On Gear Live: How Cortana made the leap from Halo to Windows Phone

Facebook app

Facebook yesterday updated its iPhone app to version 3.4, bringing enhancements to the News Feed and notifications UI as well as the option to check-in to Facebook Events on the go. For unfriending that cannot wait until you get back to your desktop, the app adds that, too.

The signature feature of the update, of course, is the mobile check-ins for Facebook Events. We previously reported that Facebook added another layer to its location-based functionality by including a check-in icon available on the day of a given event. The company had pledged to launch the feature soon on the iPhone and their mobile site. Yesterday's update fulfills that pledge.

Formerly, the only way you could check in to a Facebook Event was through Facebook Places, which entailed checking in to locations as you would with Foursquare or Gowalla. Now users can check-in to events themselves, opening up new possibilities for companies and individuals. For example, you could arrange contests at events.


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Twitter Quick Bar removal

After a rather rough start, Twitter on Thursday said it will remove the Quick Bar from its iOS app, which provided users with updates on trending topics.

Though the Quick Bar - referred to by some as the "Dick Bar" after CEO Dick Costolo - had "incredibly high usage metrics," Twitter has opted to remove it from the app rather than continually update it.

"Rather than continue to make changes to the QuickBar as it exists, we removed the bar from the update appearing in the App Store today," Twitter creative director Doug Bowman wrote in a blog post. "We believe there are still significant benefits to increasing awareness of what's happening outside the home timeline."

The Quick Bar was added to the app earlier earlier this month as part of an upgrade that also made it easier to access features like photos, trends, and links. It sat above a user's Twitter feed and displayed one of the days' current trending topics. Tapping the word would take you to a list of recent mentions.


 

telenav iphone 4 verizon

TeleNav today announced that the TeleNav GPS application will be available in the Apple App Store as a free download for Verizon Wireless iPhone 4 users when the device is released on Thursday, February 10.

TeleNav allows user to access free maps and perform local searches. Advanced navigation features are also available, including spoken turn-by-turn directions and 3D moving maps. The advanced features will be free for 30 days after downloading the app. After that they will cost users $2.99 per month on a pay-as-you-go basis, or $21.99 per year. Regardless of whether users choose to pay for the advanced navigation features, the GPS map and local search capabilities will remain free.


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today i die again app

In conjunction with Free App A Day (FAAD), Atakamalabs has released the popular IndieCade Jury Award winning title rewrite, Today I Die Again by Daniel Benmergui, completely free. Today I Die Again  is a thought provoking adventure using words as means to action.

The scene opens underwater with the body of a dead woman floating lifeless in the dark. The rock tied around her waist suggests that her demise was no accident. A poem floats above her: “hopeless world / full of shadows / today I die”

Players must use the floating glowing words or reveal hidden ones to help you transform the ever-present poem in order to progress through the game. All along the way you battle the dark creatures from the depths in effort to break through to the surface. The oddly creative music score sets the mood perfectly as you are immersed deeper into this pixelated world. Today I Die Again is truly a unique game unlike any other, exploring new ways to express emotions through a video game experience.

Today I Die Again is available free on the iTunes store for iPhone and iPod Touch.


Flipboard, one of the best iPad apps for reading through your Facebook and Twitter feeds in a magazine format, just received a major update that brings  a bunch more features to the table. You can now view your Google Reader subscriptions, Flickr feeds and groups, and the app also boasts more features for Facebook and Twitter as well. You can use the app not only to check out all the content that's out there, but now it's easier to add your own updates, photos, and articles back into your social networks as well. Hit the video for a look. Flipboard is completely free.

Read More | Flipboard

iBooks 1.2iBooks 1.2 has just been released by Apple, and with it comes a bunch of new features. You get support for full illustrations, AirPrint functionality for printing PDFs and notes in books, and more text fits on the page in iOS 4.2 and higher with auto-hyphenation. iBooks 1.2 also brings a new feature called Collections. These allow you to group your books similarly to how you can group apps into folders.

You can download iBooks 1.2 now for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Read More | iBooks

Twitter push notificationsIf you’ve been waiting for push notifications to become a part of Twitter for iPhone, it looks like that day is finally coming. Twitter is currently testing push notifications in anticipation of rolling it out to the masses in their next update, which should be available when iOS 4.1 gets released next week.


Netflix iPhone streaming

Well, it took them a couple months longer than expected, but as of today, the iOS Netflix app now supports the iPhone and iPod touch. When it first launched, the app was made available only for users, with the promise that it would be coming to the iPhone and iPod touch during the iOS 4 Apple event. Well, now it’s here, so hit the link for the download. While the app is free, you do need a Netflix account to view the content, naturally.

Read More | Netflix App

Facebook iPhone 3.2

We all knew it was coming, but Facebook has finally released their location check-in methodology with the release of their Facebook for iPhone 3.2 app. The new ‘Places’ feature let’s you check-in Foursquare/Gowalla-style into venues that are around you. You can also track the locations of your friends as well, to see what others in your social graph are up to. One seemingly annoying feature is that Places even allows you to check other people in with you, and that is on for every account by default. Of course, you can manually turn that feature off, but shouldn’t that be the default option?

Also new in 3.2 for phones running is background uploading of photo and video content, so you can start an upload and jump out of the app to something else while things continue. All iOS version also pick up new in-app privacy management features as well.

We’ve been trying to test out all the new hotness, but just about every area we go into on the new app results in some sort of error message. We’ll keep trying.

Read More | Facebook 3.2 for iPhone

Fring Video Chat

Hey, don’t look now, but if you’ve been wanting to use your front camera to do video calling outside of FaceTime (and on 3G,) the newly updated Fring app is where you’ll wanna look. They updated so that you can do a video chat with any Skype user or anyone else running Fring, and you can do it over Wi-Fi or 3G. Now the cool thing here is that you can do video chats with people who are sitting at their computers connected to Skype, this isn’t just iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 like FaceTime currently is. The call quality will vary depending on your connection, but still, its another video calling option, and the app is free. You can download Fring now from the App Store.

Oh, and please don’t drive while video calling. That can lead to all sorts of trouble.


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