Hot on the heels of CBS launching their streaming video app, ABC has followed suit with the Watch ABC app for iOS. Not only does the app provide streaming episodes of popular shows that have aired on ABC, but live video is available for TV fans in selected markets. Initially, the live video service is only available in New York and Philadelphia.
Down the line, more markets will receive the live video service, which basically duplicates the broadcast anyone can receive with an HD antenna in the local area. Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, Raleigh-Duram, and San Francisco are next on the list to receive live video service with Watch ABC, with the feature slated to arrive before the end of this summer.
There is nothing more annoying than duplicate and incomplete contact information on your phone, especially now that people are relying on Siri to access their contacts for various reasons. Smart Merge is an iPhone application that promises to clean up your messy Contacts app.
The app will hunt down duplicates in your Contacts app so you can merge them into one. Smart Merge also allows you to backup your contacts, sync your contacts between multiple devices, and locate incomplete contacts without a names or phone number. The name of the app also suggests you can merge your Facebook and Linkedin accounts.
The popular Android App ForeverMap has added offline support to its iOS version. ForeverMap 2 uses OpenStreetMaps and advanced compression technology so users can access its global maps with no Wi-Fi connection. Users are able to download as many complete country maps as they need to use whenever they wish.
ForeverMap is a great companion for navigation apps such as Google, Nokia or even Apple Maps. Apple’s vector-based maps do offer offline usage, but you do lose some functions while disconnected from Wi-Fi. ForeverMap also helps cut down on the high costs of data roaming when you are traveling.
Amazon has added Apple VoiceOver support for over 1.8 million titles in the Kindle Store. VoiveOver will read aloud any compatible book to blind and visually impaired customers. The update also allows visually impaired customers the ability to navigate within their library or within a book, search for a book within their library, and use features like X-Ray, End Actions and sharing on Facebook and Twitter.
Version 3.7 of the app also brings a few bug fixes/stability improvements and the ability to download a free sample and email yourself a reminder about recommended books. The Amazon Kindle app for the iPhone and iPad is free to download from the App Store. It requires iOS 5.0 or later and has been optimized for iPhone 5. Check out the complete list of improvements below.
Google has updated the iOS Google Search app to version 3.0. The biggest change adds Google Now capabilities to the app, providing information on the go in customized cards that are automatically generated. Instead of performing multiple searches for specific information throughout the day, Google Now can feed you the information you need at the right time or place.
22 cards are now available on iOS, including traffic, weather, sports scores, appointments, flight schedules, transit schedules and more. Swiping up in the Google Search app is all it takes to bring up current cards to find information. Although Google Now on iOS does not feature push alerts at the current time, these are under development for a future version of Google Search.
Movie fans can get even more information from the IMDb iPhone app thanks to an update to version 3.2 now available. This marks the first time since December 2012 that IMDb has received a major update, one of several since the initial launch of IMDb in late 2009. The key to IMDb is accessing information about all of your favorite movies on the go.
More facts have been added including actor heights in the personal details section, and worldwide movie release dates. The developers of IMDb have also made things more visually appealing for iPhone owners, with a fresh new page look for movies and celebrities in the app. Speaking of which, IMDb now clocks over 5 million people and 2.5 million titles in the catalog.
There's no shortage of different ways to capture and share photos with the iPhone. One thing the camera cannot do is snap a light field photo. These images, pioneered by Lytro, can be refocused after they are recorded. Now with FocusTwist this capability can be simulated on the iPhone.
The app creates refocusable images by snapping several photos in a row, using different focus settings for each one. After they are combined by FocusTwist, you can share a link to the resulting image on Twitter. People viewing your work can then focus on different parts of the scene, much like the result of using a Lytro camera.
Apple has launched an update to its official Apple Store application for mobile shopping on iOS devices. Besides being able to research and purchase all of your favorite Apple products, the app now provides notifications that will let you know when you're eligible for an iPhone upgrade at the subsidized price. When you're ready to order your new phone, simply use the app to have it delivered to your doorstep.
Other notifications have also been added, providing shipping information for orders and letting you know when your purchases have been delivered. As always, the Apple Store app makes it possible to order items and pick them up later at the nearest retail location.
Universal Uclick's GoComics app brings the Sunday funnies to your iOS, Android or mobile Windows device. The app is updated daily with the world's most popular comic strips, and offers a vast collection of back issues so you'll never be short on reading material. The app also features all the standard social media sharing options, and a comics blog so you can stay updated on the latest news.
The "New Comics" section highlights upcoming cartoonists like Geoff Grogan (Plastic Babyheads from Outer Space), and the "Popular Comics" section features such classics as Calvin and Hobbes and Dilbert. You can even use the calendar option to jump back in time to see how comics like The Boondocks became a cult classic.
Facebook has released a major update to its iOS app, bringing several improvements to the iPhone and iPad. Chat Heads is one addition that has been adapted from Facebook Home on Android devices, which provides chat bubbles to help keep you in touch with friends from anywhere in the app. Other major changes have also been implemented in the latest Facebook.
Stickers make sending messages more fun, making it possible to send a variety of graphics and emoticons. Many stickers are free, however there are also stickers that can be purchased directly through the app. Another major change is a redesign of the news feed, with a cleaner layout and larger text.