YouTube App Update Adds Progress Bar to Previously Watched Videos

Google issued an update to its YouTube app for iOS this week that adds a progress bar to the thumbnails of previously watched videos, allowing users to resume playback from where they left off.

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Ever have trouble remembering if you've seen a video or how far you made it through the video? We have added a progress bar to all previously watched thumbnails that lets you know how far you made it through the video. Partially watched videos will resume from where you left off.
The version 11.45 progress bar update follows a recent redesign of the YouTube app which also brought in-app video editing tools to make videos.

YouTube for iOS is available in the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: YouTube

Review: ZENS Power Bank Will Charge Your iPhone and Apple Watch

ZENS recently debuted its latest product, an iPhone/Apple Watch Power Bank that has a built-in Apple Watch charging puck and a USB port, allowing you to charge all of your devices at once.

Priced at €69.99 (or $78.00) the 4,000 mAh ZENS Power Bank is about the size and shape of a chocolate bar, though perhaps a bit wider. Because it's neither short nor particularly flat, it doesn't fit well in a pocket, but it's a good size for a backpack or bag when traveling.

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The Power Bank is sturdy and well-made, constructed from a soft-finish black plastic material. At one end, there's an Apple Watch charging puck built into the device, and at the top, there's a USB port for plugging in an iPhone or other USB-powered device, and a micro-USB port that's used for charging.

There's a single button that's used as an on/off switch, which needs to be pressed whenever the Apple Watch is placed on top of it to activate charging. The Power Bank has a single blue LED next to the micro-USB port so you can tell if it has charge left, but because there aren't multiple LEDs, there's no way to tell exactly how much charge is remaining.

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Tags: review, ZENS

Apple Reduces iPhone 7 Supplier Orders Amid 'Fading' Demand and 'iPhone 8' Excitement

Apple has reduced its orders for the iPhone 7 with suppliers, following the initial sales influx within the first month of the device's launch this past September. Supply chain sources speaking with Digitimes pointed towards strong demand for the Jet Black iPhone 7 and Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 issues as catalysts for the initial shipping momentum, but both factors have now trailed off in producing more iPhone sales leading up to 2017.

Because of these factors and more, demand for the iPhone 7 in China and other markets around the world has "started fading." The timing aligns with Apple's typical iPhone manufacturing slow down towards the end of each year, and attention by suppliers and customers is now said to be on 2017's much-anticipated tenth anniversary iPhone.

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Demand for the iPhone 7 devices in China and other markets has scaled down significantly since their launch less than three months ago, the sources noted.

Instead of paying attention to sales performance of the iPhone 7 devices, component suppliers and consumers alike have been shifting their focus to the next generation iPhone to be released in 2017, commented the sources.
"High expectations" for the so-called iPhone 8 are also factored into the shipment outlook for the iPhone 7 as the new year approaches. In total, shipments for the iPhone 7 are believed to be five million less in the first six months of 2017 than in the four month period the smartphone will have been available by the end of 2016.

The iPhone 8 already has a plethora of rumors surrounding its design and potential new features, including a glass body, edge-to-edge display, and wireless charging abilities.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7

Tiny Wings Launches on Apple TV for $2.99

Popular iOS game Tiny Wings has launched today on the fourth-generation Apple TV for $2.99. The launch was teased by the game's creator on YouTube earlier in the week, with a video that showcased the game, now called "Tiny Wings TV," and its split-screen multiplayer abilities.

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Two players can play the game together on one Siri Remote, or with a combination of a Siri Remote and an Apple TV-supported MFi controller. Players can even connect to the iOS Tiny Wings app [Direct Link] and use their iPhone or iPad as a controller.

Otherwise, Tiny Wings TV keeps the same one-button control gameplay that requires players to guide a bird through levels by timing and aligning where the bird falls in the game's procedurally generated hillsides, which will look different every day it's played. iCloud support will also sync and save gameplay between the Apple TV and iOS versions of Tiny Wings.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Tag: Tiny Wings
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

HSBC Now Accepts Apple Pay in Singapore

HSBC has announced it now accepts Apple Pay in Singapore as of December 1. Visa and MasterCard credit cards issued by the bank can now be used with Apple Pay wherever contactless payments are accepted in the country.

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Between now and January 15, 2017, the first 8,000 HSBC customers will receive $5 off every Apple Pay transaction with their HSBC credit cards, with a minimum spend of $10 per transaction. The cash back promotion is capped at $20 per customer.

Eligible cards can be added to Apple Pay by tapping "Add Credit or Debit Card" in the Wallet app on an iPhone 5 or newer. iOS 8.1 or later is required.

