Vending machine automates process of allowing students to rent iPads
Vending machines that can serve up nearly anything have been popular in Japan for years, and most US airports and some malls now have "mini-store" type vending machines that can offer items like electronics or pet supplies. Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has been renting iPads to students since 2013, but has now automated the process with a kiosk that offers up to 12 iPads available for rental to students.
Pioneer debuts second-generation NEX in-dash receivers with CarPlay, Android Auto
Auto audio accessories maker Pioneer has debuted a new series of second-generation NEX receivers that feature both CarPlay and Android Auto baked in, replacing earlier models that added CarPlay compatibility through a firmware update. Versions are available with either resistive touch or capacitive touch screens, ranging from $700 to $1,400 for aftermarket installation. The new models add support for Android Auto, and offer better touch sensitivity, brighter screens, and better color vibrancy.
Potential but unwieldy security threat to those running pre-iOS 8.1.1
A new device on the market costing $300 could be used by attackers to crack the PIN codes on iOS devices running system versions older than iOS 8.1.1. While the chances of it being used on someone's personal device are extremely low -- since it requires both physical access to the device as well as a great deal of time -- users can protect their devices and foil the so-called "IP Box" attack by moving to a more complex passcode.
Company adds 14 new merchants now supporting iPhone-based mobile payments system
After mentioning the addition of more merchants now supporting Apple Pay on Monday, Apple has updated its web page that keeps track of merchant partners with another 14 new vendors, ranging from Coca-Cola vending machines (specifically mentioned during the presentation) to Regal Cinemas and many other well-known brand names. Cook noted that Coca-Cola currently has 40,000 of the vending machines that accept Apple Pay active, with plans for 100,000 by the end of the year.
Evernote ends support for contacts management app Hello, flashcards app Peek
Productivity platform Evernote has announced that it will end support for both its Hello and Peek apps, as of February 7. Evernote will no longer be updating the apps, and has suggested for current Hello users interested in managing their contacts sign up for its main platform. Flashcards app Peek will also no longer be supported, with a proposed alternative being its partner app Study Blue.
Procreate for iPad creators debut Pocket version for iPhone
Savage Interactive has released an iPhone version of its illustration app Procreate Pocket, a scaled-down version of its iPad app Procreate. Intended for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Procreate Pocket is powered by a 64-bit Silica engine, offering a variety of drawing tools and 250 levels of "Undo." Among its features, its 18 layers of Blend Modes allow for versatile composition, and 1080p video recording option can document all stages of the drawing process without interruption. Priced at $3, Procreate Pocket requires iOS 8.1 or later.
Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs in biopic, according to interview
Christian Bale is set to play the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs in the forthcoming biopic film written by Aaron Sorkin. Previously considered for Leonardo DiCaprio, Aaron Sorkin said in Bloomberg interview that there wasn't a need for Bale to audition for the role due to being a good fit. The latest screenplay is comprised of three thirty minute scenes of backstage goings on prior to three keynote presentations.
Kids' mini remote-controlled drone debuts
Swann's has introduced a new toy to its remote-controlled Xtreem product range, the Mini Stealth RC Drone. The six-inch gadget is designed for kids of all ages, with a rotor diameter of three inches and a weight of under one ounce. Its 2.4GHz frequency allows the Mini Stealth Drone to fly with a strong signal indoors or outdoors of up to 330 feet, and its dual-blade rotors simplify flying for novice "pilots." The rechargeable Li-poly battery inside the helicopter provides up to seven minutes of continuous flight time, and the remote control is powered by six AA batteries. The Mini Stealth RC Drone is priced at $50.
Quora app for iOS now supporting iPad
Quora query-based platform has released an update for its iOS app, now supporting use on iPad. Quora provides space for users to ask questions and receive great answers about anything. Experts on particular topics are accessible as they share their knowledge, including "insider" participants such as those who produce popular TV shows. In addition to adding support for iPad, Quora v4.0 features improved loading speeds. Its new visual design aims to offer a more immersive read, and the format for asking questions has been restructured as well. Quora's new rich-text editor includes more options for how one's text appears on the social platform. Free to download, Quora for iOS requires iOS 7.0 or later.
