Hours after release, Super Mario Run is top free and top grossing app

Earlier today, the highly anticipated first ever Mario game for iPad and iPhone hit the App Store. Dubbed Super Mario Run, the app has rocketed to the top of both the free chart and top grossing chart on the App Store in the hours following its release.Super Mario Run is a free download, but a $9.99 in-app purchase unlocks the entire game. As part of the initial free download, you can try out a few levels of the game but you’ll eventually be required to hand over the $10 if you want to continue.

Super Mario Run’s success shouldn’t be too surprising when you think about the amount of hype surrounding the game’s release. As the first Mario title to come to the iPhone and iPad, the game received its fair share of publicity. Nintendo’s Shigeru Minamoto was brought on stage at Apple’s iPhone announcement even in September to debut the game, and since then there’s been a steady stream of press surrounding the release of the game.If anything, the chart success should show Nintendo that bringing classic Mario titles to iOS will be far more lucrative than some of the other titles it has launched, such as Miitomo. In terms of reception, Super Mario Run carries a four star rating on the App Store right now , with just over 1200 ratings.Super Mario Run is available now for free on the App Store, with a $9.99 in-app purchase unlocking the full game.
Have you been playing Super Mario Run? Let us know your thoughts in the comments if so.

Instagram adds bookmark feature, to privately save posts for later viewing

Instagram has today rolled out an update to its iOS, Android and Windows apps to allow you to bookmark posts for later viewing.Starting today, you can save posts you’d like to revisit later.Now you’ll see a new bookmark icon underneath posts in your feed. Simply tap it to save a post to a new, private tab on your profile. There you can see all the posts you’ve saved — and they’re only visible to you.

When you stumble upon a funny video you want to remember, a new outfit you like or even inspiration for an upcoming vacation, you can now keep track of favorite posts right from your profile.The update was announced in the company’s blog just a couple of days after its new live video feature rolled out to U.S. users. Increasing competition does seem to have stirred Instagram into a little action, though there’s still no iPad app …
Instagram is free download from iTunes

Twitter adds livestreaming into iOS app, start broadcasting video from the compose tweet view

Twitter is rolling out a new feature into its native client app for iPhone and iPad. From today, users will be able to start video live stream broadcasts from within the Twitter app courtesy of a new integration with Periscope, which Twitter acquired in 2013.

To start a live video, open the tweet compose screen and tap the new “Live” button. You can frame your shot and then press Go Live to start broadcasting to the world. The feature is rolling out gradually over the next few days.Periscope is being slowly enmeshed into the core Twitter experience. Earlier in the year, Twitter integrated Periscope viewing into the timeline. Now, users will be able to begin broadcasting Periscopes from within the Twitter app.
The live streams are really Periscope streams, so users on either Twitter or the Periscope app will be able to see the video. When live, viewers can leave comments and send hearts to interact with the streamer. Bringing video into the tweet compose will no doubt send usage of Periscope skyrocketing but perhaps at the cost of fewer text tweets.
Twitter seems to be positioning live video as an alternative mechanism to typing 140 character anecdotes, especially for major breaking news and events. A similar ‘Live’ button used to exist in the Twitter app but it really was just a shortcut that took users to the Periscope app; the new feature announced today is that all of the broadcast functionality has been integrated directly inside of the Twitter app — users are not required to install Periscope at all.Find the new live video feature in the updated Twitter app, available as a free download in the App Store. The feature is going live for all users over the next few days.

Convert Currency in Spotlight Search for iOS

Spotlight Search for iOS now has the ability to perform currency calculations and conversions using up to date exchange rates.This is a handy built-in feature for travelers, anyone who needs to exchange money, and those who work across borders, and it’s built right into the latest versions of Spotlight for iOS on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Getting Currency Conversions in iOS with Spotlight Search
To convert any currency, open Spotlight from the Home Screen of iOS by pulling down on an icon, then enter the following syntax types, specifying the currency to start with and to convert to:
1 USD to EUR
1 USD to GBP

JPY to USD

IDR to AUD

NZD to USD

500 CAD to USD

100 RMB to USD

500 EUR to JPY


This is just an example, as any major world currency is supported for conversions in iOS.

You can specify the three letter shorthand for the currency, which is the fastest method, or if you aren’t sure, you can actually type out the entire currency name as well, like so:

1 US dollar to Japanese Yen
15 Euros to Great British Pound

19585 Indonesian Rupiah to US dollars

100 Australian Dollars to Vietnamese Dong

1000 US dollars to Apple Store Apples

850 Chinese Renminbi to Korean Won

As long as the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is connected to the internet it will pull the most up to date exchange rates for the currency conversion.

Super Mario Run for iOS will be released on December 15

Announced in September, at the same time with the iPhone 7, Super Mario Run is the very first Mario game developed for mobile devices. Of course, we mean the first official Mario game for mobile, because knock-offs have been around for quite some time. 

Today, Nintendo revealed that Super Mario Run will be available on iOS devices starting December 15. The game is free to download, but you’ll have to pay $9.99 in order to get unlimited access to everything that it’s offering (including three game modes). 

