If This Then That (IFTTT) launches iOS app for automating service directives

If This Then That (IFTTT) today launched an iPhone app version of its popular service for automating simple actions/services. The video above is a nice tutorial/overview of the service if you aren’t familiar. Channels are the services (like Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, as well as devices like Philips Hue, Belkin WeMo, and UP by Jawbone) and Recipes are the directives in IFTTT lingo.

Download the app and unlock three new Channels for iPhone: Contacts, Photos, and Reminders (with more to come). Create and use Recipes around the things you do on the go: snapping screenshots, adding new contacts, completing reminders, and organizing your photo albums.

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The IFTTT team notes that they are adding new features all the time.

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Gmail for iOS updated with new inbox grouped by category & improvements to notifications

Gmail-inbox-iOS-categoriesAs expected, Google just started rolling out its brand new inbox to iOS users after first introducing us to the new category-based design last week. While its not a tabbed design like on the desktop, much like the Android app that just started rolling out iOS users can now access the new feature that groups emails into separate inboxes by selecting categories from the app’s side navigation bar.

 Meet the new inbox: If you’ve enabled the new inbox, your mail is now grouped into categories so that you can see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails you want to read when. Primary mail is shown first and it’s easy to access and keep track of email in other categories by opening the menu. Configure this feature by going to Gmail.com on your computer.

Today’s Gmail update also brings improved notifications allowing you to customize what emails you receive notifications for: Read more

Google rolls out brand new Gmail inbox on desktop and mobile with Categories for easier organization

As expected from a previous leak earlier this month, Google just announced on its official Gmail blog that it’s rolling out a brand new UI for Gmail on both the web and mobile that brings a new Categories based UI for easier organization of emails. The Gmail-App-Categories-01screenshots below line up with the images that we posted last week showing new customizable Categories that users can assign to manage emails according to content. For example: ‘Social’ for emails related to social networks, ‘Promotions’ for promotional material, ‘Notifications’ for reservations, bills, etc, and ‘Forums’ for mailing lists and forums.

On the desktop, the new inbox groups your mail into categories which appear as different tabs. You simply choose which categories you want and voilà! Your inbox is organized in a way that lets you see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails you want to read when.. You can easily customize the new inbox – select the tabs you want from all five to none, drag-and-drop to move messages between tabs, set certain senders to always appear in a particular tab and star messages so that they also appear in the Primary tab.

The update is not only rolling out to desktop users, but also to iPhone and iPad and mobile devices running Android 4.0 and up. On the mobile apps, users will first see their “Primary” inbox and can switch to other categories using the side navigation bar. Google says the new inbox is rolling out in the next few weeks but users will be able to try it sooner with a new “Configure inbox” option in Settings. Read more

Google’s new Hangouts app now available for iPhone and iPad

Google just announced a new unified messaging service today that will be available across multiple platforms and now the iOS app is officially available to download on the App Store.

Google-Hangouts-app-iconThe free Hangouts app is available as a universal download for both iPhone and iPad and offers group conversations with photos or 850 emojis, Video calls for hanging out with up to 10 friends, alerts that are synced across devices and more.

More Hangouts awesomeness:
— View and continue your Hangouts across devices.
— Get notifications just once.  After you see an alert, it’ll be removed on other devices.
— Snooze your notifications if you’d prefer to respond later.
— See what you talked about in the past, including shared photos and your video call history.
— Keep a record of any Hangout for just a short period of time by turning history off.
— View collections of photos shared from each of your Hangouts.
— Choose from over 850 emoji to express what’s on your mind.

The Hangouts feature will also be coming to Gmail users today: Read more

Google beats Siri to the Desktop with Google Now-like voice search for Chrome

Google today announced that it is revamping the Google voice search feature available in Chrome on the desktop. While users have always been able to search with their voice through Chrome, Google is attempting to make the service work more like it does through Google Search apps and Google Now on mobile devices.

Chrome will now include “conversational search” with a brand new interface that doesn’t require users to click in order to search with their voice. Like on mobile devices with Google Now, users will now be able to simple say “Google” in order to activate voice search.

