• Thursday Morning News

    Apple crossed the magical 50 billion app downloads mark sometime early this morning, and the message they've posted to the Apple homepage is simple: "it couldn't have happened without you", accompanied by a scrawled "Thanks" on an iPad mini. The app they're using to do that, by the way, looks like Paper by FiftyThree. The winner of the $10,000 iTunes Gift Card hasn't been announced yet, but we should know in a few days who downloaded the 50 billionth app and what it was.

    There's a few things going on at Google I/O, first and foremost of which is the unification of their chat services across all platforms. The revamped Hangouts messaging service now works across web, iOS, and Android, and combines Google Talk and Google+ messages. The free Hangouts app for iOS supports group messaging, full conversation history across all your devices, and might be the universal messaging solution you have been waiting for. MacStories has a look at Hangouts for iOS.

    Curiously, Google hasn't released an iPad-compatible version of their Maps app, even though the iPhone version has been out for some time. Thanks to Google I/O, we know now that there's a redesign coming to Google Maps that incorporates restaurant and location ratings, as well as special offers. All this and the iPad version of Google Maps will be coming around June/July.

    If resale value is important to you, rest easy in the knowledge that the iPhone depreciates less its Samsung Galaxy counterparts. It's not just about how many phones are offered from either manufacturer that affects the resale value, but something more. "Despite being 46 percent more expensive than the Galaxy S III, Apple's latest iPhone 5 shed 11.2 percent of its value compared to 13.7 percent for the Samsung smartphone."

    Does anyone know why Mophie just released their third Juice Pack for the iPhone 5? Because I sure don't the Juice Pack Plus has a battery capacity of 2100mAh, compared to 1700mAh on the Juice Pack Air, and 1500mAh on the Juice Pack Helium. There's $40 between the various models *not really enough to warrant the three different SKUs, in my opinion, but hey, there you go.

    If you're after the best waterproof case money can buy, The Wirecutter have you covered. Their recommendation is the Incipio Atlas, a US $80 case that is waterproof up to 2m and even comes with a 1 year warranty against water damage to your phone, something that no other manufacturer provides.

    Belkin updated their range of IFTTT controls today, meaning that you can now control more than one WeMo using IFTTT. Previously you could only add one WeMo switch to an IFTTT recipe and control that, but now you can add multiple WeMo switches. For an idea of the kinds of things you can do with WeMo, check out Anthony's review right here on MacTalk.

    Perhaps Google+ just isn't your cup of tea. Perhaps you just don't trust Google. Messages (in conjunction with iMessage) might not be the most reliable service in the world, but you can setup Facebook Chat in Messages (or iChat), if you prefer.

    Expanding storage on your iPad isn't an easy feat, but one way it can kind of be accomplished is by using a Wi-Fi hard drive. An iLounge Q&A on the matter says you can't install apps on the drives, nor really store any kind of media on them that is directly accessible from the iPad. All these Wi-Fi hard drives do is use an app to access their contents, which may or may not work depending on your particular use-case.

    EA is working on Frostbite Go, a mobile version of the Frostbite game engine. Frostbite Go will be released for iOS and Android at a currently unknown point in the future, but one thing's for sure: this should make for some nice games if developer studios are willing to work with EA.
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