Contrast debuts Contact Center, a simpler Launch Center Pro focused on keeping in touch

Contact Center

If you’re familiar with Launch Center Pro, the iPhone and iPad app we’ve covered that enables powerful automation on iOS, then you may recognize Contrast’s new iPhone app debuting today called Contact Center. While its name sounds like it could be an alternative address book, it’s actually a simpler, easier to learn version of Launch Center Pro focused on staying in touch with your favorite contacts.

Contrast describes Contact Center as allowing you to “automatically paste your clipboard into an email or message, jump right to a contact in WhatsApp, automatically paste your clipboard into an email or message” and more; below we’ll take a look at the new app.

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BioShock for iOS brings the classic console shooter to the small screen

Earlier this month, 2K Games announced that it would be bringing its landmark horror-shooter BioShock to the iPhone and iPad. Tonight, the game finally arrived on the App Store in most of its original glory. The story, game mechanics, level design, and audio have all be ported to the mobile devices, though the graphics have been toned down to make it run on phones and tablets.

BioShock is set in the underwater would-be utopia of Rapture, which has been overrun by its own psychotic, drug-addled citizens on one especially-unfortunate New Years Eve. Players take on the role of Jack, who arrives in Rapture after a plane crash that leaves him stranded in the middle of the Atlantic, and must utilize a selection of upgradable weapons and genetic enhancements to track down Andrew Ryan, the madman running what’s left of the city.

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Instagram introduces Hyperlapse to stabilize and speed up your video

Instagram HyperlapseFacebook-owned Instagram is introducing a new video capturing app for iPhone and iPad (and Android soon) called Hyperlapse. The photo (and video) sharing social network recently soft launched a new app called Bolt in Singapore, South Africa, and New Zealand that focused on quickly photo messaging friends, but Hyperlapse is more like an advanced feature that could have been found within Instagram. Hyperlapse offers up a unique way to capture and edit video using processor smarts to make panning shots smoother and  add a time-lapse effect similar to the iOS 8 camera app.

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Review: Parallels Desktop 10 brings even tighter OS X/Windows integration, overall performance improvements

2014-08-26 08-59-52 2014-08-26 09-00-07Last week, Parallels launched the upgrade to v10 of their software and today, you can now get the full version online.

Parallels Desktop has long been one of the go-to applications for using your Mac to virtualize a wide variety of operating systems, and many considered its previous version 9 as more than sufficient for getting this job done. While the software shining point has always been its ability to run Windows truly parallel to the standard Mac OS X desktop, this version of Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac takes multiple strides forward, making it even easier than before to incorporate Windows-only applications—or applications from other x86 operating systems including Android, Chrome, Linux, etc.—into your Mac-based workflow.

Perhaps most importantly, Parallels again ups the ante in speed both in launching and runtime, turning virtualization into a native-feeling experience.

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Crowdsourced app gets CPR volunteers to cardiac arrest victims fast

pulsepoint

When someone’s heart stops, there are just minutes to save them from brain damage or death; by the time medics arrive, it can be too late. This is the problem former San Ramon Valley Fire Department chief Richard Price set out to solve with the crowdsourced iOS app, PulsePoint.

Price came up with the idea for the app after a tragedy that happened feet from where he was sitting, reports Re/code.

He was off-duty at a local deli when he heard sirens. Emergency vehicles pulled up and he rushed outside to see what was going on. A man in a shop next door had collapsed and emergency responders were unable to revive him.

“He was on the other side of the wall, I couldn’t see him,” Price says. “He lay there unconscious with no one doing CPR. I had a (automated defibrillator) nearby in my vehicle.”

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Skipping the US Customs and Border Protection queues? There’s now an app for that …

mobileapp

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is trialling an iPhone app that allows travellers returning to the United States to bypass the normal immigration queues by entering their details into the app and getting a QR code containing their electronic approval.

You still have to show the code to a CBP officer, but you can bypass the normal queues and use a special Mobile Passport Control lane that should be significantly quicker …  Read more

Upcoming Secret update removes ability to access photo library or post real names, adds Flickr search, polls

The popular anonymous social sharing network Secret may be under fire in Brazil, but in the U.S. and abroad the software lives on, and today received a big new update on the Android platform, with the iOS version expected to be released sometime over the next few days. The new version both adds and removes several capabilities to the app.

One of the most important changes in the new build is the removal of the ability to access photos saved to a device’s photo library. The camera is still fair game, but Secret is attempting to cut down on personally-damaging photos by taking away the option to upload older images.

That’s not to say that the camera is the only way to upload photos, though. The app now supports Flickr search so users can still find just the right photo for their posts without the need to go through their photo libraries.

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Apple removes Secret app from Brazilian App Store for not conforming with local laws

secret-brazil

Following a recent ruling that Apple would have ten days to remove the anonymous social app Secret from its Brazilian App Store, Apple has complied with the order. The justification for the removal, according to a source close to the situation, can be found in section 22.1 of the App Store Guidelines:

Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users. It is the developer’s obligation to understand and conform to all local laws

As noted by the judge, the Brazilian constitution prohibits anonymous freedom of expression, which essentially makes Secret and other apps like it illegal with that country.

Per Article 5, Section IV of the Constitution of Brazil:

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Intuit debuts redesigned Quicken 2015 for Mac with free mobile apps

Quicken 2015

Intuit is out today with a new version of its personal finance app with the release of Quicken 2015 for Mac. The latest version of Quicken boasts an overhauled design to simplify the app as well as “new investment capabilities”, Intuit says. The new Mac version is accompanied by a sync compatible, updated Quicken Money Management app for iPhone which supports snapping and saving receipts as well as displaying charts on-the-go…

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Google Play Music for iPhone updated w/ ability to remove music on-the-go, improved playback, more

It’s been just over a month since the last big update to Google Play Music for iPhone, and today the Google Play Music team is rolling out another update with new features and improvements. The latest release brings the version number to 1.3.2.2559 for those keeping track at home, and adds a handful of new functionality like the ability to remove music from your library via the iPhone app. The update also boasts additional accessibility features which will surely be appreciated as well as fixes for issues with skipping during track playback and eliminating duplicate listings in the music library. You can see the full change log below. Read more

Tesla to allow iPhone to start Model S without key/fobs with v6.0 update

Tesla -6.0-

Tesla Motors, known for changing the automobile industry with its innovative electric cars, will update its Model S firmware in the coming months to allow owners to start and drive the Model S with only an iPhone. While it isn’t yet exactly certain how this will work, there is speculation that it will involve Touch ID and may coincide with the launch of iOS 8 next month. The above screenshot of Version 6 is said to be in late beta stages and being finalized for full rollout now.

Tesla’s iPhone app won our 2013 app of the year and the ability to start the car and drive it would continue down that same innovative road.  Other systems for starting a car and driving it from a mobile phone already exist for 3rd parties like Viper and others.

Tesla has been busy snapping up Apple employees over the past year. Only weeks after poaching Apple Mac Hardware Vice President Doug Field to run Vehicle Design, Tesla snapped up Director of Manufacturing technology Rich Heley. Then security researcher Kristin Paget joined in February. Also, much of Tesla’s UI design team comes from Apple.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was also spotted at Apple last year and while speculation was that Apple was considering a buyout (shot down) or becoming an investor in Tesla’s battery Gigafactory, perhaps Musk was simply looking to better integrate the iPhone with his cars.

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