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.

Apple wants some Watch apps ready in two weeks

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 30, 2015

According to sources who spoke to MacRumors on condition of anonymity, Apple told certain developers to have their Watch apps ready by mid-February.

Ostensibly, among them is one of biggest Apple Pay partners who was reportedly asked to prepare an iOS app with WatchKit support and have it ready to launch in the App Store by February 12.

The wrist-worn gizmo is arriving in April, Apple CEO told investors on an earnings call earlier this week. Conventional wisdom says testing third-party apps ahead of the launch is necessary to ensure key Watch apps work properly and, more importantly, don’t create a major drain on the battery.

Another possibility: carefully-selected developers get a chance to show off their apps at a launch event, assuming there’s any. In addition to furthering the Watch narrative, featuring third-party apps in live demos at another event would go a great length toward explaining what the Watch is really for and maybe turn us all into believers.

Sounds plausible? Read More

 

New Adobe apps: Digital Editions e-book reader and PaintCan for turning photos into paintings

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 30, 2015

Adobe has published a pair of new applications on the App Store, Adobe Digital Editions and PaintCan. The former allows you to access and manage e-reading material in Adobe’s DRM-protected format on your iPad, with editions for Windows and Mac PCs also available for achieving cross-platform nirvana.

The latter, as the name suggest, is an easy-to-use painting software for creating nice-looking artworks from your favorite photos using either one of the preset brushes with different textures or your own brushes customized to your liking. Read More

 

Vine Kids gives children a fun way to watch Vines

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 30, 2015

Vine, a short video-sharing service Twitter acquired in 2011, today announced a brand new iPhone app aimed at children. Dubbed Vine Kids, it utilizes animated characters, to let kids watch videos that the company deems appropriate for a young audience.

The idea for an app apparently came after one of Vine team members realized how much his two-year-old daughter enjoyed watching funny Vines.

The team then set out to create an iOS app that would act as a safe place for children to enjoy funny Vines without being exposed to, you know, adult or otherwise questionable content that people share on the service. Read More

 

Photos of Apple’s Chongqing store, opening tomorrow ahead of Chinese New Year

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 30, 2015

Apple is scheduled to open a new flagship retail store in Jiefangbei Square in Chongqing, China, its second store in the city.

The beautiful structure borrows Apple’s Pudong store design in Shanghai: an above-ground all-glass cylinder with an Apple logo and a hand-painted mural conceals the actual store located under street level.

Apple invited select members of the press on a tour of the Chongqing store ahead of the grand opening tomorrow at 10am local time and Chinese blog MacX posted a series of images showing the store’s deceptively large underground interior. Read More

 

AOL shutting down popular Apple blog TUAW

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 30, 2015

Sad news in the Apple publishing community today. Word on the street is that AOL, amid a new round of lay-offs, is going to shut down TUAW, one of the longest-standing publications and among the most successful blogs in the Weblogs, Inc. portfolio.

TUAW, which derived its name from the acronym for The Unofficial Apple Weblog, was founded in 2004 to cover tips, reviews, news, analysis and opinion on everything Apple.

According to TechCrunch, AOL will be folding both TUAW and Jostiq, a video gaming blog founded in 2004, into Engadget, another high-profile publication it acquired as part of the 2005 purchase of Weblogs, Inc. and its network of about 90 blogs. Read More

 

Facebook launches new Place Tips feature in your News Feed, rolls out Facebook Bluetooth Beacons

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 30, 2015

Yesterday, Facebook announced a new feature in the hope of fending off threat posed by Foursquare and Yelp, both of which rule the crowd-sourced location discovery market.

Place Tips, as it’s called, injects useful information about the place you’re right at, including your friends’ recommendations and “fun, useful and relevant info,” right inside your News Feed.

But don’t your worry, you can turn it off at anytime! Read More

 

Sign of the times: Apple stops reporting iPod sales

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

The original iPod music player debuted on October 23, 2001, about eight and a half months after iTunes for OS X was released. The inaugural model was the size of a standard deck of cards, measuring 2.4 inches wide, four inches tall and 0.78 inches thick.

The music player had a tiny hard drive with only five gigabytes of storage, a monochromatic LCD screen, a mechanical click wheel interface for going through your music and a price tag of $399.

It took some time, but the iPod and the iTunes Music Store eventually went on to change the entire music industry and rebrand Apple as a music company. And now, after thirteen years, 400 million units sold and $65 billion in cumulative revenue, the iPod has quietly disappeared from Apple’s public reports. Read More

 

Video: Sid Meier’s Starships gameplay

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Earlier this month, publisher 2K Games and developer Firaxis announced that Sid Meier’s Starships, a brand new tactical strategy game in the Beyond Earth universe, will be coming to the Mac, iPad and Windows platforms this Spring.

And now, the first ever gameplay footage of Starships went live on YouTube, with Sid Meier himself demoing the game as part of the Firaxis Games Megapanel at PAX South. Read More

 

Revamped Yahoo for iPhone brings interactive magazines, Weather and News Digest

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Ever since Marissa Mayer took the CEO job in the summer of 2012, mobile software and digital magazines have been a big part of her turnaround efforts at Yahoo.

Having released new apps like News Digest and revamped key ones such as Mail, Search and Weather, the pioneering Internet company’s focus now sharpens on its namesake mobile app.

Now available in the App Store, the new Yahoo 6.0 sports a redesigned appearance with fresh new features that make it more in line with Yahoo’s new digital strategy while resembling Flipboard in certain functional aspects. Read More

 

Tim Cook: switchers are buying iPhones in droves

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Though massive, the iPhone business has plenty of room to grow because only a small fraction of Apple’s installed base upgraded to the latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 models. Fewer than fifteen percent of recent Apple buyers had an iPhone, with the remaining 85 percent of sales coming from switchers who used to own a non-Apple handset, in most cases Android.

That’s the gist of an interview Apple CEO Tim Cook gave to the Wall Street Journal’s last evening. In other words, the vast majority of new iPhones were purchased by former Android users. Read More

 

Claimed protective case mold hints how massive iPad Pro might be

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Aside from an alleged manufacturing mold and Ming-Chi Kuo’s prediction of a creative stylus accessory for Apple’s purported pro tablet, it’s been a few weeks now without a newsworthy iPad Pro rumor in sight. Courtesy of the French blog NowhereElse.fr on Thursday, we now have a better idea of the large form-factor iPad’s massiveness.

The publication has ostensibly managed to get hold of a manufacturing mold for an assumed iPad Pro protective case said to have been designed according to the genuine device dimensions. For context: rumors have mentioned two possible screen sizes for the iPad Pro, twelve inches and 12.9 inches. I’ve included the photo right after the break so check it out and feel free to chime in with your thoughts in comments. Read More

 

Annual Back to School promo launches in New Zealand and Australia with $25-$100 gift cards

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Apple’s annual Back to School promotion launched today in Australia and New Zealand, as noted by 9to5Mac. Unlike last year when the promo included iTunes gift cards, this time around Apple Store gift cards are being offered to university students, students accepted to a university and parents buying for a university student.

A qualifying Mac, iPad or iPhone purchased is required.

The sale runs from January 30 through March 19. Read More

 

Apple also becomes China’s #1 luxury gift provider

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

In addition to becoming the top smartphone seller in China (based on the 70 percent annual sales uptick in Greater China), Apple is now the top luxury gift provider in the country, knocking Hermès off the top spot, Reuters reported Thursday.

This is interesting because Hermès is a French manufacturer that was established back in 1837 and today specializes in a plethora of luxury products, ranging from leather and lifestyle accessories to perfumery and other luxury goods. Read More

 

SoundCloud for iPad finally gets its facelift, but drops the audio recording feature

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

SoundCloud, an online audio distribution platform hailing from Berlin, Germany, has finally refreshed its user interface on iPads, following a major revamp on the iPhone and iPod touch side last summer.

