On Sunday we noted that Disney’s ABC apps for iOS devices would this week begin live streaming TV to users in New York and Philadelphia. It’s the first time a major broadcaster is offering a live TV experience in its iOS apps and today the updated ABC apps have officially hit the App Store. The ABC Player is now called “Watch ABC” and with it comes the new live TV experience as well as the full length on demand episodes that were previously available. The new live streaming service will also be available to users on Kindle Fire and online at ABC.com.
The live video features will initially be limited to Philadelphia and New York City and starting July 1 users will have to verify their “eligible TV provider account for continued access.” For now eligible cable providers include Comcast, Cablevision, Cox, AT&T U-verse, Charter, and Midcontinent.
There are also plans to roll out the app to other markets this summer including: Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno.
Watch ABC version 3.0 is available now for iPhone and iPad.
What’s New in Version 3.0.0
- The ABC Player is now called WATCH ABC.
- Now in select markets, WATCH ABC is a new way to experience ABC television. You can watch your favorite TV shows and local programming – LIVE.*
*Live video available in Philadelphia and New York City area only. Must be within each station’s local viewing area. Program substitutions may apply. Starting July 1, 2013, simply verify your eligible TV provider account for continued access to LIVE video.
Philips Hue lightbulbs have quickly become one of our favorite iPhone accessories for the home. Not only can change your lighting to fit any mood, you can also create light shows with your music, and now Philips is adding some new features to the bulbs to make them even more powerful.
Philips released a new update for its Philips Hue app for iOS today that adds a number of features including geo-fencing, timers, alarms, and IFTTT support.
Here’s a video of some of the new features:
With Hue 1.1 you can setup a geo-fence so that your lights automatically switch on when you get close to your house and then turn off when you leave. If you only want your Hue bulbs to come on when it’s dark outside, there’s no an option for that too.
The big update for Hue 1.1 though is that the bulbs are more connected to the Internet than ever thanks to IFTTT support. Now you can set your bulbs can tell you if it’s raining, flash whenever your favorite sports team scores, or alert you if you have new email.
Hue combined with IFTTT adds a whole new dimension to what you can do with the smart bulbs, and thanks to the developer SDK Philips released last month, we’re pretty excited to see what cool stuff people come up with next. Philips Hue 1.1 is available in the App Store for free right now.
Source: Cult of Mac.
If you have an iTunes account for your children and are looking for an easy way to keep their balance replenished, look no further than the loose change sitting on your counter. It only takes a trip to your local grocery store and a few minutes of your time to turn your change into an iTunes gift certificate.
You are probably familiar with the coin-counting service Coinstar, which offers cash in exchange for your loose coins. Instead of receiving a cash voucher next time you turn in change, select an iTunes gift certificate and you will receive a receipt with an iTunes redemption code.
The funds will be added to your Apple ID and you can use it to buy iOS Apps, OS X apps, music, movies and books. Coinstar waives the coin-counting fee with these gift certificates, so you will walk away with your full balance. The coin-counting service occasionally offers an iTunes promotion that’ll give you an extra $10 when you redeem a minimum amount (usually $40). You can find promotions on Coinstar’s Special Offers webpage or be alerted via email when you sign up for a Coinstar account.
There is one small restriction with the gift certificate — you must have a minimum of $5 in change or cash. Also, not all Coinstar machines offer iTunes gift certificates. You can use the search feature on Coinstar’s website to find a supported machine.
Put your change in a money jar and you will be surprised at how much you can accrue over the course of a month. We redeem about $20 to $30 each month in change, which goes a long way to help purchase educational apps, games, music, movies and books for our children.
You can find out more about the iTunes gift certificate by visiting Coinstar’s website.
The Starbucks Pick of the Week promotion has finally gone digital, allowing you to download free apps and books on your iOS devices without a card or redemption code. All you need now is the Starbucks app, which will allow you to download the latest giveaway when connected to an in-store Wi-Fi network.
The Pick of the Week promotion, which began offering paid content from the App Store and the iBookstore back in 2011, traditionally used printed cards (above) that customers could collect in stores when they popped in for their morning coffee. Each card had a redemption code on the back, which you had to enter into iTunes to redeem your download.
