Astraware Launches Bubble Shuffle

Astraware has released what appears to be another great word puzzle game for Palm OS, Windows Mobile Professional, and iPhone/iPod touch.

“Astraware(R) – the Handmark(R) Games StudioTM has today released a fun new word game featuring ever-friendly, fishy host, Wordsworth Smartygills. Bubble ShuffleTM follows on from Bubble Babble in the ‘Bubble’ word game series.

Bubble Shuffle is a simple undersea-themed word-building game that challenges players to create words from a given set of bubble letters. Perfect for adults and children, the game begins with 4 letters to work from and increases over multiple levels to 7 letters. To progress from level to level players must create at least one word from all of the letters. Players can shuffle the bubbles as many times as they want, to help them find more words.

The game features 4 fun game modes – 2 timed, and 2 more relaxing untimed games, each with a variation on the basic gameplay. Wordsworth Smartygills guides you through how to play, and can provide hints and clues throughout the game just by tapping him. Bubble Shuffle includes 4 levels of difficulty, and advanced anagram-anglers are rewarded for finding more unusual and esoteric words, with the option of requiring rare words from the inbuilt extended dictionary!

Players can earn a collection of colorful seahorse pets for Wordsworth by various achievements, from reaching new difficulty levels to the challenge of finding all of the possible words within the time limit.

Bubble Shuffle is available for Palm OS(R), Windows Mobile(R), iPhoneTM and iPod(R) touch. For more information, visit http://www.astraware.com/bubbleshuffle.”

Fans of Astraware’s games will recall that game host “Wordsworth Smartygills” first appeared in Bubble Babble, another undersea word game which is currently available for Palm OS, Windows Mobile Professional, and Windows Mobile Smartphone.

Apple iPhone Coming to Wal-Mart

Gadgets On The Go is reporting that Wal-Mart will begin selling the Apple iPhone G3 this coming Sunday, December 28. The retailer will carry both the 8 and 16GB editions of the phone at $197 and $297 with a new 2-year service agreement.

“We are delighted to bring customers this ground-breaking mobile technology,” said Gary Severson, senior vice president, Entertainment, Wal-Mart, in the press release. “Our electronics associates have been preparing for many weeks for the arrival of iPhone 3G. We are excited to now help new customers learn more about the features and services that make the iPhone unique.”

[Via GadgetsOnTheGo.net…]

Astraware Board Games Available for iPhone/iPod touch

Astraware Board Games is now available from the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPod touch users. Astraware Board Games is a collection of eight classic board games including Chess, Backgammon, Ludo, Checkers, Reversi, Nine Men’s Morris, Snakes & Ladders and Tic Tac Toe.

For the iPhone/iPod edition of Board Games, Astraware has applied some of the Apple special sauce to the mix to enhance the gaming experience not found on other mobile platforms. For example, players shake their device to shake the dice, touch and slide their piece to move it, and enjoy enhanced graphics that take advantage of the high-quality screen on the devices. In addition, players have the choice of playing against the CPU, against friends using “hotseat” multiplayer on one device, or against a friend on two separate devices using a local Wi-Fi connection.

Astraware Board Games is available now from the Apple App Store and sells for $4.99. For more information about Board Games, or to see a short video of the game in action, head over to the Astraware website.

My kids love playing this game on my Palm Treo 755p. I know that they are going to enjoy it even more when they get to play against Dad on his iPod. I am definitely going to get this game for our upcoming family vacation.

Rumor: 4GB iPhone Headed to Wal-Mart

I just saw this over on Barron’s Tech Trader Daily website.

“Remember last week’s rumor that Wal-Mart (WMT) is about to start selling Apple (AAPL) iPhones?

Apparently, it’s true. Both Bloomberg and the San Jose Mercury News quote employees at various Wal-Mart stores saying they expect to start selling the phone before the end of the month, likely between Christmas and New Year’s Day – maybe sooner.

According to the Merc, Kim Nguyen, manager of the cell phone department at the Milpitas Wal-Mart, said she was told by an AT&T representative that her store would be getting a 4 GB model. She also said the store was supposed to get some iPhones two days before Christmas.”

Via Tech Trader Daily…

Astraware My Little Tank for iPhone/iPod Touch, Updates

Astraware has announced that My Little Tank, a casual-style arcade game, has been updated and enhanced for Palm OS and Windows Mobile and has released a three new versions of the game for iPhone/iPod touch, BlackBerry, and Symbian S60-based phones.

My Little Tank is a fun arcade blaster in which players can navigate through the original 60, and now 20 additional, action-packed, increasingly challenging levels as they shoot enemy tanks, defend their base, and destroy enemy radar stations and bases. Lovingly crafted miniature terrains include snow, swamp, plains, and deserts. The game also includes a range of power-ups to aid players in winning each mission.

