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
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.
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
The very popular Temple Run game has been made into a sequel. Temple Run 2 is now available in the App Store in the US and boosts 3Dish animated landscapes. The great news is that the game is free! Here is a list of other features.
- Beautiful new graphics
- Gorgeous new organic environments
- New obstacles
- More powerups
- More achievements
- Special powers for each character
- Bigger monkey!!!
Read More | Temple Run 2
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
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
Last week we mentioned that Starbucks was looking to add Passbook support to its iOS app by the end of September. Well, they missed the target by a few days, but this evening Starbucks released an update to its iPhone app that includes, among other things, the long-awaited Passbook support. Here's the full changelog:
- Passbook support
- iOS6 support
- Now easier to sign up and start earning Rewards with our new account creation flow
- Accessibility, data optimization, and performance improvements
- Multiple bug fixes
When setting up Passbook for Starbucks, you can select different Starbucks locations that you want to set as your favorites. This will allow Passbook to pull up your Starbucks card upon arrival, without you having to go looking for it.
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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