iBooks, Facebook Messenger, Fantastical

updated 10:42 am EDT, Tue September 17, 2013 | Posted in iPhone Apps

iBooks 3.1.2 (free) - iBooks allows users to browse through their library of digital books and PDFs. The app includes seven different fonts to choose between, as well as three page colors, and three page layouts -- including Book, Full SCreen, and Scroll. The update resolves an issue that could cause the app to quit unexpectedly when using VoiceOver. [Download - 43.1MB]

Facebook Messenger 2.7 (free) - Facebook Messenger is a tool for sending instant messages to Facebook friends. Version 2.7 is now faster to open and switch between messages, and features improved scrolling and overall performance. Additional languages, including Croatian, Hungarian, and Slovakian, are also now available. [Download - 22MB]

Fantastical 1.1.4 ($5) - Fantastical is a calendar utility that allows users to create events by explaining events in basic English. For example, a user can enter "Lunch with John at 123 Main Street on Tuesday," and the software will add all of the relevant information to a new event. The update includes a few minor interface fixes for iOS 7, as well as other general fixes and improvements. [Download - 8.1MB]

Carcassonne 3.20 ($10) - Carcassonne is a digital version of the land building board game. All of the original artwork is included, along with support for both offline and online multiplayer. The v3.20 update includes iOS 7 compatibility and has significantly reduced the app's size. [Download - 195MB]

Amount 2.1 ($1) - Amount is mobile value converter that includes unit conversions for numerous categories, including angles, area, pressure, and speed. Version 2.1 features a new layout and the ability to use the app as a simple calculator. A fuel consumption category has also been added, along with more units and various bug fixes. [Download - 0.8MB]

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Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock

Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ

Peripherals  13h

Spotify deploys new $15 family plan

Spotify has today launched a new family program. Up to six family members can have individual accounts for $15 per month for the group. All current "Premium for Family" members will be migrated to the new program. The new plan is available today globally, minus Canada. http://spoti.fi/1OSJrCK

Audio  18h

Speck CandyShell Clear with Glitter case

Speck today announced CandyShell Clear with Glitter. Thousands of tiny pieces of glitter are embedded within the case, with what the company calls "military-grade drop protection in a slim profile." CandyShell Clear with Glitter is available now on Speck's website for $40 and up. http://bit.ly/1OSHIgM

Accessories  18h

Three UK nudges MMS users toward apps

British carrier Three has suggested its users take advantage of messaging apps, as part of an announcement regarding multimedia messaging (MMS) price rises. While the price of a message will increase on June 13 from 17.4p ($0.25) to 40p ($0.58) per MMS, Three notes that customers can avoid the hefty fees by using Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other services. http://bit.ly/1Rk0TKM

Industry  21h

Belight Soft launches Art Text 3

Belight Soft has launched the latest version of its graphic design software, Art Text 3. The new version sticks with the goals of the previous iterations in developing a creative art text tool that is easy to use for beginners, but produces powerful results that will also appeal to pros. Among its key features are over 70 customizable templates to assist with logo design, word art, web elements and picture captions. Users can customize 3D materials using over 200 textures, over 140 bump map surfaces and over 80 environment map textures. Users of either of the two previous versions can upgrade to the new version for $30, a $20 savings. New users can also enjoy the $30 price as an introductory offer through the Mac App Store until May 31. http://bit.ly/1U6jFqu

Graphics/Web Design  2d

KnowRoaming network now extends to 86 countries

KnowRoaming customers can now use its global SIM sticker to take advantage of its unlimited data plans when travelling in 86 countries. The SIM sticker is, as its name suggests, a special sticker that is applied to the back of an existing SIM card for use outside the US in supported countries. It works in conjunction with the KnowRoaming smartphone app. The latest expansion of its network came with the addition of 12 Latin American countries where travelers can now also enjoy its unlimited data plans, which are available for $8 per day. http://bit.ly/27KkXli

Mobile phones  3d

BMW to start supporting CarPlay this fall

BMW will add CarPlay support as one of the entertainment add-on for its X5M and X6M models, the first BWM models to do so, starting from this summer. A German-language catalog for the manufacturer spotted by Bimmerpost advises the option will arrive in August. It is unclear if the support will only be included in European versions of the car, or for further afield. The display in the vehicles will be among the largest thus far seen for CarPlay, at 10.25 inches, and hinted at possible wireless CarPlay support. The X5M currently sells for €96,470 (US$108, 275), while the X6M retails for €99,327 ($111, 453). http://bit.ly/1XnZ4DJ

Software  3d