Today, we previewed what this conversational experience will look like in Chrome on your desktops and laptops. Soon, you’ll be able to just say, hands-free, “OK Google, will it be sunny in Santa Cruz this weekend?” and get a spoken answer. Then, you’ll be able to continue the conversation and just follow up with “how far is it from here?” if you care about the drive or “how about Monterey?” if you want to check weather somewhere else, and get Google to tell you the answer.

The new interface, as pictured above from Google’s demo of the feature, is much like the voice search interface for Google Now on Android devices.

The new feature will be coming to Macs and PCs through Chrome soon.

Google also briefly showed off some new content coming to Google Now including new cards for Reminders, Music Albums, TV Shows, Books, Public Transit, and Video games rolling out today:
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Google announces Google Play Music ‘All Access’ streaming service, launching today for $9.99/month

From 9to5Google:

Google just announced its much rumored new music service called Google Play Music “All Access” live on stage at its Google I/O event keynote presentation.

Google execs focused on showing off curated playlists but also made a note of pointing out a “radio” feature that will automatically create an endless radio station based on the song you’re currently listening to. The service will also allow users to search for a particular song or view the “playlist” of a radio station to remove unwanted songs.

Also included is a feature called “Listen Now” that will provide quick access to recently listened to songs, customized radio stations based on your preferences, and recommendations for new releases from artists you like.

The service will be available on the web, tablets, and phones through Google Play and cost users $9.99 per month with a 30 day free trial in the US. Those that sign up before the end of June will be able to get the subscription for just $7.99/month and Google said the service will land in other countries soon.

Google announces Google Play game services coming to Android, iOS & web today

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From 9to5Google:

We knew from leaks in the weeks leading up to I/O that Google was planning some gaming related announcements and today the company has officially announced the service in a press release ahead of its Google I/O keynote taking place now. Not only will the service allow Android developers to build in real-time multiplayer, social features, achievements, and leaderboards while storing game saves and settings in the cloud, the SDK for Google Play game services will also be available to iOS and web developers.

Google noted a few titles for Android have already been updated with the feature including World of Goo, Super Stickman Golf 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Kingdom Rush, Eternity Warriors 2, and Osmos.

Not surprisingly, the cross-platform gaming service will also build in Google+ integration to track high scores, achievements and more:

-Achievements that increase engagement and promote different styles of play.

-Social and public leaderboards that seamlessly use Google+ circles to track high scores across friends and across the world.

-Cloud saves that provide a simple and streamlined storage API to store game saves and settings. Now players never have to replay Level 1 again.

-Real-time multiplayer for easy addition of cooperative or competitive game play on Android devices. Using G+ Circles a game can have up to 4 simultaneous friends or auto-matched players in a game session together with support for additional players coming soon.

Google’s full press release below: Read more

Mailbox for iPhone goes live for free in the App Store, reservations now being filled

Mailbox, the highly anticipated third-party Gmail client for the iPhone from Orchestra, is now available in the App Store. Here’s the essence of why Mailbox is meant to be a better mobile email client:

  • Mailbox is light, fast, and mobile-friendly.
  • Swipes make checking mail from your phone a delight.
  • Snoozes let you put off an email until later and remind you when the time has come.
  • Mailbox makes getting to inbox zero, and staying there, a breeze.

The app is free, but you’ll need a reservation code to use it today. These codes were given out on a first-come, first-served basis a few weeks ago to anyone who signed up for the app in advance. This system was put in place to prevent the company’s servers from being overwhelmed, as there is substantial demand for the free app.

Screenshots and video overview:

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Vine gets 17+ rating, ProCutX for Final Cut Pro, Gmail, Tweetbot, Poster, deals, more


Vine version 1.0.5: Twitter’s new short video sharing app Vine ran into a bit of controversy when pornography found its way into the Editor’s Picks section due to human error. The developers have since addressed the issues and today’s update not only brings new Twitter and Facebook sharing features, but also the ability to block and report profiles. As noted by The Verge, the 1.0.5 update also increased the rating of the app from 12+ to 17+.

• Share to Twitter or Facebook after posting. Find the post you want to share, then tap the “…” button in the bottom right.
• Report or block a profile. Go to the profile, then tap the newly added “…” button in the top right.
• Fixed an issue that caused a black screen to appear and uploads to fail after creating a video on certain devices
• Miscellaneous bug fixes

ipad-shot-3ProCutX for Final Cut Pro X: Final Cut plug-in maker & production company Pixel Film Studios is out today with a new app that allows iPad users to control a FCPX session running on their Mac. At first glance the app appears to provide a pretty slick UI and the developers said it offers access to all of the software’s editing tools to “control every step of the FCPX editing process.”

