Apple continues to improve the iOS App Store to help users discover new apps and find what they want. With so many options available, searching on the App Store can be difficult business. In the past, one typo or misspelling and the wrong results or none at all would be returned.
Now thanks to algorithm improvements, a misplaced letter or incorrectly placed space doesn't mean the end of a useful search. The App Store now recognizes common typos and misspelled words, compensating for mistakes and returning improved results. According to TechCrunch the changes went into effect a few weeks ago, checking spelling automatically.
iOS users with Siri-enabled devices can now access LyricFind's database of over 2,000 music publishers. Siri learned its new trick after Wolfram|Alpha teamed up LyricFind to add a new lyric query option to its search engine. The new service also allows Wolfram|Alpha users to create word clouds of popular terms used in a certain song. However, this feature does not seem to work on Siri at the moment.
iOS users can get the lyrics to almost any popular song by opening Siri and asking “What are the lyrics to (song title)". For some reason completing this task seems to take Siri longer than usual, and it will also refer you back to the web if it can't locate a title in LyricFind's library.
The original Infinity Blade title is now free thanks to a Black Friday sale from Chair Entertainment. iOS gamers can download the award-winning game that started it all from the App Store and save $5.99, for a limited time. For comparison, sequels Infinity Blade II and Infinity Blade III are selling for $6.99 each.
Chair made waves with the first in the series when the game was showcased by Apple during a keynote presentation. The original Infinity Blade uses the Epic Unreal Engine to create high resolution, realistic landscapes and creatures on iOS devices. The game has won over 20 Game of the Year and Top App awards, including the 2011 Apple Design Award.
As expected, Apple will offer discounts on many of its most popular products on this Black Friday, November 29. The company has already posted a landing page for this year's sale on its Australian website. Deals can be had in Apple retail stores, online, and using the Apple Store iOS app.
Sale prices will take effect starting after midnight on Friday morning and ending at 11:59 PM. Look for promotional pages to pop up soon in other countries, including the US. The standard disclaimers apply, such as the fact that promotional pricing cannot be combined with other offers. If you're shopping in retail stores, the sale prices are only good while the items are in stock.
Yelp users have already become accustomed to making reservations through OpenTable right on their iOS devices. The latest update expands this ability by adding SeatMe to the mix. Now restaurants, bars and lounges using this service are reservable directly from the Yelp application.
Version 7.3.1 of the Yelp app is free on iTunes and provides instant access to reviews and information about local businesses in your vicinity. Yelp acquired OpenTable competitor SeatMe in July, which is billed as a low-cost option targeted at establishments that still use paper reservation books. The addition of SeatMe will make Yelp even more convenient for those looking to grab a table in the app.
Ubisoft has confirmed that Assassin’s Creed Pirates will be available for both iOS and Android devices on December 5th. That's a little more than a month after Assassin's Creed: Black Flag was launched for the PlayStation, Xbox, PC and Wii U.
The iOS game is a naval combat simulation that follows the story of captain Alonzo Batilla. Players will be able to recruit and manage crew members as they "engage in massive real-time naval battles," according to Ubisoft. The game will also allow users to build and upgrade a their own ship and battle against assassins, templars and other famous pirates.
Square Enix has released a brand new Final Fantasy game for iOS devices which takes place seventeen years after Final Fantasy IV. Final Fantasy IV: The After Years begins with a journey called "Ceodore's Tale." Players must complete the original quest to unlock six additional characters with six different tales of their own. Players can then complete each character's tale in any order that they choose.
The sequel features the same active time-battle system seen in the other iOS Final Fantasy titles, "lunar phases" where the cycle of the moon affects the outcome of battles, and the ability to combine party members strengths to unlock "Band abilities." The game also includes the usual Game Center and fullscreen support.
When Apple first revealed the Touch ID system, the company described a "secure enclave" within the A7 chip which stores sensitive fingerprint data. Now thanks to two patent applications detailed by Patently Apple, the mechanics of this secure enclave have been explained.
Images of fingerprints are never stored in the secure enclave or elsewhere. Fingerprint map input from the Touch ID sensor is processed and stored using a kind of encryption. For security when unlocking the iPhone, MacRumors explains that "the enclave only allows fingerprints to be checked against known valid ones, not the other way around."
The SIM card ejector tool is no longer shipped with new iPhones, however this small accessory made big headlines thanks to its composition. The tool was made of Liquidmetal, an amorphous metal alloy. These metals can be molded into thin, unique shapes while retaining incredible strength and durability, which could be perfect for mobile devices.
Liquidmetal Technologies inked an exclusive deal with Apple a few years ago, and now it looks like their work is bearing fruit. Patently Apple details five patents involving Liquidmetal, proving Apple is moving closer to manufacturing with this material. Two of the technically complex patents revolve around using Liquidmetal in a 3D printing process to create parts.
The Control Center makes it simple to toggle commonly used settings in iOS 7. But what if you're in a hands-free situation, and need help changing something in a hurry? Siri has your back. With the right voice command, Siri can change settings or enable specific features of iOS while you're driving or otherwise unable to use the screen.
For example, tell Siri to "turn on airplane mode" and voilà, the radios on your iPhone switch off. Other toggles such as "turn on Bluetooth" or "turn off Wi-Fi" will also immediately change these settings. If Siri is asked to turn something on that's already enabled, the personal assistant will let you know this is the case.