Google Hangouts for iOS gains refreshed interface, multi-image sending and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 29, 2015

Google on Monday issued a minor but notable refresh to its Hangouts client for the iPhone and iPad. If you’re using Hangouts to exchange instant messages with your friends, engage in free audio and video calls, adorn your communications with stickers and more, the brand new Hangouts 4.0 for iOS is now available free in the App Store.

It brings out several user interface tweaks that Google claims elevate your experience while adding a much-needed ability to send multiple photos at once, and more. Read More

 

Twitterrific now uses facial recognition to properly frame subjects in media previews

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 29, 2015

The Iconfactory has issued a nice little update to Twitterrific 5, its freemium Twitter client for the iPhone and iPad, which brings out an interesting new feature that uses facial recognition algorithms to frame faces in media previews in your timeline.

And if you own an Apple Watch, Twitterrific has a new push notification type for quoted tweets as an opt-in feature in settings. Another enhancement: at last, you’re allowed to swipe from the left screen edge to go back or dismiss the current view, a productivity boost for iPhone 6 Plus owners wanting to use the app one-handed. Read More

 

Happy launch day anniversary, iPhone!

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 29, 2015

Today eight years ago, the original iPhone went on sale in the United States after a 6-month period of unprecedented hype triggered by its January 9, 2007 introduction. Like most other Apple products were panned as duds but went on to become smash hits, the Apple smartphone was universally dismissed.

Then industry heavyweights such as Nokia, RIM and Palm—with a little help from shortsighted technology press—ridiculed the device for its poor (by non-smartphone standards) battery life, multitouch interface, software keyboard and many other features that were ahead of its time.

In retrospect, rivals’ knee-jerk reaction to the iPhone, coupled with their risk aversion and stubborn insistence on old ways of doing things, contributed to their incredibly fast undoing.

Doomsayers notwithstanding, the device went on to sell hundreds of millions of units worldwide (726 million units to date, to be precise), becoming the de facto gold standard for smartphones. And while the iPhone is now common sight in all corners of the globe,  its beauty isn’t that it invented, but re-invented the hopelessly-out-of-touch (to quote T-Mobile CEO) industry.

It gave the sleepy, self-absorbed wireless carriers—and handset makers, their partners in crime—a much needed kick in their butt for not listening to consumers’ needs at all. Sure, there were smartphones before the iPhone but they looked like they were designed by committees (which they actually were) and one needed a user manual to master them.

There were phones with touchscreens before the iPhone but none implemented the sensation and immediacy of touch so elegantly and seamlessly as Apple’s device. There were also mobile app stores, of sorts, before the App Store. But none has offered the ease of use and instant gratification of tapping a colorful icon to have an app arrive wirelessly on your Home screen.

No smartphone other than the iPhone has managed to consistently earn highest customer satisfaction scores to this date. And as we’ve witnessed, in the process of doing so the iPhone has turned the largely written off, beleaguered computer maker from Cupertino into the most powerful corporation in the world, one that can easily sway whole multi-billion dollar industries with their decisions. Read More

 

Facebook testing new photo uploader with live filter previews, text tool, stickers and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 29, 2015

Facebook has been testing a new photo uploading experience in its mobile app with a limited number of users, TechCrunch reported Monday.

Facebook for iPhone and iPad now lets people optionally adorn their photos with text overlays, touch them up with quick color adjustments and make them more interesting with crazy photo stickers, all before uploading them to the service. The new photo uploader is not live for everyone yet, but we’ll keep you posted. Read More

 

Viber is now fully compatible with iPad

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 29, 2015

Viber, the second most popular instant messaging platform after Facebook-owned WhatsApp, on Monday refreshed its iPhone application which now supports iPads.

Now available as a universal binary free of charge in the App Store, the new Viber 5.4.1 does not bring any new features beyond the native interface which takes full advantage of the iPad’s bigger screen real estate.

