Feature tethered to cable providers
A&E has updated two of its iOS apps -- History, and the network's namesake -- with support for watching live TV. Previously users were able to watch clips and full episodes, but only after the fact. Like some other TV apps, gaining access to the live streams requires a cable subscription.
Pandora iOS app updated, adds alarm clock feature
Music discovery service Pandora has released an update for its iOS app, adding an alarm clock feature for iPad users. Pandora makes musical recommendations based on a particular artist, song, genre or composer, and allows for the creation of personalized stations based on the user's preferences. Pandora's alarm clock plays a preferred station as its alert, and includes a "snooze" button that provides an additional wake-up several minutes later. The iOS app is available for free download through iTunes, and requires iOS 6.0 or later. A Pandora account is free to try, with an advertisement-free option available as a $4 monthly subscription.
Dipper for iOS launches, sorts YouTube content by topic
A new app for filtering YouTube videos has been released for iOS, entitled Dipper. Users of Dipper can follow topics on YouTube, ranging from daily sports highlights to content from a particular person or TV show, or following an ongoing news topic. Featuring a bookmarking function, videos can be flagged for watching at a later time. Dipper is designed for both iPhone and iPad, requires iOS 7 or later, and is free to download through iTunes.
Mixvibes' Cross DJ 3.1 released, DJ competition announced
Mixvibes has introduced the newest version of its cross-platform software, Cross DJ v3.1.0. The software provides users with the tools needed to DJ, such as browsing track catalogues, and monitoring playing track's peaks and phrasings. The new version allows for the ability of users to record their mix and share it on Mixcloud and Youtube, as well as Dailymotion.
Deal gives Amazon exclusive control of DC online distribution
Amazon today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire digital comics vendor ComiXology for an undisclosed sum. ComiXology developed and distributes the engine used by most major comic book publishers in the United States, including Marvel and DC Comics for their privately-branded digital services.
Technical limitations partly blamed for suite's delay
The recently-launched Office for iPad will get printing support "in due course," according to a Reddit AMA conducted by members of the software's engineering team. The team says it is also considering mathematical notation in OneNote, and working on implementation of comments and add/change conditional formatting in Excel. Something the suite won't support, though, is third-party Office apps, despite the fact that Microsoft allows desktop developers to hook into Office 365. Microsoft blames the situation on Apple's App Store policies, which block apps from installing code other than their own.
Requires both latest desktop version and Creative Cloud subscription
In a surprise debut on Monday, Adobe took the wraps of its briefly-leaked Lightroom Mobile for iPad, a mobile version of its desktop software intended as a companion app to the full version for desktops and notebooks. As such, it requires both the latest version of Lightroom 5 (which was also updated earlier today to v5.4) for Mac or Windows, and a subscription to Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription service in order to use the free application. The program uses syncing and lower-rez thumbnails to get around the problem of the iPad's limited storage.
Inspirational series highlights iPad Air's role in film production
A choreographer for Bollywood movies is the subject of the latest installment of Apple's "Your Verse" iPad campaign, which starts with inspirational stories of individual users on its website that often go on to be incorporated into its television ads. Feroz Khan, the choreographer in question, says he relies on his iPad Air to help with directing and analyzing dance scenes, scouting locations, assisting with costumes and other details involved in the filmmaking process.
Amazon Instant Video updated for iOS 7
Amazon's video streaming service app for iOS, Amazon Instant Video, has been updated to version 2.5. Powered by Prime Instant Video, users can stream over 40,000 movies and TV episodes, including Amazon's original content. Purchased and rented content can be downloaded for offline viewing from the library, and content can be viewed on Apple TV using AirPlay. In its latest update, the app is optimized for iOS 7, featuring a revised overall look. Also included are bug fixes and stability improvements. Amazon Instant Video for iOS is available for iPad and iPhone, and can be downloaded from iTunes.
New HDX-SDI video interface with Thunderbolt offers capture and playback for variety of programs
Motu has announced the release of its new HDX-SDI video interface with Thunderbolt technology. Offering a HD/SD video production workstation for any Thunderbolt-equipped Mac (or PC), its I/O technology supports high-resolution displays and high-performance data services though a single port. Users can connect any video source to the HDX-SDI, with best image quality derived from uncompressed video capture.
