Dragon Hills goes free as Apple’s App of the Week

By Cody Lee on Apr 28, 2016

Apple on Thursday updated its App of the Week promotion in iTunes with Dragon Hills. This means that from now through next Thursday, you’ll be able to pick up the action-packed adventurer for free—a solid savings of $2.

In Dragon Hills, players take control of a dangerous dragon to help the furious princess on her revenge mission. You’ll slide down the hills jumping into and out of the ground, crashing and destroying everything on your way. Read More

 

A look at the brand new Philips Hue app

By Timothy Reavis on Apr 28, 2016

For decades it was a thing of science fiction. Books and movies have long depicted their protagonists speaking commands to inanimate objects and having orders carried out instantly. I think it’s safe to say that most everyone, including myself, used to daydream of being able to control lights simply by giving a voice command from anywhere in the room, no longer having to get up and walk over to flip a light switch on or off.

Then Philips introduced their Hue lightbulbs and companion API, moving traditional light switches a step closer to obsoleteness by introducing the ability to turn lights on and off with a smartphone app, bringing us one step closer to making voice controlled lights a reality. When the second generation Hue bridge was introduced with HomeKit support, Siri gained the ability to control Hue peripherals, creating the ultimate ease-of-use scenario.

There’s almost a magical property surrounding Philips Hue lights. A room can be lit or darkened by a spoken word, its walls repainted in an instant, or the atmosphere changed to anything from a tropical sunset to an Arctic aurora. There’s really no limit to what one can do with a few Hue lights and some creative inspiration.

Read More

 

Periscope gains live-sketching feature, broadcasts come alive within Twitter for iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 28, 2016

Wouldn’t it be great if you could doodle over live video broadcasts on Periscope? With Periscope’s latest iPhone app refresh, now you can! The latest version of the Twitter-owned app lets you draw with your finger on top of a live video feed in any color you want, like a boss.

Your drawings automatically disappear after a few moments, similar to the Apple Watch’s sketching feature, and remain visible on Periscope replays. Read More

 

Google Maps for iOS gains Travel Times widget, Night mode and other new features in latest update

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 28, 2016

Google yesterday pushed an update for its native Maps application on the App Store, bringing out a few newsworthy features and enhancements.

Google Maps 4.18 for iOS introduces a new Travel Times widget which lets commuters check a live travel time estimation to their home or work right within the Notification Center’s Today view.

In addition, the app’s gained a new built-in option for sharing directions with contacts. Plus, there’s a brand new Night mode and distance units settings in navigation. Read More

 

Android TV now plays nice with iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 27, 2016

If you’re invested in Android TV and own a compatible TV set or set-top box, you’ll appreciate that you can now control your Android TV from the comfort of your couch with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, as Google was kind enough to release the official Android TV app on the App Store.

The free of charge app works with all Android TV devices and includes remote functionality much like Apple’s own Remote app lets you control Apple TVs with an iOS device. Read More

 

This is what your Instagram app might look like soon

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 27, 2016

Instagram’s reportedly been testing a fresh new design for its mobile application for iOS and Android, MacRumors discovered yesterday. If leaked screenshots are anything to go by, in adopting much of iOS’s aesthetics the overhauled app sports a simpler, monochromatic look providing a cleaner, flatter appearance.

It’s unknown when the new design will launch for everyone. For now, Instagram appears to be testing the forthcoming app refresh with a small subset of its massive user base. Read More

 

Nintendo confirms Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem will be hitting iOS this fall

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 27, 2016

Japanese gaming giant Nintendo on Wednesday announced that it will be releasing more mobile games on the iOS platform later this fall, including Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem. The announcement came during Nintendo’s earnings announcement for its full fiscal year, ended March 31.

“Building on the positive consumer reaction to Miitomo, Nintendo announced that its next two mobile apps would be based on the familiar and beloved Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing franchises,” reads the press release.

Nintendo released the first information about its next video game system, the NX. Read More

 

YouTube’s revamped Home feed is smart, too, thanks to Google’s deep neural network algorithm

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 26, 2016

Google just said that YouTube’s mobile apps for iOS and Android are gaining a revamped homepage design today. The newly redesigned Home feed within the mobile app has a clean look and a simple format “that invites you to discover and enjoy,” said Google.

More importantly, the overhauled Home feed now does a better job spotlighting content you might be interested in with smarter recommendations based on deep neural networks and larger high-resolution video thumbnails which make it easy to identify videos you want to watch. Read More

 

Hangouts 9 for iOS drops with Low Power Mode support and share extension

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 26, 2016

Google’s Hangouts application wants to become a unified communications solution for all your messaging needs despite not seeing new features in months. Now we know why: Google’s been busy working on a major new version.

Now available on the App Store, the new Hangouts 9.0 brings a pair of new features, including one that’ll automatically suspend video sharing during VoIP calls when an iPhone enters iOS 9’s Low Power Mode. Read More

 

Unicorn sipface and coffee “emojis” are cool, but Starbucks’s iPhone keyboard needs more work

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 25, 2016

Apparently, software keyboards for the iPhone have become a must for brands. Earlier this morning, Microsoft released Word Flow for iPhone, its gestural Windows 10 keyboard with one-handed typing and predictive text input.

And now, Starbucks has jumped on the bandwagon and released an iPhone keyboard of its own.

