Ultratext is a fun app that will spice up your iMessages

By Sébastien Page on Jul 18, 2014

I’m not big on messaging. I don’t do Snapchat. I don’t do Whatsapp. I barely use Twitter DMs. However, I’m a pretty big iMessage user, the messaging platform introduced by Apple along iOS 5 in 2011.

iMessage is great because it allows you to communicate with any iOS user in a very simple way. There is no app to download, no account to create, and no password to remember. Oh, and yes, it works on iPhone, iPad, and Mac too.

While trawling the App Store earlier today, I found Ultratext, a fun app that lets you send GIF messages to your contacts, giving iMessage a little more spice and colors… Read More

 

BigBoss repo allegedly hacked [updated]

By Sébastien Page on Jul 18, 2014

BigBoss, one of the default repositories for jailbreak tweaks in Cydia, has allegedly been hacked by an individual or a group of individuals whose identity is still unknown.

The attackers were apparently able to gain access to all packages (paid and free) that are available in the BigBoss repo, and made the deb index and database available for download. The assailants went as far as creating a new repo which can be added to Cydia to download all BigBoss-hosted tweaks.

As is always the case when this type of security breach happens, jailbreak users should be cautious and stay away from this. Read More

 

Square Enix announces ‘Final Fantasy Record Keeper’

By Cody Lee on Jul 18, 2014

Square Enix and developer partner DeNA have announced a new game for the mobile Final Fantasy franchise. It’s called Final Fantasy Record Keeper, and you play as Deci, a bright student to Dr. Mog in the history department.

Dr. Mog serves as the record keeper for all previous Final Fantasy games, and his department is filled with paintings of famous battles and other scenes. And if you happen to see one you like, Dr. Mog can use magic to send you in… Read More

 

Celebrating 40 years of synthesizers, 8 Yamaha music apps go free

By Cody Lee on Jul 18, 2014

Good news for all of you aspiring musicians out there. In celebration of 40 years of Yamaha synthesizers, the company is offering a number of its iOS apps for free. This includes some smaller titles, like Set List Organizer, and more prominent ones like Cloud Audio Recorder.

We’ve listed 8 of the apps below (there may be others), which are normally priced between $1.99 and $15.99. Admittedly, many of them were built to compliment actual instruments, but some, like Mobile Music Sequencer, are fun to tinker with on their own as standalone apps… Read More

 

RideScout will get you around your city fast

By Andrew Kunesh on Jul 18, 2014

From bike share to rail to ride sharing, if you live in a big city, chances are there is a ton of transportation options to choose from. And with so many options come different pricing, routes, and timing, so it can be tough to pick what works best in each situation. That’s where RideScout comes in.

RideScout is a relatively new app that takes multiple forms of transportation into account when searching for directions. The app compares cycling, driving, taxis, ride share, and public transportation to give you the best options in regards to timelines, cost, and health. Read my full Ridescout review to learn more. Read More

 

Novation Launchpad is a simple but powerful music maker

By Jake Underwood on Jul 18, 2014

Let’s cut to the chase: creating music on an iPhone or iPad isn’t as easy as it should be. The gold standard, GarageBand, almost requires some knowledge of an instrument, which drastically whittles down the amount of users that can create on the platform. However, the complexity of the music-making process isn’t specifically limited to GarageBand, as it is something music-creating apps have struggled with throughout the history of the App Store. Wouldn’t it be nice to just press buttons and watch a creation form in front of your very eyes?

Novation Launchpad sure would seem to think so. The app, created by developers Novation, is as simple as it can get, but the results don’t suffer from the ease-of-use. Read on for a full Novation Launchpad review… Read More

 

EU officials upset as Apple remains mum on proposed IAP policy changes

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2014

In-App Purchase, a way overused feature which provides a way for supposedly free games and apps to ask users for cash in order to enable advanced features or unlock virtual items, is increasingly drawing ire of regulators across the globe.

In-App Purchases are notorious for fooling less-informed adults and kids into downloading so-called freemium apps so it’s no wonder the European Union officials have repeatedly warned that companies like Apple and Google should stop labeling free-to-download apps that contain In-App Purchases as “Free”.

Companies could soon be forced to make the “true cost of apps” unambiguously clear before purchase, according to a complaint the European Commission filed today… Read More

 

Epic Games builds support for iOS 8 Metal deep into Unreal Engine

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2014

Though Metal isn’t among the headline user-facing features of iOS 8, its impact on games with snazzy visuals can’t be overstated.

Introduced at WWDC 2014 alongside a number of other features aimed at developers, Metal is billed as a new graphics runtime that wants to replace OpenGL ES by trimming the fat to provide what Apple calls the lowest-overhead access to the A7 chip’s GPU.

And now, Epic Games – which makes the tremendously popular and powerful graphics engine that powers many premium games – has announced that the latest version of Unreal Engine (version 4.3) adds Metal support… Read More

 

Watch Amazon’s inaugural TV ad for its upcoming Fire Phone

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2014

Last night, the online retail giant Amazon has begun airing the first television commercial for its Fire smartphone ahead of its debut next Friday in the United States.

Rather than take jabs at competitors as Amazon did with its launch ads for the Fire tablets, the Fire Phone commercial instead zeroes in on the fact that it comes with a full year of Prime membership, bundled free of charge.

It’s a major selling point which cleverly takes advantage of Amazon’s diverse interests in digital media and its continuos focus on undercutting the value proposition of its rivals… Read More

 

Amazon launches $9.99 Kindle Unlimited e-book and audiobook subscription plan

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2014

As suspected, Amazon today formally introduced its brand new all-you-can-eat e-book plan, Kindle Unlimited.

Priced at $9.99 per month, the iOS-compatible service gives reading aficionados unlimited access to more than 600,000 books, including best-selling titles like the Harry Potter series, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Hunger Games trilogy and Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.

