AOL Stories October 6, 2017

After first launching back in 1997, today word arrives that AOL Instant Messenger will officially shut down in December after a 20-year run:

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AOL Stories May 25, 2017

AOL launches updated Alto email app w/ integrated calendars & Amazon Alexa support

AOL, now part of Verizon, is today launching an updated version of its Alto email app that it first launched back in September of last year. Today’s update includes new calendar integration, Amazon Alexa support, and more.

One of the highlight new features arriving in today’s update is full calendar integration in the app’s Dashboard interface:

AOL Stories February 28, 2017

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AOL announced today that it is starting to cut off third-party app access to its Instant Messenger service. As first noticed by ArsTechnica, AOL began notifying users of at least one third-party app, Adium, that it would become obsolete starting on March 28th.

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AOL Stories September 29, 2016

AOL launches new Alto email app on iPhone and iPad

AOL is launching an Alto app today for iOS (and Android) that aims to offer a fresh take on email. AOL’s new app features a single dashboard that intelligently organizes the most important info from your email, calendar and elsewhere.

Alto, which was previously available on the desktop for a limited number of testers, hopes you’ll want to ditch the traditional inbox-format for email, serving up the most important info from emails in card-form in what it refers to as the Dashboard.

AOL Stories May 12, 2015

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Verizon Communications is buying AOL for $4.4B in a deal believed to be focused on Verizon’s ambitions in mobile video and advertising.

The acquisition would give Verizon, which has set its sights on entering the crowded online video marketplace, access to advanced technology AOL has developed for selling ads and delivering high-quality Web video.

Traditional TV viewing is changing dramatically, consumers not only giving up their cable TV subscriptions in favor of video on demand over the Internet (a market Apple is believed to be planning to enter in the fall), but increasingly watching video on mobile devices …  expand full story

AOL Stories January 30, 2015

Report: AOL’s TUAW closing Feb. 2

The long-rumored news comes from The Verge: TUAW.com is closing as of Feb 2. I didn’t like all of what they did there, but there was a solid group of writers and people that I will miss reading.

AOL is shutting down The Unofficial Apple Weblog, better known as TUAW, sources familiar with the situation tell The Verge. The company — which is also shutting down its gaming site Joystiq — is in the midst of a major reorganization, and is cutting back on media properties it deems as underperforming.TUAW’s run comes to an end on February 2nd.

TechCrunch, which originally reported the news of AOL’s restructuring, noted that tech and lifestyle sites would most likely be affected by the changes. AOL decided against selling TUAW, leaving open the possibility it could resurrect the site in the future. But for now, a team of writers and editors are out of jobs.

Aol’s TechCrunch puts a different spin on it saying that it will be folded into Engadget – which might mean current content gets redirected.

While Verge earlier today reported that both tech were being closed, this is not quite accurate: Joystiq will stay on as a separate channel at Engadget, while TUAW content will be folded into the bigger site, we understand. It’s still being decided whether the two brand names will remain.

I’ve heard separately that pageviews were in a slow downward spiral over the past few years and the site became too small to justify being a separate unit against slowing ad revenue for AOL.  In any case, it is always sad to see some good Apple writers out of a gig.

AOL Stories September 6, 2014

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Apple’s upcoming wearable device, based on iOS, will run third-party applications and, furthermore, may come equipped with an App Store, according to two sources with knowledge of the new device. It is currently unclear if the App Store will be full-fledged, like on the iPhone and iPad, or if it will be a special section with in the iPhone App Store for apps that play nicely with the new wearable device.

A small handful of high-profile social network and services companies with apps on the iPhone and iPad App Store have already been seeded with a pre-release version of the Apple SDK (Software Development Kit) for wearables under strict non-disclosure agreements. One of the developers with access to the pre-release SDK is Facebook, according to a source. Facebook is also said to be finishing up work on an iOS 8-optimized version of its iPhone app with improved notifications. The social network is also experimenting with ways it can leverage the new Notification Center widget APIs.

