Well, after being rumored for years BlackBerry today finally made it official. This summer BBM will be coming to Android and the iPhone. The apps will be available for free and run on iOS devices running iOS 6 or later and Android devices running Android 4.0 (aka “Ice Cream Sandwich”) or later. Both apps will offer the full BBM experience including BBM chats, multi-person chats, the ability to share photos and voice notes, and participate in BBM Groups with up to 30 people. Features like BBM Video Chat, screen share and voice chat are promised as updates for later this year.
Now while two years ago when BlackBerrys were still popular this would have been huge news, today we gotta ask if BBM coming to non-BlackBerrys still actually matters to you. Between iMessage, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Kik, Facebook Messenger and the dozens of other free messaging apps out there today, the appeal of BBM just isn’t as strong as it once was. Think about it, how many of your friends still even use BBM? I know most of mine don’t, or if they do they also use some other app like WhatsApp as well.
We’ll have more on BBM once it launches this summer, but in the meantime let us know your thoughts on the news– and if you even care about BBM anymore– in the comments.
It’s pretty crazy to think that it’s been almost five years since Apple launched the iTunes App Store, and it’s even crazier to think that in less than five years they are already rapidly approaching 50 Billion (yes that’s Billion with a “B”) app downloads. In the past Apple has celebrated major iTunes milestones with some pretty insane giveaways. For example, for the billionth app download in 2009 they gave away a 17-inch Macbook Pro, 32 GB iPod Touch, Time Capsule router AND a $10,000 Gift Card for the iTunes Store. So as you’d expect for this massive milestone, Apple’s giving away a few other big prizes.
This year the lucky downloader of that 50 Billionth app will receive a $10,000 iTunes gift card that can be used in the App Store, iTunes Store or iBookstore. Considering that most paid apps, movies and books in the iTunes store are between $0.99 and $15 that’s an insane amount of money to spend in one place (and unfortunately it doesn’t look like you can use the gift card in the regular Apple Store to buy a new Mac, iPad or iPhone).
Now in the past Apple only gave away one grand prize for their iTunes contest but this time they’ve changed it up a bit. If you aren’t that exact 50 Billionth app downloader don’t worry, you can still win something as Apple will also be giving out fifty $500 iTunes gift cards to the people who download the next 50 apps after that 50 billionth app is downloaded. So if you do the math that’s $35,000 in free iTunes money up for grabs!
As of this writing the download counter on Apple’s website says that they have passed 49.85 billion apps, with about 1,000 apps being downloaded every second. That rate is only going to pick up as we get closer to that magic 50 billionth app so if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch go charge it up and get to downloading apps.
For more info and the latest counter either open up the App Store on your iDevice or head on over to Apple’s site here. And as always, good luck!
More info: Apple
T-Mobile users, you can now buy the iPhone 5. As we wrote yesterday, the iPhone today has finally come to T-Mobile and it is available to buy now at T-Mobile stores or online at T-Mobile’s site. Pricing for the iPhone 5 starts at $99 down (with $20 monthly payments for two years) for the 16GB version, with the 32GB and 64 GB versions costing $199 and $299, respectively (also with $20 monthly payments for two years). If you want to buy full price– remember, T-Mobile doesn’t do two-year contracts anymore– you can for either $580, $680 or $780 depending on if you get the 16GB, 32GB or 64GB iPhone 5.
Now if you look at T-Mobile’s site you will notice that the iPhone 4 and 4S are listed, but depending on where you live you might not be able to actually buy either one. The reason for this is that the 4 and 4S don’t have the right chips inside to fully support T-Mobile’s 4G network. Ever since the first iPhone launched in 2007, all unlocked iPhones could be used on T-Mobile’s network. While they all could work, those phones only could use T-Mobile’s 2G network and not it’s fast 4G one. This had to do with fact that the iPhone didn’t support the right radio band needed to use T-Mobile’s faster networks (known as the 1700 MHz band).
Last year T-Mobile began switching their 4G HSPA+ network from that 1700 MHz band to the 1900 MHz band their 2G network used so that the iPhone 4 and 4S could get 4G. Unlike the 1700 MHz band, this 1900 MHz band is supported by the iPhone since AT&T uses it for some of their own 4G HSPA+ network. Apparently this changeover hasn’t yet happened everywhere, and in those places where the iPhone 4 and 4S won’t get 4G HSPA+ T-Mobile won’t sell the iPhone 4 and 4S. The iPhone 5 has been updated to support T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ network on both the 1700 MHz and 1900 MHz bands and can work wherever T-Mobile has 4G HSPA+ which is why it can be bought from anywhere. The T-Mobile iPhone 5 also supports T-Mobile’s new 4G LTE network, so you have an added benefit of that as well.
T-Mobile users the wait is over. Tomorrow the iPhone 5 will finally be available to buy in T-Mobile stores and online. And while it is pretty much the same iPhone 5 that the other carriers have sold, as you’d expect the T-Mobile iPhone 5 will work with T-Mobile’s new and upcoming 4G LTE network and their current, fast 4G HSPA+ network. This means you can expect 4G like speeds on your iPhone even if where you live hasn’t gotten T-Mobile 4G LTE yet (and it likely hasn’t. T-Mobile’s 4G LTE has only launched in seven cities, though much more are expected by the end of the year). If you already have an unlocked iPhone 5 and are on T-Mobile you should also see a software update in the Settings app that will bring these 4G improvement to your iPhone as well.
T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 will be available in both white and black and in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, though when it comes to pricing things get a little more complicated.
