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.

Facebook Messenger gains read receipts, fresh holiday content and a huge speed boost

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2014

Facebook-owned WhatsApp quietly introduced blue-ticked read confirmations in its mobile iPhone app a month and a half ago and now the social networking behemoth has refreshed its backend to bring read receipts to Messenger for iOS and Android.

And with Christmas around the corner, the company is helping us celebrate the upcoming festivities by adding holiday-themed content to Messenger like fresh sticker packs, a new festive frame and more.

As if that wasn’t enough, Facebook’s engineers have done a lot of work under the hood to make the app more fluid and responsive than ever before. Read More

 

Facebook launches Stickered, a Messenger companion app

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2014

There’s a brand new app from Facebook in town and it’s hitting iOS real soon. Having launched on Android today, Stickered is a companion app for Messenger which allows you to add some fun stickers to a photo before sending it to a friend on Messenger.

The first companion app for Messenger, the lightweight Stickered app should make it easy and fun to pick a photo and then resize and slap a sticker on top. Read More

 

T-Mobile agrees to pay $90 million to settle with FTC over unwanted charges

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2014

Following a complaint that the United States Federal Trade Commission filed over T-Mobile this summer over fraudulent services, the Deutsche Telekom-owned wireless carrier today announced it has agreed to pay $90 million to settle cramming accusation. Carrier cramming, a form of fraud popular among major US carriers, results in small charges being added to a bill by a third party without the subscriber’s consent or disclosure.

Such unlawful charges typically cover unwanted text message alerts and other services like unauthorized SMS subscriptions for horoscopes, sports scores, ring tones and similar services that cost ten bucks per month or more. Read More

 

Apps get pricier in Russia over collapsing ruble

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2014

Apple is increasing App Store prices in Russia over the plummeting ruble, the basic monetary unit of the 145 million people country and some other former republics of the USSR, reports 9to5Mac.

So after halting online sales due to the fluctuating currency, now Apple’s virtual store is feeling the repercussions of Russia’s troubled economy.

Russian ruble, and consequentially the country’s economy as a whole, have stagnated for months now due to the falling price of oil and economic sanctions imposed by EU and USA over President Putin’s annexation of Crimea. Read More

 

Top Farm, a FarmVille-like game from Fruit Ninja creators, now available globally

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2014

As Fruit Ninja and the rest of Halfbrick’s lineup of paid iOS games has gone free for a limited time, the company on Friday released a brand new iPhone and iPad game in the App Store. Top Farm, a would-be FarmVille killer, actually soft-launched in select markets a year ago and it’s now available worldwide.

A free-to-play download, Top Farm is a farm simulation game created by Brazil-based studio Vostu in which you must harvest crops, craft goods and explore new colorful and vibrant lands. Read More

 

Apple Maps 3D coverage continues with new cities in France, Hungary, Netherlands and Sweden

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2014

After introducing nine new markets to its three-dimensional Flyover view in its in-house mapping service earlier this month, Apple has now brought 3D aerial imagery along with virtual city tours to three new locations across Europe.

Specifically, customers who live in the city of Strasbourg, Dijon or Millau in France, Hungary’s Budapest, Sweden’s Malmö or in the city of Rotterdam located in the Netherlands are now able to enjoy a highly-detailed 3D representation of their city or take a City Tour. Read More

 

Tim Cook ‘deeply offended’ by BBC’s allegations of factory worker mistreatment

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2014

An undercover documentary released yesterday by the BBC about working conditions in Pegatron’s iPhone factories has reportedly sent CEO Tim Cook and the rest of Apple’s executive team through the roof, The Telegraph reported Friday.

BBC’s investigative report makes fresh allegations about continued poor working conditions at the iPhone manufacturing facility on the outskirts of Shanghai. The documentary’s found poor treatment of workers after Apple’s stated several times that it’s cleaned up its act.

