The Stratus XL controller takes iOS gaming to the next level [review + giveaway]

By Jim Gresham on Dec 15, 2014

Since Apple announced MFi controller support for iOS games, fewer options appeared than originally anticipated. The reason for a slow response is a bit surprising. However, my point of view is slightly skewed as an iOS accessory hardware reviewer. Still, I cannot imagine why app developers would not want to build in the support. Even more shocking is the small list of hardware options.

At CES 2014, it seemed like controllers would be the new thing. Unfortunately, several companies I chatted with never released their controller. We have come a long way since January 2014 and a full year plus another six months since the MFi controller support protocol released at WWDC.

SteelSeries was one of the first companies to-market with their SteelSeries Stratus. The Stratus was an extremely small MFi controller, but perfect for on-the-go gamers. Recently, they released the Stratus XL, a full sized battle tested design, similar to a true console handheld. After settling down with the XL, it changed the way I look at iOS as a gaming platform. Read More

 

BBM gains iOS 8 and iPhone 6 support, stickers in group chats and more

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 15, 2014

BlackBerry is rolling out a new version of BBM for iOS with support for Apple’s latest iOS 8 mobile operating system, native display support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screen sizes, the ability to send stickers in a group chat and more.

“You can’t help but notice the sleek and modern design updates like a flat UI and attractive transparencies,“ boasted Canada’s embattled company. The overhaul makes the app look sharp across supported Apple devices. Read More

 

Viber introduces support for Viber Games, adds Sticker Menu

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 15, 2014

Viber, the popular messaging platform second only to WhatsApp, today refreshed its iOS application with support for downloadable mobile games while introducing a new Sticker Menu to make finding sticker packs easier.

Viber Games, the headline new feature in Viber 5.2 for iOS and Android, allows users to play select mobile games with Viber characters Violet and Legcat and see how many coins they can earn. Read More

 

Twelve South launches premium BookBook leather wallet case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 12, 2014

Participating in the multi-billion dollar accessory industry yields substantial financial incentives for vendors that ready their cases by the time the next iPhone hits the market, but Twelve South has never been about the money alone.

That’s especially evident in the case (pun intended) of the latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models. Because the new phones represent a major departure from the established phone design and form factor, Twelve South has decided to take their time to get their premium BookBook case right for the bigger iPhones.

And it’s finally here. Introducing the BookBook for your iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Read More

 

Rumor: Samsung starts building A9 chips for 2015 iPhones and iPads

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 12, 2014

According to an article published by Korea’s ETNews on Friday, Samsung has now begun building the ‘A9′ processors after rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) reportedly built the majority of A8 chips for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2 devices.

The A9 system-on-a-chip is expected to make its debut in the next year’s iPhones and iPads, including the expected iPhone 6s, an S-upgrade to the existing iPhone 6 lineup.
Read More

 

‘Space Qube’ goes free as Apple’s App of the Week

By Cody Lee on Dec 11, 2014

Apple has named the retro-futuristic 3D shooter ‘Space Qube‘ its App of the Week for this week. This means that you’ll be able to pick up the title for both your iPhone and iPad, for free through next Thursday—a solid savings of $2.99.

In Space Qube, players are tasked with helping Space Jack in his campaign to save the universe. They are given the opportunity to build their own custom spaceship, and then must blast their way through levels of dangerous monsters. Read More

 

Good deal: 58% off this 20,000mAh dual USB battery pack

By Cody Lee on Dec 11, 2014

It’s holiday season, and whether you’re looking to get a gift or something for yourself, at a great price, you’re going to want to checkout this deal from StackSocial. For a limited time, the deal site is offering the Limefuel LP200X dual USB battery pack at a 58% discount from its normal price.

The 20,000mAh Lithium-ion battery pack features a compact design with an LCD display, built-in flashlight and two USB ports, so you can charge multiple devices at one time. Limefuel claims that when fully-juiced, the pack is capable of charging your iPad or other tablet between 2-4 times. Read More

 

Google iOS app gains Material Design, iPhone 6 support, Recents and Maps in search results

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 11, 2014

The search monster Google this morning posted a major update to its main search app for iOS.

The company says it’s enhanced the software by bringing out support for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus screens, a fresh new look with Material Design appearance, Maps alongside search results, easier-to-find recent searches, a “G” button that lets you start a new search from anywhere within the app and more.

You can grab the completely rebuilt Google 5.0 app for the iPhone and iPad free of charge in the App Store. Read More

 

SoundCloud adds playlist creation feature and native iPhone 6 support

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 11, 2014

SoundCloud, an online audio distribution platform, on Thursday issued a long-expected updated to its iOS client which has finally added support for the new iPhone resolutions so it no longer looks oddly scaled on your brand spanking new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. In addition to playlist creation and iPhone 6 support, SoundCloud 3.6 contains various bug fixes. Read More

 

Scanbot goes free for the holidays, adds new features and gorgeous winter theme

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 11, 2014

Scanbot, a comprehensive, well-designed document scanner and QR reader for the iPhone and iPad, has gone free in a time-limited holiday promotion. You can now grab the $1.99 universal application free in the App Store.

Those who’ve upgraded to Scanbot Pro via a $4.99 In-App Purchase can send Scanbot Pro as a holiday gift to a friend during the duration of this promotion.

Just tap the Gift button at the top right corner and share the Christmas coupon with that special someone. Haven’t upgraded yet? Not to worry, you can gift Scanbot Pro at a discount of up to 60 percent. Last but not least, both editions of Scanbot have received several new features listed below the fold. Read More

 

Spotify gains iPhone 6 support, adds new ‘Top Tracks in Your Network’ playlist

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 11, 2014

Better late than never: Spotify, the popular music-streaming service hailing from Sweden, today at last gave its iOS clientproper support for the new iPhone screen resolutions so it no longer runs scaled on your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

More importantly, version 2.2 has added the “Top Tracks in Your Network” playlist which shows the most played songs among the people you follow.

