Tim Cook opens account on Chinese social network Weibo during Beijing trip

tim-cook-weibo

With Apple now selling more iPhones in China than in the USA, and much of Apple’s Q2 earnings call focused on the country, it’s no great surprise that Tim Cook has today opened an account on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter known as Weibo. There is, though, a certain amount of irony involved, Weibo being one of the main sources of leaked information on Apple products.

Cook is in Beijing to announce Apple’s new environmental programs in the country, the topic of his first post.

weibo-post

At the time of writing, the verified account already had over 300,000 followers, with almost 50,000 likes on his first post …  Read more

Tumblr for iOS adds blog creation, trending tags widget, quick video embedding, more

Tumblr is out today with a brand new version of its blogging and community app for iPhone and iPad. Version 4 adds several new features like the ability to create new blogs from your iPhone or iPad and create video posts quickly by pasting YouTube or Vimeo URLs into a new post. The update adds a new widget for the Today section of Notification Center on iOS 8 for quickly seeing which tags are trending on Tumblr when you’re not using the app and much more. Read more

Popular news reading service Flipboard launches a web version

Flipboard for the web

Flipboard for the web

The popular news reading service Flipboard is becoming more than an app on your iPhone or iPad today as it launches a web version for the first time. Flipboard first launched on the iPad in 2010 and later released a version specifically for the iPhone, and now Mac users can access Flipboard from any browser with today’s launch of the web version. Read more

Twitter for iPhone rolling out Tweet sharing via Direct Messages

Last week, Twitter announced a list of improvements coming to the service including enhancements to Direct Messages and video capabilities slated for next year, and today the social network started rolling out its new features as promised. With the latest version of Twitter for iPhone, you can now share public Tweets privately over Direct Messages with native embedding. You can see the new feature in action below… Read more

EFF: Apple’s iMessage most secure “mass-market” messaging, lacks complete protection from targeted surveillance

EFF-Secure-Messaging-Scoreboard-01

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today released a report examining three dozen messaging services and ranking them based on what it deemed are seven “security best practices.” While Apple scored the best among what the EFF called “mass-market options”, it didn’t do as well when compared to all 36 messaging services included in the report. Specifically, EFF noted Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime services failed to offer “complete protection against sophisticated, targeted forms of surveillance.” Read more

Smule’s popular Sing! Karaoke app updated with collaborative video features

Smule, which makes a variety of music-related iPhone apps like Guitar!, Magic Piano, and AutoRap, has a new version of its popular Sing! Karaoke app out today with a major feature for the app: video. The new version of Sing! Karaoke, which features “a huge catalog of top hits” with instrumental tracks and lyric guides for singing along to, does three things with the newly added video feature. Read more

Facebook releases updated iOS client with improved support for sharing multiple photos

Facebook has announced that it will be releasing an updated version of its mobile application later today that will improve the process of sharing multiple photos in a single post. The new composer will allow users to choose multiple images from their device’s photo library or camera, then show a preview of the post with each image in the order they were selected.

From here users will be able to add captions to each photo, write an introduction for the post, or rearrange the order of the photos. The post will show up in friends’ news feeds as a photo collage rather than a horizontal group of photos.

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Skype app updated for iOS 8, includes interactive notifications for calls and messages

The Skype app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch has now been updated with support for iOS 8. Unfortunately, this does not include support for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus screen sizes, meaning Skype still renders at a scaled iPhone 5s resolution.

However, the update does add interactive notifications which helps streamline responding to content. Hence, new Skype notifications have buttons attached to the alert which can perform various actions. For voice calls, you can answer or decline. For video calls, you can choose between voice or video responses. For missed calls, you can respond with a message or call the person straight back.

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Skype says free group video calling coming in the future to more platforms

Earlier this month, Microsoft-owned Skype rolled out a group video calling feature to Windows tablets. The free video calling allows for calls with up to ten people, and integrates with Skype on the desktop, which has supported group video calling since April.

Today, Skype tells us that the group video calling feature will be coming to all of its mobile platforms in the future, which likely includes iOS and Android:

We’re excited about Skype group video calling and are working to bring it to more of our platforms. In the future, we’ll be enabling group video calling for all our users across more platforms – at no cost

Unfortunately, the company could not yet provide a more specific rollout timeframe. Skype has been rapidly releasing new products over the past several months, with a major redesign of the Skype iPhone app arriving a couple of months ago.

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Path launches new Talk app, a privacy-focused standalone messaging platform

The private social network Path updated its iOS app today with a simpler chooser for posting content and a tabbed navigation bar for moving around the app. It’s biggest feature, though, follows a growing trend with mobile apps: Path Messaging has moved to a standalone app called Talk that’s rolling out today.

With its new Talk app, Path wants to replace SMS and Facebook as it focuses on privacy with a feature called Off the Record. While it’s not quite as ephemeral as instantly self-destructing messaging apps like Snapchat and Cyber Dust, Path promises its users that messages sent via Talk automatically erase from the social network’s servers after 24 hours from sending the message… Read more