Puzzle-adventure game Valiant Hearts: The Great War launches for iOS September 4th
Ubisoft has announced today that Valiant Hearts: The Great War will release on September 4 for iOS devices. Set during World War I, the puzzle-adventure game features characters whose narratives are interlinked. Players aim to survive the trenches alongside their canine companions. The new mobile version introduces intuitive touch controls that accommodate the format of mobile devices. Upon release, the game will be available through the App Store.
Softpress releases updated WYSIWYG web design software Freeway 7
Softpress has announced the release of its new Freeway 7 Pro web design software. OS X users can utilize the design tool for building and publishing website and email newsletters without the need for coding or HTML knowledge. Newly featuring responsive web design, Freeway 7 Pro can facilitate creating sites that adapt for mobile viewing. Navigation menus can be automatically generated, and search engine functionality is optimized, with the inclusion of social integration. Keyboard shortcuts have been added, so as to enhance user productivity. Priced at $150 for new users and $75 for existing users upgrading from Freeway 5+ Express and Pro, Freeway 7 can be downloaded online. Upon launch of Freeway 7, the Express version is now available for free.
Pioneer announces Dolby Atmos-enabled Elite speakers, Elite SC series receivers
Pioneer has announced a new dedicated line of Dolby Atmos-enabled Elite speakers and Elite SC series of home theater receivers. Dolby Atmos technology was first established for cinema use, and the collaboration with Pioneer aims to offer a multi-dimensional sound experience. Dolby's partnerships will not stop at Pioneer, with Dolby Atmos branded Blu-ray and streaming video services to be launched this fall.
Online code education platform announces new partnerships in five countries
Codecademy, an educational startup aiming to provide accessible learning of programming code, has announced expansion into five more markets -- the UK, France, Brazil, Estonia and Argentina. Agreements with educational and government groups have allowed Codecademy to be available on a localized level, with partnerships including work on customized programs, and non-English language content. Presently, Codecademy courses remain free.
Vimeo's Couch mode feature adds compatibility with Leap Motion controller
Video content platform Vimeo has announced that its Couch Mode feature is now compatible with the Leap Motion controller. The new addition allows Vimeo users to control their viewing with hand-based gestures, such as a circle gesture with one's finger fast-forwarding or rewinding a video, and tapping one's finger in the air engages playing or pausing. A swiping gesture plays the next video in queue.
Uber announces UberRush courier service, beginning exclusively in New York City
Ride service app Uber has announced the testing of its new courier service, UberRush. Beginning in New York City, UberRush will appear on users' home screens, allowing customers to have small goods delivered by bike or foot courier. As opposed to an on-demand delivery service that is based on an order, UberRush has couriers picking up objects from Uber users and delivering them to a specific address as determined by the customer. The base fare for deliveries is $15, with delivery zoning factoring in potential additional costs. UberRush will become available to users starting tomorrow.
WW2 combat simulation Combat Mision: Red Thunder released
Battlefront.com has released a major new title in its series of tactical WW2 combat simulations, entitled Combat Mission: Red Thunder. Set during 1944, when Operation Bagration took the Soviet forces from the swamps of Belarus to the gates of Warsaw, players can play out historical battles and campaigns or create customized quick battles. Combat Mission: Red Thunder is a standalone game, and features new game engine features such as backpack and vehicle flamethrowers, tank riders, hit decals, and more. The game is available for download for OS X (as well as Windows), priced at $55.
Digital Heaven announces release of utility software Disksomnia 4.0
Digital Heaven today announced the release of Disksomnia 4.0, a new version of its utility software that stops hard disks from going to sleep. Its latest version offers an entirely rewritten structure, presented as a menu bar app that works in the background to keep disks awake. Users can now see when Disksomnia is active, and also adjust how frequently disks are kept awake, with options ranging between five and 999 seconds. A new visual countdown is featured, displaying the next "poke" to selected disks. Priced at $10, Disksomnia 4.0 is available for systems running OS X 10.7.3 or later.
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.
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.
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.
Vimeo acquires video recording, editing and sharing app Cameo
Vimeo has announced today that it has acquired video shooting, editing and sharing video iPhone app Cameo. Offering a two-minute maximum sequence length, Cameo differs from short-form video apps such as Vine and Instagram. Users can change the order of the clips, add music and invite friends to contribute with their own footage. Themes build on a traditional filter with caption font, color tweaks and effects. The terms of Vimeo's deal with Cameo has not been disclosed, however it has been stated that the app will not be shut down at present.
