News/Rumors

KGI: Apple likely to launch stylus accessory for rumored 12-inch ‘iPad Pro’

Apple is reportely to launch a hardware stylus to improve the user experience for its much-rumored 12.9-inch “iPad Pro.”

According to a new report by KGI, the company is planning to introduce a stylus accessory for its iPad device, targeted at the expected larger-screened ~12 inch iPad Pro. Both items are rumored to debut sometime this year.

“Given that it’s more precise than a person’s fingers, a stylus can be more convenient to use than the combination of keyboard and mouse in some cases,” Kuo, well-regarded analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, wrote. “Therefore, we believe Apple’s stylus will improve the user experience of 12.9-inch iPad.”

Kuo has previously had a fairly reliable records in predicting the company‘s future products.

According to Kuo, the stylus would be an optional accessory rather than included standard with the new iPad, as the cost of the stylus would drive the base cost of the iPad too high.

apple_stylus

According to the revealed technical details of the stylus, the analyst predicts it will charge via a Lightning connector. He also supposes the initial stylus model will not feature a gyroscope accelerometer, but future versions could bring the component to support “3D handwriting” to let the user write on other surfaces or even in the air. 

Kuo believes the company may launch the new accessory in the second or third quarter of this year. Apple has filed for several patents related to stylus technology, with the most recently demonstrating one being a “communicating stylus” that would automatically transcribe handwritten notes into digital form.

News/Rumors

Apple patent app shows home button that transforms into gaming joystick

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent, that shows a spring-loaded pop-up iPhone home button that acts as gaming joystick when in the raised position. 

The home button itself would do its usual home button functions, but with a quick pressure click would pop up and turn into a slightly elevated thumb joystick, offering a various way to interact with an iPhone, iPad, or any other device. A simple push of the elevated home button would bring it back to its normal state. When elevated, it’d give 360-degree movement and serve as a D-pad of sorts in games. Thus, users will have access to two modes: “button mode” and “joystick mode.”

According to the documents, the home button will transform into a very low-profile joystick, which is much smaller than traditional game controller joysticks.

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The most evident app for this would be for playing games, but the home button could also act to control a cursor or provide more accurate or unique input methods when the appropriate situation appears.

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Apple thinks a built-in function in form of this new home button could be an acceptable option for those unable or unwilling to carry additional gaming accessories. 

The company believes, the Touch ID home button found on the latest iPhones and iPads can be used for much more than just sensing a user’s fingerprint. 

The patent was first filed by the company in the summer of 2013. However, the new technology unlikely will be used in the company’s next iPhone, allegedly launching later this year.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Parallels Access updated with new file manager, iPhone 6 support

Parallels updated its Parallels Access app for iOS  with support for the iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus, a new file managing system, enhanced audio controls, and a new web browser-based version.

Parallels Access is known as a robust remote computing application that lets users view and control multiple Macs or Windows PCs via their devices.

The app, debuted in 2013, was first available only for iPad  and offered Windows and Mac virtualization to iOS, along with natural navigation gestures and near-native performance.

The developers introduced a universal version last June. 

Today’s update features several improvements, such as an all-new file manager that allows users to transfer and store Mac or PC files to an iOS device for later access. In addition, locally stored files can be offloaded to a remote computer and used via full-blown desktop apps.

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In addition, the updated version allows a better work with other applications like Dropbox and Google Drive. 

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Finally, the app brings support for Apple’s latest big-screen devices, including iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and other minor improvements and bug fixes.

Those users, who have already installed current Parallels Access, can download the new version for free, while new subscribers will have to pay $19.99 for a year or $34.99 for two years. New users can also try out Parallels Access free for two weeks.

News/Rumors

Apple ends free iTunes ‘Single of the Week’ promotion

Apple has reportedly ended its long-running iTunes “single of the week” promotion, which used to provide users with free music every week on iTunes.

iTunes shows no free songs in 2015, making people ask whether the company has killed off the promotion for good.

According to the report from Business Insider, a representative of the Apple discussion forums says an Apple support employee stated, that the company made up decision to drop the weekly promotion.

“I contacted iTunes Support and they told me the decision was made to drop the free Single of the Week. Seems they don’t want people browsing the Store anymore. I told them that the free single each week got me to the Store and I usually bought a few songs. Now, there’s less reason to go. They’ve stopped the free single in other countries too.”

Single of the Week

Apple began the “Single of the Week” promotion in 2004 to hand out free singles of varying genres every week from popular artists and up-and-coming bands.

Last month, Apple also claimed, it decided to stop its annual “12 Days of Christmas” iTunes Store giveaway. It previously presented a host of free books, games, music, and movies after Christmas every year, but it never appeared for Christmas 2014. It was the first time in six years when the promotion wasn’t run.

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. 

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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.

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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.

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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