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Check out our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, win some awesome gadgets!
Our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide is in full swing - we are adding our recommendations daily, aimed at men, women, teens, families, techies, and more. If you need help figuring out what to get the people in your life, head on over to our Guide for some ideas. We’ll even be giving away some of the items featured this year!
Facebook has updated its iOS app to version 6.0 and has introduced two new features that are from the Facebook Home experience: Chat heads and stickers. Basically, chat heads are avatar icons of Facebook friends. They take up a small part of the screen whenever a user is messaging another Facebook friend, no matter where the user happens to be in the app. We assume that the goal is for it to be a frictionless experience when communicating with others friends; rather than having the chat feature limited to silos or in sections within the app. Along with the update, Facebook added a sticker feature, like emoticons, while messaging, seemingly aimed at teens and adults who might never publicly admit that they like the feature. Facebook for the iPad also sees a News Feed redesign that is cleaner with a bolder, more legible typeface. Gear Live tip: users might have to delete the old version first, or reboot the iDevice, in order to activate these new features now since Facebook is slowly rolling the feature out to users. Facebook 6.0 for iOS is now available in the App Store.
Read More | Facebook for iOS
HBO went along and updated its content streaming app and is making good use of the iOS multitasking API when using AirPlay. So, users can venture off into other apps such as Tweetbot to tweet about their favorite Game of Thrones moments as they stream it to their Apple TV. Speaking of Game of Thrones, HBO has added more enhancements to its interactive experience when watching the show on iOS.
What's New in Version 2.1
- Includes AirPlay multitasking capability -- other apps can be used while video continues to stream via AirPlay.
- Enhancements to the interactive features experience for Game of Thrones
- General performance enhancements
Read More | HBO Go
Apple has update Garageband for iOS for free with some new features, tweaks and fixes. The notable new features is Audiobus support within the app. Users can now add other compatible music and sound apps with the Audiobus feature, so get your creative touch music juices going and be the next Harlem Shake. GarageBand is priced $4.99 and its a universal app that works with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
What's New in Version 1.4
- Play and record music apps supported by Audiobus directly into GarageBand*
- Turn off grid snapping to get finer control over region and note editing
- Fixes an issue that resulted in feedback while connecting 3rd-party audio accessories into the headphone/microphone jack
Requires iPhone 4S, iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 2 or later. Audiobus requires a separate purchase.
Read More | App Store
Video security surveillance app maker, SKJM, has updated its iCam app to version 2.2 and added some useful features. iCam now supports 256-Bit AES encryption, motion event image thumbnail gallery style, and supports the iPhone 5 4-inch display size. The update also includes various bug fixes and optimizations. I highly recommend this invaluable app. iCam has motion detection functionality sent via push notifiation alert with support for a bevy of third-party of security surveillance cameras. iCam is universal binary iOS app. Most notable feature: iCam for iPhone can support up to 12 simultaneous live video streams and the iPad up to 16. Don't don't have it? iCam is priced at $4.99 in the App Store.
What's New in Version 2.2
- Added support for 256-bit AES encryption.
- Added support for Motion Event Image Thumbnails.
- Added iPhone 5 screen size optimizations.
- Fixed various minor bugs.
Be sure to also update the iCamSource application running on your computer(s) to the latest version: http://skjm.com/icam/support.php
Read More | iCam
Skype, the popular video and VoIP calling service, has updated its iOS apps for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad to version 4.6. It includes a revamped user interface and improved calling experience. Here's the rundown of the changes:
What's New in Version 4.6
- Beautiful new calling experience
- Mark all your recent chats as read with just a few taps.
- General fixes and improvements
Apple has updated its iOS iWork apps with stability improvements and the usual bug eliminating maintenance for Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. You can grab the updates now, or if you don't own them, each app is $9.99 in the App Store.
Fantastical 1.1 has hit the App Store, and with it, our favorite iOS calendar app brings a bunch of great new features. The new version includes things like time zone support, the ability to set multiple alerts for calendar entries, event invitations, and you can even have the app badge itself with the current date or to show how many more calendar events the users has left for the rest of the day. It's a big update, one that Flexibits co-founder Michael Simmons wanted to show users that the company was paying attention to all the feature requests out there. If you aren't a Fantastical user, we urge you to give it a try--it's on sale for 20% off, so you can get Fantastical 1.1 for $3.99.
Read More | Fantastical for iOS
Google has released an update for Google Maps for iPhone, adding new search icons to make it easier and faster to find points of interest, as well as integration with your Google Contacts, which makes it easier to find friends. The search icons include things like restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and other typical POIs. The way the contacts work is, if you have your friends address saved, then you can search for their name and have their address pop up on the map--it isn't meant to find your friends by location in real-time. You can download Google Maps for iPhone 1.1 now in the App Store.
Read More | Google Maps for iPhone
Spotify for iOS has just received a massive overhaul, bringing the UI in line with the look that Android's been sporting for a while. iOS users now get access to features like the swiping method for accessing different areas of the Spotify app (similar to what you can do in the Facebook iOS app.) The "Now Playing" area shows you the artist and track name no matter where you are navigating in the app, right above the play controls. You can swipe here to go to the next or previous track with ease. You also get bug fixes and overall improvements to stability, as well as the Ford SYNC AppLink Spotify feature that we mentioned yesterday. You can grab the update now from the App Store, and peep the full changelog after the break.
Read More | Spotify
Facebook 5.5 for iOS has just been released, and with it comes free voice calling for North American users over Wi-Fi and cellular networks. The feature came to Facebook's separate messaging app a couple of weeks ago, and is now baked in to the full-fledged Facebook iOS experience for users across the US and Canada. After updating, simply open your chat pane by tapping the icon on the upper-right, select a friend, and then select "Free Call." As you'd expect, the person on the other end also needs to be located in North America, and also needs to have the latest Facebook app installed. It's a nice way to make voice calls without tapping into your voice minutes--just make sure to keep an eye on your data plan when you're away from Wi-Fi, no need to try to save on voice minutes, only to rack up massive data usage fees, you feel me?
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