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.

Spotify for iPad overhauled with dark UI, gains Your Music feature

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 30, 2014

Spotify, the leading music-streaming service hailing from Sweden, gave its iPad app on Thursday a little love. For starters, the team has crafted Skype for iPad’s user interface around an all-new dark look.

As a result, Spotify at last has consistent appearance on the iPad, iPhone and Mac — down to the same dark theme, precise typography and rounded iconography.

Moreover, the Your Music feature which debuted in the iPhone edition in April 2014 is now available on the iPad, too. Representing a better way to save, organize and browse your favorite songs, Your Music is a replacement to user-generated playlists. With Your Music, you can add tracks which sync across every device, without having to create playlists or use the starring feature that lumps all starred songs into a huge list.

Download Spotify free of charge in the App Store. Read More

 

Skype for iPhone updated with avatar sync, ability to save and delete photos from chats and more

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 30, 2014

After updating Skype for Mac with Yosemite support earlier this morning, Microsoft on Thursday issued a new Skype for iPhone refresh. Now sitting at version 5.7, the app finally makes it easy to save and delete images from chats.

People who roam between devices and platforms will notice that chat avatars now stay in perfect sync when picking up on one device where they left on another.

You should also notice faster performance, especially when opening chats from a notification, and improvements to Skype’s contact filters such as All Contacts, Skype and Online.

Skype for iPhone is available free in the App Store. Read More

 

“I’m proud to be gay,” says Apple CEO Tim Cook

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 30, 2014

One of the worst kept secrets in Silicon Valley has now transmuted itself into an official admission after Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted being gay in an essay penned for Bloomberg Businessweek.

Rumors of Cook’s sexual orientation persisted for years as the famously private executive shed little light on his personal life. He’s been open about his lifestyle with many co-workers, though.

“Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me,” he said. ”Of course, I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences,” he observed, adding that “not everyone is so lucky”.

No matter how you look at it, this is a historic move: the CEO of the world’s most powerful corporation just announced publicly he’s gay. Top-level executives rarely, if ever, discuss their sexual preference out of fear of losing customers, proving that corporate America as a whole still has a long way to go to embrace the individuality and fight against discrimination at workplace.

Cook’s bombshell announcement is a step in the right direction so hopefully a few other high-profile CEOs will follow suit. Read More

 

Google Wallet for iOS adds low balance notifications and recurring bank transfers

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 29, 2014

Google on Wednesday announced an update to its mobile Wallet application for the iPhone which now includes handy low balance alerts and another feature allowing users to set up recurring bank transfer in order to ensure there’s always money to spend in their Wallet.

The refreshed application did not receive support for the bigger iPhone screens and will be going live in the App Store later today.

Google Wallet is available free of charge. Read More

 

Apple doesn’t want calculator widgets on iOS 8

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 29, 2014

Apple today asked PCalc developer to remove its Notification Center widget after it was previously approved in the App Store. The reason? Notification Center’s Today widgets are apparently prohibited from performing any calculations, according to the company’s email to developer James Thomson.

Thomson took to Twitter where he shared the news with the world. “Apple has told me that Notification Center widgets on iOS cannot perform any calculations, and the current PCalc widget must be removed,” reads the tweet.

It’s somewhat surprising Apple would take an issue with PCalc’s Today widget after approving the app more than a month ago. Besides, PCalc’s iOS 8 update, along with the widget, has been widely covered in media and Apple itself has featured it in two sections on the App Store, “Extend Your Apps” and “Great Apps and Games for iOS 8”.

So what’s going on here? Read More

 

You can now preview stickers in Facebook’s latest Messenger update

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 29, 2014

The social networking giant Facebook on Wednesday pushed a small update to its Messenger client for the iPhone and iPad which lets you preview sticker animations.

Facebook Messenger 12.0 (what’s up with version numbers, Facebook?) allows you to press and hold down on a sticker to expand it and view any animations before sending it.

The app is available free in the App Store. Read More

 

iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 now available to purchase from T-Mobile

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 29, 2014

Keeping true to its promise, T-Mobile, the nation’s fourth-largest carrier, on Wednesday announced that customers can now buy Apple’s iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 in participating T-Mobile stores and online. The new tablets are available in Wi-Fi-only and cellular flavors and in all three colors.

