Always know exactly when photography's magic hour is
There are two facts of photography that Lumy is built to exploit for you. First, the sun is your friend because there is a time when the sheer quality of daylight helps make your photographs beautiful. The time is known as the magic or the golden hour but the second fact is that you're lucky if it's really sixty minutes. Wouldn't an app to help you pinpoint on what limited time you actually have be helpful?
Match-3 and Boggle collide in this fun, single-player game
There's no shortage of word games on the App Store -- and for the most part, a lot of them have very similar mechanics. You have your Scrabble, your Boggle, and your Hangmen - and variations on those themes. But what about apps that combine genres of games to create something new and fun? That's why Letters and Dots, by J.D. Shultz, was created -- to add a little flair to a fairly narrow genre.
Platforms include iOS, Apple TV, Android, Windows
DirecTV has announced a partnership with Fox Networks, giving subscribers to the satellite-based TV service access to all the content in the Fox Now, FXNow, and Nat Geo TV apps on multiple platforms. This includes iOS, Apple TV, Android, and Windows devices. In effect, the change means that the apps have simply added DirecTV as a service authentication option, joining other TV providers such as cable operators.
Bing iOS apps receive updates
Microsoft's Bing search engine has updated its iOS apps, Bing for iPad and Bing Search for both iPhone and iPad. Bing's apps include daily homepage images that can be downloaded, the ability to earn rewards for specific searches, syncing for bookmarks, and more. Bing for iPad v2.3 features a new Today View, translation browser exension, and bug fixes. Bing Search v5.3 offers a fully redesigned homescreen, quick access to trending stories, weather and other interested, and simplified movement between pages. Both apps, which are available on iTunes, are free to download.
Relax with unique down-tempo puzzle game Zen Bound 2
Games are supposed to be fun -- there's no denying that. Most games played have some sort of objective, be it shooting bad guys, racing against a clock, or beating other players at obtaining an objective. But some of the best games are the ones that are designed to be fun with no pressure, no competition, and no clocks. One such game, that utilizes a touch screen as more than a keyboard, is Zen Bound 2, by developer Secret Exit.
Get Flash applications and videos onto your iPad -- if you must
Perhaps you don't know it yet, but you are already in one of the two camps over how Apple refuses to allow Flash to work on iPads. If you doubt this because you haven't even heard of the issue, then you're in the half of the population that has simply never noticed the problem. If you do know it and you're reading this because you know it, then you are getting this problem a lot -- and you have been searching forever for a solution. Photon Flash Player for iPad is a solution. It's a web browser, like Safari, but it comes with the ability to play Flash -- and you pay for that, in how its other functionality is weaker.
Train yourself to live a better lifestyle with a little help
They say it takes 21 days to make a good habit or break a bad one, which seems simple enough. Logically, most people should be able to clear the three week hurdle with little effort. However, most of us can get a little absent-minded, especially when we get busy. That's why Habits Pro, by Track & Share Apps, exists -- to help people stay on task in their quest for self-improvement.
Apple allows Drafts app to retain Notification Center widget
Drafts 4, a note-taking app for iOS, has received an update bringing back its Notification Center widget, which was axed by Apple earlier this month. The widget allows users quick access to simple tools for opening up the app and create a new note. Drafts v4.0.6 also includes a "New from selection" option, found within the document-creation options, as well as URL action steps now having "URL encode tag output" option. Improvements to background refresh and sync handling are also present in the update. Drafts 4 is priced at $5, and requires iOS 8.0 or later.
Quick wits win out in this single-player word game
Word games have been around for a very long time. Most people grew up playing Scrabble or Boggle, and many have moved on to similar games like Words with Friends. The one thing most word games have in common is that they require, at minimum, two players. But now there's Moxie 2, by Blue Ox Technologies Ltd, a intuitive single-player word game.
Scribble on iOS like you had a old Newton and good handwriting
People must really dislike Apple's on-screen keyboard for iPhones and iPads, because the instant we could try alternatives, we got alternatives. Some seem different for the sake of being different. Some, like TextExpander's one, add useful new features -- yet take away some of the usability. But then you get the odd keyboard like Mazec, which tries to offer a true alternative. Rather than typing, you scribble with a stylus -- if you've got one, and haven't lost it -- or with your finger.
