Thursday, October 31, 2013

Top 10 Free iPhone Apps Today


Top 10 Free iPhone Apps Today

Top 10 Free iPhone Apps Today

There are thousands of applications available via the App Store, some useful everyday shortcuts and others to help you pass the time when you have a few minutes spare. Many brands and companies have their own apps to help you interact more easily with their products and specific mobile-friendly website. Here’s our guide to the ten best free apps to download on your iPhone.


This one is for the beer lovers amongst us, as it helps you discover the most popular local bars and specialist beers wherever you go. It also has a community element as you share your beer reviews and photos with your friends and other users on the app. It offers a personalisation feature to give you beer suggestions you’ll enjoy and help you find your new favourite brew. The feed of user activity is even called “The Pub”, so you can find out what’s happening in the pub, before you get there.


The TonePad app has been described as “a bit like musical crack” by Synthopia. It is a simple interface of small dots, each representing a musical note. It takes the hard work out of creating music, as you no longer need to be able to read music or have knowledge of playing an instrument. Simply tap on the screen and you will soon be making simple, catchy jingles. Drawing musical pictures has never been so fun.


This app helps you track your spending habits and monitor your daily payments and outgoings from both your credit and debit cards. BillGuard is the fastest, smartest way to track your spending & save money. It is the first “Smart Inbox” for your money, prioritizing the noteworthy charges on your credit and debit cards. Easily monitor balances and track recent charges with a swipe to verify charges, mark unrecognized transactions for follow-up or dispute unwanted charges with a tap. BillGuard gets smarter with every swipe, prioritizing the charges you care about. Easily recognize charges with community-edited information. It is powered with bank-level security to ensure your data is kept private and secure. No one, not even you, can move money with BillGuard. It also alerts you to those “grey charges” you might miss on your monthly statements. This is usually from a free trial period that has started charging you automatically.


Flipboard gives you the chance to create your own personal magazine, tailored with content from your favourite blogs, RSS feeds and incorporates your social media too. It is especially useful on an iPad as it utilises the large display to give a more realistic magazine feel. It’s still very useful and nice to use on your iPhone though, and is extremely customisable so you only see the content you are interested in.

Trainyard Express

This great free game involves an innovative and challenging puzzle mechanic, with over 60 brand new puzzles to play. It has a smooth difficulty curve to keep you guessing and stop the game becoming too easy or frustratingly hard. The graphics are compatible with the high-res retina screen on all Apple devices. What makes it a great game is that there isn’t just one solution for each puzzle, it has over a hundred ways to complete each one, keeping it fresh to long-term players. It’s engineered for low battery usage so won’t drain all your precious power and even has a colour-blind mode!

iHeart Radio

This music based app makes it even easier for you to listen to your favourite live radio stations with the best of live internet radio including pop, country, hip-hop, R&B, rock and sports. You can also create your own commercial-free custom music channels with over 16 million songs from 400,000 artists. It has activity-based music recommendations and on-demand audio from your favourite talk shows and personalities. The built-in alarm clock lets you wake up to your favourite station or remind you to tune into that show you always miss. The talk feature gives you access to on-demand episodes from great names in news, sports, finance, comedy and entertainment.

iMotion HD

This clever filmmaking app allows you to create the fascinating time-lapse photography sequences. It also helps take the difficulty out of making stop-motion animations with everyday objects. Always wanted to see a teaspoon backflip across your desk? Well now you can with this app and in quality HD, with both 1080p and 720p capabilities. It also has an auto-save feature to keep your artwork safe if your phone rings in the middle of your creation process.


This health-based app helps you improve your lifestyle with physician-reviewed health content and interactive tools. Personalised, engaging multimedia lifestyle content can help you sleep better, reduce stress or eat more healthily. It also has a Symptom Checker and local health listings to help you self-diagnose and treat your illness. Find medically reviewed information about conditions relevant to you and learn more about causes, treatments and related symptoms.


ooVoo is available for PC and all mobile platforms, making it perfect to chat to friends and family no matter where they are. With over 75 million users, the high quality video chat is very impressive, as it utilises their cloud call processing server technique to give you clear, smooth video reception. Connection Lock is a specialist video technology that automatically detects and adjusts for connection speed, which means fewer dropped calls. You can video chat with up to 12 people at once too, so group chats are even easier. It also has free voice calls and instant messaging options.


With Duolingo you can learn a language for free, without shelling out for pricey software or enrolling in night classes. The bite-sized lessons work very well and are actually quite fun to keep you coming back. It is all linked to a cloud system, so you can carry on learning on multiple devices and simply pick up where you left off. To begin with it’s easy picture and word matching to get you comfortable with the vocabulary, but soon moves on to translating a sentence. It has gameplay elements such as bonus points, achievements and a leader board to keep it enjoyable. You can even have a setting so your device reminds you to practise if you haven’t played in a while. Languages include German, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

Sian Morgan is a freelance writer and journalist who currently resides in the United Kingdom.  She has written numerous guest posts on behalf of i-Case [1] , who supply cases and skins for iPhones.
  1. ^ i-Case (

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Must-Have Android, iOS Apps for Fall 2013

Every three months, I look back at the Android and iOS apps I recently reviewed and pick my favorites. Most were new or recently updated apps at the time I looked at them. A handful struck, and continue to strike, my fancy.

