Amazon has released an app for Prime Instant Video for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but it is strangely lacking Airplay compatibility. An app for the iPad has been available for months, so it's not clear what took Amazon so long to migrate that app down to the smaller-screened iPhone and iPod Touch.
It's pretty similar to the iPad app in that you get access to hundreds of videos from Amazon Prime's video library. You can also watch rented and purchased videos from within the app and download videos to watch later when you might not have access to an internet connection, or only a limited cellular connection.
To buy videos, however, you'll have to head to Amazon's website, purchase the video, and then return to the app. VentureBeat makes the point that this is probably because Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all in-app sales. The app is available for free through the App Store, though you'll need to be an Amazon Prime member to use it.
By now everyone has heard that Google Maps is once again on iOS devices, and Apple Maps opponents are rejoicing in the streets. A mere 7 hours after its launch, Google Maps has taken over the top spot in the App Store. A current rating of 4.5/5 with 1,026 users taking the time to rate it.
With built in turn by turn navigation, Google Street View and even public transportation information, users get a more robust and complete experience. Google includes subway, bus, train and walking directions - bringing it up to speed with the Android and desktop versions.
"The brand-new, completely rethought design is slick, simple and coherent." Google admits that "it's even better than Google Maps for Android phones", which has accommodated its evolving feature set mainly by piling on menus. It is rumored that Google is working to bring it's indoor maps to the mobile apps as well as offering a dedicated iPad app.
If you're based in the UK and like to read digital magazines on your mobile devices, Google have just launched Magazines in their Play Store. Google's ever-increasing catalogue of magazines is now available for purchase on both Android-based devices, and the web.
Some people might not be able to see the new section in their Play Store, so try going into Settings then Apps and force closing, clearing the data, and re-starting the Play Store app. This usually fixes it all up and Magazines will detect from now on.
If you want to read your content, you'll need to grab the Magazines app from the Play Store - but Nexus 4, 7 and 10 owners should see an "enable" button instead of an install button, as the app is already on the device and just needs a little push. There are reportedly plenty of UK-based content on offer, which is great. TV shows are the last push for Google in the UK, and I'm sure we'll see them in the new year.
[UPDATED]Quick and short news! iOS users will be happy to know that AllThingsD are reporting that Google have plans to release Google Maps for iOS, tonight. Apple deserted Google as their go-to guy for Maps when they offered their own internap Maps app in iOS 6.
Google had, until then, been providing Apple with navigation power since the original iPhone was released in 2007. Google's Maps for iOS won't be the new default, it'll compliment the iOS Maps app, so you'll have to download it yourself from the Apple App Store.
We'll update this post with more news as it comes.
Update: It has been released! You can grab it right here!
Who among us has not either received or given a gift card as a present during the holidays? I have been given more than my fair share over the years, and lost enough of them to really dislike them as a present. Thankfully the gift card industry is finally starting to catch on. Gyft, a gift card service for your smart phone has finally made its way to Android.
Originally only available on iOS devices Gyft takes the hassle out of organizing, storing, and using gift cards. Everything is stored on your phone and the cashier is able to scan a bar code straight from your phones screen! Gyft also allows users to purchase and gift cards to other Gyft users.
Today, Android users can get on board the Gyft bandwagon, as its headed to the Google Play store. Gyft's doling out $10 in free cards to fast track its android user base, so head over to the Google Play store and snag your free money.
If you've been toting around your Nexus 10 and wondering why the YouTube app didn't exactly look right - well, you're in luck. Google have updated their YouTube app and it's now available through the Google play store.
This new update sports a new layout for the larger 10-inch tablets out there, so the Nexus 10 isn't the only one that will benefit. The updated app provides a two-pane experience, and looks swish while doing it.
The new, updated YouTube is said to sport the concept of Android fragments, which is capable of letting both act independently from each other, but have influence on one another. The smaller 'fragment' on the left is used for navigation and selection, with the content displayed on the right. This is a great way of getting apps displayed on larger screen devices.
Your YouTube app should automatically update, but if it doesn't you can grab the updated YouTube for Android right here.
Pandora has been dipping its toes in Australia and New Zealand for a while now, but it has been a web-based trial only. But the full service has just launched in both countries after the trial wrapped up.
People can now sign up and enjoy fully-functional Pandora accounts which includes access to apps on both the iOS and Android platforms. Pandora have said that 75% of their traffic in the United States comes from their mobile apps, so when launching in other countries this is a very important part of the launch.
Australia and NZ are the very first countries outside of the US to have full access to Pandora. Usually we Australian's get everything months later, in half-baked releases, so it's nice to see Pandora doing things right the first time around.
Christmas is nearly here, folks, with just 15 days left. Yes, fifteen days. Well, if you're a Windows 8 owning parent, this news might help you.
NORAD is here, and has provided a bunch of apps that allow you to 'track' Santa across the world as he drops presents off to good little boys and girls across the world.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, have released apps for Windows Phone, iOS and Android as well as your touchscreen Windows 8-based device. The app will also work on a Windows RT-based device, so if you're rocking a Surface tablet, you won't feel left out.
Here are some downloads links for your Santa tracking needs! Remember the milk and cookies, kids!
Spotify talked up their subscriber numbers a little earlier on today, and at the same time we saw the CEO and founder of Spotify, Daniel Ek, noting that members love the service when they know what they want to listen to, but if users are looking for something new - Spotify isn't that great.
In order to work around this, Spotify are set to unveil a new Discovery section which will help people find new music that they might be interested in listening to based on their listening habits. A new Collection feature will also be released, which will let listeners bundle all of their music into a single space versus having multiple playlists. Ek said that a third of all playlists on Spotify are just albums that people have saved - and that's true, I'm one of those people.
Ek added that the Collection view is all about making the experience easier for the listener to save music any way that they want. The final feature is Follow, which will facilitate friends or celebrities. Once you've followed someone, the music that they listen to and the playlists that they compile will display in the soon-to-be-released Discovery section.
One of my absolute favorite photo-editing applications, Snapseed, has been used heavily to take my photos to another level as it allows me to edit nearly every aspect of my pictures. And now, it's finally hit the Google Play Store to allow Android users the same amount customization for their photos.
Google+ users will also be pleased to know their social platform of choice has been integrated into Snapseed, which is apparent at the "Google+ Snapseed" welcome screen. You can share your work of art with your Google+ profile, tagging other Google+ members and sharing your photos within your circles.
One of the best features of Android 4.1 and 4.2 Jelly Bean is Google Now - I loved it in my reviews of the mobile OS, but it has really grown into a powerful tool. I use it on the daily - and it has been updated today with some new and improved features.
First up, Google Now has the ability to tell you the weather at you destination, if you were travelling, before you even step out of the house. Boarding passes will also display automatically when you arrive at the airport - but are exclusive to United Airlines for now, with Google saying they'll be adding more airlines in the future.
The updated Google Now features a list of events that are happening near you when you arrive at your destination, and the final update includes suggestions of websites for you to look at when researching things to do as well as learning about specific pieces while you're out - using Google Goggles. Google have rejigged the Voice Search, where you can now ask "What's this song" and it will try its hardest to find it for you. I tried it with it by saying "What's this song" and all it would come up with is "What is this song" and display results for "this song" - all while I was bopping to Gangnam Style.
Google's YouTube application was first made available for iOS this past September after Apple nixed the pre-loaded app at the launch of iOS 6. The app has served its purpose well, unless you're an iPad or iPhone 5 owner to which you've been praying to the tech gods Google would release an update to support both devices. Today is your day, my iPad and iPhone 5 owning friends.
Google pushed out an update for its iOS YouTube application to fully support the iPhone 5 as well as bring the application to the iPad. Aside from these two obvious improvements over the application, the YouTube app has enhanced AirPlay support, improved accessibility with VoiceOver and videos are said to "start faster and play more smoothly." YouTube users will also be able to add or remove videos from playlists and click links within a video's description.
It looks like Google have done yet another good thing for business, education and government customers - with their latest update to the Google Play Store that will let you host your own private internal apps directly into Google Play.
All you'll need to do is enable it in the developer console, then applications can be uploaded to the Play Store with users who are signed in with the same domain name will have a new section that will be accessible. This new section will allow the user to browse, download and update internal applications - all without sideloading.
This is perfect for those who want to host a help desk for example, or a bunch of apps that a bigger team need to access, then this is perfect. Google are helping out the enterprise customer, and this is only a good thing.
More details on how to get going and set up your own Google Play Private Channel can be had right here.
I awoke to a notification on my iPhone that I had an app available for update. A quick check showed that Google had updated the Gmail app. Unfortunately for me, the app refused to let me update, as you can see in the picture below, so I went over to the Gmail Blog to see what I was missing.
Once there, I discovered that I was missing quite a lot. The new version of the app has been completely rewritten to be faster, sleeker, and easier to use. This means that Google has completely updated the look and feel, and made various improvements, such as profile pictures showing in messages and infinite scrolling in the message lists.
Probably one of the largest new features added to the app is the ability to support multiple Gmail accounts. Users can now add up to five Google Accounts in the app and then easily switch between them with a couple of taps. Google says that it's a feature many of you have been waiting for.
If you've been hovering over your Android-based device and waiting for Google to push out pinch-to-zoom capabilities to one of the best mobile e-mail clients on the market - well, your time has come.