CEO announces company's promotions have raised over $100 million since 2006
In a memo to all employees, Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced that the recent (Product) RED campaign, which ran through app upgrade purchases, in-store items and online accessories during the run-up to World AIDS Day on December 1 raised over $20 million, which will be seeded to the Global Fund. The group fights HIV/AIDS, malaria and other health threats largely in Africa and other impoverished areas. Cook said that the promotion has thus pushed Apple's total contribution to over $100 million since 2006.
Fleksy adds variety of keyboard extensions, requires iOS 8
Customizable iOS keyboard app Fleksy has received a major update introducing new themes and extensions, as well as improvements to existing features. Fleksy allows users to find and send GIFs, and provides autocorrect while typing, and intuitive gestures offer greater typing speed. Version 5.0 of Fleksy offers more themes to choose from, including branded ones. New keyboard extensions can be dragged and dropped as cards to add and remove features. Five extensions are available at the time of launching, including a GIF keyboard, Numbers Row, One-Handed Mode, Cursor Control, and Rainbow Pops. A new emoji scroll mode allows emoji to be searched for faster, and long-pressing the period key brings up quick access of punctuation and symbols. In VoiceOver mode, single-character input is now easier, and Arabic secondary characters can be accessed by tapping the Shift key.
Mac app gets demanded pinch-to-zoom option
Pixelmator Team has released updated Mac and iPad versions of its namesake image editor. The Mac update, v3.3.1, now supports pinch-to-zoom gestures on trackpads, fulfilling a popular demand. Resizing and scrolling options have been added to the Shapes, Gradients, and Styles palettes.
Google Drive for iOS adds cross-app upload functionality
Google's cloud storage platform app has been updated for iOS today, now offering the ability to upload files from other sources. As reported last week, Apple has reversed its course on a policy that disallowed an app to upload content to iCloud Drive unless a file was created within the app itself. Google Drive for iOS v3.4.0 includes bug fixes and performance improvements, and file uploading to Drive from other apps and sources (such as iCloud Drive) can be executed on devices running iOS 8. Google Drive for iOS requires iOS 7.0 or later to run.
An undersea twist on a 1980s arcade classic
Arcade games have made the transition to iOS with almost no effort. Their simple interface works especially well with a touchscreen device, and because of this, a lot of developers have begun to offer their takes on the classic arcade games of the 1980s and 1990s. Blowfish Meets Meteor, by Sky Tyrannosaur, is at its core a remake of the ever-popular arcade classic Arkanoid.
Take a stroll through the most notable art galleries in the world
Whether you're an art connoisseur or completely new to the world of art, there's something to be said about having a personally guided tour through a museum. Now, thanks to Art Authority by Open Door Networks for iPhone/iPod touch and iPad, users can have their own personally guided tour of the worlds most famous and influential pieces of art, right in the palm of their hand. The $5 app ($10 for the iPad version) is packed full of important pieces of artwork, with over 20GB of art available to download at a moments notice.
Foursquare launches revamped iPad app
Foursquare, a search and discovery app, has released an update to include iPad support. Its new iPad version aligns itself with the latest overall redesign, so that users can plan a trip by selecting a city, and then can receive a personalized list of places to visit. Top picks in in the user's area are now included, generated by using all of Foursquare's data to suggest locations that are newly popular, or local favorites. Free to download, Foursquare requires iOS 7.0 or later.
Book Browser iPad-only for now
Amazon has issued a major update to the Kindle app for iOS, v4.6. Central to the update is the Book Browser, a feature that lets people search through text and audiobooks hosted on Kindle Unlimited. Tapping on a book's cover provides information, such as a description and customer reviews. People subscribed to Unlimited can download a title immediately; the Browser is, however, restricted to the iPad.
Platformers and mazes combine in a perspective-based puzzler
Most of us remember doing mazes as children, working from one edge of a puzzle to another, trying to figure out how to get to the objective as quick as possible. What if there was a game that reminded us of the mazes of our youth, while simultaneously making them more challenging and interactive? Edge Extended by Mobigame, combines the mazes of our childhood with the challenge of a modern puzzle game.
Keep your to-do lists on hand across iOS and Mac with Things
Productivity apps are often complicated, and host myriad extra features that make the apps unpleasant to use. Often, some of the better apps follow the old adage "less is more." Things, by developer Cultured Code, is a simple to-do list and reminder app for OS X and iOS that allows users to create organized lists to help them keep on track.
