GarageBand, Star Walk, Threes and more apps go (RED) until December 7th, all proceeds going to charity

A range of apps have been updated today with limited-time promotions, in aid of the (RED) charity. Apple has participated in the event with an update to GarageBand, offering a limited-edition In-App Purchase that makes over 300 new drum, guitar, synth and bass loops available as an In-App Purchase. All proceeds from the sale of this expansion pack go directly to the (RED) charity, which sends the money to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The In-App Purchase, which is priced at $0.99, will be available until December 7th.

Other notable developers are also participating, many of which including exclusive additional content. For example, Threes has been updated, with a fresh red theme and updated icon. Monument Valley has added one special (RED) level, Star Walk has added exploration of Mars, The Red Planet. The popular drawing app, Paper, has also participated with a red application theme and icon. The ‘Over’ app has made special edition font and artwork packs available for purchase. djay and Heads Up! are also taking part in the event. Like GarageBand, 100% of proceeds of app and IAP sales go to the (RED) fund.

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This week’s Apple Pay arrivals: Sephora, tickets.com, Disney Store app, Square coming in 2015

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Apple is steadily rolling out more support for banking and card issuer partners since first launching its new Apple Pay payments service last month. The other part of the equation is retailers and app developers supporting the service and this week saw the rollout of additional support including announcements from Sephora, venues that utilize tickets.com, and the Disney Store iOS app. In addition, Square is today confirming that its previously announced under development bitcoin and NFC capable register will arrive with Apple Pay support sometime in 2015. Read more

AirParrot 2 brings Mac & Windows screen mirroring to Chromecast, drag and drop media streaming

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AirParrot, the app that lets you send your desktop display to an Apple TV-connected TV, is today releasing version 2 with Chromecast support and number of other new features. Sure, you can mirror your Mac’s display to an Apple TV using Apple’s built-in AirPlay feature, but AirParrot provides features beyond what Apple offers and also support for screen mirroring from Chromebooks and Windows. Today’s release makes it the first to enable full screen mirroring support to Chromecast with audio support and more. 

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iWork for iCloud updated with eight new languages, easier document renaming and more

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Apple has updated its iWork for iCloud web-based productivity suite with eight new languages, the ability to rename documents in the editor and a few minor additional enhancements.

Pages gets all eight new languages: Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish – including bidirectional support for Arabic and Hebrew. Numbers and Keynote get all but Arabic and Hebrew …  Read more

iPhone app predicts whether you’ll like the beer or wine you’re looking at in the store [Video]

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Sure, there are shopping apps out there that will read the barcode of a product and let you know whether you could buy it more cheaply online, but someone has now tackled a far more more important issue: will you actually enjoy that bottle of beer or wine you’re eyeing up in the store?

Next Glass is a free iPhone app that uses your own personal taste preferences to predict how likely you are to enjoy a beer or wine you’ve never tried before. If you’re buying for a dinner party or other social occasion, you can link to friends using the same app and it’ll show you how much they’ll like it too …  Read more

Evernote for OS X updated w/ Yosemite design, performance improvements, more

Evernote this afternoon has released a major update to its OS X desktop app, making both major design enhancements for Yosemite and under-the-hood performance improvements. The update, which the company says is a total rewrite of the app, adds an entirely redesigned interface with a new, lighter color scheme, as well as new icons.

At Evernote, we believe that speed and stability are essential for productivity. That’s why we’ve completely rewritten Evernote for Mac. Everenote is significantly faster, more reliable and consumes less energy than ever before. We’ve also added a number of new features!

In addition to the design improvements, Evernote also touts a variety of new features.

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Twitter for iPhone rolling out Tweet sharing via Direct Messages

Last week, Twitter announced a list of improvements coming to the service including enhancements to Direct Messages and video capabilities slated for next year, and today the social network started rolling out its new features as promised. With the latest version of Twitter for iPhone, you can now share public Tweets privately over Direct Messages with native embedding. You can see the new feature in action below… Read more

Billboard 200 chart will include streaming listens from Beats, Spotify, Google Play, & others in album sales

Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Apple, Beats Music, Code Conference

Billboard is about to add data from music streaming services to its weekly Billboard 200 charts for the first time as services like Spotify and Apple’s Beats Music become increasingly popular. The New York Times reports that Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan plan to start incorporating both streams and downloads from music streaming services, in addition to the music sales the chart already covered, in order to more accurately reflect popular albums based on what users are listening to. The first chart including streaming services will include data for next week and arrive online Dec. 4: Read more

App Store changes ‘Free’ button to ‘Get’, likely due to in-app purchase controversies

App Store Free Get

Apple has introduced a small but interesting tweak to the way it markets apps on the App Store. As you can see in the screenshot above, non-paid apps are now presented with the word ‘GET’ rather than ‘FREE’. While the reason for the change in how Apple is presenting non-paid apps isn’t clear, it’s likely due to the popularity of ‘freemium’ apps and in-app purchases, something that has been the source of controversy for Apple in the past… Read more

Here’s why beacon networks are the way to go for retailers & app developers supporting iBeacon

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If you’re a retailer, you have two options when it comes to deploying Bluetooth beacons. You can deploy the hardware yourself and build an accompanying mobile app for the experience, or you can open the experience to existing apps that users already have on their device using a beacon network. Some retailers have decided they want to own the experience and have everything go through their own mobile app, but new data suggests that might not be the way to go. Read more

Fitbit users can finally view their data in the Health app thanks to 99 cent sync tool

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A 99 cent app finally allows owners of Fitbit activity trackers to view their data in Apple’s Health app. Sync Solver for Fitbit provides a daily sync of ten different pieces of data to the Health app built into iOS 8 – a feature the company itself said it had no plans to introduce.

The first sync needs to be performed manually, by tapping a button in the app, after which it will sync data automatically every 24 hours …  Read more