Top Tracks in Your Network rolling out as we speak to all users and can be found under the new Top Tracks button in the Browse section of the Spotify app. Read More

 

Microsoft releases MSN-branded News, Money, Sports, Health & Fitness and Food & Drink apps

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 11, 2014

Microsoft on Thursday released five new applications for the iPhone and iPad. Available free of charge in the App Store, the News, Money, Sports, Health & Fitness and Food & Drink apps have been created under the MSN brand.

As a bonus, a Weather app from MSN will be hitting iOS later this year. It’s interesting that the MSN Health app syncs its data with iOS 8’s Health database.

It has pedometer functions to continuously track, analyze and receive insights on your daily steps taken on the iPhone and tracks your runs (record your time, distance, pace and calories burned while you run, bike and do other outdoor activities).

Additionally, the app contains a Diet tracker (there’s a database of over 300 thousand to track your daily calorie intake) and a Cardio tracker to monitor your cardio training and analyze progress over time.

Jump past the fold for the full rundown of each app. Read More

 

Good deal: name your own price on this iOS designer bundle

By Cody Lee on Dec 10, 2014

Are you or someone you know interested in mobile app design, but unsure how to get started? If so, you’re definitely going to want to check out this new promotion from StackSocial. The deals site is offering 4 iOS design classes and hundreds of assets right now at a staggering discount.

The package, which includes over 15 hours of design and marketing instruction, and more than 150 UI elements, is valued at more than $1,400. But thanks to StackSocial’s Name Your Own Price promo, you can get all of the courses and graphics for less than the price of a Starbucks coffee. Read More

 

App Recap: discounts, new apps to enjoy mid-week

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 10, 2014

Welcome to Wednesday. As we prepare for an onslaught of new arrivals that will be hitting the App Store midnight, a number of apps and games have been updated with new features and we’re here to tell you what’s changed.

We also want to make sure you stay on top of recent discounts as some apps get slashed by as much as eighty percent with the others going all the way down to zero bucks.

And it wouldn’t be a roundup without taking a look at some of the forthcoming releases due later this month or sometime next year. This is App Recap, an app-focused column by iDownloadBlog. Read More

 

United Airlines outfitting over 20,000 flight attendants with iPhone 6 Plus

By Cody Lee on Dec 10, 2014

United Airlines announced today that it plans to equip its flight attendants with Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus next year. The airline says that the move will put important safety and service information at flight attendants’ fingertips and enhance their ability to meet customers’ needs.

Attendants will be using the handsets for a number of tasks, including onboard retail transactions for food, drink and other purchases. They’ll also be used for accessing important info via email and the United Airlines Intranet, as well as their policy and procedure manuals. Read More

 

HERE Maps coming to iPhone in early 2015

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 10, 2014

HERE Maps had been available in the App Store briefly before it got pulled in December 2013 because “iOS 7 ruined the experience”. Nokia later admitted the app was “a rushed product” that “went horribly wrong” because it was “never thoroughly proven.”

The Finnish firm has now officially confirmed that HERE Maps will return to the iPhone in early 2015 following today’s release of HERE for Android and a relaunch of a new web-based experience over at here.com.

“Our iOS app development team is working hard on this and we plan to officially launch HERE for iOS in early 2015,” said the team. The revamped iOS navigation app will be joining several big-name mapping products in the App Store from the likes of Google, Garmin, TomTom and many more. Read More

 

Facebook confirms Trending coming to iPhone soon, now available on the web and Android

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 10, 2014

Wednesday, the social networking giant Facebook announced that Trending is coming to iOS soon, with the Android app getting the feature today. Announced in January, the feature lets you discover timely and relevant conversations happening in the world in the form of stories from different sources.

The feature groups together only public posts and those that you are in the audience for such as updates from friends or groups that you belong to. Read More

 

IBM and Apple launch first batch of enterprise ‘IBM MobileFirst’ iPhone and iPad apps

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 10, 2014

Following their major enterprise mobility partnership which was announced this summer, Apple and IBM this morning launched the first batch of MobileFirst apps for enterprise iOS users. The new suite of business-focused apps are available exclusively for the iPhone and iPad starting today and include apps for insurance, retail, telecom, government, travel, transportation, banking and more. Read More

 

Major Shazam update adds Counts feature, in-app player, deeper Spotify integration and more

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 10, 2014

The popular music-identification service Shazam on Wednesday issued a major update to its iOS client adding richer Spotify integration letting you listen to Spotify songs without leaving Shazam and automatically add Shazamed tracks to a specific playlist, an in-app player allowing you to quickly listen to the Shazam charts, a new Shazam Counts feature which displays how many Shazams each track has and more. Read More

 

eBay revamps iPad app with exclusive deals on Apple accessories

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 9, 2014

The popular e-commerce service eBay on Tuesday launched its updated iPad client with a redesigned interface and exclusive deals on Apple accessories.

The 52.2-megabyte download improves your buying and selling functionality with the native tablet interface featuring bigger product images, better item suggestions, tabbed navigation, swiping, smarter search results, a brand new Today homepage and more.

Designed to put your products at the forefront and create an engaging shopping experience for buyers, the refreshed experience is aimed at “giving sellers the best platform to showcase their products and make it effortless for buyers to discover and engage with their inventory,” as per RJ Pittman, chief product officer at eBay. Read More