Microsoft launches Skype Qik, its own ephemeral video messaging app

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 14, 2014

Tuesday, software giant Microsoft launched a brand new ephemeral messaging app, Skype Qik, in a bid to take on the likes of Snapchat and other applications in the increasingly crowded ephemeral messaging space.

“Imagine if you could reinvent the Skype experience, taking into account how messaging, selfies and app culture have changed the way we communicate,” reads the blurb.

The free of charge iPhone app is based on Microsoft’s $100 million acquisition of the mobile video provider Qik three years ago. Microsoft retired the original Qik app soon after, clearing the way for a re-introduction of the reimagined Qik software for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

As the name suggests, Skype Qik is being promoted through the Skype brand, itself owned by Microsoft. Matter of fact, Qik runs alongside Skype to provide an ongoing form of video chat allowing you to share laughs, and chat with groups of friends. Read More

 

Stop what you’re doing and grab Cycloramic for iPhone 6, free for a very limited time

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014

Chances are you’ve heard about Cycloramic, a stupendously amazing iPhone photography software which allows you to capture stunning, accessory-free 360-degree video using custom vibration patterns in your device and an Apple power adapter.

If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, please don’t pass on this opportunity as Cycloramic has just gone free for the first time ever.

A $1.99 saving, only the iPhone 6 edition of the app is free, and for “a very limited time”, according to developer Egos Ventures. The iPhone 5/5s version, which hasn’t been discounted and is available for $1.99 a pop, relies on the handset’s squared base and the vibration motor to spin the device around its axis. Read More

 

Facebook now lets you comment with stickers in posts, groups and on events

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014

The social networking giant Facebook on Monday unveiled a new feature: stickers in comments. This marks the first time users are allowed to send stickers in comments to (hopefully) add some depth to their posts and better express how they feel about topics of conversation.

Originally started as a hackathon project in New York, stickers were then rolled out to Facebook Messenger and quickly took off from there.

To comment with stickers across Facebook, just tap the smiley face icon in the bottom-right of any comment field in Facebook’s desktop interface or mobile apps. Facebook has enabled stickers in comments in all posts from people, in groups and on events.

Use them sparingly as these huge smiley images take up more space compared to your regular emojis. Read More

 

Mailbox optimized for iPhone 6 screens, Mac beta client now available to everyone

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014

Fans of the popular Mailbox email client, rejoice! A compatibility update became available Monday, bringing native display support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that lets you see more of your emails rather than be limited by a blown-up interface.

Mailbox 2.3.1, a free download, also brings the ability to customize your swipes further and includes a pair of fixes, one resolving issues with rendering of some emails and the other squashing a bug affecting delivery of Push Notification for new messages in iOS 8. Read More

 

Jonathan Mann’s new song has lyrics written by an iPhone, using iOS 8’s autocomplete feature

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014

Jonathan Mann, a musician, songwriter and unabashed Apple fan, has been churning out one song a day for nearly six years straight.

You may remember his iPhone Antenna song, posted to YouTube on the eve of the Antennagate presser.

Apple actually used it to open the event and Steve Jobs even danced to it. The song-a-day man also created a Siri duet not long after the iPhone 4s was released and another one to wish Siri a happy birthday.

He’s back today with an entirely different experiment that somehow manages to sound catchy and listenable, which is remarkable given the meaningless lyrics were actually written by an iPhone using iOS 8’s autocomplete function. Read More

 

Poll: how often do you use Reachability?

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014

So I’ve finally managed to snag an iPhone 6 Plus this past weekend and boy does that 5.5-inch form factor take some getting used to.

Just ahead of the official announcement I, along with many other bloggers, was wondering whether a bigger iPhone might force Apple to rather unceremoniously abandon its unwavering principle of one-handed use.

Fortunately, Apple’s smart engineers soothed our collective fears by creating a smart software feature dubbed Reachability, which lets you double tap the Touch ID button to slide the top half of the screen to the bottom half so you can reach touch targets in iOS positioned at the top, like Safari’s address bar.

