The new Apple Records?

Apple new-apple-recordssells music. Jimmy Iovine makes music. So Apple Records makes sense, right? Except few actually think it will happen.

Beats co-founders Iovine and Andre “Dr. Dre” Young are extraordinarily well-connected with artists, and Apple is the music industry’s largest retailer. Combining those forces to create a content distribution hub could boost Apple’s bottom line income on iTunes and guarantee it a position in the fast-evolving music industry.

Read more at CNBC.com

The 10 best apps for road warriors

Phones road warriorand tablets are critical accessories for today’s business traveler. Beyond their obvious communications functionality, they’ve become mobile offices, accounting departments and travel assistants.

The fast-paced evolution of the mobile world is regularly changing the game, and there is an ever expanding library of apps that make life on the road significantly easier and more efficient—and simpler to navigate unfamiliar towns. We’ve dug up 10 apps that no business traveler should be without.

Read more at CNBC.com

WB rolls out ‘Inception,’ ‘Dark Knight’ apps

Warner Bros. is looking to use Apple’s app store to boost legit movie downloads.

The studio announced plans Wednesday to roll out “App editions” of “Inception” and “The Dark Knight” for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The free app gives fans of the film an extended preview of the films and film extras in an effort to persuade them to buy the electronic version, which can be downloaded or streamed via an in-app purchase.

Read more at Daily Variety

Warner unveils ‘app editions,’ an alternative to iTunes

Warner Bros. is doubling down when it comes to digital distribution on Apple products.

The company has unveiled “app editions” of both “Inception” and “The Dark Knight” for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad – an alternate way for people to buy their films and an opportunity for consumers in 23 countries not served by iTunes to get a copy as well.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Tech Tussle: Digital Music

It’s hardly a secret that iTunes is under competitive fire in the digital music marketplace. There are plenty of challengers, including such heavyweights as Amazon, Microsoft and Walmart, but none has made a sizable dent to date.

Now Sony is stepping up to the table with its recently announced music streaming service, dubbed Sony Qriocity Music Unlimited, which will roll out by the end of the first quarter. And rather than taking a page from the other players (launching a store to support a new product or in the hopes that music fans will find it), the company is relying on its existing (and widespread) product line to drive sales and adoption.

Read more at Daily Variety

iTunes tops online movie market in 2010

The competition is getting fiercer, but when it comes to online video sales, Apple is still king of the hill.

New data from IHS Screen Digest shows that iTunes was the leader in movie electronic sell through and internet video on demand last year, besting pushes from Amazon, Wal-Mart and others with a commanding 2/3 market share.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

App review: Jenga

Jenga doesn’t seem a natural fit for an app, but NaturalMotion does a terrific job of building an electronic version of this classic — thanks in large part to its terrific physics engine, which causes the blocks to react as they would in the real world. Is it more fun than the game you play with friends around a table? No. But it’s as close as you can come. The pass and play mode is the best mode — since playing Jenga alone isn’t a fulfilling experience. And the new arcade mode, with colors and a timer, is a great spin on the single player game that makes it fun to play when you’re alone. Game Center functionality or some other way to play with friends who aren’t in the immedate room would have been welcome, but at its core, this is a terrific game.

Read more at Common Sense Media


App review: Homerun Battle 3D

Homerun Battle 3D doesn’t have a license from Major League Baseball and doesn’t need one. The focus on hitting balls deep into the stands and the number of perks you can get with special balls — such as gold ones, which let you alter your appearance when you’ve hit enough homeruns with them — make this a great combination of arcade and role playing. The multiplayer mode is safe and a showcase of how matchmaking should be. The only downside is there’s no way to transfer your player’s progress between the iPad HD version and the separate iPhone and iPod Touch version — meaning you not only have to pay twice, all the work you put into the game on one platform won’t help you on another.

Read more at Common Sense Media


App review: Braveheart HD

Braveheart HD might have high aspirations to mimic some of the great “point and click” role-playing games on the market, but it’s ultimately a one-note game. Enemies charge blindly at you and you mow them down, moving around the screen from time to time to pick up experience, health, or cash. While the game boasts 10 different weapons, there’s very little discernible difference in how they’re used on screen. The interstitial cartoon panels between levels end up being the best part of the game — and that’s not something worth paying for.

Read more at Common Sense Media

The best of iTunes: 2010

Apple has put together its list of the top apps and downloads for 2010 – giving an interesting look at how its user base is using its various products.

Games rule supreme for iPhone owners, who pushed them to the top of the paid program charts, but for iPad users, business software beat out everything else.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog