Web Apps

For reasons unknown, Apple takes down theft-deterrent Activation Lock web tool

Apple recently took down its web tool for checking if a used iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch was stolen. The firm gave no explanation for the move.

The link to the Activation Lock webpage no longer works and the support document detailing the feature does not contain any reference to the web tool as of January 24. It was unclear at post time if a new version of the tool might be returning in the future in one form or another.

Revamped iCloud Photos web app rolling out to everyone

Apple today launched a redesigned Photos web app at iCloud.com/#photos following a period of testing when the software was available to beta testers via beta.icloud.com. The app runs in a web browser and sports several improvements to make it behave more like its desktop counterpart, such as a brand new sidebar on the left and a handy thumbnail scrubber when viewing an image.

iCloud account & sign in services and web apps are down [U: resolved]

According to multiple reports on Twitter that have since been officially acknowledged on Apple’s own System Status dashboard webpage, some iCloud services are currently down for an unknown number of customers, including Account & Sign In services and web apps available through iCloud.com.

Login issues seem to have been affecting users since at 8am Pacific time, according to Apple. Is your device putting up a prompt repeatedly saying it cannot sign in to iCloud? Well, now you know why.

UPDATE 2:45pm Pacific: All iCloud services are now operational.

iCloud Photos web app is gaining a sidebar and thumbnail scrubber

As first noted by Brazilian outlet MacMagazine.br, Apple is readying some notable updates for its Photos app on the web at iCloud.com/#photos. In addition to a slightly overhauled appearance, the web app is gaining a pair of new features found on the desktop Photos app for the Mac: a sidebar and a thumbnail scrubber. The web app is currently being beta-tested at beta.icloud.com.

Skype for Web adds support for making phone calls and other new features

You can now call mobile phones and landlines using Skype in a desktop browser, without needing a plug-in. Support for marking phone calls through a browser has been added to Skype Web, a web-based counterpart of the native Skype app, along with several other new features.

For instance, you can now add new people to a conversation, even if they’re not on Skype, enjoy watching YouTube videos without leaving Skype and more.

AppRecs: a search engine that filters out apps with fake or questionable reviews

One of the things that can be annoying when using the App Store is when you are trying to find a good app and dozens of fake reviews push junk apps to the top of the search results when all you want is to find the best of the best. Since not all reviews are honest, it can be difficult to filter the good from the bad on your own.

To help combat this problem, a new web app called AppRecs has been created that claims to be able to filter good reviews from the bad. This way, you can skip everyone’s junk reviews and junk apps and just see the best apps in the App Store that are truly worth checking out based off of honest reviews.

Check out Snapdrop, a web-based clone of Apple’s AirDrop

The easiest way to share content between your Mac and an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad is AirDrop, a device-to-device wireless transfer technology built into the bowels of iOS and OS X. But when you want to transfer files between Apple devices and other platforms, AirDrop isn’t very helpfu.

AirDrop, as you know, is limited to iOS and OS X and doesn’t work on Android, Windows or other operating systems and computing platforms. Enter Snapdrop, an interesting web-based HTML5 clone of AirDrop by German developer Robin Linus.

Billed as the easiest way to transfer files across different devices, Snapdrop runs in a web browser and doesn’t require you to install any special software. But does it work as advertised? Read on to find out.

Find my Friends web app launches on iCloud.com

In addition to today’s major releases of iOS 9.1, OS X El Capitan 10.11.1 and watchOS 2.0.1 software updates, it appears that iCloud has gained a brand new web app: Find My Friends.

With both Find My iPhone and Find My Friends now preloaded on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices with iOS 9.0 or later, it does make sense to add Find My Friends to Apple’s stable of web apps given iCloud’s long had the web version of the Find My iPhone app.

Everyone can now use Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iCloud Beta

Apple wants Windows and Android customers to use its iWork productivity suite as well so they announced that now everyone can use Pages, Numbers and Keynote web applications through the iCloud Beta web interface, even if they don’t own Apple devices.

An Apple ID account is still required to access Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iCloud, but the big news is that people can now create an Apple ID on the fly.

As noted by MacRumors, the announcement was made yesterday on the beta.iCloud.com website, indicating that these web apps may soon be accessible through the regular iCloud.com website, too.

FaceTime Plus is like Chatroulette for FaceTime

I’m fairly certain that many of our readers have heard of, if not actually participated in the Internet phenomenon of Chatroulette. A quick summary of the activity is that people visit the website, click on a link and are able to chat with perfect strangers via webcam.

FaceTime Plus is very similar to Chatroulette, except you connect through your iPhone or iPad and it uses FaceTime for video. While the explicit content may be at a minimum right now, don’t worry. Human nature will kick in soon and you will be seeing more skin than you’ve ever wanted in no time at all…

Google updates mobile Gmail web app with new UI and more

Google has updated its mobile web application for Gmail this afternoon with a refreshed user interface, similar to that of its recently revamped iOS email client, and a few other improvements.

In addition to its new look, Google says that the mobile app update also brings new features such as improved search and integration with Google Calendar, search predictions, and more…