Styled just like the Mario games of our childhoods, Super Mario Run is an endless runner that asks you to collect coins, avoid obstacles and enemies, and reach flagpoles to complete levels. The game supports no less than 10 languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, and traditional Chinese. In order to download Super Mario Run, you’ll need an iPhone, iPad, or iPod running iOS 8.0 or later.
Super Mario Run will also be available on Android devices, but it’s not clear exactly when this should happen (probably sometime in 2017). We’ll keep you posted! 

source: Nintendo

Apple unveils all-new, redesigned MacBook Pros with OLED Touch Bar, larger trackpad, USB-C, more

Apple has officially unveiled the new redesigned MacBook Pro at its special event in Cupertino, California. The new design is all metal like the 12-inch MacBook (no plastic along the hinge) and available in space gray (looks darker than 12-inch but we’ll see) and traditional silver. 13-inch and 15-inch options are available. Much more below:
And here’s what we now know:

  • 13-inch is 17% thinner, 23% less volume, 3 pounds, nearly 1/2 pound less than previous version
  • 15-inch is 15.5 mm, 14% thinner, 20% less volume, 4 pounds, 1/2 pound less
  • USB-C ports
  • Force Touch trackpad, 2x larger
  • All-new keyboard with 2nd-gen butteryfly mechanism like 12-inch MacBook (more responsive, improved travel)
  • Function keys replaced with dynamic Touch Bar, a Retina OLED display panel above the keyboard
  • Touch Bar adaptive to specific applications, color display changes based on context
  • Touch ID available on new MacBook Pros, a first
  • Supports log-ins, sapphire crystal, second-gen version like iPhone 6s
  • Apple T1 Chip supports Touch ID, includes Secure Enclave for Apple Pay
  • Siri key added to Touch Bar with default system keys
  • Control Strip lets you manage system controls like brightness and volume
  • Touch Bar supports emoji, QuickType typing
  • Photos use of Touch Bar looks especially promising with scrubber for photos in a collection and finding place in a video
  • Touch Bar can be customized (example includes Finder, Control Strip)
  • Touch ID on new MacBook Pros support profiles (Phil Schiller’s fingerprint logs him into his account, Craig Federighi’s fingerprint pulls up his account)
  • Touch Bar supports most (if not all) Apple apps including Terminal, Xcode
  • Developers can program Touch Bar support
  • MacBook Pro display is 67% brighter, 67% higher contrast ratio, 25% more colors, display as thin as 12-inch MacBook display
  • 15-inch includes Intel Core i7 (6th gen, quad-core, 2133MHz memory), Radeon Pro, up to 4GB VRAM, up to 2.3x faster, Superfast SSD up to 2TB, up to 50% faster, advanced thermal architecture (for fan), all-new speaker design, 2x dynamic range
  • 13-inch includes Intel Core i5 or i7, Intel Iris Graphics, Superfast SSD
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports (USB-C connector), headphone jack, any of four ports is charging port (RIP MagSafe)
  • Can support two 5K displays externally
  • New version of Final Cut Pro that supports Touch Bar coming, Adobe will also support Touch Bar with Photoshop, and djay Pro from Algoriddim shows support
  • Microsoft Office is working on Touch Bar support for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Skype for Business
  • Affinity Designer and Pixelmator also working on support, Sketch, DeVinci Resolve as well
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life in both models
  • MacBook Pro 13-inch will also be available in a version without Magic Bar
  • $1499 for non Touch Bar version, $1799 for 13-inch Touch Bar model, and $2399 for 15-inch Touch Bar model
  • Today for new models without Touch Bar, 2-3 weeks shipping for Touch Bar models
  • All models available to order starting today!
  • That’s a wrap for MacBook Pro unveiling, stay tuned for more in depth coverage. 

Apple opens special event with focus on Accessibility, announces dedicated website

Apple kicked off today’s keynote with a video highlighting some of the accessibility features of Apple products, such as spoken alerts letting a blind person know when the camera has detected a face and locked focus on it …Tim Cook said that he could not be prouder to share the video as Apple’s teams work so hard to make products accessible to everyone, and the company was highlighting those in a new accessibility website.

The website has separate Accessibility sections for Mac, iOS, Watch and TV. There are also overviews highlighting the focus on vision, hearing, physical & motor skills and literacy & learning.

Apple launches new Facebook page for Beats 1, its free worldwide internet radio station

Apple has launched a dedicated Facebook page for Beats 1, the free worldwide Apple Music radio station run by human hosts, unlike other Apple Music stations which are generated by computer algorithms and require an Apple Music streaming subscription.

The new Beats 1 account is currently highlighting Zane Lowe’s exclusive interview with Lady Gaga, featuring video snippets and quotes. Although the page is not yet verified on Facebook, the account’s legitimacy is confirmed as the verified Apple Music account shared a post from the Beats 1 page.Previously, Apple has communicated marketing for the Beats 1 station on Facebook via its Apple Music account, which has over 2 million likes. To gain traction on the Beats 1 page, the main Apple Music account is sharing its posts for publicity.Beats 1 has been using a dedicated Twitter account for some time (which is approaching 500,000 followers) so the lack of a parallel Facebook presence was strange. It appears Apple previously started a dedicated Beats 1 account in 2015, but let it languish after a mere month of posts.The music division of Apple has embraced social media platforms more than Apple as a whole, but it is slowly expanding its social media outreach. Apple started an Instagram account for iBooks in July.

