Company does away with $800 base cost
Unity has announced that its mobile game development tools are now free to use for smaller developers. The Unity platform is popular amongst iOS and Android developers, but its creator previously charged $800 to publish a game to the App Store or Google Play. Under the new rules, that barrier has been lifted.
Could be used as excuse to pull YouTube support from iOS
Apple is aiming to integrate Flickr and Vimeo into iOS 7, a source tells 9to5Mac. The integration is expected to work in much the same way as Facebook and Twitter support does in iOS 6, allowing single sign-ins via the Settings menu. In the case of Flickr, at least, signing in may not only add another option to iOS' built-in sharing menus, but also simplify apps with their own hooks for the service, such as Instagram. Flickr is already integrated into OS X Mountain Lion and the iOS edition of iPhoto.
iOS Remote App features and more
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "abbaZaba" started a thread discussing a few new features they believed would be beneficial to add to the iOS Remote app. Senior User "RobOnTheCape" is looking for suggestions for good tripods to use when taking HDR pictures with an iPhone.
Still unclear why app was removed
Apple has removed a well-publicized iPhone hookup app from the App Store after just one week of it going live, Valleywag notes. Bang With Friends, still accessible via Android and the web, lets people indicate if they'd like to have sex with a Facebook friend. Notifications are sent out only if the feeling is mutual. Since launching in January, the service has already accumulated about 1 million users.
New playback mode allows listening to series of old episodes
Podcast and radio streaming service Stitcher has released an important update of its iOS app, v5.3.0. The major addition is a selectable Car Mode for the iPhone, which brings up a simplified interface. The mode works in both portrait and landscape views.
Moshi now selling Lightning cables
Moshi has released its new line of Lightning cables for Apple's latest iOS devices. Encased in aluminum, the 3.2 foot cables are fully certified for use with the iPhone 5, iPod touch (5th gen), iPod nano (7th gen), iPad (4th gen) and iPad mini. Moshi's USB Cable with Lightning is sold online in two color variants, black and white, for $20.
FIPS 14-2 certification, STIG approval opening DoD doors
Apple's iPhones, iPads and other devices running iOS 6 or higher are officially cleared for use on the US government's secure networks, the Department of Defence announced on Friday. The final approval, which we first reported on in March, also grants Samsung Android devices that are running the Korean company's Knox security lockdown, as well as BlackBerry devices running BB10 the ability to be used on secure networks. The move is expected to further hurt BlackBerry, as it faces competition in the military space for the first time.
Lower-cost glass could be used for iOS, Android, other mobile devices
The maker of the Gorilla Glass used in iPhones and other mobile devices has unveiled its latest fusion-made, resilient glass for high-resolution displays. Corning, which is also continuing its Gorilla Glass line with a third version this year, officially introduced a "second-generation glass substrate" called Lotus XT Glass. The new variant features many of the properties of some of Corning's other products while being easier and cheaper to manufacture -- a fact that may persuade tech companies to use it in figure products.
Associated contest winner, 50 billionth app name announced
[Updated with the winner's name, the winning app and other details] The App Store has officially surpassed 50 billion downloads, Apple has announced. The company has now announced the winner of the associated contest. Brandon Ashmore of Mentor Ohio, who downloaded the 50 billionth app, will get a $10,000 App Store gift card; meanwhile, 50 runner-ups will each get a $500 card.
Read Now section allows quicker access to items
Google has updated the iOS and Android versions of Play Books with the ability to upload already-owned books and documents. The option supports PDF and EPUB files, but uploads must be done via the Google Books website. Any uploaded titles sync across devices.
Apple discourages complicated requests
Apple has run a server-side update to Siri, changing how the service responds to long commands, notes iLounge. If Siri judges that a request is too long, it will now reply with a quote from either William Strunk or Thomas Jefferson, in either case praising brevity of language. It's not clear exactly when the update was made, but it appears to have happened during the last week and a half.
This week in the MacNN Forums, Mac Elite "asxless" started a discussion about ways to travel "Mac-less" using only iOS devices while road-tripping this summer. Yesterday, Professional Poster "mindwaves" was looking for a reason why their Retina MacBook Pro was shutting down while in sleep mode.
Twitter client gets Readability, Droplr support
Two iOS apps, Twitterific and 1Password, have today received significant updates. Twitterific 5.2.2 adds support for bookmarking service Readability and image service Droplr. A number of smaller improvements have also been made, such as automatic flipping of the read/unread state of tweets as users scroll, and similar updating of indicators in timeline tabs. Yfrog images should appear in the in-app browser instead of the photo viewer.
