Apple shortens iBooks review times, allows more promo codes for authors

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Apple today emailed out registered authors for iBooks to announce some interesting changes and enhancements to the program. Some notable enhancements, via Apple’s email:

  • To help you get your book to readers quickly, we review 95 percent of all book submissions within one business day. Note that you do not need an ISBN to deliver a book to iBooks.
  • You can now request up to 250 promo codes per book. Promo codes allow you to provide free copies of your book to reviewers, bloggers, or others to build momentum for your book.
  • Screenshots can now be delivered or updated after a book is available for sale on iBooks.

The email to authors also tells developers about recent updates to both the iTunes Connect app on iOS and the iBooks Author application on the Mac. Like it usually does for App Store app developers, Apple tells authors how to prepare for the upcoming break for book reviewers. “To account for an anticipated increase in book deliveries during the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday week, books scheduled to go live between November 24, 2014 and December 1, 2014, should be delivered by Friday, November 14, 2014,” the notice reads.

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Inbox for Gmail: hands-on and first impressions

Mail for Inbox

Google this afternoon announced Inbox for Gmail, its all-new emailing solution that is intended to coexist with the regular Gmail platform (Think Paper for Facebook?). Inbox for Gmail is available on an invite only basis for Android, iOS and Chrome. I am fortunate enough to have received an invite to Inbox for Gmail, and I have been giving the iPhone app a rundown to see how it works. For the most part, Inbox is everything that you know and love about Gmail in a sleeker package.

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Google’s new Inbox app is a marriage between Gmail and Google Now (update)

Inbox-iOS

 

Today, Google unveiled a new email solution called Inbox, which looks like a marriage between Gmail and Google Now. Currently available by invitation only, this new app takes bits from your email like purchase invoices and bank statements and groups them together for fast access. Like Google Now, Inbox adapts to the way you operate, highlighting key pieces of emails like flight plans, photos, documents and upcoming event information.

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FBI director continues push against Apple & Google on smartphone encryption (Video)

James Comey FBI Director

FBI Director James Comey isn’t backing down from his position that Apple and Google are wrong to encrypt customer smartphone data preventing law enforcement agencies the possibility of access if requested. After last month sharing that the FBI was in talks with the two companies to discuss concerns with marketing devices as being inaccessible to third-parties including the government, the FBI Director spoke with CBS News in an interview where he continued to make the case against such encryption… Read more

Google launches Primer mobile app to help startups with their marketing needs

Primer

Today, Google launched a new mobile app for startups called Primer, an interactive tool that helps companies with their marketing needs. Available now on iOS, the software cranks out five minute lesson plans for subjects like Content Marketing, PR & Media and Search Advertising. A simplified experience, Primer is packed with case studies, insider tips and quizzes designed to make marketing easier.

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Chromecast iOS app updated w/ backdrop feature for viewing news & weather, photos, more

Google today updated the Chromecast app for iPhone and iPad users adding a feature announced earlier this year at Google I/O called Backdrop. When the Chromecast HDMI streaming stick isn’t playing content like Netflix or Pandora Radio through your TV, it already displays the current time and featured photos as a screen saver, but now Chromecast users can display additional content like weather conditions and news headlines on Chromecast-connected TVs. Chromecast also now supports using your own photos from Google+ albums as the backdrop. Read more

FBI director says officials have been in talks with Apple, Google over device encryption policies

tim cook death stare

Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey expressed his concern today over Apple and Google’s decision to encrypt information stored on smartphones, the Huffington Post reports, adding that FBI officials are pushing both companies to change their policies in order to allow law enforcement officials to access data in certain instances.

“I am a huge believer in the rule of law, but I am also a believer that no one in this country is above the law,” Comey told reporters at FBI headquarters in Washington. “What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law.”

In the case of the iPhone maker, Apple CEO Tim Cook used the company’s privacy stance as a major marketing point on a number of occasions over the past month. Read more

Talking Schmidt: Google’s executive chairman challenges Tim Cook on privacy citing Chrome’s ‘incognito mode’

Key Speakers At Global Investment Conference

In his letter on privacy shared last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook contrasted the business model of Apple against that of its competitors while strongly taking a shot at Google, Gmail, and Android without actually naming the company and services. The infinitely entertaining executive chairman of Google and former Apple board member Eric Schmidt was recently asked by ABC News about Cook’s open letter on the company and privacy.

In short, Schmidt, who is making the media rounds to promote his upcoming book How Google Works, said Cook’s description of Google and privacy is incorrect, which you would expect from the Google chairman. But his first shot at debunking Cook’s claim was sort of out of left field (okay, as you also might expect): Read more

Tim Cook talks privacy in part two of Charlie Rose interview

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The first clip of part two of Tim Cook’s interview with Charlie Rose has posted tonight with a segment on Apple and privacy. In the interview, Cook discussed the privacy of user data using Apple services as Apple has mentioned in the past.

We’re not reading your email, we’re not reading your iMessages. If the government laid a subpoena on us to get your iMessages, we can’t provide it. It’s encrypted and we don’t have the key.

Cook also discussed how Apple’s approach to Apple Pay, its new mobile payment system, emphasizing that Apple is in the business of selling iPhones, not user information like other companies. Cook commented strongly that he is “offended” by the practices of some other companies. The shot at Google, which Cook stated is his idea of Apple’s competition in the part one with Charlie Rose, was mentioned similarly during last week’s iPhone event. Cook also discussed earlier privacy issues involving “server backdoors” and Edward Snowden. You can view the new clip below…

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Reddit launches official Ask Me Anything iOS app to view its popular Q&A sessions

ama

Reddit has today launched an official Ask Me Anything iOS app, providing a convenient way to view both real-time and archived AMAs. Reddit’s SVP of mobile Ellen Pao said that move was to address the fact that a third of site visits are made on mobile devices, a number that is growing all the time.

We’ve found in the last year or so a huge uptick in people accessing Reddit from the mobile web, and we want to give those folks a great experience …

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Makeshift Apple VR headset: How to use Google Cardboard with an iPhone (Video)

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If you’re not familiar with Google Cardboard, it’s one of the most affordable and portable VR headsets to date. It’s a very simple creation in terms of design and functionality, but provides a solid look into the future of technology without breaking the bank. Why? Because it’s made almost entirely of cardboard.

Google unveiled Cardboard at I/O 2014, but unfortunately, it was designed with Android devices in mind. The official Cardboard app is nowhere to be found on the App Store, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Google may not care much about iOS as a platform, but stereoscopic 3D is nothing new. In fact, there is a good handful of apps available for iOS that are also compatible with Google Cardboard…

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Google Play Music for iPhone updated w/ ability to remove music on-the-go, improved playback, more

It’s been just over a month since the last big update to Google Play Music for iPhone, and today the Google Play Music team is rolling out another update with new features and improvements. The latest release brings the version number to 1.3.2.2559 for those keeping track at home, and adds a handful of new functionality like the ability to remove music from your library via the iPhone app. The update also boasts additional accessibility features which will surely be appreciated as well as fixes for issues with skipping during track playback and eliminating duplicate listings in the music library. You can see the full change log below. Read more