Apple is now sponsoring the long-running "John Lennon Educational Tour Bus,"
a mobile audio and video studio on wheels that tours educational institutions, encouraging students to explore and produce their own music with free songwriting, recording and multimedia production workshops. Using Macs on board to help with production, children write, perform and record original music and produce music videos with the assistance of three on-board engineers. Most recently seen in Phoenix AZ last weekend, the bus is scheduled to be in Gulf Shores AL as part of the Hangout Music Festival. The non-profit organization has its own App Store iOS app
(free) as well.Twitterific adds app badges, Favstar support
Twitter app Twitterific
($3) was updated to version 5.2.1 on Monday with a slew of new features and performance improvements, including app badges for push notifications, notification counts, Favstar
support and the addition of Twitter trends. The new version also features faster tweet loading time, search interface improvements, support for Twitter stock symbols (such as $AAPL), automatic theme changing based on the time of day, more VoiceOver support and an auto-refreshing home timeline among other tweaks. The release also patches a host of bugs, including making it easier to tap buttons in settings and the correction of display bugs in the pull-to-refresh feature. Tweets are now easier to swipe, user links in emailed tweets now point to the user's profile correctly, a problem was Readability was fixed and a bug that caused the timeline to jump to the top has been resolved, along with improvements for users of foreign language keyboards on the iPad.
Apple now barring emoji, special characters from App Store descriptions
Apple has begun deprecating the use of emoji and emoji-like characters in app descriptions, according to some developers. The change, which is thought to have happened very recently, affects developers submitting descriptions of their apps to iTunes Connect
. The use of graphical characters and other non-ASCII symbols is widespread in helping to make app descriptions and update lists more colorful and eye-catching. No explanation for the change has been offered by Apple, but the move closes a potential security issue as well as makes app descriptions more uniform and standardized. Also forbidden in app descriptions is any sort of markup language or non-standard characters.