These are my favorites since my last best of post back in July 2013â€"the apps that I’m not going to delete, no way no howâ€"in alphabetical order.

Overall Favorite: Circa News for iOS and Android

If you’re a news junkie and just want a quick fix, download Circa immediately. The app delivers top headlines; gives you context; is good looking; and it's easy to read on a smartphone. Circa is perfect for today's busy, short-attention-span culture. The developer’s team of editors and journalists do a bang-up job delivering what you need to know, when you need to know it. The app is free, there are no ads, and it’s available for Android [1] and iOS [2] .

Circa News

Key Rings Reward Cards for Android and iOS

I ditched all the loyalty cards in my wallet and on my key ring, thanks to the aptly named, and free,  Key Rings Reward Cards app for Android [3] and iOS [4] . The app scans each of your loyalty card’s barcodes. You can also take pics of a card’s front and back as backup. Then, when you’re at the checkout counter, just fire up the app and let the cashier scan the appropriate loyalty card barcode.

One Today for Android

The premise of this free Android-only app is simple: Make micro donations with one click. One Today by Google [5] (free) lets you choose between several projects, to which you can donate $1. The app is attractively designed and easy to navigate, making charitable contributions to worthy causes not only easy but a pleasure, too.

Slydial for Android and iOS

Need to return a friend’s call but don’t really have time or don't want to talk? Slydial them. The free Android [6] and iOS [7] app dials directly into a mobile phone’s voicemail, so you can leave a message directly. I’ve had good luck with this app, but I’ve seen reviews from disgruntled users of both the Android and iOS software, so experience may vary.

SpeakingPhoto for iOS

SpeakingPhoto for iOS lets you add short audio snippets to photos. It’s practical; I can see real estate agents snapping photos of properties and making verbal notes for their clients (or themselves). And it’s fun. Adding a voice-over to a friend’s picture (and sharing it on Facebook) offers all sorts of potential for mischievous ribbing. SpeakingPhoto for iPhone and iPod touch [8]  is free. SpeakingPhoto HD [9] for iPad costs $3. (As of this writing, it hasn’t been updated since Nov. 2012.)

TripIt for Android and iOS

TripIt’s iOS 7 update added a cool Google Now-like card interface to this indispensible app for frequent travelers. Swipe through the cards to view your airline, hotel and car-rental reservations before you travel. While you’re on the go, the app displays relevant notifications and cards automatically. When you land, for instance, your hotel and rental car cards pop up. As of this writing, TripIt for Android [10]  (available for free or as an $1 app [11]  without ads) doesn’t have the card-like interface. TripIt for iOS is also available for free [12] or for $1 without ads [13] .

What are some of your favorite apps you found during the past few months?

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  5. ^ One Today by Google (
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  8. ^ iPhone and iPod touch (
  9. ^ SpeakingPhoto HD (
  10. ^ TripIt for Android (
  11. ^ $1 app (
  12. ^ free (
  13. ^ $1 without ads (

Free iOS, Mac apps to hide nearly $1 billion of Apple's new cash

After making OS X Mavericks a free update for Mac users and converting Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand into free bundled apps for both iOS and Macs, Apple said it would hide an additional $900 million from next quarter's reported revenue accounting.

The increase in the delayed accounting of some iPhone, iPad and Mac revenues will give Apple's fiscal Q1 2014 the appearance of flat revenues, despite being a holiday quarter. Apple will still be collecting the cash; the change only applies to the company's accounting of those funds.

Since the release of the original iPhone, Apple has delayed recognition of a portion of its sales receipts over a two year period, intended to comply with U.S. rules that do not allow companies to book revenue for products until they are fully delivered.

Because Apple made it a priority to keep adding new features and functionality to the iPhone after the sale, it delayed a portion of its income to enable it to offer iOS updates for free, a "subscription accounting" program that it extended to the Mac in 2011.

This initially created the appearance that Apple wasn't earning as much as it actually was, due to the fact the billions of dollars were being stashed away for later recognition.

With the move to make iLife and iWork apps free along with iOS and OS X updates, the amount of collected revenue Apple will delay officially counting is increasing by almost another $1 billion in the next quarter alone.

Apple's chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer (pictured above speaking about the Apple Campus 2 project) said the company would defer between $15 and $25 per iPhone or iPad sold, an increase of as much as $5 per device more than it already is. He added that Mac deferred revenues were also being increased from around $25 to $40, an increase of around $20.

Combined with the expected increase in unit sales in the December quarter, Oppenheimer said Apple expects to defer about $900 million more than it did in the September quarter. As a result, while Apple will be sitting on the cash, it won't count toward the company's reported margins or earnings.

That deferred revenue will then trickle back into Apple's reported revenues over a two year period for iOS devices, or over a four year period on Mac sales, benefitting the company's earnings and margins over the future at the expense of the immediate quarter.

Oppenheimer emphasized "we're really happy to be guiding gross margins flat not only because of the deferred accounting but also in addition to all of the new products that we've introduced with higher cost structures and lower prices," a reference to lower priced MacBook Pros, a discounted iPad mini and a range of new products that are more expensive to build than those they replaced.

