Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Tweetbot 4.0 is the best alternative Twitter Client for iOS

Tweetbot 4 is one of the best Twitter clients for the iPhone.

It’s always been a solid app, but new amazing features were added to the 4th iteration that’s really brought the client back to the Twitter app throne.

Most users have been using Tweetbot since it first debuted on iOS, and as such, they have become quite accustomed to all of the shortcuts and gestures that let them use the app in the most efficient way possible.

Tweetbot allows to sync your timelines across your Mac, iPad and iPhone. In addition, users are allowed to mute tweets according to hashtag, user, keywords or tweet source. 

The client also features all the sought-after attributes of the full-featured Twitter client such as direct messages and lists.

The biggest change in Tweetbot 4, though, is the completely updated iPad app.  The client has an incredibly clean, minimalist design, with all the sensible tweaks and touches to the Twitter interface that the app users have come to know. Multitasking support is its another strong side — Tweetbot is planning to spend a lot of time pinned to the edge of my iPad Air 2’s screen.

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Moreover, statistics are currently easily accessible too, which include engagement and follower counts within a specific period of time. 

Finally, all the existing strengths of Tweetbot are still there, including granular muting of users, hashtags or keywords, Instagram previews, timeline syncing between the iOS and Mac app and others.

Tweetbot 4 is available now for a limited launch price of $4.99, down from $9.99.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple disables iOS News app in China

Apple has been disabling its Apple News Service in China, a number of iPhone and iPad users recently reported.
The problem was initially revealed by software developer Larry Salibra, who last week said the company disables News when roaming in mainland China, a policy he finds “disconcerting.”

Apple has not yet commented on the issue, but The New York Times on Saturday connected a person with knowledge of the matter as saying News is indeed inaccessible in China.

“What worries me, is that the mechanism Apple uses to disable the News app and Apple Maps uses the location of the user to change the behavior of their device without their permission, even if the location service is disabled in the privacy settings,” Salibra notes.

The developer also tested at a river crossing between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland to reveale the company blocking News access not on a device geolocation or IP basis, but by local cellular network.

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The News app is only available in the U.S., where the service is live, and test markets in Australia and the UK. Users who buy an iPhone or iPad and install News in a supported country get usually access to content while traveling internationally, except in China where the service is completely disabled. Chinese customers trying to connect to News app servers see an error message reading, “Can’t refresh right now. News isn’t supported in your current region.”

News/Rumors

Jony Ive remembers Steve Jobs and talks about new role as chief design officer

As expected, Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive talked to director JJ Abrams and film producer Brian Grazer at the stage at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

During his time on stage, the Apple executive spoke about his lasting memory of Steve Jobs and his new role as Chief Design Officer. 

After Jobs died in 2011, Ive initially hit a “wall of grief” clouded by a jumble of emotions, but that slowly passed.
“In thinking of him then, there was this incredible complexity of all his attributes,” Ive said. “What has been very surprising, is that over the four years that have passed, so much of that noise, and so many of his attributes, they’ve ended up essentially receding. And what’s left is…just him.”

Since Jobs death, he has been the subject of a number of biographies and films, some of which cast the late tech guru in a less than favorable light. When asked about Jobs portrayal in Steve Jobs, Apple’s Chief Design Officer said that he “didn’t recognize this person at all.” He then added that the way someone is portrayed can be “hijacked” by those who aren’t close friends or family. 

Aside from talking about Steve Jobs, Ive also commented on his new role as Chief Design Officer, saying that he “should have done this years ago” and that he hasn’t felt “this happy and creative in years and years.” 

Accessories, News/Rumors

Latest Apple Watch ads focus on Apple Pay, Siri, more

Apple shared six new Apple Watch ads on Monday covering tentpole features like Apple Pay, Siri, fitness tracking and Maps presented in a new visual style.

Each of the company’s short 15-second commercials focuses on a specific Watch capability, with most demonstrating only one or two characters acting out scenes on a minimalist set.

The first ad, “Sing” focuses on Watch’s voice messaging capabilities, with a young man singing a ditty to his girlfriend via Messages. The spot ends with the tagline “text your heart out.”

The second ad is entitled “Date” and describes how notifications are handled with the device. In this commercial, actress Lake Bell, who is the narrator of the iPhone 6s commercial, enjoys a night out and is updated on her child via Messages. 

Another two ads, called “Train” and “Cycle” highlights Watch’s ability to track fitness metrics, in these cases heart rate monitoring and specific exercise logging for indoor cycling. The videos feature actors interacting one-on-one with their Watch with no outside distractions, suggestive of a highly personal connection with the smart watch. 

The next ad, called “Ride,” tells how Apple Maps works with Apple’s wearable. The video showcases a woman asking Siri for directions to a destination.

The first ad is called “Sprinkle” and focuses on Apple Watch’s support for Apple Pay. In the ad, a mother carrying a kid is shown using her Apple Watch to buy more ice cream after one of her daughters drops her ice cream.

