New quick app switching & other concepts show options on the table for iOS 7 [Videos]

With the recent departure of longtime iOS chief Scott Forstall, many expect some big changes in iOS 7. Not only is Jony Ive taking over design responsibilities related to iOS, but also Apple is increasingly coming under criticism for its aging core iOS apps and highly requested features already available on other platforms that it has yet to implement. We discussed some of the big software features iOS 7 might have in store, but today we present a roundup of the best iOS 7 concepts we could find starting with a new one from the creator of jailbreak tweak Auxo.

Sentry, the original designer behind the popular Auxo jailbreak tweak, yesterday posted the new Quick App Switching concept above (via iFun). While Auxo provided a screenshot of running apps integrated into the iOS multitasking tray, the concept above takes a different approach and aims to add speed to the app switching process.

This next concept comes from YouTube user imjeanmarc and shows a tray accessible from the lock screen, providing quick toggles for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc.:

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Can Apple get away with another “S” iPhone?

iPhone5S-9to5-Feb2013

There have been many rumors this year about what upgrades Apple will include in its anticipated annual iPhone refresh. Most agree Apple will move to release two iPhones, but there is some debate about what those phones will be.

Rumor has it that Apple is working on a low-cost iPhone that will do away with the current iPhone design and instead use a new plastic case with a curved back similar to previous iPods. Despite being a less expensive device, that could make things even trickier for Apple to impress with an iPhone 5S upgrade that is largely expected to retain the “old” design of the currently shipping iPhone 5. The devices from competitors are making things even more difficult for Apple’s expected “S” upgrade. Rumors of a 4.8-inch iPhone prototype that recently surfaced don’t seem likely for the next iPhone, but that hasn’t stopped mainstream media and analysts from reporting that Apple is losing out on iPhone sales as consumers opt for larger screen devices. However, that might now be the case, at least not in the United States, with Strategy Analytics and NPD estimating Apple beat Samsung to become the No.1 phone vendor in Q4 2012. Will consumers want or expect a larger screen on the next iPhone, or will Apple’s usual minor refresh suffice?

What did past S upgrades have? Read more

Tweetbot for Mac, Turnplay, Batman: Arkham City, Kayak Passbook support, 25% off ANY Aspyr title, more

Turnplay: Based on the classic Technics SL1200 turntable, which sold more than three million units worldwide, Turnplay is a new app aiming to bring a realistic turnable experienced to iPad. The app features pitch control, full realistic record control, and 33/45 buttons. The app is on sale for 50% off (99 cents) to celebrate its introduction.

The world’s most popular vinyl turntable which sold over 3.000.000 copies worldwide is now available on iPad!

Tweetbot for Twitter 1.1 (for Mac): The Tweetbot for Twitter Mac App Store app gets a big update today that brings new global hot keys for new tweets and “show/hide”, an “All Tweets” option for notifications on 10.8, keyboard shortcuts for Email, Tweet, and Read Later, and much more. Tapbots are also listing a ton of fixes in version 1.1 on the app’s iTunes page.

- New global hot keys for show/hide and new tweets available in preferences
- New “All Tweets” notification preference available (10.8 only)
- If you pin timeline to top in preferences it will now also pin other non-streaming columns to the top (searches, lists, etc)
- Added support for visual sync marker
- Keyboard shortcuts for Read Later and Email Tweet
- Trends now autorefresh if used in a column
- Clicking menu bar item rows will now open main window if needed. Will also go to correct space if main window is on a different space/desktop
- Moom and Tweetbot are now better friends

Kayak for iOSKayak version 24.0.0: Following an update to the pro version last night, Kayak’s free iOS app now games the same features including Passbook and Reminders support, a new itinerary management tool, the ability to book car rentals, as well as updated sharing options and hotel booking screens:

Edit events in Trips, our itinerary management tool.
View trips that have been shared with you.
Simpler, prettier, faster, better hotel booking screens.
Passbook support for trip events (iOS 6 required).
New ways to share travel info: Twitter, Facebook
Save searches in iOS Reminders (iOS 6 required).
Book rental cars directly with KAYAK.
Performance improvements and bug fixes.