Smith Micro's 2D animation software Anime Studio 10 released
Announced today, Smith Micro has introduced its latest version of Anime Studio, Anime Studio Pro 10 and Anime Studio Debut 10. Animation software for both beginners and professionals, Anime Studio 10 features tools that provide increased bone control, more movement options and more, improving the simplicity of creating animated content. The latest bone features include rigging options to help set up more complex characters, and its independent angle constraints allow bones to keep their global angle and remain unaffected by inverse kinematics. Also included are new Bounce, Elastic and Stagger interpolations, as well as enhanced drawing tools. Anime Studio Debut is priced at $50, and the Pro 10 version is available for $300.
Instapaper for iOS update adds Kindle functionality, new discovery feature
Article saving and sharing tool Instapaper has been updated, offering a new Kindle functionality, an integrated web discovery feature and more. Instapaper allows users to save most web pages as text only, removing the web layout and ads and optimizing it for iOS device screens. Able to store up to 500 articles, users can store unlimited articles on the Instapaper website.
Soundhound update for iOS features an "Add to Spotify" button
Music search and discovery app Soundhound has launched a new feature for iOS users. Integrating Spotify, Soundhound now includes an "Add to Spotify" function, allowing users to turn discovered music into a playlists within Spotify, without leaving the Soundhound app. Users can either automatically add songs, or tap the 'Add to Playlist' icon on the Soundhound results page.
Logitech releases its Global Fan Collection, flag-inspired mice
Logitech has announced the release of its new Global Fan Collection, comprised of flag-inspired designs for its popular wireless mouse. The Global Fan Collection features graphic designs that represent 14 nations' flags, intended for users who are enthusiastic about a country as well as its sport culture. Countries represented by the designs include the United States, Argentina, the UK, Brazil, France, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Switzerland, and more.
Sixth instalment of 90s game Final Fantasy for iOS released
Final Fantasy VI has been released for iOS today, featuring the ability to play all the main characters as the game's protagonist. First debuting in 1994 as the game series' sixth instalment, the game is set 1,000 years after the War of Magi, a time when all but one person -- Terra -- has lost their magical capabilities. Final Fantasy VI features the option to save game data to iCloud, to be shared across devices. The smartphone release includes new megacities and events that were introduced in the 2006 remake. Some events have been optimized to be played with user-friendly touch controls.
Notchbook for iPad Air features space for easy holding
Accessory maker Chil has introduced its Notchbook iPad Air folio today, offering its users a heavy grip and the ability to slide a hand through its sleeve portion. Intended for the iPad Air, the Notchbook is compatible with many other tablets of broadly-comparable dimensions. Featuring a platform that rotates 360 degrees, the Notchbook folio doubles as a stand for comfortable table viewing.
Blu's Vivo 4.8 HD Android phone offered for $250 unlocked
Upstart Android manufacturer Blu has released a new midrange smartphone, the Vivo 4.8 HD. At 6.9mm thick (0.2 inches), the Vivo 4.8 HD offers a 4.8-inch screen with 720x1280 Super AMOLED display, the Vivo 4.8 has a 1.5GHz quad-core chip processor, 1GB RAM and 16GB of storage memory. Its camera functionality consists of an eight-megapixel rear and five-megapixel front-facing unit. Blu's Vivio 4.8 HD phone is available unlocked for $250, in black, white, yellow and pink.
'Read-it-later' app redesigned, adding social sharing feature
Web reading app for iOS Readability has received an overhaul update this week, offering a full redesign in line with iOS 7. Turning any web page into a cleaner, customizable view for reading immediately or saving, Readability allows users to manage their preferred web content in an easier-to-read manner. Users can select from three different fonts -- Sentinel, Whitney or Mercury -- as well as between a white-themed design and a darker 'night' theme.
Motion graphics theme FrostyGlass now available for Final Cut Pro X
Factory FX has released FrostyGlass, a set of eight fully-customizable plugins for Final Cut Pro X that aim to enhance a project by simulating glass distortions. Including a filter effect and a theme and title generator, FrostyGlass creates glass distortion on top of one's video project.
Workshare adds Scribble, for identifiable note-making on docs
Document management app WorkShare Mobile for iOS has announced its latest update. Featuring a new 'Scribble' function, users can leave notes on documents with distinctive pen style and colors, to help with making clear who has left each annotation.