And just like the iPhone revamp, the more visual iPad experience with an emphasis on album art in the new SoundCloud 3.7.1 comes with a major disappointment as the audio recording feature has now been killed. Read More

 

Scanbot updated with reminders, endless scanning and 1Password integration

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Scanbot, the popular document scanner and QR reader that Apple listed among its Best Apps in 2014, has received an update which allows you to add smart reminders and tasks via iOS Reminders and Evernote to your scanned documents, with alerts delivered via Push Notifications to the Lock screen.

Secondly, Scanbot 3.5.1 brings out support for the login and password management app 1Password, making possible adding cloud services to Scanbot using data stored in 1Password. And thirdly, developers have implemented endless scanning by removing any limitations in terms of the amount of pages you can scan, allowing you to literally scan full books now. Read More

 

China’s ludicrous new cybersecurity rules aimed at Western companies could hurt Apple

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

The Chinese government has adopted new cybersecurity rules targeted at Western technology companies that are bound to give firms like Apple a major headache.

According to The New York Times on Thursday, the new rules require vendors that sell computer equipment to Chinese banks to turn over secret source code.

The Chinese government also requires that Western technology providers submit to “invasive audits” and even build backdoors into hardware and software. As a result, the Apples, Dells and HPs of this world are going to need to jump through more hoops to do business in China.  Read More

 

Apple ties Samsung for the world’s top smartphone maker crown

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Driven by phenomenal iPhone sales during the holiday quarter, Apple has now tied Samsung for the title of the world’s top smartphone maker. According to latest numbers from research firm Strategy Analytics relayed by Bloomberg, both companies sold about 74.5 million smartphones during the fourth quarter of last year.

Both companies took an equal 19.6 percent market share in the global market for smartphones. Motorola owner Lenovo was a distant third with a 6.5 percent share, followed by Chinese vendor Huawei, which took a 5.7 percent share. Lenovo and Huawei shipper about 24 million smartphones each. Read More

 

Microsoft releases native Outlook app for iOS

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Microsoft on Thursday released the official Outlook email client in the App Store (not to be confused with the native Outlook Web App for the iPhone). Optimized for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, the iOS 8-only app is based on Microsoft’s $200 million purchase of the popular mobile email app Acompli.

Featuring a built-in calendar, comprehensive search features, gesture-based interface akin to Dropbox-owned Mailbox and support for popular cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft’s own OneDrive service, it brings together the core tools you need to get things done in one sweet package. Read More

 

Samsung Galaxy S6 won’t be using Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip due to overheating

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2015

News broke today that Samsung’s upcoming flagship, the fabled Galaxy S6, won’t be using Qualcomm’s new mobile system-on-a-chip, the Snapdragon 810.

As Re/code noted, the revelation came indirectly, via Qualcomm’s earnings call today, as the firm had to tell investors “a large customer’s flagship device” won’t be shipping with the Snapdragon 810 inside.

Lost business has forced Qualcomm to cut its outlook for the fiscal year slightly. The semiconductor maker did not say which client, and why, has dropped the Snapdragon 810.

However, a week ago Bloomberg learned that Samsung had opted to drop the 810 from its upcoming flagship due to overheating problems. Read More

 

Microsoft just made OneDrive totally awesome

by Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2015

Wednesday, Microsoft rolled out an all-new version of its OneDrive sync client for the Mac while bringing out a plethora of really cool features on the web and releasing a revamped iOS app.

The iOS client now supports OneDrive for Business accounts so basically your work and life can now be on all your Apple devices in a single app.

Not only does the redesigned iPhone and iPad app look nicer, it also lets you search photos by tags and create gorgeous albums. It even recognizes text in photos and PDFs and integrates with the popular password-management software 1Password and LastPass. Read More

 
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