The new commercials were released nearly 2 weeks after Apple announced watchOS 2 for the device, which adds native app support, new watch faces and third-party complications.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Logitech debutes ‘Logi Circle’ portable monitoring camera

Consumer electronics and accessories maker Logitech has announced its entry into the home security and monitoring market, debuting the Circle Portable Home Connection Camera, under its new Logi brand. 

It’s a small, ball-shaped camera that works as a standard home security device, but also provides a lot of advanced features, including 2-way audio and real-time streaming of high-definition video via its accompanying smartphone app on iOS or Android. In addition, it also acts like a two-way intercom, allowing users to listen or speak to whoever is in the room.

According to the company, the Circle brings “Scene Intuition” technology that sets it apart from other similar home camera systems. With Scene Intuition, the Logi Circle can learn home life patterns to send alerts only when interesting activity happens to protect users from having to sort through hours and hours of footage. The Circle’s software is capable to learn which movements are normal for a room, including a pet walking around or curtains in the breeze, and can recognize those among something significant.

Logitech-Logi-Circle-lifestyle

Another great feature of the camera is its ability to create a “Day Brief,” which algorithmically produces a sped up video of the day’s highlights. Logitech filters all of the video and surfaces the most interesting segments when browsing the Circle’s iOS or Android app.

The camera has a 135-degree wide angle view and 8x zoom. Its built-in battery provides up to three hours of non-stop streaming, or twelve hours in power saver mode. There is a magnetic charging ring to recharge the device.

It is Logitech’s second product to sport the company’s new Logi brand, following a triumvirate of iPad cases back in July. The Circle is available for pre-order in the United States and in select countries in Europe for a suggested retail price of $199.99, with shipments scheduled to arrive in October 2015.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple Music, iTunes Movies and iBooks available in China

In a new press release, Apple revealed that its Apple Music, iTunes Movies, and iBooks services are now available to users in China. The company announced that Apple Music is debuting in China bringing “millions” of tracks, including local artists like Eason Chan, Li Ronghao, JJ Lin and G.E.M, as well as international musicians like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.

In addition to music, iTunes Movies delivers films from both China and Hollywood, while iBooks welcomes both free and paid ebooks.

“Customers in China love the App Store and have made it our largest market in the world for app downloads,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “One of the top requests has been more great content and we’re thrilled to bring music, movies and books to China, curated by a local team of experts.” 

The company began its three-month Apple Music trials on Sept. 30 in China. When it is over, Chinese customers will be charged a 10 RMB per month fee for single-use accounts, or 15 RMB per month for family plans. 

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iTunes Movies will give access to international blockbusters as well as films from local studios, including Bona, Huayi Brothers and 1905. To celebrate the day of launch, Apple offered “The Taking of Tiger Mountain” as a free download for a limited time.

The iBooks Store also was updated with a number of Chinese language books including “Big Head Son & Little Head Dad” by Zheng Chunhua and “The Family Belongings of Chinese People” by Ma Hongjie. Apple’s digital library is also the first to offer Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series for purchase.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Adobe updated Photoshop and Premiere Elements 14 with new tools

Adobe on Thursday released Photoshop Elements 14 and Premiere Elements 14, its lower-cost photo and video editing tools, that allow you to quickly edit and share your photos and videos from the desktop.

The updated Photoshop Elements 14 and Premier Elements 14 received new features, that make it easier than ever to use Adobe’s software for improving photos and videos. For example, Photoshop users can apply dramatic camera shake and haze removal tools to improve images as well as motion titles for creating profession looking movies.

Another big enhancements are enhanced Photoshop’s ability to discover edges and parse out fine detail without much user intervention. According to the company’s statement, the update allows to detect hair and fur, notoriously difficult subjects for automatic selection operations, and time consuming if done manually.

In addition to these two new tools, Adobe has also added 34 Guided Edits that help users through common tasks, from resizing to adding motion blur. 

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With Premiere Elements 14, Adobe added support for 4K video that can be exported to different screen and file formats. The feature is just available for Apple’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, both of which are capable of shooting 4K video. 

Audio is also improved in Premiere, with UI assets moved for easy access while editing. The company enhanced motion titles, bringing bounce, spin and “zoom” effects for memorable opening sequences. Finally, users can now sort videos and entire projects, places and events with GPS information embedded will be displayed on a map.

Both Photoshop Elements 14 and Premiere Elements 14 for Mac and Windows are available for download from Adobe’s website for $99.99 each.

Apps Lists, iPad, News/Rumors

Pixelmator for iOS 9 adds iPad split-screen multitasking

Pixelmator announced the latest version of its photo editor for iPhone and iPad, Pixelmator version 2.1.

The update gives the ability to import and edit 8K resolution pictures, Open-In-Place document management across iOS and more.

