Vine upgrades video quality to 720p

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 27, 2015

Vine, a service for sharing short 15-second looping clips, announced on Friday that it is finally upgrading video quality from a rather paltry 480p resolution to a more acceptable 720p.

“We’ve been working on technical upgrades that support Vines in higher quality,” the Twitter-owned company said. The 720p format offers a resolution of 1,280-by-720 pixels whereas the 480p standard tops out at 640-by-480 pixels. Read More

 

Meerkat 1.1 gains better search, in-app streaming alerts and other enhancements

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 27, 2015

Meerkat, an app which kicked off the live broadcasting craze by letting you stream live video from your iPhone to all of your Twitter followers at once, has released its first major update since its App Store debut a little more than two weeks ago.

The app is now more stable and user friendly and comes with nearly a dozen improvements related to searching, following other people, getting notified about their activity, discovering new streams and more. Read More

 

Apple officially announces Watch shop openings in London, Paris and Tokyo

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 27, 2015

Apple on Friday announced (via iGen.fr) grand opening for Apple Watch stores-within-a-store located in high-end department stores in London, Paris and Tokyo. The company’s UK Retail website confirms that the Selfridges Apple Watch shop will open doors to business on Friday, April 10, at 9am local time.

Located on London’s 400 Oxford Street, the Selfridges shop is just across the popular Wonder Room shopping hall where a bunch of watch brands and jewelers operate their luxury shops. Apple previously said pre-orders for the wearable device will kick off on April 10. Read More

 

Court rules UK users can sue Google over Safari privacy breach

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 27, 2015

Things could get ugly for Google as the Internet giant lost a UK appeal in the Safari cookie tracking case, potentially opening the door to litigation from the millions of British users, BBC News reported Friday.

The case revolves around Google’s practice to continue tracking users of Apple’s Safari browser via cookies even after they had changed their browser settings to block cookies, in order to target them with advertising. Read More

 

Rumor: TSMC building iPhone 6s chips, $400-$500 iPhone 6c to become new entry-level model

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2015

TSMC, or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited, is expected to remain the major supplier of Apple’s in-house designed processors for the upcoming iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

In addition, the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry is said to supply 20-nanomenter chips for an upcoming iPhone 6c model, expected to arrive as Apple’s new entry-level iPhone with a price tag between $400 and $500.

An Apple-designed system-on-a-chip for the next-generation iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models should be called the ‘A9′ and will be built on TSMC’s 16-nanometer FinFET process technology, industry sources told DigiTimes. Read More

 

Tangent named Apple’s new Free App of the Week

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2015

Tangent, an innovative iOS app by Pixite which lets you add geometric shapes, patterns, textures, frame overlays and other effects to your photos, has been named Apple’s new Free App of the Week in the ongoing App Store promotion which runs weekly.

Highlighted in the New & Noteworthy section in more than a hundred countries, Tangent was previously Editor’s Choice in the App Store and was on the App Store Best of 2013 charts.

Regularly a $1.99 value, Tangent is now available at no cost until next Thursday. With this app you’ll be well equipped to do some crazy edits to your photos so I’d grab Tangent immediately if I were you. Read More

 

Twitter, Evernote, WeChat, Dark Sky, SPG and more being updated with Apple Watch support

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2015

We’re indeed starting to see the first wave of updates to popular iPhone applications that bring out support for the Apple Watch. First was Target with an iPhone app update which brings the shopping list and more to your wrist.

And now Evernote, the popular note-taking and personal organization tool, along with WeChat, Dark Sky, Sky Guide and other apps, has added several interesting Apple Watch features to its iPhone and iPad app in the App Store. Read More

 

Target updates iPhone app with Apple Watch support for shopping from your wrist

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2015

Target may files as the first company to update its iOS app with official support for the Apple Watch, which goes on pre-order on April 10 before hitting store shelves two weeks later.

Now rolling out in the App Store, Target 7.3.1 for the iPhone will let you build a shopping list on your Apple Watch and includes a Glance to see when your store is open.

“When you’re in the store, it tells you where to find all of the items you need,” as per release notes. Read More

 

Amazon offers to store all your files for $60 per year, or just photos for 99 cents per month

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2015

Amazon has just upped the ante in the cloud-storage arena by announcing Thursday a pair of disruptive cloud storage plans, with a new Unlimited Everything tier available to store as many photographs, video clips and documents as you possibly have, for a flat fee of sixty bucks per year, a massive price reduction over previous prices.

Another, lower-priced tier called Unlimited Photos will keep an unlimited number of photos backed up in the Amazon cloud, and up to five gigabytes of videos and files, in exchange for twelve bucks per year, or just 99 cents per month.

Both new plans store your files securely on Amazon’s Cloud Drive services and are available now on the web. Read More

 

Tim Cook on post-Jobs era after being named Fortune’s ‘World’s Greatest Leader’

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2015

It’s officially Tim Cook’s era at Apple as Fortune has named the Apple CEO the ‘World’s Greatest Leader’. After winning the coveted tittle, Cook gave an interview to Fortune in which he reflected on a post-Jobs era and shared interesting tidbits on what it’s like to cope with the pressure that comes with leading such a huge company as Apple.

For starters, he had to learn to ignore his critics. “I’m not running for office,” Cook said in an in-depth Fortune profile.

