Navigation in Google Maps apps enabled in 19 more countries
Google has made two changes to its Google Maps mobile apps. The app now provides navigational instructions in an additional 19 countries, bringing the total number of countries with the function enabled to 96, while users finding issues with local maps are able to notify Google of new places of interest from within the app, with corrections added to the public version of the maps at a later time.
MacNN and Electronista weekly deals for September 19, 2014
Standing in line at the Apple store? We aren't, so this afternoon we're going to take a look at sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best deals on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy. We do add deals over the weekend, so keep checking!
Showing off Metal and landscape mode, both apps offer ways to show of iOS 8
Two programs demonstrated during the iPhone 6 event in Cupertino last week are now available for download. CNN's updated news app for the iPhone and newly optimized for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, including a two-column landscape view that makes better use of the available space on the new devices' larger screens. In addition, the graphics demonstration program Epic Zen Garden, which incorporates Apple's Metal API, is also available.
Users can pick up unowned remainder of bundled apps at savings
As part of the iOS App Store updated for iOS 8, Apple is now offering grouped "bundles" of applications at discounted prices, and a new ability to "Complete My Bundle" for those who already own some of the apps featured in the bundle. The bundles, usually grouped by developer at present, offer related apps shown in an "iOS folder" icon, and download together into a folder automatically when purchased. Users who already own one or more of the apps see the price discounted to reflect that.
GarageBand for iOS updated, adds iOS 8 support
Music production app GarageBand has received an update for iOS, including support for iOS 8. Users can use their iOS device to "play" a collection of instruments and record musical pieces.
MyGlass iOS update automatically synchronizes photos between Google Glass, iPhone
An update to MyGlass, the iOS Google Glass companion app, has been updated to allow users faster access to images shot using the headwear. The Next Web writes that photographs will now appear on an iPhone or iPad for editing when Photo Sync is enabled, viewable both via the app and a separate MyGlass album. The Android version of the app reportedly already has the function built in.
Dropbox updated to accommodate iOS 8
Cloud storage platform Dropbox has released an update for its iOS app, in light of the release of iOS 8. Dropbox allows users to store their files remotely, and its iOS app provides access to any file saved to one's cloud account. Dropbox v3.4 includes a restored automatic back-up functionality for iOS 8, which was briefly not working for those who installed the latest iOS release. Users can now create and manage Shared Folders within the app, with additional sharing controls accessible for Pro and Dropbox Business accounts. IOS 8 users can view their recent activity in the Today view widget in the Notification Center, save files and open them directly from Dropbox within other apps. Free to download, Dropbox for iOS is available through iTunes.
Mavericks updated includes Safari 7.0.6, fixes VPN and SMB server bugs
In what is likely the final numerical update for OS X Mavericks, Apple has released version 10.9.5 just one day after it was seeded to AppleCare representatives. The release notes indicate that it improves the reliability of VPN connections requiring USB smart cards, and access to files on SMB servers. The patch also includes Safari 7.0.6, though it was released separately about a month ago, alongside v6.1.6 for older operating systems for security patches. The company also updated iMovie for iOS to add iOS 8 compatibility.
iTunes U gets ability to add deadlines to Calendar
In tandem with the release of iOS 8, Apple has also begun updating its optional first-party apps with fresh support. These include Podcasts, iTunes U, Remote, and Find My iPhone. Other apps should be updated shortly.
System allows for local, remote monitoring of temperature information
Swaive Corporation today announced that it has developed the Swaive Thermometer, an "intelligent" Bluetooth-connected ear thermometer. The Swaive Thermometer communicates with an iPhone and iPad app that analyzes temperatures and provides vital information to monitor the health of the family, and syncs with Apple's HealthKit. All readings can be instantly shared with physicians, nurses, parents, caretakers, and spouses allowing remote monitoring of critical trends.
Wide compatibility offered by new lineup for home theater and elsewhere
Today, Logitech announced it is entering the home control market with new home automation product compatibility and four new products. The new Harmony Living Home lineup gives users access to and control of a wide library of entertainment and home automation devices, all from one centralized control system.
