HBO Now updated with support for Picture in Picture, Spotlight Search and more

By Cody Lee on Oct 1, 2015

HBO on Thursday pushed out an update for its HBO Now streaming app, bringing the iOS client to version 1.3. The update is a significant one for folks running iOS 9, particularly those with a late-model iPad, as it adds compatibility with some of the new software’s features.

The most important of those features is Picture in Picture, which allows [newer] iPad owners to watch videos in a small, standalone window while using other apps. Additionally, the update adds support for Spotlight Search, as well as various other bug fixes and improvements. Read More


iOS 9.0.2 fixed vulnerability that allowed Lock screen access to photos and contacts

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2015

iOS 9.0.2 has patched a potentially disturbing vulnerability which allowed malicious users who have access to your device to use Siri from the Lock screen in order to browse your photos and contacts.

According to Apple’ official iOS 9.0.2 release notes, the software has fixed the issue which allowed access to photos and contacts on a locked device by “restricting options offered on a locked device.”

The vulnerability was left unpatched in iOS 9.0 and iOS 9.0.1 and affected the iPhone 4s and later, fifth-generation iPod touch and later and iPad 2 and later. Read More


Skype’s iPad and Mac apps now support new multitasking features in iOS 9 and El Capitan

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2015

Microsoft-owned Skype for iPad was refreshed in the App Store earlier this morning with support for new multitasking features provided by iOS 9. It’s now easier to chat with friends on Skype while surfing the web, reading your email or running other apps in side-by-side Split View multitasking mode (requires iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 4).

In addition to Split View, Skype for iPad also supports Slide Over mode. Both instant messaging and voice calling are supported in Split View and Slide Over. Read More


Electronic Arts releases Need for Speed: No Limits in App Store

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2015

Electronics Arts’ newest racing game on mobile, called Need for Speed: No Limits, is now available in the App Store as a freemium download. Created by developer Firemonkeys which brought you Real Racing 3, this new game challenges you to become a reckless yet respected driver.

A stable of sports cars available in No Limits include the Subaru BRZ, BMW M4, McLaren 650s, Porsche 911 and many more. Unlike previous Need for Speed Games, No Limits is big on customization. Read More


OneDrive for iOS gains new command gestures and cool ways to work with PDF files

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2015

Microsoft today updated OneDrive for the iPhone and iPad, its cloud-storage client app, with several new features such as a simpler way to share things with an all-new radial contextual menu and cool new ways to work with and annotate PDF files.

For starters, you can now draw smiley faces or whatever your like on PDF files, sign documents and more. And thanks to OneDrive’s newly gained Outlook integration, you can share OneDrive files as email attachments through Outlook, if it’s installed.

OneDrive’s Document Picker extension on devices with iOS 8 or later permits you to open your cloud files in third-party apps like Keynote and Pages. Oh, and you can now see folders shared with you, alongside your own OneDrive folders, and sync them on your computer. Read More


How to make your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad more secure with 6-digit passcodes

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2015

iOS 9.0.1 increases your security by defaulting to 6-digit passcodes on Touch ID devices. “If you use Touch ID, it’s a change you’ll hardly notice,” says Apple.

Compared to 4-digit passcodes which have 10,000 possible combinations, their 6-digit counterparts strengthen your security with one million possible combinations, meaning 6-digit passcodes will be a lot tougher to crack.

Non-Touch ID iPhones and iPads still default to less secure 4-digit passcodes, however. You can enable a 6-digit passcode with a quick trip to Settings, here’s how. Read More


Review: Password Chef—enjoy untethered password entry with recipes

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 28, 2015

The App Store offers several high-quality apps that help you create strong passwords for various services, manage your passwords and synchronize them between devices with ease, AgileBits’ freemium 1Password being perhaps the most popular one.

But there’s now a brand new password manager on the block which takes a clever approach to securing all your online accounts with strong passwords but without having to actually remember them.

How about re-creating passwords from recipes?