The subscription plan is available on Kindle devices, as well as free Kindle reading apps for iOS, Android and more… Read More

 

Mass production of 4.7-inch iPhone 6 to begin this month, 5.5-inch in August

By Cody Lee on Jul 17, 2014

Reuters is out with a report this evening regarding the production timeline for Apple’s iPhone 6. Citing local media sources, the outlet says that the 4.7-inch model is set to begin mass-production later this month, with the 5.5-inch ramping up in August.

The bulk of the manufacturing will take place at Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, also known as FoxconnPegatron is also said to be taking orders for the upcoming handset, and both companies have gone on hiring sprees to handle the workload… Read More

 

Gameloft releases endless jumper ‘Ninja UP!’

By Cody Lee on Jul 17, 2014

Gameloft today released an interesting new game called Ninja UP! It’s not a first-person-shooter, movie tie-in, or anything else the studio is typically associated with—instead it’s an endless jumper, à la Line Jumper and others.

Gameplay is as addictive as you’d expect. Players are tasked with sending a ninja flying upward by drawing lines that simulate trampolines. The smaller the line, the bigger the bounce, and levels are littered with deadly obstacles… Read More

 

Amazon readying $9.99 a month Kindle Unlimited service with 600,000+ e-books and audiobooks

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 17, 2014

Amazon has been testing a new subscription service dubbed “Kindle Unlimited,” said to bring unlimited access to 600,000 e-books and thousands of audiobooks on any device for a flat fee of just ten bucks per month. That’s according to company webpages that have been pulled down yesterday.

The service appears to provide unlimited access to both books from Amazon’s publishing imprints and those that were already available through Amazon’s Kindle Owners Lending Library, including such titles as the Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter series… Read More

 

Retiring Bill Campbell reflects on Steve Jobs and other Apple memories

By Cody Lee on Jul 17, 2014

This afternoon, Apple announced that Susan Wagner, a founding parter of asset-managment firm BlackRock, had been elected to its board of directors. She takes the place of Bill Campbell, who is retiring after 17 years on the board.

In the press release, Campbell said that Apple today was is in “the best shape” that he’s ever seen it. And in an interview with Fortune, he shared some addition thoughts on the company and memories of his time there with Steve Jobs… Read More

 

Hours for iPhone: gorgeous time-tracking app by Apple Design Award winner Tapity

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 17, 2014

I don’t use time-tracking software because it’s a huge pain in the you-know-what. Part of the reason is that I don’t have enough time to keep track of how I spend my day.

On the flip side, I’ll be the first to admit there’s something inherently fun and appealing about the concept of monitoring when I work and how I spend/waste my day.

Realizing as much that most time-tracking apps suck anyway, Tapity — an Apple Design Award-winning studio behind Languages, a beautiful offline translator, and the popular student organizer and GPA calculator Grades — has spent the past three years bringing Hours for iPhone to life.

Now available as a $4.99 download, Hours takes the pain out of time tracking by letting you visualize how you spend your precious time… Read More

 

Susan Wagner joins Apple’s board of directors as Bill Campbell retires

By Cody Lee on Jul 17, 2014

Apple announced this afternoon that Susan Wagner, a founding parter of asset-managment firm BlackRock, has been elected to its board of directors. She is considered a pioneer in the financial industry, and has been named one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.

Wagner joins the Cupertino company’s board as long-time member Bill Campbell has decided to leave it. Alongside Sue’s appointment, Apple also announced today that Bill Wagner, who has been on the Mac-maker’s board of directors for 17 years (longest serving member), is retiring this year… Read More

 

This is the coolest iPhone photography you’ll see this week

By Sébastien Page on Jul 17, 2014

We’re big fans of iPhone photography here at iDB. Whether we’re sharing simple tips or powerful apps, at the end of the day, we just want you to have the tools to become a better photographer, or at least learn a couple things along the way.

Those of you who are in search of a creative boost might find inspiration in these photos by French photographer François Dourlen, who has been mixing movie characters with real life situation, resulting in what might very well be the most original photos you’ll see this week… Read More

 

Geohot joins elite team of hackers for Google’s Project Zero

By Cody Lee on Jul 17, 2014

Since wunderkind George Hotz, better known as Geohot, first made a name for himself by hacking the iPhone at age 17, he’s bounced around to several projects. He hacked the PlayStation, did some work for Facebook, and more recently popped up in Android land.

His latest gig is an internship for Google’s Project Zero—a team of elite hackers tasked with finding and eradicating serious software vulnerabilities. Back in March Geohot won $150K for exposing Chrome exploits, and it seems the Mountain View company took notice… Read More

 

Hearthstone ‘Curse of Naxxramas’ expansion hitting iOS, Mac July 22

By Cody Lee on Jul 17, 2014

Back in March, Blizzard launched its popular free-to-play collectible card game ‘Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft’ on the Mac. A month later, it brought the game to the iPad, and promised an expansion pack for both platforms.

Today, the studio made good on its promise, announcing that Hearthstone’s first expansion ‘Curse of Naxxramas’ will be landing on PCs, Macs and iPads on Tuesday, July 22nd. You’ll find all the details on the add-on pack below… Read More

 

Cinamatic goes free as Apple’s App of the Week

By Cody Lee on Jul 17, 2014

Apple has named Hipstamatic’s just-released video-capturing app Cinamatic its App of the Week for this week. This means that through next Thursday, you’ll be able to pick up the title for both your iPhone and iPad, for free—a modest savings of $1.

For those unfamiliar with the app, it essentially does for videos what Hipstamatic does for photos. Users can record short clips, between 3-15 seconds, and turn them into short films. Tools like lighting filters and social sharing are just one tap away… Read More

 
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