Tag Archives: iOS

Use gMusic on iOS to listen to Google Play Music All Access

Last week, Google introduced its Google Play Music All Access streaming subscription service. Like its main competitors, Spotify and Rdio, the service costs $9.99 a month (or $7.99 if you sign up before June 30) and gives users access to its entire archive of music to stream. But the service is limited to desktop browsers and Android users, which is a bit of a bummer for those with iPhones and iPads who are only able to listen through mobile browsers or third-party applications. So, one developer took the unfortunate news into his own hands and made Google Play Music All Access available to the iOS masses.

James Clancey is the man behind the gMusic application for iOS. It originally debuted in 2011, when Google unveiled the original Music service. To date, there is no official Google Music client for iOS, so gMusic has served as one of the more popular applications to act as a workaround to this limitation. After last week’s Google I/O keynote, Clancey spent the weekend figuring out a way to make many of the Radio features in Google Play Music All Access available to the iPhone-toting crowd. Clancey had submitted the update to the iTunes App Store earlier this week, and on the Thursday the app was updated to include full support for Google Play All Access, including the ability to stream music directly from Google Play and create and save Radio stations.

Google Play Music AllGoogle Play Music All

When you start up the application, it will first ask you for your Google credentials. You’ll then be taken to a landing page showcasing your entire Google Music library. While gMusic’s interface is certainly user-friendly, anyone with improperly categorized, messy music libraries may find it a bit frustrating to use, especially if you sync podcasts into the cloud. Navigation can also be a bit confusing, but if you lose your place you can click back to the side to bring up the navigational pane.

Google Play Music AllGoogle Play Music All

The slightly messy navigation doesn’t take away from the functionality of the application. As you select a song to play, gMusic will pop up a little loading icon next to each song to indicate how much of the track has been buffered. And just like with the Google Music application on Android, users can start a new station from a song: hit the ellipses button for more options and then select Create Radio Station. The radio station won’t instantly start up, however; you’ll have to go back a step to the navigational shade and select Radio to go to the station you just created. Playlists work the same way, too, though they’ll populate with songs you already have available in your library.

Google Play Music AllGoogle Play Music All

If you want to search for new music to listen that that you don’t have currently synced or uploaded with Google Music, hit the “Web search” option to begin your query. You can search for artists, albums, and individual songs. Your music might get interrupted, however, as buffering can be a bit staggered in between songs. It’s not quite clear whether this is an issue with gMusic, Google’s servers, or the iPhone’s wireless connection. A few days ago, Paul Joyce, the product manager for Google Play Music, told Hypebot that “our system isn’t really built or optimized for third-party apps.” Our testing was done on an iPhone 4S connected only through Wi-Fi.

Google Play Music AllGoogle Play Music All

In addition to all that Google Play All Access Music has to offer, gMusic also includes Airplay support (which we were unfortunately unable to test because of a lack of compatible hardware) as well as lock-screen integration and offline support. The app will recall what you were listening to before you closed down the application, and it also supports streaming over 3G, though this was another feature we didn’t have the ability to test.

This isn’t an official Google application so it’s not expected to be without a few kinks. If anything, it should be more of a pull for Google to push out an official application for this service for those users that want it. We don’t know much about Google’s plans to bring Google Play Music All Access to the iOS platform, and the new features aren’t available through the mobile browser, but the real question may be whether or not Apple will bring its rumored forthcoming subscription music service to iOS before Google can make a compatible app.

Use gMusic on iOS to listen to Google Play Music All Access

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Windows Phone gaining on iOS as BlackBerry crumbles

Windows Phone has finally eased past BlackBerry and Symbian to take third place in the smartphone race, but IDC’s latest figures make it clear just how much of a two-horse race between Android and iOS it has become.

Windows Phone gaining on iOS as BlackBerry

In fact, in platform terms, combining the two big rivals from Google and Apple amounts to a staggering 92.3 per cent of smartphones shipped in the first three months of 2013.

Apart from IDC’s analyst brilliantly suggesting that this amounts to “more than the lion’s share” of the smartphone market, the breakdown of market share is just as deserving of attention.

Android has been dominant for some time, but has ramped that up even more in comparison to the same quarter last year and now amounts to 75 per cent of the market with 162.1 million units shipped.

Apple still bobbing along

Apple’s iOS accounts for 17.3 per cent of the market (down from 23 per cent in the same quarter of 2012) and Windows Phone has captured 3.2 per cent for third place, leapfrogging ailing BlackBerry which has declined from 6.4 per cent to a meagre 2.9 per cent.

That means Windows Phone is growing faster than Apple’s iPhone – although it has a long journey before it is competing for silver.

