Rewarding players with in-game credits and items for downloading other games and watching commercials is a creative way for app developers to make money, but everyone knows it’s annoying as hell. And with iOS 8 on its way, it looks like Apple is already starting to crack down on games and apps that coerce you into downloading other games and apps and watching video ads for in-game goodies, with several developers already reporting having even minor cosmetic updates disallowed by Apple because their apps use such practices.
Rumor has it Apple will be abandoning the old traditional headphone jack for Lightning connector powered headphones
There are lots of reasons why Apple forked out a literal ton of money to buy Beats Audio, and the production chain rumor mill has cranked out well informed speculation that future iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches might be ditching the traditional headphone jack for headphones that would connect to the Lightning connector. Headphones with a Lightning connector would be able to do more than lower/increase volume, end calls and skip tracks. There could be specific app control or even the ability to set a specific app to start when they are connected. Since the Lightning jack can also receive power, not just send it, you could still charge a device by connecting it to your headphones while listening to music.
While nothing will be officially confirmed until every bit of paperwork is signed, it appears that Apple will soon be purchasing headphone maker Beats, which perhaps is the smartest purchase they could have made right now. Giant tech companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are acquiring companies all the time, but generally it’s for boring behind the scenes stuff— acquiring or securing patents, buying up some small piece of a supply chain, buying some small company for a minor piece of tech no one will notice. And unlike Facebook’s recent purchase of Oculus VR, Apple purchasing Beats seems like a no brainer— Apple sells a zillion iPhones, Beats makes really cool (and overpriced) headphones. But with Beats showing up on other phones and showing up the audio quality of the iPhone, this was exactly what Apple had to do to stay looking cool instead of turning into the Microsoft guy from the old Apple ads.
Sure, there’s always a creepy use for everything, but one of the reasons I’ve resisted buying any “real” camera larger than than a smartphone is that I really like the kinds of amazing slices of life you can get from people in public (Check out my random people candids from my first trip to LA here and here) People make so many great faces, but as soon as they know you’re taking a picture, the magic is lost when they smile or run or whatever. That’s where the COVr iPhone case comes in. With a high quality glass mirror angled next to your phone’s camera, you can snap photos with your phone horizontally to the ground, like you’re just-a-checkin-your-texts-la-la-la. That is, if it’s funded on Kickstarter.
Ever since day one of Apple, Steve Wozniak was very much at odds with how Steve Jobs wanted to run the company. Wozniak was all about free and open source, Jobs was about design and marketing and making money. So a couple times a year, Woz makes some comment that completely goes against what Apple is all about now, so it’s not surprising when he recently commented that Apple would be smart to make varieties of iPhone with Android. The problem with that is that Android is becoming less and less open source every day, with only the most basic OS framework as part of the current version, and that’s all mostly from 1.0 or 2.0, everything else is slowly being rolled into the Google Play powered closed-source you-gotta-pay-to-put-it-on-your-phones chunk of code. The future is quickly turning into whose ecosystem you’re buying into and Google’s not giving that away for free.
According to a meeting Apple execs had with people at the FDA, the plans for iOS 8 include health monitoring, such as using tools in the phone’s hardware to monitor how much exercise you’re getting, as well as compatibility with the forthcoming iWatch and third party wearable devices to monitor things like heart rate, blood pressure, etc. iOS 8 will supposedly come bundled with an app called Healthbook to keep track of what lazy fuck you are. Yes, your iPhone is on its way to being a tricorder.
This morning, Facebook announced Paper, a beautifully designed reimagining of Facebook that may make it so you never actually use Facebook’s regular app ever again. In short, FB just blew itself out of the water. Taking design cues from the likes of Flipboard, Medium and Google +, Paper strips the linear nature out of the normal FB feed and gives you a swipe and gesture happy full screen news, photo and video app. Oh, and it’s ad free for right now at least. Oh, and it’s only for iPhone and only in the US, and you can’t get it right now, you’ll have to wait until Monday, February 3rd.
There are plenty of internet meme generation apps out there for iOS and Android and I don’t know maybe Windows phones, but there’s only one imgur and now there’s an official imgur meme generating app for iOS, complete with more memes than I’ve seen in any other similar programs. After the ban of Quickmeme from Reddit thanks to spambots, imgur launched a web meme generator and an Android version last summer, and now iOS users can get in on the hot action.
Just as it did when it was launched for Android, cloud storage service Box is offering 50gb of free storage for iOS users who download their app. The normal free storage amount is 10gb, and this 50 they’re offering never expires. Maybe if you’re looking for an alternative to Dropbox, this might be your thing. And hell, 50gb of free cloud storage ain’t bad.
iOS jailbreakers got a great little Christmas present this morning with evasion7, the first iOS 7 jailbreak release for iOS 7. Evasion7 brings tethering, some useful alternate apps and Bitcoin, something that’s been consistently blocked from the iOS App Store. Right now, all you can get on iOS for Bitcoin are Bitcoin market trackers, but not any wallets. Go forth and jailbreak, but keep in mind, this is a brand new release without a lot of testing, so there will be problems.
For the past couple years, Apple users in Canada and Europe have had Apple’s 12 Days of Christmas to look forward to for some post Xmas freebies, and this year, us lowly Americans can now get in on the action. All you have to so is download the app and wait. On December 26th, every day for twelve days, Apple will be giving away an iOS freebie. Sometimes it’s a movie, an episode of a TV show, books, music, games or apps. Viva la free shit!
If you want to take better pictures with your phone, something closer to a “real” camera, you could grab the Nokia Lumia, but since it’s a Windows phone, you’d probably have to give up on all the apps you use on a regular basis. And yeah, Samsung is coming out with its own camera with an optical zoom, but Apple could slap a slim zoom lens on an iPhone any day of the week. What they’ve been waiting for apparently is to blow your fucking mind, with a camera that fits into an iPhone with shoot now, focus later technology like a Lytro. And this past week, they were finally granted the patent for such a camera, after filing the paperwork in 2011. Now if we could just get an iPad Pro…