Facebook Messenger for iOS and Android adds free calling
Facebook has updated its Messenger app again, adding a free calling feature. Users can now call their Facebook friends over a WiFi connection for free, meaning that those who need to make international calls can do so easily. Available in both the iOS and Android versions of Facebook Messenger, the app is free to download on iTunes and Google Play.
Testing continues with new OS X 10.9.3 beta, adds back local contact, calendar sync
On Thursday, Apple issued its fifth weekly beta of the forthcoming OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 to developers. In addition to the usual areas of testing focus -- graphics, audio, Mail and Safari -- the company also requested testing on the ability in iTunes to sync Calendar and Contact entries locally over USB. In earlier versions of iTunes 11, syncing was exclusively handled by iCloud. The new build, 13D33, contains no new known issues.
IK Multimedia announces music-creation app
Accessories and music-creation app developer IK Multimedia has announced a new iPhone, iPad and iPod touch app designed to work in conjunction with the Orange Amplifier. AmpliTube Orange is a real-time mobile Orange Amplifier and effects studio, featuring digital models of five classic and modern Orange guitar amplifiers, and one Orange bass amplifier. Its four vintage-styled, Orange-inspired effects include a noise filter for keeping the hiss down when the gain is elevated; the Highway Drive, for an overdrive pedal sounds with crunch, level and tone controls; the Echo Trip delay pedal, with feedback, delay time, level and tone controls; and The Shaker tremolo pedal with rate, depth and "shape" control.
Delivers push notifications based on IFTTT conditions
Service-linking website IFTTT (If This Then That) has updated its iOS app with its first-ever iPad support, and more significantly, its entire platform with support for iOS push notifications. That means that any recipe can now trigger notifications on an iOS device. If a weather service is forecasting a storm for tomorrow, for example, the IFTTT app can display an alert. Most recipes are said to refresh every 15 minutes, though notifications should become faster as more people use them.
PC spaceship simulation game ported for iPad 2 or later
Subset Games' PC strategy game Faster Than Light (FTL) has been ported for the iPad 2 and later. Gamers are tasked with running a spaceship trying to escape an oncoming rebel fleet. This involves managing crews and subsystems, coping with threats like fires, boardings, and depressurization. The iPad version includes the free Advanced Edition expansion, which adds new ship, enemies, events, weapons, and more. Available for $10 on iTunes, FTL requires iOS 6 or later, and is thus not compatible with the original iPad.
Reign23 Bolt portable USB wall battery charger released
Reign23 has released its combination USB wall charger and rechargeable portable battery, Bolt. Its portable battery has a 3000mAh capacity, large enough for two full charges of an iPhone or other mobile device. Initially launched as a Kickstarter project in 2013, Bolt is small, at 2.75 inches by 1.33 inches by 1.10 inches. Its smart charge technology automatically bypasses the battery when fully charged, and is available in blue and black color options. Priced at $60, the Bolt USB Wall Charger and Battery can be purchased online.
Newspaper hoping to lure readers with lower-cost subscription
A new e-reader app made its debut on Wednesday, with The New York Times releasing its newest app, NYT Now (free), intended to act as a less-expensive entry way to attract new readers. As previously reported, the iPhone- and iPod touch-only app is meant to be a scaled-down version of the regular NYT app, the latter of which is available for iPad as well.
Withings announces retail debut of its new wireless blood pressure monitor, AMGA sponsorship
Health technology producer Withings has announced the retail debut of its wireless blood pressure monitor, which has achieved FDA clearance. Additionally, Withings has joined the American Medical Group Association's Measure Up/Pressure Down hypertension campaign as a project sponsor. Users can take measurements with the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor by wrapping the cuff around one's arm, and turning on the device.
Fantastical 2 calendar app for iPad takes advantage of large display
Flexibits has introduced Fantastical 2 for iPad, a calendar app for iOS 7. Including features such as half-screen and full-screen week view, reminders, and intuitive parser, background app refresh and more, Fantastical 2 for iPad takes advantage of the larger display over what is available for the iPhone. Newly included in Fantastical 2 for iPad is its Dashboard feature, a schedule manager, and users can toggle between the DayTicker, half-screen view, and full-screen view.
Sony's latest waterproof smartphone to be available in May through Bell
Sony and Bell announced today the exclusive availability of Xperia Z2 waterproof smartphone in the Canadian market. The Xperia Z2 has a 5.2-inch screen, is 8.2mm (0.33-inch) thick, offers 4K video recording, and can utilize new Xperia camera apps. Sony's Xperia Z2 will be available in black, white and purple across Canada from Bell Mobility in May 2014.
