BBC TV show ‘The Wonders of Life’ turned into stunning iOS app

wonders

Two years after physicist and TV presenter Brian Cox launched the Wonders of the Universe iOS app, based on the BBC TV series of the same name, he’s done the same for Wonders of Life, reports TNW.

Wonders of Life takes you on a 3D tour of the world, serving up a visually stunning showcase of the coming together of science and nature.

The app features thirty creatures and habitats, illustrated by more than one thousand images that let you zoom in and get up-close. But it’s the more than 2.5 hours of HD video that really set this apart …  Read more

How to watch live streams of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on your iPhone & iPad

With the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics officially kicking off with opening ceremonies today at 11 AM EST/ 2 PM PST, you’re probably wondering how to watch live streams and keep up to date with events from your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. NBC will be delaying the TV broadcast of the opening ceremonies until 7:30pm tonight in the US, but you can still catch everything live on your Mac or mobile device using the apps below: Read more

Full Jony Ive BBC video reveals ‘out of the box’ thinking on product naming, David Beckham connection

9to5Mac showed you a clip just last week from a recent BBC special of Sir Jony Ive receiving the prestigious gold Blue Peter badge (known as the highest accolade given out by the BBC’s Blue Peter program). We got our hands on the full Jony Ive clip from the technology special today, where we learn, among other things, about Apple’s ‘out of the box’ thinking on product naming and a little-known connection to David Beckham.

If we’re thinking of a lunchbox, we’d be really careful about not having the word ‘box’… already give you bunch of ideas that could be quite narrow. Because you think of a box being a square and like a cube. And so we’re quite careful with the words we use because those can sort of determine the path that you go down.

Perhaps you could replace ‘Box’ with ‘watch’ and be on to something.

Earlier this year, Apple’s design guru assumed software design responsibilities from former longtime iOS chief Scott Forstall. CEO Tim Cook said in a recent interview that Ive “has the best taste of anyone in the world” and looks forward to his new role designing the “look and feel of the software.” Read more

Reader eBooks by Sony, Angry Birds Star Wars, BBC iPlayer, Facebook, Instagram rolls out Web profiles, app sales, and more

9to5Mac compiled another list of the top app news, updates, and launches in our usual roundup below. The highlights from today includes statistics on how the newly Web-geared Instagram helped capture Hurricane Sandy in real-time, a new eBook app by Sony, and a shiny teaser trailer for Rovio’s Angry Birds Star Wars (above). Oh, and a few app sales—check it out:

News

1. Angry Birds Star Wars
After releasing a string of teasers for its title landing on iOS Nov. 8, Rovio posted the first official full-length gameplay trailer today for its new Star Wars edition of Angry Birds.

Angry Birds Star Wars will be out on November 8, but until then, watch this gameplay trailer and scream “OH MY GOODNESS!!!!” to yourself in the mirror

2. Instagram | Free
Hurricane Sandy barreled through the East Coast last week, and those in its stormy path made sure to document all of the havoc in real-time with the help of Instagram. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom revealed to GigaOM today that folks uploaded over 800,000 photos tagged with the #Sandy hashtag. Systrom specifically noted Sandy was “probably the biggest event to be captured on Instagram.” The news from Systrom this morning came as the Facebook-acquired company also announced the rollout of new Web profiles with a very Facebook-esque look (via official Instagram blog):

You’ve asked for Instagram on the web and we’ve listened. Over the next few days, we’ll be rolling out Instagram profiles on the web!

Your web profile features a selection of your recently shared photographs just above your profile photo and bio, giving others a snapshot of the photos you share on Instagram. In addition, you can follow users, comment & like photos and edit your profile easily and directly from the web. It’s a beautiful new way to share your Instagram photos!

Just launched Read more

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and others meet with UN’s ITU for patent peace talks

Update: While the meeting apparently didn’t result in any resolution, ZDnet reports the ITU’s Malcolm Johnson said the ‘heated debate’ “has gone a long way to help clarify the positions” of the companies involved:

“Today’s event has gone a long way to help clarify the positions of various stakeholders in determining the effectiveness of FRAND commitments and the impact of litigations surround standards-essential patents,”

ZDnet also reported Motorola argued “Apple was misunderstanding the way FRAND works in the telecoms industry”:

“For 20 years the [FRAND] licensing commitments made by innovators in the communications industry have been sufficient,” Warren said. “Past experience would indicate that [FRAND] has been effective… but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement to improve the present situation.”

