Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Google launches Chrome Remote Desktop for iOS

Google launched its Chrome Remote Desktop app for iOS after a release on Android devices last year.

The new app for iOS allows Chrome users to access their Mac or PC desktop computers remotely using an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

To access a PC or Mac remotely with the new tool, users are first required to install the Chrome Remote Desktop on their computer, which is available as a free download from the Chrome Web Store. Once the both apps installed, users can access their computers on an iOS device through the Chrome browser with just a couple of taps after verifying through a generated code.

Users are also provided with the option of either trackpad or touch mode, and gestures control a verity of functions like scrolling, zooming, and click-drag.

chrome

According to the company, a significant benefit to using Chrome’s browser and accompanying iOS app is multi-platform support. The app supports remote assistance on PCs running Windows and Linux. Finally, Chromebook users can remotely access at-home computers in the similar way.

The Chrome Remote Desktop app is available for download from the App Store for free.

News/Rumors

Apple added revamped App Store category just for kids

Apple has created a Games for Kids sub-section. The new section, which is divided into three different age ranges: “Ages 5 & Under”, “Ages 6 – 8″, and “Ages 9 – 11″, is aimed just at children.

Among the apps, there are such as Color Zen Kids, Little Galaxy Family, and Club Penguin, and others. In addition, the company is also offering the free book Family Time with Apps in the new section, created by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and tasked to “help parents better understand the variety of ways that apps can support children’s healthy development and family learning, communication and connection.”

iPhone maker specifically celebrated its Kids Category in a press release announcing a record-breaking year and start to the new year. The Kids section suffered from a bug in October, when inappropriate apps were added.

Kids section

The company previously included a kids section in 2013, but faced problems with accidental in-app purchases from children. However, the new version seems to be more revamped one reflecting Apple’s new in-app purchase advertising. It doesn’t appear on the App Store’s main page.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Divoom Airbeat-10 compact wireless Bluetooth speaker

Are you looking for a Bluetooth speaker, which is small enough to share your bag with keys and purse? Then, The Airbeat-10 from Divoom is a good solution for you.

The Airbeat-10 is another stunning sound device with wireless connectivity via Bluetooth. That means, that you can easily connect this audio device with your Bluetooth enabled devices and wired devices.

The Airbeat-10 is splash-proof, which means it can be used in the shower or on the beach. It has an integrated microphone that allows a hands-free communication session.

Also, it is a portable Bluetooth speaker so you can carry it in your bag or hand. The Airbeat-10 comes packaged with bike mounts, so you can attach Divoom speaker anywhere you want. The suction cup that comes with the Airbeat-10 as well makes it possible to stick it to just about anywhere. 

Divoom_Airbeat_Bluetooth-Speaker_02

The Airbeat-10 itself is a very compact wireless Bluetooth speaker with a dimensions of 87 x 78 x 45 mm, that has a built-in rechargeable battery of 500 mAh which can be used up to 6 hours in continuation and can be recharged in just 2.5 hours via USB cable. The Bluetooth version 3.0 used in the speaker provides connection up to10 meters.

http://youtu.be/efUZi_upgTk

The Divoom Airbeat-10 is available in several color versions, including “Passion Red, Sky Blue, Pearl White and Smart Black”and priced at $30.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Elgato’s Thunderbolt 2 Dock-basic Mac accessory with a lot of promise

Thunderbolt 2 Dock is a new solution to ramp up the speed of your devices and boost the performance of integrated USB 3.0, HDMI video, and analog audio-out ports.

The Elgato Thunderbolt 2 Dock has an appealing design and matches well with virtually any device in Apple’s line-up of personal computers. It has a silver aluminum frame with a black plastic core, looking almost similar to the previous model. However, the newer version’s front and rear ports are located in different orders.

Elgato features three USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, a 3.5mm microphone input port, a USB-to-analog 3.5mm audio out port, a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port and an HDMI port.

The Dock’s USB 3.0 ports feature standalone 1.5-Amp power output with USB Battery Charging 1.2/UASP standard compliance, which is enough to make sure your iPhone or iPad can charge when connected.

elgato-3

The HDMI port now supports the HDMI 1.4b standard and 4096×2160 resolution output in case you happen to connect your Mac to a 4K monitor.

The USB 3 ports guarantee enhanced speeds, which means that USB 3.0 hardware will transfer files faster, and the sounds will be a bit more deep and rich. A separate audio input port also makes it possible to simultaneously connect a high-quality microphone for conference calls or any other project that benefits from having your voice heard.

