Archive for February, 2011

DirecTV Releases iPad Remote App

Monday, February 28th, 2011

DirecTV, a provider of digital satellite television services in the U.S., has released an iPad app that offers remote control functionality and TV guide browsing. With this entry in the App Store, DirecTV joins several television service providers in the U.S. including Comcast (Xfinity), Tivo, Verizon, and AT&T in offering an iOS app to control DVRs and access television program guides.

The app’s description lists the following features:

  • Highly customizable remote control functionality right on your iPad.
  • Browse and discover movies, shows and sports – without interrupting the show you are currently watching on TV.
  • Set recordings or channel tune instantly, and access more information on shows, cast & crew, with parental ratings.
  • Access sports scores and schedules and set your favorite teams.

DirecTV App for iPad will work only for subscribers in the U.S. with a residential home account enabled  to access recording and remote functionality via the company’s site. Only specific DVR models will work with the app, which are listed in the app’s description and on DirecTV’s site here.

  • Entertainment

    DIRECTV App for iPad

    Last Changed:
    1 week ago
    Rating:
    3.00 (140)
    Version:
    3.2.3
    iOS iPad

    DIRECTV’s new iPad app. Now your favorite shows, movies and sports are just a tap away. Available for customers in the USA only. FEATURES - Highly customizable remote control functionality right...

‘Consumer Reports’ Magazine for iPad Debuts

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Consumer Reports, the American publication that provides reviews and test results of consumer products, has released an iPad version of its magazine. Consumer Reports Digital Edition debuted in the App Store early this morning and offers a free iPad preview issue.

Consumer Reports made headlines last summer when the magazine withheld its official recommendation of Apple’s iPhone 4 due to the device’s now-infamous antenna issue. Most recently, Consumer Reports reaffirmed its findings with the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 released for the Verizon Wireless network earlier this month.

When it comes to the iPad, Consumer Reports has compared Apple’s device to those of other manufacturers and recommends it, declaring it the best overall choice in the magazine’s digital edition available in the new app.

Consumer Reports Digital Edition joins the Consumer Reports Mobile Shopper app ($9.99) for the iPhone in the App Store. Future issues of the magazine will be available via in-app purchase though pricing has not yet been announced.

  • Newsstand

    Consumer Reports Magazine iPad...

    Last Changed:
    3 weeks ago
    Rating:
    1.50 (23)
    Version:
    3.2.1
    iOS iPad

    ACCESS FOR CURRENT PRINT SUBSCRIBER AND SUBSCRIPTION OPTIONS NOW AVAILABLE. Consumer Reports - the magazine that millions trust to give them expert, unbiased Ratings, Reviews and Recommendations...

‘Agile Reply’ Lets You Respond to Missed Calls Quickly with Text Messages

Friday, February 25th, 2011

If you’ve ever been in a meeting or other situation where you can’t answer the phone but at least want to quickly let the caller know that you’ll get back to them, GreaTaps has a solution. The developer’s Agile Reply app will automatically pull the last missed or declined call from the Phone app and prepare a preset text message to quickly send to the caller.

Of course, you can type out a text message yourself to reply but if you’re short on time and/or can’t spare the attention to do so, Agile Reply has preset messages for when you’re busy, driving, or in a meeting along with a custom message you can set yourself (you can also change the preset messages to suit your needs).

Though the app’s description states that only “one touch” is needed to automatically send a text message to the most recent caller, you do have to press the Send button to actually send the selected message. All in all, it’s still quicker than typing out and sending a short message by hand, requiring a grand total of only four touches: one to open the app, the second to select the desired message, the third to press the Reply button, and the last to press Send. Sent messages appear in the Messages app just like any other outgoing text message.

While there are plenty of apps in the App Store that provide you with templates to quickly send text messages, Agile Reply is the first we’ve seen that automatically pulls the last missed/declined call number to use as the recipient. If you’re frequently in meetings or too busy to take calls, Agile Reply could be a useful tool for you.

  • Utilities

    Agile Reply

    Last Changed:
    48 months ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (8)
    Version:
    1.1
    iOS iPhone

    "While there are plenty of apps in the App Store that provide you with templates to quickly send text messages, Agile Reply is the first we’ve seen that automatically pulls the last...

‘Oscar Backstage Pass’ Offers Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Coverage of Academy Awards Show

Friday, February 25th, 2011

If you’re a fan of the annual Oscar awards show by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that will take place this weekend, you’ll want to check out the Oscar Backstage Pass app. Released last week, the app will show live behind-the-scenes video streamed from the red carpet, the Kodak Theater where the show will take place, and the Governors’ Ball held after the show.

Oscar Backstage Pass is a universal app for both the iPhone/iPod touch and the iPad. An internet connection is needed and users must be running iOS 4. The 83rd Academy Awards ceremony will start at 8:00 p.m. ET /5:00 p.m. PT on Sunday, February 27. It will be broadcast on the ABC network in the U.S. and a full list of broadcasters in other countries can be found here.

  • Entertainment

    Oscars®

    Last Changed:
    22 months ago
    Rating:
    2.00 (256)
    Version:
    3.3
    iOS Universal

    The Official Oscars® app for 2013. Stay up-to-date on all things leading up to OSCAR SUNDAY – February 24. The Oscars® app requires a US Internet connection and iOS 5+. Not available outside...

Gameloft “Surprise Sale” Reduces 30+ Apps to $.99

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Gameloft has announced a massive “Surprise Sale” today reducing the prices on over 30 of its iOS apps to just $.99. This sale also includes some of Gameloft’s most recent releases like N.O.V.A. 2 as well as its NFL 2010 and 2011 offerings. The regular prices of  games on sale range from $4.99 to $6.99 so there are some very good deals to be had here.

See the full list of what’s on sale below/after the break. Gameloft has not said how long this sale will last so hurry up and buy them now if any of these games are on your Wish List.

(more…)

FaceTime Now Available for $.99 in Mac App Store

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Along with some updates to its MacBook Pro line of portable computers this morning, Apple has released version 1.0 of its Facetime video calling application in the Mac App Store. Previously released in beta in October, the app enables video calling between Mac users and other FaceTime-capable devices including the iPhone 4 and 4th-generation iPod touch.

FaceTime is free to use, requiring only internet connectivity. Users need a free Apple ID to log in and make and receive calls. iPhone 4 users must have Wi-Fi connectivity in order to make or receive FaceTime calls since the service does not currently work over a cellular data connection.

UPDATE:

If you’re wondering why Apple is now charging $.99 for FaceTime when the beta version was free and owners of the MacBook Pro models released today will also have FaceTime 1.0 installed out of the box at no charge, an accounting requirement is the culprit. Macworld’s Dan Moren stated in a tweet that Apple confirmed this with him.

The 802.11n patch mentioned is a software update for some Mac models that were capable of operating under the latest Wi-Fi standard out of the box but required an update to enable this. Apple charges $1.99 for this update, which is still available in Apple’s online store here.

  • Social Networking

    FaceTime

    Last Changed:
    27 weeks ago
    Rating:
    2.00 (56)
    Version:
    1.0.5
    Mac OS

    FaceTime for Mac makes it easy to talk, smile and laugh with friends and family on their iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPod touch or Mac. Getting started is quick and easy — simply enter your Apple ID and...

Apple Media Event Scheduled for March 2

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

As claimed earlier this week by the Wall Street Journal, The Loop reports that Apple has sent invitations to the press for a media event next week on March 2. The digital invitations show a portion of an iPad screen, indicating that the event will be focused on the next generation iPad.

Rumors abound about the next iPad model, all generally pointing to a thinner, lighter, and faster tablet, possibly with a higher-resolution screen. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait much longer to see what the next iPad will actually offer.

Review: ‘Friends’ Offers All-in-One Social Networking

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

If you’re active in multiple social network services, you probably find yourself switching between multiple apps to keep up with each of them. But what if you could access each social networking service in a single app to streamline your online activity? Friends by Taptivate offers just this, bringing access to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn together in a single app.

When you first open Friends, you’re greeted with a sign-in screen to log in with your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace accounts. You can also sign in to Read It Later and Instapaper accounts here to save links for later reading.

After you’ve finished signing in to your social networking accounts, you’ll be brought to a (new to version 1.5) home screen where you can immediately see your latest notifications from all networks at the bottom and access your contacts, favorites, and posts using the menu at the top.

In the Contacts section, you’ll find a merged view of all of the contacts saved on your iPhone plus shortcuts to view contacts within each social network. Handily, Friends will automatically connect the contacts stored on your iPhone with their respective Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace accounts. If this automatic connection doesn’t work for some reason, you can link contacts yourself manually.

Tapping on a contact will reveal several tabs showing their information sourced from your iPhone and the social networks they use. However, there’s no way to truly merge information for your contacts to import information to your iPhone’s contact list if there’s more recent data for them in Facebook, for example.

Tapping on Posts in the main menu will bring you to all recent posts for all the networks you’ve signed into merged into a single stream. This is the heart of what Friends offers and it’s fantastic  if you’re active in more than one of these social networking services and like to stay up to date with them. A small icon tacked onto each user’s avatar identifies the source of each post.

We’ve had our eye on Friends since it was released in December and one of the new features it just received in the update to version 1.5 changed the app completely (in a good way) for us: a new switcher mode that allows you to quickly change between Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and MySpace so you can browse through posts in each network if you’d rather see them separately. We really like this new mode and our only wish is to be able to be a little more selective to, say, choose to view both Twitter and Facebook posts at the same time since these are the networks we use most often.

Of course, you can also post to each social networking service within Friends – the Compose screen allows you to post to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn at the same time (you can deselect networks here too if you don’t want to post to all of them at once). You can also perform some actions unique to each service, like re-tweeting and following/unfollowing in Twitter and replying to and liking Facebook posts.

There’s also an in-app web browser so you can tap on links and view content on the web without needing to leave the app. Though it doesn’t offer push notifications, Taptivate says Boxcar integration is coming soon, as is the ability to search Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn.

As a stand-alone client for Twitter, Friends falls a little short, missing the ability to read and reply to Direct Messages. Also, as OCD Twitter users we miss having post time and date details in our timeline and being able to fully load gaps in the timeline when it’s been several hours since we last checked Twitter, which can be done in the official Twitter app.

When it comes to Facebook, you won’t be able to check in or use Facebook Chat within Friends.

Overall, we like Friends and think it’s a great app to stay on top of your social networks. We can’t say that we’ll be doing away with the individual Facebook and Twitter apps on our iPhones in favor of it but with a few feature additions, that could change.

Friends is currently on sale for a limited time, down to $.99 from its regular price of $2.99.

  • Social Networking

    Friends+ for Facebook & Twitter

    Last Changed:
    47 months ago
    Rating:
    3.50 (141)
    Version:
    1.6
    iOS iPhone

    Friends is the ultimate way to use Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn on your iPhone and iPod touch! Did we mention that Instagram and Tumblr are coming soon? ON SALE NOW FOR ONLY 99 CENTS,...

‘NYC Condom Finder’ Leads You to Free Condoms in the Big Apple

Friday, February 18th, 2011

The New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene wants you to have safe sex. To support this goal, the department has released a free iOS app that will locate up to five places where you can get free condoms within walking distance from your current position. How’s that for helpful?

If you don’t need any condoms right away, you can also enter an address to map out where you can get free condoms near a place you’ll be in the future. And if that isn’t enough, the app includes some tips for condom usage so you know what to do once you get those free condoms.

The New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene released the app last weekend in time for Valentine’s Day, which also happened to be National Condom Awareness Day (who knew?). According to the press release, the department first began its free condom distribution program in 2007. The city’s Health Commissioner described the broader intentions behind the app:

The NYC Condom Finder is a useful tool to ensure that New Yorkers have access to free condoms wherever they are in the city,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner. “Using a condom every time you have sex protects you and your partner from contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Condoms also prevent unintended pregnancy. We encourage New Yorkers to stay safe on Valentine’s Day – and everyday – by using condoms.

  • Healthcare & Fitness

    NYC Condom Finder by NYC Health

    Last Changed:
    48 months ago
    Rating:
    5.00 (15)
    Version:
    1.0.1
    iOS iPhone

    NYC Condom Finder by NYC Health helps you find FREE condoms no matter where you are in New York City. Find Condoms NYC uses your iPhone's GPS to locate and provide walking directions to the 5 nearest...

‘Tap-Translate’ Brings In-line Translation to Mobile Safari

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Though there are plenty of translation apps in the App Store like Google’s own recently-released Google Translate, developer Ronen Drihem has taken a different approach by integrating translation capabilities right within Safari. Drihem’s Tap-Translate hit the App Store earlier this month and while it requires a bit of set-up, it does work as promised.

First, we want to note that Tap-Translate doesn’t operate as an independent app, per se, once you’ve got it up and running. Once you install the app and then follow the instructions to set it up, you’ll never need to open it again since the functionality it promises works right within mobile Safari using Javascript. In fact, once you set it up, you can delete the app from your iPhone or iPad and you’ll still be able to translate away in Safari (though you’ll need to install and set it up it again if you delete the bookmark or switch to a new device).

Setting up Tap-Translate to work requires saving a bookmark, an easy enough task within Safari. However, there’s a little editing involved and Drihem has kindly provided a video of how to set it up and then make use of the translation features it offers:




As you can see, it’s not terribly difficult and it really works. Tapping on a word will show a yellow pop-up box with the translation. Tapping on the plus icon in that box will translate the current section of text. Tapping on the page icon will open up a new browser page with a translation of the entire page. Tapping on the speaker icon will play the selected word aloud.

We usually come across text we want to translate while browsing the web and Tap-Translate makes it easy to do this without needing to open another app. If you’re frequently browsing sites in other languages on your iPhone or iPad, Tap-Translate is a worthy purchase at $1.99 even though you’re essentially paying for a bit of Javascript and not a fully operational app.

Note that the Javascript this “app” provides also works on Safari on your Mac. You can copy it from the bookmark you created on your iPhone or iPad and set it up the same way on your Mac and you’ll get the same functionality there.

  • Reference

    Tap-Translate

    Last Changed:
    19 months ago
    Rating:
    3.00 (92)
    Version:
    1.2
    iOS Universal

    ★ Get word translations with a tap of a finger (☝) while browsing with Apple's official browser ★ Other translation apps make you switch applications, Tap-Translate will instantly translate...