Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Flipboard updates iOS app, revamps Cover Stories to surface cool content

Flipboard, the wildly successful magazine-format news aggregator, has updated its iPhone and iPad application with a pair of tweaks while announcing a redesign of Cover Stories aimed at making your story highlights resemble newspaper front pages. In addition to some bug fixes and performance improvements, Flipboard 2.2.3 now makes it possible to add bookmarks to your Safari Reading List.
Another minor change: you can now copy an article’s URL in your device’s browser, then open Flipboard for the option to add it to your magazines. You’ll be more interested in the redesign of Cover Stories which Flipboard hopes will surface more relevant content from your subscriptions…
The new-look Cover Stories taps smart algorithms which surface content based on how frequently you visit the section. Now key highlights from your subscriptions are presented in a condensed newspaper-like format.
The stories are organized by source, social network and topic, with story groups neatly indicated at the top of each page. If you want to dive deep into the story, just tap the More link at the bottom of the page.
See some flips by a friend you don’t like? Worry not, you can easily mute anyone.
The algorithms adapt to your reading habits so your Cover Stories get more relevant the more you use the section.
Here’s a quick video walkthrough.
Flipboard says the new design is available on iOS/Android smartphones/tablets, with BlackBerry and Windows Phone versions being under consideration. This is a staggered roll-out so not everyone will get the new Cover Stories right away.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Apptray lets you launch apps directly from Notification Center

There have been a handful of jailbreak tweaks released for Notification Center in the past few weeks, but perhaps none more visually appealing than Apptray, by software engineerJoshua Lee Tucker.
The tweak, compatible with all iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, adds a fourth tab alongside Today, All and Missed in Notification Center for opening apps directly from the notifications pulldown. An unlimited number of apps can be added to Apptray, configurable from the tweak’s dedicated menu in the Settings app… 
Apptray has a few other interesting options, including a slider for adjusting icon opacity and a toggle switch for enabling or disabling the tweak entirely. In order to ensure the security of iOS devices, the tweak cannot open apps from the Lock screen when a passcode is set. In that instance, tapping on an app icon will simply do nothing.
My impression of Apptray has been positive so far, as the tweak performs great on my iPhone 5 running iOS 7.0.4. As a bonus, it even works with themed icons. If you also have an iOS 7 device, Apptray can be yours on the Cydia Store for $1.49.