Thursday April 17, 2014 3:54 pm PDT by Jordan Golson
Beginning tomorrow, Radio Shack will be selling the 16GB iPhone 5s for $99 with two-year contract on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. This is $100 off the standard $199 price and one of the lowest prices we've seen for a new iPhone 5s.
It's unclear if the price drop will be permanent or just a temporary price, but a source at Radio Shack says the promotion does not currently have an end date. For many, the discount will matter less with the new pay-by-the-month phone financing plans offered by AT&T and Verizon, but for customers still on a two-year contract plan, the $100 discount could encourage customers to choose the iPhone 5s over the 5c.
Radio Shack has sold the iPhone since 2009 and has often offered discounts on refreshed and new iPhones numerous times a year. Radio Shack is offering trade-ins on older iPhones, including a minimum of $100 on the iPhone 4s, meaning customers trading in that phone can receive the iPhone 5s for free.
Thursday April 17, 2014 2:51 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Yahoo today updated its Flickr photo sharing app to version 3.0, introducing a major design overhaul that revamps the look and feel of the app. Aiming to make capturing and editing photos easier, the app features 14 live filters for the app's camera, allowing users to see what edits will look like before an image is captured.
The app also has a cleaner, better organized grid-style gallery view for browsing through photos and its camera capture and filter menu now resembles Instagram's successful image editing layout. Searching for captured photos is easier, with a revamped "intelligent" search engine that can filter by date, time, place, and even scenes and objects like "car" or "sunset."
A new Auto Sync feature lets users upload photos from the camera roll to Flickr automatically, creating a cloud-based backup of all iPhone images. As announced last year, Flickr provides all of its users with 1TB of free storage space.
Video recording, previously unavailable in the Flickr app, is has also been added, allowing Flickr to compete with other photo and video sharing services like Instagram and Vine. There are simple video customization features available and the new live filters also apply to video footage.
Welcome to Flickr 3.0! We have completely rebuilt and redesigned the app to make it simple, beautiful, and easy to use.
- Capture everything: Take stunning photos and videos. We make it easy.
- Save it all: All your pictures in one place. Take them everywhere.
- Advanced editing: Gorgeous live filters. Powerful editing tools. All for free.
- Capture the world in all new HD video you can share to Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.
- Explore our editing tools: Levels, Crop, Color Balance, Contrast, Saturation and more.
- Follow friends and the world’s best photographers. Always discover something new.
- Customize your privacy settings so you can make a photo as public or private as you like.
- Take lots of photos! Everyone gets 1,000GB of free storage.
Ferry Passchier, the designer we commissioned for the original designs, has rethought the design as if it was modeled after the iPhone 5c with colorful plastic backings. Passchier produced these renderings with that in mind:
The original renderings assumed it followed Apple's aluminum design of the iPhone 5s, though an all-aluminum design would introduce issues with Apple's antenna design.
Apple is expected to release the iPhone 6 this fall, and we expect to see more design and part leaks as production starts ramping up.
Wednesday April 16, 2014 12:12 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Blizzard Entertainment’s digital card trading game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft for iPad is now available for download worldwide after soft-launching in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand in early April. The game initially launched for the Mac in March.
The free-to-play collectible card game is set in the Warcraft universe, allowing players to compete with Magic the Gathering-style decks in one-on-one fights via Battle.net or against the computer. The iPad version of the game is able to connect to a Battle.net account, syncing with the PC/Mac version.
JUMP RIGHT IN: Fun introductory missions bring you into the world of Hearthstone’s intuitive gameplay.
BUILD YOUR DECK: With hundreds of additional cards to win and craft - your collection grows with you.
HONE YOUR SKILLS: Play in practice matches against computer-controlled heroes of the Warcraft universe. Thrall, Uther, Gul’dan - they’re all here!
COLLECTION TRAVELS WITH YOU: Your card collection is linked to your Battle.net account - enabling you to switch your play between tablet and desktop with ease.
