If you are a Spotify junkie like I am and an iPhone user, then you are in luck! The music streaming company has released an update for its iPhone app this morning. The update brings Spotify on iPhone up to the level of functionality seen on its Android version of the app.
The major changes to the user interface is the addition of a swipe-across menu that lets you quickly navigate to other sections of the app. This is very similar to how the Facebook for iPhone app works. Additionally, the "now playing" bar will quickly become your favorite feature. It adds Play and Pause buttons to album and playlist screens and lets you swipe your finger in either direction to load up the previous or next song.
There are also a few bug fixes bundled in with the update as well, which fix issues such as album display on lock screen, track availability and performance issues. The updated app is available now in Apple's App Store.
Over the years we have seen some weird apps pop up in both the Apple App store as well as the Google Play Store, but this one may take the cake. Myshkin Ingawale, a graduate of MIT, has created an app that will analyze your urine and spits out a breakdown of several key parameters that allude to your state of health.
I know what you are thinking and there is no reason to worry. The app works by taking an image of a test strip that was dunked into a cup on urine. Dubbed Uchek It works by taking photos at set intervals and analyzing the color changes on the test strip. By doing this it is able to measure the levels of glucose, bilirubin, proteins, specific gravity, ketones, leukocytes, nitrites, urobilinogen and hematuria present in the urine.
Ingawale says that the app replaces much larger and more expensive machines which can cost between $1K and $10k. Those machines use proprietary test strips that can cost upwards of $100. For $20 Ingawale gives you a packet of test strips, and the app is only a $0.99 purchase in the Apple App Store. An Android version of the app is currently in development with the release date currently unspecified.
That latest Skype update hasn't impressed everyone, forcing the company to update yet again and include a now 'classic' UI instead of the new and improved 'optimized for tablets' UI. The latest update to the chatting app provided us with new features, but the portrait UI for calling option was great - leaving the rest of the app stuck in landscape mode.
Of course, most were asking 'why?' and Skype have now replied with a new update, which has seen them cave. Now they're letting tablet users go back to a phone-style UI if that's what they prefer. The new option is definitely a better option if you're rocking a tablet with a smaller screen, something 8-inch or less, that is usually used in portrait most of the time. I know I use my Nexus 7 in portrait 90% of the time, and I'm sure most others do, too.
You can get the latest Skype here, if your device hasn't already automatically updated.
Xbox Live Gold subscribers living in the US and Canada now have access to a Slacker app that will allow them to stream music to their Xbox 360. The 116.17MB app is a free download for Xbox Live Gold members, though they could be on the hook for subscription fees and other costs.
Craig Rechenmacher, Slacker's Chief Marketing Officer:
Slacker brings the world's most complete music service to Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers in the U.S. and Canada for free. Whether you're into country, hip hop or want to listen to the soundtrack from your favorite game, Slacker's team of music experts make it easy to find and discover the world's best music from the comfort of your living room.
The app makes use of voice control via the Xbox Kinect and brings access to hundreds of radio stations. More information about Slacker can be found on the company's website. Slacker is also available on Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, iOS, Android, and BlackBerry.
Instagram, the mobile picture sharing social netowrk, has finally passed 100 million active users. This feat took around two and a half years and comes just a month after Instagram began releasing active user counts. Instagram was forced to start releasing active user counts after the terms of service fiasco that started back in December.
Comparing the service to other similar services, we can see that Instagram has done a better job at gaining user base. It took Twitter around six years to reach 200 million active users. Facebook likely helped boost Instagram's active user count.
CEO Kevin Systrom in the company's blog post:
It's easy to see this as an accomplishment for a company, but I think the truth is that it's an accomplishment for our community. Now, more than ever, people are capturing the world in real-time using Instagram-sharing images from the farthest corners of the globe. What we see as a result is a world more connected and understood through photographs.
Foursquare have just announced that they're accepting credit and debit cards with their check-in program, which is somewhat obvious, but when the check-in program was launched it was only open to a very select few cardholders.
The new program opens up new relationships instead of just American Express, which joined up with Foursquare a little under two years ago, which allowed Foursquare users to redeem special discounts and deals by checking in to local businesses after linking their Foursquare accounts to their AMEX cards. Foursquare's goal was to remove the awkward feeling when whipping out that paper coupon, instead you could just tap and go.
Foursquare Product Manager, Noah Weiss, when talking to AllThingsD said "When users are having a great experience, and merchants earn more money, we earn more money in the process."
Music-tagging app Shazam has announced that they have passed the 300 million user mark, an impressive feat for any app to achieve. The app is celebrating this massive achievement by releasing newly redesigned apps for Android and iOS tablets. The updates should be coming in the following weeks.
