News | iLounge

News

Browse News by Category:

Apple TV expands search options in US, other countries gain networks and Apple Music support

Apple TV has added some new networks to its universal search, provided users have the network’s app installed. U.S. users can now search for movies and shows from BBC America, Classix, and Oxygen, while Canadian users have gained CBC, Classix, Treehouse, FXNOW Canada, and ICI Tou.tv. Sweden and Norway gain support for Viaplay, and Australian users will see searches include 9Now, SBS, and Tenplay. The company also extended support for Apple Music searches beyond the U.S. and Canada, adding Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K.

Cue talks Apple plans to bring more Indian content to Apple Music

During a tour of India that included meeting with Bollywood stars and the announcement of new Mac labs at KM Music Conservatories, Apple SVP Eddy Cue said the company has a big interest in bringing more Indian music to Apple Music and introducing it to the outside world, The Economic Times of India reports. Apple has been pushing to enter India’s market on multiple fronts, and Cue said Apple is working with new and existing artists to make sure customers of Indian descent both within India and around the world see their culture reflected in Apple’s content offerings. Cue was mum about rumors of Bollywood collaborations with the company’s fledgling video content division, but said, “Bollywood is as good at creating content as anybody else around the world. And I am sure we will do things here because it’s a great film and entertainment market.”

YouTube iOS app update allows sharing in iMessage; Nike app adds new workouts, Apple Watch options

YouTube has updated its iOS app to allow for quick and easy sharing of videos directly through iMessage. Tapping the share button under a video in the YouTube app now allows the video to be sent in Messages, and the recipient can play the video directly in Messages without exiting the app. The Nike+ Run Club app also saw some improvements, adding Audio Guided Runs in both iOS and watchOS that pair specialized playlists with guidance from coaches and athletes. The app also activates a Cheers feature that encourages users to notify friends when they’re going out for a run and lets the friends send positive feedback. Perhaps most importantly, Apple Watch Series 3 users will now have access to elevation data even when running without their iPhone tethered to the watch. [via 9to5Mac]

Apple hiring editor to curate live sports content, developing AR technology for MLB

Apple is making a push into the sports world on multiple fronts, posting a job opening for a sports editor “to lead content curation and programming for the recently-announced live sports feature in the Apple TV app.” Unsurprisingly the post is looking for someone who lives and breathes sports of all kinds and has extensive experience in all aspects of the television business. The new live TV features coming down the pipe with tvOS 11 include on-screen notifications for games and all kinds of tracking abilities for fans, but direct deals with the sports leagues that are streaming the content will still be necessary for access to live events.

Super Mario Run new levels and characters, temporary price cut

After users complained about the high price and lack of updates to Super Mario Run, Nintendo will be releasing an update with a new playable character, new levels, new enemies and a “Remix 10” mode that challenges users to “play a set of 10 super-short sections from Super Mario Run’s existing levels in quick succession.” Rescuing Daisy in Remix 10 mode will unlock her as a playable character and give users access to her double-jump to help best difficult levels. The company will release the update Friday after last updating the game in March, and for the two weeks after the update the game will cost $5 instead of the usual $10 on the App Store.

Anki launches Overdrive: Fast & Furious Edition

Anki has launched Anki Overdrive: Fast & Furious Edition ($170), taking the company’s evolved battle-racing game to new levels by blending it with the adrenaline-fueled world of Fast & Furious. Players will be able to challenge Toretto crew A.I. characters, including Dom, Hobbs, Letty, and Tej, as well as battle against their friends and family in two film-inspired robotic supercars — Hobbs’ iconic and tough International MXT and Dom’s super-fast Ice Charger. The modular track pieces also get an upgrade in the new edition, with a new Power Zone track piece that triggers a massive “hack” as players drive through it. The new Fast & Furious Edition is compatible with the existing Anki Overdrive product family, including the already available roster of supercars and expansion kits. Be sure to check back for our full review of the new kit.