The world’s biggest tech companies are meeting today for a Patent Roundtable with the United Nation’s International Telecommunications Union to “assess the effectiveness of RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) – based patent policies.” The meeting will take place at the ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland; and according to several reports, it will include Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Google, Microsoft, and many of the industry’s other biggest players. The discussions follow high-profile, patent-related cases and failed settlement talks between Samsung and Apple, while the European Union continues to probe Motorola, Samsung, and others over potential abuse of the patent system. It also comes as Google’s legal chief David Drummond issued statements to the press calling for a reform on software patents.

A report from BBC noted others attending the roundtable include: Qualcomm, Cisco, Research in Motion, Intel, Philips, Huawei, Sony, and Hewlett-Packard. BBC also provided statements from the companies that submitted pre-event arguments (below).

According to the ITU, the meeting will have the following objective: Read more

Apps & updates: BBC iPlayer, imo.im, MOG, Adobe Proto, more

Aside from our full list of interesting apps and updates hitting the App Store this morning, Hulu is making “Kill Bill: Volume 1″ available to stream free (you can get Hulu Plus free for two months here). We will continue to update the list of apps below throughout the day:

BBC iPlayer version 1.3.2: BBC’s streaming app for its TV and radio networks received a nice update today that brings updated graphics for Retina iPads, improved video playback performance, enhanced Voice Over controls, and the usual bug fixes and performance updates.

imo instant messenger version 3.2: The popular instant messaging app with more than 700,000 users and 50 million messages sent daily was updated this morning with one big new feature previously only available to Android users: voice calling over Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G. All users running iOS 3.1 and up can now make free calls to their imo contacts with no usage of cell minutes and no data usage over Wi-Fi.

TweetBot version 0.7.0: TweetBot for Mac beta has been given a nice update, adding the ability to edit your Twitter profile within the app, animated .gif support, and Storify support among even more features. Due to Sandboxing issues, you will need to manually install the update.

MOG version 2.1.33: Online music subscription service MOG, home to roughly 16 million songs and 500,000 paid subscribers, was recently acquired by Beats Electronics. Its iOS app received a decent update today, with the ability to create and edit playlists, as well as a new album reviews section, and a “better, stronger, faster interface.”

Adobe Proto version 1.5: Adobe’s prototyping app for creating wireframe prototypes of apps and websites was updated today with a few notable features. A full list of what’s new in the update including email and Dropbox sharing, navigation improvements, and more is below:

Read more

How to watch official BBC Olympics coverage from the US

For Americans, coverage of the Olympics in London is mainly limited to NBC’s video stream offerings. Unfortunately, the network’s coverage, especially online, is receiving a ton of complaints as witnessed by the #nbcfail hashtag on Twitter. Fortunately, there is a way to bypass NBC altogether and take advantage of the BBC’s official live stream coverage from inside the U.S. of almost every major event. There is not much to it; all you have to do is use a DNS routing service to get around the BBC’s region blocked streams. Below is a quick guide courtesy of Lifehacker that uses the Unblock Us service. It is free for a week, and then it is $5 for the month.

First, you will have to sign up for the service on its website. Once that is finished, you can configure the service for BBC using the steps below:

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Apps & updates: Podcasts, AutoCAD WS, Opera Mini, BBC iPlayer, more

We already had a number of updates to Apple’s own apps today, including iWork for iOS, Apple Remote Desktop, iTunes U, Xcode 4.4, Safari 6, and OS X Server, but below is our usual list of popular apps and updates hitting the store today:

Update: Apple has now updated its Podcasts app with the expected bug fixes. Release notes below:

What’s New in Version 1.0.1

Podcasts 1.0.1 provides a number of improvements, including:

• Significant improvements to performance and stability
• Podcasts in your library now show the number of unplayed episodes
• Top Stations now show the podcast title if artwork is missing
• Playback speed is now remembered when playing the next episode
• Fix for a problem where the Subscribe button is inactive
• Resolution of an issue where Top Stations artwork may not appear

Podcasts: If you have experienced issues with Apple’s Podcasts iOS app that released last month, as many have, you will be happy to know Apple plans to release an update today that brings a number of fixes to common bugs. According to a report from AllThingsD, Apple has been hard at work tweaking the app to fix the problems that currently plague it” and the update expected today should “vastly improve it.” 

