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Twitter Debuts Login Verification, Mac Version Adds Notification Center

TwitterPlagued with high-profile hacks in recent months, Twitter is finally getting serious about security with a new two-step login verification — but users will need to actually enable it first before they’ll be protected.

Twitter announced Wednesday
that the microblogging service now has a “login verification” option available to users. That’s basically their fancy way of saying two-step authentication, a feature that has been making headlines after being adopted by the likes of Google and Apple.

Login verification is a method to prevent email phishing schemes or password data breaches from affecting Twitter users. Once activated, any login will require a six-digit code in addition to the password, with the password only being sent via SMS to your cell phone.

While that method works great on Twitter.com, users will need to actually generate a temporary password to log in from third-party applications, which can only be done from the dedicated applications page.

To activate login verification, users must first head to their account settings on Twitter.com and check the “require a verification code when I sign in” option near the bottom of the screen. Add a phone to your account and you’ll be good to go.

Login verification may have been the big Twitter news on Wednesday, but the company also pushed out another update to its Mac application, finally adding Notification Center integration. The update also adds a number of big fixes for Growl, composing tweets and more, so be sure to download version 2.2.1 from the Mac App Store today.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



Unofficial Google Music App for iOS Adds Support for All Access Subscriptions

gMusic iconGoogle may be the enemy in the eyes of many iOS users, but it’s hard to deny the search giant has brought most of its coolest toys to Apple’s mobile platform — so why did it take a third-party app to add support for Google Play Music All Access?

Interactive Innovative Solutions LLC released the latest version of its unofficial Google Music app for iOS on Thursday, and gMusic 6.0 is a big one for those looking to take advantage of Google’s latest music offering.

That’s because gMusic is the only iOS app capable of supporting Google Play Music All Access, the search giant’s .99 per month answer to Spotify, Rdio and Rhapsody. The service is currently available with a 30-day free trial, and those who sign up before the end of June will only pay .99 per month.

With all of the official Google apps available on the App Store, it seems odd that Google Play Music has remained an Android (and web) exclusive, but gMusic has been a great way to unofficially add the service. The universal app includes pretty much all the functionality of Google’s offering, and now that package is truly complete with All Access support.

To use this feature, you’ll need to first sign up for the free All Access trial, then open gMusic and tap the new Web Search option. Type in the name of a track, album or artist you’re looking for, and like magic, you’ll be presented with everything Google Play Music All Access has to offer.

gMusic 6.0 is available on the App Store for .99; the universal app requires iOS 5.0 or later and also adds the ability to create and play Radio Stations in the app as well as adding All Access music to your library.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



Overnight Recap: Scanner Pro 4.5, Hacked AT&T Update, VUDU Adds Offline

VUDU Player for iPadYahoo! certainly kicked off the week in grand style Monday with news of its Tumblr acquisition, but it had one more trick up its sleeve that we’ll get to in a moment, along with Apple going on the offensive over government accusations that the company isn’t paying its full share of taxes on income generated overseas. But first, there’s a whole batch of updates, tweaks and elaborations to enjoy, which includes some analysis on how T-Mobile US could one day leapfrog Sprint for third place!

Scanner Pro 4.5 Update Adds Automatic Border Detection

Readdle is back with another update to its universal Scanner Pro for iOS, and while Tuesday’s version 4.5 release only adds a single feature, it’s a pretty slick one: The app now detects page borders in real time. As you can see from the embedded YouTube video, the result is a neat visual trick, but it’s a practical addition as well, cutting down on the time users spend on cropping and manually adjusting page borders. Real-time border detection will help users fly through a stack of documents in no time at all thanks to batch mode. The Scanner Pro 4.5 update is now available from the App Store.


AT&T Carrier Update Hacked for Faster Data Speeds

Cult of Mac reported Monday that the two developers who hacked T-Mobile’s carrier update earlier this month are back with another tweak which promises to improve LTE and HSPA+ speeds on AT&T as well. The hack does not require a jailbroken device, and it works on the iPhone 5 as well as AT&T cellular-equipped third and fourth-generation iPads or iPad mini. This trick, which is done via iTunes, simply overrides built-in limits on certain bands, allowing devices to pull in the strongest signal available. The good news is that users can revert back to normal, but non-jailbroken users will need to do a full wipe and restore to do so.