At the foot of the table Linux and Symbian both fell away – the latter declining from a relatively healthy 6.8 per cent of market share in Q1 2012 to a terminal looking 0.6 per cent.

Microsoft and key partner Nokia will certainly be buoyed by the 7 million Windows Phone handsets shipped – compared to just 3 million this time last year, and Apple – despite losing market share – has still managed to flog 37.4 million iPhones compared to 35.1 million in 2012.

But Android – and that means principally Samsung – is the real success story, taking advantage of a burgeoning market to sell more than 70 million more handsets than a year ago.

Via Techradar

Windows Phone gaining on iOS as BlackBerry crumbles

RunKeeper for Android and iOS now talks to Pebble smartwatches

Although more than a few runners track their progress through apps like RunKeeper, it’s doubtful that many of them like reaching for their smartphones just to check their pace. Thanks to an updated RunKeeper app, they’ll only have to look at the Pebble smartwatch on their wrist.

pebble-runkeeper

 

Both Android and iOS users can now glance at the Bluetooth timepiece for vital stats, such as pacing, or start and stop their runs. Only a handful of us will have the needed combination of app and wristwear to justify the update at the source links, but don’t despair if you’re not part of the Pebble flock. RunKeeper’s staff say they “look forward” to supporting wearable technology as a whole, which should let many more athletes keep their eyes on the path ahead, and their hands out of their pockets.

Introducing RunKeeper for Pebble Smart Watch

Kickstarter Phenomenon is First of Many RunKeeper Wearable Integration Partnerships

Boston, Ma. — May 7, 2013 — Today, RunKeeper rolls out the first-ever Pebble-connected app for iPhone and Android, turning your smart watch into a personal trainer. The partnership with Pebble is just one of many integrations with hardware and fitness tracking devices in the coming months, supporting RunKeeper’s mission to become the fitness platform that makes the world healthier at scale.

RunKeeper now allows you to control the app from Pebble, so you can leave your phone in your pocket during a workout. RunKeeper features such as pace, mileage, starting and stopping a workout, and more will be fully accessible on Pebble wearers’ wrists.

“People are rightfully excited about wearables because they extend the experience of mobile apps like RunKeeper, so they can be enjoyed without taking your phone out of your pocket,” said Jason Jacobs, CEO, RunKeeper. “Pebble is such an exciting partner for RunKeeper; it is a great device and a powerful showcase of how your runs, walks and bike rides with RunKeeper can be enhanced by wearable device integration. We look forward to integrating with more wearable devices in the future.”

“Pebble integrates tech into people’s daily lives in a fashionable and unobtrusive way. We’re excited that RunKeeper will be among the first apps to showcase our smart watch’s capabilities and how we support your day-to-day interests and activities, ” said Eric Migicovsky, CEO, Pebble. “With the RunKeeper app, fitness enthusiasts can benefit from Pebble to track their workouts, get motivated and meet their goals.”

Pebble’s smart watches have begun shipping to Kickstarter backers and are now available for pre-order at getpebble.com. Wearable technology companies interested in working with RunKeeper on custom integrations should contact api@runkeeper.com.

RunKeeper for Android and iOS now talks to Pebble smartwatches

Switched On: On iOS, Now is Google’s Time

In the early days of the internet economy, the saying went that webpages were created on Macs, served on Unix and viewed on Windows. In the iOS app economy, it’s often the case that apps run on devices by Apple, but connect to services by Google. With the exception of many games, at this point, apps increasingly strive to be internet services.

On iOS, Now is Google's Time

Google has been investing in more of these services for a longer time and in a way more directly tied to apps than Apple has. Google Maps has been the best example, but others include Google Drive (with its editing features), Google Voice and Google+. In contrast, Apple’s biggest consumer online service success (other than the iTunes store) has been iCloud, which is less app-like and more of a silent shuttle for documents and files among iOS devices.

The latest Google app to come to iOS is the newest version of one of the search giant’s oldest ones: Google Search, now noteworthy for including the Google Now feature set that has become an indirect competitor to Siri. Both interaction models have value. But whereas Siri is about having a conversation, Google Now is about avoiding one. It can do this because, unlike Siri, it is tied into a matrix of information about you through other cloud-connected Google services. Google Now is the proactive payoff for using them. In contrast, Siri requires you to manually specify your name and indicate your address.

On iOS, Now is Google's Time

 

In addition to Google’s heritage being web-based (some of its early rationale for Android was to ensure that it wouldn’t be locked out of Microsoft’s then-ascending position in the smartphone space), it now has its own Chrome OS that is little more than a window into optimized web applications.

