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Just how popular is YouTube for Android and iOS? Very popular, with over half of all YouTube views originating from mobile devices. Google has recently been revamping its mobile apps to provide a better experience, not just for viewers, but for content creators, too.
The latest update to YouTube includes a new 'Home' landing page, where you can take a look around and discover videos with recommendations and personal playlists based on your history. 'Subscriptions' is the new home for updates from the channels that you're subscribed to, as well as a new option being made available which lets you receive notifications once your favorite YouTuber uploads a new video.
'Account' is the last part of the new YouTube, where all of the videos you've uploaded are found, as well as your watch history and your playlists. All of these small changes to YouTube culminate in a much better application for video playback, especially with the latest update which allows for full-screen portrait videos.
In what feels like "why haven't we had this sooner", Google has finally allowed vertical videos on YouTube. Vertical videos you ask? Sounds weird, but with videos shot on smartphones representing a large portion of YouTube videos, vertical video support is very welcomed.
YouTube for Android previously only supported landscape video playback, so if the video was filmed vertically, it would have some large black bars and it would simply look atrocious. But with YouTube for Android v10.28, vertical videos are supported, with the tall clips now taking up the entire frame.
Angry Birds has become quite the phenomenon over the years, ushering in countless iterations of the game on so many platforms it hurts my head to even begin thinking about it. Well, prepare yourselves for Angry Birds 2, which will fling into our lives in just under two weeks, on July 30.
Rovio Entertainment said in a post: "With 3 billion game downloads, millions of fans across the globe, multiple mashups and spin-offs, collaborations with A-list celebrities and much more, we're really proud that Angry Birds is the mother of all mobile game apps. And now we're proud to announce the mother of all sequels - Angry Birds 2!"
Will you be playing Angry Birds 2? If so, on which platform?
Among the funny cat photos, former-CEO Ellen Pao hate and some interesting life tips, Reddit has become a way for those without a voice to speak up with concerns. In comes Reddit member BAM5, letting /r/Music know that Streamus, a Google Chrome web stream application, has been allegedly bullied by YouTube in the recent past due to a failed acquisition.
The story is quite long winded and consists of a summary section, numerous emails between the sole developer and a YouTube employee, alongside notes in various sections touching back on previous points. If you wish to read the whole email chain, you can check it out here.
The summary states that after failing to contact YouTube personally, the team got in touch with Sean Anderson (the developer) after an article on TechCrunch saw Streamus rise of 70,000 users. YouTube voiced its concerns that video playback on Streamus would not halt whenever the tab is minimized, advertisements weren't functioning correctly (turned out to be YouTube's issue) and there were also some video display issues ensuring that the video was not prominent enough when being played.
Google has been on top of the upgrades to YouTube lately, with 60FPS support across YouTube for a little while now, but now the mobile apps have been updated to support high frame rate (HFR).
Both YouTube for Android and YouTube for iOS have been updated with support for 60FPS playback, where you can watch 60FPS videos in their full glory on your mobile handsets, finally.
Google has updated Hangouts for iOS, with a new-look user interface, increased performance and more. Google has even included a refreshed dialer, which is a nice touch.
The new Hangouts for iOS app includes a new quick compose button that lets you get to new messages even quicker than before, as well as providing access to images from your iPhone gallery, camera or emoji library. This lets Hangouts for iOS users send all sorts of pictures to their friends through Hangouts.
Google has also baked in some performance improvements, the usual bug fixes, and more. The new Hangouts for iOS is available on the iTunes Store, and will be made available for Android in the very near future.
It's likely only a matter of time before mobile payment apps become more popular among consumers, and there are some people very excited: restaurant waitstaff and bartenders. Both mobile payment app providers and restaurants have noticed an uptick in tips if consumers use their smartphones to make payments for food and drinks.
Customers may need to wait for their food order to be completed, but don't have to just sit and wait to pay. In addition, some apps allow restaurant patrons to check their bill in real-time, and even split it among the number of guests.
"We do see increase at bars where people haven't been tipping," said Michelle Songy, co-founder of the Cake mobile pay app, in a statement to CNBC. "I'd like to think as we are trying to make the payment experience a bit more fun, easier or quick it leaves you with a better experience."
HBO's decision to launch a standalone streaming service to desktop and mobile users seems like it was a brilliant move, as HBO Now was the top grossing app for Apple iOS in May, the App Annie research firm found.
App Annie hasn't finalized June app figures yet, but expect HBO Now to remain near the top once again.
HBO Now, which is $14.99 per month, was able to top Spotify, Hulu, and other subscription-based streaming services. Using your iPhone, iPad, or other Apple device is the easiest way to watch premium content not attached to a cable or subscription plan.
Valve has finally updated the Steam for Android app, which has leaped from v1.1 right up to v2.0. The new Steam for Android app includes a totally revamped UI, something that Valve is calling "material".
The navigation drawer, according to Android Police, has "been completely rearranged in this update, and now includes links to your intentory, library, and additional app settings like disconnecting from the chat". Valve adds that it has fixed up background battery drain and the weird spontaneous login issues that many gamers were used to. The changelog for the app includes:
- Changing from one screen to another is faster
- Will not use battery when it is inactive
- Will not log in unexpectedly
- If possible, when resumed, the application will return to the screen it was on
- Startup screen can be set
- Chat history from other devices is available
- Chat history for offline friends is available
- Navigation menu has links to Inventory, Library, going offline for chat and logging out
- Material design, higher res images, simplified settings, faster on older devices
- Other fixes
In a move to take part of the news industry as its own, Apple has announced its iOS9 update will feature Apple News - setting out to be the 'staple' of news for Apple users, taking on Facebook, Google and Flipboard alike.
As part of this implementation, Apple has hired journalists to help manage the news that is spread personally, rather than relying on code or user-input as seen with other news feed apps, websites or programs. Judd Slivka from the University of Missouri says that "Apple is eager to have news created by human beings and not algorithms," adding that it makes sense as "it fits in with the brand statement Apple has been making."
This move is confirmed by Apple's job board, which is looking for journalists with a quick wit and the ability to sniff out big news from the get-go to sit alongside already-existing code.