Reader eBooks by Sony, Angry Birds Star Wars, BBC iPlayer, Facebook, Instagram rolls out Web profiles, app sales, and more

9to5Mac compiled another list of the top app news, updates, and launches in our usual roundup below. The highlights from today includes statistics on how the newly Web-geared Instagram helped capture Hurricane Sandy in real-time, a new eBook app by Sony, and a shiny teaser trailer for Rovio’s Angry Birds Star Wars (above). Oh, and a few app sales—check it out:


1. Angry Birds Star Wars
After releasing a string of teasers for its title landing on iOS Nov. 8, Rovio posted the first official full-length gameplay trailer today for its new Star Wars edition of Angry Birds.

Angry Birds Star Wars will be out on November 8, but until then, watch this gameplay trailer and scream “OH MY GOODNESS!!!!” to yourself in the mirror

2. Instagram | Free
Hurricane Sandy barreled through the East Coast last week, and those in its stormy path made sure to document all of the havoc in real-time with the help of Instagram. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom revealed to GigaOM today that folks uploaded over 800,000 photos tagged with the #Sandy hashtag. Systrom specifically noted Sandy was “probably the biggest event to be captured on Instagram.” The news from Systrom this morning came as the Facebook-acquired company also announced the rollout of new Web profiles with a very Facebook-esque look (via official Instagram blog):

You’ve asked for Instagram on the web and we’ve listened. Over the next few days, we’ll be rolling out Instagram profiles on the web!

Your web profile features a selection of your recently shared photographs just above your profile photo and bio, giving others a snapshot of the photos you share on Instagram. In addition, you can follow users, comment & like photos and edit your profile easily and directly from the web. It’s a beautiful new way to share your Instagram photos!

Just launched

1. Reader – eBooks from Sony | Free
Sony just launched a free Reader eBook app for iOS to compete with Apple’s iBooks and Amazon’s Kindle. The app touts the same experience as its Reader device, and it offers access to old purchases stored on the Reader’s cloud-based library. Additional features include:

  • A natural, book-like reading experience
  • Intuitive navigation makes using the app as easy as the turn of a page
  • Adjustable font size and contrast to customize your reading preferences (sayonara, spectacles!)
  • Leave your mark! Create and edit bookmarks as you read
  • Access to your Reader library to read new purchases and old favorites
  • Personalized collections and library organization
  • Option of Day and Night reading modes


1. Facebook | Free
Facebook has updated its iOS app today to version 5.1 with a number of new features including the ability to send real “Facebook Gifts” (for U.S. users), and a few new messaging features:

• Swipe left anywhere in the app to quickly see who’s available and send a message
• Add friends you message most to the top of your Favorites
• Share multiple photos fast
• Give real gifts to your friends using Facebook Gifts (US-only)
• When sending messages, see who’s active so you and your friends know how soon to expect a reply

2. BBC iPlayer | Free
Version 2.0 of the BBC’s TV and Radio player app now features the ability to download TV shows for offline viewing. The downloads are stored for up to 30 days.

New for Version 2.0 – download TV programmes to watch anywhere. Never suffer a boring journey again…Download TV programmes and they’re yours to keep for up to 30 days…Take your favourite programmes with you, be it on the way to work, on a flight, or with the kids in the car.

3. TuneIn Radio Pro | 99 cents
Version 3.0 landed yesterday with a slew of improvements and new features. The music app’s full changelog:

  • We’ve improved our player to bring the world’s music, sports and news to you faster.
  • You can now share your favorite stations with your friends more easily through Facebook (iOS 6 only).
  • Album artwork and station info now display on your locked screen so you can quickly and easily see what’s playing after your phone has gone to sleep.
  • Have an iPhone 5? TuneIn now fills your entire screen.
  • Get into the season! Enjoy the holidays with hundreds of Halloween and Christmas stations.
  • Sports fans, get your game on with many college bowl games.
  • Fixed playback issues
  • Fixed recordings update

App sales

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel