Virgin TV Anywhere launched on iPhone and iPad

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Uncategorized, others

Virgin Media’s new Virgin TV Anywhere app is now live and available to download from the App Store for iOS devices.

The app brings a whole host of functionality to your iPhone or iPad, including loads of on-demand content, access to manage your TiVo box remotely, and even live TV streaming.

We were fortunate enough to take an early look at the app with Virgin Media and had some hands on time with the app in iPad form, and we really took to it. Owners of the TiVo box will feel right at home with the user interface and functionality being very similar to that of Virgin’s set top box.

You’ll be able to sign in to the app using your Virgin Media ID and password and then set it up for either home or away use, with the former adding the ability to use an iOS device as a remote for your TiVo box. The ‘away’ option allows you to connect to a Wi-Fi network when out and about and stream live content – provided you’re in the UK – and even manage your TiVo box remotely.

If you’re a Virgin TV customer and you’d like to learn more about Virgin TV Anywhere then read our extensive hands-on article right here.

TV Anywhere will also launch as a web service for Mac and PC users at a later date, with an app for Android also in the works for next year.

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Cocos2D 2.0 available now

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

After months of testing, the team behind the latest version of the extremely popular Cocos2D game engine for iOS has released version 2.0 of the framework, and it’s available for download right now. The framework isn’t completely compatible with version 1.0, so devs currently using the previous version on a big project might not want to upgrade in the current build. But the new version is quite fast, includes support for OpenGL ES 2.0, and much simpler code for setting up and maintaining lots and lots of on-screen sprites.

Cocos2D is probably the number one open source engine for iOS game development. It sits inside Apple’s Xcode software and allows developers to easily and quickly prototype and develop 2D games and apps. This new version of the software should allow for even easier and more powerful development, leading to even better games and apps for end-users.

Cocos2D 2.0 available now originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 09 Jul 2012 22:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Minimalistic weather app does a few things very well

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

Ah, yet another weather app. There are so many, but Weather Neue is free, and rather than having a thousand features, maps, and animations, it does what it is does in a very clean, minimalistic way.

When you start the app, it grabs your location. Then it spins up your current conditions and a four-day forecast. That’s it. No radar, choice of multiple cities, cloud maps, front depictions, or fancy background graphics. You get your temperature, sky conditions, humidity, wind speed and direction, plus the prediciton.

It uses an attractive Helvetica font, and the only settings are metric or US, and a choice of 4 background colors.

After using the app for a few days I’ve grown to like it. It’s to the point and gives me what I need in a quick glance. I have other apps that will warn me of imminent storms, flooding and other weather woes, but Weather Neue does the basic job in elegant style.

The app is not universal, and an update is coming to fix a bug that prevents it being installed on an iPad 1 or 2. The app requires iOS5 or greater.

Gallery: Weather Neue for iPhone

Minimalistic weather app does a few things very well originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 09 Jul 2012 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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GameDock would turn your iPhone into a retro gaming station

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

Gaming is obviously a big deal on iOS, but traditional gamers generally want something that the iPhone and the iPad don’t provide: Buttons. Gaming on a touchscreen works in many cases, but for some games and some genres, you need a d-pad and some buttons to press. We’ve already seen some popular third party solutions to that problem (including the uber popular iCade), and here comes another one, in the form of a Kickstarter project called the GameDock.

The GameDock is still seeking funding, which makes it still just an idea at this point. But it does have a few things going for it, including a nice-looking dock for any iOS devices you happen to have that will plug right into a television, throwing your games and apps right up on the screen. There are also two retro controller ports on the dock, and the controllers will smartly work along with the iCade protocol, so any games compatible with iCade will work on this.

I’m not ready to start singing this product’s praises just yet — let’s wait until they actually make their goal, and then make some devices for real. But it is a good idea, and if you’ve been seeking some solid buttons for your iOS games, it might be worth your backing money.

via The Verge

GameDock would turn your iPhone into a retro gaming station originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 05 Jul 2012 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iPad app teaches Photoshop CS6 in an engaging manner

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

I’ve been debating jumping to Photoshop CS6 for awhile. I’ve had every version of PS since version 1 way back in the distant past and have really looking for someone to show me what the differences between CS5 and CS6 were in an easily understandable way.

