Be a virtual tourist: take scripted 3D tours of world’s major metropolises on Apple Maps

By Christian Zibreg on May 16, 2016

You knew about three-dimensional buildings and landmarks on Apple Maps—a feature they’re calling Flyover mode. But did you know that Apple’s mapping service includes virtual tours of more than a hundred major metropolises worldwide? If not, that’s because Apple hasn’t exactly gone to great lengths to advertise it front and center in the Maps interface.

These virtual tours are basically auto-playing animations in Flyover mode, complete with three-dimensional buildings, terrain and landmarks. They’re quite useful if you’re visiting a city for the first time, though virtual tourists who want a quick overview of a major city will also find them fun and entertaining.

Here’s how you can explore and enjoy 3D Flyover Tours on Apple Maps for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac. Read More

 

App Store not loading? Try this

By Anthony Bouchard on May 16, 2016

I get those moments every so often where my iPhone or iPad likes to drag its feet when I launch the App Store app. When this happens, the screen just stays completely blank, and nothing seems to load despite being connected to a high-speed internet connection.

If you’ve ever been in a similar scenario where the App Store won’t load for you, or individual items in the App Store aren’t loading for you, there are a myriad of things that could be wrong.

In this piece, we’ll discuss what could be wrong and possible troubleshooting solutions you can take to get your App Store to load properly. Read More

 

How and why to report spammy iMessages to Apple

By Anthony Bouchard on May 16, 2016

Sometimes your contact information ends up where you don’t want it, and you end up with annoying spam iMessages from people, companies, or bots that try to scam you or steal personal information.

Fortunately, Apple’s iMessage service comes with an abuse report feature that you can use to report senders who are misusing the iMessage platform and making it a less enjoyable thing to use.

In this piece, we’ll talk about how and why you should be reporting iMessages that seem spammy. Read More

 

Health Tracking, Hopscotch, Boom, and other apps to check out this weekend

By Cody Lee on May 14, 2016

In this edition of Apps of the Week, we’ve rounded up some fantastic titles for you to check out this weekend. The list includes a new app called Health Tracking by Gyroscope, a new iPhone version of the popular learn-to-code app Hopscotch, and two new games that you won’t want to miss! Read More

 

Daily Deals: $640 12.9-inch iPad Pro, $15 Speck iPhone case, $5 desktop stand, and more

By Cody Lee on May 13, 2016

Hello! Welcome to iDB’s new exploratory ‘Daily Deals’ post. Here you will find a roundup of some of our favorite deals of the day on tech and tech-related products such as smartphones, tablets, accessories, connected devices, and even video games and consoles.

This is an experiment of sorts, born out of our love for tech and discounts. So we’re going to do a little trial run, and see how it goes. If it turns out to be something readers are interested in, we’ll add more products from more websites, and make this a daily thing. Read More

 

Getting your point across, artfully, with PointOut

By Christian Zibreg on May 13, 2016

PointOut for iPhone, an exciting image annotation app, is celebrating its first birthday with a feature-packed update that surfaced yesterday on the App Store.

As its name hints, this app lets you point out things on your photos and iOS screenshots with pointers such as arrows, dots, circles, lifelike loupes, precision glasses, different canvas layouts, focus areas and more.

These tolls make it super easy to highlight or enlarge specific details on your photos in a manner that’ll make an impact on your audience.

In its latest update, PointOut has gained some new pointers with draggable text labels for making even greater impact, a flat magnifying glass for those who couldn’t stand the skeuomorphic ones, full support for non-standard iOS keyboards and more.

Having been using this app for months, I’ve grown to like it quite a lot. This quick review should give you an idea why I deem PointOut a unique iOS annotation app. Read More

 

Daily Deals: iPhone 6 Plus $399, 2-pack Lightning cables $14, and more

By Cody Lee on May 12, 2016

Hello! Welcome to iDB’s new exploratory ‘Daily Deals’ post. Here you will find a roundup of some of our favorite deals of the day on tech and tech-related products such as smartphones, tablets, accessories, connected devices, and even video games and consoles.

This is an experiment of sorts, born out of our love for tech and discounts. So we’re going to do a little trial run, and see how it goes. If it turns out to be something readers are interested in, we’ll add more products from more websites, and make this a daily thing. Read More

 

Action-puzzler King Rabbit goes free as Apple’s App of the Week

By Cody Lee on May 12, 2016

Apple on Thursday updated its App of the Week promotion with the game King Rabbit. This means that for the next 7 days, you’ll be able to download the popular action-puzzler for both iPhone and iPad for free—a modest savings of $1.

For those unfamiliar with the title, King Rabbit is a puzzle-action crossover. Players are tasked with helping King Rabbit rescue his bunny citizens from devious enemies using keys, potions, bombs and other items they find along the way. Read More

 

iOS 9 adoption is stalling amid slowing iPhone sales

By Christian Zibreg on May 12, 2016

Last time we checked, iOS adoption rates stood at 84 percent of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices that were detected as running iOS 9. Moreover, eleven percent of hardware was on iOS 8 and the remaining five percent of devices used iOS 7 or older editions of Apple’s mobile operating system.

These stats were valid as of a little more than two weeks ago. The new numbers Apple just posted to its App Store dashboard for developers, however, paint a not-so-rosy picture for iOS 9 adoption.

According to App Store device logs, the latest set of figures has not changed the slightest bit, or has not changed enough to move the needle versus two weeks ago. Read More

 

App Store review times shortened to 2 days

By Christian Zibreg on May 12, 2016

Apple’s oft-criticized review process for app submissions, which normally takes about a week or more, now takes as little as two days, according to developers who reported seeing dramatically faster App Store review times on submissions.

AppReviewTimes.com, a website that tracks average App Store review times using crowdsourced data, has confirmed that Apple’s review process now takes an average of two days to approve an app, based on 332 reviews in the last 14 days. Read More

 

Periscope for iPhone now lets you search videos and broadcast live from DJI drones

By Christian Zibreg on May 12, 2016

Periscope, a Twitter-owned app that lets anyone start a live video broadcast from their iPhone, today received a pretty substantial update on the App Store. Bumped to version 1.4, Periscope for iPhone now lets you search videos and broadcast live to the service from a compatible DJI drone.

In addition, the team shared a preview of their full beyond 24 hours approach that will be available in the coming weeks. Read More

 

Microsoft to sunset Sunrise Calendar on August 31, here are a few viable alternatives

By Christian Zibreg on May 12, 2016

If you rely on the excellent cross-platform Sunrise Calendar to keep up with your schedule, Microsoft has some bad news for you: your favorite calendar app is breaking up with you as the Windows maker announced plans to shut down Sunrise on August 31. For those wondering, Microsoft bought this popular calendar app in February of 2015.

Fortunately, Sunrise alternatives are plentiful. Read More

 

Google Translate app gains offline mode, instant camera translation from Chinese and more

By Christian Zibreg on May 12, 2016

Google’s native Translate application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad received a major update yesterday in the App Store, bringing version number to 5.0 and introducing some rather interesting advances. For starters, Google Translate now works without an Internet connection, allowing you to translate words, phrases and sentences in 52 of the 103 supported languages when there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection available.

The instant camera translation feature, called Word Lens, now works with Chinese: it reads both to and from English, both Simplified and Traditional Chinese. This feature is ideal for traveling: you just point your camera at, say, a restaurant sign in a foreign language and witness the appropriate translation appear like magic in live video feed. Read More

 

Google launches iPhone keyboard that lets you search and send GIFs, emojis and more

By Christian Zibreg on May 12, 2016

As promised, Google this morning launched its first software keyboard for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, called Gboard. Available free on the App Store, it integrates the power of Google Search, supports gesture-based typing, lets you send GIFs, emoticons and more. “No more app switching; just search and send, right from your keyboard,” said Google. Read More

 

Here’s how the new Instagram icon came to be

By Christian Zibreg on May 12, 2016

Instagram’s drastic revamp which said good-bye to skeuomorphism with an all-white monochromatic interface and a rainbow-colored icon—not only for the main app, but also for Layout, Boomerang and Hyperlapse—has expectedly polarized fans and watchers alike.

