Archive for October, 2011

‘Apple Store’ App to Get Self-Checkout Option?

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Our sister site MacRumors reported yesterday that the Apple may be planning an update to its official Apple Store iOS app that would allow users to use a self-checkout option to pay for accessories in Apple retail stores. These purchases would be charged to users’ iTunes store accounts.

This update is expected in just a few days on November 3, when another Apple retail store initiative that lets customers pick up purchases ordered on Apple’s website in a local retail store is also expected to be launched in more stores beyond those in the San Francisco Bay area where it’s currently available.

This update to the Apple Store app could be a welcome one for many as the holiday shopping season approaches. If it works as expected, you could bypass long lines in Apple Stores if you’re purchasing smaller items that are available on the shelves and don’t need to be fetched from the stock room by an employee.

  • Lifestyle

    Apple Store

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    iOS Universal

    Shop for Apple products and accessories, and get the most from your visits to the Apple Retail Store. Start your order on one device and finish it on another. Get items shipped to your door or choose...

‘Pixelmator’ for Mac Gets Major Update

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Pixelmator Team, a London-based development company, announced the release a major update to its photo editing application for the Mac today. Version 2.0 of Pixelmator includes several new features, including content-aware fill to intelligently handle removing and replacing objects in photos, an advanced editing tool made popular by Adobe’s flagship Photoshop CS5 application.

The list of what’s new in Pixelmator 2.0 is as follows:

  • New look and feel
  • Drawing Tools and Shapes
  • Healing Tool with Content-aware fill
  • Smudge, Sponge, Burn, Dodge, Eyedropper, Pixel, and Red Eye Tools
  • New Type Tool
  • Complete OS X Lion Support
  • And much more…

Pixelmator offers many photo editing features available in much more expensive applications, including Adobe’s Photoshop CS5. It can open and edit PSD (Photoshop format) files and uses the layer concept for editing, like Photoshop. Pixelmator is currently priced at $29.99, down from its regular price of $59.99. At either price, it’s an absolute bargain compared to Photoshop CS5 which costs $699 on its own (or $199 as an upgrade from a previous version).

  • $2999Buy Now
    Graphics & Design


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    Mac OS

    Full-featured and powerful image editing app for the Mac. Pixelmator takes full advantage of the latest Mac technologies, giving you speedy, powerful tools that let you touch up and enhance images,...’s Personal Finance App Comes to the iPad

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Mint, a company that offers online personal finance tools and services through, has released a universal update to its iOS app that adds an iPad-specific interface. Mint, a subsidiary of Intuit, offers its services for free to users in the U.S. and Canada, earning money from referrals made to users from participating companies and banks.

  • Easy-to-understand, multi-touch graphs show you where your money is going so you get a clear picture of your spending and your net worth.
  • Redesigned overview screen, so you get a quick snapshot of your finances and latest alerts, bill reminders and advice.
  • Enter cash and pending transactions so you have the most accurate view of your spending.
  • Get a detailed view of your transactions.
  • View your data even without a wireless connection.

The Mint iOS app offers many of the features available through its website, including an overview of all accounts, alerts, and spending and budget tracking. On the iPhone, the interface is a bit spare but it’s now fully gussied up on the iPad with charts and other graphics to more clearly show income, spending, and more.

I use Mint and find it to be very useful to get a bird’s-eye view of all of my accounts (I use Balance Forecasting to do detailed tracking and forecasting for my checking account). If you’re worried about security, Mint promises strong encryption and the same security practices that banks use. Additionally, the account access available through Mint does not allow any transactions to be carried out, so money can’t be moved out of your accounts even if someone else does get a hold of your password.

  • Finance

    Mint: Money Manager, Budget...

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    iOS Universal

    From Intuit, the makers of TurboTax, QuickBooks, Mint Bills, and Quicken: The free Mint app helps you spend smarter and save more. Easily pull all your accounts, cards and investments into one place...

Garmin Releases ‘Fit’ App to Track Exercise Stats

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Today Garmin, the maker of navigation software and devices for a variety of applications, announced the release of its new Fit app for the iPhone which lets users track speed, distance traveled, and other stats of runs, walks, and bike rides. The app can also log saved stats to Garmin Connect, an online exercise logging tool and community.

Turn your iPhone into a powerful training tool with the Garmin Fit app. See your current walking, running or cycling stats at one glance, or review and share them later thanks to automatic uploading to Garmin Connect. It even allows you select the perfect soundtrack for your workout.

Garmin Fit will also work with a new ANT+ adapter for the iPhone, which was also part of today’s announcement. This adapter will allow other compatible Garmin accessories to transmit data to Garmin Fit on the iPhone. Compatible accessories currently include a heart rate monitor and a speed/cadence bike sensor.

Garmin is not new to the App Store, already offering several turn-by-turn navigation apps (see all of Garmin’s iOS and Mac apps here). Garmin Fit goes up directly against Nike’s own Nike+ GPS app that offers a similar feature set, including uploads to its own online community and performance stats.

  • Healthcare & Fitness

    Garmin Fit

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    iOS iPhone

    Garmin Fit™ - Turn your iPhone into a powerful training tool with the Garmin Fit app. See your current walking, running or cycling stats at a glance, or review them later thanks to automatic...

Biography of Steve Jobs Now Available

Monday, October 24th, 2011

The biography of Steve Jobs is now available in Apple’s iBookstore. The authorized biography by Walter Isaacson was scheduled for release today but actually became available yesterday evening in digital format through Apple’s and Amazon’s ebook stores.

It is also available in hardcover format through Amazon and other retailers.

Isaacson also penned biographies of Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. Jobs reportedly reached out to Isaacson in 2004 to ask that he write his biography. The biography was originally scheduled for release in November but after Jobs passed away earlier this month, its release was moved up.

Isaacson was interviewed about the biography on the long-running Sunday evening news show 60 Minutes yesterday. Our sister site MacRumors has posted the full interview in four parts here.

In the iBookstore, the biography costs $16.99 and can be read through the free iBooks app on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

  • Books


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    iBooks is an amazing way to download and read books. iBooks includes the iBooks Store, where you can download the latest bestselling books or your favorite classics – day or night. Browse your...

TomTom Navigation Apps Get iPad Compatibility

Friday, October 21st, 2011

TomTom, the Netherlands-based maker of personal navigation devices and software for a variety of mobile devices, announced an update today that brings iPad compatibility to its iOS apps. Version 1.9 hit the App Store today with an interface optimized for the iPad’s larger screen as well as updated maps and a revised interface.

The full list of what’s new in version 1.9 is as follows:

  • OPTIMIZED FOR iPAD: Make the most of your iPad, with a full-screen display that shows you driving view and Advanced Lane Guidance images at the same time. Purchase connected services in-App or easily transfer your existing subscriptions (cellular connection required). When you want to go bigger, move your TomTom App to iPad.
  • LATEST, UPDATED TOMTOM MAP: Because roads are constantly changing, on average 15% of roads change every year, your TomTom App update comes with the latest and most up-to-date map.
  • IMPROVED INTERFACE: Your TomTom App is quicker and easier to use than ever. See driving view with one touch from anywhere, access guidance options in a tap, and switch between different route types more easily. It’s a simpler way to enjoy TomTom navigation on your iPhone or iPad.

TomTom also provides a warning for iPhone 3G users in relation to future versions of the TomTom apps:

iPHONE 3G USERS: THIS IS THE LAST VERSION OF THE TOMTOM APP FOR iPHONE THAT WILL FULLY SUPPORT YOUR DEVICE. You will be able to download and use the next version of the TomTom App but new features will not be available to you.

TomTom last hit our radar earlier this year when it added Homer Simpson’s voice to its library of guidance voices, available via in-app purchase.

When it comes to iPad compatibility, TomTom is several months behind competitor Navigon, who optimized its MobileNavigator apps for the tablet’s larger screen in December 2010.