To help solve my dilemma, I grabbed a copy of Learn Photoshop CS6 Quickstart edition for the iPad. It’s a US $5.00 video tutorial with about 2 hours of videos covering Camera Raw, the new Content Aware tools, HDR, black and white conversions, and the new blur and lighting filters.

French landscape photographer Serge Ramelli is an engaging teacher, and I find I learn more from a video that reading a book. Ramelli keeps it simple, although sometimes he assumes a bit more knowledge than a new user might have. In addition to the videos, you can download the files used in the tutorials and try the techniques yourself.

I learned quite a bit in a short time, and the app answered my questions about whether or not I should upgrade (I should). While my new iPad screen has the very sharp Retina display, I found that I really wanted a larger presentation. Apple AirPlay to the rescue! The videos look great on my 46″ LCD screen via the Apple TV.

Ramelli has other video tutorials, including learning HDR, Photoshop CS5, and basic landscape photography. There are also some free previews available to download and sample. I’ve looked at some of these videos, and they are consistently high value in terms of content but they don’t get too technical. It’s pretty easy to walk away with new techniques you might have never discovered.

All these Ramelli tutorials are universal apps, but I think the iPhone screen is just too small for worthwhile viewing. The CS6 Quickstart is a 333 MB download and requires iOS3 or greater.

Gallery: Photoshop CS6 Quickstart

iPad app teaches Photoshop CS6 in an engaging manner originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 28 Jun 2012 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Daily iPhone App: The Act combines great cartoon art with iOS gameplay

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

The Act is, I will say, probably one of the most interesting experiments I’ve ever seen show up on the App Store. I don’t know if it’s entirely successful, but even at the current price of $2.99, I can wholeheartedly recommend it. It does some very interesting things with interactive storytelling and animation that have to be seen to be believed.

The Act is a game by React Entertainment, a company that has at least one famous 2D animation vet in its background. As you can probably tell by the screenshot above, it’s a game that’s been entirely hand animated, and the art is just plain beautiful — the characters pop off of the screen like a Disney movie. There’s no dialogue at all, so the story is told strictly through animation and music, and yet it all comes across very well.

The interactive part of the game arrives in certain sections, where you need to swipe to the right or left on the screen to keep “the act” going. This is perhaps the biggest fault of the “game” — all of your cues come from the on-screen animation, so it’s often hard to tell exactly what you’re supposed to be doing and when. But the game does get clearer as it goes on — by the third interactive scene or so, I had a pretty good idea of when I was doing it right and when I was doing something wrong.

Even with those issues around feedback (the game definitely could have been a little more designed for accessibility), The Act still respectably takes some bold moves with its gameplay, and again, that animation is just gorgeous. If you’re a fan of games or good old fashioned hand-drawn animation at all, definitely check this one out.

Daily iPhone App: The Act combines great cartoon art with iOS gameplay originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 26 Jun 2012 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Five apps to help you prepare for the non-stop tennis of Wimbledon

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone, others

It’s the end of June, and for tennis fans that means it’s time for Wimbledon. The UK tennis tournament kicks off Monday, June 25. Whether you’ll be attending in London or watching from afar, we have a list of apps that’ll help you follow the matches from your iPhone and even brush up on your own tennis skills.

Official Wimbledon app (Free)

The official Wimbledon app is for fans who don’t want to miss any of the action. The app lets you keep track of live scores and even listen to matches on one of the three Wimbledon Radio stations. Player profiles, schedules and on-demand video round out this excellent app. If you’re in the UK, you also can download the BBC’s iPlayer app which will have even more coverage.

Tennis Trakker Pro ($12.99)

Tennis Trakker Pro is a statistics app that’ll let you keep track of a tennis player’s performance. You can record the outcome of each point in a tennis match and use this information to identify a player’s strengths and weaknesses. The app has a cloud component that’ll let you upload match information for future reference and also share it with others who can watch the updates in real-time using ScoreTrakker. This cloud feature does require a subscription which is available via an in-app purchase. New users are eligible for a free 90-day trial of the upload service. There’s also a lite version of the app which will let you evaluate it for free.

