Updates Stories December 5, 2017

Last year’s search ads changed the way Apple’s App Store functioned in a fundamental way by surfacing promoted (and sometimes irrelevant) apps into search results. With the latest update to the program, developers have a new way to pay for app promotion, the ability to pay for installs.

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Updates Stories May 16, 2016

Apple releases watchOS 2.2.1 for Apple Watch with various bug fixes and security improvements

Alongside iOS 9.3.2, Apple has also released a bug fix update for Apple Watch in the form of watchOS 2.2.1. The release notes indicate the OTA update (weighing in at around 30 MB) includes various bug fixes and security updates. Given the version number, we aren’t expecting any new features but we’ll update if we see anything new. Check the Apple Watch app on the iPhone to update to the latest firmware.

To install updates on Apple Watch, connect the paired, nearby, iPhone to WiFi and connect the Apple Watch to its charger. The Apple Watch hardware needs at least 50% battery in order for the update to go through.

Updates Stories January 22, 2016

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Three days ago Apple released an iOS 9.2.1 update with seemingly arbitrary ‘security updates and bug fixes’ listed in the release notes. As we’ve seen time and time again with these type of software updates, most often these small updates seem to go ignored by the general public. We stress how important it is to keep your device up to date, even with small security updates like this.

As is customary after Apple releases a security update version of iOS, the firms and people that discovered the vulnerabilities are coming out explaining how and why these security updates matter. Apple has already included a breakdown of what security issues were resolved in iOS 9.2.1, but it’s still nice to get a further detailed look into what made the vulnerabilities possible in the first place.

SkyCure, a company helping in threat defense in EMM and MDM solutions, released a blog post this week detailing their discovery while noting that Apple had finally resolved it.

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Updates Stories January 20, 2016

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Following its onslaught of music updates this morning, Apple this evening has rolled out updates to two more of its Mac audio apps. First is Logic Pro X, which has been bumped to version 10.2.1 with this evening’s update. Next is MainStage 3, which is now at version 3.2.3 thanks to its most recent update. Both apps have received a handful of new features, under-the-hood changes, and performance improvements with their respective updates.

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Updates Stories January 18, 2016

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Today, WhatsApp has announced a pretty major shift in its business model. The popular chat client is going completely free. Facebook-owned WhatsApp used to run on a trial model: users could use the app for free for a year. Subsequent years would cost $0.99 cents each. The paid model notably made WhatsApp stand out from the crowd, as almost every other social networking is free to use from the customer perspective. Although WhatsApp will stop charging customers from today, it will take a few weeks for the payment UI in apps to go away as app updates roll out to the store.

WhatsApp says although a 0.99 cent charge is not onerous, it prevented growth as a lot of customers do not have access to credit cards. This is its major motivation for taking out the annual revenue model. Naturally, users of WhatsApp will wonder how the application plans to monetize going forward ….

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Updates Stories December 14, 2015

Google Maps for iOS gains up-to-date gas prices, popular business hours

Google’s Maps app for iPhone and iPad got a small but useful update on the App Store today. The latest version of the Google Maps iOS app now includes a couple of handy features.

First up, and undoubtedly the most useful for drivers is the up-to-date gas prices in the US and Canada. The feature was included in the Android version of Google’s app a couple of months ago and lets users check nearby gas stations to see which has the most affordable prices. You can find prices simply be searching for ‘gas’ or ‘gas stations’ in the search field and Google Maps will automatically bring up the nearest options and list pricing for those locations.

Business hours have been included in the app for some time, but today’s update also lets you check when is best to avoid/visit particular businesses. Like its online search and maps tools, the updated iPhone app brings the ability check popular visiting hours for local stores and outlets. Now you can see what you always knew about any business or retail location: It starts getting busy after lunch.

