iOS was created by Apple, and is used exclusively on Apple products, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
BlackBerry today announced that it has struck an agreement with LG to preload its BlackBerry Messenger application on some of LG's smartphones. The first device to include BBM is the LG G Pro Lite. Others will follow. In addition to the preloading agreement with LG, BlackBerry also said that updates to the Android and iOS versions of BBM will add features such as BBM Channels, as well as support for BBM Voice calling and BBM Video calling. BlackBerry said these updates will appear in the coming months.
Apple recently added the ability to gift books from the iBookstore. Gifting has long been available to Apple's other digital content stores, but this is the first time the company has offered the feature for digital books. The tool works just as it does for gifting music or movies, and lets people send gifts along with a short note to other iOS users who reside in the same country that they do.
Apple informed developers this week that all applications must be optimized for iOS 7 no later than February 1. The apps will need to be built with Xcode5 and matched against iOS 7's human interface guidelines. The result should be a more seamless experience for users.
Pebble has released PebbleOS v1.14, a firmware update for its smartwatch that adds several new features and fixes bugs. Pebble now lets users block notifications for a set period of time, such as at night, and lets users set multiple alarms, toggle alarms on/off, and edit alarms more easily. The alarm adds a snooze feature, as well. The firmware update gives users more control over notifications, such as which are displayed, and the notification menu system has been streamlined so it is easier to use. The update also makes improvements to the performance of the watch with iOS devices, to which it will send notifications faster. Pebble owners can update their smartwatch via either the Android or iOS Pebble applications.
Google today announced that it has changed how Gmail handles image attachments within emails. Until today, Gmail asked users to verify that the sender was trusted before downloading remote images. Now, Google serves all images from its own, secure servers. The change means that images embedded in Gmail posts will automatically be visible in emails viewed on desktop machines, as well as Android and iOS devices. Google said the functionality will roll out over the coming days.
Instagram today announced Instagram Direct, a new service that lets users send one another text and picture messages privately. The new service includes an inbox where users can see photos and videos that people have sent them. Users will have the option to publish photos/videos to all their followers or to only specific people when composing their posts. Private photos/videos offer read receipts and their own private threads for comments and likes. Photos and videos that users receive from people they follow will appear in the inbox immediately. For content that comes from people users don't follow, they'll receive a request and can choose to view it or ignore it. Instagram 5.0 for Android and iOS will be available in the Play Store and iTunes App Store, respectively, beginning today. Instagram says the direct messaging service is still in beta for Windows Phone, but should be available soon.
Facebook pushed out an update to its iOS application that enables auto-play for videos embedded in newsfeed posts. The videos will play silently until the user taps the screen to turn on sound. The update is free.
Google recently updated Maps for iOS devices. The most significant new feature included in Google Maps 2.5.0 is the ability to sign in to automatically see flight, hotel, and restaurant reservations from Gmail. The update also introduces several bug fixes. Google Maps for iOS is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Spotify today announced that it is bringing free music streaming to mobile devices for the first time. Before today, smartphone and tablet owners were required to pay $10 per month for the right to listen to music on their devices. The new service uses advertisements in lieu of the monthly fee to cover costs. Spotify still offers an ad-free service for $10 per month. Spotify also announced that it is the only streaming service that offers the entire Led Zeppelin catalog, which went live today. Spotify for Android and iOS is free to download and use.
Twitter made updates to both its Android and iOS mobile apps available today. The most significant new feature added to Twitter is the ability to send pictures via direct message to other users. Both apps have a refreshed look and feel, and users can access the Home, Activity, and Discover tabs by swiping through their timelines. Users can also choose to view replies, retweets, and favorites from only people they follow, and can choose to receive push notifications from select people. Twitter for Android and iOS is free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store, respectively.
Google today announced that 10 applications have added support for its Chromecast media device. Now, smartphone or tablet owners can push content from Vevo, Red Bull.TV, Songza, PostTV, Viki, Revision 3, and BeyondPod to their television. Chromecast also now supports local media playback through the Plex, Avia, or RealPlayer Cloud apps. Chromecast works with Android and iOS devices, which push content through a local Wi-Fi network.
