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Facebook tried to buy the popular photo sharing app Snapchat for $3 billion, but Snapchat went with another buyer. Facebook said at the time that it would roll its own competitor and that competitor is now fresh out of the oven and called Slingshot. You might recall Slingshot from news headlines recently after it leaked out a bit early.
Slingshot is now available for Android and iOS devices. With the app installed users can send photos and short videos. Once the videos and photos are shot with the smartphone the user can write or draw directly on them.
Amazon has been operating its Appstore for a while now and it has bragged recently that it has significantly increased the number of apps on its store. Amazon says that in the last year alone it has tripled the number of apps available. Amazon also says that its developers earn similar money compared to developers focusing more on the Apple App Store.
That claim comes from a survey performed by IDC and sponsored by Amazon. Amazon is seeking more developer attention for its Appstore. Currently Amazon has over 240,000 apps and games in its collection. That is a fraction of the million apps Apple claims in its store as of October 2013.
The Department of Transportation (DoT) is struggling to keep up with navigation apps on smartphones and tablets, seeking regulation from Congress regarding mobile devices behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would be given permission to restrict navigation apps, and make future changes if needed to preserve driver safety.
Automakers support the measure, as they are used to adhering to voluntary guidelines that put restrictions on built-in navigation systems. Not surprisingly, technology companies are against government interference, saying legislation would be difficult to enforce.
"They don't have enough software engineers," noted Catherine McCullough, Intelligent Car Coalition executive director, said in a recent interview. "They don't have the budget or the structure to oversee both Silicon Valley and the auto industry."
One of the most time consuming parts of working in the health field is all the charting that has to be done to record what health professionals do in appointments and during treatments. A company called Drchrono has developed a new application for Google Glass that it claims to be the first wearable health record.
Doctors who sign up for the Drchrono app for Glass will be able to use it to record patient consultations or surgery. That is assuming the patient gives them permission. Any videos or photos taken with the device are stored in the patient's electronic medical record.
Apple is well known for being very restrictive on what apps can be placed on the App Store. Apple checks out all of the apps submitted to be sure that they don't have nefarious components among other things. A while back Apple banned Bitcoin wallet apps from the App Store.
Apple has now reversed that decision and revised policies to allow Bitcoin wallets back on the App Store. The first app to make it back is called Coin Pocket. This app lets users send and receive Bitcoin. Using Coin Pocket users can also check the price of Bitcoin and collect private keys.
Google has finally baked in 480p and 1080p streaming options into the latest version of its YouTube app. In order to get the supported resolutions, you'll need to update your YouTube app, of course.
As you start your video, simply tap the three-dot overflow menu in the top right, where you'll be greeted with a gear icon - tap that, and choose your desired resolution. This hasn't rolled out to everyone just yet, but it shouldn't take too long to have this new option in your YouTube application.
Google Maps is a widely used application, with the navigation app now passing 1 billion installations on devices across the world. It's a little easier for Google to get there, as Maps is pre-installed on quite a number of Android-powered devices.
Google has crafted one of the most important mobile apps on the market with Maps, but passing 1 billion downloads is a huge milestone. I'm sure they're definitely popping some champagne over in Mountain View right about now.
Facebook has been working on its messenger app a lot over the last few months in an effort to better compete with other offerings on the market. The messenger app has gained the ability to allow the user to quickly and easily share video messages with other users.
With the updated app, users can record a short video by tapping and holding the camera button. When activated the camera defaults to the front facing camera on your phone. You can flip the camera around to show the person what you are looking at as well.
Uber isn't a popular app with cab drivers in many parts of the world. In London, cab drivers and companies have been vocal about their disdain for Uber and had promised to stage a protest against the app. Uber is an app that users can place on their smartphone allowing the user to hail a car to take them wherever they need to go.
As the London cab drivers were planning to make the protest, Uber announced that it would be adding London black cabs to the app as well. The problem that the taxi drivers have with Uber is that they say it acts like a taxi meter and private cars aren't allowed to use a taxi meter.
Facebook killed off its first attempt at competing against Snapchat not long ago. That first attempt was an app called Poke. Facebook accidentally released a new app that it aims to use to compete with Snapchat this week.
The app is called Slingshot and is designed to let you send photos and videos to friends that can be drawn on and captioned. The photos and video disappear once you view them. The app went live in the Apple App Store in a few countries, but was later pulled. Before you can view an image that a friend sent you, you must send them one in return.