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.
I love Google Now, telling the world in my review of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but the rest of the world should love it, too - and Google are now taking steps for this, airing an ad during the Grammys for Google Now.
The ad, titled 'Live in the Now', doesn't do too much, but it does show off what it needs to. It shows different people using it for different services, such as checking weather, public transportation information and a translation of English to French. I use Google Now on the daily, for stocks information and weather, and whenever I have a hotel booking, Google Now will inform me of that, too.
Windows Phone 8 users will no longer be left out of the music streaming goodness that is Spotify. Today, a beta version of an app destined for Windows Phone 8 was launched as a free download on the Microsoft Marketplace. Users will be provided with the same 48 hour free trial that doesn't require any credit card information.
If users would like to continue using Spotify on their Windows Phone 8 mobile device, they'll have to pony up the same $9.99 that the rest of us have to for iOS and Android devices. For users on Windows Phone 7, 7.5, and 7.8, it appears that you are still out of luck as the app requires Windows Phone 8.
Twitter launched the video sharing service Vine to share short six-second videos that were akin in many ways to a tweet. Well, the truth has come out and those six-second Vine videos are actually six and a half seconds long. Not that that extra half a second makes much of a difference. In fact, it really just raises a bunch of questions.
For instance, who cares about this minor detail? I'm sure there are some among you that will care to know this tiny detail. However, the more important detail is did Twitter really think the videos were six seconds long? During development, the Vine team tested lengths ranging from four to ten seconds and eventually settled on "six."
As you now know, the number is actually six and a half. The question is whether or not they meant for the videos to be that length. If so, why did they settle on that number? If not, what technical bug causes the length to be increased by half a second? We'd love to hear your (not too) crazy conspiracy theories in the comments.
We all know how Apple's Maps app is pretty much a failure right now, when compared to Google's superior navigation app, but it looks like Apple is at least trying to improve the app by hiring new engineers.
AppleInsider are reporting that they noticed some job postings where the Cupertino-based company are looking for some engineers to work with their Maps team. Out of the ten jobs, nine of the engineers "will handle various programming duties, while one will be assigned to tackle navigation." In the job posting, Apple say that their Maps application is the "best mapping program on any mobile platform" - really, Apple?
Thanks to a new revenue deal inked by Samsung and Electronics Arts, we should see more new games enter Samsung's App Store, which will also help developers make more money.
The deal begins on March 4, where developers will receive 100% of the profits from sales of games in the App Store for the first six months. The following six months will see Samsung collect 10%, then it'll return to the industry standard of 20% for the following year. This sounds like a stellar deal from companies the size of EA and Samsung.
The program is also aimed toward indie games, where it will see games that would normally not be in the lime light compete with the likes of Angry Birds, etc. Better yet, developers aren't locked into any contracts, and are free to drop their games on the Google Play Store, or others. Developers are also encouraged to bring their games over to the Samsung App Store from other sources.
In the past, self-publishing a book involved a massive investment by the author, but with recent digital trends, self-publishing has never been easier or cheaper. Apple appears to have taken note and has launched a new "Breakout Books" feature in its iBookstore to help promote those who self-publish.
"Find the next reading sensation with this hand-picked collection of books from emerging talents," Apple says in its new section. "All are independently published and have earned high ratings from customers like you."
This new section is Apple's plan to increase the profile of more talented yet largely unknown authors who have had a hard time getting published the traditional way, while at the same time earning them some income on their digital versions. At the moment, the new section is only available in the US, but there are plans by Apple to expand it in the future.
Vine, the Twitter-owned short video sharing app, has updated its user age rating to 17+ after a major increase in porn sharing on the service. The change first made appearance in the 1.0.5 update and forces users to confirm that they are 17 years or older.
The app also added frequent/intense sexual content or nudity, infrequent drugs, alcohol, tobacco, horror/fear themes, profanity/crude humor and realistic violence, to its list of user warnings. Last month, the service began censoring searches in an attempt to weed out the pornographic material from even showing up.
These changes come on the heels of a porn video being featured on Vine as an "Editor's Pick" which got the app pulled from the Apple App Store's featured section. Despite the controversy, Vine has proven to be massively popular on iOS with many analyst relating the app to the likes of "Instagram, but for videos."
Instagram users will finally have a place to go on the web to view pictures posted on the Facebook-owned service. Today, Instagram has introduced a new website that functions primarily like its mobile apps, save for one small feature. The website doesn't offer a way for users to upload pictures to the service.