Win a Bracketron Sport Case with Strap Mount
With spring in full force and summer right around the corner, it's hard not to think about getting outside for some biking, hiking and water sports -- and keeping an iPhone or iPod safe while on these adventures is essential. Bracketron has come up with a great water-resistant protective case with a strap that can be used to securely attach the device to a bike or anywhere else. MacNN has one of these handy cases to give away; read on to learn more about this case and find out how to enter to win.
Other regions might also have new 3D terrain
Apple has extended Flyover coverage in iOS 6 Maps to Paris and several surrounding areas, reports say. Aside from Paris, other new detail regions include Versailles, Aulnay-sous-Bois, Disneyland Paris, and L'Ha˙-les-Roses. Flyover renders scenery in a rough 3D state, clarifying maps and giving a better sense for what an environment will look like in person.
Service first of its kind for corporate and government
Electronic device security and management solutions provider Absolute Software has announced the launch of Computrace Mobile Theft Management, the first iOS loss mitigation and theft recovery service on the market for business. Computrace MTM provides both loss prevention and theft recovery for a company's entire iOS deployment.
Could indicate new testing phase at Apple
Web traffic from iOS 7 users has surged in the last week or so, reports say. MacRumors notes that it saw iOS 7 hits on its website start to climb on April 29th. Those numbers fell over the weekend, but have risen even higher since. All of the hits are said to be coming from a block of IP addresses belonging to Apple.
A cryptographic component in iOS 6 has received FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 Level 1 security certification from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, says TUAW. In particular, the NIST says that when running in FIPS mode, iOS 6's CoreCrypto Kernel Module 3.0 "generates cryptographic keys whose strengths are modified by available entropy." The module is identified as "a software cryptographic module running on a multi-chip standalone mobile device and provides services intended to protect data in transit and at rest."
Industry luminary also serves on Amazon board
Qualcomm today announced the election of Jonathan Rubinstein to its Board of Directors. Rubinstein brings more than 30 years of experience in the mobile, computing and consumer electronics industries to the position, including a tenure at Apple in which he was referred to as "The Podfather" for his role on the iPod team. He last served as Senior Vice President of Product Innovation for Hewlett-Packard until January 2012.
App, subscription service previously Android-only
T-Mobile has released an iPhone version of its T-Mobile TV app. The app has been available for Android since 2010, but T-Mobile only started selling the iPhone in April. The app comes with 30 days of free access to content like the Associated Press and Fox News, but the bulk of content is behind a subscription paywall.
Optional push notifications for billing, outages
Verizon has updated the iOS and Android versions of My FiOS, an app supporting the company's fiber service. Both apps have integrated important FiOS TV functions, namely TV listings, DVR scheduling, and a remote control. Previously the app's video functions were limited to watching video on demand.
BlueReach enables Bluetooth streaming on 30-pin speaker docs
Pyle has released a new Bluetooth wireless-based music interface that can convert any 30-pin speaker dock into a wireless audio device. The BlueReach can connect with any Bluetooth-enabled tablet, phone, or MP3 player and offers wireless audio streaming at distances up to 33 feet. Additionally, the device also includes a 3.5mm input allowing for direct audio input on any 30-pin speaker dock. The BlueReach can be purchased online from Pyle's webstore for $67.
Android app gets grids, better upload quality
Instagram has launched a new service feature, "Photos of You," through updates to its iOS and Android apps. The option lets people tag others in their photos in a manner similar to Facebook; the collected photos will eventually appear in a Photos of You profile section. The tagging also works for corporate brands.
Shuttles edits back and forth between DNG, RAW
Adobe is developing an iOS companion app to the desktop version of Lightroom, the company's product manager for Lightroom, Tom Hogarty, revealed Wednesday via an online show, The Grid. The app should support controlling many of the same elements as the desktop software, such as exposure, clarity, shadows, highlights, white balance, and noise reduction. At the foundation of the app though is the Smart Previews technology from the Lightroom 5 beta.
Improves Vine support
Twitter has updated its official iOS app to v5.6, making some significant tweaks. Above all is the the ability to see trending topics according to location, whether nearby or in other cities around the world. Retweeting has also received some attention, as replies to retweets will now include the identities for both people involved.
Japanese readers get added font
Amazon has updated the iOS Kindle app with support for Apple's VoiceOver feature. Once enabled through iOS' settings, VoiceOver can now read books and guide blind users through the app's interface using a synthetic voice. Text can be read character-by-character, word-by-word, line-by-line, or continuously.