Available for free from the App Store, Starbucks Keyboard lets you add a little personality to your emails, texts, social media posts and more with branded “emojis” like Frappuccino blended beverages, iced tea, coffee and even a purple unicorn sipface.

It’s a nicely done app that shows potential, but I dislike the fact that they’re advertising it as an emoji keyboard because these things are more of stickers that get pasted as image attachments. Read More

 

This free Apple Watch complication displays the time in words

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 25, 2016

When someone asks you what the time is and you glance at your Apple Watch, are you one of those people who struggle interpreting clock hands on a standard analog watch face? How cool would it be if your Apple Watch displayed the approximate time in words, such as “ten to six”, “quarter past three” or “about five o’clock”?

That’s the problem that Roughly tries to solve. Created by Iain Anderson, Roughly is a complication that gives you approximate time, in words.

Available free of charge, it’s just fun for most people but I think some users may actually find Roughly genuinely useful. Read More

 

Microsoft’s Word Flow keyboard launches with one-handed mode, gestures, themes and more

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 25, 2016

After releasing an iOS edition of its Hub Keyboard last month, Windows giant Microsoft on Monday launched an iOS port of its predictive text Windows Phone keyboard, called Word Flow. The free of charge iPhone app brings many advanced features that speed up typing, like a cool one-handed mode, gesture based typing, predictive text input, custom themes and more. The Word Flow keyboard is available at no charge in the App Store. Read More

 

SilentMessenger enhances your Facebook & Facebook Messenger privacy

By Anthony Bouchard on Apr 24, 2016

Facebook and Facebook Messenger users who have a jailbroken iOS device are going to love the benefits of using a new jailbreak tweak called SilentMessenger.

This tweak is going to provide these users with additional steps to protect their privacy and keep their footprint in the Facebook apps as minimal as possible from the perspective of other users who are online. Moreover, it also supercharges some other features of the apps.

In this review, we’ll talk about what SilentMessenger can do for your Facebook experience, and walk you through all of the tweak’s options. Read More

 

Ulysses brings its elegant writing environment to iPhone

By Timothy Reavis on Apr 23, 2016

As a writer, I’m always on the lookout for new apps that will help with the creative process and enable me to get work done more quickly and efficiently. I’ve gone through a variety of different apps on both Mac and iOS that provide their unique and not-so-unique feature sets in search of the ultimate writing tool.

With the power of iOS 9 on iPad, my goal has been to find a solid app that would give me the freedom of mobility while still syncing my thoughts and work to my Mac for those articles that only a physical keyboard could conquer. Today, I have found a solution that meets these goals in the form of Ulysses.

Read More

 

Tasks Time Tracking, Visual Beat, Jottit and other apps to check out this weekend

By Cody Lee on Apr 23, 2016

Looking for new apps or games to play around with this weekend? As usual, iDB has you covered. In this week’s App of the Week roundup, we have some great titles that are perfect for killing a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon. There’s a unique, visual music-making app, two great-looking productivity apps, and two new games. Read More

 

Apple warns developers that all new Apple Watch apps must be native beginning June 1

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 22, 2016

Apple on Friday issued an advisory on its portal for developers about an important upcoming requirement for watchOS apps. According to a one-sentence post, “starting June 1, 2016, all new watchOS apps submitted to the App Store must be native apps built with the watchOS 2 SDK or later.”

Apple is scheduled to hold its annual pilgrimage for developers, WWDC, from June 13 through June 17, 2016, or two weeks after the requirement to develop strictly native apps kicks in. Read More

 

Snapchat’s Face Swap now works with your own photos, paid Replays no longer available

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 22, 2016

A small but important update has appeared for Snapchat’s free of charge mobile application in the App Store. Bumped to version 9.29, the app’s expanded the utility of its popular Face Swap feature which now works with images from your Camera roll.

Face Swap is apparently a new craze. With this feature available in Snapchat in the form of a Lens, users can easily face swap with their friends. And with today’s update, they can swap their face with someone else’s photo stored in their Camera roll. Read More

 

Apple Store app gains 3D Touch support, now available in more countries

By Cody Lee on Apr 21, 2016

Apple on Thursday pushed out an update for its Apple Store iOS client, bringing the app to version 3.7. The update brings about new 3D Touch features on compatible devices, and makes the app available in new countries.

As for 3D Touch support, iPhone 6s users have long been able to utilize Quick Actions on the app icon, but now the Apple Store app supports Peek and Pop. So force-pressing on a link within the app now opens up previews. Read More

 

Facebook launching group audio calling on Messenger with support for up to 50 participants

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2016

A year after it rolled out the ability to place and receive VoIP audio calls on Messenger, Facebook is now introducing a new VoIP calling feature with support for up to fifty people on a single group call. Group calling currently supports standard VoIP audio calls, but Facebook did tell TechCrunch that “group video calling is definitely a use case that a lot of our people might be interested in at some point”. Read More

 

Revisit the places you’ve been with Foursquare’s new history feature (bonus: Photos extension)

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2016

Since launching in 2009, there have been over nine billion check-ins on Foursquare across the globe. Celebrating its seventh anniversary, the startup pushed an update to its mobile application on the App Store which includes a handy new history features.

Similar to location history on Google, the updated Foursquare app makes it simple for users to browse any place they’ve been and checked into via a new History tab.

In addition, Foursquare now has its own Photos extension which makes it super easy to share a photo as a tip, right within the context of the Photos app. Read More

 
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