Update pushed to Dropbox, Carousel over automatic upload failure
Users of Dropbox on iOS are unable to back up data to the cloud storage service, due to a compatibility issue with iOS 8. The company claims the issue prevents users of the latest Apple mobile operating system from automatically backing up all of their photographs and videos to the service, with only a few of the latest files able to be uploaded successfully.
Virgin Media updates iOS app with new look, bug fixes
British cable company Virgin Media has overhauled the iOS version of its TV Anywhere app. Engadget notes the app now uses a purple color scheme and some updates to bring it in line with iOS 7 and iOS 8, making the app appear more modern. The app update also precedes an upcoming makeover of Virgin Media's TiVo set-top box interface, with the addition of the Opera app store and an additional "What to Watch Now" function set to be added in October.
Paper 2.0 released for iOS, adds Mix sharing platform
Drawing and design app Paper by FiftyThree has released a major update, featuring a new sharing platform. The iPad app allows users to create sketches, diagrams, illustrations, note or drawings, and share them easily. Paper v2.0 includes Mix, a new open platform for collaborative art-making. Any idea that has been publicly shared can be used as a starting point to "remix," create and evolve. In addition to Mix, Paper 2.0 offers fluid surface pressure control when using the Pencil stylus with iOS 8. Its new and improved zoom loupe function expands when you need more space, and improved palm rejection will also be available under iOS 8. Free to download, Paper by FiftyThree requires iOS 7.0 or later.
Boinx Software releases update for FotoMagico, optimized for 4K video
Boinx Software has announced the release of an update for its slideshow creation tool, FotoMagico. Now optimized for the production of 4K video, FotoMagico v4.5 can now better accommodate later versions of OS X, from Mountain Lion to the upcoming Yosemite. Users can quickly preview special scaling animations when using 4K clips, and overall software performance and stability is improved. Priced at $100, FotoMagico v4.5 is available as a free update for existing v4 users.
Downloads still optional for 16GB models
People picking up a 64 or 128GB iPhone 6/6 Plus later this week will find several of Apple's iLife and iWork apps pre-installed, a leaked internal Apple training document reveals. The company specifically lists iMovie, GarageBand, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, and iTunes U. "These apps are also available as a free download from the App Store for the 16GB models," Apple writes.
Cambridge Audio announces G2 Bluetooth wireless speaker
British audio company Cambridge Audio has announced the upcoming release of its ultra-compact Bluetooth speaker, the G2. Comprised of a four speaker array, the G2 can run for up to ten hours on a charge. The speaker features Bluetooth connectivity as well as Near-Field Communication (NFC), which supports one-touch pairing, and can remember eight different devices. Its solid aluminium body includes soft touch controls, and is available in black or champagne finish options. Priced at $175, the G2 can be ordered in October.
Electronista and MacNN weekly deals for September 12, 2014
While we know that you're all busy getting your iPhone pre-order on, but yet, there's still time for Friday Deals! Every Friday afternoon, we're going to take a look at sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best deals on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, and any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy. We do add deals over the weekend, so keep checking!
Formerly Mac-only app makes use of iOS 8 Extensions
Panic will be bringing its Transmit FTP file manager to iOS with the release of iOS 8, according to an announcement. The new app is currently in beta, and will be able to handle both FTP and local files. Apple's forthcoming iOS 8 is essential, because the app will make heavy use of Extensions; separate apps will be able to save files to a local Transmit folder, or else use Transmit to upload to FTP/SFTP, WebDAV, and Amazon S3 servers.
Google Voice for iOS updated, supports Hangouts integration
Google Voice has updated its app for iOS, offering a revised user interface to match iOS 7 guidelines. Google Voice allows users to send free text messages to US phones, and make cheap international calls with an account. Voicemail messages can be accessed with transcription. Google Voice v1.6.0 additionally includes support for Google Voice integration in Hangouts, as well as bug fixes and performance enhancements. Free to download, Google Voice for iOS requires iOS 6.0 or later.