I’ve been loving Reachability a lot and using it on a daily basis. How about you? Read More

 

Apple announces iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus expansion in 36 more countries

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014

Apple announced in a media release Monday that its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets are coming to an additional 36 countries and territories across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa by the end of October.

Both new handsets will be available in a total of 69 countries and territories by the end of the month as Apple reiterated it’s self-imposed goal to deliver the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in more than 115 countries by the end of the year, calling it “our fastest iPhone rollout ever”. Read More

 

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders reportedly top 20 million in China

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014

During a three-day period since the start of pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on October 10, Chinese carriers and e-commerce site Jingdong Mall (JD.com) have collected a combined total of an estimated 20 million units, according to a Tencent report [Google Translate] Monday relayed by Digitimes.

The country’s three leading wireless operators — China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom — have collected about ten million pre-orders while Jingdong Mall processed about 9.5 million pre-orders, of which 4.66 million are for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model and 4.82 million are for the bigger 5.5-inch handset. Read More

 

Video shows how to access hidden settings in Instagram’s Hyperlapse

By Cody Lee on Oct 11, 2014

Instagram’s recently released Hyperlapse app, built for recording time-lapse videos, has received a lot of praise for its UI design and function, but there’s no denying that it’s a bit short on features—or so we thought. Apparently the app has a hidden menu with several options, including 1080P video capturing and more. Read More

 

Chinese carriers take in 1 million iPhone 6 pre-orders in 6 hours

By Cody Lee on Oct 10, 2014

Pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus officially began in China today, and it sounds like sales for the two handsets are doing well thus far. Tencent reports that the country’s three major wireless carriers recorded more than 1 million pre-orders during first 6 hours of availability.

There’s been no word on what sales looked like throughout the rest of the day, and the 1M figure doesn’t include orders taken directly by Apple, or its 6,000 authorized resellers. It also doesn’t account for the 9+ million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus reservations that were made last week. Read More

 

Boost Mobile to begin offering iPhone 6 and 6 Plus next week with $100 discount

By Cody Lee on Oct 10, 2014

Boost Mobile will begin selling the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus next week. CNET reports that the two handsets will become available at the carrier starting Friday, October 17, with a $100 discount on full retail pricing offered on all models.

For those unfamiliar with the provider, Boost Mobile is a prepaid division of Sprint that offers no-contract service for a low monthly fee. So users pay full price for their devices, and in return get cellular plans starting at $35 per month. Read More

 

Swarm now lets you check in from your Lock screen with iOS 8 Notification Center widget

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 10, 2014

Swarm, a dedicated check-in app by Foursquare, has received a tremendously useful update Friday which makes it dead simple to check in to your favorite locations right from your Lock screen without even opening the app, thanks to a brand new Notification Center widget available on iOS 8 devices.

The Swarm widget in the 1.3 update also gives you an at-a-glance view of a few of your friends who are especially close, helping you get a sense of who’s around. Read More

 

Cinamatic gains iPhone 6 support, iOS 8 manual camera controls and more

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 10, 2014

Cinamatic, a nicely done and versatile video capture and editing app that Apple named its Free App of the Week back in July, on Friday received an update bringing the full range of manual camera controls available to third-party iPhone photography apps in iOS 8.

In addition to native support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus display sizes, the new version soups up your device by enabling manual adjustment of the focus, exposure, white balance, shutter speed and ISO, while you’re shooting video.

And if you own an iPhone 5s, 6 or 6 Plus, you’ll enjoy Time-lapse capture at three, six and nine frames per second speeds and silky smooth slow-motion video at 120 and 240 frames per second. Jump past the break for additional enhancements. Read More

 

Readability updated with iPhone 6 support and iOS 8 extension

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 10, 2014

Good news, Readability fans! Your favorite read-later service on Thursday received a refresh enabling native display support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus so you can see more article contents with less scrolling.

This is a big deal for mobile apps that focus on content consumption: as you know, iOS 8 blows up non-optimized apps to fill the new screen sizes, resulting in fuzzy appearance and enlarged content as opposed to seeing more of it.

