Last month we saw Square Enix launch Final Fantasy VI onto the Android platform, and were promised that the game would arrive on iOS soon. Today that day has come. Final Fantasy VI was released to the Apple App Store for download on iPhone and iPad. The game is sure to be met with great fanfare as the Final Fantasy series has a following unlike no other dating all the way back to the original NES system.
Final Fantasy VI on iOS and Android is part of a recent string of re-releases from the series onto mobile platforms. While some have not done well as others, FFVI should do quite well as it is considered one of the better games of the series. Unfortunately, at $15.99 the game does cost more than many are willing to spend on a game where many of its competitors are either free or cost less than a dollar. If you would like to check the game out, head over to the App Store and Google Play links below.
An app for Google's wearable Glass device, NameTag, is capable of taking pictures of strangers' faces, scanning online databases, and coming back with a match.
Information on that person is then displayed in front of you on your Glass unit, in a very discrete manner. With Glass, you could scan someones face without them knowing, but it isn't just for creeps. It is useful for meetings and social gatherings, where you might not know someone - Glass can take care of it for you, snapping a photo and searching online databases (Facebook and the like). It will then display the information on that person, such as their name, position, company they work for, and so on.
Privacy concerns are there, but there are also cameras on virtually every corner, too.
SwiftKey is my default keyboard choice on Android, but with Apple not accepting third-party keyboards on iOS, it makes it hard to enjoy SwiftKey's incredible work on Apple's mobile OS, until now.
SwiftKey has been sneaky, releasing SwiftKey Note onto iOS, a note-taking app that is available for free from the App Store. SwiftKey Note is integrated with Evernote, with SwiftKey's predictive keyboard magic sprinkled on top. The application will predict words as you type them, as well as providing three alternative words in a bar above the keyboard.
The app will continuously learn your typing habits, so that it can make you type your notes much faster. One of the bigger features missing from SwiftKey Note is Flow, but this might all change in the near future - we hope.
Facebook is making lots of news today following its fourth quarter financial statement that was released yesterday. During his call to investors, Mark Zuckerberg, said that the social network will be taking its popular Graph Search feature to the mobile realm "pretty soon."
Graph search is one of my favorite features added to Facebook in 2013, and in fact, I use it several times a day to locate information on friends, industry leaders, and even trends in the technology world. Graph Search has been open to the public for just over a year now, and its move to mobile has been slow, and rightfully slow. Zuckerberg said that indexing more than a trillion connections and status updates is quite complex and takes time to get right.
"Pretty soon, I think, you should expect us to roll out the mobile version of this,"(speaking about Graph Search on mobile) said Zuckerberg. "I think that that's going to be an important step, because most of the usage of Facebook overall is on mobile, so we expect that that's where engagement will really start to come from on Graph Search over time."
Facebook has just launched a new iPhone app called Paper, a new standalone app for the social network that is more like a news reading app than purely a social network. Paper uses the traditional Facebook News Feed, but recreates it in a more immersive, full-sized experience.
The new app does away with nearly all of usual buttons, and UI styles for a much cleaner, bigger status update, photos, and news stories. If you tilt your iPhone, Facebook will adjust themselves, something the team calls the "Ken turns" effect. UI elements simply face away, with news stories displayed in a much different manner. Facebook has pumped over nine months into the new iPhone exclusive app, which is also locked to the US market for now. No one outside of the US market will have access to it, for now.
Paper brings forth a new venture for Facebook, where the main screen now displays completely different content. It will feel more like Flipboard infused with Facebook, made for the iPhone. A new compose screen is bought into play, where you can view the exact end product before making it live. Facebook says: "it's a publishing tool, a way of publishing great content, and a way of viewing great content".
NVIDIA has just opened up its TegraZone app to non-Tegra devices, meaning that anyone with an Android device now has access to NVIDIA's long list of Tegra titles.
All you need is Android 2.2 or higher. If you have an Android device, you can now get in on NVIDIA Tegra games, which were previously optimized for Tegra-powered devices. The TegraZone is its own world of NVIDIA goodness, with the new version of TegraZone receiving the following changes:
- Supports Google Play Game Services - provides achievements for downloading games, submitting reviews and ratings, and spreading the word about games featured in TegraZone
- Uses your Google+ login to personalize your TegraZone experience
- TegraZone Collections will allow highlighting of special interest groups of games by feature, genre, or publisher
- Sharing shortcut icon makes it easier to share via your favorite social network
- Dynamic loading of additional content when you scroll to the bottom of games lists and news
- Archived news items are now viewable
Twitter for Android has been updated, with some new additions to the mobile app that help improve and streamline the photo sharing experience. If you're uploading photos from the official Twitter app, you'll now have some new options.