The new design will feature ways to discover what songs are being tagged in cities around the world and what songs are being tagged most often. Free users will also be getting more features as well. Songs will be tagged faster and lyrics will be displayed after a song is tagged.
Shazam hasn't announced when the new apps will be released, other than they will be available in the coming weeks.
Plants vs Zombies is somewhat of an older title now, but that doesn't make it any less fun to play. The app has been put on sale numerous times in the past, but it has never been available for free. Apple has now changed this by promoting the app as its App of the Week and making it free to download.
It's a great game and a great value at $0.00. If you have an iOS device, you won't want to miss downloading this app. It will provide hours of fun through its 50 levels of gameplay and endless survival mode.
After a beta test of self-destructing videos for the Android version of Snapchat, the app has rolled out the feature to everyone. The newly updated app is now available from the Google Play Store and includes the ability to send videos that will self-destruct after viewing, a feature the iOS version has had since December.
Making Snapchat video for Android has been exciting, but has also had its fair share of challenges. The Android phones that many of us use were never designed with Snapchat in mind, and that can be tough when developing a hardware-based application. The video feeds and playback behavior can differ greatly - often with no guarantees or warnings.
We would like to remind users that there are bugs present in both Snapchat and Poke that allow users to save the video without any warning to the sender. These applications are designed for fun and for people with good intentions and should not be used for anything that you can not afford to have possibly get out.
Google has pushed out an update for their Drive application on Android. The new app features a range of improvements and feature additions and is now available in the Google Play Store for download. The main improvement made with this version of the app is increased performance throughout.
In addition to better performance, Google has added the ability to stream video directly in the app on Android version 3.0 and above. While this means that only 43.9 percent of the community is supported, users will hopefully be upgrading their version of Android soon.
Users of the app will now be able to pinch-to-zoom when using the presentation viewer. This is a welcome addition for devices that have small screens.
Audible for iPhone has been around pretty much from the beginning, but unfortunately, the iPad never saw a dedicated Audible app with a good fit for the tablet device, until now that is. Today, Audible released a dedicated app for the iPad, and gave the iPhone version a complete makeover as well.
"More than 20 percent of Audible customers already use Audible's iPhone app on the iPad," Audible VP of Mobile Apps, Ajay Arora said in a statement. The new dedicated iPad app brings forth a better graphics experience when viewing book covers, with a look similar to what we see on Amazon's Kindle iPad app.
Audible gave the iPhone version of the app a complete overhaul, bringing in features like the ability to download book files over cellular data, something that was unavailable on the old app.
Just after SwiftKey Flow reached beta, SwiftKey 4 has launched and now includes Flow by default. So not only do we get the awesome predictive text engine from the future, but Flow Through Space, which lets users guide their fingers across the keyboard, making up the key as they go along.
The latest version of SwiftKey also adds some new features, expanding their contextual word prediction up to 60 languages, offers simpler corrections and also watches for personal typing habits to adjust all of this on the fly - incredible for such a small app, isn't it? This means that SwiftKey 4 will learn if you're a tapper, or if you're a texting pro and adjust itself to suit.
Best of all, the update is free for those who already own the smartphone or tablet versions of SwiftKey, and if not - it's currently 50% off at just $2 - down from $4.
Users can pick up any of the games from EA's iOS offerings for just $0.99 in celebration of President's Day. Of course, some of the apps are better deals than the others, but just because you save more doesn't mean you should get it. The full list of EA games on sale is listed below.
- High Caliber Hunting
- Anytime Pool
- The Sims 3 (Universal)
- The Sims 3 World Adventures (Universal)
- The Sims 3 Ambitions (Universal)
- The Sims Medieval (Universal)
- Need For Speed Shift (Universal)
- Need For Speed Hot Pursuit (Universal)
- BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 (Universal)
- Fight Night Champion
- Dragon's Lair 2: Time Warp
- Dead Space (Universal)
- Burnout CRASH!
- Shift 2 Unleashed
- Madden NFL 12 (Universal)
- MASS EFFECT INFILTRATOR
- FIFA Soccer 11
- FIFA Soccer 12 (Universal)
- FIFA Soccer 13 (Universal)
EA's iPad games are also on sale. All of the games are $0.99 or free, depending on the title. You should hit up the App Store soon so that you don't miss the sale.
In a move that took a surprisingly long time, Kickstarter has released an official app for the iPhone and iPod touch devices. The new app is available from the Apple App Store and will allow users to keep up with the latest projects, pledge support, and allow developers to keep in contact with contributors.