Welcome to Naranja Studio’s Password Chef, a novel $2.99 app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad which takes advantage of unique recipes to basically turn any site name into an easy-to-recall password, canceling the need for additional software or devices. Read More


Doodle Jump SpongeBob SquarePants goes free as Apple’s App of the Week

By Cody Lee on Sep 24, 2015

Apple has named Nickelodeon’s “Doodle Jump SpongeBob SquarePants” its App of the Week for this week. This means that from now through next Thursday, you could grab the special SpongeBob edition of the popular platformer for free—a solid savings of $2.

In the game, players are tasked with restoring order to Bikini Bottom after Plankton and his crew steal the Krabby Patty Secret Formula. You do this by helping Doodle Jump SpongeBob jump up and across the sea, blasting bubbles at anyone who gets in his way. Read More


Google’s Keep app makes its way into App Store

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 24, 2015

Following its Android debut nearly two and a half years ago, Google’s note-taking mobile software, called Keep, is now available to download from the App Store.

Featuring Google’s Material Design, the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad app offers a nicely rounded set of features commonly found in other note-taking apps but with less bloat and clutter. Needless to say, Keep benefits tremendously from seamless integration with other Google products and technologies.

Notes created in Keep can be accessed, edited and managed on iOS, Android and on the web, via a Keep web app. Google Keep is a free download so give it a try and let us know how you like it in comments. Read More


New in iOS 9: ask Siri to remind you about things you’re looking at in your apps

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 24, 2015

Siri’s Proactive features in iOS 9 let you do so much more, and in a more intelligent fashion than ever before. In addition to suggesting apps, people, locations and more when you use Spotlight Search, iOS 9 also lets you ask Siri to actually create context-aware reminders for what you’re looking at on the screen of your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

Asking to be reminded about things you’re looking at in apps like Safari, Mail and Notes that you want to follow up on later can be a tremendous productivity boost.

The feature is a great time-saver when you cannot currently deal with what you’re doing right now, and would like to get reminded about it at a later stage, but are too lazy to create a reminder yourself. Here’s how it works. Read More


Apple lists top 25 apps infected by XcodeGhost

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 24, 2015

Apple today refreshed its official XcodeGhost FAQ webpage, listing the top 25 iPhone and iPad apps on the App Store that contain the widely reported though mostly harmless XcodeGhost malware.

In addition to WeChat, one of the top messaging apps in the world, Rovio’s Angry Birds 2 and China Unicom’s Customer Service app, most of the listed apps are distributed on the Chinese App Store only.

“If users have one of these apps, they should update the affected app which will fix the issue on the user’s device,” writes the company. “If the app is available on App Store, it has been updated, if it isn’t available it should be updated very soon.”

Apple has pulled many of the infected apps and said it’s working closely with developers to get impacted apps back on the App Store. Read More


Twitterrific update with iOS 9 and iPad multitasking support, new features and improvements

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 23, 2015

Twitterrific 5, The Iconfactory’s freemium Twitter client for iOS and OS X platforms, has received its iOS 9-focused update this morning.

The app is now fully optimized for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices running iOS 9 and supports new Slide Over and Split View multitasking modes on compatible iPads. If you own an iPad Air 2 or an iPad mini 4, you can now run Twitterrific and another app side-by-side in iOS 9’s new Split View mode.

This is a great feature as you can now pin Twitterrific on the right and configure it to use Safari as your browser instead of in-app. In addition to iOS 9-specific support, this edition of Twitterrific includes other changes and improvements listed further below. Read More


Spark email app gains iOS 9 support, default From: account, customizable quick replies and more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 23, 2015

Spark, Readdle’s excellent iPhone app for Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, iCloud and other email services, is now compatible with iOS 9 features, including 3D Touch on new iPhones.

Spark 1.2 for iPhone also includes the ability to select any email account or alias as default FROM: address for new emails. The app now lets you customize canned replies to your liking and includes a host of other improvements. Read More


Pixelmator gains 8K resolution and iOS 9 support, including iPad multitasking features

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 23, 2015

Pixelmator, the tremendously popular Photoshop replacement available for both iOS and OS X platforms, today gained an update which adds several new features on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices.