Web version also gains additional functionality, just after Office for iPad arrives
In what is probably a coincidental update following the recent release of Office for iPad, Apple has launched new versions of the trio of apps formerly known as iWork (i.e., Pages, Numbers and Keynote) for both OS X and iOS. The biggest new feature across all versions is a new "view only" setting that allows users to share documents but keep them read-only. Pages for OS X and iOS gains better support for key features such as ePub export, Numbers for OS X and iOS has improved Excel compatibility, and Keynote for both platforms now supports PPTX export, among many other new and improved features for all three programs.
Web apps get Retina display enhancements, more
Apple has made some improvements to iWork for iCloud, according to pop-up messages. All three web apps in the suite -- Pages, Numbers, and Keynote -- have been given better support for Retina displays, a new editor tab, and upgraded sharing functions. The latter let people set shared documents as view-only, and open documents directly via iCloud Mail.
Kindle vs. iBooks
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, members began a debate about which e-book distribution service was better, Kindle or iBooks, after one Mac Elite stated that they think iBooks just might be better. "When I put the computer to sleep, does that affect ongoing transfers to and from the internet?" asks Mac Elite "rotuts" earlier today.
New service brings Netflix-like convenience to readers
We're not sure that there's any debate about the future of subscription services for digital content. Between Netflix, Amazon Video, Next Issue, and a few other services offering near-unlimited consumption, our appetite seems voracious for digital offerings. A subscription service for e-books has recently launched for iOS called Oyster -- it purports to allows users access to over 200,000 titles offline and online. How well does it accomplish that goal, and does it give the reader a positive reading experience?
Opportunity to 'try before you buy,' earn rewards through ads seen as selling points
A new study from Wild Tangent and IHS Technology has found that iOS gamers overwhelmingly prefer free games with ads -- so called "freemium" games -- over paid but ad-free game apps. A total of 86 percent of the 500 respondents sampled in the survey said they preferred free games with ads over paid games, with 70 percent preferring advertising-support games, while the other 16 percent preferred ad-supported games that offered in-app purchases (IAPs) to buy equipment, levels and other items.
Exhibit helps Westerners understand the fear of living in area with land mines
To help promote awareness of land mines and international efforts to clear them from former battlefields around the world, a museum in New York City will be hosting an exhibit utilizing Apple's iBeacon technology, headphones and an iOS or Android app to create a "virtual minefield." The idea, part of the UN International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action being held on April 4, is to allow users to experience the fear of land mines.
Former media event lives on as accessory, app showcase
The Macworld Expo (now called Macworld/iWorld) certainly isn't the show it was five years ago, the last year Apple attended. Its a much smaller show -- maybe 25,000 attendees at best -- but with a more sustainable focus: a showcase for computer and mobile peripherals, accessories and gadgets, as well as a gathering of app developers. Because Apple doesn't make big announcements timed to the conference anymore -- and the one company that did, Microsoft, chose not to have its Office for iPad event there -- the Macworld/iWorld show doesn't make the news as often as it used to.
Shazam improves social sharing features, user interface for iOS app
Shazam, a music and TV identifying app, has been updated for iOS devices. Offering a revised user interface, Shazam features a new track page design, and new appearance for video, album and track reviews, artist biographies and more. The Auto Shazam feature is more efficient on battery life, and connectivity to Rdio and Facebook has been added. Lastly Shazam's news feed notifications can be controlled more easily. Available for free, Shazam requires iOS 6.0 or later.
Midi arpeggiator StepPolyArp updated to version 2.3
StepPolyArp, a MIDI arpeggiator app for iPad, has received an update, bringing the latest version to 2.3. Allowing users to control MIDI instruments, a variety of sequencers and other virtual instruments, StepPolyArp can automatically generate melodic patterns from notes or chords played in real time. The update features 64-bit support, as well as the addition of start/stop following mode from its external sequencer. Available for iPads running iOS 5.1.1 or later, StepPolyArp is priced at $12.
Successful crowd-funded projects a fresh source of innovation
Macworld/iWorld 2014, currently going on at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, handed out its Best of Show awards on Friday, including a mix of hardware devices and software apps, many of which started life as successful Kickstarter or similar crowd-funded ideas, both from established companies and novice entrepreneurs. Winners included a portable RAID drive, a thermal camera for the iPhone, an app to get kids to do their chores, and new Thunderbolt adapters, among other useful apps and gadgets.
