icon

About Haylie Pomroy
With clinics in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Irvine and Fort Collins, nutritionist Haylie Pomroy is highly regarded in Hollywood and in the medical community for her ability to effect rapid, healthy weight loss. Her impressive client list includes celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Raquel Welch, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Downey Jr. and Cher.

About Harmony Books
Harmony Books is dedicated to helping readers achieve personal transformation and well-being in all facets of their lives. Publishing books that offer unique approaches to health, relationships, self-improvement, and spirituality, Harmony guides readers to become their best selves both inside and out. Harmony Books is an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group at Random House, Inc. Copyright (C) 2013 Random House, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.

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As reported by VentureBeat and others today – Apple has pulled the extremely popular AppGratis from the app store for violating two provisions of the App Store guidelines:

2.25 – Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected.

and

5.6 Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.

While these provisions have been there for a while, there have been very little known enforcement until now. The practice of cross promoting other apps in an app you own via display or push notification is commonplace, and frankly is one of the major ways that app developers can earn revenue.

Particularly of concern is the enforcement of 5.6. A number of apps in the app store today are what I would categorize as “App Discovery” apps – their entire purpose is to facilitate their users to find new apps in the App Store, particularly free ones or ones that go from paid to free. Some examples of these would be:

  • FreeAppADay
  • AppsFire
  • AppsGoneFree by AppAdvice

and plenty more. Most of these apps use push notification to let their users know what apps have gone free or on sale – keeping the user from having to remember to open and check each app every single day. As users – they download these apps specifically for this purpose, opting-in to push notification and with the ability to quickly and easily opt-out if they decide the advertising is not something they wanted in the first place.

App discovery in iTunes is a major problem that gets worse each year. As more and more apps enter the App Store (with few leaving), the ability for new apps to get discovered, or existing apps to stay competitive gets harder and harder. Large developers and brands have the ability to spend big bucks on advertising – but the smaller developer with less resources often only has one good shot at buying advertising due to the cost, and need to get the apps rank high enough for the organic boost that comes from being well ranked in iTunes.

App discovery apps help solve this problem by giving smaller developers the ability to boost their ranking up through a targeted burst of ads. Because push notifications can be delivered to users at a rapid pace, they are able to drive downloads rapidly – and the rate of download of an app seems to be one of the main factors in determining an apps rank. The same number of downloads achieved through display advertising will generally not drive the same lift in rank because with display ads – you have to wait until a user goes into another app, sees an ad, and chooses to click on it and follow through with a download. A process which can take much longer, and has  much lower conversion rate leading to a higher cost for the developer.

App discovery apps are also big business. AppGratis claims almost 10 million users, and has $13.5 million dollars in venture backing to support it’s rapid user acquisition. With app ranking being so important to discovery, developers are willing to pay big bucks (and give up revenue by making their app free) in the hope that the burst of new users will create a viral effect and people will start to share the app with friends, or buy select in-app-purchases. After what is often hundreds of hours of development time, it is important that they can drive revenue and put food on their table so that they will continue to improve their apps – a benefit to everyone who owns an iPhone or iPad.

We understood when Apple banned TapJoy’s incentive’s download model – it encouraged downloads of apps not because someone wanted the app, but because they wanted the incentive, creating artificial rank boosts where there was no real interest. We also understood and appreciated when Apple cracked down on “top 25 guaranteed” networks like AppMagenta and Gtekna that seemed to be relying on bot farms to push fake downloads – but apps like AppGratis others are downloaded by users specifically for this purpose. Real people are download the apps these systems promote, and not because they have an incentive to do it other than wanting to save a few bucks on downloads.

As Apple cracks down on legitimate ways to promote apps, they alienate the smaller developers who helped make the App Store what it is today. Will more developers focus their time and efforts on Android where the marketing options are larger and there are multiple distribution options, or will Apple take significant steps to improve the nightmare that is currently iTunes app discovery?

