iOS was created by Apple, and is used exclusively on Apple products, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
Yahoo today announced that it has agreed to purchase Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash. Tumblr is a blogging platform that, by Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer's own admission, "couldn’t be more different" than Yahoo. Despite the differences, Meyer believes the two companies will be complementary to one another in the long run. Yahoo made a distinct promise "not to screw up" Tumblr. It will be operated as a separate company, and its leadership team will remain intact. Tumblr CEO David Karp said, "Our team isn't changing. Our roadmap isn't changing. And our mission – to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve – certainly isn't changing." Tumblr is accessible from the web, and also via dedicated smartphone applications for the Android, iOS, and Windows Phone platforms. The Tumblr apps can be used to view the blog, as well as create posts, upload photos, make comments, and more.
AT&T customers who install the new Google Hangouts application on their Android devices cannot use one of the main features: video chats. When they attempt to start a video chat, a message appears prompting them to connect to a Wi-Fi network; the feature won't work on AT&T's cellular network. When reached for comment, AT&T explained that AT&T customers are free to download any third-party video chat app they wish and they'll work fine. Apps that come preloaded, however, must be enabled by the developer for use over AT&T's cellular network. AT&T did not address Google Hangouts directly, but it implied that 1. Google Hangouts qualifies as a "preloaded" app because it replaces the Google Talk app on Android handsets, and 2. Google did not follow the proper protocols required by AT&T in order for the app to function over its cellular network. Google Hangouts for iOS, which qualifies as a third-party download on the iPhone, functions properly over AT&T's cellular network. Google Hangouts for Android works fine on the cellular networks of other carriers. Google has not yet offered a clarification on the matter.
Google today announced a new version of its Google Maps app for both Android and iOS. The software now dynamically reroutes turn-by-turn driving directions if traffic conditions worsen on the road ahead. The service also shows and lets you see details of alerts for specific traffic-related incidents that might affect a trip. It will be available "this summer".
Google today announced a new version of Google+ Hangouts that pivots the service to compete more directly with Facebook Messenger. The app enables group conversations merging text, photos, emoticons, and video chat. The service includes a dedicated app for both iOS and Android, plus a web version is also available.
Google today announced its gaming service to compete with Apple's Game Center for iOS. The new Google Play Game Services enables games to save game progress to the cloud, and easily enables multi-player gaming. The service also includes achievements and leaderboards both globally and among friends in Google+ Circles. Cloud save, achievements and leaderboards work cross-platform, across Android, iOS, and the web.
BlackBerry today announced that it will make versions of its BlackBerry Messenger application for both the Android and iOS platforms. The application and service will be available to the iPhone and Android devices later this summer. Basic messaging and groups support will arrive first, and other features, including BlackBerry Voice, BlackBerry Video, and screen sharing. Additionally, BlackBerry expects that iOS and Android users will also be able to use the just-announced BBM Channels later this year. BlackBerry Messenger has to-date been a BlackBerry exclusive app and service.
Google's Chrome development team is offering iOS application developers a new tool that lets them stick Chrome into their iPhone apps. The idea is to allow developers to control how web content is displayed within their own application. In many apps, clicking a web link forces iOS users out of the app they are using and into Safari. By using the new OpenInChromeController class with x-callback, clicking such links will instead open a Chrome window within the app, which also lets users go back to the main app by hitting the back button. In order for this feature to work, the Chrome browser must be installed on the iPhone in question.
AOL today announced that it has struck a partnership with Verizon Wireless to distribute its content on Verizon's smartphones and tablets. The content will show up in the Verizon Wireless Home web portal and will be bookmarked within the browser on Verizon devices. The AOL portal will feature up-the-minute news headlines, weather, and maps, as well as provide access to video content. The portal will appear on smartphones and tablets running Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone, but not iOS. Customers will be able to customize the type of content that reaches their devices. The AOL content is expected to become available later this summer.
Google provided a small update to the iOS Gmail application today that makes it work better with other Google-developed applications. Specifically, Gmail users who click Chrome, Google Maps, and YouTube links within Gmail will be taken directly to those on-board applications rather than the mobile web. Users can also choose to turn this feature on or off to suit their preferences. The new Gmail app also allows users to sign out of one Gmail account at a time rather than all accounts at once (Gmail for iOS supports up to five individual email accounts). Gmail for iOS is a free download from iTunes.
Apple has made iOS 6.1.4 available to the iPhone 5. The changelog only references an updated audio profile for the speaker. The update is free to download and install over-the-air.
