Archive for March, 2011

Apple Releases iOS 4.3

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Despite announcing a release date of March 11 at last week’s media event for the next software update for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, Apple has made iOS 4.3 available today. This latest iOS version adds several new features, including Personal Hotspot capability, improved Safari performance, HD video out and more. Apple’s knowledge base page describing the changes in iOS 4.3 can be found here.

The Personal Hotspot feature allows an iPhone 4 with a tethering data plan to share its cellular data connection with other devices via Wi-Fi. The CDMA Verizon iPhone was released with this feature but iOS 4.3 brings it to the GSM iPhone 4.

iTunes Home Sharing lets users access music and video from a shared iTunes library on a computer on the same Wi-Fi network. HD video will be possible from a compatible iOS device using Apple’s new Digital AV Adapter accessory.

iOS 4.3 is compatible with only the GSM iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad and the 3rd and 4th generation iPod touch models and is a free update for all of these devices.

TurboTax for iPad Debuts

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Intuit, the California-based financial and tax software company, has released a version of its popular TurboTax application for the iPad. TurboTax 2010 debuted in the App Store yesterday and offers the ability to complete federal and state tax returns and file electronically all within the app.

TurboTax 2010 is free to download and use. Completing and filing a federal return starts at $29.99. Business and state returns cost extra.

Intuit has created a demo video to showcase the app:




Intuit also offers an iPhone tax return app called TurboTax SnapTax that lets users take a picture of a W-2 to import data automatically. SnapTax is for users who are eligible to file the federal 1040EZ form.

  • Finance

    TurboTax 2010

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    iOS iPad

    TAP INTO YOUR TAX REFUND Try it for free and pay when you file. Do your taxes from your iPad and get your guaranteed biggest tax refund in as fast as 8 days when you e-file your return – it's that...

  • Finance

    TurboTax SnapTax Tax Year 2010

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    Version:
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    iOS iPhone

    Magically do your taxes on your iPhone with the snap of a photo. IT’S SO SIMPLE: 1 - Snap a photo of your W-2 2 - Answer a few simple questions 3 - Review, pay, and e-file securely! See the...

‘Kik Messenger’ Adds Pictures and Group Chat

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Kik Messenger, a cross-platform messaging app, was updated today with new features including the ability to send and receive pictures and chat with multiple people at once. Kik first hit the App Store last April and quickly gained a large user base after a major revamp in October, hitting over 1 million users within two weeks and then 3 million by early January.

The new features and changes in version 4.0.0 are as follows:

FAST PICTURE SHARING

Share moments with your friends as they happen. Send something funny, embarrassing, beautiful – whatever! It’s all about getting your contacts in on the action, instantly and privately, with a picture message.

SIMPLE GROUP CHAT

Easily create groups on-the-go by adding friends to conversations. Share your weekend plans with your friends at work, have a chat with the whole family, tell your entire team you’re running late for practice, etc. Group Chat lets you get the message out to the whole gang in a simple, safe and private way.

SPEED & STABILITY BOOST

Since the beginning, Kik has been known for its blazing speed and dependable service. That’s why we’ve tweaked some things under the hood to make Kik even faster and more reliable. You’re welcome!

OTHER NEATO STUFF

+ A clearer opt-in/opt-out process for the automatic friend-matching feature

+ An improved emoticon set that helps you find that perfect smiley face faster

Kik, a start-up based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, boasts ultra fast and easy messaging similar to Blackberry’s own Blackberry Messenger service. In fact, Kik Messenger used to be available for Blackberry devices but was removed from the Blackberry App World in November over a “breach of contractual obligations” according to RIM. At that time RIM also ended push notification support for Kik Messenger for those already using the app on a Blackberry. Since then, RIM has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Kik.

Kik Messenger is available for the iPhone and Android devices. In the iOS App Store it has a lot of competition from other cross-platform messengers like WhatsApp and PingChat! though Kik’s exploding user base means that your friends may be more likely to use Kik than other apps. Since most of our friends use iPhones, we prefer Textie but Kik is worth a look if you want to send messages quickly to friends and not blow through the text messages you’re allotted on your monthly plan.

  • Social Networking

    Kik

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    iOS iPhone

    150 million people love Kik! Only Kik lets you connect with all your friends, no matter how you meet them – at school, on your favorite social app, or in an online game. Just ask them: “What’s...

Random House Brings 17,000 Ebooks to iBookstore

Friday, March 4th, 2011

A bit lost amid the big announcements about the iPad 2 and impending release of iOS 4.3 earlier this week, Apple also reported that Random House has joined the iBookstore. The German-owned publisher has brought its entire catalog of 17,000 ebooks to the iBookstore.

We are delighted that Apple’s iBookstore now will be carrying Random House’s US ebooks for the first time,” said Markus Dohle, Random House’s Chairman and CEO. “And we look forward to bringing our 17,000 ebooks to Apple customers.