The app, available free of charge, has also been optimized for iOS 8 with the Share sheet extension and other features outlined below. Read More

 

‘Jellies!’ goes free as Apple’s App of the Week

By Cody Lee on Oct 9, 2014

Apple this afternoon named popular color-matching puzzler ‘Jellies!’ its App of the Week for this week. This means that from now through next Thursday, you’ll be able to pick up the title for free in the App Store—a $1 discount from its normal price tag.

In Jellies!, you join Bob the Fisherman as he makes his way through the ocean on a [fairly odd] mission to find his fingers that the wicked Jellies have apparently bitten off. Your goal in each level is to help him catch as many Jellies as possible in 60 seconds. Read More

 

Autodesk revamps SketchBook app with new UI, tools and more

By Cody Lee on Oct 9, 2014

In celebration of its 5 year anniversary (seems to be the theme today), Autodesk has released an all-new version of its popular SketchBook app for iOS. It’s universal, so it works with both iPhones and iPads, and it’s free, with a single Pro Tools in-app purchase available for $3.99.

The icon is new, and upon launching the app, SketchBook veterans will notice that the inside is as well. There are a number of changes here, from the tools menu that’s been relocated to the top of the screen, to the improved paint engine, and it all looks great on the new iPhone 6. Read More

 

WSJ: 12.9-inch iPad delayed to 2015, Retina MacBook Air entering production in December

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 9, 2014

Due to strong demand for the iPhone 6 Plus, which continues to exhibit a 3-4 week delay on the Online Apple Store, Taiwanese suppliers have reportedly pushed back plans to produce a rumored larger iPad with a 12.9-inch screen to 2015, according to people familiar with the matter cited by The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

The so-called iPad Pro was originally scheduled to enter mass production in December, the financial newspaper added. Moreover, mass production of a new MacBook Air model with “a higher resolution” screen should commence in December, as per WSJ’s sources. Read More

 

Reckless Racing 3 now available in the App Store

By Cody Lee on Oct 8, 2014

Great news Reckless Racing fans, the third iteration of Pixelbite’s popular top-down racer is now available on iOS. You can pick up the new game, which is universal, so it’ll work with both your iPhone and iPad, for $4.99 from the App Store.

The original Reckless Racing debuted in 2010, as a delightful birds-eye-view rally racing game with beautiful graphics. Reckless Racing 3 continues that tradition with dirtier tracks, better visuals, and its largest selection of cars and trucks ever. Read More

 

You can now protect your OneDrive with Touch ID

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 8, 2014

Windows and Office maker Microsoft on Wednesday pushed a small but important update to OneDrive, its cloud storage client for the iPhone and iPad. The refreshed application enables users to lock content in the app using Touch ID-based fingerprint verification on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The new OneDrive 4.5.1, a free 12.7-megabyte download from the App Store, also takes full advantage of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,  lets you sort files and folders and includes bug fixes and stability improvements. Read More

 

Updated for iPhone 6: Pocket, PDF Expert 5, Calendars 5, Scanner Pro and Printer Pro

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 8, 2014

Readdle’s stable of iOS productivity apps — PDF Expert 5, Calendars 5, Printer Pro and Scanner Pro — along with Pocket’s read-it-later iOS app — have received their respective updates Wednesday enabling native support for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus display sizes.

PDF Expert’s support for the new iPhone screen sizes arrives ten days after its developer, Ukraine-based Readdle, issued an update turning on iCloud Drive storage support and Touch ID fingerprint-based authentication.

In addition to an optimized layout for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus, Pocket 5.6.1 includes performance improvements and a fix for the Instant Sync push feature on iOS 8 devices. More than twelve million people use Pocket to easily save articles, videos and other piece of content for consumption later.

The app also has an awesome iOS 8 Extension so you can send content to Pocket in any iPhone and iPad application which uses Apple’s multi-purpose Share sheet, including Safari. Read More