Keep a journal on hand at all times with Momento
While not as common as it used to be, there are many people who still like to keep private diaries and journals to remember the ins and outs of everyday lives. Carrying around a journal to write in isn't always convenient, but most people have smartphones and tablets perpetually on hand. Bridging the gap is Momento, by d3i, an app that purports to turns mobile devices into journals.
Stickers in group chat, timed-display message function, Lollipop support, more
BlackBerry has released a new version of Messenger BBM - BlackBerry Limited">for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry, each with differing sets of new features the company says are some of its most-often requested additions. For iOS, the app has received a total makeover to bring it in line with the general iOS 8 design language. Android users get support for the latest major release, Lollipop (version 5), as well as a new landscape mode. BlackBerry OS 10 users can now share multiple attachments and images at the same time.
Apple Store app, Hotel Tonight, Merchbar and others now supporting mobile pay tech
In addition to banks and credit unions adding support for Apple Pay to their debit and credit cards, app developers are also taking advantage of the service's other side -- using Touch ID to secure online payments, which may in fact outpace mainstream point-of-sale acceptance as online shopping continues to grow. Priceline announced earlier this week that it will support Apple Pay for "Express Deal" hotel reservations, and MLB Ballpark (formerly "At the Ballpark") now lets users pay for tickets from select teams.
Company says rejection was misunderstanding
The newly-launched iPad version of Papers, Please has briefly been censored by Apple, reports note. Players assume the role of a passport control agent in the fictional Eastern Bloc country of Arstotzka. Later into the game players have access to a full-body scanner; in the original PC title, players could toggle whether this presented characters in full (but cartoonish and low-resolution) nudity or simply in their underwear. A version with both options was initially rejected from the App Store, forcing developer Lucas Pope to remove the nudity.
Kids take the wheel in a fun pre-K game
Keeping younger kids entertained on long road trips isn't always easy. Parents often sacrifice their sanity by employing kids-themed entertainment, forcing them to choose between a fussy toddler or ten different renditions of "Old McDonald." Instead of attempting to distract kids with the same ten songs they've heard since birth, why not try Sago Mini Road Trip, by developer Sago Sago, and allow kids to take control of the wheel?
Jump, slide, and dance your way through this retro-inspired platformer
Bit.Trip.Run is a game set in the universe of Bit.Trip, a popular app by developer Gaijin Games that debuted on the Wii back in 2009. A total of seven variations came along, with Bit.Trip Runner meeting with great success that quickly went multi-platform, with releases on both the Nintendo 3DS as well as Steam. Bit.Trip.Run is not to be confused with Bit.Trip Runner, which begs the question: how does Bit.Trip.Run distinguish itself from the others in the series?
Works with iOS, Android, Windows Phone: crash reporting, analytics, beta distribution to be unified
Microsoft has announced through a blog post that it has acquired HockeyApp, a mobile analytics and app-distribution service similar to Apple's Testflight. Originally launched as a web-only service in 2011 that allowed iOS, OS X, and Android developers to collect crash reports and manage beta distribution, the app now offers such services for Android, iOS and Windows Phone developers, and will continue to operate as Microsoft works on integrating HockeyApp into the Applications Insights service in Visual Studio Online.
Adobe announces availability of Adobe Camera Raw 8.7.1
Adobe has announced the availability of Adobe Camera Raw 8.7.1, adding support for Sony ILC-A7M2 and updated support for the Samsung NX1 cameras. The release is available as a final release on Adobe.com, as well as through the update mechanism in Photoshop CC 2014 and Photoshop CS6. DNG Converter 8.7.1 is also now available, and an update for Lightroom 5.7.1 is anticipated within the next week.
Could open up iCloud Drive-related functions in apps
Apple has quickly reversed course on a policy that broke "Send To" commands in the FTP app Transmit for iOS, app developer Panic now says. The company writes that it got a "nice call from Apple" on Wednesday, and it has resubmitted Transmit to the App Store with Send To restored. This includes the "Send to iCloud Drive" command that formed the basis of Apple's complaint.
