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Ever since Google opened up the Chromecast SDK to developers, support has been added to services and apps at a blazing pace, and today Rhapsody became the latest in a long line of recent additions to the $35 media streaming dongle. Today Rhapsody announced that it had updated its Android and iOS apps to now support Chromecast.
This meas that Google Chromecast users now have access to more than 32 million songs that Rhapsody holds in its collection. Chromecast support has also shown up in the Napster app which is owned by Rhapsody and used mostly in the UK. Today's announcement follows a similar release by Rhapsody's competitor Rdio earlier this week.
Spotify has began rolling out a new update to its web, desktop and iOS versions of its streaming service that gives the music streaming app a whole new look as well as an awesome new feature. The new app ushers in a darker theme that utilizes new fonts, and icons which makes the app more uniform across all platforms.
Spotify has darkened its theme even more in an effort to make its content really "POP," and the new fonts were chosen because they are said to be more modern and pleasing to the eyes. Additionally a new Collections View allows users to manage and organize their own music collection. This is said to make finding and building playlist with users music much easier. This feature is similar to how Rdio works, and is something Spotify has been missing for a long time now. The update has yet to hit Android, but word is that it will arrive within the next few days.
Back in Feburary, BlackBerry's Jeff Gadaway, announced that BlackBerry messenger would be headed to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, but not much else has been mentioned since. Fast froward to a call to investors last week where BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, said that BBM will be released on Windows Phone somewhere between April and June of this year.
During this same announcement, Chen said that BBM now has more an 113 million registered users, and boast an impressive 80 million active monthly users. While Windows Phone will definitely help elevate these numbers some thanks to Nokia agreeing to pre-load it on many of its Lumia models, a wider Android and iPhone adoption rate would benefit the company far better. BlackBerry is working on shifting software to its main revenue generator, and plans on utilizing adds from within its messenger app to make this happen.
Its been a few months since Cut the Rope 2 was released on iOS by its developer, ZeptoLab, and now the game is finally making its way to Android. Today Cut the Rope 2 was released to the Google Play Store and is available as a free download now. The game will be heading to the Kindle Fire line via Amazon App store next Monday as well.
Unlike its iOS counterpart, Cut the Rope 2 on Android is completely free, though it is still unclear whether or not the app will feature any micro-transactions to compensate for the loss of revenue. With today's release, ZeptoLab has also announced that the Cut the Rope franchise has also surpassed more than 500 million downloads, making it one of the most successful mobile games of all time.
Have you ever walked down the street during a thunderstorm and thought to yourself, "Gee, I really wish I had an automatically generated playlist that exactly matched the mood that this thunderstorm sets." Me neither, but in the off chance that you said yes, Songza just might be the music streaming app for you.
The company has partnered with The Weather Channel in an effort to figure out what the weather is like in your city. The app will take this information and generate a custom playlist that matches weather conditions you are experiencing. This is not the first oddball stunt that Songza has used to generate custom play list though. The app typically does this by attempting to understand your daily routine and then uses an algorithm to pick tracks that it thinks you will like.
We have known for a while now that Microsoft has been working on a Windows Phone 8.1 refresh, and today we have been given one of our first looks at the freshened UI thanks to leaked screenshots. The leaks were first spotted by WPCentral, and show that Microsoft has put a lot of work into redesigning the Windows Phone Store.
A new "Featured" tab will display apps that have been custom recommended for you based on your previous app downloads, while a new "Quick Links" section will serve up a list of categories that neatly organizes apps in an easily navigable list such as featured apps, games, and top paid and free apps. App pages have also been redesigned to better display the apps features, comments, and updates. Finally, the Windows Phone Store will now have dedicated sections that will allow users to check for updates, view active downloads, and more.
Why did the Redmond-based software giant make it free? The company wanted to better align Office Mobile for Windows Phone with its iOS and Android versions. Office Mobile is now capable of allowing users to view, and edit content while on the go, all for free. Previously, an Office 365 subscription was required.
But, Microsoft considers tablets a premium device, which means tablet users who use Office have to pay for the mobile goods that Office offers - which is locked to iOS for now. The company has confirmed it is working on bringing Office for Android tablets, as well as a Metro-based version for touch-capable Windows slates.
During yesterday's HTC One M8 launch event, we got our first look at HTC's newly redesigned BlinkFeed news feed application, and I must admit that I was quite impressed. The new BlinkFeed solves all of the issues I have with the one currently installed on my HTC One, and even opens up access to developers to create custom feeds from their apps to the service. There are other apps out there that do this, but in my experience, BlinkFeed does it the best, and now it looks like non HTC owners will soon be able to download it to their Android device as well.
This morning, BlinkFeed appeared in the Google Play Store for the first time, and after some digging, Android Central, found information in a press release that states that HTC will be releasing the app to other Android devices via Google Play very soon. Moving HTC's services such as BlinkFeed, Zoe Camera, and Sense TV to Google Play makes a lot of sense and will allow the company to more easily update these apps without having to provide an entire Android Software update that requires carrier approval before it is released to owners.
A tax loophole that allowed buyers to purchase digital copies of books, music and apps at a cheaper cost has now been closed. The loophole allowed sales of digital content as low as 99p, since consumers paid very low VAT.
Earlier it was pointed out that UK could have financed Olympics Games if it raised VAT of digital downloads between 2008 and 2014. It was also reported in 2012 that UK was losing more than £1.6billion in VAT.
Spotify seems quite unstoppable right now, with the music streaming outfit will now not accept anymore submissions for its App Finder program. The App Finder program allowed developers to publish apps inside of its desktop client, but not anymore.
Looking into the future, Spotify will rel ease multiple new mobile SDKs, as well as expanding its web API with more features in the coming months. The apps that have already been published will continue to be available as they're made on Spotify's latest API 1.x framework. From here on out, those apps will only receive critical updates.