Apple promoting its own stock iOS apps for popular App Store search queries

Apple appears to have recently started promoting some of its own stock iOS apps on the App Store for search terms that would have previously displayed results from third-party developers first. As noted by MacStories, when searching for terms such as “browser”, “web”, “SMS”, “Movies”, “cloud, “Siri”, “internet”, and others on the App Store, Apple is now promoting some of its own apps and services such as Safari, iTunes, Messages, iCloud, and Siri as the first results.

The result for Apple’s apps aren’t typical App Store listings but instead provide users with a brief description and link to either “Learn more” or open the app. Clicking Learn More takes users to Apple’s website in Safari for more information on the app, while some listings, such as iTunes, allow users to tap “Visit iTunes Store” and automatically launch the iOS iTunes app. Read more

Pixelmator 3.0 FX released: adds layer styles, ‘Liquify’ warping tools, Mac Pro and Mavericks optimizations

Pixelmator Liquify Tools

Today, the team behind Pixelmator has released the latest version of their app, version 3.0 FX. As before, the app is available on the Mac App Store for $29.99. The update brings a slew of changes to the already popular image editor, especially considering version 2.2 was only released a few weeks ago. 9to5Mac has had access to a preview copy of the update for a few days … so read on for a full walkthrough of the changes.

The headline feature for Pixelmator 3.0 is the addition of layer styles. Layer styles apply effects such as strokes, fills, shadows and reflections to the entire layer in very few clicks. More importantly, these changes are non-destructive — they affect the layer, not the canvas pixels themselves. This means layer effects can be undone and manipulated without changing the underlying image data. In fact, layer styles can even be copied to the clipboard and duplicated across layers.

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New iOS iWork & iLife icons/features appear on Apple’s website, GarageBand going free with in-app-purchases

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 00.29.39

On the ‘Built-in Apps’ page in the iPhone 5s and 5c section of Apple’s website, although the actual app screenshots look the same, Apple is using new (flatter) iOS icons for the iLife and iWork suites designed to match the style of iOS 7. The iPhoto and GarageBand icons are identical to the ones that were leaked last week in the iCloud Storage preferences.

However, this is the first time the new iOS 7 style iMovie, Pages, Numbers and Keynote icons have been seen. Although iMovie looks relatively similar to its skeuomorphic counterpart, the other icons look drastically different featuring bright gradients and white icon glyphs.

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AOL to drop iCloud email support from its Alto webmail service

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 2.56.06 PM

AOL has informed applicable users that it will be dropping support for accessing email from Apple’s iCloud service from its recently launched Alto webmail client. Alto is a web-based mail client that intelligently sorts and integrates email from services such as iCloud Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL. AOL has informed iCloud users who have logged into Alto that support for iCloud will be dropped on December 2nd:

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Is paid iCloud storage a good deal, or can you do better? Cloud storage roundup

With former MobileMe customers losing their additional 20GB of free storage a couple of days ago, there are probably a bunch of new people eyeing the paid iCloud upgrade options and wondering whether or not to hand over their cash. So we thought it would be a useful to take a look at the other major cloud storage services out there, to see how they compare.

As none of them are trying to hide the filesystem in the way Apple does, they all essentially work in the same way: providing you with a virtual online drive that you treat just like a local folder. There are also OS X and iOS apps for each.

icloud

Let’s start with the obvious: if you want something that is totally integrated into both OS X and iOS, and which Just Works, then iCloud is king.

Although the 5GB you get free doesn’t sound like a lot, you actually get more than this in practice – because Apple doesn’t count the space used by any of your iTunes purchases (apps, music, movies/TV shows or books), nor does it count the 1000 most recent photos you get to store in Photostream. If most of the content you want to store came from Apple, and all you want to do additionally is sync your contacts, calendar, notes and so on, the free storage is probably all you need.

iCloud is also a seamless way to store documents if you use Apple’s own iWork software: Pages, Numbers and Keynote. By opting to save documents on iCloud, they are automatically available to you from your Mac(s), iPad and iPhone – as well as on the web.

But if you have a lot of documents, you can pretty soon start bumping up against that 5GB limit. Which is where iCloud’s costs and limitations start to show up …  Read more