AND FIGHT FOR GLORY: When you’re ready, step into the Arena and duel other players for the chance to win awesome prizes!
Our sister site Touch Arcade has given Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft a five star review, calling the game "a ton of fun" and "super easy to pick up."
Hearthstone is not only an example of a free-to-play model done right, but it's a must-play for card game enthusiasts everywhere. It's incredibly easy to get into, the picturesque art is easy on the eyes, and best of all -- it plays perfectly on an iPad.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is also available for the Mac after launching in March and Blizzard has plans to bring it to the iPhone as well, later in the year.
Wednesday April 16, 2014 9:00 am PDT by Juli Clover
Anki today announced the debut of two new cars and two new tracks for its iPhone-compatible Anki Drive slot car racing game. Joining the existing four cars are Hadion and Corax, new characters that focus on speed and weaponry, respectively.
Designed by Anki and Hollywood legend Harald Belker, Corax and Hadion are the newest characters available for Anki DRIVE. Hadion is built for speed and is the only car that can access Turbo Boost, which enables you to fly incredibly fast down the track. Corax is the ultimate warrior, with the option to mount multiple weapons. Watch out, he's an aggressive one!
First introduced in 2013 during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, Anki Drive is a unique racing game that Anki describes as a "video game in the real world." Similar to slot car racing, Anki Drive incorporates artificial intelligence, machine learning, and smartphone-based controls, allowing two players to shoot at one another while their cars autonomously race down a vinyl track.
Each of Anki's cars have their own unique name, personality, look, and statistics. While some of them offer greater acceleration speeds, others have more energy or better weaponry. The two released today expand on the abilities of the existing cars, offering Turbo Boost (Hadrion) and multiple mounted weapons (Corax).
Along with the new cars, Anki is also introducing two new tracks: Crossroads and Bottleneck. Crossroads offers hard corners and a challenging intersection that requires solid timing and maneuvering skills, while Bottleneck introduces a bottleneck shape that must be overcome.
There's also a brand new Race Mode in the Anki Drive app, which joins the existing Battle Mode. Weaponry is still available and the goal is to make it to the finish line first, beating out other players or AI-controlled cars.
Anki's new cars can both be purchased today from the Anki website for $69.99 each, and the new tracks will be available on May 6 for $99. The original Anki starter kit can also be purchased from the Anki website for $199.
The 8 GB version of the phone was launched last month in a few of Apple's Online Stores alongside the relaunched 16 GB iPad 4. Apple revealed in a statement to Re/code that its strategy with the 8 GB iPhone 5c is to offer a low-cost option that is compatible with the growing number of developing LTE networks in certain countries. The report also noted that Apple prefers not to sell the lower-cost model in the United States because of the popularity of subsidized phones.
The 8GB iPhone 5c is available now through select Apple Online Stores as well as through various Apple Retail locations.
In his first report to US District Judge Denise Cote, external compliance monitor Michael Bromwich says that his relationship with Apple has "significantly improved" since Apple was ordered to hire him to ensure the company complies with antitrust requirements in the wake of the e-book antitrust case, reports the Wall Street Journal.
After the Second Circuit panel issued its decision in early February, we took steps to reestablish contact and to attempt to “reset” our relationship with Apple, as this Court had directed during the January 13, 2014 proceedings and in its January 16, 2014 opinion. Those steps prompted constructive responses from Apple. As more fully described in this Report, the relationship between Apple and the monitoring team has significantly improved over the past six weeks and has become more focused on achieving the goal of enhancing Apple’s Antitrust Compliance Program pursuant to the Final Judgment.
Bromwich goes on to say that there's been a shift in tone in his relationship with Apple, largely due to the new in-house point of contact that Apple has assigned to work with Bromwich and his team. The new contact has helped Bromwich and his team attain more information and provide a greater commitment to solving disputes than its predecessor, although Bromwich also notes the information was largely about Apple "generally" and that more would be required.
