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This morning, Redbox announced that it has finally released its mobile app into the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem. The app appears to be identical to the Android and iOS version and will allow users to find the nearest Redbox kiosk via Bing maps.
Redbox says that with the app you will be able to browse and reserve movies as well as games at any Redbox kiosk you choose, which is very similar to how Redbox online works. Additionally, users will be able to sort their searches by release date, genre, rating, and title, as well as watch trailers straight on their mobile device. The app is available now for download at Source #1 below.
Microsoft announced today that the OneNote app for iOS and Android is getting a complete ground-up reboot that will provide users a more feature-rich experience and will better integrate into the Windows 8 ecosystem. The company says that the most noticeable update is the better editing experience.
Microsoft says that the new editing experience brings forth features like formatting text, tables, and layouts carrying over from platform to platform. The redesign also brings forward the ability to sync files across Sky Drive Pro and SharePoint and it removes the 500 note limit imposed by the previous iteration of the app. Additionally, users who download the updated app will receive access to the Office Ribbon UI.
The brand-new, fully featured OneNote app is available for iOS devices via the Apple App Store, as well as the Google play store for Android users. Microsoft says the app is currently available in the US and other "select" markets. Additional details and screenshots can be found by clicking Source #1 below.
Microsoft's SmartGlass Xbox companion app has been downloaded over 17 million times since its release last year over four platforms: Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS and Android.
17 million downloads is quite a lot, but considering there are close to 50 million Xbox Live subscribers, Microsoft haven't even seen a 50% penetration rate for their companion app. Not all Xbox users would want to use it, so it's not that stressful for Microsoft. 17 million downloads is better than 1-2 million downloads after all.
Google have released an updated version of Chrome beta for Android, which addresses some issues that have been popping up for a while now. One of these is the white flash that pops up when you load a new tab.
Other fixes include favicons now syncing across other devices using Clank (Google's codename for Chrome beta for Android), as well as problems with the keyboard on the Gmail website which wouldn't dismiss. A security fix has also been plugged up, making sure that a dialog is displayed as soon as any downloads are called.
The usual bug fixes are of course updated in this latest beta mobile browser, and you can get it right here.
Facebook has had a few security and privacy related incidents of late, with the newest one to come to light being that the Facebook for Android app sent your phone number back to Facebook's servers even if you didn't log in or didn't have an account. Facebook has said that all of these numbers have been deleted, but it still makes you wonder why they were ever collected in the first place.
The "bug," as Facebook calls it, was in the beta application that Facebook released yesterday. That bug has since been patched and Facebook has stated that the accidentally logged numbers have all been cleared from their servers. The bug came to light thanks to security firm Symantec. According to their researchers, a user's phone number would be sent to Facebook immediately upon opening the app.
It's unclear how many users were affected. This bug does not appear to be related to the other recent privacy snafu at Facebook. Still, you've got to wonder if this was something similar to the Google Street View Wi-Fi snooping issue that was settled not too long ago.
Apple users have their secure way of sending messages through iMessage, but right now Android users are a little left out. CyanogenMod hopefully have the answer to this, where the team are working on a new application called PushSMS.
Devleoper, Koushik Dutta said this week that he has constructed a secure push-based messaging plugin for CyanogenMod which encrypts messages between two CyanogenMod users from end-to-end and is sent over the Google Cloud Messaging service. Dutta adds that the feature is built directly into the CyanogenMod framework, and is compatible with third-party clients like GoSMS and Handcent.
PushSMS isn't quite available, and should arrive in a new iteration of CyanogenMod in the coming weeks.
Vine for Android has been updated to version 1.2, with the latest version of the application allowing front-facing camera support and more. We also have an upload manager for backlogged clips, settings tweaks and a bunch of performance tweaks.
Most users have switched over to Instagram, or like myself don't even use it, but for those who still prefer Vine, you can get the updated version from the Google Play Store.
Twitter's two-month-old music discovery app has been updated to help you better discover music you actually want to hear. The new feature "charts" helps you discover music from the genre you are interested in getting more music from. This way it's easier to discover music that you have the possibility of liking.
These new charts can be a genre or a specific type of chart such as "Popular." The Popular chart does what you think it would: it compiles a playlist of new music trending on Twitter. The other charts are generated in a similar manner, but are kept to the single genre that the chart is for.
It's not clear how well Twitter Music is doing as Twitter hasn't provided us any numbers. However, with Apple planning to incorporate Twitter Music into iRadio, it could become a lot more popular and valuable to the micro-blogging site.
Facebook's Android app is usually hit and miss on whether an update will be amazing and fix tons of issues or will just inject more bugs into the user experience. It appears that Facebook realizes this and has now opened a new beta testing program that all Android users are invited to join.
Facebook says that the creation of this beta tester pool is because of the sheer vastness and diversity of hardware and OS software in the Android ecosystem. This makes it very difficult for the software developers to find every bug and every issue that only appears on a specific device or version. This new program is organized by Google's new "Group for Beta Testers" service that was announced at Google I/O earlier this month.
To join the group, all you have to do is click the link at source #2 below, join the group, except the permissions, and head to the Android market and re-download the Facebook app. Facebook has created its own group (source #3) in which users can join and leave feedback, but that is not a requirement. Reporting bugs found in the application is as easy as clicking a new "report bug" button icon in the settings menu.
We know that Apple's iTunes Store and Google's Play Store are the dominant forces in digital offerings, but how are Microsoft doing in this front? The OS giant have unveiled that they're close to 100,000 apps, something they expressed at their BUILD 2013 conference this week.
Microsoft are hoping to break through 100,000 apps on the Windows Store sometime next month, and by the beginning of 2014 they hope to have around 175,000 apps available. Microsoft have told Engadget that "hundreds of millions" of apps have been downloaded, but no exact number was provided.