Apple plans to launch its iBeacon service at 254 of its U.S. stores today, reports the Associated Press. iBeacon uses Bluetooth transmitters inside Apple Stores to track the exact location of shoppers. Customers must download the most recent version of the Apple Store application, and turn their Bluetooth radios on in order for iBeacon to track them. When shoppers move about the Apple Store, iBeacon can sense if they are standing next to a table of iPhones, for example, and will send a message to ask if the customer is interested in an upgrade. The app can also direct shoppers to the check-out counter, or alert them when purchases are ready for pickup. Apple Stores will also be able to send alerts concerning sales or deals to shoppers in the vicinity. iOS device owners need to agree to allow Apple to track them in order for iBeacon to work. Apple has not updated the Apple Store application since early November, and it is unclear exactly when iBeacon will come online.
Foursquare today made version 7.0 of its application available for iPhones. The newest rendition of the popular location-sharing social network takes on iOS7's design language with new themes and colors throughout. Foursquare 7.0 now makes more real-time recommendations to users. For example, it will suggest food orders when users enter a specific restaurant based on the feedback provided by other users. The app also changes constantly, updating as users move about, offering information on as many of the nearby venues as it can. Foursquare also refreshed the news feed, making it easier to keep tabs on friends through Foursquare. Foursquare 7.0 is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
BlackBerry today announced the availability of its BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10.2 software. The mobile device management suite for companies adds a handful of new features, including expanded support for Android and iOS devices. Companies that use BES 10.2 will be able to control app and system updates pushed to Android and iOS devices, as well as sandbox and secure work data separately from personnel data on devices owned by employees. BES 10.2 gives end users self-service options in order to help reduce calls to IT, and lets businesses manage more devices (up to 100,000) for less money. BES 10.2 can be downloaded directly from BlackBerry.
Delivering on its promise, Google pushed out an update to the iOS version of Google+ that enables full-resolution backups of pictures and videos. The revised app also makes changes to the notification tray and lets users share their location, as well as see the location of their friends on a map. These features hit the Android version of Google+ last month. Google+ for iOS is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Microsoft today made an updated version of its SkyDrive application available for iOS devices. SkyDrive, which is Microsoft's cloud-based storage service, now lets iOS device owners automatically backup their photos and videos. The new SkyDrive makes improvements to how Office Mobile and OneNote perform on the iPhone, and added the ability to edit Office docs. The app also adopts the iOS 7 design language and fixes bugs. SkyDrive is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Google today made its Play Music application available to iOS devices for the first time. Google had promised to deliver the app back in June, but delayed the release for unknown reasons. The application lets iOS device users access and listen to their Google Play library from their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. iOS device owners who subscribe to Google's All Access service will be able to stream an unlimited number of songs, create custom radio stations from songs/artists, stream radio with no skip limits, get artist recommendations, and listen to curated playlists. Google Play Music's online service lets people upload up to 20,000 songs from their personal collection and then play them back on the web or through Android and now iOS devices. Music can be downloaded locally for offline playback. Google Play Music for iOS does not let iPhone owners purchase individual tracks or albums, though All Access subscribers can add tracks/albums to their online library for playback. Google Play Music can also be used with Google's Chromecast media streaming device for television sets. The app itself is free to download and use. All Access costs $10 per month.
BlackBerry today made available updates to the BlackBerry Messenger application for both the Android and iOS platforms. The Android version of BBM gains support for BBM contact categories, Group List sorting and filtering, more PIN-sharing options, and the ability to search for BBM users through social networks. The iOS version of BBM gains support for iPads and iPods running iOS6/7, improved right-to-left language support, PIN-sharing options, and social network searching. It also resolves a bug that left some users unable to see BBM contact names. BlackBerry Messenger is free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store.
Apple today made iOS 7.0.4 available to iPhones and iPads. The minor system update fixes a bug that caused Facetime calls to disconnect. The update is small and can be downloaded over the air.
Jolla today indicated through one of its Twitter accounts that its first handset running the Sailfish operating system will go on sale November 27. The Jolla smartphone was previewed earlier this year with the promise that it would be available before the end of the year. The Jolla device features a 4.5-inch qHD display with Gorilla Glass; a dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage; support for LTE 4G networks; an 8-megapixel autofocus main camera and a 2-megapixel user-facing camera; and a user-replaceable battery. The Jolla also features exchangeable shells, which allow owners to customize the appearance of their device. Last, the Jolla's Sailfish operating system will be able to run Android applications, and supports Nokia's HERE Maps. Sailfish is based on Nokia's discarded MeeGo platform and offers a modern, touch-based user interface. Jolla hopes that Sailfish can eventually compete with Android, Windows Phone, and iOS. The device will debut in Jolla's native Finland. The company hasn't yet announced plans to sell the device outside of Finland.
Facebook today announced that the new version of Facebook Messenger it released a few weeks ago is now available to most Android devices. Some of the new features in the app include the ability to see who's using the dedicated Messenger app through presence, and delivered/read receipts that are updated immediately. Facebook Messenger can also be used to message contacts who don't use Facebook via standard SMS, provided the user has the phone number. Further, the application has a brand new look and feel that makes it easier to see who's available for chatting, as well as access on-going conversations. In addition to wider availability on Android handsets, Facebook has made this same update available to iOS devices. Facebook Messenger for Android and iOS is free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store.
Google today offered an update to the Google Drive application for iOS devices. Among the app's new features are support for multiple accounts, single sign-in support for other Google apps, and Cloud Print/AirPrint support. The app has also been redesigned with iOS 7 in mind. Google Drive is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Google recently updated the the Google Search application for Apple's iOS platform and added a handful of new features. Among the app's new powers are the ability to perform voice-based searches with the "OK Google" search prompt. The Google Now functionality of the app now offers improved notifications for events like upcoming calendar appointments or travel changes. It offers new reminders for tasks, as well as entertainment reminders for new albums, movies, and articles containing the user's favorite artists. Google Now includes more cards for organizing tickets and boarding passes. Last, the home page has been simplified and includes new gestures for discarding unwanted content. Google Search requires iOS 6 and up, and the iPhone 4S and up. It is free.
Twitter today delivered updates to both its Android and iOS applications. The latest version of Twitter offers previews of photos, Vine videos and other content directly in the timeline. Users can tap images/video to see the full screen version, as well as Tweet images with no text, and reply, retweet, favorite, or follow someone straight from a Tweet in the main timeline. Twitter for Android and iOS is free to download from the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store.
Google today made some improvements to its Google Hangouts application, chief among them new support for SMS messages. With SMS now included, mobile device users can replace their native texting app with the Hangouts app. Hangouts gain the ability to share location data, GIFs, full-screen video calls, and the ability to fix webcam lighting. Google also announced new features for its Google+ photos product, which gains support for full-size backups from iOS devices, adjustable auto-enhance, HDR filter in Snapseed, and analog effects. The Hangouts and Google+ apps will be updated with the new features shortly.
Facebook today announced that it is testing a revised version of its dedicated Messenger application for the Android platform. The update aims to make Facebook Messenger a more capable messaging platform. Some of the new features in the app include the ability to see who's using the dedicated Messenger app through presence, and delivered/read receipts that are updated immediately. Facebook Messenger can also be used to message contacts who don't use Facebook via standard SMS, provided the user has the phone number. Further, the application has a brand new look and feel that makes it easier to see who's available for chatting, as well as access on-going conversations. The test version of the app will be available beginning later today. Facebook didn't immediately specify if similar changes will reach its iOS Facebook Messenger app.
Verizon Wireless today updated its Verizon Messaging product, a cloud-based, cross-platform service that lets people send messages between smartphones, tablets, and PCs. The new version of Verizon Messaging bakes in support for Glympse, which allows users to share their location data with others. Further enhancements to the app include the ability to customize photos with collages, captions and sketches; send customized postcards; and record and send audio clips. Verizon Messaging is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, as well as desktop browsers.
Twitter today updated its Vine application for iOS devices. The update brings with it several key new features, including the ability to save any post and come back to it later. The tool lets Vine users save up to 10 draft videos at a time. The app also adds new editing features that let users go back and remove, reorganize, or replace any shot in the recorded sequence. Vine for iOS is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Apple today made available a minor update to its iOS 7 operating system. The new platform software includes support for iCloud Keychain, which can be used to keep track of account names, passwords, and credit cards across Mac devices. According to the changelog, the system update also adds a password generator for Safari; updates the lock screen TouchID behavior and patches a lockscreen bug; returns web and Wikipedia search to Spotlight; fixes several iMessage bugs; improves iWork stability; eliminates a VoiceOver bug that impacted Siri and input sensitivity; and resolves an accelerometer calibration issue. iOS 7 is free to download over the air and is compatible with devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
Apple today announced new versions of its core creativity and productivity suites, iLife and iWork. iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand have all been redesigned with the design language used by iOS 7, as well as given new features. iPhoto makes it easier to organize albums; iMovie can now create picture-in-picture videos and slow motion effects; and GarageBand can handle more tracks in a single recording. All the apps have new support for iCloud, and can sync contents/file changes between iOS and Mac-based machines. iWork has been redesigned, too, to bring over the new elements of iOS 7. Pages, Apple's Microsoft Word equivalent, has less "chrome" getting in the way of content; Numbers has more graphics and visual tools; and Presentations adds object-based animation, new transitions, and more realistic physics. Last, Apple added collaboration tools to iWork for iCloud, which will allow people to share and work on documents/files. All six apps are free for iOS (and Mac) devices and will be available beginning later today.