The full video of the BBC documentary surfaced on YouTube this morning though it’s probably going to get taken down soon so we’ve embedded it for your viewing pleasure. Read More

 

Brushstroke is Apple’s new Free App of the Week

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

It’s Thursday and those of you who frequent iDB know what that means: Apple’s editors get to discount and highlight another app as part of the App Store’s ongoing promotion marketed under the ‘Free App of the Week’ banner.

With last week’s free app, the popular retro-futuristic 3D shooter Space Qube, soon going back up to its regular price of three bucks, we now turn our attention to Brushstroke, a photography app available to you at no cost for a week.

Created by Code Organa, the developer behind the amazing ToonCamera app which turns your video and photos into a live cartoon, Brushstroke transforms your photos into beautiful paintings in seconds. Brushstroke made its App Store debut back in March, has an average rating of 4.5 stars based on 285 reviews and was never free before. Read More

 

Amazon’s Prime Now app featuring one-hour delivery released for iPhone

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

Online retailer Amazon today launched Prime Now, a shopping and ordering app for iOS and Android with one-hour delivery directly to a customer’s doorstep in select markets.

Available exclusively to Amazon’s $99 per year Prime members, the software allows you to shop for tens of thousands of daily essentials such as diapers, toys, paper towels, shampoo, batteries and mor, plus gifts like consumer electronics, wearables, books, toys, clothing and other items.

One-hour delivery will set you back eight bucks per order while two-hour delivery is available at no cost.

For the time being, Prime Now is available from 6am to midnight, seven days a week, in select areas of Manhattan, with more markets to be added at a later stage. The app will even ping you when the new delivery services launches in your area. Read More

 

Telltale teams up with Mojang on narrative-driven Minecraft: Story Mode, due in 2015

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

Telltale Games, the makers of cinematic games liek The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead series, and Mojang, a Microsoft owned game developer studio based in Stockholm, Sweden, are teaming up on a brand new, narrative-driven game set in the Minecraft universe.

Minecraft: Story Mode, premiering in 2015 on consoles, computers and mobile devices, has an original story and, like all Telltale games, will be driven by the choices you make. Read More

 

Yahoo’s Search iOS app gains comments, local news and improved navigation

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

Yahoo’s main search-focused iPhone and iPad application has received a refresh today. In addition to an improved navigation system focused on the new side panel accessible by swiping, Yahoo 5.4 for iOS now integrates latest local news headlines and finally lets you comment on stories within the app.

“Today we’re bringing local news to your fingertips with the Yahoo App,” writes the Internet company. “As you move around the country, you’ll be able to see what’s going on in your area.” Read More

 

Bing’s iOS apps get a facelift, translate extension now available on iPad

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

Microsoft’s mobile Bing apps for the iPhone and iPad are getting a major makeover today, with the translate extension that debuted in the iPhone app two months ago at last available on iPads.

On the iPhone, you can now tap anywhere underneath the search box to check out Bing’s image of the day in uncluttered full-screen view. You can also swipe from the left to see yesterday’s image of the day.

Another handy addition: weather information, trending news and images of the day zoom to full screen smoothly when swiping from the bottom of Bing’s Home screen. Read More

 

Duet Display lets you use iPhone or iPad as an extra display for your Mac, without lag

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

Although Duet Display is not the first app to allow your iOS device to act as an extra display for your Mac (Shape’s $10 iDisplay comes to mind), it’s the first app to have done screen extending right.

Built by ex-Apple engineers who worked at the company for three years on the iPad and iMac, the software delivers a Retina display at a smooth sixty frames per second with no lag whatsoever.

Featuring touch control, Duet Display makes interactions with your Mac fun and smooth while taking advantage of the fact that an additional display increases productivity by giving you up to 48 percent more pixels to work with. Read More

 

Adopt your own candy-crunching monster in My Om Nom virtual pet simulator

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

As previously hinted, Russian developer ZeptoLab of the Cut the Rope fame on Thursday launched a pet simulator game for the iPhone and iPad featuring Om Nom, a cutesy candy-loving monster who stars in the Cut the Rope physics-based puzzle series.

In My Om Nom, the lead character gets an attractive female company as Om Nelle, a little candy-eating monster girl, makes an appearance. Read More

 

Hyundai confirms bringing CarPlay-enabled Display Audio infotainment system to 2016 models

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

South Korean car maker Hyundai on Thursday confirmed that its new Display Audio in-dash system featuring a color touchscreen and CarPlay compatibility will be built into select 2016 models which will debut in late-2015 before being rolled out to the manufacturer’s entire car lineup.

In addition to CarPlay, Hyundai said that Display Audio will support Google’s Android Auto platform out of the box as well. The company will show off Display Audio with CarPlay and Android Auto integration at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. Read More

 

Algoriddim launches djay Pro for Mac with 4-deck support, Spotify integration and more

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

German developer Algoriddim on Thursday completed its suite of apps for DJs by releasing djay Pro for Mac. Building on djay 2 for the iPhone and iPad, the Pro edition brings 4-deck support and the full power of Algoriddim’s low-latency mixing engine.

The app has some rather advanced features such as Spotify and iTunes integration, support for professional DJ hardware, high-definition waveforms, audio effects, meta data and FX purchases from iOS versions of djay and much more.

Jump past the fold for the full overview of djay Pro for Mac. Read More

 

Elcomsoft’s Phone Breaker can now help access iCloud data protected with 2-step verification

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

Moscow-based Elcomsoft, which produces a mobile forensic tool used by law enforcement around the world to gain access to a suspect’s iOS devices, has updated its Phone Breaker application which now makes it easier to bypass Apple’s two-step verification for Apple ID accounts in order to access underlying iCloud data, Engadget reported Thursday.

Not only does this include iWork documents stored in iCloud, but also data in third-party apps such as WhatsApp communications, 1Password password databases — even user dictionaries that may contain secret words and phrases — provided a user has enabled the app in question to sync data with iCloud.

Although hackers still need both your Apple ID username/password and a two-factor code sent to your trusted device (or a digital token stolen from your computer), once they do gain access to your account Phone Breaker can then create a digital token granting them permanent access to iCloud data, no two-step verification code needed — until you change your Apple ID password, that is. Read More

 

Apple switching to per-country VAT across App Stores in Europe

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

Apple is changing its pricing scheme across European App Stores, switching from the previously same VAT rate it imposed across the entire European Union to a country-specific model, iMore reported.

Apps European customers purchase on their local App Store previously had an Irish 22 percent VAT on them. With this change taking effect soon, Apple will be now calculating app prices based on whatever VAT is used in each customer’s home country. Read More

 

Gameloft releases Brothers in Arms 3: Sons of War

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2014

Announced back in June, Gameloft’s Brothers in Arms 3: Sons of War has arrived today in the App Store. A free-to-play download for the iPhone and iPad, this sequel to Gameloft’s World War 2 series is packed to the gills with blood-pumping action and eye-candy visuals.

You’re Sergeant Wright and lead a band of highly trained brothers through World War 2.

Your brothers in arms posses a range of special abilities that, if used appropriately, can easily make all the difference in the heat of battle. Players can improve their squadmates’ skills to fight back against the enemy, upgrade their weapons and more. Read More

 

Badland gains new ‘Daydream’ level pack as devs confirm ‘multiple Badland games’ for 2015

by Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2014

Badland, the highly visual iPhone and iPad action adventure game with a distinctively eerie atmosphere, is celebrating 20 million players with the latest ‘Daydream’ update.

Packing in ten bizarre single player levels, ‘Daydream’ brings the number of single player levels in the game to a full hundred. You’re also getting thirty new missions and five brand new achievements to keep you glued to the screen.

And in wishing its loyal fans a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year, developer Frogmind has decided to give the Daydream level pack for free, but for a limited time. Read More

 
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