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VLC 4 will bring more modern UI; may adopt Plex business model later; literal moonshot

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VLC is one of the most popular video apps because it will play just about any format you throw at it. Fans will be pleased to hear that VLC 4 will bring a more modern look to the app in the coming months.

The team behind it is also considering the possibility of adopting a Plex-style business model to secure the future of the app, and is planning a moonshot – literally …

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VLC media player for iOS now optimized for iPhone X screen, HEVC 4K videos

VideoLAN has released a new version of its VLC for Mobile app that adds improved support for Apple’s latest hardware and software.

Version 2.8.6 includes adjustments to the user interface on the taller, 5.8-inch iPhone X OLED display. The latest version also includes “full support” for 4K videos formatted in HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) which Apple has embraced to limit file sizes on ultra high-definition videos.



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How to watch Apple’s WWDC 2016 keynote live stream on Windows or Android

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Apple last night confirmed it will live stream the opening press event for its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, but the stream is limited to certain devices. The company will stream the event to iPhone, iPad, and Mac users via its Safari browser, and to Apple TV users, and it’s also recently added support for Windows 10 via Microsoft Edge.



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Popular VLC media player app arrives on the new Apple TV

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After a false start late last month, VLC for Mobile has now arrived on the new Apple TV. VideoLAN officially announced the new Apple TV version of the VLC media player app, which it calls “a full port of VLC media player combined with platform specific features.” VLC enables unsupported media formats to be played on Apple products including the new Apple TV for the first time.



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VLC media app gains Split Screen + Touch ID features on iOS, much more

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[Update: VLC incorrectly included Apple TV support in today’s release notes. That release is coming “very soon” but not available today. The iOS/watchOS updates are out today.]

[Update 1/12/2016VLC for Apple TV is now available.]

The popular VLC app for playing a variety of media formats not supported by iTunes has now made its way to the new Apple TV. We heard in September that VLC for Apple TV was in the works, and last month the team started accepting beta testers. Today VLC for Mobile delivered a major update that includes the first Apple TV version as well as a handful of new features on iPhones and iPads.



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VLC’s app on the new Apple TV will let you play all sorts of video formats

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Hot on the heels of Plex announcing its plans to build an app for the new Apple TV, the developers behind the popular media playback software VLC have announced that they too are planning to support the new Apple TV. While details on the app are sparse at this point, the VLC team announced in a blog post that they have started work on VLCKit for tvOS.



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How to watch Apple’s Spring Forward event livestream on Windows (and Android)

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Officially, Apple’s event livestream only works with Safari on Mac OS X, iPhones, iPads, Apple TV (where the channel just appeared) and iPod touch. However, if you are on Windows (or even Android) — there is a workaround if you want to follow along with the announcements. (This trick will also work if you happen to be using an older version of OS X or iOS 6 that QuickTime Player doesn’t support)



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VLC for iOS back on the App Store, OS X app updated alongside massive cross-platform release

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VideoLAN has today launched several updates to VLC across its apps on iOS, Android, OS X, and every other platform where the app is available, marking the first time that the company has pushed such a massive coordinated release and the re-release of the iOS app. The new versions (with the main app numbered 2.2.0), include several features across the various platforms, and VLC says it took more than a year of volunteer work to put them together…



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VLC 3.0 will gain support for Chromecast streaming from iOS devices and Macs

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The popular VLC media player will be upgraded to version 3.0 soon, introducing a whole host of features to the software, including support for Google’s Chromecast streaming device. The change was mentioned in a VLC change log on the VideoLan website.

VLC for iOS was recently re-added to the App Store after being pulled several times for licensing issues and other problems.

Chromecast support in VLC will allow users to stream their stored media to their TVs from supported devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Android devices and computers running Windows are also expected to get the upgrade.

VideoLan, the development company behind VLC, hasn’t announced the availability date for version 3.0 yet. You can grab the current version of the iOS app from the iTunes App Store.

VLC for iOS back in the App Store for some/upgraders, should be available to all shortly

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The VLC for iOS app–a favorite media player for many–has returned to the App Store in some countries and is expected to be available for all shortly. Some existing US users (us included!) are also reporting on Reddit being able to update to the latest version (2.4.1) if they have the previous version from before it was removed.

The app has something of a checkered history in the App Store, first removed from the store way back in 2011 after a licensing dispute; the original open-source developers claiming that the App Store terms were incompatible with the GNU Public License for the code. The app finally returned in 2013 before disappearing once more last September … 

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GE integrates iBeacons in new LED lighting fixtures rolling out in Walmart & other retailers

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Up until now most retailers have been deploying Apple’s iBeacon technology by purchasing small standalone Bluetooth beacons or using iPad terminals that act as beacons. Now, GE is introducing its next-generation LED light fixture that packs in a combo Bluetooth LE/Visual Light Communication chip for iBeacon functionality allowing retailers to cut costs and avoid purchasing standalone beacons from a company like Estimote. It’s already got one massive customer about to roll out the iBeacon lighting fixtures: Walmart announced back in April (before iBeacon support was announced) that it plans to roll out these same new GE lighting fixtures to stores worldwide as part of its switch to LED.

