BitTorrent Inc. says that they are still determined to make its file sharing protocol mainstream for legitimate uses, and the launch of its Chrome extension called "Surf" proves it.
In development for the past six months, Surf allows users to search for and download torrents from directly within Google Chrome. The extension queries search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, and appends the search term with "torrent".
Users have the option to add their favorite torrent search site, and Surf even queries the internet archive, allowing entire websites, videos, and all things internet to be downloaded with relative ease. The alpha version of Surf is available in the Chrome Store and the company said that there is a Firefox version coming soon.
In just 1682 days, Apple's app store has set a new record by serving up its 40 billionth download since its launch. That works out to just over 23,781,212 downloads a day or 16,514 downloads a minute.
Those numbers have not always been that high, with over half of them occurring in 2012, but 40,000,000,000 is an astonishing and impressive number. With over 500 million active App Store accounts it is going to be quite hard for anyone to catch up to this many app downloads any time soon.
The Apple developer community has written more than 775,000 applications for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Apple has had to pay out over $7 billion in payments for these contributions. By the way, for those of you wondering, that is a total of 257.24 apps downloaded every second and in the time it has taken me to write this, 132117 apps have been downloaded from the App Store.
Angry Birds continues to sell in droves. Rovio, the studio behind the hit game Angry Birds, announced sales figures for the holiday season, and they are rather impressive. Over the week December 22 to December 29, Angry Birds saw 30 million downloads, with Christmas Day seeing a full 8 million downloads.
In the picture above, you can see the numbers broken down. According to the graphic, there was one Angry Birds download for every other new device on Christmas Day. Of course, not every single one of those downloads was a sale, but I'd venture to guess at least 20 percent or more were, meaning the company netted some serious cash.
Of course, this fad will eventually fall by the wayside and Rovio hasn't shown an ability to create games other than those set in this universe. It will be interesting to watch how the company reacts--and what games it produces--when this happens.
Spotify, everyone's favorite music streaming service has quietly disabled track purchasing in the UK. Users trying to downloas new tracks will see a notice stating that Spotify is "currently not supporting new download purchases."
Clicking on the notice brings you to a page that states that users with download tokens will still be able to use them to get tracks. Users that have a valid gift card will also be unaffected.
This is one feature many users in the US have been anticipating, but it looks like Spotify may be scrapping the whole idea now. As a Spotify user myself, I see no need to buy tracks. My $10 premium membership fee already allows me to save tracks to my devices. What are your thoughts on Spotify removing this feature? Let us know in the comments.
Wildly popular texting app WhatsApp set a new daily record for message traffic on December 31, with the service seeing over 18 billion messages generated. The company tweeted, "On Dec 31st we had a new record day: 7B msgs inbound, 11B msgs outbound = 18 billion total messages processed in one day! Happy 2013!!!"
Those are impressive numbers when you consider that iOS 5's iMessage service only generates more than 1 billion messages a day. WhatsApp has proved a popular alternative to normal texting, partially due to the additional features available through the app and the ability to send messages internationally for free.
Microsoft says Google preventing the company from providing fully featured YouTube app for Windows Phone OS
Microsoft has brought up an issue last dealt with over a year ago. Back in a March, 2011 post regarding Microsoft's concerns about Google's anti-trust investigations, the company said that Google is preventing Microsoft from accessing data that would allow a full-featured YouTube app on Windows Phone.
What they wrote at the time:
[I]n 2010 and again more recently, Google blocked Microsoft's new Windows Phones from operating properly with YouTube. Google has enabled its own Android phones to access YouTube so that users can search for video categories, find favorites, see ratings, and so forth in the rich user interfaces offered by those phones. It's done the same thing for the iPhones offered by Apple, which doesn't offer a competing search service.
Unfortunately, Google has refused to allow Microsoft's new Windows Phones to access this YouTube metadata in the same way that Android phones and iPhones do. As a result, Microsoft's YouTube "app" on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTube's mobile Web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones. Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone. We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide.
Windows 8 users are gaining access to more and more apps, according to stats by MetroStore Scanner. The Windows Store now has more than 35,000 Windows 8 apps and that number is increasing by an average rate of 415 apps per day. Back in November, that number was only increasing by 362 per day, showing developer interest has picked up.
This information is just data, so use it how you will. It doesn't say anything to the quality of the apps, usefulness, or other things regarding the apps, just the quantity. October 30, when Windows 8 launched, it had 10,000 apps. November 6 saw 13,000, November 14, 16,000, and November 22, 20,000.
