Xbox One to feature improved iOS device, SmartGlass integration

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Date: Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013, 06:25
Category: Hardware, News, Software

Microsoft announced its upcoming Xbox One console yesterday.

And threw in some interesting iOS cooperation with it.

Per Mac|Life and Wired, Microsoft’s new gaming console will be “fully integrated” with Xbox’s SmartGlass application, thus allowing users of iPhones and iPads to connect seamlessly with the next generation of Microsoft’s popular console series.


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Introduced last year and allegedly downloaded by over 10 million people, SmartGlass currently allows users to interact with their Xbox 360 consoles in a number of limited ways, such as using the iPhone’s keyboard to type onscreen (a significant improvement over the hunt-and-peck nature of gamepad-based input), watching videos, and navigating menus.

Currently, it’s not too clear what Microsoft’s “fully integrated” service entails. Future versions of SmartGlass will apparently let users turn their iPhones or iPads into a “skeuomorphic remote control, able to emulate any other control device.” The Xbox One will also supposedly allow more devices to connect at once for multiplayer and shared experiences”.

Further details are expected to be revealed at this year’s E3 conference in Los Angeles from June 11-13.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

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.

AT&T to offer FaceTime connections over cellular for all LTE-compatible iPhones by end of 2013

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Date: Tuesday, May 21st, 2013, 06:59
Category: iPhone, News

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This could prove useful.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog and The Verge, wireless carrier AT&T has indicated that all iPhone subscribers will be able to use FaceTime via a cellular connection by the end of 2013, as stated below:

“For video chat apps that come pre-loaded on devices, we currently give all OS and device makers the ability for those apps to work over cellular for our customers who are on Mobile Share or Tiered plans. Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry have chosen to enable this for their pre-loaded video chat apps. And by mid-June, we’ll have enabled those apps over cellular for our unlimited plan customers who have LTE devices from those three manufacturers. Throughout the second half of this year, we plan to enable pre-loaded video chat apps over cellular for all our customers, regardless of data plan or device; that work is expected to be complete by year end. Today, all of our customers can use any mobile video chat app that they download from the internet, such as Skype.”

AT&T was initially reluctant to enable FaceTime over cellular connection due to bandwidth concerns.

This past January, AT&T announced that it was enabling FaceTime over cellular to subscribers of its tiered data plans. Now, with its most recent announcement, iPhone users on AT&T who have grandfathered-in unlimited data plans will also be able to FaceTime to their hearts content.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

iPhone 5S component photos leaked, could indicate more colors to choose from

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Date: Friday, May 17th, 2013, 06:18
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Pictures, Rumor

A couple pictures may indicate a lot about the next-gen iPhone.

Over on Boy Genius Report, a number of leaked high-resolution photos of assorted components may indicate that Apple is looking to expand the color scheme the next-gen iPhone handset will be available in.

Earlier rumors have suggested that the iPhone 5S will include several internal changes such as a faster processor, a better camera and possibly even a fingerprint scanner that makes use of Apple’s AuthenTec acquisition. Nothing has been confirmed at this point, but leaked photos of redesigned internal components suggest that Apple is indeed planning an internal overhaul to improve various iPhone features and likely to make room for new components as well.


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BGR has obtained high-quality images of several internal iPhone 5S components from a source that asked not to be identified. The parts include the loud-speaker bracket, ear speaker bracket, vibrating motor assembly, Wi-Fi flex cable ribbon and SIM card tray from Apple’s upcoming seventh-generation iPhone.

The next-generation iPhone is also rumored to include a redesigned ear speaker bracket and a new loud-speaker bracket, which can be seen in BGR’s gallery.

Apple’s next-generation iPhone 5S is expected to launch this fall alongside iOS 7, which will reportedly feature a substantial user interface overhaul that does away with most textures in favor of flatter design elements.

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.

Apple releases OS X 10.8.4 12E52 build to developer community

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Date: Thursday, May 16th, 2013, 06:05
Category: News, Software

It’s a long haul to OS X 10.8.4, but it’s getting closer…

Per 9to5Mac, a week following the previous build, Apple has released build 12E52 of the OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4 beta to developers. Apple, once again, asks developers to focus on WiFi, Graphics Drivers, and Safari.

We previously noted that 10.8.4 includes support for Mac computers with 802.11ac WiFi chips.

While 10.8.4 is a minor update to OS X Mountain Lion, Apple also has a major release launching in the next couple of months. It’s also been rumored that OS X 10.9 will include an enhanced Finder, much improved multiple-monitor support, a new version of Safari, and various other features from iOS, so larger improvements are waiting down the line.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you want to hurl your two cents in, let us know what’s on your mind in the comments section.

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.

Apple releases iMovie 9.0.9 update

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Date: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013, 07:34
Category: News, Software

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It’s a huge update file, but it might be helpful.

Late Tuesday, Apple released iMovie 9.0.9, the latest version of its consumer-level video editing application. The new version, a 1.08 gigabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Addresses issues where iMovie does not recognize video cameras connected to your Mac.

- Improves compatibility with projects imported from iMovie for iOS.

- Includes stability improvements.

iMovie 9.0.8 requires Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run and can be snagged manually or via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

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