Other than that, the website will serve all of the same functions as the mobile apps. "As of today, you can now browse your Instagram feed on the web -- just like you do on your mobile device," Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said. "Your Instagram Feed on the web functions much like it does on your mobile phone. You can browse through the latest photos of people whom you follow with updates as people post new photos."
The website took two years to become a reality as Instagram was primarily focused on helping users capture photos on the go. With Facebook now owning the company, they are looking to expand their horizons and provide access to the service across any platform a user would like to use.
You can head to Instagram.com to check out the new site.
Facebook is reportedly developing an application that would track users, according to sources familiar with the company. Bloomberg is reporting that Facebook is working on an app that would help friends discover nearby friends by constantly tracking users' locations, even when the app isn't open.
This presents potential privacy risks, as well as possible data mines for federal and state officials. None of the plans have been confirmed by Facebook. When asked, a Facebook spokesman declined to comment on the report. This new app could be part of Zuckerberg's call to focus on mobile:
"A lot of what we had to do last year was simply to improve our mobile development process," Zuckerberg said. "The next thing we're going to do is get really good at building new mobile-first experiences."
Would you let a Facebook app track your locations in the hopes of running into a friend while out and about? Unfortunately, you may have already given Facebook the right to do so when accepting previous terms and conditions. What do you think of the idea? Let us know in the comments.
We have heard rumors that the popular Wine software that is used to run Windows apps inside Linux was being ported to Android for a few months now. Over the weekend at the FOSDEM conference held in Brussels, a demonstration of Wine running on Android was given during a talk about Wine on ARM.
Alexandre Julliard, the original developer behind Wine, showed a very brief demonstration of Wine on Android. Julliard is now employed by CodeWeaver to update and maintain the Wine project due to the company's vested interest in the software based on its commercial Wine-based crossover software for Linux and Apple OSX.
So, does this mean that we will see Windows applications like Adobe Photoshop CS6 or Office 2013 running on Android anytime soon? I do not think so, the demo was said to run very slow, and programs like Photoshop simply need more resources than any Android phone or tablet has at the moment. What do you think about Wine coming to Android? Is there a need for such software with Android having such a vast app selection already? Let us know in the comments.
Foursquare on their path to location check-in domination, have unleashed Foursquare for Business onto the Google Play Store. What makes this special is that businesses can now edit their locations from their smartphones, instead of using the Foursquare website.
Using the app, business owners can post photo updates, share updates through social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, view their consumers' latest check-ins, learn more about their customers and drive new business through specials run on Foursquare. The application is very specific, and suited only for businesses on Foursquare, so if you're a business owner - you should get on this, right now.
Temple Run 2, the sequel to the smash hit Temple Run, has set a new mobile game download record. Popularity for the game has allowed it to easy smash the last record, which was held by Rovio's Angry Birds Space. The record in question is how long it took to reach 50 million downloads. Angry Birds Space did it in 35 days.
So, how long do you think it took Temple Run 2 to cross that same threshold? If you guessed 13 days, you'd be spot on. That's right, Temple Run 2 was downloaded 50 million times in just 13 days, beating the previous record in just about one-third of the time it took.
It should be noted that Angry Birds Space is a paid game, costing $0.99, while Temple Run 2 is free. This could have helped Temple Run 2's adoption numbers, though by how much is up for speculation.
"Temple Run has evolved into something so much bigger than us," says Keith Shepherd, co-founder of Imangi. "The game has performed beyond our wildest dreams, and we are thrilled that gamers and fans have embraced Temple Run 2 in such a short period of time."
Google have updated their social networking app, Google+, adding a little functionality as well as a new notifications system. The last update gave us a new post composition screen that gave you the ability to add a photo, or a mood to a post.
This new update throws in a "link" option between the two, where tapping on it lets you manually add a URL. In regards to the UI side of things, notifications have been given a fresh coating of paint, coming out from underneath the navigation controls in the left slide-in panel, and out to a separate notification tab between the refresh and settings buttons that when tapped displays a full notification-specific panel from the right.
You can download the latest Google+ app directly from the Google Play Store on your Android-based device, or right here.
Epic has released Epic Citadel for Android. The Epic Citadel demo was originally released on iOS devices over two years ago, but it still highlights what Unreal Engine 3 is capable of. Epic has also added in a feature that will allow Epic Citadel to be used as a benchmark on Android devices, so reviews and users can gather data across a wide variety of devices.
