app store · apple · ipad · iphone · ipod touch · mac · red

App Store Goes (RED) To Help Fight AIDS


Apple has long been a supporter of AIDS prevention.  This year, Apple has launched a multi pronged event to help raise awareness of the fight against AIDS.

To start, Apple has posted a special (RED) page on their website.  There is also a link to the RED.org website where you can lean more about the work that is being done and the other companies that are helping fight this disease.

Apple also has a few other promotions going on for your favorite iOS devices.  As in years past, Apple is promoting their (PRODUCT) RED devices and accessories.  Current model iPods are available in (RED) editions as well as (RED) cases for iPhone and iPad.  I have a few of the (PRODUCT) RED cases for my iPhones and iPads.  They cost the same as other Apple cases and look great!  What’s better, is that they are on sale all the time.  You owe it to yourself to pick one up and feel good that you are supporting a good cause all the while having a case that looks great on your device!

Apple is also running a special promotion on Friday (11/28/14) and Monday (12/1/14).  On Friday, when you purchase participating products, you will receive a special (Product)RED Apple gift card and Apple will donate a portion of the proceeds to (RED).  Similarly, on Monday, when you make a purchase at an Apple Retail Store or online, Apple will donate a portion of the proceeds from everything they sell to (RED).  That’s pretty damn amazing when you consider that Monday is “Cyber Monday” and a lot of people will be doing online Christmas shopping that day.

New this year, is iOS app developer’s involvement in the (RED) campaign.  From November 24 – December 7, either 100% of app or In-App Purchase item is donated to (RED)’s Global Fund.  There are some really fantastic apps that are part of the program.

For example, Apple has updated Garage Band with a special (GarageBand)RED Loop Pack.  Rovio has created three special (RED)’s Mighty Feathers levels to play.  My favorite iOS app that is participating in this year’s campaign has got to be ustwo’s Monument Valley.  With a $0.99 IAP, you can purchase one extra level – Ida’s (RED) Dream.

If games and making music aren’t your thing, there are still other ways to help.  In total there are 25 iOS app developers involved this year, with apps like 53, Clear, Kitchen Stories Recipes and Star Walk 2.  You can find the complete list of apps and IAP on the App Store.  If you would just like to make a donation you can do that too.  Just open the App Store on your iOS device and make a donation.

This holiday season, we have lots to be thankful for.  Please, make a donation to help fight HIV/AIDS by participating in one of these programs.

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app store · apple · ios · software

Apple Store iOS App Gets Updated

Last night, Apple released and update to their iOS Apple Store application.

The update, while minor, strikes me as a tool to help keep new iPhone owners all worked up about when they can upgrade to the new iPhone, allegedly the iPhone 5S.

The two new features puts up a notice of when you are eligible for an iPhone upgrade, with pricing, keeping you informed once you buy your new phone with delivery notifications.

Hey, when it’s a new toy, even overnight shipping is too long and we *need* to know where our phone is and when it will arrive at on our front porch.

app store · apple · chrome · google · ios · ipad · iphone · ipod touch

Google Updates Chrome Browser for iOS

Today, Google released a new version of their Chrome browser for iOS devices.

When running on a compatible iPhone or iPod touch, you are now able to run Chrome in full screen mode by scrolling the entire screen up, pushing the URL toolbar off the top of the screen allowing you to interact with the web page.  To get the URL bar back, simply scroll down again.

But I think that the more interesting update is Google adding the ability to print using their own Google Cloud Print service, or by sending your print job over the air to your wireless printer using AirPrint.

Anti-paper, are ya?  No problem.  Google still has you covered because you can now also save any web page as a PDF document in your Google Drive.  That’s pretty nifty

You can download the latest update from the App Store icon on your iDevice, or you can install Google Chrome from the App Store for the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch (link).

app store · apple · games · ios · ipad · ipad mini · iphone · ipod touch · microsoft · playstation · sony · xbox

Karateka Returns to Delight a New Generation of Heroes

Back in the mid-1980’s I was introduced to the Apple //e and a I fell in love with computers and technology.  The first real game that I played back in 1984, after Apple Presents…Apple, was Karateka.

For those of you who don’t remember, or may not have been around back then, Katateka is game focusing around an evil warlord who has captured the princess and the tasks falls on you to save her.  Pretty straight forward.

Fast-forward to 2012 and Karateka has been reborn on the iOS, PlayStation, XBox Live, and Steam.  The game has been updated to run on today’s popular gaming platforms and looks amazing all the while staying true to it’s 8-bit Apple //e roots.

This time around, you must still save the princess, however, you are given three warriors with which to save her: the warrior, the monk, and the brute.  You battle your way into the warlord’s fortress, fight his minions, battle his hawk, and then fight him to save your true love.

