Author Archives: Jordan Kahn

Facebook updates Paper app w/ birthdays, events, photo comments, group updates & more

Facebook-paper-01Facebook released a big update today to its recently released Paper mobile app. The app, which provides a full Facebook experience alongside a news reader-style collection of content from around the web, today integrates birthdays and events from Facebook via the app’s “notifications globe” icon.

Version 1.1 also introduces the ability to add photos in comments, and updates from Groups:

Don’t miss posts from your favorite groups. Swipe down to open the Main Menu. Tap the More Options icon to the right of the Search box. When you see your groups, check the new unread counts to catch up on the posts you’ve missed.

Also new in the updated Paper app is new navigation buttons for stories and 9 new “article covers” with news from sources including Fox News, Bloomberg News, Mashable, FT, kottke, Popular Science, The Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair and Hacker News. Facebook also noted that the app now includes basic accessibility features in all sections and that it’s “working to extend accessibility throughout the app.”

Version 1.1 of Paper for iPhone app is available on the App Store now.


Filed under: Apps

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MLB At Bat mobile apps adding Chromecast support today for Premium subscribers

Chromecast-MLB

Google announced today on its Chrome blog that Major League Baseball is adding support for its $35 Chromecast streaming stick through the MLB At Bat app for Android and iOS. That means that users with the app and an MLB.TV Premium subscription will be able to stream live and on-demand video content from the app (or from a browser tab in Chrome through MLB’s site) to a Chromecast connected TV. You’ll also be able to use the phone or tablet you’re streaming from as a second-screen experience to “check scores, stats and news” while watching the game on the bigger screen:

MLB.TV is the latest live streaming service to come to Chromecast, so now MLB.TV Premium subscribers can invite their friends over to watch live, out-of-market games. While casting a game to the big screen, use your phone or tablet to check scores, stats and news from around the league. You can even choose between home or away broadcasts to steer clear of the opposing team’s announcers when your guys are on the road.

The updated apps are rolling out today for the MLB At Bat app for Android and iOS on Google Play and the App Store, but the Chromecast feature will require an MLB.TV Premium subscription to get started. Those cost $129.99/year or $24.99/month in comparison to the regular $19.99/season or $2.99 month At Bat subscription and offers “every 2014 Regular Season out-of-market game LIVE or on-demand in HD” across platforms. 

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Square Enix brings Hitman to iOS w/ new turn-based strategy game

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Today Square Enix Montreal released a mobile version of the popular Hitman franchise responsible for a handful of critically acclaimed releases on consoles and PCs over the last decade. The iOS spin-off called Hitman Go sees players taking control of the franchise’s main character, hitman Agent 47, but the gameplay is a completely new twist on what we’ve seen from Hitman games in the past.

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In the mobile game, you’ll still have to sneak your way through environments using disguises, distractions, and find secret areas and hiding spots to get to your target and complete a hit, but this time you’ll be doing so with turned-based puzzle/strategy gameplay on your iPhone or iPad.  

With Hitman GO, you’ll experience:

• Challenging puzzles that put your assassination skills to the test
• Beautiful scale model-style visuals
• Environments with secret passageways and off-limit areas
• Agent 47’s tools of the trade: Distractions, disguises, hiding spots, sniper rifles and even the iconic Silverballers
• Different enemy types with unique and deadly behaviours
• Different ways of completing each level, silently or forcefully

Hitman Go is available for $4.99 on the App Store now.

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Filed under: Apps Tagged: app, App Store, gameplay, Hitman, Hitman Go, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Montreal, Square Enix, Strategy, turn-based

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Angela Ahrendts says Burberry management transition ‘well underway’ as reports claim delay

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After becoming a Dame of the British Empire in a ‘low key’ ceremony earlier this month, rumor had it that Apple’s new retail chief Angela Ahrendts would be leaving her CEO position at Burberry this month. Apple has never confirmed as much apart from saying Ahrendts would start in the spring back in its original announcement, but today reports claim Ahrendts might stick around at Burberry a little longer. The Guardian reports that while Ahrendts is free to leave after serving her 6 months notice and helping transition in a new CEO, she could earn as much as an £8m or $13.5m bonus if she stays at Burberry through June:

Ahrendts is free to leave Burberry this month, having worked her six-month notice period, but the American promised to stay on until the middle of this year to smooth a handover to her successor Christopher Bailey, currently chief creative officer. Remaining until 6 June would also allow her to collect two multimillion pound share bonuses relating to performance over the last few years.

