Google+ for iOS gets a facelift and new features in latest update

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2015

Following yesterday’s overhaul of Google+ Communities and Collections on the web, today Google+ for iOS gets bumped to version 5.0 and thoroughly redesigned.

The new-look Communities and Collections are now accessible through the new Google+ 5.0 for iOS app. This edition of the software includes other improvements, too, including switching between multiple accounts and expanded options for sharing with folks outside Google+. Read More


Vine update makes it super easy to remix your favorite videos

By Cody Lee on Nov 18, 2015

Vine on Wednesday announced a new update for its popular mobile video-sharing app. It appears that this is a backend update, as I didn’t have to download anything to see the changes (although I did restart the app), but there are a few new features worth noting.

The first is a new audio remix option. With Remix, users can make their own creations with sound from any Vine with the touch of a finger. Just tap the […] button beneath a Vine clip within the mobile app, and select “Make an audio remix” from the popup menu. Read More


Official Google app revamps voice search interface and Google Now cards

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

In addition to refreshing the layout for Communities and Collections on Google+, the search monster today also rolled out an update to its iOS search app.

Available at no charge in the App Store, the native Google search experience on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad now includes an overhauled voice search interface with a nicely animated logo.

More important than that, the layout of your Google Now cards has been reworked and updated to better organize and surface content for you. Read More


Instagram clamping down on apps that read feeds, offer auto-following, liking or commenting

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

As part of Instagram’s most recent platform update, third-party applications will be no longer allowed to present a user’s Instagram feed, a significant change in policy that’ll affect numerous mobile applications which pull Instagram feeds.

Going forward, they’ll be shutting down services and apps that offer auto-following, liking or commenting.

Photo-editing apps that show only individual Instagram photos won’t be affected by this change. All apps must comply by June 1, 2016. The new policies and reviews will go into effect for new apps starting December 3, 2015. Read More


Microsoft completely overhauls Bing for iPhone, implements iOS deep links and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

In an effort to increase pressure on Google, Windows giant Microsoft today pushed a completely overhauled Bing for iPhone into the App Store. The software features a new branding identity reflected on the app’s Home screen icon and a matching new-look interface with tight iOS integration via deep linking.

In addition, the app now works offline so you can go back to your bookmarks and search history even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

“We designed the app to bring together the information you need, connected to the apps you trust, to help you ‘find’ and ‘do’ faster and easier than ever before,” wrote the team. Read More


Tapity puts Grades and Languages apps for sale, shares revenue stats

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

The latest developer success story comes from Tapity, an Apple Design Award winner and the brains behind education app Grades and Languages, its popular offline translation app.

They’ve now put both Grades and Languages for sale in order to focus exclusively on Hours, a gorgeous time-tracking software that I reviewed in the summer of 2014. What’s really interesting about this is how forthcoming Tapity’s been about stats for these apps.

You might find it interesting to learn what kind of revenue Grades and Languages have been pulling thus far and what potential bidders can look forward to after buying Grades and Langauges. Read More


New space-saving features coming soon to Google Photos for iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2015

If your iPhone is constantly running out of free storage space—and your Camera roll is packed to the gills—you’ll be delighted to know that Google is rolling out new space-saving features to the Google Photos app.

Google Photos for iOS will soon bring out a brand new “Free up space” option in settings and will keep track of your phone’s storage space for you and tell you when backed up photos should be removed from your device. Read More


Tumblr for iOS update turns your photo bursts and videos into animated GIFs

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2015

Yahoo-owned blogging service Tumblr is pushing an update to its iPhone, iPod touch and iPad application in the App Store today, and it brings with it a headline new feature: a tool which helps turn your photo bursts and videos into animated GIFs that can be easily shared on the service, as first reported by The Verge.

This removes much of the friction that comes with having to do the conversion yourself. The update is being rolled out as we speak so you might not see it just yet. Read More


Fantastical gains Peek and Pop commands

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2015

Flexibits’ calendar app, Fantastical for iPhone, was updated yesterday in the App Store with expanded support for pressure-sensing 3D Touch technology on the new iPhones, going beyond Home screen shortcuts that developers added last month.

Now iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus owners can use Peek and Pop commands in Fantastical to preview upcoming events and reminders without leaving the main view, or jump straight into them from the preview by pressing the screen a little harder. Read More


Memory Palace will put your concentration and memory to the test

By Lory Gil on Nov 17, 2015

We are constantly consuming all manner of information, media, and entertainment. It goes into our brains, and much of it ends up in our subconscious. The more we cram into our heads, the harder it becomes to remember everything we’ve learned.

Memory Palace Game is a memory game that makes you remember illustrations in a specific order. If you correctly list the objects, you’ll unlock a larger palace, and possibly unlock a larger area in your memory. Read More


How to quickly search iDB using Launch Center Pro

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 16, 2015

My colleague Timothy Reavis shared a slick little Launch Center Pro action with me, and it was so good that I felt obliged to share it with you guys. Launch Center Pro is, of course, the long running app that brings all sorts of handy shortcuts to your iOS device.

