Since it’s launch in June 2008 the App Store has been a hit with both application publisher and app downloaders the world over. So much so that the App Store is racing towards it’s 25 billionth download! That’s a whole load of applications!

The above snippet was captured at 20:11 18th Feb 2012 (GMT) judging by the rate of the animated counter over on the official page I’d expect the 25th billion will be achieved in the next few days/weeks.

What’s more, Apple are offering the lucky downloader with a US$ App Store voucher for $10,000. That’s quite some prize.. So get downloading people.. Who know’s – it could be you! :)

One of the downsides of using a laptop as a main computer is it’s constant ‘want’ to power down/sleep to preserve battery.  However, there are some times when it powering down is really unhelpful – during the middle of long processes such as file transfers or downloads are good examples.

Well luckily the boffins over at Lighthead software have come up with a solution.  A tiny little menu bar app named ‘Caffeine‘, Caffeine has similar effects on your Mac as you would expect it would have on the hard working internet geek sipping coffee whilst searching for the web for future tech.

With a single click of the mouse Caffeine will prevent your Mac from going to sleep, the screen dimming or the screen saver kicking in.

However, there is a small caveat you should keep in mind whilst using Caffeine – Screen savers are there for a reason and ideally shouldn’t be left switched off for long periods of time. Static images on your screen can and will cause damage.

Caffeine is available to download from the Mac App store, or from Lighthead Software’s website.

Since the introduction of Google Latitude the Apple App Store has slowly been filling up with apps that perform ‘background’ updating to keep your location up to date. Some have had better reviews then others. Google have recently released their very own Latitude app which includes it’s very own variation of Background updating.

The application features a slick and feature full interfaces, with a quick an easy overview of all your friends current location in one easy to use screen. Not only that, but with easy access to the map for each of your contacts, and the ability to show directions from your current location the app really is the best on the market.
Latitude is available for free to download from the App Store.

JiWire LogoThe clever boffins over at jiwire have recently released an update to their popular iPhone based Wi-Fi hotspot locator. The previous version was close to making it to my top ten list, but just had a little something missing.. This one however, really does seem to tick all the boxes for me!

The Jiwire hotspot finder boasts the listing of over 300,000 hotspots in over 140 countries, and with the ability to add hotspots direct from the app more are getting added daily.
Some of the app’s other features are:
The ability to search for hotspots anywhere in the world,
The ability to get Wi-Fi hotspot details and call the location, get directions or add to a list of favourites,
The ability to filter search results by free or paid, provider or location,
The ability to download the hotspot directory for offline use,
The ability to share your finds using twitter or facebook,
and even more. Check out this page for the remaining features.
The application is compatible with both the iPod touch and iPhone OS 3.0 or later.
I’ve found this app invaluable in the past when I am out with my laptop with an urgent email to send, and as iPhone tethering on the UK Orange network is astronomically priced i’m often stuck hunting down a hotspot.
Jiwire also offer an online wi-fi hotspot finder, which you can find over at their homepage.
If you know of a hotspot near by, why not help the growth of the already massive database by submitting it’s details here

Here’s one for all of you Mafia Wars players out there… Mafia Wars is a game by Zynga Game Network Inc. hosted on the popular social networking sites Facebook and MySpace. If you are a fan of Mafia Wars, then you’ll like this.. 

iMobsters is a popular iPhone role playing game by Storm8, it’s based around the same principals as Mafia Wars, in which you start of as a lone gangster running the streets of the Bronx. Working for a Godfather, for which you accrue points to spend on various things by completing missions.
Each mission is based around a crime, and requires energy points and weapons to complete. As you work through the missions you earn cash, which you can spend on more weapons in order to complete more jobs. Or place down on real estate, to become the ultimate property tycoon.
In a similar way to Mafia Wars, you can invite other iPhone players using your own unique iMobster code, which you can see in the picture to the left just under the gangster. (Mine is T9S89D) When you are not doing missions, you also have the ability to initiate turf wars with other iMobster players, where obviously the bigger, better equipped mafia wins.

Become the head mob boss and rule New York City. Run dangerous missions, expand and install your mob throughout the city, and take out rival mobsters in this action-packed crime game.

Start as a petty thief and rise to become the Mafia Don by bringing others into your mob and spreading your influence throughout the city. Fight other mobsters in the most immersive massively multiplayer game ever!

  • Massively Multiplayer ONLINE Mafia Game for the iPhone and iPod Touch!
  • FREE updates with new missions, weapons, real estate, and more!
  • Fight other players LIVE
  • Arm your mob with the most powerful weapons, armor, and vehicles
  • Control the city by acquiring real estate and extracting a fat income from them
  • Bring your friends into your mob to make it stronger
  • Perform numerous dangerous missions
  • Enjoy gorgeous graphics
  • Enjoy mafia sounds
  • Loot rare items
  • Get real time updates
  • Add players to the hit list
  • Comment on other mobsters’ profiles
  • Broadcast messages to your mob
  • …and much, much more!

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