Google putting finishing touches on iOS Maps app with turn-by-turn navigation

Good news for Google Maps advocates using iOS 6. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has been field testing their long rumoured iOS Maps app and putting on the “finishing touches” prior to submitting it to Apple’s stringent approval process.

Google has distributed a test version of its new mapping app that will work on Apple’s iPhones and iPads to some individuals outside the company, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Google has been putting the finishing touches on the app before submitting it for approval to the Apple iTunes store, this person said, though it is unclear exactly when that will happen.

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Apple mini Wifi + Cellular now available in the US

Two weeks after the launch of the iPad mini, the Wifi + Cellular models (LTE) have finally arrived in the US. Both Sprint and AT&T have officially announced that the LTE minis are now available on their 4G networks and can be purchased at select retail stores. Meanwhile, Verizon‘s iPad mini product page has gone live on their website. It is also believed that cellular iPad minis are available in Apple Stores and Best Buy stores across the country. With a data plan, the mini will provide the added convenience of allowing its users to go online even if there isn’t Wifi available. Personally, I’ve always just owned the Wifi models; if I need internet access, I simply turn on hotspot sharing on my iPhone. But if your carrier charges for tethering however, an iPad mini 4G certainly makes more sense. Prices for the iPad mini Wifi + Cellular are as follows: 16GB ($459), 32GB ($559) and 64GB ($659).

If you missed my thoughts on the mini, you can check it out here.

Must have offline maps app: City Maps 2Go now free

Anyone who’s ever travelled to another country with their iPhones (and iPads) have no doubt looked up the App Store for some offline maps solution. With carriers charging an arm and a leg for data roaming fees, it’s no wonder that there are countless travel apps with offline map capabilities. The best I’ve come across so far is City Maps 2Go, which also happens to have gone free today (was $1.99). Using Map data and POI from OpenStreetMap, the app lets you separately download 7,800 maps from all over the globe – all neatly sorted by cities, counties and provinces.

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Evernote 5 now available on Mac App Store

After several weeks in beta, Evernote 5 has officially launched and is now available on the Mac App Store. The complete redesign took a year in the making and comes packed with over 100 new features.

We’ve spent the past year identifying the needs of new and advanced users to craft an environment that beautifully caters to both. We re-imagined the look of the app to make everything more accessible. We explored the changing role of sharing and collaboration within Evernote and the opportunities we have to make them more useful. We considered search and the ways that we could make it feel like it was one step ahead of your thoughts. In short, it’s the Evernote we’ve always wanted.

I’ve been using the beta and can’t speak highly enough about this major update. Love the new interface, especially the retooled sidebar where user shortcuts and recent notes can be found (in the top left). Recently, Evernote 5 released for the iPhone and iPad with new features, including handy gesture swipes to reveal notes, tags etc. Check out the list of what’s new and a quick video walkthrough after the break.

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ING Direct $50 Orange Key promo is Back [Canada Only]

If you missed ING’s awesome Double Referral Bonus promotion (and live in Canada), the good news is that it’s back and now runs through December 31st, 2012. Basically, ING Direct is doubling their usual $25 bonus to $50 for each referral made, so once you’ve got your account setup, you can get your friends and family to sign up for a free Thrive Checking account. And when they do and deposit their first $100, you’ll get $50 for each referral. At the very least, you’ll still get $50 yourself just for setting up an ING account (you must use an Orange Key, like this one: 39694980S1). See my previous post for the complete details on how to get started.

As an added bonus, you can even score a $100 Apple Gift Card just for switching over your payroll.

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ProductiveMacs bundle: 9 Mac apps for $29.99

Here’s a Mac bundle from ProductiveMacs that should appeal to Mac users who want to get stuff done. For $29.99, you get 9 mac apps, the total value of which is $239. The most notable from the lot include the truly handy and popular TextExpander (expand custom keyboard shortcuts into often-used text and images), Path Finder (an award winning file browser and management app for Mac) and TaskPaper (a simple yet effective to-do list that lets you create projects, tasks, or notes without all the usual distractions. TaskPaper is also available for the iPhone and iPad for $9.99). I’ve been a long time user of TextExpander and it’s certainly saved me time and typing with all the shortcuts I’ve created on my iMac, be it addresses, urls, common phrases or even chunks of text. This normally goes for $35 alone, so for 5 bucks less you actually get 8 other apps as well.

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imo chat app updated with new design, group photo sharing and iPhone 5 support

imo, the all-in-one chat app that has 700,000 daily users and an average of 50 million messages sent per day, has been updated to version 3.3 on iOS. Aside from the support for iPhone 5′s 16:9 screen, imo’s iPhone interface has been completely redesigned to give its users a more streamlined experience. Gone are the bottom taps, which have been replaced by a left/right swipe gestures that reveal both Profile & Settings (ala Facebook) and accounts for the various services you’ve set up.

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djay for iPhone now free for a limited time

To help promote vjay, an iPad app that lets you mix and scratch your favorite music videos, algoriddim is now offering their highly popular djay for iPhone as a free download. First launched in 2011 for $9.99, djay is a great deejaying app that’s considered among the best in its genre.

djay transforms your iPhone or iPod touch into a full-fledged portable DJ system and seamlessly integrates with your music library, giving you direct access to all your favorite tracks and playlists. A hyper-realistic touchscreen interface and ultra-low latency converge to offer you a true professional mixing experience, right in the palm of your hand. You can perform live, record mixes on-the-go, or enable Automix mode and let djay mix your favorite playlist from your music library automatically.

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Free Worldwide Calling on Skype for 1 month ($13.99 value)

Make more than your share of long distance calls? Well Skype is currently running a promo that gives its existing users free worldwide calls for a month. Basically, it’s the Unlimited World subscription plan ($13.99) you’ll be getting free for 30 days. With it, you’ll get unlimited calls to landlines and mobiles in 7 countries (US, Canada, Hong Kong, Guam, Puerto Rico, Singapore and Thailand) and landline calling in 34 countries.

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