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Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest franchises in gaming history, and it's latest installment is the most expensive video game ever made. Now GTA fans have even more reason to get excited... if you happen to own a Windows Phone that is. Today Rockstar Games announced that it has released GTA: San Andreas onto the Windows Phone platform.
While San Andreas has been available on Android and iOS for about a month now, Windows Phone users are getting their copy of the game today. GTA: San Andreas on the mobile platform has surprisingly been a huge success with no real major issues popping up, something you would expect from such a drastic platform port. Compatible Windows Phone devices include Lumia 1520, 1320, 822, 820, 810,and HTC's 8XT, with no mention of other Windows Phone devices such as the Lumia 920, or Samsung's entry into the Windows Phone realm, the Ativ S.
If WhatsApp is king of app-based text messaging, then Aviary rules the photograph editing app world. Today the company announced that it has hit a massive milestone in the success of its company. Aviary announced that its app for Android and iOS has been used to edit over 10 billion photos since its launch.
The company says that its success is largely due to the fact that its SDK is so popular with developers who have added the apps editing tools to their own apps and websites. Aviary has been integrated with more than 7,000 partner apps, with big names such as Pic Stitch, Tango, and even SquareSpace using features from the software. Aviary says that it now has over 70 million active monthly users and that it expects growth to continue in 2014.
In a statement the company said:
As we look forward, what most exciting is the fact that a new visual lingua franca has emerged. Unquestionably, photos have become the communication language of the global mobile generation. We are long past the point when photo editing was just about turning an average picture into a good one. Photo editing is now about enhancing visual communication between billions of people across the planet, in a way that embodies the full richness of emotions, feelings and inspiration.
Bad news for anyone reading this who has taken advantage of LogMeIn's free remote access service over the last few years as today the company announced that free accounts are no longer being offered. For users who bought LogMeIn Ignition for iOS or Android, the company will offer discounts and a "gentle" transition to the subscription service.
Users have about a week to decide if they will buy into the new $20 per PC per year subscription model, or if they will jump ship and move to a competitor. LogMeIn Centeral, Cubby, and Join.Me are unaffected at this time, but there is no word on whether or not that will change in the future.
For over a year now we have been hearing rumors and seeing leaks surface around a secret music streaming service being built by Beats Audio. The service was given the code name Daisy, and at one point, it appears that it would never make it to launch, but this morning Beats Music launched on the Apple App Store.
Beats Music offers mobile music streaming of more than 20 million tracks for just $10 per month, and its MadLib-style music suggestion feature is actually pretty innovative. Users can create playlist, share them on social media, and rate their suggested songs to improve what music is selected next time. The launch of Beats Music signifies the end of MOG, the long running streaming service owned by Beats parent company. Subscribers will see their billing arrangements terminated on March 15th and annual subscribers will receive a prorated refund.
The man who seems to have his hand in everything, Kim Dotcom, has just debuted his new music streaming service known as Baboom, and the first album to hit the service is Dotcom's own album titled Good Times. Baboom is quite interesting in the fact that it plans to directly compete with Spotify and Google Play Music, but will be operating on a "pay what you want" business model.
I see Baboom as more of a streaming version of SoundCloud or MySpace, and will allow indie artist to really break out of the years old model of social networking for artist. Baboom does however encourage listeners to purchase albums through Amazon, iTunes, and Bandcamp and as far as I can tell, artist receive no compensation from Baboom itself.
During the DLD conference in Germany, WhatsApp CEO, Jan Koum, shared some exciting news with attendees about the messaging app's usage numbers. WhatsApp now has more than 430 million monthly active users, which makes it the worlds largest messaging app by leaps and bounds.
More importantly though are the number of messages sent every day on the service. More than 36 billion outbound messages are sent in a day while 18 billion inbound messages are received each day. That equates to 50 billion text messages sent over WhatsApp each and every day. To put that into perspective, that is more messages sent each day than all SMS messages on every carrier world wide in a 24 hour period.
With many of the largest mobile carriers still charging fees for a set amount of text messages every month, WhatsApp is now the biggest competition in the SMS realm for every wireless carrier in the world. Most of my friends as well as almost everyone I know uses WhatsApp on a daily basis, and many who use it as their sole text messaging platform. With growth like this, I feel that there is no stopping WhatsApp and if the company can released a PC version as well, the sky is the limit on how far WhatsApp will go!
Adobe's Lightroom is a must have in almost every photography enthusiast arsenal of post processing software, and for those who own an iPad, things are about to get even better! According to 9to5Mac, Adobe is preparing to launch a mobile version of the app that will be compatible with Apple's iPad.
9to5Mac says that Lightroom for the iPad will feature a syncing feature that will let it fully utilize file sharing between Mac and PC devices via Adobe Creative Cloud, which will remove the need to store huge RAW files directly on the iPad. Users will have full editing functionality right on their iPad and when finished, can easily sync the photo back into their cloud. The article states that Adobe Lightroom for iPad will require users to enter into an annual contract costing $99 per year.
Microsoft has just updated its Skype for iOS app to include new two-way HD video calling to its users. This new feature brings Skype up to date with its competitors such as Google Hangouts and Apple's Facetime. The update also includes a new lockscreen chat notification feature that lets you preview chat messages the same way text messages appear on the lock screen.
Skype says that chat messages will now sync faster across all devices, and that other minor bug improvements have been made. This update follows a previous one in which the app got a complete makeover to more closely align with the new iOS 7 theme. Users can update or download their app from iTunes from the source link below.
Google Now is one of the most innovative applications for Android ever published, and today that innovation has made its way to the desktop for both PC and Mac by way of the latest alpha release of Google Chrome. Google Now has been integrated into Google Chromes notification center, something we have been expecting to happen since mid 2013.
Google Now for the the desktop is not exactly identical to its mobile counterpart, and some cards are missing at the moment such as the Stock Market Information card. Additionally, the feature is not enabled by default and users must tick off a flag to enable Google Now. Users who wish to take the desktop version of the app for a spin will need to download the Alpha version of Chrome Canary from the source link below.
Today Google pushed its Google Play Movies app to iOS and allows iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners to playback movies and TV shows they purchased on Google Play. The app is yet another Google service the company has brought to iOS in the past year and directly competes with iTunes.
The design is almost identical to its Android counterpart, but Apple has heavily restricted what you can do from within the app itself. The most major restriction is that users can not purchase movies or TV shows from within the app and must do so from another device or the web version of Google Play. Additionally, Offline playback is missing, and users can only watch their purchases when connected to Wi-Fi.