Update Rundown for April 14th, 2014

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 15th, 2014, 08:31
Category: Apps, Mac, Microsoft, Software

software-updateEvery so often we like to post info on updates of some of our favorite software along with some high profile apps that are pretty essential to anyone on a Mac. This information is brought to you by updates I get from developers, but mostly by MacUpdate, although not officially, because that is what I use to keep all my apps up to date. I also like to add some value by throwing in some extra notes from my experiences. So let’s get to it!

TaskTime4 5.1.5

This app for tracking your time and printing invoices has been my goto for my freelance work for years. It’s inexpensive ($20) and the developer is very responsive.

  • Interface tweaks
  • improved functioning of Category popup menu
  • fixed sorting project reports by clients
  • fixed pause button size problem with autopause enabled
  • fixed stop button issue (moved timing buttons to toolbar)
  • fixed reports bug

 

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Could the Facebook app be killing your battery?

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 10th, 2014, 08:00
Category: Apple, Apps, battery, iOS, iPhone, Software, Tips

ios7-facebook-logo-iconWe recently did a piece on iPhone battery saving tips, but it looks like we need to add another one to the list. Evidence has been found that Facebook’s iOS app may be a suspect in shortening battery life. The web site overthought.com, run by Scotty Loveless, has its own battery saving tips which adds Facebook’s app as a culprit. Being an ex-Apple Genius gave Scotty some extra insight into his own iPhone’s battery drain. Fueled by evidence collected over the years in the support field, and recent finger-pointing to the iOS 7.1 update as the cause for many users’ battery woes, he set out to pinpoint the most likely, and serious, battery draining problems.

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Arrival Time app Twist shuts down suddenly

Posted by:
Date: Sunday, April 6th, 2014, 14:10
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, iPhone, News, Software

It’s a sad day for fans of Twist, the ETA/arrival time app and service. After working intermittently for the last four of five days, the website was taken down and the app was removed from the App Store over the weekend.

The developers confirmed that Twist was shuttered on April 5, 2014 in a Tweet:

When I reached out for comment, they replied:

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Pebble 2.1.1 update now in the App Store, appears to solve crashing issues

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 3rd, 2014, 14:05
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Software, Wearables

Pebble_new_appiconSometime yesterday, Pebble’s updated iOS app to fix the problems introduced by the 2.1 update, appeared on the App Store. Version 2.1.1, in our experience, has resolved the problems, in particular the inability to launch the iOS app. I simply installed the new version over the old and everything started up fine. There was a method posted on some sites for removing 2.1 and reinstalling the old version, but I do not know the results of trying this. Pebble’s response was little more than a confirmation that the updated app had been submitted and then the fact that the 2.1.1 version was showing up in the App Store. The following in the list of changes introduced by the 2.1/2.1.1 update:

Pebble iOS App (v.2.1.1) Release notes:

  • Share apps with friends via email, Twitter, Facebook, and text message.
  • New apps added to the appstore.
  • Fixed issues with version 2.1 (released 31-Mar-2014)
  • Bug fixes.

New features, if upgrading from v1.x app versions:

  • Pebble watchapp directory: browse, find and install the latest watchapps for Pebble.
  • List of prior notifications are now stored on your Pebble.
  • Watchapp locker: keep track of your favorite apps and manage the apps on your Pebble.
  • Completely revamped and improved user interface design.

 

Let us know in the comments if you are still having any trouble.

 

 

iOS Pebble 2.1 app critical fail [updated]

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014, 09:46
Category: Accessory, Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Software, Wearables

Pebble_new_appiconThe latest version of Pebble’s iOS app has proven to be a problem. Released on March 31st, the 2.1 version has totally disabled the app, generally crashing when anyone attempts to run it. Pebble advises anyone who has not yet updated the app not to do so until a fix is in place. If you are one of the lucky ones, it is recommended that you turn off Automatic Updates on your iPhone. Pebble has stated that a 2.1.1 update has already been submitted to Apple, but there is not yet any information on when it will go live on the App Store. While some sites are reporting that the buggy update prevents the smart watch from working, that is not necessarily the case. Being one of the unfortunate upgraders, I find that my Pebble is still working normally, but that I simply can’t make any changes other than what is available through the watch’s on-board settings. This includes switching out apps and watch faces from your Pebble locker, which is controlled by the iOS app. The iOS multitasking manager even seems to think that the Pebble app is open and running, which may indicate that the app is not actually crashing, but that something is wrong with the app’s ability to present its interface. Hopefully Apple will recognize the need for approval urgency and the new update will appear shortly, so keep a sharp eye out for it and let us know when you see it hit the App Store.

Update: 04-03-2014

Version 2.1.1 has been submitted and is now available in the App Store. The updated appears to have resolved the problems. More details here.

