Google is creeping onto your desktop

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 13th, 2014, 08:51
Category: Apps, Features, Google, Software

Chrome canary logoThis isn’t the first time Google has invaded the desktop space of other operating systems. Who remembers the train-wreck that was Google Desktop? However, this time Google might have it right…or at least close. Some of you may be aware of Chromium, the open-source project behind Google Chrome, which has nightly builds of the app which may squash bugs, introduce new ones, or add new “cutting-edge” features, which may not be ready for the general public. When a particular stable version gets the ok, Google cleans it up and releases it as an update to Google Chrome.

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A good view of the Amazon smartphone

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 2nd, 2014, 08:13
Category: Amazon, Features, Hardware, Mobile, News, photos

amazon-logo-150x60What’s the one thing missing from today’s tech lifestyle? That’s right, another smartphone! At least that is what Amazon is betting on when it launches its own phone later this year. There have been a few photos of phone’s hardware in the last month, but it appeared that there was some type of case obscuring details of the device’s appearance. The folks over at BGR have managed to snag a nice, clear image of Amazon’s yet unnamed smartphone.

 

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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.

 

 

Review: Flappy Wings…yes, another Flappy Bird clone, but not bad

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 4th, 2014, 09:02
Category: App Store, Apple, Fun, Game, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Review, Software, Software

FlappywingsIf you’ve never heard of Flappy Bird, get easily frustrated with games, or have twitchy fingers, I’d suggest you move onto the next article. For the rest of you, I’m sure you are sick to death of hearing about Flappy Bird’s crazy rise to fame, but with countless clones of the game clogging the App Store it’s kind of hard to ignore completely (a search for “Flappy” gets 500 results). Even Apple and Google got tired of all the copy-cats. I myself get frustrated with the game (I’ve only made it through 9 sets of pipes argh), but not to the extremes that many people did. In fact, the frustration has the positive effect of keeping me from playing it too long.

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OS X 10.9.2 update is out, run don’t walk to Software Update

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014, 16:46
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Installation, Mac, Mavericks, OS X, security, Software

apple_logoAmongst recent criticism about Apple’s failure to fix an SSL security flaw in OS X, and recently patched on iDevices with iOS 7.0.6, today they released the OS X 10.9.2 update which is available via the App Store app. There was a long list of application updates and system fixes, but noticeably absent in the list was mention of the specific SSL security hole that has been dominating the news recently. The good news is that several sources confirm that there is indeed a fix for it present in the update. This one is pretty important, so it is strongly recommended that you apply the update sooner rather than later…like now would be a good time. Apple historically does not like to confirm or draw notice to security issues in software, especially not ones that have been around longer than they should have been, which probably accounts for this. Apple’s official page on the update is here, but a list of items is included below.

My personal recommendations for applying system updates;

  1. Make sure you run a backup, or that Time Machine has done so recently
  2. Close all running apps (except the App Store of course)
  3. Open Disk Utility and perform a Repair Permissions, the close Disk Utility
  4. Install the update
  5. Once the Mac applies the update and reboots, run Repair Permissions again
  6. Go get some coffee

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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.

 

 

Pebble debuts its new appstore later today

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 3rd, 2014, 09:38
Category: Accessory, Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Software, Wearables

Pebble_notificationsLast Friday, via its Twitter account, Pebble announced that the release date for the new Pebble appstore would be today, Feb 3rd, at 10 AM PST. So, only a few hours to go until Pebble owners can start playing with the new goodies. The announcement indicates that only the iOS update to the Pebble companion app would be released today, with an Android update arriving soon. For those already using a Pebble smartwatch with their iPhone, you should see the update appearing in the iOS App Store app, ready for download, or automatically installed if you have background updating enabled.

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How Apple can protect kids against predatory IAPs #TAC

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, January 16th, 2014, 16:29
Category: App Store, Apple

Tom’s under the weather, so I wanted to pitch in and cross-post a few of my ZDNet posts. In this one I discuss an issue that’s near and dear to my heart. My kids have accidentally purchased lots of In-App Purchases (IAPs) from the App Store because of Apple’s 15-minute no password window and nefarious developers that riddle free apps with ads and coerce kids into clicking through to bogus add-on purchases in Freemium apps.

Here are the suggestions I posted on The Apple Core:

  1. Offer the ability to require a password for every transaction.
  2. Offer the option to require a password for free downloads.
  3. Actively track the amount of refund requests in apps targeting kids and set a low threshold for penalizing developers that prey on young users with IAPs. (i.e. if your app generated more than 10 refunds in a day your App comes off the App Store for a day, and so on…)
  4. iTunes Store emails should be sent in real time as purchases occur.
  5. Offer the option to send an SMS or push notification to the account owner’s iPhone or iPad immediately after a purchase
  6. Make refunds easier to requests. Currently you can only request a refund within the desktop version of iTunes, and it’s extremely difficult to find
  7. Add more detail to IAPs in Recent Purchases UI by naming the host app in which the IAP occurred

The problem is that Apple took in $10 billion in revenue from the App Store in 2013, so there’s a strong disincentive to them doing anything that curbs its ferocious rate of sales. (Read more at ZDNet).

What’s your take?

Apple’s iOS App Store nets $10 billion in 2013

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 10th, 2014, 09:26
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, Business, Finance, iOS, iPhone, Software

apple-moneyAccording to an announcement by Apple on Tuesday, the company took home more than $10 billion last year from iOS app sales. Christmas sales put them over the top with customers downloading almost 3 billion apps, making December Apple’s most lucrative and successful month in the App Store’s history. BusinessWire’s coverage of the record setting sales quoted Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue;

“We’d like to thank our customers for making 2013 the best year ever for the App Store. The lineup of apps for the holiday season was astonishing and we look forward to seeing what developers create in 2014.”

Apple also reported that iOS developers have now earned a collective $15 billion from sales on the App Store.