Twitter today pushed out minor updates to the Android and iOS versions of its mobile application. Both versions gain a clearer look at trends and local Tweets, faster account changing, and bug fixes. In addition to these, the iOS version of Twitter gains the ability to invite friends to Twitter from within the app, improved playback of Vine videos, and more complete conversations that include retweets. Twitter for Android and iOS is free to download from each platform's respective app store.
Verizon Wireless today announced Verizon Cloud, a new backup and storage service that lets customers sync their smartphones and tablets to Verizon's servers. Verizon Cloud offers 500MB of storage for free, but offers up to 125GB of storage for $9.99 per month. Verizon says the free option should be enough to backup settings, calls, messages, and contacts. Verizon is also pitching Verizon Cloud as an easy way for customers to sync settings/content between devices when upgrading or switching phones. Verizon Cloud is being made available to Android devices first, but it will be available iOS devices in the coming weeks.
Google today added its Google Now service to the Google Search application for the iPhone and iPad. In order to use Google Now, iOS device owners will need to download and install the newest version of Google Search. Users can then sign into their Google account and activate Google Now, which offers personalized information, such as local weather, sports scores, and the time it will take to commute home, in a card-like format on the screen. Google Search with Google Now is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Yahoo today made available a new version of its main Yahoo application for iOS devices. First and foremost, the application now includes Summly's recommendation technology, which Yahoo purchased just last month. The app features news and other content, and learns from user behavior over time to recommend more appealing stories. Other new features included more controls over personalized content, easier sharing with social networks, improved web search, and article summaries written by Yahoo. The app has also been given a visual overhaul. Yahoo for iOS is free to download from the iTunes App Store. Yahoo has been revising many of its Android and iOS apps in recent weeks, while at the same time cutting services, such as Yahoo Mail and Messenger for Java phones, that it feels distract from its core strengths.
Yahoo today announced another round of product closures, including several mobile apps and services. Beginning April 30, Yahoo will cease to offer Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger for Java-based feature phones. According to Yahoo, Mail and Messenger will still be accessible to feature phone users via mobile browser, but the separate apps will no longer be available. Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger for Android and iOS devices will remain available (Yahoo recently updated Yahoo Mail for Android and iOS tablets). Yahoo will cease allowing customers to access Yahoo Mail Classic via their web browser, and will transition all users to the new version of Yahoo Mail. Yahoo is also going to cease offering Yahoo SMS Alerts, which deliver news and other information to mobile phones via text message. Other Yahoo services to be sunset include Yahoo Kids, Upcoming, and Yahoo Deals. Yahoo has been trimming products over the course of the last few months in order to "sharpen its focus" on newer services.
Facebook has ported its free VoIP calling feature from iOS to Android today. The tool allows iOS and now Android users to make free VoIP-based calls to other iPhone/Android Facebook Messenger users over both 3G and Wi-Fi. The calls are initiated via on-screen controls from within individual Messenger conversation threads. Facebook Messenger does not need to be updated in order to use this feature.
Facebook today provided developers with a handful of new tools that it says will improve the way their apps interact with and pull content from Facebook. First, Facebook is offering a new API for its Open Graph that makes integrating the Graph with third-party apps much easier for developers. Second, it is improving app log-ins to make it easier for users (and developers) to log into apps with Facebook credentials and still maintain permission and privacy controls. Log-ins should also be faster. Last, Facebook has published iOS SDK 3.5 for developers. This latest SDK incorporates the changes mentioned above, and includes an updated Developer Center.
Vonage today released a new version of its mobile calling application that brings free video calls to both Android and iOS devices. Video calling had previously only been available to Android devices through a beta application. Now, Vonage Mobile customers can conduct live, two-way video calls in high definition to any other Vonage Mobile user on an Android or iOS device over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G. The app also lets users toggle between video and voice chats on the fly. Vonage mobile for Android and iOS can be downloaded for free from their respective app stores.
LinkedIn today made available a new version of its mobile application for both the Android and iOS platforms. The app received a significant visual overhaul that LinkedIn says is simpler to use, and brings new importance to the news stream. Users can now invite, follow, like, share, and comment on content from the stream of their contacts' updates. The app also adds new personalized and customizable navigation to make it quicker to find the content/contacts you want. Last, it adds the ability to follow what LinkedIn calls "influencers" for even more content. LinkedIn for Android and iOS are free downloads from their respective app stores.