In addition to the iPhone and iPad app, Viber Desktop is also available as a decently done native Mac application and across Windows and Linux platforms. Read More

 

Stuck on 20% in TaiG? How to jailbreak iOS 8.3 with TaiG 2.1.3

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 28, 2015

As we mentioned earlier, TaiG has released version 2.1.3 of its jailbreak tool, and it’s a significant update as far as fixes go. First and foremost, it works with virtual machines, so you no longer need to modify your virtual machine to use the tool. Secondly, it fixes the 20% hangup. With these things in mind, we thought we’d show you how to jailbreak using this latest TaiG update.

This post is primarily aimed at those who have yet to jailbreak, and are looking for guidance with the latest tool. In the video that follows, we’ll show you the proper way to go about jailbreaking your iPhone or iPad, and we’ll show you how well the tool runs on a virtual machine. Read More

 

Disney launches new GIF keyboard app for iOS

By Cody Lee on Jun 27, 2015

Disney this week launched a new keyboard app for iOS called “Disney Gif.” As the name suggests, the app allows you to browse through, and quickly share from, a library of animated GIF images and emoji icons featuring Disney content.

For its launch, the keyboard features hundreds of images pulled from Disney’s expansive TV and movie collection, including Star Wars, Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Inside Out, The Lion King and various hit television shows from ABC. Read More

 

Bloomberg: Apple begins production on new iPhones with Force Touch

By Cody Lee on Jun 26, 2015

Apple has begun early production of new iPhone models with a feature called Force Touch, Bloomberg reports. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the outlet says that volume manufacturing is expected to ramp up as soon as next month.

Force Touch was first introduced in the Apple Watch last fall, and it enables a device to sense how hard users press down on its screen. The technology has since made its way into the MacBook, and has long been rumored for the next iPhone. Read More

 

BioShock and other 2K games discounted in Independence Day sale

By Cody Lee on Jun 26, 2015

Looking to add some new iOS games to your collection this weekend? 2K can help. The publisher announced on Friday that it will be running an ‘Independence Day’ sale on some of its high-profile mobile titles over the next week.

Included in the promotion are popular sports games such as NBA 2K15 and NHL 2K, as well as the turn-based strategy hit Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution 2 and BioShock. The discounts range from 25% off, to well over 50% off. Read More

 

iOS 9’s Low Power mode throttles down CPU performance to preserve iPhone’s battery life

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 26, 2015

With iOS 9, Apple has brought out a brand new Low Power mode which kicks in when you’re nearly out of juice. It was designed to help extend your iPhone’s battery life, providing up to three hours of additional time before charging.

After using Geekbench’s iPhone application to measure an iPhone 6’s processor performance in Low Power, MacRumors was able to determine that this mode reduces processor performance by about forty percent. As a result, an iPhone 6 in Low Power mode would be roughly on par with an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5 in terms of sheer CPU performance. Read More

 

Apple shares a pair of slow-motion videos as part of ‘Shot on iPhone 6’ campaign

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 26, 2015

Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone 6’ campaign continues with a pair of new videos shared last evening on the company’s YouTube channel. Highlighting iPhone photography skills by Apple dans Willian P. and Jirasak P., the 15-second clips focus on the capabilities of the iPhone 6 camera’s Slow-Mo video capture.

Since its March 2015 launch, ‘Shot on iPhone 6’ thus far has featured the creativity of more than 77 iPhone photographers from 70 cities across 24 countries around the world. Read More

 

Shazam updated with support for Apple Music

By Cody Lee on Jun 25, 2015

The popular audio identification service Shazam updated its iOS client today with support for Apple Music. The release brings the app to version 8.7, and arrives just ahead of the launch of the new music service next week.

With Apple Music support, users will be able to identify songs using the Shazam app, and then tap a button to launch the service so they can listen to the track in its entirety. And remember it’s free for the first 3 months. Read More

 

Apple removing games featuring the Confederate flag from the App Store

By Cody Lee on Jun 25, 2015

Apple has joined the likes of Amazon, eBay, Walmart and others in removing products bearing the Confederate flag, reports TouchArcade. The outlet pointed out this morning that a number of apps and games, which featured imagery of the controversial flag, have been pulled from the App Store.