Renowned DJ collaborates with Philips to produce DJ-quality headphones
Philips, in partnership with renowned DJ Armin van Buuren, has launched the A5-PRO DJ headphones. Designed for audio monitoring and mixing, the headphones' replaceable bayonet-mount cushions are available in three sizes for comfort options. Its anodized aluminum form with leather headband is foldable, and its 50mm high-definition neodymium driver offer high quality low-frequency sound. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced.
Sync and backups kept separate, optionally encrypted
Online backup storage service IDrive has revamped its plans to offer more space, and a new separate sync service -- and to celebrate, it will give current and new users the same amount of sync space as they use for backups at no additional charge. The new service allows users to sync files in real time across all linked devices (on Macs, PCs or mobile devices) as well as their separate IDrive account. The sync feature can optionally be protected with private-key encryption if desired.
App aesthetics brought into line with iOS 7
Podcast streaming service Stitcher has released major update of its iOS app, v6.0.0. The app's interface has been redesigned not only to match iOS 7, but to streamline navigation. The front page, for example, now highlights new episodes from favorites, as well as headlines and other news stories. A new Mini Player provides constant access to what's playing, and the Now Playing screen has gained quick access to car mode and the sleep timer. Playlists can be accessed from anywhere in the app via a swipe gesture.
Word only Office app in Grossing category's top 10
Just a day after their release, the Office for iPad apps are already in high positions in the Top Free and Top Grossing charts at the App Store. The top three Free apps are currently Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, in that order; a related Microsoft app, OneNote, is in fourth. Word is #5 on the Top Grossing chart, while Excel is 12th, and PowerPoint is 29th.
Facebook updates Messenger app for iOS, adds Groups, forwarding
Facebook Messenger for iOS received an update yesterday, offering its users access to Group features, including a forwarding function. In v4.0, users can now create groups for the people one messages the most often, and name them, and set group photos. Messages and photos can be forwarded to someone who is not in a designated conversation thread by using a tapping gesture. Additionally, miscellaneous improvements to improve the app's speed and reliability have been included in the latest update. Facebook Messenger is free to download, and requires iOS 6.0 or later to run.
Microsoft sacrifices profits to reach iPad users
Apple is claiming a 30 percent cut of Office 365 subscriptions bought through Microsoft's Office for iPad, as usual at the App Store, an Apple spokesperson confirms. Although people can sign up for Office 365 outside of the iPad apps, a $100 in-app purchase provides a one-year plan. That suggests that Microsoft is sacrificing a significant amount of revenue to one of its rivals in order to attract iPad users.
Celebrates release of Office for iPad while boosting traffic
In a follow-up announcement after it took the wraps off its long-awaited Office for iPad app, Microsoft has announced that it will run a promotion on Friday in its own Microsoft retail stores offering free year-long Office 365 subscriptions to iPad owners. The Office for iPad app requires a Office 365 subscription in order to engage the editing and creation functions in the app -- without one, it will act only as a viewer and file manager for Office documents. The first 50 people to bring an iPad to a Microsoft retail outlet will get the free subscription, a $99 value.
Sesame Workshop announces its first digital magazine
Sesame Workshop has announced the launch of its first digital magazine, Sesame Street S'More. An interactive magazine, Sesame Street S'more will offer read-aloud narration and present educational games, puzzles, stories, videos and more. Children engaging with Sesame Street S'more can earn badges for activities found in each issue, varying from memory games to letter tracing and mazes. A parent section also provides tips associated with each activity to assist in increasing learning opportunities.
DevonTechnologies updates DevonThink and DevonNote to version 2.7.4
DevonTechnologies has released a maintenance update today for both DevonThink and DevonNote apps. Apple's colored labels for marking files are more controllable in v2.7.4, with option to use old-style tinting, a bubble around the document name, or as colored dot. All editions of DevonThink now allow one to annotate PDFs with lines and arrows. Creation date and user name are automatically added to new annotations, and sharing documents with friends can now be done through newly supported AirMail.
Microsoft brings industry-standard document editing to iOS
Although a lot of apps have tried to fill the gap with degrees of success, there's always been an undercurrent of demand for a full-scale iPad version of Office. Even if you can escape using Office personally, it's the workplace standard -- it just makes sense to have the suite on the world's most popular tablet. Now Office for iPad is here, and it's time to share some first impressions.
