A fascinating look at how artificial intelligence and machine learning work at Apple

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 24, 2016

Respected journalist Steven Levy has scored another nice exclusive with a new write-up over at Backchannel, a Wired Media Group property, giving us a rare inside look at how artificial intelligence and machine learning work at Apple.

The article contains a lot of gems, with company executives Eddy Cue, Craig Federighi, Phil Schiller and Siri leads Tom Gruber and Alex Acero providing a bunch of previously unknown facts about Apple’s AI efforts, including this one: machine learning has enabled Apple to cut Siri’s error rate by a factor or two. Read More

 

You can now mark recommended videos as ‘Not Interested’ in YouTube for iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 24, 2016

Google today issued a small update to its YouTube client on the App Store, adding a feature that enables better suggestions while fixing three annoying bugs.

Bumped to version 11.32, the iPhone and iPad application now makes it easy to improve personalized suggestions by marking recommended videos under the Up Next section as “Not Interested,” which helps train the algorithm to better tailor recommendations to your personal tastes. Read More

 

This just made my day: Oceanhorn 2 is in development—and it looks awesome!

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 23, 2016

Inspired by Nintendo’s wildly popular Legend of Zelda console game series, Oceanhorn by Cornfox & Bros is one of the best-looking, most satisfying RPG-based action adventure games “for the rest of us” that I’ve had a blast playing on my iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

Ever since completing the game, I’ve been rooting for Oceanhorn’s developers to make a sequel and now, GameMob points us to the official confirmation that it’s indeed being worked on as we speak.

Titled Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm, the game’s mechanics are based on a third-person camera angle versus the original game’s isometric view. The storyline revolves around a new hero—a grown-up boy who is training to become a Knight of Arcadia. Read More

 

Skype for iOS gains connectivity status bar, more informative notifications & other perks

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 22, 2016

Microsoft today pushed an update to its mobile Skype application for iOS, bumping the app’s version number on the App Store to 6.22. The new edition includes several enhancements related to notifications and Skype Credit, which can now be purchased from within the app in more currencies than before. Skype for iPhone and iPad are available free on the App Store. Read More

 

How to use Night Mode in the official Twitter app

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 22, 2016

Available on Android since early-summer, Twitter’s Night Mode option has now expanded to its free mobile app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, the company said Monday. If you constantly check Twitter at night or scan your timeline before nap time, this option may help you have a good night’s sleep as Night Mode enables a darker appearance that’s much more appropriate for using Twitter at night. Read More

 

Facebook launches Lifestage, a teens-only social app built around video profiles

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 20, 2016

If you’re a high-schooler aged under 22 and eager to connect with your classmates within an environment that harkens back to the Facebook from 2004, when it was exclusively a college student network, then today’s Facebook where everyone creeps on others may not be the safest place to engage in such interactions.

That’s why Michael Sayman, Facebook’s 19-year-old product manager, created Lifestage, a teens-only iPhone app that encourages high-schoolers to create video profiles and share them with their school network. Read More

 

Twitter gains features to limit notifications and filter out lower-quality content

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 19, 2016

Twitter continues adding features to let users control and personalize their experience on the service with yesterday’s announcement of a new quality filter and notification settings.

Now available in Twitter 6.6 for iOS, the new content quality switch allows you to optionally weed out lower-quality tweets from your feed, notifications and other parts of your Twitter experience.

“It does not filter content from people you follow or accounts you’ve recently interacted with – and depending on your preferences, you can turn it on or off in your notifications settings,” cautioned the service. Read More

 

NYT is shutting down its Now app on August 29

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 19, 2016

Released in March of 2014, The New York Times’ news curation app, NYT Now, is scheduled to shut down on August 29, the newspaper announced in a blog post.

The app debuted as a more affordable alternative to the paper’s digital subscriptions, offering premium content for as low as $8 per month. It was regularly updated and at one point even gained features like 1Password integration. Read More

 

This tweak makes Siri less impatient so you can take your time speaking

By Anthony Bouchard on Aug 19, 2016

A lot of times while using Siri, you might have to repeat yourself or start over while you’re talking because if you speak too slowly, or pause while you’re talking, you’ll get the “I didn’t quite get that” message.

As frustrating as this can be, especially in louder environments, a new free jailbreak tweak called SiriKeepListening now available in Cydia helps remedy this problem. Read More

 

With few weeks until iOS 10’s fall release, iOS 9 adoption hits 87 percent of devices

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 18, 2016

Various editions of iOS 9 are currently installed on 87 percent of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, a one-point gain versus a month ago. During the same period, iOS 8 has dropped from eleven to ten percent of devices, suggesting much of iOS 9’s growth could be owed to upgrades. Earlier editions of iOS continue to comprise about three percent of devices.