Some Maps content directly integrated
Google has released a major update of its eponymous iOS app, v5.0.0. The software has been "completely rebuilt," according to Google, and now sports the "Material Design" central to Android Lollipop and a growing collection of other apps. Users can access a Recents list to return to previously-visited pages, and start a new search anywhere in the app by tapping the Google logo.
Other World Computing announces new Aura SSD upgrades for the 2013 Mac Pro
Other World Computing has announced new 1TB and 2TB Aura SSD upgrades for the cylindrical 2013 Mac Pro. Custom-engineered specifically for the current model, the new Aura SSD offers users capacity and performance for high-speed production workflows in audio, film, photo and graphics. It offers transfer speeds up to 730MB per second, and includes a three-year limited warranty. Included with the Aura SSD for Mac Pro is an OWC Envoy Pro external enclosure for the original SSD to create a USB 3.0 external drive. Pre-ordering is now available, with pricing starting at $900.
Health & Fitness syncs with HealthKit
Microsoft has launched a collection of new MSN apps for iOS, including News, Money, Health & Fitness, Food & Drink, and Sports. A sixth, Weather, is due to go live sometime in the near future. News gathers feeds from websites like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Money tracks financial information, and provides some basic tools to go with it.
Take control of a tank in this simple WWII simulator
Developer Atypical Games has had success in the App Store before with their war simulation apps, titled Sky Gamblers: Cold War and Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders, in which both games focused largely on air combat. Now, the company has released Battle Supremacy, which puts players in control of their own tanks in this World War II-era simulation game. Will the company be able to win the ground game as it did with air supremacy? Read on to find out.
Alipay app adds TouchID support amid talks between Apple, Alibaba
Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has updated its Alipay app for iPhone and iPad today, now including support for Touch ID. Mobile payments made with an iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus can now be verified with a fingerprint instead of a password, similar to Apple Pay. Apple CEO Tim Cook indicated in October that he and Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma would be discussing the potential for a partnership, with speculation at that time focused on Apple Pay and Alipay integration on Alibaba, Taobao and Tmall.
Learn about hundreds of satellites with Satellite Safari
In 1957, Sputnik I was launched by Soviet Union as the first artificial satellite. Since then, many countries have launched satellites for all kinds of purposes, such as research, communication, navigation, and more. Today, there are almost 2,500 artificial satellites orbiting the Earth, and Satellite Safari by Southern Stars aims to help users to understand the purpose behind a great many of them.
Options cover finance, retail, telecoms, other sectors
Apple and IBM have unveiled the first iOS apps produced through their partnership announced in July. Available under the "MobileFirst for iOS" banner, the apps target clients in air travel, retail, insurance, banking/finance, government, and telecommunications. Some initial clients include Citi, Air Canada, Sprint, and Banorte.
Swipe your way through even the longest texts without lifting a finger
Most people have gotten used to texting and typing on their iPads and iPhones, and chances are, they're good at it. However, it's undeniable that the standard thumb-texting can be pretty slow. On top of that, texting tends to grow tiresome in this manner as the conversation becomes more involved. Of course a user can always revert to hunt-and-peck typing with an index finger, but that leads to slower typing or reliance on predictive text, which can produce unintentionally-hilarious mis-types. Swype by Nuance has come up with a clever solution to help us text and type faster and longer, with less fatigue.
'Send to iCloud Drive' option at root of dispute
The latest version of FTP program Transmit for iOS has lost all share sheet-based uploads because of an Apple policy regarding iCloud Drive, says developer Panic. Until now, the FTP app has exploited iOS 8's Extensions function to let people upload files to several storage services, such as iCloud Drive or Dropbox. Panic explains that it was informed that Apple rules dictate that an app can't upload content to iCloud Drive unless a file was created within the app itself; the developer insists that there is nothing about this restriction on iCloud Drive in Apple's iOS Data Storage Guidelines.
Spotify Music updates iPad app, adds discovery feature
Music subscription service Spotify has released an update for its iPad app. Spotify allows users to stream music from their favorite artists, create playlists and more. The Discover feature is now present for iPad, which offers the ability to peruse personalized recommendations in a succinct format. Free to download, Spotify's app requires iOS 7.0 or later. Users can listen for free with the accompaniment of ads, with Premium access available with a monthly prescription.
