Applelinks iOS News Reader - Wednesday, May 15, 2013

BlackBerry Messenger for iOS and Android to Launch This Summer
Apple Hiring Developers For New iOS Microsoft Office Surrogate Apps
Kensington Unveils New Tranche Of Mobile Device Accessories
DIY Wills in Three Easy Steps, through WillCrafter 1.1


BlackBerry Messenger for iOS and Android to Launch This Summer

On Tuesday BlackBerry announced plans to make its mobile social network, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), available to iOS and Android users come this summer, with support planned for iOS6, and Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher, all subject of course to approval by the Apple App Store and Google Play - although Apple would be foolish to disallow it.

BBM sets a high standard for mobile instant messaging with a fast, reliable, engaging experience that attracts race reviews from users and includes delivered and read statuses, personalized profiles and avatars. Upon release, BBM customers would be able to broaden their connections to include friends, family and colleagues on other mobile platforms than the BlackBerry.

In the planned initial release, iOS and Android users would be able to experience the immediacy of BBM chats, including multi-person chats, as well as the ability to share photos and voice notes, and engage in BBM Groups, which allows BBM customers to create groups of up to 30 people.

For BlackBerry, messaging and collaboration are inseparable from the mobile experience, and the time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service. BBM has always been one of the most engaging services for BlackBerry customers, enabling them to easily connect while maintaining a valued level of personal privacy. We’re excited to offer iOS and Android users the possibility to join the BBM community,” said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President, Software Product Management and Ecosystem, at BlackBerry, in a release.

BBM is admired by customers for its “D” and “R” statuses, which show up in chats to let people know with certainty that their message has been delivered and read. It also provides customers with a high level of control and privacy over who they add to their contact list, and how they engage with them, since invites are two-way opt-in. With BBM access, iOS and Android users would be able to add their contacts through PIN, email, SMS or QR code scan, regardless of platform. Android users would also be able to connect using a compatible NFC-capable device.

BBM currently has more than 60 million monthly active customers, with more than 51 million people using BBM an average of 90 minutes per day. BBM customers collectively send and receive more than 10 billion messages daily, nearly twice as many messages per user per day as compared to other mobile messaging apps. Almost half of BBM messages are read within 20 seconds of being received; an indication of how truly engaged BBM customers are.

BlackBerry also announced BBM Channels, a new social engagement platform within BBM that will allow customers to connect with the businesses, brands, celebrities and groups they are passionate about. BlackBerry plans to add support for BBM Channels as well as voice and video chatting for iOS and Android later this year, subject again to approval by the Apple App Store and Google Play.

If approved by Apple and Google, the BBM app will be available as a free download in the Apple App Store and Google Play store.

Additional details about system requirements and availability will be announced closer to the launch.

Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

For more information, visit:

Apple Hiring Developers For New iOS Microsoft Office Surrogate Apps

BusinessInsider's Jay Yarow notes that when Apple unleashed the iPad on the world in 2010, it also rolled out a complimentary suite of Microsoft Office-like applications with relatively little fanfare: sort of bare bones iOS versions of its iWork desktop applications: "Pages" for word processing, "Numbers" for spreadsheets, and "Keynote" for presentations.

Partly thanks to Microsoft's having never released a version of its Office productivity suite for the iPad, the iOS versions of iWork have been strong sellers, with Pages being the most popular paid app of all-time, Keynote tenth and Numbers eleventh.

However, there's been little change in the apps since they were rolled out more than three years ago, aside from a few minor tweaks.

Yarow suggests that could be about to change, with Apple having been ramping up hiring of software engineers, and more recently quality assurance engineers for iWork since February, according to MacRumors, suggesting that a finished product is approaching the testing stage.

Bringing out updated and enhanced iOS iWorks apps makes excellent sense, what with Microsoft tipping neither indication nor inclination to release Office for iPad any time soon, and keeping mobile Office and exclusive for its own Surface and other Windows tablets an explicable strategy.

Ditto for Google, Yarow observes, with no Google Drive spreadsheet and word-processing apps released for the iPad. All the more reason for Apple to go its own way with productivity support.

You can read Jay Yarow's commentary here:

Kensington Unveils New Tranche Of Mobile Device Accessories

Kensington Proximo Starter Kit

Proximo is an App-enabled proximity monitoring system that lets you know where your iPhone, keys and valuables are at all times. Never worry again about leaving anything important behind, because Proximo helps you Keep, Track and Get Back your most valued possessions.