These options include applying pre-defined square or wide crops, as well as a little rotation magic. If you want to upload a picture of people, it will provide you with a reminder to mention your friends in the tweet that will go along with the photo. Twitter is also boosting the amount of recommendations that popup in your timeline.
The latest Twitter app will have you pull-to-refresh your feed as usual, but when there's no new tweets to display, it will pull down a panel showing more recommendations. These will include things like suggested people to follow, trending topics, and specific tweets.
Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest franchises in gaming history, and it's latest installment is the most expensive video game ever made. Now GTA fans have even more reason to get excited... if you happen to own a Windows Phone that is. Today Rockstar Games announced that it has released GTA: San Andreas onto the Windows Phone platform.
While San Andreas has been available on Android and iOS for about a month now, Windows Phone users are getting their copy of the game today. GTA: San Andreas on the mobile platform has surprisingly been a huge success with no real major issues popping up, something you would expect from such a drastic platform port. Compatible Windows Phone devices include Lumia 1520, 1320, 822, 820, 810,and HTC's 8XT, with no mention of other Windows Phone devices such as the Lumia 920, or Samsung's entry into the Windows Phone realm, the Ativ S.
If WhatsApp is king of app-based text messaging, then Aviary rules the photograph editing app world. Today the company announced that it has hit a massive milestone in the success of its company. Aviary announced that its app for Android and iOS has been used to edit over 10 billion photos since its launch.
The company says that its success is largely due to the fact that its SDK is so popular with developers who have added the apps editing tools to their own apps and websites. Aviary has been integrated with more than 7,000 partner apps, with big names such as Pic Stitch, Tango, and even SquareSpace using features from the software. Aviary says that it now has over 70 million active monthly users and that it expects growth to continue in 2014.
In a statement the company said:
As we look forward, what most exciting is the fact that a new visual lingua franca has emerged. Unquestionably, photos have become the communication language of the global mobile generation. We are long past the point when photo editing was just about turning an average picture into a good one. Photo editing is now about enhancing visual communication between billions of people across the planet, in a way that embodies the full richness of emotions, feelings and inspiration.
Bad news for anyone reading this who has taken advantage of LogMeIn's free remote access service over the last few years as today the company announced that free accounts are no longer being offered. For users who bought LogMeIn Ignition for iOS or Android, the company will offer discounts and a "gentle" transition to the subscription service.
Users have about a week to decide if they will buy into the new $20 per PC per year subscription model, or if they will jump ship and move to a competitor. LogMeIn Centeral, Cubby, and Join.Me are unaffected at this time, but there is no word on whether or not that will change in the future.
For over a year now we have been hearing rumors and seeing leaks surface around a secret music streaming service being built by Beats Audio. The service was given the code name Daisy, and at one point, it appears that it would never make it to launch, but this morning Beats Music launched on the Apple App Store.
Beats Music offers mobile music streaming of more than 20 million tracks for just $10 per month, and its MadLib-style music suggestion feature is actually pretty innovative. Users can create playlist, share them on social media, and rate their suggested songs to improve what music is selected next time. The launch of Beats Music signifies the end of MOG, the long running streaming service owned by Beats parent company. Subscribers will see their billing arrangements terminated on March 15th and annual subscribers will receive a prorated refund.
The man who seems to have his hand in everything, Kim Dotcom, has just debuted his new music streaming service known as Baboom, and the first album to hit the service is Dotcom's own album titled Good Times. Baboom is quite interesting in the fact that it plans to directly compete with Spotify and Google Play Music, but will be operating on a "pay what you want" business model.
I see Baboom as more of a streaming version of SoundCloud or MySpace, and will allow indie artist to really break out of the years old model of social networking for artist. Baboom does however encourage listeners to purchase albums through Amazon, iTunes, and Bandcamp and as far as I can tell, artist receive no compensation from Baboom itself.
During the DLD conference in Germany, WhatsApp CEO, Jan Koum, shared some exciting news with attendees about the messaging app's usage numbers. WhatsApp now has more than 430 million monthly active users, which makes it the worlds largest messaging app by leaps and bounds.
More importantly though are the number of messages sent every day on the service. More than 36 billion outbound messages are sent in a day while 18 billion inbound messages are received each day. That equates to 50 billion text messages sent over WhatsApp each and every day. To put that into perspective, that is more messages sent each day than all SMS messages on every carrier world wide in a 24 hour period.
With many of the largest mobile carriers still charging fees for a set amount of text messages every month, WhatsApp is now the biggest competition in the SMS realm for every wireless carrier in the world. Most of my friends as well as almost everyone I know uses WhatsApp on a daily basis, and many who use it as their sole text messaging platform. With growth like this, I feel that there is no stopping WhatsApp and if the company can released a PC version as well, the sky is the limit on how far WhatsApp will go!
