XTouch turns any surface into touch-enabled controls for iOS apps

XTouch, an SDK created by a group at the University of Toronto’s Mobile Applications Lab and funded by JOLT, turns any surface into a touch-sensitive controller for iOS apps with no additional hardware. Since XTouch uses acoustics and vibrations to recognize taps on a surrounding surface, the only requirement is that your iPhone or iPad is placed on the same surface you want to use as a touchpad. An SDK is coming soon that will allow developers to think up many interesting implementations, but for now the company has released two apps that show off what XTouch is capable of. Read more

iTunes Connect issue halting new app and update submissions for developers (U: Apple says fixed)

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After just over a month since the last similar episode, several developers from around the world have reported a critical issue with iTunes Connect that is preventing new app and software update deployment to the App Store. Apple has noted the disruption on its developer system status page with a brief message: “Some users are experiencing a problem with [iTunes Connect].” The system status page lists the service disruption as occurring around 8 PM EST yesterday, but developers first began reporting problems with app and update submissions much earlier on Wednesday. The system status page does not report issues with any other developer services, and all consumer services report no issues. Apple does not provide a timeline for when it expects the disruption to be resolved nor does it offer the cause of the disruption.

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Apple launches new featured App Store section dedicated to taking selfies

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Apple has added a new section to the iOS App Store today promoting apps used to share selfies (via MacStories‘ Federico Viticci). Among the apps included are classics like Snapchat and the Justin Bieber-backed Shots and lesser-known apps such as selfie-editing app Facetune and an app called Front Flash that’s design to make it easier to take selfies in low light…

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Disney leverages iTunes to take on UltraViolet with new ‘Movies Anywhere’ iOS app

Disney Anywhere

The ties between Apple and Disney are tightening even more thanks to their unprecedented collaboration on the new Movies Anywhere app. This ambitious project has been percolating at Disney for years and aims to make purchasing and viewing digital content easier than ever.

A direct shot at UltraViolet, the Movies Anywhere app allows users to purchase and play movies within the app or through any device with access to your iTunes library. Previously purchased films on DVD, and Blu-ray can be added to the app if they shipped with a digital redemption code. All past iTunes purchases are eligible.

Users can simply connect their iTunes account to their Disney Movies Anywhere account to begin populating their Disney digital movie locker and watch movies online and on their devices. Featuring simultaneous access on multiple devices, Disney Movies Anywhere enables consumers to stream and download Disney movies on their iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and Apple TV (through iCloud or using AirPlay).

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Apple acquires beta testing platform TestFlight through Burstly purchase

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Apple has acquired Burstly, the company behind the popular beta testing platform Test Flight, TechCrunch reported (now confirmed by Recode). TestFlight recently pulled its SDK as well as Android support  prompting speculation that big changes were on the horizon. Some speculated that an Apple acquisition could behind it all and would make sense considering the fragmented beta testing experience for app developers. While neither company has commented publicly confirming the acquisition, we were pointed to hints of the acquisition just before TechCrunch reported the rumor as likely and later updated its reporting to note that the acquisition had already occurred… Read more

How to live stream NFL Super Bowl XLVIII on your iPhone or iPad

Was Apple’s long time advertising partner Lee Clow— the guy behind Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl ad, PC vs Mac, and many others— really hinting at an Apple Super Bowl ad for this Sunday? Would you like to see a commercial from Apple at the game this weekend?

NFL Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks officially kicks off this Sunday at 6:30pm ET in chilly New Jersey, and this year there are a few options for live streaming the game from your iPhone or iPad. It’s going to be tough to get an official stream on your iPhone if you’re not a Verizon and NFL subscriber, but all iPad (and Mac) users will be able to get an official stream of pre-game coverage and the actual game for free through FOX in the US. Head below for all the info on what apps will have live streams and the best places to find Super Bowl ads, replays, and more. Read more

Apps, rather than streaming music, may be responsible for ‘peak iTunes’ – analyst

We noted at the end of last year that iTunes music downloads appeared to be on the decline for the first time, a shift that was confirmed this month. The operating assumption has so far been that music streaming services are taking over, and that a growing number of consumers are now content to simply have on-demand access to music, rather than to own it.

Asymco’s Horace Dediu, an analyst who often has interesting things to say, has suggested an alternative explanation: that we’re actually listening to less music …  Read more

App Santa is coming to town with big discounts on fifteen popular iOS apps

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Santa’s coming a little early this year for App Store shoppers. App Santa, collaborative campaign between a group of award-winning app developers, launched today with deep discounts on fifteen of the most popular iOS apps from ten different developers.

Bring a little holiday cheer to your iOS devices by grabbing these apps while they’re on sale, or spread some joy to the world by gifting your favorites to your friends and family. You can find the full list of participating apps below.

Keep reading for more deals

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

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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.

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Apple launches 2013 “12 Days of Gifts” app on iTunes, available in U.S. for the first time

Apple has just launched its annual 12 Days of Gifts campaign for 2013. In previous years, this campaign was available only in a few select countries, but not in the United States. For the first time Apple will now allow U.S. customers to participate in the giveaway.

The 12 Days of Gifts app is available for free on the iTunes Store. Each day for twelve days the app will provide a special free item from the iTunes, iBooks, and App Stores. Each gift is only available for 24 hours, so users have to check in every day to make sure they get everything that’s offered. This year the giveaways start on December 26th and run through January 6th.

From 26 December – 6 January, you can download a gift each day—songs, apps, books, movies, and more—with the 12 Days of Gifts app. Each day’s gift will only be available for 24 hours, so download the free app to make sure you don’t miss out. Please note: Not all content is available in all countries.

Thanks, Rahul!

Black Friday: The best Apple deals on iPhone, iPad, Macs, & Apps all in one place

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It can be hard to keep up with all of the great Apple related deals available this Black Friday weekend, so we thought we’d make it easy for you. Here are all of the best deals available this weekend on Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, iPods, iTunes gift cards, and a ton of great apps for both iOS and Mac. As always, 9to5Toys is tracking all the best Black Friday deals on other products as well as the latest discounts as they get announced.

Mac |

Best Buy: Retina MacBook Pro up to $200 off, iMac $150 off, MacBook Air $150 off
MacMall: Black Friday Begins Now at MacMall: MacBook Airs $100 off, iPads $40 off, more
B&H: Some of the best deals on Macs if you want AppleCare included.

iPhone |

Best Buy: Best Buy offering iPhone 5s for $75 off all models on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon
Walmart: Walmart will credit YOU $30 to get an iPhone 5c on contract this Black Friday
T-Mobile: T-Mobile, regional carriers offering iPhone 5s and 5c for $0 down on Black Friday

iPad |

Apple iPad Deals: iPad Air w/ $100 Target GC $479, iPad mini $249, iPad 2 $300, more

Apple TV |

Apple TV + HDMI Cable: $72.49 shipped
Apple TV 3rd generation 1080p $85 shipped (Reg. $99)

iPod |

Black Friday iPod Discounts: iPod Touch/iPod Nano $50 off, more

Accessories |

Where to find the best Black Friday deals on iPhones, iPads, Macs, & Apple accessories

iTunes |

Discounted iTunes Gift Cards: Save up to 20% on future apps, music, movies, more. $100 gift card for $85 or $50 gift card for $40.

Apps |

Black Friday App Store sale guide: The best deals on iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps

Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements 12 combo: $70 shipped

Adobe launches Black Friday deals up to 60% off on Photoshop, Lightroom, and more

VMWare sitewide Black Friday sale, VMWare Fusion 6: $38.99 new or $32.49 for an upgrade