Epic has now shipped an Unreal Engine app for Android, which means we've invested in plenty of QA testing against a wide range of devices, and we've executed the necessary profiling required for shipping Android games, etc. This means that any developer licensing the Unreal Engine for Android benefits from that process - all the work we do gets rolled back into the engine and shared with our licensees.
Epic would like to see developers use Unreal Engine 3 to develop games for Android, and so would I. This demo shows what is capable of being produced using the engine on Android and I am impressed. While Epic won't be bringing Infinity Blade to Android, hopefully other developers will fill in the gap and produce awesome games using UE3.
If you have an Android device, you can pick up Epic's Epic Citadel from the Play Store.
Windows 8 is set to reach a milestone in the coming hours, where they'll breach the 40,000 application mark sometime soon. Data collected by MetroStore Scanner shows that since December 27 last year, over 5,000 applications have been added to the Windows Store in Windows 8.
Breaking them down into a per day basis, we're seeing around 156 apps added to the Windows Store everyday. This per day number can be a bit of an average, as no apps are approved on Mondays, and Sundays are a slow day, as with most industries. The rate is definitely down from the 14,557 apps that Windows 8 grew by in the first 35 days as they hit the 35,000 app milestone, where the per day application rate was sitting at 415.
The holiday period saw over a million Windows 8-based devices sold, so these numbers should continue to swell as developers continue to code apps for Windows 8.
The previous beta of SwiftKey Flow hasn't allowed you to 'flow' in all text fields, but it looks like this has been fixed up in the latest betas to hit the SwiftKey website.
The new beta looks much more refined and sports less features this time around, where it includes easier corrections, new languages, a new theme and more. The full changelog is quite hefty:
Changes in this version:
- Predictions (and Flow) now on in most places (exceptions: email fields, passwords, anywhere where the app doesn't behave itself with SK, fields offering their own corrections on Android versions before 2.2)
- Easier corrections - just tap on the word and SwiftKey will offer you 3 possibilities
- New languages: Thai, Vietnamese, Bosnian, Albanian, Javan, Sundanese (plus those added in 3.1)
- Features from SwiftKey 3.1: Berry theme, split layout in landscape on phones, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Hindi, Hinglish, Irish, Macedonian, Spanish (Latin America) and Tagalog
- New layouts for Hindi and Russian
- Ukrainian landscape layout fixed
- Backspacing on to the final word of a multi word prediction (Flow through space) will now give better alternatives
- Typing style now inferred rather than a setting
- Long press delete accelerates after the first word
Chrome for Android is about to get a much needed feature that will see mobile users enjoy the ability to sync passwords between their Chrome installation on their desktop or notebook, to their Android device - something that has been available on Chrome for iOS for a while now, funnily enough.
At the moment, Chrome syncs bookmarks and other data but it is only recently that passwords have become something Google want synced - and it's about damn time. The feature was noticed by Chrome tinkerer Francois Beaufort on the Chromium Code Review website, and was discussed by Chrome's development team just over a week ago now, and has already been baked into the Chromium code base. The page notes:
Android does not support password sync, enable password sync for clients which have migrated to using Keystore. Currently, passwords will start syncing only when sync-keystore-encryption flag is specified on the command line.
Last July, Samsung launched their Music Hub streaming service to their own branded devices, but at the time never said they wouldn't release the service to non-Samsung devices sometime in the future.
Well, it looks like those days are nearly upon us according to The Next Web, where they talked to Samsung's SVP for Media Services, TJ Kang, who confirmed that Samsung's goal is to eventually bring Music Hub to non-Samsung hardware, but didn't go as far as giving an ETA on when this might happen, or which devices would see the streaming service.
Kang explained that they want to get the service on more Samsung devices, including their smartphone and tablet range, as well as their Smart TVs. Samsung have only given US consumers access to the Music Hub on their Galaxy S III and Note II devices, so we should see more Samsung devices receive Music Hub before we see it spread out to non-Samsung devices.
The Skype application has been updated which now provides users with an improved UI and a new feature - portrait calling. While Skype now supports portrait calling, the rest of the application is stuck in landscape.
On paper it may not sound like a big problem, but if you were mid-Skype call and wanted to check your contacts or start another call, the UI is locked in landscape and you'd need to physically move the tablet around before you could easily see what you were doing. I don't know what Skype were thinking when they released an app with portrait video calling but the UI continuing to crank along in landscape, so hopefully we see another update shortly.