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The tech world is still shocked this morning at yesterday's news that Facebook is buying WhatsApp for $16 billion, and now new details have emerged that suggest that Facebook was not the only one looking to buy the worlds largest instant messaging service. A new report from Fortune says that WhatsApp turned down an offer of $10 billion from Google when the offer did not include a seat on Google's board of directors.
The report also says that Facebook's CEO, Mark Zukerberg, made the $16 billion offer to WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum on the 9th of February and the pair finalized the deal just five days later. The deal was reportedly sealed on Valentines day, when Koum arrived at the Zuckerberg home and interrupted a dinner between Mark and his wife. After finalizing things over chocolate covered strawberries, Koum walked away with a seat on Facebook's board and a few billion dollars richer.
WhatsApp is the largest messaging service in the world and today the biggest social network in the world took notice. Today Facebook filed a document with the SEC that confirms the massive acquisition which was valued at $16 billion in cash and stock. Facebook says that WhatsApp will remain independent from Facebook and its competing messenger app, and the acquisition is part of Facebook's ongoing plan to connect the world with each other.
Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, said, "WhatsApp's extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We're excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world."
"WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "I've known Jan for a long time and I'm excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected."
In the wake of Flappy Bird being pulled from the mobile app scene, both Google and Apple have now began to deny entry to any app with the word Flappy in its title from being uploaded to their respective app marketplaces. Both companies made the decision to ban further apps from being uploaded if they had "Flappy" in the title due to the sheer number of clones popping up, many of which featured ad baiting, or even malware.
Unfortunately, many of the apps that made it into the mix before the ban was enacted will be allowed to stay, so it is up to users to report any apps that do not feature a legit game. Apple's has additional reason for banning the "Flappy" clones as well, saying that it has a strict policy against clone apps that "leverage" the success of a popular app. It's been a little more than a week since Flappy Bird creator, Dong Nguyen, pulled the app because it was proving to be too addictive to its users, and with more clones popping up every day, I feel that Apple and Google made the right move here.
Purchasing and downloading e-books can evolve from periodic book enjoyment to costly activity, though the changing industry has churned out new unlimited e-book services.
The Scribd e-book service with 100,000+ book titles is $8.99 per month that can be read - and some purchased - though don't expect to see any recent best sellers available. The Oyster e-book service is $9.95 per month and has a simple UI, though doesn't allow users to add or remove items from the reading list without Wi-Fi connection.
The current book industry has struggled in the traditional format, with Borders shuttering years ago, and Barnes & Noble fighting for survival. U.S. book store sales have dropped 22 percent over the past five years, and it seems like it will be difficult to stop the continued bleeding in the future. If consumers don't want an e-book version of a new title, simply buying online from a service such as Amazon provides cheaper prices and fast delivery times.
Image sharing websites such as Flickr, Imgur, and Photobucket have all grown in popularity over the last year as camera's on mobile devices get better with every revision, but popular photo sharing service 500px has up until now, refused to allow mobile images to be uploaded to its servers. This ban on mobile images is mainly because the website takes pride in offering high-quality images, something many smartphones still lack.
That all changes today! This morning, 500px announced that it has updated its iOS app and now allows the uploading of images from iPhone and iPad devices. The company says that users should not worry about an influx of low-quality images, and instead should remember the way 500px thrives based on its community. The company says that the new upload feature only allows quick uploading of images taken from a stand-alone camera via an SD to iPhone and iPad adapter. This means that images taken with the iPhone and iPad can not be uploaded directly from the app, thus keeping low-quality images out of the system.
No word was given on when this feature may be released on Android, but with the recent influx of Dual USB Drives for PC and Mobile popping up, I am sure it wont take long before the Android version of the app gets updated. As an ex-professional photographer, and someone who still shoots professionally on the side, I feel this is a good choice for 500px. Opening the service up to allow images from mobile devices themselves would simply inundate the system with very few good photos, and would flood it mediocre to poor images.
The Verge is reporting from unnamed sources that Microsoft is "seriously considering" adding support for Android apps to its Windows and Windows Phone operating systems.
Tom Warren, reporting with The Verge, says that the move could see Microsoft position itself better in the market with Android apps, as a "Band-Aid" for its Windows Phone apps, or lack thereof. We've seen this before, with BlackBerry providing compatibility for Android apps on BlackBerry 10 devices.
The one stopping block for Android apps on Windows would be the lack of Google Play Services, so we won't see the same APIs as an "official" Google Android device. We are seeing more and more love for Windows + Android love, but would this be enough?
This morning we are getting some insight into why one of the most popular apps in recent months was abruptly pulled from the market despite it earning its creator more than $50,000 per day. In an interview with Forbes, Flappy Bird creator Dong Ngueyen, said that he made the decision to pull the game from the Apple App Store and Google Play because it has became addictive for so many players.
"Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed," said Nguyen. "But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it's best to take down Flappy Bird. It's gone forever." He went on to say that he could not sleep due to the pressure and the stress that the games success was causing him, and that even though it is gone, the game has given him new found confidence. Unfortunately the decision to pull the game has given profiteers new confidence as well with several knock offs popping up as well as iPhone 5S models with Flappy Bird installed popping up on eBay for tens of thousands of dollars.
While Flappy Bird may be gone from the App Store, its still available on thousands of iPhones around the world. With Flappy Birds quick rise in popularity combined with its abrupt end, there is no doubt that there are those who are willing to pay handsomely for a copy of the game they never got to download.
After the game was pulled from both marketplaces yesterday, iPhone's began popping up on eBay with the game installed. Surprisingly many of these phones quickly sold for anywhere between $400 to upwards of $2000, but the biggest surprise came when one phone quickly climbed to $10,000 and continued to rise from there. At the time of this writing, the price is sitting at $99,000 with 74 bids in total and over six days left on its auction clock.
I have bid on some crazy stupid stuff on eBay before, but spending $100,000 on an iPhone to be able to play a simple game that amounts to noting more than a rip-off of a rip-off takes the cake. In my town, $100k will buy you a fairly new 1500 square foot home, with enough left over for an economy-class car. On a side note, if anyone is looking for a slightly used HTC One with Flappy Bird installed, I know where one might be for sale for a cool $98,000.
We told you it was happening, but now it has happened: Flappy Bird is no longer available through Google and Apple's respective online stores, just days after the game's developer said he'd pull the game.
If you have Flappy Bird installed on your device, you can still play it, but you won't be able to enjoy updates to the game, or download it onto another device unfortunately. Hopefully this hasn't made you too mad, but the hoopla surrounding this little game sure has set the Internet on fire.
Apple has laid down its final judgement on Bitcoins, and things are not looking good for iOS users who dabble in the crypto-currency. Today Apple removed the final Bitcoin wallet app from the App Store. The app was named Blockchain which was not the largest to get removed,but Apple axed it without warning.
This caused a major uproar with iOS users who was using Blockchain as their Bitcoin wallet. The uproar has been so great that one Reddit user, u/round-peg, posted an offer to give a new Nexus 5 to the first five people who smashed their iPhones in rage over the Blockchain app being removed from the app store. As you would expect, smashed iPhone images soon began showing up. Blockchain says that Apple banned Bitcoin wallet apps because they felt that the crypto-currency threatened their own payment system, causing Apple to do what it does best, restrict its users. "The only thing that has changed is that bitcoin has become competitive to Apple's own payment system," said Blockchain.