WhatsApp is continuing its meteoric growth, with the messaging app now seeing over 350 million monthly active users. WhatsApp's CEO, Jan Koum announced the milestone on stage during a keynote presentation at the Nokia World 2013 conference.
Just two months ago the messaging app was pushing just over 300 million users, so an increase of 50 million users in the space of two months is nothing short of impressive. The cross-platform abilities of WhatsApp is driving its growth, especially with these kinds of growths over a two-month span.
BlackBerry silently rolled out its BlackBerry Messenger service to Android and iOS earlier this week and today the company announced that within the first 24 hours, the app saw over 10 million downloads. The free app has been slated to arrive on both platforms for more than a year now, and has been delayed due to bugs and financial troubles.
The 10 million downloads were spread out over more than 75 countries including the US, UK and Canada, and BlackBerry is calling the launch a success and "one of the best single-day app launches to date." While we are not so sure about that claim, the fact that the app has received a 4.2 rating on Google Play means that BlackBerry may still have a product that people want to buy. Maybe the future of BlackBerry truly is in software and not hardware.
Yesterday Evernote pushed out an updated version of its productivity app that allows premium users to reorder their homescreen buttons, and delete those that never get used. The apps update also brings forth the ability to view notes within a map view by simply tapping on the name of the location.
Additional functionality was also added that includes a new feature that lets users create as well as save searches from within the search results. Evernote is free on Android, iOS and Windows Phone, and users can upgrade to a premium subscription for just $45 per year or $5 per month. Head over to the source links below to download your copy today!
Today Netflix rolled out version 3.0 of its app for Android. This update features a completely redesigned user interface that is refined, faster and easier to navigate. Overall, the layout is very similar to what we are use to seeing, but the entire skin is sharper, and more crisp.
Netflix redesigned the backend of the app from the ground up and as a result, things are more responsive. When you touch the screen, your touch is instantly recognized, and the screen scrolls like you would expect. Netflix has also improved compatibility with Chromecast and the service feels much more snappy now when casting to your Chromecast. Netflix is slowly rolling the new app out over the next few days so if you have not gotten the update yet, be patient and it will arrive soon.
Today Square officially launched its cash by email service known as Square Cash. The new payment system functions much like Google's Wallet service in that you can transfer money to friends, sellers, or even strangers simply by sending an email. Square has been beta testing this with a few users now for several months and it has been met with rave reviews.
The service works by composing an email to the person you want to send money to. The sender must CC firstname.lastname@example.org and only place the amount of money they wish to send in the body. If the sender has a credit card on file with square and the email address matches up, then the transfer will go through. The recipient must also have a debit card or bank account on file for the transaction to complete. The company has also released native apps for Android, and iOS that facilitate the process on mobile as well.
One of my most used services would be Feedly, which has been updated today with a bunch of additions. First, we have the usual speed improvements, a new 'discover' section, and support for Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
Feedly for Android has seemingly been ripped apart and put together again, with a nice spring clean. Feedly says that its Android application has close to 300% faster start times, and a more fluid scrolling experience. Some visual changes have made the cut, with fonts being re-tooled for easier readability. One of the problems that people had with Feedly - where it auto-refreshed when switching back to the app - has been fixed.
The updated RSS reader has also received a new "discover" feature, which sees the day's most popular stories featured. New Facebook SDK integration and support for Samsung's Galaxy Gear has been implemented, too. You can grab the latest version of Feedly for Android from the Google Play Store.
Google has pushed out an update to Maps for Android, which now provides quicker access to flight, hotel and restaurant reservations that are linked to your Google account.
These details will show up in your search history on mobile, but are limited to just the United States right now, and in English. Some UI tweaks have been brushed into the update, which shoot you into navigation and traffic overviews quicker. The new update to Google Maps for the web also sees some improvements, with multiple stops when planning driving routes, and search results for upcoming events nearby.
These additions will be showing their heads in the Android version in the coming weeks.
Instagram for Android will soon receive an update, which will introduce the straighten control, as well as a new sound and data usage controls to videos to the Facebook-owned app.
The iOS version of Instagram has had this feature for quite sometime now, so this update will bring the Android version of Instagram up to speed. You can check out the Google Play Store to see if you can grab the updated Instagram for Android app, if not, you'll have to continue to wait a little while unfortunately.
Today Foursquare released an update to its app for iOS that introduces a completely new UI design. The new design was first released on Android back in August, and has finally began rolling out to iPhone users. Unfortunately, in the beginning only a few thousand users will receive the update while Foursquare works out any bugs that may pop up.
The update features a new recommendation system that that runs continuously in the background, and monitors a user's location to recommend establishments nearby. The system will also recommend popular food and beverage choices once the user checks into the location. These recommendations are made based on previous user's comments and advertising partners.
As part of Marissa Mayer's company-wide overhaul at Yahoo, many services offered by the company have been getting a refreshed look over the past few months. Today Flickr for iOS jumped into the hotseat and became the newest Yahoo property to get a facelift.
The image sharing and storage app now has the ability to automatically upload images taken with an iPhone to the users Flickr account. This feature can be set to auto upload when on Wi-Fi only for those who have limited data plans. The update also brings forth a new auto straightening feature that is sure to please the masses.
An update should have, or will soon roll out to Skype users, which features a much-needed refresh to its user interface when used on tablets. We saw a tablet-optimized layout in Skype earlier in the year, but this is done in a much better way.