Mailbox today got rid of the reservation system it had in place to control the number of people who downloaded its email application. There is no longer a wait list for the app, which is free and can be downloaded immediately by anyone who wants to try it. Mailbox is an iOS application that makes managing Gmail easier. In addition to the dropped wait list, Mailbox updated the app with several new features, including more granular control over "snoozes" based on the time of day; faster swiping gestures; user interface improvements, such as double-tapping to see an email address; and general bug fixes. Mailbox is available to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
Facebook is releasing a major update today to its app for Apple's iOS. The update brings limited support for Chat Heads, one of the key features of the company's new Facebook Home software for Android-based phones. Chat Heads surface incoming messages in a unique visual style that floats above the rest of the interface. On an Android phone running Facebook Home, Chat Heads appear over almost any running app. In the new iOS app, the user must be within the Facebook app for Chat Heads to appear, due to the more restrictive nature of iOS. The update will also update the visual style of News Feed to match recent updates on other platforms.
Google today updated the YouTube application for iOS devices. The new version of the video software adds several features, most notably the ability to access and view content being streamed live. Other new features offer quick access to new uploads from the user's subscriptions, the ability to queue videos for watching on a TV set, new branding for video creator channels, and performance improvements. The update is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
LinkedIn today announced that it has purchased social news reader Pulse. Pulse provides an Android and iOS app that lets users sync and read stories from a variety of web and social network sources in a unique visual presentation. LinkedIn, which has been ramping up its publishing and news services, believes Pulse is a good fit for its plans moving forward. LinkedIn paid $90 million for Pulse.
Rockmelt today announced that it is changing direction and will soon cease to support the Rockmelt browser. Rockmelt first offered its socially-aware browser to the iPhone in 2011. It was later discontinued, and then reappeared again as recently as December 2012. Today, however, marks a more significant change for the company and its plans moving forward. Rather than offer a socially-connected browser, Rockmelt debuted a brand new web site for desktop browsers and an iOS application today both called Rockmelt for Web. This new service is an invite-only beta product for time being. Rockmelt for Web still connects people to their social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, RSS, etc.) and offers a tile-based view of a wide range of content pulled in from those sources around the web. Rockmelt cited the on-going expense of maintaining its own browser as one reason behind today's changes. Existing Rockmelt users will continue to be able to access the browser for the time being, and will have first access to the beta Rockmelt for Web app/service.
Google has distributed updates of its Chrome browser to both the Android and iOS platforms. For Android, the latest beta version of Chrome now puts search terms in the omnibox, makes mobile data savings visible with the compression tool, offers full-screen browsing on phones, and introduces a number of under-the-hood bug fixes. The beta version of Chrome for Android is free to download from the Beta Channel. For iOS, Google added full-screen web pages, the ability to print via Google Cloud Print or AirPrint, and the ability to save web pages as PDF files. Chrome for iOS is a free download from the iTunes App Store.
Foursquare today released a new version of its iPhone application that makes big changes to the way it recommends nearby places. According to Foursquare, it is taking better advantage of the data created by billions of user check-ins to offer instant, personalized recommendations when the app is opened. Foursquare 6.0 prioritizes search by placing the Explore function prominently in the app. The Explore search tool works directly with venue names, as well as with various types of key words to help find nearby places. Further, Foursquare will automatically provide lists of top attractions in any given area as soon as the app is opened. Foursquare 6.0 for iOS is a free download from the iTunes App Store. Foursquare did not indicate if similar updates will be made available to its Android and Windows Phone apps.
Google today updated its Google Search application for iPhones and iPads. The revised app makes significant improvements to the voice recognition feature, and now streams words on the fly as they are spoken. Google then performs web searches based on the spoken words. Google Search for iOS is free to download from iTunes.
Google has updated its Drive application for the iOS platform. The revised app now lets iPhone users edit documents and spreadsheets in landscape orientation. It also opens faster, and received minor bug fixes. The update is free to download from iTunes.
Twitter today made significant updates available to its Android and iOS apps. On the Android side, the foremost change is the app's partial adoption of the Holo theme. The update makes it easier to perform searches with improved autocomplete for hash tags and usernames. The app also makes some performance improvements. It is a free download from the Google Play Store. Both the iOS and Android apps make it easier to launch other apps from within tweets made using that app. The apps also include better support for Twitter "cards", which enhance tweets with extra media and text related to a web page linked in the tweet. Twitter's mobile web site has also been updated with most of these features.
Google today made an update available to Google+ for the Android platform. The app now supports larger photos with additional aspect ratios and strikethrough text formatting. It also make several performance improvements.
Yahoo and Dropbox today announced a new partnership that the two companies believe will help make managing Yahoo Mail easier. Beginning today, Yahoo has integrated Dropbox directly into its Yahoo Mail product. Yahoo Mail users will be able to access their Dropbox account from within their email inbox, where they can attach Dropbox files to emails, or download files from their email directly to Dropbox. By adding Dropbox to Yahoo Mail, Yahoo users can also circumvent the 25MB attachment limit. The companies each said the integration should ease email and attachment pains. The companies did not specifically state how this new partnership affects their respective mobile products for smartphones and tablets. Dropbox purchased Mailbox, the popular iOS email client, last month.