TomTom has a total of 28 navigation apps in the App Store covering a number of regions in countries – for a full list of all of them, click here.

  • $4299Buy Now

    TomTom U.S. & Canada

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    3.50 (2883)
    iOS Universal

    Get the TomTom Navigation app. Now save up to 30% for a limited time. TomTom Navigation for iPhone/iPad. World-class navigation that’s trusted by millions of drivers. Last minute plans? With the...

Crush Apps Publishes Siri Dictation Command List

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Jim Rhoades of Crush Apps has published a comprehensive list of dictation commands for Siri, a must-have for all of you new iPhone 4S owners out there. Beyond capturing text, you can specify punctuation, symbols, special spacing and more with your voice as you dictate text messages, emails and anything else in apps that will accept dictated input.

The full list is easily available to owners of his app, Paperless, which I reviewed a couple of months ago. Paperless owners simply need to navigate to this web page and tap on the indicated link to import the list right into Paperless.

An excerpt from Rhoades's list of commands

Paperless is still one of my favorite apps and it is firmly holding its place on the first page of the home screen on my new iPhone 4S. If you like to keep lists, whether they be for items you need to buy or tasks you need to complete, Paperless handles them with aplomb through a streamlined interface. If you own multiple iOS devices, the recently-added Dropbox synchronization feature will keep your lists in sync between all of them as well.

Rhoades also details another hint to add multiple items to a list at once by voice in this blog post – a very useful tip if you’re creating a grocery list as you walk through your kitchen.

  • Productivity

    Paperless: Lists + Checklists

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    4.50 (79)
    iOS Universal

    Get the app that Macworld says "deserves a spot on your iPhone"! MAKE LISTS OF ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING ------------------------ Paperless is a simple but powerful app for making...

‘Instapaper’ Gets Major Update with Revised Interface, New Features

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Marco Arment, an iOS developer and founder of Tumblr, announced the release of a major update his Instapaper app yesterday. Instapaper lets you save web articles to read later, presenting content in a more streamlined format for easier reading.

Instapaper 4.0 brings a revised interface to the iPad and iPhone and several other new features to improve navigation and ease of use. The extensive list of what’s new is as follows:

  • Completely redesigned iPad list interface as a grid with sidebar
  • Redesigned iPhone interface with a black-and-white theme
  • Multi-select articles in list to archive, delete, or move in bulk
  • Search Subscription: the $1/month Subscription from the Instapaper website is now available in the app via In-App Purchase. It’s called Search Subscription, and it adds server-side searching of the *full contents* of every article you’ve ever saved. This replaces the old downloaded-articles-only search in the app.
  • Archive and Delete now peacefully coexist everywhere
  • App Directory (in Settings) lists apps that integrate with Instapaper
  • Hardware brightness control in iOS 5 (brightness now also available on iPhone)
  • Draggable scrollbar for quickly jumping through documents
  • Article authors, published dates, and site titles are now displayed when available (availability will increase over time)
  • “Friends” section can now browse all recent links posted in your Facebook news feed, Twitter timeline, and Tumblr Dashboard
  • “Editors” is now fully intergrated and sourced exclusively from Give Me Something To Read
  • New settings to customize number of Liked/Archive articles stored on device
  • Wikipedia lookups added to newly redesigned “Define” popups
  • Footnotes are converted to inline “…” buttons that display in popovers
  • [iPhone] Option to hide the status bar while reading (hidden by default)
  • [iPhone] Redesigned font (ᴀA) panel to be like iPad’s
  • [iPhone] Redesigned Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinboard, Evernote share forms
  • YouTube URLs now open in the system’s YouTube app
  • New option to use Apple’s dictionary under iOS 5
  • Minor improvements to the in-article styling
  • Smoother tilt scrolling that works well in all orientations
  • New icon
  • Added Tweetbot and The Hit List to Share panel
  • When updating, the entire table no longer reloads after each article downloads. It now just reloads once after the main update request, showing all (even un-downloaded) articles, and they enable themselves as they get downloaded.