It is made on top of the improved Skype 4.0, which concentrates focuses on conversations and people in a way better interface that is designed for larger screens - such as tablets. Version 4.4 of the app brings all of the upgrades that version 4.0 had, including the performance improvements, with all 4.4 users will see improved video quality.
It looks like Google might have a trick up its mobile OS sleeve when it finally unveils Android 4.4 KitKat, which might just be enough to move you away from some of the biggest messaging clients available on Android.
Android Police has secured some screenshots of what it is alleging to be Android 4.4 KitKat, which show off some settings that will enable SMS and MMS within Hangouts. This might not turn out to be true, but we should expect Google to really start a fire in KitKat that will have everyone talking. Enabling SMS and MMS capabilities within Hangouts would definitely be a step in the right direction for Google.
Twitter announced this morning that it had updated its app for Windows Phone and includes a very cool new lock screen feature. Version 3.0 of Twitter for Windows Phone brings forth the largest set of feature update and additions since the app hit the Windows app store.
The most notable new feature is the ability to set Twitter as your lock screen agent. Known as Peek, this new feature lets users simply wave their hand over the device to wake it up and see the last tweet that was received. Additionally users can now select their favorite Twitter accounts to receive tweet updates from, as well as customizing the app with either a light or dark theme.
Other updates include the ability to pin keyword searches to the home screen, set language preferences, and set interesting tweets to appear on the lock screen. You can find out more information and download Twitter for Windows Phone at the sources listed below.
Google Play has been updated, giving it an injection of HBO content. This includes individual episodes of some of the hottest shows on TV right now, or you can purchase entire seasons of shows.
The HBO shows include nearly all of my favorite shows: Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom, Veep, Girls and The Wire. Prices range from $2.99 per episodes to $34.99 for an entire season of your favorite, or new soon to be new favorite show. Some episodes can be picked up for $1.99 a piece, or just $14.99 per season.
Google Play will continue to add more HBO content going into the future, but for now this is a great addition.
Over the past year or so, the buzz surrounding Beats Audio's music streaming service has risen and fallen several times. With the project seeming so volatile, many industry analyst speculated that it may never get off the ground, but today new life appears to have been injected into the service.
During a recent interview with The Next Web, Beats COO Luke Wood, said that the streaming service would launch "within the next few months." He went on to say that the service would be available on the web as well as Android, iOS and Windows 8, with support for the latter arriving later than the previous two.
It also appears that the service will be titled Beats Music, rather than the "Daisy" moniker we have heard tossed around so much over the last 18 months. Wood said that the company is focusing heavily on the playlist side of things, and that the service would differ greatly from traditional streaming services like Pandora and Spotify.
If you're one of those lucky people in the Twitter beta testing group, you would know that there was an update tonight which has a new user interface. Twitter has changed the basic interface of its app, making it more simple to use.
The left edge slide-in drawer is gone, and the scrolling tabs at the top of the page have been replaced by a simple three tab design: Home, Discover and Activity. Notifications and messages have been moved, which now feature their own distinct buttons in the top action bar, with number badges indicating unread counts.
If you want to compose a new tweet, that's now at the bottom of the app, where you'll also be greeted with new buttons to add a picture, launch into the camera, or directly into the tweet and start typing.
It looks like Instagram is finally unleashing its ads to its application, with the Facebook-owned company announcing it will start pushing ads onto users' Instagram feeds.
Instagram will do this to grow its revenues, and it says it will make sure that "any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands." Instagram also said that the ads that will be "be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine."
Google is looking to take on Apple and its new iTunes Music service later this month when it launches its Google Play Music service on iOS. With mixed reviews coming in about iTunes Music, this new offering on iOS from Google could do quite well.
Google is said to be testing the service on iOS internally at the moment, and should have all the bugs worked out and ready to launch by the end of October. Personally, after having tried out Google Play Music, and being a Spotify subscriber for over a year now, I feel that neither service live up to the quality and quantity of music Spotify is serving up.
Google seems to constantly be updating its various services, with the Mountain View-based giant updating its hotword for voice search to "Ok Google," similar to its "Ok Glass" for its wearable Glass device.
The "more beautiful" search results are hitting users now, where users can add "notable people" to the list of items that Google Now keeps you updated on. You'll see a button on their card when you search for them, like the image above.
The series finale of Breaking Bad was a huge success for AMC, as was the entire series, and today the franchise just added another notch to its bed post. Spotify has announced that "Baby Blue" by Badfinger, the song that played during the finale has seen its popularity grow by more than 9000-percent.
The song sold just over 5,000 downloads on Monday night alone which is said to account for a 300-percent boost in sales. Baby Blue was recorded in 1971 and was launched on Apple Records, a record label owned by the Beatles. Until now it fluctuated in popularity with peaks coming a few times a decade, but nothing close to the levels it has seen after being featured on Breaking Bad.
Since the release of iOS 7, many users have been reporting issues with iMessage not receiving or sending messages. Some users are even reporting that their messages are being marked as sent, only to have them pop up as failed several hours after sending.
There have been a few workarounds, with the most popular simply being to restarting the device. Other fixes include resetting the network settings, or even resetting the phone all together. None of these settings seem to fix the issue for more than a few minutes which indicated that the issues are on Apple's end. Luckily, the company says that it is working to fix the issue.
"We are aware of an issue that affects a fraction of a percent of our iMessage users, and we will have a fix available in an upcoming software update," Apple said in a statement.