Expands reach of video streaming
Two major TV networks, ESPN and Fox, have updated their iOS apps to support streaming to AT&T U-verse subscribers. WatchESPN provides access to live feeds of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and ESPNU, but only for people who already subscribe to ESPN packages from specific providers. Aside from AT&T, these include Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Midcontinent Communications, Optimum, Time Warner, and Verizon.
Development behind schedule
Sources for Bloomberg are backing claims that lead Apple designer Jonathan Ive is engaging in a major design overhaul for iOS 7. As has been reported previously, the sources say that Ive is avoiding the skeuomorphism favored by former iOS head Scott Forstall, for example ditching the shelving metaphor used by Newsstand. He is also allegedly pursuing "dramatic changes" to the Mail and Calendar apps, though what that means is unclear.
Mac mini and iPods
Find bargain prices on refurbished Mac mini models today at Apple's online store. The refurbished Mac mini with OS X Server, an Intel quad-core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and dual 500GB hard drives has been reduced by $240 to $759. For $889 is the refurbished Mac mini with OS X Server, a 2.0GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and dual 750GB hard drives.
Special version of Maps may appear on dashboard displays
With iOS 7, Apple wants to deepen in-car integration options for iOS devices, sources claim. Currently such integration is limited mostly to things like iPod input or Siri Eyes Free, which makes it possible to issue Siri commands with a quick-access button. Sources tell 9to5Mac, however, that Apple is working with car companies on new center consoles that could dock an iPhone and output an optimized, car-oriented version of Maps to a dashboard display.
Learning curve expected to stay minimal
iOS 7 is codenamed "Innsbruck," and will use a "very, very flat" design, sources for 9to5Mac claim. The OS is reportedly jettisoning any signs of gloss or skeuomorphism, making it flat on a level nearing the look of the Metro interface used in Windows Phone and Windows 8. Apple has sometimes been criticized for using unnecessary real-world analogies in the look of iOS and OS X, for instance by making its Calendar apps resemble leather daybooks.
Item libraries, Bluetooth scanners speed up checkouts
Square has issued a major update of the iOS and Android versions of Register, the app for the company's retail checkout system. Version 3.0 focuses on improvements for restaurants: customers can add custom tips, and the payment pad now supports multiple custom amounts, which can each have individual notes attached. On the iPad, customizable kitchen tickets can include a name or number, and orders can be modified at the counter.
Fan schedules, companion apps get tweaks
Nest Labs is pushing out a v3.5 update to owners of the Nest Learning Thermostat at 9PM Eastern today. The firmware upgrade includes two new modes, beginning with Cool to Dry, which turns on air conditioning to reduce humidity. A Sunblock setting should meanwhile prevent the thermostat from turning on unnecessarily when direct sunlight is hitting the Nest's sensor.
Lacks native OS intergration of Android version
Google has added Google Now to iOS in the form of an updated Search app. Now is the company's predictive results technology, until today available only to Android users. The feature pushes "cards" to a person based on their location and other personal information tracked by Google, such as local weather and traffic, flight statuses, and important news stories.
Current-gen refurbished iPods from $129
At Apple's online store this week, take advantage of price cuts on refurbished iPods and iPad minis. The refurbished, current-generation 16GB iPod nano has been reduced by $20 to $129, and is available in yellow, silver, slate, green, purple, blue and pink. Also available now are refurbished current-generation iPod touch models. The 32GB Touch is priced at $249 after a $50 discount, and comes in white, blue, pink, black, or yellow. The 64GB touch is priced at $349 in blue, pink, black, yellow or white.
MBP for $2,099, 64GB Touch for $329
Deals from DealNN this week include price cuts on MacBook Pros, iPods and more. Today's deal of the day from MacMall.com is on the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro which has been reduced by $549, lowering the cost from $2,649 down to $2,099. This MBP features a 2.7GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive with Bluetooth, FaceTime camera, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Device features iOS, Android apps for control, monitoring
Gadget and computing accessory manufacturer Belkin has announced the new NetCam HD Wi-Fi Camera. The new wireless networking camera provides users with instantaneous access via a smartphone or tablet to pets, children and other family members at home in 720p high-definition (HD) video resolution with accompanying digital audio.
Looking at new product categories, but no timeframe
Speaking during a conference call following the company's Q2 results, Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted that the company may have no major product launches until the fall. He refused to talk about the specific timing for particular devices, but told analysts that there is "great stuff coming in the fall and across 2014." The statement may quash rumors of summer updates for the iPhone and/or the iPad and iPad mini.
