Maybe it’s too early to start thinking of New Year’s resolutions, but Kevin Rose (an investor) tweeted that FitStar now has an iPhone app. As far as fitness apps go, this looks nice. FitStar 2.0 is redesigned for iOS 7, has programs that don’t require any workout equipment, and has courses tailored to getting you to your desired level of fit, whether it’s losing weight, adding tone, or building muscle. A one-year premium membership is also only $29.99 for a limited time, making it much more affordable than a gym membership. Check out FitStar, their programs, and pricing here.
Also worth mentioning: Fitocracy. Fitocracy has some neat ideas around community, gamifying workouts, and also offers various programs from fitness trainers.
With the new API, merchants are able to retrieve activity reports for their processed payments, refunds and deposits. Square says that what it will not provide is the ability to accept payments — it’s only for reporting purposes. It’s also limited to pulling data from a single account, so no market research capabilities are available.
The Connect API is strictly for merchants who want to keep tabs on their sales, but it’s nice to have nonetheless if you’re selling products using Square readers or online via the Square Market.
If you’ve used other iOS 7 apps like Byword, you know how syntax highlighting is beneficial to the user experience: numbers turn green, units are purple, operations are blue, and plain text is standard black. Syntax highlighting makes lines more scannable because operations and individual bits of text stand out more; furthermore, because Soulver allows you to type units manually (you can write “USD”, “usd”, “dollars”, etc) you’ll instantly know if what you typed has been recognized by the app thanks to color highlights. Besides being nice visually speaking, syntax highlighting — a simple addition in theory — makes the experience of using Soulver considerably better.
Today, Soulver 2.4 has been released with iPad support, making the app Universal. The iPad’s interface isn’t revolutionary — you still get a split layout but keys and number pads are larger on the iPad and you get easier access to some of the app’s features.
Chris Gonzales hits the nail on the head with his “rules for App developers” concerning review prompts in apps (you know, the alerts that ask you to rate an app). All of the previous discussion is linked to in Chris’ piece so you can catch up there. As per Chris’ suggestions, I like this one in particular:
Respect the users’ wishes. If a customer chooses to opt out of leaving a review, your app had better not continue prompting them about it afterward. I can live with a one-time popup, but there are some apps that ignore opt-out requests and that is definitely not okay with me. It might even be a good idea to respect opt-outs across app updates, if possible. If I didn’t want to review your app two updates ago, I’m no more likely to do so today.
I personally don’t care for review prompts because they’re intrusive. They get in the way and I feel like a jerk every time I have to tap some variation of, “No thanks.”
An app that does it better is Twitch.tv’s iOS app, which instead of showing alerts, has a little translucent bar at the bottom of the screen that asks you to review the app if you like it. It doesn’t get in the way of what’s on the screen or make me stop what I’m doing, and it doesn’t pop-up very often. I think Twitch can use it for other things as well, such as making users aware of new features. The other nice thing about their version of a notification bar is that it can port nicely to other platforms, keeping that experience consistent across mobile devices.
That app has other issues with alerts though as far as telling when you broadcasters come online, which should be banner notifications instead. ↩
Less than a month ago Apple brought channels like Yahoo Screen and PBS to the Apple TV, and today they’re bringing over streaming news services like Bloomberg, ABC (for streaming local content from ABC news affiliates), Crackle for movies and TV shows, and Korean language channel KOR TV. Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch echoes what I suggested last month regarding the Apple TV as a viable alternative for cable cutters:
This launch is just the most recent in what’s been an increasingly fast-paced rollout of new content partners on Apple’s set-top box, but it brings some interesting ingredients to the mix, including local broadcast TV streaming and a 24-hour news channel, which are key ingredients to what many users would consider basic TV service. Apple TV didn’t start off as a really viable cord-cutting alternative for people looking to ditch their cable subscriptions, but it’s been building up a piecemeal library of a la carte content that begins to become a truly worthy option.
In a nutshell, the Apple TV now has a 24-hour news channels, multiple sports outlets, various channels for kids, and channels apps for watching TV shows and movies on demand.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who has regularly assessed Siri’s accuracy in terms of correctly interpreting and answering queries, has issued the latest version of his Siri report card, noting that Siri has continued to improve under iOS 7, particularly in terms of being able to properly interpret questions being asked.
My experience in the past four months has been the opposite of what Marco describes: the Italian Siri of iOS 7 fails less than before, is faster (even on 3G), and it understands my queries better. Is it because of different servers and the amount of requests that Italian Siri gets? I have no idea.
A feature that I didn’t initially like and that I’ve criticized on multiple occasions, Siri, is much improved in iOS 7. I actually am using Siri quite a bit more now, and I was surprised by the quality of the Italian voice, its increased speed, clean new design, and new functions.
It’s still far from perfect, but I’ve been using Siri on a daily basis for phone calls, directions, and Wikipedia integration. I particularly appreciate how iOS 7 made Siri smarter in understanding pronouns, indirect speech, and verb conjugations.
I’m not a “Siri power user” (I don’t know all the possible tricks and commands), but I’m happy with the improvements in iOS 7.
Nice app by Filibaba (makers of other vegetarian and vegan recipe apps for iOS) that's just a virtual egg timer for your iPhone. You can spin the egg in 1-minute increments and the app will send you a local notification when the timer is up. There are backgrounds to choose from and In-App Purchases to unlock different eggs (including a golden one, perfect for your new 5s).