Flick Tennis: College Wars HD ($3.99)

Flick Tennis: College Wars HD is for those idle moments when you are tired of tennis highlights and want to settle down with an entertaining game. Flick Tennis isn’t a simple back and forth volleying game. It has a storyline that lets you play the role of tennis prodigy Kevin Adams who must fight against the odds to become the best tennis player in the world. There are three modes in the game including story, exhibition and multiplayer. Story and exhibition mode have both single and double matches, while multiplayer mode lets you play head-to-head against a friend on the same device. The game has 11 tennis courts, 10 players and even 35 comic book cut-scenes which add to the plot in story mode.

Tennis Clinic ($4.99)

Tennis Clinic is for the budding tennis star who wants a portable pocket reference. The app is filled with video tutorials from tennis pros who cover the basic strokes, specialty strokes and other tips & tricks that’ll help improve your game. All the tutorial videos are embedded into the app which means you don’t have to worry about finding a fast internet connection when you want to watch a video. Because the lessons are included, the app is a hefty 571 MB.

USTA Mobile (Free)

The USTA app is for US tennis players who want to keep track of United States Tennis Association leagues and tournaments while on the go. You can find tournaments and review the draw. Once you’ve picked a tournament or a league, you can register for them right from your phone. The app also keeps tracks of players so you can view their records and gain a competitive edge before you start your first serve.

Five apps to help you prepare for the non-stop tennis of Wimbledon originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 23 Jun 2012 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ocarina 2 arrives on iOS

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

Smule has released Ocarina 2, a sequel to its immensely popular Ocarina app for iPhone. Like the original, the app allows you to blow into your iPhone’s microphone to create a tone, which can be changed and adjusted depending on where you hold your fingers on the touchscreen. The new version brings features like a dynamic harmony, and the ability to choose songs to be played rather than just playing freestyle (which seems similar to the options in Smule’s Magic Piano app, and means Smule is once again selling extra songs as an in-app purchase). And there’s also a new “Whistle Mode,” and achievements that make the whole thing a little more game-centric.

The last Ocarina created plenty of really wild videos and cover tunes, and odds are this version will do exactly the same. Below, you can see a video of a beta tester playing the Tetris theme on the new app. If you want to start tooting away on your own, you can grab the app right now from the App Store for free.


Ocarina 2 arrives on iOS originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 19 Jun 2012 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30/30 app asks you to pay what you want

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

Well, this is clever! There’s a nifty app called 30/30 that allows you to pay 3 different prices for it. How? All are in-app purchases, but don’t really unlock anything. It’s not a donation, which isn’t allowed, because the developer isn’t a non-profit and you are paying them for the shareware. It’s just a clever way of using the App Store for an honor system.

The app itself is a timer app, used to set timers for activities. Similar to the minutes prescribed in the Pomodoro technique, except 30/30 allows a range of timing. The app is free to download, as the payment is up to you.

via The Guardian

30/30 app asks you to pay what you want originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 07 Jun 2012 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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If you’re going to check out the Venus transit try to capture it with your iPhone

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

On Tuesday, Venus will pass in front of the sun for the last time until 2117.

Southern Stars Software, makers of SkySafari for iOS wants people to use their iPhone or iPad cameras to capture the transit and have a chance to win an iPad, iPod touch, or a Samsung Galaxy tablet (which most of our readers would probably pass on).

To enter, here’s the catch, you must own a copy of one of the editions of SkySafari, which is on sale for this event starting at US $0.99. Rules for the contest can be found on the Southern Stars website.

Contest aside, this is a good excuse to get SkySafari if you don’t have it already. It’s a great way to get out under the summer night skies and see what is up there. At transit time, which is of course a daytime event, you’ll be able to see a simulation of what’s happening in real time. Let me emphasize that just like an eclipse, you DON’T want to look at the sun. Make a pinhole camera, or get some solar viewing glasses, and don’t look at the sun with a telescope or binoculars unless those devices are properly protected. Frying your eye is simply no fun and can ruin your day.

Here’s some NASA information about the transit and some general photography tips, although they don’t apply specifically to your iPhone camera. If you want even more information, the Bad Astronomy website has a good collection of facts and tips.

Enjoy the transit, if you can see it. It will be visible in about 2/3 of the world, so if the weather cooperates you should have no trouble seeing Venus glide in front of the sun. Most of us won’t have a chance to see the next transit, so good luck.

Check the gallery to see how SkySafari simulates the event.

Gallery: Venus Transit

If you’re going to check out the Venus transit try to capture it with your iPhone originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 01 Jun 2012 23:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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