In addition to preparing analysts and investors for an apparent (but illusory) lack of growth reflected in the next quarter's reported financial performance, Apple's expanded revenue deferral will have a slight smoothing effect on the seasonal nature of Apple's sales, spreading more of the company's peak quarters' revenue across the rest of the year.

Additionally, the fact that Apple's OS and iApps are now free will add differentiated value to the company's hardware offerings, which are often only compared with their competitors in terms of price and hardware specs, despite vast differences in the quality of apps available and the resulting usage patterns of buyers.

  1. ^ Daniel Eran Dilger (

BlackBerry ends BBM waitlist, opens it up to all iPhone and Android users

BlackBerry’s initial BBM rollout for iOS and Android was halted after a previously-leaked beta caused problems for the company’s back-end servers. When it resumed, iOS and Android users were subject to a waiting list that was intended to prevent the same type of overload.

Now, after a successful week that saw the app jump to the number one free app in 75 countries with tens of millions of downloads, the waiting list is no more, and you’re free to share your PIN with the world.

The iPhone app was also updated last night, fixing some nagging bugs that were introduced with iOS 7.0.3, including a crash on the Contacts screen.

Whether BBM is worth the hoopla is up for debate, but it’s certainly got everyone talking about BlackBerry again, giving the company its first nibble of good news in a long, long time.

GPS tracking apps make Halloween safer

In this Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013 photo, Dylan, left, and Michelle Porterfield, of West Bend, Wis., walk with their son, Hunter, 4, dressed as a police officer, while trick-or-treating in West Bend. Parents can now use apps to digitally accompany their trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. (AP Photo/West Bend Daily News, John Ehlke)

Apps » Keep tabs on your children while they trick or treat.

Parents spend their whole lives teaching their children not to accept candy from strangers. So what do we do? We celebrate a night each year where we allow our children to accept candy from strangers ­â€" and in the dark no less.

Such is the ghastly tradition of Halloween. But with today’s technology, namely a smartphone, parents can help temper their worries. There are apps for smartphones that can track your children so they can journey from door to door in search of the elusive full-sized candy bar in complete safety.

Find My Friends (iPhone, free) » If you’re an Apple user with kids who also have iPhones, this free Apple-produced app should be on your phone anyway. It is capable of tracking your kids, or friends, on a map at any time as long as you get their permission. And unlike other apps, it doesn’t put an extra drain on your battery.

So as your children are on their trick-or-treating route, you can use an iPad or a desktop computer to see exactly where they are going in real time. If your kids don’t have their own iPhone, perhaps you can lend them yours and then turn on another app, Find My iPhone, which tracks your own phone in case you lose it.

Trick or Treating (iPhone, 99 cents) » With this app, children can input the contact information of all of their loved ones as well as police should they get lost and need direction to get home. All of the addresses are then displayed on a map.

SecuraFone (iPhone, Android, free, monthly service fee) » This full-featured app allows you to track the user in real time. But it also can send the parent alerts and notifications whenever the child with the phone is changing directions or speed. It also includes emergency contacts that can be accessed immediately.

GPS Phone Tracker (iPhone, Android, free) » Another tracker that parents can use to keep real-time tabs on their children. It also can log where they’ve been every couple of minutes so you can see the trail they’re leaving behind.

Life360 (iPhone, Android, free) » Here is a robust GPS tracker with a lot of features including the ability to organize groups of friends you’re following, a "panic" button your child can use if he or she is in trouble, and more. The free version has basic features, but there also is a premium service that provides a lot more.

Gone Out â€" Later Folks (iPhone, $1.99) » This app allows kids to keep their parents up to date on where they are and where they are going. The child can take a picture and record the location of where he or she is at and send that information to parents.

story continues below

Twitter: @ohmytech [1]

Copyright 2013 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  1. ^ @ohmytech (

Kaspersky Lab Launches Free App for Secure Web Browsing on iPhone and iPad, Kaspers

Kaspersky Lab
10/1 1st Volokolamsky Proezd
Moscow, 123060
Russian Federation

Press release date: October 23, 2013

SINGAPORE â€" Kaspersky Lab ( [1] ), a leading developer of secure content and threat management solutions, announces the recent release of Kaspersky Safe Browser for iOS, a new free app to ensure users are safe while surfing the web on their iPhone and iPad devices.

The new Kaspersky Safe Browser for iOS is now available from the Apple App Store.

Like any Internet user, iPhone and iPad owners can fall victim to cyber-attacks which use social engineering techniques.

The most widespread example of this is phishing, which tricks users into providing their personal information through the use of fake websites or mass mailings that use the names and logos of well-known companies.

The user could be tricked into sharing their passwords to a social networking site, email address, Apple ID account, and more.

The risks are even bigger for anyone who uses a mobile device for banking and financial transactions.

According to a recent B2B International survey, 38% of mobile device owners use their gadgets to perform financial transactions, while one in three users encountered phishing attacks that posed as e-banking services.

Kaspersky Safe Browser for iOS blocks links to phishing sites and other web-based resources that can be dangerous for users. The new application can also filter content according to selected user criteria.

This way, users can automatically block pornographic sites, material containing violence or profanity, gaming sites, social networks, chats, forums and more. There are 17 pre-defined content filtering categories in total.

