Waze gains car-parking features and more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2014

Waze, the popular GPS-based maps and traffic app that Google purchased for undisclosed sum in June of 2013, has received an update Monday bringing out half a dozen new features and improvements, including enhancements related to remembering where you parked your car.

A free update, Waze 3.9 lets you add driving related information if a place has a parking lot or drive-thru. The app also saves your parking location so it’s now a lot easier to find your vehicle in the parking lot. Read More

 

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus said to launch in China on October 10

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 28, 2014

Hot on the heels of reports that Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were nearing approval for sale in China, a new report yesterday asserted that the new handsets are now scheduled to hit store shelves in the 1.33 billion people market on Friday, October 10.

According to an internal memo obtained by TechWeb [Google Translate], Apple’s retail staff will receive their training material on October 7, giving them three days to familiarize themselves with talking points and features of Apple’s flagship phones. Read More

 

Facebook fixes iOS 8 Notification and Camera Roll issues plaguing its Paper app

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 28, 2014

Social networking behemoth Facebook at last has gotten around fixing a pair of annoying issues with its Paper application on the iPhone and iPod touch devices running Apple’s refreshed iOS 8 mobile operating system.

In addition to unspecified performance improvements that should ensure Paper is as fast as ever, the new version has solved problems with Facebook Push Notifications and Camera Roll access on iOS 8 devices. Read More

 

PDF Expert 5 and Documents 5 updated with iCloud Drive, Touch ID and other enhancements

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 28, 2014

Yesterday, Ukrainian developer Readdle released a pretty big update to its PDF Expert 5 and Documents 5, apps that let you edit, annotate and manage PDFs and other documents on your iPhone and iPad.

I wanted to share a few key improvements with you quickly because the app’s now a showcase example of how iOS 8 enables a whole new level of inter-app integration.

A free update to existing owners, PDF Expert 5.2 features a number of enhancements, including a few iOS 8 exclusives such as support for iCloud Drive document storage and Touch ID authentication to unlock the app instead of a regular passcode. Read More

 

New iPhones use two accelerometers for better power management

By Cody Lee on Sep 27, 2014

Apple is using two accelerometers in both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Chipworks has discovered in its extensive teardowns of the two handsets. The first is the three-axis BMA280 accelerometer, made by Bosch, and the second is believed to be InvenSense’s six-axis MPU-6700.

Why two? Interestingly enough, Chipworks believes that Apple decided to go with two accelerometers to improve power management and overall user experience. The InvenSense is more sensitive, and can do more things, than the Bosch, but it also draws a lot more power. Read More

 

Consumer Reports: new iPhones ‘not as bendy as believed’

By Cody Lee on Sep 27, 2014

Consumer Reports says the new iPhones “aren’t as bendy as believed,” after testing both handsets, alongside other top smartphones. Using a three-point flexural test, the outlet found that the iPhone 6 can withstand 70 pounds of pressure before deforming, and the 6 Plus can take up to 90.

That was good enough to beat HTC’s One (M8)—which makes this bendgate tweet a bit ironic—but both iPhones still finished well behind the LG G3 and Samsung’s Note 3. The bottom line, though, is Consumer Reports says it expects “that any of these phones should stand up to typical use.” Read More

 

MLB live streaming every World Series game, select postseason games via At Bat app

By Cody Lee on Sep 26, 2014

Baseball fans rejoice, the MLB.com At Bat app has just been updated with some great new features in time for October. For the first time, the League will be live streaming every World Series game and select postseason games to mobile devices.

Obviously, you’ll need to be an MLB.TV Premium subscriber to access the new content, but it’ll cost you $3.99 to get in for the rest of the season. And if you want to watch Major League Baseball on your iPhone or iPad, there’s no better way to do it. Read More

 

FitPort wants to be your health & fitness dashboard

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 26, 2014

I briefly touched upon FitPort in my article about HealthKit apps. The app debuted today as the App Store’s first HealthKit-enabled application following yesterday’s iOS 8.0.2 software update that fixed a bug in iOS 8.0 which prevented HealthKit apps from functioning properly.

Created by Flask, FitPort isn’t yet another daily activity, health and fitness tracker, but a wannabe replacement for Apple’s stock Health app in iOS 8.