Monday April 14, 2014 8:56 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
T-Mobile is kicking off a new campaign targeting overage fees as part of its ongoing Uncarrier initiative that aims to disrupt the wireless industry in the U.S. Starting in May, the U.S. carrier is eliminating overage charges for all its customers regardless of their cellular plan. The wireless carrier also challenges its competitors to do the same.
With this move, T-Mobile is abolishing those additional charges that are levied when a customer exceeds their available minutes or allotted data for their cellular plan. These extra calling minutes or gigabytes of data are charged at a much higher rate and can easily add hundreds of dollars on to a customer's base monthly bill. Estimates cited by T-Mobile suggest consumers paid up to $1 billion in penalties last year for these punitive charges.
"Charging overage fees is a greedy, predatory practice that needs to go," continued T-Mobile CEO John Legere. "Starting in May for bills arriving in June - regardless of whether you're on Simple Choice, Simple Starter or an older plan, we're abolishing overages for good. Period."
Besides removing overage fees, T-Mobile's Legere also started an online petition that asks AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to end overage fees, saying they are "no longer welcomed in this industry."
This petition is part of a larger initiative by T-Mobile to shake up the cellular industry in the United States with a series of promotions and policy changes, including ETF buyouts for customers who switch from a rival carrier, early upgrades and no-contract cellular plans.
Monday April 14, 2014 3:01 am PDT by Richard Padilla
Microsoft and Japanese gaming firm KLab Inc. have revealed Age of Empires: World Domination, the first title based on the popular PC strategy franchise for iOS devices. The game features a revamped real-time battle system optimized for mobile devices, as players choose between the Celts, Vikings, Franks, or Huns to build the ultimate army for use in online multiplayer combat.
The game's unveiling comes a year after a report by Japanese business newspaper Nikkeiindicated that Microsoft would be bringing a number of its Xbox and Windows games to the iPhone in a collaborative effort with KLab. Specifically, Age of Empires was said to be the first title stemming from the partnership in the form of a free-to-play title. With the forthcoming release of Age of Empires: World Domination on iOS, it is likely that other titles from Microsoft will appear on Apple's mobile platform in the near future.
Age of Empires: World Domination will launch on iOS this summer, as interested users can pre-register on the game's official website for exclusive access and more information.
In the Family Guy game, the town of Quahog has been trashed by a fight between Peter Griffin and Ernie the Giant Chicken, and gamers must help Peter rebuild the town, collecting many of the characters from the game along the way. The game features original content from the voice actors along with stories and jokes from writers at Seth MacFarlane's Fuzzy Door productions.
The TinyCo team stressed that the freemium elements are solely there to speed up the game or for cosmetic decorations, but that users will never be forced to pay money to progress. It's meant to be something that users play for short bursts -- "on the bus or on the toilet", according to the company -- but it can also be played for long stretches, particularly later in the game.
Family Guy's trademark irreverent humor -- including numerous cutaway gags -- are everywhere in the game, with some characters from the show making a brief appearance for a single joke before disappearing for the rest of the game.
The game features Facebook social integration so gamers can visit friends, but the social play is strictly optional. Logging in to TinyCo's servers with a Google+ or Facebook login does make it significantly easier to play the game on multiple devices, however. The game backs up progress to the cloud, allowing users to seamlessly shift their ongoing game from an iPad to iPhone on the same account. It can also be used offline, on an airplane for example, but will need to eventually sync to the cloud to save progress.
"Not only is the game exponentially more entertaining than reading this press release, it’s the only place you’ll find Peter and Quagmire napping together," said Rick Phillips, SVP, Fox Digital Entertainment. "We’re excited to deliver a game that brings the spontaneity and eccentricity of the show to the mobile gameplay experience for the first time. TinyCo successfully marries the world of FAMILY GUY, its infamous cutaways, lampooning of current events, and irreverent humor with entertaining game mechanics."