The report adds that “the most likely reason no leaving date has been confirmed is that she is wrangling with Burberry and Apple over compensation for the payout in June.”

As of yesterday, Angela was still being quoted as CEO in the company’s latest earnings report. In that same report, Ahrendts notes that “the management transition [is] well underway,” but doesn’t specify when she’ll be leaving for Apple for good. 

Although Ahrendts will take over as Apple SVP of retail after more than a year without someone in the position, she will actually be taking up a newly created role making her the first to head of retail that will run both Apple’s online and offline operations.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Angela Ahrendts, Apple, bonus, Burberry, delay, June, retail, spring, SVP, transition

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Twitterrific adds tweet editing workaround as Twitter announces ad-based app installs

twitterific-icon-01Twitterrific for iOS gets a welcomed update today that notably brings the ability to edit tweets with a simple tap of the “more actions” icon. Of course, in order to get around the fact that Twitter doesn’t actually allow editing of tweets, what the function is really doing is quickly deleting the tweet and opening the compose window with original tweet’s text. From there you can quickly edit and share it as fast as possible.  

The app also gets a number of other bug fixes and improvements in the version 5.7.2 update available on the App Store now.

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In other Twitter news, Twitter announced today on its blog that it’s launching a new mobile app promotion suite that will allow advertisers to promote mobile app installs both on and off of Twitter.

We have developed a full suite of targeting, creative and measurement tools to enable Twitter advertisers to effectively promote their mobile apps. These are being tested in a private beta, and you may have already seen some examples of these app promotions on Twitter. For marketers, this means a rich, native ad unit that combines the best of Twitter Cards and Promoted Tweets. Users can easily install and engage with apps, directly from the Twitter timeline.

While the Twitter Publisher Network will let mobile app devs run campaigns on Twitter with promoted tweets, Twitter is also teaming up with MoPub Marketplace for ads outside of its service. Twitter says MoPub is one of the biggest mobile ad exchanges in the world reaching over a 1 billion unique devices and serving “more than 130 billion ad requests inside Android and iOS applications every 30 days.”

Twitter has already been testing the new mobile app advertising suite with partners such as Spotify, HotelTonight, Kabam, and Deezer that you might have already seen in your Twitter timeline, but today it’s letting all U.S. advertisers sign up to the private beta through ads.twitter.com.


Filed under: Apps Tagged: ad, Advertising, app, installs, mobile, mobile ad, Spotify, Twitter, Twitterrific

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Texas Instruments adds iBeacon support to its Bluetooth LE chip and dev kit products

TI-Bluetooth-LETexas Instruments announced today that it is adding iBeacon support across its Bluetooth LE chips and development kits. The company is starting by adding support to some of its Bluetooth wireless micro controllers, an automotive connectivity device, and other combo Wi-Fi/Bluetooth products and development kits. TI’s Oyvind Birkenes imagines support for iBeacons in its Bluetooth chips opening up new possibilities for Apple’s Bluetooth LE platform including “asset trackers, retail, building automation systems, automotive and industrial applications, and a wide variety of consumer electronics” beyond what we’ve seen so far. 

“Restaurants, retailers and even sports stadiums have started using iBeacon technology, but there are many more applications that could benefit from the technology. Everything from asset trackers, retail, building automation systems, automotive and industrial applications, and a wide variety of consumer electronics,” said Oyvind Birkenes, general manager, Wireless Connectivity Solutions, TI. “By providing support for iBeacon technology across our entire Bluetooth low energy portfolio as well as a new SimpleLink SensorTag location app and broadcaster reference design, we are enabling manufacturers to quickly add micro-locationing capabilities to their products.”

The company is adding support to its $25 SensorTag Bluetooth development kits that aims to speed up Bluetooth development for mobile developers alongside an updated app for it with iBeacon support. It’s also introducing a new “coin cell-sized, low cost and low-power broadcaster reference design that enables fast volume production of devices with iBeacon technology based on the SimpleLink CC2543.”

Full details on products updated with iBeacon support can be found in TI’s press release below:

TI supports iBeacon technology across TI’s Bluetooth® Smart, dual-mode and combo-connectivity portfolio

SimpleLink™ SensorTag, new SensorTag App and CC2543 reference design with iBeacon technology, deliver fast time to market of new apps and devices

DALLAS (April 16, 2014) – Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) today announced support for iBeacon technology across its Bluetooth® low energy portfolio including:

  • Bluetooth Smart with SimpleLink™ CC2541 and CC2543 wireless microcontrollers (MCUs)
  • Bluetooth dual mode with the SimpleLink CC2564 solution, and the BL6450Q automotive connectivity device
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo-connectivity with WiLink™ 8 and WiLink 8Q for automotive connectivity

Additionally, TI launched a new location app, with iBeacon technology, for the CC2541-based SimpleLink SensorTagdevelopment kit, as well as a new low cost, small form-factor broadcaster reference design based on the CC2543. The CC2543 is a low-cost version of CC2541 optimized for beacons and broadcast applications.

