Bestselling iTunes Albums of 2012 for $6.99, sixth 12 Days of Christmas gift, Vimeo, SlingPlayer Mobile, more

From 9to5toys:

Screen Shot 2012-12-31 at 10.59.14 AM

As a special offer to close out the year, Apple is offering the bestselling albums of 2012 on iTunes for $6.99. The promotion is running from Dec. 31 to Jan. 3 only and includes some pretty nice offerings for you hip music listeners in the crowd:

12 Days of Christmas Day 6:

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Google launches web ad promoting its iOS Dev team, encourages iOS developers to do work that ‘matters’

Since the removal of YouTube, and Maps as preloaded Google apps within iOS, Google has been especially adept at developing its own set of iOS apps. We previously detailed how Google wants to own the iOS ecosystem on the apps level, providing users with an alternative universe to most of the core features of Apple’s mobile operating system. It appears Google now has a dedicated iOS app team which builds cohesive apps rather than having each business unit build its own apps. Read more

Autodesk Smoke 2013 professional video-editing suite now shipping for $3,495

Autodesk Inc. announced today that it is now shipping the latest version of its professional video-editing suite for Mac, Autodesk Smoke 2013, starting at $3,495 SRP per license*. The latest version of Smoke provides a new user interface that combines Autodesk’s creative tools and effects with its track-based editing: ConnectFX for high-end effects, and Creative Tools—featuring “a robust toolset with proven high-end finishing tools.”

While noting a successful run for the trial download of the software, Autodesk said it implemented even more features and enhancements based on user recommendations. The new features include the ability to drag and drop a clip from the source player into the timeline, ability to expand/collapse the timeline FX pipeline area, and a redesign and streamlining of the UI and interface elements to speed up workflows.

“The anticipation for Smoke, since its thrilling announcement at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Vegas in April, has continued to build throughout the community of creative professionals. As a leader in high-end effects and 3D, Autodesk is committed to making that technology increasingly available to a new generation, and the new Smoke is case in point. The Smoke team has fielded thousands of inquiries and product recommendations in the process of developing Smoke 2013. I’m so excited to announce it’s here,” said Mark Strassman, Autodesk Media & Entertainment vice president strategy and marketing.

To accompany the launch today, Autodesk posted over a dozen videos showing off some of the features of Smoke 2013 to its YouTube page. We posted a few of the videos below that walk through the new user interface, ConnectFX, editing, and powerful 3D visual effects.

*You can buy Smoke directly from Autodesk (save $700 until Jan. 25) or at Amazon. EDU discounts are also available. Read more

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s full NBC Rock Center interview [Video]

NBC just posted official clips from its exclusive interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier today. The interview aired at 10 p.m. ET tonight, and now the full video of the interview has already made its way to YouTube. In the interview, Cook talked about product design, Apple’s plans to bring production of some Macs back to the United States in 2013, his thoughts on Apple, being CEO post-Steve Jobs, and his “intense interest” in TV. We’ll update this post when the official high quality versions hit the web. Part 2 of the interview is continued below:
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How Google wants to own the iPhone and how Apple is trying to stop it

A Google Zombie iPhone?

With Android now on 75 percent of all smartphones sold, and Apple and Samsung battling in and out of court for the top vendor position, the smartphone wars usually come down to units sold. Apple vs. Samsung. Android vs. iOS. Less of a focus has been Google’s steady invasion of iOS, providing users with an alternative universe to most of the core features of Apple’s mobile operating system. The importance of Google’s ecosystem of iOS apps has never been more apparent than following the recent controversy over the removal of YouTube and Google Maps as default features of iOS. Apple realized the necessity of controlling key experiences on iOS, such as Maps, but it is running into a backlash from users in the process. It is not just facing competition from Android vendors; it is also now engaged in a struggle to keep Google from creating its own layer on top of iOS.

Google’s iOS apps are not just driving iPhone and iPad users to use Google services instead of Apple’s; they are increasingly an important aspect of the iOS experience for a large amount of users. Sixty-one percent of iOS users in our own polls said they were hesitant to even update to iOS 6 because of Apple’s new Maps app, many of which are still waiting for a standalone Google Maps app that Apple has yet to approve. Some say the Maps fiasco coupled with Siri might have even led to the departure of long-time iOS chief Scott Forstall, which many think could result in a new direction for iOS. What this means for Google’s presence on iOS going forward remains to be seen, but Apple does not appear to be ignoring the control Google’s apps have over its users.

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Bad Piggies, Kindle, Cut the Rope, National Geographic Magazine for iPhone, more

Bad Piggies version 1.1.0: Rovio has updated its new Bad Piggies title with 15 new levels today, as well as a new free sandbox level. The update also includes its biggest sandbox level yet, called “Field of Dreams”, as an in-app purchase.

 The Bad piggies finally did it — they finally got the eggs! But can they hold on to them with the Angry Birds in hot pursuit? Even under the cover of darkness, they’ll need all of their best machines to stay ahead! 

-Fly through 15 tricky new levels with the birds on your tail!
-Take cover in a brand new moonlit theme!
-Unleash your creativity on a free new sandbox level!
-Introducing the Field of Dreams: Our biggest sandbox level yet, now available for purchase!

National Geographic Magazine version 2.1: With this update the free app is now available to National Geographic subscribers on the  iPhone:

• Now available for iPhone!