"We've had an absolute blast bringing The Quest for Stuff to life," said Andrew Green, head of business development and business operations at TinyCo. "Working with an IP like Family Guy wasn’t a responsibility we took lightly, and thanks to fantastic collaboration with Fox we’re delivering a game that both fans and newcomers will love."
Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is a free download for the iPhone and iPad. [App Store]
Thursday April 10, 2014 2:11 am PDT by Richard Padilla
Junecloud has updated its popular delivery notification app Delivery Status touch to version 5.1, bringing a revamped notification system, a large number of fixes, support for new features, and more.
The app now includes a revamped background notification system that informs users of packages in transit more frequently and makes non-essential updates less frequent, with badges now representing all notifications. Support for Bluetooth keyboard shortcuts, manual sorting, and swipe to delete while searching is also included, along with various bug fixes that address issues with iOS 7.1, AirDrop, and iCloud.
- Improved background notifications—updates are more frequent when they’re needed, less frequent when they’re not. We’ve also gotten rid of some unnecessary notifications, and fixed some problems where notifications weren’t appearing when they should.
- Badges are now shown for background notifications. If you don’t want them, just open the Settings app, tap Notification Center, find Deliveries in the list, and update your settings there.
- “Delivered” notifications now start with a checkmark to make them immediately clear.
- Manual sorting is back.
- The “…” menu now includes an option to Archive—or Delete for already archived items.
- You can now type a space in the search field to show everything.
- You can now swipe to delete an archived delivery while searching.
- Keyboard shortcuts for Bluetooth keyboards in iOS 7. ⌘N: add a new delivery. ⌘F: search. ⎋: close the current view or cancel search.
- iCloud improvements.
- Fixed various display quirks on iOS 7.1.
Originally launched in 2008, Delivery Status touch saw its last major update this past October which added a redesigned interface for iOS 7 and new features such as background notifications for tracking info, iCloud sync, and barcode scanning.
Tuesday April 8, 2014 3:41 am PDT by Richard Padilla
PayPal today updated its point-of-sale solution app PayPal Here, bringing a refreshed interface and a variety of features. The app now includes a dynamic search tool that allows users to search for specific items and charges, a streamlined custom inventory entry system, and the ability to swipe cards at any moment during the order process. The update also includes enhanced cart views and simplified order entry fields for quicker sales processing.
What’s New in Version 2.0
• Overall upgraded experience with a fresh look and feel
• New dynamic search tool
• Now you can swipe cards at any time during the order process
• Easier custom inventory entry system
• Simplified order entry, profile, settings, and log-in process
• Quicker visibility of customers that have “checked-in” to pay
• Enhanced cart view for reviewing sales before payment
• Faster entry and auto-fill of customer info for database and receipts
PayPal Here originally launched on the iPhone in 2012, and debuted on the iPad last year with additional features, including the ability to connect to a cash drawer and printer. The app allows individual users and businesses to accept credit and debit cards, send invoices, and track cash payments among other point-of-sale features.
PayPal Here is a free app for the iPhone and iPad and can be downloaded through the App Store. [Direct Link: iPhone/iPad]
Apple is planning on creating an R&D team to develop baseband chips, which are used to control a device's radio functions like modulation, signal generation and more, for future iPhones in-house, according to a new report from DigiTimes. The baseband chip is separate from the A7 processor, which Apple already designs with an in-house team.
Apple reportedly plans to form a R&D team to develop baseband processors for use in iPhones to be released in 2015 and will place the baseband chip orders with Samsung Electronics and Globalfoundries, according to industry sources.
Qualcomm is currently the company that Apple acquires its baseband chips from, although they're produced in mass quantities at Apple manufacturing partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.
Recently, Apple has made moves to bring more chip development in-house, including rumors of an effort to purchase a unit of Renesas Electronics that creates chips for smartphone displays. It also acquired low-power wireless chip provider Passif Semiconductor, whose chips could be used to improve battery life in wearables, like Apple's rumored iWatch.
