Apple bows to pressure, consents to security audits of iPhones, iPads and Macs sold in China

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 23, 2015

CEO Tim Cook has agreed to allow Chinese government officials to conduct security audits on Apple devices sold in China, IDG News Service reported yesterday.

The surprising development comes amid tensions that have erupted in the 1.33 billion people country, Apple’s second largest market by revenue, over allegations that other governments are using Apple devices for surveillance and accusations of state-sponsored phishing attacks on Apple’s iCloud users. Read More

 

Any.DO task manager lands on the Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 23, 2015

Any.DO, the popular task management app for the iPhone and iPad, is now available for Mac computers, its creators said Friday.

Available immediately at no cost in the Mac App Store, Any.DO lets you create and manage lists, share tasks with teams and family members, attach notes and files to any task, add comments and rich media to items, collaborate in real-time and much more. Read More

 

Claimed photos of 12″ MacBook Air display assembly surface

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 23, 2015

Chinese website iFanr on Friday posted a series of claimed photographs said to depict a display for Apple’s rumored MacBook Air redesign featuring a twelve-inch Retina screen display assembly with black glass cover and a polished Apple logo.

Earlier in the month, Taiwanese trade publication learned that Apple supplier Quanta Computer had begun ramping up production of the upcoming 12-inch MacBook Air ahead of launch sometime in the first quarter of 2015. Read More

 

Timeline helps you make better sense of the subject matter

By Lory Gil on Jan 23, 2015

Sometimes, I’ll read an article about some subject and wonder what the history is behind it. If I have time, I might even perform a search to track down more useful information. However, most of the time, I just think about it and move on.

Timeline is much more than a news reader. It takes headline news and adds historical context to help you understand the content much deeper. We’ve got an in-depth app review of Timeline for you today. Read More

 

App Recap: notable discounts, updates and releases for January 22

By Cody Lee on Jan 22, 2015

The App Recap is iDB’s daily roundup of notable news from the wonderful world of iOS software. Below you’ll find a list of discounts, updates and new releases we think are worth checking out. Today’s picks include a number of app and game releases you won’t want to miss. Read More

 

Official mobile game of The LEGO Movie hits iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2015

Hey kids, if you loved The LEGO Movie now is your chance to enjoy the same fun characters and environments in an interactive iPhone and iPad game.

Released today in the App Store, the LEGO Movie Video Game contains more than 90 characters from the film and over 40 missions. It’s a classic LEGO fun so you’ll get to build your own virtual LEGO creations using the Master Builders. Read More

 

Watch English version of calligraphy video showing stunning Hangzhou store mural creation

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2015

Tuesday, Apple opened its first store in Hangzhou, the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. As part of launch festivities, the Cupertino company enlisted the creative talent of calligraphy artist Wang Dongling who hand-painted a stunning mural featuring an old poem.

Originally available as a QuickTime video through its retail website in China, an English version has just surfaced on Apple’s YouTube channel for everyone to enjoy. Read More

 

Tim Cook made a little over $9 million last year as Apple’s CEO

By Cody Lee on Jan 22, 2015

Tim Cook received compensation of $9.22 million last year for his work as Apple’s Chief Executive Officer, according to a new SEC filing by the company. Bloomberg points to the documents, noting that Cook was paid out $1.75 million and $6.7 million in non-equity incentive compensation for the fiscal year that ended in September.

The amount is more than double Cook was paid for his work in 2013, with much of the boon coming as Apple’s stock reached an all-time high late last year. Apple unveiled several new products in the fall, including long-awaited larger-screened iPhones, a new payment system, and a wearable that it expects to sell well when it launches in March. Read More

 

Apple names ‘Shades’ puzzler its free App of the Week

By Cody Lee on Jan 22, 2015

Apple has just named UOVO’s ‘Shades: A Simple Puzzle Game‘ its App of the Week for this week. This means that from now through next Thursday, you’ll be able to download the zen-like puzzler for both iPhone and iPad for free—which will save you a solid $1.99.

Released in September of last year, Shades is one of those puzzle games that’s easy to pick up and play, but tough to master. The premise should sound familiar to Tetris fans: move falling blocks into position to combine blocks, clearing rows as quick as possible. Read More

 

Get your weather and jokes all in one place with Funny Or Die Weather

By Lory Gil on Jan 22, 2015

The first time I had heard of the comedy website Funny or Die was after discovering Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s short film “The Landlord.” I’ve been a fan of the site ever since.

Today, the team that made famous such web series as Between Two Ferns and Drunk History has launched a weather app to bring a smile to your face, even on the cloudiest of days. Read More

 

New report sheds light on Apple Watch battery life

By Cody Lee on Jan 22, 2015

For its upcoming Watch, Apple is shooting for somewhere between 2.5 and 4 hours of active use and 19 hours of passive use, according to a new report from 9to5Mac. The site says sources with knowledge of the project have offered up new details regarding the wearable’s battery life.

