About Christian Zibreg

Chris follows Apple with passion and has seen his articles published by a number of online media outlets, such as 9to5Mac.com, 9to5Google.com, Geek.com, TGDaily.com and Brightsideofnews.com You can network with him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, learn more on About.me or drop him an email at dujkan@idownloadblog.com.

eBay Now pulled from App Store, its functionality to be folded into main iOS app

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 24, 2014

You may have noticed that the official eBay Now shopping software for the iPhone and iPad has been pulled from the App Store over the weekend. Attempting to download the app yields an error message confirming the removal.

eBay Now allowed users to find and buy various products from local stores. This particular app removal has nothing to do with Apple, mind you.

According to TechCrunch on Monday, the e-commerce website is planning to fold eBay Now functionality into its main iOS client as the Now service is “moving to core” and the company rethinks its same-day delivery plans. Read More

 

Five reasons the iPhone 6’s ability to handle 4K video is a big deal

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 24, 2014

While some photography apps in the App Store — such as the $49.99 Vizzywig 8xHD — make shooting film-like 4K footage on an iPhone a reality by taking a series of individual eight-megapixel images in rapid succession, the general public and techies alike are totally unaware that the latest iPhones are actually capable of rendering 4K 3,840-by-2,160 pixel video.

And who could blame them? After all, Apple’s been conspicuously mum about it. But as it turns out, the A8 chip ticking inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus provides enough oomph to seamlessly handle 4K content playback.

The surprising discovery was made public last week by Softorino (via TUAW), the developers of WALTR, a new Mac app which makes it easy to upload and convert any video or audio file to an iOS-friendly format for native playback on iPhones, iPads, iPods and Apple TVs.

While it makes little sense to render massive 4K videos on the 1,334-by-750 and 1,920-by-1,080 pixel resolution screens of the respective iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones due to inevitable downsampling, the very fact that the A8 processor can handle 4K content is important on many levels. Read More

 

Watch Chase’s first Apple Pay TV ad featuring Jack Antonoff’s Bleachers band

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 24, 2014

As reported by Ad Age this morning, Chase, one of early launch parters for Apple Pay, will begin airing its very first television commercial highlighting Apple’s mobile payment service later today. The ad depicts Fun lead guitarist Jack Antonoff and his indie band the Bleachers relying on Apple Pay to make purchases at several locations while making preparations for a rooftop concert.

The commercial is meant to boost Apple Pay’s appeal in small business environments. Businesses using the Chase Paymentech service for payment processing can now tap the bank’s Future Proof Terminal to accept Apple Pay payments at the register. Moreover, Chase has released updated SDK tools for developers to implement paying for goods and services in apps with Apple Pay. Read More

 

$99 iPhone 6 case with VR headset announced

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 24, 2014

Toronto-based Cordon Development Labs is making rounds Monday with the Pinć, a $99 iPhone case which doubles as a Minority Report style virtual headset with spatial interaction, multi-touch hand gestures via a pair of finger tacks and more, effectively expanding your device into an immersive computing experience.

Data from the wireless rings on each hand is combined with camera input from your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus to track hand motion. Cordon Development Labs is working on a software development kit built on the Unity engine so third-party developers will be able to customize and create various types of experiences for the Pinć.

What’s it like to interact with the Pinć? Check out promo vids included after the break. Read More

 

YouTube issues affecting Yosemite’s Safari

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

According to user-submitted posts over at both Apple Support Communities and Google Product forums, an unknown portion of Mac owners who run Yosemite are having issues playing certain YouTube videos, with some getting Safari crashes when attempting to watch a clip.

It seems to affect some, not all, HTML5 videos and does not manifest itself when using the resource-hog Flash Player, causing Safari to fall back to Flash for video delivery.

Other browsers are unaffected by the annoying problem. Neither Apple nor Google have commented on the matter yet. Digging deeper, it would seem the hiccup could be traced to the YouTube backend because HTML5 videos in Google Chrome and other browsers play without a problem. Read More

 

Court gives Apple final approval for e-book settlement with consumers

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

During a hearing Friday in Manhattan, a United States judge gave Apple final approval to pay $450 million to settle claims that it conspired with five publishers to raise e-book prices on the iBooks Store.

