Google has finally reincarnated its map offering and is free of charge in Apple's App store for your consumption. The app promises features that the fabled old stock maps didn't offer like voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation. It has been said by AllThingsD that Apple chose to do its own mapping solution because Google wouldn't offer that specific feature for iOS. My initial impression of the app is that it is visually appealing, and we are glad to see that Street View is present, along with public transit info. The most important thing is that the new Google Maps is vector-based, so navigating the map should be buttery smooth. Google reps have admitted that it's even better than maps for Android. Here's the run down of the features in the Google Maps reboot:
Read More | Google Maps for iOS
Photo enthusiasts will be happy to know that their favorite mobile photo editing social app, Instagram, has been updated. Version 3.2 has a plethora of new features and design improvements, along with deeper FourSquare integration. Here is a list of changes that come with this update.
- A new filter! Willow
- Take photos faster with Instagram’s all-new camera
- Improved quality of tilt-shift
- Scroll infinitely on user profiles and other grid views
- We added a Foursquare button on location pages that opens the Foursquare app (or Foursquare mobile website) with details about the venue
- Filtered photos are now saved to a separate album called "Instagram" in the camera roll
- New welcome screen design
Read More | Instagram
Google has finally released version 2.0 of its native Gmail client app for iOS. It has much requested features and a complete resign that is cleaner than before. TechCrunch columnist MG Siegler says the app had no influence from the Sparrow acquisition, which is surprising since version 2.0's UI looks decent. Here is a list of the updated features.
- Multiple account support
- App redesigned with a new, cleaner look
- Search predictions as you type
Hopefully the team turns its attention to the YouTube app for iOS which is sorely needing a clean revamp that also supports iPhone 5 and the iPad. Fingers crossed.
Read More | Gmail
Apple has released an update for its Apple Store app, bringing it to version 2.4. This one adds both Passbook and Siri integration. Now users can send gift cards straight from the app and have them emailed directly to the recipient; it is housed digitally in the Passbook app for convenient access. In addition, Siri's API protocol is now enabled to access the Apple Store's catalog.
What's New in Version 2.4
- Buy new gift cards and email them to friends and family right from the app. These gift cards are easily integrated with the new Passbook app (U.S. only, iOS 6 required).
Ask Siri to help you find prices and shop for Apple products. (Siri-enabled device required.)
Read More | Apple Store
Evernote has just released a radical new design for its iOS apps, with both the iPhone and iPad versions picking up the new look. What's changed in Evernote 5.0? Well, for starters, the home screen is now full much easier to navigate, allowing you to find the notes you want very quickly, as opposed to the older saved-search method. The tabs you'll find on the home screen include All Notes, Notebooks, Tags, Places, and Premium Features. Tap on a tab and you are brought into a full screen experience.
On the whole, things are just laid out in a much more intuitive and efficient way, making Evernote 5.0 a much better experience from a productivity standpoint. Grab it now from the App Store.
Read More | Evernote 5.0
Microsoft's My Xbox Live companion app for iOS has just been updated with new functionality and a new name: Xbox SmartGlass. What does it do? Well, you can now use your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch as remote controls and keypads for the Xbox 360. This includes dual-screen experiences as well. The app is available now, and is not yet compatible with the new 4-inch Retina display. Xbox SmartGlass for iOS is free.
Read More | Xbox SmartGlass
Facebook, the biggest social site, has now updated their native iOS app. Version 4.1 includes a variety of features, such as the ability to share multiple photos, a new swipe feature to message friends from anywhere within the app, image filteres (similar to Facebook-owned Instagram,) and the gift giving functionality. One feature that has finally been restored is the ability to make albums.
Sadly, for many who updated, it has not been without some setbacks as users, myself included, are encountering sign-in errors and news feeds being blank. Users have voiced their complaints to Facebook and, ironically, taken it to Twitter to make themselves heard. Gear Live advises waiting to update until Facebook submits another version to fix the issues that are currently affecting users.
Read More | Facebook for iPhone
The first of many presidential debates, leading to the election next month, kicks off tonight. What can we expect? Probably a lot of verbal attacks more than anything else. A shame, we know, but why not make it a bit more fun? The folks at Vellum Interactive have launched Political Arena, a smartphone game that allows you to choose your favorite candidate and step into a boxing ring to take on members of the opposing political party.
Today Twitter for iPhone 4.3 was released on the App Store, a major update to the official Twitter client that brings with it the ability to view enhanced and expended tweets right in the app. Here's a rundown of the features:
- Expanded Tweets -- when you view Tweet details containing links to partner websites, you can now see content previews, view images, play videos, and more (rolling out gradually)
- Enhanced experience around selected events with the bets Tweets and photos from those involved
- Push notifications for Tweets -- choose to receive notifications from people you follow any time they tweet or retweet
- Ambient notifications -- enables you to see brief non-interruptive notifications in the status bar while you're using the app
- Improvements to search autocomplete for users
- Discover -- now indicates when new stories are available for you to view
- Tappable avatars take you directly to user profiles
- Performance improvements
- Support for password entry in app when experiencing authentication issues
- Support for the Hungarian language
- Icon (image at right) features the new Twitter bird!
You can download the new Twitter for iPhone and iPad now, completely free.