Apple releases iTunes 12.1 with OS X Notification Center widget, syncing improvements, and more

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Apple has released a new update for iTunes on OS X that introduces support for a Notification Center widget. The widget will allow users to control their music and buy songs from iTunes Radio directly from the system-wide panel.

iTunes 12.1 also includes a “quick tour” feature that runs on the app’s second launch. It’s the same quick tour that has been available on Apple’s website since last year, but it is now included natively in the app to help users get acclimated to the new design.

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Widespread iTunes Connect issue presenting wrong user name and apps for developers (Update: Resolved)

iTunes Connect, Apple’s portal where developers manage software published on the App Store, is presenting many users with a widespread issue this morning. Several users are reporting logging in with their own credentials and being presented with both the name and apps of other iTunes Connect users, including upcoming, unreleased versions of apps. 9to5Mac has corroborated the errors with iTunes Connect. Read more

Microsoft launches revamped Outlook mail app based on Acompli for iOS [Video]

Microsoft Acompli

Microsoft announced plans today to launch a new app for its Outlook email service on iOS. The app is based on the Acompli software that the company purchased in December for $200 million. The app includes “email triage” features found in the old app as well as new features to help appeal to a wider audience, such as the ability to toggle threaded conversation views.

The Outlook iOS app will also support mail from third-party services beyond Microsoft’s. iCloud, Gmail, and Yahoo email accounts can be plugged into the app, and attachments can be added to messages from cloud services like Google Drive and Dropox. Check out the video below …

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Tim Cook: Apple Pay accounts for $2 out of every $3 spent with contactless payments, & other stats

apple-pay

Apple CEO Tim Cook shared some stats on Apple Pay during the company’s fiscal Q1 2015 earnings call today. Among them: Cook said that around $2 out of every $3 spent using contactless payments across Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are being made with Apple Pay since the service launched in October.   

Also of note: Apple has now signed on around 750 banks and credit unions that will roll out support for the service. That’s up from the 500 banks Apple initially announced it had signed on to support the service. Currently Apple has rolled out support for cards from a 45+ banks and credit unions in the US.  Read more

Apple Pay coming to 200,000 vending machines, kiosks, paid parking & other self-serve locations

Apple Pay Vending Machine

While individual retailers have been announcing support for Apple Pay as more NFC terminals enable the service, it’s still hit and miss on vending machines and other self-serve, unattended hardware. USA Technologies today announced it’s bringing support to around 200,000 of these self-serve payment terminals that its customers use for everything from coffee brewers to vending machines, kiosks, laundry equipment and pay parking terminals. Read more

Twitter rolling out group direct messages and native video sharing

Twitter Video Sharing

Twitter announced last November that it had a number of new features on its roadmap for this year, and today the social network says two of those features are starting to roll out to users. Starting this week Twitter will start allowing users to capture and share videos right from the camera in the mobile app, and direct messages will soon support group chatting for the first time. Here’s how the new video and group direct message features work: Read more

Western Union announces Apple Pay support for money transfers & bill payments

Apple-Pay-Western-Union

Western Union announced today that it’s now accepting Apple Pay, Apple’s new iPhone-based NFC payment service, across all of its flagship locations in the US.

That means you can now use the contactless payment service to send money and pay bills through Western Union stores as well as kiosks in around 7,600 Walgreens and Duane Reade stores. Read more

Apple shutting down legacy TestFlight next month following iTunes Connect integration

TestFlight iTunes Connect

Apple today began informing legacy TestFlight users that the services on TestFlightApp.com will no longer be available after February 26th, 2015. Apple bought the popular software testing distribution service through its acquisition of Burstly almost a year ago, and announced plans at WWDC 2014 to roll out its own version of the service in the future. Since then, Apple has integrated TestFlight beta testing for app developers with iTunes Connect. Read more

1Password for iOS adds one-time password tool for two factor auth, new login creator, more

The popular secure password management app 1Password is out with a big update today adding new features on both iOS and Mac. Arriving in version 5.2 of 1Password for iOS is a new login creator tool, a one-time password tool for use with two factor auth, new entry fields for pro users, and more. On the Mac side, 1Password version 5.1 was released adding a number of improvements to sync. This includes the ability to sync secondary vaults to iOS over WiFi. More on the major new features below:

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Twitter’s war on developers continues: Tweetbot for Mac falls victim to token limit, gets pulled from App Store

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In November, 9to5Mac brought you an exclusive interview on Twitter’s limitations on third-party developers with the Iconfactory’s Gedeon Maheux. In the original article, Maheux said that development on Twitterrific 5 for Mac had stalled due to Twitter’s strict limits on how many users can login to a particular application.

While Twitterrific 5 is the first application to have been stuck in development because of these limits, another popular client seems to have claimed the title of the first Twitter app for Mac to run into the token ceiling: Tweetbot.

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