Reuters reports that Judge Cote approved what she called an “unusual” accord. The ruling came after Apple in July agreed to pay big bucks to settle price fixing allegations that the government and class action lawyers leveled against the Cupertino firm. Read More

 

This app records FaceTime calls to your Mac

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

I use FaceTime on a daily basis and have always hated it wouldn’t let me save calls to my Mac in the form of a media file. Surely Apple could have implemented such a feature if they wanted, but they didn’t and I think privacy is a big part of that.

If for whatever reason you need to record FaceTime calls to a Mac, Call Recorder by Ken and Glen Aspeslagh, twin brothers from Massachusetts, has you covered.

The app creates a QuickTime movie file containing an audio track for audio-only calls and a video track for FaceTime video calls. QuickTime is an industry-standard multimedia container, meaning you can play your saved video and audio chats pretty much anywhere, convert the files to other formats in software like iMovie or Adobe After Effects, upload them to YouTube and more. Read More

 

New Microsoft ad says iPhone 6 Plus only makes Siri bigger, not smarter

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

Friday, Windows giant Microsoft published a new Apple-bashing ad on its YouTube channel.

The 30-second television commercial shows off the latest version of Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri-like personal assistant, running on the Lumia 830 and interacting with a bunch of built-in applications.

Cortana amusingly brags to Siri about being able to perform functions Apple’s personal assistant can’t, like alert users to leave early for an appointment using traffic alerts, remind them of things based on who calls or texts and more. Read More

 

Square confirms adding Apple Pay support in 2015

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

Square, the increasingly popular mobile payment and processing firm, is going to support Apple Pay soon. That’s the gist of a comment CEO Jack Dorsey (who co-founded Twitter) made speaking with CNN Money. Apple Pay integration in the Square Reader will require a new hardware iteration of the accessory with built-in NFC circuitry.

Apple Pay, which also relies on NFC, will become available as an option for Square users sometime in 2015. Read More

 

Certify your English proficiency using Duolingo Test Center for iOS

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

The language certification industry commands some surprisingly insane fees so how about fair language certification for all?

Your prayers have been heard: the free learning platform Duolingo on Friday released an iOS app which allows anyone to certify their English proficiency right on their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

Not only can Duolingo Test Center certify your language skills right on an iOS device, but does so at a significant lower price, too.

And because there’s no need to travel long distances to examination facilities available only in select major cities, you can get certified in the comfort of your home, in under half an hour. Read More

 

Google’s new Bookmark Manager surfaces in latest Chrome Beta

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

Following Wednesday’s release of a stable version of the 64-bit edition of Google Chrome for Mac, the Internet giant issued a new version of Chrome Beta for Mac, Windows and Linux that includes an all-new Bookmark Manager feature that previously leaked via screenshots (it was called Stars).

With Bookmark Manager, it will be a lot easier for Chrome fans to manage their saved bookmarks, delete unwanted ones, file them under folders and more.

And when creating a new bookmark, Chrome will let you select an image and add a note or snippet so you can find it more quickly later. “Google will also suggest a folder if it seems like it could be a fit,” the team said in a blog post. Read More

 

iWork for iCloud gets new languages, fonts, easier file renaming and more

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

As first reported by German blog Macerkopf.de [Google Translate], Apple has refreshed its iWork for iCloud suite of productivity web applications with several new features and improvements. Pages is now available in eight new languages:  Deutsch, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Hebrew, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, with bidirectional support for Arabic and Hebrew.

Keynote and Numbers have gained support for the same languages with the exception of Arabic and Hebrew. All three web applications have gained easier file renaming and a couple other editing features. Read More

 

Vimeo gains finely graded notification settings, more informative layouts

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2014

Following up on its August update which brought out uploading functionality in addition to some interesting private sharing options, Vimeo on Thursday issued a brand new version of its iPhone and iPad client.

Now at version 5.1.1, Vimeo’s video pages have gained more informative layouts with the title, creator, play count and other information.

Active Vimeo users often complained about an avalanche of notifications from the site. Feeling their pain, the video sharing site has finally made it possible to cherry-pick notifications to receive in the Vimeo app.

