Waze is rolling out AMBER alerts in US

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2015

Waze, a popular crowdsourced GPS, maps and traffic service, announced on Wednesday that it’s rolling out AMBER alerts in the United States.

Realized through a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the move brings AMBER alerts to Waze users when a child in their area has been abducted or gone missing. Read More

 

Facebook’s forgotten Slingshot app introduces Explore section

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2015

Following a major version 2.0 update last December and another one that added swiping between back and front cameras, things have been quiet on the Slingshot front.

But Wednesday, the Facebook-owned disappear messaging app has received another update bringing out a new Explore section in an effort to increase usage time.

Slingshot is available free in the App Store. Read More

 

Poll: do you use Reduce Motion feature in iOS?

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2015

Soon after Apple thoroughly revamped its mobile operating system back in September 2013, power users started to complain about iOS’s sleek visual effects standing in the way of usability. The main point of contention for many people seemed to be whether or not iOS ignores user input while the animation is running, resulting in the seemingly slower navigation.

Another common complaint was that those dizzying slam-cuts affected people with motion sickness. Addressing both complaints, Apple’s made it possible to disable motion by flipping the Reduce Motion switch to ON in Settings > Accessibility > Reduce Motion.

Today’s poll seeks to determine whether you navigate your iOS devices with full UI animations, as enabled by default, or with reduced motion effects in order to make the operating system seem more responsive. Read More

 

Google brings Material Design to Contacts on the web

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2015

Material Design, Google’s cross platform, responsive design system for mobile, desktop and the web, has now been applied to Google Contacts on the web.

Now available as a preview, the revamped Google Contacts can be checked out by visiting contacts.google.com/preview in your desktop web browser, the search firm said Tuesday. Read More

 

Apple’s retail sales strategy for Apple Watch revealed

By Cody Lee on Mar 3, 2015

Ahead of next week’s Apple Watch event, Apple has begun training its retail employees on how to position the new device to customers. In a new report this afternoon, 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman shares 3 key points from their training including key features, iPhone compatibility and style.

According to selling guidelines provided to Gurman, Apple wants its employees to find out 3 things about their customers when trying to sell the Apple Watch: what do they already know about the device, is their iPhone compatible, and are they looking for a casual or formal watch. Read More

 

iOS 8 adoption rate edges toward 75 percent

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2015

Based on Apple’s official data shared at its portal for developers, iOS 8 is now running on 75 percent of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices, as measured by the App Store on March 3, 2015, good for a two percentage-point increase.

Two weeks ago, Apple’s mobile operating system was adopted by 73 percent of active device owners, representing a tiny one percentage point increase from the 72 percent mark recorded a month ago. Read More

 

Unity 5 game engine launches with iOS Metal and 64-bit support and other improvements

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2015

Following its mid-2014 announcement and a beta release last October, the latest edition of the Unity graphics engine by Unity Technoologies is now available for download.

The all-new Unity 5, released at the 2015 Game Developers Conference, features upgraded animation and physics, a new lighting system, new audio options and many other improvements designed to make mobile games more gorgeous and shiny than ever before.

On the Apple side of things, Unity 5 offers support for 64-bit computing and Metal, Apple’s high-performance graphics framework aimed at game developers which can speed up graphics by a factor of ten compared to OpenGL. Read More

 

Apple to make ‘a large number’ of day-to-day security guards full-time employees

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2015

Following the outcry in Silicon Valley regarding the treatment of part-time employees, and in general people who work for technology companies, Apple is now moving to “dramatically expand” its in-house security team by giving contracted workers the same benefits as other employees, as per Mercury News Tuesday.

A company spokesperson confirmed to the paper that Apple has now decided to hire the majority of its day-to-day security staff in Silicon Valley as full-time workers, following a yearlong review. Read More

 

SXSW GO updated with iBeacon notifications and other new features

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2015

The official mobile app of South by Southwest (SXSW), a set of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences that take place annually in mid-March in Austin, Texas, has been refreshed with a few new features.

Among them is an enhanced experience allowing your device to receive iBeacon notifications to see what’s going on around you and who else is there. This year’s show will feature the world’s largest deployment of iBeacons. Read More

 

Google allegedly working on an iPhone app that’ll bring iOS compatibility to Android Wear

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2015

Google is ostensibly working on an iPhone app that will bring iOS compatibility to all Android Wear-driven smartwatches on the market. Google’s Android-powered software platform for wearable devices launched a year ago without official support for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac devices. Word of a possible solution came Tuesday via 01Net and was passed along to us by French blog iPhon.fr.

Whichever way you look at it, making Android Wear compatible with the iPhone could help extend the market for Android-driven wearable devices to include Apple users, too.

About 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches were shipped in 2014, according to Canalys, the research firm. Various analysts estimate Apple’s Watch could sell about ten or more million devices in 2015. Read More

 

Mortal Kombat X is hitting iOS this April

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2015

More than two decades following its 1992 debut on the the Genesis, SNES and arcades, Mortal Kombat, a video game franchise developed by Midway Games’ Chicago studio, is about to go mobile with the impending release of Mortal Kombat X for iOS and Android, as first noted by Eurogamer.

