Items tagged with App

It's a new year, but much of the same for Yahoo. After a spending spree in 2013, Yahoo is continuing in the new year with yet another buy-and-shut down episode. The company has just purchased Sparq, noted as a marketing technology startup. Following the acquisition, it promptly shut Sparq down. Reportedly, Yahoo spent just under $2 million on the new firm, which was first founded in 2010 and best known for creating "deep link" tech for mobile apps. In other words, Sparq figured out an elegant way to link to a very specific spot on a mobile app from a different site; in other words, an email blast could link to an app's purchase page instead of the overall landing page. The Sparq team will seemingly... Read more...
There's no easy way to tell your boss you're giving up your swank corner office and flexible schedule to join the circus. It's even harder to quit your job if you're on especially good terms with the person in charge, but sometimes, you just have to go where the heart leads. Luckily for you, if you're not one for confrontation, there's an app that will deliver the bad news for you, via a text message, of course. The "Quit Your Job" app is available on iOS for iPhone and comes from the same silly bunch that helped you dump your ex with Breakup Text. This latest text message generator is just as goofy, though it's free (Breakup Text runs $0.99). Here's an example of a text message the app will... Read more...
Watching 6-second Vine videos on the web isn't exactly a new feature, but up until now, Vine's browser-based experience lacked some critical features. The popular Twitter-owned video sharing service addressed those shortcomings by fleshing out the web experience. Now when you log into Vine from a browser, you'll be able to do much more, such as view your home feed and like, comment, and share videos the same as you do on the mobile version. You can also click on a username to see his or her full profile and browse the videos they've created since joining Vine, as well as share your own profile with others. Vines are still muted by default, so to hear what's going on, just hover your mouse cursor... Read more...
Earlier this week, news broke that a security exploit in Snapchat allowed hackers to claim some 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers from the service. The group responsible for the hack posted the list, with some information redacted, for all to see. Snapchat described the issue in a blog post, noting that it was the Find Friends feature that was at fault. The tool lets users check their friends’ phone numbers against the Snapchat database to see if they’re available on the site. It’s just a way for people to find each other on Snapchat, but as Snapchat described it, “Theoretically, if someone were able to upload a huge set of phone numbers, like every number in an... Read more...
Instant messaging in some form or another has been around since the dawn of man and woman (slight exaggeration), though don't tell that to Instagram, which yesterday held a major press event to unveil Instagram Direct, its own take on sending messages to friends. While Instagram was super excited to add a feature that's found on just about every major social app for mobile devices, it was a bit of a letdown to members of the press hoping for something bigger. To be fair, this could end up being a big deal for Instagram. At minimum, it's a much needed feature if it's to compete with services like SnapChat and WhatsApp, though rather than blaze a trail into new territory, Instagram is just now... Read more...
With Twitter's stock price surging to new highs, now is a good time to focus on the mobile experience, which is where users are flocking to these days. That's not lost on Twitter, which just updated its app for Android and iOS devices to include the ability to share and view photos via direct message (DM) on your phone or tablet devices. Those same photos can also be viewed on the desktop on Twitter's website. There's also a new tab in the navigation bar on the bottom of the screen to whisk users to the messaging service with a single tap rather than first having to open up the "Me" screen, as was the case before this latest update. Messaging is becoming an important component in today's top... Read more...
Here's what isn't surprising: Facebook is trying to take over where the conventional text message left off. Here's what is surprising: that is has taken this long to get to this point. The tried-and-true phone number is a hangover technology from many generations ago, and it's actually quite unfortunate that it's still around. With so many communication efforts moving to IP-based technology, the phone number still refuses to allow us to talk via voice or text while overseas without paying outrageous roaming rates. Thankfully, savvy tech companies are discovering workarounds. Google Hangouts began to enable chats using just one's phone number in a recent app update, and now it appears that Facebook... Read more...
Despite the upheaval and ensuing rumors Barnes & Noble endured this summer, the bookseller is showing signs of being committed to its NOOK platform. For one thing, the company recently launched new NOOK hardware in the form of the GlowLight. For another, it updated the NOOK app to take advantage of some cool new features in Windows 8.1. Neither move screams “NOOK forever!” but they’re encouraging signs. The updated NOOK app now supports interactive magazines, which hardware NOOKs have done for years. The app also lets you import and display ePub and PDF files from your SkyDrive and can open a document at your last viewed page. Barnes & Noble also improved search in the... Read more...
