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Vine adds loop counts to videos to highlight user engagement

Vine is a place where lots of people from around the world upload short looping videos of anything and everything you can think of. In the past, there was no way to know how many people had watched your Vine videos on loop, but that has now changed. Vine has announced that it has added a loop count.

 

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The number of loops your video has seen is now included on iOS and Android mobile apps and indicate how many times people have looped the video. The loops are counted on videos whether they are viewed on Vine or embedded on the web.

 

The loop count number updates in real-time as you watch the video. The updated apps also bring with them a redesigned home feed with better edge-to-edge videos and a cleaner view for likes and comments. The activity feed has also been changed.

Consumers only use a few dozen apps per month says new data

If you use a smartphone, you know that on Android and iOS there is an app for just about anything you want to do. You probably have a hoard of apps on your smartphone right now, but how many of those apps do you actually use? New data from Nielsen has been released this week that looks at home many apps people use per week.

 

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According to the data, the typical smartphone user interacts with a couple dozen apps per month and that number hasn't grown much in the last few years. Some of the most commonly used apps include Facebook, Google, email apps, maps, and weather apps.

 

The focus on only a few dozen apps makes it harder for startups to get into the market. Data from Nielsen shows that in the last quarter of 2013 the average smartphone user spent 30 hours and 15 minutes using apps per month. Nielsen says that its data suggests that the lack of growth in usage time indicates an upper limit to how many apps users engage with each month.

Fly video app lets you use multi-device video capture for 5 min videos

A new app has turned up for iPhone users called Fly that allows you to edit together video from multiple devices to make one five-minute video. Users can use the Fly app to trim and cut video as well as create picture-in-picture previews.

 

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The app also offers the ability to add dissolves to transition from one scene to another with swipe gestures. Videos taken with multiple devices can be imported from the camera roll to the app or shot within the app.

 

Users can also add voiceovers and soundtracks to their videos as well. The big feature of the app is the ability to synchronize up to four iPhones together to record multiple angles. Connecting together of the devices is done via Bluetooth. Fly is on the App Store right now and is available free.

Apple Podcasts app users faced crashing issues yesterday

Fans of podcasts on the iPhone or other Apple devices faced an annoying issue yesterday afternoon that saw the app crashing frequently. The Podcasts app was crashing on multiple devices running iOS 7.1.1 and for devices that were running the iOS 8 beta 2 version of the OS.

 

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Users report that the app would open briefly on the Apple device, but would then close only a few seconds later. The crash issue began early in the morning on June 26. Later that morning, users reported success with getting the app to work after switching the phone into Airplane Mode and then opening the Podcasts app.

 

Once that was done, the app would reportedly stay open for some users when Airplane mode was turned off again. By 10pm last night, the podcasts app was reportedly working normally.

Parking space app MonkeyParking has been banned in San Francisco

The City of San Francisco banned apps that give residents the chance to purchase and sell public parking spaces, saying it's illegal to auction public land. Most recently, MonkeyParking has received a cease-and-desist order, while Apple city officials requested Apple remove it from its app store.

 

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MonkeyParking lets bidders purchase parking spots from others, typically for $5 up to $20, and the seller waits until the winning bidder shows up to claim the parking spot. Residents are allowed to rent private driveways and garage spaces, but will always face legal scrutiny from the city. Similar parking apps face stiff fines and possible legal action if they continue to release in San Francisco.

 

"It's illegal, it puts drivers on the hook for $300 fines, and it creates a predatory private market for public parking spaces that San Franciscans will not tolerate," said Dennis Herrera, San Francisco City Attorney, in a statement.

In-app purchases take lion's share of Google Play revenue

An enormous 98 percent of revenues in Google's Play store now come from freemium apps - those that are free to download but require in app purchases to generate revenue.

 

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According to a report from App Annie, general app downloads have grown a pretty formidable 50 percent from 2013 going into 2014, and income is doubled from last year's figures. Worldwide downloads and revenues are increasing by the quarter on Google Play, and the analyst company says this represents a "massive" opportunity for publishers.

 

The top buying market for in-app content is Japan, thanks mostly to mobile gaming. The US and South Korea come in second and third respectively. According to the report, Asian markets are the biggest spenders for in-app purchases but it looks as if the rest of the world will catch up. Games revenue climbed ten percent year on year between Q1 2013 and Q1 2014, reaching 90 percent.

Intel launches odd Pocket Avatars chat app

Say the name Intel to a handful of people and the thing that comes to mind for most of them will be computer processors, but that's not all Intel is about. A good example is a new chat app that Intel has unveiled called Pocket Avatars. The app is a video chat service for mobile users that uses cartoon avatars to relay your facial expressions, and is available on Android and iOS.

 

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Pocket Avatars uses the front camera on your smartphone to record a message, and it then combines the voice and facial expressions with one of 40 characters making it look like the character is delivering your message.

Continue reading 'Intel launches odd Pocket Avatars chat app' (full post)

Garmin viago app for iOS lands as a paid app at 99 cents

A new Navigation app has landed for iOS users on the App Store that costs under $1 in the States. The app is called Garmin viago and it promises some features you won't find in free apps. Viago offers international map browsing and regional navigation.

 

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Users can search for locations by address and browse points of interest. Turn-by-turn navigation on foot or in a car are supported. Other features include photo realistic junction views with lane assist. Your current speed is shown along with the legal speed limit for the road you are on.

Continue reading 'Garmin viago app for iOS lands as a paid app at 99 cents' (full post)

A scent has been transmitted across the Atlantic for the first time

We can send all sorts of messages around the world today in digital form. A first was recently made with the transmission of a scented message across the Atlantic. This week a message was sent across the ocean that carried with it the scent of champagne and chocolate.

 

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The message was sent from Paris to New York and was sent by freelance chemist Christophe Laudamiel. He sent the message to a professor at Harvard named David Edwards and to the co-inventor of the tech from the Museum of Natural History in New York.

Continue reading 'A scent has been transmitted across the Atlantic for the first time' (full post)

Facebook Slingshot app lands for iOS and Android

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.

 

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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.

Continue reading 'Facebook Slingshot app lands for iOS and Android' (full post)

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