Cablevision/Optimum update iOS apps to work on iPhone and iPod, now include remote control

Optimum today released an app for iPhone and iPod touch which will allow Cablevision users in the US to watch and control their content from home on the 3.5-inch screen.  Users of home VPN solutions will be able to take these services on the road with them as well.

“Our new Optimum App for iPhone and iPod touch extends Cablevision’s leadership in offering our full cable television service on new devices, functioning as televisions in the home,” said John Trierweiler, Cablevision’s executive vice president of product management.

“We are also pleased to maximize the value of our Optimum App as a navigation and programming discovery tool by incorporating controls for home TVs as well.  The introduction of this remote control functionality will make it even easier for our customers to locate and view all of the content they already receive as part of their television subscription, whether they want to watch on conventional TVs or these Apple devices.”

Besides the iPhone and iPod touch functionality, Optimum’s iPad app also gets the following updates:
• Ability to schedule and manage DVR Plus recordings
• Your favorite channels (“Favorites”) now automatically appear in the Optimum App on all of your devices
• Parental controls automatically get re-applied when the Optimum App is re-installed – no need to re-setup your parental controls
• Use your device as a remote control and control your iO digital cable boxes

Optimum began full in-house iPad streaming in April but was subsequently sued by Viacom and others.

Full release below: Read more

Google Plus updated with iPad and iPod touch support, (not yet universal)

Google has just pushed an update for the official Google+ app for iOS, bringing with it support for iPad and iPod touch, two devices the app was previously unavailable for, among a few other features including aggregated circle add notifications, huddle settings, and the usual “Performance and stability improvements”.

Unfortunately, this iPad support is not completely native as the app will just be a pixel-doubled iPhone application. This choice by Google is still better than no iPad support at all, though. You should be able to update the app now via the App Store or swing by iTunes and grab the new version now. We’ll keep you posted with any other discoveries we might make in this latest update.

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Skype launches HD video calls for Mac OS X Lion with 5.3 update

Today Skype announced the 5.3 update for Mac OS X which brings HD video calls to Lion among a handful of other UI enhancements and bug fixes. The official Skype blog explains:

With Skype 5.3 for Mac OS X, you’ll also be able to send and receive HD quality video when talking to your friends and family. You’ll need to use the Mac’s built-in webcam or choose from a variety of webcams from our Skype Shop, such as the Logitech C910, to make video calls in crystal clear HD quality. To receive clear HD video calls on your Mac, we recommend an upload/download speed of 1.5Mbps.

While previous versions of Skype, even 2.8, seem to run rather well on Lion, official support should iron out any bugs you’ve been noticing since upgrading. The new update is not only available for Lion users, however, Skype’s blog post notes it is also compatible back to Leopard.

You can grab Skype 5.3 for Mac OS X here. We’ll let you know if we find anything else interesting in this latest update.
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MobileMe users who migrate to iCloud get 25GB of storage in transition

Since opening the tool for developers to migrate from MobileMe to iCloud, Apple has revealed to MobileMe users that they will retain their MobileMe storage when their account becomes an iCloud account. Standard $100 MobileMe accounts included 20GB of storage and free iCloud accounts include 5GB of storage, furthermore iCloud users who came over from MobileMe will begin their iCloud journey with 25GB of cloud storage space.

These 25 GB are for email storage, calendar storage, and documents – and, thankfully, media like music, video, and Photo Steam photos do not count against your 25 GB. This plan will go until June 30, 2012 – when MobileMe is completely discontinued – and will cost $40 to renew. These users can still upgrade their accounts to a full 50GB (when the current plan expires) or max out to 75GB right now for a $50 charge. Reader Arman tells us that this does not apply to family MobileMe accounts.

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Cydia tweak adds speedometer to stock iOS Maps app

We’ve covered numerous noteworthy Cydia tweaks over time and most of them tackle the iPhone’s user interface, letting you customize your iOS gadget to death. Interestingly, only a handful of tweaks mess with the stock Maps app in iOS, which is strange considering that the iOS mapping experience, although great, in many areas pales in comparison to Android. The Speed for Maps tweak (via Funky Space Money), as the name suggests, adds a cool speedometer icon to the Maps app that feels as if it were integral to the experience. You can even pick you speed unit in settings (MPH, KPH, FPS and Knots). It won’t replace a pedometer in your iPod nano, but you no longer need a dedicated GPS app (the better ones don’t come cheap) just to be able to read your velocity while in Maps. This is one of the little things Apple should have thought of.

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