Bloomberg reports that Facebook is in discussions with Apple about the possibility of adding its Facebook Home interface to iPhones. Facebook Home describes itself as ‘putting your friends at the heart of your phone’, and is effectively a skin that sits on top of Android to display social feeds and messages front-and-centre, with apps taking second place. So far, however, it hasn’t wowed Android users. Read more
Cory Moll, an Apple retail employee who founded an unofficial union for Apple Store staff, is leaving the company tomorrow, having apparently resigned.
Moll founded the ‘Apple Workers Union’ as a Facebook page and now-defunct website, describing it as “a movement of empowerment to bring change and improvement of working conditions to Apple’s retail stores” in response to what some employees felt to be low pay and limited opportunity for advancement.
Moll tweeted earlier today that tomorrow would be his final day. In an email to 9to5Mac and others, he said: Read more
BMW iOS app integration:Following some recent Siri Eyes Free news from Chevrolet, BMW announced today that it has partnered with handful of developers to bring similar eyes free experiences for a number of third-party iOS apps to its vehicles. BMW has partnered with Audible for audio books, Glympse for location sharing services, Rhapsody for subscription music and TuneIn for internet radio, all of which will be updating their apps in the weeks to come for compatibility with the BMW Apps system.
Plants vs Zombies 2:PopCap announced today that part two of its incredibly popular Plants vs Zombies title is finally going to land on iOS in additional to all the other usual platforms “early summer.” No clues on what might be included in the second installment, but in the meantime PopCap will launch a new version of the game on Facebook.
IM+ Instant Messenger version 7.7: A nice update to the very popular IM+ service today offers Beep mobile-to-mobile service as an in-app purchase, the ability to preview transferred images directly in chats, and the usual bug fixes and performance enhancements. iPad users will also now be able to capture photos and videos in the app.
StreamBoard version 5.0: The Twitter client that lets you track keywords and hashtags in real-time is updated to version 5.0 with many new features and enhancements:
For this incredible milestone, StreamBoard has been rewritten from the ground up bringing to you:
- A brand new streamlined interface powered by gestures
- A reimagined filter view featuring real-time graphs that you can interact with
- Much improved engine for faster speed!
- and many more!
The Wall Street Journal published a piece last night that profiled influential app developer Loren Brichter of Atebits and Tweetie fame. The 28-year-old developer is the man behind several apps that were first to implement or help popularize well-known gestures and UI features that have since become design standards for many popular apps and developers. Perhaps the best example is “pull-to-refresh”—a feature that Brichter built into his Tweetie app before selling to Twitter:
Mr. Brichter got his start in the mobile industry while at Apple from 2006 to 2007 as part of a five-person group working out early kinks in technology that made the iPhone’s graphics hardware and software communicate… In 2008, Mr. Brichter built Tweetie to have a better way to use Twitter and eventually included the “pull-to-refresh” feature. After selling the app to Twitter for what he says was “single digit millions” in 2010, he stayed on at Twitter working remotely on the company’s apps for about a year and a half. He left to keep experimenting.
Other features Brichter helped to popularize include the slide-out panels that we see in apps such as Facebook and a feature described as “cell swipe” that’s popular in Twitter apps for revealing lists of hidden functions by swiping. WSJ was quick to point out that Brichter has filed for a patent on at least the “pull-to-refresh” gesture (now owned by Twitter), but Brichter explained that he allows most developers to implement the features freely: Read more
Following an attack on a smaller number of corporate Macs that exploited a flaw in the Java browser plug-in, researchers from security firm FireEye warned users of yet another new Java zero-day vulnerability. According to a blog post published yesterday (via IDG), browsers running Java v1.6 Update 41 and Java v1.7 Update 15 are now vulnerable to a malware attack that installs a remote access tool known as McRAT. The exploit is reportedly different from the one used to attack Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and several other companies last month. Following the earlier attack, Apple released an update to Java for users to version 1.6.0_41. These recent vulnerabilities come after several updates over the last year to Java addressing exploits.
FireEye recommended users disable Java until Oracle addresses the issue:
We have notified Oracle and will continue to work with Oracle on this in-the-wild discovery. Since this exploit affects the latest Java 6u41 and Java 7u15 versions, we urge users to disable Java in your browser until a patch has been released; alternatively, set your Java security settings to “High” and do not execute any unknown Java applets outside of your organization.
Oracle provided the instructions below for uninstalling Java on Mac: Read more
Calendars. Contacts. Maps. Emails. Text messages. Facebook. LinkedIn.
There are a lot of things you can do with the iPhone. Each of those things is scattered across the phone in it’s own separate app, however. Sure, there’s some integration of those services, but most of the time you’re going to have to switch apps to get from one function to the other. It’s easy to get annoyed or overwhelmed trying to manage your time while everyone up-to-date on the things that matter.
Tempo is a new app from SRI (the company that originally developed Siri) that aims to bring all of those functions together—at least as far as the concern your schedule—into a cohesive system for managing your life. But how well do all of these different services coexist in the same application?