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Evzdrop Review

Posted by Carter Dotson on December 3rd, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Developer: Evzdrop, Inc.
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 5

iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Re-use Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar


I generally find myself skeptical of location-based services that launch. In general, they have too much of a focus on urban dwellers. Something like Foursquare is only interesting for those who live in a big city. As well, it becomes just noise when shared to people on other social networks, just a shallow way to announce that a person is at a certain place, instead of actually adding value to the conversation.

Evzdrop avoids many of those traps. First off, the service is built to actuallya have people say something. There’s a Twitter-esque 140 character text box that requires input whenever a drop is made. This makes it easy to share thoughts on the place. Think the food at this restaurant is terrible? Say that, and include a thumbs down. Think that this bar is the raddest joint on earth? Thumbs up and a cool message will lead the way. Drops can be shared to Twitter or Facebook (or not at all!), and photos can be attached.

[img id="Evzdrop-4-169x300.png"]Second, there’s actually many, many ways to use the service. It’s possible to listen to places akin to following them on Twitter, and to see what’s happening at a certain place, or to see what’s happened recently. For example, when I spoke to the developers of Evzdrop, they mentioned that people have posted photos and updates from sports stadiums, so people can get a special perspective on what’s happening there. It could even be used as a Yelp-type service, where seeing real, recent opinions on a place is possible, or even just to filter to certain types of places and to see what’s around. Essentially, micro-reviews. This means that in suburban areas, where people are more spread out, there’s value in still posting things, as othe people will be able to see them later. Drops are all public, and those who run places can respond to drops, but it can also be done entirely anonymously.

The long-term problem is simple, as with every other service that’s based on location: it needs users. It needs people checking in at places regularly in order to provide content, so that when a person looks, they will actually see what they want to see. It needs places to actually interact with people regularly. The app also needs some cleaning up in its interface. There’s a lot of options, and a lot of the value of the app can get obscured in buttons and options, and things that look like buttons, like the tiny icon in the upper left, seems like it should be a button but is actually a non-interactive icon.

I find myself very interested in what Evzdrop will do in the future: they’ve done a lot to ensure that it’s something that has value even early on as its userbase is growing, and to ensure that there’s actually interesting content on there. But it just needs more to be something truly special.

How To: Synchronize and Manually Install Apps in iTunes 11

Posted by Carter Dotson on December 3rd, 2012

iTunes 11, just released at the end of November 2012 by Apple, represents probably the biggest changes to the way iOS devices sync up with computers in quite a while. In particular, apps synchronization has changed quite a bit.

In order to access your device settings, click on the button that either shows the name of your iOS device or the number of devices you have connected.

First off, all purchases are automatically transferred from a device to the computer when syncing, even if they are not set to specifically synchronize. There’s still the option to transfer purchases without doing a full synchronization, by going to File -> Devices -> Transfer Purchases.

Second, app synchronization is now automatically enabled. If you are setting up a new device, or syncing with iTunes for the first time, then iTunes, as is its wont, will try to sync a lot of apps to the device. The only real solution is to just go through and click “remove” on any app in the list that is unwanted. This cannot be disabled, and the Automatically sync new apps checkbox will only disable syncing apps that are new to the library to the device. However, devices that have synced with iTunes before will not suddenly find themselves buried in apps that iTunes tries to install, as it will leave the current settings alone.

However, the biggest and most convenient change is that it is now possible to manually install apps without neeeding to synchronize. Just select an app from the list, and click Install, and the app will be installed on the device on the next sync. Clicking Remove will set it to be uninstalled on the next sync. Clicking Will Remove or Will Install will set the app back to its previous installed or uninstalled state.

Wi-fi synchronization can be set up from the Summary page, scrolling down to Options and choosing Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi.

This new method of syncing apps makes it easy to download an app while from the computer, and send it to a device without needing to have automatic downloads enabled. This also makes installing previously-purchased apps much easier than on the device itself, as huge libraries of previously purchased apps don’t even load in iOS 6!

While those buying new devices and syncing them up the first time will find a lot of clicking to be necessary beforehand, this does make syncing apps with iTunes an infinitely better process.