The top-of-the-line iPad Air 2 model with 128 gigabytes of storage is not yet available, leaving early adopters to choose between 16GB and 64GB iPad Air 2 models. The iPad mini 3 is available in 16/64/128GB storage flavors. Read More

 

Apple Pay rival MCX already hacked, but insists it’s OK to keep your sensitive data in the cloud

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 29, 2014

The whole CVS/Rite Aid/Apple Pay controversy is about to get uglier as MCX, the consortium of retailers who back the competing CurrentC mobile payment system, on Wednesday responded to accusations that it was purposefully blocking Apple Pay, Google Wallet and other NFC-based payment solutions and requiring participating retailers to use CurrentC exclusively.

Apple Pay has been praised for being secure and protecting your privacy by not sharing customer or transaction data with merchants. According to MCX, it does not store sensitive customer information in the mobile app. Instead, users’ payment data is stored “in our secure cloud-hosted network”.

Maybe I’m reading their blog post wrong, but if customer data and especially payment information is stored in the cloud, then it’s not secure and this is precisely why Apple Pay is, in my personal opinion, better. Read More

 

WhatsApp delays voice calling into early-2015

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 29, 2014

Five days after Facebook announced its $16 billion acquisition of WhatsApp in February of this year, the world’s most popular messaging platform announced plans to enable voice calling in the first half of this year.

The summer came and went and here we are well into the third quarter of 2014 and now WhatsApp is saying that the planned release has been pushed back.

Citing a series of technical challenges, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said during his presentation at the Code/Mobile conference this week that the VoIP calling service will make its debut in WhatsApp mobile apps in the first quarter of 2015. Read More

 

Google offering first minute free on international Hangouts calls

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 29, 2014

Yesterday, the Internet giant Google announced a newsworthy promotion giving its users the first minute free when placing outgoing calls through Hangouts to phone numbers in more than two dozen countries.

“The first 60 seconds is on us,” the company said in a post over at Google+. “What you say is up to you”. You can place Hangouts using Gmail and Google+ on desktop, using the Hangouts extension for Chrome, or via Google’s mobile Hangouts app for iOS and Android. Read More

 

eBay taking 20% off iTunes Gift Cards

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 29, 2014

If you’ve been on the lookout for the latest deals on iTunes Gift Cards, head over to PayPal’s Digital Gifts eBay store as it’s currently offering 20 percent off iTunes Gift Cards in several denominations. The $25, $50 and $100 cards are now available with a twenty percent discount so you’ll end up paying $20, $40 and $80, respectively.

That’s a nice 20 percent saving right off the bat on anything you purchase on Apple’s content stores. iTunes Gift Cards can be used to buy Mac and iOS apps, electronic books, movies, TV shows, music and other digital items carried on Apple’s content stores.

You can also apply your iTunes credit toward the purchase of iCloud storage upgrades and use it to buy stuff in apps via In-App Purchases. Read More

 

Apps like Pocket is why Handoff is my top new feature in iOS 8 and Yosemite

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2014

Pocket, a read-later service, with a recent Mac app update has completed its support for Apple’s refreshed mobile and desktop operating systems.

According to developers last week, Pocket for Mac now includes Handoff and can send stuff to other apps that use the Mac’s new multi-purpose Share menu. It’s Pocket’s largest Mac update in over a year.

The iOS edition of Pocket has had Handoff support in place for weeks. And with Handoff now live in the Mac edition of Pocket, I’m not sure how I’ve managed to do without such a useful feature. I’m a huge, huge Pocket fan and use it every day to bookmark and save dozens of articles that I find during the day for later reading.

With Handoff implemented in both Pocket editions, I now am able to seamlessly continue reading an article right where I left off on any of my Apple devices (Bluetooth must be enabled).

It’s awesome and I couldn’t imagine my daily computing without Handoff. It’s the one feature I use the most, all the time. As I constantly move between my mobile and desktop devices, Handoff removes the friction completely without the mental burden of having to remember where I left off.

Handoff is tremendously convenient. It’s fun, easy to use, a time-saver and bridges the gap between desktop and mobile like no other technology before it. And it’s only getting started.

Pocket for Mac is available free of charge in the Mac App Store. Read More

 

Amazon App and Path updated with iPhone 6 support so you can see more content

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2014

iPhone 6 related updates for your favorite apps continue to roll in more than a month following the release of Apple’s bigger handsets.

Following Plex’s iPhone 6 update earlier this morning, both Amazon and Path have now refreshed their respective iOS applications with native display support for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus models.

If you’re an early iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus adopter, you know why these updates matter: not only do optimized apps look crisp as anyone would expect, but also take advantage of greater pixel count to display more content, thereby requiring fewer taps and less scrolling. Read More

 

Nike+ Running now integrates with iOS 8 Health, adds elevation tracking and more

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2014

Apple CEO Tim Cook has had a seat on the Nike board for quite some time now and the sports equipment giant was first out of the gate with an app that showcased the iPhone 5s’s low-powered M7 motion coprocessor. But despite close Apple ties, Nike’s been suspiciously mum regarding integrating its many iOS apps with iOS 8’s Health database.

That changed Tuesday as a new version of Nike+ Running got released with support for NikeFuel data sync with iOS 8’s Health application. The refreshed app brings out a few other nice-to-haves, such as tracking your elevation on latest devices and more.

Nike’s other iOS apps will hopefully pick up Health integration in due time. Nike+ Running is a free download in the App Store. Read More

 

FTC drags AT&T to court over ‘deceptive and unfair’ throttling of unlimited data users

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2014

It’s sad that we’ve grown accustomed to greedy carriers and their unlimited data deals. Not only does unlimited service typically come with lots of strings attached, carriers have dumb excuses ready once folks realize their data speeds are being throttled.

Having decided not to let it slide, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is now taking AT&T to court over what it called “deceptive and unfair data throttling” policy.

As announced on Twitter and via a media release, the FTC’s federal court complaint alleges that the Dallas, Texas headquartered firm in some cases reduced data speeds for unlimited customers by up to 90 percent while failing to explain in clear and concise manner why and when throttling would take place.

“AT&T promised its customers ‘unlimited’ data,” reads the complaint, “and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise”.

“The issue here is simple: ‘unlimited’ means unlimited,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. AT&T’s other sin: the company avoided mentioning throttling to customers who were about to renew their unlimited contracts. Read More

 

OneNote gains Touch ID, iOS 8 Storage extension and more

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2014

Microsoft on Tuesday updated OneNote for iOS and OS X with useful new features, including fingerprint based Touch ID authentication to unlock password protected sections of your notebooks.

There’s also a new Storage Provider extension in iOS 8 which let you easily add files to your notebooks from your favorite cloud storage service like, say, Dropbox.

On the iPhone, OneNote finally allows you to move and rearrange your notes anywhere you like. Moreover, the note-taking app has now gained ability to open notebooks stored on SharePoint Servers.

OneNote for the iPhoneiPad and Mac apps are free downloads. Read More

 

Time Warner Cable’s new app lets you use their home phone service on iPhone at no additional cost

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2014

Your Home Phone service from Time Warner Cable is no longer limited by physical location as the nation’s second largest cable company behind Comcast revealed a new iPhone application Tuesday.

Dubbed Phone 2 Go and available as a free download from the App Store, the software allows existing TWC Home Phone subscribers to use text, voice and video calling for no additional fees.

In addition, you can decide whether you’d like to use your Home Phone service to receive voice and video calls and text messages on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad anywhere there’s Wi-Fi or cellular coverage, including overseas. Read More

 

Microsoft launches iOS developer tools for deep integration with Office 365 features and services

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2014

Tuesday, Windows giant Microsoft announced that mobile developers can start building better apps by taking advantage of a brand new Office 365 mobile software development kit (SDK) for native app development and a set of Application Programming Interfaces (API) for mail, calendar, contacts and files. The tools debuted at the company’s TechEd Europe 2014 conference.

The move aligns with the Microsoft Open Technologies initiative. The iOS SDK for Xcode supports Objective-C, with Swift support “coming soon”, wrote the team.

More on the SDK, which is currently in preview, is available via Microsoft’s Office Dev Center. The Office 365 SDK for iOS can be grabbed through GitHub and the Getting Started with iOS page has details on how to get started with the iOS SDK. Read More

 

Gameloft pushes action-packed, Halloween-themed Asphalt 8 update

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2014

Halloween is coming, and in Asphalt 8, “the monsters of speed are ready”, said French games maker Gameloft in the most recent update Tuesday to its gravity-defying Asphalt 8: Airborne racer.

Featuring an all-new Halloween Special multiplayer event with the Infected Mode, a pair of new daily time-limited events and the free Koenigsegg One:1, the fastest car in the game, this update to the award-winning free-to-play game should not be missed.

And if you’re a fan of Twitch, broadcasting functionality has now been restored in the latest build. Grab Asphalt 8 for free in the App Store. Read More

 

Plex updated with iPhone 6 support, Chromecast improvements and more

by Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2014

Plex, the popular cross-platform media player and my go-to home theater solution, on Tuesday issued a nice refresh to its iPhone and iPad application containing support for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus screens.

Plex 3.5.2, now compatible with iOS 8, has also been updated with improved support for Google’s $35 Chromecast HDMI dongle and contains additional bug fixes.

The universal app will run you $4.99. Read More

 
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