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Not quite the next Angry Birds, but Indie developers Hipster Whale have burst into the app scene with a big bang - seeing over 30 million global downloads and topping $1 million in profit since launching their game Crossy Road late last year.
Seeing them officially form only four months ago, Hipster Whale are certainly an indie success story - with ten million of their total downloads occurring in the last fortnight alone, seeing this free game draw in massive profits through in-app purchases and advertising. It's reported that users will pay between $1.29 AU and $3.99 AU to purchase new characters for use alone, alongside the various advertising avenues taking place.
Co-founder Matt Hall said to reporters that "we wanted a game that was influenced by popular culture and crazy. We put a lot of effort into a game that people want to share," further mentioning that they didn't heavily promote or advertise Crossy Road - simply relying on social media networks, user reviews and recommendations to push their product to the masses.
Microsoft has released a native Outlook app for Apple iOS and a preview mode for Google Android, as the company continues to embrace change. The successful launch was courtesy of Microsoft's previous acquisition of Acompli, with both sides integrating the teams while continuing to develop the Outlook app.
The Outlook iOS version requires iOS 8.0 or newer, and is a 22.5MB download.
"Microsoft is absolutely doing the right thing putting these important and popular applications on Android and iOS," said Al Hilwa, analyst at IDC, in a statement to PCWorld. "An increasing number of users of these products already use multiple devices, and it is valuable for them to be able to move across platforms with the same tools."
Iowa isn't the only state interested in utilizing a digital driver's license for state drivers, as Delaware also wants to roll out digital license technology. Recently, the Delaware House of Representatives passed a resolution for the DMV to consider adopting the technology, which has drawn security and privacy concerns.
The MorphoTrust vendor is developing a pilot program that could be used by multiple states, giving smartphone owners the opportunity of using a secure app to show their license. The digital license would not replace physical plastic hard copies - and would join the ability for drivers to already show an electronic proof of insurance.
"We anticipated this shift a couple years ago, and are pleased that this process has reached a stage today where we are talking with many of the 42 states that we supply with physical licenses about piloting the concept," said Jenny Openshaw, VP of MorphoTrust, in an interview with SecurityDocumentWorld. "Of course, Iowa is the state that is furthest down that road."
With over 50,000 current downloads, this free medical app for the Android platform is called Sleeping pills. Stated by their staff to send you to sleep in 10 minutes without the aide of tablets or special training, it's based on yoga breathing methods.
Released in January, this app is free and has just seen an iOS release - both versions are available in 25 different languages.
It's not some kind of wizardry, their press release claims that the app works by sending a beam of light to your ceiling. This light becomes brighter and darker, pulsating slowly. You must then match your breathing with the light pulsations, allowing for the production of cortisol to cease and for you to fall asleep.
Featuring a real-time traffic network that is community-curated, the Waze app by Google is making some US Sheriffs uneasy - they're claiming that it will aide cop stalking and allowing would-be cop killers to complete their tasks with ease.
Sergio Kopelev, a reserve deputy sheriff from California, and Sheriff Mike Brown from Virginia are two officers that have asked Google to abandon the police-tracker feature located within.
This feature has been located within Waze for some time now, however it's been brought to light though an Instagram conversation between 'dontrunup' and another user. 'dontrunup' is the Instagram username for the a well-known person responsible for the death of two police officers in NYPD last December, Ismaaiyl Brinsley - explained as a revenge act due to Eric Garner's death.
Google Android and Apple iOS users are likely familiar with having just about any app available to them, but Microsoft Phone and BlackBerry users have a significantly smaller number of apps to choose from. However, that's something BlackBerry CEO John Chen wants to hopefully change in the future, as the effort to boost BlackBerry sales continues.
Chen believes these "app neutrality" laws could help even the playing field, despite Android and iOS clearly leading the mobile market.
"Unlike BlackBerry, which allows iPhone users to download and use our BBM service, Apple does not allow BlackBerry or Android users to download Apple's iMessage messaging service," Chen recently stated in an open letter. "Netflix, which has forcefully advocated for carrier neutrality, has discriminated against BlackBerry customers by refusing to make its streaming movie service available to them."
Starbucks continues its mobile dominance, racking up 7 million smartphone purchases per week, and mobile payments now account for 16 percent of total transactions, the company confirmed earlier this week. Starbucks has heavily promoted its My Starbucks Rewards program, with the loyalty program offering discounts and free perks to frequent customers.
Furthermore, Starbucks hopes app-based ordering will cut order lines down, helping both mobile and non-mobile users.
There is a growing number of mobile users browsing a store's website or app, but they still tend to rely on cash and debit or credit cards when making a purchase. Somehow, Starbucks has found a way to convert many store customers into mobile shoppers - and continues to build momentum.
WhatsApp users will be happy with the news that the Facebook-owned messaging giant has finally released a web-based client. The 700 million people that use the application might find this very, very handy.
The web-based version of WhatsApp isn't a dedicated piece of software you download, but that's OK. To get it, you can visit the WhatsApp Web page using Google Chrome as your web browser, and scan the QR code with the WhatsApp application on your smartphone to log in. It's definitely different to require this procedure to log in, as the web client is still using your phone number for its SMS verification, exactly as the WhatsApp app does.
What this means is that the web-based client on your desktop will still keep your messages on your phone, so you'll need your smartphone connected to the Internet during your web session of WhatsApp. This sounds like a hassle, but let's face it, when isn't your smartphone connected to the Internet? Especially to the 700 million strong crowd of WhatsApp users?
Mobile devices have given us access to countless conveniences, including the ability to manage our finances from anywhere. Fifty-one percent of smartphone owners use their devices for some form of mobile banking, according to a 2013 Federal Reserve study. As we continue to embrace the use of mobile apps to help us track our money and monitor our finances, check out our list of the top five financial apps that help us stay organized.
Formerly known as Easy Envelope Budget Aid, this app hasn't abandoned its core concept; Goodbudget lets you quickly categorize your income into self-categorized "envelopes," with labels such as rent, groceries, gas, healthcare and utilities. Users then categorize their spending along these lines and their budget is adjusted, just like in the tried-and-true envelope method of budgeting. The free version of the Goodbudget app enables users to create 10 unique envelopes for personal budgeting, while paid subscribers can create unlimited budget envelopes as well as sync their app across five devices.
Evernote is an entire workspace in a single app, helping you to quickly search and collect everything from Web articles to handwritten notes. While not a traditional financial app, Evernote works well for groups looking to get on the same page across their organization. Evernote enables organizations to manage their expenses by organizing receipts, invoices and bills and share in a collaborative workspace. Searchable and shareable, Evernote is a fantastic resources for those who must collaborate in the search to find a financial balance with multiple contributors.
According to Facebook's David Marcus, it looks like a new voice transcription feature will soon be baked into Messenger. This new transcribing feature would take a sound clip that you either send or receive to a friend, and transcribes the content of the message into text, just below the voice clip.
Marcus has said that Facebook is testing the new transcribing feature on a very limited basis, explaining "Our plan is to test this feature at a tiny scale for now and we're looking forward to seeing what you think of it before making the experience more widely available". We should expect the new transcribing feature to roll out on Messenger sometime in the near future.