The Gigabit Ethernet port provides your MacBook with a wired connection.

The companion software can be downloaded from Elagto’s support site.

Thunderbolt 2 Dock, a basic accessory that benefits about any Mac owner, is available for $230.

News/Rumors

Sony’s “The Interview” available on iTunes

Last week, Sony Pictures made much-rumored and controversial comedy The Interview available on Xbox Video, Google Play, YouTube and SeeTheInterview.com. After reportedly being involved in early negotiations for the film, Apple has finally made the straight-to-online film available to iTunes customers.

We’re pleased to offer “The Interview” for rental and purchase on the iTunes store.

Previously the company declined an exclusive offer to carry “The Interview” on Christmas Day, but there was no official answer on the reason, although it was suggested Apple didn’t want to move on Sony’s quick timetable. Another reason is the company did not want to disturb the iTunes Connect holiday freeze, which ran from December 22 to December 29 this year.

Early this month, Sony said, that due to a lack of support from theaters and threats made by cyber hackers, its “The Interview” film will not debut in theaters or online. President Obama, however, stated that the company made a mistake by scrapping its plans to release the film because of the threat. Sony then made up the decision to release the movie, on Christmas Day, to more than 200 independent movie theaters, as well as online.the-interview

The plot of the film focuses on a celebrity tabloid show host (Franco) and his producer (Rogen), who are asked to document an exposé on North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The CIA recruits the pair to assassinate Kim.

The Interview is available on iTunes now for $6 to rent and $15 to own.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

The best iOS app sales for the holidays

As a part of Christmas celebrations, Apple updated its App Store with discounts on tons of apps and games. Of course, these apps and games have been significantly discounted or made free for a limited time, so hurry up to grab something you want.

In addition to games, a number of movies and music saw discounts.

Here are the best iOS price drops of the season:

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars: $2.99
Infinity Blade III: $0.99
Modern Combat 5: Blackout: $3.99
Batman Arkham City Lockdown: $0.99
Gangstar Vegas: FREE
Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders: $0.99
Deus Ex: The Fall: $0.99
The Amazing Spider-Man 2: $0.99
Bastion: $0.99
Terraria: $0.99
République: $2.99
BioShock: $4.99
Oceanhorn: $4.99

holiday-app-sales

FINAL FANTASY V: $7.99
FINAL FANTASY IV: $7.99
FINAL FANTASY VI: $7.99
CHRONO TRIGGER: $4.99
Knights of Pen & Paper: $2.99
FINAL FANTASY: $3.99
FINAL FANTASY II: $3.99
FINAL FANTASY III: $7.99
Secret of Mana: $3.99
Another World – 20th Anniversary $0.99
Baldur’s Gate 2 $9.99
Banner Saga $4.99
Batman Arkham City Lockdown $0.99
Calendars 5 $2.99
Camera360 Concept free
Castro$1.99
Chaos Rings $3.99
Chaos Rings Omega $3.99
Chaos Rings 2 $6.99
Civilization Revolution 2 $7.99
Clear for iOS $2.99
Clear for Mac $5.99
Goat Simulator $0.99
Go Couch to 5k $1.99
GoPix – Slide Movie Makers for Instagram free
Group Text+$1.99
Hitman GO$0.99
The Room Two: 0.99
Machinarium: $2.99
Threes!: $1.99

News/Rumors

CNN named Tim Cook 2014 CEO of the year

CNN has named Tim Cook 2014 CEO of the year.

Cook took the top spot in the CNNMoney rankings, saying the CEO did an “amazing job” at Apple in 2014.

“He’s had to convince skeptics that Apple can still innovate after the death of Steve Jobs,” the ranking declared. “He’s proven all the naysayers wrong.”

Also mentioned in the list was the highly successful launches of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as Apple Pay. It also paid attention to the upcoming launch of the Apple Watch in early 2015.

The company said Cook has “arguably the toughest CEO job in America” and noted the company’s 40% stock climb this year.

Tim Cook is followed by other high-profile CEOs, including John Chen of BlackBerry, Mary Barra of GM, and Meg Whitman of HP. 

CNN named Tim Cook 2014 CEO of the year

CNN’s CEO of the Year isn’t the only award Cook received this year. Earlier this month, the Financial Times awarded Tim Cook with ‘Person of the Year’ title for the same reasons as CNN—debuts of new products and climbing stock price. Finally, the FT thanked Cook for his  personal essay on his sexuality published earlier this year and his decision for Apple to purchase Beats for $3 billion.

