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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.
One thing that could make Microsoft's life much easier would be to have one, single apps tore. Well, according to unnamed sources of The Verge, the Redmond-based giant has been working on a single app store for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps.
This new app store would create a common platform for developers to sell their software. The company is hoping to launch the store with the release of Windows 8.1 on October 22 next month, and would have a special update to Windows 8.1 in the first half of next year. The Verge has said that "it's possible that Microsoft may take an approach that's similar to Apple's App Store, where tablet specific apps don't run on the phone, but phone apps scale to run on a tablet."
One of my most used apps would have to be Ookla's Speedtest.net application, which has finally been updated and includes a radically refreshed, modern user interface.
The new interface is nothing new to iOS users, but those of us on Android have been waiting for what feels like forever for the UI refresh. The updated application also performs better, with improved network accuracy and a few new features. The speed results can be more easily shared from the first page, as well as a deeper look into your results, where you can even see a point on the map where each speed test was performed.
Social networking giant, Facebook, finally updated its Android application, which now lets you edit your posts. This is a feature that has been asked about for ages now, and we finally have it.
The post-editing feature has been available in the Facebook for Android beta, but now it has stepped over to the official, non-beta application. You can download Facebook for Android here from the Google Play Store, if your device hasn't already automatically updated it for you.