For many of us who survived the '90s, virtual pets are but a distant memory. That said, the Tamagotchi just turned 17 and Bandai (its parent company) is still cranking out new pets, so apparently the digital species is far from extinct. It makes complete sense, then, that the concept would eventually make it to the Pebble; in fact, its black-and-white e-paper display should make virtual pets feel right at home. Developer Portable Pixels is celebrating Game Developers Conference (GDC) by launching Hatchi on the Pebble appstore sometime this week. Much like the Tamagotchi, you'll be responsible for feeding, cleaning, playing with and caring for your new Hatchi pet.
Go ahead, ask any youngster around you: selfies are serious business. No one is more mindful of that universal truth than Instagram, which is why it pushed out yet another iOS app update earlier today. No, there aren't any new filters (isn't 19 enough?) -- instead, the company brought some much-needed control to its Lux feature.
Filed under: Mobile
Exactly a year to the day after it first announced its Knox security solution, Samsung's returned to Mobile World Congress with news that it's making it even easier to secure and manage Galaxy devices. With the launch of Knox 2.0 today, Samsung's changed the way the platform handles Google Play apps, digitally securing their data without the need to run them in a dedicated Knox workspace. Before, personal and work-related apps were separated, but Samsung says "most" Google Play apps can now live in Samsung's secure world. It's certainly serious about its new features, as CEO JK Shin popped up at the event to drive home Samsung's desire to nail the enterprise market.
Samsung wants more secure apps across the board, so it's also launching Knox Marketplace, a dedicated cloud-based app store that lets tech managers grab apps and install them on all employee phones with a few clicks of a button. Box and GoToMeeting are already on board, and there's plenty of enterprise companies already working to make their apps available. Samsung tells us that the new features will begin rolling out in the second quarter, and it'll comes pre-installed on the newly unveiled Galaxy S5. First generation Knox users will get an upgrade to the new version as soon as their device gets an upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat -- whenever that may be.
iOS users have been enjoying the new Pebble app store for the past week, but the Android version of the app is still MIA. Sure, you can download the beta if you sign up to be a developer, but if you'd rather wait for the final product, it's still in the works. What gives? Pebble engineer Keon Wong wrote a bit about the subject on the company's official blog about the process involved. The Cliff's Notes version is that there are two factors at play: one is how complex it can be to develop an Android app, and the other is a lack of resources.
Next comes the matter of available resources, which Wong explains is because Pebble has had a small team working on the Android app for a long time. "In order to ship a high quality, reliable Android experience that will work for many thousands of users across the myriad of devices and operating systems, we need engineers working on the Android app who are both fantastic engineers and great Android developers." This is where existing devs come in handy -- the more feedback Pebble receives, the better. The bad news is that the team doesn't have an ETA on Android release as of yet; on the bright side, however, the company apparently needs a few extra hands to help out, if you're on the hunt for a job.
It's anyone's guess what Snapchat's done behind the scenes to patch up its data vulnerabilities, but the firm's continuing to address the issues with a new public-facing measure. For instance: the app now has a new (and surprisingly cute) security measure in place to prevent the mass creation of dummy accounts usually made to harvest users' phone numbers. When new folks sign up, they're shown nine images instead of the usual captcha, and they have to prove they're not a bot by choosing the ones with Snapchat's ghost mascot. In addition, the company now implements server-side checks to ensure that those who use the Find Friends feature are real people with verified phone numbers. In theory, this double security layer should make it hard for scammers and spammers to collect private info en masse. Those still worried about their privacy, however, can always unlink their phone numbers for their own peace of mind.
If you walk through a Chinese electronics market, you'll find countless wearables, including a variety of smartwatches. Why, then, is this China-exclusive a significant introduction? Well, the Appscomm Fashioncomm A1 is the first smartwatch to include the Mirasol display we first saw in Qualcomm's Toq prototype, which means that 1.55-inch MEMS panel is actually coming to market. The A1 delivers much of the functionality we experienced with the device in our September hands-on, with an added GSM chipset, enabling you to make and receive calls directly from your wrist.
It's not the first watchphone we've seen -- and past iterations can hardly be deemed a success -- but as the first such device to integrate Qualcomm's new Mirasol panel, it's at least worth a casual mention. With the A1, Appscomm is also bundling an integrated camera, letting you snap stills and video clips a la Samsung's Galaxy Gear. There's also Bluetooth connectivity, along with a 450mAh battery that's rated for up to 190 hours of standby time. Smartwatch enthusiasts based in China can pre-order the device for RMB 1,299 ($213) beginning today.
