April 2013 saw the resolution of several Apple lawsuits and the start of many more, most of them involving patents in one form or another. This month, one judge explains that battery drain is normal behavior, three brothers in Texas hope to turn ambiguity into a “reasonable” royalty, five software engineers blame a bunch of tech companies for their inability to get a decent paycheck, and a whole lot of iPhone users are going to get $15.
This week on the Free Apps Roundup: Have you been for more Angry Birds, but with social networking features built right in? Do you want prepare for May the Fourth with LEGO Star Wars? Want to add your own handwriting in your custom greeting cards directly from the app? We’ve got all that and more inside.
I’m a little excited for Iron Man 3, as you should be also. In the meantime, you can kill some time and some A.I.M. forces in the endless 3D runner that is Iron Man 3 for iOS. You should also check out AppShopper Social. It’s a great app for keeping track of other apps on the App Store. You can even set triggers to be notified of price changes for specific apps when/if they happen. Plus, Pangea decided to offer up a bunch of games for free. It’s going to be a good weekend for your iOS device.
Games, movies, and TV shows based around a zombie apocalypse have been enjoying a nonstop stream of popularity; they’re the go-to monster for a property. Zombies are a useful antagonist because it’s so easy to dehumanize them. You don’t have to worry about developing their character, or working out their motivations; they’re dead, they want to feast on the living. But around that basic premise game designers can build very different tones for how they, and we, deal with the end of the world.
This week on the Free Apps Roundup: It’s the week of the update; various apps have been significantly upgraded. Take, for instance, Aviary. It’s up to version 2, and it’s a feature-packed photo editing app that’s easy to use. Also, TWC has enabled live TV streaming outside of the home network for cable subscribers. And if upgrades aren’t your thing, there’s a zombie killing and driving game called R.I.P. Rally. Plus tons more.
This week on the Free Apps Roundup: Fruit Ninja and Fruit Ninja HD are free for a limited time! If you’re a fan of golf, you’ll have to check out GolfStar. And if you want to take a trip down memory lane, approximately 15 years in the past, you might just want to take care of a virtual pet again with the Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. app. All this and more, which may even include getting Angry Birds Star Wars for free from Starbucks.
Ever been in a situation where an Apple online service—like iMessage, Facetime, or iCloud—wasn’t working as expected and you weren’t sure if the problem was on your end or Apple’s? Well, there’s a handy web page you can check on Apple.com that will tell you what the status is of every online service they support, including the various web stores and iCloud.
Last weekend, Tesla Motors announced that sales of its four-door sports sedan—the Fremont, California built Tesla Model S—exceeded the target it had cited in its mid-February shareholder letter, with sales exceeding 4,750 units vs. the 4,500 unit prior outlook. Not bad work for co-founder and CEO Elon Musk, whose profile was raised in the Apple community last fall when he was called “the Steve Jobs of automobiles,” and who reportedly refers to the Model S his “Macintosh.”
Best Buy commemorated the iPad’s third birthday with a clearance sale on a variety of iPad models, including examples of the Retina third-generation iPad selling for less than some iPad Mini models. Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt thinks the iPad price cuts are a pretty good sign that Apple is about to replace the current models with new or refreshed ones.
March 2013 saw several patent and trademark Apple lawsuits, and another chapter in the epic Apple vs. Samsung battle. Other names this month include Sweet (not Georgia) Brown, the DoJ, THX, some animation studio in China, some Internet tech firm in China, the European Union (because they apparently have nothing else to worry about?), Google, Motorola, and the Mexican Supreme Court.