Vine update makes it super easy to remix your favorite videos

By Cody Lee on Nov 18, 2015

Vine on Wednesday announced a new update for its popular mobile video-sharing app. It appears that this is a backend update, as I didn’t have to download anything to see the changes (although I did restart the app), but there are a few new features worth noting.

The first is a new audio remix option. With Remix, users can make their own creations with sound from any Vine with the touch of a finger. Just tap the […] button beneath a Vine clip within the mobile app, and select “Make an audio remix” from the popup menu. Read More


New Microsoft app, Forum for iPhone, lets employees speak their mind freely

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

Microsoft continues releasing mobile apps for the iPhone first before they eventually trickle down to the “other” operating systems. The latest example: Forum, a new iPhone application born out of Microsoft’s Garage division responsible for skunkworks projects.

It was conceived to help employees within an organization speak their mind and state their opinion on any topic.

Fellow workers can then vote on your favorite posts (and optionally flag them) and find out what everyone else is really thinking about any given topic. Forum is a free download and available primarily to businesses. Read More


Official Google app revamps voice search interface and Google Now cards

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

In addition to refreshing the layout for Communities and Collections on Google+, the search monster today also rolled out an update to its iOS search app.

Available at no charge in the App Store, the native Google search experience on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad now includes an overhauled voice search interface with a nicely animated logo.

More important than that, the layout of your Google Now cards has been reworked and updated to better organize and surface content for you. Read More


Griffin WatchStand Charging Station: a solid two-in-one dock with some trade-offs

By Cody Lee on Nov 18, 2015

Earlier this month I reviewed the Belkin Charge Dock, a stylish dock for your iPhone and Apple Watch. I praised it for its classy, minimalistic design and embedded chargers, but knew that its steep $130 price tag would be a turnoff for many potential buyers.

This time around I want to tell you about a more affordable option—the Griffin WatchStand Charging Station. It too offers space for your iPhone and Apple Watch to rest and recharge, at less than half the price, but that savings does come with a few tradeoffs.

First, there’s design. I don’t think the WatchStand looks bad—in fact, Sebastien called its identical smaller sibling “sleek”—but I also don’t think it looks anywhere near as good as the Belkin. Second, there are no cables included, meaning you have to supply your own.

So does the WatchStand’s price and functionality offset these shortcomings? Let’s find out. Read More


Instagram clamping down on apps that read feeds, offer auto-following, liking or commenting

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

As part of Instagram’s most recent platform update, third-party applications will be no longer allowed to present a user’s Instagram feed, a significant change in policy that’ll affect numerous mobile applications which pull Instagram feeds.

Going forward, they’ll be shutting down services and apps that offer auto-following, liking or commenting.

Photo-editing apps that show only individual Instagram photos won’t be affected by this change. All apps must comply by June 1, 2016. The new policies and reviews will go into effect for new apps starting December 3, 2015. Read More


Microsoft completely overhauls Bing for iPhone, implements iOS deep links and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

In an effort to increase pressure on Google, Windows giant Microsoft today pushed a completely overhauled Bing for iPhone into the App Store. The software features a new branding identity reflected on the app’s Home screen icon and a matching new-look interface with tight iOS integration via deep linking.

In addition, the app now works offline so you can go back to your bookmarks and search history even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

“We designed the app to bring together the information you need, connected to the apps you trust, to help you ‘find’ and ‘do’ faster and easier than ever before,” wrote the team. Read More


Tapity puts Grades and Languages apps for sale, shares revenue stats

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

The latest developer success story comes from Tapity, an Apple Design Award winner and the brains behind education app Grades and Languages, its popular offline translation app.

They’ve now put both Grades and Languages for sale in order to focus exclusively on Hours, a gorgeous time-tracking software that I reviewed in the summer of 2014. What’s really interesting about this is how forthcoming Tapity’s been about stats for these apps.

You might find it interesting to learn what kind of revenue Grades and Languages have been pulling thus far and what potential bidders can look forward to after buying Grades and Langauges. Read More


7 tips to get rid of junk files and recover storage space on iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2015

There’s nothing worse than pulling an iPhone out of your pocket to capture that brief moment in life that will never repeat itself only to be met with a “storage almost full” message.

It’s a sinking feeling so no wonder that most folks tend to immediately remove older photos.

But there are better ways to free up storage space on your device that don’t necessarily involve deleting your precious memories. Faced with a low-storage prompt, your first order of business should be checking if apps you frequently use are gobbling up your storage by caching large amounts of data.

That’s just the starters, as there’re plenty of other space-saving techniques you should be employing on a regular basis. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to manually flush app caches, disable certain iOS features and flip the switches you never knew existed in order to remove as much of the cruft clogging up your iOS device as possible. Read More


iOS 9 adoption rate hits 67 percent mark

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2015

Two weeks after hitting precisely two-thirds of active iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices in the wild, Apple’s latest iOS 9 mobile operating system is now powering 67 percent of iOS hardware.

The data comes via Apple’s dashboard for developers and is derived from App Store access logs on Tuesday, November 16, 2015. iOS 8 continues to comprise just shy of one-quarter of active iOS devices in use, while earlier iOS editions collectively account for nine percent of iOS devices being actively used. Read More


Tumblr for iOS update turns your photo bursts and videos into animated GIFs

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2015

Yahoo-owned blogging service Tumblr is pushing an update to its iPhone, iPod touch and iPad application in the App Store today, and it brings with it a headline new feature: a tool which helps turn your photo bursts and videos into animated GIFs that can be easily shared on the service, as first reported by The Verge.

This removes much of the friction that comes with having to do the conversion yourself. The update is being rolled out as we speak so you might not see it just yet. Read More


Apple’s rumored 4-inch iPhone 6c apparently won’t run A9 chip after all

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2015

Reliable analyst who have been calling for a refresh to the now discontinued four-inch iPhone 5c may have gotten one detail wrong: it sounds like the device, expected to be branded under the ‘iPhone 6c’ moniker, will run Apple’s A8 processor used in last year’s iPhone 6 rather than the latest A9 chip powering the new iPhone 6s.

That’s what Japanese blog Macotakara, which has a pretty good track record when it comes to Apple leaks, said this morning citing “credible sources” familiar with the device. Read More


How to disable suggested events in Calendar on iOS and Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 16, 2015

In addition to suggesting contacts from Mail data, the new Proactive assistant in iOS 9 and El Capitan can make smart event proposals based on information found in Mail.

For example, when you get an email with a date and time in the message body, Mail will offer to add a proposed event to the stock Calendar app. Emails from known providers (i.e. restaurant confirmations) end up in a special “Events Found in Mail” section in Calendar, awaiting your final confirmation.

Should you find this behavior distracting, annoying or downright creepy, don’t worry because Apple has kindly provided controls to disable the feature. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to prevent your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac from rummaging through your email looking for calendar events. Read More


Is Apple boosting rankings of its own apps on App Store’s Top Free charts?

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 16, 2015

A sneaking suspicion that Apple could be taking advantage of the App Store’s charts to promote its own apps at the expense of others has received a prominent, though inconclusive, confirmation in today’s TechCrunch report.

The publication noticed that multiple Apple apps such as Pages, Keynote and Numbers are being listed on the App Store’s Top Free charts on some iOS 9.1 devices in higher positions than they would normally rank.

These same apps are ranked differently in the App Store within desktop iTunes and on other iOS devices. So, what’s going on here? Read More


Waze gains 3D Touch shortcuts on iPhone 6s

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 16, 2015

Google-owned social-mapping and traffic service Waze today pushed an update to its iPhone application in the App Store, adding handy shortcuts available upon pressing its Home screen icon on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

Waze’s 3D Touch shortcuts provide access to popular features like address search, location sharing and turn-by-turn navigation based on your work and home address on file. Read More


Another analyst calls for 4″ iPhone 6c in mid-2016

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 16, 2015

Apple’s rumored refresh of the four-inch iPhone lineup is yet again being pegged for a summer 2016 launch in another analyst note.

Kevin Wang, IHS’s Technology Research Director in China, wrote in a post on Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo that the new handset, reportedly branded as ‘iPhone 6c,’ is expected to be released in mid-2016 featuring the same four-inch form factor as the iPhone 5c. Read More


WhatsApp picks up 3D Touch Peek and Pop, redesigned settings and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 16, 2015

Facebook-owned WhatsApp today issued a new update to its iPhone application in the App Store which brings extended support for 3D Touch on the iPhone6s and iPhone 6s Plus with Peek and Pop gestures for previewing chats without actually opening them.

The app’s also gained a redesigned settings interface, the ability to browse your starred messages in one place and optionally include rich previews when sharing links. Read More


Review: Vevo’s revamped iOS app is a lot cleaner and more fun to use than Apple’s Music

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2015

In case you missed it, Vevo has completely redesigned its lagging iPhone and iPad application in the App Store. I watch music videos from Vevo artists on YouTube on my desktop. On mobile, not so much and I blame Vevo’s hopelessly outdated design, inconsistencies and complicated features for that.

Bumped to version 5.0, the new Vevo experience starts with a black-and-white logo and a matching app icon.

The headline change here is an all-new interface—it gets out of your way, unlike Apple’s own Music app, and sports a tremendously useful mini-player. It’s almost too weird to say that Vevo’s new iOS app is a lot easier and way more fun to use than Apple’s stock Music app has ever been, but it’s true. Read More


Verizon gets FCC waiver to begin offering Wi-Fi Calling

By Cody Lee on Nov 13, 2015

The Federal Communications Commission on Friday gave Verizon permission to begin offering Wi-Fi Calling. As noted by MacRumors, the Commission granted the carrier a waiver today that will allow it to rollout the feature, which was introduced last year with iOS 8.

The news comes a month after AT&T was granted the same waiver, and it activated Wi-Fi Calling for compatible devices days later. In a statement, it also criticized the FCC for excusing the fact that Sprint and T-Mobile have long been offering the feature without a waiver. Read More


Samsung reportedly on the verge of supplying OLED screens for future iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2015

Samsung, which uses AMOLED screens in many of its flagship smartphones and tablets, could become a major provider of OLED panels for the iPhone maker as a deal is all but secured, according to an ETNews report Friday citing a Samsung Display employee.

The report arrives hot on the heels of a research note that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo sent to clients earlier this week, in which he estimated that Apple won’t be switching to AMOLED screens for iPhones anytime soon and will continue using the existing LCD display technology for at least the next three years. Read More


Apple launches 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2015

Like every year, Apple has now released its 2015 Holiday Gift Guide offering a range of product ideas and suggestions, divided into six distinct sections: Gaming, Music, Photography, Learning, Travel and Fitness.

The company is offering free shipping on items purchased during the holidays within the United States, Canada, Europe and other countries. Read More