Waking up to an annoying alarm is certainly effective, albeit a jarring way to start off the day. What if you could wake up to the smell of jasmine or a freshly baked cinnamon roll instead? If you own a smartphone, you can. A Japanese company has come up with a device that plugs into the audio port on your iPhone or Android device and pumps out certain scents during pre-determined events. It's called Scentee and it's being billed as a new way of communication with aroma. The device is shaped like a top and has a hole that blasts your chosen aroma. Currently the company offers scented cartridges for coconut, jasmine, apple, corn soup (no joke), rose, cinnamon role, mint, ylang ylang, curry, strawberry,... Read more...
WhatsApp, iMessage, Kik, Facebook -- the world is overrun with messaging apps and platforms, and we've stumbled upon a near infinite amount of ways to send short snippets of text and images to friends and colleagues around the world. But here's one you may have forgotten about: ChatON. That's Samsung's own chat app, and the company announced today that it now boasts a staggering 100 million users. Of course, Samsung isn't clarifying that these are active users; they're just saying the install base is now up to 100 million. The service was launched in October 2011, hitting the 50 million subscriber mark in May 2013 and doubling that number to 100 million only four months later. That said, ChatON... Read more...
Here's an interesting one. You may (or may not) realize that when Microsoft launched Windows 8, it enabled customers to roam their apps on up to 5 devices. According to Microsoft, "this gave customers who embraced the new OS the flexibility to run their apps on all Windows 8 devices they owned, while protecting the app builders' investment and helping to prevent abuse." Evidently, many customers felt that just 5 wasn't enough, and now the company is responding to that feedback. Starting on October 9, Windows Store apps can be installed on up to 81 devices associated with a single Microsoft account. This will apply to all apps in the Store, for both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Microsoft is providing... Read more...
Say what you will about the power of the ecosystem, but one of Microsoft's biggest hurdles to overcome in the mobile arena isn't quality hardware nor software. Nokia makes killer phones, and most of the AAA-level apps in the Windows Phone store are of high quality (just look at Evernote, for example). But there's a reason that the iPad and iPhone have exploded, and a lot of that has to do with a unified app buying experience. Now, Microsoft is reportedly looking to pull off something similar. For years now, the company has been leaning towards a more Windows-centric world. In other words, tying the raw DNA of Windows into each of its business sectors. Xbox, Windows, Windows RT and Windows Phone... Read more...
Even the casual observer would recognize that the cloud wars are only just beginning, but there's also a related war that has been quietly ongoing beneath the surface, and it's just now starting to gain traction in the mainstream. The tried-and-true Office suite, built-up by Microsoft, has shifted online. From Office 365 to Google Docs to Apple's iWork suite, it's clear that the future of document editing, collaboration, and spreadsheet making is online. In order to keep pace with the competition, Google is making Quickoffice for Android and iOS available for free, for all who wish to download. The move comes just weeks after Apple announced that all iOS 7 devices would ship with the full mobile... Read more...
Google has killed its fair share of projects, from Google Health to Orkut to Google Buzz to Google Reader. But one item it seems adament on keeping around is Google Wallet. Despite a relative sigh from the industry at large on the issue of NFC, Google has decided to pursue its payment technology from a different angle -- one that focuses on software and cloud access, rather than relying so heavily on a single hardware component. The issue from the very start was that not all phones had NFC, and some phones (like the iPhone) show no sign of picking NFC up in the future. But Wallet itself is a solid concept. It takes flashes of PayPal and flashes of Groupon, and merges them together into an ecosystem... Read more...
Another week, another app acquisition. A bit ago, Yahoo snapped up Astrid, a task management program. Now, crosstown rival Google is buying Bump. Bump, a cross-platform sharing app, made waves a year or so ago by providing an elegant, secure, and easy way to transfer just about anything from one mobile to another, and even from mobile-to-desktop. In a lot of ways, sharing via Bump was almost magical. It had that "wow factor" baked in, kind of like using Facebook for the first time when the platform was new. Google is now the proud owner of that app, and honestly, it seems like a sensible purchase. Google's Android OS has branched out across various OEM platforms and price points, and buying technology... Read more...
