(You're reading all posts by Alex Heath) Alex Heath is a news contributor at Cult of Mac. He previously served as an editor for iDownloadBlog. You can find out more about him on his personal site. And please do follow him on Twitter because that would make his day.
About Alex Heath
In the late 90s, Tamagotchi pets were all the rage. The plastic, egg-shaped pocket computers came in bright colors and housed a virtual pet you had to take care of. Fast forward to late 2013, and the only pocket computers people carry around are smartphones and tablets.
Yesterday, the makers of apps like Clear and Heads Up! launched Hatch, a modern-day take on Tamagotchi for the iPhone. It’s a beautifully crafted game that utilizes the iPhone’s internals to make the pet, or Fugu, come to life.
Tumblr has redesigned its iOS app with a fresh look for iOS 7. The Dashboard, post compose screen, and post chooser have all been redone, and the finished product is an app with plenty of character that feels very at home in Apple’s latest mobile OS.
The official Tumblr app has never felt aesthetically clunky or old, but this most recent update is a huge step forward in terms of modernizing the interface and animations. On the feature side, tags can now be autocompleted, and faster reblogging for users with multiple accounts. There are plenty of other changes in the app to discover, like an improved photo uploader and trending tags design in the Explore tab.
Tumblr is a free universal download in the App Store.
- Source App Store
Today Tapbots released a big update for Tweetbot for Mac that brings smoother scrolling and the ability to quickly reply to mentions and DMs via Notification Center in OS X Mavericks. The update also brings a number of bug fixes and performance improvements for Apple’s latest desktop OS.
Here’s the full change log:
The Samsung Galaxy Gear, an Android-powered smartwatch that Samsung has been calling “the next big thing” in commercials, is officially a dud. Why? After BusinessKorea reported that Samsung has sold less than 50,000 units to date, Samsung quickly tried to spin the bad news by saying that it had in fact sold 800,000 units, making it the “most sold wearable watch available in the market place.”
Right. The only problem is that Samsung later confirmed that the 800,000 number was actually for units shipped, not sold, which is a big difference.
Today Twitter announced a couple of new features that are coming to its official iOS and Google Play apps. The first is search filters for easily discovering different types of media, like photos or video. You can also toggle the results to only see related tweets from accounts you follow.
One of the last Apple apps to be redesigned for iOS 7 is Find My Friends, the company’s network for sharing your location and viewing the location of friends on a map. Before today’s update, Find My Friends looked incredibly outdated with leather stitching and an old-style map design.
Now the app looks much more at home in iOS 7. No new features have been added, but the design includes a new icon, lightweight interface, and an orange color scheme (orange is apparently the new black, if Apple’s recent iOS 7 app updates are any indication).
Find My Friends was first introduced before the release of iOS 5 in 2011. Version 3.0 of the app is available in the App Store now.
- Source App Store
As the holidays draw near, shipping estimates for the iPhone 5s are starting to be more reasonable. Today the Apple Store’s estimates for all models of the 5s improved to 3-5 business days, which is significantly better than the 1-2 week estimates Apple was giving just last week.
Before that, shipping estimates were 2-3 weeks. Supplies for the 5s have been very tight since its launch, and it’s still hard to find the phone in gold. It looks like Apple planned on the demand for the iPhone 5c to be above and beyond the 5s, but the company reportedly cut orders for the 5c recently. A report from this morning said that an entire Foxconn factory has stopped producing the 5c and is now making the 5s.
- Source Apple
“Siri, what are your political views?” You’d think that Siri would answer that question with a clever quip about how she doesn’t take sides, but no, she has an answer. And it’s not what you would think.
For some odd reason, asking Siri her political views will take you to Ron Paul’s Wikipedia page every time.
Today Sprint announced a limited time deal that gives students a full year of free cellular service with the purchase of a smartphone at any Best Buy location. The offer includes unlimited talk/text and 1GB of data per month, with the option to have unlimited data for $10 per month.
The typical two-year contract isn’t required, but Sprint is charing a “student activated price” that’s actually a little more than the full, unsubsidized cost of most phones.
Apple is close to buying PrimeSense, the company that invented the 3D motion tracking technology used in the original Xbox Kinect. Whispers of the acquisition were first reported by an Israeli publication called Calcalist back in July, and the site is now reporting that Apple has a deal in place with PrimeSense to the tune of around $345 million.
While Apple’s mysterious ‘iTV’ product seems like an obvious reason for the acquisition, PrimeSense has also developed a smaller 3D sensor called Capri that’s more suited for mobile.