Yahoo! changes Flickr policies, now offers 1TB of storage space for free

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Date: Tuesday, May 21st, 2013, 11:45
Category: iOS, News, Software

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There may be some life in Flickr (and its current owner, Yahoo) after all…

Per Mac|Life, the Flickr Blog announced Monday that the cloud photo service would be making a big change, effective immediately, combining 1TB of free storage with a beautiful new look and feel for the web app.

“At Flickr, we believe you should share all your images in full resolution, so life’s moments can be relived in their original quality,” the blog post reads. “No limited pixels, no cramped formats, no memories that fall flat. We’re giving your photos room to breathe, and you the space to upload a dizzying number of photos and videos, for free. Just how big is a terabyte? Well, you could take a photo every hour for forty years without filling one.”

The hefty storage bump is absolutely free for everyone, as Flickr has done away with its Flickr Pro upgrades entirely in favor of only two paid options: US$49.99 per year to remove all ads, or US$499.99 per year to double the storage space to 2TB.

Flickr now features a new look for web browsers, which places the emphasis on photos with a minimum of white space around them. The site now offers support for full 1080p HD videos up to three minutes long, and users can fill their entire 1TB of storage with them, should they choose to do so.

Finally, Flickr pushed out an overhaul to its existing Android app, which brings a similar look and feel from the web app to mobile. While the company hasn’t confirmed whether or not the iPhone will receive the same treatment, it’s a good bet that it will — and here’s hoping it will arrive alongside a native iPad app as well.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

UPS for iPad app goes live, now available in App Store

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Date: Friday, May 17th, 2013, 06:05
Category: iOS, iPad, News, Software

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You’ve gotta admit…a UPS app for the iPad sounds attractive.

Per 9to5Mac, UPS announced on Thursday that the company is finally rolling out its native UPS for iPad app that brings the ability to track and schedule deliveries as well as access to features of UPS My Choice® and enhanced mapping features.

The app offers the following functions without having to log in:
– Track packages and freight shipments.

– Save up to 5 tracking numbers in your tracking list.

– See the current location of your package on a map.

– Find UPS service locations via GPS.

When you log in, you can also:
– Sync your recent tracks from ups.com.

– Nickname tracked shipments.

– Enroll in UPS My Choice.

– Use UPS My Choice to take action on your incoming deliveries.

– Set your delivery preferences.

The UPS for iPad app requires an iPad running iOS 5.0 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the app and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Google to launch Maps for iPad, incorporate additional features, this summer

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Date: Thursday, May 16th, 2013, 06:33
Category: iOS, iPad, News, Software

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There’s some cool stuff coming out of Google I/O 2013 and this is no exception.

Per Android Central, Google has announced that new features will be coming to the Google Maps for iPhone later this summer and, what’s more, it’ll be getting an iPad-specific interface as well.

Albeit unconfirmed at this point, the new version could also incorporate Google’s new five-point rating system, integrated Google Offers, and more.

Also interesting, Google Maps in the browser will be using WebGL, which could be interesting depending on how it’s implemented.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Siri receives update, now prompts users to speak in shorter, more recognizable sentences

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Date: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013, 08:49
Category: iOS, News, Software

Keep it short and sweet, folks.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Apple’s voice interaction system Siri has been updated, this time specifically to ask users to keep it short. Siri’s system doesn’t deal well with longer user queries, so if you happen to ask something that’s just too long for Siri to deal with, she’ll interrupt you, giving you a quote from a famous person, and then asking you to rephrase the question, shorter or in fewer words. Siri herself doesn’t have the authority to change your speech patterns, apparently, so she’s recruited figures such as William Strunk and Thomas Jefferson to make her point more clearly.

So, um, try speaking long sentences to Siri and see if it begins correcting you with quotes of some of the greatest wordsmiths of the past.

“ABC Player” app renamed to “Watch ABC”, now allows live streams of all ABC programming in select markets

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Date: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013, 07:21
Category: iOS, News, Software

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You can’t say ABC’s not investing in the iOS side of things…

Per AppleInsider, Tuesday saw the launch of of version 3.0.0 broadcaster ABC’s iOS app, one that for the first time will allow users in select markets to watch live television from a U.S. broadcaster.