AutoCAD WS version 1.5: Autodesk’s app for viewing, editing, and sharing AutoCAD drawings on iOS devices was updated today with two new “powerful collaboration tools that transform design creation, review, and approval into a social experience.” The two features include:
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Sculley: If anyone is going to change television, it’s going to be Apple (Murdoch agrees, too)


Photo courtesy of BBC

John Sculley, former vice-president and president of PepsiCo and CEO of Apple between 1983 and 1993, is adamant that Apple —not incumbents such as Samsung— is poised to change the first principles of the television experience. Sculley also confessed in an interview with BBC that has not read Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of Apple’s late cofounder and CEO. Nevertheless, the executive turned investor underscored Apple’s history of past industry disruptions while opining that the television industry is about to experience Apple’s magic touch:

I think that Apple has revolutionized every other consumer industry, why not television? I think that televisions are unnecessarily complex. The irony is that as the pictures get better and the choice of content gets broader, that the complexity of the experience of using the television gets more and more complicated. So it seems exactly the sort of problem that if anyone is going to change the experience of what the first principles are, it is going to be Apple.

Sculely, 72, is a Silicon Valley investor nowadays, and dispelled some “myths” about his tense relationship with Apple’s cofounder. He said he did not fire Jobs, insisting they had “a terrific relationship when things were going well.” Heck, even Rupert Murdoch is commenting about Apple television, writing on Twitter this morning: “All talk is about coming Apple TV. Plenty of apprehension, no firm facts but eyes on their enormous cash pile”.

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‘Steve Jobs: Billion Dollar Hippy’ BBC documentary airs tonight

BBC is getting set to air a new documentary entitled ‘Steve Jobs: Billion Dollar Hippy’ tonight at 9:00pm on BBC HD and BBC Two. According to the Telegraph, the documentary apparently presents a more “ruthless image of Jobs” where Wozniak reveals that Jobs reduced him to tears following the release of Walter Isaacson’s ‘Steve Jobs’ bio (click the image above for the clip of Woz from the doc):

Jobs, for instance, tricked a young Wozniak into writing code for a computer game but pocketed the majority of the payment for the project from Atari himself. Wozniak admits on the programme that he cried when he heard about Jobs’s scam following the release of a book on Jobs.

The doc is hosted by Evan Davis, and features appearances from Tim Berners-Lee, Rita Clifton, and Stephen Fry. It will also of course include interviews with Steve Wozniak and others that were close to Apple and Jobs. The program profiles Avie Tevanian, who worked with Jobs as head of software at Apple until 2006, who tells a story of trying to get Jobs to join in on a stag party: Read more

BBC iPlayer app lands on iPhone and iPod touch with 3G streaming

We heard at the beginning of the month that BBC’s iPlayer iPad app would be getting an iPhone and iPod touch version in the coming weeks and today the app has officially landed for UK users. To accompany the release, the app will also be able to stream content over all 3G networks and now officially supports AirPlay on iOS 5.

The company’s blog post notes a ‘Live Channels’ feature will allow you to quickly switch between BBC channels just like on radio and TV, and all BBC national radio stations support background audio for multitasking. They have also made improvements to streaming by introducing HTTP Live Streaming using adaptive bitrate technologies, allowing the app to adjust your streaming quality based on your connection speed. The web version of the app accessible at bbc.co.uk/iplayer will also soon get 3G streaming capabilities.   Read more

BBC gets a hands-on with the iPhone 4S and Siri personal assistant

The BBC has just posted their hands-on with Apple’s new iPhone 4S. While there isn’t much to show asthetically, BBC demos Apple’s new camera application and the hit of the show, the Siri personal assistant. You’ll notice how Siri actually repeats back to you what you say, and it works pretty seamless, even with a British accent.

Check out Apple’s Siri demo below:

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