The company also ‘launched’ an @Apple Twitter account in early September but has so far only used the account for promoted tweet advertising. The account has accrued more than 600,000 without posting a single public tweet.

 Apple to release new 13 inch MacBook & MacBook Pros at next week’s event, new iMac & 5K Display coming next year

Reliable Apple analyst KGI has published a report on Saturday outlining their predictions for Apple’s Mac roadmap ahead of the media event on October 27th. The report says that Apple will launch three new MacBooks at the event, a new 13 inch MacBook, a new 13 inch MacBook Pro and a new 15 inch MacBook Pro.It goes on to say that new iMacs and the Apple external display will not be shipping this year; those should be expected in the first half of 2017.KGI does not know if Apple will announce early the new iMacs or new Cinema Display (detailed as having a 27 inch panel) at the event, but Ming-Chi Kuo seems confident that they are not ready to release. If you are waiting on a new Mac Pro, then the outlook is still murky: Kuo simply does not mention the product at all.

The news on what KGI does expect Apple to announce and ship is interesting, three new Mac laptops in total across two product lines.The new Retina MacBook Pro, expected to include Touch ID, an OLED function row above the keyboard and new internals, will be debuting in both 13 inch and 15 inch screen sizes.The new OLED screen panel is mocked up in our hero image above; rumor mill suggests the screen will show contextual commands and shortcuts depending on the currently-used app. A Macotakara report says the new laptops will feature only USB-C ports (backed by Thunderbolt 3) and will not use a MagSafe power connector for charging.
The KGI report says the new MacBook Pro will have “many” major upgrades, but does not go into specifics. It is not guaranteed that all the features will be necessarily available across both the 13 inch and 15 inch sizes. If Apple follows tradition, the highest-spec options will be reserved for the 15 inch form factor only. New MacBook Pros are long overdue; the currently-sold models use generations-old Broadwell chips.The other product KGI says is coming is a new “13 inch MacBook”, as a successor to the 12 inch single-port Retina MacBook first released in 2015. By the way, this is not the first time that KGI has said that Apple is developing a 13 inch version of the Retina MacBook. KGI makes no mention of any changes to the MacBook Air line. It would be somewhat strange to have both a 12 inch and a 13 inch Retina MacBook in Apple’s lineup simultaneously as they are so similar. Unfortunately, KGI does not elaborate about what the 13 inch MacBook might bring to the table that the 12 inch does not. Maybe the 13 inch version is more powerful, boasting better internal specs in a slightly larger total chassis.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see for Apple to announce these things for real at a media event on its campus this Thursday. If you believe KGI, we’ll see at least three new Mac products shipping by the end of the month including the long-awaited update to the MacBook Pros … which are likely to be the stars of the show. 9to5Mac will have full coverage of all the announcements as they happen.

Research team develops portable iPhone-powered lab that can detect cancer with 99% accuracy

It’s no secret that Apple has ambitious plans for iPhone and Apple Watch in the health industry, but it’s not the only company looking for ways to integrate smartphones in the medical field. Recently, a research team from Washington State University, under the leadership of assistant professor Lei Li, developed a portable laboratory that’s powered by a smartphone and capable of detecting cancer nearly instantly…Announced on Washington State University’s website, the laboratory is able analyze up to eight different samples at once, giving it unprecedented accuracy.

Li says that the portable laboratory is able to detect human interleukin-6 (IL-6), a known biomarker for lung, prostate, liver, breast and epithelial cancers. It works with a spectrometer analyzing the amount and type of chemicals in a sample by measuring the light spectrum.
Li’s spectrometer could have a huge impact on cancer detection and research around the world. In addition to being useful at hospitals and clinics in the United States, the lab is portable enough that it can be used around the world in areas where accurate cancer detection is hard to come by.
“With our eight channel spectrometer, we can put eight different samples to do the same test, or one sample in eight different wells to do eight different tests. This increases our device’s efficiency,” said Li, who has filed a provisional patent for the work.
“The spectrometer would be especially useful in clinics and hospitals that have a large number of samples without on-site labs, or for doctors who practice abroad or in remote areas,” he said. “They can’t carry a whole lab with them. They need a portable and efficient device.”
While other smartphone spectrometers exist, the ability to measure up to eight samples at once is what sets Li’s apart. This capability gives it a 99 percent accuracy rate. At first, the device was used primarily with standard lab-controlled samples, but now it is being applied in real world situations.Li has tested his design with an iPhone 5, but is working on an adjustable version that will work with any smartphone. The diagram above offers a more detailed look at how the machine works and how the smartphone’s camera is integrated:
More information regarding Li’s research can be read in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics.