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Clinton is the editor of AlliOSNews.com. He has been writing opinions, reviews, how to's and anything related to the mobile communications market since 1999. You can follow Clinton on Twitter @AlliOSNews
Home page: http://alliosnews.com
Posts by Clinton
eBay has done some serious updates to their iPhone and iPad apps to give you a better user experience both using the app as well as purchasing through the app. The updates come to the two separate eBay apps in the App Store, one for iPhone and iPod Touch while the other is for the iPad and iPad Mini.
The new 3.0.0 version of eBay for iPhone brings a new look and feel to the UI including the ability to tap on a photo to see a larger view of the item you are bidding on through the service. Users can now also make multiple item purchases at once – if you are in the United States or the United Kingdom. Selling support has also come to Spain for the first time.
Here is a run down of all the changes:
- New and improved look and feel
- Checkout multiple items at a time with the new eBay Shopping Cart (US and UK only)
- Tap the grid icon at the top of search results to see larger photos (iOS 6 required)*
- Scan your drivers license for fast and easy eBay registration (available in select US states)
- Improved last minute bidding
- Selling support for Spain
- Many bug fixes and enhancements
It is important to note that this update does require you to be running iOS 5 or greater on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
For iPad users, the eBay for iPad app was bumped up to version 2.3.0 and it includes many of the same features but also brings some significant updates for sellers on the service. Effectively, with the changes made in this update, a seller on eBay could almost exclusively use their iPad to create and start an auction. It’s pretty impressive and most definitely Post-PC!
- Buy multiple items with Shopping Cart
- Improved photo picker in selling flow
- Faster checkout remembers your PayPal ID
- Photos in search results look even better
New for Sellers:
- Attach multiple photos at once from your photo library
- Easily crop and adjust photos
- Buyer’s name now shown in grid view for quick reference
- Easier to select shipping options in SYI
- “Sell One Like This” button easier to find
- Access your listing drafts right from your homescreen
- View your feedback received on View Item
Improvements for Buyers:
- Easily filter seller feedback by positive, neutral, and negative
- New “Search By Best Offer” items option
- Your Max Bid now included on View Item
- Always want New items with Free shipping? Set your default “Search Preferences” options in settings
Both eBay for iPhone and eBay for iPad are free apps and are available in the App Store.
Yesterday I posted on the new 11.0.3 update Apple released for iTunes and all of the different enhancements and updates they made to the media app. You can read that post here. I however discovered this morning there was an additional item with this new release that you need to be aware of if you haven’t discovered it already. Apple has moved the Update Apps button.
I discovered this earlier this morning when I was going to do my normal morning routine of checking for new updates to apps in my iTunes library. Until 11.0.3, iTunes had the Update App button in the lower-right corner when you viewed
your apps in your library. In the update it has been replaced with a “Get More Apps” button which takes you directly to the App Store.
To update your apps, look to the menu at the top of the pane where your apps are shown. At the very end is an Updates menu which when clicked will check to see what updates you have available and will give you the option to update them.
In the grand scheme, this kinda makes sense as it is an option function of iTunes to update your apps. But seriously Apple, you have to tell us these things in the release notes! I had 30 seconds of panic thinking something with the update had gone wrong!
So, don’t panic AlliOSNews Peeps – it’s there, it just got moved on you.
Also, don’t judge me based on my apps.
My personal favourite version of Angry Birds is Angry Birds Seasons and it has been updated for the Spring. The new update brings 36 all new levels along with all new power ups and portals. The release notes cover all of the changes and updates you get with the release:
Abra-Ca-Bacon! It’s a beautiful spring night, and the bad piggies have learned some magic tricks — and the first one is making the eggs disappear! Not to worry, the Angry Birds have something up their sleeve… like the all new MAGIC
- 36 all new magical levels!
- PORTALS: introducing new gameplay that lets you magically transport within the level!
- New power-up: AllakaBAM – the exploding magic box!
- Brand new topsy-turvy carnival theme filled with clown pigs, magic hats, and plenty of surprises!
Angry Birds Seasons is not a universal app so you if you haven’t purchased it yet, it is .99 Cents for the iPhone version and $1.99 for the iPad HD version. If you have downloaded it, the update is now in the App Store. There are a lot of in-app purchases but fortunately they are not required to solve all the levels.
Apple has released an update to iTunes for Mac bringing a new Mini Player amongst several other improvements. The update, which is about 129MB in size, now has album artwork and a progress bar on songs you are playing while in Mini Player mode. It is a far better look and frankly a more useful view than previous versions of iTunes.
In addition, the 11.0.3 version has an improved Song view which also displays the albums artwork and much better
support for multi-disk albums. In previous versions of iTunes, multi-disk albums were treated with each disk treated as an individual album. This goes away in this new version as these are now treated as one album.
Finally for those of you who have large iTunes libraries, this update brings a more optimised search function to find tracks, albums and artists a bit quicker.
iTunes is built in to OS X and the update can be obtained via the Mac App Store update functionality.
I’ve been public about my weight loss over the past few years and part of that program as been using a great little wearable accessory Fitbit. Fitbit keep track of my steps, stairs and distances walked each day along with several other things that allow me to have a holistic view of my exercise and diet. It ties in nicely with the diet management service I use, MyFitnessPal and some of the newer versions of the Fitbit units link to your iPhone via Bluetooth.
You can find out more information about Fitbit on their website.
Earlier this week I was invited to start using the new Fitbit Dashboard, the website that gives me granular detail and
logging capabilities for my activities. The new dashboard is a huge step forward and provides large, customisable widgets that make it easy to see your progress each day. I never was a big fan of the old dashboard as it was clunky and navigating it was not overly intuitive. All of those issues seem to be resolved in this new version.
On the new dashboard you can customise which items you track are shown and in which order. While you can still access the menus to enter sleep, weight and other adjustments, I find with this new version I’m doing it far less than before on the old dashboard.
Fitbit has not given a date on when the new dashboard will be available to everyone and it appears to be invitation only. If you are a Fitbit user and haven’t seen it yet, it could just be a matter of time. Until then, if you have questions feel free to ask in the comments below or visit the Fitbit forums for information.
Hopefully this is a sign of things to come to the iPhone app. The Fitbit app for iPhone is really lacking in my opinion and it is not intuitive to navigate.
During the Google I/O event yesterday, a new Google Maps for iOS was discussed and shown that will bring dramatic improvements to the application. While not expected until this summer, the new Google Maps will offer key new features as well as a simplified user interface for both iPhone and iPad.
From a feature perspective, the new Google Maps will bring real-time traffic, dynamic re-routing based on that traffic and integrated reviews from Zagat. Google made it clear that the new version will be for both iPhone and iPad meaning that the UI for the iPad should be optimised for the platform.
In addition, the new Google Maps will introduce a new service call Offers. It will pop up offers near your location. Starbucks was specifically mentioned in the keynote although other companies will undoubtedly be onboard before the release.
The new Google Maps UI will also be brought to the desktop version of the service which will bring up search locations embedded as overlays to the maps, not a separate search area.
The currently Google Maps app for iPhone is free and is available in the App Store.
Yesterday at the Google I/O event, the company announced the release of Google Hangouts, an app for iOS (and Android of course) and the desktop that is clearly and squarely aimed at Apple’s iMessage service. The new Hangouts brings many of the elements of Google+ and Google Talk into one app and tightly integrates with other Google services to make one unified platform.
Google Hangouts is already available in the App Store and it is free. It is a universal app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
With Hangouts you can leverage your circles created in Google+ and do either text or video chat via the app which is a step up from the Google Talk service. The new app should help increase the usage of Google+ which has never really captured the imagination of a broad audience. The app is a simple, minimalist UI with easy ways to create hangouts with individuals (think IM’ing) or with groups (your circles). Having it tried it out last night I have to say it is quite nice.
