Archive for September, 2012

Google Releases Official YouTube App for iPhone

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Google has released its own official app for its video website subsidiary, YouTube. The free app debuted in the App Store this morning, offering a more streamlined interface and claiming better discovery of videos and channels and the ability to view even more videos, including official music videos and Google Play content, from its catalog.

A YouTube app in the App Store was expected after the native YouTube app that has been included out-of-the-box on the iPhone since its release in 2007 was not present in a beta version of iOS 6 in early August. At that time, Apple confirmed that the license to include its own YouTube app in iOS had expired and that Google was working on its own version to replace it.

One significant difference between Apple’s old YouTube app and Google’s new version is that Google’s version will now show advertising just like you see on the YouTube website before the start of a video. The ability to generate revenue from video ads was likely a motivator for Google to create its own app with this capability given the large iOS user base.

iOS 6 will be released this fall with Apple expected to announce an exact launch date at tomorrow’s media event. If you want to stick with the old YouTube app, you’ll need to stay with iOS 5 or below since it won’t be present once you upgrade to iOS 6.

The new YouTube app is not universal and does not have an interface optimized for the iPad and its larger screen, though the company told Engadget that a separate version for the iPad is being developed and will be released “in the coming months.”

  • Photography

    YouTube

    Last Changed:
    5 weeks ago
    Rating:
    2.50 (5177)
    Version:
    2.16.11441
    iOS Universal

    Get the official YouTube app for iPhone and iPad. Catch up with your favorite channels, enjoy the world’s largest music collection, and share easily with friends. Watch the latest videos and...

Giftly Brings Its Revolutionary Gift Giving Service to the iPhone

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Up until September 2011, the only way you could give someone a gift card or certificate to a specific store was to purchase one from that store and then deliver it in paper, plastic, or electronic form to your desired recipient. Since then, Giftly, a San Francisco-based start-up, has been trying to change that by letting you gift almost anything to anyone without the need for a gift card. Giftly lets you purchase an item or service for someone else and then credits the amount of your gift directly to their credit card without requiring them to show anything to the merchant.

Previously, these transactions had to be done via Giftly’s web site from a computer or web-capable phone. But Giftly released a free iPhone app late last week that makes the process much easier and allows more personalization options using the iPhone’s camera.

Click the thumbnails to enlarge

Say, for example, that you want to give a friend a manicure at your favorite salon for her birthday. Using the Giftly app you can take a picture of your own freshly-done manicure while you’re at the salon or choose from several cute icons to represent the manicure, specify the location of the salon and the amount of your gift, and then send it to your friend via email, text message, or even Facebook. To redeem this gift, your friend only needs to go to the salon, buy the manicure and then use the app to mark it as used and Giftly will credit the amount you gave to the credit card associated with her Giftly account.

Speaking of Facebook, you can also connect the Giftly app to your Facebook account and use the Gift Watch feature to keep tabs on where your friends check in and have the opportunity to send them Giftlys for those locations. If your friends share their birthdays on Facebook, they’ll also show up on the Gift Watch tab to make giving a Giftly as a birthday gift even easier.

You can track the Giftlys you send through the app to confirm that they’ve been used and see any Giftlys you’ve received from others.

Giftly makes its money by charging a service fee when you purchase a Giftly for someone else based on the amount you give, though they don’t post the schedule for these service charges anywhere so you won’t find out how much the service fee will be until you buy one. The recipient of a Giftly isn’t charged anything and Giftys never expire.

I haven’t purchased a Giftly for anyone else or received one yet but I love the concept (except for the fact that I have no idea what the service charge will be in advance of purchasing a Giftly) and definitely plan to try it out this Christmas.

Giftly is free and available in the App Store now and requires iOS 5.0 or later and works with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, 3rd-generation or higher iPod touch, and all iPad models.

  • Lifestyle

    Giftly

    Last Changed:
    22 months ago
    Rating:
    2.00 (14)
    Version:
    1.0.3
    iOS iPhone

    Giftly makes it easy to give a gift card for any local store or restaurant. The Giftly app was named one of the Best Apps of 2012 by the App Store. With Giftly, you can quickly give a gift card for...

Junecloud Releases Notefile for Mac

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Junecloud, the Michigan-based developer of the excellent Delivery Status touch package tracking app for the iPhone and iPad, has released Notefile for Mac. This version of Notefile complements the iPhone and iPad version that first debuted in the App Store last summer and offers synchronization of your notes between all computers and devices via iCloud or Junecloud’s own synchronization service.

Notefile is a straightforward note-taking app that I’ve been using since it was available for the iPhone and iPad. Previously, the only way to view and edit your Notefile notes on the Mac was through a Dashboard widget available from Junecloud’s site. Now, Notefile is a stand-alone Mac app available through the Mac App Store that can stay out of the way on your Mac’s menu bar or remain in the Dock if you prefer to access it like any other app. Whatever you choose, you can designate your own keyboard shortcut to invoke Notefile to get to it even quicker.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge

When it comes to synchronization, you can use Apple’s iCloud service or Junecloud’s own synchronization service. I’ve been using Junecloud’s service and have found it to be rock solid and drama free, giving me no reason to switch to iCloud.