Exploits hooks in new OS
The system-integrated version of SwiftKey's mobile keyboard will be coming to iOS next week with the launch of iOS 8 on September 17, the developer has confirmed. A SwiftKey iOS app -- Note -- already exists, but is largely self-contained. The new app will take advantage of iOS 8's support for system-wide third-party keyboards.
Apple updates iTunes to 11.4 for syncing with iOS 8-running devices
Apple on Tuesday updated its iTunes software for Macs running Snow Leopard (10.6.8) and higher (as well as for Windows users) so that it will work with mobile devices running iOS 8, in advance of the latter's September 17 arrival. The update also benefits developers and Appleseed testers who have been working with iOS 8 for some time already, in preparation for its release. The release notes simply say that the update allows users "to sync movies, music, and more to devices running iOS 8." It is available through Software Update.
Electronista, MacNN staff discuss the new announcements from the fall event
A great deal of conversation between the MacNN and Electronista staff happens behind the scenes, especially when something like keynotes are ongoing. This week's annual Apple mobile announcement is no different. Writers Mike and Jordan, along with editor Charles, tackle some of the issues surrounding the mass-media Apple reveal that Tim Cook helmed today, showing the iPhone 6 family, and the Apple Watch.
WhatsApp for iOS adds option to archive chats and more
Smartphone messenger app WhatsApp has released a major update of its version for iOS. Using a 3G or WiFi connection, WhatsApp allows users to send messages to other WhatsApp users in lieu of SMS. Featuring a new archival function, users can elect to save chats and groups as archives. WhatsApp v2.11.9 includes several additions specific to photo and video content: users can add captions; trim videos prior to sharing; capture content faster with a new access button;, and slow-motion videos can be shared if using an iPhone 5s.
Sponsored sessions provide advertising-free Spotify for 30 minutes
Spotify will soon be showing video-based advertising to listeners of its free service. The streaming music company has revealed it will start airing the videos to its free users shortly, with both desktop and mobile app users set to see the clips, though marketers will have a few options for how their advertizing efforts get utilized by the service.
Rdio music streaming service releases overhauled iOS app
Music streaming service Rdio recently released a major update for its iOS app. A paid monthly service, a Rdio Unlimited account offers access to albums, songs, playlists and stations, with the option to download unlimited songs via mobile for offline listening. Rdio v3.0 for iOS introduces a suite of new features, such as Home, which includes a mix of personalized music-related stories. The Favorites feature allows users to select and highlight preferred content for simplified revisiting. Rdio's new Trending function displays what songs and artists are the most popular, combining Heavy Rotation and Top Charts sections. Free to download, Rdio for iOS requires iOS 6.0 or later.
Joins with rumored merchant Norstrom, banks and credit card companies on deals
A report from anonymous sources suggests that Apple's rumored mobile payment system may have gained further merchant support in the form of drugstore chains CVS and Walgreens. The move would make it easy for customers to use their iPhone to pay for purchases at some 15,000 combined locations in the US, reports AppleInsider via Re/Code. They will be among other known and unknown retail partners to help launch the mobile payment system, which could be announced at the September 9 Apple press event.
Sony's new cross-platform game Run Sackboy! Run! toe available on iOS
Sony Computer Entertainment has announced the release of its new platform-survival game, Run Sackboy! Run!. Featuring a personified vacuum cleaner as the storyline's central antagonist, players rush to evade the Negativitron using tap and swipe gestures, navigating through three LittleBigPlanet series worlds. By collecting bubbles throughout the course, players can buy special costumes and upgrades that lead to maximized scores.
References to service appear in iTunes Connect
As it prepares for the launch of iOS 8 later this month, Apple has made public its official TestFlight app. The software requires iOS 8, but lets owners participate in beta tests via email invitations from developers. The app's interface is relatively simple, used mostly to fetch available updates and launch existing downloads. Notes for each app explain changes, what a developer wants to test, and when a release is set to expire.