Jump past the fold for other Vimeo 5.1.1 highlights. Read More

 

Evernote for Mac rewritten for speed and energy performance, iOS app gets Work Chat and more

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2014

Evernote, the popular note-taking and productivity platform, on Thursday issued a major refresh to its Mac app while adding a new Work Chat for sharing and collaborating to the iPhone and iPad client, among other items.

After a complete rewrite, Evernote 6.0 for Mac is now significantly faster, more reliable and consumes less energy than ever before.

As if that weren’t enough, the new Mac app comes with half a dozen new features, including sleek new look optimized for OS X Yosemite, search improvements, the ability to resize images and tables, to mention just a few.

iOS and OS X editions of Evernote are available free of charge. Read More

 

You can now privately share tweets in DMs

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2014

After previewing future platform enhancements and features during its Analyst’s Day event, the popular social service Twitter on Thursday began rolling out one of the mentioned new features: the ability to private share a tweet through Twitter’s direct messaging function.

Think about sharing tweets privately with any of your followers in terms of discussing public content in private conversations, the micro-blogging platform suggested.

To do this from Twitter’s main iPhone client, long-press the tweet in your timeline and choose the new “Share via Direct Message” option. The person you share a tweet with will get a push notification, said the company.

Moreover, the tweet will display directly in the conversation. Read More

 

Sega’s Football Manager Handheld 2015 hits iOS

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2014

Japanese games maker Sega on Thursday rolled out Football Manager Handheld 2015 to the App Store. Featuring improved look and feel, a brand new match engine, a Scouting Agency feature and new world rankings with dynamic league reputation, the latest installment in the award-winning Football Manager series lets smartphone and tablet gamers live out the dream of managing their favorite real-life club.

And with enhancements such as richer club stats and a Manager Achievements page to get a run-down on all trophies, awards and achievements won, Football Manager Handheld 2015 should be an insta-buy for anyone in the market for a football manager.

The iPhone and iPad download will set you back ten bucks a pop. Additional features such as challenges and an in-game editor are available through In-App Purchases. Read More

 

You can now adjust focus and lighting of photos in Facebook Messenger

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2014

Facebook on Thursday issued a small update to its Messenger app for the iPhone and iPad, bringing out additional features to touch up the photos you take within the software using the built-in camera feature.

Now available in the App Store at no cost, Facebook Messenger 16.0 fixed an issue with sending messages while introducing a pair of new controls to adjust the focus and lighting of photos you take in the app. Read More

 

Foxconn building $2.9 billion plant to churn out displays exclusively for Apple

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2014

Foxconn, the world’s top contract manufacturer and Apple’s favorite gadget assembly shop, is planning on burning NT$80 billion, or approximately $2.6 billion, on a brand new manufacturing facility in Taiwan that will produce displays exclusively for Apple, Bloomberg reported Thursday morning.

The plant will employ more than two-thousand workers and is being built after “an urgent request for exclusive capacity” from Apple, indicating that the iPhone maker is anticipating growing demand for its devices in the coming years. Read More

 

Carousel by Dropbox gains native iPad UI, sharing to Instagram and WhatsApp and web app

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2014

Released in April of 2014Carousel is a great app to enjoy all your photos stored in Dropbox, but I’ve always resented that it didn’t have a native interface on the iPad. The Dropbox-owned software has received a refresh Thursday, at last adding the native interface on Apple’s tablets.

In addition, Carousel now lets you share images from your Dropbox to Facebook-owner Instagram mobile photography service and WhatsApp mobile messaging platform. And as a nice bonus, the team has thrown in a compelling Carousel web app.

Carousel is available free in the App Store. Read More

 

America First Credit Union’s Visa cards now accepted in Apple Pay

by Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2014

America First Credit Union said in a media release Thursday that cardholders can now use its America First Visa credit and debit cards with Apple Pay. In addition, as explained in a FAQ outlining the service, customers can also use their Visa Business credit and debit cards with Apple’s mobile payment service.

Apple Pay is accepted at more than 220,000 retailers and does not require any special merchant equipment aside from a standard NFC-enabled terminal. Read More

 
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