iPhone, News/Rumors

Apple launches new animated iPhone 5c ads beyond Tumblr

After Apple has been experiencing some troubles selling the iPhone 5c, the company appears to be experimenting with a new advertising campaign to push the device.

Apple on Thursday launched a digital advertisement campaign on high-profile websites like Yahoo and The New York Times.  The Yahoo homepage offers an ad block on the right side hand of the page where eight various iPhone 5c ads with the tagline “Find your colors” are placed.

Each ad brings a short animation, presenting a few original Tumblr ads. There’s a spot dubbed “Catwalk,” which shows a series of lens flashes, “Baaaa,” which mimics a herd of sheep, and “99 Luftballoons,” which features floating red dots with music from the well-known song.

Each clip offers a number of dots arranged in different ways that eventually come into line as the same dots on the back of the iPhone 5c case, which then zoom out to present the full iPhone 5c. In all, the company has about 17 various animated iPhone 5c ads that are being shown on the web.

iphone-5c-ad

The iPhone 5c has been actively advertised after its release. Web ads have previously been used by the company. For example, Apple has recently shown its Your Verse ads on a number of websites.

Apple seems no to be planing to stop its promotional campaign and is expected to expand the animated advertisements to other websites as well in an effort to further market the iPhone 5c to a wide range of consumers.

During the company’s Q1 2014 earnings call, Apple said, that the results were lower than expected sales of the iPhone 5c. The reason is high demand for the flagship iPhone 5s.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple adds “Sharing Selfies” section to iTunes App Store

Apple has launched a new section to the iOS App Store, responsible for promoting apps used to share selfies. Among platforms and apps in which you can take and share selfies with are classics like Snapchat and the Justin Bieber-backed Shots and lesser-popular apps such as selfie-editing app Facetune and an app called Front Flash that’s design to make it easier to take selfies in low light.

Most app are those, you might have heard of in the past, but selfies section brings them together and groups up to make them a little easier to find.

The section can be accessed via the front page of the iTunes App Store on both the iOS and desktop version of iTunes, so if you want to find out which apps Apple considers useful for taking selfies, just open iTunes. In all, the section includes 12 different apps.

1

The most recent selfie rage was that of Ellen DeGeneres’s Oscar selfie that created the world record for the most amounts of retweets and favorites in all of Twitter’s history. The previous record was taken by Barack Obama during election time.

2

The fact is that selfie was the ‘Word of the year’ in 2013 and now Apple introduces a section to its App Store.

Here’s the full list of featured apps:

    • Picr
    • Frontback
    • Everyday
    • Snapchat
    • Samba
    • Close-up
    • Selfie Cam
    • Front Flash
    • Facetune
    • SnapDash
    • 1 Second Everyday
    • Shots

If you’re looking for a new app for taking selfies, the new section will help you to choose the perfect one.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

FiftyThree’s Paper updated with new iOS 7 design, improved zoom and more

FiftyThree has succeeded over several years, due to the enormous popularity of its drawing and creativity app, called Paper and the release of its complementary Pencil stylus. This week the company took a big step to improve the creation process with an update to its Paper, introducing a complete redesign of the app.

Paper took top positions among the best-designed tablet creation tools, and has even received some awards since it was released in 2012. But the new version of the app is even better, offering new fonts, buttons and toggles, as well as a handful of other improvements.

“The new design combines the emotional power of metaphor and the functional clarity of clean design,”-FiftyThree says.

Paper now includes improved navigation with faster menus and a simplified icon menu. In addition, the updated version comes in with lighter color options, vibrant journal covers, custom fonts and enhanced readability across the board. As for the new tools, there are two significant additions. First, the Zoom function adjusts the size of the draw, color, erase, and blend tools, giving users better control over their projects. It allows to adapt when they need to have a closer look at the sketch.

feature-ui-square

According to the FiftyThree’s blog:

“Zoom isn’t just about getting closer, it’s about having the tools to do detailed work. Now when you zoom in, your tools do too. Draw, Color, Erase, and Blend adjust their size in the loupe to give you finer control over tiny areas without ever touching a slider.”

screenshot-canvas

Draw, Erase and other options adjust automatically, offering better control without the need to toggle an on-screen switch. The app allows users to tap quickly to create small dots, or hold down on the canvas to make larger ones.

Designed for the iPad and iPad mini, Paper can be downloaded now on the App Store for free.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

United Airlines to launch iOS-exclusive in-flight movie service

In April, United Airlines will be introducing a new inflight entertainment service  for both iPhone and iPad, giving flyers access to over 150 movies and 200 TV shows on their device for free.

According to United, the system will be implemented in a few steps beginning next month and is to be limited to iOS devices like the iPad.

The hardware to support the system requires to be installed in each plane individually, but United belives that its entire domestic fleet will be outfitted with the technology by the end of 2014.

The first who will receive the service’s hardware backbone will be United’s Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Boeing 747-400 and certain 777-200 aircraft, and more models promised to be provided with it later.

To view the various content, which is sponsored in part by the MileagePlus Explorer Card, flyers are required to download the United Airlines iOS app, which will probably stream media over United Wi-Fi. Meanwhile, those who didn’t install the app, are allowed to do so for free while in the air.

non_DRM_streaming

As reported, two types of content will be available for flyers. Laptop owners must install a browser plug-in, while iOS device users can just view media via the United app. More programs will also be accessible through the United Portal without plug-in or app requirements.

Users will get full control of the service’s content, having the ability to stop, pause, rewind, and switch between movies and TV shows at any time. The only thing they need to do once on their flight is to open the app.

United Airlines is available in the App Store as a free universal app.

News/Rumors

Apple warns users with in-app purchase window in iOS 7.1

Apple released iOS 7.1 earlier this week, and among the new features of updated vesrion is the addition of a warning message for users concerning the 15-minute in-app purchase window. The message is shown to users making in-app purchases for the first time, and aims to remind them of a 15-minute grace period in which additional purchases can be made without reentering password.

The message offers direct access to iOS device Settings, where you can use in-app purchase limitations. You are allowed to choose to leave the 15-minute buy window alone, require a password for every purchase, or turn off in-app purchasing altogether.

Although the 15-minute no-password window has been in effect since the iOS App Store launched in 2008, plenty of visitors are not aware of the policy. After the company settled a lawsuit made with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in January, Apple has agreed to pay over $30 million to those affected by ‘unauthorized purchases.’ Additionally to the lawsuit, the company has faced a number of class-action complaints from parents over its IAP policies.

Purchase_Complete

Apple will refund some $32.5 million to parents whose children made unauthorized purchases.

Apple also promised to modify its in-app billing system to make the process clearer for users. These changes came with a March 31 deadline from the FTC.

It’ll be interesting to see if the changes it’s made in iOS 7.1 will finally put an end to issues caused by IAPs.

iOS

iOS 7.1 is out with animation updates, CarPlay and more

Apple launched iOS 7.1, making the first major update to the mobile OS since it was redesigned last year. iPhone 4 users, the oldest model supported by the operating system, have experienced some issues, as there were several iOS 7 features that didn’t work at all on the iPhone 4, including Siri, AirDrop, AirPlay Mirroring, and a few special effects across the user interface including parallax, some translucency effects, and live wallpapers.

Apple claims it’s fixed these problems and added a few new features, including Siri and Touch ID enhancements. iOS 7.1 carries a build number of 11D169b.

Accessibility has been improved with a new “Button Shapes” option that indicates where tappable areas are placed, a “Darken Colors” option, and an improvement to Contrast allowing users to reduce iOS 7’s white point.

The 7.1 update has also brought much quicker animations and attempted to keep things running smoothly.