The moves are a part of Apple's effort to control its own production supplies and core technologies, and include partnerships like Apple's deal with GT Advanced, which will provide the Cupertino company with massive supplies of sapphire displays.
American Express is offering a $5 statement credit to users who spend $5 on the iTunes and App Stores by April 30th. The rebate, part of AMEX's "Offers for You" promotion, requires that users opt-in to the offer on the American Express website, and then spend at least $5 on iTunes by the end of the month.
AMEX cardholders need to ensure that their card is set up as the default billing method within iTunes itself. Once a $5 purchase is made and charged to the American Express card, a $5 statement credit will appear on their account.
Spend a total of $5 or more on iTunes using your enrolled American Express Card by 4/30/14 and get a one-time $5 statement credit.
American Express runs a number of these promotions, though availability does vary based on previous card usage. Some users may not be able to see the iTunes promotion because of how they use their card, for example.
Monday April 7, 2014 12:31 am PDT by Richard Padilla
After expanding to France and Canada last month, Apple’s iPhone trade-in program is now available in Apple Retail Stores throughout Germany, reports Apfelpage.de [Google Translation]. The launch of the program was spotted through the Apple Store app.
The program allows customers to trade in an older iPhone model and receive a gift card worth up to €230, which may be used towards the purchase of a new iPhone. Apple promises customers that phones traded in will be responsibly recycled, offering a more environmentally friendly option than just simply throwing away a device.
Apple’s iPhone recycling program debuted in the U.S. before the launch of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c last year, and was established in the UK a few months later. The company also offers a mail-in recycling program that allows customers to send in their iPhone to receive credit.
Sprint on Friday announced a new credit incentive to encourage customers to switch to the carrier, offering new Sprint Framily subscribers up to $650 in trade-in and early termination fee credits.
"At Sprint, we believe in 'Happy Connecting' through the value of a Sprint Framily Plan," said Jeff Hallock, Sprint chief marketing officer. "We are seeing great momentum with the Sprint Framily plan, and we want to make it as easy as possible for customers to join our Framily."
When customers sign up for a Sprint Framily Plan, which has prices as low as $25 per line with 7 to 10 lines, they can get a $350 Visa prepaid card to cover early termination fees and a device credit of up to $300, for a total of $650.
Customers are required to bring their existing phone numbers to the carrier and choose a new phone when they subscribe, giving up their existing phones for credit. Customers will also need to submit a claim to receive reimbursement for early termination fees, providing Sprint with a bill showing the exact termination fees for each line.
Sprint's $650 offering emulates T-Mobile's January UnCarrier 4.0 initiative, which also gives customers up to $650 to switch to T-Mobile. Unlike T-Mobile's promotion, Sprint's offering is temporary and will end on May 8.
Friday April 4, 2014 6:23 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White is touring China and reports to investors that demand for the iPhone 5s in the Asian country is disappointing, while interest in Chinese brands like Xiaomi is on the rise. This cool sentiment towards the iPhone may change when an iPhone 6 model with a larger screen arrives later this year.
Interest in a large-screened iPhone model among Chinese vendors and carriers is reportedly very high, possibly making the next iPhone launch a "special" one for Apple.
In the near term, we sensed disappointment around demand for the iPhone 5S. That said, we heard great enthusiasm around the potential for Apple to introduce a larger iPhone form factor in China this year with the iPhone 6. In our view, the iPhone 6 with a larger screen (e.g., 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch) has the potential to meaningfully accelerate Apple's growth trajectory in China during 2H:14. We have not heard this type of excitement in China around the iPhone in at least two years and thus we believe this could be a very special iPhone launch for Apple.