Need something to pass the time tonight while waiting for Grand Theft Auto 5? Developer Rockstar Games has you covered with a pair of free companion apps for its latest crime sim. The iFruit mobile app features two distinct portions with direct ties to your virtual criminal career, allowing you to customize your ride and train retired thief Franklin's rottweiler. Los Santos Customs lets you get crazy under the hood and in the body shop, tinkering with your ride until it's just right for either GTA5 or GTA: Online. Treat Franklin's dog Chop well enough in the pet trainer Chop the Dog, and he'll find hidden in-game loot for you. The iFruit app is iOS-only for now, but flavors for Android, Windows Phone and even PlayStation Vita are en route.
There's also an e-version of the game's manual, because Rockstar apparently couldn't squeeze the full 100 page-plus tome into print for the retail box. What's more, it features an interactive map, and is available now on the App Store and as a desktop app -- an Android version is "coming soon." Midnight doesn't seem so far away now, does it?
05/09/2013 - Mozilla's 'Phone for Apps' initiative hits phase two, lures devs into porting HTML5 apps to Firefox OS
Firefox has certainly taken some pretty huge steps since Mozilla initially announced its "Phone for Apps" program back in May. Still, the browser maker knows there's a lot to be done before the mobile OS becomes more of a household entity. To help it achieve that, Mozilla's launching phase two of the "Phone for Apps" initiative, offering developers a Firefox OS device -- in this case the Geeksphone Keon -- in exchange for porting their HTML5 apps to the young platform. More specifically, this qualifies devs who have "already built and shipped an HTML5 web app and have the time now to port that app to the new Firefox OS." Is this you? Then here's what's left to do: click the source below to peruse the rest of the guidelines, fill out the application and, if you're amongst the chosen group, expect a confirmation to reach your inbox sometime thereafter.
If window shopping through Google Catalogs is your go-to lunch break pastime, you might want to sit down. Mountain View has proclaimed that the service's Android and iOS apps will no longer be supported when August 15th rolls around. Not all is lost, however, as the search giant will keep the digital product tomes alive online. Although Google Catalogs is meeting its end much like Google Reader did, something tells us we won't see replacements for this particular platform cropping up left and right.
Source: Android Police
Sometimes you need a little extra encouragement to hit the trail. The latest update to Nike+ Running for iOS should give you that friend-based push to lace up when you're feeling particularly lazy. Social competitions make up most of what's new in version 4.3, bringing in the same functionality between the app and its Nike+ FuelBand counterpart. To start a challenge, simply set a distance, a duration and invite your buddies. From there, group chats allow for motivation (read: trash talk) and checking in on your temporary frenemies' progress. Each time you clown your pals, you'll earn a medal. Like Nike+ Fuel, what those are good for is anyone's guess. After you're done topping the leaderboards, sprint to Distro's latest issue for an inside look at the swoosh company's Accelerator startup program.
Slowly, but steadily, BlackBerry's building its BB10 app catalog with some major gets. Today, that burgeoning list grows by a very important one with the addition of Sony's Crackle. The free, ad-based streaming video service, which culls together content from Sony's various TV and film studios, is available to download now from BlackBerry World. It's also compatible with the Q10's teeny, 3.1-inch screen, so if you hate your good eyesight, you can devote an hour or two to reliving the opus that is Bad Boys II. Sure, popular apps like Instagram, Hulu Plus and Netflix have yet to make their way over to BB10, but you can't fault the Waterloo-based outfit for getting users what it can. Even if that means bringing them Bad Boys II.
The on-again-off-again status of NYC's e-hail pilot program is now, well, back on. A New York state court has just lifted a temporary restraining order brought on by the city's livery cab companies that halted the year-long trial of taxi-hailing apps like Uber, Hailo and TaxiMagic. They argued that using the apps to book cabs counts as pre-arranging a service, which is strictly their territory. After weeks of deliberation, judges sided with the city, which contended the software is just another way to hail a cab.
