Tag Archives: Apps

Microsoft releases Xbox Live app for iOS

Microsoft has released a new iOS app called My Xbox Live that lets users manage their Xbox Live accounts while on mobile. The app doesn’t have gaming of any sort, but lets users edit their bio, check messages, see what friends are online, and change their avatar. Xbox’s Major Nelson outlined the new features:

Read and send messages to friends
Manage your friends list, invite new friends
Read and Edit your full LIVE profile (name, bio, motto)
Change your avatar features/items with the avatar closet
View and compare your achievement progress with friends

Microsoft has made My Xbox Live available for free, on both iPhone and iPad. We’ve uploaded a few more photos of the app after the break.

Click to view slideshow.


Change Settings, Launch Apps And Dial Friends Through Notification Center, No Jailbreak Required

There’s a lot to like about iOS 5′s Notification Center, but unfortunately, it’s not nearly as configurable as it could (and perhaps should) be.

If you want to wring more power out of your Notification Center, though, we’ve got good news: there’s a really simple way to turn Notification Center into a quick launch bar for all your favorite settings and contacts. Even better? Unlike many Notification Center tweaks, there’s no jailbreak required.

The app is called App Switcher, and what it does is allow you to quickly and easily launch your favorite tasks right from the Notification Center.

Here’s how it works. All you do is set up a task as a Quick Launch, which allows you to access it by pulling down the Notification Center bar and tapping the appropriate task. For example, you can set up a Quick Task to call your wife, send a text to your brother, turn off Bluetooth, open an app or even load a webpage.

Once you’ve set up your Quick Tasks, they will always show up as notifications in Notification Center, with no limit to the number of quick tasks you can set up.

The result? Notification Center can now function as an infinitely long quick task launcher, helping you supplement the limited space in your iOS dock. Brilliant.

App Switcher is available now from iTunes, and costs just $0.99.

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Emails from RoadRunner and Comcast not playing nice with Apple’s servers

The Apple discussion boards are starting to heat up with an issue related to users not receiving emails from particular domains sent to their me.com/ .mac accounts. The problem appears to specifically related to RoadRunner and Comcast domains, and is affecting users across the U.S.

The issue is related to me.com accounts being unable to receive emails from rr.com and comcast.com domains. One user reports being unable to receive emails from “hawaii.rr.com”, while others report the same for “tampabay.rr.com”, and “rochester.rr.com”. It appears Apple’s servers aren’t playing nice with the domain, although some users report receiving emails up to 24 hours late, which would indicate the domain isn’t being blocked entirely. Emails forwarded from one account, such as an rr.com account, to a .me account are apparently not affected.  There are a few mentions of the same issue for emails sent from Comcast.net as well.

Just today my boss’s emails stopped showing up in my inbox – online, in Mail, or on my phone.  I am able to send files to him.  He is sending and receiving emails.  The problem seems to be entirely between hawaii.rr.com (his email, time warner/roadrunner) and my .me/.mac mail account (neither work).  I am able to use my gmail account and my .me/.mac account just fine together.

At this point the problem seems to be inconsistent, but impacting a lot of users across the country nonetheless. Users in the Apple Support Communities report that Comcast claims it’s a “a .mac problem”, while one poster says rr.com has forwarded the issue to their engineering team. Most seem to believe it’s an issue on Apple’s end. We’ll keep you posted when Apple addresses the problem.



Flipboard for iPhone finally arrives, includes new social Cover Stories feature

With the Flipboard iPad news application only growing in popularity, the company behind the software is launching an iPhone version. The iPhone variant of Flipboard looks just like and functions almost like its larger iPad sibling but is obviously formatted for the iPhone’s much smaller display. Flipboard explains Cover Stories, Flipboard’s latest enhancement:

With Flipboard for iPhone we’re introducing Cover Stories. Think of Cover Stories as the feed to check when you’re in line at the coffee shop, commuting on the train or just hanging out at home. It contains a constantly updated selection of interesting articles and photos being shared with you right now.