Now syncs shopping sessions between devices using iCloud
Apple has released an update to its Apple Store retail app for iOS that takes cues from the iPad, with better image quality and improved navigations. The app now features a fresh interface design, and introduces a feature that automatically syncs activity on the app to other devices through iCloud, allowing shoppers to start a session on one device and pick it up on another, including desktop and notebook using a browser.
Skype for iPhone adds group audio calling feature
Social communication platform Skype has updated its iPhone app, allowing users to now start a group audio call. Any chat, audio call or video call can be turned into a group audio call with up to four people. Free to download, Skype for iPhone requires iOS 7.0 or later to run.
Mobile payment service Isis Wallet to rebrand itself as Softcard
Isis Wallet, a mobile payment service for iOS and Android, is moving to rebrand itself in the coming weeks as Softcard. Initially announced in July, the company has stated that the name change is to avoid association with Middle Eastern militant group ISIS. The new name, Softcard, aims to reflect the visual nature of its already-established payment system, which allows its users to pay for purchases by adding participating credit cards to their "Wallet."
Should arrive by end of 2014
Nokia's Here maps app should be coming back to iOS later this year, and with offline mapping functions, says the Wall Street Journal. The app is said to be in the last stages of development, and due to arrive by the end of the year. Users should be able to both search and navigate while offline.
Sunrise Calendar adds push for Google Calendar, search function
Free calendaring app Sunrise Calendar has received an update, capable of syncing schedule information from Google Calendar, iCloud and Exchange. Featuring timezone support, background sync and Facebook date integration, Sunrise aims to function as a consolidated day planner. Sunrise Calendar v2.5 includes a new search function, allowing for past or future events search by title, location and attendees.
Sony's PlayStation Music app for iOS updated, features MUiOS 2.0 redesign
Sonny's Music Unlimited -- the PlayStation Music App for iOS -- has received a redesign. Allowing account-holding users to stream over a network or download 30 million songs, games and movies are available on PlayStation systems, and music on iOS and computers.
PDF Forms 3.0 released, adds signature scanner
PDF Forms has released a new version of its PDF processor app for iOS. Allowing users to fill forms, add remarks and notes to the existing PDF document, the app also facilitates adding hand-written signatures that can be reused if saved. Access to documents and signatures can be password-protected, and new files can be created from previously-generated forms with reordered pages, or split multi-page documents into individual PDF files.
New court order issued last week held in abeyance until appeal heard
Ridesharing app Uber is facing yet another shutdown order in Germany; this time, encompassing the entire country. A preliminary injunction to stop service nationwide has been applied against the company since the end of last week over what the court calls a lack of appropriate permits and insurance carried by the drivers. Uber is appealing, and will not shut down while it waits for a hearing.
Eve sensors for condition monitoring, Avea smartbulb, and Smart Power revealed
Video accessory maker Elgato will be showcasing a new line of app-powered accessory products at the IFA trade show. The new products, based on Apple's forthcoming HomeKit technology, will enable iPhone and iPad users to control and monitor the home, modify the lighting atmosphere, and recharge mobile devices when away from a plug. The line will go under the banner of Elgato Eve, and allows users the capability to monitor conditions in the home. Initial offerings include an intelligent LED bulb, a Smart Power device, and various Eve sensors.
Internet Movie Database app for iOS improves showtime search, TV listings
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has released an updated version of its app for iOS, adding new features and removing some existing ones. The app allows users to find showtimes, watch trailers, and browse photos and celebrity information. IMDb v4.4 adds new showtimes refinements, improving its search function, and its updates to instant watch, "on disc" and TV listings aim to make it easier for users to easily find content they are seeking to view. The "On DVD/Blu-ray" pages are being retired, with IMDb citing that its data source was not adequate. Free to download, IMDb is available for devices running iOS 7.0 or later.
Action platforming game Wipeout 2 available for iOS, Android
Activision Publishing has released its action platforming game Wipeout 2, available for iOS and Android devices, as well as for Kindle Fire. Based on the competition TV series "Wipeout," players dodge environmental hazards and challenge to complete each level as fast as possible. Players can choose from 10 playable characters, including Zombie, Pirate and Popstar, with 150 themed obstacles and 135 new levels. Free to download, Wipeout 2 is available on iTunes, Google Play and the Amazon App Store.