• Precision Timeline Scrubbing
• Quick Retiming
• Auto-Correct Color
• Color Grading
• Compound Clip Editing
• Import, Export, and Rendering shortcuts
• Quick Keywording
• Fast access to Tools
• System Volume Control
• Timeline Zooming
• Audio Enhancements
• Record Voiceovers

Tango version 2.6.36915: The popular text, voice, and video chat app Tango was updated today with a new central gallery for pictures and videos and a number of enhancements:

✔ New! Find all your pictures and videos in a central gallery.

✔ New! Improved call handling makes connect faster.

☂ Bug Fixes

Tweetbot version 2.7.1: Read more

Google launches web ad promoting its iOS Dev team, encourages iOS developers to do work that ‘matters’

Since the removal of YouTube, and Maps as preloaded Google apps within iOS, Google has been especially adept at developing its own set of iOS apps. We previously detailed how Google wants to own the iOS ecosystem on the apps level, providing users with an alternative universe to most of the core features of Apple’s mobile operating system. It appears Google now has a dedicated iOS app team which builds cohesive apps rather than having each business unit build its own apps. Read more

How Google wants to own the iPhone and how Apple is trying to stop it

A Google Zombie iPhone?

With Android now on 75 percent of all smartphones sold, and Apple and Samsung battling in and out of court for the top vendor position, the smartphone wars usually come down to units sold. Apple vs. Samsung. Android vs. iOS. Less of a focus has been Google’s steady invasion of iOS, providing users with an alternative universe to most of the core features of Apple’s mobile operating system. The importance of Google’s ecosystem of iOS apps has never been more apparent than following the recent controversy over the removal of YouTube and Google Maps as default features of iOS. Apple realized the necessity of controlling key experiences on iOS, such as Maps, but it is running into a backlash from users in the process. It is not just facing competition from Android vendors; it is also now engaged in a struggle to keep Google from creating its own layer on top of iOS.

Google’s iOS apps are not just driving iPhone and iPad users to use Google services instead of Apple’s; they are increasingly an important aspect of the iOS experience for a large amount of users. Sixty-one percent of iOS users in our own polls said they were hesitant to even update to iOS 6 because of Apple’s new Maps app, many of which are still waiting for a standalone Google Maps app that Apple has yet to approve. Some say the Maps fiasco coupled with Siri might have even led to the departure of long-time iOS chief Scott Forstall, which many think could result in a new direction for iOS. What this means for Google’s presence on iOS going forward remains to be seen, but Apple does not appear to be ignoring the control Google’s apps have over its users.

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Apps & updates: Gmail, Tumblr, Minecraft, Plants vs. Zombies, more

Gmail version 1.3.1: The Gmail iOS app was updated today with the ability to open web links within the Chrome iOS app instead of Safari. A handful of bug fixes were also included.

 

Tumblr version 3.1.0: Tumblr’s iPhone app gets a nice update that brings improvements to notifications, the ability to discover new blogs to follow via Facebook or your contacts and an option for your friends to sign up within the app itself. Other improvements included in the update: you can now track specific tags, a fast re-blog option by tapping and holding the re-blog icon and the ability to send fan mail. There are also some new sharing options when holding the “Like” button.

 

Minecraft – Pocket Edition version 0.4.0: A major release for the Pocket Edition of Minecraft includes a ton of new features, items, tweaks and bug fixes. A full list of what is new is below:

- Chests for storing items!
– Beds for skipping to dawn (day and nights are now longer), and set your spawn point to the bed’s position.
– Creepers and TNT (use flint and steel to ignite)!
– Added food. Eat it to restore health.
– Farming; wheat, seeds and hoe.
– Peaceful mode setting: healing and no monsters.
– Trapdoor, new dyes and a few new recipes.
+ More: close to 20 bug fixes and tweaks, e.g. monsters spawned when bright, client fall damage.

Plants vs. Zombies version 1.9.5: Along with full HD support for the new Retina iPad, PopCap updated all the Plants vs. Zombies iOS apps today with five new levels, three new achievements and new weapons and game modes:
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