Google has released an update to its official Gmail app for iOS adding Notification Center support. Although the Gmail app previously provided support for Push Notifications in the form of badge counts, it was missing more detailed per-message notifications found in the iOS 5 built-in Mail app. With the latest update, users can now receive individual new message alerts as banners, Notification Center entries and lock screen notifications. The update also improves support for the alternate sender feature that was added to the back-end web interface in March and adds persistent logins so that users are no longer required to re-authenticate every few days. Gmail 1.2.7812 is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple has seeded developers with the first update to its iOS 6 beta. The update has yet to appear on Apple’s Developer web site, but is apparently available as an over-the-air update for those running the iOS 6 beta on their devices. Notably, the update weighs in at 322 MB for the iPhone 4S, 497 MB for the third-generation iPad, and the gears of the Settings icon seen on the update screen animate as the update is downloaded and installed. According to Apple, the update contains “bug fixes and improvements”, it is unclear what other changes might be included in the update. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple’s Maps application in iOS 6 will offer users the ability to check-in to Yelp directly from the app, according to a new report. Citing materials Apple distributed to software developers, Bloomberg reports that the integration—which will let users communicate with Yelp without exiting the map—may help Yelp challenge competing check-in services from Foursquare and Facebook. Apple already has a relationship with Yelp through Siri, and has also integrated the service’s reviews and photos into the iOS 6 Maps application.
Tumblr has released a completely rebuilt version of its official iPhone and iPod touch app promising significant improvements to both performance the user experience. Tumblr 3.0 debuts a new, sleeker dashboard with high resolution images and easier interaction with on screen controls. The update also adds direct support for Spotify, improvements to photosets and image viewing, searching by tags, centralized notifications and new and improved posting forms. Offline support has also been introduced to allow users to post, like, reply and reblog even when no data connection is available and new gesture-based shortcuts have been added for quickly accessing the camera and creating text posts. Tumblr 3.0 requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Bugun Software has released Display Recorder, a new app designed to allow iOS device users to make live recordings of what is happening on their device’s display. To record, users simply open the app, tap the record button and then exit the app and carry on using their iOS device while the app records video in the background. Recordings are made in real-time directly to an H.264 MP4 format and include both video and audio; users can upload the resulting recordings directly to YouTube or save them to the device’s Camera Roll. The app also features adjustable video orientation and video and audio quality settings and hardware accelerated video recording; a Screen Capture recording mode is also available for capturing OpenGLES apps such as games.
Notably, Apple has not traditionally allowed third-party screen capturing applications on the App Store, effectively relegating such features to the realm of jailbroken devices. It is unclear whether this represents a change in Apple’s App Store policies or merely an application that has slipped through the review process and may soon be removed from the App Store. For now at least, Display Recorder is available from the App Store for $2. [via 9to5Mac]
Dropbox has released an update to its universal iOS app adding support for automatically uploading photos from the iOS Camera Roll. Automatic Camera Uploading was originally introduced to the desktop and Android clients earlier this year and allows users to configure their Dropbox client to automatically upload new photos and videos from their iOS Camera Roll whenever the Dropbox app is opened. Automatically uploaded items are stored in a “Camera Uploads” folder and automatically renamed with a date and time filename. Users can choose to enable uploading of photos over a cellular data connection or restrict uploads to Wi-Fi; videos are only automatically uploaded over Wi-Fi regardless of this setting.
The new version also allows users to see all photos and videos they’ve uploaded to Dropbox in Gallery view and adds support for uploading files of any size and selecting multiple files to move or delete in a single operation. Dropbox is also continuing its offer of free bonus storage for uploading camera roll photos via the Dropbox apps; users who have not already earned this bonus storage via the desktop or Android apps can receive 500MB of space for each 500MB of photos they upload using the iOS app, up to a maximum of 3GB. Dropbox 1.5 is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.
IK Multimedia has released AmpliTube Slash, a special edition of its popular guitar effects app for iOS devices. AmpliTube is a mobile guitar and bass effects processor that allows users to turn their iOS device into a complete guitar rig and mobile recording studio. AmpliTube Slash is a signature version developed in cooperation with the famous Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist to model his entire rig of iconic pedals and amplifiers, including two classic rock amps—the Marshall JCM Slash Edition Silver Jubilee and the Marshall AFD100, both equipped with the Slash preferred 1960 Marshall speaker cabinet. Users can chain up to six pedal effects including Slash signature Delay, Gate, Octave/Fuzz, Chorus, Booster and Wah/Distortion in a fully configurable rig allowing the users to combine pedals in a 3 to 12 effects chain with one or two simultaneous amps and cabinets plus microphones. The app also includes 30 Slash tone presets, links to Slash songs and the ability to import and play backing tracks from the iOS music library or computer. Single track recording is included in the app with the ability o export recordings via e-mail, SoundCloud, FTP or iTunes File Sharing and users can upgrade to a four-track recorder via in-app purchase.
