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.
The most popular streaming service is now iOS 6 and iPhone 5 compliant. Netflix just rolled out its latest video streaming offering, which includes improved browsing and searching. iOS Netflix subscribers go grab the update and say "no" to letterboxing!
Read More | Netflix App
YouTube, the baked-in but soon-to-be-exiled from iOS 6 app, is back in the form of a Google-submitted app in Apple's App Store. The timing couldn't be more perfect since the public release of iOS 6 is just eight days away. Apple is slowly but surely detoxifying itself from Google. So, if you're thinking of updating your hardware to iOS 6 next week, and can't live without watching your precious cat videos, be sure to download this app. An iPad-optimized version will be released "shortly." Also, be sure to subscribe to Gear Live on Youtube.
Read More | YouTube for iPhone
Facebook has (finally!) released its updated iOS app that's been rewritten from the ground-up in native iOS dev code. That means that instead of being HTML5 based (and super-slow,) it's now twice as fast. There are other visual tweaks, but they're relatively subdued. You can scroll faster in the News Feed, pictures are a bit larger, there are nicer animations, and Timeline profile pages can now be viewed on the iPad app. All nice, but make no mistake about it, the star here is the fantastic speed of the app. You can download Facebook 5.0 for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch now, for free on the App Store.
Read More | Facebook 5.0 for iPhone
Instagram 3.0 was released today, and with it comes a host of new features and bug fixes. One of the major additions is the Photo Map, which makes it easy to find images that have been geo-tagged to specific locations. Users will find a new Photo Map section in their profiles that will allow them to see their own images overlayed on a map as well. Other features include infinite scrolling on photo feeds, redesigned profile and upload screens, and other performance improvements. Grab Instagram 3.0 now from the App Store or Google Play for free. Check out a video explaining it all after the break.
The most recent Spotify update has appeared in the App Store with iOS 6 support in tow. Typically, Apple rejects app releases that mention compatibility with beta versions of iOS until they put out to official call. Spotify is what we'd consider a high-profile app, so we thought it was interesting to mention. Aside from iOS 6 support, Spotify 0.5.4 also brings the ability for iPad users to show more channels at once, fixes Facebook login issues, and improves app stability. You can get it now. iOS 6 launches in the fall.
Today Amazon has released its long-awaited Instant Video iPad app on Apple's App Store. If you're an Amazon Prime member, this means that you have access to the entire Prime Instant Video catalog, but anyone can access purchased content on-demand as well. We've been playing with it this morning, and it works just as you'd expect it to, with badges indicating which pieces of content are available for free to Prime members.
One nice bonus is that the app supports AirPlay, essentially bringing Amazon Instant Video to your Apple TV. Sure, it's not built-in like Netflix or the newly-added Hulu Plus, but it still allows you to enjoy Amazon's streaming catalog on your television if you own an Apple TV. You can download the free Amazon Instant Video app now.
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.
Vonage has released an updated version of its Vonage Mobile app, 1.5, for the iPhone and iPod touch, which includes Bluetooth support and a bunch of messaging features as well. Vonage Mobile allows users to make free VoIP calls to other users on the app on iOS and Android, as well as directly to landline numbers in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico for free (up to 3,000 minutes per month.) The new update allows you to use any Bluetooth headset that works with iOS, and the messaging feature has been enhanced to allow for sharing of contacts, photos, and locations. Call quality and connectivity has been enhanced as well. You can grab Vonage Mobile for free from the App Store.
We were able to get a look at the new Pirq app update, which is focused on bringing beauty to the free restaurant discount app. In addition to making the app look a bit more slick, Pirq also worked on bringing restaurant information directly into the app itself in a Yelp-like fashion, and finally, the company wanted to make it even easier to go through the process of finding a restaurant to eat at, to redeeming the free deal (no pre-printed coupons or pre-payments are needed, unlike apps like Groupon or LivingSocial.)
The tour of the app begins with the magazine philosophy. In order to get users to tap on a restaurant deal, a magazine approach is used. Big, polished, glossy images of delicious food, all from the restaurants. The app even pulls in featured menu items that are popular at the different restaurants. Read on for all the details.