Some OEMs are saying their poor PC sales are due to poor Windows 8 demand. However, there have been more than 40 million licenses sold so far, and developer interest seems to be increasing, a sign that Windows 8 is a viable platform with plenty of demand.
Plenty of people I know love their iPhone, but when pressed for what they love most, it's from a cracked feature coming from something like Installous and AppSync - well, those days are over, folks.
The Hackulous team have announced that they're shutting down, which will take down their most popular apps - the above-mentioned Installous and AppSync. This is the message the team left:
Goodnight, sweet prince.
We are very sad to announce that Hackulous is shutting down. After many years, our community has become stagnant and our forums are a bit of a ghost town. It has become difficult to keep them online and well-moderated, despite the devotion of our staff. We're incredibly thankful for the support we've had over the years and hope that new, greater communities blossom out of our absence.
With lots of love,
It looks like Facebook's Poke app has backfired and has instead led to even more buzz around the app it was a blatant copy of: Snapchat. According to data from the social media and web analytics firm Topsy, mentions of Snapchat have increased massively since Facebook released Poke last week.
As you can see in the graph above, after December 21, the Snapchat line heads straight for the sky, while the Poke line peaks and then drops off. Poke is all the way down at #70 on the App Store's ranking, while Snapchat is at #4. Snapchat refused to sell out to Facebook earlier this year, a decision that looks like it is paying off.
Of course, mentions and downloads aren't directly converted into revenue and there is no guarantee that these new users will stick around and keep using the service, so as the phrase goes, "Only time will tell."
Snapchat, the messaging app that lets you send self destructing messages to friends and family is widely popular. Mainly because users feel safe that the image or video that is sent can not be saved and is only viewable once.
It appears that that sense of safety can no longer be trusted. A website known as buzzfeed has released details on how to circumvent the self destructing feature and save the messages before you view them.
It turns out, all one needs is a file manager for their device or one can simply connect it to a computer and browse to the temporary folder where the message is stored on the phone or tablet. Facebook's Poke seems to have similar security issues but is reportedly working on a fix.
If you've been waiting to run Android apps on your Mac OS X-based system, then today is your day! The BlueStacks App Player is now available in beta form on the Mac for free, which will give Apple users the chance to run over 750,000 Android apps.
These apps are built for smart devices like phones and tablets, but now you can test them out on your Mac. BlueStacks uses patent-pending virtualization software called "Layercake" which allows Android apps to run on different platforms. It works in a similar fashion to software like Parallels and VMWare.
Windows 8 has had a BlueStacks app for quite a while now, where it was released in March and has since had over 5 million downloads. You can grab BlueStacks App Player for Mac right here.
Facebook's Snapchat competitor, Poke, has fallen out of the top position in the App Store on iOS. Not only is it not number one anymore, it's not even present in the top 25 apps. In fact, the app has dropped all the way down to number 34 on the list of top free apps. Snapchat, meanwhile, has increased to number 4.
Right after Poke came out, Snapchat dropped from number 6 to the 8th popular app on the list. Since then, an uptick in its popularity has pushed it to 4th. Facebook's strong marketing ability is likely why Poke was able to obtain the number one spot, but with the app being a bit frustrating to use, according to reviews, it doesn't seem to have staying power.
A new app has been released by the Marion Police Department that allows easy crime reporting and tips to be sent to the police department neatest the tipster. Using GPS technology, tips, pictures, video, and crime reports can be sent easily and quickly and get to the department that should deal with them.
Because iWatch Marion uses global positioning technology, the system intelligently forwards information to the Howard County Police Department based on where the handheld device is physically located at any given moment.
The app will also work in reverse, allowing the police department to send out alerts about missing children, weather, and more. It's another example of technology being put to good use.
Judging from the amount of photos I saw on my Facebook news feed over the last two days, almost all of my friends got new phones or tablets. In fact I have a feeling that "smart devices" were the major gift item this year. Gameloft seems to think so as well and has put many of their games on sale for $.99.
The games include popular titles such as: "Asphalt 7: Heat," "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Amazing Spider-Man," "Where's Waldo Now?," "Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour" and many more.
I have played a few of the Gameloft titles, and have to agree that they are some of the best "Designed for Mobile" games you will find on the market. Leave us a comment and let us know if you got a new phone, tablet or other "Smart Device" for Christmas. And as a reminder, the Tweaktown app on both IOS and Android is always free!
