To celebrate the fifth anniversary of its App Store, Apple is making some of its most popular apps and games available for free this week. Featured games include Tiny Wings, Badland, Sword & Sworcery, Infinity Blade 2 and Where’s My Water.
Featured apps include Day One Journal, Traktor DJ, Over, Barefoot World Atlas and How To Cook Everything. For a full list of free apps and games including links, see the blog here.
BlueStacks has announced its upcoming GamePop console will run iOS apps as well as Android apps. Since Apple’s source code isn’t open like Google’s, BlueStacks had to use a virtualisation process it calls LookingGlass to run iOS apps.
LookingGlass uses Google’s open source code for emulation and not Apple’s code, but it is unknown whether Apple will allow it to be used to run iOS apps. The GamePop console and controller will be released later this year and is free for those who preorder by June. The service will cost $6.99 per month for access to games.
Learn more and preorder on the GamePop website here.
Amazon has launched Indie Games Store, which is designed to increase the discoverability of Mac, PC and browser games created by independent developers. The store has an Indie Spotlight section that will feature a bio and Q&A of a different indie developer each week starting with Gaijin Games.
To promote the store, Amazon is offering special Indie Bundles until 23 July. Each bundle comes with 5, 6, or 10 games and will cost $9.99, which is a discount of up to 90% off if purchased separately. All the profits from the sales will go directly to the developers.
Learn more on the Amazon blog here and browse the Indie Games Store here.
Amazon has announced its “Login with Amazon” service that allows users to log in to apps, games and websites using their Amazon credentials to share parts of their profile. The login service is free for users and developers.
Read the announcement here and learn how to add a “Login with Amazon” button using the documentation on the Amazon Developer Center here.
Mad Genius has shown off a prototype of their Motion Capture System that adds motion controls to any console or PC game. The prototype uses a modified Xbox controller that can be split and a processing unit enables motion control and spatial tracking.
Since the controller doesn’t rely on cameras or accelerometers like existing motion tracking systems, it has accuracy of up to 1/100th of an inch. Mad Genius plans to make the final controller wireless and get funding through Kickstarter.
MIT has released Scratch 2.0, which allows children to learn how to program by create stories, games and animations. The new version allows children to program inside their browser instead of download software.
The new interface is similar to the previous one. Programs can be stored on a computer and then uploaded anywhere. A “backpack” can be used to store sprites and backgrounds to easily add them to new projects.
Sprites can also now be drawn as vectors so they scale without losing quality, programming “blocks” can be used to add new logic to a program and it is now possible to use a webcam to interact with sprites.
Interested in learning more? Visit the Scratch website here.
Rovio has released a new Angry Birds app that is available for free on Windows Phone until 15 May 2013. It has almost 200 more levels than the original Angry Birds app available on Windows Phone.
Unlike the original Angry Birds app, the new one has Xbox Live achievements
and leaderboards on Windows Phone 8. It also now supports devices with only 256MB of RAM.
Using a Windows Phone? Download the game on the Windows Phone store here.
Using an Android or iOS device? There is a new ad-supported Angry Birds Friends that tracks scores through Facebook. Download it on Google Play here or the iTunes store here.