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Fishlabs sets the Galaxy on Fire with Valkyrie update

Fishlabs Entertainment is a German-based gaming studio that scored a hit with the Galaxy on Fire series for iOS. The latest, most popular iteration is Galaxy on Fire 2, which Fishlabs has kept fresh with updates and extra content since launch. Players fight pirates, loot, mine asteroids and perform several other Elite-style tasks.

The latest update is called Valkyrie, which debuted as I chatted with Fishlabs at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco last week. The HD update makes the game look stunning. Even iPhone owners will benefit, as those with the standard version get Valkyrie's HD graphics for free. Valkyrie meets fan requests like larger ships and a new storyline, which Fishlabs says will run as long as the game content is available.

Galaxy on Fire is a gorgeous game, and Fishlabs says it's ready for the new iPad. As soon as they get hands on the new hardware, they'll "optimize the assets" and be ready to go. They are excited about the new quad core processors, but for Galaxy on Fire itself, Fishlabs probably won't add any extra features. Instead, they'll just make the game look better. "We'd rather use the hardware to improve the visual quality," I was told.

Fans can expect another DLC pack coming soon. Supernova, which will have its own unique storyline and graphical updates. By the year's end, Fishlabs expects to release another new game they're not ready to discuss. "A free-to-play title set in the Galaxy on Fire universe" is all I was told.

Fishlabs is doing quite well. Space-trading simulators have a limited audience. While Galaxy on Fire is an excellent game, it might not appeal to casual gamers. But Fishlabs continues to prove that as long as you have a dedicated and interested audience, you can assemble a successful franchise on Apple's platform.

TUAW - The Unofficial Apple WeblogFishlabs sets the Galaxy on Fire with Valkyrie update originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 12 Mar 2012 08:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Long wait ahead for new iPad orders

Apple’s launch-day stock of the new iPad has been extinguished, with all ten of the March 16 launch countries now warning of 2-3 week delays for new online orders. Availability of the third-generation tablet had been tight almost from the beginning, with demand quickly outstripping supply of certain models, but now all versions – WiFi-only and 3G/4G – are expected to only ship at the end of March or the beginning of April.

The US had proved more resilient than other locations, such as the UK, Germany and Switzerland, with pre-orders tipped to ship by March 19 as recently as Friday last week. However it seems eager iPad buyers woke up to the new slate this weekend, as the US Apple Store currently suggests a 2-3 week delay before shipments just like every other location.

Although Apple hasn’t talked about exactly how many units it has available in the first wave, that hasn’t stopped speculation about production levels. CEO Tim Cook described the simultaneous ten country launch as the biggest in iOS device history, but rumors of shortages of the Retina Display 2048 x 1536 IPS display the new iPad uses have thrown doubt upon Apple’s expected ability to keep up with demand.

Meanwhile, queues have already started outside of Apple Stores ahead of retail availability this coming Friday. If you’re still on the fence, check out our full new iPad hands-on coverage from the launch event last week, and further details in the Apple Hub.

Long wait ahead for new iPad orders is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Marvel ReEvolution brings comics to the digital world

If you are a comic book fan, you certainly know the Marvel name as the publisher behind the most iconic super heroes in the world. The company was at SXSW this week talking about some of its new products that will be coming. At the show, Marvel is talking up what it calls the Marvel ReEvolution. The goal of this is to bring print and digital media together for a new and unprecedented comic experience.

The first part of his plan includes Marvel Infinite Comics, which is a new comic book format along with Marvel AR. Marvel AR is the first augmented reality app from a comics company. The app and Marvel Infinite comics will launch together on April 4 when the first issue of Avengers vs. X-Men is published. The Infinite brand will use tablets and smartphones as the canvas for telling the comic stories. Marvel promises to take advantage of new technology while maintaining what fans expect from the medium.

The Marvel AR app is powered by Aurasma and will be offered for Android and iOS devices. The app will work in conjunction with special comics that have the Marvel AR logo on them. When users scan Marvel AR product codes, they will get exclusive content, including new footage, the ability to hear from creators, and catch up on past events. Since Marvel is calling the app augmented reality, it would seem the content will play over the top of the product rather than working like a QR code and simply linking the user to online content.

Marvel ReEvolution brings comics to the digital world is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Nokia Windows 8 Qualcomm tablet tipped for Q4

Nokia will launch its first Windows 8 tablet in Q4 2012, insiders have suggested, a 10-inch Windows-on-ARM machine using a dual-core Qualcomm chipset as the company looks to expand beyond smartphones. The move, tipped by DigiTimes sources among component suppliers claim, is expected to buoy Microsoft’s position against Android tablet manufacturers, with the slate most likely to be powered by a Snapdragon S4 “Krait” chipset such as inside the Windows 8 developer hardware Qualcomm handed out last month.

Compal is expected to be Nokia’s manufacturing partner, with the Finns expected to see over 200,000 units in their first shipment.

The narrowness of Nokia’s current product range in relation to those from Apple, Samsung and others was a repeated theme in the Finnish company’s most recent SEC filing [pdf link], with Nokia citing it as a potential ecosystem issue in comparison to the multi-platform phone and tablet offerings from its rivals.

However, the company has until now said that it will hold off from producing a tablet until it feels it can differentiate itself from the rest of the market, a strategy that has looked increasingly sensible given the difficulties Android slates have had taking on the iPad. Windows 7 tablets have also struggled to compete with Apple, something Microsoft hopes to change with its more finger-friendly updated OS later in the year.

A Windows-based computer is no stranger to Nokia, though. The company launched the Booklet, a 3G-enabled upscale netbook, back in 2009, though while build quality was praised the premium pricing and relatively underpowered Intel Atom processor meant the ultraportable was quietly retired without replacement.

Nokia Windows 8 Qualcomm tablet tipped for Q4 is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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iTether is back with HTML5 app skirting App Store

If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, you probably recall the app that was only App Store last year for about a day called iTether. The app was designed to allow you to tether your iPhone to computer and use it as a modem without having to fork over extra fees carriers demand for tethering. Apple originally approved the app, only to turn around and kick it off App Store within a day.

The folks over at iTether didn’t just give up and walk away. The company now has a new app with a sneaky design that bypasses the App Store altogether. The new iTether app is HTML 5 based and will be available starting this week for $15 a year if you pre-order. Apparently, after the app launches the price will go up $30 a year.

It’s interesting that the app is completely HTML 5 based and runs from the browser. It creates a wireless ad-hoc connection to connect your computer to the Internet using your iPhone’s data connection. I always felt like the reason Apple removed the app originally was carrier pressure. I suspect that iTether is going to get more the little pushback from carriers with this HTML 5 solution, and we may even see some legal action.

iTether is back with HTML5 app skirting App Store is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Instagram for Android coming “very soon”

Photo-sharing app Instagram for Android, the version of the wildly popular iPhone app for devices running Google’s smartphone platform, is currently in testing for imminent release, the company has confirmed. The long-anticipated Android version of the app comes as Instagram confirms it already has over 27m registered users, TechCrunch reports, with “Facebook-level engagement” said to be the usage pattern. Still, according to co-founder kevin Systrom, iPhone Instagram users may find themselves jealous of the version their Android cousins get to play with.

“In some ways, it’s better than our iOS app” Systrom said of the work-in-progress Android app. “It’s crazy.”

Unfortunately, specific details of that “craziness” and how, exactly, the Android version exceeds the iOS app weren’t shared. However, co-founder Mike Kreiger did say that the Google Android team have apparently been impressed by how Instagram “leverages” the OS.

When, exactly, the app will be released is unclear. Systrom said it was currently in private beta, the Huffington Post reports, and that it will hit the Android Market “very soon” though failed to give any exact timescale.

Instagram for Android coming “very soon” is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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