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It looks like music streaming services like Spotify and Pandora are making Apple push in changes to its own service quicker than the company previously would've liked to have done so.
Apple hasn't been seeing increased music sales since it launched its iTunes Radio service last year, but a continued decline. Billboard is now reporting that Apple wants to dramatically overhaul its iTunes Store in order to better compete, which might include "an on-demand streaming service, an iTunes store for Google's Android devices and negotiating download sales windows that favor Apple".
Minecraft continues to make headlines, with the mobile version of the game, Pocket Edition, selling over 21 million copies. Mojang's Jens Bergensten announced the news over Twitter.
Bergensten said: "[Minecraft: Pocket Edition] has sold over 20 million copies (actually, over 21M)". With the game hitting this number so quick, it means that sales have doubled in the last twelve months, and that sales have actually increased over that time. Minecraft: Pocket Edition launched back in October 2011 on Android, followed by the iOS version a few months later.
In April 2013, Pocket Edition had reached 10 million sold. Chief Word Officer at Mojang, Owen Hill, said: "We're extremely grateful to all players for your dedication and creativity. Without that, Minecraft wouldn't be anywhere near as significant as it is today".
Navigating to images stored on your Dropbox on any mobile device has always been a pain in the but, and today Drobox took a big step forward in alleviating those pains. This afternoon, Dropbox announced the launch of a new image viewing and sharing app that will allow its users to more efficiently navigate and share their images.
Called Carousel, the new app allows friends to effortlessly share images between one-another all from within Dropbox. While users have always been able to share images via SMS, Email, and other apps from Drobox's native app, Carousel allows them to share images directly between each other's Dropbox accounts. Carousel also organizes all photos from within ones Dropbox account and unifies them all in a single camera-roll. Photos are sorted by date taken, and users can scroll through them in several different manners. Carousel is available on iOS and Android now.
If Facebook's recent acquisition of WhatsApp is not enough of an indication that the company is focused on dominating the instant messaging space, a new report that it will be removing messaging from its native app should be. Today Facebook began notifying select users that messaging from within the Facebook app will no-longer be allowed, and that they must download the official Facebook Messenger app to continue messaging on mobile.
Facebook says that it is ending messaging within its native app in an effort to send more users to its stand-alone messaging app, Facebook Messenger. Not everyone will be forced to use the Messenger app though, and those excluded include Android-devices with exceptionally small amounts of RAM, and Windows Tablets. All other iOS, Android, and Windows Phone users will eventually be forced to either download the Messenger app, or stop sending, reading or replying to messages on Facebook from their mobile device.
Anthony Hariton, a computer science student at the University of Crete, said that he has found a simple hack for Apple Passbook which will allow him to get free first class tickets for a flight anywhere you choose.
The student plans to present his finding in the Box Security Conference that will be held in Amsterdam. Apple's Passbook iOS app allows you to scan items such as movie tickets, boarding passes, and more so that users will not require to carry any papers. Once the boarding pass is in the app, all you have to do is show the boarding pass on your phone.
Hariton also claims that the process is so simple, that even an everyday user can do it. But he also said that one would require a good poker face and nerves of steel along with the software hack. Until the presentation is done, it will be difficult to say if the hack really works. If it does work, those who are caught would most likely be arrested and charged with fraud and theft.
Searching Yelp has always been an easy process, and for that matter, searching anything on the internet has always been an easy process. There are those out there however who feel that it should be even easier, and today Yelp became one of those companies. users of the popular restaurant rating service can now search for good eats by simply typing in a single emoji.
That's right, iOS users can now flip to their alternate keyboard when searching Yelp an enter in one of the small cartoon-like emojis that appear on the screen. This move signifies Yelp's commitment to improving its mobile platform, something most of its users now use to access the service. This news follows a recent decision by Twitter to begin allowing the use of Emojis on its mobile platform as well.
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.