Flewn review: a whale of a story told with style

By Lory Gil on Jan 6, 2016

In a decade of immediate gratification, where conversations take place 140 characters at a time and games are scored by how fast you complete them, it’s nice to come across an app that does nothing but tell a story so you can slow things down, even if it is just for a moment.

Flewn is a highly stylized book with dozens of illustrations that you access with very little effort, but still feels significantly interactive just the same. We’ve got a full app review of Flewn for you right now. Read More

 

Eleven 3D Touch shortcuts in Messages for iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2015

There’s no question that 3D Touch really does make the iPhone’s Multi-Touch user interface multidimensional. By varying the degree of pressure applied to the screen of your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, you can preview emails, websites, locations, messages and a variety of other items in Apple’s stock apps.

We have already covered new 3D Touch shortcuts in iBooks and today we’re taking a closer look at arguably the most-oft used iPhone app—Messages. In Messages, you can Peek and Pop most of the file types to your heart’s content without needing to jump between multiple apps, which can save a lot of time.

In this tutorial, we’re going to lay out 3D Touch basics in Messages before moving on to all of the items you can preview in your conversations. Read More

 

Six 3D Touch shortcuts in iBooks for iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 11, 2015

Earlier this week, Apple released iOS 9.2 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with a number of useful refinements, among them 3D Touch gestures in the stock iBooks app.

Owners of the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus can now use Peek and Pop gestures in iBooks to speed up common tasks such as checking out their notes and bookmarks, previewing pages in search results and more.

This tutorial takes you on a quick tour of 3D Touch gestures in iBooks, including six ways applying pressure helps you interact with your fav reads. Read More

 

Apple releases Best of 2015 charts on iTunes

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 9, 2015

Apple on Wednesday posted its annual Best of 2015 charts on iTunes. “We debated. We argued. Everyone had favorites, but to make this list of 2015’s finest, there could be no doubts,” wrote the company. “What you see here made the cut—they’re the most visionary, inventive and irresistible apps and games of the year.”

Apple named Twitter-owned Periscope the App of the Year and Square Enix’s excellent Lara Croft GO its Game of the Year.

Workflow, the popular iOS automation app, is listed as the Most Innovative App of 2015 and Dark Echo the Most Innovative Game of 2015. Facebook-owned Instagram is the Best App on iPhone 6s while Pixel Toys’ Warhammer: 40,000 Freeblade took home the Best Game on iPhone 6s award, thanks to immersive 3D Touch controls.

Here’s the full list of titles the topped Apple’s charts in 2015. Read More

 

Apple announces enhanced editions of Harry Potter series available exclusively on iBooks Store

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 8, 2015

Apple on Thursday issued a press release announcing that all seven books in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter fantasy series are now available exclusively as iBooks accessible on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac devices.

The books sport interactive animations, exclusive covers, annotations from Rowling, custom Harry Potter typefaces, video and other interactive content.

This marks the first time Harry Potter books are available digitally outside J.K. Rowling’s own Pottermore Shop e-commerce company, developed in partnership with Sony. Read More

 

Apple Music, iTunes Movies and iBooks make their long-expected debut in China

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2015

Apple on Wednesday announced that users in China can now enjoy Apple Music, as well as browse and download their entertainment from the iTunes Store and iBooks Store, marking the first time customers in the 1.33 billion people market will have access to Apple’s entertainment ecosystem with music, movies and books right at their fingertips.

“Customers in China love the App Store and have made it our largest market in the world for app downloads,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “One of the top requests has been more great content and we’re thrilled to bring music, movies and books to China, curated by a local team of experts.” Read More

 

Google Play Books gains revamped Read Now, notes and highlights syncing, new font and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 21, 2015

Google on Tuesday issued an update to its Play Books application in the App Store, adding a few new features and enhancements designed to elevate your reading experience on the iPhone and iPad.

The new Google Play Books 2.5 for iOS now features a revamped Read Now view, a new default font, the ability to sync notes and highlights to Google Drive and more. Read More

 

New book tells the story of how the iPhone crippled BlackBerry

By Cody Lee on May 22, 2015

There is a new book coming out later this month entitled “Losing the Signal,” and it explores the rise and fall of BlackBerry. The Canadian-based handset maker that once sat atop the smartphone market has spent the last two years fighting off bankruptcy.

On Friday The Wall Street Journal published an interesting excerpt from the book, which tells the story of the iPhone’s debut in 2007 and how it impacted folks inside BlackBerry. It’s clear that they had no idea it was coming, or what they could do to respond. Read More

 

Audible audiobooks service gains support for Apple’s CarPlay in latest update

By Christian Zibreg on May 18, 2015

Audible, an audiobooks service owned by Amazon, pushed a major update to its iPhone and iPad application this morning which added CarPlay functionality along with a couple nice-to-have improvements in the app’s iOS edition.

After downloading today’s update, the Audible app will automatically appear on the dashboard of CarPlay-enabled vehicles and those supporting CarPlay via aftermarket solutions from Pioneer, Alpine and other companies. Read More

 

Becoming Steve Jobs releases on iBooks Store, Kindle and Amazon.com

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 24, 2015

Becoming Steve Jobs, a highly anticipated Apple-endorsed biography of Apple’s mercurial co-founder and late CEO Steve Jobs, on Tuesday released on the iBooks Store, the Kindle Store and on Amazon.com.

Written by veteran Wall Street Journal and Fortune reporter Brent Schlender, who is 58 years old, and Rick Tetzeli, Executive Editor with Fast Company, the 464-page book published by The Crown Publishing Group offers new details of Jobs’ personal and professional life that did not quite get the treatment in Walter Isaacson’s biography that such a high-profile iconic figure in technology, media and arts deserves. Read More

 

iBooks is offering exclusive sneak peek from upcoming ‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ biography

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 22, 2015

The new Steve Jobs biography by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli is launching on iBooks this Tuesday and Apple is now offering an exclusive sneak peek into the prologue and first chapter, including Schlender’s first interview with Jobs when he moved to NeXT, as noted yesterday be the official iBooks Store account on Twitter.

‘Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader’ should appeal to everyone who — like CEO Tim Cook — felt that Walter Isaacson’s official biography did Apple’s legendary co-founder a great disservice. Read More

 

Interesting excerpts from ‘Becoming Steve Jobs,’ upcoming Apple-endorsed biography

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 17, 2015

Penned 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’ is slated for release on March 24 and already whole sections have been posted online. Endorsed by Apple execs, it’s fairest portrayal of the famous inventor who co-founded and led Apple to become the world’s top corporation.

Unlike Walter Isaacson’s much maligned biography, Becoming Steve Jobs offers an insight into the side of Steve Jobs you didn’t know: kind, patient and human.

Leaked excerpts offer Tim Cook’s reflections on working for such a demanding boss, the secret projects they discussed doing and not doing, tidbits on Jobs’ thought process and the events leading up to Jobs’s passing on October 5, 2011, including the story of Cook offering to give Jobs his liver. Read More

 

EU rules e-books can’t be subject to lower taxes

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 5, 2015

The top court of the European Union has determined that e-books shouldn’t be treated like their printed counterparts when it comes to taxes and therefore should be subject to higher tax rates, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

“But the European Commission signaled it may change the rules next year to allow for equal taxation of books in any form,” reads the report. 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 free up your iPhone and iPad storage space by removing unwanted books

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 6, 2015

Our previous how-tos shared tips on saving storage space on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad by removing photosvideos, songs and apps. And last week, we shared an excellent tip on clearing ‘Other’ storage occupied by Safari’s Reading List, app caches and temporary data.

With that in mind, you’d be surprised to learn that electronic books can take significant amount of storage space.

While a typical book found on the iBooks Store is about two megabytes in size, a textbook with enhanced features like audio and video will typically require anywhere between a few hundred megabytes to up to two gigabytes of storage, per textbook.

Now, if you’re anything like me, your devices are stuffed to the gills with multimedia-rich smart reads. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to identify the amount of on-device storage consumed by iBooks content, teach you how to reclaim storage space by removing books and PDFs you’ve read and share a few useful tips along the way that I bet you didn’t know about. Read More

 

Apple puts into effect 14-day return policy on digital purchases in Europe

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 29, 2014

Apple typically handles refunds of digital purchases on a case-by-case basis and with an “All Sales Final” provision. But now, Apple’s reportedly switched to a 14-day return policy for movies, TV shows, music, books and apps in most European markets, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and France, German blog iFun.de [Google Translate] reported Monday.

Apple’s updated policy in these countries states that customers can now cancel their digital purchase within fourteen days from when they received their receipt “without giving any reason,” with the exception of iTunes Match, Season Pass, Multi-Pass and iTunes Gift Cards and Allowances that can’t be refunded once you have redeemed the code or activated the service. Read More

 

Apple promoting music, movies, TV shows and books via new iTunes blog on Tumblr

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 22, 2014

As first noted by 9to5Mac, Apple has expanded its social presence with a brand new blog dedicated to iTunes content and hosted on Yahoo-owned Tumblr platform.

Now available at the itunes.tumblr.com URL, the blog highlights a curated selection of movies, television shows, music and books carried on the iTunes Store.

A special emphasis is given to Apple’s Best of 2014 charts that were published on iTunes last week. If memory serves me well, this is Apple’s second official blog on Tumblr following odd iPhone 5c web adds and Tumblr presence which was supposed to resonate with the blog platform’s younger audience. Read More

 

Massive Kindle update adds Book Browser on iPad, Goodreads integration and more

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 15, 2014

Just in time for the holidays, Amazon on Monday issued a massive update to its Kindle mobile client for the iOS platform, bringing out integration with the Goodreads recommendation engine, an all new Book Browser allowing iPad users to retrieve additional information about the books with personalized book sample suggestions to download and read.

Other highlights of this update include the ability to start playing Audible audiobooks as they’re downloading with progressive playback, book details in the Library, the Next In Series information and so forth. Read More

 

Apple posts iTunes Best of 2014 charts

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 8, 2014

Like in years past, Apple ahead of the holidays published its list of the best and most popular apps, movies, TV shows, music and books available on iTunes. In the category of the top paid iPhone app, Heads Up! came in first. Facebook’s Messenger is Apple’s top free iPhone app and Clash of Clans emerged as the top grossing iPhone app, respectively. On the iPad side, Minecraft, YouTube and Clash of Clans have been rated as the App Store’s top paid, free and grossing apps, respectively.

Without further ado, here’s the rest of Apple’s most popular apps and media in 2014. Read More

 

Amazon updates Kindle for iOS with in-app support for Audible content

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 10, 2014

Amazon today issued a nice little update to its Kindle iOS app to make it easier to enjoy Audible content.

Previously, listening to Audible audio books required opening a separate apps, but the new Kindle version 4.3 for the iPhone and iPad now includes support for Audible content.

As a result, you can listen to Kindle books enriched with their respective audio companions right within the Kindle app itself.

Audible, for those unfamiliar with it, is owned by Amazon. Your changelog and additional information can be found right after the break… Read More

 
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