Macupdate’s $40 Winter Bundle: 12 apps incl. Anonymizer, Backblaze, Expandrive, much more

From 9to5toys:

(note: 3 other bundles are currently running: Parallels 9 Adobe Photoshop CC $10 extended unti l Dec. 8th and Stack Social)

MacUpdate just launched their Winter Mac app bundle this morning. This bundle contains 10 apps + 2 bonus apps for early buyers. Together, the 12 apps are worth nearly $400 (or about $360 without the 2 bonus titles), but the bundle is priced at just $39.99.

The bundle includes: Read more

Apps & updates: vjay, Instapaper, Discovery Channel HD, more

Our usual list of apps and updates is below kicking off with a couple notable updates from over the weekend to the Instapaper and vjay apps:

vjay version 1.0.1: One of the biggest updates today goes to algoriddim’s video-mixing vjay app that we introduced you to a couple of months ago. Included in version 1.0.1 is support for 1080p videos up to 30 FPS, new settings like Auto Repeat and Play Automatically, and improved MIDI support for both the ION iDJ 2 Go MIDI controller and Numark Mixdeck Quad.

Instapaper version 4.2.4: The iPhone and iPad Instapaper app received an update that includes improvements to dark-mode and link colors, pagination performance, and support for Chrome, Buffer, and iCab Reading List in the Share panel. A full list of what’s new is below:

- Improved pagination performance.
- Improved dark-mode colors and link colors. (More on that front soon.)
- Removed instapaper.com/z short URLs from all remaining Twitter sharing methods. Now that t.co URLs are supported by nearly all apps, custom short URLs are unnecessary and they only inconvenience Twitter readers, so they’re gone. Your links are yours and should have as few intermediaries as possible.
- Removed rarely-used “Print” feature.
- Added Buffer, Chrome, and the upcoming iCab Reading List to the Share panel.
- Added “Report a text problem” to article footers so customers can help improve Instapaper’s parsing of certain pages.
- Improved Pinboard login security to use their new token system instead of storing passwords.
- Made syncing even faster.
- Fixed bugs from the future.

Discovery Channel HD version 1.9: In anticipation of the 25th anniversary of Shark Week, the Discovery Channel app was just updated with an “interactive second screen experience, synchronized to select shows from Shark Week.”

Using ACR (automatic content recognition) technology, this deeper dive into Shark Week features exclusive photos, behind-the-scenes information, revealing production shots, interactive infographics, shark trivia and much more! 

Discovery Channel is offering Shark Week Plus exclusivity to iPad users each night of Shark Week from 9 to 10PM e/p, and Shark Week Bingo from 10-11PM e/p. Shark Week’s 25th anniversary begins Sunday, August 12.

Read more

Facebook for iPad app goes live, we go hands-on: Chat, AirPlay, full-screen games and photos

Update: It is live, we’ve taken a walkthrough below.

According to The Verge (formerly known as This is my next), the elusive Facebook for iPad app is about to go live “momentarily” on the App Store. The iPhone app will also get updated, the publication has it, with bookmarks to apps, a new Requests dialog that will display app notifications, and support for Facebook Credits for in-app payments. VentureBeat quoted Facebook engineer Leon Dubinsky as describing the software on the Facebook blog, but no such post had gone live at press time. While the social networking giant has yet to formally announce the program, they already have a dedicated URL up and running at facebook.com/mobile/ipad.

The page invites users to download the free Facebook for iPad app here. That URL actually leads to the existing iPhone app, which indicates that both the new iPad app and the existing iPhone client have been merged into a universal binary. The official list of features doesn’t disappoint: You can chat on the iPad’s beautiful 9.7-inch canvas, browse and flip through your friends’ photos, as well as play games and watch high-definition movies in full screen mode.

What’s best, it supports AirPlay technology so you can easily and wirelessly beam your videos and snaps to that big telly in your living room through the Apple TV set-top box, which is also up for an update with 1080p video output via the A5 chip. At post time, the US App Store still had the iPhone app hosted at the URL, but it shouldn’t take too long before changes propagate throughout regional App Stores. Go past the break for release notes, more screenies and a hands on video.

Read more

Apple readying new web-based diagnostic tool for iOS devices?

France-based Hardmac reports that Apple is readying a remote iOS device testing tool for deployment to its service personell.  It is web based and will send the diagnostic information, relatively anonymously, to Apple technicians.  A tool of this sort is already in use by Apple technicians but Hardmac claims that this once can be used remotely.

Apple announced (internally) that they have put the final touch to the tools that will facilitate a diagnostic. It will be simple to use and can be used remotely.  In effect, this systems operates entirely online.  An email is sent to the device containing a URL (this can also be entered by hand) and the device will connect via Mobile Safari and the telephone to start internal checks and sends the result of it to the Apple servers to which the service centres are connected.

This would be a pretty clever and powerful tool to do basic diagnostics on iOS devices which could help technicians diagnose and fix  device problems over the phone, saving both the customers and Apple time and effort. Obviously, the diagnostics would only work on devices that were booting up and running Mobile Safari -which isn’t the case in most device repair situations.  The test can only identify the following information:

  • Health, level of load of the battery, duration passed since the last complete charge, 
  • Minimum level to which the battery was discharged,  
  • iOS version installed,
  • To know if the mobile was turned off normally the preceding time.

The tools should be available in the coming months and Hardmac doesn’t speculate whether the test will be able to detect if a device is jailbroken. Read more