About iBeacon – More than retail

iBeacon is a technology introduced with iOS 7 that uses Bluetooth low energy and geofencing to provide apps with a whole new level of micro-location awareness, such as trail markers in a park, exhibits in a museum, or product displays in stores.

“Restaurants, retailers and even sports stadiums have started using iBeacon technology, but there are many more applications that could benefit from the technology. Everything from asset trackers, retail, building automation systems, automotive and industrial applications, and a wide variety of consumer electronics,” said Oyvind Birkenes, general manager, Wireless Connectivity Solutions, TI. “By providing support for iBeacon technology across our entire Bluetooth low energy portfolio as well as a new SimpleLink SensorTag location app and broadcaster reference design, we are enabling manufacturers to quickly add micro-locationing capabilities to their products.”

New location App demonstrating SensorTag with iBeacon technology

A new SensorTag location app with iBeacon technology is available to download on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The app allows you to upload a floor plan and “place” SensorTags to easily set up your own indoor positioning system. The app provides feedback on how near you are to the SensorTags and can launch a user-specified URL when you are in the immediate vicinity of a SensorTag. Additionally, existing SensorTags can be updated with the latest SensorTag App through an over-the-air upgrade to be compatible with iBeacon technology.

TI broadcaster reference design with iBeacon technology

TI is also introducing a coin cell-sized, low cost and low-power broadcaster reference design that enables fast volume production of devices with iBeacon technology based on the SimpleLink CC2543. Manufacturers can also get a head start with the SensorTag reference design, which is FCC-certified and is compatible with iBeacon technology.

Support for iBeacon technology on TI Bluetooth platforms

TI offers support for iBeacon technology across its Bluetooth Smart-enabled products through royalty-free software offerings.

  • SimpleLink Bluetooth low energy CC2541 and CC2543 wireless MCUs are supported through TI’s BLE-Stack.
  • SimpleLink Bluetooth dual mode CC2564 and WiLink 8 combo connectivity solutions are supported by Stonestreet One’s Bluetopia stack.
  • WiLink 8Q and BL6450Q solutions for automotive applications are supported by Cybercom blueGO together with OpenSynergy Blue SDK stack.

Pricing and availability:

  • The SimpleLink SensorTag is available through the TI eStore and TI authorized distributors for $25.
  • Upgrade your SensorTag to be compatible with iBeacon technology using the latest SensorTag App.
  • The new location app with iBeacon technology is available to download on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
  • The TI broadcaster reference design based on the SimpleLink CC2543 with iBeacon technology including Gerbers, schematics, layout, and BOM is available now. 

Filed under: Apps, iOS Tagged: Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, Bluetooth Low Energy, iBeacon, iBeacons, Oyvind Birkenes, SensorTag, Texas Instruments, TI

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Physical iPhone 6 mockups & upcoming accessories shown off at Hong Kong Electronics Fair

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Following a number of leaks claiming to show prototypes, cases, and manufacturing tools for the next-generation iPhone, today yet another leak of a physical iPhone 6 mockup has popped up via Japanese blog Macotakara.jp. The site posted images from the Hong Kong Electronics Fair taking place from April 13-16 that apparently show mockups of the iPhone 6 used by case makers to create cases and accessories they plan to launch alongside the new iPhone.  

The publication tells us that there were several accessory manufacturers showing off physical iPhone 6 mock ups used to create their upcoming accessories that were also on show.

In recent weeks more and more alleged iPhone 6 shots have been discovered online, including this one claiming to show an iPhone 6 front panel from this morning.

All of the leaks point to what Apple has long been rumored to be working on, an iPhone with a larger display somewhere in the neighborhood of 4.7 to 5.5 inches. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time case makers have started manufacturing products based on rumored specs for an upcoming device, but we’ve also seen them take that gamble and get it wrong in the past.

More images and a video of the iPhone 6 mockup below:

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Filed under: iOS Tagged: Accessories, Apple, case, Hong Kong Electronics Show, images, iPhone, iPhone 6, Japan, mock up, parts, screen

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