Apple raised more than $20 million for Product Red this holiday season

By Jake Smith on Dec 17, 2014

Apple raised more than $20 million this holiday season to benefit Product Red, an organization that partners with companies to fight AIDS in Africa.

Recode obtained a copy of an email from Apple CEO Tim Cook to employees on Wednesday, congratulating them on their charitable work, which now totals $100 million total to Product Red in recent years. Read More

 

Apple forming Apple Pay team in London to launch mobile payments in more countries

By Jake Smith on Dec 17, 2014

Apple looks to be gearing up to bring its mobile payment service Apple Pay to countries in Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa, after a launch in the US in October. A job listing on Wednesday revealed Apple is forming a new team focused on Apple Pay at its London office, along with hiring an “Apple Pay Site Reliability Engineer” in China.

“Apple Pay is a new and exciting area in Apple that is set to expand across Europe, Middle East, India and Africa,” the company wrote. 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

 

Cydia alternative iMods get demoed on video

By Sébastien Page on Dec 17, 2014

In the six years that I’ve been part of the jailbreak community, I can count on the fingers of one hand how many so-called “Cydia alternatives” have come to fruition. The result is pretty simple. Zero. None. Well, there was RockYourPhone at one time, which was later purchased by saurikIT, but besides that, none of the several attempts ever made their way to the public. Who knows, maybe iMods will be the first. Read More

 

Slingshot adds swiping between selfie and frontie and more

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2014

Slingshot, Facebook’s weird ephemeral messaging app, is actually getting better and more useful with each update.

After releasing a major 2.0 version rebuilt from the ground up and enriched with such new features as private reactions, photo filters, drawings, emojis and notifications on a per-contact basis.

Today’s update keeps smoothing out the remaining few rough edges.

For instance, you can now switch smoothly between your iPhone’s front-facing FaceTime camera for ‘selfies’ and the iSight camera out the back for ‘fronties’ by swiping left and right. Read More

 

Apple seeds Safari 8.0.3 beta for OS X Yosemite to developers

By Jake Smith on Dec 17, 2014

Apple seeded Safari 8.0.3 for Yosemite to developers on Wednesday, along with Safari 7.1.3 beta for Mavericks and Safari 6.2.3 for Mountain Lion. The new version of Safari joins the new OS X 10.10.2 beta that was released to developers last Friday. Read More

 

New Apple video goes behind the scenes of ‘The Song’ holiday ad

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2014

Earlier this week, Apple begun airing its new holiday ad titled ‘The Song’ which features a woman using her Apple hardware and software to record herself singing along with a recording of her grandmother from several years ago. The 30-second commercial wraps up with a scene depicting her grandmother enjoying the resulting song on an iPad.

Today, the iPhone maker via its YouTube channel released a behind-the-scenes video titled ‘The story behind “The Song”’ featuring the ad’s musician Dana Williams and vocalist Rhiannon Giddens who explain basic concepts behind the commercial and lay out a creative workflow which involves most of Apple’s current product lineup. Read More

 

Apple once again reverses decision, brings Draft’s Today widget back on App Store

By Jake Smith on Dec 17, 2014

Apple has once again reversed its decision on removing an app’s feature because of its functionality within Notification Center on iOS.

As we reported earlier this month, even though the app Drafts had already been through Apple’s approval process and downloaded by users, Apple contacted the developer Greg Pierce, saying he must re-submit the app without the buttons to create drafts or open the app. Now that’s not the case.

On Wednesday, Pierce released an updated version of Drafts adding the buttons back. Can Apple not make up its mind? Read More

 

Gene Munster just won’t give up on Apple TV set, says it’s now two years away

By Jake Smith on Dec 17, 2014

Famed Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is known for his incorrect predictions on Apple’s long-awaited television set. He’s previously guessed 2012, late-2012, and holiday 2013 as the incorrect launch dates for the new Apple product category. In 2014 he’s remained completely silent on the subject, until his latest appearance at the Business Insider conference.

In an interview published on Wednesday, Munster said he expects the Apple television is now two years away and will be launched in 2016. He’s mum on specific product features, but didn’t mind providing expected sales figures.
Read More

 

Apple says after June app updates will need to include 64-bit support

By Jake Smith on Dec 17, 2014

Apple sent out an email to registered iOS developers on Wednesday, reminding them that beginning February 1, 2015, new apps submitted to the App Store will have to feature 64-bit support and be built on the iOS 8 software development kit.  Read More

 

Netflix says offline viewing is ‘never going to happen’

By Jake Smith on Dec 17, 2014

Potentially crushing hopes and dreams, a Netflix executive confirmed on Wednesday the company has no plans to bring offline viewing, aka the ability to watch shows and movies without a network or Wi-Fi connection, to its customers. Read More

 

Fleksy 5.0 introduces customizable Extensions, 30+ theme packs, typing improvements and more

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2014

Fleksy, the popular third-party keyboard for iOS and Android, has released a major 5.0 update which turns it into a platform of its own with “multiple fun and useful input options” and the introduction of downloadable keyboard themes with customizable Extensions.

