News/Rumors

U.S. government may ban in-flight cellphone calls

The U.S. Department of Transportation is reportedly considering new rules that would ban cellphones on planes.

Use of personal electronic smartphones has been a pressing topic for travelers since Apple helped usher in the rise of smartphones in 2007.

Some airlines have already decided to apply their own restrictions on in-flight cellphone calling, but there are also some, who are looking for the feature as a way to stand apart from the competition argue the Transportation Department is overstepping its bounds.

In 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a rule modification, according to which passengers were allowed to operate PEDs gate-to-gate, getting around a long-standing restriction that prohibited use below an altitude of 10,000 feet.

us-airways

In December the department is set to publish the proposed rulemaking document that will include a cellular call ban, though airlines are insisting the decision of whether not to allow calls should be theirs rather than the government’s. But, a number of airlines have reportedly stated that even if it was their call, they would not let calls on their flights. Some ways to avoid the disruption have been offered by government officials, such as phone booths on planes where passengers would be free to make calls.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Dreams by Apple continues campaign for the iPhone 5s

”Dreams” is the newest advertisement of the iPhone 5s. It narrates about its multifunctionality and different applications and accessories compatible with the smartphone.

As usual Apple’s adverts did, “Dreams” consists of series of short episodes. These scenes are used to snow a plenty of ways in which people can apply iPhone. The song which accompanies the video is Jennifer O’Connor’s When I Grow Up.

The video starts with two students using the Vaavud Wind Meter to measure weather data before recording it on a MacBook Air. The other shows a jeweller insets a stone into a piece of jewelry applying Olloclip’s 4-in-1 Lens System and the Camera app as a magnifying glass.

One of the next scenes depicts an veterinarian who measures heart rate of the horse with the help of Veterinary AliveECG, the other episode show a pilot uses ForeFlight Mobile for navigation and so on.

All the apps and accessories being publicized in the video are availible to upload: Vaavud Wind Meter, Response Deck, iTranslate Voice, Veterinary AliveECG, ForeFlight Mobile, SAM-1.

“Dreams” is the fourth step in the Apple app-focused campaign which started in April, following “Powerful”, “Strength” and “Parenthood”.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Office for iPad updated with PDF exporting, third party fonts and more

Earlier this week Microsoft unveiled an updated version of its OneNote app for iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and now the company has released new versions of its Office for iPad suite. With the update, both Word and Excel now have the ability to export their respective file types as PDFs, while Word provides users with the ability to utilize third-party fonts available from the Fonts menu.

The updated version of Word also brings Picture Tools, which allow users to crop to focus on a specific part of an image. The option also features a reset button to undo any changes.

Excel 1.1 now gives users the ability to flick a cell’s selection handle in any direction, meaning fast data selection in a row or column.

The most significant addition to PowerPoint is a new Presenter View, which allows users to have a look and edit speaker notes, see their next slide, or view more slides while presenting. It also includes Play Media option, which give users the ability to play clips, sound effects and background music while presenting, while another feature, called Insert Video, lets them to insert videos from an iPad Camera Roll.

WordforiPad

The new updates can be downloaded on the App Store for free. The only thing to remember, any editing requires a subscription to Office 365 Home, which is available as an in-app purchase. The full list of new features can be found below:

Microsoft Excel for iPad 1.1

What’s New in Version 1.1
•Send PDFs: You asked, we listened. Now you can send Excel files as PDFs.
•Flick to Select: Flick a cell’s selection handle in any direction to quickly and easily select all the data in a row or column.
•External Keyboard Support: Using an external keyboard is even easier. Use the same keys to input data and move around a worksheet as you would on your PC or Mac.
•PivotTables: Interact with PivotTables that have source data in the same workbook.
•Print Options: More paper sizes and scaling options give you more control over the layout when printing your workbooks.
•Picture Tools: Crop to focus on just the right part of the photo, or reset to undo your changes.
•Fonts: Third-party fonts are now available in the Fonts menu.

Microsoft PowerPoint for iPad 1.1

What’s New in Version 1.1
•Presenter View: View and edit speaker notes, see your next slide, or jump to other slides while presenting.
•Play Media: Play videos, sound effects, and background music while presenting.
•Insert Video: Insert videos from your Camera Roll.
•Picture Tools: Crop to focus on just the right part of the photo, or reset to undo your changes.
•Presenter Tools: Now you can erase highlights and drawings on your presentation.
•Send PDFs: Send PowerPoint files as PDFs.
•Hyperlinks: Add links to your presentation or edit existing ones.
•Fonts: Third-party fonts are now available in the Fonts menu.

Microsoft Word for iPad 1.1

What’s New in Version 1.1
• Send PDFs: You asked, we listened. Now you can send Word files as PDFs.
• Picture Tools: Crop to focus on just the right part of a photo, or reset to undo your changes.
• Fonts: Third-party fonts are now available in the Fonts menu.

 

Apps Lists, Apps Reviews, News/Rumors, Photo & Video

Instagram’s new photomessenger Bolt

Bolt is Instagram’s first independent offer outside of its leading app. This app is used for fast exchange of photos and videos. It should become the main competitor of the popular Snapchat.

It resembles Snapchat but with more intuitive “one-push” picture and video sending controls. By the way, Snapchat provides its followes a capacity to create “stories” and mass posts, and Bolt’s users are bound in conversations to one person at a time.
Bolt’s user interface was called “wicked fast” by Instagram. The app demands straight access to the Address Book instead of sighning in via Facebook, email or Instagram.

Clicking on a person’s face will immediately send a photo, a stronger push is used to send a video. If a user suddenly realises that there is no need to send something he can just shake his smartphone and the message wouldn’t be sended. Shots and videos would be removed after scrolling, but they would be saved on Instagram’s servers for a mouth.

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People can enjoy the new app now in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa, Bolt can be downloaded for free from iStore. They explain their choice – these three contries have high usage rates and geographic variety. But Apple intends to expand the quantity of buyers.

News/Rumors

Verizon planning to throttle 4G LTE customers on unlimited data plans

Last week Verizon announced a new ‘network optimization’ initiative to begin throttling some 4G LTE customers on unlimited data plans. The carrier is planing to start slowing the speeds of the top 5% of its unlimited LTE users when they’re connected to a busy cell site.

Following the recent revelation, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has sent a letter to the carrier asking for clarification on the new policy.

In the letter, Wheeler is interested whether Verizon feels the need to only throttle customers on exact plans, rather than throttling based on the needs of the technology that powers the network. “‘Reasonable network management’ concerns the technical management of your network; it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams,” Wheeler said. “It is disturbing to me that Verizon Wireless would base its ‘network management’ on distinctions among its customers’ data plans, rather than on network architecture or technology.”

Wheeler also asks Verizon to answer the following questions:

1. What is your rationale for treating customers differently based on the type of data plan to which they subscribe, rather than network architecture or technological factors? In particular, please explain your statement that, “If you’re on an unlimited data plan and are concerned that you are in the top 5% of data users, you can switch to a usage-based data plan as customers on usage-based plans are not impacted.”

2. Why is Verizon Wireless extending speed reductions from its 3G network to its much more efficient 4G LTE network?

3. How does Verizon Wireless justify this policy consistent with its continuing obligations under the 700 MHz C Block open platform rules, under which Verizon Wireless may not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of end users to download and utilize applications of their choosing on the C Block networks; how can this conduct be justified under the Commission’s 2010 Open Internet rules, including the transparency rule that remains in effect?

Verizon-Wireless

“What we announced last week was a highly targeted and very limited network optimization effort, only targeting cell sites experiencing high demand,” Verizon stated. “The purpose is to ensure there is capacity for everyone in those limited circumstances, and that high users don’t limit capacity for others.”

It will definitely be interesting to see how the things will be moving in the months leading up to October, when the new throttling policy is scheduled to go into effect.

Apps Lists, Entertainment, Music, News/Rumors

Scrub Radio vs iTunes Radio

iTunes Radio is a chargeless music service that provides a number of radio stations for users to listen and reveal new musics. By the way, there are some limitations in iTunes Radio such as ads, impossibility to scrub through songs and others. Scrub Radio is considred to be a new jailbreak trick that can help users to get rid of these restrictions and to get a full control over iTunes Radio.
With Scrub Radio, users have the freedom to scrub through songs both backward and forward and easily move to a specific point of the song.
Thanks to iTunes Radio users can also skip only 6 songs per station every hour, but Scrub Radio gives you a possibility to skip so many songs as you want without listening to the whole track. More than that the tweak promises to accelerate loading of songs.
If you dicided to install Scrub Radio, you don’t have to make any tuning. iTunes Radio is available in Apple Music apps. You must just upload it and scrub through songs as well as skip unlimited number of tracks.

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The tweak won’t  work in a proper way as it is uploaded at the first go-off. When the radio station is opened, iTunes Radio hang up and, as a result, the user is bound to close it.You will discover it is clashing with the iTunes Radio Unlimited tweak. In such a way the user should delete it or any other tweak before loading Scrub Radio.
If you are a regular user of iTunes Radio, you might be intrested in Scrub Radio to free yourself of the Apple limitations. This tweak is available for free in Cydia repository via BigBoss. And the tweak can support iOS 7 devices.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Updated Yelp allows users to add short videos to business reviews

On Monday a new Yelp update to its iOS app has been released. This app helps users to download short videos up to 12 seconds long with reviews and pictures.

New opportunities to the crowd-sourced business and restaurant guide are now availiable thanks to Yelp version 8.1, providing members a capacity to post 3-12 seconds long review videos. As a result of this update user reviews were reduced to text and pictures.

The video review tool can be able to get from the app’s main page. The central button, when being pushed, divides into “Check in,” “Review” and “Photo or Video” buttons. From the “Photo or Video” option users can switch from shots to video with a special toggle button.

New review possibilities for Yelp members are open now with the help of a new function. So the members can now preferably depict products, take note of a restaurant’s atmospere as well as add short describing videos to their review. On both the app and Web portal Yelp’s video content should start showing up in conjunction with text and photo reviews, but the examples could not be found at the time.

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In spite of the new video capabilities, the updated Yelp app has insignificant user interface corrections and bug fixes.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Gmail for iOS updated with improved Google Drive integration

Google has released an update for its iOS Gmail app that adds two new features that more tightly couple Gmail with Google Drive.

The first addition allows users to save attachments directly to Google Drive, while the second one gives the ability to insert Google Drive files directly into email messages.

«Just like with Gmail on the web, you can now insert files from Google Drive directly into an email on your phone or tablet. The apps will even tell you if your file isn’t shared with the person you’re sending it to so you can change the sharing settings before you send it. And to help you store all your files in a single place, if someone sends you an email attachment, you can save it directly to Drive with one tap.»

Additionally, Google states that the apps will also warn users if a drive attachment hasn’t yet been shared with the recipient so you can change the settings before sending the email.

gmail

The update also includes new account management options for hiding accounts in the Gmail app without removing them altogether. Users are now allowed to change their profile picture in the app’s settings.

For multiple account users, the update gives the ability to “choose which signed-in accounts you want visible in the app.”

The latest version is rolling out on the App Store now.

What’s New in Version 3.14159

• Save attachments directly to Google Drive so you can access them anywhere while saving space and bandwidth on your device
• Insert Google Drive files directly into messages
• New account management options to choose which accounts you want to have visible in Gmail without removing accounts from your device.
• Change your profile picture (in Settings)

Gmail version 3.14159 is available now as a free download from the App Store.

Accessories, News/Rumors

AIRTYPE: invisible keyboard to change the way you type

Airtype, a start-up based in Austin, Texas developed a prototype for a truly revolutionary keyboard, that is invisible. While we used to have keyboards either as physical device or touch screen interface, AirType is a “keyboardless keyboard,” that will change the way you type, especially when it comes to your tablet.

AirType is a set of cuffs you wear on your hands that become an invisible keyboard.  The sensors will track your finger movements and translate them into words on the screen. It’s no different than typing on a keyboard. The device connects your smartphone via Bluetooth.

According to the developers, the keyboard can adapt to your own specific typing style. They say “there’s no need to learn AirType, It will learn you,” similar to Siri, which can learn your accent. The product also has dynamic text prediction and corrections similar to your iPhone. It prevents you from making mistakes and promotes faster typing.

wearable-band-for-your-keyboard

The item usage will be difficult for those who are either not fluent with typing or forgetful enough to remember the letter placements on keyboard.

keyboard-airype2

Airtype is small and simply clips on your tablet for easy transportation, so you can bring them everyhere. The device is still in development, but you can sign up for their mailing list and learn more here.

News/Rumors

Apple details iOS diagnostics capabilities in response to ‘backdoor’ concerns

Earlier this week, forensic expert, and former jailbreak hacker, Jonathan Zdziarski, attracted attention to suspicious iOS background assets that could allow for covert data collection of users’ information from devices. They could be exploited by law enforcement agencies or hackers to steal sensitive personal data.

Apple of course denied the claim, stating that these so-called ‘backdoor services’ are actually used for troubleshooting.

“As we have said before, Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products of services,” Apple said.

Then the company published a new support document, where Apple offers a limited description of the three services— coincidentally listed in the same order as presented by Zdziarski in his slide deck. The company also provided details of how each works.

Apple (1)

From Apple’s support document:

  1. com.apple.mobile.pcapdpcapd supports diagnostic packet capture from an iOS device to a trusted computer. This is useful for troubleshooting and diagnosing issues with apps on the device as well as enterprise VPN connections. You can find more information at developer.apple.com/library/ios/qa/qa1176.
  2. com.apple.mobile.file_relayfile_relay supports limited copying of diagnostic data from a device. This service is separate from user-generated backups, does not have access to all data on the device, and respects iOS Data Protection. Apple engineering uses file_relay on internal devices to qualify customer configurations. AppleCare, with user consent, can also use this tool to gather relevant diagnostic data from users’ devices.
  3. com.apple.mobile.house_arresthouse_arrest is used by iTunes to transfer documents to and from an iOS device for apps that support this functionality. This is also used by Xcode to assist in the transfer of test data to a device while an app is in development.

Apple has already been mentioned by Edward Snowden’s PRISM leak last summer, which was followed tons of questions concerning the company’s stance on privacy.