SXSW Festival using iBeacons for interactive sessions, speedy badge pickup through iOS app

SXSW-appOn top of the many uses for iBeacons we’ve seen in retail environments, event organizers are another group that have started taking advantage of Apple’s new Bluetooth tech recently. The MLB is deploying them in stadiums to send notifications to baseball fans, CES hosted an iBeacon scavenger hunt this year, and today we’ve found out the upcoming SXSW festival where Apple is hosting its latest iTunes Festival will also be using the technology.

Eventbase, the company that has been building the official SXSW festival app for a few years now reached out to let us know it will be deploying some iBeacons around the event this year to improve the experience. Specifically, it will be using the technology to “help attendees in Austin pick up their badge faster and get more involved in the sessions they attend.” One feature in the app will allow for real-time audience interaction during sessions: Read more

Venmo update brings the simplicity of AirDrop to mobile payments

Mobile payment app Venmo received a big update today that introduces a new way to quickly send money to nearby friends. It works just as easily as Apple’s AirDrop sharing system. The app uses Bluetooth to detect nearby Venmo users and lists them above your recent payment recipients when sending money.

While some apps make the process of sending money relatively quick, Venmo has the added benefit of making it easy to pay people around you without needing to enter any contact details at all, even if you’ve never met them before. The only catch is that both parties need to be using Venmo for the feature to work.

Venmo is available for free on the iOS App Store.

Review: 60Hz 3.0 for iOS reimagines how you interact with your TV schedule

If you watch a lot of TV, you may be familiar with a problem that plagues many TV lovers: you can never keep track of which shows come on which nights or which episodes you missed last week. Thankfully, there are a whole host of online services that can track this information for you.

I’ve tried a few different apps to keep track of my TV viewing habits, and today one of my favorite apps in this category, 60Hz, has been updated with a brand new design and a bunch of new features and tweaks.

Read more

Upcoming app will allow you to stream all 24 seasons of The Simpsons, but only through certain cable providers

simpsons1920

Last year, FX sister site FXX landed the exclusive cable and video-on-demand rights to The Simpsons, and it looks like fans of the show will finally see a payoff soon. While the nearly $1 billion deal includes cable distribution rights, the big news is that FX will be launching a dedicated app that allows subscribers to stream the entire series (all 24 seasons and counting) legally from mobile devices and the web …  Read more

Apple launches Best of 2013 page on iTunes, highlights top music, apps, books, and more

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 12.33.56 AM

Apple has just published its Best of 2013 page, highlighting some of the most popular music, movies, TV shows, iOS apps, ebooks, and podcasts from the past year. In the music section, Lorde’s “Royals” took the pick for Song of the Year, while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist was named Best Album.

Gravity, the box office hit starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, was named Movie of the Year. Despite the confusion it caused when its final season was broken into two separate purchases earlier this year, Breaking Bad was Apple’s pick for Show of the Year.

Read more

Behind the scenes look at Apple TV app development w/ the new Bloomberg channel

appleTV

Unlike its developer program and vast ecosystem of apps on iOS and Mac, there’s not much we know about Apple’s strategy for content on the Apple TV. There’s been a lot of talk that a much rumored refreshed Apple TV set top box— or perhaps even the rumored full-fledged TV set— might also come alongside a more open developer platform with app distribution.

For now, however, Apple is slowly and quietly behind closed doors making deals with select content partners that are building apps for the platform. How is Apple working with developers to build and approve these apps? Does it have an Apple TV SDK that could in theory be released to all developers? With Bloomberg TV today becoming the latest app to launch on the platform, we’ve talked with the people that built the app to get some insight into the Apple TV development process. Read more