Apple Watch owners will be rewarded with a special achievement medal for completing the New Year Challenge. Users will have four attempts to complete the challenge, which starts on January 2 and runs through to the end of the month.
Messages is getting much more creative in iOS 10, and for the first time, users will be able to download and send all kinds of awesome stickers. Apple is already offering four sticker packs, and many more will be available from third parties later.
Here’s how to download and send them to your friends.
Sharing photos on Twitter is now a lot more entertaining thanks to funky photo stickers. Whether you’re posting pics of your graduation, a day at the beach, or a night on the town, you’ll find a stickers to suit — and they’re not just cosmetic.
When iOS 10 lands on your iPhone this fall, Messages is going to feel it. Apple is introducing a long list of awesome new features that are going to make the most-used app on iOS even better. Here’s everything you have to look forward to.
Facebook has just released yet another in its seeming interminable series of single serving apps of dubious utility. It’s called Stickers for Messenger, and surprise! It lets you slap virtual stickers on your photos before sending them to your friends through Messenger.
Apple did sticker and decal makers a massive favour with its recent “Stickers” ad for MacBook Air, showing the myriad ways users choose to customize their ultra-thin Apple notebooks.
That is backed up by figures, unearthed by website Macstories, which discovered that sticker-makers did, in fact, receive a huge influx of new visitors following the ad — with sales in some cases quadrupling since Apple’s ad aired earlier this month. Geeky Decals, for instance, says that it was selling around 8-10 stickers per day prior to the ad, but is now selling between 40 and 50 per day.
The official musical instrument of the 2014 World Cup is the Caxirola, but it has already been banned from stadiums. Not because it will drive you out of your mind with irritation like the last World Cup’s vuvuzela, but because the Caxirola is considered a security risk (or more likely, a perfect booze and drug-smuggling device.
The Caxirola looks like a cross between a lemon and a set of knuckledusters. Inside the hollow plastic bubble are hundreds of beads that rattle when you shake it and make a “nice, pleasant” sound. But you don’t have to bother with a real plastic lemon: you can buy the app.
As a kid I never really liked football, but I loved Panini football stickers. Now there’s an environmentally friendly way to collect and swap stickers (if you consider making an iPad or iPhone to be less damaging than printing a paper book). The official Panini Online Sticker Album app lets you collect and swap stickers, and stick them into a virtual album. Swapping is done online, and you get three sticker packs with the free download. $free
Authentic World Cup Jersey
I’ll be buying my Spain World Cup shirt down at the local knockoff market, but the real deal has some features that partially justify its $150 price tag. Dri-FIT microfiber, laser-cut mesh and ventilations zones will keep you cooler than if you went topless. And of course you’ll get the shivery chills every time you remember how much you paid for it. $150
Listen to the Radio
Maybe you want to follow the World Cup from the beach, or the park, or just not be stuck indoors. Or maybe you live in a foreign country and you want to listen to an English commentary while you drink Brazilian beer and watch the match in a Brazilian bar.
For this, you need the radio. Either tune a real radio to the BBC, like the World Band Tecsun radio that people like on Amazon, or grab the excellent (free or paid) TuneIn Radio app, which, as its name suggests, tunes in to any radio station that transmits via the internet. I recommend the BBC.
Street View stadium tour
Stuck in rainy Europe? Don’t own a passport to leave the U.S? No problem. Google has visited the World Cup stadiums so you don’t have to – just head over to this page to virtually tour any of Brazils World Cup stadiums via Street View.
Pick them on a map or just browse the list, and you can even take a look at the streets outside.
A big frikkin' TV
Just before the 2010 World Cup, I remember seeing lots of men dragging huge boxes into their apartment buildings. What better excuse for a new TV than a World Cup? Right now, the Wirecutter says that the best TV you can buy is the Samsung F8500, available in 51, 60 and 64-inch models and ready for 3-D should you happen a cross a game broadcast that way (and sport is probably the only reasons to use a 3-D TV). Best of all, the 51-incher is currently $1,800 on Amazon, which is $900 off list price.
The supermarkets are already full of Brazil-related plastic junk, and even folks who only watch football once every four years are getting excited. Why? It’s World Cup time, of course!
Here we have a selection of apps and gadgets, clothes and toys to help you follow along and enjoy the show. The only thing we haven’t included is streaming app, because broadcast rights vary from country to country. Our workaround is to watch on TV or listen on the radio. Or do it like the Brazilians and head to your local bar.
Asian messaging service Line, which has been a big success on iOS, turned over $58 million in revenue during the first quarter of 2013 with its new monetization model. But it’s just been dealt a massive blow by Apple.
The Cupertino company has unexplainably forced Line to remove its gift sharing feature, which allowed users to send stickers priced around $1.99 to their friends.
Facebook Pages Manager for iOS just got a big version 2.0 update that brings a number of performance improvements and new features. Facebook says the app has been rebuilt to offer a smoother, faster experience, while photo filters and support for emoji and stickers have been added.
Personal social networking app, Path, just released a new icon set into its sticker shop today, called “Iconic Bites.” While the stickers are adorable little bite-sized, pixel-chic representations of food and such, what really makes them cool is that they were created by none other than Susan Kare, the designer of the original Macintosh system icons.
The Path blog posted an interesting interview with her, as well, in which she talks about how her long experience in the design industry has influenced her current designs.