Google Maps version 4.13.0 is available to download from the App Store for free and requires users to be running iOS 7.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Updates Stories December 10, 2015

Google Wallet for iOS can now send money to any contact using just a phone number

With the rise of contactless payment systems like Apple Pay and Android Pay, the Google Wallet app has needed to reinvent itself somewhat as a peer-to-peer payment system. With the latest update, it’s become a whole lot easier to send money to your friends, family and contacts.

From today, the updated app on both iOS and Android will let you send money to anyone on your contact list, even if you don’t have their email address. You can send money to them using their phone number, and it’s secure and fast.

When you send money to a phone number, the recipient gets a text message containing a secure link. Once they click on the link, they input their debit card details to claim the money and the funds are available in their bank account within a few minutes.

Before today, you could send money to contacts, but you could only do so by using an email address.

This is just one of several new features added to Google Wallet in recent weeks. It’s clear then that the company is working hard to make it a useful app, and one that isn’t made redundant by the arrival of Android Pay, or competitor payment systems like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or *coughs* Walmart Pay. Those improvements include:

  • Improved contact suggestions, so you see the people you send money to most often first
  • A security feature that lets you lock the Google Wallet app with the tap of a button
  • The ability to link a second bank account

You can download the latest update for iPhone from the App Store for free. Apple is rumored to be developing its own peer-to-peer payment feature for Apple Pay in 2016.

Updates Stories November 3, 2015

Inbox by Gmail app for iPhone will use AI-powered Smart Reply feature to respond to messages for you

Google’s Inbox by Gmail app for iPhone is one of the best things to happen to personal email management since email was invented (at least, it is for Gmail users). Using Google Now’s power, it can automatically create calendar events, sort out your junk and priority emails and suggest reminders. Now it’s about to get a whole lot smarter.

Updates Stories September 16, 2015

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We’ve already rounded up several apps this week that have been updated with iOS 9 support and that rollout continues tonight to a pair of popular apps. This evening, both Pocket and Hulu for iOS have been updated with support for the latest version of Apple’s operating system. Pocket has been updated to version 6.0.1, while Hulu has been updated to 4.6.1.

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Updates Stories July 30, 2015

Angry Birds 2 released for iOS, free to download on the App Store

Rovio has finally released the long-awaited sequel to the original Angry Birds hit mobile game. Since the first title saw phenomenal success on the iOS App Store, the game has gone on to amazing heights with tons of spinoffs. With several official movie tie-ins, including the popular Star Wars titles, Angry Birds is the ultimate success story of the mobile app world. And now, Angry Birds 2 is available to download.

The game retains the key features, in that you fling birds with a catapult in an attempt to destroy blocks and kill green pigs. However, it does have some new features. Some levels now have multiple stages to complete, and you have to choose which bird to launch next. You can challenge other players and there are even more magic spells too, to help you complete difficult levels. As always, there are plenty of pig bosses to wipe out.

It’s free to download and has the expected in-app purchases. Download the app from the App Store.

You can watch the official gameplay trailer below

Updates Stories July 14, 2015

BBC iPlayer Radio app for iOS and Android gets offline listening at last

 

The BBC announced in a blog post this morning that mobile downloads are coming to its iPlayer Radio app just in time for the BBC Proms. For the first time – using the iPlayer Radio app – customers will be able to download radio shows (and the Proms) to listen offline and keep them for up to 30 days.  To make use of this new service, all you need to do is ensure you have the latest version of the BBC iPlayer Radio smartphone or tablet app for iOS, Android or Kindle.

Updates Stories May 21, 2015

After being updated with support for Apple Watch last month, the Apple Store app on iOS has been updated today with a pair of highly requested features. With today’s update, which bumps the app to version 3.3, users can now use Touch ID to view orders, access EasyPay receipts, and make reservations at retail locations.

