Apple had its biggest holiday season for the App Store to date, with a record-setting $1.1 billion in app sales from December 20 to January 3. January 1 was the biggest day of the bunch, with over $144 million in sales, ahead of the second biggest day: Christmas. Both of these days broke records unto themselves. Total year sales were over $20 billion, and total sales since the App Store launched in 2008 are $40 billion. In other words, this was an absolutely ridiculous year for Apple and app developers.
Gaming, Social Networking, and Entertainment were the most popular categories. Minecraft, Trivia Crack, Heads Up!, Clash of Clans, Monster Strike, and Game of War - Fire Age and Fantasy Westward Journey dominated games; Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Snapchat took over the social space, and Netflix, Hulu, and Match were at the top for Entertainment.
Plex is now free to use on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. When it launched in January, a Plex Pass subscription was required, but that's no longer the case after a recent update. If you don't know about Plex, it organizes your media collection and lets you play it on virtually any screen.
Other changes -- for PlayStation owners only -- include navigation improvements and some changes to button mapping, among other things.
Head here for the full PlayStation notes, and of course download or update the app via your console.
Anonymous sources have informed the Wall Street Journal that Google has been working on a chatbot a la Siri/Cortana/M for integration with a new messaging app for at least a year now. The project, said to be headed by VP of communications Nick Fox, can answer questions by searching the web and utilizing various other resources.
The project is likely to let external developers build their own chatbots, which you could be directed to by asking questions via Google's messaging app.
While Microsoft is planning to progressively release a myriad of new apps for its Windows 10 PC OS, there's still been no word as to if Windows phones will be getting the same treatment, marking yet another hour, day and week that Microsoft OS phones are left high and dry.
This slow and steady 'Universal Windows Platform' app release schedule includes some big-name apps like 1-800-flowers, AccuWeather, American Express, Wall Street Journal and Netflix, with others like Bank of America said to follow suit soon, according to ZDNet.
With so many applications ready to hit consumers, people are starting to ask as to whether this will be a long-term thing, or whether Microsoft apps will fizzle out shortly. Microsoft has begun to open up advertising options for developers in order to make some money of their own, so there's always the possibility that big and small business' alike will take and run with third-party Microsoft app development - we will have to wait and see.
It's been a long time coming, but The Beatles music catalogue is finally arriving on streaming services. As of Christmas Eve (December 24) 12:01 AM local time, you'll be able to listen to the catalogue (including "essential" collections like Past Masters) via Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play, Microsoft Groove, Amazon Prime, Rhapsody, Slacker, and Tidal. Even better: it will be available globally.
The Beatles split in 1970 but have remained an enduring force ever since.
Seemingly not too interested in carrying its own project on any longer, messaging app startup company Talko has dropped its plans and headed over to Microsoft, in a buyout announced just recently.
This company purchase by Microsoft is in order to improve Skype and Skype for Business products, programs known to often deliver issues based around hefty battery drainage and poor optimisation for many users. This also marks the death of Talko's own project as we know it, with users being given the opportunity to say good-bye and download past conversations, voice files, text and photos before they are deleted completely.
This isn't the first time Microsoft has bought out a company like this and it's the second purchase in under seven days for this tech giant, here's hoping that the Talko team can work some Skype miracles and give us a stellar program.
The web version of Outlook will be updated in the coming weeks and months with some neat features.
First up is a smarter address book that suggests contacts based on usage. It's familiar behaviour for anyone that's used other clients, except for the part where it asks you if you want to include a given person on a multi-person email, if that's something you normally do. The address book won't be picky about spelling names correctly either, so you'll be able to find Kathryn if you typed Catherine, for example. This functionality will roll out to Office 365 users in mid-January, then to everyone by early March. These features will arrive in early January for First Release users and early March for everyone else. Outlook.com will be available to everyone around then as well.
If you fly much, Outlook will prove a handy tool once this update goes live, automatically adding flight information to your calendar based on your emails, and will send you email reminders three hours before your flight. Expedia, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines will be supported at launch; many more airlines will be supported quickly afterward. In the future, other types of events will support this functionality. All of it can be disabled if you like. The new features will go live for First Release folks in early January and everyone else sometime in March.
With rideshare app, Uber, remaining illegal in the Australian state of Victoria despite being now regulated in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and New South Wales (NSW), this new-age Taxi service has used users to Tweet their support. With this campaign being targeted towards congratulating NSW premier Mike Baird, they're also designed to pushing Victorian MP's towards legalizing this service.
Asking Victorian MP's "Since when did we let NSW get one up on us?" The tweet helps hinge on the competitive nature between citizens of NSW and Victoria, with residents often arguing over which state is better in various aspects including sport, lifestyle and coffee. Brandishing the hashtag '#YesUberX', this campaign follows recent news of drivers in Victoria being targeted and fined by Police for unlawfully soliciting business, while other Australian states have now accepted Uber with open arms.
Asking "Melburnians" (a nickname for those residing in Melbourne) to "stand up for our rights to choose how we get around our city," you can show your support by copying the text here, or clicking on the link within the Uber email that may be in your inbox.
Netflix has updated its app on Windows 10 devices, dramatically improving the user experience in the process.
Powered by a "new implementation on the Universal Windows Platform", it features vertical scrolling through categories, an improved details page with optimizations based on the size of your display as well more accessible suggested movies, and support for touch on an integrated display and gestures when using a trackpad.
In a recent report posted by Proofprint, a company that has launched Instagram's first spam bot cruncher, Bible applications have topped the list in hidden malicious data, offering the worst ranking of any category in the completed research, posting 3.7 percent (26 out of 5,600) with malicious code located within.
Including some of the most popular Bible applications, this research found out that user data is being sent to 16 different servers across three countries, tracking things such as user location, private contacts and even making calls on behalf of the user. If this list wasn't long enough already, the report further claims of unauthorized text message access and cross-app interaction when a rooted phone is being used. Applications based around the Quran also put users at risk, Proofpoint claims, with the research concluding that ten of the most-downloaded applications are putting users at risk, sending information to 31 servers, reading text messages and sending messages on the user's behalf without authorization.
Addressing these concerns, Proofpoint Vice President of Threat Operations, Kevin Epstein, stated, "When it comes to malicious apps, apparently nothing is sacred. The surprising prevalence of riskware in religious texts' apps provides further evidence that mobile users -- and their employers -- need to be far more security-conscious." Paying homage to the fact that users should be constantly aware of their personal security, Epstein added, "The findings are also a valuable reminder of the importance of a mobile app security strategy for organizations. To protect employees and users from unscrupulous scammers and cybercriminals."