Battery life was one of the many things left out of the initial Apple Watch unveiling last September, but Tim Cook has since said that the device will need to be “charged every night.” The vague explanation has left many users wondering how long the Watch will last in the real world. Read More

 

iOS port of Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride now available

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2015

Building upon its existing ports of the popular Japanese franchise, Square Enix has now released Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride on iOS.

The role-playing game is a direct port of the 1992 Super Famicom game that follows a story of a young boy who travels the world with his father, Pankraz. And when he becomes a man, the main protagonist resolves to continue his father’s unfinished quest to find the Legendary Hero. Read More

 

T-Mobile’s Smartphone Equality gives everyone access to best deals, no credit check required

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2015

The nation’s fourth largest wireless carrier, T-Mobile, is adamant to do something about the millions of people with less than perfect credit score who don’t qualify for some of its attractive financing options.

“Carriers spent billions of dollars advertising deals and plans that half of Americans can’t get when signing up for wireless service,” the carrier said Thursday.

Enter Smartphone Equality, a new initiative created to solve that particular customer pain point, kicking off for all customers on Sunday, January 25.

So, how does it work? Read on. Read More

 

This widget lets you play Minesweeper directly from Notification Center

By Sébastien Page on Jan 22, 2015

Minesweeper Widget Edition is a new app launching in the App Store today that, as you might have guessed, brings a playable Minesweeper widget to the Today tab of Notification Center. Developed by the same guy who made Overglide, another playable Notification Center widget, Minesweeper Widget Edition promises to offer short and quick gaming to make your wait in line at the grocery store ever so enjoyable. Read More

 

Amazon releases Kindle Textbook Creator for Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2015

The online retail giant Amazon on Thursday announced a brand new application for the Mac which allows anyone to create and publish textbooks on Kindle. Currently in beta and available in English only, the applications can be downloaded to Mac or Windows PCs through Amazon’s website.

Similar to Apple’s iBooks Author app for the Mac, which debuted in 2012, Kindle Textbook Creator makes it easy to create textbooks and other educational material with by augmenting text with graphs, charts and equations and other graphically rich content.

In addition, the app can convert existing PDFs into a digital book, ready for distribution on the Kindle Store. Read More

 

BlackBerry calls upon US government to force Apple to port iMessage to its smartphones

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2015

Disregarding for a moment the fact that Apple has never actually made any promises regarding bringing iMessage to other platforms (unlike FaceTime, but that’s a topic for another story), the embattled smartphone maker BlackBerry wants Apple’s messaging platform on its smartphones so badly that it’s calling on the United States government to intervene and do something about it.

It’s not a joke: BlackBerry CEO John Chen penned a post over at the company blog proposing just that.

In a nutshell, rather than let the market dictate what any company should do, he’s demanding that the Cupertino firm make iMessage cross-platform. Read More

 

Apple Watch gets its first game, a cute word puzzler from NimbleBit

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2015

In case you had any doubts — yes, some developers are busy writing their first games for the Apple Watch.

But first, let’s get something straight: because Watch apps will initially run as extensions on your iPhone that stream image assets and UI back to your wrist, don’t expect to see graphics-rich shooters playable on your wrist anytime soon.

With that off our back, puzzlers seem like a really good fit for a wrist-worn device like the Watch.

And sure enough, as reported by TouchArcade, a developer that goes by the name of NimbleBit is planning to release Letterpad, an upcoming word puzzler for the iPhone and iPad, with support for the Apple Watch.

Wanna see how it’s going to look and feel like? Read on for the full reveal. Read More

 

Facebook Groups adds member search and three new admin features

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2015

Facebook’s dedicated Groups app received a major refresh Thursday, bumping the groups-management mobile software to version 5.0 while enabling several new features for members and administrators.

Both group members and administrators can now search for other members in groups. Additionally, members can now manage notifications more easily.

Admins can now take advantage of a trio of new features for better management of their own groups, including the ability to block users requesting to join. Read More

 

Twitter’s ‘while you were away’ feature rolls out to all mobile users, due soon on the web

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2015

First revealed as part of Twitter’s November 2014 platform update and formally announced on January 1, a new ‘while you were away’ feature is now officially available to all users of Twitter’s mobile app for iOS and Android, appearing at the top of users’ timelines.

The micro-blogging startup explained in a blog post Wednesday that the feature surfaces a few of the best tweets “you probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise,” as determined by engagement and “other factors.” Read More

 

Spotify introduces Touch Preview for songs, albums, artists and playlists

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 22, 2015

The leading music-streaming startup Spotify on Thursday announced a better way to preview music using new gestures in its iOS app. Dubbed Touch Preview, the feature allows music lovers to get a sneak peek of any playlist, song, album or artist by holding down their finger to start the music playing instantly.

“It means less time looking for the perfect music, and more time actually listening to it,” wrote the company. Read More

 
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