Previous owners of Verbs, an instant messaging app for iOS, will find a free update on the App Store that readies the app for iOS 7, while introducing a slew of new notification options, support for Jabber, and integration with Dropbox for sharing files and photos in chat. Verbs has also added a couple of read later options for sending links to Pocket and Safari’s Reading List.
As conversations take place outside of the conversation view, the status bar will flicker when new texts appear, much like status updates in Tweetbot or Mailbox. Inside the conversation view, Verbs has added some small contextual changes to message bubbles, changing their color when they’re delivered, and adding the option to use shapes to indicate your buddy’s availability status.
Dropbox integration with the app works out of the gate without a lot of setup. If you have Dropbox installed on your iOS device and are already logged in, you can pick a file and share the link with a friend. If you setup your Dropbox account, you can add files as well.
While I still don’t like how you switch between conversations views throw a Safari-like carousel, the remainder of Verbs feels fresh, and the app has always maintained a decided simplicity for simply sending and receiving messages from common services. If you don’t have Verbs yet, you can give it a try for $2.99 from the App Store.
Day One, an award-winning and MacStories-favorite journaling app for iOS and OS X, has traditionally focused on private, personal journaling: through the years, the app has received support for external integrations such as weather and location info, inline photo previews, and, more recently, motion activity data captured from the iPhone 5s, but under all that, the app has always been private with limited options for sharing.
With Publish, launching today on Day One for iPhone, Bloom Built wants to allow Day One users to easily share individual journal entries publicly while retaining control of sharing options, stats, and privacy settings. I’ve been testing Day One Publish for the past few weeks, and while I don’t think it’ll revolutionize the way people journal on iOS devices – the act of journaling is, ultimately, private – it provides a convenient and good-looking way to turn private entries into public webpages anyone can read.
As we talk into the night, hordes of agile pedestrians deftly dodge the Hanoi traffic, screens flickering in their hands like fireflies. It's no wonder the world's hottest game came from here. “When you play game on a smartphone,” he says, with an ever-present cigarette dangling from his lip, “the simplest way is just tapping.”
David Kushner of Rolling Stone managed to interview Dong Nguyen, the creator of Flappy Bird, for the first time since he pulled the game from the App Store. The interview is particularly revealing for the motivations behind Nguyen's decision to remove the game, and whether it may come back or not.
Make sure to get to the end of the piece to know about Nguyen's next projects.
Every time I go out with friends and we start talking about music, there's always that one guy who wants to play a song and he does so…using YouTube. In spite of the relatively low barrier to entry for services like Spotify and Rdio (both available in Italy with free plans), the convenience of using YouTube as an audio source is indisputable (on top of that, add the fact that most people have a high tolerance for YouTube ads – or ads in general). Personally, I prefer a dedicated music streaming service or my iTunes Match library, but I do rely on YouTube for the occasional live performance or unreleased demo tape that I can't obtain legally anywhere else.
Tuner is a music player for YouTube videos: with a simple search feature, it uses YouTube as an audio source, turning videos into songs you can listen to on your iPhone.
I was surprised when Apple announced that iOS 7 would run on 2010's iPhone 4, mostly because the OS seemed to make use of graphical effects, transitions, and animations that looked like great candidates for poor performance and hiccups. Indeed, iOS 7 on the iPhone 4 (and to an extend, the iPad 3) was, in my experience, insufferable: animations were slow, scrolling would often drop frames and stutter, and everything felt generally sluggish.
Ars Technica's Andew Cunningham has run tests to measure the speed improvements of iOS 7.1 on the iPhone 4. The changes are noticeable, but, more importantly, the update makes the OS fluid and snappy – usable, at least. iOS 7.1 cuts the execution time of animations on all iOS devices, but the difference for the iPhone 4 is even more apparent.
It is a good thing that Apple is still supporting a four year-old device with the latest version of iOS (albeit with missing features), and I'm glad that iOS 7's possibly one and only major update focused on making performance acceptable on older devices for the future.
As reported by Doug Thompson, a change in iOS 7.1 now allows iBeacon-enabled apps to look for beacons and fire off notifications even when closed and after a device reboot:
After opening an iBeacon app we hard closed it: not just putting it into the background tray but swiping it closed entirely. The phone still detected beacons and sent a message through the lock screen, something which in the past was reserved for apps that were at minimum running in the background tray.
The functionality even works if you reboot your device: after you power down your phone and start it up again, it will continue listening for beacons even if you don’t open up the app again.
As Doug notes, this is an important change for how iBeacon works with iOS apps – it sounds like it's now more stable and it should always work, removing the need to make sure an app is running.
For retailers, museums, and any other place with iBeacon support, this means that launching an app the first time should be enough to have it always ready to listen for beacons in the future (unless the app gets uninstalled of course). And because the technology is based on Bluetooth LE, the impact on battery life should be minimal to non-existent. This seems like a great change for iBeacon.
Apple today released iOS 7.1, the company’s first major update to iOS 7, which was released in September 2013. iOS 7.1 has been in testing with registered iOS developers since November, and it brings a variety of bug fixes, performance improvements, faster animations, CarPlay, user interface changes, and minor tweaks.
The iTunes Store used to have a Power Search link in its page footers. You could choose to search specific types of content, and enter search terms in appropriate fields, such as Artist for music; Author for books; Actor for movies; etc. With iTunes 11, this link disappeared, but there’s still a way to get to it.
I had forgotten about this tip shared by Kirk McElhearn. If you want a faster way to access Power Search in iTunes using AppleScript, Doug Adams shows you how.
Tweetbot, Tapbots’ Twitter client for iPhone that was relaunched in October for iOS 7, has been updated today with new display options and the possibility to remove tweets that match a filter.
For the past few months, Tapbots has been working on improvements to Tweetbot’s presentation and text size controls, adding new settings in version 3.1 and a night theme in 3.2 alongside additions to account management and reordering. In today’s update, Tweetbot gets a new font option in the Preferences to enable Avenir as the app’s primary typeface, as well as a new setting to enlarge thumbnails in the timeline. The latter makes Tweetbot more akin to the official Twitter app for iPhone in that it displays large photos (and app icon previews for iTunes links) that give a better idea of a media item inline without having to show the tweet detail view.
Just like Tweetbot for Mac, Tweetbot for iPhone can now remove tweets that match a mute filter as soon as the filter is added. Through a dialog box, the app will offer to remove matching tweets that have already been loaded in the timeline. The option is particularly welcome if you, for instance, wake up in the morning and realize you don’t want to scroll through hundreds of tweets about an event that happened overnight.