Kindle version 3.4: A nice update to the Kindle iOS app comes following Apple releasing new features for iBooks. The app now supports Japanese with vertical text & Manga, an option to read books in the publisher suggested font, and a new “Caecilia” font choice. Also included is X-Ray for Textbooks:

X-Ray for Textbooks gives you instant access to all the most important terms and concepts in a book, with glossary definitions, links to relevant textbook pages, and related content from Wikipedia and YouTube (available on many of the most popular print replica textbooks)

Cut the Rope version 2.0: Popular Chillingo title Cut the Rope is getting updated today with new levels, iPhone 5 and Game Center support, and more. The HD iPad version gets the same updateRead more

The first three iPhone 5 (and one EarPod) ads hit: ‘Thumbs’, ‘Physics’, ‘Cheese’ and ‘Ears’

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It sounds like actor Jeff Daniels, of “Dumb and Dumber” and “Newsroom”, narrates the first iPhone 5 ads.

“Thumbs” shows how the 4-inch screen is tailored to the windshield-wiper motion of your thumb:

“Cheese” shows the new panorama feature with a comical “cheeeeeeee *breath* eeese”:

Two more and a poll below:

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YouTube iPhone app from Google lands in the App Store just month after Apple’s version disappears

On Aug. 6, Beta 4 of iOS 6 came out with one huge gaping hole: Apple’s YouTube app. There was speculation on both sides of the fence that Apple might have pulled it because of the ongoing war with Android or perhaps Google pulled it because it wanted more control of the app and/or it wanted to show more ads. In reality, it was probably a little of both.

Whatever the case, just a month after being pulled and just a day ahead of Apple’s iOS 6/iPhone 5 event, Google has released its own homegrown YouTube app into the App Store. It is formatted for the iPhone only (an iPad version is in the works), but it already has many features that its Apple-built counterpart lacked.

Description

Watch the world’s videos and keep up with your favorite YouTube channels with the official YouTube app for iOS. Sign in to access your subscriptions, playlists, uploads and more.

Features:
✓ Enjoy YouTube’s vast video catalog, including official music videos
✓ Find videos and channels more easily with voice search and query autocomplete
✓ Subscribe to channels and instantly access your subscriptions with the channel guide UI
✓ Read comments, browse related videos, enable subtitles and more – all while watching
✓ Easy video sharing to Google+, E-mail, Facebook and Twitter

Did Google throw this together in just one month or did it have some advance warning? We are thinking the latter; it is already receiving some good reviews and appears to be a well-polished product.

As TheNextWeb points out, it is not certain how you will upload videos to YouTube in the new app. Matt Panzerino postulates that Apple will allow YouTube to be granted rights in iOS to have a file handling menu option. We are not so sure that Apple cares if you can upload to YouTube natively (see Mountain Lion) from the OS. We are thinking that you will eventually need to open the YouTube app manually, browse to the video, and do it the old-fashioned way.

The more important question now becomes: where is the Google Maps app for iOS?

More… including a walkthrough YouTube video below:

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As Apple event approaches, new iPhone fakes, mockups, and hoaxes become more elaborate

With the September 12th Apple event approaching, anticipation for a redesigned iPhone is heating up. Besides the legitimate information leaking over the course of the past months, there has been fake information, mockups and hoaxes about the device floating around. Over the past few days, the increasing anticipation and speculation for the new iPhone has led to a new level of mockups and hoaxes.

GSMIsrael, this weekend, claimed a world exclusive iPhone 5 hands-0n. Though, their hands were actually on a plasticky mockup built by a case maker.

It gets much worse…

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‘Get a Mac’ ad creator leaves TBWA/Media Arts Lab, new clients include Samsung and Microsoft

Creator of Apple’s “Get a Mac” ad campaign, Scott Trattner, is leaving his role as executive creative director at TBWA/Media Arts Lab. He was responsible for the creative development of many Apple product ads from the iPod, iPhone and iPad to Mac, iTunes and iCloud. According to Ad Age, after years of focusing mostly on Apple campaigns at TBWA/Media Arts Lab, Trattner will take a new role at 72andSunny to work as one of three creative directors with clients, including Samsung, Xbox 360, Hewlett-Packard, Activision and Nike.

“Scott’s track record for creating colossal impact on behalf of his clients is second to none,” said 72andSunny CEO John Boiler in a statement. “His work has not only shaped one of the biggest brands in the world, but redefined industries.”

Most notably, 72andSunny was responsible for Samsung’s “Next Big Thing” Galaxy S II campaign that “launches the Samsung Galaxy S II by challenging blind allegiance to Apple’s inferior products”. 72andSunny is also behind many Call of Duty ads and campaigns for other Activision games.

Apple’s most recent ads featuring Apple Genius Bar employees, which aired during the Olympic Games in London, were not well received due to their lack of focus on an actual product and the fact they assumed customers were not knowledgeable. Apple later removed the videos from both their website and YouTube channel.

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Previously jailbreak only, Apple allows iOS Display Recorder app into App Store

Update 2, July 03, 2012: It looks like Apple has now pulled the Display Recorder app from the App Store.

The ability to record your iOS display was a functionality previously limited to a Cydia app for jailbroken iPhone users that is called “Display Recorder.” As noted by JBN, Apple has allowed an app of the same name, and with even more screen recording functionality, into the App Store. The App Store version of Display Recorder, released by Bugun Software, allows you to export to YouTube or your Camera Roll, adjust video and audio settings, and settles for recording and merging audio picked up by the built-in microphone.

It appears the app might take a succession of screenshots to compile the video. Apple does not allow third-party screen capturing apps for even screenshots into the App Store (apart from third-party browser apps), because it would mimic the native screenshot functionality in iOS. It is possible Apple will pull the Display Recorder app, but it is still available in at least the U.S. and Canadian App Stores for $1.99. A video of the app in action, courtesy of JBN, is below. We will let you know if Apple decides to pull it.

Update: The developer of the original Cydia Display Recorder app, Ryan Petrich, confirmed in a tweet (above) that he is not affiliated with the new app. He also filed a complaint with Apple.

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