Despite the fact that Apple has told developers it’s only removing titles that “feature images of the Confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways,” several Civil War-era games, which contain images of the Confederate flag for historical and educational context, have been pulled as well. Read More

 

Comic book creator ‘Halftone 2′ goes free as Apple’s App of the Week

By Cody Lee on Jun 25, 2015

Apple has just named “Halftone 2 – Comic Book Creator” its App of the Week for this week. This means that from now through next Thursday, you’ll be able to download the fun comic book-style photo editor for both iPhone and iPad for free—a solid savings of $2.

Halftone 2 makes it easy to create comic and scrap books with your images. Simply choose a page layout, apply photo filters, position your captions, add speech and thought balloons, and share your creation as an image, multi-page document, or high-definition video. Read More

 

iTunes U gains homework hand-in feature, one-to-one discussions, PDF annotations and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 25, 2015

iTunes U, Apple’s educational catalog on iTunes, has gotten a whole lot more useful with a significant update to the official iPhone and iPad app in the App Store.

As first reported Thursday by Re/code, iTunes U for iOS has gained an interesting homework hand-in feature and PDF annotations providing a timestamp when the student submits term papers, book reports and other work.

Other changes include an integrated grade book, one-to-one discussions, importing content from third-party apps, including Apple’s own Keynote, Pages and iMovie, and more. Read More

 

Monument Valley’s ‘Ida’s Dream’ expansion goes free in a time-limited promotion

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 25, 2015

The limited-edition “Ida’s Dream” content expansion for the gorgeous puzzler Monument Valley is now available to all players on iOS, Android and Windows free of charge. Ida’s Dream is a chapter that was previously created as part of an exclusive charity promotion in Monument Valley.

Unfortunately, the RED version of Ida’s Dream will not be available unless RED wish to use it again in the future. Those who previously purchased Ida’s RED Dream needn’t worry as you’ll still be able to play that special edition. Read More

 

IFTTT updates iOS apps with unlimited DO recipes, improved widgets and more

By Cody Lee on Jun 24, 2015

Fans of the automation service If This Then That (or IFTTT) will be happy to hear that it’s updated its line of mobile apps today. DO Button, DO Camera, and DO Note all received 2.0 updates today, as did the original IF app that now sits at version 2.5.

With the new releases, the apps all now support unlimited Do recipes and feature improved Notification Center widgets. DO Camera in particular received some nice additions such as new filters and the ability to draw on, and add emoji to, your photos. Read More

 

Apple moving to prevent developers from accessing app data for ad targeting

By Cody Lee on Jun 24, 2015

Apple is quietly moving to prevent app developers from accessing app download data for ad targeting purposes, reports The Information. The move is part of the company’s recent, and very public, push for greater user privacy.

As most of you are probably aware, major apps like Facebook and Twitter will scan a user’s device for information on the app’s they have installed. This way, they can show users advertisements that better match their interests. Read More

 

Summon dragons, smash strongholds and leave nothing but rubble behind in Gameloft’s Siegefall

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 24, 2015

Originally teased earlier in the month, Siegefall, a brand new multiplayer strategy game involving heroes, dragons and magic, is now available in the App Store for your iPhone and iPad at no charge.

Brough to you by Gameloft Montreal, the team behind the wildly praised Modern Combat shooter series, Siegefall sports gorgeous graphics with stylized art while striving to bring some innovation to the genre with wild controllable heroes and immense magical cards.

Players are challenged to build an army of heroes, summon dragons, conquer new lands, smash gates and leave nothing but rubble behind. Read More

 

Rumor: top Apple display suppliers exploring flexible OLED screens for ‘iPhone 8’ in 2018

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 24, 2015

According to the South Korean media, Apple is actively exploring using flexible OLED screens for future iPhones. OLED, an energy-efficient display technology, is based on organic light-emitting diodes which are lit up individually, as opposed to traditional LCDs that require power-hungry backlight planes.

In OLED screens, the diodes are arranged on a film of organic compound which acts as the emissive electroluminescent layer that emits light in response to an electric current.

Major Korean display manufacturers are reportedly persuading Apple to adopt flexible screens on its future iPhone models, with one industry source claiming that the Cupertino company is in fact “serious” about doing it.

Not only would OLED screens make future iPhones more power-efficient, but also offer better color saturation, accuracy and brightness. Read More