TiVo App Updated For Better iPhone 5, iOS 6 Compatibility

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on November 13th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The TiVo app lets you to search, browse, discover and share programs from your TiVo DVR, without having to stop watching the show on the TV. Talk about convenient! If you have TiVo Stream on your account, you can even watch shows right on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch so you always have your TV shows with you.

The latest app update includes the following:

What's New in Version 2.1
·iPhone 5 Support is here!
·TiVo Stream connectivity improvements
·Fixed rotation issues introduced by iOS6
·General Bug Fixes

The New Evernote 5 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch Is Here

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on November 8th, 2012
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: EXCEPTIONALLY USEFUL :: Read Review »

It's here! The Evernote team just confirmed on their blog that Evernote 5 for iOS is ready, available, and willing to be your go-to app for all your note taking and media saving needs. There are tons of new features, layouts, views, and other tweaks that make this a fantastic update - it's still free, and still universal, so be sure to grab it.

Our apps never stop evolving. Every few weeks, we release an update that adds something new or improves an existing feature. It’s not often that we launch a complete redesign. In fact, it happens only once every few years. That’s what we’re doing today with our huge, new Evernote 5 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Captain Cat Pocket Review

By Michael Halloran on November 6th, 2012
This simple puzzle game has a familiar and addictive feel that will hook players in as they travel with Captain Cat on his quest to catch fish.
Read The Full Review »

Why Are We So Willing to Get Rid of Our Old iPods, iPhones, and iPads, Anyway?

Posted by Carter Dotson on October 26th, 2012

I've had the 4th generation iPod touch for two years, but its technological shortcomings had me in the market for a replacement. And so far, I'm quite happy with the upgrade to the 5th generation iPod touch. It has a bigger and better screen, an actual camera, and actually runs games very well! I couldn't be happier, could I?

That earlier iPod touch 4th generation has memories attached to it. I got it as a Christmas gift from my parents. I remember playing Kami Retro on it while waiting to be picked up from O'Hare by a good friend, on a trip that cemented my love for Chicago, the city where I now live. I have a case with a Texas Rangers logo on it. I care way too much about that baseball team, and that case shows some of my pride. There's a lot to attach me emotionally to that device. Yet, I'm so easily willing to let it join a pile of other unused devices because the processor is a little old, the amount of RAM too low. It just wasn't that hard to make that decision to ditch it. And when a new iPhone or iPad is announced, it's not a tough decision for many of us, despite the stories that we could tell about where our phones and tablets have been.

But maybe this forward momentum isn't unstoppable. I have an iPad 2, and told myself I'd upgrade when the 4th generation would come around, to ensure I kept up with the latest and greatest. Well, it was announced a few months early, and my initial reaction was to start figuring out how much I'd be selling this thing on Craigslist for.

Yet, the more I think about it, the more I think that my iPad 2 is working perfectly fine. How will a Retina Display really help me? Games might look better, but it's not like they were muddled and ugly before. Is the promise of better hardware really all that appealing? Considering the number of A5 devices that are still out there, won't the iPad 2 remain capable for a long time? I've used this thing plenty, and it's gone many places with me over the past year. Why shouldn't it go to some more? There's really no reason for me to get rid of it, is there? So for now, I'm holding off. I'm winning this battle against unbridled consumerism. At least for now.

I don't want to decry upgrade-consumerism while sitting here and writing day-in-day-out about the apps that run on these devices. I think that would be fairly hypocritical. But I do wonder: what are we losing with these rapid upgrade cycles? We give these items as gifts, yet we're so quick to dispose of them when unnecessary. The sentiments of actually using them, the things that make them "magical" like Apple is wont to call them: is this quality lost when we keep looking toward what's coming next?

New App: Build A Mobile Website While Mobile With M.dot

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on October 19th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Need to get a quick mobile website up? M.dot aims to be your go-to source, letting you do just that from your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. If you want to see if they know what they're doing, check out their amazingly cool scrolling main site, too.

M.dot app lets you create a mobile-optimized website for you and your business. On your own domain, in 5 minutes.

- Choose a template, enable features and pages, fill the information and you're done.
- Includes galleries, blog, custom pages, rich text editing, statistics and much more.
- Comes with features such as "Call me" button and map directions.
- Already have an existing website? Scrape the images and text and create a mobile-optimized version.
- Set it up as "m.yoursite.com" and redirect mobile visitors to a mobile-optimized site.