Source: The Epoch Times
Even though we have the likes of Sparrow and Mailbox already competing to be the one to handle email duties on your iOS device, chances are a couple more options wouldn't be frowned upon. Here's where the rebranded Boxer and newcomer Dispatch come in. The former, which was previously known as Taskbox, is an app that thrives largely on a swipe-based UI, while the latter describes itself as an "action-based" client that gives you quick access to a vast set of commands (delete, favorite, ignore, etc.). Where Dispatch hopes to stand out from the pack, however, is by making email accounts friendly with things like Evernote, Reminders, Calendar and others, which will then allow you to easily add items such as tasks, notes and scheduled events to those apps.
Boxer, on the other hand, touts a built-in to-do list feature and integration with Dropbox, as well as support for a slew of providers -- including Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Exchange and, with the latest update, Outlook. The Dispatch and Boxer applications are $2.99 (for a limited time) and $4.99, respectively, though Boxer is making its own app a gratis download for the first 10,000 folks who manage to grab it. Interested in either one? Well then, it's a good thing we have both links to the App Store down below -- take your pick.
05/06/2013 - BlackBerry introduces OTA service for automakers, brings push expertise to vehicle telematics
With more and more vehicles featuring telematics and built-in wireless connectivity, it's no surprise that we're seeing a new ecosystem emerge around the technology, with M2M specialists providing everything from radios to apps. BlackBerry wants a piece of this pie, and today at the Telematics Detroit conference, the company is showing a new OTA (Over The Air) service for automakers. The solution lets car manufacturers manage and deploy software updates to vehicles in the field and takes advantage of BlackBerry's push expertise and secure infrastructure. Other remote capabilities include installing apps on a car's infotainment system and getting status information on vehicle components. Let's just hope there's no service outage in the middle of that ECU update, OK? PR after the break.
We managed to grab a quick chat with Nokia's Global Head of Smartphone Marketing, Vesa Jutila, following the global launch of the Lumia 925. When asked about the still-notable absence of some mainstream apps within Windows Phone 8, Jutila was surprisingly frank. With reference to the company's Lumia series, he said that "the biggest complaint is that customers are missing the apps they want."
Nokia has been on a recent charm offensive towards Instagram, not least with a mini Twitter campaign, but it announced earlier today that a new Hipstamatic Oggl app will be headed to Microsoft's mobile OS, capable of sharing through Twitter, Facebook and, yes, Instagram. However, for users coming from other platforms, they may find some first-party favorites missing -- with things like Google+ and Amazon Cloud Player being just a couple of examples. Jutila acknowledged that there were "some gaps" but said Nokia is "addressing this very strongly" with the help of Microsoft. He added:
"[Developer attention] is very much driven by the absolute volume of Windows Phones in the market. That's why we're so pleased when other manufacturers also make Windows Phones."
When asked if Nokia has a strategy for a scenario in which it becomes the only manufacturer of Windows Phones, Jutila replied "No, we don't have a strategy for that."
Sharif Sakr contributed to this report.
Attention HTML5 virtuosos: Mozilla is thirsty for your talents. So much, in fact, that the outfit is baiting developers with a free smartphone in the hopes they'll return the favor with fresh Firefox OS apps. In order to qualify for a device, you'll need to submit a proposal to Mozilla outlining the app you wish to build or port to its new mobile platform. If your pitch is accepted, the company will hook you up with a free Geeksphone Keon to thank you for your labor. Sure, the device's 3.5-inch HVGA display, 1GHz Snapdragon S1 processor, 512MB of RAM and 3-megapixel rear-facing camera are entry-level at best, but remember you're getting this handset gratis. The program is set to close at the end of the month or when supplies run out, whichever comes first. So, if you're interested in adding "Firefox OS developer" to your resume, hit up the source link to apply.
04/05/2013 - T-Mobile's official TV app now available for iOS
Holy Magenta! T-Mobile TV is now available for iOS. Just a few weeks removed from the carrier's launch of the iPhone 5, its entertainment streaming app offers a free 30-day trial run with content from Fox News, the Associated Press, Campus Insiders and ACC Digital Network. Those looking to extend their mobile media fix can opt for a $13 a month Prime Pack that opens up programming from the likes of ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, MTV, Spike TV, Comedy Central and VH1. In addition to its flagship package, the carrier offers a set of themed packs that range from $6 to $10 a month. To take the self-proclaimed UnCarrier's mobile boob tube for a test drive, head on over to the source link below -- just be sure that your device is running iOS 4.3 or higher.