Ikea, Overstock.com, Game Insight, Strava and more launch ARKit apps

With the release of iOS 11, a series of companies are debuting their ARKit apps to the world. Ikea’s Ikea Place app — first revealed at WWDC — allows users to place models of Ikea furniture right in their room to see how it would look at home in real time, and a similar feature in Overstock.com’s app allows the placement of thousands of the site’s products in a similar fashion. SmartPicture Technologies’ PLNAR app will help users measure the dimensions of the room itself, providing digital measurements of any surface by mapping the room’s anchor points. Strava has used the framework to create Fitness AR, an app that lets users see the surroundings from their planned rides, runs and hikes plotted out on a 3D map that shows terrain and elevation. Game Insight’s My Country and Guns of Boom games are both adding new AR capabilities, allowing users a bird’s eye view of the game environments. These are just a few of the ARKit apps popping up so far, so let us know in the comments what you’d like to see or which new apps you find useful and entertaining.

TV app lands on Apple TV in new countries ahead of tvOS 11; Apple Pay Cash won’t launch with iOS 11

Apple’s TV app has started popping up on Apple TVs outside the US ahead of today’s tvOS 11 release, with users in Canada and Australia reporting they gained access overnight, although some said the app was present but not yet functioning in tvOS 10. Apple also claims that the TV app will arrive in France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK by the end of the year, but another feature put on display during last week’s Keynote won’t be making it out today. The Apple Pay Cash feature in iOS 11 and watchOS 4 won’t be coming until “this fall” according to Apple’s latest update. Once functional, the feature will allow users to send cash payments through Messages or command Siri to issue a payment from a credit or debit card stored in Wallet.

Apple defends new stricter Safari ad-tracking blockers

While Apple has taken heat from marketing groups for blocking cross-site tracking in Safari, the company doubled down on its commitment to user privacy and explained the move in comments to 9to5Mac. Safari has historically been tougher on third-party tracking than other browsers — it was the first to block third-party cookies by default — and the company said its Intelligent Tracking Prevention is the next step to keep user data from being misused. “Ad tracking technology has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to recreate the majority of a person’s web browsing history,” Apple said in its statement. “This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the Internet.”

Apple gives developers new guidelines for apps using ARKit, Face ID

Apple has updated its App Store guidelines for developers looking to make use of the company’s new Face ID technology and ARKit framework, aiming to ensure that apps are providing a worthwhile experience rather than a single gimmick. In somewhat vague terms, Apple claims it will only approve ARKit-based apps that “provide rich and integrated augmented reality experiences,” likely meaning apps that feature the ability to place a single object into a situation or run a single animation won’t fit the bill. Apple also added in new privacy restrictions, explicitly prohibiting the mining of facial data to identify people, requiring that the use of facial recognition for authentication within the app use Local Authentication rather than ARKit technology, and forcing apps to provide an alternate method of authentication for users under 13.

Cozmo updates companion app to add new challenges, more depth to robot’s AI

Anki has released a major update to its Cozmo robot’s companion app — arriving later today — that adds new dimensions to what the toy can do, introducing a system of three basic needs that users can monitor and develop in each area to make the robot more adept. Where Cozmo previously had Daily Challenges that could be completed, each Cozmo now has three primary needs — Play, Energy and Tune-up — and will exhibit certain behaviors if any need isn’t being met. Playing games, performing tricks and seeing human faces all qualify as Play, and the device’s Power Cubes can be used in Play as well, in addition to filling out the Energy demand by “feeding” Cozmo. Tune-ups are exactly what they sound like, making sure the robot is in good enough working order to fulfill the Play and Energy requirements.

India ups pressure on Apple to approve anti-spam app

Apple’s refusal to approve India’s anti-spam app could cause problems for the company’s efforts to expand its sales in the country, Bloomberg reports. Apple has thus far refused to make the Telecom Regulatory Authority’s app — which blocks annoying unsolicited calls and texts — available on the App Store, drawing the ire of the TRAI’s leadership. Apple doesn’t permit third-party apps to access SMS details and call records, which are necessary for the app to function, but the TRAi is currently taking public comments ahead of drafting new policies about how much control users have over their personal information.

Plex adds location support for personal photo libraries

Plex has enhanced its photo library features to include support for geotagged photos, allowing users to see their photos organized by the location where they were taken — provided, of course, they were captured with a GPS-enabled device. With the latest version of Plex Media Server, location data is now read from photos, allowing users to see the locations where photos were taken and automatically grouping them into virtual albums based on location. Related photos and albums can also now be automatically discovered based on location, so users can see what other photos in their library were taken in the same place, regardless of when they were taken.