With 3D Touch, Launch Center Pro is even more powerful, because you can quickly execute actions directly from the iOS Home screen. As such, it’s possible to initiate a search of iDownloadBlog from anywhere on the Home screen of a 3D Touch-equipped iOS device. Read More


Is Apple boosting rankings of its own apps on App Store’s Top Free charts?

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 16, 2015

A sneaking suspicion that Apple could be taking advantage of the App Store’s charts to promote its own apps at the expense of others has received a prominent, though inconclusive, confirmation in today’s TechCrunch report.

The publication noticed that multiple Apple apps such as Pages, Keynote and Numbers are being listed on the App Store’s Top Free charts on some iOS 9.1 devices in higher positions than they would normally rank.

These same apps are ranked differently in the App Store within desktop iTunes and on other iOS devices. So, what’s going on here? Read More


Facebook deep links will begin to soon surface in Google search results

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 16, 2015

As reported by The Wall Street Journal this morning, your Google search results will soon start to serve deep links based on content from Facebook’s mobile app which, when clicked, will take you straight to the relevant part of the Facebook app.

A spokeswoman for Google parent Alphabet has confirmed the feature will begin to roll out soon.

Last month, the Internet giant announced integration between its search engine and iOS 9 apps via so-called App Indexing feature and today’s announcement delivers on that promise. Read More


Waze gains 3D Touch shortcuts on iPhone 6s

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 16, 2015

Google-owned social-mapping and traffic service Waze today pushed an update to its iPhone application in the App Store, adding handy shortcuts available upon pressing its Home screen icon on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

Waze’s 3D Touch shortcuts provide access to popular features like address search, location sharing and turn-by-turn navigation based on your work and home address on file. Read More


WhatsApp picks up 3D Touch Peek and Pop, redesigned settings and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 16, 2015

Facebook-owned WhatsApp today issued a new update to its iPhone application in the App Store which brings extended support for 3D Touch on the iPhone6s and iPhone 6s Plus with Peek and Pop gestures for previewing chats without actually opening them.

The app’s also gained a redesigned settings interface, the ability to browse your starred messages in one place and optionally include rich previews when sharing links. Read More


The Room Three review: same great puzzle solving, but with more room to move

By Lory Gil on Nov 16, 2015

Fireproof Games has made a name for itself on iOS with one series of games. The Room won Apple’s Game of the Year in 2012. The sequel, The Room Two, came out in late 2013 and transported players to a new location with plenty of new and intricate puzzles. It was also named as one of Apples Best Of games in 2013.

The Room Three is already proving to be of the same stellar quality as its predecessors. After two similar titles, will players get tired of the same thing again? We have a full game review of The Room Three for you today. Read More


iMachine 2, Heavy Blade, Contemporary Magic, and more apps to check out this weekend

By Lory Gil on Nov 14, 2015

Now that the iPad Pro is finally out, we know some of you have been dedicating a lot of time to pushing the tablet to its limits. It’s too bad that we can’t sideload f.lux on iOS anymore. But, don’t worry. There is plenty of great content waiting for you, and with a benchmark that is as good as an Intel Core i5 processor, there won’t be anything your iPad Pro can’t handle.

If you’re looking for some content to download onto your 13-inch tablet, we’ve got a list of some apps and games you may have missed earlier this week. Read More


Review: Vevo’s revamped iOS app is a lot cleaner and more fun to use than Apple’s Music

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2015

In case you missed it, Vevo has completely redesigned its lagging iPhone and iPad application in the App Store. I watch music videos from Vevo artists on YouTube on my desktop. On mobile, not so much and I blame Vevo’s hopelessly outdated design, inconsistencies and complicated features for that.

Bumped to version 5.0, the new Vevo experience starts with a black-and-white logo and a matching app icon.

The headline change here is an all-new interface—it gets out of your way, unlike Apple’s own Music app, and sports a tremendously useful mini-player. It’s almost too weird to say that Vevo’s new iOS app is a lot easier and way more fun to use than Apple’s stock Music app has ever been, but it’s true. Read More


App Store search results are now smarter and more relevant

By Cody Lee on Nov 13, 2015

Apple has been working hard in recent weeks to make App Store search results smarter and more relevant, reports TechCrunch. The outlet points to comments from high profile app developers, who began noticing changes to the search results earlier this month and a major algorithm update on November 12.

“I just searched Twitter on the App Store and Instagram is gone,” Contrast’s David Barnard pointed out on Twitter. “Tweetbot is #4, Twitterrific #5, and more relevant results overall.” Tapbots developer Paul Haddad also spotted the change, noting that the change has had a significant impact on his app searches. Read More


YouTube launches standalone YouTube Music app

By Cody Lee on Nov 12, 2015

YouTube on Thursday released a new mobile app called YouTube Music. The app lets you watch and listen to a nearly endless catalog of music, and you can use it for free, with ads of course. The ads go away and you get more features if you sign up for YouTube’s recently-launched Red service for $10/month.

So what does it look like? Well searching any video, album or artist in YouTube Music starts a personalized radio station. From there you can check out recommended tracks, trending music, top 40 hits, and up-and-coming artists. There’s also a lot of video content here, such as music videos, concert footage, etc. Read More