Posts in news

HelloTalk: Learn Languages, Meet the World [Sponsor]

HelloTalk is the first language exchange social networking app in the world, allowing you to find native speakers of the language you're learning locally or worldwide.

The best way to learn a foreign language is to practice with real people. If you are a native English speaker learning Chinese Mandarin, ideally you'd want to meet native Chinese speakers learning English. HelloTalk does just that: you can find native speakers and, through a unique text and talk exchange mode, write in one language and then switch to another one, or talk for 5 minutes in one language then switch again. HelloTalk is capable of counting time automatically, so you'll never lose your stats or progress.

HelloTalk supports dozens of languages including English, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Russian, and Arabic. In addition to text and talk modes, the app lets you share photos with your language partner about your life and home country culture.

For more information, visit hellotalk.com and start learning a new language with native speakers today.

Our thanks to HelloTalk for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Apple Adds More Channels to Apple TV, YouTube Channel Gets a New Design

Click image for full resolution version

Click image for full resolution version

The Apple TV yesterday received four more channels, with UFC, The Scene, Fusion and Dailymotion joining the dozens of other channels available on the device. The above image is an update to our original article that visualizes the addition of Apple TV channels since the Apple TV 2 launched (the original black puck version).

The Apple TV also got an update to the long-standing YouTube channel, featuring a new design and new features. The highlights of this update includes predictive search, personalized recommendations and the ability to subscribe to channels. It probably wouldn't be considered a 'feature', but the updated YouTube channel now also supports advertisements before videos. You can watch a brief promotional video from Google that talks about the update below.

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ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation [Sponsor]

I’d like to tell you about a very cool coffee table book – it’s a book about Apple.

Back in 2009, a guy named Jonathan Zufi collected and photographed pretty much every single product Apple has ever made since 1976 and produced this stunning coffee table book. It’s called ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation.

If there was ever a perfect gift for the Apple fan – or history buff – this is it. 350 beautifully designed pages and hundreds of fantastic photos of basically every product Apple has ever made – every desktop, laptop, iOS device, printer, and even the old gaming devices, it’s all in here and I guarantee you’ll see some products that you didn’t even know Apple made. There’s an amazing chapter about prototypes and there’s also a chapter on packaging – all the boxes that came with all this amazing technology.

I personally own a copy of the original ICONIC book, and it’s indeed stunning. The book feels great, photographs are professional and well laid out – I had no idea some Apple products existed, but ICONIC provided a great visual intro.

ICONIC includes a foreword by Steve Wozniak and hundreds of amazing quotes from other Apple pundits – it’s really something.

The book comes in a few different versions including a version in a book case that looks like an old Apple floppy drive, and a new ‘UItimate Edition’ that ships in a white clamshell with an embedded glowing standby light that pulses just like the old sleep indicators on the MacBook Pros. It’s really worth seeing so visit iconicbook.com and take a look.

You can order the Classic Edition at Amazon, but if you decide you want the Classic Plus, Special, or Ultimate Editions then enter the code macstories when you check out for a 10% discount.

My thanks to ICONIC for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Apple Debuts ‘Change’ Advert for the iPad Air 2

Overnight Apple published a new advert for the iPad Air 2 called 'Change'. Unlike their previous 'Your Verse' iPad adverts, which focused on how one person or small group used the iPad, this latest advert is a fast-paced montage of many different people using the iPad in many different ways.

Those apps featured in the advert include iStopMotion, AutoCAD 360, Molecules, Animation Creator HD, and many more. In fact along with the advert is a new page on Apple's website that is dedicated to highlighting every single app that was featured in the advert.

You can view the advert on YouTube or on Apple's website, as well as embedded below.

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Apple Posts “Best of 2014″ App Store and iTunes Store Lists

Apple has today published their "Best of 2014" iTunes and App Store lists, which include editorial picks for the best releases in apps, music, movies, TV shows, books and podcasts from 2014.

For the best apps and games, Apple has picked Elevate and Threes for the iPhone, Pixelmator and Monument Valley for the iPad and Notability and Tomb Raider for the Mac. Runners up were Hyperlapse and Leo's Fortune for iPhone, Storehouse and Hearthstone for iPad and Affinity Designer and Transistor for Mac.

Some of the winners in the other categories include 1989 by Taylor Swift as the best music album, Guardians of the Galaxy as the best blockbuster movie, Fargo as TV show of the year, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr as the best fiction book, and Serial as the best new podcast. Although keep in mind that some of these lists vary from country to country.

