As promised, Angry Birds Transformers hits USA and rest of the world today

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Rovio’s latest game in the Angry Birds series, Angry Birds Transformers, has rolled out worldwide today after its earlier soft-launch last month in New Zealand, Finland, Canada and Australia.

Angry Birds and Transformers collide in this action-packed, 3D shoot ‘em up adventure! The EggSpark has transformed the eggs into crazed robots who are destroying Piggy Island, but who can stop them?! Autobirds, roll out! 

Gamers have been waiting for quite some time as the Transformers mash-up game was first announced back in June …

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AutoCAD for Mac 2015 catches up with Windows feature-set

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Autodesk has announced the release of AutoCAD for Mac 2015 with a feature-set that for the first time brings it close to that of the Windows version. The lower-cost AutoCAD LT for Mac version has also been updated.

Autodesk is emphasizing cross-platform compatibility for companies using a mix of OS X and Windows machines. The ability to save layer information like color and line type has been added to the Mac version in line with the Windows edition.

The company also says AutoCAD for 2015 is faster at the same time as offering improved stability …  Read more

Microsoft latest to mimic Snapchat with new Skype Qik ephemeral video messaging app

Microsoft has just joined the ranks of companies looking to capitalize on the success of ephemeral messaging apps like Snapchat. Through its Skype division, the company has launched a new cross-platform app for iOS, Android, and (of course) Windows Phone called Skype Qik. The premise of the application, as can be seen in the video above and screenshots below, is simple: you can record a quick video, and then share it to either one person in your address book or multiple groups of people.

Differentiating itself from some of the other players, the Skype-based solution is video-focused, and Skype is positioning it as a communication tool for in between full-scale Skype video chats. Notably, the whole service is connected to your phone number and existing contacts list, so it doesn’t require signing up with a standard Skype account. If you send a message via Qik to a user without the Qik app, the other person will be sent an SMS text message with instructions for downloading the Qik app to view the video message. This app is based on the technology from startup Qik, which Skype acquired a few years ago.

By default, videos will expire after two weeks, and you can also un-send messages at any time. A cool feature of Skype Qik is the ability to pre-record various 5 second GIFs that you can send as instant replies. So, if you don’t have the ability to send a live video reply, you can just choose one of your pre-record defaults. The app is free today on the aforementioned platforms, and Microsoft says that updates, such as one for blocking iPhone contacts (that feature is available today on Android and Windows Phone), will come often to enhance the feature-set.

You can view some screenshots of the iPhone app in action below:

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Missing one-handed typing on your iPhone 6/Plus? One Handed Keyboard brings it back

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If you love your new iPhone 6/Plus but find yourself missing the convenience of one-handed typing, One Handed Keyboard may be the third-party keyboard for you. It’s a system-wide keyboard exactly the same size as the one on the older and smaller iPhones so everything will feel familiar. The “sliding over” keyboard method is what Samsung and LG have been using on their Phablets for years.

The keyboard can be switched between left- and right-handed use, and when you want to return to two-handed typing, just hold down the spacebar to expand it to full width …  Read more

Apple begins rollout of redesigned iTunes Store ahead of OS X Yosemite launch

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Apple has started rolling out a redesigned version of the iTunes Store for users running iTunes 12 less than a week ahead of what’s expected to be the launch of OS X Yosemite. The new storefront takes design cues from the iTunes and App Store home pages on iOS devices, featuring a flattened, side-scrolling carousel at the top of the page in place of the old “card”-style header. This new header can be scrolled horizontally using two fingers or even dragged around with a mouse.

Individual pages for albums, TV shows, and iOS apps have also been redesigned and now feature more iOS-like controls throughout. Download buttons have been reduced to simple outlines. Shadows and textures have been removed throughout the store, putting the content directly on a stark white or dark gray background.

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Apple Pay launch partner USAA says support arriving Nov. 7

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When Apple unveiled its new Apple Pay payment service during its iPhone event last month, it said the new feature would arrive for users in the US sometime in October. While there hasn’t been a firm date announced for the launch, at least one of Apple’s early bank partners has apparently confirmed a release date. DailyDot reports that USAA said Apple Pay would become available for its Visa and MasterCard customers on November 7: Read more

Google launches Primer mobile app to help startups with their marketing needs

Primer

Today, Google launched a new mobile app for startups called Primer, an interactive tool that helps companies with their marketing needs. Available now on iOS, the software cranks out five minute lesson plans for subjects like Content Marketing, PR & Media and Search Advertising. A simplified experience, Primer is packed with case studies, insider tips and quizzes designed to make marketing easier.

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Chromecast iOS app updated w/ backdrop feature for viewing news & weather, photos, more

Google today updated the Chromecast app for iPhone and iPad users adding a feature announced earlier this year at Google I/O called Backdrop. When the Chromecast HDMI streaming stick isn’t playing content like Netflix or Pandora Radio through your TV, it already displays the current time and featured photos as a screen saver, but now Chromecast users can display additional content like weather conditions and news headlines on Chromecast-connected TVs. Chromecast also now supports using your own photos from Google+ albums as the backdrop. Read more

Fitbit says it has no current plans for iOS 8 Health app integration

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Fitbit, makers of popular fitness tracking wearables and apps, has confirmed it currently has no plans to support Apple’s new iOS 8 Health app. After a bit of a delayed launch last month, a long list of developers have rushed to integrate support for HealthKit, Apple’s new frameworks that allow developers to share and tap into data from one central location on the user’s device: the new Health app in iOS 8. Fitbit, however, has confirmed in a few responses on its customer forums that it isn’t working on integration much to the frustration of its users that have been awaiting an update: Read more

Apple posts ‘how to build an iOS app in Swift’ video on developer blog

Swift WWDC Federighi

Apple drew a lot of attention earlier this year when it debuted its own blog dedicated to updating developers on Swift, its programming language for building Mac and iOS apps first introduced at WWDC in June. The blog has since been used to share updates on the state of Swift as well as technical details about the programming language, but today Apple posted an official video tutorial (embedded below) targeted for new Swift developers on using the language and Xcode to build an app for iOS from scratch. Read more

Ex-Microsoft exec Ray Ozzie creates messaging iPhone app to ‘revolutionize’ voice calling

Ray Ozzie, who used to be Microsoft’s Chief Technical Officer and Chief Software Architect, has come out with a new app for the iPhone. In an extensive profile, Steven Levy explains the premise behind the app, dubbed Talko. You can read the full overview on Medium. The app has been in development for more than two years.

A new take on phone calls, the app shows if your recipient is currently walking or driving — giving a hint at attentiveness of the speaker before the conversation even begins. It’s a nice use of the Apple M7 and M8 coprocessors. Any voice communication is archived into the growing thread … to organize a conversation like any other modern chat app really. Talko seems best as an app for modern meetings, like a conference call replacement, although Ozzie insists it can be used beyond business.

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