Nokia today announced that a handful of popular applications will soon be available to the Windows Phone platform, including Instagram. Instagram is a photo-sharing service that is widely used on Android and iOS devices that has until now been unavailable to Windows Phone. Nokia did not provide an exact timing on its release. Some of the other apps headed to Windows Phone devices include Flipboard and Vine, Papyrus and Temple Run 2, and ESPN F1 and XBox Video. Many of these apps will be updated with support for high-resolution screens, such as that of the Lumia 1520, and will be able to take advantage of the third column on the home screen. The applications will become available over the course of the next few weeks.
BlackBerry today announced that it is restarting its aborted launch of BlackBerry Messenger for the Android and iOS platforms. The application should appear in the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store later today. In order to manage demand for the app, BlackBerry has established a sign-up process for it. Mobile device users interested in the messaging application will need to download the app and register to reserve a place in line. BlackBerry will then email people who've downloaded/installed the app when it can bring them aboard the service. BlackBerry said people will be able to monitor their "spot in line" to see how long it will take to activate the service, but it didn't provide any sort of estimate on how long that might be. According to BlackBerry, more than 7 million Android/iOS device owners have already registered to receive more details about the app. BlackBerry originally attempted to launch the app last month, but ran into trouble with the rollout and postponed it.
Google updated its Hangouts app for iOS devices and added the ability to place free voice calls from the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch to other lines in the U.S. and Canada. Google Voice users can also receive calls through Google Hangouts. The app also improves visibility of who's online, makes it possible to send animated GIFs, and turns down music volume when incoming calls arrive. Hangouts for iOS is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Google recently updated Google Maps for iOS and made some usability improvements to its navigation app. Maps now offers faster access to navigation tools, including route and traffic overviews. The app makes the Tips and Tricks feature easier to access in the side menu. Last, the app adds support for Arabic and Hebrew, including voice guidance. The update also fixes some bugs. Google Maps for iOS is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Sprint today announced Messaging Plus, a cloud-based messaging service that connects Android and iOS devices across carriers. The application, which is powered by Jibe Mobile, lets smartphone owners send text, instant, and group messages; share photos and videos; and conduct live, two-way video chats. Sprint says the service lets Sprint customers connect with any mobile device in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Once Sprint customers have installed it, they will be able to invite their friends and family to download it -- even those who are using service from other network operators. The app is free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store. It is compatible with the HTC EVO 4G LTE and One; the Apple iPhone 4, 4S, and 5; and the Samsung Galaxy S III, S4, Victory, and Note 2. Sprint said that it will be included with most Android smartphones moving forward.
Instagram has pushed out updates to both the Android and iOS versions of its mobile application. The Android version of Instagram gains the ability to straighten photos, as well as share videos directly from the video library and edit/control video sound. The iOS version sees some minor performance improvements and bug fixes. Instagram is free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store.
Yahoo today updated the Flickr application for iOS 7 devices. The app now allows users to automatically upload full-resolution copies of their photos to their Flickr account. The app gains a new editing feature that makes straightening crooked photos a snap. Last, the app resolves some bugs resolving sign-in issues. Flickr offers 1TB of storage for free and was recently given a range of photo-editing tools.
Yahoo today announced a significant update to all versions of Yahoo Mail, including desktops, smartphones, and tablets. The new version of Yahoo Mail introduces a threaded view for those who prefer to read their email based on conversations. This will help it to better compete with Google's Gmail. Yahoo says a number of actions have been simplified, such as deleting and starring emails. All users will now have access to some of the Yahoo Mail Plus features, including disposable email addresses, enhanced filters, and automatic message forwarding. Yahoo is now offering 1TB of storage for Yahoo Mail users. Last, Yahoo introduced new themes, including curated Flickr photos, that span the browser, smartphone, and tablet versions of Yahoo Mail. The Android and iOS Yahoo Mail apps are available beginning today.
Microsoft today made a new version of Skype available for iOS devices. The application has a refreshed look to better match the design language of iOS 7. It also has improved accessibility features, as well as speed improvements and other fixes. Skype for iOS is free to download from the iTunes App Store. It is compatible with both the iPhone and the iPad.