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Google are stepping in a new direction with their latest announcement, in that they're accepting submissions for their Google Play for Education platform which will provide education- and age-appropriate applications to schools.
Google Play for Education will fall under the Play Store, but will allow bulk purchasing and content curation for apps, books and movies for K-12 schools. If a developer has an age-appropriate application, they can now mark it for inclusion, which will see a third-party group of educators review it.
This third-party of educators will review each and every app, reviewing its subject, grade level and whether or not it meets a set of development guidelines that have been set in place for the education system. Part of these guidelines see that the app must not collect personally identifiable information or use student data for noneducational use.
Snapchat seems to be doing very well for itself. It has experienced massive growth and is a major player in the mobile app market, despite Facebook's attempt to kill the app with Poke. The app boats 200 million "snaps" daily, meaning it's pushing quite a bit of data. For right now, the app doesn't seem to have a way to make money, so seed funding is important.
The company has confirmed that it raised $60 million in funding and saw itself garner an $800 million pre-money valuation. If you'll recall, Facebook bought Instagram for not much more than that. The company has raised a total of around $75 million since it debuted back in September 2011.
In order to continue scaling while developing the Snapchat experience, we needed to build a bigger engineering team and figure out how to pay our server bills. Long story short -- we're committed to building a big company around an innovative and fun product.
Imgur has finally joined the mobile revolution by creating its first app. The Imgur app is available on Android and will make it easier for Imgur users to browse the site, upload new pictures, and share or comment on existing photos. A native app will be much better than a mobile site or third-party app.
Imgur is often used in conjunction with Reddit. The mobile app offers all of the same features and a very similar experience as the main website. "We wanted the app to work just like the main site. We've been working on this six months and collecting feedback," said Imgur founder and CEO Alan Schaaf.
Imgur also has an iPhone app in the works, though Apple has rejected the app on multiple occasions. The first time was for DMCA issues, however, Imgur noted they are DMCA compliant. Apple then rejected the app on the grounds that it was too easy to find adult content. Imgur has made it more difficult to find such content in hopes that this will get the app accepted.
Less than a month after China Mobile launched their Skype competitor, Jego, they've shut down registrations to it. China Mobile International, who is a global-focused China Mobile subsidiary, announced the closure of new account registrations for Jego.
They've also disabled Jego-to-Jego video and voice calls for customers who registered with a mainland China number and are located in mainland China. The company have posted up a message to the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store stating that new registrations for Jego have been suspended so that they can do "optimization" to the product and system, and will inform users of any changes.
Why the closure? Well, it could be because China Mobile have disabled Jego's new registrations because the service begun from its overseas subsidiary and not the mainland China company itself. This may have caused problems with regulations and the Chinese government on Internet-based telephone services in China.
I was a big Flipboard fan, that was however, until I found Feedly. But, it looks like Facebook are working on a new dedicated story browser which is going by the codename or "Reader", according to the Wall Street Journal.
There aren't many details on Reader just yet, but it is reportedly important enough that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is closely involved. The social network aren't talking about their plans, but there is more truth to this rumor than usual as the social network recently added hashtag support as a "first step" toward helping users track topics.
This would make sense, if in the near future they do release a mobile reading app, hashtags are a perfect way to let users track important and current topics.
Big brother is watching you - Heard, a new iOS app that lets you record what you heard five minutes ago
Heard is a new iOS app that constantly records audio, allowing you to take snippets out of what you truly think is important - anything else you need, you can just ask the NSA anyway.
When Heard is opened, it will begin recording anything and everything that your iPhone's microphone hears. Instead of creating one super large audoi file, Heard records into a constantly rotating buffer. If something happens that you want to record, then you would open Heard and tap a single button, recording it.
If you don't do anything, the buffer is erased and that audio just disappears (or does it). Heard will continue to record audio even if the application is running in the background, displaying a huge "RECORDING" banner at the top of your screen - you know, in case you forgot it was recording. Heard clips can be named, tagged, e-mailed or shared through Facebook.
Instagram has shared some statistics about its new videos feature that launched on Thursday. The company notes that they saw five million video uploads in the first 24 hours of the new feature being available. This number surprises me in a few different ways. For one, it shows that Instagram's new video service is viable. At the same time, the number seems lower than I would have thought.
I know at least one of my friends experienced issues with the new feature, sitting for hours waiting for his creative video to process. Other details regarding the new service include that during the Miami Heat championship, users were uploading 40 hours of video every moment.
Watching all of the videos posted during the first eight hours would take a year to do. Whether or not video for Instagram will be able to take down competing Vine remains to be seen. Opinions on the new service have been mixed, with some liking it and some arguing that 15 seconds is too long for a video.
If you were looking to port your popular app or game to BlackBerry 10, you still can, but BlackBerry will no longer provide you a reward for doing so. BlackBerry has announced the ending of its Port-a-Thon event, a program that paid out rewards to developers for porting their game or app to BB10.
BlackBerry says that the interest in the program was far beyond what they expected. BlackBerry says they paid out over $4 million in developer rewards. This works out to around 40,000 apps for their money, as developers were paid $100 per app that was approved for the BlackBerry World app store.
BlackBerry has promised more developer events later this year, the first of which will focus on making successful games.
Not too long ago, we announced that Rovio had opened a publishing studio to help new game studios get started. Rovio Stars' first game to be published is Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage. From the trailer, it appears to include aspects of Cut the Rope and Slice It! Take a look for yourself:
The game is available for $0.99 on the iPhone and $2.99 on the iPad. It looks like it could be a fun game, though I haven't yet gotten a chance to try it out for myself. One of the best parts of the game is that it features a variety of different puzzles through featuring different obstacles.
Messaging platform WhatsApp has seen massive user growth over the past four years, with a large portion of the growth coming in the last year or two. WhatsApp has announced that they are now seeing more than 250 million active users, or a quarter of the total users on Facebook.
Back in December, Twitter announced that they had surpassed 200 million active users, making it possible that WhatsApp is now ahead of the micro-blogging site. Telecom companies are likely unhappy with the growth that WhatsApp has seen as they are currently making huge profits from text messaging.
Whether WhatsApp will be able to continue this rate of growth remains to be seen.