 

 

Death knell is coming for Google Voice

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 25th, 2014, 08:42
Category: Android, Apps, Google, iOS, iPhone, News, Services, Software, Telephony

GoogleHangVoiceAfter five years, it looks like Google Voice is going away…at least as an independent service and app. In 2007 Google acquired GrandCentral (started in 2005) and eventually rebranded it and launched it as Google Voice in 2009. Very little was done for the switchover, from a user standpoint, other than to incorporate the service into Google’s infrastructure. I had a GrandCentral account and it was nearly identical to how Google Voice works and looks today. According to 9to5Google, sometime in the coming months, Google plans to depreciate and eventually phase out the service with its features to be rolled into the Google Hangouts app.

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Raise a virtual glass on St. Patrick’s Day with iBeer Free

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 17th, 2014, 09:10
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, Fun, Holiday, iOS, iPhone, Review, Software

iBeer iconFirst off, Happy St. Patrick’s Day from O’Grady’s PowerPage!

I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to tie the holiday into a post, but then I ran across iBeer Free. I’m not sure this is the type of app that gets used on a regular basis, but it can be fun to pull out as a fun way to demonstrate how the iPhone’s accelerometer works. As you can imagine, the app turns your iThing into a virtual glass of beer, or other beverages via in-app purchases. Tilting your iPhone to your mouth as you would a glass makes the simulated beer magically drain away as if you had consumed a refreshing beverage. By default, you get to choose between four simulated types of beers and some green mouthwash, which at first I thought an odd addition, but then I realized it would be perfect for St. Paddy’s Day to give the appearance of chugging some green beer. For $0.99 you can get rid of the ads (highly recommended) which also adds coffee to your list of beverages.

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Maps app gets serious in iOS 8

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 17th, 2014, 08:46
Category: Apple, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Rumor, Software

Maps_iOS7Isn’t that typical? We just get a nice, new 7.1 update for iOS and people have already moved on to talk about what’s new in iOS 8. iOS 8?! Yes, apparently details about the next OS for iDevices has been leaking out of Cupertino, and one item of particular interest seems to be Maps. Most should be familiar with the story of Apple Maps by now. Apple dumped Google Maps as the default mapping solution for iOS 6, to be replaced by Apple’s own mapping solution. While pretty to look at, the new solution gets deployed without public transit info and then proceeds to prove that it really wasn’t ready by giving some horribly incorrect directions. Sadly, it still appears to be doing that. With the combined acquisitions of companies like BroadMap, Embark and HopStop, Apple will hopefully be able to shake the bugs out of their mapping data as well as finally provide transit information within the Maps app. Rumors are that the transit info will even include schedules for shuttles and “enhanced” airport directions. A new “augmented reality” view will also overlay local information about the area that you’re mapping.

Personally, I’ve had pretty good results with Maps within the Bay Area, but I wouldn’t mind the security of not wondering if I should double-check everything in Google Maps.

 

 

Uber introduces Surge Drop to iPhone users

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 4th, 2014, 08:53
Category: Announcement, Apps, Features, iOS, iPhone, Mobile, Services, Software

Uber appUber is a great service and can be vital in a big city, even if the public transportation is good. I frequently use it to shave time off my travel between clients, and occasionally when I’ve been out having a good time all night and want a quick trip home so I can get to bed and try to function the next morning. Naturally, these kinds of services get really busy on holidays and during special events, and Uber takes advantage of the high demand with “surge” pricing. That means that during those busy times, Uber will raise the rate of a ride and later drop them back down again. This can end up being a real hit to the wallet, as I found out one New Years, if you aren’t aware that the surge pricing is in effect, or if you take a car because you have no idea when the surge pricing ends. With the latest update, Uber has taken care off that with a new feature they announced on their blog called “Surge Drop“.

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Burstly Acquired By Apple

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014, 09:10
Category: Android, Announcement, Apple, Apps, Business, Developer, iOS, iPhone, Software

burstly-acquires-testflightApple buys up yet another company, and it isn’t even the end of February yet. Burstly is the parent company of popular mobile app testing platform, TestFlight. TechCrunch received a number of leads and announced last Friday that Apple was the suspected purchaser. Hints that something was going on began last Wednesday when TestFlight made announcements that it would be terminating Android support as of March 21, as well as discontinuing its TestFlight SDK. These shutdowns have apparently taken developers using the tools by surprise, as there appeared to be no warning or confirmation of the changes, leaving users of TestFlight in the lurch. Developers who have commented on the changes are understandably annoyed, but the hope is that Apple will use their newly acquired assets to improve their own app development and testing tools, which many have said is lacking in features and usefulness. Unfortunately, this is no consolation to Android developers who will be left out in the cold to find new testing tools. Reportedly, the Burstly team is already hard at work at Apple. Here’s hoping that this means better things for iOS development in the future.