Skype has decided to overhaul its iOS app, bringing it to version 5.0. Recently, the communications company has been upgrading its mobile app for other platforms, namely Android and Windows Phone, but until now Apple has been left behind.
The first thing you might notice is the new interface. They have completely changed the looks to bring it in line with the newer iOS design language. The next thing is the software changes. You can now start group chats directly from the central hub and don't have to wait until a friends is online before you can message them. Apparently offline messaging was something that was only developed in 2014.
Skype 5.0 also has some software upgrades that are not obvious upon opening the app. It is better at synching your messages between devices and has had its coding redesigned to work up to five times faster, according to a teaser video released Monday evening.
But after tempting you with all the upgrades and good news, Skype is going to leave you hanging. It will be another week before the new Skype for the iPhone is released to the public.
Read More | Skype for iPhone
This evening Google released Google Maps 2.0 for iOS, and with it comes a bunch of new features, including full iPad support. That's a welcome change to owners of Apple's tablets, but the new Google Maps brings a bunch more with it.
Enhanced turn-by-turn navigation now includes live traffic updates and incident reports. When you are looking for something specific, Google Maps now drills down into popular categories like restaurants, playing, shopping, and sleeping. Google now owns Zagat, and as such, Zagat ratings are included and listed within the results. Google Offers also gets integrated into Maps, showing you results that have deals as well.
What may be seen as the coolest addition to the Google Maps app is the inclusion for indoor mapping. That means that you can now launch Google Maps to get indoor directions at places like malls, airports, bus and train stations, and more.
You can download Google Maps 2.0 for iOS now from the App Store.
Plants vs. Zombies was one of the early hits on App Store, making it the 12th all-time paid iPhone app in Apple's marketplace. Well, now there's more to come, PopCap Games will release Plants vs. Zombies 2 for iOS on July 18th for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
This time around, the game will be free to download, instead including the now-popular in-app purchase model. PopCap does say that pretty much the entire game will be free to play, and in app purchase will be for extra currency, plant food, and items to enhance the experience.
Check out the Plants vs. Zombies 2 trailer after the break for a look at what Crazy Dave has in store.
Twitter for iPhone 5.7 has been released, bringing with it improved photo sharing and a preview of what your media- and metadata-filled tweets will look like prior to you posting them, so you can get them juuust right. The Twitter timeline also gets a makeover, now being wider and easier to read throughout the app. You'll also now receive a notification whenever a friend of yours joins Twitter (we aren't sure how that one works,) alongside all the typical bug fixes and code optimizations. You can download Twitter for iPhone now.
Read More | Twitter for iPhone
The fine folks at Tapbots have updated their popular iOS twitter client, Tweetbot, to version 2.8 for iOS. The update adds a new tab specifically for media timeline consumption, showing just the images and videos from those you follow. Additionally, you can now swipe right to left on any given tweet to reveal retweets and the number of users who favorited. Viewing photos has been made frictionless by eliminating the transition to another screen, much like the image viewer behavior of Tweetbot for OS X. Direct Tweetbot download links here: iPad and iPhone / iPod Touch.
What's New in Version 2.8
- New media timeline. Scroll to the top of a timeline and switch to the new media view (next to the search box). This view displays only supported image and video tweets.
- Completely redesigned image viewer
- Tweet/status detail view now displays the number of Favs and Retweets
- Fixed Instagram Previews
- Various other bug fixes
Read More | Tweetbot
Saying "finally" never gets old, especially when used appropriately: the YouTube for iOS app from Google is now, finally, updated to handle iPhone 5 4-inch display, as well as the two size flavors of iPad. The update fixes a head scratcher with AirPlay: Google for "reasons unknown" deciding to limit AirPlay functionality when the app first launched, even though AirPlay is on by default whenever you code an app that has any video functionally. Here is a list of more features of version 1.1.04126. Hopefully I didn't misplace a decimal point.
- Optimized for iPad and iPhone 5
- Stream videos with AirPlay
- Tap logo to open your Guide of channels
- Add and remove videos from your playlists
Read More | YouTube for iOS
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
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.
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
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