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VLC for iOS redesigned for iOS 7, now features Google Drive & Dropbox streaming, more

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VLC released an update to its iOS app today introducing an iOS 7-friendly user interface as well as several handy features.

Users will welcome support for streaming media from both Dropbox and Google Drive; previously, VLC required content to be downloaded locally in its entirety before it could be viewed. This will greatly speed up media viewing. The update also features a list of other improvements including new gestures and more.

VLC for iOS is available for free on the App Store.

Major update to VLC for Mac adds 4K support, improved MKV support, interface improvements and more

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VideoLAN has released version 2.1 of its popular open source video player, VLC. The update — codenamed “Ricewind” — brings new audio processing to the app, to improve both processing performance and audio fidelity. There is full support for surround sound outputs in addition to new effects and many new supported metadata formats for audio.

On the video side, the app has ported the OpenGL output to OpenGL ES, making ports to iOS and Android much easier. Notably, VideoLAN says that VLC is now ready for Ultra-HD content (otherwise known as 4K). The app update has also focused heavily on improving MKV compatibility, including better seek performance and subtitle metadata support.



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VLC for iOS updated with improved international support, FTP server discovery

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VideoLAN’s VLC application for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch has been updated with some significant enhancements. Notably, the version 2.1 release includes improved international support. This includes subtitle options for non-western languages, and localization to the following languages: Bosnian, Catalan, Galician, Greek, Marathi, Portuguese, Slovenian.

Improvements are present for subtitles, VoiceOver, Accessibility, video output, and password locking.

In terms of new features, audio-only playback is now supported. Additionally, FTP server discovery for streaming and downloading, UPNP network compatibility, and improved Bonjour featured are present in the update.

VideoLAN tells us that the launch version had 2.5 million downloads during the first week of availability. The update is available for free on the App Store.



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VLC returns to the App Store after two year hiatus

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After a nasty licensing issue that broke out in 2011, VLC was removed from the App Store. Today, the media player is destined to make a comeback, complete with new features like WiFi content uploading, which makes it even easier for you to get content from your desktop to the app on your iOS device.

In some sense, this app may be too little too late, as the trend toward video streaming has increased tremendously over the past few years. Going through all of the effort to transfer your videos from your computer to phone/tablet may not be worth it. However, users who are going to be without an internet connection for some time – or those with low data caps – will find the new VLC app quite useful.

From our own Benjamin Mayo:

Although I greatly appreciate the engineering effort necessary to make the decoding process multithreaded, a big boon for multicore iOS devices, the app’s UI still leaves much to be desired.

Expect the app to appear in the App Store shortly.

Update: It’s out now. 

Square adds gifts cards/passbook support, Instagram, BBC News, British Airways, Snapheal, VLC Streamer, more

Square Passbook gift cardsSquare Register version 2.5: Square is rolling out Passbook compatible gift cards for local businesses that users of the Square Wallet iPhone app can purchase and share with friends. To welcome the new feature, Square’s Register app also gets an update with the ability to accept the new gift cards via Square Wallet, Passbook, or QR code, as well as iPhone 5 support:

– Accept gift cards for your business from Square Wallet, Passbook and printed QR codes.
– iPhone 5 support and various improvements.

Instagram: Instagram has released a pretty big update to its app this afternoon, adding a revamped camera and camera roll access. Additionally, there are new grids for easy photo taking, new filter access page, and the addition of Foursquare data.

  • Instagram-themed shutter & shutter release button.
  • A preview of the most recent photo on your camera roll.
  • Improved Camera Roll image selector (iPhone 5 only) for quick access to your last photograph.
  • Optional grid guide for live photos and a permanent grid guide for the scale & crop screen.
  • Speed and reliability improvements.

BBC News version 1.7.7: Official iPhone 5 support for the BBC News iOS app:

– iPhone 5 support
– bug fixes

British Airways version 4.0: A big update to the BA iPhone app brings a completely redesigned UI that provides easy access to upcoming flights from the My Flights screen, as well as improvements for retrieving bookings and alternative boarding pass options. The updated app is also now fully iPhone 5 and iOS 6 compatible.

We’ve completely redesigned the app to make it easier to access all your upcoming flights and to address a number of issues

Snapheal version 2.1: Snapheal for Mac received an update today that includes a new and improved UI, a new crop tool, a “new algorithm for image retouch and adjust,” and much more:

– Brand new look and improved user experience, including 1 click to erase objects, faster selection, better way to save and share images, etc.
– New crop tool
– New algorithm for image retouch and adjust: faster performance, better color processing
– Enhanced lasso tool
– Improved algorithms for erasing multiple objects
– New clone&stamp tool, with better customization of brush opacity and softness

Instamac version 1.1: The recently launched Instamac Instagram client for Mac receives a ton of UI refinements, full Retina display support for Retina MacBook Pros, improved slideshow features, and more.

-We’ve spent a lot of time going through each and every user interface element to make Instamac the most elegant Instagram Client for the Mac.

Dungeon Hunter 3 version 1.4.0:

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