The app is a whole new way to experience Kickstarter. We took things we've learned from the past three years of building the site, and applied them to a total redesign for the iPhone. We redesigned the project page, browse pages, and others. And we focused on making three things really useful and fun: finding new projects, keeping up to date with projects you've backed, and offering great tools for creators.
You can find more information about the app from the company's blog post published today. There is no word on when an app could be coming to the iPad or Android platforms, though I would assume they aren't too far behind.
Google's highly acclaimed Google Now app has just gotten a widget that is compatible with both your home screen and lock screen. Along with the new widget, Google has updated the searching abilities of the app and it can now find movie tickets through Fandango, houses for sale through Zillow, and "support for US college sports."
In other words, you'll now be able to do even more from the app. With March Madness coming up, Google has added support for college sports so that it can be a one-stop shop for all of your searching needs. The updated app is available in the Google Play Store and can be updated through the Google Play App.
Pulse News Reader is one of my favorite apps, one that I use it almost exclusively for my news aggregation. One feature I always found lacking was the ability to see what my friends have shared using the service. Now, it appears, that my wishes have come true with Pulse announcing a new feature today.
The development team behind the popular news reader has just announced that it has added a new "Pulse Highlights" feature that will allow users to see content that has been aggregated by their content their friends have liked and shared on both the pulse app and Facebook.
"We've always been good at providing you with really good things to read. But now we are also getting into discovery. With Highlights, discovery is about people: close friends and family sharing content that's interesting and relevant for you", said Pulse co-founder Akshay Kothari.
BlueStacks is at it again, this time updating their application to work with Microsoft's Surface Pro, as well as Windows 8, providing the ability to run Android apps on the tablet and OS, respectively.
The latest version of their app fully supports Windows 8, right down to the charms bar and rotation support, as well as being optimized for the Surface Pro. Best of all, BlueStacks' app is free, giving you the ability to run Android apps on Windows 8 devices, or if you were lucky enough to score one of Microsoft's Surface Pro tablets in the last couple of days.
Snapchat users running the app on Android haven't been able to send candid, self-destructing video messages, though this should soon change. Snapchat is beta testing the ability for Android-based Snapchat users to send videos that self-destruct Mission Impossible style before launching the update for all Android users.
Yesterday, an invitation may have popped up and--pardon the pun--self-destructed on your device. If you missed registering for the beta, you'll have to wait until the app is updated in the Google Play Store. This could take a few days to a few weeks depending on how many bugs are found by the beta testers.
Of course, we caution users that the ability to save videos and pictures by looking into the app's files before viewing still exists. If there is something you can't have getting out, we recommend not sending it via Snapchat.
Plex is undisputedly one of the easiest to use media server apps available that is truly cross platform for all operating systems. Today users of Plex Media Server and its Android app will be able to upgrade to a completely overhauled UI and feature set.
Today a blog post by the Plex team has given us details on the new version. One minor hit, is the deletion of incompatibility for devices running Android 3.2 or earlier. Android users can expect to see a completely yet vaguely familiar UI along with some performance increases.
The new Android app also supports media server functionality, something that has been limited to Windows, OSX, Linux and NAS devices before now. This opens up a lot of opportunity to owners of Android set top boxes like the Pivos Xios DS, and even tablet owners who wish to stream their purchased movies to their TV's without the use of an HDMI cable.
About half a year ago, Google released a native YouTube app for the PlayStation 3. There was only one problem: it was only available in the US and Canada. Google has finally rectified this issue and is releasing a native app in 19 additional countries around the world, including some in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Most of Europe will get access to the new native YouTube app, along with Australia, New Zealand, and others. Considering YouTube is already native on the competing consoles, it's a wonder that it took so long to get it onto the PS3. The PS3 is the most used device in the living room for streaming Netflix, so you'd think Google would have wanted in on that.
The complete list of countries: Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Russia and the United Kingdom.
I was never a big fan of the Tamagotchi, but my brother and sister were both obsessed with them at the time. The digital pet was one of the first huge successes in its form, all based around a key chain.
Well, the Tamagotchi is back with the company behind the digital pet, Bandai, re-releasing it in app form on iOS and Android. The new app-based version will include much more than just the digital pet itself, with mini games, retro mode and more. Retro mode will be good, as it will let people return to the graphics and features of the original one from all the way back in 1996.
Bandai have said in a statement:
The original Tamagotchi was first released 16 years ago and took the world by storm. Everyone had a Tamagotchi and loved taking care of their digital pets. The new Tamagotchi app will feature the same gameplay you know and love with a number of exciting new features.