Review: Dotti & Notti, fun (if pointless) ways to receive notifications

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My conclusion in my Skeptic’s Apple Watch diary series was that the device didn’t really have a unique selling-point to me, but was a slightly more convenient way to receive notifications. Ultimately, though, I kept it because it was a cool gadget.

The same argument, I think, would have to be deployed to justify what are really a couple of fun toys that happen to alert you to notifications: Dotti and Notti …  Read more

Google adds real-time tweets to mobile web and iOS app search results

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Following up on Google’s agreement with Twitter to instantly add tweets to web search results, the duo announced today that users on mobile devices will start seeing real-time Twitter results as well. The feature is available in the Google app on iOS or Google’s mobile website, and is expected to make its way to the desktop soon.

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

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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.

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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

First look: Clear, the iOS app that vets your social media history for indiscretions

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Going for a sensitive job, or just friended your new romantic interest on Facebook, and want to make sure your drunken post from six months ago isn’t going to come back to bite you? That’s the experience Hipster co-founder Ethan Czahor had when he was hired as Jeb Bush’s chief technology officer. Journalists went digging and found some extremely embarrassing posts that led to his resignation.

He’s now put that experience to good use, though, beta-launching Clear, an app which aims to vet your social media history for offensive or insulting posts and offer you the ability to delete them (not to be confused with the to-do list app of the same name). I decided to take it for a quick spin …  Read more

Twitter now supports the iPhone’s gorgeous slow-motion videos

One of the stand-out features of the iPhone 5s was the 120fps slow-motion video, and the iPhone 6/Plus took this even further, allowing silky-smooth 240fps video at 720p. Sharing that video, however, isn’t always easy: many online services don’t recognize that the video is slo-mo, and play it instead at full speed.

There are clunky workarounds, but these are no longer needed for Twitter: upload slo-mo video from your iPhone 5s, 6 or 6 Plus and it now plays at the correct speed …  Read more

Twitter sharing disappears in latest iOS beta, may indicate upcoming app-based extension

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Update: An April 6, 2015 update to the app has re-enabled native sharing on iOS 8.3. It’s possible that this indicates Twitter changed something a little too early on its end, or a new 8.3 beta will introduce a change that pulls up a different extension when the app is installed.

A small change to the latest beta version of iOS may indicate a big change coming to the official Twitter application. In the pre-release version of the software that was provided to testers and developers last week, it seems the option to share content to Twitter has been removed entirely (update: if you have the latest version of the official Twitter app installed).

Not only is the Twitter icon now missing from the share sheet in first-party apps like Photos and Safari, but from all third-party apps that use the native sharing option introduced in iOS 8. The change could just be a glitch, but it more likely suggests that Apple may be removing its in-house Twitter sheet in favor of something new…

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Siri learns Russian, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Thai and Turkish for iOS 8.3 beta 2

In addition to Wireless CarPlay, more diverse Emojis, and improved logging in for Google services, iOS 8.3 adds a major new feature: several new languages for Siri. Over three years following the initial Siri beta in 2011, iOS 8.3 adds support for the following languages in Siri: Russian, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and English for India…

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IFTTT simplifies experience with 3 new ‘DO’ apps; rebrands original app as ‘IF’

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I’m a huge fan of IFTTT, the iOS app (and web app) that allows you to do really clever things completely automatically, just by creating or downloading an ‘if this then that’ rule–which IFTTT calls a ‘recipe.’ For example, if you’d like to save a copy of a photo anytime you are tagged on Facebook, there’s a recipe for that. Want to switch on a WEMO-controlled light when the sun goes down, there’s a recipe for that too. Pretty much anything you might want to automate has an existing recipe–and if it doesn’t, you can create your own.

But while IFTTT is incredibly powerful, the developers found that some people found it so overwhelming they didn’t know where to start. The company has now addressed that by creating three cut-down apps, each of which can perform only three functions: Do Button (geared for controlling hardware), Do Camera (to automatically post, share or save photos) and Do Note (to quickly write something and save it as a note, make it a calendar entry, tweet it and so on) …  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 rolling out group direct messages and native video sharing

Twitter Video Sharing

Twitter announced last November that it had a number of new features on its roadmap for this year, and today the social network says two of those features are starting to roll out to users. Starting this week Twitter will start allowing users to capture and share videos right from the camera in the mobile app, and direct messages will soon support group chatting for the first time. Here’s how the new video and group direct message features work: Read more