How-To: Manage Storage Space Directly From an iOS Device

Posted by Carter Dotson on October 2nd, 2012

No matter how much storage space we get when we buy our iOS devices, we eventually run out of room. And it’s usually apps that are the culprit, from high-end games to turn-by-turn navigation software.

Apps take up so much space in part because iOS requires that installed apps have both their zipped IPA file installed, along with the unpacked files for the app, meaning that any installed app is going to take up roughly twice its download size once installed. It gets worse: app updates need to be downloaded and unpacked into free space before they can be installed. This means that to update a gargantuan app like Infinity Blade II, it needs essentially four times the storage space to update it because ‘delta’ updates that only download the changed bits are not yet available for apps like they are for iOS updates.

If you have a filled-up device like me, this causes particular consternation as what to do to clear up space for it. Rob Rich and I usually complain loudly on Twitter about the whole thing before playing ‘duck duck goose’ with whatever apps need to be deleted.

Now, it is still possible to manually manage media and apps from iTunes. That’s clunky and requires syncing, which takes forever. Thankfully, iOS does provide ways to manage space on the device itself in the Usage section. While this normally shows info like how long a device has been on, there's a storage section as well. Access it by going to Settings -> General -> Usage -> Show all Apps. What this does is show a view of all the apps installed, sorted by space used in descending order, with the ability to delete an app by swiping horizontally across it to call up a ‘Delete’ button.

This shows the total space that an app is taking up including the compressed IPA, unpacked IPA, and the "Documents and Data“ portion, which can be handy as a reminder to delete unneeded data from applications like GoodReader, or audio recording apps, that may not need to be on the device any more. Now, it isn’t possible to delete the ”Documents and Data" from Usage, only to see how much it takes up, so files must be deleted from apps themselves, and save files for games can’t just be erased here, unfortunately. However, it provides a way to see which apps are taking up stealthy amounts of space. A 50 MB app sounds a lot bigger once it’s uncompressed to over 100 MB!

Also, this section shows how much data music, photos, and videos are taking up. To individually manage these files, they need to be done in their own respective apps like Music and Videos, but the results of clearing up space in these apps will be reflected in Usage.

With these tips, hopefully now you understand why apps are taking up more room than they should be, and know now how to easily manage storage. Have a method for determining what needs to go when space must be cleared? Let us know in the comments below.

This Week at 148Apps: September 17-21

Posted by Chris Kirby on September 24th, 2012
iPad App - Designed for iPad

This week at 148Apps.com, iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 were never too far out of our collective consciousness, as evidenced by site founder Jeff Scott's discussion of changes in the iOS App Store: "Take exposing the top paid, free, and grossing apps at the same time on the landing page of the Top Apps list, for instance. It seems like a small change, but it promotes free apps to the front of the page and lowers the exposure of the top paid apps past the first three. Michael Zaletel of i4software notes, 'This gives MUCH MORE prominence to the Top Free Apps and so I predict Free apps and Freemium apps will see a big boost after today.'"

Read more of Jeff's commentary at 148Apps.

Meanwhile, back in the GiggleApps.com cave, reviewer Amy Solomon had this to say about Superhero Comic Book Maker HD: "Comic Maker allows one to choose from 27 backgrounds, a blank page and a chance to access photos from one’s device to work on. I really enjoy these backdrops, each bold and colorful, as there are wonderful choices to stimulate creative thinking and superhero or monster themes, such as the POV from a spaceship, industrial setting with robots and a conveyer belt, as well as other more natural scenes including a farm, saloon, or desert, which allow these characters to visit Earth. It is worth noting that although the theme here includes monsters, every image included within is utterly family-friendly, as is the included classical music based on classic nursery rhymes that Duck Duck Moose is known for."

Intrigued? Read Amy's full review at GiggleApps.

And staying on the 'Super' theme, 148Apps.biz writer Carter Dotson solicited some marketing advice from Supercool Creative: "Social media is often an enigma to developers looking to promote their apps. It’s a tool that can be incredibly powerful for getting more downloads and driving revenue, but just how to succeed with it is a mystery to many. Facebook integration, especially with the App Store, has been anticipated by developers as a way to help their games spread through social media, but these features won’t be doing all the work to make an app gain users through social media usage. However, David Murdico has written an interesting blog post for Supercool Creative entitled “5 Ways to Promote Mobile Apps and Games with Social Media” that covers many ways to best utilize social media to developers’ advantage."