Notefile’s interface is clean with a crisp sans serif font and a slightly textured background; no font or other settings to muck around with. (I find Notefile’s interface to be much more pleasing to the eye compared to Apple’s own Notes and its lined yellow pages and the default –and obnoxious– Marker Felt font.) Each note can contain thousands of words if you’re on the wordy side and you can even do math within notes by entering an equation, selecting it, and then pressing ⌘= to execute the calculation. For those of you with Apple’s latest MacBook Pro with a retina display, Notefile has the high resolution graphics to fill up those pixels nicely.

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense notes app that synchronizes over-the-air automatically between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac, I highly recommend Junecloud’s Notefile. It’s well-designed, does exactly what it promises with no extraneous frills or nonsense, and looks good to boot.

(The free Dashboard widget version is going to stick around in case you’re not sold on the Mac App Store version and it just got an update to make it retina-display worthy.)

Notefile for Mac requires OS X 10.7 or later and costs $4.99. For the iPhone and iPad, the universal Notefile app requires iOS 4.0 or later and costs $2.99.

  • Productivity

    Notefile

    Last Changed:
    2 weeks ago
    Rating:
    4.00 (80)
    Version:
    2.5
    Mac OS

    Notefile lets you make quick notes and sync them easily with all your devices. It's available as a Mac app and a universal iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Your notes sync automatically with...

  • Productivity

    Notefile

    Last Changed:
    8 hours ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (95)
    Version:
    2.5.1
    iOS Universal

    Notefile lets you make quick notes and sync them easily with all your devices. It's available as a Mac app and a universal iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Your notes sync automatically with...

Official TouchArcade App Gets iPad Compatibility

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

The official app for our fantastic sister site, TouchArcade, just got a major update to make it universal, giving it an interface optimized for the iPad and its larger screen (with graphics up to the task of pleasing your eyes on the retina display of the latest iPad). Version 1.1 of TouchArcade – The Best New Games is free (as always) and available in the App Store now.

To step back a little bit, TouchArcade is a site focused entirely on iOS games with reviews and news of the hottest new releases and an active forum with over 165,000 members who discuss games across all genres and exchange tips and strategies. In addition to the excellent reviews, TouchArcade editors also record a weekly podcast (available for free through the iTunes Store) to talk about the biggest news in the world of iOS gaming each week.

Click the image thumbnails to enlarge

The TouchArcade app features a 3-pane interface on the iPad so the main menu and article or app lists are always easily accessible even while you’re reading reviews or browsing the forum. The Watch List toggle lets you add existing or upcoming games to a list so that you can receive push alerts when the game becomes available, gets updated or a price drop, or when a new article is published about it. This Watch List functions a lot like the Wish List feature here on AppShopper, in case it sounds familiar to you. And if you have the AppShopper app installed on your iPhone or iPad, an “Open in AppShopper” link at the bottom of articles or in game listings in the TouchArcade app will take you right to AppShopper in case you like to keep track of all of your apps through AppShopper instead.

TouchArcade first debuted in the App Store in May and has an average rating of 4.5 stars at the time of this post. If you’re at all interested in games for the iPhone or iPad, the official TouchArcade app is a must-have.

  • Entertainment

    TouchArcade - The Best New Games

    Last Changed:
    14 months ago
    Rating:
    4.50 (449)
    Version:
    1.1.5
    iOS Universal

    Find the Hottest new games for your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad before everyone else! Save money by bookmarking games to your own personal Watch List which notifies you of any sales, updates, and...

Apple Invites Press to September 12 Event

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

As expected, Apple has issued invitations to the press for an event on September 12 to be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at 10:00 am Pacific Time, according to The Loop. Everyone and their mother expects Apple to release the next iPhone model at this event. iOS 6, which was announced at Apple’s developer conference in June, should also get an official release date at this event.

The rampant rumors indicate that the new iPhone will have a larger screen that will measure four inches diagonally and a redesigned casing. All signs point to new materials for this casing as well, which would be a welcome move away from the easily-breakable glass back of the iPhone 4 and 4S in the humble opinion of yours truly. The new casing may or may not be two-toned with metal and ceramic portions – check out this post over at MacRumors with a video of what’s claimed to be the new iPhone’s casing.

The headphone jack appears to have been moved to the bottom of the device and a smaller dock connector also seems to be in order. Apple is expected to provide a dock adapter to allow users to continue using accessories with the 30-pin dock connector. I’m hoping this adapter will be fairly inexpensive since I’m going to need several of them myself.

Even though the new iPhone will actually be the sixth-generation model, it’s been commonly referred to as the iPhone 5. Apple seems to be reinforcing this technically erroneous nomenclature with the number 5 appearing on the press invitation.

I am very excited for the release of the new iPhone, whatever it’s called. Although my iPhone 4S is still running like a champ, I would welcome some more screen real estate and more processing power. I’m also looking forward to iOS 6 with Passbook, Do Not Disturb, and more.