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Updates Stories May 11, 2015

Periscope update adds ability to sign up without a Twitter account, new commenting features, more

Twitter this evening has updated its popular live streaming app Periscope to version 1.0.4 with a handful of new features and bug fixes. Announced in post on Medium, the update adds the ability to change your profile a picture, a feature that for some reason has not been there since launch. A variety of other new features are also included…

Updates Stories March 31, 2015

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As the Apple Watch launch draws nearer, with preorders starting April 10th, more and more developers are jumping on board. Uber rolled out a new update of its iPhone app today including its Apple Watch app — originally announced at the March event. The app allows users to request rides in one action and you can check on driver progress with a quick glance.

The New York Times is adding ‘one sentence stories’ to its portfolio for the Watch, including emoji-driven recipes and quick headlines. Push notifications will update Apple Watch users of breaking news right on the wrist. Full stories can be saved for later to be read at leisure on user’s iPhones, as the Watch form factor isn’t really appropriate for prolonged reading.

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Updates Stories March 5, 2015

Gmail for iOS updated w/ share sheet support, ability to archive & reply to email via notifications

Google this morning has released a major update for Gmail on iOS. The update bumps the app to version 4.0 and packs a handful of new features. First off, Gmail on iOS now supports the ability to archive and reply to messages directly from a notification, a feature many have been requesting since iOS 8 launched.

Updates Stories February 12, 2015

First announced by Steve Jobs in 2006, Apple kicked off construction on its new 176-acre “Campus 2” in late 2013/early 2014 and expects to move in around 12,000 of its employees when the project is complete. Apple currently plans to wrap up construction by late 2016, so it’s possible the company could move into the new 2.8 million sq ft location starting sometime in early 2017. expand full story

Updates Stories April 29, 2014

4Snaps word game for iOS updated to version 2.0 with a new look and gameplay tweaks

4Snaps, the creative new word game we first wrote about when it debuted last year, has gotten a big overhaul today with the launch of its 2.0 update. The new version brings a new design with a gesture-focused interface that bounces around playfully using the new UI physics found in iOS 7.

Other interface tweaks include the ability to rearrange your snaps before sending them, delete finished games from the main screen, and preview exactly what your opponent will see when you hit the ‘send’ button.

The update also adds some new tweaks to the gameplay. If you’re having trouble figuring a word out, you can now share snaps to Instagram and ask your followers on that network for help.

The in-game economy has also gotten a boost. In the old version of the game, you could spend in-game coins to switch out your set of playable words for a new one. Now you can also spend those coins on hints, such as removing any incorrect letters from the board. And where coins were previously earned only by completing rounds, you can also now earn them by watching in-game video ads.

Overall, this is a really solid update to what was already a fun game. 4Snaps 2.0 is a free download on the App Store for all players.

Updates Stories December 3, 2013

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We hear a lot about adoption of iOS updates vs the fragmentation that Android users are forced to deal with, but just how far behind are the top Android devices compared to iPhone when it comes to getting support? To answer that question, Fidlee.com has updated a chart that it first put together a couple years back in order to see if Android has become any better in recent years. It hasn’t.

In the chart above we see that many once flagship Android devices— the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3, LG G2 etc— have still not received the latest Android 4.4 KitKat update. Most of the devices on the list have been an upgrade or two behind since launch or not long after. In comparison, only the iPhone 3GS fives years after its release doesn’t support iOS 7. We also get a look at how much longer Apple devices generally stay available for sale and continue receiving support– nearly twice as long as Android in most cases.

Not only did Apple claim iOS 7 was “the fastest software upgrade in history” with more than 200 million devices installing the OS less than a week after launch, but analytics firms also noticed adoption was much higher than previous releases. Currently iOS 7 sits at about 77% of users, according to the latest data from Fiksu’s iOS Usage Monitor. While the chart above is only for devices released last year, things aren’t much better for newer Android devices. In comparison to iOS 7 adoption, Google reports that its latest release, Android 4.4 KitKat, is at just 1.1% weeks into launch. The previous release, Android 4.3, is at just 4.2%, while the majority of users remain on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean first released in July 2012.