After finding Karateka on the Apple iOS App Store, I immediately purchased the game and started playing on my iPhone until the battery died.  Then I picked up my iPad and kept playing.

Gameplay is simple and easy to learn.  In combat, you have two moves: block and attack.  The controls are pretty easy to master.  You tap the screen to block an attack and you tap the screen to attack.  New in this version of the game there is the ability to double-tap the screen to use a special move that allows you to stun your opponent and unleash a powerful combo attack that shaves a good amount of hit points off his health meter.

I found the new Karateka true to it’s 1980’s original.  Yes, the game has been updated with new graphics and new characters, but at it’s core, it’s still the same game that I loved as a boy.  Personally, I think that it’s a tribute to the care and detail that went into remaking Karateka.  I have played some other ‘reboot’ games on iOS this year, and with all of them, I came away longing for the originals.  No so with Karateka.

If you’ve played Karateka before you will find this version familiar and fun to play.  If you are new to Karateka, hopefully, you will have found a new game to play that is fun to play.

Karateka is available now from the Apple iOS App Store (link) and sells for $2.99.  Karateka for iOS is a universal application and will play on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.  Before you buy, make sure you have a supported device as the game only plays on the iPhone 4S and newer, iPad 2 or newer, including the new iPad mini, and the iPod touch 5th generation.  Karateka is also available now on Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network, and Steam.  The console editions sell for about $9.99.

For more information about Karateka, check of the game’s website.

app store · apple · ios · ipad · iphone · ipod touch

Apple Updates Many of Their iOS Apps

Along side of today’s iOS 6 software release, Apple also updated many of their iOS applications today. Immediately after installing iOS 6 on my iPad, I launched the App Store and was greeted by a dozen updates.

Once you’ve installed iOS 6 on your current model iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, make sure you head over to the App Store and install the latest software updates for your applications.  Doing so will provide you with new features and continued stability and compatibility with your new operating system.

app store · apple · apple tv · itunes

A Note About Apple TV (Generation 1) Content

Apple released the first Apple TV set top box in 2007 calling it a ‘hobby’ device and wanted to see what customers would do with it.  I’ve recently upgraded to a new iOS powered Apple TV third generation to watch TV shows and movies on my living room TV.

My first generation Apple TV is now connected the TV in my girl’s room.  They don’t have a cable box so this gives them a way to watch TV shows and movies that my wife and I can monitor.  But the first generation Apple TV was released in a time before 1080p and there is lots of HD content in the iTunes Store now.

I recently ran into a problem where a late episode of Discovery’s Mythbusters.  Regardless of what I tried, the episode wouldn’t sync.  Naturally, I ran to Google.com and started searching for answers.

I couldn’t find any.

Then I realized that the episode was only showing an “HD” icon, and not the “HD SD” icon.  SD being “standard definition,” the 720p version of the show that the original Apple TV can play.  And there was my light bulb moment.  When I purchased the episode, I purchased the HD version to watch on my MacBook Pro or my living room third generation Apple TV.  I needed the SD version so my kids could watch it in their room.  Aha!

Once I downloaded the SD version of the shows, the episodes synced up to the first generation Apple TV normally.

So the lesson that I learned here is when you are purchasing HD content and you plan to use it on a first generation Apple TV make sure you go back and download the SD version of the show or movie if it doesn’t automatically download.

To learn more about the Apple TV, in all it’s versions, check out the Apple TV Wikipedia page.

app store · apple · mac · mac os x · mac pro · macbook pro

Smooth Sailing with Mac OS X 10.8.1 Update

Earlier this afternoon I finally got around to installing the Mountain Lion 10.8.1 update on my mid-2009 MacBook Pro.

Mac OS X 10.8.1 is a small update weighing in at less than 40MB.  The whole install process literally took 5 minutes.  My Mac Pro will get upgraded tomorrow.
You download the update from the Mac App Store rather than the Software Update control panel.  This is a change in how updates are downloaded with Lion (10.7), Snow Leopard (10.6) and earlier versions of Mac OS X.
If you don’t have Mac OS X Mountain Lion installed on your Mac, you can purchase it for $19.99 from the Mac App Store.  Once you have purchased Mac OS X, you can install it on any Macintosh that you own and meets the minimum technical requirements.  Double check the specs.  Not all of the new features, like AirPlay are supported on 2011 and earlier Macs.  Updates to Mac OS X are free to download.
I’m running the 17-inch model with 8GB of RAM and a 500GB disk drive.  I chose the 17-inch MacBook Pro line, now discontinued, to give me the best of both worlds; a desktop when connected to a 37-inch HD TV and a high resolution, large screen computer when I’m at my various meetings during the month.