Google have updated their Gmail app to version 4.2, which is now available to all devices sporting Android 4.0 or higher. The new version of Gmail offers pinch-to-zoom on emails with a single pinch gesture.
It also gives users the ability to swipe-to-delete, or swipe-to-archive an email. New additions to the app include "in-app video and photo attachment capability, and larger photo previews, along with a brand-new gallery view for emails with multiple image attachments."
Photoshop Touch from Adobe only launched on the Amazon Kindle Fire a couple of weeks ago, but now Adobe have pushed out an updated version of the app to the Google Play store, which sports optimization for 7-inch devices.
There's one requirement from Adobe - that the screen resolution must be a minimum of 1024x600, which lets the Nexus 7 from Google make the cut. There are a bunch of features, including:
- Optimized user interface for 7-inch devices (minimum screen resolution 1024x600)
- Smoother brush strokes
- Two new Effects: Lens Flare (under "&" menu) and Stamp Pattern
- Improved grid layout for projects, tutorials, and images
- New support for sharing to Facebook, Twitter, and other registered apps
- Quick access to last 5 colors with new shortcut (drag down on Color)
- Various bug fixes
You can get the new Adobe Photoshop Touch right here, from the Google Play store.
Adblock Plus has been helping users block ads on the desktop for quite some time, and now has jumped over to the mobile as an application made available for Google's mobile OS, Android. The app is available, and best of all, for free on the Google Play store.
The app claims to "block all annoying ads on your Android device", which includes "mobile ads, video advertising, banners, push notifications, display advertising, HTML5 advertising and much more", without requiring the user to root their device.
There are some unfortunate limitations with Adblock Plus for Android, with non-rooted Android devices running Android 3.1 or later capable of blocking ads only over Wi-Fi. Devices running Android 3.0 or earlier require some manual configuration. Devices that are rooted, enjoy full access to blocking ads both over 3G and Wi-Fi. You can grab Adblock Plus for Android from the Google Play store.
The Wii U wouldn't have survived without apps. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon apps have already launched on the platform, and now, so has a YouTube app. The new app allows Wii U users to search videos, watch videos, and get additional information via their GamePad. Videos will play in resolutions up to 1080p.
Videos will be played on the television screen with the GamePad being used as a supplement. The GamePad will provide details regarding the video. The app has expected features, such as being able to search videos and flip through subscribed channels. Without features like that, the app would have been DOA.
If you're the proud owner of a Wii U, you can download the promised app from the Wii U main menu. Other video services available include Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon, all of which were promised to come with the Wii U. The apps are designed to turn the Wii U into a media hub instead of just a gaming console.
I don't use Foursquare personally, but there are plenty of the crew here at TweakTown that do. I know our VGA Editor, Shane Baxtor, is a Foursquare junkie and pretty much the check-in king of virtually every place on Earth.
Well, the Foursquare app has experienced 3,000,000,000 (that's 3 billion!) check-ins since launch, and is in perfect timing for Thanksgiving. So when the team at Foursquare are sitting around their dining room table and they're asked what they're thankful for, those 3 billion check-ins will be blessed upon.
3 billion check-ins, can you believe that? Quite the number, and I wonder how quick we'll see 5 billion, and then 10 billion. By the end of 2013? Earlier? Do you use Foursquare? Do you check-in everywhere?
If you're using Windows 8 and Skype, you're definitely going to want to grab the latest version of Skype that Microsoft has just made available for the operating system. The new version of Skype for Windows 8 app brings in support for users transitioning from Microsoft Messenger since it will be closing in early 2013.
Microsoft offers up that the new version of the Skype app brings features such as the ability to search people and groups and call Messenger contacts. They also claim that the new version comes with improved video call performance, always a welcome update to a video calling application. Lastly, the update brings general bug fixes, something must updates usually do.
You can pick up the new version of the App from the Windows Store. If you're a Messenger user, this is a friendly reminder that you need to switch to Skype or face a more forceful nudge from Microsoft in the first quarter of 2013.
Netflix has arrived on the Nintendo Wii U in the US and Canada, capable of offering two-screen support. This means that you can watch 1080p on your TV, as well as the screen on the Wii U's GamePad controller.
Say you're watching a 1080p movie on your TV, you can look at information about the movie or TV on your GamePad, or on both the TV and GamePad. When content is rolling, the video is shown on the TV with controls such as play/pause/stop and title information pop up on the GamePad in your hands - awesome, right?
The GamePad has some more tricks up its sleeve, where you can tap "Play on GamePad" and the playback of the content you're watching on the TV switches over to the GamePad with sound fed to the speakers on the GamePad (or headphone jack), too. Netflix search on the Wii U has a full keyboard, and all of the search interactions and results are presented to your TV in real-time.