NPR today announced that it has become the first news provider to join iTunes Radio. The 24-hour stream will include national newscasts, stories from Morning Edition and All Things Considered, plus other previously recorded programming, according to blog post.
This is the first non-music station offered by iTunes Radio, and it is unclear if Apple plans to add more talk radio stations in future. It is also unknown how Apple and NPR are going to share the revenue brought in by ads. Apple normally pays recording artists for the rights to use their music on the ad-supported streaming service.
We have already seen Apple's iBeacon technology used by several mainstream retailers, Major League Baseball and the National Football League. Now the National Basketball Association is using the technology as well.
It has always been a no-brainer among sports fans to try to sneak down to better seats, especially if you are way up in the nosebleed section and can barely see the action. Pro sports teams are aware of this and are now using iBeacon technology to offer an easy way for these fans to upgrade and actually pay for it (and thereby avoid the risk of getting thrown out of the stadium). The NBA's Golden State Warriors are the first basketball team to install iBeacons throughout their venue
OtterBox has announced that its new Symmetry case is now available for the iPhone 5/5c/5s . The mobile accessory maker is also accepting signups for the Galaxy S5 model. OtterBox did not give a specific release date for the GS5 version, but hopefully it will be available sometime in April, before the new Samsung flagship is set to be released.
The Symmetry is an ultra-thin one piece mobile phone case that is constructed from dual-material to protect from drops and bumps. It features a raised beveled edge to keep your display scratch free for when your device is set face down. It also includes a synthetic rubber interior with honeycomb coring to absorb shock, and a hard plastic exterior that guards against scratches.
This week's big stories revolved around the return of one popular app to the Apple App Store and the death of another. Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen, announced on Twitter that the mobile game sensation will eventually make a return to the App Store but "not soon." Meanwhile, Twitter pulled its #Music app and told current users it will only continue to work until April 18. Besides the possible rebirth of an old app, and the demise of a high-profile app, it was a slow week for App Store news and releases.
Here's this week's most noteworthy App Store and Cydia releases (03/16/14 to 03/22/14). Apple's Free App of the Week is Ridge Racer Slipstream. The game will be free on the App Store until 03/27/14.
EZ-Sync FB is a not an app that you will use a lot but it makes adding images to your contacts so simple that it is easily worth $0.99. The app does exactly what it promises, it adds all your Facebook friends' profile pictures to your Contacts app. This is a much faster way to add images to all your contact cards, especially for friends and family who you don't see that often.
The app easy to use, just open the app, log into your Facebook account and simply tap the sync button. The app will automatically match your Contacts with all your Facebook friends via their name. You can even manually match your friends who use different names on their Facebook profile, and restore your images to your last backup within the app itself.
You can now stop yourself from sending embarrassing texts by enabling "drunk mode" on your iPhone before you down a few shots of your favorite alcoholic drink. Drunk Mode is a new jailbreak tweak that adds a toggle switch to your Settings app which when enabled blocks you from sending iMessages from your iPhone. This may sound like a joke, but Drunk Mode could potentially save millions of romantic relationships, friendships and jobs. It should be a standard feature on every smartphone!
The tweak is simple to use, once installed it adds a "Drunk Mode" toggle underneath Airplane Mode in your Settings app. Just tap the switch so it turns green for on, and you will receive a pop up message that reads, "Go Home, You Are Drunk," every time you try to send a text.
Mobile accessory maker Zagg has released its latest screen protector called invisibleSHIELD GLASS. The new scratch-resistant shield is available for the iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5 and later, the HTC One, LG G2, Samsung Galaxy Note III, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5.
GLASS is a 0.4mm thick tempered glass screen protector that is guaranteed to guard against scratches and accidental damage, plus it features an oil-resistant coating which repels natural finger and face oil. It also promises a "silky-smooth feel for precision touch sensitivity" and "ultimate image clarity," according to Zagg.
As expected, Apple has launched a more affordable 8GB model of the iPhone 5c in select markets. The company has also discontinued the iPad 2 and has replaced it with the fourth-generation iPad with Retina display.
The 8GB iPhone 5c is only available in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia and China. The new handset is currently listed on the UK carrier O2′s website for £50 on-contract (around $80 USD) and £429 off-contract. As a comparison, a 16GB iPhone 5c in the US will cost you $99 with a two-year carrier agreement and $549 off-contract.
Game Center may be the least used and most hated stock iOS app on Apple devices. Not only is it pretty useless, but the "Welcome back ..." banner which pops up every time you open an app has been know to interrupt game play. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any easy way to disable it, however, some users claim logging out of Game Center and canceling it four or five times will force it to go away. Here's how to log out of Game Center.
1. Navigate to Settings > Game Center
2. Tap the "Apple ID" tab and select "Sign Out" from the pop up box
It was kind of a slow week for Apple App Store releases, so here is an early look at TinyCo's upcoming Family Guy game for mobile devices. TinyCo did not release any new details since its initial announcement, but the developer did release two screenshots that gives us a good look at what to expect from the game.
Family Guy for mobile devices is a resource management game which promises to keep the same "nothing's sacred and nothing's safe" policy as the television show. No release date has been announced.