Apple Pay launched in Singapore in April 2016. Other participating banks in the country include DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, POSB Bank, Standard Chartered, and UOB. Non-bank-issued American Express cards are also supported.

Apple Pay also launched in Spain earlier today.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tags: HSBC, Singapore

YouTube Adds 4K Live Streaming Support to its Content Infrastructure

YouTube has announced it now supports 4K live streaming at 60 frames per second, enabling content creators to live broadcast both 360-degree and standard video in the high resolution standard.

Viewers with screens equipped to take advantage of the resolution shouldn't have to wait long to tune in to regularly streamed 4K broadcasts. YouTube said the first event to be live streamed in 4K will be the Game Awards, which takes place today at 9pm EST (6pm PST).

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For creators this means the ability to take advantage of an incredibly clear picture for recorded and now streaming video. It’s the kind of thing that can help to push their hardware (and their talent) to create the most beautiful or just plain crazy-looking images and videos possible. And with 360 4K live streams, the sky is (literally) the limit. Get ready for 360 concert and event streams that look sharper, cleaner, and brighter than ever before.
4K video uploading has been supported on YouTube since 2010, but the high resolution content has only gained steam more recently as the technology gradually approaches the mainstream. Today's upgrade to the Google-owned service also potentially opens the door to 4K live streamed events like sports and concerts being included in YouTube's forthcoming "Unplugged" web-based TV streaming service, which is close to being finalized.

Unplugged is said to include a "skinny bundle" of channels from the four major U.S. networks, along with a few popular cable channels priced at around $35 per month. YouTube has been in talks with major media companies like 21st Century Fox and Disney, and signed up CBS to be included in the subscription package in October.

Last month also saw Google debut the Chromecast Ultra, a 4K version of its popular streaming device. Set to be released this December, the Ultra can stream 4K content from YouTube, Netflix, and Vudu, and 4K movies from Google Play Movies.

The latest announcement offers another sign that Google is pulling ahead of Apple in the race to offer a high-resolution streaming television service. Apple's plans to offer a TV package subscription service of any sort have stalled in recent years because of its "hard-nosed" negotiation tactics with content providers and an inability to allay fears about the interruption of traditional revenue streams.

As for 4K, the latest Apple TV does not support the UltraHD resolution and iTunes has yet to offer the content.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Tags: Google, YouTube, 4K
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

'DirecTV NOW' Launches on the iOS and Apple TV App Stores

Two days after the initial announcement, AT&T's new streaming television service DirecTV Now has officially launched on the iOS and Apple TV App Stores as a free initial download. [Direct Link] The service will allow customers to stream and subscribe to various channel bundles that range in price from $35 to $70, "with no commitments, no equipment, and no installers."

Specifically, the bundles start with 60+ channels ($35/month), 80+ channels ($50/month), 100+ channels ($60/month), and 120+ channels ($70/month). A seven day free trial is available for customers to check out any of the packages, and a limited time offer is knocking down the price of the 100+ channel bundle to $35 to entice new users into subscribing. Premium channels, like HBO and Cinemax, can be added onto any package at $5 per channel.

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DIRECTV NOW lets you stream top live channels and thousands of On Demand movies and shows instantly upon sign-up. It¹s hassle-free TV, with no commitments, no equipment, and no installers. Watch your favorite shows on your favorite devices. Start on one device, pause, and continue watching on another. Missed the first part of your favorite show that started airing 10 minutes ago? No worries! Restart your show from the beginning. Enjoy TV freedom with DIRECTV NOW.
AT&T is offering new subscribers a free Apple TV if they purchase three months of pre-paid DirecTV NOW. The new streaming service is also available to watch on the web, and on Android and Amazon devices. The company promises a seamless viewing ecosystem across all of a user's devices, so they can pause a show and pick it up on any smartphone, tablet, or web browser that supports DirecTV NOW.

Netflix Introduces Offline Viewing for Popular Shows on its iOS App [Updated]

Netflix this morning announced that offline viewing of its shows is now available to users around the world on the service's mobile app. The launch follows reports from over the summer that offline viewing would be coming to Netflix "by the end of the year."

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Now, users will be able to click a "download" button next to each episode in preparation for the times they won't be connected to the internet. The company said that many popular shows are already available to download -- including Orange is the New Black and The Crown -- with more coming soon.
Netflix members worldwide can now download in addition to stream great series and films at no extra cost.

While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited. Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an internet connection.
Any Netflix subscriber will have access to offline downloads, and the update will be available today to both the iOS [Direct Link] and Android versions of the mobile Netflix app. Netflix also tweeted out a video to celebrate the launch of downloading and watching "your favorite stories" while offline.