Adobe's Lightroom is a must have in almost every photography enthusiast arsenal of post processing software, and for those who own an iPad, things are about to get even better! According to 9to5Mac, Adobe is preparing to launch a mobile version of the app that will be compatible with Apple's iPad.
9to5Mac says that Lightroom for the iPad will feature a syncing feature that will let it fully utilize file sharing between Mac and PC devices via Adobe Creative Cloud, which will remove the need to store huge RAW files directly on the iPad. Users will have full editing functionality right on their iPad and when finished, can easily sync the photo back into their cloud. The article states that Adobe Lightroom for iPad will require users to enter into an annual contract costing $99 per year.
Microsoft has just updated its Skype for iOS app to include new two-way HD video calling to its users. This new feature brings Skype up to date with its competitors such as Google Hangouts and Apple's Facetime. The update also includes a new lockscreen chat notification feature that lets you preview chat messages the same way text messages appear on the lock screen.
Skype says that chat messages will now sync faster across all devices, and that other minor bug improvements have been made. This update follows a previous one in which the app got a complete makeover to more closely align with the new iOS 7 theme. Users can update or download their app from iTunes from the source link below.
Google Now is one of the most innovative applications for Android ever published, and today that innovation has made its way to the desktop for both PC and Mac by way of the latest alpha release of Google Chrome. Google Now has been integrated into Google Chromes notification center, something we have been expecting to happen since mid 2013.
Google Now for the the desktop is not exactly identical to its mobile counterpart, and some cards are missing at the moment such as the Stock Market Information card. Additionally, the feature is not enabled by default and users must tick off a flag to enable Google Now. Users who wish to take the desktop version of the app for a spin will need to download the Alpha version of Chrome Canary from the source link below.
Today Google pushed its Google Play Movies app to iOS and allows iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners to playback movies and TV shows they purchased on Google Play. The app is yet another Google service the company has brought to iOS in the past year and directly competes with iTunes.
The design is almost identical to its Android counterpart, but Apple has heavily restricted what you can do from within the app itself. The most major restriction is that users can not purchase movies or TV shows from within the app and must do so from another device or the web version of Google Play. Additionally, Offline playback is missing, and users can only watch their purchases when connected to Wi-Fi.
In true Google form, its recently acquired Bump and Flock apps will be shutdown effective January 31st 2014. Google acquired Bump and Flock in September and only seemed interested in its talented employees, and not necessarily the apps themselves.
The shutdown announcement came late last night via the company's CEO and founder, David Lieb, who quietly broke the news via blog post last night. Google says that users can export their data by simply using the app and following the export instructions provided. This saddens me asbump is one of the apps that I used most often to trade contact info with colleagues and friends.
Today Microsoft updated its OneNote app for Android which brings forward several features long requested by users. OneNote users on Android can now share notes as they would with any other piece of content on Android, the integration of native sharing also allows users to instantly upload their OneNotes to Microsoft's cloud service.
Additionally, Microsoft has built-in a new OneNote widget that Android users can add to any of their home screens. The widget allows users to view most recent images, recordings and notes as well as pin shortcuts to the home screen. The UI also got a few tweaks to bring it more inline with the Windows 8.1 version of the app.
With over 250,000 downloads and well over 1000 positive ratings in the Apple Store and Google Play, Power-Grid is quickly becoming a huge success. Over the weekend ROCCAT released the first major update to its Power-Grid application, and two new major features were added.
Up first is a new Grid that turns your smartphone into a fully functional track pad and lets users control the mouse or a character in much the same way they would from a track pad on a laptop. Additionally, users can now control the LED back-lighting on the Ryos MK Pro. The lighting sequences that are possible when using Power-Grid are nothing less than spectacular, and honestly quite mind blowing.
Finally, the update brings in an entirely new SDK, which is something I am sure developers will love to hear. "Releasing the Ryos MK Pro Grid is the first step towards combining Power-Grid with ROCCAT hardware. You remember our Phobo keyboard concept? Well, we've been working on that and I can promise you a mind-blowing solution for 2014," says RenÃ© Korte of ROCCAT.
Temple Run 2 has been one of the biggest mobile games of 2013, and has gained millions of downloads since its release about eight months ago. Today Temple Run 2 has finally made its way onto the Windows Phone platform for the low price of FREE!
While eight months may seem like a long wait, I would like to remind you that it took an entire 18 months before the original Temple Run made its way onto Windows Phone. One major feature the Windows Phone version of the game boast over its iOS and Android counterparts is the inclusion of Xbox Live Achievements. This is not something normally seen on free games on Windows Phone.