Still completely absent from Android, the Google-made iOS only YouTube Capture video sharing app has received a minor update. Version 1.3 introduces a smorgasbord of colorless enhancements like a faster startup, an upload timer and HD previews of image enhancements. The real showstopper here is the addition of a WiFi only sharing option, which may prove useful for people trying to curtail their wireless data usage. To pull down this 28.3MB software bump, head on over to the source link below.
Don't let the name fool ya -- "WhereverTV" wasn't on any iOS devices until this morning when the Neuros-powered streaming global television service got an App Store launch. It's intended for a wide variety of iOS devices -- the iPhone 3GS through the 5, as well as iPod Touches and iPads running iOS 4.3 or newer -- and offers access to WhereverTV free international TV streaming options, as well as paid options for Greek, Moroccan, and Arabic programming (the app's been available on Android devices for some time now).
Users aren't limited by connection, either, as even 3G signal is supported by the app; of course, we wouldn't suggest you go depending on that option, but it will function should you try. WhereverTV is also promising updates in the future, such as DVR scheduling and playback, as well as more free channels. That is, in addition to the company's ongoing quest to make good on its name.
After months of being wrapped in black bars, Netflix has updated its Windows Phone 8 app with fullscreen support for devices wielding native 720p displays. While this update doesn't add HD video playback, it definitely improves the app's image quality for phones with hi-res screens. So, if you're sporting a top-shelf WP8 device and you're looking to take full advantage of your display's real estate, head on over to our source link to pull down this 2MB refresh.
Source: Windows Phone Store
After several months as a watered down messaging app, Viber for Windows Phone 8 is finally catching up to its Android and iOS counterparts. Starting today, the redesigned VoIP application now supports free calls with HD audio, lock screen notifications and the ability to pin conversations to your Start screen. This
Metro modern UI version of Viber also includes photo sharing and group conversations with up to 40 participants. So, if your call plan is running low on minutes and the latest version of Skype just isn't cutting the mustard, head on over to the source link to give this free VoIP software a whirl.
Via: Windows Phone Blog
Source: Windows Phone Store
29/03/2013 - MLB polishes At Bat 13 on iOS and Android ahead of Opening Day, brings app to BlackBerry Z10
With the 2013 season looming just around the corner, it's only natural for Major League Baseball to make sure its various applications on different platforms are all ready to go come this weekend. And as it did with MLB.tv on Xbox Live a couple days ago, MLB's now also updated the At Bat Android and iOS apps, leaving behind the spring training features from last month and making room for ones that are tailored for this year's Opening Day and forward. For subscribers, this means things such as multi-platform live audio, more video highlights, a virtual archive of classic games and a revamped news section within the apps. What's more, MLB has kept its promise of bringing At Bat 13 to the BB10 crowd, giving BlackBerry Z10 owners the ability to download the app starting today. Clearly, it's that time of the year again, that time where your Yankees-cheering friends tell you all about how A-Rod, when fit, is the best player in the game. Or, if they're Giants fans, how they really, really, hope the tale of Samson's hair won't apply to Tim Lincecum.
The clatter of ergonomic keyboards is already bearing fruit, just two months after the Ubuntu developer community was let loose on the SDK for the newly touch-enabled OS. Canonical's Michael Hall has posted an update on his personal blog detailing progress with some core apps, such as Calendar and Weather, as as well the broader effort to give mobile Ubuntu a sense of personality. The source link below shows off some nice-looking puzzle games, news readers and even an app built around the disembodied head of a strapping lad called Jono, who in many ways symbolizes the minimal-but-cheerful look of the emerging ecosystem. A bit of debugging here, a swoosh of the razor there, and it could be perfect.
Source: Michael Hall's blog
Box has done a pretty decent job at bringing novel features to its apps on the various platforms they are present in, and today it's turn for a couple of Microsoft's properties to get some fresh tidbits from the cloud storage service. For starters, both of Box's Windows Phone and Windows 8 applications will now have the ability to see easily preview files (Box says more than 75 types) -- a feature that's been available on Android since late last year, and one that'll surely come in handy to Redmond's user base. Additionally, Box also announced a few platform-specific goodies, with the Windows 8 app seeing the addition of a new navigation bar for quick access to docs, while the Windows Phone equivalent nabbed a revamped wide cycle tile which allows for updates to be viewed via its own Live Tile (so long as it's the largest size). These changes are live now, so check' em out and give 'em a whirl the next time you open your
Via: The Next Web