Amazon Prime tvOS app may not launch until after Apple’s September event

According to Recode, Amazon’s Apple TV app may not be ready in time for it to debut alongside the new 4K Apple TV next month. Although Apple only said it would be coming “later this year” when it announced Amazon Prime for the tvOS platform, many assumed it would be logical for Amazon to have the app ready to rollout for September’s event, particularly with Apple expected to debut a new Apple TV. The latest information from Recode, included as a footnote to an article discussing today’s earlier news about 4K content, indicates simply that its sources “say the app may not be live in time for next month’s product launch,” although it’s unclear if this actually represents any change to Amazon’s plans for launching the Amazon Prime tvOS app.

Apple expands ‘App Development with Swift’ curriculum to over 30 Community Colleges

Apple has announced that, starting this fall, its App Development with Swift curriculum will be offering in over 30 community colleges through the United States. Designed by engineers and educators at Apple, the full-year course is geared toward students with no programming experience, taking them to the point of building fully-functional apps of their own design for the macOS and iOS platforms.

Promise Technology releases Apollo Cloud 2 Duo personal cloud system

For those who enjoy the benefits of the cloud but are more than a little wary of trusting their data to third-parties, Promise Technology has released the Apollo cloud storage device to combine the benefits of the cloud combined with keeping data safely inside the home. The Apollo Cloud 2 Duo provides 8TB of space split between two surveillance-class hard drives that can be accessed remotely with a dedicated app, all with no subscription fees. Up to 40 members can have access to the system and time-limited links can also provide access to files with outside users. Photos uploaded to the system can be sorted using facial recognition and/or location, making it simpler to find photos of specific people or places. The device is available now for $449 and is compatible with iOS and macOS operating systems.

Group of Chinese developers launch antitrust complaint over App Store policies

A group of Chinese developers has filed a complaint against Apple alleging that the company has violated antitrust regulations in that country, Reuters reports. The group consisting of 28 developers is being represented by the Beijing-Based law firm Dare & Sure, and is accusing Apple of charging excessive fees and arbitrarily removing apps from the Chinese App Store without explanation. According to Lin Wei, an attorney at the firm, “During its localization process Apple has run into several antitrust issues ... after an initial investigation we consulted a number of enterprises and got a very strong response.” The law firm extends an invitation to developers in April to participate in the lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday with China’s two anti-trust regulators — the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission. The law firm did not provide any details on which developers are involved in the complaint.

Unreal Engine updated with basic ARKit support

The latest version of Unreal Engine includes some basic support for Apple’s new ARKit, which the accompanying blog post calls “an early, experimental version.” The plug-in is based on the work done by director Peter Jackson’s Wingnut AR studio and will allow developers to get familiar with the new features before official support begins with the release of iOS 11 in the fall. Unreal Engine has been a popular platform for game creation since it was introduced in 1998, and we first made available on iOS in September 2010. [via AppleInsider]

Plex expands Live TV support, time shifting to Apple TV

After making its Live TV function available in beta on iOS in June, Plex has taken it out of beta and expanded Live TV support to the Apple TV as well, according to an update from the company. The company’s Plex DVR feature for recording and watching programs is also officially out of beta on iOS, but according to a company spokesperson users will still need to use the iOS, web, or Android apps to schedule recordings, after which they can be viewed on the Apple TV in the same way as any other media item in the Plex library.

Apple dumps hundreds of binary trading apps after fraud complaints

After an intervention by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, Apple has pulled more than 300 binary trading apps from the App Store, Bloomberg reports. The ASIC made the request to both Apple and Google after uncovering numerous cases of fraud where unlicensed products beyond the reach of regulators prevented consumers from withdrawing cash from their accounts or losing money on the live app after making “winning trades 9 times out of 10 in the demonstration app.” Apple recently updated its developer guidelines to prohibit new apps that facilitate binary options trading, but didn’t comment on discussions with the ASIC. Of the 330 that have been verified as removed, the ASIC said “80 percent had no warnings about the risks inherent in trading.”

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2017 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy