Adobe updates Photoshop Touch for iOS, Android, the former gets Retina display support for the new iPad
Adobe has just pushed out an updated Photoshop Touch app for both iOS and Android, hitting version 1.3. The iOS version now includes Retina display support for the third generation 'new iPad', as well as support for print-resolution images up to 12 megapixels with up to 16 layers.
The new app also includes two new effects, a new three-finger tap, support for Apple's Photo Stream and smoother performance in the organizer, tutorial browser and file picker. Also included is a new "pixel nudging" mode for more precise movements.
The new three-finger tap feature will let you toggle between 100% view and "fit screen" view, while the two new effects added are called "Shred" and "Colorize". With the new version 1.3 of Photoshop Touch now supporting 12-megapixel images (only 10-megapixel on the iPad 2), users will need to change to the higher capacity in preferences, as the default value is still 4.2-megapixel with 10 layers.
With more and more cellular providers going to a set data amount, uTorrent thought they'd lend a hand increasing carriers' profits by releasing a mobile torrent app. BitTorrent Inc., the creators of uTorrent, have released a beta mobile uTorrent app that allows torrents to be directly downloaded to a user's phone.
As the app is still in beta, many features are still missing and performance is likely a bit lower than what it will end up being. But, there is one feature that works: downloading torrents. Downloading torrents works over a 3G or 4G connection, but doing so will likely use up all of your limited data.
If you happen to be on an unlimited plan, torrenting will probably get you a letter from your carrier saying your usage is too high and they are going to cancel you. The Android app is supposed to provide access to legal content, but BitTorrent Inc. has yet to add that feature. They hope to grow their mobile user base with this new app.
Spotify has been my favorite app for a while now, but I've always wondered just how much an artist makes per song streamed to me, or anyone else using the streaming, subscription-based music system. The system is called 'stream rental', and Josh Davison of Centro shared some numbers regarding streaming revenue earned from his baned Parks and Gardens, on both Spotify, and iTunes Match.
Apple's iTunes Match pays one-third of a cent, and Spotify is significantly more sitting at just under one cent per streamed track. But, having the song on iTunes Match means that the customer has already acquired the track somehow, be it legally, or pirated and then synced to iTunes Match. Spotify seems like the go, here.
Now we have some numbers thanks to web developer Scott Buscemi, showing popular services such as Spotify, Spotify Free, iTunes Match and Rhapsody from his client, HoneyBoy Dupree:
Nearly 15,000 plays are required for an artist to roughly break even on distributing the track itself. These numbers should improve over time, as more people listen to tracks through music streaming services. Unless there's millions of playbacks, most artists are making only a few dollars here and there.
Android search app Google Now has some new abilities thanks to its update on Wednesday. Google Now's latest version adds support for movie theaters, public alerts, enhanced sports information and now includes Korean support.
Google Now can show movie showtimes based on how a user runs a search, or if the GPS in your phone detects a cinema close by. Public alerts can be displayed during emergencies, and will display information and warnings about storms, earthquakes and other emergency situations.
Sports information lets users manually input their favorite teams, after which they'll receive scores and updates on their team. The latest version of Google Now is available in the Google Search app, which is available for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean users through Google's Play Store.
Flipboard is an incredible app, I have it installed on my iPad, and my Android phone, and use it daily. Once I'm done with my day job, and TweakTown work, and I've spent my time my wife and my beautiful daughter, I relax on the lounge and open up the Flipboard app.
It's just so easy, and this ease of use has allowed it to expand its userbase in the last eight months, very, very rapidly. Last December saw the newsreading app reach 5 million users, but in those eight months, they've seen an explosion of 15 million more users, now sitting pretty at a total of 20 million users, and counting.
Flipboard started off as an iPad-exclusive, where it enjoyed eighteen months on iOS. It launched on the iPhone on December where it grew by one million users in just a week. In late-June, we saw the arrival of an Android-based version of Flipboard, as well as international editions with region-specific content landing in China, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, and Spain. Flipboard have also not stopped adding features into the app, including audio, Google+ and content from The New York Times.
Facebook Camera just received a small update, and is now available on Apple's iTunes App Store. The new version now includes the ability to choose which folder your freshly-taken snaps go into, which is a small, but needed addition.
Also included are notifications, which keep you up-to-date on the going-ons of your photos, notifying you when someone comments, tags, or likes one of your photos. The update is small, but we know just how big Facebook is, so we have to report on it.
The update is only live for the iOS version of the app, so now Android loving here. You can grab the updated Facebook Camera for iOS app here.
Microsoft had announced their plans to release an official SkyDrive app for Android a few weeks ago, and they have kept their word and released an app today so that users can have access to their files across all of the various devices you may own and use. The app is designed for Android 4.0, but only requires Android 2.3 or higher.
The main features of the new app:
- Access your SkyDrive-documents, photos, and other files, plus the files other people have shared with you.
- View recently used documents.
- Choose multiple photos or videos to upload from your phone.
- Share your files and photos-send a link in email or in another app.
- Open your SkyDrive files from other Android apps.
- Easily manage your files-delete or create new folders.
In other words, it does basically everything you would expect the app to do; it allows file uploads and downloads and the ability to manage those files, go figure. Microsoft did their best to keep "the same intuitive design of all SkyDrive experiences" while integrating some of the conventional Android interactions.
Mike Torres, Group Program Manager of SkyDrive Apps, asks that you give the app a run and that the team can't wait to hear what you have to think. The app is available in the Google Play store.
Samsung have just unveiled the Drive Link app for their devices, with the premise behind the app that it is to provide a safe user interface and portal to the commonly used applications on your phone, whilst driving. Drive Link will make navigation, hands-free calling and music playback easier than ever.
Drive Link's navigation feature will make use of your phone's GPS and mapping features, where you'll be able to speak destinations into the app, or drag them out of messages. Hands-free calling and text-to-speech message reading are available in more than one language, too. If music is what you're interested in, the Music portal gives you access to all of the media that is stored on your smartphone.
Samsung also notes that a Drive Link-powered device can provide services directly, even featuring the ability to connect to your car's current infotainment system with the MirrorLink protocol. Drive Link debuts on the international version of Samsung's Galaxy S III, and will arrive on other Android 4.0-powered devices in the near future.
I'm a big fan of Google's two-step verification process, and it seems that cloud-based storage giant, Dropbox, have followed through with some added security of your precious data by enabling two-step verification.
In order to turn on the feature, you'll require the most up-to-date beta desktop version of Dropbox's client. Once you've acquired that, you can jump over to the Dropbox website, and enter the beta, where you can turn on the two-step verification.
It works pretty much identical to Google's two-step verification, where you'll be prompted to enter a limited-time, one-use password that you can receive by text, or an app similar to Google Authenticator. If you were to lose your phone, you would get a one-time use backup code, but there's only one, so you'd have to be very careful where you put it.
Social networking site, Facebook, updated their iOS app just yesterday and now they've begun rolling out the latest version of their Messenger app.
Facebook Messenger has reached version 1.9, and includes some UI changes, as well as some new features. Version 1.9 also brings the app into direct integration with the main Facebook app, for the first time.
The new version of Messenger sports full emoji support, one-click access to friends' Facebook Timelines, as well as indications marking whether or not a friend is 'active'. Version 1.9 also includes a "last active" indicator, telling you when the last time your friend was online. You can grab the iOS version from the App Store, and the Android version from the Play Store.
Facebook for the iPhone received its much needed update a few hours ago, and it looks like photo sharing service, Flickr, have updated their Android application. Flickr for Android hasn't been updated for close to twelve months now, and it has needed an update to catch up to its iOS counterpart.
Flickr for Android now sports a new UI which features a navigation menu, and the Explore menu now sorts photos out much better, where it sorts them according to location and level of interest. Within the photo library search, the menu also sports notifications, profile, camera and upload options.
A pull-down refresh function keeps it feeling fresh like most other socially-orientated apps, and when the camera tab is tapped, you'll be prompted to either choose your camera, or your personal camera app of choice to take that photo. The ability to edit details/metadata on pictures and HTML content in comments and descriptions.
Usually it doesn't pay to be an early adopter of technology, but in the case of Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1, it does. The company have teamed up with a bunch of high-profile developers, where they've provided some free apps to the Note 10.1 tablet.
I thought there'd only be two or three, but there's actually quite a good list. Samsung have also said that all of the free apps on offer have been optimized for use with the Note 10.1's Wacom-based S Pen.
Facebook has finally updated its aging app to improve its performance. Unfortunately, this update only takes care of iOS users as there has been no announcement regarding Android. However, if you are an iOS user, this update should make you significantly more happy with the Facebook app as it is quite a bit faster.
According to the Facebook post, "Facebook 5.0 for iOS is twice as fast as the previous version when launching the app, scrolling through news feed and opening photos in feed." This speed increase is due to the app being completely rewritten from the ground up. A quick update and you'll be able to see for yourself just how much better it is.
The changes are as follows:
App opens quickly: We've rebuilt the app from the ground up, so now the app opens much faster and your news feed and notifications load right when you open Facebook.
Stories scroll smoothly: As you scroll down your news feed, all your friends' stories appear faster than ever. A banner lets you know when new stories come in, and you can tap once to immediately see the latest updates.
Photos load instantly: Tap on any photo and it opens right away. Pull down to close it with a single swipe.
An updated and quicker app is an important thing for Facebook to focus on. They need to keep users' eyes on the app so that it becomes an attractive platform for advertising.
Skype is a popular platform for communication among all walks of life. According to the post, "millions of people use Skype for iPhone or Skype for iPad each month." These users have requested features, and Microsoft has obliged with one of the most requested feature: Photo Sharing. They've also updated the apps for speed.
"In addition, we've made some improvements to the performance of the app, as we know many of you want to keep Skype running on your mobile devices all the time." The new feature allows users to send photos that were taken with a user's iPad or iPhone directly to friends and family via Skype. There is no file-size limit.
This means the feature can be used to avoid MMS fees or e-mail attachment size limits. Regarding the performance tweaks:
Over the last couple of releases, we've started to improve the overall performance of Skype's mobile apps. The prior release began to make them less battery hungry when running in the background, so you can answer Skype calls throughout the day when they come in. And, as you'll be able to keep Skype open, you can respond to or send IMs to friends and colleagues all day long. In addition, this latest release improves the app start and the contact list loads even faster, so you can do all the things you love to do with Skype more quickly.
Preview of Firefox for Windows 8 to launch next month, sports 'Modern UI', asks Metro to take a seat elsewhere
It looks as though a preview of Mozilla's Firefox for Windows 8 is coming next month, which should show off the company's Modern UI styling and windowless Flash. We've known about the UI for a while, but this was before the whole Metro issue, as it was named Metro UI and has now had a makeover and unveiled as Modern UI.
New details are leaking out about the web browser for the upcoming OS, with a few screenshots to tease us with. A developer on the project, Brian R. Bondy, has posted an update on his blog that talks of Mozilla's progress with the app and their goals for its release:
Work on the Metro style enabled desktop browser has progressed steadily and things are looking really good.
Ustream have just announced a new app called 'Broadcast for Friends', which does quite the amazing thing - lets smart device users stream live video from their phones, to Facebook, where their friends can access it live, and see what's going on.
After the broadcast has completed, the video is saved and placed into the user's profile, where it can be accessed by anyone with appropriate permission (Facebook friend/subscriber, depending on your profile setup). Broadcast for Friends is free, which is one of the best things about it, with the app having a variety of color options to shoot in, just like Instagram.
The app will land in the App Store next week, with an Android-based application in the works. Broadcast for Friends is said to work on 3G connections, but compared to Wi-Fi, we suspect you wouldn't get the best results. Broadcast for Friends will also detect a low-bandwidth connection, where it will grab the video, automatically record it and upload it. Broadcast for Friends requires a Facebook account, at a minimum.
Google talked about this feature at their I/O developer conference earlier this year, but it looks like they've turned on delta updates for apps running on Android 2.3+. These new smart updates enable users getting to sit back and not needing to download the complete app when there's an update.
Instead, just parts of the app that have been changed will be acquired, saving bandwidth, and time. When Google first announced this feature, the company's engineers estimated that the now-live feature would download around one-third the size of the app when updating. Better yet, developers won't need to touch a thing in order to have this feature enabled, as the feature went live just hours ago.
Android Police are reporting that an update for ezPDF Reader is out, which would normally come in at 6.3MB, but with smart update, only consumes 3MB. Instagram, which just hit version 3.0, would normally be a 13MB download, comes in at just 3MB post-smart update. This is a great change from Google, especially if you want to quickly grab that app and you're not connected to a Wi-Fi network.
Quick, Instagram has been updated, better go out for lunch or dinner and snap a photo! I kid. But, Facebook's acquisition of Instagram hasn't stopped the photo-sharing service from hitting version 3.0, where there's some nice updates.
Instagram has smashed through 80 million users, and has unveiled a new user interface (UI) overhaul today, where geolocation is a very important part of that. Geotagging has its benefits, but the gem here is most likely going to end up being a Photo Maps view. It overlays photos with a map underneath, showing users where they've taken their photos, very cool.
Instagram 3.0 also adds "mutli-line caption editing, more streamlined photo uploading, speed improvements and infinite scroll". There has been a removal of something quite strange, the Twitter "Find Friends" feature, which is due to Twitter turning off their API to Instagram last month, I wonder why. Instagram user? Your thoughts on the new version?
Pinterest has released an Android app and iPad app after "very vocal" Android users persistently requested one. An iPhone app has existed for a while now, but also saw an update on Tuesday. The idea behind the apps is to allow pinning to be faster and more efficient so that you can "go offline and do things that you love."
Apparently, every product release by Pinterest was followed by the question "what about an Android app?" So that's what they did: "our custom-designed Android app makes it simple and fast to pin, so that the time you spend on Pinterest is as productive as possible. We also made sure the app works well on Android phones and tablets, regardless of your device's cost, speed or screen size."
Pinterest believes that their iPad app is the best way to experience Pinterest. "iPad owners may have the best Pinterest experience yet." iPhone users also received a redesigned app. The new version features a two-column layout so that users can see more pins, just like they have been requesting.
When we think about what we're designing at Pinterest, we think about giving everyone a place to dream, plan, and prepare for the things in their lives. The Pinterest apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android are about enabling you to do just that, not seated in front of a computer or at the office, but wherever you go as you live your life.
Adobe's run of Flash player on Android devices ends tomorrow, with the developer disabling new installs of the app on Android-based devices. The developer will now concentrate on HTML5 and other web-based technologies.
Adobe wanted to go head first into mobiles with Flash, but were met with some strong resistance from Apple. The late Steve Jobs wrote an open letter in April 2010, where he explained just why Flash wasn't allowed on the iOS-based devices. Jobs took a swing at Flash's reliability, security, impact on battery life and performance, as well as claiming that Flash was a proprietary web standard. He suggested that Adobe work on creating great HTML5 tools, which is now what they're doing.
But, Flash isn't just going to disappear. Adobe still have a huge market for Flash, with Google adding better Flash support to their popular Chrome browser. How much longer does Flash have to stay relevant? Well, this market is an ever-changing one, so its really an impossible question right now.
Google has updated the Google Translate app to version 2.5. With the update, Google has ushered in some big, and extremely useful, changes to the app. Instead of having to type in all of the text you want translated, you can now take a picture using the rear-facing camera and have the app translate selected text.
Simply select the camera icon, tap the screen to take a picture, and select the text you want translated and let Google's servers do the rest. The feature, according to AndroidCentral, takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do, it is easy enough to select small bits of text for translation.
The new feature requires you to be running a minimum of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), so my older Epic 4G, which I've neglected to update, wouldn't be able to run the app. This new feature could be extremely useful while traveling for translating train tickets, public transport signs or schedules, or restaurant menus. The options are endless.
You can grab the updated version of the app from the Google Play store.