Instagram hits 300M monthly actives, rolls out verified user badges & deactivates spammy accounts

Instagram-300-million

Instagram announced today that it’s now at 300 million monthly active users, up from 200 million users that it announced approximately nine months ago. The company is announcing the new milestone on its website alongside other update user stats.

In addition, Instagram is today rolling out verified badges for brands and public figures while announcing it’s making a “significant effort to remove spammy and fake accounts”: Read more

Did Apple drop Google Maps for good? Apple Maps now rolling out on iCloud.com

Apple-Maps-Find-My-iPhone-01

Apple appears to have finally dropped Google Maps from iCloud.com, replacing it with its own in-house maps almost two years after removing Google Maps from iOS and most of its other products. Apple started slowly rolling out the feature to its iCloud beta site for select users earlier this year before pulling it, but it now seems to have replaced Google for all users of iCloud.com’s Find My iPhone feature (pictured above). Read more

Dashlane password manager can now automatically change your password on 50 top US websites

dashlane

Password managers are a great way to have strong, unique passwords for each website you access – but vital as it is these days, there’s no denying that it’s a chore to change them. Dashlane, a Mac and Windows password manager app, aims to take away the pain by doing it for you automatically across 50 top US websites like Apple, Amazon, Dropbox, Facebook, PayPal, WordPress and Twitter.

Importantly, the app can even cope with sites that employ two-factor authentication to login or change a password, prompting you for the code when required …  Read more

MasterCard debuts new ad spot starring Apple Pay and Gwen Stefani

Apple Pay MasterCard adMasterCard is out with its latest “Priceless Surprises” ad featuring Apple Pay with the help of artist Gwen Stefani. Like its previous World Series promotions, which put Apple Pay front and center, the new 30-second spot shows cardholders using the iPhone 6 and Apple Pay to checkout for purchases and being rewarded with various offers like golf trips, handbags, and concert tickets. The chance to meet Stefani is also on offer with her latest single, “Spark The Fire”, set as the ad’s soundtrack. Read more

Apple announces iTunes Best of 2014: apps, music, movies, TV shows and books

best-of-2014

Apple has announced its favorite apps, music, movies, TV shows and books of the year, with Elevate – Brain Training declared iPhone App of the Year while number puzzle game Threes! won iPhone Game of the Year.

For the iPad, ‘desktop-class’ image editor Pixelmator took the top slot, with the gorgeous Monument Valley winning best game. Both Threes! and Monument Valley previously won Apple Design Awards at WWDC back in June …  Read more

Apple adds 9 new Flyover locations to Maps, additional countries for Siri showtime listings

Flyover Wellington New Zealand

Apple has today added 9 new locations to its Flyover feature in Maps (via MacRumors), including three in France, a landmark in Sweden, one in New Zealand, two in Arizona, and a couple more United States landmarks in Wyoming and Arkansas. Flyover allows users pinch to zoom and pan around high resolution views of more than a hundred different landmarks, and today’s additions bring the total number of supported locations up to 101.

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Must-have iPhone, iPad, & Apple Pay apps for holiday gift shopping this year

Beats iPhone 6 Apple gift cards

Shopping this year through iPhone and iPad apps is significantly more convenient thanks to Apple Pay and Touch ID. The latest iPhones and iPads allow you to avoid the arduous process of re-entering your credit card information each time at checkout and instead pay for your purchase with the touch of your finger.

Hopefully our holiday gift guides are steering you in the right direction for what to buy this year, especially with guides focused on using your iPhone and iPad in the carmaking music with Apple devicesoutfitting your home with connected smart devices, and more, and these shopping apps should continue to help you along the way. Read more

iTunes Connect shutting down for holidays between December 22-29

iTunes Connect December 2014

Apple has sent an email to registered developers on Wednesday to inform them that iTunes Connect will be shutting down for the holidays from December 22 to December 29. During this time, developers will be unable to submit new apps, app updates or in-app purchases to appear on the App Store. Access to iTunes Connect, Application Loader, iTunes Connect for iOS and making changes to TestFlight Beta Testing will also be unavailable as a whole. Read more

Starbucks for iOS adds in-app ordering for Portland customers, more cities expected in 2015

The official Starbucks app for iOS has gotten an over-the-air update that enabled the ability to place an order right from the app, but only for users in Portland, Oregon. Users will now be able to create an order and pay for it directly from their phones, and find their coffee waiting for them at the counter when they arrive.

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Apple Stores now sell these iPhone app-enabled Christmas lights in time for the holidays

Lumenplay-christmas-lights-01

Over the last week or two Apple Stores started stocking these new app-enabled Christmas lights from Lumenplay both online and in retail stores. Similar to other app-controlled lighting systems, Lumenplay comes as string lights perfect for Christmas trees or outdoor decorations as we move into the holiday season, opposed to the traditional lightbulbs from Philips and others. Read more