OtterBox announced new Symmetry series at CES 2014 for latest iPhones
Protective accessories company OtterBox has announced its latest case series for iPhone 5 family (as well as the Samsung Galaxy S4), more
LaCie Culbuto USB key designed as wobbly decorative object
Storage product manufacturer LaCie announced today its latest USB key, the Culbuto. Its aesthetics suggest a decorative inspiration -- for when it is not connected to a computer, the LaCie Culbuto stands upright on its round end, and wobbles from side to side. The name 'Culbuto' comes from the French, a toy with a weighted base that keeps the object vertical, even after it is knocked over. Equipped with a USB 3.0 connector on the "top" end, the Culbuto has a soft-touch rubber exterior, and features a slit to hold a photo or business card.
GoodReader update features audio player that runs in the background
PDF reading app GoodReader has released a major revamp with new features for iPhone and iPad. Version 3.2 is the software's first update since early fall, featuring a re-built audio player and better integrated file management options.
Wellograph wearable activity monitor able to graph stats
Revealed at today's CES 2014 Unveiled event, the Wellograph offers users an activity-tracking device that emphasizes its aesthetic, and functions as a standalone device.
GX Gaming's new White Edition gaming mouse, keyboard and mouse pad released for holidays
GX Gaming has released its latest collection of gaming peripherals in time for the holiday season. The new DeathTaker gaming mouse, Imperator Pro keyboard, and GX-Speed mouse pad are available in a White Edition, complimenting a white-themed gaming setup. Both the DeathTaker and Imperator Pro White Edition are equipped with a full-speed CPU and built-in memory to prevent macro settings from being blocked in-game, providing gamers a 1ms boost in response time. Backlit by a 16-million RGB light system, each unit can be programmed to color preference.
StarTech's travel router connects mobile devices to wired networks
StarTech has announced the availability of its latest product, the Wireless-N Travel Router, which lets users create a WiFi hotspot from a wired network connection. Able to connect wireless-only mobile devices (such as tablets or smartphones) to a wired network, the Wireless-N Travel Router can be powered from an iPad wall charger or any computer USB port.
Best online deals remain available from Amazon, MacMall, B&H
Online retailers still have MacBooks, iMacs, and iPads on sale, in spite of Black Friday being over and Cyber Monday having not yet started. We have collected some of the best deals still in stock.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to be released in December for iOS
First released for consoles in 2004, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is set to be launched for iOS in December, according to Rockstar Games. Set in the early 1990s, GTA: San Andreas is centered around Carl "CJ" Johnson, the protagonist, and his involvement in the Grove Street Families gang fighting with the Ballas and Vagos.
Facebook Messenger updated for iOS 7, adds SMS
Facebook Messenger, a chat app for Facebook users, has received an update for iOS 7. Facebook Messenger allows users to read messages without opening Facebook, send photos privately, make free calls and more. Version 3.0 features a completely new design, optimized for iOS 7. Central to the update is that users can now message people that are not their Facebook friends, using SMS. Available for free, Facebook Messenger can be downloaded on iTunes.
Encrypted private messaging platform officially launches after successful beta
CoverMe - a secure private texting, document sharing and phone call app -- has officially launched. During its beta period, over 500,000 users signed up for its service, exchanging 500 million messages with military-grade encryption. CoverMe protects personal contacts, call logs, messages, documents, and more, and provides the ability to recall or remotely wipe sent messages from a device. Its private 'vault' allows users to store photos, videos, documents and communication histories so that a lost device does not lead to a privacy breach. Users are immediately notified when a recipient has read a sent message, and the app provides an option to embed messages with a 'self-destruct' option. Available on iTunes and Google Play, CoverMe is free to download (with in-app purchases available).
Duplicate finder and disk tidiness utility adds new UI, specified searching
Hyperbolic Software's utility app, Tidy Up!, has been updated with the release of Version 3. Tidy Up! can search for duplicate files and packages so users can eliminate unneeded information. Improvements to the latest version include a new user interface, as well as the ability to search for duplicate folders by content or in preferred playlists and albums. Prioritization is now available, with customization options featuring 'Smart Baskets', that sort files based on criteria input. Requiring OS X 10.6.6 or greater, Tidy up! 3 is currently available for $30 for new users, and $20 for those running version 2.0 or later.