“I don’t need your vote. I have to feel myself doing what’s right,” Cook continued. “If I’m the arbiter of that instead of letting the guy on TV be that or someone who doesn’t know me at all, then I think that’s a much better way to live.” Read More

 

Apple also bought UK data analytics company Acunu

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2015

Bloomberg is shedding more light on Apple’s recent acquisition of database firm FoundationDB, with a report Thursday revealing that the iPhone maker had secretly snapped up U.K.-based data analytics company Acunu, presumably to help bolster its iCloud and web services.

The transaction for an undisclosed sum occurred in late 2013. Together, the Acunu and FoundationDB acquisitions inject some fresh blood into Apple to help bulk up the company’s data and cloud-computing capabilities. Read More

 

Apple Watch can track workouts without an iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2015

The Apple Watch uses Wi-Fi and GPS from your iPhone, in addition to its own accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate and barometer sensors, to track your physical activity and movement. Now, there’s been a lot of commotion regarding whether or not the wrist-worn gizmo can operate independently as a fitness tracker.

As first noted by MacObserver, American model and activist Christy Turlington-Burns, who blogs about the Apple Watch on Apple’s website, said in her most recent blog entry that the device can learn about the user’s stride enough over time to start accurately track workouts without an iPhone. Read More

 

Apple rumored to launch four-inch iPhone 6c this year, in addition to iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2015

In addition to this year’s S-upgrade to the iPhone in the form of an ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’, Apple is also expected to release a third iPhone model, a four-inch ‘iPhone 6c’, according to a sketchy rumor last night by DigiTimes, a Taiwan-based trade publication.

Citing industry sources, the hit-and-miss publication claims the three devices will release in the second half of 2015. Read More

 

Twitter releases live-streaming app Periscope

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2015

Ever since Twitter shut down Meerkat, the popular live-streaming app that cleverly uses Twitter existing account and social graph infrastructure, it became clear that the micro-blogging startup was about to launch a similar service of its own.

Indeed, on Thursday the company announced immediate availability of Periscope, a live-streaming video service it acquired back in January.

The free iPhone app, like Meerkat, allows users to start live-streams from their device in an instant. Read More

 

NY Times: Apple/Beats music streaming service to rival Spotify, iTunes Radio overhaul coming

By Jake Smith on Mar 25, 2015

Stating what’s pretty close to the obvious, the New York Times reports the teams at Apple and Beats are working on a digital music service to directly compete with Spotify, one year after the Cupertino-based company paid $3 billion for the headphone maker. It won’t bring lower prices than its competitors, the publication says, and is currently being planned for launch this year. Read More

 

2K’s best iOS games are on sale, starting with BioShock at $3 and more

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2015

Publisher 2K Games is having a killer Spring Sale deal on its premium 2014 releases in the App Store, reports TouchArcade. Avid gamers can now grab triple-As at a sharp discount, for a limited time. iPhone and iPad titles like BioShock, NBA 2K15, NHL 2K and others are now available starting at just three bucks each.

BioShock for iOS, for example, can be now yours in exchange for $2.99, down sharply from its usual asking price of $10.99. This is actually the first time BioShock has been discounted below five bucks since its release on the App Store. Read More

 

Recommended, but not necessary, Apple Watch try-on appointments kicking off April 10

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2015

9to5Mac has learned from several Apple employees that try-on appointments for the Apple Watch will begin on April 10, the same day the pre-ordering process is scheduled to kick off. You’ll be able to book an appointment through Apple’s website or via the company’s free of charge shopping app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Read More

 

Google to take on Twitch with own game streaming video service

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2015

Google is going to announce a new YouTube-branded live video streaming service with an emphasis on gaming, according to the British newspaper The Guardian on Wednesday citing a scoop by tech blog The Daily Dot.

The Internet giant is reportedly prepping to introduce its live-streaming service under the YouTube Live moniker. YouTube Live will apparently relaunch later this year, re-focused on game streaming and e-sports.

Such turn of events wasn’t entirely unexpected. A year ago, Google wanted to buy Twitch but has failed to seal the deal and got outbid by Amazon, which paid a cool $1 billion for the popular game-streaming service. Read More

 

Users reporting problems accessing App Store and iTunes (update: back up again)

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2015

A growing number of users are taking to Twitter this morning to complain of yet another outage affecting Apple’s App Store and the iTunes Store. Several folks around the world have reported problems purchasing new applications, with the App Store and iTunes returning a “The item you’ve requested is not currently available” error message.

Others complain about not being able to conduct searches for content on the iTunes Store and App Store and download apps and other content.

UPDATE 11:35am ET: all systems seem to have become operational again following a brief outage that lasted about an hour or so. Read More

 

Apple’s iSpaceship campus will use recycled water

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2015

Apple’s upcoming Campus 2 building, nicknamed by the press iSpaceship due to its appearance resembling a flying saucer that has just landed in a field, will be more environmentally friendly than initially thought with news Wednesday that the facility will take full advantage of recycled water.

As reported by The San Jose Mercury News, the Santa Clara Valley Water District board last night approved a $17.5 million project that will deepen the use of recycled water in the parched South Bay “and make Apple’s futuristic new campus a little bit greener.” Read More

 
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