Avengers Initiative version 1.05: Read more

Square adds gifts cards/passbook support, Instagram, BBC News, British Airways, Snapheal, VLC Streamer, more

Square Passbook gift cardsSquare Register version 2.5: Square is rolling out Passbook compatible gift cards for local businesses that users of the Square Wallet iPhone app can purchase and share with friends. To welcome the new feature, Square’s Register app also gets an update with the ability to accept the new gift cards via Square Wallet, Passbook, or QR code, as well as iPhone 5 support:

- Accept gift cards for your business from Square Wallet, Passbook and printed QR codes.
- iPhone 5 support and various improvements.

Instagram: Instagram has released a pretty big update to its app this afternoon, adding a revamped camera and camera roll access. Additionally, there are new grids for easy photo taking, new filter access page, and the addition of Foursquare data.

  • Instagram-themed shutter & shutter release button.
  • A preview of the most recent photo on your camera roll.
  • Improved Camera Roll image selector (iPhone 5 only) for quick access to your last photograph.
  • Optional grid guide for live photos and a permanent grid guide for the scale & crop screen.
  • Speed and reliability improvements.

BBC News version 1.7.7: Official iPhone 5 support for the BBC News iOS app:

- iPhone 5 support
- bug fixes

British Airways version 4.0: A big update to the BA iPhone app brings a completely redesigned UI that provides easy access to upcoming flights from the My Flights screen, as well as improvements for retrieving bookings and alternative boarding pass options. The updated app is also now fully iPhone 5 and iOS 6 compatible.

We’ve completely redesigned the app to make it easier to access all your upcoming flights and to address a number of issues

Snapheal version 2.1: Snapheal for Mac received an update today that includes a new and improved UI, a new crop tool, a “new algorithm for image retouch and adjust,” and much more:

- Brand new look and improved user experience, including 1 click to erase objects, faster selection, better way to save and share images, etc.
- New crop tool
- New algorithm for image retouch and adjust: faster performance, better color processing
- Enhanced lasso tool
- Improved algorithms for erasing multiple objects
- New clone&stamp tool, with better customization of brush opacity and softness

Instamac version 1.1: The recently launched Instamac Instagram client for Mac receives a ton of UI refinements, full Retina display support for Retina MacBook Pros, improved slideshow features, and more.

-We’ve spent a lot of time going through each and every user interface element to make Instamac the most elegant Instagram Client for the Mac.

Dungeon Hunter 3 version 1.4.0: Read more

Coupons.com adds Passbook integration for dozens of top retailers

Coupons.com announced today that it is adding Passbook integration to its mobile site, allowing users to save dozens of coupons from leading retailers directly to the iOS 6 Passbook app. While the company is not making its entire selection of coupons available to iOS users initially, it does have a long list of notable retailers included in its Passbook-Ready gallery accessible on iOS devices. The company’s mobile app has not yet been updated with the Passbook functionality, but visiting coupons.com will prompt you to visit and add Passbook coupons.

Users of iPhone 5 or iOS 6 simply visit www.coupons.com on their mobile phone, select the Passbook button, and tap Add to Passbook for the coupons they want. Then, just show the offers in Passbook at the cash register for instant discounts.

Some of the retailer partners the website is currently offering Passbook coupons for include Barnes & Noble, Macy’s, Old Navy, OshKosh B’gosh, PETCO, PetSmart, Sears, Michaels, and Avenue. The coupons display the expiration date, a scannable barcode, and instructions to show cashiers how to process the offer:

Each Passbook “coupon” includes a description of the offer (such as “Save up to 20% on Your Entire Order”), the expiration date, and a scannable barcode. An “information” button at the bottom right corner of the offer provides instructions for cashiers on how to process the coupon (including a numeric code that can be manually typed into the cash register if the barcode is not scanning automatically) and additional information (such as purchase requirements).

The company highlighted a few of the offers currently available to Passbook users, and it noted the gallery would be updated frequently: Read more

Apple planning fixes for keyboard glitch, Wi-Fi, Passbook bug, & Exchange in iOS 6.0.1 update?

According to a report from BGR, a reliable source informed it that Apple has begun testing iOS 6.0.1 with U.S. carriers in anticipation of a release in the coming weeks. Also mentioned in the report is a list of fixes apparently included in the update that address many of the issues users have complained about since the launch of iOS 6. Among them is a fix for the horizontal glitches that some have experienced in the iOS keyboard and folders and a number of other bug fixes for recently reported problems.

The report said the update would also bring a fix for issues with cellular data, improved Wi-Fi, as well as “a problem with the camera’s flash not going off.” Other fixes Apple will release with iOS 6.0.1 are related to iTunes Match, Passbook, and Exchange bugs:

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