Facebook releases ‘Tweaks’ tool to help devs iterate on their apps faster

Tweaks

Facebook has today open-sourced its rapid prototyping tool ‘Tweaks’, a framework that helps application developers quickly iterate on their projects and test out different possibilities for their iOS apps.

The best way to improve an app is to use it every day. Even when ideas can be tested out in advance — for example, with Origami — it can still take some time with the app to see how it works in practice.

Occasionally, it’s perfect the first try. Sometimes, the idea doesn’t work at all. But often, it just needs a few minor adjustments. That last case is where Tweaks fits in. Tweaks makes those small adjustments easy: with no code changes and no computer, you can try out different options and decide which works best.

Tweaks makes it really simple for developers to adjust parameters and properties in their application and then test them out in realtime. This is particularly useful for rapid user interface development, which often consists of merely tweaking parameters (like colors or durations) than any involved work.  Normally, developers have to recompile application binaries in order to change animation curves, durations or other parameters. This is relatively slow and inefficient.

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Google’s new Photowall app turns your Chromecast-connected TV into an interactive photo frame

Adding to the capabilities of the Chromecast HDMI streaming stick, Google is out with a new app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users called Photowall that lets you turn your Chromecast-connected TV into a live, interactive photo frame.

Google’s Photowall app allows you alone or a group of Photowall users to beam not just one photo, but an entire collage of images to your TV through your Chromecast. The app includes the ability to doodle or annotate images before beaming to your big display as well.

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Warriors become first NBA team to rollout iBeacons, push seat upgrade offers to nosebleeds

MLB is already using them with plans to roll out at all stadiums, and now Bloomberg reports that the Golden State Warriors have become the first NBA team to take advantage of Apple’s iBeacon bluetooth technology. Just as the MLB, retailers, and other events have used the beacons to send context sensitive notifications and offers to customers and fans in proximity, the Warriors will do the same and in the process offer fans in cheap seats the chance to upgrade: Read more

‘Placed’ app brings context-aware app launching via iBeacons into the home

If you’ve been reading up on some of the organizations and companies working on iBeacon technology, most have used Apple’s Bluetooth LE standard to beam notifications and context-aware data to users that come in contact with iBeacon hardware in retail and event environments. They are already rolling out at retailers and being used in event spaces, but now a new app called “Placed” aims to bring iBeacons into the home (via TechCrunch). Read more

Starbucks releases iOS 7-friendly iPhone app with a few new tricks

We’ve already seen Starbucks show off a new way to pay and tip your barista in the long-awaited update to its iPhone app it previously announced, and today it is finally available and features a brand new design for iOS 7 when buying your latte.

starbucks-3.0_1xPreviously, the Starbucks app featured a number of various tabs on the bottom navigation bar, but the updated version has been dramatically simplified to focus on three main sections under the headers Pay, Stores, and Gift.

Reward member profiles, messages, and Pick of the Week content is now featured in a clean view with the app’s new tip feature as well.

The update also comes with a new icon to represent the refreshed design of the app. Read more

Microsoft launches OneNote for Mac as free download in Mac App Store

Following reports earlier this month that Microsoft was gearing up to launch a Mac version of its OneNote app for the first time, the app is now officially available as a free download in the Mac App Store. Much like its OneNote apps for other platforms, the Mac app brings much of the same functionality allowing users to keep track of notes, lists, receipts and more and keep them synced with other versions of the app across platforms. The app across all platforms is also going free for the first time starting today.  Read more