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Apps are increasingly popular as Apple's App Store download numbers can attest to. We recently reported about a giveaway Apple was hosting to celebrate 50 billion app downloads. We can now report that the App Store has surpassed 50 billion downloads, though Apple has yet to identify the grand prize winner.
The grand prize winner will be awarded a $10,000 iTunes voucher, while 50 runners-up will each get a $500 iTunes voucher. It would have been nearly impossible to guarantee that you would download the 50 billionth app, so it all comes down to good fortune and being an active App Store user.
Google isn't happy with Microsoft over its recently released YouTube app. The app, which was released by Microsoft just over a week ago, is a much-improved YouTube app that Google apparently didn't know was coming. According to a copy of the cease and desist letter sent to Microsoft, Google is demanding Microsoft "immediately withdraw this application from the Windows Phone Store and disable existing downloads of the application by Wednesday, May 22, 2013."
The main issue with the app, which makes use of Google's API for YouTube, is it's blocking of ads. Both YouTube and the content creators rely on Google's AdSense for revenue. Without these ads, Google can't pay for the hosting and serving of videos and content creators can't monetize their content.
Content creators make money on YouTube by monetizing their content through advertising. Unfortunately,by blocking advertising and allowing downloads of videos, your application cuts off a valuable ongoing revenue source for creators, and causes harm to the thriving content ecosystem on YouTube. In addition,your application overrides specific decisions made by some content creators to keep their content from displaying on certain types of devices, which in many cases are due to exclusive distribution arrangements those content creators have with third parties. YouTube's agreements with creators give them choices in how their content is presented and distributed, and your applicatio
Facebook's Graph Search has been met with mixed reviews from within the tech community, with my personal experience not being that exciting. Today Google announced major improvements into its graph search competitor Knowledge Graph, which it launched a year ago.
Google says that "The search of the future will need to answer, converse, and anticipate." At today's I/O keynote, Google announced that you'll start to get important statistics, provided by the knowledge graph. Right now, you can search for the population of India; beginning today, it will anticipate what you're likely to ask next: what's the population compared to other countries? Today, Knowledge Graph is also launching in new languages: Polish, Turkish, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.
Google also has taken a stab at Apple by launching its Siri-like Voice Search into the web. Now you can simply sit back in your chair and speak into your microphone and Google will return an audible response to your question. No need to press a button or anything. Simply say "OK Google", and state your question. Conversational voice search will be available across all platforms with Chrome.
Jay Freeman, or Saurik around the jailbreak scene, has brought the Cydia Substrate and WinterBoard to the Google Play Store. While still in their infancy, these apps perform much of the same functions as they do on their iOS counterparts. Soon enough, Google Play will likely fill up with Android themes.
As you would expect, these new apps require your Android device to be rooted, but most Android users who would be interested in these apps have already done that. For now, the Cydia Substrate doesn't do too much, but it should indicate that iOS jailbreak features will eventually make their way over to Android.
Thanks to a licensing deal with Qualcomm, makers of the mobile Snapdragon processors, Kaspersky security software will now come pre-installed on Android systems powered by a Snapdragon processor. This will, theoretically, help with Kaspersky's market share and hopefully help Kaspersky become a household name for Android security.
By itself, Kaspersky's apps normally retail for $15 and $20 for the smartphone and tablet version, respectively. Users are gaining this software for free, though some may not like the idea of more pre-loaded apps on devices that already have limited storage space.
Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Labs:
In Kaspersky Lab, we have a solid number of global companies we work with, and Qualcomm Technologies will be one of the most important among them. We are looking forward to providing solutions to a wide range of device manufacturers, who are designing and/or building Snapdragon-enabled mobile devices or tablets running on Android.
Facebook has updated its iOS app with new sharing and saving options in the photo viewer. Most likely looking to drive more sharing of photos, and thus engagement, the new version of the app makes it much easier to share pictures on a user's Timeline, save the picture to a user's Camera Roll, or set the picture as a profile picture.
- Photo viewer button lets you save, share or make profile picture
- Improved places editing when checking in on iPhone
- Events load faster on iPhone
The previous iOS app only allowed users to like, comment, or tag a picture. Facebook's continued push for a mobile-first approach has been resulting in increasingly better apps that have most of the features present on the desktop. This means users should soon no longer need to use the website.
Developers for Google's Android operating system have been given a new feature to connect with users. Google has added the ability for developers to respond directly to users' reviews on the Google Play Store. This has come as a result of Google Play Store reviews being tied to the Google+ social network.
It allows users and developers to become more connected. It also allows developers to ask for more information, respond to negative reviews, or help troubleshoot an issue. When a developer posts a response, an e-mail is dispatched to the reviewer letting them know that the developer has responded to his or her review.
We believe that this new system will lead to better user engagement and better apps on the Google Play Store.
Google I/O is just days away and there's reports that Google are to unveil their unified messaging system at the event. Google will reportedly use the name Hangouts, retiring the name Babel we've been hearing about lately.
The use of the name Hangouts is a move Google are using to keep their users within their ecosystem of services. A source of TechRadar that reportedly works at Google, provided screenshots of the new Hangouts in action, which also sees the incorporation of the GChat instant messaging service. The images show off options to archive Hangouts, block users, and revert to a previous version of the chat services.
Facebook Home is making the rounds, unfortunately not to my Nexus 4 yet, but being downloaded more than one million downloads is something to talk about. The problem is, though, that there is a massive amount of negative feedback and reviews on Facebook Home.
Technology Review have reported that the social network are aware of these issues, and their first attempt at creating their own Android overlay has been met with problems, but they've promised to get them fixed in future releases of Facebook Home. Facebook have also said that they are adding "a launcher that makes it easier to see your non-Facebook apps and doesn't reorganize them", "a way to create folders of apps within the launcher" and "a dock at the bottom of the screen that gives you quick access to your most important apps".
Just how well is Microsoft going with the Windows Phone Store? Well, they've reached over 145,000 apps, which is up from the 120,000 apps that we heard about in October.
But, this number shows that the momentum has slowed down for the Windows Phone Store, considering it doubled in size over the first half of 2012. Are developers leaving the platform? Or are they just simply not as interested in Windows Phone as they are with iOS and Android? There are those that argue that Microsoft are concentrating on quality apps versus just boat loads of apps, with iOS reaching over 800,000 apps now.