A lot of people took to blogs and social media to vent their frustration with the new art direction for the beloved app they obsessively check multiple times a day.

But after all is said and done, this may not necessarily be such a bad move for Instagram. So, how did the new Instagram icon came to be and what was the reasoning behind its redesign? Read More

 

Daily Deals: 27-inch LG widescreen monitor $140, Samson USB mic $60, and more

By Cody Lee on May 11, 2016

Hello! Welcome to iDB’s new exploratory ‘Daily Deals’ post. Here you will find a roundup of some of our favorite deals of the day on tech and tech-related products such as smartphones, tablets, accessories, connected devices, and even video games and consoles.

This is an experiment of sorts, born out of our love for tech and discounts. So we’re going to do a little trial run, and see how it goes. If it turns out to be something readers are interested in, we’ll add more products from more websites, and make this a daily thing. Read More

 

Apple Maps tip: zooming without pinching

By Christian Zibreg on May 11, 2016

iOS’s Reachability feature is a nice addition for those who wish to operate their iPhone with just one hand. With Reachability, customers can easily reach the top corners of the iOS user interface by double-tapping the Home screen button.

I use Reachability on a regular basis, but wish that more developers designed their apps with one-handed mode in mind. For instance, one-handed zooming is currently available in just a few apps, such as Google Maps and Snapchat.

On Apple Maps, you’ve always had the ability to zoom in or out of an area using the familiar pinch-zoom gesture. What you may not know is that Apple’s mapping application provides other gestures that are suitable for zooming in or out without needing to pinch open or close with two fingers, here’s how. Read More

 

Daily Deals: 50% off Logitech accessories, $300 off 13-inch MacBook Pro, and more

By Cody Lee on May 10, 2016

Hello! Welcome to iDB’s new exploratory ‘Daily Deals’ post. Here you will find a roundup of some of our favorite deals of the day on tech and tech-related products such as smartphones, tablets, accessories, connected devices, and even video games and consoles.

This is an experiment of sorts, born out of our love for tech and discounts. So we’re going to do a little trial run, and see how it goes. If it turns out to be something readers are interested in, we’ll add more products from more websites, and make this a daily thing. Read More

 

How to turn off Netflix’s autoplay feature

By Christian Zibreg on May 10, 2016

Not everyone is a fan of bing watching. I, for one, rarely watch a dozen episodes of Friends in a row. If you’re anything like me, Netflix’s autoplay feature is probably something of an annoyance to you.

It’s especially worrisome if Netflix uses cellular data: forgetting to stop the playback after you’ve just finished watching an episode won’t stop Netflix from playing the next one automatically, resulting in unwanted data charges.

iDownloadBlog’s tutorial series is here to help you with that: in this quick how-to, we’ll show you how to turn off the video autoplay feature across all your Netflix devices—they’re calling it Post-Play—with just a few clicks. Read More

 

How to use one-handed zoom on Google Maps

By Christian Zibreg on May 10, 2016

Yesterday, iDownloadBlog detailed a cool new one-handed zoom gesture during video capture which Snapchat’s latest update has implemented.

This incredibly convenient shortcut permits you to zoom in and out as you’re shooting video with Snapchat’s camera, in real time. As one of our commenters pointed out, Google Maps has long had a similar shortcut on its native iOS app.

With it, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users can zoom in and pan around in one-handed mode, without needing to use a two-fingered pinch-zoom gesture. Here’s how one-handed zoom mode works on Google Maps for iOS. Read More