Electronista and MacNN Weekly deals for August 29, 2014
Once again, its time for Friday Deals! Every Friday, we're going to take a look at current sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best bargains on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy! As this is a big back-to-school sale week (plus PAX!), we're expecting more deals on things -- check back often over the weekend!
Note-taking iOS app Notability jumps to OS X, offers iCloud syncing
Notability, an iOS app well-regarded for its ability to handle multiple ways of taking notes -- audio recordings, handwriting, drag-and-drop and typing -- has arrived on the Mac. The OS X version ($10) matches the iPad and iPhone version feature-for-feature, but is optimized for the Mac environment. Users can drag in various file types to add to the note, scale and transform handwriting and sketches, and -- new to the program -- work with smart keyboard shortcuts. The iOS version is also available as a separate $3 purchase.
Operations can resume, but judge's ruling will be troublesome for future hearings
The Hamburg, Germany court system has reauthorized Uber to operate, at least temporarily. Despite the resurrection, which was based on a technicality, the court did dictate that the service was "probably illegal" as drivers for the service lack a passenger transportation license, similar to the situation that Lyft faced in New York City.
PayPal offering discounted UK iTunes cards at 25 percent off
PayPal is currently offering digital iTunes cards at 25 percent off for UK customers. Users can purchase iTunes codes to redeem for music, films, TV programs, games, apps and more from the iTunes Store, iBooks Store and the App Store. Content purchased can be accessed on iOS devices and Mac or PC computers. The discount offer is available until tonight at 11:59 BST.
Simplified Dropbox Pro pricing brings service in line with Google Drive, OneDrive
Cloud storage service Dropbox has drastically updated its paid offerings, changing not only the pricing, but also adding new features to the subscription. The new Pro account provides a large 1 terabyte allocation of cloud storage to customers, far more than the old Pro account allowed, with the Pro subscription priced at $9.99 per month.
Audio versions of articles temporarily suspended for changeover
The USA Today newspaper app for iOS is temporarily removing the program's ability to feature audio versions of top articles, revealing that the reason is due to a change of serving technology needed to prepare a forthcoming update of the app to be CarPlay-compatible. In the current update of the app, the announcement was buried in the program's release notes, and there is no mention of when the audio feature will return.
Test taking place in Santa Monica, offers daily lunch item in three-hour window
Ride share service Uber is apparently looking to expand into some other functions, as the company is testing a service dubbed UberFresh starting today. The program is attempting to deliver lunch to people in a short time frame, utilizing a menu specific to the area being tested. The service is only being offered for a limited time, but a successful test could mean the program would be expanded further.
Watch ABC app for iOS updated, adds AirPlay and Chromecast support
American television network ABC has updated its content streaming app for iOS. Watch ABC allows its users to view the network's shows, sports content, news and weather reports on demand - so long as a participating cable TV provider account is used to sign in to the service. Live video content is available in Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles and other major cities, subject to the participating TV provider as well. Watch ABC v3.4.0 now includes the ability to stream content with AirPlay, via Apple TV, and as well by using Chromecast via Google Chromecast. Watch ABC for iOS is free to download, and requires iOS 5.0 or later to run.
Netflix competitor Shomi boasts 14,000 TV shows, 11,000 hours of programming
Canadian cable companies Rogers and Shaw are preparing to open up its own streaming video equivalent to Netflix later this year. Shomi is a subscription video-on-demand service which will provide movies and TV show streams, which the two companies plan to launch in the first week of November for an estimated $9 per month, the same cost as its competition.
Dropbox update for iOS adds higher fidelity previews for Word and PowerPoint documents
Cloud storage platform Dropbox has updated its iOS app today. Allowing users to access any file saved to their Dropbox from an iOS device, v3.3 can now offer search within Word and PowerPoint documents. Larger animated GIFs are supported, and improved caching allows the app to use less data and disk space.