The Proximo Starter Kit includes everything you need to track your iPhone, keys, and one additional item. Proximo's App Dashboard tracks up to five valuable items via Fob and/or Tags (additional Tags sold separately). The Proximity Alarm with customizable range and audio alert tells you when youve left your valuable behind and the One-Touch Find Alert on Fob helps you find your iPhone. Last Seen provides you with pin-drop on map to help you recover your items and you can personalize your Fob and Tag with customizable alarm tones, images and names. Kensington also offers a Proximity Tag for Samsung Galaxy Smartphones

(K39771US; SRP $39.99)

For more information, visit:

New Smartphone Cases

Accidents are a part of life and that's why there's Kensington's smartphone protection strategy of designing accessories that have you prepared for whatever life throws at you. From new smartphone cases offering essential protection beyond bumps and scrapes to fashion-forward designs that complement your individual style, Kensington has you covered.

Essentials Cases


Kensington Aluminium Finish Case for iPhone 5 (Gray - K39681WW; Black - K39680WW; SRP $24.99)


Kensington Soft & Gel Case for iPhone 5 (Black - K39659WW; Smoke Black - K39658WW; Light Pink - K39682WW; Black Back Case - K39697WW; Gray Back Case -K39698WW; Clear K39657WW ; White K39660WW SRP $19.99)

Fashion Cases


Kensington Portafolio Duo Wallet for iPhone 5 (K39616WW - Brown Marble; K39617WW - Orange/Cream; K39618WW - Red Snake; K39615WW - Black; SRP $39.99)


Kensington Portafolio Flip Wallet for iPhone 5 (K39605WW - Tan Nappa; K39607WW- Green/Blue; K39609WW- Teal Ostrich; K39604WW- Black Marble; K39610WW- Black Snake; SRP $29.99)

EVAP Wet Electronics Rescue Pouch

Part of Kensington's offering also includes the EVAP Wet Electronics Rescue Pouch (K39723AM; SRP $19.99). EVAP is an ingenious product that can save your small electronics from water damage. It contains a unique drying agent that removes the moisture from electronics and prevents damage.


(K39723AM; SRP $19.99)

Car and Wall Chargers

Completing the circle of Kensington's smartphone protection is its existing family of PowerBolt and AbsolutePower car and wall chargers with PowerWhiz technology. The smart offering of power products automatically recognizes your mobile device and gives it the right charge; always to keep you connected everywhere you go.

Car Chargers


PowerBolt 1.0 Hardwire Lightning (K39762AM; SRP $24.99)

PowerBolt 1.0 USB Lightning (K39704AM; SRP $34.99)

PowerBolt 2.1 USB 30-pin (K39666AM; SRP $19.99)

PowerBolt 2.1 Hardwire Lightning (K39757AM; SRP $29.99)

PowerBolt 3.1 Dual USB Lightning (K39705AM; SRP $39.99)

PowerBolt 4.2 Dual USB 30-pin (K39576AM; SRP $34.99)

Wall Chargers


AbsolutePower 1.0 Hardwire Lightning (K39595AM; SRP $19.99)

AbsolutePower 2.1 Hardwire Lightning (K39572AM; SRP $24.99)

AbsolutePower 4.2 USB 30-pin (K39690AM; SRP $29.99)

For more information, visit:

DIY Wills in Three Easy Steps, through WillCrafter 1.1

BGCJ Productions LLC has announced WillCrafter 1.1 for iPad. The app simplifies estate planning to three easy steps: first, by completing My Records, a comprehensive locater list, users organize and inventory what they own; second, users use information from the My Records form to complete a Do-It-Yourself Will, which can be modified and tailored to fit most estate plans.


WillCrafter's latest release expands its Cliff Notes information base, by adding a new section on Wills, Taxes and IRAs, and the app now offers an optional Testamentary Trust (in app purchase for $0.99 USD), to be used as part of the estate plan. There are new links in the app, guiding users to information databases and blogs, all of which are helpful in assessing how to plan their own estate.

It takes less than an hour to learn the essential ins and outs of how to plan an estate. As users read the manual, which is in the nature of an executive summary, they complete building blocks for the DIY will, and also learn how probate enters into the picture, how guardianships for children work, how IRA distributions are treated, and more.

Once the building blocks for the DIY program are completed, WillCrafter produces a fully editable will. The will is then ready for signature in accordance with the laws of the applicable state. Additionally, all information is stored locally on the iPad, to maintain secrecy.


Many adults do not have a will, or know how to control distribution of their property. WillCrafter is an inexpensive means of filling that void. Parents are given the comfort of knowing their children will be ardently cared for by a guardian they choose. For a spouse or partner, estates will be distributed as intended.

Anyone should be able to afford to have an estate planning resource, a good will, and a comprehensive checklist of the property they own. For the cost of buying two cups of gourmet coffee you can have peace of mind for your family's future.

Device Requirements:
(*) Requires iPad with iOS 4.3 or later
(*) 14.6 MB

WillCrafter 1.1 is $7.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Productivity category.

WillCrafter 1.1:

Purchase and Download:

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