The SDK was seeded “very recently” to these developers, and Apple likely wants to demonstrate some third-party wearable apps at Tuesday’s event, according to one source. Apple, in the past, has provided select developers with early versions of SDKs in order to boast new apps on the keynote stage. For example, several apps from companies like AOL were shown off with the first public demonstration of the iPhone SDK, fancy gaming and drawing apps were demonstrated alongside the first iPad in 2010, and the iPhone 4S’s dual-core A5 chip was launched alongside a graphics-intense video game…

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AOL Stories July 8, 2014

MapQuest navigation app updated with improved ETAs, baseball guides, airport maps and more

Navigation app MapQuest has been updated to version 4.4, offering more accurate ETAs thanks to better traffic data; an app-specific volume control that allows you to set the voice navigation volume independently of other apps; Ballpark Guides to MLB stadiums and airport maps; and GrubHub integration to allow you to order food from take-out restaurants before the app navigates you there to collect it.

AOL Stories June 24, 2014

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After adding the Watch ABC app to Apple TV late last year, today ABC News arrives as its own channel on the device offering users access to a lot of the network’s content free of charge. While the WatchABC app provides full TV shows from the network and requires a cable subscription, the new ABC News app offers mostly news, clips of new shows as well as the same live stream that is also accessible from ABCNews.com. The new ABC News app comes alongside PBS Kids, Willow TV, AOL On, and a redesigned Flickr app.  expand full story

AOL Stories December 23, 2013

AOL announces iCloud email support returning to its Alto webmail service

Earlier this year AOL announced it would no longer be supporting iCloud email accounts with its Alto webmail service after December 2nd. Today, however, the Alto team informed users it had reversed that decision and apologized for the confusion of its decision. Alto also promised it would not be pulling support for iCloud email in the future, but offered no details on why the initial decision then reversal were made. Full email below:

AOL Stories October 9, 2013

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AOL has informed applicable users that it will be dropping support for accessing email from Apple’s iCloud service from its recently launched Alto webmail client. Alto is a web-based mail client that intelligently sorts and integrates email from services such as iCloud Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL. AOL has informed iCloud users who have logged into Alto that support for iCloud will be dropped on December 2nd:

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AOL Stories June 27, 2013

AOL launches iPad app with news, weather, video, and mail

AOL launched a new iPad app today that allows users to quickly access their AOL email accounts, as well as the latest news and weather updates from the online service. The app is designed exclusively for Apple’s tablet and doesn’t currently have an iPhone counterpart.

The application is available for free on the iOS App Store.

Features: • Discover the latest stories and videos in an engaging news stream format • Connect and share via AOL Mail, Facebook and Twitter • Choose the news categories that matter most to you by customizing your stream • Save articles and videos to read, watch and share at your leisure • Delight in the featured news stream as it reflects your personal news interests over time

AOL Stories February 19, 2013

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As expected, Apple just released iOS 6.1.2 with a fix for the Exchange bug in iOS 6.1 that we previously reported. The 107mb update is available OTA and comes with build number 10B146 .We reported earlier this month that AOL had informed its corporate employees via email that it would temporarily disable the ability to manage meetings with Exchange on iOS devices running iOS 6.1. AOL confirmed it was working with Microsoft and Apple to fix the “continuous loop” bug, and many had highlighted the problem on Microsoft’s forums.

Fixes an Exchange calendar bug that could result in increased network activity and reduced battery life.

The release notes only list the Exchange issues, but ArsTechnica looked deeper to see if it also fixed the passcode unlock bug from iOS 6.1. :

We tried the convoluted unlock exploit on our own iPhone and were able to unlock the screen successfully under iOS 6.1.1, and the same process once again unlocked the phone in iOS 6.1.2. Put simply: it doesn’t look like this update fixes the passcode unlock bug, according to our testing.

A previous report from iFun, which predicted today’s release of 6.1.2, claimed enhancements to maps in Japan that Apple introduced in the recent 6.1.1 beta would reach consumers in the coming weeks as iOS 6.1.3.

