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Over the past year or so, the buzz surrounding Beats Audio's music streaming service has risen and fallen several times. With the project seeming so volatile, many industry analyst speculated that it may never get off the ground, but today new life appears to have been injected into the service.
During a recent interview with The Next Web, Beats COO Luke Wood, said that the streaming service would launch "within the next few months." He went on to say that the service would be available on the web as well as Android, iOS and Windows 8, with support for the latter arriving later than the previous two.
It also appears that the service will be titled Beats Music, rather than the "Daisy" moniker we have heard tossed around so much over the last 18 months. Wood said that the company is focusing heavily on the playlist side of things, and that the service would differ greatly from traditional streaming services like Pandora and Spotify.
If you're one of those lucky people in the Twitter beta testing group, you would know that there was an update tonight which has a new user interface. Twitter has changed the basic interface of its app, making it more simple to use.
The left edge slide-in drawer is gone, and the scrolling tabs at the top of the page have been replaced by a simple three tab design: Home, Discover and Activity. Notifications and messages have been moved, which now feature their own distinct buttons in the top action bar, with number badges indicating unread counts.
If you want to compose a new tweet, that's now at the bottom of the app, where you'll also be greeted with new buttons to add a picture, launch into the camera, or directly into the tweet and start typing.
It looks like Instagram is finally unleashing its ads to its application, with the Facebook-owned company announcing it will start pushing ads onto users' Instagram feeds.
Instagram will do this to grow its revenues, and it says it will make sure that "any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands." Instagram also said that the ads that will be "be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine."
Google is looking to take on Apple and its new iTunes Music service later this month when it launches its Google Play Music service on iOS. With mixed reviews coming in about iTunes Music, this new offering on iOS from Google could do quite well.
Google is said to be testing the service on iOS internally at the moment, and should have all the bugs worked out and ready to launch by the end of October. Personally, after having tried out Google Play Music, and being a Spotify subscriber for over a year now, I feel that neither service live up to the quality and quantity of music Spotify is serving up.
Google seems to constantly be updating its various services, with the Mountain View-based giant updating its hotword for voice search to "Ok Google," similar to its "Ok Glass" for its wearable Glass device.
The "more beautiful" search results are hitting users now, where users can add "notable people" to the list of items that Google Now keeps you updated on. You'll see a button on their card when you search for them, like the image above.
The series finale of Breaking Bad was a huge success for AMC, as was the entire series, and today the franchise just added another notch to its bed post. Spotify has announced that "Baby Blue" by Badfinger, the song that played during the finale has seen its popularity grow by more than 9000-percent.
The song sold just over 5,000 downloads on Monday night alone which is said to account for a 300-percent boost in sales. Baby Blue was recorded in 1971 and was launched on Apple Records, a record label owned by the Beatles. Until now it fluctuated in popularity with peaks coming a few times a decade, but nothing close to the levels it has seen after being featured on Breaking Bad.
Since the release of iOS 7, many users have been reporting issues with iMessage not receiving or sending messages. Some users are even reporting that their messages are being marked as sent, only to have them pop up as failed several hours after sending.
There have been a few workarounds, with the most popular simply being to restarting the device. Other fixes include resetting the network settings, or even resetting the phone all together. None of these settings seem to fix the issue for more than a few minutes which indicated that the issues are on Apple's end. Luckily, the company says that it is working to fix the issue.
"We are aware of an issue that affects a fraction of a percent of our iMessage users, and we will have a fix available in an upcoming software update," Apple said in a statement.
Subscription based content services such as Audible, Amazon Prime, and even Spotify have managed to create an entirely new market segment in the past few years, and it appears that there is even more market share to be gained. Scribd, a website famous for embedded document sharing has just released a new subscription based eBook service that could spell trouble for Amazon.
Scribd has just launched a new app that will allow users to read thousands of eBooks for the low monthly price of $8.99, a pricing point much lower than Amazon's Prime service. At the moment, content is listed to the library owned by Harper Collins as well as independent releases from emerging and established authors alike. The company has published apps to both iOS and Android, and those who like reading from their computer can use the company's existing web interface.
Fractal Design has launched a new website and corresponding mobile app that is unlike any other hardware manufacturer's website that I have seen. The new website is clean and minimalistic, which obviously reflects the company's design ethics. The front page features a large slider that is very informative and quite pleasing to the eye, but the refresh really shines when you download the company's app for Android or iOS.
The app is laid out in such a way that users can quickly find information on the product of their choosing, while at the same time managing to provide a rich and minimal user interface. Things really take a turn towards awesome when you check out the Augmented Reality features that the app offerers. By simply downloading and printing out a "trigger"--a small image that helps the app place the AR image--users can use the app to visualize what a particular Fractal Design product may look like in their home, office, or anywhere the trigger is placed.
Until today, I have not put much stock into Augmented Reality, but the concept that Fractal Design has implemented here really gets me excited. I can see this technology being used for all sorts of things such as when buying wheels for your vehicle or even when shopping for a new water cooling system for your PC. This is definitely the future and I hope that we see more tech companies using this in their apps in the future.
A few weeks from the launch of its next iteration of its flagship OS, Microsoft has increased the number of Windows 8 and 8.1 devices that users can install Windows Store apps from 5 to 81 devices.
Microsoft's new app-roaming limit begins on October 9, and will involve all Windows Store/Metro Style apps that are associated with a single Microsoft account. The news comes directly from a new Microsoft "Windows App Builder" blog which was posted on September 27. The blog post reads: "Developers that decide to have the app enforce a constraint around the number of devices must disclose that constraint to Windows Store customers and set expectations appropriately."
Increasing it to 81 is a nice touch with Windows 8.1 coming in just a few weeks time.