Much has changed between Apple and Google since the stalemate around Google Voice, an app that, at least in theory, could have done so much towards winning Google’s allegiance on the mobile phone. Apple has virtually abandoned the prohibition against replicating the functionality of its own apps and Google hasn’t delivered any major new functionality to Voice in years, instead turning its messaging attention to the social focus of Google+ and its integrated Hangout video chats.

One Apple policy that has affected Google apps on iOS has been the prohibition against alternate rendering engines in other browsers on the platform combined with not being able to use Apple’s “Nitro” JavaScript engine. However, the speed hit that followed hasn’t stopped Chrome from becoming one of the most popular apps for the iPhone and iPad.

Google’s support for iOS is, on one hand, a simple way to reach out to a significant share of the smartphone market.

Google’s support for iOS is, on one hand, a simple way to reach out to a significant share of the smartphone market. The company’s line is that it would be open to, for example, supporting Windows Phone were the installed base high enough. However, iPhone users are desirable to Google — not only to try to get them into Google’s rival ecosystem, but to provide a broader target audience, particularly for Google’s premium advertisers.

That said, Google apps on the iPhone are developing their own visual style with fonts and gestures that look and act more like a modern Android app than most iPhone apps — helping to expose and acclimate iPhone users to Google’s aspirational app interface. That situation is reminiscent of when Microsoft’s Mac apps had a particularly Windows-like look and feel during the days when dark gray toolbars and status bars ran amok in Office. There was an eventual backlash that forced a reversal, but Google’s services extend far deeper into our lives than Office likely ever will.

The next chapter of Google’s love affair with Apple users will play out in devices that extend beyond the smartphone. Will there be a Glass app for the iPhone? Would Google Now cards pop up onto an Apple watch? For now, anyway, the detente between the two rivals is allowing rich functionality for those with divided loyalties.

Via Engadget

Switched On: On iOS, Now is Google’s Time

T-Mobile’s official TV app now available for iOS

Holy Magenta! T-Mobile TV is now available for iOS. Just a few weeks removed from the carrier’s launch of the iPhone 5, its entertainment streaming app offers a free 30-day trial run with content from Fox News, the Associated Press, Campus Insiders and ACC Digital Network.

T-Mobile's official TV app

Those looking to extend their mobile media fix can opt for a $13 a month Prime Pack that opens up programming from the likes of ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, MTV, Spike TV, Comedy Central and VH1. In addition to its flagship package, the carrier offers a set of themed packs that range from $6 to $10 a month. To take the self-proclaimed UnCarrier’s mobile boob tube for a test drive, head on over to the source link below — just be sure that your device is running iOS 4.3 or higher.

T-Mobile’s official TV app now available for iOS

Kindle iOS app gets a slew of new features for the blind and visually impaired

The latest upgrade to the iPhone and iPad version of Amazon’s Kindle reading app brings a bunch of new features aimed at blind and visually impaired users.Kindle iOS app

At the top of the list is the ability to read aloud 1.8 million Kindle Store titles, with help from Apple’s VoiceOver technology. The update also brings better library and book navigation and search, as well as features like notes, highlights, bookmarks, font size, background color and brightness. Standard Kindle features like X-Ray, End Actions and sharing via Facebook and Twitter are also made more accessible through the update. Amazon’s promised a similar update for non-iOS versions of the app at some point in the future — in the meantime, a full list of new features can be found in a press release after the break. Continue reading

Bloomberg: Jony Ive said to be considering ‘more dramatic’ changes to email and calendar amid iOS 7 overhaul

It’s hardly been a secret that Apple’s Jony Ive is exploring some more radical changes to iOS since taking the design reins for software in addition to hardware, but Bloomberg is now reporting some new details that paint a better picture of just what’s going on in the lead-up to iOS 7.iphone-5-side-340

As previously reported, that includes what’s sure to be iOS’ biggest visual overhaul to date, with a decidedly more flat and minimalist design replacing Apple’s current skeuomorphic tendencies. What’s more,Bloomberg is also reporting that Ive is exploring “more dramatic changes” to the e-mail and calendar apps, and that he’s “methodically” reviewing all the new designs himself to avoid a repeat of the Maps fiasco.

Also as previously rumoured, Bloomberg reports that Apple is pulling people from the Mac team to work on iOS in order to get it done in time, and that Ive has been encouraging collaboration between the software and hardware teams — which, asBloomberg notes, have previously been operating in separate silos. That all comes as Apple is apparently pushing things closer to the deadline than usual; while Bloomberg reports that iOS 7 is still on track for a release “as soon as September,” internal testing dates are reportedly being set later than they have in the past, and the sweeping changes Ive has embarked on are said to have put Apple “at risk of falling behind.” Of course, Apple does have one upcoming date that’s now set in stone: WWDC on June 10th, when it has already promised to show off new versions of both iOS and OS X. Continue reading