App Development

Paper by FiftyThree getting new ‘Think Kit’ features next month

Paper by FiftyThree getting new ‘Think Kit’ features next month

After making Paper (now technically known as ‘Paper by FiftyThree’ because of Facebook’s app by the same name) free to download, FiftyThree is giving us more reason to want the app. FiftyThree is announcing a new series of add-on tools for Paper they’ve named Think Kit, which are aimed at producing a more finished conceptual design faster. Though they’re a bit tight-lipped about what the tools may offer, you may be picking up your iPad to sketch ideas more often with Think Kit.

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Yo’s new app for Apple Watch does more than “yo”

Yo’s new app for Apple Watch does more than “yo”

The simple messaging app Yo will soon be jumping on the Apple Watch bandwagon with its newest app for the smartwatch. If you haven't heard of Yo, it's a basic app that debuted last year to a mix of fanfare and confusion. Yo is an app that lets you communicate with friends, but limits you to just exchanging a "yo" instead of texting. Over 4 million "yo's" have been sent. Now, Yo is back in a new incarnation for the Apple Watch, and it lets users send more than just a "yo."

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Gimbal adds iBeacon brilliance to SXSW

Gimbal adds iBeacon brilliance to SXSW

When you find yourself at an event, there’s good reason to drag your smartphone out of your pocket or bag. Not just because you’re filling awkward downtime, but doing so might actually put real-time, contextual information in front of your face. At SXSW this weekend, event-goers will likely want to pull their phone out of their pockets and fire up the official SXSW app, named SXSW Go. The reason? Gimbal has landed at SXSW, and they’re going to light the event up with iBeacon tech.

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Swarm adds direct messaging feature to iOS, Android apps

Swarm adds direct messaging feature to iOS, Android apps

When Foursquare split itself in half, it was an effort to build up two complimentary features of their platform independently. The Foursqaure app proper would be a Yelp competitor, while Swarm would serve as their check-in module. The success of that move is debatable, but both found favor with users. To help Swarm become a bit more social, Foursquare has updated the app to bring in a private messaging feature. Now, when you want to hang out with someone, you don’t have to ask out loud.

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Microsoft’s Cortana reportedly coming to iOS, Android

Microsoft’s Cortana reportedly coming to iOS, Android

Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana, is a cornerstone of the company’s move toward a more universal OS that spans screens. Whether it be phone, tablet, or desktop, we’ve seen Cortana become integral in Microsoft’s push forward. The company has also been making their other services like Office available to other platforms, like iOS. Now, it seems Microsoft is ready to take Cortana outside of the Windows platform as well. A new report says Microsoft will spin Cortana off into a standalone app, which they’ll make available for both iOS and Android.

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Google seeds multi-device Android app for Devs ahead of I/O

Google seeds multi-device Android app for Devs ahead of I/O

Write once, deploy everywhere. It’s the dream for Developers — well, everywhere — but isn’t always as simple as it sounds. With so many screens and so many platforms, there typically has to be a lot of manipulation of an app to work in multiple places. Ahead of I/O, Google is laying out reason that might not always be the case, with a reference app that is usable on a smartphone, tablet, Android Auto, Android Wear, and usable with Google Cast — with a single codebase.

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Darkroom for iOS brings in ability to zoom and crop photos

Darkroom for iOS brings in ability to zoom and crop photos

Nearly one month old, Darkroom has made headway when it comes to easy photo editing on mobile devices. Their straightforward approach adds a wealth of easy to use tools that can bring some professional looking edits to the small(er) screen. Darkroom just got better, and has addressed one major issue many users had with it at launch. With version 1.1 of Darkroom, you can now zoom in on pictures to get a better idea of what your edit will look like to the discerning eye.

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Starbucks in-app ordering expands, now covers entire PNW

Starbucks in-app ordering expands, now covers entire PNW

Starbuck’s in-app ordering is great for when you’re on-the-go and need to be caffeinated in a pinch. Limited to Portland for a beta trial, the in-app coffee ordering has now rolled out to more of the Pacific Northwest, and includes Starbucks’ home, Seattle. Starbucks says more than 650 locations will now have access to the in-app ordering, which lets users order, customize, pay in the Starbucks app ahead of picking their coffee up at a retail store of their choosing.

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Google’s odd new events app likely released by accident

Google’s odd new events app likely released by accident

Contextual awareness is attractive for users, but also useful for event organizers. We see context put to really good use with beacon technology, where Gimbal makes big strides in working their hardware into venues for use in-app. Knowing more about your immediate surroundings, especially with regard to things you can’t possibly know by looking around, is handy. A new app from Google, Interactive Events, shows how similar feats may be accomplished via software. It’s also an app you’re not supposed to know about.

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Xero arrives on iPad, takes small business accounting mobile

Xero arrives on iPad, takes small business accounting mobile

Many small businesses are founded out of passion. Whoever starts their business typically has a strong desire to create and share their craft, which makes the back-end business stuff that much worse. Unfortunately, the business aspect is necessary. To help make it easier for anyone, Xero has a handy set of tools that make things like invoicing or receipt creation really simple. After realizing about 30% of their existing users were accessing their Xero tools via an iPad, the company is now coming forward with a proper iPad app.

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