While Yahoo's logo didn't draw too much (any?) applause, the company's refined mobile apps have been nearly universally praised. Now, it's branching out into yet another sector: the second screen. Yahoo Screen is a new iOS app, which Yahoo says is designed to bring a "simple, intuitive experience that turns your finger into a remote control. Just swipe through channels of content from Yahoo and our great partners then lean back and watch…no matter where you are." You'll be able to browse through trending clips, search for shows, or jump right in and start watching. Swiping left and right skips between episodes and swiping up and down flips through channels. Yahoo has also landed a deal... Read more...
For years, Google laughed off the notion of "fragmentation," at least in public. It turned a blind eye to those awful statistics, which proved that a huge, huge chunk of Android users were still using a version of the operating system that was -- in technology terms -- just plain ancient. But recently, Android development has slowed somewhat. It feels as if we've been stuck on Android 4.x.x for an eternity, and evidently, that's by design. Instead of revamping Android as a whole, Google has turned to something else: an app. The reality is that most OEM partners have very time consuming Q/A processes, and if Google pushes a new Android build every other month, many phones simply never get the... Read more...
At launch, Google Keep showed a lot of promise. There's Google's epic cloud infrastructure, excellent syncing across the Google ecosystem, and a drop-deal simple interface. Plus, it seems that mobile users at large are howling for a fantastic note-taking app, as proven by the success of items like Evernote. That said, Keep may have been a bit too simple at launch, and also, it only shipped for Android -- no other mobile platforms could take advantage. Today, Google's shaping Keep up a bit, and you can bet it's going right after Evernote. Now, Keep can remind you of important tasks and errands at just the right time and place. For example, Keep works with Google Now to remind you of your grocery... Read more...
Trigger Happy on Friday announced the launch of Toon Hero, an app for iPad users of any age to create their own animated stories using exclusively licensed characters and properties from studios such as The Him Henson Company, Hero: 108, Mukpuddy, and National Geographic, to name just a few. When you're finished creating a story, it can then be shared as a status update, greeting, and more. "For years, major studios have produced their own storylines and limited their licensing of characters only to manufacturers and advertisers. Now, with the Toon Hero app, people from the ages of eight to eighteen to forty eight will have the opportunity to bring these characters to life by using their own... Read more...
Microsoft is facing a lot of headwind when it comes to Windows Phone adoption, and in a bid to deal with a bit of that, the company is launching a new Web-based tool. The Windows Phone App Studio is launching today in beta, which is a free app creation tool designed to help anyone quickly bring an idea to life by applying text, web content, imagery, and design concepts to any one of a rich set of customizable templates. Users need only create a Microsoft account, choose your template, and begin adding content. When you’re app is ready to go, you can download the app to your own phone, or share it with others by publishing it to the Windows Phone Store. Of course, Microsoft has historically... Read more...
Google enjoyed surpassing Apple long ago with regards to shipping Android devices (it currently sits at about 75%), and today, it can gloat about having the more active app store, too. However, where Apple's concerned, there's usually more than meets the eye, and depending on your perspective, it still places first - where it counts. During Q2, Google's Play store generated 10% more downloads, but it reported less than half the revenue; Google sits at about ~$45 million, Apple at ~$100 million. Part of Google's boost came from India and Brazil, the latter which now joins India and Russia to sit in the top 5 countries for both Apple's and Google's respective app stores, in terms of overall downloads.... Read more...
On Friday, we learned that the mobile industry has developed a short-form notice for mobile apps that tells users if the app is collecting their data and in what areas (i.e., phone call and text logs, location data, and so on) that would appear before app download begins. The program is currently voluntary and being tested, and although on the surface it seems like a step forward for consumer protection, some industry consumer rights groups are opposed to it. Jeffrey Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) told us that, with respect to all the work that the industry put into the plan, he doesn’t believe the new code of conduct will actually do much for consumers. “The process... Read more...
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