For starters, Pixelmator 2.1 for iOS is now fully compatible with iOS 9 (in fact, it’s now an iOS 9-only app) and supports Slide Over and Split View iPad multitasking modes.

With Split View on compatible iPads, customers can use Pixelmator and any other app at the same time. More importantly, the app now opening and editing images in 8K resolution. Read More


Apple to offer local Xcode downloads in China, posts official XcodeGhost malware FAQ

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 23, 2015

The XcodeGhost malware couldn’t have arrived at worst time for Apple as the company prepares to launch its iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus tomorrow. The company has already removed the App Store apps infected by the malware, which has been found to inject its payload into apps compiled with compromised copies of Xcode that were distributed on non-Apple servers in China.

Wednesday, the Cupertino firm has confirmed plans to mitigate the threat by hosting local Xcode downloads within China. In addition, Apple has posted an XcodeGhost FAQ webpage on its Chinese website detailing the XcodeGhost malware and how customers might be affected by it. Read More


How to silence all Siri audio feedback when your iPhone’s mute switch is turned to silent

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 22, 2015

Starting with iOS 9, you can now shut Siri up as easily as turning the mute switch to silent. Prior to iOS 9, Siri would not respond to the state of the ringer switch.

Indeed, how many times did you wish you could chat with Siri in the middle of the night but didn’t out of fear her loud voice might wake up your significant other?

As it turns out, a quick trip to the Settings app on iOS 9 and a couple of taps is all it takes to tell Siri to honor the state of your ringer switch. Read More


Twitter adds Quick Reply to iOS app (this time for real!) and other enhancements

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 22, 2015

A Twitter update last week was supposed to make the mobile iPhone and iPad app play nice with iOS 9’s new text-based replies that are now available to third-party apps directly from notification banners, except it didn’t.

Tuesday, the micro-blogging startup issued a new version of the iOS client which fixes last week’s botched update.

Now iOS 9 users of Twitter’s mobile app can take advantage of full support for the Quick Reply feature from push notifications, the ability to access muted and blocked accounts in Settings and more. Read More


Apple educates developers on validating Xcode downloads following XcodeGhost malware attack

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 22, 2015

A new type of attack called XcodeGhost is wreaking something of a mini-havoc in the App Store, injecting its malware payload into popular iPhone and iPad apps and prompting Apple to pull the infected apps.

The malware itself is pretty harmful—it collects and sends information about your device—but the method of spreading is cunning. Rather than target the App Store itself, attackers have distributed hacked versions of Xcode, Apple’s tool required for iOS and OS X development.

As Xcode is a multi-gigabyte download, developers in countries like China where Internet speeds are slow have downloaded these modified Xcode builds from non-Apple sources without realizing a hacked Xcode injects malware when compiling apps.

This morning, Apple issued an email to developers providing an update on the XcodeGhost situation while laying out easy-to-follow instructions for checking if their Xcode copy has been tampered with. Read More


How to disable pop-up character previews when typing on iPhone keyboard

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 22, 2015

iOS has always displayed the traditional pop-up character preview when a key is pressed on the virtual keyboard. In iOS 9, there’s a new setting to control that behavior.

In addition to turning the keyboard back to all caps, iOS 9 lets you disable pop-up previews when pecking away on your iPhone or iPod touch keyboard.

If you’re concerned that someone might be looking over your shoulder as you’re typing in sensitive information on your iPhone, here’s how you can disable character previews. Read More


Why iOS 9’s Facedown detection doesn’t work on iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPad and iPod touch

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 21, 2015

Facedown detection stands as one of the underrated features in iOS 9’s rich arsenal of power-saving tactics designed to help extend your run time by up to an additional hour.

Facedown detection avoids turning the display on when a notification comes in and your phone is put facedown. But as it turns out, Facedown detection doesn’t work on all devices compatible with iOS 9 and there is a good explanation for that  why. Read More