O'Grady's PowerPage » Software

Amazon looking to release Amazon Video app for tvOS in a “few weeks”

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Date: Monday, November 30th, 2015, 08:38
Category: Apple TV, News, Software, TvOS

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The long-awaited Amazon Video app seems to finally be en route to the Apple TV. The news comes amid strife between Apple and Amazon, some accusing Apple of blocking Amazon from launching the app on tvOS and others accusing Amazon of not developing for the platform as to encourage users to use its own Fire TV products.

Engineer Dan Bostonweeks, who reached out to Amazon via its feedback system and asked the company about the lack of tvOS support for the fourth-gen Apple TV, received a response from the company in which the customer service representative offered the following quote:

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Microsoft releases Cortana app for iOS to beta tester community

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Date: Monday, November 30th, 2015, 07:55
Category: iOS, News, Software

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It’s Microsoft’s alternative to Siri and its beta is now available on iOS. Microsoft has released a beta of its Cortana personal assistant app for iOS. The app, which went out to a handful of testers who signed up to trial the new app were notified by way of email that the iOS version of Cortana was available for download, offers voice-powered assistance, plus help with managing your schedule, reminders, and alarms, as well as the ability to track things like flights, packages, stocks, scores and more.

An Android version of the app was previously made available for testing this August.

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Apple patent application highlights active shutter system to protect devices from spills, contaminants

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Date: Friday, November 27th, 2015, 07:23
Category: Hardware, iPad, iPhone, News, Patents

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Somewhere down the line, this could really come in handy.

An Apple patent application published Thursday describes a powered shutter system that automatically blocks access to speaker, microphone and other iPhone and iPad port openings, protecting the sensitive components within.

The patent application, known as Apple’s “Electronic devices with housing port shutters” application, describes a system of electrically controlled shutters disposed over the openings of critical components like speaker boxes and microphones. At the command of an onboard logic board, these shutter mechanisms can quickly block acoustic pathways — portholes — from damaging physical contaminants, potentially saving hundreds of dollars in repair costs.

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Rumor: Apple to migrate devices from LCD displays to OLED displays in 2018

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Date: Friday, November 27th, 2015, 07:07
Category: Apple Watch, Hardware, iPhone, Rumor, Wearables

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Apple is expected to begin shifting its iPhones from LCD displays to improved OLED screens as of 2018. The OLED display technology, which is currently only in use on the Apple Watch, benefits from greater contrast levels and much deeper blacks as the display only illuminates to present color. This offers energy efficiency that leads to improved battery life compared lighting up the entire display each time.

Current rumors state that Apple has notified its suppliers that it wants to move to OLED iPhones in 2018, but adds that a mix of LCD and OLED iPhones are expected initially due to iPhone demand and OLED production limitations. Apple is apparently weighing how well OLED displays hold up over time versus LCD displays before committing to the switch. Both Samsung and LG, which currently produce OLED panels, are expected to be primary suppliers of OLEDs for iPhones, which would negatively impact current LDC display partners Sharp and Japan Display.

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Apple acquires real-time capture firm Faceshift, intended purposes unknown

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Date: Wednesday, November 25th, 2015, 07:11
Category: Finance, News, Software

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It’s hard to say what Apple will do with its new toy, but it’s been confirmed that it just bought a real-time motion capture firm.

The company apparently acquired Faceshift, a Zurich-based capture firm, which has worked with game and animation studios on technology designed to quickly and accurately capture facial expressions using 3D sensors, including Faceshift Studio software with plugins for Maya and Unity. The company was also working toward consumer-facing software like a Skype plugin that would support real-time avatars for video chat.

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Rumor: Apple working on Genius Bar to help troubleshooting process, alleviate lines

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2015, 14:41
Category: Apple Watch, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Rumor, Software, Wearables

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With any luck, this could save some time.

And sanity.

A series of leaked screenshots shows that Apple is apparently working on an app to help iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch users troubleshoot their devices without having to journey out to the Genius Bar.

The pictures, which were leaked to uSwitch.com, indicate that users will be able to report a problem and coordinate support through a live chat feature and by sending a device in to be repaired.

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Instagram changes APIs, feed access to third-party apps following discovery of malware

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Date: Wednesday, November 18th, 2015, 07:45
Category: Developer, iOS, News, security, Software

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In the wake of a security breach, you make changes.

Following the recent discovery of the InstaAgent malware, which was Instagram passwords from users, Instagram has instituted much stricter rules for accessing its API, effectively killing off a large number of apps that read Instagram feeds.

Over on its developer web site, Instagram explained that its API is changing, the way it distributes its feed is changing and the current API is being shut down. The company offered the following comment:

We’ve updated our Platform Policy to explicitly list the use cases we will support moving forward. These include apps and services that:

Help individuals share their own content with 3rd party apps, such as apps that let you print your photos and import an Instagram photo as a profile picture.

Help brands and advertisers understand and manage their audience, develop their content strategy, and get digital rights to media. Established apps in this space may apply for our newly announced Instagram Partner Program.

Help broadcasters and publishers discover content, get digital rights to media, and share media using web embeds.

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f.lux side loading workaround dubbed a violation of developer agreement, shut down

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Date: Friday, November 13th, 2015, 09:16
Category: Developer, iOS, News, Software

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It’s a useful app, but Apple doesn’t think much of the way it installs onto your iOS device.

Apple had contacted f.lux Software to say that the f.lux for iOS download is in violation of the Developer Program Agreement, the criticism focusing on the way f.lux uses a sideloading technique to install.

f.lux, in return, stated that the updated Xcode signing allowed use of side loading, although Apple indicated that this wasn’t the case.

F.lux is a free program that changes the lighting conditions of your screen depending on the time of day and the light available around the device, thereby helping to promote better body rest and sleep functions.

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Mozilla releases Firefox for iOS

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, November 12th, 2015, 12:13
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software

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If you’ve been hankering for the day Firefox would be available for iOS, it’s finally here.

Mozilla has announced that its Firefox browser is now available for iOS and can be used on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Until today, Firefox for iOS was available as a public preview, and only in New Zealand. Launching first in New Zealand has become a common practice for testing new apps and features on the Web — companies use the country as a test market because it has a small population and English is the primary language.

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Apple, Google remove InstaAgent app after password-stealing malware detected

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Date: Thursday, November 12th, 2015, 12:19
Category: Android, iOS, News, security, Software

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This is the joy of the war against malware.

Both Apple and Google have removed the InstaAgent app from their respective app stores after it was discovered that the app was storing users’ Instagram usernames and passwords in an unencrypted form, before sending them on to unknown servers.

InstaAgent, which tied in with Instagram, had become a popular download in the App Store’s free software section.

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