Kaspersky Safe Browser for iOS provides real-time protection from known and emerging threats thanks to data it receives from Kaspersky Security Network, which processes threat intelligence delivered by users of Kaspersky Lab security products from around the world.

The new application is compatible with Apple devices running iOS 5 and higher.

"Quite a few users of Apple products believe their devices are immune to cyber attacks. This false sense of security makes it easier for cybercriminals to execute their plans. The Kaspersky Safe Browser for iOS app protects users from dangerous content whenever they go online," said Alexey Chikov, Product Manager at Kaspersky Lab.

"We are glad to have developed this app specifically for the iOS platform. In Singapore, there is a loyal customer base for Apple mobile devices. The Kaspersky Safe Browser for iOS app will definitely be very useful for iPad and iPhone users so that they can surf the web safer," said Jimmy Fong, Channel Sales Director for Kaspersky Lab Southeast Asia.

Contact Person: Jesmond Chang (Corporate Communications Manager, SEA)

Phone Number: +603-79625913

Email: or

Kaspersky Lab

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Message unread: BBM for iPhone and Android review

BBM is BlackBerry's last chance at capitalizing on the brand equity the company once commanded

Part of the thrill of 2008 was that all my friends used BBM. Today, the market is much more fragmented â€" every other country has its own favorite messaging app. And clearly, we have yet to find the perfect, do-all solution. Ten million people have already downloaded BBM on iPhone and Android, perhaps because deep down, we all want BBM to succeed. We all want to use just one app to talk to all of our friends, instead of having to switch between several.



What once made BBM so special was its dead-simple and speedy interface. With a few flicks of the "pearl" or clicks of the keyboard, you could instant message with a friend, or with a whole group of people. Sending images was fast and easy in an age where everyone had no choice but to send slow, low-res "picture messages" via MMS. There were also a variety of innovative mobile-only features, like shared calendars, in a time where apps weren’t yet built with mobile in mind.

BBM for iPhone [1] and Android [2] shares almost nothing with the messaging app I remember from 2008. Its interface now matches the effect of BlackBerry’s BB10 operating system, which means there are slide-out panes and panels abound.

Neither iOS nor Android emphasizes swiping from the edges of your screen to pop out menus, while BB10 does, so the hidden panes on either side feel a bit confusing. Some of the interactions in the app feel like BlackBerry is trying to teach people how to use BB10 within the context of an app on another platform.


Most of BBM’s key features do still exist: one-on-one messaging, group messaging, photo attachments, basic "status" messages you can display like Available and Busy, and even Ping, a functionality I had almost forgotten BBM ever had. With Ping, you can buzz a friend’s phone with just two taps. Only Path has added a similar feature: a "checkmark" button you can tap to instantly buzz a friend’s phone. It’s like a Facebook poke, but with messaging â€" and is a charming reminder of how useful BBM once was in my daily life. I used BBM so often, in fact, that I had the app mapped to the push-to-talk button on the side of my Blackberry Curve.

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The top iPhone and iPad apps on App Store

App Store Official Charts for the week ending Oct. 28, 2013:

Top Paid iPhone Apps:

1. "Duck Dynasty: Battle of the Beards", A&E Television Networks Mobile

2. "Tweetbot 3 for Twitter (iPhone & iPod touch)", Tapbots

3. "Angry Birds Star Wars II", Rovio Entertainment Ltd

4. "Minecraft - Pocket Edition", Mojang

5. "My Talking Pet", WOBA Media

6. "Heads Up!", Warner Bros.

7. "Plague Inc.", Ndemic Creations

8. "Afterlight", Simon Filip

9. "Free Music Download Pro - Mp3 Downloader", ASPS Apps

10. "Emojify â€" Emoji Words for SMS, Facebook and Twitter", Avocado Hills , Inc.

Top Free iPhone Apps:

1. "Bitstrips", Bitstrips

2. "BBM", BlackBerry Limited

3. "GarageBand", Apple

4. "Deer Hunter 2014", Glu Games Inc.

5. "Pimp My Keyboard", Fung Yi Chan

6. "Batman: Arkham Origins", Warner Bros.

7. "Free Ringtones for iOS 7 - Unlimited Ringtone, Text Tone, Email Alert Downloads and Ringtone Maker", Apalon

8. "YouTube", Google, Inc.

9. "DEAD TRIGGER 2", MADFINGER Games, a.s.

10. "Facebook", Facebook, Inc.

Top Paid iPad Apps:

1. "Angry Birds Star Wars II", Rovio Entertainment Ltd

2. "Minecraft - Pocket Edition", Mojang

3. "Duck Dynasty: Battle of the Beards HD", A&E Television Networks Mobile

4. "Toca Mini", Toca Boca AB

5. "Pages", Apple

6. "DEVICE 6", Simogo

7. "iMovie", Apple

8. "Pixel Gun 3D - Block World Pocket Survival Shooter with Skins Maker for minecraft (PC edition) & Multiplayer", Alex Krasnov

9. "Scribblenauts Remix", Warner Bros.

10. "Photon Flash Player for iPad - Flash Video & Games plus Private Web Browser", Appsverse Inc.


(copyright) 2013 Apple Inc.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

BlackBerry’s BBM wins over 20 million iPhone, Android users

These are stories Report on Business is following Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013.