Last year, Apple picked Wunderlist and XCOM: Enemy Unknown as winners for the Mac; Disney Animated and BADLAND for the iPad; and Duolingo and Ridiculous Fishing for the iPhone. In 2012, Apple picked Day One and Deus Ex: Human Revolution as winners for the Mac; Paper and The Room for the iPad; and Action Movie FX and Rayman Jungle Run for the iPhone.

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ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation [Sponsor]

I’d like to tell you about a very cool coffee table book – it’s a book about Apple.

Back in 2009, a guy named Jonathan Zufi collected and photographed pretty much every single product Apple has ever made since 1976 and produced this stunning coffee table book. It’s called ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation.

If there was ever a perfect gift for the Apple fan – or history buff – this is it. 350 beautifully designed pages and hundreds of fantastic photos of basically every product Apple has ever made – every desktop, laptop, iOS device, printer, and even the old gaming devices, it’s all in here and I guarantee you’ll see some products that you didn’t even know Apple made. There’s an amazing chapter about prototypes and there’s also a chapter on packaging – all the boxes that came with all this amazing technology.

I personally own a copy of the original ICONIC book, and it’s indeed stunning. The book feels great, photographs are professional and well laid out – I had no idea some Apple products existed, but ICONIC provided a great visual intro.

ICONIC includes a foreword by Steve Wozniak and hundreds of amazing quotes from other Apple pundits – it’s really something.

The book comes in a few different versions including a version in a book case that looks like an old Apple floppy drive, and a new ‘UItimate Edition’ that ships in a white clamshell with an embedded glowing standby light that pulses just like the old sleep indicators on the MacBook Pros. It’s really worth seeing so visit iconicbook.com and take a look.

You can order the Classic Edition at Amazon, but if you decide you want the Classic Plus, Special, or Ultimate Editions then enter the code macstories when you check out for a 10% discount.

My thanks to ICONIC for sponsoring MacStories this week.


FastFeed – Multi-Tab Enhancement for Tumblr/Instagram/500px [Sponsor]

FastFeed is a series of iOS apps that brings the power of multi-tab management to Tumblr, Instagram, and 500px.

FastFeed's versatile tab bar is designed to be unobtrusive, but it's highly versatile and customizable: it sits at the bottom of the screen, it can be auto-hidden when you scroll, and it lets you open new feed links in new tabs so you can easily switch between them. In FastFeed for Instagram, you can have multiple tabs for user profiles and a location; in FastFeed for Tumblr, you can open the dashboard and user pages as multiple tab bars so you don't have to constantly navigate back and forth.

Tab control gestures are supported by the FastFeed apps, and, when you tap an active tab, you'll see a handy menu to close the current tab, close all other tabs, or view tab history. You can switch between grid and flow layouts with a gesture, and smart paging is supported in flow mode.

And for each service, FastFeed comes with unique features: you can explore photos on a map in Instagram; you can search for photos by keyword or tag in 500px; and you can post any type of content in FastFeed for Tumblr.

The three FastFeed apps are available for free on the App Store, and you can find out more here.

Our thanks to FastFeed for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Apple Debuts Two New iPhone 6 Adverts Featuring Gaming and Continuity

Overnight Apple released two new adverts for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. One, called 'Gamers', features the new iOS game Vain Glory and the other, 'Reservations', demoes the ability to make and receive phone calls on an iPhone, iPad or Mac with Continuity's Phone Relay feature.

These new iPhone 6 adverts continue to be narrated by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake and are the fifth and sixth adverts in the series. Previous iPhone 6 adverts included Duo, Health, Cameras and Huge.

We've embedded the adverts below, but you can also view them in YouTube (Gamers and Reservations).

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Apple Launches (RED) App Store Promotion, Donating Proceeds to Fight AIDS

Update: Apple has confirmed the campaign with an official press release and webpage. The campaign, called Apps for (RED), will feature 25 apps and all proceeds from November 24 to December 7 will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. Apps for (RED) is the first global App Store campaign for this cause, and developers have created RED-inspired content for it.

“Apple is a proud supporter of (RED) because we believe the gift of life is the most important gift anyone can give,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “For eight years, our customers have been helping fight AIDS in Africa by funding life-saving treatments which are having a profoundly positive impact. This year we are launching our biggest fundraising push yet with the participation of Apple’s retail and online stores, and some of the brightest minds in the App Store are lending their talents to the effort as well.”

In addition to Apps for (RED), Apple will donate a portion of sales from Black Friday and Cyber Monday from retail and online stores. More details are available at Apple’s new (RED) website.

Original post follows below with updated list of apps.

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