These perks are in addition to other improvements such as an easier, more comfortable typing with gestures, a redesign around the new customization options, a cool one-handed typing mode on the iPhone 6 Plus and more. Read More

 

Dropbox refreshes Carousel with albums, new ways to free up space and revisit old memories

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2014

Carousel, the gallery app for all your Dropbox photos and videos, is useful and promising even though it’s been lacking some much-needed features.

On Wednesday, the Dropbox-owned app received a major refresh seeking to address some of key user complaints regarding the missing features. Introducing new ways to free up space on your device, Carousel can now remove photos and videos from your device that are already on Dropbox.

Moreover, the app has introduced albums, one of its most-requested features, so now you can organize your photos better on the iPhone and iPad. Read More

 

Skype’s Qik gets optimized for iPhone 6, adds new video menu and holiday surprise

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2014

Qik, an ephemeral video messaging app for the iPhone by Microsoft-owned Skype, has received a refresh Wednesday. For starters, it takes full advantage of 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus screens while adding a new video menu.

It also improves how invitations by SMS are handled and includes a special holiday surprise in the form of a cool Easter egg which lets you shake your iPhone to enable snowflakes that fall down the screen. Read More

 

Gameloft delivers truly massive Christmas update to Modern Combat 5: Blackout, here’s what’s new

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2014

Gameloft, the prolific maker of mobile games hailing from France, on Wednesday launched the first content update to its award-winning Modern Combat 5: Blackout shooter for the iPhone and iPad and boy is it massive. Saying the update brings a whole bunch of rich content and goodies to the already well-rounded experience would be a gross understatement.

Now available on both iOS and Android, the feature-packed update brings two of the most beloved multiplayer maps from Modern Combat 3 and 4, several new multiplayer leagues for solo and squad battles, a new Rematch button for squad battles, the ability to vote for the next map in multiplayer, new area of effect skill for each soldier class, additional battle packs, amusing seasonal goodies for Christmas and much more.

And if that wasn’t enough, in celebrating the update Gameloft has temporarily slashed MC5 to four bucks, with the discount reflected in the App Store later today. Read More

 

Asphalt 8: Airborne ‘Winter’ update races into App Store, brings with it tons of goodies

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2014

Gameloft on Wednesday pushed a holiday-themed update to its freemium racing game for the iPhone and iPad, the insanely crazy, action-driven Asphalt 8: Airborne.

The Winter update brings eleven new cars, including the Tramontana XTR and Arrinera Hussarya, a brand new challenging location to put your driving skills to the ultimate test, pro kits and a brand new token system. Read More

 

PowerPoint for iOS now works in portrait

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2014

Software maker Microsoft this morning issued a minor update to its mobile Office apps available in the App Store. Word, Excel and PowerPoint for the iPhone and iPad have received a few bug fixes and one new feature.

Specifically, PowerPoint for iOS has finally introduced support for portrait orientation so you can now view and edit your presentation no matter which way you hold your device. Read More

 

Snowboard Party brings extreme winter sports to iOS

By Lory Gil on Dec 17, 2014

I remember when snowboarding first became popular. It mainly represented alternative or underground culture. I guess that’s because the sport was inspired by surfing and skateboarding, which used to be part of underground culture, as well. Today, snowboarding is more popular than skiing. Video games based on snowboarding are definitely more popular than those based on skiing.

Snowboard Party is a half-pipe style trick game where players rack up points for grinding, nose grabs, and performing tricks in mid-air. Would I be going too far if I called it extreme mobile gameplay? Read More

 

Divoom Bluetooth speakers offer big sound in a small package

By Jim Gresham on Dec 17, 2014

The market is crowded with Bluetooth speakers. Every time you turn around, there is someone selling another Bluetooth speaker. They are an excellent iOS device accessory and I recommend having at least one. Of course, they run the full range of prices and I have had my hands on cheap and expensive several hundred dollar models.

When choosing a speaker, it is important to decide what is most important to you. Do you need one small enough to throw in your bag or do you prefer a home theater style option that can shake the walls with crisp and booming sound? Divoom is on the lower end of the Bluetooth spectrum. Providing small packaged, portable Bluetooth speakers with a rugged edge is the niche market for the Texas based company, which sent them over for review. Read More