Follow Michael Babad and The Globe's Business Briefing on Twitter. [1]

BBM takes off
BlackBerry Ltd. says the launch of its free BBM app for iPhones and Android devices has brought in 20 million new active users of the popular chat service.

It was just a week ago that the embattled smartphone maker resumed the rollout of the app, having hit a snag earlier. In the first 24 hours alone, it boasted 10 million downloads.

"BBM has now ended its first week with more than 80 million monthly active users, including over 20 million new users on Android and iPhone devices," the Canadian company said in a statement.

"During its first week, BBM was the top free overall app in 35 countries in Google Play and in 107 countries in the App Store, and continues to main a strong position in key markets such as Canada, the U.S. the U.K., Indonesia and much of the Middle East, to name a few."

Some BBM hopefuls had waited hours to get the service in a "virtual line-up" that backed up for the equivalent of miles, but BlackBerry said today that line-up is over.

That the BBM message service is a hit is clear. Not clear to some observers, however, is the money it will bring to BlackBerry, which is the midst of an auction for all or part of the company.

Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. has struck a tentative deal to lead a consortium that would acquire BlackBerry for $4.7-billion (U.S.), or $9 a share, and has until next week to complete its due diligence.

Other potential suitors are also interested, including BlackBerry co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, and former Apple Inc. chief John Sculley.

Banks face probe
At least two big banks are targets of a probe into possible manipulation of currency markets, while a third has settled a case over a key interest rate.

Both UBS and Deutsche Bank said today they are co-operating with investigations into trading in foreign exchange markets.

“UBS and other financial institutions have received requests from various authorities relating to their foreign exchange businesses, and UBS is co-operating with the authorities,” Switzerland’s largest bank said in its quarterly earnings report, citing several regulatory bodies around the world, including those in the United States and Britain.

“We have taken and will take appropriate action with respect to certain personnel as a result of our review, which is ongoing,” the bank added.

It disclosed neither what action it has taken nor the other banks that may be involved.

Separately, however, Deutsche Bank said in its earnings report that it, too, has been asked for information and that it is co-operating.

“Following an initial media report in June 2013 of widespread irregularities in the foreign exchange markets, we immediately commenced an internal review of our foreign exchange business,” UBS said.

“Since then, various authorities reportedly have commenced investigations concerning possible manipulation of foreign exchange markets.”

Earlier this month, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority said it had launched an investigation into several institutions, though gave no details. Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority is also investigating possibly currency market manipulations.

No allegations have been proven.

While no regulator has provided details, the investigations follow reports by Bloomberg News that have centred on what is known as a “fix,” which pegs the value of a currency at a certain time of day, and is used as a benchmark.

One of the major fixes is that by WM/Reuters. The Bank of Canada, for example, also has a noon fix.

The currency market probe comes alongside a scandal involving manipulation of a key interest rate known as Libor.

Today, Dutch bank Rabobank agreed to settle a case by paying more than $1-billion (U.S.), while its chief executive officer, Piet Moerland, quit.

Sears quits stores
Sears Canada Inc. is quitting its flagship outlet in Toronto, along with four others, raising questions about its turnaround, The Globe and Mail’s Marina Strauss reports today.

Quitting the store at Toronto’s Eaton Centre will also set the stage for the entry into Canada next year of Nordstrom Inc., which wants that site.

Sears said today it has struck a deal with landlords to sell back five leases.

Streetwise (for subscribers)

Economy Lab

ROB Insight (for subscribers)

Business ticker

NBA Game Time apps updated for 2013-14 season w/ iOS 7 redesign, new free content, and much more

The NBA Game Time apps for both iPhone [1] and iPad [2] have been updated today with a redesign for iOS 7 alongside full support for the 2013-2014 regular season and new content for both free and paid subscribers.

On top of the redesign pictured in the screenshots above, the apps add home and away broadcasts for every game and archives for each nationally broadcast game for those that have an NBA League Pass. It also adds new content for free users, however, including the Game Recaps, Team Video, Player Statistics, Team Rosters, and Team Statistics features previously only available to paid users.

Version 5.1 of NBA Game Time also includes alerts for live streaming videos and push notifications for League Pass subscribers.

NBA Game Time is available for free from the App Store now as separate downloads for iPhone [3] and iPad [4] .

What’s New in Version 5.1

Redesigned and Optimized for iOS7

Full support for the 2013-2014 NBA regular season

NBA League Pass subscribers will now be able to enjoy both the home and away TV broadcasts from every game.

NBA League Pass subscribers will now be able to enjoy archives from each nationally broadcast game.

Game Recaps from every game now free.

Team Video from every team now free.

Player Statistics, Team Rosters, and Team Statistics now free.

Live Video alerts let you know when we’re streaming press conferences and events live.

League Pass Push Notifications now let NBA League Pass users know when games they can watch get exciting.

Many performance improvements.

  1. ^ for both iPhone (
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  3. ^ for iPhone (
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5 Windows Phone Alternatives to Top iPhone and Android Apps

Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system launched three years ago to critical acclaim and rather disappointing sales. Since then, it’s slowly been crawling its way into relevancy by adding support for more modern processors and partnering with Nokia to produce hardware comparable to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

While sales of Windows Phones have grown over the last year or so, the number of new must-have games entering the Windows Phone Store at the same time as they do iOS and Android haven’t. Although they sometimes arrive eventually, the phenomenon has left many users with the impression that Windows Phones users don’t have many of the same experiences available to them as their counterparts on other operating systems. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here are 5 of the best Windows Phone alternatives to apps available on other platforms.