Instapaper is one of my favorite apps and lives on the first page of my iPad’s home screen. I often come across articles I’d like to read while I’m working but don’t have time to do so immediately, and Instapaper is invaluable in saving these quickly and easily. Instapaper works with a bookmarklet for your computer’s web browser (see this page to add it to your browser) and will sync automatically with the app on the iPad and iPhone once you’re logged in.

Instapaper can also be handy if you’re traveling and will be offline for some time and want some reading to fill that time – all you need to do is open the Instapaper app while you still have an internet connection and it will update and load all of your saved articles so you can read them when you no longer have an internet connection.

More than 100 iOS apps support saving articles directly to Instapaper – you can find a full list of them here (scroll to the bottom).

The web-based Instapaper service is free to use while the universal app costs $4.99. If you want to support Instapaper more, you can purchase a subscription that costs just $3 every three months (effectively $1 per month). You can find more information about the subscription option here. I have a subscription, primarily to support the service since it’s one I use almost every single day.

  • News


    Last Changed:
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    4.50 (56)
    iOS Universal

    Instapaper is the simplest way to save and store articles for reading: offline, on-the-go, anytime, anywhere, perfectly formatted. Instapaper for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch provides a...


‘Adobe Reader’ Debuts for the iPhone and iPad

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Adobe, the California-based software giant, has released Adobe Reader for the iPhone and iPad. Adobe Reader is free and hit the App Store this morning, offering PDF document viewing and printing capabilities to iPhone and iPad users.

Adobe Reader is the free global standard for reliably viewing and sharing PDF documents across platfoms and devices. Easily and efficiently access the widest range of PDF file types—including PDF Portfolios, password-protected PDF documents and Adobe LiveCycle rights-managed PDF files. Now available for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, Adobe Reader offers fast, high-quality interaction with PDF.

Adobe Reader joins several existing Adobe apps in the App Store, including its Photoshop companion apps for the iPad, Eazel, Nav and Lava, which were released in May.

Adobe is a little late to the game with an app for the digital document standard it created in the early 90’s since dedicated PDF-viewing apps, like GoodReader, ReaddleDocs and others, have been available  in the App Store for some time. However, it appears to be the only PDF-viewer currently in the App Store that supports files secured by Adobe LiveCycle Rights Management, a DRM protection scheme that’s part of a suite of enterprise-level products and services offered by the software company.

  • Business

    Adobe Acrobat DC - PDF Reader...

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    4.00 (18419)
    iOS Universal

    Adobe Acrobat (formerly Adobe Reader) is the free, trusted leader for reliably viewing, annotating, and signing PDFs. Additional Adobe Document Cloud subscriptions are available for purchase to...

iPhone 4S Available Today in the U.S.

Friday, October 14th, 2011

The iPhone 4S is officially available in the U.S. and Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK today. Preorders for the device opened last Friday in these countries, with deliveries beginning today for those who placed preorders before the initial supply set aside for these ran out. People began queuing up to purchase the iPhone 4S at Apple retail stores yesterday at locations around the world.

Apple had announced earlier this week that preorders surpassed one million in the first 24 hours alone, with AT&T stating that it had received 200,000 preorders for the new iPhone model in the first 12 hours after preorders began in the U.S. Apple and all U.S. carriers sold out of the initial launch supply of the iPhone 4S, bumping shipping estimates to “1 to 2 weeks” by the evening of October 7 when preorders opened.

While many expressed disappointment about the iPhone 4S when it was announced since it has the same external design as the iPhone 4, it has been praised by high-profile technology journalists, with TechCrunch calling it the “best iPhone yet” and all reviewers complimenting its improved camera specs and performance as well as the new Siri Assistant feature.

If you’re on the fence about getting the iPhone 4S, here are links to some of the reviews completed by those who received review units from Apple before it went on sale to the public:

I was fortunate to get my iPhone 4S surprisingly early this morning thanks to a chipper UPS delivery man. It replaces an iPhone 4 and is noticeably faster all around. Siri Assistant is absolutely fantastic and its sense of humor is entertaining as well.