The stats were derived from Apple’s logs capturing devices that accessed the App Store on August 15, 2016, and are publicized on the App Store dashboard. Read More

 

Snapchat optimized for iPhone’s Low Power Mode

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 18, 2016

Earlier this week, Snapchat issued a small update to its free of charge iPhone application on the App Store. Bumping version number to 9.37, the app is now optimized for iOS’s Low Power Mode which debuted in iOS 9 last year.

“When your device is in Low Power Mode, Snapchat will now automatically reduce its battery usage,” according to release notes accompanying a 96.1-megabyte download. Read More

 

Deus Ex GO for iPhone and iPad now available

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 18, 2016

Thursday, Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO [review] creators Square Enix Montréal released their latest premium game on the App Store, Deus Ex GO. A turn-based puzzle infiltration game set in a stylized interpretation of the Deus Ex Universe, it puts you in the shoes of covert agent Adam Jensen. You’ll use hacking, combat and augmentations to solve “the most intricate puzzles of the entire GO series”, according to developers. Read More

 

Instagram gains Events channel highlighting media posted during specific events

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 18, 2016

Instagram yesterday announced a new Events channel in the Explore section of its free of charge iPhone app. Currently limited to users within the United States and resembling Snapchat’s Discover channel with Live Stories, it brings in one place all of the photos and videos posted on the service during specific events, such as concerts, sports games and more. Like the rest of Explore, the new Events channel is personalized for you and highlights events you might like. Read More

 

Grovemade’s walnut iPhone dock is built to last and looks stunning

By Anthony Bouchard on Aug 18, 2016

Docks are a great way to store your iPhone on your nightstand overnight or on your office desk while you work on your computer. There are a lot of options to choose from out there with varying degrees of quality, and Grovemade makes a product that you won’t be disappointed in.

In this review, we’ll show you the Grovemade walnut dock for the iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus, a premium metal and hard wood dock that pays careful attention to detail and looks great anywhere you put it. Read More

 

Instagram update brings camera improvements to Stories feature

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 16, 2016

Instagram’s new Stories feature caused quite a stir as some users took issue with the fact that the Facebook-owned photo sharing service basically ripped off Snapchat Stories. Be that as it may, Instagram’s iPhone application, which is available at no charge on the App Store, has just received a nice update which packs in a few useful camera-related improvements to the Stories feature. Read More

 

Google’s new video calling app Duo hits App Store

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 16, 2016

Duo, a video calling app announced at Google I/O 2016, released today in the App Store as a free download. A one-to-one video calling app “for everyone,” Duo allows iPhone users to call their Android-toting friends, and vice versa. After signing up with your mobile phone number, you can place video calls to contacts who also have Duo installed on their device. According to Google, Duo for Android and iOS began rolling out today and will be live worldwide in the next few days. Read More

 

Microsoft’s mobile Office apps pick up support for drawing with a finger/stylus on iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 15, 2016

Microsoft today issued updates to its mobile Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps on the App Store, adding support for drawing with your finger on the iPhone. Back in January 2016, the Windows maker brought its inking tools to the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil support. With the latest update, iPhone owners can take advantage of the Draw tab to draw, highlight and annotate documents with their finger or a stylus. Read More

 

Tip: quickly measure your Netflix streaming speed with this iPhone app

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 10, 2016

Netflix yesterday announced a brand new iPhone app on the App Store which it designed to let you quickly measure how fast your broadband downlink is by testing the connection to Netflix’s servers. The goal of the free app, aptly named Fast, is to give Netflix subscribers a better understanding of the streaming quality they can expect from the service on their Internet connection. It’s not a replacement for SpeedTest or similar software and does not measure the uplink speed because it has little effect on streaming quality. Read More

 

Video hands-on: here’s everything new in iOS 10 beta 5

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 9, 2016

Somewhat unexpectedly, Apple this morning issued new developer-only betas of iOS 10, macOS Sierra, tvOS 10 and watchOS 3—a mere week after posting their respective fourth beta. While Apple’s release notes for iOS 10 beta 5 (build number “14A5335b”) mention no new features as we inch closer to a Gold Master, there are a few tidbits and tweaks to wet your appetite.

Aside from other changes, for instance, iOS 10 beta packs in a new lock sound and lets you download apps from the App Store after a reboot without needing to re-authorize Touch ID purchase with your Apple ID password. Read More

 

WhatsApp now lets you leave voice messages

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 9, 2016

WhatsApp Messenger was updated this morning with an interesting enhancement in the form of ability to leave other people voice messages on the service. “When placing a WhatsApp call, you now quickly leave a voice message if your call isn’t answered, just like voicemail,” read release notes accompanying WhatsApp’s 2.16.8 update on the App Store. Since enabling Voice over IP (VoIP) calling a year ago, more than 100 million voice calls are made on average every day via WhatsApp, or more than 1,100 VoIP calls a second. Read More

 
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