Apple’s App Store editorial team now curating seven additional categories in Europe

(Before and after screenshots via The Guardian)

Just over a week ago at WWDC, Apple announced several changes and improvements coming to the App Store this fall with the public release of iOS 8 including new ways to navigate through the App Store as well as explore new apps. As The Guardian points out (via MacStories), App Store customers across Europe will notice improvements in the following categories: health, lifestyle, music, photo and video, productivity, and sports. Prior to the editorial expansion, every App Store category aside from education, games, food, kids, and Newsstand were populated solely by use of an algorithm of new and popular apps… Read more

Launch Center Pro 2.3 for iOS adds IFTTT, geolocation, and iBeacon support

Contrast today is releasing a major update to Launch Center Pro for iPhone and iPad adding support for If This Then That and location-based actions. The update includes support for sharing GIF images from within the app using Giphy search integration (fun, right?) as well as support for scanning barcodes and QR codes from Launch Center Pro.

While there’s certainly a lot of potential with connecting web services to native apps using LCP and the IFTTT automation service, the location-based actions using geofencing and iBeacons unlock some really cool use cases for me personally… Read more

Apple launches new ‘Soccer Fever’ App Store section prior to FIFA World Cup

soccer fever

Apple has launched a new “Soccer Fever” section on the App Store, fittingly with June 12th marking the first day of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The page has four app sections, including one for “Soccer Apps” (such as the official FIFA app itself), one for featured soccer-related games, a variety of typical social apps labeled as “Share the Fever,” and a plethora of apps for exploring the country of Brazil. Read more

Ringly introduces new iPhone-connected smart ring

Ringly Pink-Sapphire

New startup Ringly seeks to help solve a problem that many busy women have: missing important phone calls, texts or notifications because they cannot hear their phone go off in their purse, or find the phone quickly enough to get to it. Personally, I’ve run into this problem several times.

Ringly’s solution looks like an ordinary fashionable ring, but is actually a high-tech smart ring that can notify users of incoming messages, notifications, phone calls, and more.

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Facebook’s Snapchat competitor arrives on the App Store, then appropriately disappears

Screenshots via Engadget

Screenshots via Engadget

As we noted a few weeks ago, Facebook is currently in the process of developing a new Snapchat-like chat service separate from its main Messenger/Facebook inbox offering, even though it just recently removed its Poke app from the App Store.

Today Facebook “accidentally” published an early version of the upcoming software, called Slingshot, to the iOS App Store in a few countries. The app allows users to share a photo (or video) with friends, but those friends are unable to view the photo until they respond with a photo of their own. A “react” button allows recipients to quickly snap their reaction to an incoming message and send it back as a response.

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