The new version also received “HFP prompts” in the Maps app, which allows you to listen to your car’s built-in radio or other input devices while using your Bluetooth-connected iPhone for navigation. With 7.1, your car will be automatically told to switch over to Bluetooth when it needs to play an audible direction reminder. After the device is done speaking the direction, it will automatically switch back to whatever you were previously doing. The principle it works is similar to a phone call or Siri activity through your car’s Bluetooth system.

2

These are only a few attempts to enhance the work of the operating system. A multitude of minor improvements are also included into the update. Full release notes are as follows:

CarPlay
- iOS experience designed for the car
- Simply connect your iPhone to a CarPlay enabled vehicle
- Supports Phone, Music, Maps, Messages, and 3rd-party audio apps
- Control with Siri and the car’s touchscreen, knobs, and buttons

Siri
- Manually control when Siri listens by holding down the home button while you speak and releasing it when you’re done as an alternative to letting Siri automatically notice when you stop talking
- New, more natural sounding male and female voices for Mandarin Chinese, UK English, Australian English, and Japanese

iTunes Radio
- Search field above Featured Stations to easily create stations based on your favorite artist or song
- Buy albums with the tap of a button from Now Playing
- Subscribe to iTunes Match on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to enjoy iTunes Radio ad-free

Calendar
- Option to display events in month view
- Country specific holidays automatically added for many countries

Accessibility
- Bold font option now includes the keyboard, calculator, and many icon glyphs
- Reduce Motion option now includes Weather, Messages, and multitasking UI animations
- New options to display button shapes, darken app colors, and reduce white point

Other
- New Camera setting to automatically enable HDR for iPhone 5s
- iCloud Keychain support in additional countries
- FaceTime call notifications are automatically cleared when you answer a call on another device
- Fixes a bug that could occasionally cause a home screen crash
- Improves Touch ID fingerprint recognition
- Improved performance for iPhone 4
- Fixes display of Mail unread badge for numbers greater than 10,000
- Continued user interface refinements

iOS 7.1 can be downloaded via the software update tool in the settings menu on iOS devices.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

iTunes Festival updated with SXSW content and new iOS 7 design

Apple updated its iTunes Festival app to version 5.0, ahead of next week’s SXSW iTunes Festival, which is set on Tuesday, March 11.

According to the MacStories report, an updated version of Apple’s iTunes Festival app has appeared in the App Store with an iOS 7 redesign, a revamped icon and streaming support for next week’s iTunes Festival at SXSW.

Earlier this week, the well-connected John Gruber of Daring Fireball said that the now-released iTunes Festival app  would require iOS 7.1 and suggested a correlation between the absence of both software releases. But  the app is now officially available for download in the App Store, and iOS 7.1 is not required.

Apple’s SXSW iTunes Festival is the first it has hosted in the United States, with previous iTunes Festivals taking place annually in London. The festival will provide five free nights of music, beginning on March 11 at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas. Among the artists are such as Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, Soundgarden, Pitbull, Keith Urban, and others. Tunes_Festival-app

As for the app itself, it comes in with a “flat” iOS 7-style redesign, and gives the ability to stream video of live concert performances and view images taken at the event.

iTunes Festival version 5.0 is available as a free 28.2MB download from the App Store.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Sega Go Dance-Apple’s free app of the week

This week, Apple is encouraging you to move your body with its free App of the Week in the App Store, Sega Go Dance. Last Thursday, the company slashed Tiny Firefighters to zero bucks, which is an interactive app/book/game for kids, usually available for $2.99.

Do you love to dance? Then you might like SEGA GO DANCE. The app uses advanced motion-capture tech to turn your device’s FaceTime camera into a motion sensor, that recognizes and scores your movements in real-time. What you are required to do is to place your device on a table or other flat surface to fully enjoy the game. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your television via a HDMI cable or just use AirPlay to beam action wirelessly to the TV.

