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Thursday, July 31, 2008, 03:20 pm PT (06:20 pm ET)

iPod shuffle 4GB may be enroute; QuarkXPress 8; more

Apple could boost its least expensive iPod this fall with a redesign and 4GB of storage, according to one report. Also, Quark has shipped a major overhaul of its long-running publishing software, the iFund is now backing a game developer, and Apple is now offering daily statistics to iPhone software developers for their App Store sales.

iPod shuffle moving to 4GB, redesign?

Often considered the runt of Apple's lineup with the least amount of changes, the iPod shuffle may receive a more substantial update alongside its larger counterparts, according to an unverified rumor from TGDaily.

While most of the report's claims about other iPods are drawn from analysts and third-party rumors, the technology site points to more than one unnamed and unverified source that claims a "slight re-design" in the works for the screenless iPod that would allegedly also boost its capacity from 2GB to 4GB and add new colors.

Whether or not the price will change is unknown and largely speculative; an iPod shuffle price cut to $49 early this year has rekindled sales of the music player, but would hurt Apple's typical selling price and may have less impact.

Analysts and outside rumor creators have already predicted similar moves for the rest of the iPod lineup, including the possibility of a new 16GB, tall-screened iPod nano and either a 64GB iPod touch or else a price-reduced refresh.

Quark ships QuarkXPress 8

Quark on Thursday began shipping QuarkXpress 8, the latest version of its page design app.

As previewed in May, the new version centers around a redesigned interface that Quark expects will simplify most common tasks and permit more keyboard shortcuts.

It's also aimed at those who have converted to Adobe InDesign or are considering making the move. Version 8 supports both Illustrator and Photoshop files natively and includes both image and Flash animation editing tools meant both to let publishers work in a single app and also reduce dependence on Adobe's larger Creative Suite.

Other touches in the app include document-wide grids and object styles that streamline creating documents with multiple pages that contain the same layouts.

A full version of QuarkXPress 8 costs $799, while an upgrade version is priced at $299. A 60-day trial is also available.

iFund backs game developer ngmoco

The next recipient of money from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Beyers' iFund venture capital pool is game developer ngmoco, the two organizations announced on Thursday.

The software firm believes the iPhone is the "next great game platform" and plans to use its initial funding to create titles specific to the handset and the iPod touch.

How much money was invested into ngmoco remains confidential, though the company adds that former Electronic Arts creative head (and now Kleiner Perkins partner) Bing Gordon will join ngmoco's board of directors.

iPhone developers receiving official App Store sales counts

Software teams anxious to learn how well their apps are selling in iTunes' App Store are now receiving sales results directly from Apple, says a report from MacRumors.

While Apple had been offering download counts on launch only to pull them hours later, fully registered developers are now receiving daily download statistics through the iTunes Connect web interface they use to manage their iPhone releases.

Having tangible data is considered crucial by developers, who otherwise would have few ways of determining whether a paid app is priced low enough to attract buyers or whether any one product among several is truly popular in absolute terms, rather than just relative to competitors.