Apps January 22, 2015

Apple first released its iBooks Author Mac app for creating interactive textbooks for the iBooks Store back in 2012, and now Amazon is delivering its own textbook composing Mac app for publishing to the Kindle Store. Kindle Textbook Creator, announced today, is available in beta for both Mac and PC with the competitive benefit of publishing to the cross-platform Kindle Store, which is available on iOS, Mac, Android, and more. expand full story

Apps January 21, 2015

BlackBerry Messenger for iPhone (it's OK to laugh)
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If you can’t beat ’em, tell the government to force ’em to let you beat ’em. That’s the approach BlackBerry CEO John Chen wants to take to mobile software development. Today Chen wrote in a blog post on the BlackBerry website that he believes the issue of net neutrality requires the government to not only promote and protect neutrality not only among wireless and broadband carriers, but also among app and content providers.

Chen argues that it’s pointless to tell Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, and other carriers that they can’t discriminate against certain data while still allowing applications and content providers to discriminate against certain platforms.

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9to5toys 

Apple today released a new version of Logic Pro X, its professional audio editing software, bringing the current version to 10.1 and adding a long list of new features. Among the new additions to Logic Pro X in version 10.1 includes 10 new Drummers, the intelligent beat profile feature, focused on hip hop and electronic styles. OS X Yosemite users will appreciate the ability to share projects from Logic Pro X to other users using both Mail Drop, which lets you send large files over email using iCloud storage, and AirDrop, which lets you share files wirelessly between nearby Macs.

In addition to updating Logic Pro X, Apple released version 1.2 of its Logic Remote iPad app with a new plug-in view for remotely controlling parameters and adding or rearranging plug-ins. The new version also allows you to adjust mic and input settings with compatible audio interfaces from the app. Apple’s MainStage 3 Mac app ($29.99) updated to version 3.1 as well. You can read our full review of Logic Pro X here, and see the full change log of new features below:

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Google is on a roll this week with updating its iOS apps. Yesterday we saw Chrome for iPhone and iPad pick up a big update bringing Material Design to the browser and adopting Handoff support with OS X Yosemite. Following Chrome’s release, Google today shared new versions of its Docs, Slides, and Sheets apps for iPhone and iPad taking advantage of another Apple technology: Touch ID.

Beginning with Docs version 1.2.6448, Slides version 1.0.5754, and Sheets version 1.1.7297, iPhone and iPad users can now lock and unlock each app using the Touch ID fingerprint scanner as an alternative to the passcode lock screen. expand full story

The National Federation of the Blind said last year that Apple has “done more for accessibility than any other company,” and with the help of a new app, iPhone and iPad owners can take things even further. Be My Eyes is an app that allows blind people to request remote help from a sighted person when needed.

Requests for help might range from checking the expiry date on a container of milk to looking at an airport departure board for a gate number …  expand full story

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