Having spent an hour or so playing with it, I can safely conclude that FitPort deserves your attention so let me discuss it in greater detail. Read More

 

iPhone 6 reportedly nearing approval for sale in China

By Cody Lee on Sep 26, 2014

Apple is in the final stages of securing regulatory approval for the iPhone 6 in China, reports Tenacent, meaning it could soon go on sale in the country. It’s a major market for the Cupertino firm, as it contains two of the largest carriers in the world.

The news outlet quoted China’s Ministry of Industry and Information technology as saying “it’s just a matter of time” before regulators complete the approval process for Apple’s new handsets, which have already gone on sale in several countries. Read More

 

MyFitnessPal brings its data to iOS 8’s Health app in latest update

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 26, 2014

As Apple earlier this morning began approving HealthKit-powered apps following yesterday’s release of the iOS 8.0.2 software update, makers of health and fitness software, life-tracking programs and food intake tracking apps are now releasing updates adding HealthKit compatibility.

Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker, a free of charge iPhone and iPad app by MyFitnessPal, has been bumped to version 5.6.6, for example.

Taking advantage of Apple’s HealthKit in iOS 8 which makes it easy for supported health and fitness apps to work together and share data through the stock Health app, the refreshed MyFitnessPal app now lets you add your meal summaries and sync your weight with HealthKit, as well as add excercices from other HealthKit-enabled apps to your diary. Read More

 

Poll: are you having second thoughts about buying iPhone 6 Plus over #Bendgate?

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 26, 2014

Are you concerned over Bendgate following this YouTube video? Responding to the controversy that blew up on social media before taking the world by storm, Apple said it’d received complaints from nine customers over the supposed iPhone 6 Plus bending.

The company even took select members of the press on a tour of its facility just a a few blocks away from the Cupertino campus, where it torture-tested 15,000 iPhone 6 and 15,000 iPhone 6 Plus handsets.

I think Bendgate is a non-issue, but I could be wrong. One thing is certain: the meme won’t go away if I choose to ignore it. That said, it doesn’t surprise me at all that some fans are now questioning Apple’s “just works” mantra, especially in light of other snafus in the form of the iOS 8.0.1 update gone terrible wrong, Apple’s U2 “gift”, Celebgate and iCloud security.

After reading about these PR disasters, some folks may be thinking twice about buying the iPhone 6 Plus. Are you among that group or did you brush off Bendgate as a non-issue? Read More

 

GoodReader updated for iOS 8 with iCloud Drive and Handoff, native iPhone 6 and 6 Plus support

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 26, 2014

GoodReader, a robust PDF reader for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, has received an update Friday bringing out support for a pair of distinct new features in iOS 8: Handoff and iCloud Drive.

Handoff lets you continue reading on an iPad right where you left off on an iPhone or iPod touch, and vice versa. Moreover, if you run iOS 8 and have upgraded to iCloud Drive, GoodReader can now import documents stored in it.

And because the app now uses iOS 8’s standard iCloud Drive picker, you can easily access other online storage services that have advertised their Document Provider extension system-wide, such as Dropbox. Read More

 

Post-it debuts iPhone app for scanning physical sticky notes

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 26, 2014

3M Company made a fortune with its popular Post-it series of trademark yellow paper notes that attach to documents and other surfaces. Now, there’s an app for that.

Released Friday, Post-it Plus for the iPhone and iPad makes it easy to convert the physical square notes into their digital representation by scanning them using your iOS device’s camera.

Once in your iPhone, digital notes can be organized, arranged into groups, shared with everyone and accessed in other apps like PowerPoint, Excel, Dropbox and plenty more using the “Open In…” option. Read More

 

Apple offers peek at iPhone stress testing process

By Cody Lee on Sep 25, 2014

Apple invited a handful of reporters to visit its iPhone testing facility in Cupertino on Thursday, to offer a peek at where and how it puts its handsets through the paces. The move comes in response to growing concerns over “bending issues” with the new iPhone 6 Plus, following this YouTube video.

The facility sits a few blocks away from Apple’s Cupertino campus, and contains a lot of equipment for testing the strength and durability of the iPhone. Here, engineers for the company put handsets through a variety of tests including torsion (or twisting) and pressure, to make sure they will hold up. Read More