At this week’s media event, Steve Jobs stated that over 100 million ebooks have been downloaded from the iBookstore since its launch last year. Apple’s free iBooks app offers access to the iBookstore on iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches.

Speaking of ebooks, if you like to shop around for ebooks to get the best prices, check out the Leatherbound app. This free universal app lets you search for ebooks and find their prices in the stores of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple all at once. Leatherbound hit the App Store in late January and is now a staple on our own iPhones and iPads.

  • Books

    Leatherbound

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    Version:
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    iOS Universal

    Leatherbound, your ebook search engine for comparing prices and availability across the Nook, Kindle and iBook stores, is now available on your iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. This free app features...

iMovie and GarageBand Coming to iPad

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Apple’s video editing software, iMovie, is coming to the iPad. At today’s media event, Apple announced a universal version of the iMovie app that will take advantage of the iPad’s larger screen size. The updated app will include new themes, more precise editing functionality, multi-track audio recording and more.

iMovie is currently available in the App Store for the iPhone and 4th-generation iPod touch only.

GarageBand, Apple’s music creation and editing application, will also be coming to the iPad. The app will include several virtual instruments, including a grand piano, organ, guitars, drums, and a bass. Users can also connect a guitar directly to the iPad. The app will offer 8 track recording and mixing, guitar amps and effects, over 250 loops, and the ability to email completed songs in AAC format.

The new version of iMovie and GarageBand for iPad will both be available on March 11 for $4.99 each, the same day that iOS 4.3 and the next-generation iPad will be released.

Apple Previews iOS 4.3

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

At today’s media event where the iPad 2 was announced, Apple also previewed new features in iOS 4.3. The next version of the operating system for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch will feature iTunes home sharing, AirPlay improvements, and improved browser performance.

Home Sharing, a feature introduced to iTunes last year, will allow your iOS devices to access iTunes media content stored on your computer while connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network.

Safari for iOS will see some improvements as well, getting Javascript enhancements that will speed up the browser’s performance.

The switch above the volume buttons on the iPad will have a new preference setting allowing users to choose between volume muting and screen orientation locking functionality.

iOS 4.3 will also bring the personal hotspot feature to the iPhone 4. This feature is currently only available on the Verizon iPhone 4 and costs an additional $20 per month for Verizon customers to use. It allows users to share the iPhone 4′s cellular data connection via Wi-fi with up to five devices at once.

FaceTime is also coming to the iPad 2 in iOS 4.3. iPad users will be able to make and receive FaceTime calls with iPhone 4, 4th-generation iPod touch, Mac, and other iPad 2 users.

With the addition of cameras to the new iPad model, Photo Booth will be a new app that will come pre-installed on the iPad 2. Photo Booth is an application that was previously available only for the Mac and lets users take self-portraits and apply a variety of effects.

iOS 4.3 will be a free download available on March 11, the same day the iPad 2 will be available.

Apple Announces Next-Generation iPad

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

At today’s media event, Apple announced the next generation of its popular iPad tablet device. Featuring a thinner design with a 1GHz dual-core processor, the new iPad will also have front and rear-facing cameras and will come in black and white versions. It will work on both GSM and CDMA networks and begin shipping on March 11 in the U.S.

At just 8.8 mm thick, the iPad 2 is thinner than the iPhone 4 which is 9.3 mm thick. It’s also lighter than the first generation iPad at 1.3 lbs, down from 1.5 lbs. Despite the decrease in size, the iPad will have the same 10-hour battery life and 30 days of stand-by time.

Pricing and capacities for the new iPad remains the same, starting at $499 for the Wi-Fi only 16GB model and moving to $599 for the 32GB Wi-Fi model and $699 for the 64GB Wi-Fi model. The Wi-Fi + 3G models will cost $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB.

New accessories will be available for the next generation iPad, including an HDMI-out cable priced at $39 and cases called Smart Covers that cover the device’s screen and are secured by magnets. Smart Covers will automatically wake the iPad 2 when opened and put it to sleep when closed. They will come in multiple colors in polyeurethane, priced at $39 each, and leather, priced at $69 each.

Steve Jobs made an unexpected appearance given the announcement of his most recent leave of absence in January to kick off the event and make the majority of the announcements himself.

Discovery Channel Comes to iPad

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Discovery Channel, the U.S.-based cable channel that features popular shows like MythBusters and Dirty Jobs, has released an iPad app offering access to the channel’s program schedule, behind-the-scenes photos, video clips, and more.

The free Discovery Channel HD app hit the App Store early this morning and joins a version first released for the iPhone in late 2009. Though neither app offers the ability to view any of the channel’s shows in their entirety, direct links to the iTunes Store to purchase individual episodes are provided within the app.

  • Entertainment

    Discovery Channel

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    iOS Universal

    Watch clips and selected full episodes from Discovery Channel shows! THOUSANDS OF CLIPS Check out custom-curated playlists, watch the hottest clips from all of Discovery’s shows, and share your...