The developers released Go Dance last September and made it available for download for $1.99. Additionally, Go Dance was named one of the App Store’s Best Of 2013 games.

sega-go-dance

Apple explains its choice in App Store Notes:

“Each week, we select a great app and bring it to you, for free, as our App of the Week. (In-App Purchases sold separately.) SEGA’s Go Dance offers a unique experience that’ll have you standing up and boogying. Set your iPhone or iPad on an inclined surface, and the game will use your device’s built-in FaceTime camera to judge your dancing while the display shows you which moves to perform next. Perfect your routines, then go online and shake a leg against other players.”

Sega Go Dance is available as a free download in the App Store through Wednesday, March 12. It can be used by iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, fifth-generation iPod touch, iPad 2, third-generation iPad, fourth-generation iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad mini with Retina display owners.

News/Rumors

Apple to bring full-screen video iAds to apps this year

Advertisers may soon be given a new way to reach users with Apple’s iAd service, as Apple reportedly plans to introduce full-screen video iAds for apps on the iPhone and the iPad later this year.

The new iAd option will allow included video content to play automatically at full screen. A user is required to click on a mobile banner for a brand’s ad video to play. Under the new format, developers could opt to display TV commercial-like ads during moments of transition, like in between levels within a game or in between articles in a news-style app.

There are already a number of free-to-play apps offering full-screen third-party video ads. For instance, Zynga’s Draw Something on iPad asks users to watch a video ad before giving them access to the next level. iPhone maker currently permits full-screen video iAd advertisements within some iPad apps, but this system can reportedly be expanded to other iOS devices.

Since Apple has given this opportunity to developers to make money on the iOS platform in 2010, iAd has lost its popularity among those intending to have good profit. But, Apple has been trying to bring iAd back with a new focus on iTunes Radio.

hero-gallery

«The in-app video ads may be a way for Apple to rekindle advertisers’ interests in its fancy-but-flawed iAds. The ad product line was unveiled in 2010 with all the pomp and circumstance of a new iPhone, but they’ve struggled to gain traction in the market. Advertisers were initially asked to drop $1 million for the rich-media units, which more closely resemble a mobile microsite than a banner. That price tag has dropped to $100,000 over the years, even as Apple has added features like maps.»

It’ll be interesting to see how this new format works with both advertisers and users. It is still unclear how much Apple would ask advertisers to pay and when it starts implementation.

News/Rumors

OnLive is back with new CloudLift game service

Online gaming company OnLive, which made headlines in 2012 for a round of sudden and massive layoffs, was revived with the announcement of two new gaming services, including CloudLift and OnLive Go.

Founded in 2003, OnLive is a firm that set out to change the way we play games. OnLive’s first Game Service was introduced in 2010, but problems with Internet connections, latency, and video compression caused it to get unfavorable reviews. In 2012, the company was forced to lay off most of its employees, and later being sold to Lauder Partners for just $4.8 million-despite the true value of its patents estimated at the time in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars. And now the company is back with two new cloud-based gaming services.

CloudLift is a subscription service that gives users the ability to play digital games, such as those from Steam, on any device, while OnLive Go for developers is designed to bring MMOs to mobile devices.

CloudLift allows OnLive to link games bought from Steam or other services to OnLive, uploading the games to the cloud to be played anywhere on any PC, TV, or mobile device. Gaming is synched, meaning you are allowed to start a game later on. You can purchase a monthly CloudLift subscription for $14.99, while a streaming-only PlayPack subscription is available for $9.99.onlive

The only things you need to do is purchase a game from a distributor once in order to play it with the OnLive service. Games are delivered in 720p at 60 frames per second.

Right now, CloudLift offers with 20 titles, including The LEGO Movie Videogame, Saints Row IV, as well as Batman: Arkham City, Asylum, and Origins.

CloudLift is currently available on Mac and Windows PCs and Android devices. OnLive also plans to bring it to iOS, but it requires more time.

“iOS is a big platform. We’re not sitting here ignoring it,” he told Pocket-lint. “It’s the same thing with Surface. We want to be platform agnostic. We continue to grow and we’ll focus on growing across all of those.”