A couple more charts below from Fidlee showing just how bad things are on Android: expand full story

Updates Stories September 12, 2013

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Apple announced on Tuesday that iOS 7 will be publicly available on September 18th. The revamped OS moves completely away from the realistic designs of the past six generations, dropping almost all “artificial shadows” (as Apple SVP Craig Federighi called them), gloss, and even button borders. Instead, the Jony Ive-inspired interface features an entirely rethought design language that focuses heavily on large icons, lightweight fonts, whitespace, transparency, and conservative use of color.

We previously took a look at what some of Apple’s own in-house apps could look like when redesigned for iOS 7. During Apple’s September 10th event, Federighi flashed up a slide displaying the upcoming iOS 7 updates for many third-party applications. None of the apps were labeled, but we’ve tracked down names for most of them.

The apps featured are:

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Updates Stories September 10, 2013

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Today at Apple’s iPhone event today in Cupertino, CEO Tim Cook kicked things off with the usual company updates since last checking in. After talking briefly about its iTunes festival and its latest expansion to the Stanford, CA retail store, Cook mentioned that Apple will hit 700 million iOS devices sold by next month. That’s up 100 million devices in just a few months since Apple announced back in June that it hit the 600 million device mark.

Cook also provided some numbers on the iTunes festival noting that the event is now in its seventh year and reaches 100+ countries  with live streams. He also said that around 20M people applied for tickets.

Updates Stories June 27, 2013

Twitter #music and Tweetbot for iOS updated

Both Tweetbot and Twitter #music have released minor updates this afternoon, extending the capabilities of these social applications.

The two versions of Tweetbot, one for iPhones and iPod Touches and the other for iPads, have been updated to version 2.8.2 and now support Instagram video according to the release notes, although there have been some reports of the feature not working at all.

The Twitter #music update is a bit more substantial, bumping up the app to version 1.1 with the addition of genres:

Genres! Get hip-hoppy or get your metal on or get your dance beats grooving with Twitter #music genres! Tons of genres plus Superstars, Popular, Emerging, Unearthed and Hunted charts.

This build also includes: • Fixes for some scenarios that could cause tracks to be unavailable. • Rdio authentication now happens in-app, rather than kicking you out to Safari. • We have stomped many bugs so that you don’t have to.

The free Twitter #music app is available in the App Store.

Updates Stories June 10, 2013

Live on stage at Apple’s WWDC keynote presentation this morning, CEO Tim Cook has opened things up with the usual updates on some of the company’s core businesses and accomplishments over the past year. Sharing numbers on how its products have been selling and outpacing the competition has become somewhat of a tradition for Apple keynote addresses. Below you’ll find a roundup of the stats that Cook shared today including info on retail stores, iPhones and more:

-6 Million registered developers, 1.5M in last year

-WWDC sold out in 71 seconds

-1m daily visitors at Apple retail

-Millions of customers come for personal training

-407 stores in 14 countries

-50 billion apps

-900,000 apps (93% downloaded each month)

-375k iPad apps

-575,000,000 store accounts (more accounts with credit cards than any store online)

-paid developers 10 billion (3 times more than all other mobile platforms combined) expand full story

Updates Stories April 24, 2013

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Drafts for iPhone and Drafts for iPad received a major update today.

Drafts is by far the fastest way to input text on iOS. A blank text field and keyboard greets you as soon as you launch Drafts. No need to fiddle with menus and buttons to reach your intended destination. Write first and decide later.

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Updates Stories April 22, 2013

Yahoo continues to rebrand itself under the leadership of former Google executive Marissa Mayer, proving it can be just as innovative as its competitors.

Following the launch of Yahoo! Weather and Yahoo! Mail for iPad last week, the Internet giant updated its Yahoo! for iOS app today to include news summaries in its articles provided by Summly as well as a redesigned page for articles.

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