It's important that users of the Facebook Camera app update to the latest version as the previous versions featured a security vulnerability that would allow hackers to tap the network and hijack accounts. They were able to gain access to information such as email addresses and passwords.
Versions pre-1.1.2 and releases before December 21 feature the vulnerability that was discovered by Mohamed Ramadan, an Egyptian security researcher with Attack-Secure. The problem apparently resided in the SSL certification:
The problem is the app accepts any SSL certification from any source, even evil SSL certifications and this enables any attacker to perform Man in The Middle Attack against anyone uses Facebook Camera App for IPhone. This means that the application doesn't warn the user if someone in the same [WiFi network] trying to hijack his Facebook account.
Ramadan says he has tested the other Facebook apps and they seem to provide protections against this type of attack.
Wordament is the first game produced by Microsoft for the iPhone that features Xbox Live Achievements. The game started out as a side-project for two Windows Live employees, which was then acquired by Microsoft Game Studios. It's a popular game on the Windows Phone platform, garnering 4 and a half stars, with 18732 reviews.
When you sign in with your free Microsoft account, you can earn up to 50 Gamerscore from our 10 achievements and you'll have access to all of your Xbox Friends and Wordament Frenemies. If you've played on Windows Phone or Window 8 and jump to the iOS version, all of your player stats and friends will follow your account automatically.
You can get the new game for iOS on the App Store.
If you're an Android app builder and were wanting to sprinkle a little YouTube into your app, today is your day! Google have released the Android YouTube Player API.
You'll now be able to bake YouTube into any app you want, and will sport high-quality playback for Android devices featuring Android 2.2 and above. Since there's simple integration, there are a bunch of goodies that will keep you happy.
This includes full screen and orientation mode support, closed captions display, support for YouTube ads and the ability to program most elements of the playback experience natively within your app. There are developers who have already dabbled in it, such as Flipboard. Full details can be found here.
According to a new report, even though Apple Maps suck, it was the most popular app for the iPhone in 2012. A report by Nielsen analyzed data from January to October of 2012 and calculated out that Apple Maps was the most popular app by calculating average unique users per month.
Keep in mind that the data for Apple Maps only consists of two months, rather than the 10 months the other apps have. Nielsen says that 32,365,000 unique users used the app every month, on average, besting Facebook which came in at 28,585,000. Google Maps, which has the potential to take away Apple's thunder, was not released during the time period of the data collection.
On the Android side of things, Google Search was number one, with over 44 million average unique uses. Facebook came in third, with just over 42 million average unique users. The apps line up roughly where you would expect them to across both operating systems. Nothing was really shocking about either ranking.
Facebook has released a new app today. Poke is a new app that is designed to directly compete in Snapchat territory. The new app allows content to be shared between users with it disappearing after a short period of time. Poke supports everything Snapchat does: photos, videos, and text can all be sent.
With the Poke app, you can poke or send a message, photo, or video to Facebook friends to share what you're up to in a lightweight way. You can poke an individual friend or several at once. Each message expires after a specific time you've set, either 1, 3, 5 or 10 seconds. When time runs out, the message disappears from the app.
In other words, the app functions nearly identically to Snapchat. It's not clear if the data is deleted off of Facebook's servers. Snapchat deletes any data transmitted through its servers, so it truly is a self-destructing message. Also not clear is if the app warns you when a chatting partner takes a screenshot, something Snapchat does.
You can pick up the app in the iOS App Store.
SwiftKey 3.1 has just been let out of the gate, including some new features and the usual fixes and improvements. If you haven't updated already, you might want to. Here's a full rundown of what to expect:
- New Berry theme
- New languages: Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Hindi, Hinglish, Irish, Macedonian, Spanish (Latin America) and Tagalog
- Split keyboard for normal-sized devices
- Improved language pack downloads
- Improvements in key layouts on some keyboards
- Fixes for some force close issues
Grab the latest SwiftKey 3.1 from the Google Play Store, or right here.
Nuance Communications, the company behind the popular Dragon Naturally Speaking voice to text software has announced an update to its Dragon Mobile Assistant app for Android. Users running Android 2.3 and higher now have access to the app.
The Dragon Mobile Assistant app was peviously only available for devices running Android 4.0 or higher. The app lets users control their device hands free similar to that of Google Voice Commands or Siri. The app automatically activates when the user presses the "listen button" and says "Hi Dragon" Users can however, set the app to always listen making using the device truly hands free.
The decision to expand compatibility is no doubt related to the fact that as of December 3rd, more than half of the Android devices world wide were running versions of Android ranging from 2.3 to 3.2.