Regional growth rates relatively modest
Following an official announcement of its Q2 results, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its performance. Notably, the 19.477 million iPads the company sold was a jump of 65 percent year-over-year. This may however have come at the expense of Mac, which saw units fall 2 percent to 3.952 million. Mac revenue did however rise 7 percent to $5.447 billion, while iPad revenue grew 40 percent to $8.746 billion.
Offers $20 discount
Apple has added the seventh-generation iPod nano to the refurbished section of its US online store. Picking a refurb unit drops the price by $20, down to $129. All seven basic colors are available, but not the (PRODUCT) RED option, which sends some proceeds to fight AIDS in Africa.
Apple online services continue string of difficulties
Apple's online services are again suffering outages, their official system status page indicates. Between 7:20 and 9:32AM Eastern, some people may have been unable to access the iTunes Store or make purchases there. Still ongoing however are problems preventing people from creating Apple IDs or signing into Game Center, as well as authentication errors when trying to use iCloud. The latter may also prevent people from setting up a new iCloud account.
Puts items in Purchased queue for later access
Apple has quietly added a "Later" option for iTunes downloads, reports say. The feature appears in both iTunes 11 and iOS 6, and lets people buy larger files without immediately downloading them. Items then show up in the Purchased section of a person's iTunes account, where they can then be downloaded when a reliable Internet connection is available.
Apple claims data anonymized, used to improve technology
All the requests people have made through Siri are being stored on Apple servers for a period of up to two years, says Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller. The statement comes in response to Wired inquiries about ambiguity in Siri's privacy policies, initially pointed out by American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Nicole Ozer. Muller insists that Apple is anonymizing the request data, and only collecting voice clips in order to improve Siri.
Access to apps still limited to Chinese users
A Chinese website, 7659.com, is providing access to pirated iOS apps, reports observe. The site functions as a portal for software called KuaiYong, which is promoted as a supposed bulk licensing authorization tool for distributing free software, and a way of introducing Chinese people to the iTunes system. While KuaiYong dates back to 2012, the website appears to be new, and still requires KuaiYong to actually download the pirated content.
While iPhone fights competitive battle, iPad clears the field
A pair of new studies have found that, even years after they were first introduced and months since the latest models debuted, Apple's iOS platform and its iPad tablet are actually growing their share in two key metrics: the iPad and iPhone are actually taking usage share away from Android in the US, and the iOS platform has increased its dominance in mobile ad spending, a key metric for developers. Recent stats from March show the iPad gaining 1.4 percent in usage share, and iOS taking now 75 percent of mobile ad spending.
Change should speed up browsing
Google has made two significant changes to the way mobile web search results are presented, an official blog post states. The first is the concept of an expandable sitelink; some results now show a series of drop-down menus below them, which when opened reveal links to specific pages or subsections. Google uses the example of Rotten Tomatoes, in which tapping on the "In Theaters" menu will display "Best Movies in Theaters" and "New Movies in Theaters" links.
Developer revenue more than 2.6 times higher on iOS side
The Apple App Store and Google Play are now nearly equal in terms of download volume, according to new data by analytics firm App Annie. "While the iOS App Store and Google Play both had solid gains in app downloads last quarter, Google Play had a higher percentage growth rate as well as a greater gain in absolute downloads," the firm writes. "As of Q1 2013, Google Play’s app downloads were close to 90 percent of iOS App Store downloads." The App Store is, however, continuing to do far better than Play in terms of generating revenue.
Company promises Home for international Android users 'later today'
Facebook is today releasing a major update of its iOS app, v6.0. The biggest addition is Chat Heads, something recently introduced to Android via Facebook Home and an updated Messenger app. Unlike Android, the iOS Chat Heads can only run within the Facebook app, but do let people keep tabs on conversations without having to leave other views. Heads can be dragged around a screen or dismissed entirely.
Mailbox closes reservation system
More than two months after its original launch, the Dropbox-owned Mailbox iOS app is now available without a need to wait in line. Thanks to Dropbox's acquisition, the developers have been able to scale the Mailbox service to deliver more than 100 million messages per day, giving them the confidence to remove the reservation system. Mailbox looks to improve upon existing iOS email implementations via a gesture system that simplifies common actions, such as archiving or trashing messages.
One patent includes unused 'folder creation region' idea
Apple has won two US patents on the iOS folder system. The first is titled Device, method, and graphical user interface for managing folders, and specifically documents the way iOS users can create folders by tapping and holding an app icon, which triggers a "jiggle mode" that lets people rearrange apps. Dragging one app on top of another puts the two items into a new folder. Alternately, tapping X on an icon lets people remove an app from a device entirely, and icons can be dragged out of existing folders.