FileBox (Drop Box)


There isn’t an official app that allows users to update and download things stored on their DropBox accounts, but that doesn’t mean that users can’t access these files anyway. FileBox allows users to add and delete files from the cloud storage service on their Windows Phones free of charge. [ Download File Box from the Windows Phone Store for Free [1] ]

Baconit (Reddit)


Like Twitter and Facebook, Reddit is one of those websites that people who use it can’t live without. Baconit brings nearly all the functions that users would normally need to head to the web to use in a native Windows Phone application. [ Download Baconit from the Windows Phone Store for Free [2] ]

Monday, October 28, 2013

Revamped 'Dragon Fantasy' Hits the App Store as Free Update

Originally launched way back in August of 2011, Dragon Fantasy [ $7.99 ] is a quirky 8-bit throwback RPG with tons of humor and personality. We enjoyed the game well enough in our original review from back then, but subsequent updates addressed most of our negatives and Dragon Fantasy ended up blossoming into quite a delightful little experience.

Fast forward to January of this year and Dragon Fantasy developer Muteki Corp. announced that the game would be getting a graphics reboot as part of an effort to port it to more platforms. Dragon Fantasy is originally an 8-bit inspired game, but the remake took more of a 16-bit inspiration, as seen in an early trailer which was released the following month. Last week that remake hit the App Store as a free update for Dragon Fantasy. As a cool bonus, the new "16-bit" visuals can be toggled on and off at will from the options screen. Here's a trailer of the revamped Dragon Fantasy from when it hit PSN over the summer.

In addition to the graphical overhaul, Dragon Fantasy has received all new audio, an entire new dungeon in the Anders chapter of the game, Game Center achievements and many more tweaks and balances. Also, don't forget that the sequel, Dragon Fantasy Book II, is currently out on PS3 and Vita and will be heading to iOS at some point in the future. We first learned details on Book II way back in June of last year, and it looks like an even bigger and better adventure for the heroes of Book I. We'll let you know when we get details of an iOS release of Book II, but in the meantime be sure to give the newly-updated Dragon Fantasy Book I a spin.

Free Avira Mobile Security App for Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod - Software - Press Release

(London, 28th October 2013).  Avira [1] , a global anti-virus software company with over 100 million users, announced the launch of their first free mobile security app for Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod products.  Available to download from the Apps Store, the software scans for malicious processes and is also the only free app to include 5GB of cloud storage for users to back-up.

Already launched in Europe, the app is in the Top 50 Apps in Germany (No.12), Switzerland and Austria.

Features include scans to detect malicious or rogue processes running, verification of updates, checks to see if anyone has tried to jailbreak the device, anti-theft and location tracking, alongside cloud storage to allow users to free up space on their hard drive. 
Travis Wittleveen, CEO of Avira says "When we asked our customers and engineers to tell us what ‘security' means to them on a mobile device, we found that it's not only about protecting the device and the data, it's about being able to protect all your devices with an essential set of security applications.  You feel secure because you don't need to think about security.  That complete protection and peace of mind is what Avira Mobile Security delivers all over the world."

Customers who have downloaded the product in the U.S describe it as ‘amazing, powerful and exactly what we have waited for.'  Click here for more information and to download [2]

About Avira

More than 100 million consumers and small businesses depend upon Avira's security 25-year expertise to protect them with their award-winning antivirus software, making the company the number-two market share leader globally. Avira, ranked No.1 in technology innovation according to ABI Research and recommended by Consumer Reports for its free antivirus software has received a nearly unbroken string of Virus Bulletin VB100 awards for the past decade.

Avira provides IT-security protection to computers, smartphones, servers and networks, delivered as both software and cloud-based services. Visit [3] .  100,000,000 users can't be wrong.

  1. ^ Avira (
  2. ^ Click here for more information and to download (
  3. ^ Visit (

The Week's Best Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows Phone Apps

The week of All Hallows’ Eve, holiday of screams, scares and sweets. Or in my case the night of hiding in the living room, turning off the lights with a bottle of wine and ignoring the knocks on the door. Give me hordes of the undead over hordes of children in costume any day. Never mind, I’ll survive â€" I hope. These apps will be keeping me amused on the scariest night of the year (because of the children) â€" feel free to join me:


iPhone Apps

Seene [1] : We all like photography apps, but here’s one with a difference â€" it’s all in 3D. It reminds me of Instagram, being as much about sharing your 3D pictures as it is about taking them. How does it work? Basically, you take a video and move your iPhone a short way around the object you’re focusing on. Then Seene uses that footage to produce a 3D picture. You can then share it with your follower. It’s pretty nifty. [Free]

Mobile Energy [2] : I’m going through hell at the moment arguing tooth and ear with a certain energy company, as they’ve been charging me based on the meter readings of the neighbour. How does that even happen? So I now have a new appreciation for conveniences such as this. Simple, easy to use, and does what it says on the tin. Plus it does the splitting of costs between you and any other responsible person/people. Saves arguments with the gas company, saves arguments at home â€" two birds, one stone, or rather, app. [Free]

