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Tax time is nearly here, but this year is a bit different - smartphones. There are now numerous apps out there to help you all by using your fingers to do the work. First up we have my Tax which was developed by a chartered accountant. my Tax allows you to calculate your annual personal tax for 2009, 2010 and 2011; PAYG, GST and FBT; and salary sacrificing. my Tax also includes a loan calculator, a tax rates summary, pay calculator, a BAS calculator and a CGT calculator. PDF reports can be generated and printed directly from your iOS-based device.
Next up is Aussie Tax Calculator for Android-based smartphones. It is not as feature-laden as my Tax, but is is free. With Aussie Tax Calculator, you'll be able to calculate your annual tax and PAYG on up to four incomes.
Microsoft patent apps that let you buy things, grabs Apple by the balls and says "who's your daddy?"
Some very interesting news has just popped up on my RSS feed, Microsoft back in 2004 (you know, before all the cool Interent, App purchases, iPhones, Androids and everything that makes out lives better) filed a patent application for what is claimed "a way to make purchases through a network-connected portal with a 'streamlined interface'". It pretty much targets eBookstore Apps (Kindle, Kobo, etc) as well as magazine and newspaper apps such as NYTimes and WSJ. Not only that, it covers retail apps like Amazon and any streaming content apps like Pandora or Audible.
With this new patent info, what does Apple have to say? Aren't they the ones flinging hit with an s in front of it at everyone who tries to use the word "App" near "Store". Well, this is definitely an interesting development and something I'm sure Microsoft are grinning about.
It took Google 20 months to reach the 1 billion apps installed on Android, five months later they had reached the 2 billion mark and now it's sitting at a very impressive 3 billion apps installed. If Google continue going at this speed we should see 4 or 5 billion apps installed by next month!
During Google's first-quarter earnings call today, senior vice president for commerce had said that the platform has grown from 2 billion apps installed to 3 billions apps installed in just two months. Huber also mentioned that app installs are up by 50-percent quarter-over-quarter (from Q4 2010 to Q1 2011) and that Android-powered devices are seeing 350, 000 activations per day.
With most sites attacking competitors of Apple's App Store for ripping off the design or name, I don't see ways around it without users feeling giant differences between sites, alienating users because they're used to the look of one App Store versus another. Enter Microsoft and the upcoming most-likely-to-be-awesome OS, Windows 8.
An early build is hinting at a more unified OS which is hoping to strike the same chord with users that Apple is doing with OS X/iOS. The screenshot above shows what it would look like and while it looks virtually identical to the Chrome Store and App Store, it will be a great addition to Windows and I'm glad that Microsoft are getting the App Store in this early in the builds for Windows 8.
This is a good one. What appeared to be just another product listing on ThinkGeek turned out to be a bittersweet April Fool's prank. Bittersweet, because a lot of us would probably shell out the $180 for the entire Playmobil Apple Store set, including Line expansion.
ThinkGeek really went all out on this one, going so far to create miniature Wozniak on a Segway and miniature Steve Jobs giving the iPad 2 keynote. The sales floor is also suitably accessorized with miniature iPhones and iPads.
If you watched the promotional video first, you were alerted to the nature of the prank (if not from anything else, than the professional titles like "Squinty Bastard". Otherwise, you probably got very excited and pressed BUY NOW, only to be redirected to the "GOTCHA!" page where you promptly felt very sad and alone in the universe. Then again, my personal experience may not be the rule for everyone else.
You'll forget that you're actually playing with something, and not inside an actual Apple Store!
We finally figured out a way to create lifelong customers literally moments after they begin to walk.
Visit the site to check out their photo reel as well as the links to past 4/1 product pranks.
"What do you do when you have bugs in your code? Send in the Angry Nerds. Consider these issues resolved."
Atalassian announced their new mobile game today, Angry Nerds, in which the player hurtles various incarnations of "devs" against towers of concrete binary numbers, destroying various infectious "bugs" in the code.
Check out the site, you can even test out the game there. This is almost good enough to not be an April Fools Prank. They even put up a fictitious collection of "endorsements":
Please, Atlassian, never stop ceasing or desisting.
Here's their "press release":
Okay, a bit of a curveball, but let's face it: gaming is hot. It was probably obvious we were into gaming when we invited Steve Wiebe, from the movie King of Kong, to our GDC booth for a record attempt. We're purists mostly - Pacman, Donkey Kong, WoW. But mobile gaming is blowing up right now, and when we see a market opportunity, we jump on it.
So we're pumped today to release our first game: Angry Nerds. The story line is one for the ages - a team of software developers, armed with wit and wile, fighting against an evil hoard of bugs. It's all drama and suspense. Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Rings, Zero Wing.
But don't focus on the story,
Amazon's Appstore was unveiled last week but no one seemed to notice the Test Drive feature that could now become the biggest part of the new Appstore. Test Drive allows US customers to try Android-based apps before you buy them on Amazon.com - pretty great, huh?
Test Drive actually features an entire virtual Android smartphone with working mouse controls, which is quite the feat and quite the service that Amazon.com are giving their customers. Test Drive allows you to try out games, delete said game, browse photos, listen to some music or even surf the web from the virtual Android device.
A father has decided to step up to the mantle of being the best dad ever and has created a playable Angry Birds birthday cake. His YouTube description for the video says: It's become a family tradition that I make increasingly ridiculous birthday cakes for my kids each year. So with my little boy Ben turning 6-years-old over the weekend, and appreciating his love of Angry Birds, I thought I'd have a shot a making him a playable Angry Birds birthday cake with working catapult and iced birds as ammunition.
This is one of the best works of art (in the form of a cake) that I've ever seen. It's quite an effort and he has pulled it off quite well, the look on his son's face is enough satisfaction for any creative father! But this one takes the cake (all the pun in the world intended).
Twitter and Apple addicts aren't going to have to go far to check out the latest apps for their iOS devices. Apple has started up an official Twitter account for the App Store, and is promising Twitter-exclusive app deals and plenty of featured apps being sent to their followers.
Already rocking nearly 60,000 followers since their first tweet a mere 8 hours ago, it looks like the word is definitely out. Don't get your hopes up about the App Store following you though as they only have official Apple accounts on their follow list. Apple may have started out a little cautious over teaming up with Twitter, but with the official accounts and Ping integration it looks like Apple is now fully diving into the social networking scene.
Unless you live under a rock, you have heard that the Apple App Store is set to hit its 10 billionth download soon. The person who ends up downloading the 10 billionth app will get a seriously nice gift. That gift will be a $10,000 gift card that will keep the user in music and apps for a long time.
The MacPhun company has announced that it will give the person who downloads the 10 billionth app an extra $5,000 iTunes gift card if the 10 billionth app is its own FX Photo Studio. That's a blatant attempt to get folks to download its apps for sure and I would say the chance of that app being the big 10B is scant.
MacPhun did say that it would give the 10 billionth downloader a $1,000 gift card if the app is anything from the photo category. I wonder how long it will be before the magic download is made.