Pushes apps like AutoCAD, Molecules, OBD Fusion
Apple has begun airing a new TV ad (below) for the iPad Air 2, dubbed "Change." The spot showcases numerous different uses for the tablet, some relatively conventional but others more creative or exotic. Accompanying the ad is a new microsite featuring the song in the ad -- "Who Needs You" by The Orwells -- along with the apps depicted in each shot.
Top iPad apps previously promoted by Apple
Apple has introduced its annual "Best of 2014" list at the iTunes Store, promoting content in different media categories. The top iPad app, for instance, is Pixelmator, the image editing app Apple also highlighted during its recent press event for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. The top iPad game is Monument Valley, an Apple Design Award winner from WWDC.
Create high-quality time lapse videos with Time Lapse with HDR
Photography and filmmaking is becoming popular again, thanks to the era of "iPhonography." Now, thanks to apps that can control the frequency at which pictures are taken, time-lapse videos are also making a notable comeback. Time Lapse with HDR, by Lucky Clan, is one of the apps that is helping novice photographers create their own time-lapse videos.
Instapaper updated, adds device hand-off support, unread count
Article aggregating app Instapaper has released an update for iOS devices. Allowing users to save and store articles for reading later, the update features a redesigned save extension, including the ability to save directly to a folder, and also supports offline saving. Users can now starting reading on one device, and continue on another, with the app's new Handoff support, and its new Unread Count feature can be enabled to show what content has yet to be read in the form of a badge counter. Several other improvements and bug fixes are also included. Free to download, Instapaper requires iOS 8 or later.
Sonos releases beta software update
Wireless speaker system producer Sonos has released a beta software update, bringing the latest version to 5.2. Featuring new sound enhancement for its Playbar speaker, the update improves the soundstage using stereo imaging, and also includes improvements to the EQ and volume balance.
Sci-fi and suspense collide in this 'choose your own adventure' game
Choose-your-own-adventure games are cropping up all over the App Store these days, and it's become apparent that there is a market for text-based adventure on iOS. One of these games is Heavy Metal Thunder by Cubus Games. The game, which has won a Pocket Gamer silver award, is an adaptation of a book by sci-fi novel writer Kyle B. Stiff. How well does it make the transition to interactive fiction?
Ditch the ads and stream unlimited music with SomaFM Radio Player
Streaming music online is hardly a new concept, but most online streaming radios are so riddled with advertisements that listening can become unbearable. The alternative is often paying a monthly subscription fee, which can be costly and hard to justify, unless it is used often. SomaFM Radio Player, by SomaFM, offers an ad-free alternative for fans of streaming radio.
Starbucks mobile payments limited to Portland until next year
Two companies, Square and Starbucks, have launched new iOS options for food orders. Square has introduced a free app for Caviar, the delivery service it bought out in August. Caviar users can have food delivered from partner restaurants in select areas. So far the list of regions includes San Francisco and the Bay Area, plus Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles, Manhattan, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington DC.
Definitive Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut launches on iOS App Store
Harebrained Schemes' conversion of the Shadowrun gaming universe has a new app on the iPad. After a year on the computer, Shadowrun: Dragonfall -- Director's Cut is now available for purchase. The new game is the definitive version of of one of the top-ranking PC games on Metacritic, and features 17 missions, vibrant music, team customization options, and an expansive Cyberpunk combat system in a 20-hour campaign. Shadowrun: Dragonfall -- Director's Cut is available for $7, and runs on the iPad 3, iPad Mini 2, or faster.
Keep your contact list safe across devices, exportable to platforms
It's not uncommon for users to have multiple devices in their household. Many people have a smartphone, tablet, and at least one computer. Keeping track of contacts can be a hassle if a user frequently changes devices, or adds contacts on one device and not another. Even with the help of iCloud, contacts are too important not to have a separate backup, particularly if users need to move contacts between platforms. With Quick Backup Contacts, users can create those backup files easily.
Marks reversal in policy towards browser engines
An iOS version of Firefox is in progress, according to comments by two Mozilla managers. On Tuesday, a Firefox project manager, Lukas Blakk, wrote on Twitter that "we need to be where our users are, so we're going to get Firefox on iOS;" it's believed that he was quoting Firefox VP Jonathan Nightingale at an internal Mozilla event in Portland. The company's manager of data science, Matthew Ruttley, later tweeted a photo from the event showing a slide with an iPhone 6, captioned by Ruttley with "Firefox for iOS!! Let's do this!!!"