Drop us a comment below and let us know what you think! ~Aaron

Last week we were honored to be awarded the 2012 CAPPIE Gold Award for Individual Public Relations Tools – Writing by the Sacramento Public Relations Association. Back in February of 2012 we worked on a campaign to promote The Official Lorax App (available in the iTunes App Store, of course). Inspired by the source, Aaron Watkins wrote a pitch that Dr. Seuss would have been proud of – fun, but effective. (You can check out the pitch below the picture.)

Congratulations, Aaron! We’re proud of you, and happy that our creativity has been recognized by our public relations colleagues.

2012 CAPPIE

CAPPIEs are quite shiny.

Well thank you for reading my pitch-a-ma-phone
for I must tell a tale of an app you should own
or at least write about, yes you must tell the tale
for apps just like this, well… they must leave a trail.

Now, dear reader, please listen I say (with a wheeze)
for I am the Lorax – I SPEAK FOR THE TREES!
I’ve made me an app
out of tidbits and digits
as you know mobile apps are more useful than widgets

What’s an app sir you say?
Well I know that you know
But THIS app my dear friend on your website must go
For unlike other apps that go out with the breeze,
This is the one app that lets YOU speak for trees.

What’s important you see, is you must have the stach’
(I’ve grown mine with the help of the orange miffle mash)
Just hold phone to mouth and start jabbin away
(There are barbaloots listening… please watch what you say)

Or perhaps its your friends that are lacking some whiskers
Just pull up their photo and slap on some ticklers
Then email away, you can even send post!
To your friends and your loved ones you’re missing the most.

So now lift yourself up by the seat of your pants
and get to the app store and give it a glance

Unless someone like you
cares a whole awful lot
No one will review it
I’m afraid they will not.

Sage Board Games today announces Reiner Knizia’s Tigris & Euphrates onto iOS and now Google Play. Reiner Knizia’s Tigris & Euphrates features the same rules, graphics and gameplay as the classic board game. The game is set in the ancient fertile crescent. Within the game, players build civilizations through the placement of tiles such as markets, temples, farms or settlements. It is one of the highest ranking board games on the App Store and has won multiple awards and more.

Calgary, Canada – Sage Board Games today announced the release of Reiner Knizia’s Tigris & Euphrates onto iOS and now Google Play. Tigris & Euphrates is one of the most well-known board games in the genre, having won the prestigious 1997 Meeples’ Choice Award, 1998 Deutscher Spiele Preis Best Family/Adult Game Winner and 1998 Spiel des Jahres Recommended. It is also widely considered to be Reiner Knizia’s masterpiece. The European-style game relies heavily on strategy and player interaction and was well received on iOS devices.

Reiner Knizia’s Tigris & Euphrates features the same rules, graphics and gameplay as the classic board game. The game is set in the ancient fertile crescent. Within the game, players build civilizations through the placement of tiles such as markets, temples, farms or settlements. Tigris & Euphrates is one of the highest ranking board games on the App Store and has won multiple awards and recognition including the 2011 iOS Board Game Awards.

Features:
* Visually stunning graphics utilizing traditional board game design
* Immersive theme music and the option to integrate your own music playlist
* Full tutorial and in-game hints
* Support for three modes of play
* Solo play with varying degrees of AI difficulty
* “Pass and play” with 2 to 4 local human players with or without AI
* Asynchronous online multiplayer (iOS only)

Reiner Knizia’s Tigris & Euphrates is available for download on the iTunes App Store for $4.99 (USD) in the Games category. It is also available for Google Play for $3.99.

Sage Board Games
Reiner Knizia’s Tigris & Euphrates
Purchase and Download (iOS)
Purchase and Download (Google Play)
Screenshot
App Icon

Sage Board Games is an independent software developer, focusing on bringing award-winning and classic board games to mobile devices. With a veritable “who’s who” of Euro games already licensed and several popular titles already published, Sage Board Games has become one of the premiere sources of iOS and Android board games. Copyright (C) 2013 Sage Board Games. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.

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