The updated version also includes support for full Split View, which will allow the Pixelmator app to be used side-by-side with other apps on the iPad mini 4 and the iPad Air 2. On older iPads, split-screen multitasking will be limited to Slide Over. 

This means typical desktop work is now possible on iOS. For example, you can now edit photos using Pixelmator and browse the web for inspiration at the same time.

Support for iOS 9’s new Open In Place document functionality helps fix a common issue with iOS file management: traditionally when you edit something, the app would have to save out another duplicate copy of the document. Open In Place allows you to open a Pixelmator document from anywhere, change it and save it back to the same place. Pixelmator version 2.1. also indexes your Pixelmator creations in Spotlight, which allows you to find them using the universal search from the Home Screen.

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The ability to import and edit 8K resolution photos makes it possible to rop and adjust images — up to 64 megapixel photos in size — on both iPhone and iPad.

Finally, the update features a convenience workflow for handling images in your Photos library: open a photo from Photos and save changes back without creating a copy.

Pixelmator for iOS is available in the App Store for $4.99 and its companion app can be downloafded from the Mac App Store for $29.99. Stylus support for Apple Pencil with iPad Pro is expected to be added by the company.

News/Rumors

Apple removes apps infected with the XcodeGhost malware

Following revelation that a number of iOS apps on the App Store had been infected by malware, security company Palo Alto Networks has shared a list of some of the affected apps, including Angry Birds 2.

Apple is fully aware of the recent malware attack and has already begun removing all known programs that have been infected.

The apps were infected by a fake copy of Xcode dubbed XcodeGhost, which was unwittingly downloaded from a third-party server in China. Developers are believed to downloaded the fake from local servers because it required too much time to download the original from Apple’s own servers.

Xcode is known as the IDE tool used by developers to create, compile, and deploy both mobile apps and desktop apps to the App Store and Mac App Store.

Most of the infected apps are of Chinese origin, but the list also includes a number of apps that are popular in other territories.

It’s been suggested that over 300 apps are infected, with 31 of them revealed: 

  • Angry Birds 2
  • CamCard
  • CamScanner
  • Card Safe
  • China Unicom Mobile Office
  • CITIC Bank move card space
  • Didi Chuxing developed by Uber’s biggest rival in China Didi Kuaidi
  • Eyes Wide
  • Flush
  • Freedom Battle
  • High German map
  • Himalayan
  • Hot stock market
  • I called MT
  • I called MT 2
  • IFlyTek input
  • Jane book
  • Lazy weekend
  • Lifesmart
  • Mara Mara
  • Marital bed
  • Medicine to force
  • Micro Channel
  • Microblogging camera
  • NetEase
  • OPlayer
  • Pocket billing
  • Poor tour
  • Quick asked the doctor
  • Railway 12306 the only official app used for buying train tickets in China
  • SegmentFault
  • Stocks open class
  • Telephone attribution assistant
  • The driver drops
  • The Kitchen
  • Three new board
  • Watercress reading
  • WeChat

Apple stated that it has removed all the infected apps and is working with developers to replace fakes with their clean versions.

iPhone, News/Rumors

Tim Cook talks Steve Jobs, iPhone 6s and more on ‘Late Show’

Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared on the “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, with the interview covering some popular topics including the iPhone 6s, Apple Car and more.

During the 10-minute discussion on the show, Colbert demonstrated a rose gold iPhone 6s before asking Cook about the device. Colbert and Apple CEO then discussed and showed off 3D Touch and Live Photos.

Colbert then revealed that while he was speaking to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick last week, Kalanick said that the company had already started work on a self-driving car. Cook, of course, brushed off the question with a variation of his standard comment: “We look at a number of things along the way, and we decide to really put our energies on a few of those.”

When asked about recent movies about Steve Jobs, including the upcoming “Steve Jobs” film by Aaron Sorkin and the just-released “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” documentary by Alex Gibney, Apple CEO said:

I haven’t seen them, but the Steve I knew was an amazing human being. He’s someone that you wanted to do your best work for. He invented things that I think other people could not. He saw things other people could not. He had the uncanny ability to see around the corner, and to describe the future, not an evolutionary future, but a revolutionary future. And he was a joy to work with. And I love him dearly and miss him every day. I think a lot of people are trying to be opportunistic and I hate this. It’s not a great part of our world.”

cook_colbert_3Cook and Colbert also paid attention to charity and responsibility to future generations, with Cook saying “We want to leave the world better than we found it.” Cook also cited Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quote of “What are you doing for others?” as his daily inspiration.

Colbert also explained that he worked with Apple to have Siri prepare a number of questions for Tim Cook. “Siri, what should I ask Tim Cook?,” Colbert spoke into his iPhone. On the show, Siri replied, “Do me a favor. Ask him when I’m going to get a raise.”

Cook is also expected to attend The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D Live conference in October.