Update: You can check out every show and movie available to download within the Netflix app by tapping the navigation menu in the top left corner, then choosing "Available for Download." Netflix's Help Center has more information as well.

Tag: Netflix

U.K. Minister Wants to Reduce iPad Use in Schools to Curb Bullying

Schools in the U.K. should reduce the use of iPads during lessons because some children are using them to bully and harass others, according to a government minister (via The Telegraph).

Edward Timpson, the Minister for Children and Families, claimed a number of schools were letting children spend too much time using iPads and said that headteachers should use their powers to confiscate them if they are being used "inappropriately".

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Timpson told peers on the House of Lords Communications Committee:
"A problem in a number of schools which we've sought to address is the iPad or the tablet coming into schools and it forming far too much of the school day's activities of children and it being used inappropriately for some of the bullying and harassment that we know sadly goes on the back of it.

"That's why we've strengthen the powers of headteachers to confiscate and remove material and so on."
Timpson argued for a "technology balance" to ensure that teachers still interact with pupils and avoid a "battleground" between children and their tablets.

"Children will be spending more of their life living through a tablet. It is the direction we now know is going to be taking hold for the foreseeable future and we have to respond to that," he said.

Over 90 percent of U.K. teenagers have mobile phones, according to The Telegraph. Meanwhile, a study by the London School of Economics found that an outright ban on the devices in schools saw test scores rise by an average 6 percent.

In England, there is no government policy on the use of mobile phones in schools, which are left to set any restrictions themselves.

Apple Music's 'Head Diva' Bozoma Saint John Speaks at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit

Apple Music global marketing executive Bozoma Saint John gave a brief interview at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit on Tuesday where she spoke about how self-confidence was crucial in her rise to prominence at Cupertino.

Known as "Boz" to her friends, Saint John joined the Apple team when the company acquired Beats Music in 2014. After her fun and memorable on-stage demonstration of the new Apple Music features at WWDC 2016 – not to mention her appearance in a recent Apple Music ad alongside senior Apple VP Eddy Cue – she has since become the recognized "head diva" for Apple's music services.

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Emigrating from Ghana to Colorado at the age of 13, Saint John told technology reporter Leena K Rao that her height for such a young age and her skin color made it all but impossible to hide amongst her peers, but it taught her early on the importance of self-confidence.
"I couldn't hide, there wasn't a choice to do that," Saint John said. "So the choice was do you try to do what everybody else was doing? I couldn't be blond, I couldn't be white. I just couldn't be anything else, and so it meant that I had to become just all of everything that I have."


The experience of moving to the U.S. as a child meant that she embraced who she was early on, she said, which helped put her on course for success, beginning at Pepsi, moving on to join Beats, and now finding herself at Apple. At 13, she said she learned what it meant to walk into a room and "not care when everybody else turned around" and looked at you. "And here I am," she said.

Sony Releases PlayStation Communities iOS App

Sony has released a new PlayStation Communities iOS app that allows players to interact with fellow PS4 gamers from their Apple phones and tablets.

The app works much like a forum portal: Players using the app can search for, join, and interact with groups, where they can post messages and images on a community wall. Members can stick to chatting about gaming or join groups to set up multiplayer games.

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PlayStation Communities are places where you can find players who have similar interests and preferences.
Within a Community, you can join parties and launch into games with other Community members, or talk about your shared interests. For instance, if you’re having trouble finding players to tackle Destiny’s newest raid, Wrath of the Machine, a Destiny community may help you fill out your fireteam.
The PlayStation Communities app joins two other Sony apps for its console – a flagship PlayStation app released three years ago, and a PlayStation Messages app released in 2015.

PlayStation Communities is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store.

(Via The Verge.)

Yahoo Answers Comes to iOS With New App

Yahoo recently debuted Yahoo Answers Now, a native app version of its popular Q&A site. The app has secretly been in the App Store for months under a different name, according to TechCrunch.

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The app allows Yahoo Answers users to post and answer questions on the go. They'll also be able to more easily craft rich media responses to questions and get matched up with questions they might be able to answer. Like the website, users can build followings based on their answers.

Answers Now secretly made its way onto the App Store as "Yahoo Hive" in June, giving the company a way to tweak the app in relative quiet. The app is part of Yahoo's larger goal to translate its popular websites, like Yahoo Finance, Fantasy Football, and Yahoo Weather, into apps.

Yahoo also updated the app yesterday with new features, adding the ability to search for questions and answers, search the web for links to source answers, edit questions, answers and profile information, and click on hyperlinks.

Yahoo Answers Now currently requires an invite code to use. Those interested in using the app can request an invite code by emailing yan-invites@yahoo-inc.com.

Yahoo Answers Now is available in the App Store for free. [Direct Link]