But CNET reports that starting tomorrow. All you have to do to grab your Pick of the Week download is open the Starbucks app when connected to a Wi-Fi network in a Starbucks store. It takes just one click, so you can download the latest app or book while you wait in line.
“This expansion, of adding apps and books, is the reflection of Starbucks and Apple working together to strengthen the relationship for customers,” Starbucks Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman told CNET. “This is another step in the direction that we’re going to integrate more things into our mobile application.”
Starbucks is celebrating its new service by giving away Angry Birds Star Wars, the latest title in Rovio’s Angry Birds series. If you don’t already have the Starbucks app, you can download it for free from the App Store.
UPDATE: Starbucks contacted us to say that the Pick of the Week cards will still be available in stores — the app is just a second way in which you can redeem the freebie. So if you prefer the cards or you don’t have time to stop and download the app on your iPhone, you can still use the traditional method.
Source: Cult of Mac.
HBO has updated their HBO Go iOS app. The main version 2.1 improvement, (unless you’re a Game of Thrones fan), is the addition of AirPlay multitasking support that allows video content to stream form the app to your Apple TV, or other AirPlay compatible device, in the background while leaving the iOS device free to operate other apps.
The update also offers new interactive features for the channel’s popular Game of Thrones series, which just had its season three debut last week. HBO Go offers users behind-the scenes videos, cast and crew commentary, and detailed set photos.
Updates to the app also include the ever-reliable standy-by, “general performance enhancements.”
HBO Go is available for both the iPad and iPhone and can be downloaded FREE from the App Store. [DIRECT LINK]
The rise to prominence of the in-app purchase is now clear for all to see, as news emerges that in app purchases account for 76% of all U.S. iPhone App Store revenue.
That figure, released in a report today from Distimo, shows a huge leap in in-app revenue. In January 2012, figures showed that in-app purchases accounted for around 53% of iPhone App Store revenue, last months figures show a huge increase that really testifies to the success of in-app purchases, and more specifically the “Freemium” app model.
As you can see, 71% of the 76% came from Freemium apps…
Forsaking the up-front revenue gained by paying for an app, developers are instead opting to offer users in-game purchases, which in some cases has seen the revenue of popular apps quadruple, the chart above surely shows that the tactic is working.
The success isn’t globally shared however. For example, Germany’s figures remain at 61%. In Asia however, Honk Kong, Japan, China and South Korea saw 90% of its revenue come from in-app purchases.
Granted, much of the Freemium revenue may have been generated by meddling children buying gold coins behind their parent’s backs, however the results remain clear. The Freemium app model is certainly generating more income for developers than up-front costs.
Yahoo! has today announced that it’s acquiring Summly, an iPhone app developed by Nick D’Aloisio when he was just 15, for $30 million. The app is designed to provide users with “pocket sized news” by condensing long articles into just a few paragraphs of text that are easy to consume on the go.
With Summly, you select your favorite news sources by entering your favorite sites, or by giving it keywords for topics you’re interested in. It then finds the news, and summarizes the stories to make them easier and quicker to read. It uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to generate its content so everything it outputs is understandable.
Summly is so impressive it was chosen by Apple as one of the Best Apps of 2012, and the app has provided over 90 million summaries in just a few short months. That’s quite an achievement for a service built in a 15-year-old’s bedroom.
D’Aloisio and the rest of the Summly team will now join Yahoo! in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, the Summly app as we know it now will be closed, but the technology will “come to life throughout Yahoo! mobile experiences,” according to the company’s press release.
On the Summly website, D’Aloisio announced that he is “delighted to announce Summly has signed an agreement to be acquired by Yahoo!. Our vision is to simplify how we get information and we are thrilled to continue this mission with Yahoo!’s global scale and expertise.”
“After spending some time on campus, I discovered that Yahoo! has an inspirational goal to make people’s daily routines entertaining and meaningful, and mobile will be a central part of that vision,” he added. “For us, it’s the perfect fit.”
Source: Cult of Mac.