Google today made available to iOS devices a new version of Gmail. The most significant change to the application is the ability to swipe from one email message to another. Previously, users had to exit each message and go back to the inbox to advance to the next message. The new Gmail app also makes batch operations easier, such as archiving or deleting multiple messages at the same time. Gmail version 2.1 for iOS is available for download from the iTunes App Store.
Flipboard has overhauled its application for the iOS platform, and the app is chock full of new features. Flipboard 2.0 offers Etsy integration, which means when users perform searches, the app will use the results to create a digital magazine on the fly. The new app also lets users collect content that's interesting to them from various sources, such as articles, videos, and photos, and create their own, unique magazine in which to view them. The individually created magazines can then be shared with others. Other features of Flipboard 2.0 include a new content guide, more interactive commenting, more personalized recommended reading, easier navigation within specific sources, and integration with Facebook Open Graph search. Flipboard 2.0 is available to the iPhone and iPad. A revised version will be available for Android in the near future.
Google today made available updates to both the Android and iOS versions of its Google+ application. The iOS version of Google+ gains several photo editing capabilities including crop, rotate, and the ability to apply filters. The iOS app also gains a new profile design, new notifications tray, new set-up flow for new users, as well as the ability to control the volume of posts in each stream and filter search results. The Android version of Google+ boasts many of the same improvements, but adds some visual improvements, such as in the activity stream, where it is easier to +1, share, or comment on posts. Google+ for Android and iOS is a free download from each platforms' respective app store.
Apple recently indicated via its developer portal that it will no longer accept new apps or app updates that access UDIDs. The UDID (unique device identifier) is a code that refers to each iOS device and can be tied back to the owner's identity. The UDID was originally accessed by advertisers in their apps, but Apple began restricting access to UDIDs in 2011. It replaced the functionality of the UDID with anonymous Vendor and Advertising identifiers when it introduced iOS 6 in 2012. Beginning May 1, any app that attempts to access UDIDs won't be allowed. The measure is being taken to improve the privacy of iOS device owners. Apple is also mandating that all apps submitted to the App Store support Retina Displays, and the iPhone 5's 4-inch display. Apps not optimized for the iPhone 5's display float in the middle of the screen with black bars above and below the app. This policy change also goes into effect May 1.
Verizon Wireless today announced an update to its Verizon Messages service that it says will help customers avoid missed messages. The service can be set up to deliver any SMS message originally sent to the customer's phone also to their PC, or their Android or iOS tablet. In addition to delivering the messages to multiple devices, Verizon will store the messages in the cloud for up to 90 days. Messages may also be stored indefinitely on SD cards. The service offers a number of other features, including automatic replies, web link previews, and the ability to send text messages from the subscriber's cell phone, PC, or tablet. The application is free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store.
Apple today released a minor software update for iOS devices. iOS version 6.1.3 fixes a bug that could allow someone to bypass the passcode to access the phone. The update also improves Apple Maps' performance in Japan. The update is available to download and install over the air. It is recommended for all users.
Vonage today added video calling to a new beta version of its application for the Android platform. Vonage Mobile for Android now allows users to make free video calls to other Vonage users over both Wi-Fi and 3G/4G. The app also lets users toggle between video and voice calls, switch cameras, as well as mute the call. Vonage Mobile for Android is a free download from the Google Play Store. Vonage said it will bring free video calls to its iOS app later this spring.
CBS today anounced the launch of its own app for iOS, with Android and Windows 8 apps to follow later this year. The app lets users stream full episodes of CBS shows. Prime-time shows will be available eight days after first broadcast, while daytime and late-night shows will be available within 24 hours. The app will merge with the CBS Connect App for live interaction and second-screen experiences with live broadcast shows. Shows streamed via the app will have "reduced commercial interruption" for the first few weeks of the app launch. Shows available include CSI, NCIS, How I Met Your Mother, and The Late Show with David Letterman.
BlackBerry today announced that it plans to offer businesses a solution that will allow them to separate work and personal data on devices running Android and iOS. BlackBerry offers a similar product to BlackBerry smartphones called BlackBerry Balance. The idea is to segregate business and personal information so that it may be kept secure. The new product is called Secure Work Space for iOS and Android, and is managed through BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. The product offers secure apps for email, calendar, contacts, tasks, memos, browsing, and document editing. BlackBerry is previewing the service now, and will offer it to its business customers through a BES 10 upgrade. It will be available by the end of the second quarter.