The main AmpliTube app has also been updated with the ability to add Slash gear a la carte via in-app purchase, and new features introduced in AmpliTube Slash including a new mixer and recorder section with loop points, visual metronome and tap tempo, digital audio and MIDI support, audio copy and paste and SoundCloud and fTP export for recordings. The AmpliTube series of apps are available from the App Store in several versions: the special edition AmpliTube Slash ($10) for the iPhone and iPod touch,
AmpliTube Slash for iPad ($10) are sold separately from the original AmpliTube, which is available in either full AmpliTube for iPad ($20) and AmpliTube ($20) for iPhone and iPod touch versions or a la carte editions that allow users to start with a free app and purchase the specific cabinets, amps and effects they want individually.
Evernote has released an update to Evernote Food, its food-focused companion app for Evernote, adding integration with Foursquare along with several camera-related and other improvements. Evernote Food allows iPhone and iPod touch users to capture and relive their meal experiences with photos and notes that can be organized and synced via the Evernote service. Users can add additional titles, locations, tags and captions to record the experience and share the results as a sort of mini-food blog with friends via Twitter, Facebook and e-mail.
With version 1.2, users can now take advantage of Foursquare for more accurate venue suggestions and icons to illustrate cuisine and venue types. The update also provides a custom multi-shot camera interface for allowing users to take multiple photos of a meal without having to leave camera mode and users can also upload multiple images from the camera roll and tap-and-hold on an image to edit it prior to adding it to their meal. Additional enhancements include support for longer captions and meal notes, improvements to sharing of meals via e-mail, and better handling of meals with a large number of photos. Evernote Food requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Silvio Rizzi has released a major update to Reeder for the iPhone and iPod touch featuring Fever syncing, significant improvements to Readability syncing and support for multiple Google Reader and Fever accounts. Completely rewritten, Reeder 3.0 introduces a different method for Google Reader authentication and now allows users to sync with a Fever RSS aggregator server instead of or in addition to Google Reader. Users can configure most settings on a per-account basis and settings are now accessible from directly within the app instead in the iOS Settings app.
Additional improvements include the ability to subscribe and unsubscribe to Google Reader feeds from within the app and adjust text size and line height options in the article viewer. QUOTE and Buffer have also been added as sharing services, along with a collection of new gestures for marking articles as read/unread or starred and accessing the in-app browser and readability views. Note that Facebook sharing has been temporarily removed in this update although it is expected to return in the future; users who require Facebook sharing are advised that they may want to skip this update. Reeder 3.0 now requires iOS 5.1 or later and is available from the App Store for $3.
Apple has released an update to its AirPort Utility for iOS devices adding support for the new Apple AirPort Express (Mid 2012) released yesterday. AirPort Utility allows users to manage Airport Express, Airport Extreme and Time Capsule devices from an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, presented as a graphical overview of the user’s Wi-Fi network and devices. Users can display information about connected Wi-Fi devices, view and change base station and network settings, restart devices and update firmware and passwords. With the latest update users can now configure IPv6 settings on AirPort base stations as well. AirPort Utility requires iOS 5 and is available from the App Store as a free download.
During today’s WWDC 2012 Keynote, Apple took the wraps off a new Maps app and service integrated with iOS 6 and completely rebuilt by Apple from the ground up. Described as a “world-wide effort” the new Maps service includes Apple’s own local search with over 100 million business listings already included providing local business information and direct integration with third-party services such as Yelp. Maps are presented as vector graphics with a transition to a 3D representation when zooming in more closely. A fly-over is also available allowing users to view a three-dimensional satellite view presentation of buildings and landmarks.
The new Maps app also builds in turn-by-turn navigation with a visual 3D presentation and Siri integration for features such getting directions, receiving ETA updates and finding points of interest en route. Apple has also announced the integration of its own traffic service based on “anonymous, realtime” information crowd-sourced from iOS users, providing a graphic representation of busy traffic areas and integration into its new built-in turn-by-turn navigation, with real-time ETA updates and prompts for re-routing based on heavy traffic.
Apple today announced that iOS 6 will include a new accessibility feature called Guided Access. This new feature is aimed at children with autism and allows a parent or other adult to select specific portions of apps—such as navigation controls—to disable, and also provides the option to enable or disable the hardware buttons, touch controls, or motion controls independently.
Apple today announced iOS 6, the latest version of its operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. iOS 6 will be compatible with the iPhone 3GS and later, second- and third-generation iPad, and fourth-generation iPod touch. It will contain over 200 new user features and will ship to consumers this fall; a developer preview is available today. Apple highlighted several of the new features during its WWDC Keynote Address; you can find more information on those select features by following the links below:
iOS 6: Siri comes to iPad, gains new features
iOS 6: Facebook integration coming to iOS, iTunes + App Stores
iOS 6: Enhancements to Phone, Do Not Disturb
iOS 6: FaceTime over cellular, Apple ID unification
iOS 6: Safari gains offline Reading List, image uploads
iOS 6: introduces Passbook
iOS 6: Shared Photo Streams, Mail improvements
iOS 6: Guided Access improves app experience for children
iOS 6: New Maps with traffic & turn-by-turn navigation
Among the new features of iOS 6 announced by Apple today are enhancements to its Photo Stream service and Mail app. The Shared Photo Streams feature will allow iCloud users to select photos and friends with whom they’d like to share the photos. Those friends will receive a notification alerting them to the stream, and those photos will appear in an album on their device, with the ability for friends to comment on photos. In Mail, users will be able to select certain users to designate as VIPs, which will elevate their alert status and cause the app to file all emails from that person in a dedicated mailbox, which will sit alongside a new Flagged mailbox. The new version of Mail will also allow users to insert photos and videos right from the compose window, open password-protected documents, and pull to refresh their messages.
During its presentation on iOS 6 today, Apple unveiled Passbook, a new integrated app designed to serve as a digital storage for information such as boarding passes, tickets and store cards. Initially integrated with companies such as United Airlines, Amtrack, Starbucks and Fandango, Passbook allows users to store digital copies of items for quick and easy retrieval on demand or based on geo-location; for example users can have the app automatically pull up their Starbucks card directly on the lock screen when near their favourite Starbucks location. Information such as boarding passes can also be updated as departure times and gate changes occur and push notifications provide users with near real-time updates as updates are received.
Apart from the already revealed iCloud Tabs feature, Apple has announced that Safari in iOS 6 will receive a number of other enhancements. The Reading List feature, introduced in iOS 5, will gain a new offline mode so users can read when away from an Internet connection, and the updated app will allow for image uploads directly from the browser. Apple is also adding fullscreen support in landscape, and a new feature called Smart app banners that will let services sync between web activity and app activity, and will allow users to easily jump into or download the app.
As part of its unveiling of iOS 6, Apple has announced that the new OS will support FaceTime calls over cellular connections. As part of this feature rollout, the company will also be unifying users’ phone number and Apple ID, so that if a FaceTime call comes to a phone number, that user could answer the call on a Mac or iPad. This same unification will be used for iMessage, hopefully allowing for more streamlined interoperability between various iOS devices and Macs.
As part of iOS 6, Apple will be rolling out several enhancements to the iPhone’s Phone application and offering a new notification setting called Do Not Disturb, The Phone application will now offer users the option of replying with a message or reminding them later should they choose not to answer a call. Both features have a number of built-in options, with preset text messages available for the first and reminder options based on time or location for the latter. In addition, iOS 6 will add a new feature called Do Not Disturb to the Settings app near notifications. The feature will allow users to set scheduled Do Not Disturb times, with fine-grained control over what calls should be allowed.
Apple this morning announced that iOS 6 will offer integration with Facebook. As shown during the company’s Keynote Address, Facebook will be given its own space in the Settings app—similar to iOS’ current Twitter integration—and posting to the service will be handled in a very similar fashion. Apple will also be adding Facebook sharing options to the iTunes and App Stores, and will be integrating contacts and events into the appropriate apps on both iOS and OS X. Finally, new Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons have been added to Notification Center just below the top widgets area.
As part of its WWDC Keynote Address this morning, Apple gave an update on the state of iOS. Through the end of March, Apple had sold 365 million iOS devices, 80% of which are running iOS 5. Push Notifications has seen widespread adoption, with 84 of the top 100 social apps using the service. 7 billion notifications are now sent per day, and over 1.5 trillion have been sent thus far. Game Center has also been adopted by many, with over 130 million Game Center accounts registered, 5 billion scores being posted every week, and adoption in 67 of the top 100 games. Finally, the Twitter integration in iOS 5 has led to 10 billion tweets sent from iOS 5 devices; iOS 5 devices now account for 47% of all images uploaded to the service.