Whether you’re going to a beach, skiing in the mountains or just staying at home for Spring Break keeping your iPhone protected is a big deal. The last thing you want is to go somewhere and have your phone break because it accidentally sliped out of your hand. While there are few good cases that offer decent protection for phones from companies like HTC, Samsung, and BlackBerry there aren’t many. The iPhone on the other hand has almost too many cases available.
We have been getting a few questions lately about good, strong cases for the iPhone, particularly for surviving things like a crazy Spring Break. So whether you’re still on Spring Break or are heading back to school, here are a few cases you’re gonna want to check out to make sure your iPhone is always safe.
The MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display are two of the best computers available today. They are super thin, very fast, have solid battery life, and in the case of the Pro, has an amazing Retina Display that makes everything look great. The problem with both however has been their prices, with the 13 inch Pro with Retina Display starting at a particularly steep $1,700 and the higher spec’d 13 inch Air with 256 GB of storage (the one you’re most likely gonna want because you’re going to want since this has enough storage to last you the next few years) starting at $1,500. This week however Apple gave both the 13 inch Retina Pro and the higher spec’d 13 inch Air some nice price cuts, bringing the basic, 128 GB Retina Pro down $200 to $1,500 and the top Air down $100 to $1,400. If you use Apple’s student discount the prices are even better, with the Retina Pro dropping an extra $100 to $1,400 and the higher end Air going down to $1,349.
We really love the MacBook Pro and Air, and both are great options if you’re looking for a new computer for school. Personally, the 13 inch Retina Pro is the laptop I just upgraded to because it has that excellent portability that you find on the Air but it’s combined with the power the Pro line is known for (oh, and that Retina screen is pretty great too). Both laptops though should be more than fine if you mainly plan on using them for taking notes, writing papers and going online.
One upgrade we recommend however is getting the 256 GB hard drive for either the Pro or Air, particularly if you plan to store a lot of videos, music or photos. It is very hard to upgrade the storage on MacBooks after you buy them, and you’re going to want to make sure this thing is best suited to last for the next few years (if you plan on using your next computer mainly for notes and the internet, or have a backup hard drive for your music, photos and movies the cheaper 128 GB hard drive may work fine for you). The 256 GB 13 inch Retina Pro is now $1,700 without a student discount, $1,600 with (down from nearly $2,000 before).
The new price changes are live now on Apple’s site and you can check them out here.
One of the most popular and addicting games for the iPhone and iPad has finally gotten a sequel. Yes, today is the day Temple Run 2 hits the App Store, and like the original, it is free to download.
While the idea and controls behind the game are the same, Temple Run 2 brings some much nicer graphics, a new course with new obstacles as well as new power ups and the ability to ride in a cart and zip-line. Oh, and you now will be chased by a “bigger monkey.”
As big fans of the original Temple Run we’ve already downloaded the game on our iPhone 5 and we gotta say, it’s a pretty great update. We really love the new graphics and the new course keeps things challenging. It’s the same great Temple Run we all know and love, just now even better. This should be a great time waster for the spring semester.
Oh, and don’t worry Android users, video game site Polygon talked with Imangi– the creators of the Temple Run games– and Temple Run 2 should be in the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore next week.
So what are you waiting for? Go download Temple Run 2 from the iTunes App Store and let us know what you think.
More info: Temple Run 2 (link opens iTunes)
It has only been about five months since Apple announced the iPhone 5, but that hasn’t stopped the rumors about when Apple might release future iPhones. Over the last couple of days in particular there have a lot of rumors on the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and even iOS 7. Since we’re getting a lot of questions about these rumors we’re going to try to answer them here. More >
T-Mobile users, your long wait to for the iPhone is finally, and officially, coming to an end. Apple and T-Mobile today announced that starting next year Apple products, like the iPhone and iPad, will be available on T-Mobile.
The announcement was pretty vague, saying only “Apple products” and not mentioning any specific iPhone or iPad model (like the 4S, and 5). We also don’t know what time in 2013 these Apple products will arrive, though it is possible we could see a T-Mobile iPhone 5 in January or February of next year (when Verizon finally got the iPhone it came in February of 2011, several months after the AT&T iPhone 4 was announced). There also is obviously no word on if these Apple products will support T-Mobile’s upcoming 4G LTE network (which T-Mobile is also planning to launch in 2013) or just the 4G HSPA+ network T-Mobile has today.
We’ll update this post as soon as more info is available.
Info via Twitter
If you’re looking for a new iPad, iPod or MacBook this holiday season you’re gonna want to listen up, as Apple just revealed their Black Friday deals. As expected there aren’t any major “doorbuster” deals to be found here, but there still are some solid discounts.
The iPad 4 has been given a $41 discount and now starts at $458 for the 16 GB WiFi model (with $51 and $61 discounts for the 32 GB and 64 GB WiFi only versions). The iPad 2 16 GB WiFi model got a $31 discount to $368, though if you want one of these we’d still recommend going with Walmart or Target’s deals instead. The new 5th generation iPod Touch (the one with the color back and 4 inch screen) has also been given a $31 discount and now starts at $268 for the 32 GB version. The older iPod Touch and new iPod Nano were each given their own small discounts, bringing their prices to $178 and $111 respectively.
The MacBook line is where the big discounts happen. Apple has taken $101 off of each of their MacBook lines– the MacBook Air, Pro and Pro with Retina Display. Of course this brings them to the same prices you could get the rest of the year if you use a student discount, with the exception being the base 11 inch MacBook Air which is now $898 (it’s usually $950 with a student discount).
Apple also dropped the prices on their iPad Smart Covers and Smart Cases, as well as for their headphones , routers and wireless mice and keyboards. And no, unfortunately there doesn’t look to be any deals for the iPad Mini or iPhone 5.
You can check out the full list over at Apple’s site here.