Want to know more? Read the full article at 148Apps.biz.

That's it for this week, but with fall...um...falling, there's sure to be a huge amount of new content about to drop before the holidays. Keep up with the latest by following us on Twitter and Liking us on Facebook. We'll make it worth your while! See you next week!

iOS 6 is Nigh, Here's a Roundup of What to Look Forward to

Posted by Rob Rich on September 19th, 2012

iOS 6 Roundup

Last week, Apple announced the iPhone 5, much to the surprise of everyone I’m sure (that's sarcasm). The new phone has some pretty nifty features, but not everyone will be waiting in line for days in order to get their hands on one. Those of us who don’t want to trade-up just yet still have a way to scratch that “new Apple gadget” itch, however: iOS 6. This new iOS will be compatible with most older devices, including the iPhone 3GS (Yay!) and above, the fourth generation iPod Touch and up, and the iPad 2 and later. So while I might not be able to get my hands on a 5 just yet, I can still feel special when my phone starts to do new and exciting things!

iOS 6 - Plenty of changes to some old favorites

Before we get in to all the major changes and new features I want to take a moment to go over some of the smaller tweaks to the apps many iOS users can’t live without. The camera has gotten a bit more attention this time around. Users can take panoramic photos now with their iPhone 4S/5 and iPod Touch 4th/5th generation, up to 240 degrees both horizontally and vertically. They have simply to sweep the camera along using a predefined motion and the device and software takes care of the rest. Then, said photos and everything else on the camera roll can be shown off to friends quickly and easily with the Photo app. Video chatting with friends and family via FaceTime has also gotten much simpler now that the app can work over a cellular network and Wi-Fi is no longer required--provided the carrier allows for that sort of thing, naturally.

Even the Notification Center has been revamped with Twitter or Facebook posting allowed directly from the notifications window and the option to quiet those irritating 3am notices, thanks to the new Do Not Disturb feature (more on that later). Last, but certainly not least to the accident prone, Find My Phone has been updated to include a Lost Mode which allows users to remotely lock their misplaced phone with a 4-digit code and display contact information for honest folks to use in order to return the lost device. This goes hand-in-hand with Find My Friends, an app that uses GPS to keep track of friends and family, even going so far as to issue alerts when certain individuals have left or reached specific destinations. It sounds weird, but think of it in terms of the kids leaving school and getting home. Pretty nifty, I know, but this is just the beginning.

iTunes, App Store, iBookstore - Refurbishing the storefronts

iTunes, the App Store, and the iBookstore are also getting adjustments by way of some slightly revamped storefronts, Facebook integration (“like” items in the store or view items that friends like), and a new preview feature that automatically keeps track of any apps/music/books that you browse through. You can view this list from within any of the three stores--and across any of their iOS devices thanks to iCloud--and make purchases from it directly.

Want to Ditch the Carriers and Go Data-Only? Here's How.

Posted by Carter Dotson on September 13th, 2012

Phones are expensive. Not only are we paying for limited data plans, but we're paying for voice and messaging on top of it, even if we don't actually call anyone on our phones that much. And then there's the long-term contracts on top of that. Well, what if it were possible to ditch voice and messaging service and going data-only, using apps to provide those services instead at a much lower cost? Well, it is. There are some hoops to jump through, but for those willing to do it, lower prices and more freedom lie on the other side.

Choose your device carefully.

For the iOS user looking to go data-only, the obvious choice may be the iPod touch, especially the 5th generation model coming in October. While the A5 processor is a year old, it should be able to run many games and applications capably for a couple of years. And of course, it’s $299 versus at least a couple hundred more for an unlocked iPhone 4S of similar capability, not to mention $350 less than an unlocked iPhone 5. However, there’s no integrated phone calling so that means no emergency calls, as any phone can call 911 even if it doesn't have active service. Having an actual phone is just safer, as VOIP services do not have 911 access at this time. As well, with no speaker on top, there’s no holding the iPod touch to your ear to make a call, so have a headset handy or be prepared to talk on speakerphone frequently. Thus, while going with the iPod touch may save some money, it loses a lot as well. Choose wisely.