China has been a focus of Apple in recent years, with the company opening new retail stores and bringing both the iPhone and the iPad to wireless carriers in the Asian country. This year alone Apple has introduced a TD-LTE version of the iPad and launched both the iPhone 5s and 5c with China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier with approximately 772 million subscribers.
Apple's next iPhone model is expected to arrive in two display sizes, with one near 4.7 inches and the other at approximately 5.5 inches. The 4.7-inch model may debut this fall, while the 5.5-inch is rumored to land sometime in 2015.
According to Fadell, a recent laboratory test revealed that Nest Wave, a feature that enables the device's alarm to be turned off with a gesture, could potentially be used to turn off an alarm unintentionally, thus delaying the activation of the alarm in a real fire.
During recent laboratory testing of the Nest Protect smoke alarm, we observed a unique combination of circumstances that caused us to question whether the Nest Wave (a feature that enables you to turn off your alarm with a wave of the hand) could be unintentionally activated. This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire. We identified this problem ourselves and are not aware of any customers who have experienced this, but the fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately.
The company is immediately disabling the Nest Wave feature until the issue is resolved and while a fix is being worked on, sales of new Nest Protect alarms have been halted. Nest urges customers with existing alarms to connect them to a Nest Account (if they are not already connected) so the Nest Wave feature can be automatically disabled. Customers without access to WiFi can receive a complete refund for their devices.
Nest states that no customers have been affected by the potential issues with Nest Wave and that the steps it has taken to halt sales are a precautionary measure. The company estimates that fixing the issue will take two to three months.
Thursday April 3, 2014 12:43 am PDT by Richard Padilla
Developer Subset Games today released its popular real-time strategy game FTL: Faster Than Light on the iPad, coming roughly a year after the title was released on Mac, PC, and Linux to much acclaim.
The game puts the player in the commanding role of a ship aligned with the Galactic Federation, tasked with getting vital data back to its headquarters. However, rebel ships are persistent in attacking the spacecraft, allowing players to engage in top down combat while maintaining and upgrading their ship with new weapons, crew members, and more.
The award winning PC spaceship simulation game from Subset Games comes to iPad!
- Give orders to your crew, manage ship power distribution and choose weapon targets in the heat of battle.
- Pause the game mid-combat to evaluate your strategy and give orders.
- Upgrade your ship and unlock new ones with the help of seven diverse alien races.
- Hundreds of text based encounters will force you to make tough decisions.
- Each play-through will feature different enemies, events, and results to your decisions. No two play-throughs will be quite the same.
- Permadeath means when you die, there’s no coming back. The constant threat of defeat adds importance and tension to every action.
The iPad version of the game also includes the FTL: Advanced Edition expansion, which offers new ship systems, events, weapons, drones, equipment, enemy types, levels and more in addition to user interface improvements.
Our sister site TouchArcadereviewed the game, regarding the iPad version of FTL as the “definitive version”, crediting the title's touch controls and regarding them as more intuitive compared to a traditional mouse and keyboard control scheme. Overall, the title was noted as the perfect “play while you do something else game” and given a five star rating. The full review is well worth checking out, as is a video walkthrough of FTL which can be seen below.
Wednesday April 2, 2014 10:42 pm PDT by Richard Padilla
At a launch event in Los Angeles tonight, Fox and development house TinyCo officially revealed that its upcoming title Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is set to launch a week from now. First revealed last month, the game is centered around the town of Quahog, with gamers helping Peter Griffin and the rest of the town’s residents rebuild their city after a destructive fight between Peter and Ernie The Giant Chicken.
In addition to featuring all the voice actors from the series, the game features new animations along with stories and jokes from writers at Seth MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door Productions. Much like EA's The Simpsons: Tapped Out, the game will be a free-to-play title that includes optional in-app purchases.
Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff will be available for the iPhone and iPad on April 10.
MacRumors attracts a broad audience
of both consumers and professionals interested in
the latest technologies and products. We also boast an active community focused on
purchasing decisions and technical aspects of the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Mac platforms.