Google has released a universal iOS version of its Chrome browser. The app is designed as an alternative to the built-in Safari browser for users of Chrome on the desktop and allows users to sync their open tabs, bookmarks, passwords and omnibox data between their computer and their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, allowing them seamlessly transition between devices and preserve a unified browsing experience. Users can also send pages from their desktop Chrome browser directly to their iOS device for reading on the go, even when offline.
Chrome for iOS also provides fast search and navigation with a single, combined address and search bar similar to the desktop version with search results that appear as the user types. Intuitive touchscreen gestures are used to open and switch between tabs, allowing iPhone and iPod touch users to flip through their screens like a deck of cards or iPad users to swipe from edge to edge to quickly switch between tabs. The iOS version also supports the “Incognito” mode from the desktop version, allowing users to open pages and browse without saving history or other tracking data. Google Chrome requires iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
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.
Sensopia has released a major update to MagicPlan adding native iPad support with a new user interface and improvements to simplify the room capture process. MagicPlan is an augmented reality iOS app designed to simplify the creation of floor plans by using the camera and gyroscope to map out and measure rooms; the user simply stands in a convenient location in the room and uses the camera to capture corners and doorway edges which are then used to calculate the dimensions of the room and generate a floor plan. The process can be repeated in several rooms to create individual plans for each room that can be connected to each other to form a complete floor plan of the property. Resulting floor plans can be exported to PDF or JPEG or published on the web as interactive floor plans.
MagicPlan 2.0 is now a universal app providing an HD user interface specifically adapted to the iPad along with simplified navigation for the iPhone and iPod touch with new menus, auto-save features and a new graphical user interface. The new version also improves the room capture process adding a real-time view of captured corners and doors, a grid view for capturing hidden corners and additional visual identifiers and cues to help with the capture process. Room capturing is also now done in landscape mode and the floor plan is visually drawn while capturing. The update also includes numerous other bug fixes and improvements related to account management, annotating floor plans and more. MagicPlan requires an iPhone 4/4S, fourth-generation iPod touch, iPad 2 or third-generation iPad running iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download. Non-commercial use is free and includes watermarks on published and exported floor plans; payment is required for commercial use at $2 per floor plan and removes all watermarks.
Sparrow, developer of the popular Mac e-mail client of the same name, has released an advanced e-mail app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Sparrow provides a number of features beyond the built-in iOS Mail app including specific options for Gmail users such as Priority Inbox, labels and archiving as well as a unified inbox and photo attachment support. Intuitive swipe gestures can be used to navigate between accounts and mailboxes, folders and labels from a sliding panel view or quickly switch between inboxes or unread and favourite items from the top bar.
Sparrow also allows users to connect with Facebook to display contact profile pictures directly in the message list; options for quickly replying, starring, labelling, archiving and deleting individual messages can be quickly accessed simply by swiping in the message list or users can select multiple messages to apply common actions. Additional features include a smart contacts view that places the most frequently-used contacts at the top of the contact list, support for multiple e-mail accounts and aliases on a single account and advanced search features. The initial version is not without its limitations however; features such as push notifications and landscape support are currently planned for a future release. Sparrow requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $3.