The new edition of My Little Tank for iPhone/iPod touch, includes a choice of control options including an onscreen virtual d-pad, swipe to move the tank, and accelerometer-based directional tilt.

A demo video of My Little Tank for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch can be found here. My Little Tank can be purchased from the Apple App Store for $4.99.

In addition to the new iPhone/iPod touch edition, Astraware has also released new versions of My Little Tank for BlackBerry and Symbian S60 phones similar to the versions for Palm OS and Windows Mobile devices.

For more details about My Little Tank, check out the Astraware website.

Astraware Releases New iPhone, iPod touch Games

Handmark(R) today announced its ‘Glyph(R)’ puzzle game for iPhone and iPod touch is available on the Apple App Store. Glyph is a puzzle game, developed in partnership by Sandlot Games and Astraware(R) – the Handmark Games Studio, in which players try to save the dying world of Kuros by reassembling ancient glyphs hidden beneath layers of rock and glistening stones. Using the unique iPhone multi-touch interface, players can touch groups of like-colored gemstones to break through ancient layers of rock and reveal the glyphs.

Glyph is available worldwide for the introductory price of $1.99 (regular price $4.99) from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at http://www.itunes.com/appstore.

For more information and to view a demo video, visit http://www.astraware.com/iphone/glyph.

GTS World Racing Updated

Handmark has also updated GTS World Racing to include support for head-to-head racing against a friend over a local Wi-Fi connection. Details can be found on the Astraware website.

Smartphone Apps for the Rest of Us

Information Week has an interesting little article on their website about how non-iPhone users can obtain new software for their smartphones.

“Sure, iPhone users have access to the iPhone Apps Store, but where are the rest of us supposed to get great content for our cell phones? Turns out, all over the place.

Long before the iPhone Apps Store was a gleam in Steve Jobs’ eye, each major wireless network operator offered up numerous third-party applications to their customers through a variety of storefronts.

The carriers have their own developer programs, application testing procedures, and delivery systems to get apps into the hands of users. InformationWeek took the time to speak to the carriers and get the scoop on how you can find games, music, and location-based services applications for your phone. “

Keep reading Smartphone Apps for the Rest of Us

Other Sources of Software

While you can go through your wireless carrier’s portal for software, there are even more places you can go for software.

Palm Software Connection… (Palm OS, Windows Mobile)
PalmGear… (Palm OS)
PocketGear… (Windows Mobile, BlackBerry)
Handmark… (Palm OS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, iPhone)
Handango
… (Palm OS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian OS, Android)
MobiHand… (Palm OS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian OS, iPhone, Android)

Don’t forget the vendors! Many software developers sell their software directly from their own websites. If you really like a vendor’s software, buying it directly from a vendor’s website ensures that they get the most compensation for their work.

UPDATE:
An anonymous Smartphone Fanatics reader has pointed out another great source for mobile software, MobiHand.com.

New Name, Expanding Smartphone Coverage

Today is both an ending and a beginning. After long and careful deliberation, it is time to say goodbye to “Foleo Fanatics.” In the year since Palm canceled the Foleo Mobile Companion it has become increasingly evident that the Foleo, in it’s original configuration and name, will never be released.

The Foleo unit that I was able to use, even for a short while, showed amazing potential and I’m still looking for something to replace it.

However, the time has come to look beyond the Foleo and, starting today, Foleo Fanatics has become Smartphone Fanatics.

Smartphone Fanatics will continue where Foleo Fanatics has left off, providing you with the same great coverage of the Palm user community. We also plan on expanding our coverage beyond Palm’s products. Moving forward, look for increasing coverage of Windows Mobile devices from great vendors like High Tech Computng (HTC). We will also be covering the exciting new BlackBerry smartphones coming out of Research In Motion (RIM). And, lastly, we also plan to cover everybody’s favorite entertainment device, the Apple iPhone.

Welcome to Smartphone Fanatics!

Alan Grassia
Editor, SmartphoneFanatics.com

Palm OS Emulator for iPhone Found in the Wild

1SRC co-founder Joel Suplido has obtained a leaked Palm OS emulator for Apple’s wildly popular iPhone and iPod Touch. Of the emulator, Joel writes:

“The icons do look “ancient” but it’s great to see PalmOS again. Turning the iPhone sideways produces a much smaller screen. I do wish there’s a landscape version too!”

I know that many Palm OS fanboys/girls will be looking forward to the official release of the emulator along with Tyler Faux’s follow up to LudusP, Shark Radiology.

[Via 1SRC.com…]

Hope you all had a happy April Fool’s Day!
-Alan