Developed by NetherRealm Studios, the game will be published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, which acquired the Mortal Kombat development team in 2011 and now owns the rights of the series. Read More

 

Pebble unveils Time Steel edition with upgradeable leather and stainless steel bands

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2015

After announcing new Pebble Time models featuring a color e-paper screen, built-in mic, an enhanced software and other improvements last week, Pebble Technology today took the wraps off a higher-end Time Steel model. Featureing a face made of machined stainless steel protected by Gorilla Glass, the Steel supports two watch straps, one made of leather and another of stainless steel.

Compared to the regular Pebble Time, the Steel model is one millimeter thicker and has 10 days’ worth of battery life. By comparison, the Time has a weeklong battery. The Steel edition will be available in three metallic finishes: silver, gold and black. Read More

 

Apple extends ‘Shot on iPhone 6’ campaign to billboards, newspapers, magazines and more

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2015

Apple’s latest ‘Shot on iPhone 6’ advertising campaign featuring crowdsourced iPhone photography from around the world is bound to reach massive audiences as the Cupertino firm started showcasing users’ best photos found online out in the real world. Specifically, Apple is hanging billboards on skyscrapers around the world, plastering them on bus stops and train stations.

In addition, the company is using the photos in minimalistic ads run in major magazines and newspapers. All told, the ad campaign features 77 photographers in 70 cities across 24 countries around the world. Read More

 

Pre-order ‘Becoming Steve Jobs,’ a new book on Apple and its mercurial co-founder

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 2, 2015

Though it may seem the world doesn’t really need another book on Steve Jobs, I beg to differ given Walter Isaacson’s disappointing biography on Apple’s famous co-founder and late CEO.

Written by the The Wall Street Journal and Fortune reporter Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, Executive Editor with Fast Company, Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader promises to be the Steve Jobs book that true fans deserve.

Scheduled to arrive on March 24 via Crown Publishing Group, it’s now available for pre-order over at Apple’s iBooks Store or Amazon’s Kindle Store for $15. Read More

 

How to embed Twitter videos on your website

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 2, 2015

Twitter has had a nice JavaScript-powered embed widget available on the web for quite some time now. Anyone is permitted to use the widget to highlight and inject specific tweets into their own blog posts and on websites.

Soon after the micro-blogging startup introduced the ability to shoot video directly within its mobile apps more than a month ago, the need arose for embedding Twitter video.

In this post, I’ll show you how to use Twitter’s widget to get the embed code for Twitter-hosted video to use on your own website or blog. Read More

 

Yosemite 10.10.3 beta with Photos for Mac now available via OS X Public Beta program

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 2, 2015

The first beta of the forthcoming OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 software update which contains the long-expected Photos for Mac application, is now available via the AppleSeed Public Beta service.

Participants in the OS X Public Beta program can download the software update right now via the Updates tab of the Mac App Store. The public beta carries a build number of 14D87, the same like the second 10.10.3 beta that the company seeded to its registered Mac developers a week ago. Read More

 

Launch lineup of Watch apps includes Salesforce, Panera Bread, hotel & fitness apps and more

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 2, 2015

As Apple is prepping to share more information about its upcoming wrist-worn device at the March 9 “Spring Forward” media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, CEO Tim Cook just dropped a few interesting tidbits about the lineup of launch apps for the Watch.

He told employees of Apple’s flagship retail store in Berlin that “a whole ton of announcements are coming shortly about all of the apps coming” for it.

The comment indicates that the upcoming media event will have a strong focus on third-party applications for the device. “Some of the best hotels in the world” will allow Watch owners to use the device to unlock room doors, he told employees, 9to5Mac learned. Read More

 

Tim Cook: Apple Watch launch not limited to US, Lisa Jackson takes over accessibility efforts

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 2, 2015

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a recent earnings call that the Apple Watch will be shipping to customers in April and now we’ve learned the launch won’t be limited to the United States.

Cook, who is touring Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Israel, apparently told managers during his visit to the flagship Apple Store in Berlin that the wrist-worn device will launch in Germany during the month of April, 9to5Mac learned. Read More

 

IBM unveils three new ‘MobileFirst for iOS’ apps

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 2, 2015

Enterprise software giant IBM on Monday announced three new apps in its MobileFirst for iOS lineup, aimed at travel and transportation, retail and banking and financial services industries.

The three new apps join the original software lineup targeted to customers in banking, retail, insurance, financial services, telecommunications, energy and utilities, governments and airlines. Read More

 

How about an app for 3D printing your selfies?

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 2, 2015

If you ever wanted a 3D printed selfie, there’ll soon be an app for that. Developer Dacuda has teamed up with Stockholm, Sweden based Volumental on the world’s first mobile application for easily creating printable 3D selfies.

The software works by capturing a video of one’s face on a tablet and is being shown off at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, CNBC reported last weekend. Read More

 
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