The new version saw ABC’s app’s name change from ABC Player to Watch ABC. App users in New York City and Philadelphia will now have the ability to see a live stream of ABC’s programming, and plans are underway to roll out the live service to at least six more markets where ABC owns local stations.

The live stream feature will arrive in an additional 13 Hearst-owned stations over the rest of the year. ABC is working to bring the feature to users in other markets, but that will depend on the willingness of more than 200 local broadcasters to join in on the live streaming.

The service is currently unrestricted, but ABC’s release notes for the app state that the app will begin verifying whether users are customers of an eligible local cable system beginning July 1.

The live streaming move is a first among the major U.S. broadcast networks, and it signals a shift in their thinking. While cable giant ESPN — which, like ABC, is also owned by Disney — has gradually grown, the capabilities of its apps to the point where it now includes the ability to watch live content, the broadcasters have been reluctant to move beyond delayed release of content to their apps.

The live streaming also functions as a salvo against services like Hulu. The near future will see ABC holding back its most recent TV episodes from the free versions of Hulu and ABC.com.

Among the more troubling developments has been the rise of Aereo, a service that uses antennas to capture broadcast content and stream it to subscribers, who watch it on their iPads and other mobile devices. The major broadcast networks say Aereo’s service amounts to illegal rebroadcasting, a violation of their content rights. So far, though, the courts have disagreed.

By putting its own live content out in an app that it controls, ABC is taking a risk, but also partly wresting control from Aereo and similar services. Announcing the move, Disney-ABC Television Group president said it was the result of a realization that ABC wasn’t moving fast enough to give consumers what they want.

“We keep a very close eye on consumer demand,” said Anne Sweeney, the Television Group president. “We watch how people are behaving with their devices, and we really felt that we needed to move faster.”

The Watch ABC app is available as a free download in the iTunes App Store. The 38.8MB download requires an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5.0 or later.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Drive space upgraded to 15 GB for all accounts, transition to take place over next few weeks

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Date: Tuesday, May 14th, 2013, 06:25
Category: iOS, News, Software

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You can’t knock healthy competition.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Google announced that it will be upgrading its complimentary Google Drive storage space from 5 GB to 15 GB.

Google says the changes will be rolling out over the next several weeks to all customers. All that space is shared, so if you are just using Google Drive Photo (for example), that 15 GB is shared with any other Google services that require storage.

With this move, Google has unified its storage system, a similar concept to the Apple pool of iCloud storage, although at this point Apple does not count image storage in Photo Stream against your 5 GB allotment. Google has a free iOS app so you can access this storage space, and it can also be managed through a web browser on any computer.

Take a gander at Google Drive as the upgrade occurs and if you love it or hate it, please let us know in the comments, as always.

Amazon releases Cloud Drive Photos app for iOS users

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Date: Monday, May 13th, 2013, 04:37
Category: iOS, News, Software

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Ne’er doubt Amazon’s ability to throw out a competing app.

Per Macworld, Amazon’s Cloud Drive Photos app has gone live and is available free of charge from the App Store, the app can transfer photos back and forth between a device and Cloud Drive, where they can be accessed using a desktop computer, Web browser, or other compatible device, like a Kindle Fire.

The app’s goal is to let customers enjoy the benefits of cloud storage—including ease of sharing and easier backups—regardless of what platform they use. In addition, the app lets you view your photo albums in various layouts from your iPhone or iPod touch and share Cloud Drive photos on Facebook, Twitter, and via email.

Launched in March of 2011, Cloud Drive offers users 5GB of free storage, which can be used for files of all kinds, including music, pictures, and video. Additional space is available for fees that range from US$10 per year for 20GB to US$500 per year for 1000GB (1TB).