Apple CEO was also nominated as a finalist for TIME’s 2014 “Person of the Year” award, but ultimately lost out to the Ebola Fighters.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple launches iTunes Tumblr page to promote music, movies and more

Apple opened a new Tumblr page offering the touchstones of pop culture across 2014.

The page includes music, movies, TV and books content, with individual posts consisting of images, videos and animated GIFs of artists. Each product category features a brief promo video running through the best content of 2014. For example, users can find GIFs and video of Nikki Minaj, Sam Smith, Taylor Swift and more. 

As with any Tumblr blog, visitors can like a post, share the information on Facebook and Twitter, and reblog it to their own tumblr page. On a related note, iTunes also launched an official Instagram account earlier this month.

Apple has taken big steps to resurge on social media recently. The company has previously opened a Tumblr blog for the iPhone 5c back in March, and CEO Tim Cook himself joined Twitter in September of 2013.

iTunes Tumblr

Apple hired Musa Tariq, a social media guru, who previously cooperated with current retail chief Angela Ahrendts during her time as CEO of Burberry. Before taking his position in Apple, Tariq was senior director of social media at Nike. 

Apple seems to continue working in this direction. A recent listing on Apple’s Jobs webpage shows, that the company is planning to hire a new Head of Social Media and Content that will be based in Culver City.

News/Rumors

Apple “deeply offended” by BBC allegations of poor working conditions in iPhone factories

Last week, in one of its program, BBC One reported, that Apple had broken promises over the working conditions in Pegatron’s iPhone factories in China and revealed multiple instances of purported poor treatment of workers.

BBC used hidden cameras in its investigation to find out a list of infractions violating Apple’s own Supplier Responsibility report, such as illegal ID card confiscation, excessive working hours, poor living conditions, and underage workers.

Following the BBC undercover documentary, Apple executive Jeff Williams sent a corporate memo, which said, that both he and CEO Tim Cook are “deeply offended” by allegations that Apple permits the mistreatment of workers in its supplier factories, reports the Telegraph.

In his letter to employees, Williams said that the company’s audits and tracking reveal that it has achieved an average of 93 percent compliance with its 60-hour workweek limit. The Apple executive added that Apple can do better, and vowed that it will.

“We know of no other company doing as much as Apple does to ensure fair and safe working conditions, to discover and investigate problems, to fix and follow through when issues arise, and to provide transparency into the operations of our suppliers,” Williams wrote.

Williams also paid attention to the issue of child labor in Indonesian tin mines, saying that the company made the more moral choice by working for change in the country.

“Apple has two choices: We could make sure all of our suppliers buy tin from smelters outside Indonesia, which would probably be the easiest thing for us to do and would certainly shield us from criticism,” Williams wrote. “But it would be the lazy and cowardly path, because it would do nothing to improve the situation for Indonesian workers or the environment since Apple consumes a tiny fraction of the tin mined there.”

“We chose the second path, which is to stay engaged and try to drive a collective solution.”

In its Supplier Responsibility report, that is published annually by Apple, the company revealed the result of its own audits and the steps that have been taken in response to problems identified in its supply chain.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

‘Brushstroke’ is Apple’s free App of the Week

Apple traditionally has selected another great app to go free as its App of the Week. This week’s free app is Brushstroke, a popular photo editing app, which is usually available for $2.99. It is the first time, when the app is available to download for free since its March 2014 launch. 

Brushstroke is tasked to transform your album images and snaps into beautiful paintings in one touch. With the set of  various photo filters and tons of different brush options, users can edit their photos adding different paint effects.

The app also includes various color filters, textures, including paper, canvas, wood, rock, and stone will change the final look of the photo painting. There are also plenty of standard photo editing features like saturation, contrast, brightness, exposure, and more.

The controls are pretty simple and even intuitive. All of the effects that you can apply to your image are organized neatly into their own groups.

Edited photos can be shared on different social networks like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The developers behind Brushstroke also team up with CanvasPop to allow users to order physical prints, posters, and canvases of their masterpieces at prices starting at $10.

brushstroke

Key Features:
– Automatically transform your photos into one of many painting styles
– Load photos from your Camera Roll and other Albums
– Take snaps and watch them transform instantly
– Experiment with different color palettes
– Adjust your painting to get just the right look
– Select from a variety of canvases and surfaces
– Sign your painting to personalize it
– Share your art on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
– Have your art printed and shipped right to your doorstep

Brushstroke will be available to download for free for the week.