IN1's new multi-tool utility smartphone case TSA compliant
IN1, a phone case manufacturer, has released a smartphone case that contains space for its accompanying set of eight tools. Its toolset includes blue and red pens, phillips screwdriver, flathead screwdriver, nail-file, tweezers, scissors, toothpick, and a kickstand for to prop the phone. Made of high grade polycarbonate, the IN1 multi-tool utility case is TSA compliant. The IN1 is currently available for iPhone 5/5S, with models for Samsung GALAXY S4 and iPhone 5 coming soon. Color options are available for both the case itself as well as the tools, with the case offered in white, black, and clear, and the tools offered in white, black, pink, green, blue and orange. Priced at $45, the IN1 multi-tool case can be purchased online.
DISH offers in-flight iPad loans for select Southwest Airlines flights
Dish and Southwest Airlines have announced the release of in-flight iPad 2 borrowing, with content from its "Watch TV on the Fly" libraries. iPad loaning is available on WiFi-enabled flights, such as those departing from Chicago-Midway, Denver, and Oakland International Airports. Guests can 'check out' an iPad for their flight, and can try out Dish's Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR and sign up for Dish home service if desired. TV content can be enjoyed during the flight, and the iPad 2 is then returned to the destination airport's corresponding Southwest library.
MacFamilyTree 7.1 released offering new web export
Synium's MacFamilyTree 7 software has received a major update, released today. Version 7.1 of the family tree creation software is optimized for OS X Mavericks, and features improved performance as well as support for Mavericks' AppNap. MacFamilyTree has also gained the ability to export websites directly from the program, which can be shared with whomever the user chooses. Chart backdrops have also been included, allowing users to add a family crest or any other image desired for their family tree chart. Based on the new Apple Maps component of OS X Mavericks, MacFamilyTree 7.1 features statistical maps that display ancestors' demographics and life data on a map visualization. Other noteworthy new inclusions are improved privacy settings, search workflow, UI and more.
AT&T's U-verse expands its live TV streaming service to include Android devices
AT&T's live TV streaming service, U-verse, has expanded its availability to include Android devices and web access on Uverse.com. Earlier this month, the company announced more than 100 live TV channels had been added to the U-verse app. AT&T has also launched the U-verse App on Android tablets, making live TV channels available on more than 30 devices. Offering users On Demand TV shows and movies, the U-verse app additionally features remote DVR management, and advanced content search functionality.
Digital greeting card software features over 5100 graphics
Chronos today announced its release of its greeting card creation software, Greeting Card Shop. The program allows users to create, mail and digitally share cards and invitations on OS X. Greeting Card Shop's features include support for double-sided cards and invitations; single, double and tri-folding compatibility; and support for multiple cards or invitations per page. Panels can be edited singularly, or as multiples -- which assists with editing graphics that traverse more than one panel.
Cloud-based DVR accesses free over-the-air TV channels via supported devices
Aereo, a cloud-based DVR company, has announced the upcoming availability of its television services in the Detroit metropolitan area, beginning October 28, 2013. Using web browsers, iOS devices, Android devices, and more, Aereo allows users to access 'over-the-air' television channels via an internet connection, that could once be attained with 'bunny ear' antenna over top of one's TV. Aereo's antenna are located in data centres for serviceable areas, which also include a remote DVR. Users control both with an Internet-connected device, and can view, record, pause, fast-forward and rewind as one would with a cable or satellite DVR.
BluFit Smart Water Bottle tracks water intake with app
BluFit, the smart water bottle that can track its user's water consumption, is available for pre-order pledging on Indiegogo. The glass bottle encased in a silicone sleeve notifies users to drink more water, based on a calibration of personal data such as weight, age, activity level, and more. The bottle transmits data by way of its Bluetooth LE chip to the BlueFit app, such as when and how much water was consumed.
Music editor Liquid Notes receives new track view, more control elements
Re-Compose's latest update to its music editing software, Liquid Notes, has its focus on user interface improvements. Released yesterday, its previous multi-function knob has been replaced by individual control elements for chord substitution, tension, and function. Other notable changes to Liquid Notes include more control while in track view, allowing for a high-level overview of one's musical arrangements on a single-instrument level. Ableton Live is now better supported, with the addition of a "multiple single-track import" feature to accommodate Live's lack of support for multi-channel MIDI arrangements. Available as a free trial download, or fully licensed software priced at $175, Liquid Notes can be obtained online from Re-Compose.