Carries over editing, ribbon interface, other features
(Updated with app download links, dropping of subscription requirement for Office Mobile for iPhone)) Microsoft is today officially releasing Office for iPad, a long-rumored port of its Windows and Mac work suite. The trio of apps let people do full editing of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, while preserving the same formatting seen on the desktop. Each app uses a custom touch-tailored interface, for instance offering a special numerical/symbolic keyboard for Excel. The apps do however make use of the same "ribbon" interface scheme.
Suite would improve current multiplatform support
Alongside Office for iPad, Microsoft may also be preparing to launch a new licensing bundle today called the Enterprise Mobility Suite, sources say. The bundle is reportedly aimed at large-scale customers who need a way of managing Windows, iOS, and/or Android devices. While cross-platform support has been available from Microsoft for a while, EMS is expected to include Windows Intune, a new Azure Active Directory "Premium" option, and Azure Rights Management Services. Active Directory Premium is described as a paid version of Azure Active Directory with features like group-based app access, and self-service password resets and group management.
Government of Russia swaps iPads for customized, secure Samsung tablets
Russian government officials have opted to stop using iPads in official capacities, possible due to concerns about alleged "backdoors" that allowed for NSA monitoring (which Apple has denied). Instead the government has arranged a deal with Samsung that will see politicos using customized, secured tablets specifically designed to handle confidential information as legislators often need to have available. There was no detail on prices or the cost of dropping the iPads, and the move could be seen as part of an effort to stop supporting American companies, given the US opposition to Russia's policies in the Ukraine and Crimea. Russian officials have denied any such motivation, reports Business Insider.
Twitter for iOS and Android updated, adds photo tagging of up to ten people
Twitter announced an update to its mobile apps today, adding the ability to now tag up to ten people in a photo. Available for both iOS and Android app, tagging does not affect character count in a tweet. Up to four photos can be shared in a single tweet, and a full image in a group can be viewed by tapping on a preview. The new photo features rolled out today on iPhone, and are due soon for Android and its web version.
Exposure cannot overcome Flappy Bird phenomenon, but it helps
A new study by mobile analytics firm App Annie has quantified the idea that app developers can increase their products' visibility in the App Store and gain players through the use of TV commercials -- particularly for top-quality "freemium" titles. While the practice of developers creating their own TV ads is common in some countries like Japan, it is a fairly new phenomenon in the North America. The App Annie study showed a correlation between TV exposure and a gain in App Store rankings.
GoT: Ascent debuts on iPad just ahead of April 6 series premiere
Just ahead of its fourth season debut on HBO, the official Game of Thrones: Ascent game, previously playable only on the web and Facebook, has launched on the iPad. The free app includes Game Center integration, updated artwork suitable for Retina-quality displays, and "Volume You," a history of the player's character through the storyline. As the series unfolds, new content will be added to the game to reflect what has happened on the show. Season Four of the popular drama will debut on April 6.
Security verified by US regulators, new management software certified for use
BlackBerry announced earlier today that is has received US Government Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certification, which allows employees to use its enterprise software on Apple's iPads and the predominantly Samsung-provided mobile equipment. The certification applies to Secure Work Space, which isolates management-installed apps and files from personal content.
Adds further support for in-app Rotten Tomatoes review snippets
On Tuesday, Apple updated its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS devices, bringing updated notifications when new releases hit local cinemas or the iTunes Store. Version 1.4 also adds actual review excerpts from the Rotten Tomatoes review website, rather than just scores, and adds sharing courtesy of the AirDrop feature, allowing users to share links to movie trailers featured in the app.
Showyou video content app now supports Chromecast
Video streaming app Showyou has released an update featuring Chromecast support for both Android and iOS versions. Featuring thousands of channels, users can browse through customized content guides and categories to find something specific to watch, or view content based on the app's suggestions, generated by what channels one follows.
Apple briefly caught testing 'related' suggestions on App Store searches
On Monday, various users reported seeing a new feature during their visits to the iOS App Store -- a "related" keywords feature not previously present, seen when searching for apps. The test only appeared on devices running iOS 7, possibly limited to iOS 7.1 and OS X only, and quickly reverted to normal. The company already offers "related" suggestions, but only with a specific "app card," rather than while a search is still in progress. The feature is thought to be another example of Chomp integration, a company Apple bought in 2012.