It is clear that Google and Apple are heading for a direct head-to-head competition not only on the core OS level but on the app and services level as well.
During the Google I/O Keynote, it was mentioned that Google Hangouts would also be available for Desktop. It is available at this link but you will have to have Google Chrome for your Mac or PC installed in order to use the service.
Apple continues the weekly update of the beta builds of the next version of Mountain Lion, OS X 10.8.4. The 7th consecutive beta in as many weeks is Build 12E52 and is available to those in the Developer Network via a download on the site or via the App Store for registered Macs.
As has been the case with previous beta builds of 10.8.4, developers are asked to focus on wireless connectivity, graphics drivers and Safari in their testing. This is the fourth beta after code was discovered pointing to 802.11ac development for
Mac, hinting at a refresh of the platform possibly as early as WWDC.
If you are not a member of the Apple Developer Network, joining is $100 per year for Mac development and an additional $100 per year for iOS development.
There is no word on when 10.8.4 will be released to the general public but it is clear that Apple, like 10.8.3 before it, want to have plenty of beta cycles under their belt before releasing it. 10.8.3 had a total of 13 betas before it was released.
For more information, check out the Developer Network site.
SleepBot LLC today is pleased to announce the release and immediate availability of SleepBot for iOS. SleepBot, the critically acclaimed sleep cycle tracker and smart alarm and is finally available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch! Featured in WIRED, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Mashable, and more!
SleepBot is an intuitive smart alarm and beautiful sleep cycle tracker that lets you record movements and sounds throughout the night. Customize how you want to sleep and wake up gently each morning during your lightest sleep
phase. Listen to soothing ambient soundtracks as you fall asleep.
SleepBot is the most complete sleep tracker, smart alarm, and ambient sound machine in the App Store:
* Smart wake up: Gradual alarm based on movements and noise within 30 minutes before first alarm
* Multiple alarms capability: Only smart alarm that lets you set multiple alarms as alerts or precautions
* Movement tracking: Adjustable sensitivity, easily compare with sound graphs
* Sound tracking: Detailed sound graphs let you play back noise with a tap
* 10 custom designed alarm soundtracks designed for Smart Wake-up
* Background mode: sleep tracking continues even in the background
* Long-term Trend graphs: length, sleep/wake times, pattern for sleep quality over time
* Statistics: Analyze any time range to see sleep debt, average sleep, etc.
* Ambient Noise: Soothing soundtracks to help you gently fall asleep
* Sleep Help: Find out how to fall asleep or stay awake from quick action lists
* Automatic Sync: backup and restore sleep data, and view it online
* Export: Share sleep entries, graphs, and stats as images or csv
SleepBot is recognized by the United States National Institute of Health and the National Academy of Engineering. Simple to use and understand, SleepBot utilizes the most accurate tracking algorithm of any sleep app on the App Store (dare to compare to any application on iOS or Android).
SleepBot 1.0 for iOS is free and available worldwide exclusively through the iTunes App Store in the Health & Fitness category. SleepBot will only work on iOS 5.0+ devices.
Apple has released a minor update to their movie editing app iMovie for Mac to address some issues and to improve some functionality. The new version, 9.0.9 for those keeping score at home, addresses an issue where the app would not recognise a video camera connected to your Mac. The release notes do not cover any specific video cameras impacted so it is safe to assume that for a “bug fix” release it was likely several different makes and models.
For iMovie iOS users there is an update in this release for you. The import process from your iPad or iPhone to iMovie on your Mac has been improved with better compatibility between the two platforms. This is good news for those who want to edit on-the-go on your iPhone then do final edits on your Mac.
The release notes also have the usual “stability improvements” which are usually smaller, less impacting issues with the app.
The update is free in the Mac App Store and is available for download now. For those who have not purchased iMovie, the update is included in the latest version you can purchase which is also in the Mac App Store for $14.99. iMovie for iOS is $9.99 and available in the iTunes App Store.