Of course, if having phone capability at a low price is a necessity, then I'm going to suggest something rather blasphemous for an iOS site: go Android. The Galaxy Nexus from Google and Samsung goes for $349 unlocked, runs the latest version of Android, and is an actual phone. There’s always someone selling a recent Android phone on eBay or Craigslist for a fair price as well, and Android phones as a generality are fairly easy to hack and unlock. Stone me if you will, but hey – Jelly Bean is impressively smooth, it's got a great feature set, and the apps market is improving every day. And if you make the switch, then you can check out our great content at Android Rundown as well.

Find a way to get mobile data.

Just because you do not have a phone plan doesn’t mean that you have to go without data on the go. There are several ways to do this. A 4G/LTE-capable iPad is a great choice, and it may come with Hotspot options depending on the carrier. However, it may be awkward to always bring along an iPad when going out to a bar or walking around the city at night. After all, if you can't upload pictures of your food and drink to Instagram, what's the point of going out, anyway? The carriers all offer their own hotspots with LTE capability, but are pricey without commitments and come with data tiers. Still, they're cheaper than phone plans with similar data limits.

Clear is what I use, and it’s a particularly sweet deal. Their service costs $49.99 per month, their hotspot costs $24.99 right now, and there's no contract. The recently-launched Voyager hotspot is tiny, and lasts for over 6 hours on its battery. It fits nimbly into a small pants pocket, which is something many of the hotspots from the carriers can't say. Depending on connection strength, the data sits around 3-5 Mpbs in real-world tests with sub-1 Mpbs upload rates. However, the latency is acceptable with Game Center multiplayer games I've tried, and the data is unlimited with no caveats that I've found. I’ve streamed hours and hours of MLB.tv games on it, used OnLive Desktop, and made VoIP calls with it. It’s actually not bad for a primary internet connection in a pinch, either. Clear uses Sprint’s WiMAX network, which does not have the best coverage and there's no 3G fallback, but the unlimited data with quality mobile performance is hard to pass up.

NetZero offers the same WiMAX service with similar hardware as Clear, but with options including free limited data. Going wifi-only is a choice too, considering how many places offer it now. Of course, the drawback there is that where there’s no wifi, there’s no way to get on the internet. For those with unlocked phones who want some kind of traditional-yet-limited phone service plan as a fallback, T-Mobile offers a plan where by paying $3 on the day you use it, you can get up to 200 MB of data at 4G speeds with unlimited calling and messaging. This is great for the iPhone 4S, which T-Mobile will soon support at full 4G (HSDPA) speed.

Get a phone number, send some texts, make some calls

Since you’re ditching your phone number, you’ll probably want something that people can use to call you. Not everyone has iMessage and FaceTime, after all. For the budget-conscious (and if you’re doing this, that describes you), then Google Voice is probably the best choice. It’s very cross-platform with support for texting from web browsers, and it comes with a good iPhone/iPod touch app for texting. Note that there’s no official iPad app, Google Voice can’t receive MMS messages, and while the web supports calling through Google Talk, there’s no official way to do this. Also, some SMS services do not work with Google Voice, like Uber’s notifications.

Now, the emphasis is on ‘official’. Talkatone can log in as a Google Talk client with phone calling capability, can receive calls in the background with push notifications, and it can receive SMS notifications. Your mileage may vary on getting it working with some internet connections, though. It is free to use the basic features, with premium subscriptions available for up to $19.99 per year.

Other options for calling and texting? Textie provides free texting, and was designed in part by Loren Brichter of Tweetie fame. Skype offers texting and calling from their app as well. It’s $3/month for calling to the US and Canada, which then allows for a $30 per year Online Number that can be used for direct calling. SMS is possible, but only through Skype Credit, so get $10 of credit and use that for texting, or combine with another service like Google Voice. Still, this all works out to be about $6-$7 per month.

By doing all this, you’re kind of trying to hack the system that wants you to pay a lot of money for voice, messaging, and data. And the system loves getting your money for all that, and there will be spots where it will be frustrating. But there are just enough holes in the system that can be exploited for the savvy consumer looking to do everything over data connections. That’s what I’m trying to do, and I wish you all luck in trying to get it to work. Are you attempting the same thing? Let us know your experience in the comments below.

Apple Event Rundown - iPhone 5, iPod touch, iOS 6, and More

Posted by Jeff Scott on September 12th, 2012

Apple held a special event in San Francisco today to announce the iPhone 5 and a few other things. While just about everything about the new device had already been leaked, in typical Apple style, the event still held a few surprises.

Here's a quick rundown of what you need to know about the event today.

It's in the numbers...

As Apple does at just about every event they started out with a recap of some recent numbers showing how well they have done recently. And this time around it was no less impressive. Here's a quick rundown of the amazing numbers all in one place for quick reference:

The iPad continues to impress and dominate the tablet market. In the words of Tim Cook, Apple CEO: "The iPad has 91% of the tablet web traffic. I don't know what these other tablets are doing? Perhaps they are sitting in a drawer."

17 million iPads sold last quarter (April-June 2012), that's more iPads than any PC manufacturer sold of their entire PC line
84 million total iPads sold through June 2012
iPad Market Share, June 2011 - 62% market share
iPad Market Share, June 2012 - 68% market share
iPads represent 91% of web traffic from tablet devices
94% of the Fortune 500 companies are testing / deploying iPads

App Store
700,000 iOS Apps in the App Store
250,000 iPad Apps in the App Store (iPad and Universal)
90% of apps in the App Store are downloaded each month
The average iOS customer uses over 100 apps

400 million iOS devices sold through June 2012
150 million Game Center users
600 million sets of those standard iPod headphones produced

26 million songs
20 billion total downloads
iTunes store available in 63 countries
435 million iTunes accounts with 1-click purchase
66% of downloads come from iOS devices

That's a lot of really impressive stats.

iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 takes the iPhone 4S and makes just about everything better. When it took center stage we finally got to see the new specs of this oh so lust-worthy new iPhone.

The iPhone 5 will be available for pre-order this Friday, the 14th. With delivery and store availability a week later on the 21st. The prices end up being the same as the 4S, $199/299/399 for 16GB/32GB/64GB with two year contract.

In the US it will be available on the carriers that currently offer the 4S, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.

The major new features include a larger screen, about 15% taller than the current iPhone screen. That doesn't seem like much, but it lets you get an extra row in just about every list app. And it will give you that much more screen in games -- or that much more screen that your thumbs won't cover.

For apps that are not yet optimized for the iPhone 5, you will see those apps just as you do now. No stretching, you'll just have small black bars on the top and bottom of the screen.

The other big change in the phone is a new dock connector, called Lightning. This is an all digital connector that adapts the pins to what your connected device needs to do -- audio, video, charging, etc. It's build much more robust than the current dock connector and can be inserted either way.

The downside to the new connector is that you are going to need to buy $30 Lightning converters for all of the devices that you need to use that have the old style dock connector. This could get expensive. Not to mention the 20+ dock connector cables I have in a drawer.

A much faster processor, a better camera (though still 8MP), a much better screen that supports a larger color gamut, a FaceTime HD (720p) front camera, all in a a thinner and lighter phone.

Oh yeah, and it has LTE as well. Major speed bump there.

It's a great upgrade and worth it if you use your iPhone a lot. It's not a drop everything and upgrade new device as there's no feature that is just going to make you really crave it. If anything, the new dock connector will make this an expensive update for many. But it is a good feature bump and if you are due for an upgrade, it's the one to go for.

iOS 6 Release Next Week

We got a quick recap of iOS 6 and the features we had already seen. They have gone through testing and iOS 6 is ready to release next week on September 19th.

The one new iOS 6 feature discussed was the ability to create Panorama images. It's done quickly and easily by selecting Panorama from the camera options menu and sweeping the camera from left to right. It was shown working on the iPhone 5 and the new iPod touch. It's not know at this point if this will work on other devices.

iPod touch is a first class citizen again

The iPod touch has been a bit ignored in recent years. The upgrade announced today gives it a huge update and brings it in line with the iPhone 4S / 5 hybrid specs. It's a great upgrade to what is, but is not marketed as, the biggest selling portable gaming device.

The 5th generation iPod touch will sport the same screen as the iPhone 5, and will have the same processor as the 4S and a similar camera to the iPhone 4. It's a great update.

The updated iPod touch will be available in five colors in October for $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB versions.

Earpods - 3 years in the making

Apple also introduced new earbud that were three years in the making. The Earpods are really quite good, if a bit badly named. They will also ship with the new iPhone and iPod touch.

Great bass response, amazing for earbuds. They don't seal in your ear, so no outside noise reduction. But the flip side is that they are much more comfortable.

So that's it, the rundown of what you need to know. A great event and some great new products.

We can expect more news from Apple before the end of the year. I wonder what it will be...

Price Drop: Ubisoft 7-Day Sale

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on September 11th, 2012

Ubisoft just announced a promotion that runs for the next 7 days. Several of their titles are discounted to $0.99 or FREE, so make sure you check them out.

MotoHeroz (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) – free from September 11 to September 18
Michael Jackson The Experience HD (iPad) – discounted at $0.99 from September 13 to September 18
Babel Rising 3D (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) – free from September 15 to September 18
Prince Of Persia Classic (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) – discounted at $0.99 from September 17 to September 18

How To: Make Custom iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Ringtones

Posted by Carter Dotson on August 27th, 2012

Isn’t it funny how ringtones, short snippets of full songs, cost as much as the songs themselves? It sure is. There is a way to beat the system and use any song – or any piece of audio, really – as a ringtone on iOS, and it can be done using iTunes alone. Seriously.

To understand how this works, realize that a ringtone file on iOS is essentially just an AAC music file – the file format for the music downloaded from iTunes – with the extension changed from .m4a to .m4r. So creating custom ringtones is just about getting that perfect snippet of audio, and then getting iTunes to recognize it as a ringtone.

Step 1: Getting a perfect snippet of audio

While I said that this can be done using just iTunes, for users unafraid to find the files themselves and just cut the audio snippet in an audio editor like Audacity, that can be done as well. Just make sure to export the file as AAC. For those who use this method to get the audio, skip directly to step 2.

For those who just want to use iTunes, here’s how it goes. Note that while screenshots may be from OS X, these all work on Windows as well. First, find the song to make a ringtone out of. Listen for the part that you want as your ringtone, and note the beginning and end times of this section. Right-click on the song in iTunes and click Get info. Select the Options tab. Put in the start time and end time in the appropriate boxes, and click OK.

Now, go to the iTunes PreferencesGeneral, and select Import Settings. Set the import settings to AAC Encoder and iTunes Plus as seen in the screenshot at right. Click OK, then click OK again. Right-click on the song again, and click Create AAC Version. This creates a new file that should be listed right next to the original, that is the length you specified. Right-click the song and click View in Finder. Go back to iTunes and delete the file from your iTunes library, but choose Keep File.

Step 2: Getting iTunes to Recognize the Ringtone File

 Now, with the file that we’ve just created, we need to rename the file extension from .m4a to .m4r, the extension for iOS ringtones. You may need to enable viewing file extensions in Windows Explorer or in the Mac Finder. Once the file is a .m4r, just drag it in to iTunes’ sidebar in the Library section. If you sync tones automatically, the ringtone should show up on your next sync. If you manually manage media on your device, click Tones under Library on the sidebar, find the file you just added, and drag it to your device on the sidebar.

Now, check your ringtones in Settings -> Sounds -> Ringtone. Custom ringtones are on top of the list, and if you followed these steps correctly, your custom ringtone is in this list. Congratulations! Now you too can wake up every day like it’s the intro of CSI: Miami. Yyyyyyeeeeaaaahhhhhh!

New App: iTunes Festival Will Rock Your Socks

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on August 17th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Watch 30 nights of free concerts right on your iPad. Heck, stream it to your Apple TV for a big screen music extravaganza!

This September, the iTunes Festival brings you a full month of spectacular live music. Many of the world's biggest stars and brightest newcomers have graced the festival stage, and this year's brilliant line-up includes P!NK, elbow, One Direction, and more. It will all take place in September 2012 at one of the UK's best live music venues—the Roundhouse in London.

Watch the shows live—or view them afterwards for a limited time —on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with this app or on your computer with iTunes.