Cover Stories come from all your Flipboard tiles, including social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. As you add more sources to your Flipboard, their posts will begin to appear in your Cover Stories.

Flipboard’s Cover Stories feature is currently exclusive to the iPhone and iPod touch, and an iPad version is coming at a later date. Flipboard for iPhone appears to still be propagating through iTunes, but is available for some. We have more screenshots of Flipboard for iPhone after the break



Apple Updates iBooks With Nighttime Reading Theme, Full-Screen Mode, And More

Apple has issued an update to its iBooks app on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Version 1.5 of iBooks brings two major additions: a nighttime reading theme and full-screen mode.

The update also brings several new fonts, more covers for public domain books, pop-up footnotes, and a redesigned annotation palette.

What’s New in Version 1.5

iBooks 1.5 adds the following new features as well as some stability and performance improvements:

• Nighttime reading theme makes reading books in the dark easier on the eyes.
• Full-screen layout lets you focus on the words without distraction.
• iBooks now features an improved selection of fonts, including Athelas, Charter, Iowan, and Seravek.
• Beautiful new classic covers for public domain books.
• A redesigned annotation palette makes it easier to choose a color for your highlighted text.

The new full-screen mode is great because you don’t have to turn it on or off. The app automatically hides your reading options and iOS status bar once you start reading. Simply tap anywhere on the screen to see your options in either landscape or portrait orientation.

iBooks 1.5 can be downloaded for free in the App Store.

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iBooks updated with nighttime reading theme, full-screen option, and more

Apple has pushed out a fairly major update to its iBooks application for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The 1.5 update includes a new nighttime reading theme for a better digital reading experience in the dark. In addition, the new iBooks update adds a full-screen option – does wonders on the iPad – to focus on content and remove the tool bar, page numbers, and other distractions. The updated iBooks application also packs new “beautiful covers” for classic titles, popup footnote support, and an improved annotation system. On top of all of this, the free update includes performance and stability enhancements. (Thanks @chronic) Apple’s release notes:

iBooks 1.5 adds the following new features as well as some stability and performance improvements:

• Nighttime reading theme makes reading books in the dark easier on the eyes.
• Full-screen layout lets you focus on the words without distraction.
• iBooks now features an improved selection of fonts, including Athelas, Charter, Iowan, and Seravek.
• Beautiful new classic covers for public domain books.
• Support for pop-up footnotes, included in select iBookstore titles.
• A redesigned annotation palette makes it easier to choose a color for your highlighted text.

Full screenshot gallery of the new iBooks update is after the break: 



Photo Toaster Offers A Whole Lot Of Image Editor For One Dollar [Review]

Photo Toaster for iOS

Photo Toaster is a photo editor for iPad, packed with features and on sale now at a bargain price.

The name might suggest an app that just does one thing, but don’t be fooled. You don’t just throw images in and wait for them to cook. Photo Toaster gives you plenty of options for editing your images and exporting them to a good variety of services and other apps.

One very nice feature is a choice of editing modes. If you just want to select from some presets, visible as thumbnails of the image you’re currently editing, you can do that.

But tap an icon and instead of the presets you’ll see sliders, giving you access to precise controls. Nicer still, once you’ve changed to this “advanced” mode (for want of a better name), you’ll stay inside it even if you switch to a different set of controls. A small detail, but it adds to the overall effect.

The app works fast (especially on an iPad 2), and handles your images with care using non-destructive processing. You can experiment all you like, without worrying about damaging the original image.

Some of the in-app icons seem a little odd. The vignette tool has a little stars on it, which suggests an auto-enhance mode or magic touch-up tool to me. And the button used to switch to super-simple “toaster” mode (again, for want of a better word) is a globe, rather than, well, a toaster.

These are just small quibbles, though. Overall, Photo Toaster is a pretty damn good image editor for your iPad, at a price that even peanuts would find insultingly cheap. Worth grabbing.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

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