Google Product Manager Elaborates on Google Voice Support in Hangouts

Google appears to be feeling the heat on current limitations with its new Hangouts product, so product manager Nikhyl Singhal has taken to Google+ in an effort to sort out any confusion. Singhal confirms our report Monday that Hangouts does not yet support outbound calls from a web browser, but inbound Google Voice calls are indeed possible. Google promises to get outbound calls working soon, and Singhal closes his post by noting “future versions of Hangouts will integrate Google Voice more seamlessly,” which sounds promising.

VUDU Updates iOS App with Offline Playback, Closed Captioning

Back in January, Walmart-owned VUDU promised an update to their existing iOS app by mid-February. Flash-forward to yesterday, and the app is finally available, with no explanation of what took so long. The big news with VUDU Player 2.0 is its ability to download movies and TV shows for offline playback and overall better playback, while the iPhone version adds closed captioning support as well as now taking advantage of the larger iPhone 5 display. Unfortunately, you’ll still need to use a web browser to rent or buy any content, and playback is still limited to standard-definition quality — but hey, at least now VUDU users can watch video without an internet connection.

Analyst Predicts T-Mobile US Could Soon Claim Third Place from Sprint

TMoNews reported Monday that at least one analyst is forecasting a bright future for fourth-placed carrier T-Mobile US. How bright? Deutsche Bank’s Brett Feldman predicts that T-Mobile’s rapid 4G LTE expansion plans could help the company pass third-placed rival Sprint, especially now that it’s empowered with both the iPhone as well as a successful merger with MetroPCS. That last part is expected to gain T-Mobile US an additional five million new customers over the next two or three years, which could help the carrier truly shake up the industry if that prediction should come to pass.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



ABC Adds Live Streaming to iOS App, But There’s a Catch

ABC Player for iPadFor television viewers, the holy grail is the ability to watch live programming from the comfort of their mobile devices. ABC appears to be the first to actually make it happen, but as usual, there’s a catch.

The New York Times reported Sunday that ABC plans to release an update to its free, universal iOS app this week which adds a new “Live” button for streaming locally broadcast content to an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad for the first time ever.

Unfortunately, the technology will only appear for viewers in New York and Philadelphia, spreading its wings into six other ABC-owned markets sometime this sunny summer, and is in talks with more than 200 affiliates coast-to-coast as well.

The first of those affiliate deals with Hearst Television has already been locked, which will bring live streamed ABC to 13 additional markets including Boston and Pittsburgh. The network originally planned to launch live service next year, but has tapped into feedback from users to accelerate those plans.

“We keep a very close eye on consumer demand,” explained Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney. “We watch how people are behaving with their devices, and we really felt that we needed to move faster.”

This week’s release is also no coincidence: Tuesday, May 14 is when the network will hold its annual upfront and announcing its full fall television schedule. But ABC and others are also feeling pressure from third-party services like Aereo, which offers over-the-air broadcasts to mobile devices for only per month.

The rebranded Watch ABC app will feature mobile-centric advertising in place of the ads cable and satellite subscribers will see, but will otherwise include local newscasts, syndicated programming as well as national series. It will arrive soon for iOS, and is planned for other mobile platforms in the months ahead.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



Newer Technology Adds Optical Drive Options to 4-in-1 miniStack MAX

miniStack MAXThe miniStack may have started life as a third-party companion for the Mac mini, but with each new iteration, it becomes a nice complement to any Mac — especially now that an optical drive is part of the mix.

Newer Technology announced Thursday
that its popular all-in-one storage solution miniStack MAX is now even more useful with the addition of an optical drive, available in one of three flavors.

The existing miniStack MAX already allows internal storage up to 4TB, three USB 2.0/3.0 ports and an SD card reader, but with Apple now having eliminated the SuperDrive across all of its product lines, the addition of an optical drive only makes the package more appealing to Mac users.

Newer is offering three optical drive options: CD/DVD read or write (starting at 4.99 with no storage), Blu-ray read with CD/DVD read/write (9.99 and up) or full Blu-ray/CD/DVD read or write (9.99 and up); the company also offers a bare version starting at 9.99 for those who want to add their own storage and optical drive.

miniStack MAX is perfect for those who need to move between older and newer Macs, with support for USB 2.0, USB 3.0, FireWire 800, FireWire 400 or eSATA, as well as full Windows plug-and-play support.

The latest miniStack MAX is now available to order through Newer’s exclusive distributor, Other World Computing. Until May 31, buyers can also choose to receive Roxio Toast Titanium 11 for as low as , which will help make full use of that new optical drive.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



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