Launch Center Pro [3] : Version 1.1 of LCP has been available since March of this year and version 2.0 came out last week. If you had been using LCP (and I don’t know why you wouldn’t have been) then I’m sure you were massively excited about this. I was nearly going to go as far as to say this app changed my life, but that drops me to a new level of smartphone reliance that I’m not ready to admit to. However, it’s immensely useful. The basic idea is that you use one touch rather than two or three to get what you want done, such as “call mum”, or “go to” (had to do it), and it works. It has a permanent place in my dock, and that’s saying something.  [£2.99]

LVL Cam [4] : Want to take nice shots of the view, the landscape, or seascape, or any scape you want, but can’t get the bloody horizon straight thanks to shaky hands, weird vision or whatever else? Rather than trying to pull off a diagonal shoreline as “artsy”, you should give this app a whirl. It uses the phones internal leveller to make sure you take that shot straight, hugely simple idea, but the simple ones are usually the best.  [£0.69]

Type:Rider [5] : Type:Writer. Typewriter meets Tomb raider? This game was the editors’ pick on the App Store last week and after being immersed in its world of calligraphy for a while (all week), I can see why. You play as two little dots traversing through the evolution of typography with various obstacles to prevent you from getting from Rock Paintings to Times New Roman. Fun, immersive and interesting. *Gripe alert* the punctuation and grammar in the integrated textbook â€" not good, not good at all.  [£1.99]


iPad Apps

Narrato [6] : A journaling app for iPhone that takes some of the redundancy out of saving our favourite moments. Outside of being able to create unique private journal entries, Narrato also allows you to import moments from your social streams. This is its real strength and puts it slightly above its numerous competitors. Another cool little feature is that the app is intuitive and intelligent. The more you update it, the more accurate Narrato becomes. It draws conclusions from the logs and data you add, and becomes more able to anticipate what to grab from your various profiles. Nifty. [Free]

Paperless Post [7] : Paperless Post boasts “the web’s most beautiful cards and invitations.” Big claim, I’ll let you decide on the aesthetics yourself. You can use this app to manage your RSVPs and keep tabs on your social calendar, and communicate with your friends and family. While the app itself does feel like it’s lacking something at the moment, the Paperless Post site itself does boast some very attractive invites. They are truly gorgeous, with something to suit any party, any mood, and any personal style. So I’ll look to the future and hope the app will match it. [Free]

iMotion HD: I think this is a pretty special stop-motion film creator app, with the time lapse option making this app so damn special. In reality, I don’t have a huge amount of experience with this type of app, but it allows you to choose the interval of time before it automatically takes the picture which is great for those who get tired of pressing pause and start recording for every single frame. Which to me sounds time consuming, and boring. When you’re done with your film, the app lets you export your finished movie to YouTube, email and the iMotion gallery so others can judge it. [Free] [8]

50 years of the National Theatre [9] : It’s the National Theatre’s 50th Birthday this year, and what better way to celebrate than by releasing an app? And honestly, for a theatre buff, this app is toe-wigglingly good. It has production posters, rehearsal stills, performance stills, and other graphics and information for every single production that has gone through the National Theatre’s doors in the last 50 years. Not only that, you get your hands on exclusive video interviews with the writers of some of the productions (Philip Pullman’s is a standout). If you were one of the lucky individuals who managed to see His Dark Materials in 2003, I want to be you. Jealousy doesn’t even come close to describing it. [Free]

Comics [10] : This app has managed to reignite my interest in one of my favourite adolescent diversions: comic books. I’ve been out of the loop for quite a while (“a while” meaning over 10 years) until the last week or two when I started fiddling with Comixology’s free iPad app. The generically Comics app offers over 30,000 digital comic books and graphic novels for you to read that are shareable on various devices. However, before you think you’ll go on a comic-buying rampage, the price of each purchase (although markedly lower than the paper version) may deter you from rebuilding your childhood collection. [Free]


Android Apps

BBM [11] : It’s finally here. It was scheduled for release, then it was postponed, then it was released again, sort of . Probably the most highly-anticipated Android and iOS app this month, I’m not gonna lie â€" I’m still on the waiting list. Eagerly waiting. I really hope it lives up to the hype, I’d be a tad disappointed if it didn’t. [Free]

GetYourGuide Tours Activities [12] : When you go on holidays for two weeks, and after two days you’ve run out of things to do and don’t want to sit on the beach or drink yourself stupid in the nearest bar again, this app is a good one to consider having handy. It has over 23,000 activities, tours and attractions to choose from that might amuse you â€" at least for a few more days. You can do a search by city, activity type, or just browse through the library. That or let your phone/tablet’s GPS do the work and recommend something to do. It’s pretty good for a day off in London as well. [Free]

Burton [13] : This isn’t particularly innovative or new for a shopping app, but the content is as tempting to the male fashion fan as visiting one of their physical stores. I managed to pick up a pair of decent shoes from this app for £7, so check it out for a between-season sale. [Free]

Stormfly [14] : Stormfly brings you live weather information in the form of changing wallpaper based on the current weather conditions. Not a new concept, but Spiderfly Studios has managed to throw it together in a pleasingly aesthetic way that doesn’t munch on your bandwidth too much. [£0.61]

iCube [15] : Did anyone have one of these puzzles when they were younger? I LOVED them. Being a big maze fan, it’s not too much of a surprise. The basic idea is obvious, guide the ball through a 3D cube maze and get it out the other end. Like a Rubik’s Cube, it can be a fun and stimulating experience, or so frustrating that you want to throw your phone out the window. I keep going back for more though. [£0.61]


Windows Phone Apps

Rotation Lock [16] : I’m not sure how much I can say about this app, apart from the fact that it does exactly what it says on the tin. I haven’t found another app that does it in the WP marketplace, and it’s a feature sadly lacking in many WP models. But here’s the solution to that small oversight. [Free]

Facebook Messenger [17] : The Facebook app for Windows Phone is good, not great, but the chat feature leaves a lot to be desired. Another simple concept to improve the newest OS on the market, this independent dev app gives you what the official app lacks, if you need to use Facebook for IM, which inevitably, we all do. It’s nearly better than face-to-face chat these days. [Free]

Lloyds Bank [18] : Lloyds Bank (not Lloyds TSB) has jumped on the bandwagon in the last couple of weeks by releasing their app for WP, joining their previous releases on Android and iOS. Exactly the same as on the other devices, it provides Lloyds customers with the basic internet banking facilities, locations of ATMs and branches, and contact information. Not as extensive as the website, but allows you to do what you need on the go. [Free]

Phonly [19] : The most beautiful way to use Feedly on any mobile device I’ve seen so far. And being only version 1.1, there’s a promise of more features on the way. Useful to keep on top of your news and other sites or blogs, it’s perfect for those who miss the ‘ol Google Reader. [Free]

Imagine Cam [20] : The one area of the WP marketplace that isn’t lacking is photography. And Imagine Cam is one of the more recent additions. It’s a pretty simple camera alternative that provides an equally simple editor to add a ‘lil something extra to your shots. There’s room for improvement (that’s what updates are for) but if you’re looking for simplicity for your casual photography, you’ve found it. [Free]

  1. ^ Seene (
  2. ^ Mobile Energy (
  3. ^ Launch Center Pro (
  4. ^ LVL Cam (
  5. ^ Type:Rider (
  6. ^ Narrato (
  7. ^ Paperless Post (
  8. ^ iMotion HD (
  9. ^ 50 years of the National Theatre (
  10. ^ Comics (
  11. ^ BBM (
  12. ^ GetYourGuide Tours Activities (
  13. ^ Burton (
  14. ^ Stormfly (
  15. ^ iCube (
  16. ^ Rotation Lock (
  17. ^ Facebook Messenger (
  18. ^ Lloyds Bank (
  19. ^ Phonly (
  20. ^ Imagine Cam (

Free download of BlackBerry BBM for Android, iPhone: Beware of 'fake' reviews

It’s been almost a week that BlackBerry re-launched its BBM for Android and BBM for iPhone app, and we don’t have to tell you that it’s been a roaring success.

The app was downloaded more than 10 million times within the first 24 hours, BlackBerry told us on Day 2, and the app has featured in the Top 10 free Apps on iTunes for a number of countries, including here in the Middle East.

In fact, according to BlackBerry’s second-day update, it was No 1 in most countries. “…BBM rose very quickly in the Apple App Store free app rankings in the first 24 hours, taking the number one slot in more than 75 countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Indonesia and most of the Middle East,” said Andrew Bocking, Executive VP for BBM at BlackBerry, in the official BlackBerry blog [1] .

The app has now been downloaded more than 10 million times on the Google App store alone, and has been rated 4+ (out of a maximum 5) on both the Android (Google Play) as well as iOS (iTunes) platform.

However, there seem to thousands and thousands of 5-starred reviews on Google Play, with a large majority of users writing exactly the same comment over and over again: “Thank you so much blackberry team. I was waiting for this app. Its really great user friendly and smooth”. The ratings and comments, supposedly from different people, are all using the exact same words.

It is indeed great to have the BBM service on our Samsung, HTC, LG and a host of other Android smartphones, but how can so many of us be saying the exact same thing in the more than 157,000 5-starred reviews?

Yes, the app has received over 158,200 5-starred ratings, out of a total of 236,100 ratings on Google Play (at the time of writing this article). That’s about 67 per cent of users deciding to give it a 5-star rating â€" possible, but unlikely given that there are other messaging apps available today (WhatsApp, WeChat, etc.) that are good, established alternatives on the rival platforms.

So what’s going on? We decided to ask BlackBerry, who distanced themselves from such “potentially fake” reviews.

This is the statement that BlackBerry issued to Emirates 24|7 this morning: “We have been made aware of a number of potentially fake reviews of BBM for Android on Google Play, with ratings anywhere from one to five stars.

"We have no knowledge of how these reviews were created or populated. We do not approve of or condone such activities. There are also many genuinely great and useful reviews from our new BBM users on Google Play. We would like to encourage our fans and users to continue to provide true assessments of the BBM experience through the proper channels.”

In the end, however, while there might be a number of such fake ratings and reviews out there, the fact remains that the BBM for Android and BBM for iPhone apps are indeed being downloaded in droves as you read this, and the app remains one of the hottest downloaded apps in one week.

  1. ^ official BlackBerry blog (

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