AOL Stories February 12, 2013

We reported on Friday that AOL had informed its corporate employees via email that it would be temporarily disabling the ability to manage meetings with Exchange on iOS devices running iOS 6.1. AOL confirmed that it was working with Microsoft and Apple to fix the “continuous loop” bug, and many had highlighted the problem on Microsoft’s forums. It doesn’t appear Apple addressed the issue with its recent release of iOS 6.1.1, and Microsoft has now published an official support document to detail workarounds for the bug.

When a user syncs a mailbox by using an iOS 6.1-based device, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Client Access server (CAS) and Mailbox (MBX) server resources are consumed, log growth becomes excessive, memory and CPU use may increase significantly, and server performance is affected. Additionally, Office 365 Exchange Online users receive an error message that resembles the following on an iOS 6.1-based device: Cannot Get Mail, The connection to the server failed.

Microsoft suggested a few workarounds for the issue while it waits for Apple to fix the bug. First, it informed customers to “not process Calendar items such as meeting requests on iOS 6.1 devices. Also, immediately restart the iOS 6.1 device.” If problems with Exchange continue, Microsoft recommended and provided instructions for removing and recreating the device partnership, creating a custom throttling policy for iOS 6.1 users, or blocking iOS 6.1 users entirely.

Microsoft said it is working with Apple to resolve the issue and recommended customers “open an Enterprise Support case with Apple”: expand full story

AOL Stories February 11, 2013

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Following reports about some carriers in Europe issuing warnings not to upgrade to iOS 6.1 due to issues with 3G performance, it seems a fix is already in the works. The issue was not just with 3G through carriers such as Vodafone and three in Austria, many users in Apple’s own forums complained of similar problems, degraded battery life, and more. Users have also had problems with Exchange support, causing AOL corporate to temporarily disable the ability to manage mobile meetings from iOS devices running iOS 6.1.

Today, a report from German language blog iFun claimed that carriers have already completed testing a 6.1.1 update to address the bugs and a 23MB update carrying build number 10B145 should be available over-the-air soon:

After ifun.de this information is already in version 6.1.1 of the night on Monday as “Testing Complete” and should be offered the iPhone community with little flow as a wireless update. Sources which are applicable in the past on the issue dates of iOS 6.0.2 and iOS 6.1 as well as the eradication of the “SMS spoofing problem” have informed, indicate the large 23MB update with UMTS-compatible.

Apple’s first beta release for 6.1.1 was released last week with build number 10B311.

AOL Stories September 27, 2012

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Many apps updated, went on sale, or made announcements recently, and 9to5Mac gathered the most noteworthy ones in our regular round up below. Today’s crop includes new games by AOL and Rovio, updates for popular video services and social networks, more notable apps adding support for iOS 6, and huge price drops and daily deals. Per usual, we will continue to update this list throughout the day.

Check them out:

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AOL Stories June 15, 2011

TechCrunch continues their profiling of Facebook (once) secret projects with news that Zuckerberg and company plan a web-based alternative web store to Apple’s App Store for iOS devices.

Dubbed Project Spartan, the project is a framework for apps that would use social hooks and work inside of Facebook’s ecosystem.

As we understand it, Project Spartan is the codename for a new platform Facebook is on verge of launching. It’s entirely HTML5-based and the aim is to reach some 100 million users in a key place: mobile. More specifically, the initial target is both surprising and awesome: mobile Safari.

Yes, Facebook is about to launch a mobile platform aimed squarely at working on the iPhone (and iPad). But it won’t be distributed through the App Store as a native application, it will be entirely HTML5-based and work in Safari. Why? Because it’s the one area of the device that Facebook will be able to control (or mostly control).

Project Spartan will also be available on Android but according to TechCrunch, Facebook has Apple in its sights first.

As of right now, there are believed to be 80 or so outside developers working with Facebook on Project Spartan. These teams are working on apps for the platform that range from games to news-reading apps. Some of the names should be familiar: Zynga and Huffington Post (owned by our parent AOL), for example. The goal is to have these apps ready to roll in the next few weeks for a formal unveiling shortly thereafter.

‘Project Trojan’ sounds like a better name.

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