The app is optimized for iPhone 5, and compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S, as well as iPod touch (3rd, 4th, and 5th generation), and iPad. It requires iOS 6.0 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the Cloud Drive Photos app and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

ESPN expresses interest in subsidizing mobile data plans, looks to keep users watching streaming video

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Date: Friday, May 10th, 2013, 07:58
Category: iOS, iPhone, News

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ESPN wants you watching streaming video, even if they have to pick up part of the check…

Per the Wall Street Journal and AppleInsider, cable sports network ESPN has expressed interest in potentially subsidizing those data plans to allow users to stream video without worrying about overage fees.

ESPN has allegedly had discussions with at least one major U.S. carrier about the plan. The two largest carriers in America, Verizon and AT&T, both carry the iPhone and both restrict new customers with capped data plans.

The concept proposed by ESPN could guarantee that content streamed from the network would not result in data plan overage charges. The network has reportedly expressed interest in either paying carriers outright, or giving them a share of advertising revenue.

But the alleged deal isn’t imminent, the report said, as questions remain about the economics, and the fact that any agreements could run afoul of government regulators.

Carriers such as Verizon and AT&T are said to be interested in content deals as a way of increasing revenue without raising fees for subscribers.

ESPN has aggressively pursued mobile streaming capabilities as smartphones and tablets have gained in popularity. The network’s WatchESPN application allows users with participating cable subscribers to stream live sporting events from the ESPN family of networks.

Content available on WatchESPN includes the NBA regular season and playoffs, major golf tournaments like The Masters and U.S. Open, college football and basketball, and thousands of other live events. The service also streams original ESPN shows like SportsCenter, Pardon the Interruption, and Mike and Mike in the Morning.

But smartphone users might be reluctant to use live streaming video services like WatchESPN on the go because of restrictive mobile data plan caps in place via wireless carriers. Both Verizon and AT&T charge customers a US$15 fee for each gigabyte consumed in excess of their data plan cap.

Watching low-quality video for one hour uses about 200 megabytes of data. For an hour of high-definition video, a user might expect to see 400 megabytes of usage on their mobile data plan.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple expands iOS Maps data coverage in and around France

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Date: Thursday, May 9th, 2013, 05:15
Category: iOS, News, Software

You can’t say Apple’s not trying.

Apple has steadily been making improvements to its Maps data following a controversial launch. Last year Apple pushed out major updates to its 3D Maps coverage, adding a number of new cities in the US, UK, France, and Canada, while just last March it quietly pushed out some big improvements to Maps data in Japan. Per igen.fr, Apple has just pushed out another big update to its 3D Flyover mode, this time bringing new content to more locations across France. Some of the new coverage areas include Paris, Versailles, Aulnay-sous-Bois, Disneyland Paris and to The Hay-les-Roses. Currently, Apple only lists support for 3D building coverage for Lyon, France.

If you’re in or around France and have seen an uptick in Maps data and coverage, please let us know in the comments.

Blockbuster releases On Demand app for iOS devices

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Date: Friday, May 3rd, 2013, 07:43
Category: iOS, News, Software

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Maybe there’s some life in the ol’ girl we call “Blockbuster” after all…

Per AppleInsider, Dish Network released Blockbuster On Demand for iOS, an Apple device-ready version of the app that has been available on Android, PC, Mac, TVs and set-top boxes since January.

After filing for bankruptcy in 2010 and being acquired by Dish in 2011, Blockbuster launched a streaming on demand service in 2012, but until today had not offered an app for Apple’s iOS device lineup.

Working in much the same way as the company’s services on other platforms, Blockbuster On Demand streams “thousands” of movies in HD and full surround sound to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Users can watch selections instantly, or save them to a Watchlist for later viewing. There is also an option to filter movies based on Rotten Tomatoes ratings

Unlike competitors like Netflix, which require monthly subscriptions, Blockbuster’s service is based on a per-view model pricing model with no late fees.

Blockbuster On Demand is free to download, with movie rental prices pegged at US$2.99 and US$4.99. The app is available for free and requires iOS 4.3 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the Blockbuster On Demand app or service and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.